Duracoat v.s. Armacoat

Over the past couple of months I\\\\\\\'ve done up a few firearms for myself or customers using either Duracoat or Armacoat products and while this isn\\\\\\\'t going to be an in-depth review of the products, I thought I\\\\\\\'d aware some observations and thoughts... More »

 

DIY Blackout Brass


One of my favorite new SBR's is my 300 Blackout build that I put together with parts from True North Arms, Shooters Choice as well as Alberta Tactical Rifle Supply. I purchased all the main upper parts from the good folks over at TNA and picked up the barrel from ATRS and added some sweet Burris MTAC Optics from my good friend over at Shooters Choice. All in all it's a pretty amazing build and I've had it out to 100 yards and grouped less that one MOA with a sweet 10-inch barrel. All in all, it's fantastic.

300 Blackout SBR

Their are a lot of upsides to the 300 AAC Blackout round, but one downside that I've discovered here in Alberta, Canada. Brass is not easy to find. It's very rare to pick up any at the range and most stores don't stock it at all. In fact, even online it's pretty hard to come by – but I did find some over at Budget Shooter Supply. While BSS has it for a pretty good price, availability and speed of delivery can be an issue if you're impatient. There beautiful thing I discovered is that it's not actually all that hard to make your own 300 Blackout brass – if you have some time and a little patience. While others have made jigs and have some special equipment to convert brass from .223/5.56, I didn't want to spend a bunch of money, so I set out to use what I had available. Let's just say that I love my Dremel.

I was able to quite quickly take a bucket of .223/5.56 range brass, chop it down and resize it to 300 Blk. Below is a simple pictorial step by step of how it was done. I had a depth spacer included with my old Dremel kit and I used this to set how much I wanted to trim off the neck and shoulder.

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Step 1 – Get a bunch of extra range brass
 

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Step #2 – Put Brass in Vise

 

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Step #3 – Chop Off at Shoulder

 

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Chopped Brass

 

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Chopped Shoulders

 

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Need to Debur / Chamfer

 

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Step #4 – Debur

 

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Step #5 – Chamfer Case Mouth

 

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Step #6 – Lube and Size with Blackout Dies

 

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Step #7 – Wipe off Lube and Check Length = DONE!

 

While the process is quite simple, it is quite time consuming as in reality after the brass are sized and wiped down, they probably will need to be trimmed to length just a bit. Once trimmed, they will need to be deburred and chamfered again. The result though is that you can make your own 300 Blackout brass – quite affordably as .223 brass is very plentiful.

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Before (223) and After (300 BLK)

 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask! Do you reform brass to fit different calibers? If so, what do you do? Please share!

Duracoat vs. Armacoat

Over the past couple of months I've done up a few firearms for myself or customers using either Duracoat or Armacoat products and while this isn't going to be an in-depth review of the products, I thought I'd aware some observations and thoughts. Keep in mind that I'm really bored right now as I'm currently in the hospital awaiting surgery and all I have with me is my phone. Let's face it, solitaire only entertains a guy for so long. 

First, let's talk Duracoat. It is widely available in the USA, but almost impossible to get in Canada unless you bring it in personally. I was lucky enough to have family bring a couple of colors back from a trip across the 49th. The colors customers ordered were teal and turquoise. The colors did not disappoint. What I did find a little different is the Duracoat itself. While both products I'm talking about require hardener, Duracoat recommends a 12:1 ratio while Armacoat recommends more with a 8:1 ratio recommended. 

Application is done with an HVLP gun or an airbrush, but in my experience the Duracoat requires a reducer to apply without texture. Also it dries faster than Armacoat and doesn't require baking. That is good and bad. Good: it doesn't require this step, Bad: it takes longer to fully cure. If you're patient, the results are very good as you can see on this ladies Jericho 941.

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I also did the accents on this Ruger 10/22 for another young lady. 

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Armacoat, on the other hand, is readily available in Canada, and the cost is very comparable. The biggest downside is that the color selection is a bit limited. The upside is the colors they have in stock are popular and well done. Armacoat can be baked if required and it makes the cure process much faster. Both products seem to wear very well and if the surface is prepped properly, it adheres very well. I've done a few firearms in Magpul FDE,  as well as Dark Earth (think Knights Armament) and Matte Black. I like the way Armacoat feels, looks and applies better than  Duracoat, but I love the color selection tonight that Duracoat offers. Here are a few images of Armacoat results. 

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Also, I've done a couple sidearm with the same Magpul FDE. 

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The latest project I did was for myself to turn a very pink Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 into something a little more manly. This was done in Matte Black and Dark Earth. 

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Both firearm finishes are great, but I personally vote for the Armacoat as it can be baked to speed the cure process and coating the firearm was a little less trouble.

If you have any questions, requests or feedback, please drop a comment below. 

 

Going Black(out)

As I mentioned in a previous post (Back and Building), I had some plans to build a 300 Blackout in the furture so that I could punch bigger holes in paper, experience some subsonic love and still have the ability to go super-sonic simply by changing up the ammunition. Well, once again the guys at TrueNorthArms came through. They helped me out with everything, other than the barrel which came by way of Alberta Tactical Rifle. Both of these companies deserve a good long look when planning your next build. If you want super affordable and good quality, pick True North Arms. For absolute premium products (at premium prices), Alberta Tactical Rifle is where it's at. My new 10-inch match Lilja barrel will group well under 1-MOA, but now I'm getting ahead of myself.

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That beautiful little stubby polished stainless pipe pictured below my 18-inch upper is my new 10-inch .300 Blackout match barrel with a 1:8 twist. It's really short and hard to believe that qualifies as a rifle here in Canada. For those of you in the USA, we have no SBR tax up here. We can build as short as we want without issues. I just wanted to point that out.

The barrel is extremely short and will only have 1.2 twists in the length of the tube and it's quite important that it has enough grip on the bullet to give it a good spin. The guys at ATRS made sure that this barrel was up to the task and it should fire lead and copper ammunition, both light 110gn and heavy 220gn projectiles without any issues at all.

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When ordering a barrel from ATRS, you get the option of picking everything: barrel profile, gas port size, location, contour, thread and finish. The guys were extremely helpful in setting me up with a great barrel that will last me a lifetime on this upper. Speaking of the upper, as mentioned before, I snagged the parts from TNA and once again was very pleased with how it all worked out.

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As you can see in the images above, I indeed broke out the gun coating this time around. As Duracoat won't ship to Canada, and Cerakote is pretty much a dealer exclusive, I used a fantastic product from an Alberta Arma-Coat dealer. Arma-Coat has all the same properties of the previous two mentioned coatings, but it has a much longer shelf-life than Duracoat. The only downside is their color selection is quite limited, but they had the color I wanted, so it wasn't a big deal to me. A simple airbrush application and either days of cure-time, or an hour in the oven at 240°F and it was good to go.

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I used a 12-inch quad-rail handguard on a 10-inch barrel and added a flash-pig that extends the muzzel past the handguard. The flash-pig also helps create a bit more back-pressure so the rifle cycles reliably. The beatiful thing about this build is that when using the pig and subsonic ammuntion, the shooter can comfortably shoot without hearing protection. It makes a big of a "thud" for sure, but it's not a sharp crack like that of a 5.56, nor is it deafening like rifles with muzzle brakes or large caliber rifles such as a .338 or .416.

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The handguard is bulkier than my 12.5-inch 5.56 build, but the shorter barrel length means that this unit weighs in at a mere 1.2oz more than my last build. It is very managable, very manuverable and an absolute pleasure to shoot. I've had more than a little fun with it already and will have much, MUCH more as time marches on. 

If you have any build questions, please feel free to comment on the post and I'll be sure to answer technical questions as best I can. 

Get out, take the scope-cover off and get shooting!