What is DuraCoat?DuraCoat is “The Finest Firearm Finish on the Planet” according to the
brochure and after using it I’m in no position to argue.DuraCoat is ideal for use on all parts of a firearm, including ferrous metals,
alloys, synthetics and wood.It has an
unlimited color range and is resistant to lubricants, cutting oils, and bore
solvents while having excellent physical and chemical performance.DuraCoat also has excellent water, chemical,
impact, mar, and abrasion resistance with great hardness and adhesion.Yes, DuraCoat works on bows as well. (Web Site: www.lauerweaponry.com)
DuraCoat comes in 75 color choices from Woodland Tan all the
way through Lime!Yes, Lime!They also carry 20
CamoPaks with Peel’N Spray Templates or camouflage kits for your
weapons.Ranging from snow to digital
desert camouflage, you can find anything you may need.If you haven’t yet been to their website,
take a moment and see the kits for yourself.They truly turn your weapon into a work of art when completed.
DuraCoat sent me their Wilderness MirageFlage Camopak about
two weeks ago for my evaluation.Having
never used an airbrush before and possessing the artistic equivalent of a
turnip, I was pretty curious as to how this one would turn out.I flashed back to the big finger painting
accident of 1972 and cringed. Believe me,
if I can finish this project, so can you.
I started by tearing into the box and laying everything out
in front of me.It came with four colors
of DuraCoat finish, 6 feet of Peel ‘n Spray Templates, 1oz hardener, 1oz
Reducer, airbrush kit with a can of NO. 2 propellant, some degreaser and lucky
for me, an instructional video.I dug
out the video and headed straight for my computer to see what I was in for.
CD and examples give some ideas
The video was well put together and showed how they coat a
weapon in their shop as well as how to use the templates that are used to
create the patterns on the weapon you are going to spray.It showed the sand blasting, cleaning, and
oven drying in their shop as well.While
being informative and helpful on some things like pattern layout, it didn’t
talk at all about how to use what came with the kit.I went back to the box to search for an
instruction guide for the home kit, but it didn’t come with one.Hence, I made a few rookie mistakes that I
will talk about so you don’t.I would
love to see DuraCoat type up an instruction guide for a home use kit in a
step-by-step format.Having never used
an airbrush before, it took me some time to get set up and ready to paint.
Laying out the victim
I chose an older Mossberg 500 police model as my victim for
a first attempt with DuraCoat.I knew I
wouldn’t cry even a little if I messed this one up.It had the wood stock and grip and was
definitely in need of a new look.The
first step is the degreasing of the parts.No dip tank handy?No
problem.They include a can of degreaser
and boy does it work well.I
disassembled the shotgun, cleaned all the parts, and degreased them as best I
could.It was time to pick the color
scheme and like it says in the brochure, anything goes.I chose black as the first color because
that’s what they did in the video.(Told
you I was creative.) Here is where
things started to get frustrating for me.When they were handing out patience as a child, I was most likely out chasing
a squirrel or poking something spongy with a stick.I know nothing about airbrushes or propellant
and I was just happy to be painting.I
mean, I mixed the paint, attached the jar to the brush, and even figured out
that the propellant was for the gun and things were flowing well.They had included one of the small cans of
propellant and it said that it was possible to complete two firearms with
it.I personally went through 3 cans,
two small and one large before I got all 4 colors on the weapon.Propellant cans freeze very quickly when in
use.You must wait for long periods of
time while they defrost and that is where my patience ran thin.When I start a project, I like to keep moving
and the frozen can just wasn’t doing it for me.This is where I made my first mistake.DO NOT under any circumstance put the frozen propellant can into a bowl
of hot, warm, or luke warm water.It’s
stamped right there all over the can, “Keep away from heat.”I however was in a hurry and dropped the
first small can smack dab into the middle of some fairly hot water.The can hissed, wiggled, and groaned as the
gas expanded inside.I snatched the can
quickly from the water and after the hissing noises vanished, decided to give
it another shot with the airbrush.I
lost about ¾’s of the can in the first blast and half the paint I had
mixed.Here’s the happy ending to this
story.I called DuraCoat and after some
muffled laughter they sent me another two cans of propellant the same day.I experimented a little bit and found that if
you use just some regular cold shallow water in a pan, enough to cover the
bottom, it keeps the can from freezing quickly and it won’t cause any
explosions what-so-ever.I do suggest
that you get a couple of cans to work with right from the start.
Dissasembled and ready to de-grease
A base coat
The base green
Once that was figured out, it was not hard at all to
finish.Each time you finish a coat of
color, you wait until it sets and then add a set of templates.I finished the black, put on the blue templates
sprayed the next layer tan and after it set, I put more templates on and
sprayed the shotgun green.It takes some
time and a good eye to get the templates straight and in line with one
another.If you look closely, you can
see that mine isn’t perfect, but I think it looks great regardless.An afterthought was that I could have set a
laser level up to shine on the shotgun giving me a perfect line to follow.I’m also not sure what it takes to get the
template into a pattern or groove on a stock or grip while keeping it
straight.I guess time and experience
may be the key to that one.
Simple as stick on and spray
Laying on the templates
Voila, ready for the field
Here’s how I scored DuraCoat
Ease of use–4.0 of 5 I’d give them a 4.5
if they had step-by-step instructions for the items in the home kit.Everything is fairly self explanatory if you
think about them, but even a quick reference guide telling you how much
hardener to add to 1oz of color would save the customer some time.I’d give them a 5 if they came over and did
the project for me.It is a project and it takes time and patience.Great winter project!
Company Assistance -5 of 5
Had to call for help
twice and they were great.Friendly,
courteous, and knowledgeable.
Quality - 5 of 5
Everything they sell
is high quality.You will find no other
coating that delivers like DuraCoat.You
may also send in your weapon to be professionally done if you don’t wish to
tackle this project.Great for those
high dollar weapons that you want professionally finished.
End Result -4.5 of 5
Again I wish they had
a step-by-step for dummies.The coating
on my shotgun is hardened, beautiful, and definitely not effected by oil.I’m very happy with the quality, the
durability, and how the pattern looks.Great product and a fun project to work on.I’d love to send a gun in to have done and
see the difference between a home kit and how it would leave their shop
professionally to see how I did.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed working with DuraCoat.I learned a few things, made some mistakes,
and ended up with a beautiful shotgun in the end.My friends agree that it looks and feels
fantastic. I would use this product
again on another weapon in a minute.
Just a few tips:
Purchase at least
one extra can of propellant right from the start.
If the pressure
drops to the airgun, the propellant is freezing.Give it time to warm up or put the can in “cold” shallow water as you go.It keeps it from freezing.
If you aren’t
getting enough pressure to spray the paint right from the beginning, check for
clogs in the airgun, straw and hole in the lid of the paint jar.Also try backing off the tube that screws
into the propellant by about 3 turns.I
found that if you screw it all the way into the can, it doesn’t have as much
pressure to the airgun.
paramount when spraying and cleaning.This is a professional coating that is made with and of strong
chemicals.Avoid breathing too much of
it and try not getting too much on your skin.I highly suggest gloves and a respirator if spraying indoors.
your TIME!The more you put into this,
the more you’ll get out of it.Get
the templates on straight from the beginning.You will love the end results.
In reply to Patricks request, DuraCoat has replied and will
include the following instruction in every Package:
As in all finishes, proper surface prep is important.To ensure proper adhesion of the finish, all
parts must be clean.We recommend degreasing with ACN, NST or our
favorite, TruStrip as they leave no residue and dry fast.A clean surface is critical to your success
so be sure to be thorough.Take your
firearm apart as much as you feel comfortable.Remember:As long as your firearm
is clean and free of oil, DuraCoat will adhere no matter how little you
Surfaces can be blasted with 60-120 grit aluminum oxide but
it is not required.
Parkerizing or anodizing is recommended but not required for
metals prior to DuraCoat application.Both of these preparations give the DuraCoat something extra to hang on
to and will improve the durability of the finish.
Plug or mask areas you don’t wish to coat.Both plugs and masking tape are available
from LCW.DuraCoat can be applied to
bare metals, plastics, synthetics, and wood.
Once your preparation is complete, begin the finishing
process by thoroughly mixing your DuraCoat.Shake the container for 3-4 minutes after hearing the rattling
ball.DuraCoat must be mixed with DuraCoat
hardener at the ratio of 12 parts DuraCoat to 1 part DuraCoat hardener. Adding
more hardener makes a glossier finish.Less hardener makes a flatter finish
Hardener Ratio:1:12(1 part hardener to 12 parts DuraCoat)
The best way to combine hardener with DuraCoat using
measuring spoons is:
tablespoons DuraCoat to 1 teaspoon hardener (or a fraction of, like)
tablespoons DuraCoat to ½ teaspoon hardener.
NOTE: Once DuraCoat
is mixed with Hardener, there is only a 6-8 hour pot life.
DuraCoat can be
applied by airbrush, conventional automotive spray gun, HVLP systems or airless
paint sprayer.Fill your sprayer and
you’re ready to begin.
Test your spray gun by coating a test piece of metal or
If your sprayer does not spray DuraCoat evenly, add DuraCoat
reducer (up to 20% by volume), increase air pressure, or both.
Optimum DuraCoat Reducer Ratio is: No added reducer.
Maximum Reducer added percentage is:20% reducer.
Adding reducer does not affect drying time but thins the
spray.(.05 needle, nozzle, and air
capare recommended in
HVLP spray guns.)
use DuraCoat Reducer.Do not use any
other reducer as this will cause achemical imbalance which will compromise
Spray with smooth, even passes, building DuraCoat to the
Stop intermittently to allow the solvents to
Spray from 0.25mil minimum thickness to 1.5mil maximum
Spray distance from sprayer to firearm: 4” to 8”, depending
on desired effect.
The optimum thickness is 1mil.A thinner coating will be required on tight
tolerance areas and a thicker coating can be applied to high wear areas.(High wear areas are parts which rub on
vests, holsters and slings.These parts
include corners, hand guards, safety switch, etc.)
Dry to touch:20
Handling of finished products:60 minutes
You can speed up the drying process by baking.This is recommended if you are applying a
camouflage finish.Bake 10 to 15 minutes
at 110°F between camo colors. If you choose not to bake allow 2 hours between
After final coat has been applied, air dry overnight.At this point, the finish is cured enough for
light use.The finish will fully cure in
a couple of weeks.Note: Maximum resistance to abrasion, impact, and chemicals is attained
in three to four weeks.You may
speed up the initial curing process by baking for 1 hour at 110°F. This is the
same as overnight air dry.Parts can be
baked in a conventional oven.A custom
oven is available from LCW.Caution: Some items cannot tolerate
110°F. Bake these parts at a lower temperature for an extended period of time.
Clean your spray gun
and containers with DuraCoat Reducer immediately after use.DuraCoat will harden inside your spray gun if
it is not cleaned out.
life of DuraCoat is 18 months if stored in a cool, dark, and dry place.Shelf life of hardener is 6 months if stored
in a cool, dark, and dry place.Shelf
life of hardener can be extended to 12 months and beyond if placed in a zip
lock bag and placed in a refrigerator.Do not store with food.In both
cases, the container lids, rims, and threads must be thoroughly cleaned prior
to sealing the container and the lids must be on tight.