A trip down any tactical rifle firing line is often like looking at a black and white photo. Black rifle after black rifle. Repeating over and over again. Some shooters are happy with their rifles just like they came out of the box. Others would like to add a little “personality” to theirs. When Cerakote Firearms Coatings contacted us, we jumped at the chance to add a little flair to one of our rifles.
The rifle we chose to send off to Cerakote was Sarah’s XLR Evolution equipped Remington 700. This rifle started life as a plain-jane 26″ ADL Varmint rifle. We had the barrel cut back and threaded by Suppressed Armament Systems. Then we added a JP Tactical Compesator to take recoil down a notch. This setup was a great shooting rifle, but the sea of black was just “blah”.
Sarah and I sat down over dinner and poured through the amazing array of colors available. She settled on “Burnt Bronze”. This is a very attractive color that is almost an earth tone, but with a little metallic zing. For the barreled action we decided to stick with basic black to complement the accessories and optic.
Once the color was selected, I broke the rifle down into it’s various components and shipped them to Cerakote.
It is important to note that Cerakote does not offer coating services at their factory. They do offer training and certification to applicators around the country. It is a simple matter to search Cerakote’s website for an applicator near you.
When our parts returned, re-assembly was a fairly simple matter. Cerakote is a thin enough coating that we did not experience any problems with buildup in screw holes or recesses. Cerakote did coat our bolt body and the interior of the Remington 700 receiver. With other forms of coating I am careful not to coat the body of the bolt. This usually results in binding when the bolt is fresh and eventually results in the coating wearing off. In our case the Cerakoted bolt slid in smoothly with no perceptible change in headspace. I can’t say for certain, but both Sarah and I thought that the action felt smoother after Cerakoting.
While we do not have the ability to do abrasion or salt-spray testing at our shop/studio, Cerakote has several videos on their YouTube channel and on their website demonstrating the durability of their product. I am sure most savvy consumers are dubious when a manufacturer tests their own product. I usually am. However I have at least one firearms component in the shop that was Cerakoted eight years ago. That suppressor rides on the barrel of my work rifle. It has gone through thousands of rounds, weeks of training and more tactical use than any other item in my inventory. While it has reasonable wear, the coating has held up admirably against all the bumps bangs and scrapes I have forced it to endure.
My experience with Cerakote has been nothing but satisfactory. I would not hesitate to turn to Cerakote for any firearms component that I need to protect from the environment or dress up a little. If you need your work rifle to blend into the environment, or just want to add a little flair to a competition rifle, give Cerakote a try!