Author Topic: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please  (Read 4748 times)

Offline B||ade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« on: October 08, 2009, 11:22:15 AM »
I'm in the process of finishing the 80% lowers I got from Tactical and am trying to determine the best finishing for them. I have been calling around all day and there is not a single shop within a two hour drive that can hardcoat anodize the lowers. Is type II anodizing sufficient?
I've thought about home anodizing but I do not have the room available right now nor do I want to spend the money to set up for it.
What, if any other options do I have? I could powder coat them since I do have a complete PC setup but introduces other issues such as build yield which affects tolerances and I do not think that PC on the lower is really viable.

I have been reading about folks using Dura Coat but I am totally unfamiliar with it.

From what I have read once the lowers are complete they can not be shipped anywhere since they are then considered firearms.True?

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.


Offline goober

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1622
    • goober on heatware
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 11:40:17 AM »
Type II ano is sufficient for most uses (but III is better of course). It will scratch a bit easier but is still pretty tough and will protect much better than nothing at all.
Duracoat or Norrell's Moly Resin are decent spray-on & bake alternatives (I prefer the Moly).
There are quite a few threads here regarding the legalities and considerations of having a commercial shop do your ano; basically you are correct, in general the finisher has to have an FFL and all laws regarding transfer of possession of a firearm apply to your completed lower receiver (since it is a firearm).
heatware username: goober

Offline B||ade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 11:50:25 AM »
thanks Goober,
I guess what you are saying is that if it;s not possible to get the lowers anadized then the moly resin would be a suitable (although imperfect) alternative.
Since I have complete painting and baking equipment this would not be difficult to perform.

Offline JimM44

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 01:23:43 PM »
I have used the AlumaHyde on 7 rifles and while it does a nice job it does make the item have a thicker coating on the surface.

I have also done a lot more of the 1200 degree BBQ paint and like it much better, it doesn't look great after it's sprayed on but once you bake it at 350 degrees for an hour it looks very nice.  It will scratch and doesn't give you the harder surface like anadozing will.

I haven't done this yet, I'm in the final process with my 80% lower, I am going to go with the 1200 degree paint and then use KNS anti-rotation pins to give me the protection from wear on the lower that I would get with anadozing.

These guys can correct me but I really think the trigger and hammer pins or the only wear area that benefits from the anadozing, of course the anadozing gives you overall scratch and cleaning protection for your lower.

Offline NH-Moose

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 05:25:59 PM »
Just curious, why not send them to US Anodizing? They only require some unique marking as far as I know, and I don't think that means a serial number. I was thinking of just making up a fictitious name and SN and mill/engraving it in before sending them, off.

Offline B||ade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 08:26:02 PM »
Just curious, why not send them to US Anodizing? They only require some unique marking as far as I know, and I don't think that means a serial number. I was thinking of just making up a fictitious name and SN and mill/engraving it in before sending them, off.

I've actually sent them an email asking for details on sending them a completed 80%. If I can legally send them and have them returned to me then I will most likely do that.

Offline FUBob

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 995
    • FirearmFiles
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 08:53:16 PM »
i don't see any reason why you couldnt send it to us anodizing, they don't list any states that there are issues w/ & they are an ffl holders

Quote
Can I send my rifle or gun to you, or does it have to go through my dealer?

Your rifle or gun can be sent directly to us for finishing. We are a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer. You can legally ship your firearm or receiver directly to us and we will also ship it directly to you. The same rule applies to NFA firearms. Just attach a copy your existing BATF Form with your package.

http://www.usanodizing.com/faq.htm
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 08:56:10 PM by FUBob »

Offline B||ade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2009, 01:25:07 PM »
Finally heard back from Victor at US anodizing and this is his response. Sort of contradicts what is in their FAQ:

Hi John,

Since you live in NY (Not sure on the law there regarding your request, a pre-ban state), we will have to ship any completed receiver to an FFL holder.  If you provide us with an FFL copy, we will ship the completed receivers to them!  Other wise we cannot service your receivers.

Thanks,
Victor

So this is a no go for a "sterile" firearm. Looks like the finish will either be BBq paint or duracoat until I decide if I want to try my hand at home anodizing.

Offline goober

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1622
    • goober on heatware
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2009, 01:41:06 PM »
Finally heard back from Victor at US anodizing and this is his response. Sort of contradicts what is in their FAQ:

Hi John,

Since you live in NY (Not sure on the law there regarding your request, a pre-ban state), we will have to ship any completed receiver to an FFL holder.  If you provide us with an FFL copy, we will ship the completed receivers to them!  Other wise we cannot service your receivers.

Thanks,
Victor

So this is a no go for a "sterile" firearm. Looks like the finish will either be BBq paint or duracoat until I decide if I want to try my hand at home anodizing.

Bummer. Hadn't heard they have special rules for NY... Hope the don't for CA, I planned to use them at some point.
Type II ano @ home is not all that hard... There is some setup cost, and i know you just spent a lot of $$ on your mill, but its something to think about.
For my own stuff i often do Type II & then Norell's Moly Resin on top of that. Works great.
heatware username: goober

Offline dixenormas

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2009, 01:57:30 PM »
Hi, I usually just lurk and this is my first post here, But I just received my personally finished Lower back from US Anodizing and as you can see, I too live in NY state. Boxed it up, included a check for payment, prepurchased postage and insurance and it took less then two weeks to get it back. No problems what so ever.

Offline B||ade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2009, 04:38:54 PM »
Very interesting Dixie, Can you provide any more details? Is the lower a finished lower? Was it an 80% you finished or a 100% you bought?.
What part of NY are you in?

Offline dixenormas

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2009, 05:07:08 PM »
It was an 80% I bought from TM that I finished using the CNC fixture. followed the tutorial on the site and then had a friend who had a cnc mill, do the etching on the side. As far as where I live, I live about a 20 min drive from Corning NY, directly south of Rochester, just north of the Pa border.

Offline B||ade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2009, 05:12:43 PM »
Finally heard back from Victor at US anodizing and this is his response. Sort of contradicts what is in their FAQ:

Hi John,

Since you live in NY (Not sure on the law there regarding your request, a pre-ban state), we will have to ship any completed receiver to an FFL holder.  If you provide us with an FFL copy, we will ship the completed receivers to them!  Other wise we cannot service your receivers.

Thanks,
Victor

So this is a no go for a "sterile" firearm. Looks like the finish will either be BBq paint or duracoat until I decide if I want to try my hand at home anodizing.

Bummer. Hadn't heard they have special rules for NY... Hope the don't for CA, I planned to use them at some point.
Type II ano @ home is not all that hard... There is some setup cost, and i know you just spent a lot of $$ on your mill, but its something to think about.
For my own stuff i often do Type II & then Norell's Moly Resin on top of that. Works great.

Goober,
As far as anodizing goes I have four possible power sources, I just need to check the stats on them and determine if they could work.
What I have is a Battery charger that has 4 settings, 2 amp, 10, 40 and start, a 12 volt radio shack power supply, an American Beauty resistive soldering power supply and the power supply from my feather burner. One of them may work. Other then that the chemicals and a heater should not be too expensive. I need to give this some thought.

Offline B||ade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2009, 05:14:23 PM »
It was an 80% I bought from TM that I finished using the CNC fixture. followed the tutorial on the site and then had a friend who had a cnc mill, do the etching on the side. As far as where I live, I live about a 20 min drive from Corning NY, directly south of Rochester, just north of the Pa border.

Ok, I guess I will drop Victor another email and ask what gives? I'm in Orange County.

Offline StarDog

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2009, 05:29:00 PM »
I spoke with one of the guys at Lauer Custom Weaponry at the KCR MGS 2 weeks ago on this subject. 

His "ideal" solution as relayed to me was hard (type 3 Mil Spec) anodizing and then duracoating would be best.  Knowing what I know about anodizing, that sounds suspiciously like Duracoat is a pretty paint, but not particularly enduring or imbuing of additional strength.
  *That last line is my opinion based on what I was told, and is subject to possibly failing under reality.

I have also seen the spray and bake options, and am thinking that is what I am going to use.  I may Duracoat on top of that for a precise color.

Offline lifeofahero

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2009, 03:18:04 PM »
Well I've been following this thread and had contacted US Anodizing as well.  I wanted my lower done in Type III Daniel Defense FDE so I asked what the total cost and requirements would be.  I quoted $30 for new lower in the white, and shipping check list from their site.  Also asked if a serial # was required.  Response was:

Quote
Hi Dave,

The information you have looks to be correct, however for FDE color the cost will be $45.00 plus shipping.  We prefer to have the receiver marked with a number or name, in order to identify it while in our shop.  For marking requirements please contact your local ATF office.

Thanks,
Victor

I decided to mark the area where the grip mounts, that way when a grip is connected the marking will not be visible.  I used a letter/number punch set to mark "SER." followed by a 4 number serial. 

I'll post when I get the lower back and btw I live in CA so I'm hoping this will all go smoothly. 

Offline goober

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1622
    • goober on heatware
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2009, 03:50:19 PM »
cool thx for the report, let us know how it comes out (good to know also that FDE and potentially other colors are options for Type III).
heatware username: goober

Offline B||ade

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2009, 07:09:49 PM »
I got another response from Victor as US Anodizing;

Quote
Hi John,

Not aware of that person or receiver, we anodize hundreds of receivers at any given month. If the receiver was properly marked per ATF manufacturing requirements, and then sent to us as for re-finishing. It would have been serviced, properly logged, and send back to the sender. 

Thanks,
Victor

If I am reading correctly then as long as it is marked to BATF specs they can do it. But, and this is the caveat... it gets logged. I surmise that once it is logged you no longer have a "sterile" firearm since there is now a paper trail.
Home anodizing is starting to look better and better.

Offline lifeofahero

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2009, 07:07:02 PM »
Well I got the lower back on Monday.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out, aside from the Daniel Defense FDE anodizing looking a bit dark, the transaction went smoothly.  As for the color, I wanted unique and it's definitely that... next time I'll stick to the evil black though.  Follow the instructions stated on their website and you'll be good to go.  I plan on doing a few more lowers in the future and will not hesitate to send them to US Anodizing.  Turn around was a little over two weeks!  I didn't include the right kind of return shipping label (they always do signature required and I didn't pay extra for that) and they sent it back anyways, just left me an email asking for a refund of the extra shipping charge (2.35, no big deal).

Here's a quick cell pic:


Offline j_blankenship

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 223
Re: Finishing dilema on 80% lowers, help please
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2009, 07:31:22 PM »
What about leaving a "tag" on the lower that can be removed after the anodizing. This could be done in the magwell area if it is a 0% lower, or possibly in the FCG area if it is an 80%er. Maybe also in the buffer tube hole.

I've got a 0% lower in the works now that I have drafted to leave a tab on the lower grip mount area, which should be removed when I finish the threaded hole.