Painting the skins on a AICS?

Painting the skins on a AICS?

This is a discussion on Painting the skins on a AICS? within the Rifles forums, part of the Sniping Related category; I am looking to have a digital camo pattern painted on a AICS stock. I did a search but came up empty handed which surprised ...

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  1. #1
    Member GTGunner's Avatar
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    Painting the skins on a AICS?

    I am looking to have a digital camo pattern painted on a AICS stock. I did a search but came up empty handed which surprised me.

    I am planning on having this done professionally rather than do it myself. After doing some research, I had settled on having Cerakote sprayed on the barreled action, scope rings/base, and the AICS (skins and metal frame).

    My concern is with having the plastic skins sprayed and whether any sprayed finish will stand up to use/cleaning. I have been told that Cerakote is not recommended for the AICS skins but that Duracote (with some flex agent is the way to go followed by a one week curing process.

    For you guys that have AICS stocks and have had them sprayed with Duracote, can you speak to the durability of the finish especially in areas such as the pistol grip / thumbhole area?

    Does anyone have experience with LTM Refinishing (Larson Tactical)?

    Thanks fellas!
    GTGunner
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    Senior Member Scotty G's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the skins on a AICS?

    I always tell people I am continually surprised about how strong and durable Duracoat is. I do not baby any of my weapons, and I have an AR and my bolt gun Duracoated.

    They are going to get knicked, they are going to get gouged, they are going to get scratched. Period. No finish will come away unscathed. I knew this and accepted it before I did my own guns. I've seen hard chrome scratches, and everything on down.

    Even Krylon is pretty damn tough! I used it for matte finish, and I'm very happy with that.

    Ceracote is supposed to be even stronger than Duracoat. But I do have one pistol with a factory Ceracote finish, and I'm here to tell you it's not the end-all be-all for firearms finishes. Yes, it's probably a little more durable than Duracoat, but I don't have any data. I would NOT use the heat-cured Duracoat on any piece of polymer - the cure process will melt them. There is a room-temp version of Ceracoat. Brownell's carries it.

    So, AICS stock, eh? Go for it!

    I MultiCammed mine. I used the light yellow/green on the chassis portion of the stock, and then did the entire pattern on the skins. They're polymer, so prep them like any other piece of plastic and have at it. Clean them; use a cleaning solution made for paint prep that won't leave any residue that won't allow the paint to stick. Any oil from your fingers or whatever the surface touches will adversely effect the adhesion. You might consider lightly scuffing the surface with 400 grit wet/dry to "tooth it up" a little. I did this, and am pleased with the robustness of the finish.

    I did, however, pull up some paint with my vinyl stencils. They just had WAY too much sticky to them. My own fault, but easily fixed.

    I like the idea of a flexible additive for the Duracoat, but I didn't use that. Your skins are pretty much bolted on to the point they're not moving at all. You'll get much more wear off of handling the rifle and knocking at against something than bending the polymer and cracking the paint.

    I don't have a lot of wear on the pistol grip portion. I do have tons of wear on the bolt knob, but I'm not wearing off the Duracoat, I've wore off the Duracoat matte finish to the point the knob is shiny now. Time for some more matte clear!

    As a final thought, you can do this quite easily and save yourself some money. You'll spend way more time, but if you can afford to do that, you'll learn a lot about the process and get intimate with your rifle, how it comes apart, and how it (should) go(es) back together. I enjoyed process, and had to overcome some frustrations - but it ended well.

    By the way, I'm not a professional painter, but I have tackled several of my firearms with very pleasing (to me) results. I've had a lot of other shooters come over to me at local ranges to check out my rigs. Everybody seems to have something nice to say. I also painted the race plane I used to own... So, if a guy like me can do all that, you can easily to a rifle and have it turn out great. Just take your time, and ask questions when you need to.
    Scotty G

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    Member GTGunner's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the skins on a AICS?

    Scotty

    Thanks for the the straight skinny on coatings.....that was excellent. I don't have the tools/facilities to do any Cerakote or Duracote spraying so I will be farming out my 700 SS Milspec/5R and the AICS stock out to have them sprayed. I found LTM on the web and hope to use them. I believe they do a lot of work for GAP. They have a decent website with plenty of information for anyone looking to have this type of work done.

    http://www.larsontactical.com/index.html

    LTM has 3 pages of examples of the work they have done in the galleries. I am leaning toward their 3-color GAP digital camo as shown on the AICS rig at the bottom of Gallery 3.

    http://www.larsontactical.com/id33.html
    GTGunner
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    Re: Painting the skins on a AICS?

    Mine is all Cerakote. I do believe that Scotty is correct about the type of cerakote on the skins vs. the metal but I am not 100% positive.

    The finish will show some wear in the form of dirt transfered from your hands and heavy use (which it should and actually makes it look SO much better). Give Chuck Ross a call. He is in TX and is the owner of Ross Gun Works. He did a full blown AR in Digital Desert camo that came out ridiculous as well as doing my AICS.

    http://www.rossgunworks.com
    Here are a couple examples...


    I know he has pictures of the desert digital - it is unreal if you see it in person! Give him an email at [email protected] and let him know I sent you.

  6. #5
    Member GTGunner's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the skins on a AICS?

    RR: Looks like Chuck does some awesome work....the level of detail on his digital camo is mind blowing. There ia a great image on his website that shows the amount of detail in his work. Fourth picture down (RPG Cutom Build AR-10):

    http://www.rossgunworks.com/index.php?o ... &Itemid=48

    That first image looks strikingly familiar..... :P

    Decisions....decisions.....
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    Re: Painting the skins on a AICS?

    Hah! Old pic before I let him talk me into doing the Nightforce! LOL!

    That wasn't the gun that I was thinking of but very similar... I didn't know Dave had an AR10... that dude can flat out shoot!

    Chuck is an awesome guy. Even if you choose to have someone local do your gun, you owe yourself a phone call or email to him just to bounce ideas. He was a Marine marksmanship trainer and is also part owner of 3 Mils Right training and shooting facility in N. Texas (great peice of land... 100 to 1100 yards on steel). He is a guy that truly cares about the sport/lifestyle. He also make a killer suppressor!!

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    Member GTGunner's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the skins on a AICS?

    Good to hear that...I will need to keep that in mind when I start looking for a suppressor down range. I will have PCR cut some threads on my R700 in anticipation of being "suppressed" sometime in the future. :P

    Hey RR: don't be upset if I come around asking again about suppressors later on....I am getting old and feeble :roll:

    Cerakote H Series or C Series.......what are your opinions guys? Obviously, for AICS skins (the topic here) H Series would not work. Any difference in durability from everyone's experiences?
    GTGunner
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    Member GTGunner's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the skins on a AICS?

    Bump.....Cerakote H Series or C Series Cerakote finishes.

    What are your opinions guys? Obviously, for AICS skins (the topic here) H Series would not work because it requires heat to cure so the plan is to do those in a C series Cerakote.

    So my question is really geared toward the barreled action, scope base, rings.....are there any differences in durability from everyone's experiences H vs C series Cerakote on metal components?

    Thanks!
    GTGunner
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    Re: Painting the skins on a AICS?

    Anytime you can use heat for finishes it turns out better/harder.

    For the metal, if you are doing Cerakote, then Hot all the way.

    **** EDIT ****

    Just talked with Chuck and the low heat doesn't bother the AI skins - he does hot.

  11. #10
    Member Room 055's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the skins on a AICS?

    I was thinking about doing water transfer on my my AICS skins. I saw a pic of one on another site and it looked really good. I thinks its probably cheaper than a custom paint job too.

    Have you looked into this as an option.
    "The shores of history are littered with the wrecks of civilizations, where once free men trusted their rights and liberty to a wholly centralized government." ~ unknown

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