Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Camo Made Easy

A black rifle stands out immediately, whether it’s an urban environment or the bush, the first thing that grabs someone’s eye is the shape of a rifle. In a combative situation being spotted can have lethal consequences, so we need to explore the art of camouflaging. Plus you can’t ignore the fact that nothing looks cooler than a sexy camo job.

Camouflaging can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Tape, cloth, and burlap are temporary measures that can be changed to fit your environment. My personal favorite is the spray can. It’s cheap, easy, and quick. With a little time and imagination you can create great looking camo jobs.

The principles of camouflaging are to blend into the environment, concealment, and disguise, making an object look like something else. Avoid using black. Few things in nature or man-made environments are pure black. Examine your environment and you’ll notice that the dark areas are just darker shades of other colors. We want to create depth by having blurry areas underneath sharp defined areas. “Deeper” than it really is.

The materials needed are easy to obtain. I use camo paints from Brownells, which are high-density colors, so they cover well, and dry without any shine. Degreaser, such as acetone, removes oil from the weapon, and scuff pads are used to prep the surface. You’ll need masking tape to cover important areas that you don’t want painted such as lens and dials on optics, iron sights, and other areas critical to the weapon’s operations like the muzzle crown or bolt. A stand or some way to hang your gear allows you to work around all sides while painting.

The easiest and quickest camo method is “sponging,” where you use a rough sponge to blot on color. First tape off anything you don’t want painted. Degrease the weapon to remove any oil residue. You may need to prep the surface by lightly scuffing areas. With wood stocks, especially those with a slick clear finish, you may need to use sandpaper. Once you’ve prepared the surface degrease it again.

Spray a base coat using two contrasting colors, blending one into another. This provides a sense of depth. Then, take a coarse painting sponge, available at any major hardware store or craft shop, to sponge on your next colors. Apply paint to the sponge by spraying it until it’s good and moist, then sponge the paint onto your weapon. I cut the sponge into different sizes and shapes, and rotate it around while applying paint to prevent repetitive patterns. Next, come back with a fourth color and sponge on highlights, using a lighter color, or a darker paint to create shadowed areas.

Camo jobs are cool, easy to do, and they separate your weapon from all the other black weapons. For field use a camo job may be the difference between success and failure. Remember your job is to blend into your environment. This applies to every aspect of your life.


September 19, 2010 - Posted by | AR-15, Gear

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