Lets cut to the chase – no bullshit, is Cerakoting worth the money and if so why!As you all will know by now I see every conceivable firearm on the range in my day-to-day job. Some good jobs – some frankly are bloody shocking (paint jobs that is) – but who am I to judge which is which? I know the readers out there will mostly be sitting on the fence with this Cerakote thing and if my data is right, most will not have had reason or cause, to have their firearms and shotguns coated, or so they might think!!!!!. I get that shooters like what they have and don’t want to change, heard bad reports, cost is too much etc, but please don’t be too blinkered on this topic.
In my case yes every time (well most of the time). Do I have all my rifles and shotguns coated? No not as yet but I am getting there, you must remember I have a great deal of them and as a firearms instructor we are not paid City wages!!!
Whether you believe it or not Cerakoting is, in my opinion one topic that is far to easily overlooked. The cost saving effects of a Cerakoted firearm in adverse weather conditions speaks for itself. It really does work and adds years to the life of the rifle. It is proven.. In addition to which, and again in my opinion, your firearms or shotguns perform better when coated – read on and all will be explained…
Ok lets get to it – Again, as in other articles, I stick with what, and who I know. I am not denigrating any other companies out there, I just prefer to work with people I know and trust. In this case it’s Tactical Coatings based in Hereford, England.
Chris (Brown) and Jay (Hill) are the owner and operator, and one of the industry leaders in this field. I don’t use that term loosely either, they truly are experts in the field. I have forgotten the number of piss poor efforts I have seen on the range through DIY cheap, shoddy workmanship. You would NEVER see a job by Tactical Coatings that is not beyond reproach in terms professionalism and craftsmanship. If you are going to do the job properly get a professional.
TD: So what exactly is Cerakote?
CB: Cerakote is a durable and hard wearing finish for a multitude of applications and products. It is a ceramic based product and NOT a paint which is a common misconception. Cerakote has many forms, the main two being an oven bake (H-Series) and an Air Cure (C-Series) version. The air cure favors the higher temperature applications and the oven cure favours the higher wear applications. It has been chosen by the firearms industry as the ‘go to’ coating and also comes in ‘Black’ so you might not always spot it!
TD: is it only Cerakoting that offers this type of firearms protection?
CB: As you know there are a multitude of options for finishing and refinishing firearms. Everyone has different requirements and preferences, but fundamentally the finish is there to provide a protective barrier against corrosion. If you want the best barrier to corrosion, then Cerakote is the answer.
TD: would I be right in saying your previous skills in the military have stood you in good stead in this specialist field?
CB: Both of us have worked/trained/operated with firearms throughout our careers. The business was built on providing high end signature management coatings for military weapons systems and we naturally bled into the shooting industry after working on our own precision rifles. Our military background has been the foundation of our culture. We operate to high standards and have a ‘can do’ attitude. We are professional in our approach and also strive to constantly improve – “the unrelenting pursuit of excellence”
TD: I personally know your Cerakoting works perfectly, but what scientific evidence is there to validate the claims?
JH: Scientifically the closest we can get to prove how Cerakote performs is through the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards that are commonly applied to coatings. These standards test against Corrosion, Adhesion, Durability, Hardness, Abrasion, Chemical Resistance and Flexibility. Cerakote has gone toe to toe with its competitors and come out top on these tests. On corrosion resistance alone (ASTM B117), after 3500 hours in a salt spray test it still showed no signs of corrosion. The only brown residue was from the recycled salt spray solution (as seen below)
TD: as well as claiming to be waterproof, scratch proof and corrosion proof do your clients come to you for any other reasons? Reasons such as aesthetics?
CB: Unfortunately, Cerakote is not indestructible. It will wear over time and it can be gouged if the right force is applied. But this applies to everything unless you are fortunate to have a diamond coated rifle! Aesthetics play a big part in the overall ‘Cerakote Experience’ with a vast range of colours available it is down to the customers imagination. We have found picking out colours in a stock and coating the barrel action moderator and mounts does completely change the look of the rifle. Refinishing a rifle with a Cerakote finish will make it look good as new and add value to the firearm.
TD: in the main intro I mentioned that firearms in my opinion work better if they are Cerakoted. I realize that sounds a stretch but in my experience when its lashing down and you are in the field the coated rifle does indeed wear better, stay cleaner and less effected by the conditions. Guys am I imaging this or not?
JH: No you are right. Cerakote has a low co efficient of friction which means stuff won’t stick to it. So oil, carbon, general dirt has less of a hold and means you can wipe it clean with ease. The new Cerakote Elite Series (launched at Shot Show 2017) is actually more slick than Teflon.
TD: should the shooting public want to get a job looked at who do they go to? You or a gunsmith who refers the business?
CB: We take jobs direct and from dealers across the country. The price to the customer will always work out the same. Moving firearms around remotely needs a RFD to be involved so it is always good to approach your local dealer first if driving across to Herefordshire is not an option. The best way to start the ball rolling is to give us a call for an informal chat about what you want and we can advise from there.
Taking this opportunity I would like to thank Chris and Jay for their time and hard work in the shooting industry and in the specialist field and wish you all safe fun shooting.
This article was written by Tim Davies of Premier Shooting experiences and instructor at Orion Firearms Training.