To refinish or not to refinish?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Reindeer, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Reindeer

    Curry County
    New Member

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    So here's the deal... back in 1986, I bought a Calico M100. At the time thought it was about the coolest looking gun I had ever seen (very futuristic looking), not to mention being different from a couple of friends who were getting 10/22s and spending a fortune even at that time tricking them out. HA! Well, suppose that's what being young and stupid is all about! LOL!

    Well, as it turned out it was a VERY fun rifle to shoot (at least when it was working right), and the 100 rnd magazine helped a lot in that department. Only problem is that it had problems feeding, and would shave a little off of each bullet as it fed. These shavings in turn would get into the mechanism and cause all sorts of problems. Think I fired a total of 500 rounds out of it, then it essentially became a closet queen after that.

    I've recently taken a new interest in it, and have found a way to resolve the feed issue. Basically I put a slight chamfer on the chamber, and put a small radius on the top of the chamber as well, plus have started using copper plated .22LR bullets... viola! Problem resolved! Followed through with a trigger job, and life is good again... well, almost...

    As it turns out, the OTHER thing about the early Calicos that I didn't care for is that the finish on those rifles was CHEAP. The rear frame, lower receiver, and front sight/compensator assembly are cast aluminum; and when assembled were shot with spray paint. Cheap spray paint at that as simply looking at it wrong causes the paint to start chipping away.

    The result is that the rifle is looking a bit love-worn these days, and I'm giving some serious thought to duracoating the aluminum parts. The blued parts still look fine, and mechanically still perfect. Anyway, here are my questions:

    1. Will duracoat work on aluminum?

    2. Collectability... I think this rifle is probably a good bet to be a collectable at some point. They are at least somewhat rare, are a very unusual design with unusual features, and this was manufactured in California before all the hoopla about assault weapons and big magazines. In fact American Industries who owned the Calico line went under for a while, but are now back in business located in Washington I do believe. They are manufacturing the M100 again, but the price on the new rifles is pretty spendy (about the $700 ballpark).

    My main concern here is that if I were to reshoot the parts with Duracoat, would it potentially ruin the value of the gun? I've heard a lot of comments to the effect that refinishing a gun can ruin its value. Thing is that I never bought this weapon with the idea of it being a collectable in the first place... first and foremost this was always meant to be a shooter and a fun gun... BUT like said I have seen the value of these guns go up considerably over the years (at least from what I paid for mine), and think it would be worth hanging on to.

    Anyway, I would appreciate hearing people's thoughts on this one and would it be a worthwhile thing to do?

  2. deadeye

    Moderator Staff Member

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    The duracoat is an option but I would use an epoxy/catalyst type paint as that would be closer to what they originally had and be more durable than the original. Glad you finally figured out the quirks the originals had, the new production has the barell fix already. Calico is in Oregon and you can buy replacement parts from them also.....Calico Light Weapon Systems

    cheaper mags here.....
    Reindeer and (deleted member) like this.
  3. jonn5335

    Active Member

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    If you think someday the gun will have collector value refinishing it is a no no if you plan on using it refinish it

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