Rags and Rattle Cans – How to Camo Up

Well, I finally took the plunge. I’d thought about it for months, maybe years here and there, but just never had the actual courage to do it: I finally painted some of my own guns.

Now, for many of you who do this all the time, painting your own weapons with spray paint is probably no big deal. Rattle canned guns are Instagram famous, and “operators” around the world have been doing it since ‘Nam… and earlier. But for me, the proposition of spray painting several thousand dollars worth of equipment with $8.00 worth of Home Depot spray paint was a little daunting. But I finally gave in to practicality. Black rifles stick out, appropriately camouflaged weapons don’t.

I researched high and low, watched hours worth of various “how to” videos on YouTube and probably started to develop chronic high blood pressure trying to figure out the best way to spray paint my blaster. So I thought I’d take a quick minute and share with you what worked for me. Fortunately for both of us, it’s not rocket science.


To start off, you’ll need some quality paint. Although any spray paint will wear pretty quickly on a firearm, that’s fine – you can always reapply it later. It’s not really a protective finish so much as a cosmetic thing, but a quality paint will adhere a little better and stick around a little longer than the off brand special. I used Krylon and Rust-Oleum paints from their “camouflage” line. It’s a flat matte that doesn’t reflect light, important qualities for a camo paint job.

You’ll also need a quality painter’s tape and some 550 cord. The tape you’ll use to mask off whatever you don’t want painted like optics lenses and the magazine well, so make sure you get a tape that adheres well and creates a good seal. The 550 cord is good for hanging the actual weapon up to paint it. The use of the cord isn’t necessary, but it helps keep the weapon from contacting anything else during the process and smudging the paint.

Nice, but not necessary – a cheap, “portable closet”. The kind that’s just PVC piping and cloth surrounded by a few zippers. It works really well as a paint station to contain everything if you paint in doors.

paint1


  1. Start by degreasing your rifle. I just wiped down the exterior of the rifle with an old rag and some mineral spirits. You could also use gun scrubber or break cleaner I suppose, but mineral spirits work and it’s cheap.
  2. Tape off areas that you don’t want covered in tape. I removed all optics, lights, sights, and any foregrips from the rifles and painted them separately. I did this to get maximum paint coverage on the guns in the even I change optics or something, I’m not left with a bare black spot on the rail. I also mask off the muzzle device since I frequently use a suppressor, and a tape up the trigger as well – it keeps the trigger group cleaner and less gritty if you don’t blow paint up into it through the lower receiver’s trigger cut.
  3. Spray – get creative. Use a pattern that makes sense for where you are – if you live in the Arctic Circle, it probably doesn’t make sense to use a woodland pattern, and if you live in a temperate climate, you probably don’t need a dusty, desert looking patter. As a general rule, if you plan on using a base coat, I’d start with the lighter color first. That way if the darker colors wear down over top, you can always reapply darker pain that wont mix over the lighter paint underneath. I started with a tan base coat on one rifle, and alternating brown and OD green coats on the other rifle. paint3
  4. Drink beers while you wait for the base coat to dry.
  5. Using native foliage or in my case, an old laundry bag from boot camp, lay a creative “micro” pattern over your primary colors. I used opposite colors on opposite base coats: browns on greens, greens on browns, etc.  Hold the foliage or netting approx. 4″ off the rifle and spray to create a disruptive, “three dimensional” pattern. The netting gives a sort of snake-skin texture… sexy. paint2
  6. Enjoy your rifle and finish your beers. Just don’t go fire it after consuming beers. You know… guns and alcohol don’t mix.

Is a minor note, if you plan on painting some plastic, it might help to “rough up” the surface before you prepare it. The same techniques can be used to made your plain jane black Safariland holster look dope! paint4

That’s it, enjoy! Give it a shot. Maybe practice on a piece of old cardboard first (I’ll admit I did), and find a pattern you like. I found that the lighter base resulted in a more “intermediate” color scheme and the alternating green and brown base created a darker, more “woodland” look. I dig it.

Until Victory.

-TZ

New Year, New Guns – Ruger Edition

Welcome to 2018! America is a weird, weird place today. Gun rights are simultaneously being chipped away at at the State level and expanded Federally, “cisgender” is a word now, everybody has PTSD, feelings matter, our political process has become nothing more than a meme war on social media,  and everybody… everybody is getting “triggered”.

Fortunately for you and me, we still have the 2nd Amendment (for now), and can get triggered the good ol’ fashioned way: behind a gun! And the last few months of 2017 and start of 2018 have been marked by a few pretty cool new guns to look forward to. Let’s take a look at some of the coolest/most interesting new blasters for the new year from a company that’s been EN FUEGO this year: Ruger. Honestly, they’ve been on such a hot streak, that I’m just going to hit you with a quick snapshot of a few new releases – in no particular order.


Security 9

security9

(photo: Recoil Web)

The Ruger Security 9 takes its concept and namesake as an affordable defensive handgun from the Ruger Security Six of days gone by. The Security 9 is a hammer fired, box fed autoloading pistol that represents the essentials of a defensive handgun – pretty much everything you might need and absolutely nothing you don’t. It’s pretty barebones, but I think it will represent a good value for those looking for a more affordable 9mm option.

The PC Carbine

pccarbineNow this… this gun I’m actually really excited for. Pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) have been all the rage the past year or so, and Ruger has finally jumped into the market with one of the coolest options in the game. It’s fed by either Ruger or Glock magazines, and comes with magazine wells for both. It’s also a takedown design which makes it incredibly handy. The stock can be adjusted for LOP by adding/removing spacers and the barrel is threaded 1/2×28 for your variety of muzzle devices or suppressors hosts. Add to that a set of ghost ring sights, 10/22 trigger components, and a more traditional, rifle-like form, and you’ve got a seriously cool little blaster. The PC Carbine is on my list for 2018. Why? I have no idea. It’s just… so cool.

Ruger has also released a number of other cool designs that are more like product line extensions for the new year. The GP-100 get’s a 7-shot cylinder in a few different models, the American Rifle gets a ranch variant in 7.62×39 (also on my short list), and they introduce the “Ruger Precision Rimfire”, which is a little bolt action .22lr in a chassis similar to their precision rifle with an American rimfire action. The coolest part? It has an adjustable bolt throw that can be set to mimic the throw of a full sized centerfire bolt gun – very cool for precision rifle training.


I’ve always liked Ruger guns. They’re American, usually affordable, have a rock solid reputation for rugged reliability (if not being a little brutish), and lately they’ve had a pretty cool line up of new products. I think they’re doing it right in this down market – introducing innovate new products that the shooting market actually wants. Hell, I didn’t even know I wanted a few of these until I saw them. They’re at least being much better with product releases than a different company *cough, crossed cannons, cough*. But that’s for another day.

What’s on your list for this year?

Until Victory.

-TZ

In Defense of the 700 Ultimate Sheep Rifle

Well folks, we’re back. I know it’s been awhile since the last post, but Summer 2017 has been busy and full of guns, gear, training, and some other pretty dope stuff. I’ve got a lot of new material in the works, including some YouTube reviews and AARs.

But enough on us, let’s get down to the good stuff: guns.

USR

Lately I’ve seen Big Green getting a lot of flak over their newly announced Model 700 “Ultimate Sheep Rifle”. In fact, just today I was listening to a podcast that was giving the USR the business – despite none of them having any trigger time behind it or any serious mountain hunting experience. They cited it’s use of a stock, and essentially criticized it for not being a chassis gun. They pointed out that the 6.5 CM is an unusual choice for a hunting cartridge, and even wondered if the gun was “custom” because it was made by Remington, and compared what they thought was the Remington Custom Shop to S&W’s Performance Center. And the biggest complaint of them all: the $5,895 MSRP. So let’s break it down.

First of all, yes, Remington does have a custom shop. Based in Sturgis, SD, the Remington Custom Shop does exactly what you would think it does: build custom guns. Although the USR is one of a few models that are available as pre-selected builds, Remington Custom also lets you have it any way you want. Prices can vary widely, as any custom project can from another. The shop itself is relatively new, having been established in Sturgis in 2015, but is run by a crew of experienced gunsmiths that know how to produce quality products. Hand checkering, hand layed custom stocks, jeweled bolts, and action truing mills would be pretty common sights at RCS.

Now let’s itemize the components. (All are MSRP and rounded to nearest dollar)

  • Action: Remington 700 Titanium Short Action (approx. $1,450)
  • Stock: Manners EH-8 ($632 + Cerakote)
  • Barrel: Proof Research Carbon Wrapped w/ Muzzle Brake (approx. $900)
  • Bolt: Badger Mini Knob w/ Badger M16 Extractor ($70)
  • Trigger: Timney 510 ($146)

Total: $3,198

proof.jpg

Now, there area a few other various parts and accessories that should be accounted for, but are hard to track down solid numbers on. This would include the bipod rail, dual ejectors, and a hand full of aluminum parts to reduce weight. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention the bedding job, Cerakoting by Scalpel Arms, and presumed action truing of a titanium action. And that’s not even mentioning that the 6.5 CM barrel from Proof doesn’t appear to be commercially available yet.

So, if we calculate by the components alone being approximately $3,300 before any sort of gun smithing to actually get the gun running, the advertised MSRP of $5,895 doesn’t begin to seem nearly as unreasonable. I would venture to guess that people shelling out anywhere near this kind of money are probably used to the idea of a high-end, expensive custom rifle that commands a price tag similar to or even higher than the near 6K of the Remington.

Is it all worth it? Well… that’s for you to decided. But a custom rifle is a custom rifle, and if it floats your boat and you don’t need a second mortgage for it, then give it hell.


But with all that being said, if you measure the gun from a performance standard, you might run into more of a quandary. Accuracy and lightweight in bolt guns are easy to do, and you can certainly find cheaper rifles that might fit the performance build of the 700 USR. Certainly there are other rifles that are lightweight and accuracy, but they won’t be custom. And if you’re budget commands that, then a cheaper option is probably the way to go. Hell, the Ruger American is lightweight and accurate, but it feels cheap as hell. Because it’s not custom.

So as far as criticisms go, does the USR deserve all this negative attention? Well… probably not if you evaluate it as a custom rifle. But if you simply look at it from a performance based perspective, then yeah… it’s not worth nearly $6,000.00.

Until Victory.

-TZ