This is one area that can be incredibly simple or complex, depending on how much digging you want to do into the various testing methods. You can, for instance, look up what an ASTM D3359 rating of 5B means, which Cerakote earns proudly, or you can see that a 180 degree bend over a quarter-inch mandrel didn’t involve the coating coming loose or flaking off. Ball bearing impact tests are also done to apply 160 inch-pounds of impact force without cracking, or any sign that the coating is coming loose at all.
Cerekote finishes are tested with a salt solution. This is very much alike one of those glock torture tests you see on you-tube and facebook, but with a very specific and scientific metric applied. There are generally two ways to perform this test. Either the part is hung and put under a constant spray a saltwater, which most coatings will tolerate on the order of thousands of hours, or they are dropped into a vat of the salt solution and left to soak. Let’s face it, you don’t want to drop your custom glock in a salt bath, so these folks have done the testing for you. In this kind of full immersion test, the coating will hold up against rust for hundreds of hours. Try that with a blued slide, the difference in the results is obvious.
Wear cycles are applied with a buffing wheel coated with abrasive material. Due to the lower coefficient of friction and the ceramic-polymer makeup of the coating, it’s been determined that Cerakote finishes can hold up well to over 5,000 wear cycles for every mil of thickness. Some series are even stronger. Think about how many bullets it takes on a stock slide before you start to see metal under the stock finish. Nuff said? Moving on.
One scientific test, the ASTM D3363, rates Cerakote coatings with a pencil hardness of 9H. It also rates them at a scratch resistance of 6H. While you wouldn’t want to run a nail across it under extreme force, these are actually some of the best test results you will see, on any coating.
Yes! We can customize the way you hold your gun. We take left over polymer from previous projects or from finger groove removal and melt layer by layer until we reach your desired grip angle.
This is an oven-cure coating that will offer the most extreme corrosion and chemical resistance available. It comes in six earth-tone colors, and uses a type of advanced resin that allows it to be applied in thinner coatings, perfect for internal parts. The corrosion and chemical resistance of this product are unrivaled, even by other Cerakote offerings. Due to the extra strength, a single coating and curing is all that’s required for internal parts. It looks sharp, and leaves the surface slick. This means a lower coefficient of friction that rivals Teflon. It can be used on anything that will survive a trip in the curing oven, even wearables and sporting equipment, or even audio components. If you need a tough, thin finish, then the Elite series is the best of the batch.
The Cerakote H Series is probably the most common coating available. It isn’t as tough as the Elite series during lab tests, but it will still fight against corrosion and chemicals better than other available coatings, and it’s so popular that you can get the protection you need in almost any color imaginable, even gold. The H series is also a bake-on application, so no melting plastic pieces.
In general, if you are trying to add a little flair, or totally customize your 1911, the H series is perfect for your project. The upshot over most other decorative mediums, of course, is that you are adding on of the toughest layers of protection along with the color. There’s a reason it’s so popular. Fit and finish on internal pieces will require some extra attention, as the 1 mil thickness of the layer is enough to tighten tolerances on moving parts. The H Series works well on everything from dive watches, to fishing gear, to firearms. On parts where it’s possible, multiple layers can be added to handle wear better over time.
When you need the maximum resilience to higher temperatures, a high temp coating is best. While the coating doesn’t give the same corrosion resistance as other series, the high-temp version of the H series is perfect for specific applications, for barrels, muzzle brakes, and suppressors. It’s great for engine components and exhaust pipes as well. There are trade-offs with everything, but even so, you can expect a protective finish on your high-temp components. The best thing about this coating, is that it is an air cure product, which means it can be used on things that you don’t want to toss in a curing oven. Consumer products, stocks, polymer components or anything else that needs to be kept out of the furnace. It might seem odd that the high-temp Cerakote variant would be the one that requires no baking, but that feature makes this the best overall choice for both products subjected to much higher temperatures, and those you wouldn’t dare to heat up for fear of them melting.
A special coating designed specifically for military and law enforcement to reduce the IR signature and visual appearance of a weapon, while providing the benefits of strength and abrasion resistance. While not as tough as the Elite series, weapons coated with this series of thin film are better adapted to a lower reflective index, and end up stealthier. While personal weapons don’t qualify, it’s important to note that the variety of Cerakote Series available cover a broad array of uses, and not all Cerakote is the same.
Gunsmiths in the area can run the gambit when it comes to pricing, but most of them stay in the range of $75-$125 per hour, depending on what part they’re working on. We keep a rate of $95 per hour, and bills in 30 minute increments.
Like most things in modern life, there are generally two approaches to modifying your weapon. You can pay a professional, or try to do it yourself. Doing stuff yourself can be a learning experience, and it can definitely save you money, assuming you don’t mess up, but it’s usually a trial-and-error process. Complex jobs can lead to a bigger expense in the long run than it would have cost to have a professional do it right in the first place.
If you are plopping a reflex sight on an AR-15, you might need a little extra sighting in time as opposed to having someone bore-sight the weapon during the install, but it’s low risk, and not much to break if things don’t work out. If filing is needed for the mounting, you can take it to the smith later.
Some jobs aren’t so forgiving. A thousandth of an inch on a trigger job can mean the difference between a smooth pull and an illegally modified firearm that goes full-auto when you test it at the range.
Some will judge each job for themselves, but in general, if you don’t have the tools and knowledge to do the job right, most firearms aren’t something that you want to use as a learning tool. They’re expensive, and the risks, depending on the job, can be great. If you’re unsure, it’s probably best to talk to our gunsmith. We’ll get you in and make sure that the job is done right.
When a professional does the work, there is no mark. Those little blemishes that are commonly found on DIY guns that were “upgraded” by someone with the wrong tools are unsightly reminders that someone should have paid a gunsmith. Buying the tools required is often more expensive than outsourcing the job, so the average gun-owner will benefit from saving time, money, and “idiot marks” on their firearm, or possibly damaging it beyond repair.
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