Ok, this won't be applicable to all on here, but I know some do originate from good old blighty - apologies for to those who are not in the UK.
Having attempted to paint my own rifle stocks in the past, (without much success other than single colours) I decided to take the step of having a professional do the job.
Jager Sporting Arms Coatings is a relatively new player in the UK gun trade who offer a spray coating service to the sportsman no matter what the discipline.
The founder of the company, James Clark is the only certified Duracoat finisher in the UK. Duracoat is a two part finish which originates from the United States. James has undergone an intensive course to qualify as a certified finisher and is serious about his business.
I took the opportunity to visit James at his workshop to have my Mcmillan Sako Varmint stock refinished. The stock is fitted to my Tikka 595 custom in 22-250AI. The stock was originally a plain grey colour as delivered by Mcmillan. I asked James if he would change the colour and make it a bit more interesting.
James was going to exhibit his wares at the CLA Gamefair, but due to cancellation of the event, he offered to do the stock, “while I waited” I was interested to see how the process was applied, so I took him up on the offer.
On arrival at the premises, I was shown to a newly built workshop, which had a blasting cabinet, filtered spraying booth and drying oven large enough to accommodate about 80 stocks at any one time. James is certainly knowledgeable about his product and examples of his work were on display in a range of colours from a basic OD Green to lime green and cherry red. He offers a variable service which is dependant on customer requirements. You might want your stock coated, your action and stock or even a total refinish of a complete rifle including moderator and scope He explained that the Duracoat paint was hard enough to stick to virtually any surface and remained chip resistant and was able to withstand intense heat even if applied to a muzzle brake, which I thought to be very impressive. The Duracoat finish is available in single, twin or triple colour combinations and in just about any pattern imaginable from tiger stripe, random camouflage to complex digital patterns.
I chose a Tiger Stripe in green and black, yes you guessed it, there were numerous black shades to choose from and just as many greens – decisions, decisions!
Once my choice was made, James degreased the stock and then gave it a gentle blasting of kiln dry sand to provide a key for the Duracoat to be applied to. Once satisfied, James then applied a Durafill where the stock needed minor chips smoothing over despite protestations from me that it was ok he is a perfectionist!
James then carefully measured out the correct mix of black base coat, activator and thinner and sprayed the first coat on black all over the stock in the spray booth. The stock was then baked in the warm oven for an hour until it was cured. He then meticulously masked the black with a random Tiger Stripe pattern and applied the green second coat, back to the drying oven for another hour and then James finished the stock with a clear coat to seal and protect the new finish.
After a final hour in the oven, I was presented with a completed stock – the finish was very impressive indeed. The colours were sharp and yet I think will blend in to the area I use the rifle.
Well, all I now l need is some burlap for stainless barrel!
The Duracoat finish is tough, hardwearing, tactile and unique as no one coating will ever be replicated.
I definitely recommend anyone who is considering changing their rifle / shotgun finish gives James a call as this product delivers.
The Original rifle:
Duracoat Tiger Stripe two colour Green / Black
Jager Sporting Arms Coatings
Certified DuraCoat Finisher
0808-155-8918 or 0796-802-5033