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Posted: 3/22/2014 12:22:50 AM EST
The rubbing alcohol wins, as most of you probably know, and as I found out tonight. I don't really care. It still has a pretty good parkerized finish under the paint, and I didn't buy an AK because I wanted a pretty rifle.

My question is, I was just wondering if anyone had gone all the way and taken off all of the paint from their Arsenal AK? I have a SAM7SF and it is (was) "paint over parkerized", but I'm not sure every part is actually parkerized. The safety/dust cover and the folding stock in particular seem to not have any parkerization underneath the paint. I'd like to just get the paint off so I can use rubbing alcohol and other solvents to clean the gun in the future and not have to deal with further paint coming off all over my hands/carpet/everywhere. Seriously... I had to put this thing in the bathtub because it was leaking purple dye everywhere by the time I realized my mistake. Would like to get rid of that crap paint entirely, but don't want the gun to look like absolute shit. Any suggestions?
Link Posted: 3/22/2014 1:20:03 AM EST
Yes, there are others on this board who have stripped and refinished their Arsenal AKs. The paint Arsenal has been using since the late 1990s is about as durable as the ink from a Sharpie marker. The factory paint on SA-93 and SLR-95 rifles is actually very durable, but that was then... Many here have re-painted their Arsenal rifles with GunKote, Aluma-Hyde II, Duracoat, and other spray-on finishes. Those are all very attractive and long-wearing finishes.
Link Posted: 3/22/2014 1:53:20 PM EST
The black paint that turns purple is a European gun paint "thing". I'm not sure just what it is that makes it turn purple when soaked with a solvent, but I'm surprised that ordinary alcohol removed it. Usually that takes lacquer thinner or a soak with paint thinner.

As above, many people have finished or refinished guns with the spray-on paint type finishes.
Some, like Lauer Duracoat are an air curing two part epoxy, and some require baking in an oven.
Some are available in spray cans but you get the best results using an airbrush to apply it.
If you remove all the original paint and bead blast the parts that aren't parkerized under the paint, depending on how good a job you do, you can have a really nice looking rifle finish.

Bead blasting non-parked parts give the metal a rough "tooth" for the paint to bond to and greatly increases durability and wear resistance.
If the parts are parked they've already been bead blasted and parking gives paint an ideal bonding surface.

Lauer Duracoat also sell inexpensive air brush sets and sell MANY colors of two part epoxy.
You can even get a very durable finish using original Rustoleum oil-based cans of enamel paint and baking it on at 300 degrees in your oven, but you get a better result using a finish designed for guns.
Brownell's sell most of them.
If you want the absolute best of them all Cerakoat ceramic paint is the most durable.

Link Posted: 3/22/2014 5:46:31 PM EST
Thanks for the suggestions. I may be taking this to a gunsmith to get a really nice finish put on at some point. Right now, I'm really more wondering if anyone has experience stripping the paint off their Arsenal AKs before and if you found that all the parts were parkerized, or if there were some parts that stripped down to bare metal?

I took a significant amount of paint off the receiver last night - it was either that, or else deal with having purple drip marks all over it - and certain parts of the gun (safety/dust cover, and the folding stock) seemed to polish up grayer than others. The receiver is black no matter how much paint I remove, but some of the other parts seem like they might strip down to the bare metal if I keep going. Just wondering if I should stop while I'm ahead, or keep going?
Link Posted: 3/24/2014 2:06:07 AM EST
I wouldn't bother fiddling around with the Arsenal paint anymore. To do so is probably just going to annoy you, as well as waste your time. The ideal process would be to chemically strip the rifle, bead blast it entirely, parkerize it, then apply the spray-on finish of your choice. If you don't want to send out your rifle for refinishing right away, just degrease it and spray on some black Appliance Epoxy paint. Even that would be more durable than the Arsenal paint, and would be easy to touch up.
Link Posted: 3/24/2014 8:16:21 AM EST
I've rubbed all my Arsenals down with alcohol before using Froglube,no problems at all.
Link Posted: 3/24/2014 6:57:51 PM EST
I had the same thing happen to my arsenal SLR105. I had it duracoated for about $85. Came out great.
Link Posted: 3/25/2014 2:27:30 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LonePatriot:
I've rubbed all my Arsenals down with alcohol before using Froglube,no problems at all.
View Quote


Don't do this. It will smear the finish.

I'm thinking of having my own Arsenal re-coated in a more durable finish down the line myself.
Link Posted: 3/25/2014 7:49:49 PM EST
I love my Arsenal SAM7R. Albeit, the finish is as tough as wet toilet paper. Just clean the gas system... Pack the bcg/rails with sticky grease and keep throwing ball down range.
Link Posted: 3/28/2014 1:43:47 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Stahlgewehr762:
I wouldn't bother fiddling around with the Arsenal paint anymore. To do so is probably just going to annoy you, as well as waste your time. The ideal process would be to chemically strip the rifle, bead blast it entirely, parkerize it, then apply the spray-on finish of your choice. If you don't want to send out your rifle for refinishing right away, just degrease it and spray on some black Appliance Epoxy paint. Even that would be more durable than the Arsenal paint, and would be easy to touch up.
View Quote


Any thoughts on just leaving it as bare parkerized, with much of the "paint" stripped off?
Link Posted: 3/28/2014 2:35:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/28/2014 2:43:49 PM EST by dfariswheel]
Parkerizing is an excellent gun finish as long as you keep it soaked with a rust preventing lube.

US firearms have been being parkerized since WWI and stand up very well.
However, it only works if you apply a rust preventing lube so it can soak into the parkerized coating and establish a barrier to moisture.

It may look a little ratty with patches of missing paint, but as long as you keep a thin coat of lube on it, it'll be good to go.

For better protection and just appearance, you may want to coat it at some point.
Until you decide what you want, you can leave it as-is with a thin coat of a good rust preventing lube like CLP Breakfree, or you can apply a simple paint finish.
Many people have just bought a can of hardware store Krylon paint and sprayed it on the outside metal.
All you need to do with this is use something to degrease the metal before spraying so the paint will adhere.
Since even alcohol seems to strip the paint, you can go ahead and use a solvent to strip it, or just use a liquid soap cleaner to degrease the metal.
Most any kitchen spray cleaner will do a good job, then after rinsing and drying with a hair dryer, just spray on a coat of paint.

After the paint fully hardens and cures, wipe it down with CLP.
Most paints are easily removed when you decide to go with a better firearms coating.
Link Posted: 3/30/2014 12:15:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/30/2014 12:51:43 AM EST by Stahlgewehr762]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
Parkerizing is an excellent gun finish as long as you keep it soaked with a rust preventing lube...
<SNIP>
...Most paints are easily removed when you decide to go with a better firearms coating.
View Quote


+1, That was a great answer.
Link Posted: 4/13/2014 10:02:04 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dubagel:
I had the same thing happen to my arsenal SLR105. I had it duracoated for about $85. Came out great.
View Quote

Where ?
Please share.
Link Posted: 4/26/2014 6:37:33 AM EST
Somewhere here in the Atlanta area. Don't remember the name of the place. I'll see if I can find my invoice with the info.
Link Posted: 5/8/2014 7:51:59 PM EST
Send it to AKusa (aka Chris Butler). His finish can't be removed with any known substance, including MEK. I have it on 2 of the Arsenals he put folders on.
Link Posted: 5/9/2014 2:16:29 AM EST
I'm not sure why anybody would use rubbing alcohol on a firearm.
Link Posted: 5/12/2014 12:28:29 PM EST
MEK is nasty stuff. I work at a coil coating service and use it daily. As well with s-100, S-150, Buytol and ISO. MEK will clean lots of stuff!
Link Posted: 5/13/2014 2:33:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/13/2014 2:34:53 PM EST by 454-805]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sdrake100:
I'm not sure why anybody would use rubbing alcohol on a firearm.
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Initially, I was using some Break Free "Bore Blast" on the bore, and I noticed some weird-colored stuff running down the metal. Normal gun cleaning solvents weren't getting it off, so I tried rubbing alcohol. So sue me!

I have used rubbing alcohol to remove grease from firearms in the past. If you get grease on a surface that doesn't need it, the grease will likely just collect carbon, which, depending on where it is, can cause gumming. For example, the firing pin channel on Glocks needs to stay dry or else dirt will accumulate inside it, and possibly cause a malfunction. It's useful enough in cleaning guns that it shouldn't be ignored unless your gun has a crappy Arsenal-tier finish.
Link Posted: 5/13/2014 7:32:15 PM EST
WD40 is much better for removing grease without damaging the Arsenal/Russian/Bulgarian spec finish.
Link Posted: 9/8/2014 1:16:50 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By josepi:
MEK is nasty stuff. I work at a coil coating service and use it daily. As well with s-100, S-150, Buytol and ISO. MEK will clean lots of stuff!
View Quote

Uh, that's an understatement. It will (quite literally) KILL you - with enough exposure. Not to be trifled with, for sure.
Link Posted: 9/24/2014 4:46:41 PM EST
I stripped the paint off mine and refinished with duracoat. It took about a day but I don't have to worry about gun scrubber messing up the finish any more.
Link Posted: 9/30/2014 3:23:04 PM EST
After a little work on mine, I had to paint about half of it. I used semi-gloss caliper paint. Can't remember the brand, got it at O'Reily's. Had to bake it at 200 deg for an hour. So far, it has held up great. A little too shiny for my liking, but it will do until I can get it Cerakoted.
Link Posted: 10/1/2014 7:57:12 PM EST
They are painted? I always thought Arsenal AKs were finished in black Crayon.
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