U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Last year I assembled an AR with a little help from Rainier Arms and Brownells. I started on the lower receiver with a Sharps Bros Overthrow and finished up with a Rainier Arms UltraMatch Billet Upper (MOD 3), Aero Precision Atlas S-One and a 16″ Brownell's B-TAC barrel.
After my initial build and some testing, I made a few changes. I swapped out the original brake for a Ghost Wind 5.56 brake by American Manufacturing so I could run the Ghost Wind suppressor on here and decided to send the rifle out for a custom Cerakote finish courtesy of Nevada Cerakote.
What is Cerakote?
In case you have been living under a rock the past few years, Cerakote is a ceramic based finish that can be applied to metals, plastics, polymers, and wood. The unique formulation used for Cerakote ceramic coating enhances a number of physical performance properties including abrasion/wear resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength, and hardness. Each of these properties is rigorously tested to guarantee that Cerakote products remain at the forefront of the ceramic coatings market. Cerakote ceramic coatings utilize state-of-the-art technology to out-perform any competitive coating in both laboratory settings and real-world applications.
There are a lot of shops offering Cerakote these days and I try to support local small businesses whenever I can, so I took my rifle to Russ Bacon at Nevada Cerakote.
We have been faithfully using Nevada Cerakote for a number of years. The shop is about 90 minutes from my home, but their work is so good that I would ship it halfway across the world if I had to!
My one problem with Cerakote is there are so many ways you can go with it. From natural finishes replicating basic black, grey, OD, or tan to camo patterns or any artistic design you can envision. Compounding this is the fact that Russ is as much an artist and craftsman as he is a gunsmith, so I often go on information overload.
I knew I wanted the Spartan helmet on the lower in bronze, but really wanted to do something with the rest of the rifle and took my inspiration from what I love most: The American flag. When you have a dozen or so “black rifles” you can afford to take a chance on a flashy color scheme, can't you?
Old Glory would be the rest of the theme and I had seen Nevada Cerakote offer this pattern on firearms they coated for Axelson Tactical, Aero Precision and other manufacturers and customers. I considered the vibrant red, white and blue for half a second and decided against it in favor of a distressed, battle-worn finish.
I dropped the rifle off and told Russ to take his time to work his magic.
The end result exceeded my expectations. It was as if my simple idea had magically come to life, courtesy of Nevada Cerakote's artistry. Take a look at the “before” photo.
Notice the initial reddish selector. On a black rifle, a little drop of color can make a cool accent. However, after the “Captain America” paint job, it stuck out like a sore thumb. I do not stand in an artist's way, so when I got the call, I said: “Do what you need to do.”
Besides the quality paint job, this has become one of my favorite rifles to take to the range. It doesn't hurt that it gets a lot of attention and one of these days Nevada Cerakote may do a special pistol for me to go with it. Check out their website and social media, most importantly their Instagram feed. Their prices are reasonable, the work is outstanding and their laser engraving and stippling services are some of the best in the business.
About Mike Searson
Mike Searson's career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000 articles for several magazines, websites, and newsletters, including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
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