DuraCoat is a hard polymer paint using a base and hardener (like epoxy) designed for painting firearms, including moving parts, barrels, etc. It dries to the touch after 20 minutes, can be used after curing to eight hours, but takes several weeks to fully cure to super hardness. It comes in dozens of colors & patterns, retains some flexibility so isn’t fragile, and is somewhat self-lubricating. By all accounts, it’s probably the hardest, most durable coating that can be had outside some factory finishes, and maybe better than some of those.
If you ever watch the Nutnfancy YouTube channel, you know he’s crazy about DuraCoat and has multiple videos on the subject. That’s where I first learned of the product.
DuraCoat is normally applied with an airbrush and requires an air compressor, which I don’t have and didn’t want to purchase for the few projects I might have for the paint – a few rifle stocks (not the guns, though), some magazines, and a few odds and ends. Probably a lot of others felt the same way, which is why the manufacture, Lauer Custom Weaponry, came up with the “Shake N Spray” kits.
The Good. I’m going to spend more time in the bad portion of this review, but DuraCoat is actually mostly pretty good. Most any color or pattern you’d want is available. The kit is relatively cheap and you don’t need an air compressor. The hardness and durability of DuraCoat is outstanding.
You can really dress up a beat-up weapon, stock, whatever. If you do use it on the action, barrel, etc., it acts as a rust inhibitor. For a nice .303 Enfield or M1 Garand? Probably not, but for modern carbines and “black guns,” absolutely. I will continue to purchase, use, and recommend this product.
The Bad. First, it’s difficult to determine what the colors actually are by looking at the photos on vendor websites. In the photos below, I have the samples from the website and the examples of items I’ve painted. The East German Green and TangoDown Flat Dark Earth look fairly close in the online samples of ARs, but the green is a shade darker while the flat dark earth is a shade or so lighter (compare the piece from a stock above and the magazine below – big difference).
Second, even though I followed the instructions to avoid having a shiny finish (even used more of the base to give a flatter appearance), my East German Green project came out shiny. I like the color, it’s actually almost exactly what I want, but it should be flat and not shiny. Others have noticed this (and here). I’ll have to get some clear matte to fix that as shiny defeats the purpose. A solution online said to use something to stir up the bottom in addition to shaking the bottle for the recommended time, which I’ll try next time.
Third and last, a lot of the advertisements claim you can coat two weapons with the kit (some say 2-4). Pistols, maybe, but my dark earth kit gave me three good coats on sever AR magazines, while the green one coated one rifle stock and foregrip – and that was it. Probably the spray applicator included with the kit isn’t’ as fine as an airbrush and uses more of the mixture.