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I remember about 7-years ago getting a 6.5 Grendel rifle built by Riflecraft using a CZ527 chassis. The job was a good one, but I got bored and bought a DIY camo kit and ended up with a digital MARPAT-style camo finish. I was chuffed with it, but later thought it looked a bit naff! I had always promised myself I’d get it sorted and the opportunity finally arrived with a visit to High Calibre Coatings and owner Mark Dunford. He’s an accredited Cerakote applier, which is a tough paint especially formulated for jobs like this. By this time, I had swapped the stock for a Boyds’ laminate thumbhole from Edgar Brothers Ltd. I like this style of furniture plus it looks good too! Mark had already done my old Remy 870 shotgun and I was pleased with the results, so turned the CZ over to him and said “impress me!”

Total effect

Mark opted for a total camo look, using five colours, something I had never considered. So, what’s involved? The rifle was fully stripped and all parts de-greased, and items like the muzzle and chamber masked off to stop getting the Cerakote inside. Then, it’s into a blasting cabinet and stripped back to bare metal with 100-120 grit compound. The laminate is rubbed down to provide a key for the paint, as the blaster might be too aggressive on what is a soft surface.

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As Mark said: “it’s all about the prep work” and even when handing the clean/stripped components, gloves have to be worn. Once cleaned, they are hung in the prep room and blasted with high pressure air to remove any excess grit. Then pre-heated, allowed to de-gas, then left to cool.

Bake off!

The base coat consisted of Flat Dark Earth, which was then ‘flashed off’ in the drying oven for 15-20 minutes. Then, the actual camo, which consisted of small irregular stripes of OD Green, Patriot Brown, Desert Verde and Black via free-hand air brush work. This included the moddy and the scope rings, once applied its back into the oven for a final ‘bake off’, then left to cool overnight. Then it’s just a case of removing the masking tape and reassembly. In truth, the longer you leave the finish before handling it, the more it cures and the tougher it becomes.

As I said, the camo effect looks good and is one of Mark’s signature patterns, but he can do whatever you want. Stupidly, I forgot to decide upon an optic, so the rifle looks a bit odd with a black scope in the rings but that will soon be sorted. The FDE look with highlights of black, brown and green is a subtle pattern but one that blends in well. I have to say, I had not considered a full camo finish, but I’m glad I let Mark have his head, as the result is both pleasing and subtle.


  • Cerakoting - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Cerakoting - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge


  • Price: £275 (complete rifle, moddy, scope and rings) any colours to suit customer
  • Contact: High Calibre Coatings, 07941 668265 mark@hccoatings.co.uk, www.hccoatings.co.uk, www.facebook.com/hccoatings/


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