Cerakote vs. Duracoat vs. Othercoat - Which is Better?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing & Repairs' started by skydiver, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. skydiver

    skydiver Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Questions:
    1. Which is better and why?
    2. Will it plug up pin holes, etc.?
    3. Can I or should I spray the interior of the lowers and uppers - will it affect tolerances?

    Use: AR-15 new build - both upper and lower.
    Reason: desire a more scratch resistant and durable finish than factory.
    Color: traditional AR black.
    Tools: I have an airbrush and compressor.

    Thanks so much for your time, wisdom and knowledge!
  2. Nutty4Guns

    Nutty4Guns ADHD Superstar Bronze Supporter

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    I'm interested to know this as well.:eatpop:
  3. bmgm37

    bmgm37 Active Member

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    I like Cerakote myself, plus its made in Oregon! This helped sell me...

    [video=youtube;ksj-XJzVQik]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksj-XJzVQik[/video]
  4. DieselScout

    DieselScout Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Cerakote is some tought TOUGH stuff, but you've got to apply it just right. If you're going it yourself, you may want to look into Moly Resin. It's easier to apply and a bit more forgiving from what I've read, but isn't quite as tough as Cerakote when applied correctly, again from what I've read. Getting it applied correctly at home it the trick. I'll be shooting my Mosin with Moly here in the next year or so.
  5. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    Just about any durable Gun Coating has to be applied "Just Right". That means a surface properly prepared for good adhesion. Degreased TOTALLY!. That usually means using 2-3 times the amount of degreaser than you originally planned and then making sure you only touch the parts with gloved (cotton preferred) hands.

    Pay attention to mixing instructions, application methods, and apply in the proper ambient temperature, as well as dust free area. Plenty of "cure time" without touching.

    If you're prepared to do that, go for Cerakote. I've got an AR coated with this product and it's one of the best finishes I've found.

    NO Shortcuts!
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  6. skydiver

    skydiver Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Do I need to sand blast and AR-15 upper and lower with aluminum oxide before applying Cerakote or will just degreasing work?
  7. DieselScout

    DieselScout Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Any sort of refinishing be it on furniture, a car or a firearm will look better and stand up better the more you prepare the surface. Degreasing will work, but it will not give you the best adhesion or finish.
  8. das_napeth

    das_napeth Member

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    I had recently discussed this with my local smith who is tryimg to move away from duracoat to do cerakote. He says that you can apply cerakote thinner at 1 mil. While duracoat is applied at 3 mils, which will give a tolerance problem. Such as on pistols on the ejection port when the slide moves over it, it will start to scratch up. He also said that duracoat is easier for the DIYer because for the cerakote to be cured properly it should be in an oven. The other downside to duracoat is that it takes longer to cure so you can't really start assembling anything for quite awhile (forget how long he said) with tools.
  9. skydiver

    skydiver Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I received an e-mail today from Cerakote. They suggested blasting with aluminum oxide 100- 120 grit before applying. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to do that.
  10. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy Well-Known Member

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    I had 2 guns cerakoted by N.I.C. Industries, the makers of cerakote.

    Both the 1911 and the mosberg 500 have held up EXTREMELY well.

    I had to fully disassemble both guns before sending them in and I received them back in just as many parts as when I sent them in.
    There was no problems what so ever as to tolerances or plugged holes.
    The entirety of the 1911's internals were coated, including the barrel, sear, etc.

    The only thing I worried about was getting the heat shield back onto the mossberg without scratching the finish. If anyone has ever tried to install a heat shield they know how tightly those things fit on there. Even though the heat shield was scratching and grinding while I was slipping it on, there was not a single mark on the barrel.

    From what i've experienced, I am a true believer in cerakote.

    I'm planning on taking NIC's certification course for cerakote.
  11. Straight Shooter

    Straight Shooter Member

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    Questions:
    1. Which is better and why? Cerakote -- See video on durability.
    2. Will it plug up pin holes, etc.? No
    3. Can I or should I spray the interior of the lowers and uppers - will it affect tolerances? Yes, I recommend it inside and out. It will have very little affect on tolerances. I prefer to coat everything.

    The video sums it up nicely. There is Cerakote and then there is paint. After our own in house testing and research we choose Cerakote as the only firearm coating good enough to be associated with our firearms. In very high pressure applications it is a super lubricant. Metal will compress and deform without flaking, chipping or rubbing off. Even if I was given "Black-Dura-T-Coat-K-moly-G-resin-Bird-etc," for free I would still buy Cerakote. I have a 416 stainless barrel stored outside in a drainage ditch that is 1/2 coated with Cerakote and the other end uncoated. The uncoated stainless is rusting up pretty bad. The coated end wipes off to look as good as the day we put it out there almost a year ago.

    To put it on right takes a considerable amount of equipment. Just the aluminum oxide and acetone costs more than having it done. Your local bead blaster is not going to cut it. Unless you plan to get a license and do it for money, I recommend a certified professional application.

    I acknowledge there are plenty of guys that have well equipped home shops that can do it right too.
  12. Norm0931

    Norm0931 Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The other cool thing that Cerakote has is the Micro Slick Dry Coat. Which is basically a coating that goes on your internals (bolt, bolt carrier, etc.) and considerably lowers the friction on the parts. It is dyed grey purely so you can see where it is applied, the color actually fades to clear after a while but, the coating remains. I seem to remember they coated a basic AR and stress tested the crap out of it against a duplicate and it performed amazingly well.
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    Think of it as the difference between planting a lawn on your concrete driveway or a properly tilled dirt surface. While the coating may bond somewhat to an un-blasted surface, it's really being held in place by molecular attraction rather than "rooted" in the rough surface. Just like that grass that grows well on your driveway, it can be pulled up with little or no force but the lawn on the tilled dirt is firmly "rooted".

    A blasted surface that's coated will resist "sheet sloughing" of the coating. Put a nick in a coating that's applied to a blasted surface and you have a nick. Do likewise to coating on a smooth surface and you can have large areas peel off like saran wrap (or paint from a 90's vintage GM car).
  14. Velzey

    Velzey Well-Known Member

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    MrNiceguy,

    Did you have the locking lugs, and the sear and disconnector also coated? And then just polish the contact areas? or??
  15. Farmer72

    Farmer72 New Member

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    Cerakote has lubricating properties built into it so you shouldn't need to polish the contact areas. I have done hammers and sears but I usually dont do internal parts that will not be seen. I do do the inside of the lowers and uppers just not the hammer and sear. You can always use their Micro-slick which is a excellent dry film lube for internal parts. Here are a couple of picks of guns I have done for myself and others. The last photo (1911) I didn't take the picture but I coated the firearm. I have seen Duracoat come off with little use and even solvents. Cerakote is very tuff.

    Attached Files:

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  16. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, everything was coated.

    There was no polishing required. The trigger pull is still very nice.

    I received the parts back from NIC industries, assembled them, and went out shooting.
  17. lencac

    lencac New Member

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    Here's a couple builds I recently have done. I had Jesse at Legendary Coating in White City do the job. The Noveske is done in Magpul OD Green with the barrel, gas block, handguard lockring and compensator done in Armor Black. The USA Tactical I did the upper, lower, handguard, gasblock/front sight in Tarjac Green with the barrel, delta ring and compensator in Graphic Black.
    It greatly improves the overall feel, operation and enjoyment of the rifles. they never fail to get rave reviews at the range.:thumbup:

    Attached Files:

  18. jbett98

    jbett98 Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    De-greasing first, then you blast.
    That way, you don't contaminate your blasting media with grease and oil.
    You will need to clean your blasting cabinet completely and refill with virgin blasting media or have a stand alone cabinet just for these kinds of projects.
  19. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    My experience has shown that when you think you've degreased enough, do it one more time.:laugh: Then you just might have done it enough. Also, beware of oil in your compressed air supply. Unless you're using a small oil free diaphragm type compressor, there is the risk of fine oil particles in the air. If blowing down after degreasing, make sure you have a good filter on the line designed for catching the fine oil droplets. Better yet, just air dry after the final degrease.
  20. simon99

    simon99 Well-Known Member

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    I am a certified Duracoat applicator and prior to becoming one, I invested a lot of time and research into both Cera and Dura Coatings.
    In my opinion, for whatever that's worth, I think they both have amazing advantages and disadvantages. From my personal testing and experience I think that if you have a static piece of equipment, such as an AR lower or upper, a rifle receiver, a pistol frame, a knife blade, etc. I truly feel that CeraKoat holds the advantage over DuraCoat. On the other hand, if you have a dynamic piece of equipment, or one that will see a lot of movement or flexibility, such as a forearm, an AR stock ( like a MagPul MOE) a barrel, a scope, magazines, etc. Stuff that moves around a lot , then I give the advantage to DuraCoat. Things that have odd or imperfect surfaces seem to DuraCoat better. I like them both, I just like Duracoat better. I like the fact that its easier to work with, I can manipulate the colors easier and come up with unique and highly detailed patterns such as digital 3D camo etc. faster and easier. I don't have to bake it.
    I think that regardless of either procedure, it all comes down to proper prep work and product knowledge. Without that, there are all these myths about both products that only exist due to amateurs doing it themselves.
    For example, Duracoat doesn't take forever to dry....I spray a firearm and have it reassembled in a day or two. I have an AR that I Duracoated, put back together two days later and shot 500 rounds through by the end of the week with zero effect on the finish. But I did WAY more prep work than the stuff the average DIY'er would do in their garage.
    Both are great, but like any finish they have their limitations. People seem to think they're indestructible, which just isn't true. If you took a brand new Kimber with a factory finish and kicked it around on the asphalt, its going to get scratched. The same is true of any finish.
    Do the research, see what fits your needs, style and budget , then go from there.....
    Semper Fi.
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