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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 1/4/2002 10:41:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/4/2002 10:47:45 PM EST by Luckystiff]

Did the SF boys just get some spray paint or are they having their M4's refinished?

Still trying to figure out this photo thing!! After 5 or 6 edits I should have it.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 11:01:52 PM EST
Bowflage works just fine. It's an easy DIY job. It comes off just as easy to adapt to your surroundings.

Link Posted: 1/4/2002 11:52:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/4/2002 11:53:35 PM EST by Stottman]
Bowflage is the most common thing, as it is easier to get off. While the unit doesn't care, when the weapons get turned in to a depot or something the weapon cannot be painted like that. Here is a pic of 2 Navy M4a1s

Link Posted: 1/5/2002 12:08:37 AM EST
I learn something new every time I come here.
Thanks guys.
Link Posted: 1/5/2002 1:17:33 AM EST
My M4s, one is bow flaged.

PP out

Link Posted: 1/5/2002 1:35:19 AM EST
What is bowflage? Is it a spray on application or some kind of multi colored adhesive tape or what?
Link Posted: 1/5/2002 7:52:31 AM EST
removable spray paint.
Link Posted: 1/5/2002 8:41:48 AM EST
i keep reading about this stuff and it sounds really cool but how do you remove it? is it hard to get out of plastic like the handguards or the checkering on the pistol grip? maybe i'll just do it on my 22 mag and see how it looks before i mess up my m4.
Link Posted: 1/5/2002 1:44:49 PM EST
Is it affected by Gunscrubber?
Link Posted: 1/5/2002 3:39:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By PincoPalla:
My M4s, one is bow flaged.

PP out

PP is that a surefire 8X light on the lower pic? Where did you find the pressure switch for it? I like the set up.
Link Posted: 1/5/2002 3:41:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By gregw45:
Bowflage works just fine. It's an easy DIY job. It comes off just as easy to adapt to your surroundings.

IS that an A1 upper on the M4?
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 1:06:34 AM EST
Okay Bowflage experts. Kick down some do's and don't and some of those tricks of the trade that make life just that much easier.
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 2:19:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By LE6920:
PP is that a surefire 8X light on the lower pic? Where did you find the pressure switch for it? I like the set up.

You mean the flash light hanged on the bowflaged M4 ?
It's a 6P with blue filter, I got the cable from Wes Grant / MSTN,a very reliable and serious Surefire supplier.
PP out
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 2:23:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By inferno715:
......but how do you remove it?.......

You remove it with the BOWFLAGE spray remover.

PP out
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 2:21:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By LE6920:
IS that an A1 upper on the M4?

It's an M16 upper. Got it from SARCO a while back. Small hole pivot pin unlike SP1 uppers.

Bowflage is sold in small spray cans that look like any other cammo paint. Be sure you're buying the removable brand! It comes in about 4 or 5 different colors (the caps are color coded). Like PincoPalla pointed out, a special remover is sold (clear cap) which just recombines with the dried paint and runs off.

Depending on how much elbow grease you're willing to put into removing the paint; one can of remover will do one or two rifles.

Gunscrubber will most likely remove it. Even CLP seems to make the paint a little "gummy". It comes off the furniture no problem. There is a hazy residue left after everything dries, but a little CLP takes care of that.
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 5:42:47 PM EST
I'd love to try my hand at "urban camoing" one of mine - where's the best place to acquire this stuff?
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 8:27:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/7/2002 8:28:27 PM EST by TacCar]
How resistant to water(rain/partial immersion) is bowflage? How resistant to wear(normal handeling)is it?
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 2:28:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By spider:
I'd love to try my hand at "urban camoing" one of mine - where's the best place to acquire this stuff?





Originally Posted By TacCar:
How resistant to water(rain/partial immersion) is bowflage? How resistant to wear(normal handeling)is it?

I kept the above AR cammied for over a year and wear only happened on raised edges or sharp corners that routinely came in contact with other things (handguards & telestock mainly). It in no way comes close to removing enough paint to make the cammo ineffective.

Come to think about it, I never got the rifle wet. But, considering how volitale the remover is, I'd bet that water isn't going to do anything to it. I can report that it's not affected by heat. The only time I lost some paint was when I clamped the barrel in a vise (aluminum blocks) to remove / swap flash hiders. Only a few dime-sized bare spots were created. Not bad at all!
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 2:36:43 PM EST
Here are my tips and tricks for Bow-Flaging. My experience was with an AR-15 flat-top carbine.

First some items of note:

Unless you’ve done this before, buy either (a) two bowflage kits, or (b) extra cans of the paint color you plan on using most.
Due to its matte appearance bowflage sometimes looks dry before it is. Let it dry for a long time before touching or moving it or you’ll be doing it over.
The Spray-Away remover works, but only use it outside or in an extremely well ventilated area.

For discussion purposes I am assuming the desired outcome is a “woodland” type pattern. I used the “Brown” Kit consisting of Brown, Tan, OD and Black paint. A “Green” Kit is also available consisting of Leaf Green, Forest Green, OD, and Black (I think). In the future I might substitute the Leaf or Forest Green from the Green Kit for the OD included in the Brown Kit when attempting a “woodland” type pattern.

Link Posted: 1/8/2002 2:37:37 PM EST
(Continued from above)

Now on technique, this is what I found to work quite well:

Start by putting masking tape over the front sight post, rear sight aperture, and sling swivels (where they contact the sling). If you have a flat top, do not paint the rail where you plan on mounting optics. I left my ACOG with ARMS mount on the weapon when painting, but rubber-banded a bag over the scope itself, so I only painted the outside of mount and the exposed parts of the rail – not any of the contact surfaces. Some people (military and others) paint their entire optic. If you desire to do so, mask the obvious parts (lenses, etc).

Once you have the weapon masked, lay it on its side and paint it in its entirety in a light color (in this case tan). Let it dry completely and then flip it and paint the other side. Make sure to get the fronts and backs of various parts (pistol grip, front of lower receiver, front sight housing, etc).

Something I discovered is that it is helpful to “dirty up” the light colored base before moving onto the darker colors by misting it with either black or OD so it won’t be such a bright contrast as to look unnatural. Do this by holding the can far away and moving it quickly back and forth over the weapon. You are trying for a very light mist.

To add the pattern I used pieces of cardboard (about the thickness of that used in a six-pack of beer bottles) torn jaggedly into wide strips as a paint shield. Arrange these one or two at a time in somewhat alternating diagonals and add the darker colors by painting in between the two strips. Make sure to leave enough light space to break up the outline. Alternate spots of dark Green running into Brown and vice versa, with light spots left shielded. Mist a little black here and there for a shadow effect (go very easy on the black). For the barrel in particular leave several spots 2-2 1/2 inches wide in the lighter colors to break up the straight line. Leave a portion of the weapon’s most distinctive parts in a lighter color (the pistol grip, magazine, rear sight knob, front sight post) to break up the outline. Avoid lines that are perpendicular to the weapon. Avoid straight lines (in favor of jagged ones). Go easy with the dark paint. It is easy to stand back, assess and add more dark paint. It is harder to lighten the color once darkened without adding either a thick layer or starting over.

Lastly, don’t hunch over the weapon too long while painting, those fumes are harsh.

Link Posted: 1/8/2002 2:38:32 PM EST
FYI - For Halloween I painted a cheap toy shotgun as part of my costume. I did it in a “desert” pattern in about 15 minutes. I started with a Tan base which I didn’t “dirty up” and I simply put some wide, jagged, diagonal strips of Brown on it. It looked very good and was much easier than a “woodland” pattern.

I hope this helps. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email.

Best regards,


P.S. The following was written by someone else (posted in a chat room) it is useful, so I am including it.

Remember, when camo'ing a weapon, the object should be pattern disruptment, and not necessarily trying to mimic foliage. In other words if one tries to make the camo pattern look like leaves for instance, because of the shape of the weapon, from ten meters on the weapon will look like - a weapon. The camo pattern "blends" into a solid color of whatever the dominant color happens to be. We (USMC - 2nd Force Recon) did allot of testing in this regard and found that grey, brown and green (it didn't really matter the shades of color that much as long as the colors contrasted each other) painted in an almost striped arrangement (going against the axis of the bore) broke the "outline" of the weapon and it would be virtually invisible past 10 meters. The best results were those where the "stripes" were about 4 - 6 inches wide. The results were the same in almost any environment. We got this idea from a SWAT magazine article written by Chuck Taylor over ten years ago. If anyone wants, I will try and find out the issue (if I had a scanner I would post the article). The "ghillie" material on the weapon works OK, just be prepared for it to catch and snag on EVERYTHING. We found that paint worked the best and lasted the longest and didn't snag/catch on stuff, and one NEVER had to wonder if ones weapon would fail as a result of the burlap shifting/moving. We used the paint sold to bow hunters that is not permanent. It comes off with the supplied paint remover. (Uncle Sam hates his stuff being permanently altered) And it was a snap to "touch up". Hope this helps.

Link Posted: 1/8/2002 3:05:48 PM EST

Did you have to degrease or clean your gun is a special way befor painting?
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 3:54:01 PM EST

Not really. If there were parts that were extra "greasy" I used an alcohol wipe on them, but nothing heavy duty.

Over time, if you aren't careful, the lube and solvents used for maintenance and cleaning will "eat" the Bow-Flage, but you can easily touch it up.

Link Posted: 1/9/2002 2:09:19 AM EST
Thanks for some very helpful tips guys. I'm still working on my next M4ergery, and was considering ways to camo the finish. I do remember bowflage being discussed here before, but that was awhile ago and I'd nearly forgot about it. It looks like I'll be going the bowfage route if I can find a local supplier. The fact that it can be removed but is otherwise fairly robust seems ideal to me.
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 8:09:02 AM EST
I bought my last bowflage kit at GIJoes. SportMart and Sports Authority have also carried it from time to time.

Link Posted: 1/9/2002 10:32:12 AM EST
Thanks, Greg!
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