Tuesday, September 1, 2015

DuraCoat Firearms Refinishing

DuraCoat is advertised as a DIY firearm refinishing product. It is essentially a spray paint with hardening agent.  I used it last night to refinish an American Arms PX-22, which is a licensed copy of the Walther PPK in .22LR.  It is one of those guns that is so cute, you want to pat it on the head.  It is extremely small, and fun to shoot except for the well-known "Walther bite" when the slide comes back on any American sized hand, and scrapes the web between thunb and first finger.

I am not sure how much of the result is my clumsiness.  You are supposed to spray degreaser on, then use a small scrubber, then sand with 400-600 sandpaper, then apply three thin coats.  I am not sure I applied thin coats, which may explain problems reassembling the gun.  Ansd no, the instructions said nothing about disassembly, which have been a mistake, because the frame channel in whicch the slide moves got painted as well.  You probably know that PP/PPK pistols have an elegant disassembly procedure.  Pull down the trigger guard, pull back the slide to the rear, lift up at the back of the slide and ease the slide off the recoil spring that goes around the barrel.  No other pistol is quite this elegantly simple.  Putting it back together next morning the slide would not drop back into frame rails.  I sanded a spot or two where the paint seemed thick, sanded the black paint off the outside of the barrel, and eventually, with just a little cursing reassembled it.  I had to work the slide several times, before the recoil spring would reliably close the slide.  Obviously, I need to do some test firing before trusting this gun again. 

I wonder if I should have just left it together and painted only the exterior.  Some of the wear points on the original glossy exterior are wearing again, and presumably for the same reason.  I had not intended to order matte black (the original finish was glossy), but it does reduce its signature.

I would not do this to an expensive gun, nor would I spend $300 to have this NP3+ coated, but this cost me $129 when I was a dealer, so the $40 I spent seems appropriate.

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