January 13th, 2020

Water Transfer Printing for Rifle Stocks

hydro-dip stock finish

There’s a great new way to apply an eye-catching finish to fiberglass and synthetic stocks. Water Transfer Printing (aka Hydro-Dipping) can apply beautiful, stylized patterns to your stock, and the process costs less than a custom paint job. Hydro-dipping is ideal for applying amazing photo-realistic effects such as stone, wood burl, snakeskin, or faux carbon fiber. Hydro-dipping requires no harsh chemicals or high heat so there are no negative side effects. You just end up with an amazing, patterned finish on your stock.

Hundreds of different patterns are available. We like the carbon-look finish on benchrest guns and the snakeskin patterns on hunting and varmint rifles. Natural snakeskin designs, in this Editor’s opinion, are perhaps the most effective camouflage for the largely arrid backcountry in the American southwest.

hydro-dip stock finish

hydro-dip stock finish

Hydro-Dip of Idaho Does Great Work
While there are a half-dozen companies offering water transfer printing for rifle stocks, Forum member Francis B. recommends Hydro-Dip, LLC of Meridian, Idaho. Examples of Hydro-Dip’s work are shown above. Francis writes: “Scott, Adam, and old man Rod Springer own and run Hydro-Dip. This is a company that will ‘paint’ your rifle, tool box, trailer, airplane, whatever and will do an excellent job while doing it. Check out their archives of jobs done. You will be amazed. I’ve not had one of their jobs done for any of mine (yet) but I’m considering it. Those who have had their rifles done tell me the cost is very reasonable. I have seen a few stocks done and they are works of art.”

Hydro-dipping (water transfer printing) can be performed on virtually any metal or plastic surface. You can Hydro-dip car parts, archery gear, rifle stocks — you name it. Watch the process in the video:

CLICK VIDEO to See Hydro-Dipping Process!

Hydro-Dip of Idaho

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July 4th, 2014

Accurate Rifle as Art — “Old Glory”

Here’s a stunning rifle that’s perfect for the July 4th edition of the Daily Bulletin. Forum member CaptSurly from Florida posted his .223 Rem “Old Glory” in the Pride and Joy thread in our Forum. In that thread Forum members have posted photos of their favorite rifles. When we saw “Old Glory” for the first time, we knew this gun deserved more exposure.

223 Rem Benchrest

CaptSurly tells us: “Old Glory is the second custom rifle I had built. The first was another 223 built by Bobbie Hart. In choosing 223 it was the result, at the time, of the lack of any familiarity with the BR and PPC custom cartridges. Old Glory is one of a dozen custom rifles I own, 8 of which are built on Bat 6.5″ MF actions, all with Shehane Tracker stocks in 22 and 6mm PPC, 22, 6mm, and 30 BR, as well as 222s and 22-250s built on Rem 700 trued actions. The gunsmiths include: Leonard Baity, Dwight Scott, Kevin Rayhill, Bill Truitt and Doyle Anglin.”

223 Rem Benchrest

Old Glory is built on a trued Remington SS action. It sports a Shehane MBR Tracker stock, a 1:14″ twist Dan Lilja SS Barrel at 24″, a 1.5 oz. Jewell trigger, a Pacific Tool & Gauge (PTG) bolt, a Leupold 45×45 Competition scope, Davidson bases, and Kelby rings. The chambering is by Kevin Rayhill in Match .223 Rem Match with a .250″ neck. Kevin also pillar- and glass-bedded the action in the stock. The gun is shot with Lapua match brass (.0115″ neck thickness), Bart’s 52gr FB bullets and with Fed 205m match primers lighting off 25.0 grains of VV 133. The gun is very accurate.

223 Rem Benchrest

CaptSurly tells us: “Old Glory is not shot in organized competition, but competition in absentia. By that I mean I keep track of what is happening in organized competition through PS Magazine and through the IBS web site. Traveling to matches at long distances does not work for me. Extreme accuracy is my passion and I am rarely satisfied with my results regardless of how good they are and more often than not they are good. Old Glory is seldom shot beyond 50 yards due to the range availability here on the island. I shoot on the Florida Keys Shooting Club Range here on Key Largo, FL. While we have 50- and 100-yard ranges, the 100-yard range is available only on Monday afternoons, so I use same for shooting my PPCs and BRs.”

223 Rem Benchrest

223 Rem BenchrestArtwork by Killer Paint’s Mike Lavallee
The amazing paint job was done by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint Inc. in Snohomish, Washington. Mike is a featured artist on The Discovery Channel in his own right and in association with Monster Garage (Jesse James). Lavallee is famous for his “Tru-flames” paint effects.

Three of CaptSurly’s painted stocks currently appear on the Killer Paint web site gallery and Lavallee is currently working on two more stocks for CaptSurly and his wife — one will feature a tropical motif and the other will sport a buckskin motif.

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November 14th, 2013

Coating Breakthrough: Two-Part DuraCoat® in One Rattle Can

DuraCoat aerosol can in can two-stage gun coatingWouldn’t it be great if you could apply a durable, two-part, commercial-grade coating on gun parts, with the ease of “rattle can” spraying. Until recently, you had to have some pro-grade equipment to apply multi-stage coatings. Now that has changed thanks to a new “can-in-a-can” developed in Europe. DuraCoat® can now be applied, in your choice of nine colors, from a single, convenient rattle can. The secret is the new type of twin-chamber can construction. An inner chamber holds the DuraCoat hardener (catalyst), while an outer chamber contains the DuraCoat color coating liquid.

The “can-in-a-can” design keeps the two elements completely separate until you are ready to apply the coating. It’s really quite ingenious. Duracoat’s owner, Steve Lauer, found this innovative dual-chamber aerosol can design in Europe. We believe his company, Lauer Custom Weaponry is the first to introduce this spray can technology in the American gun coating market.

DuraCoat aerosol can in can two-stage gun coating

Video Shows How to Apply DuraCoat with New Twin-Chamber Aerosol Can

DuraCoat aerosol can in can two-stage gun coatingDuraCoat is a two-part coating system. Once the DuraCoat is mixed with the hardener, a chemical reaction occurs. That is why the two fluids must be kept separated until it’s time to coat a project. When you’re ready, you mix the two products by pushing a plunger in the bottom of the can. This is done by attaching a red button to the bottom of the can. Push down on the can and you’ll here a “pop” that indicates the hardener can migrate into the main chamber. Shake the can for a couple minutes and you are good to go (provided the product to be coated has been prepped properly.)

DuraCoat aerosol can in can two-stage gun coating

DuraCoat is Versatile
Duracoat can be used on carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, metal alloys, wood, plastic and many other surfaces. No baking or pre-heating is required. DuraCoat is not just a thin cosmetic layer like conventional paint. When properly applied, DuraCoat offers good abrasion resistance and very effective protection against corrosion. DuraCoat Aerosol is currently offered in nine (9) popular colors: Matte Black, Woodland Green, Parkerized Gray, OD Green, White, Combat Gray, Pink Lady, Magpul Flat Dark Earth, and Blackhawk Coyote Tan. View DuraCoat Color Chart.

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October 7th, 2009

Brownell's Videos Show Spray-On Finish Techniques

Cerakote gunsIn recent years, spray-on finishes have become a popular alternative to traditional blueing for chrome-moly barrels and receivers, plus other gun parts. Spray-on finishes provide excellent rust-proofing, some degree of abrasion resistance, and many of the finishes also provide increased lubricity for moving parts. (Be aware, however, that these finishes go on thin, and some finishes can wear through on high-abrasion areas, such as slide rails on pistols.)

Matte spray-on products work well for hunters looking for a dull, non-glossy finish that blends into the background. A bake-on polymer-type finish is a very good choice for a shotgun or rifle used in the winter or in damp environments (such as duck blinds). These polymer finishes are offered in a wide variety of color. Cerakote, a two-part bake-on product, offers a thin but abrasion-resistent surface finish that works well on handguns and tactical-style rifles.

Brownells Gun-Kote

Many Processes and Products Shown in Videos
Brownells offers eleven (11) videos that explain, step by step, how to apply a spray-on finish to gun parts. Each video describes a particular technique or how to use a particular product. For example, one video describes curing methods for Aluma Hyde and Cerakote, while two other videos explain surface prep techniques for metal and wood respectively. Brownells even offers a video that shows how to produced layered, camouflage effects.

gun painting finishing

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