PDA

View Full Version : Can you powdercoat a handgun


crzpete
08-21-2006, 4:57 PM
I was told that you can powdercoat a hand gun without having any fitment problems on assembly. Just wanted to know if this is correct?

Will the coating be to thick?
I have a friend that is willing to powdercoat my gun for a very good price but I would like to get your opinion. He told me that he had work on handguns and rifles without any problems. The handguns is a Taurus PT92 blue and I would like to change to a dark olive and black or maybe a desert camo like the pic below. Thanks

1745

grammaton76
08-21-2006, 5:00 PM
What exactly is powdercoating, anyway?

I'm kinda curious, as I need to find a good protection process for my AK builds. Turns out that the NDS receivers aren't rustproof as shipped from the factory. :eek:

ts
08-21-2006, 5:03 PM
spray on paint and bake.

blkA4alb
08-21-2006, 5:03 PM
To my knowledge, powdercoating is a process where the part is magnetized, then the paint (actually a powder) is sprayed and collects on the part (metallic so it is attracted magnetically.) After that they bake it in an oven to cure the finish onto the gun. Or at least thats how it was described to me.

The SoCal Gunner
08-21-2006, 5:11 PM
Thats what they do in all the biker build offs episodes. They powder coat the rims. I do wonder how it will hold up if they are good enough for rims that are exposed to the weather and road debris.

Whitesmoke
08-21-2006, 5:22 PM
Powder coating is a fairly thick coating.....and it can chip.

I think it's an OK coating....but I wouldn't use it on any of my firearms though.

guimus
08-21-2006, 5:32 PM
I have bike frames powdercoated about 3-4 times per month. Powdercoating is electro-static painting. Anything that will carry a charge can be powdercoated. Item is first cleaned via blasting (sand, walnut shell, etc.), then one electrode is attached to it. Paint beads are then shot at it and pick up the opposite charge as they pass through a charged nozzle. The beads then stick to the item to be painted and the whole thing goes into an oven to bake. The process is very environmentally friendly (little waste, no VOC's, no CFC's, etc.) and produces a very hard and durable finish.

It's the perfect finish for a bike, since it is strong, impervious to the elements, and can be done in any of hundreds of colors. I'd never do it to a gun, though. The coating is rather thick, and even the best jobs will still require an hour or two of tapping, facing, and chasing threads. Cleaning up a powder job on a gun (with much tighter tolerances than even the fanciest racing bikes) would be a nightmare.

crzpete
08-21-2006, 5:57 PM
I’ve seen powder coting on bikes as well and is very thick, now this guy said that it will be just fine for guns??? Is a very durable and beautiful finish but is a no go for me then.

CALI-gula
08-21-2006, 6:36 PM
guimus explained it to the T.

It's been around for a good while at least as far back as 1987 when I had sent a set of Headers back then to Jet-hot coatings (which does a high-heat ceramic powder coating, the best in the business). To this day, those headers STILL show no signs of any rust or corrosion. I can't say the same for the similar looking coatings used by Hooker Headers.

Keep in mind, there are many types and kinds of powder coating applications - they can be thin or thick, matte or shiny, wrinkled or prismatic, etc. Just the type you typcially see for automotive/motorcycle applications are thick. If you go to a good powder-coating shop, you can view the various types and finishes. Don't just go to a shop that does kitchen-ware and gym equipment - go to a custom shop that is used to doing custom parts, high-heat applications, scutom tools like high-end knives, etc.

Note one thing: do NOT powder coat aluminum unless the shop you go to is willing to keep the baking process at a lower temperature (I think it's no higher 271 degrees). The typcial baking process for sttel parts is around 400 degrees, and that can embrittle aluminum. Even if the shop states they slow-cook aluminum products, a survey done by a custom-rod shop found that nearly all the companies they checked up on were baking their aluminum parts at the higher temps anyway. Many actual accounts exist of wheels and aluminum parts that endure stress literally fracturing at stress points.

.

bu-bye
08-21-2006, 6:50 PM
Its a much thicker finish then other types. I would not do it to a gun if you paid me. Think of it like an art painting. From a distance powder coating looks great. You get up close and you see the big, bad and the ugly. guns are made to a very close spec and if you add the thick coat finish are you going to make your guns slide to frame fit feel like crud. A great looking Kimber owned by a freind of mine was IMO trashed. The gun does fire just fine but the slide feels like it was lubbed with clay. It has a very "slushy" feeling. Thats the only way I can discribe it. Also the hammer had issues with sticking open and not falling. MAJOR safety issue there. I say pick a new finish.

TrailerparkTrash
08-22-2006, 5:16 AM
Well, as a co-owner of a plating company (No, we don't do guns), I can tell you that powdercoating is a no-no for guns. If you want a good durable coating on your guns, you must go with the proven coats of Hard Chrome, Nickel, black chrome, NP3, etc....

Here are some excellent plating companies that do fantastic work on guns.

http://techplate.com (Anaheim, CA)

or

http://fordsguns.com (Florida)

On a side note, CFC's are not the environmental enemies in the metal finishing world. Most plating proceedures use a chemical called "Hexavalent" (aka: Hex-6, Chromium-6) or the less toxic "Trivalent." Hexavalent is the #1 enemy of the EPA and it's other government environmental agencies. The other plating enemy is cyanide. All chemicals used in metal finishing (Hard Chrome, Zinc, nickel, etc...)

Powder coat chips and I wouldn't trust it for reliability in a firearm.

Mesa Tactical
08-22-2006, 9:26 AM
Note one thing: do NOT powder coat aluminum unless the shop you go to is willing to keep the baking process at a lower temperature (I think it's no higher 271 degrees). The typcial baking process for sttel parts is around 400 degrees, and that can embrittle aluminum. Even if the shop states they slow-cook aluminum products, a survey done by a custom-rod shop found that nearly all the companies they checked up on were baking their aluminum parts at the higher temps anyway. Many actual accounts exist of wheels and aluminum parts that endure stress literally fracturing at stress points.
.

Interesting.

I've powdercoated a lot of car parts (including, yes, one Chevelle frame and a lot of Chevelle suspension parts - just powdercoating the factory A-arms blue or something makes everything look all trick and custom), but never anything aluminum. I intend to powdercoat one of my intakes with a clear finish so it doesn't get so dirty easily. I understand the issue most shops have with using different temps for aluminum vs steel (they are production places and in many cases unlikely to turn down the oven for a short run of aluminum parts), so I was wondering if there would be any issues with powdercoating an aluminum intake? It's not exactly a high-stress part.

Heads don't get powdercoated; they get painted Chevy Orange with the rest of the motor, no matter what they are made of (aluminum on my ZZ4). And my ceramic coated Hedman Hedders started rusting within a year.

Back on topic: I'd forget about powdercoating for guns and instead use a coating made for firearms such as DuraCoat or Norrell's. These are very nice and durable finishes, in all the colors of the rainbow.

crzpete
08-22-2006, 11:15 PM
O.k. Listen to this... I was taking with this friend of a friend, my hookup with the powder coting dude and he say that “Yes is possible to powder cote a gun as long as is done right” then for my surprise he said that “Actually I did a demonstration on 2x4 (wood) just to show how good I am” :eek:

CAN YOU POWDER COTE A PIECE OF WOOD!!!!!!!! :confused:
I think this guy is FOS.

Maddog5150
08-23-2006, 12:09 AM
If you want an armor coating then there are places that specialize in firearms but it will cost you. With a taurus in mind I would say to order a do it yourself kit. No offense intended but why do you want to coat a taurus?
(note: im a guy who hoses some of his guns with krylon)

megavolt121
08-23-2006, 12:44 AM
O.k. Listen to this... I was taking with this friend of a friend, my hookup with the powder coting dude and he say that “Yes is possible to powder cote a gun as long as is done right” then for my surprise he said that “Actually I did a demonstration on 2x4 (wood) just to show how good I am” :eek:

CAN YOU POWDER COTE A PIECE OF WOOD!!!!!!!! :confused:
I think this guy is FOS.

Um if he coats a piece a of wood, maybe he can do a gun. Powdercoating is an electro static coating. The powder is charged positive and the piece being coated is neg.(or vice versa). Like I said, if he can do wood, maybe he is just that good ;)

metalhead357
08-23-2006, 12:59 AM
True poweder coating- No, it must be conductive in order for the pos/negative particles to line up and stick before baking..

Spray on coatings? Yea, I think that's work on wood..... we call that stuff Paint:p

I've used Gun Kote and Alumahyde II, here'e the one on Gunkote, No thread really available on the Alumahyde one though.

Good stuff (both) when done (as in FOLLOW THE DANG INSTRUCTIONS:p )

http://www.ambackforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=13495

CALI-gula
08-23-2006, 1:39 AM
... I intend to powdercoat one of my intakes with a clear finish so it doesn't get so dirty easily. I understand the issue most shops have with using different temps for aluminum vs steel (they are production places and in many cases unlikely to turn down the oven for a short run of aluminum parts), so I was wondering if there would be any issues with powder coating an aluminum intake? It's not exactly a high-stress part.

Doing an intake is fine; I built a 1969 Cougar with a mild motor, but wanted it to look mostly stock under the hood. I took an Edelbrock Performer intake, ground down all of the names and casting marks, and then had the powder coating shop coat it with a blue that matched the Ford blue exactly - so the intake looks close to bone-stock to the un-knowing. It's lasted at least 5 years without bubbling, flaking or taking on any stains from oil or fuel - and it is still very thick with no corrosion.

Honestly, powder coating most aluminum wheels for passenger cars is likely OK as they don't receive the stress and strain like wheels of a drag/track car might receive. Still, to be safe, the temp should be kept below 271.

Me PERSONALLY? No, I would not want to experiment with powder-coating a handgun, or most any gun, especially with all of the companies specializing in coatings for guns. I MIGHT play with the idea of powder coating an AK receiver or inexpensive gun just to experiment. I have seen some AK receivers with a teflon coating, and from my understanding, true teflon coating is similar to powder-coating.

Instead, to do it right, check with Robar for a proper coating - they have many selections to choose from, and offer their Roguard as well as NP3 and traditional coating like black oxide, electroless nickle, and parkerizing.

http://www.robarguns.com/precision_coatings.htm

And if you want some real unique work and wish to patronize a California business, check out this guy's work, based out of Culver City, CA:

http://www.tjscustomgunworks.com/Photos1/photos1.htm

.

Maddog5150
08-23-2006, 3:13 AM
I dunno, there are a few guns that might deserve a powder coating for experimental purposes. MKS highpoint, AK22, an old jennings, I will hold my tongue on the other that comes to mind to just be polite :p

Mesa Tactical
08-23-2006, 1:55 PM
Doing an intake is fine; I built a 1969 Cougar with a mild motor, but wanted it to look mostly stock under the hood. I took an Edelbrock Performer intake, ground down all of the names and casting marks, and then had the powder coating shop coat it with a blue that matched the Ford blue exactly - so the intake looks close to bone-stock to the un-knowing. It's lasted at least 5 years without bubbling, flaking or taking on any stains from oil or fuel - and it is still very thick with no corrosion.

Some automotive powdercoating:

http://www.mesatactical.com/images/el_camino_powdercoat.jpg

The factory A-arms are powdercoated bright blue, just for giggles, and teh coil springs are powdercoated red, for the same reason. I am very interested in seeing how well the powdercoat holds up to the movement and shape changing of the springs.

Motor is a ZZ4 crate motor. It was made in Mexico and, to GM's eternal shame, came painted black (WTF?). I painted it the color God meant for Chevy small blocks to be painted, including the aluminum heads. But the intake will remain silver, and that's what I want to do a clear powdercoat on.

Front radiator frame is powdercoated black.

elsolo
08-23-2006, 5:10 PM
You can powdercoat some parts of a handgun, like a steel frame and slide.
A good powdercoater will plug holes and do any necessary masking.

I do believe that CZ handguns are powdercoted, even though they call it "polycoat". I have a few of those, they sure appear to be powdercoating over a phosphated surface.

The look, feel, solvent resistance, chipping, thickness, overspray, and overall appeance tell me it's powdercoating with critical areas masked off.

grammaton76
08-23-2006, 5:20 PM
I coulda sworn I read somewhere that my CZ-97 was powdercoated, but I hadn't mentioned it because I wasn't so sure. Glad it's not just me that thinks that. I love the finish on it, whatever it is.

Prince50
08-23-2006, 6:04 PM
Powdercoating covers a wide series of coatings made from lots of materials.

it can be any form of organic coating that has been milled to a certain size, tinted, thrown, and then baked.

Use a can of krylon, and stick it in the oven and you have powdercoated!

Can you powdercoat wood? Yes. Is it what most people think powdercoating is? No.

Durakote and other firearms finishes are in fact powdercoating. Can your shop buddy do a gun? Yes. Make sure it is a highly solvent resistant polymer he throws, and if aluminum as stated, you trust him to use low temp polymers to avoid heat treating aluminum.

Make sure he throws thin. Most powders milled for other applications are made to fill in imperfections like sanding or milling marks. Cool for motorcycles, but not so col for serial numbers. Yes you could cover them right up if not careful.

If you trust him, do it. I'm sure the gun will do fine. If it sucks. Aero Strip, or Auto strip at WalMart will remove it in seconds.

Darin

metalhead357
08-23-2006, 7:51 PM
Darin~ as I noted earlier Powder coating is NOT a typical process. While people may wrongly use the term for baked on finsihes and what not~ powder coating involves the use of polarity to have the charged particles help "stick" and litterally line up in a particular order...and then it is baked. Spray on finishes dont use any polarity and simply use a lay down technique.............

Each has thier place; but non conductive pieces cannot be powder coated in the 'truest' sense of the word...........

crzpete
08-23-2006, 10:20 PM
If you want an armor coating then there are places that specialize in firearms but it will cost you. With a taurus in mind I would say to order a do it yourself kit. No offense intended but why do you want to coat a taurus?
(note: im a guy who hoses some of his guns with krylon)


It’s all scuff and scratched, I use to compete in production class and I would like to bring it back to life. I will definitely take my frame and slide to a true gun plating shop for sure

Prince50
08-24-2006, 12:52 PM
Metal,

You are correct. True powdercoating does require a charge.

Still thin and solvent resistant are key for truly "powdercoating" a firearm.

IMHO, I would avoid it, and go Durakote.

Darin

metalhead357
08-24-2006, 8:24 PM
Metal,

You are correct. True powdercoating does require a charge.

Still thin and solvent resistant are key for truly "powdercoating" a firearm.

IMHO, I would avoid it, and go Durakote.

Darin

Thanks Darin~ I *thought* you were meaning what I was meaning but didn't want others to get hung up on bad terms;

Have you tried Alumahyde or Alumahyde II, Gunkote? I'd love a comparison from someone who's done them all.....ESPECIALLY in comparison to Duracoat.

((Heck- I'd love to do the comparison meee-self- but I aint got time to even shoot these days! Or even scrrratch my rear:cool: ))