Monday, March 2, 2015

How To Paint And Camouflage An AR Or Other Rifle Fast And Easy

Why Is Camouflage Important On Guns

Most gun owners in the USA have an assortment of firearms for different uses.  Small arms for personal protection and multipurpose long arms for hunting, target shooting or even as an investment commodity.

If there ever came a time when the average gun owner found themselves with others in a position of self defense of country or freedom from tyranny, they may find themselves at a camo disadvantage.

If you look at the photograph above, you will notice one thing that stands out in all four pictures.  In a combat scenario one would not want to put a target on their bodies, but that is exactly what they have done.  What is the point of wearing camouflage clothing and face paint to blend into your surroundings but at the same time holding an all black object that is in total contrast and stands out like a target.  

I find it odd that our own Army had only recently informed our soldiers on instruction and benefits of painting their guns in an article I found online dated 2010.  There are also a lot of videos online showing different methods of painting your firearm or anything you decide to camo up.  From knife sheaths to magazines to canteens anything can be camouflaged using spray paint and it is very easy to do.

My Ruger 10/22 Stock

Now I have never painted a stock before and was a little afraid of taking a spray can to it but after a little reading and watching a few videos I found the project fun and enjoyable.  After all when you want to buy a firearm you can find them already with camouflaged for an additional cost.  The idea of putting my own paint job on my own firearm is what really made the gun feel like it was mine and special.  The best part is if the time comes that I get tired of the look, I can repaint it a different pattern and it will be like a new firearm all over again.  You could even purchase a couple stocks and paint them different patterns to fit different environments.  Two quick screws and the action just drops into a different camo pattern.  I will be purchasing a few more stocks for this reason and will be a lot of fun painting each one.  My Ruger stock, was more of a test piece before I camo up my Ruger SR556-E.


Stencils come in all shapes and sizes and can be used with great results when painting.  You can buy them online, or print your own. and spend the time cutting them out to customize your paint job.

I will be looking around myself and may utilize some stencils in my next stock.  Although some like their paint jobs to look pretty, I would like to remind you that if your purpose is stealth, pretty is not as important as you may think.

When I painted my Ruger 10/22, I used the local plant life native to my hunting area for the pattern.  I was more concerned in the blending of colors to help break up the silhouette pattern of the rifle.  Using different leaf types layered with different shades  can produce some outstanding results.

There are a couple choices for paint when it comes to camo.  I used Rustoleum but you can also find Krylon camo paint.

Most reading and video watching I have done gave me the impression that it is best to use your lightest color as your base coat.  With the darkest color being the last.  When you are done you can dust the firearm with some more light color paint to lighten up any areas you think to dark, just remember the dried light paint will darken a bit once dried due to the darker color underneath.
My Ruger AR Style SR556-E

Here is the before picture of my SR556-E before going under the spray can.  Like the 10/22 before it, I will start with the lightest color as the base and that will be sand.  I will need to prepare it first.

Using a degreasing agent you need to get any oils off the painting surface by wiping it down.  Then using some frog tape for painting, tape off anything you do not want to get paint into.  I put a strip of tape on the bolt and then closed the dust cover and taped off the gun sights as well to keep them as is.

I personally wanted a desert type theme, so my base coat was sand color.  Keep in mind it would not be unusual to end the paint job with the same color as touch up so do not use it all.  It also can be a light coating so if the original color shows a bit that is ok.  This is just what I wanted, paint yours to your own taste and needs.  You should also YouTube search and watch some short videos, there are alot of examples out there.

I also stuck with one type of plant pattern, although some sweet paint jobs are out there using multiple plant types combined with outstanding results.

I used short bursts of paint with a grey paint color, then overlapped with a little green. After about 15 minutes of drying I used the plant and light brown sporadically touching up a lightening the patern so the grey would shadow.  Final task clear coat.

What I ended up with is a versatile firearm that can be used for hunting in a variety of hunting areas.  The color scheme also matches my favorite hunting camouflage I wear.
Now my firearm will not stand out like a soar thumb.  I hope this gives you some ideas and happy hunting!



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