Saturday, June 06, 2009

No More Evil Black Rifles

Sometimes an all black rifle just won’t do. My buddy had one and asked if I could show him how I paint my long guns; he is my friend and I had time so I said, “sure”. We took some snaps and now y’all can learn as well. Before we started I told him to go buy a few cans of Krylon “Camouflage” paint – it’s basically flat paint in earth toned colors.

You will want to paint your rifle in colors that blend into your area. When in doubt, use lighter colors rather than dark - they blend better. I like a lot of tan and some dark green in my paint schemes – my buddy picked Tan, Green, Brown and some Gray.

Begin by degreasing the rifle – we just used paper towels and alcohol. Basically you want all the oil gone so that paint can adhere. Go ahead and tape up anything you don’t want paint on or in. We taped the trigger well and scope lenses after first putting some paper towel in there (to keep the tape residue of the glass). We also plugged the muzzle with paper towel – a foam earplug works also.

Start out painting broad bands of your chosen colors. Alternate light and dark – you want to break up the long dark outline. Now, truth be told, once you do this you are done as far as effectively camouflaging the rifle goes. It won’t earn you a lot of cool points with the guys, but it will break up the silhouette and make it blend in – assuming you chose colors that match your environment. But as we used to say “back in the day” – It’s not what you do, or how you do it – but how you look while you are doing it that counts. So we had some more work to do.

Lay some foliage on your rifle – whatever color you lay it on is the color that shape is going to end up. So if you want tan grass and green leaves – lay the grass on the tan band and the leaves on the green. Once they are on there lightly spray a contrasting color on top of the vegetation. Easy does it and you may have to hold it in place with a stick to keep it from being blown away by the aerosol.

Now, leaving the first layer of foliage in place, add more right on top and spray a different color of paint on that – different from the color you see peeking out underneath the leaves and grass.

Then add even more vegetation – the rifle should be almost totally covered. During this stage I typically hit it with gray auto primer. Some people use flat black – whatever you add at this time will only show up in very small, odd bits.

After painting, wait as long as you can – for me it’s about 1 minute – and then, using a stick, flip all the vegetation off neatly so it doesn’t make the paint smear. Let it dry some more and then flip the rifle over and repeat on the other side.

When you are all done, let it stand somewhere warm and dry for a day or so until the paint hardens up.

“How long does it last?”
“Won’t it scratch?”
“How does it hold up to cleaning chemicals?”

I love it (not really) when I hear these questions on the Internet. I would say first off that if you are worried about scratching your Safe Queen then you probably don’t want to use this technique. If you are worried about scratching your weapon then you are not planning on using it like I do. This is the paint and the technique I have been using for years. This is the same paint my Brothers who are still out there Doing The Deed are using. As far as patterns go, some get fancy, some just spray wide stripes on their weapon. When it needs a touch up – we touch it up. Because for us, a weapon is a tool. Not a work of art. Not a museum piece. Not something that we try to keep in “mint condition” so that we can resell it later.

But if you insist on knowing - It lasts a long time and holds up to rough and tumble and cleaning just fine. Sure, it will wear off in places eventually – I consider those marks “earned”. It’s not a beautiful show room job – it won’t grace the covers of any gun nut magazines – but it works. And the cool thing is –if you don’t like it or if you need to change the colors – you can just start over. This job took us less than an hour and we were yacking and taking photos.

Now if you want, I’ll do yours for $70 but really, you can just to it yourself.

I’ll see ya out there….or will I?

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. – Proverbs 25:2


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

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