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Posted: 2/27/2006 2:46:25 AM EDT
Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for refinishing the receiver on a SAR1? Obviously they have a crappy parkarizied finish that scratches off really easily. I'm looking to do it at home and on a budget. There are plenty of blueing products out there, which work/don't work?

Thanks
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 3:15:48 AM EDT
Take a look at the various spray on then bake on finishes like Gun Kote, etc. (not bluing). Ive done a lot of magazines with them and with a little practice and good surface prep, they are easy to use and produce a nice finish.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 5:57:31 AM EDT
Try some Duplicolor 1200 deg ceramic engine paint.

Degrease the rifle well with brake cleaner. Couple light coats, then cook in your oven at about 300deg for a couple hours. Looks great and is pretty tough.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 7:44:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 7:54:21 AM EDT
i have used AlumaHyde II from Brownells with great results. Just requires baking the parts at a low temp for a short period of time, spraying on the finish and then baking them again for a short period of time. No sweat.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 9:39:08 AM EDT
Have some experience with Duracoat - very pleased with the results if you dont mind the airbrushing route.

Will be doing a S&W Chiefs Special in Grey Wolf soon
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 10:48:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2006 10:51:06 AM EDT by Ne1]
You just got it and you already want to refinish it? Just go shoot it and worry about it later..
You don't want to blue an SAR-1 because you'll have to sand blast the original finish off and an amatuer bluing job will look like crap. You will regret doing it. Although it looks crappy, the parkerized finish will protect against rust much better than a blued finish. The easiest thing to do is paint over the original finish. People have used barbeque paint, engine paint, duracoat, gunkoat, mollyresin, etc. with good results. You get what you pay for though, so if use cheapo engine paint or BBQ paint, the finish won't be very durable and many types of solvents will remove it. I've used mollyresin to refinish many guns, including my SARs and some AR-15s and they came out great. The finish is very durable as well. I'll post pics of an SAR-2 I just did a couple weeks ago when I get a chance.


Originally Posted By Lloyd-Jr:
www.coloradoshooting.org/ar_refinishing.htm



This is the guide I used to familiarize myself with the mollyresin process. It's easy and fairly cheap for the results you get.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 3:30:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2006 3:34:31 PM EDT by feraldan]
How much Mollyresin would I need to do one SAR1? Is 8oz. enough?

Ne1, I go all out! I already stripped, sanded and refinished the stock/handgrips in a nice light walnut. I plan to de-blue and chrome the action and refinish the outside as well.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 5:20:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By feraldan:
How much Mollyresin would I need to do one SAR1? Is 8oz. enough?

Ne1, I go all out! I already stripped, sanded and refinished the stock/handgrips in a nice light walnut. I plan to de-blue and chrome the action and refinish the outside as well.



Mollyresin goes a long way. You could refinish about 5-6 full length rifles/shotguns with the 8oz bottle and still have a little left over for mags, etc. If you do go the mollyresin route or other airbrush finish, try to avoid using a can of compressed air. The pressure is very inconsistent and the can freezes after a few minutes and you have to wait 20 minutes for it to come back. Freezing is much worse if you are working in cold weather. Talk about a PITA! You don't need an expensive compressor. You can rig any type of inflator compressor to work with an airbrush. The same kind you use to inflate tires, basketballs, rafts, etc. I'll take some pics of how I rigged my inflator compressor if you would like.

Also, if you want the polished chrome bolt carrier look, use some birchwood casey blue remover or similar on it and neverdull to polish it. If the bolt carrier has a lot of machining marks on it, which I'm sure it does, use a very fine knife sharpening stone and fine sand paper to smooth it out, using long even strokes. It comes out great. I wouldn't recommend using a dremel unless you have extremely fine grinding attachments and you are careful and meticulous. Using the sharpening stone is alot safer.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 3:24:34 AM EDT
Would you coat the inside of the gun as well? The bolt, action, hammer, trigger set? Will this impede function?
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 3:52:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By feraldan:
Would you coat the inside of the gun as well? The bolt, action, hammer, trigger set? Will this impede function?



You could. I did the inside of the receivers after I took out the trigger group parts. I didn't refinish the FCG though because I use tapco triggers and they have a nice finish on them but you might want to do the yours, since it's the century FCG. Just take it out first for an even finish. Might as well dremel off the rear fin of the disconnector while you're at it and eliminate the trigger slap. You're better off just replacing it with the tapco FCG set though because even after a lot of work, the Century trigger is still a creepy, gritty POS. You can get them at http://dpharms.com for cheaper than anywhere else. I also didn't do the bolt carriers because they are too smooth to hold a new finish and you would have to sand blast them before hand. Also, my SAR-1 bolt carriers have the polished chrome look and my SAR-2 bolt carrier had a good finish and didn't need it. Not to mention I don't have a sandblaster. You wouldn't want to do the bolt though because it doesn't need it. The finish on it is fine, you don't see it and sand blasting the bolt is NOT a good idea because it could impede function. Also, don't do the inside of the chamber. Stuff some tinfoil in the chamber and the end of the barrel to block them. I'm gonna post pics of my newly refinished SAR-2 in a few minutes as soon as my digi camera charges.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 5:49:40 PM EDT

Might as well dremel off the rear fin of the disconnector while you're at it and eliminate the trigger slap.


One step ahead of you. That was one of the first things I did.

I plan to go with the chrome look on the bolt.

I'd like to see those pics when you get a chance.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 7:29:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 8:14:14 PM EDT by Ne1]
Refinished 2003 SAR-2 in Mollyresin SOCOM Flat Black. Everything was refinished except the cleaning rod, trigger, rear sight elevation leaf and bolt carrier. I don't have any good before pics but it was the typical Romy gray crappy finish with scuffs and scratches.
Note: the shiny spots are oil reflecting from the flash and the white specs is just lint from a rag.








2003 Romanian SAR-2/5.45x39 with K-VAR US made Warsaw length black furniture, Tapco G2 FCG, Bulgarian circle 10 black AK-74 mag, Romanian 22mm threaded Front Sight Block(bayonet lug was grinded off to please the liberals) and real, very hard to find Romanian 22mm AK-74 compensator. This rifle easily shoots 2-2.5 MOA using crappy Wolf ammo and the crappy AK iron sights with ZERO felt recoil. I'd put money on it I can shave that down to 1.5 MOA using quality 7N6 russian milspec ammo, a PSOP scope/Kobra and bench rest. Unbelievable AK accuracy! I can literally dump a full mag as fast as I can pull the trigger and hit my target every time at 100 yards with a very impressive group. This is by far my favorite AK.


Link Posted: 3/1/2006 12:10:28 AM EDT

This rifle easily shoots 2-2.5 MOA using crappy Wolf ammo and the crappy AK iron sights with ZERO felt recoil.


Now that's what I call an EVIL black rifle! Nice job!
Did you disassemble it much or just spray and bake as is?

The cure for crappy AK iron sights!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 2:47:16 AM EDT
You got brown stains on your nice white carpet!

Its a very nice gun, but the pictures are too dark. Can't make out the details of the rifle.

Anyway, I'm curious about Lloyd's question, did you strip it down or did you spray and bake?
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 9:52:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By feraldan:
You got brown stains on your nice white carpet!

Its a very nice gun, but the pictures are too dark. Can't make out the details of the rifle.

Anyway, I'm curious about Lloyd's question, did you strip it down or did you spray and bake?



Thanks guys. That's the color of the carpet..It's not stained lol. The pics are not too dark, your monitor is. Try adjusting it. I can see all the detail on my screen. I'm not a professional photagrapher but that's the best I can do without natural sunlight. My neighbors would freak out if they saw me walking around with such an evil AK. I used a $600 6 megapixel camera in a well lit room against a white towel. Can't get any better detail than that.

I pretty much dissasemble the entire gun but you don't have to. I did it for an even, professional looking finish. At a minimum, you should take off the furniture, selector lever, receiver cover and gas tube. Here is what I did:

Took off:
all of the furniture
gas tube
selector lever
trigger, hammer, disconnector and springs
muzzle compensator
bolt carrier(wasn't refinished)
top cover
cleaning rod(wasn't refinished)

Basically, the only thing I didn't take off was the rear sight elevation leaf because it's a PITA. I just lifted it to a 90 degree angle, wrapped it in tinfoil and sprayed around it. I then sprayed all of the parts seperately as well as the inside of the receiver. The hardest part of refinishing is thoroughly cleaning the gun inside and out before degreasing it with brake cleaner. The actual spraying only takes about 15 minutes. I let it sit for about 30 minutes afterwards and then I hang it in the oven with a cut up coat hanger for an hour at 300 degrees. Fast, fun and easy. The results are very professional.

I know about the mojo sight. I just don't like the idea of having to use an allen wrench everytime I adjust the elevation. I really want to try the Krebs Kustom peep sight because you can use the original elevation slide but it's kinda pricey and I haven't heard any feedback on it.
http://www.krebscustom.com/CustomParts.html


Link Posted: 3/1/2006 1:02:18 PM EDT
My monitor is a bit dark but it isn't that bad.

I've started gathering supplies for the arrival of my Mollyresin. The more you tell me about the process ahead of time (as you've obviously done this several times before) the better.

I had planned to strip the gun as far as is reasonable.

I've got:
- Carb. Cleaner
- Heavy-Duty Degreaser
- Chem. Resistant Latex Gloves
- Airbrush
- Compressor
- Coat Hangers
- Plastic Dropcloth
- Tin Foil
- Painters Tape

I'm not big on putting the wood in the oven at 300+ degrees.. especially with the Polyshade finish I put on there.

I've got a nice 3 day weekend to get this done, so I'm trying to get all set ahead of time.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 7:56:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By feraldan:
My monitor is a bit dark but it isn't that bad.

I've started gathering supplies for the arrival of my Mollyresin. The more you tell me about the process ahead of time (as you've obviously done this several times before) the better.

I had planned to strip the gun as far as is reasonable.

I've got:
- Carb. Cleaner
- Heavy-Duty Degreaser
- Chem. Resistant Latex Gloves
- Airbrush
- Compressor
- Coat Hangers
- Plastic Dropcloth
- Tin Foil
- Painters Tape

I'm not big on putting the wood in the oven at 300+ degrees.. especially with the Polyshade finish I put on there.

I've got a nice 3 day weekend to get this done, so I'm trying to get all set ahead of time.



Damn, you don't mess around! Looks like you have everything you need. I'm not sure what you mean by heavy duty degreaser but you use the carb cleaner to degrease. I use non-chlorinated brake cleaner to degrease because it comes in a bigger can for less money but it's basically the same thing as carb cleaner. You want something that will dry quick, so using a foamy type of engine degreaser is not a good idea. Clean the gun very well (scrub hard in every area) with a good gun cleaner (I use Break-free CLP on all of my guns) or solvent and then spray it down heavy with the carb cleaner. Use gloves when you're degreasing so you don't get oil from your skin onto the steel parts. Also, brake cleaner/carb cleaner will really hurt your skin and leave it chapped for over a week and cause it to crack and bleed. I learned that the hard way. It should only take a few minutes for the carb cleaner to dry and then it's time to paint it.

Follow the guide above and you should be fine. The one thing you don't have to do is use a hair dryer, etc. to warm up the parts. It's not necessary and it's a hassle. I refinished my SAR-2 in my garage in 35 degree weather without heating anything but the paint and it worked fine. Just make sure you put the bottle of mollyresin in hot water to warm it up before hand. While you're waiting for the paint to arrive, practice with your airbrush using water and a piece of cardboard. You want to adjust the airbrush nozzle so it sprays a fine mist and when you spray the card board it should only be slightly damp and should dry very quickly. Try spraying your arm with the water as well. It should only feel like cold air. If you are using an expensive compressor, the PSI should be set to 30-35 PSI. Try refinishing a magazine before you actually try it on the rifle. That will give you an idea of what you are doing. The mollyresin should dry within 1-3 seconds after a coat is sprayed, so don't be afraid to touch painted parts with your gloves when you're refinishing the gun. Just be delicate with it. You should do about 4 coats on the entire rifle and maybe even 5 in high stress areas.

Also, you don't need painters tape. There isn't anything you need to tape off. I recommend breaking down the entire rifle like I did and spraying the parts individually. Just use the tinfoil in the chamber, muzzle and wrapped around the rear sight elevation leaf(so you don't paint the white elevation numbers) after you lift it to a 90 degree angle. Plus you would have to take the tape off before you baked everything, where as you don't with the tinfoil. Not worth the hassle.

As for the wood and the grip, take it all off. Do you know how?

Read these forums to get tips from people who have refinished their guns:

http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=255393

http://www.black-rifles.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=477
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 3:28:05 AM EDT
I'm a step ahead of you. My project last night was to totally strip the rifle down to components. I gave the furniture another Polyshade coat while I was at it.

So you're saying don't preheat the parts to 100 degrees first? Just heat the resin? Isn't the point of heating the gun so that when you spray it, the solvents in the Molyresin burn off? Just preheating the resin would be a lot easier. I don't have a very big oven. I'll barely be able to get the receiver/barrel in there.

I got a lot of the stuff from work because I'm a mechanic. They buy us pretty much whatever we ask for, so I just so happened to need a lot of carb cleaner, degreaser and gloves.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 5:57:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ne1:
My neighbors would freak out if they saw me walking around with such an evil AK. I used a $600 6 megapixel camera in a well lit room against a white towel. Can't get any better detail than that.


Off topic...
Actually, using a white towel with an evil black gun introduces too much contrast into the picture- the reason the evil black is very evil and black and the towel is bright white and there are no grays. The light from your camera's flash reflects easily off the towel and not so much off the rifle, so the rifle appears darker and flatter than it is. Introduce as much light as you can. Also, if the flash is too harsh, put some scotch tape over it to act like a polarizing film, so the flash is more evenly distributed and muted. Test it a couple of times to see how much tape works best with your camera. Try using a colored towel, not too dark, that is a nice contrast to the evil-ness of the rifle. Blood red works well. Personally, I suggest a green or blue. I use my green cleaning mat when I take pics of my guns. I'll try to find an example.

Back on topic...
This thread has inspired me to get an AK so I can refinish her. I love projects like that as much as I enjoy shooting! I'm going to order a Romanian parts kit and a lower to save cash, then refinish the gun so I can truly say I built her all the way down to the finish!
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 8:50:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By feraldan:
So you're saying don't preheat the parts to 100 degrees first? Just heat the resin? Isn't the point of heating the gun so that when you spray it, the solvents in the Molyresin burn off? Just preheating the resin would be a lot easier. I don't have a very big oven. I'll barely be able to get the receiver/barrel in there.



You can preheat the parts but you don't have to. It's more of a PITA than it's worth, especially if you're working in cold weather. The difference is, the heated parts will dry about a half second faster. The first time I refinished a gun, I preheated the parts and it worked fine. Then I learned from experience and read that it's not necessary, so I stopped doing it. The results are exactly the same. As I said, when I did my SAR-2, the temp in my garage was around 35 degrees and the finish still came out great. Just wait about 5-10 seconds in between coats.

Getting an AK to fit in the oven is not that easy. Take all of the racks out and hang it up with the coat hangers diagonally. If you have to do a rifle that isn't an easy fit, don't preheat the oven because you really have to get in there to hang it up and you'll burn yourself. Always hang it up before you refinish it, so you know what to do when it's time. The less time it takes to hang it up, the better because if you're messing around trying to hang it up, you will end up scratching the new finish with the coat hangers. Just hang it up in a cold oven, then set the temp at 300 degrees(or whatever temp is takes YOUR oven to reach 300) degrees and let it bake for about an hour and a half or so. You'll have to compensate for the preheating time. Also, Mollyresin has to cure at at least 285 degrees I believe. It doesn't have to be exactly 300 degrees but you want to make sure the temp is at least 300 degrees to be safe. It can be a little more. I usually set the temp at about 315. Buy an oven thermometer and experiment with the settings, so all you have to do is press the bake button without worry about the temperature settings. Just because you set it to 300 degrees, doesn't mean your oven will reach that temp. Some ovens can be off as much as 50 degrees. Enough to ruin your project.

Also, keep in mind that there is probably a lot of hidden cosmolene in your new AK. To be safe, I recommend baking the gun before you refinish it to get all of the cosmo out for about an hour at 350 degrees.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 8:57:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 9:15:54 AM EDT by Ne1]

Originally Posted By thirsty:

Originally Posted By Ne1:
My neighbors would freak out if they saw me walking around with such an evil AK. I used a $600 6 megapixel camera in a well lit room against a white towel. Can't get any better detail than that.


Off topic...
Actually, using a white towel with an evil black gun introduces too much contrast into the picture- the reason the evil black is very evil and black and the towel is bright white and there are no grays. The light from your camera's flash reflects easily off the towel and not so much off the rifle, so the rifle appears darker and flatter than it is. Introduce as much light as you can. Also, if the flash is too harsh, put some scotch tape over it to act like a polarizing film, so the flash is more evenly distributed and muted. Test it a couple of times to see how much tape works best with your camera. Try using a colored towel, not too dark, that is a nice contrast to the evil-ness of the rifle. Blood red works well. Personally, I suggest a green or blue. I use my green cleaning mat when I take pics of my guns. I'll try to find an example.

Back on topic...
This thread has inspired me to get an AK so I can refinish her. I love projects like that as much as I enjoy shooting! I'm going to order a Romanian parts kit and a lower to save cash, then refinish the gun so I can truly say I built her all the way down to the finish!



Can you see the detail on your screen? I see everything fine on mine but I also have an LCD screen. If it's too dark for everyone to see the detail, I'll try it against a green or blue towel. Thanks for the tips.

Keep in mind AKs are not easy to build, especially compared to AR-15s. You won't end up saving any money either because you'll have to buy special tools, jigs, and a good press, PLUS the cost of the refinish supplies. Unless you already have the tools or you know what you are doing, I wouldn't recommend building an AK. Buying a complete AK is a lot easier and cheaper. You'll save yourself a lot of time and money.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 9:29:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ne1:
Can you see the detail on your screen? I see everything fine on mine but I also have an LCD screen. If it's too dark for everyone to see the detail, I'll try it against a green or blue towel. Thanks for the tips.

Keep in mind AKs are not easy to build, especially compared to AR-15s. You won't end up saving any money either because you'll have to buy special tools, jigs, and a good press, PLUS the cost of the refinish supplies. Unless you already have the tools or you know what you are doing, I wouldn't recommend building an AK. Buying a complete AK is a lot easier and cheaper. You'll save yourself a lot of time and money.


Yeah, I can see it on my laptop! Must be with my CRT monitor.

Thanks for the advice. I guess I thought AK = simple everything. I'll get a Romanian surplus instead, and study it thoroughly. Building an AK and a AR is something I'd really like to learn how to do eventually.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 10:41:19 AM EDT
Yeah, you wouldn't want to even attempt an AK build until you've owned a couple and know the ins and outs of AKs. Also, having an AK on hand for comparison (that was professionally built) will help you out a lot more than looking at pictures on the Internet. On the other hand, AR-15s are easy to build. It's more of an assembly than building. Any noob can build one in a couple hours with the right tools.

The nice thing about Romy AKs is, they are project guns and you can really learn a lot working on them. Another thing about the SAR series that's high on the cool factor scale is they are the only real military AKs ever imported into this country for civilian use. That includes a real military receiver. Scroll up, look at the pic with the scope rail and notice the Y stamping under the rail. That Y stamping is the spot where the very evil auto sear hole is supposed to be drilled (don't even think about doing it though). You won't find that marking on any other imported civilian AK in the US. Every other AK ever imported into the US was built specifically for civilian sale. I know you're thinking, it's not a REAL military AK unless it's full auto. Not true! The Romanian military only issues full auto AKs to officers and higher ups. All of the grunts start out with semi-autos. So your SAR-1 or SAR-2 is no different than the rifles used by every day Romanian soldiers.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 2:07:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 4:43:25 PM EDT by feraldan]
I don't know Ne, the Romanian military isn't exactly a force to be feared. he
Which is why I'm enjoying fixing it up! Its a great project and I'm actually increasing the value of my AK by improving it with a nice mil.spec finish, stained furniture and aftermarket FCG. Aside from the FCG, the rest is fairly inexpensive. So far I've spent $23 on the Molyresin and $5 on the Nevr-Dull.

How do you warm up the Molyresin? Boil water and put the container inside?

One more question, why didn't you coat your cleaning rod?
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 4:58:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 5:03:49 PM EDT by Ne1]

Originally Posted By feraldan:
I don't know Ne, the Romanian military isn't exactly a force to be feared.

Still, you can tell the rifle is military grade when you hold it. Everything about it screams 'crude but effective'.

Which is why I'm enjoying fixing it up! Its a great project and I'm actually increasing the value of my AK by improving it with a nice mil.spec finish, stained furniture and aftermarket FCG. Aside from the FCG, the rest is fairly inexpensive. So far I've spent $23 on the Molyresin and $5 on the Nevr-Dull.

How do you warm up the Molyresin? Boil water and put the container inside?



I'm sure there are a lot of dead Iraqis that would disagree with you and you wouldn't say that if you saw pics from the Romanian revolution of 1989 or of Romanian troops in Iraq under Italian command fighting along side US forces. They were in Iraq since the beginning with close to 1000 troops, which is a relatively large number compared to most of the other "coalition" forces and for being such a small country. They are also a member of NATO and a future member of the European Union, so they certainly have some powerful allies. Not to mention, Romania was a significant part of the military back bone and one of the largest arms producers for the Soviet Union. The same aresenal factory that made your SAR-1, although impossible to estimate, probably produced hundreds of thousands of AK-47s and AK-74s for the Soviet Union. Also very high on the cool factor scale, IMO.

As for heating the mollyresin..Just fill a bucket with hot water from the tap. Putting the plastic bottle in boiling water will probably melt it. It doesn't have to be that hot, just as hot as your tap will go. Heating it up thins out the mollyresin, making it less clumpy and allows it to dry faster. Remember to shake it up well before you put it in the hot water and before you fill your airbrush.

ETA: I didn't do the cleaning rod because it would get scratched up anyway, especially with the AK-74 threaded FSB. It takes some force to get it in and rubs hard against the steel parts. I did it on my SAR-1s and it's held up pretty well. It doesn't take nearly as much force and rubbing to get the SAR-1 cleaning rod on. I would do it, if I were you. Might as well considering you will have a lot of mollyresin left over.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 8:38:55 PM EDT
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