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Old 04-04-2011, 05:33 AM
jbush

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Paint a scope?



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Anyone ever paint a scope to match their action or colored barrel? If so, what were the results, good or bad. I have a Boyd applejack stock for a 10/22 and was thinking gunmetal gray whistlepig barrel and matching reciever. The receiver is ez. Not sure what to do with the scope. We use a lot of catalysed urethane industrial and auto type paints at work. So, getting a supplier to match barrel color is ez. Just wondering how it could affect the scope.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jbush View Post
Anyone ever paint a scope to match their action or colored barrel? If so, what were the results, good or bad. I have a Boyd applejack stock for a 10/22 and was thinking gunmetal gray whistlepig barrel and matching reciever. The receiver is ez. Not sure what to do with the scope. We use a lot of catalysed urethane industrial and auto type paints at work. So, getting a supplier to match barrel color is ez. Just wondering how it could affect the scope.
Issue areas

Anything that turns, is going to have to be handled with care so as not to be PAINTED SHUT.

1. A front AO has the front collar that must turn and might move longitudinally.
2. A side focus scope has a focus knob on side that must turn.
3. All scopes have adjustable oculars that must turn. Some have locking collars that must turn too.
4. Most scopes have dust covers to protect the adjustment knobs, but not all. Tactical scopes tend to have exposed adjustment knobs that must be allowed to turn.
5. Keep in mind that many dust covers, both lens and adjustment knobs, are plastic, not metal. It goes without saying that dust covers must not be painted shut
6. Some user desire to adjust there non-AO scopes, so the front lock ring (aka dew cap) must not be painted shut. Suggest you carefully remove front dew cap/lock ring and paint separately, while protecting exposed lens carriage threads.
7. Variable scopes have a zoom ring that must not be painted shut.
8. Some scope have threads in front objective, that can take a sun shield. Careful about painting threads, and certainly don't paint the sun shield shut to the scope. Many sun shields are plastic, so some paints might be inappropriate for that material.
9. Some scopes are made up of 2 or more pieces, that screw together. Example: Leupold Revolution, Rifleman, VXI and VXII are multipiece piece tubes, three if I am not mistaken. Do you plan to paint these interfaces shut?
10. Most oculars have a rubber insert to minimize eye cut on heavy recoil gun. This must be protected or removed. Any threads that might be exposed in removal, must not be painted.
11. Some scopes will have plastic outer grip areas, that might not be appropriate for some paints.

As you can see, there are several external user interface parts that must be allowed to move in a scope.

Last edited by MGT; 04-04-2011 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:14 AM
jbush

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Thanks, I kinda figured there were alot of areas to protect and mask. Also, it will have to be sprayed with an airbrush or touchup spray gun that will allow coverage but not build. Thats why I think the catalysted urethane might work well. It's extremely durable, applies very thin with great coverage. I can get aircraft grade urethane or military spec urethane in gloss, semi gloss or satin color matched to the barrel through our supplier Might cost a $100 bucks for a quart, but I'm hoping they'll match it as a favor, since we order so much. Obvoiusly anything with seals, threads, etc will have to be protected, and I'm a little concerned that the acetone based solvent could eat up any o rings etc. just with the fumes when drying.
Thanks again
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:09 AM
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Thanks, I kinda figured there were alot of areas to protect and mask. Also, it will have to be sprayed with an airbrush or touchup spray gun that will allow coverage but not build. Thats why I think the catalysted urethane might work well. It's extremely durable, applies very thin with great coverage. I can get aircraft grade urethane or military spec urethane in gloss, semi gloss or satin color matched to the barrel through our supplier Might cost a $100 bucks for a quart, but I'm hoping they'll match it as a favor, since we order so much. Obvoiusly anything with seals, threads, etc will have to be protected, and I'm a little concerned that the acetone based solvent could eat up any o rings etc. just with the fumes when drying.
Thanks again
It is good to be cautious.

Most modern riflescope do not have problems with acetone. Care must be used on plastics, be it external parts, plastic lens, or plastic lens carriers. I haven't seen or read of plastic lens or plastic lens carriers for a long time, not since Weaver used some plastic lens carriers in the 60s, 70s. Therir carriers had issues with cracking in extreme climates. At the time plastic was considered the new wonder material. Watch out for plastic in form of dust caps, or plastic grippy parts on scope. Case and point, watch this video, as US Optics cleans their scopes objective and ocular with Acetone. Obviously they are not drenching the scope in Acetone, but are using wetted Acetone Kleenex wipes.

BTW, what scope model are you planning to do this to?
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:12 PM
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Haven't completely decided on a brand yet, but probably a Meuller. There not to expensive and if I screw it up, I'm only out 130 bucks. Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:38 PM
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I painted the Tasco AO 4X16 scope on my 1022. only thing I masked was the numbers on the target turrets and the AO numbers. Just didn't spray the heck out of it. IIRC, I just hung the rifle, bi-pod, scope and all with the Butler creek caps close and sprayed from all angles. Has lasted pretty well for about 4 years now.

David
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:27 PM
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My son painted his scope to match the paint on the stock of his custom built 308 Savage and it looked awesome. Simply mask off the things that need to move and/or should not have paint and you should be just fine. Hope yours turns out fine. After you're done, you'll have a one of a kind rifle/scope combination. Have fun.

Ken
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:02 AM
jbush

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Thanks everyone for the input
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:24 PM
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ive painted a few, the only advice ican add that hasnt been given is to paint it in the rings like it will be mounted on the gun. no big deal, but if you paint it with the rings off when you put it back in the rings the added size from the paint will cause the paint to crack or chip off around the rings when you tighten them.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:45 PM
riggins
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I camo painted a Stevens 200, a Mueller APV and the rings and base. I did this with the scope, rings and base all mounted. My only regret is that when I masked off the A/O and the power ring that I did not tear the tape so that the masked off area was broken up instead of it being a continuous straight line. This should not be an issue for you.

I also painted the outside of the b&c flip up caps and made sure to paint with the covers open so that the black inside would also get painted.

Use common sense, mask the glass good and you should not have any issues.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:23 PM
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Did any of you who painted scopes rough up the finish before painting, or just clean it?
The reason I asked is Leupold wouldn't repaint one of mine "because the finish is anodized".
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Last edited by Al the Infidel; 04-06-2011 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:53 PM
riggins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al the Infidel View Post
Did any of you who painted scopes rough up the finish before painting, or just clean it?
The reason I asked is Leupold wouldn't repaint one of mine "because the finish is anodized".
I just degreased my APV. Used brake cleaner.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:20 PM
theycallmeingot
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I just degreased my APV. Used brake cleaner.
i'm a little surpised the brake cleaner didn't melt anything. unless you were careful to keep it away from plastics. i know not all plastics are created equal, but that stuff can be hell on some of them. don't ask me how i know.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:40 AM
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I just degreased my APV. Used brake cleaner.
Thank you.
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