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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2009, 12:17 AM
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Default Are you looking for Magpul FDE in a rattlecan for $8? I found it

As I slowly gathered parts to build my AR, I consciously chose ones for an FDE build. I wanted to paint the upper and lower in FDE, and since every other FDE thing I have is a Magpul product in Magpul FDE, the upper and lower were the only things I had to paint.

Problem is, there is no FDE rattlecan paint, and until today the closest match I had found was Rustoleum Dark Taupe in Satin. I initially painted the upper and lower in Dark Taupe, but when I installed the Magpul CTR, I could really see how far off it was. Here's a pic:




As you can see, the MagPul FDE has more green/dark brown to it. So I spent the better part of my free time stripping the upper and lower, and then hit Home Depot to see if I could match up with anything. There was nothing except for Dark Taupe, which I'd just stripped off.

So I came up with an idea: sitting next to the Dark Taupe was a new satin color that I hadn't seen: Oregano. I suppose Rustoleum thinks that is fancy for Olive Drab, cause that's essentially what it was. Seeing the two next to each other shows how the green compliments the Dark Taupe and make it more "Magpul FDE", but you can't mix rattlecan spray, can you? OF COURSE NOT........

Unless you are insane, which I am. I bought a can of each, took them home and sat them in a VERY VERY VERY hot sinkful of water. I turned to oven up to 350 and started cleaning the newly stripped parts with isopropyl alcohol, placing each in the hot oven afterwards so heat them up.

I then pulled each paint can from the sink and began shaking them. They were HOT HOT HOT! So hot that I couldn't hold them for long...I'd never seen a hot sink get them so painful before, but I figured it'd only help atomize the paint into even finer particles.

After shaking the cans for a good five minutes, I sat them down on the ground where I inteded spray and retrieved the upper from the oven...I figure it was at 350 in the oven, and the upper was likely around 250 when I hit it with the first blast of paint.

Here's the method I used: hang up hot part and then pick up a can of hot shaken paint in each hand. Start dusting the part with Dark Taupe from about 12" away. Slow and deliberate strokes until the whole part is covered to some degree in a very fine layer of Dark Taupe. I found this took about four sweeping passes each side/surface, and I figure I made about twelve steady passes before I hit it with the green. When from the taupe to the green, I wanted it to be essentially like I'd briefly taken my finger of the taupe can and then pushed again. My intent was to add an immediate and very shallow/thin later or olive drab the the dark taupe. I found that for every 12 passes of dark taupe, I'd do 4 passes of green, but at about 15" instead of 12.

Once done with green, put upper back in over, pull out hot lower and repeat the steps. Took me about 5 coats before I got the finished product. Check it out - piping hot out of the oven!

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Old 04-12-2009, 12:21 AM
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Dang...that looks good. Let me know how it holds up.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:31 AM
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WOW! that came out REAL nice. I wonder how it would look completely FDE
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:41 AM
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Good job.

Are the parts pictured in a dry state?
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Old 04-12-2009, 1:44 AM
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good job
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Old 04-12-2009, 7:42 AM
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great matching! but why is your buffer tube sanded? are you going to paint it as well?
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Old 04-12-2009, 8:34 AM
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didnt this AR just sell???
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Old 04-12-2009, 9:55 AM
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Originally Posted by slappomatt View Post
great matching! but why is your buffer tube sanded? are you going to paint it as well?
No kidding! What's wrong with your buffer tube man?!
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:11 AM
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Isn't that the mil-spec turned commercial size buffer tube?
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:23 AM
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Isn't that the mil-spec turned commercial size buffer tube?
It would have to be the other way around. The commercial is a larger diameter than the milspec.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:47 AM
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wcnones, you are the MacGyver of AR builders Most of us would just buy some Duracoat and a mil-spec buffer tube - I commend you on your determination to find the low-cost alternatives.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:57 AM
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The buffer tube was indeed a commercial spec that I ghetto-engineered into somewhat fitting a milspec CTR.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:59 AM
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buffer tube looks like the one on my Colt. 2 pos Aluminum.....metal on metal will do that over time....maybe he got it surplus.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcnones View Post
The buffer tube was indeed a commercial spec that I ghetto-engineered into somewhat fitting a milspec CTR.
that answers that.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:02 PM
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I have used water based acrylics (Tamiya, Floquil, Testors) for years and found one thing the acrylics have in common, they are tough. After 24 hrs they are virtually impossible to remove (painted on plastic) without damaging the surface. I wonder how the would hold up to the wear and tear of a receiver. Of course you would have to prep the metal surface with a metal primer. Gunze makes a great metal primer.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcnones View Post
The buffer tube was indeed a commercial spec that I ghetto-engineered into somewhat fitting a milspec CTR.
Out of curiosity... Why?

Milspec tubes are forged, and are much stronger than a commercial tube. By reducing the diameter of the commercial tube like that, you're making it even weaker.

Also. You know they make commercial CTR's, right?
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Old 04-12-2009, 1:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bdsmchs View Post
Out of curiosity... Why?

Milspec tubes are forged, and are much stronger than a commercial tube. By reducing the diameter of the commercial tube like that, you're making it even weaker.

Also. You know they make commercial CTR's, right?
Fair question - I pieced this together over time, never really with the intent of building an AR but rather because I purchased the lower a day after the election "just in case", and would buy other components for it if I tripped across them for a good price.

I found the buffer tube/castle nut/end piece at the last Crossroads for $15 or so and was told it was a milspec tube. Looked like one to me, as I was aware of only those commercial specs with 6 positions and a slanted back.

Someone mentioned later that it might be a commercial spec, so to be safe I went on the hunt for a commecial spec CTR or MOE in FDE. Nothing - anywhere. I found some black MOEs and a CTR here and there, but was building this as an FDE rifle so they wouldn't work. I crossed my fingers and rolled the dice, ordering the FDE milspec CTR. Of course, it didn't fit.

I could have purchased a milspec tube, but then I'd have another surplus part (the comm tube) that would sit and collect dust and remind me of money wasted. I knew the difference between the two was .03 inches of tube diameter, and naively thought "How hard can it be to sand away .03 inches of aluminum?"

It wasn't easy, and it wasn't fun. But what the hell, neither is life, right? And what would we have to talk about here on Calguns besides rehashed AR legality questions if I didn't do oddball and bizzare things to my expensive rifles?
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Old 04-13-2009, 6:30 AM
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Here's the final verdict. Overall I'm pleased, but I'd be happier if I could give it one more whirl to perfect the technique. This was my first attempt at mixing rattlecan paint, so I can't be too hard on myself. And I'm just way too pooped to go through the process again.

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Old 04-13-2009, 6:54 AM
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what kind of rail is that?
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Old 04-13-2009, 7:39 AM
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Looks pretty good but I shot Duracoat out of my airbrush for the first time yesterday and I was amazed at how easy it was to lay down on the part and how well it adheres. It seems to be as hard if not harder than hard anodizing too. I definitely would recommend it over rattle can if you don't mind using an airbrush.
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Old 04-13-2009, 7:49 AM
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Beautiful work on that AR!
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Old 04-13-2009, 7:53 AM
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Looks good and excellent find on matching the paint. You definitely did a great job. Now go shoot it and get some scuffs on it!

Whats up with the string/cord on the barrel though? Funny it reminded me of guys dummy cording the PEQ2/4 to our M4s..after a few mags it would melt and they'd be left with crap all over their barrels and hand guards.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:16 AM
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Looks good and excellent find on matching the paint. You definitely did a great job. Now go shoot it and get some scuffs on it!

Whats up with the string/cord on the barrel though? Funny it reminded me of guys dummy cording the PEQ2/4 to our M4s..after a few mags it would melt and they'd be left with crap all over their barrels and hand guards.
Temporary and unintentional tacticoolness - it was a ghetto-rigged sling attachment that remained after I didn't need the sling anymore. I presumed it would melt under barrel heat, said presumption vindicated by your statements. It'll come off before its virgin trip to the range. That just may be today....hopefully.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:38 AM
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Nice build. Kind a makes me want to FDE my lower and upper.
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Old 04-13-2009, 1:26 PM
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Duracoat Magpul FDE (plus like a teaspoon of Matte Black)....

OP: the ACOG seems to be mounting a little high..... any cheekweld issue for you?

BTW, another cheap alternative to more expensive Magpul stock is the Magpul PTS stock!! I would loved to try out an ACS....
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Old 04-13-2009, 2:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcnones View Post
The buffer tube was indeed a commercial spec that I ghetto-engineered into somewhat fitting a milspec CTR.
Wait until you have to butt stroke the gun to clear a jam someday...
You will have a good excuse to buy the proper buffer tube after that.
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Old 04-13-2009, 2:02 PM
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Assuming the rattlecan you buy won't spray in any direction, you can relieve the pressure in the can by inverting it, spraying out all the propellant, and then simply cut open the can and pour out the paint into a jar. That way, you can mix the cheap colors, and then airbrush it if you want. Or you could spray into a jar with a filter covering the top so the aerosolized paint won't go everywhere in your workshop. Either way, it's a difficult way to get cheap paint out of a spray can. May as well buy Duracoat at that point.
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Old 04-13-2009, 2:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcnones View Post
I could have purchased a milspec tube, but then I'd have another surplus part (the comm tube) that would sit and collect dust and remind me of money wasted.
Or you could have sold it for $15 at the next gun show.
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Old 04-13-2009, 5:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcnones View Post
Here's the final verdict. Overall I'm pleased, but I'd be happier if I could give it one more whirl to perfect the technique. This was my first attempt at mixing rattlecan paint, so I can't be too hard on myself. And I'm just way too pooped to go through the process again.

That thing looks killer! The can does it!
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Old 04-13-2009, 7:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jicko View Post
OP: the ACOG seems to be mounting a little high..... any cheekweld issue for you?
I've got a low-profile quick-detach mount somewhere in between my home and Texas. I'm hoping it gets here by Wednesday. The height of the ACOG is actually very manageable as is, but I'd like it just a wee-bit shorter.
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Old 04-13-2009, 7:27 PM
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Quote:
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Or you could have sold it for $15 at the next gun show.
Yeah, but all my great intentions of selling surplus parts get forgotten in the pre-dawn excitement of the prospect of not finding anything I need.

We need to organize a bi-weekly swap-meet similar to the hot rod show at Pomona. Would be a great way to unload the pile of stuff that grows larger with each passing day.
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Old 04-13-2009, 8:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nplant View Post
Assuming the rattlecan you buy won't spray in any direction, you can relieve the pressure in the can by inverting it, spraying out all the propellant, and then simply cut open the can and pour out the paint into a jar. That way, you can mix the cheap colors, and then airbrush it if you want. Or you could spray into a jar with a filter covering the top so the aerosolized paint won't go everywhere in your workshop. Either way, it's a difficult way to get cheap paint out of a spray can. May as well buy Duracoat at that point.
There is actually a way to mix rattle can paint between cans. Graff artists make their own colors this way...google it if your interested
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Old 04-20-2013, 7:04 PM
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Speaking of Home depot... several times I have had them custom mix me enamel paint for refurbishing industrial equipment where I wanted to match the manufacturer's "trade mark" color. I just bring in a part or panel of the color I need to match and Voila! they mix up a perfect match, which I apply with an air sprayer.

So... A possible solution for matching FDE (or any color) if you have an air brush or other good quality sprayer...
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