Whether you're sprucing up a favourite old firearm or attempting to put a shiny new finish on a recently acquired collector's item, the process of do-it-yourself gun refinishing need not be a complicated one. There are a variety of state-of-the-art products on the market designed to make gun refinishing easier than ever before.
In a 2003 article appearing in "Guns Magazine," writer Holt Bodinson describes how technological advances in chemistry have "revolutionised the realm of refinishing" with products known as cold blues, which restore metal gun stocks that have become rusted. One such product is Oxpho-Blue from Brownells, an Iowa-based manufacturer of firearms accessories and gunsmithing tools. In most cases, all that's necessary is to dampen a piece of cotton flannel and rub the product on the metal, causing it to penetrate oil and remove thin rust, thus restoring the blue beneath.
DuraBake and its sister product DuraCoat are refinishing products that can be sprayed directly on the gun, curing the metal through a chemical process. The manufacturer describes the process as being no more difficult than spray-painting a lawn chair, although there are precautions that must be taken. In addition, there are differences between the two products. DuraBake cures the gun metal by being baked in an oven for a set period of time, requiring heat for the curing process. Both products are available in an aerosol spray.
The primary difference between DuraBake and DuraCoat refinishing paint is that the latter does not require the firearms to be baked in an oven to dry the paint. However, this process is a bit more involved, requiring the use of DuraCoat hardener and reducer to complete the curing process. The gun should be left to dry overnight, and can then be reassembled and used immediately. In instances when a gun will be used with a tight-fitting holster or a rifle with a tight sling that causes friction between the finish and your clothing--scenarios that act like sandpaper and cause wear on the finish--DuraCoat should be left to cure for 30 days.
In his "Guns Magazine" article, Bodinson notes that novice gun refinishers may find it easier to purchase a refinishing kit that supplies everything needed to blue the metal and refinish the stock of a rusted, worn firearm. Bodinson recommends the bluing kits from manufacturer Birchwood Casey, which he describes as being reasonably priced while containing "all the necessary chemicals, application supplies and instructions" needed. One such kit that's easily available is the Birchwood Casey Liquid Perma Blue Gun Blue Kit, which offers all materials necessary in addition to easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on how to blue a firearm.
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