How to Refinish the Metal on a Rifle

by
posted on February 12, 2010
2010212171550-refinish_f.jpg

In days past you’d need bluing tanks and all the toxic chemicals that the process entails. While bluing is still an excellent way to finish a rifle, the hobby gunsmith will likely have better results with spray-on coatings. Spray-on coatings can also provide a wide range of options for colors and finishes. There are several coating-type metal finishes on the market, but most require oven drying, which can be a problem for a hobby gunsmith.

It’s better to use an air-dry coating. Two products I’ve used with good success are DuraCoat by Lauer Custom Weaponry, and Aluma-Hyde II from Brownells. DuraCoat is used with a spray gun or an airbrush. The company offers a kit that includes an airbrush for about $50. Aluma-Hyde comes in a convenient spray can or as a liquid for use with an airbrush or sprayer.

1. Remove the stock and any scope, mounts or sights. Disassemble the firearm as far as you are comfortable—the smaller the parts, the better. Remove anything you do not wish to coat. Cover and protect anything with masking tape that can’t be removed.

2. The coatings can be applied over just about any clean surface. The best approach is to sandblast the metal parts that will be coated. The rough surface from sandblasting actually increases surface area for the coating to grip and gives it “tooth.” If you don’t have access to a sandblaster, it also works to just rough up the metal with a Scotch-Brite pad or sandpaper.

3. All the metal must be degreased with a solvent that dries without residue. This can be done with an aerosol-degreasing agent or by soaking in a tank full of degreaser. This is a very important step and must be done correctly for good results. Only handle the metal with clean cotton gloves after degreasing.

4. It is a simple matter to follow the application directions with these products. The key is to use several thin coatings instead of a single thick application.

5. After coating the metal, let it set undisturbed for at least 24 hours. After that, the parts can be handled, but it may take a week or longer for the coating to reach its full hardness. (Signed copies of Bryce M. Towsley’s book Gunsmithing Made Easy is available from The Outside Connection Inc., 58 Sonia Lane, North Clarendon, VT 05759; 802-775-7269; www.brycetowsley.com; Visa or MasterCard accepted; $12.49 plus $4.95 for S&H.)

Materials/Tools
❑ Screwdriver and wrenches
❑ DuraCoat or Aluma-Hyde
❑ Airbrush and propellant (unless using a self-propelled product like Aluma-Hyde)
❑ Degreasing solvent
❑ Clean cotton gloves
❑ Sand blaster or sandpaper and Scotch-Brite
❑ Painting mask or respirator
❑ Safety glasses
❑ Wire to suspend parts

Latest

Mule Deer Marathon Lead
Mule Deer Marathon Lead

Mule Deer Marathon

Our man chases elusive mule deer through the wild weather and perilous wildlife of Wyoming’s high country.

Behind the Bullet: .327 Federal Magnum

Despite the magnum moniker, the .327 Federal Magnum is a pleasure to shoot, giving it a lot of flexibility. It is a viable defensive cartridge, and in a hunting rifle, is a great choice for when shot distances are on the shorter end of the spectrum.

Making the Jump: First Foray Into Crossbow Hunting

Contributor Frank Melloni makes his first leap into bowhunting, with the TenPoint 505.

onX Adds Draw Odds for Application Season

By bringing Toprut into its fold, onX Hunt has become a year-round tool, from pre-season scouting and field use, to finding the data needed to navigate tag applications across the west.

3 Tips That Will Make You a Better Wingshooter

Want to bag more birds this year? Following these simple tips can make that happen.

American Hunter's 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

American Hunter's 2022 holiday gift guide is here! Read on for a guide full of gifts that are field tested, and field proven.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.