Educational Zone #41 – Tiger Striping a Firearm

My old buddy Ted and I have one last Sistema each, and decided to paint them.

We wish we had more, but here’s the last two, mine on top and Ted’s on bottom.

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As always, we started out by washing them in mineral spirits to clean them of all oil and grease, then bead blasted them to prepare the surface for finish.

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We had read that a good parkerized surface will hold paint better, so we decided to park them.

The first step is to wash the parts with TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) and them rinse them well.

Here I am washing some small parts.

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Then we rinsed them really well.

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We then mixed the parkerizing solution that we had gotten from Lauer as per instructions, placed it in a stainless bowl, and heated it up on the stove.

We then placed the parts in the solution for about 15 minutes.

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You could tell it was working, as bubbles were coming off the parts.

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We then removed that parts and rinsed them really well.

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Here they are, after parking.

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Even the parts that aren’t going to be painted can be oiled and then will have a very rust-proof finish.

Ted had got us a new gravity-feed paint sprayer, and it worked much better than the cheap air brush I tried last time.

Here I am spraying some small parts.

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We then put a base coat of flat black on the pistol.

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The instructions from Lauer showed how to tiger stripe paint.

Ted decided that he wanted to try it on his pistol.

We tore some strips of blue painter’s tape in half and Ted taped his pistol.

The whole time he was doing it, I was telling him, “You’re a wild man.”

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We then painted a contrasting color on top of the base coat.

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After letting it dry in the sun for a while, we removed the tape.

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Here it is in the sunlight.

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Ted decided to add some more contrasting highlights to the paint, and we were ready to bake it.

We then baked it in the oven at 220 degrees for 2 hours, to cure the paint.

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Here’s the finished product, after Ted put new grips on the pistol.

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And here.

He calls it “Tony the Tiger.”

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Conclusion:
Ted loves it, but if he ever drops it in the grass, he’ll never find it again.

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