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Thread: DuraCoat dealers in AK?

  1. #1
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default DuraCoat dealers in AK?

    I'm working over an old 870 Wingmaster. Originally had a parkerized finish, but much of it had worn off. The original wood was scrap and it had a 20" full choke barrel with a single bead on it. I separately have a 21" DRS barrel and a 28" rem choke vent rib that I've used on this gun for most of the shooting I've done with it (trap and punching paper with 00 buck and slugs). I'm looking for another Wingmaster in blue with some decent wood that will take over as my trap gun, so I figured I'd turn this old junky one into a "tactical" shotgun, mostly just for the fun of doing it.

    So far, I've drilled and tapped the top of the receiver and installed a pic rail. I put a reflex sight on that. I changed out the furniture to Magpul FDE with a SGA stock sporting a high riser to align with the higher sight and the M-LOK forend. I put a rail section on the front of the forend and put a Streamlight TLR-3 on that. The original barrel was cut down to 18.1" to dump the full choke back to cylinder bore. The magazine has an extension that is now even with the end of the barrel and provides a 6 shell capacity. And then there is a SideSaddle with another 6 round capacity for the side of the receiver.

    Point of all this is that I've already put a bunch of $$ and work into the gun. The only remaining issue is with the finish on the receiver, mag tube, extension, and barrel.

    The online reviews were average, but the only bake-on ceramic coating I could find around town was the Wheeler brand. I have a lot of Wheeler gunsmithing tools, so I already know their stuff is average and below (some of it is pure junk). But I expected that their ceramic coating would at least provide an average finish. Boy, was I wrong.

    I followed the directions provided to the letter. The barrel and the extension tube went into the lathe for sanding. They came out with mostly bare metal and a coarse crosshatch sanding pattern that would take paint perfectly with any regular enamel coating. The receiver and mag tube were hand sanded to provide a good rough surface, though much of the parkerizing was still in place. Everything was degreased multiple times with brake cleaner and then scrubbed with 99% alcohol. After all that prep and cleaning, the Wheeler ceramic coating was applied in 2 very light layers, 30 minutes apart per the instructions. After another hour of air drying, they were baked in the oven per the instructions. The finish looked great at that point. The gun even sat for another 3 weeks before I got around to heading to the range to zero the reflex sight. And that's when I found out about the durability of Wheeler paint. Sometime during firing the first dozen slugs, the forend made light contact with the left side of the barrel. It stripped off a 4-inch long by 1/4" wide strip of the "ceramic coating". So I started looking at the rest of the gun and found that a bunch of the finish on the magazine tube was also stripped off clean. I had been doing ejection port loading for each round I fired as I was dialing in the sight. The side of the receiver under the ejection port has finish scratched off where the brass of the shells made contact during the loading. Since the finish was already ruined, I started poking at it and found I could easily scratch the finish right off with nothing more than a fingernail.

    So, now I have to back up, remove all of this Wheeler "paint" from the gun and put a new finish on it. I could just finish sanding off the parkerizing in the visible areas, then go for a good polish and finally just blue the whole thing. Bluing I can do. But the finish on the metal was so junky, it will take a LOT of polishing to get it to where a blue finish is going to look good. I'd rather just go with a ceramic coating. Plus, I kinda wanted something that would look "cool" with the Magpul FDE furniture. Either a matching FDE or even OD Green. I'm going to put these Wheeler-coated parts into the sand blaster booth and get them back to bare metal again. So I'd prefer a coating that I can run right over a rough, sandblasted surface.

    I've been researching CeraKote and DuraCoat finishes the last couple weeks and it seems that DuraCoat gets higher marks. Unfortunately, I've not seen anyone in our area that carries them. There are very few online dealers that will ship either of these to AK as they have to go UPS Ground with Hazmat fees (which more than doubles the cost of a 4oz bottle of paint).

    So (after all that lead up), does anyone know of someone in the Anchorage area that carries DuraCoat (or CeraKote) bake-on finishes?
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  2. #2
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    870LeftSide.jpg
    870RightSide.jpg
    Just a couple pics taken after the Wheeler ceramic coating and before it got messed up on the first range outing.
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  3. #3
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Joat, I sent a rusty old gun to the gunsmith near the intersection of old seward and diamond. For a very affordable price, he did an olive drab ceramic coating. His prep-work is superb. 4 years later, that finish is still solid.

    I'm sorry that stuff failed for yah after all that work. Ceramakote will make it right, especially when that competent gunsmith hangs all those parts and professionally sprays them.

  4. #4
    Member akshootnscoot's Avatar
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    Sometimes it's worth paying the hazmat. I love duracoat. Haven't tried their rattle cans yet, but I have a couple of projects in mind that might have me placing an order this fall

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I have everything needed to "professionally" hang and spray parts (HVLP spray gun and all) as well as all that is needed to bake the finish afterward. Surface prep isn't an issue; I've got a sandblaster booth, mill, lathe, and all the fun little hand and power tools to get 'er done. I do a fair bit of painting and quite frankly, I'm pretty shocked that the Wheeler coating didn't stick to a well prepared metal surface. How can they even sell a product if it simply doesn't work?

    The only thing I have a problem getting is the actual coatings (either DuraCoat or CeraKote) Notes sent to two more dealers just this week have come back with "we won't ship to AK" letters. It's BS, of course. They are buying shipping services from UPS and they can either buy 2nd day air service or hazmat ground service by clicking the appropriate button when they are purchasing the shipping label. But, for whatever reason, they refuse to click the ground button and just write off AK. Heck, I've even discovered a company that will ship genuine black powder to AK. You'd think a guy could get a flippin' 4oz bottle of paint.

    So, there are no gun shops in Anchorage that have DuraCoat products sitting on the shelf?
    Winter is Coming...

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  6. #6
    Member BAR300's Avatar
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    I've ordered duracoat from Amazon, no haz mat issues, straight to my door in less than a week. it was the two part spray all in one can. I've prepped my rifle, now just waiting to do the spray this weekend. I may post up some pics of the project if I get time.

  7. #7
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Funny. Cuz I already contacted the one DuraCoat dealer on Amazon and they will not ship to AK, even though they used to. They said something about a $75,000 fine from the USPS for shipping regular mail. Maybe that shipment they sent to you ended up costing them a lot more than they bargained for.
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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I think Larry Potterfield might save the day on this one. I hadn't looked at MidwayUSA and it turns out they will ship DuraCoat to AK via UPS Ground service for only $19. A far cry better than Lauer (DuraCoat MFG), who wants $105 for the same.
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  9. #9

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    I thought I saw a selection of Duracoat products last time I was in Arctic Ammo/Reloading supplies on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway

  10. #10
    Member BAR300's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear that Amazon wouldn't ship to you, I ordered it in February and received it 7-10 days later, it may have been shipped ground, (I don't know) it came very well wrapped, two layers of zip lock bags, inside a padded cardboard box. My experience with the order and receiving went great. Got my rifle done, it appears to be a wonderful product, just letting it harden up some more. I looked local before I ordered it on line, gotta support the local shops first, but I didn't find anything at the time I was looking. good luck in your search.

  11. #11

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    I was not aware DuraCote is better then CeraKote. I was thinking about having CeraKote applied to a couple of guns. I better do some more research.

  12. #12
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I think "better" is a term that needs justification and context.

    CeraKote application requires a great deal of very specific surface prep with facilities to handle placing a wet coated item into an oven for heat curing. It "can" be done in a home workshop, but it can be quite challenging. The instruction book for CeraKote application is 24 pages long.

    DuraCoat is an epoxy that will harden without baking, however baking can still be used to speed the process. In a home workshop, the surface prep and application required of DuraCoat are much easier to do.

    On a finished product, I believe the two are pretty close in terms of protection and durability.
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    Heat cured ceramic can be gritty if not done just right. Duracoat, once it's cured maybe 30 days or so can scuff but I've never seen any other problems with it. I just did my Tikka .25-06 in Colt Gray and it looks nice...little shine but not enough to make it reflect sun. All it takes in prep is a green Scotch Bright pad and wipe all the parts down well with acetone, hang the parts using thin wire (I use stainless safety wire) shoot the duracoat in 3 or 4 LIGHT coats and let them flash between coats and don't touch them for a week...then carefully assemble and set aside for a couple more weeks...nice finish that holds up to most things. If you're doing several colors do them all within 24 hours of each other.
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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    Can you Duracoat over a carbon fiber barrel, not planning to but just curious.

  15. #15

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    Hijacking here! My custom "Classic Stainless" Mod. 70 has the Mag na port Inc. Velvet Hone Finish. I spent hours smoothing/slicking up the action and bolt on this rifle and it is smooth. What is the slickest black coating available for just the bolt? Some thing that is self lubricating? Is it Duracote, Birdsongs Black T, or some thing else?

  16. #16

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    Arctic Ammo on the Palmer/Wasilla Hwy carries Duracoat. It's where I've been getting it for the past couple of years and they'll special order for you if they don't have what you want in stock (but they carry a good selection). I've done 1/2 a dozen firearms and it's held up exceptionally well.

  17. #17
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    Just go to anywhere that supplies car paint. That's all it is.
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  18. #18
    Member akshootnscoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Just go to anywhere that supplies car paint. That's all it is.
    So many options! Single stage, two part urethane? What type of automotive paint would be the equivalent of duracoat, with the same durability for regular use?

  19. #19
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    I swung by arctic ammo yesterday, they've got a bunch and said they're expecting more soon. Seems to be very reasonably priced.
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    I just picked up a kit yesterday from Artic Ammo. It took a bit as it has to be shipped by barge, Hazmat so plan accordingly. Price was great, better than I expected and service was great. I never know they were there as I don't get over in that area much. Shop looks great but beware that if you spend too much time there your debit card balance may be affected.

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