Cerakote Firearm Coatings was established in 1984 and has proven itself to be one of, if not THE toughest and longest lasting firearm finish in the world. In a nutshell, Cerakote Firearm Coatings is a ceramic based spray on “paint” that is applied to your gun then baked/cured in a low temperature oven. This produces a very thin and durable protective layer that will outlast every other known finish currently on the market. While one of the top advantages of Cerakote is the prevention of rust, it’s also provides excellent protection against abrasive elements and everyday use such as holster wear. Although the company has been in business for three decades, they’ve become better known to the civilian market over the last 10 or so years. Today, Cerakote is the #1 choice of finish by firearms manufacturers world wide.
Cerakote’s parent company, NIC Industries, is based in White City, Oregon where their headquarters features state of the art manufacturing, ASTM testing lab, Training Center, R&D Facility and the companies’ warehouse all in a single location. The product itself is offered in 90 colors which can also be mixed together to create an unlimited amount of custom colors. Made daily in small quantities, every batch is individually tested to ensure consistent quality and reliability. Some of these tests include:
- Chemical resistance
- Color consistency
To my knowledge, no other firearm finish manufacturer is as thorough in their testing procedures. While visiting Cerakote, they were running a head to head corrosion comparison of their product against the other top finishes available. This test was done by exposing parts, provided by their respective manufacturers, in a salt water chamber until all manufacturers started showing signs of corrosion. Within 48 hours, 7 of the 9 items in the chamber had rust appearing. At the 172 hour mark, Duracoat began showing corrosion. The chamber continued running until it reached 2034 hours at which time Cerakote finally started breaking down. For those who aren’t so good with math, that’s 11.835 times longer than their closest competitor and at least 54.2 times more resilient than all others. Cerakote Firearms Coatings used a GoPro camera to produce a time lapse video showcasing the results. Our photo shows the chamber just a few days shy of 2,000 hours. The completed time lapse video can be seen towards the bottom of the page.
Although Cerakote Firearm Coating is available to anybody who wants to use it, the company recommends and offers a two day Manufacturer Certification Training Course at their White City facility. If you have a large enough operation, they will even travel to you for the training. During the class, applicators learn every aspect of the process which consists primarily of prep work and spray techniques. Students are shown the basics of utilizing all sorts of materials and stencils to create designs. Also covered in the class is how to adjust the fit & finish for proper reassembly. One of the most valuable benefits from this training, other than properly learning the process, is to be included in Cerakote’s list of factory trained certified applicators and the social network marketing the company offers to those who complete the class.
If you’re looking for a unique way to personalize your firearms and/or just want to protect them against the elements, you should seriously consider Cerakote. Take a look through their online gallery of images to get some inspiration then find a certified applicator in your area.