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Old December 17, 2000, 11:02 AM   #1
Patrick Graham
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Join Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Kokomo, Indiana USA
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I just bought a can of GunKote from brownells. I like gunkote, I have a 1911 that is coated with it, it's tough stuff.
I didn't coat the 1911 myself, I sent it away to have it done. Now I want to do it myself. Has anyone done this before? It sounds like it's easy. Preheat the unfinished part to 100 degrees, spray on, bake at 300 for a while. I just hope I can do it inside, if not I'm going to get one of those little toaster type ovens.
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Old December 17, 2000, 03:38 PM   #2
Zen Arcade
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Join Date: October 15, 2000
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IMHO, it is thus: 95% Preperation, 5% Application

I used the Brownell's teflon moly oven cure stuff before on 3 AR15 30 rounders and a SKS Paratrooper, and am just now starting on my second can. I'm not a millionaire and don't have access to a sandblasting cabinet that would be the ideal process for a nice matte finish. Because of that, my experience should be seen as that of an amateur. If you want true quality, I'd send an e-mail to Mac at Mac's Restorations( ) ,you will not be sorry .

I'd recommend going over the metal you are trying to refinish with brake cleaner followed by some good scrubbing with a 3M Scotchbtite pad, and then some more brake cleaner. Let it dry completely and don't handle it too much with your bare hands. Follow the directions on the can to the letter, and you'll probably be pleased with how your project turns out - black is indeed beautiful!

I used my kitchen oven (single and loving it). The stink is bad but you're probably a gun nut so it won't bother you that much. Another thing is that it seems that the longer you let the stuff "cure" after baking, the tougher it seems - that's just a subjective observation. However, literature from Mac's suggests the same thing.

The stuff will come of in high wear contact areas, but those areas show no indication of any oxidation. I've heard of some dudes putting cold blue on these areas before coating in hopes of better disguising these wear patches. I intend on trying that someday to see if it really works. Good luck and post some pictures if you can!
"A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light."
-- F.K.
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Old December 18, 2000, 06:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: December 17, 2000
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I have used gun kote with good results. As said before, preparation is very important. You can get better results using an air brush to spray, rather than an aerosol can.
MEK or acetone is the prefered degreaser. If you do have an air brush,Gun Kote is available in pints, Check out lots of info there, and they are very quick to answer e-mail inquiries.
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Old December 18, 2000, 09:21 AM   #4
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Join Date: February 8, 2000
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I used it on some mags and there cannot be any oil residue(even from your hands) or it won't spray on properly. Also some engine rebuilding shops have bead blasting equiptment. I use a guy by me and he will comepletely blast the old finnish off a pistol for $10. They come out nice. Here is the web site for guncote. They have an 800 number. You can call them if you have problems.
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Old December 19, 2000, 10:56 AM   #5
hollow point
Join Date: June 6, 1999
Posts: 55
I am interested in trying this also, does anyone have any pictures of the results that they can post? TIA! - JHP
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Old December 19, 2000, 09:16 PM   #6
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Join Date: December 11, 2000
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Here is a link to pictures and a reply that I left to the same question on another board.
Applying GunKote is really easy, but doing the prepwork is the hard part. I totally disassemble the parts to be coated. Next I degrease the parts using brake cleaner or acetone. After degreasing I bake the parts in a toaster oven at 400 degrees just in case there is some oil left somewhere in/on the part. Now is the fun part, I sandblast the parts in a homemade sandblaster using aluminum oxide, 120 grit@40-50 psi. I wear rubber gloves for the rest of procedure when touching the parts. Now it's time for one last cleaning with brake cleaner to remove anything left from sandblasting. Hang the parts using wire (I use clothes hanger wire) and preheat them in the oven at 120-150 degrees. Remove the parts one at a time and GunKote them while they are still warm. I use an airbrush to spray the GunKote and have my air compressor set at 35-40 psi. After all of the parts are coated I let the dry a day or two and then bake them at 350 degrees for 75 minutes. When the parts come out of the oven I let them cool down a little bit and then apply a coat of Breakfree CLP and wipe off excess. This process may seem complicated but it isn't. My total cost is $48.00 for a quart of GunKote, $35.00 for 55 pounds of aluminum oxide, $30.00 for my homemade sandblaster, $10.00 for my airbrush that I purchased at Harbour frieght tools. Grand total:$123.00 The cost of having Wilson Combat or Bear Coat refinish a pistol is in the area of $250.00 so you save alot! So far I have refinished 7 mags and 1 pistol and still have over 1/2 the quart of GunKote left. Sorry for the long post but I hope that it helps describe the process.
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Old December 19, 2000, 09:33 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 13, 2000
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I've done a fair amount of "backyard GunKoting" now, and I'll gladly pass on a few hard-fought lessons learned. Before I say anything, if you want a truly professional, eye-watering job done, go with Mac's Shooting Iron Restorations ( You won't be disappointed. That being said, and being a DIYer from way back, here's what I learned.

1. Get the right tools. I recommend buying GK by the pint. I got mine from RB Treasures ( for $24 a pint in different colors. I bought an amazingly good, low cost Badger airbrush from Reuels ( I got the BD-250 for less than $30 IIRC. It runs off a can of propellent, and works great. It takes 5 minutes to figure out how to use the airbrush. I was very concerned about this part, and it turned out to be a no-brainer.
2. As was already alluded to, preparation is everything. You need to clean and degrease the parts to be GK'd. If you can get someone to bead-blast it first, so much the better. I haven't been able to find anyone to do this yet, but I'm going to check into the engine rebuilders mentioned above. An ultrasonic cleaner would be MOST BUENO, but I don't have one. To degrease, first put on a pair of good vinyl or latex gloves, GET YOUR EYE PRO ON, then use brake cleaner or carb cleaner in a well ventilated area. Brake/Carb cleaner will melt plastic parts, and probably take the white out of your sights, but that can be added back in later ( Brownells sells some degreaser, too, but you can do just as well with brake/carb cleaner. THIS IS IMPORTANT! If the part is not degreased properly, the GK will not adhere correctly. It's that simple. I recommend degreasing a couple of times to get the gork that seeps out from the cracks. You can also try heating the part up after degreasing to help coax out the ooze. From this point on, handle the parts ONLY with gloves on, to avoid oil from your hands contaminating all your hard work.
3. Give some thought as to how you're going to hold the parts while you GK them. In your hand--probably not. If you lay (lie?) them flat, you will have to turn them onto the tacky surface to shoot the other side, and possibly screw up your finish. I prefer to shoot onto wood, as it seem to absorb the GK well and not "stick" to the piece. I have a 2x4 with a couple of wooden dowels sticking straight up that works well as a holder for frames, slides, and mag bodies. I'm sure you can be more creative than I in this area.
4. Get a heat gun and heat the part up to about 100 deg or so. I use the scientific method of holding my latex gloved hand close to the piece and seeing if I can feel heat coming off of it, i.e. it's hotter than 98.6 deg. I think here hotter is better, as you want the GK to dry as soon as it hits. I have a helper moving the heat gun around the part as I GK it to keep the entire part hot as I spray.
5. Make sure you're in a well ventialated area, I like outside, and here's the easy part: spray the part. It is MUCH easier than I thought. The GK will dry as soon as it hits the metal, so "runs" and "sags" aren't a problem. Just keep nice, straight passes with the airbrush, starting and finishing "off" the part. Shoot the entire part, and I like to put it on a little heavy on the slide rails or other high wear areas. I shoot every part of the gun, including the grip screws and pins. You can even shoot the springs, if you're so inclined.
6. The parts are immediately dry to the touch, but I always let the parts dry for at least an hour. Then I examine each one. If I see something I screwed up, I just grab the brake cleaner, PUT ON MY EYE PRO, and spray away. The GK comes off like water. It's actually kind of scary, but don't worry. After baking, it can only be blasted off. Finish degreasing, and start over with the heat-and-spray. I shot the frame of my Hi-Power in matte stainless (to go with the matte black slide for a home-made two-tone), and wasn't happy, so I just hosed it down and re-did it. Perfect.
7. While the parts are drying, pour the remainder of your GK back into the can. You will have a lot left. A little goes a long way. You can clean the airbrush up with either Acetone (hard), MEK (too friggin' dangerous for me), or, simply, brake/carb cleaner. Works great. Be sure to clean the entire airbrush thoroughly.
8. Bake time. Come up with some amazingly good story, and send the wife to the store to get something you just can't live without. It should take her about 2 hours. With her safely out of the way, preheat the oven to 350 deg. Turn on the hood fan. Open the windows. And the door. I use bent hangar pieces to suspend the frame/slide/big pieces from the oven racks and one of those $.79 tinfoil "roasting pans" from the store for the small parts. The can says 350 deg for an hour, but it also says if you bake it hotter/longer, it will come out HARDER, although the color will be a bit darker. Good trade for me. I roast 'em at about 375 deg for about an hour and a half, then just turn off the oven and let it cool with the parts inside. When everything has cooled down, I inspect all the "bits," wipe them down with a clean cloth, and--this part is optional--I hit them with BreakFree CLP as I reassemble them. I know GK is self-lubricating, but, according to Mac's, the GK will actually absorb a certain amount of lubricant. I BreakFree the parts, assemble the weapon, then wipe down any excess. The GK actually gets harder as it gets older.

And then, shoot! I'm a huge GK fan, and it is MUCH easier to apply than I had imagined. Just think it through, don't rush the preparation, WEAR YOUR EYE PRO, and have a good time.

YMMV, of course.

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