What the hell did I do?!

This been along time coming, and a lot of mulling over and over in my head. I broke down, bought some camo spray paint Rustoleum branded from WalMart and painted my AR. This was a really, really REALLY tough decision for me. A couple of preconceptions that I mentally had to get past. One is: I spent X amount of dollars for a good solid carbine. And two: I have always bent taught that you have to keep your rifle clean and black. Even the Army teaches this, well at least in garrison or in the rear.

This past spring when I attended a SUT course taught by John Mosby he talked about painting your rifle during one of his fireside chats. His mantra is “A rifle is nothing but a tool, and should be treated as such not as a safe queen”. I get that part. But spray painting a $1300 rifle!

I picked up a book called the Reluctant Partisan by John that can be ordered at the link provided (I will do a book review here in a couple weeks). I ran across this statement in regards to camouflage, and only John can sum it so succinctly “If you’re afraid to camouflage your weapons for fear of negatively impacting their resale value, then you’re not treating it as a weapon and a tool, but as a safe queen financial investment. That is gayer than a bag of dicks and you deserve to be butt stroked in the nuts for being retarded”. 

I did a little research and ran across a couple videos that really showed how easy it is to paint a weapon. The videos can be found here and here. Like I stated above I used a different paint than what they talked about videos, mostly because I didn’t want anything permanent in the event I want to change it later down the road. With brake cleaner and a stiff brush the paint can be cleaned off.


This is the rifle in its original state. I have replaced the front stock with a Magpul a short time ago previous to the painting.

Before I even cracked the lids on the cans of paint. I wiped the weapon down very well with a clean rag and alcohol to remove any oil. Then I taped off all areas that either had threads exposed or any adjustment points like the front and rear sights and any areas where paint might blow into the internals like the mag well.


Areas I taped off.


Another view


 First and a very light coat of the sandy or base color.


 Butt-stock with a light coat of  base.


I picked up a roll of Jute string for like $2, I’ll explain more below about the Jute string.


 Second coat of the base applied


I randomly wrapped the rifle with the jute string and applied the second color of ranger green, very lightly.


 The butt stock with the string removed after the ranger green color applied.


 Another view of the butt stock.


 After the second color was applied (ranger green) I removed the string and re-wrapped randomly the butt-stock and rifle again with the jute string and applied a light, a very light and random coat of brown.


 The butt stock after the third color applied and the string removed.


 Rifle after third color applied and string removed.


The final product all back together. The grip was left unpainted. In my experience paint doesn’t stick well to rubberized products  very well.

 In hindsight I could have stopped with just the two colors of sand, and ranger green but in my area we do have trees and fair amount of underbrush so I think the brown will help some in blending. This really wasn’t a hard or time consuming project. In all I have about $20 and 90 mins involved. I know with use the paint will rub off over time but that’s ok with me. There are a number of ways to paint your rifle other than using jute string.  Sponges to randomly dab different colors on you’re weapon. Real or artificial foliage can be used to paint patterns. I’m sure there are hundreds of ways but the string was pretty easy and inexpensive.

One thing that I was very careful about was keeping the rattle cans 12-18 inches away from the rifle as I painted. This kept any runs from appearing and allowed more control of the paint application. I’m glad I took the time and over came my initial trepidation’s, it was actually pretty fun! I think it turned out pretty good and in the end that’s all that matters.

2 thoughts on “What the hell did I do?!

  1. Biggest thing to drill unto’s one head, its a tool.
    I did fail to mention that I took the bolt out. I took my time to tape over any place that paint might penetrate.
    Weapons are pretty stout pieces of equipment, unlike paintball or airsoft guns. It takes a lot to break them.

  2. It’s an impressive camo job. I don’t think I’d have been brave enough to paint a $1300 rifle. I’d be two afraid of getting paint somewhere it should never be.

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