Please check out our Custom Finishes information and sample galleries below. Finish colors for ARMOR-TUFF®, Combat-Tuff and related options are not limited to the samples shown here. Contact us with any questions or to start a custom finish job for your firearm!
Custom Finishes General Information
ARMOR-TUFF® Protective Firearms Finish was developed specifically for firearms use to provide a non-reflective tactical surface finish with optimum corrosion protection, abrasion resistance and enhanced lubricity. The low curing temperature prevents parts damage or warping during the finishing process. A firearm finished with ARMOR-TUFF™ has the most durable, chemical and heat resistant, thermally-cured firearm finish available.
Before a firearm is coated with ARMOR-TUFF® the firearm is thoroughly sand blasted with fine grit media, then carefully dehorned and every surface prepared by hand. Every carbon steel firearm is phosphate parkerized before we apply the final finish to form a bonding surface for ARMOR-TUFF® that increases durability and corrosion resistance.
A highly trained finish technician then sprays the ARMOR-TUFF® coating on the firearm before it is thermally cured. After the firearm is re-assembled it is given a thorough inspection to ensure the finish meets our highest standard of quality and ensure your firearms reliability.
- Very attractive, non-reflective matte surface finish that looks very similar to an ultra-fine sandblast blue job.
- Available in a variety of colors. We can also do various combinations of colors. Check below for examples of different color combinations.
- Can also be applied to Stainless Steel and Anodized Aluminum.
- When applied to parkerized carbon steel, will pass the test procedures for salt water spray testing without corrosion for over 3000 hours! Properly coated surfaces will not rust when subjected to normal firearm use.
- Provides excellent anti-friction characteristics over typical firearms finishes. We do, however, still recommend a quality lubricant like ULTIMA LUBE II be used on contact surfaces.
- Will meet or exceed 24-hour immersion requirements in the following fluids: aviation gasoline, hydraulic fluid, jet fuel, lubricating oils, paint removers, trichloroethylene, hydrochloric acids, hydrogen peroxide, gunpowder solvents, common gun lubricants, strong bases, and numerous other chemicals./li>
- Will withstand exposure to temperature extremes of +1000 degrees F to -250 degrees F.
- Has a nominal thickness of between .0003″ and .0009″. The thin coating characteristics of less than one thousandth of an inch allow easy re-assembly of precision fitted parts.
- Is applied at our finishing facility in Berryville, Arkansas, under the strictest quality control standards by Master finishing technicians and gunsmiths with years of experience.
- Due to the nature of true custom hand crafted finishes. variations in color and pattern will occur. These are only visual representations and not identical references of the final product.
Other Available Finish Options
Stainless Steel - Not a coating, but actual firearms-grade stainless steel alloys in a variety of finish levels. Stainless Steel can be finished in a non-reflective, bead-blasted matte gray or a hand-finished brushed, satin silver finish. A Stainless Steel frame and black or blued slide is a classic 1911 color combination. Since the finish is based on the surface preparation of the steel, Stainless is easier to refinish than a coated pistol. Stainless Steel can be finished with ARMOR-TUFF™ to lower a firearms reflective signature.
Aluminum Anodizing – A process of hardening and finishing lightweight aluminum alloy in an electrically charged bath to greatly enhance strength and service life over untreated alloy. All Wilson Combat lightweight 1911 pistols and AR-15 rifles are Mil-Spec “hard” anodized as part of the custom-build process prior to ARMOR TUFF™ finishing in the color of your choice.
Bluing – Conventional hot salts bluing gives a deep black finish that is applied by boiling finished carbon steel parts in a caustic salt solution. Our hand-finished deluxe blue is applied to our polished carbon steel for a truly custom look.
Case Color Hardening – A special hardening process that can be applied to a carbon steel frame or carbon steel small parts to give the ultimate in a traditional, high-end bespoke look. The mottled rainbow of blues and browns of authentic Case Color is a rare and appealing high-end finish for your dream custom 1911. Pricing and details on request.
Black DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) Physical Vapor Deposition finish – On select models, we offer a matte charcoal/black DLC (Diamond-like-Carbon) physical vapor deposition finish on the steel parts. This finish has chromium and tungsten underlayers for long-lasting corrosion and abrasion resistance. Black DLC resists holster/firing wear better than other finishes but must be sent to an external vendor for processing. DLC is available on handguns only.
Ash – is a two-color option for Protector Carbines and Pistols designed to offer a slight variance for solid color Armor-Tuff finishes. As if a light dusting of ash has fallen over your gun surface. Ash can be specified over any base color with a variety of colors for the “ash” particles. While subtle, it makes a remarkable difference in the finished look of the firearm. A no charge upgrade!
Tiger Stripe – Going Retro with a widely familiar pattern executed perfectly in our paint shop. This pattern is available to apply to any new build AR rifle or pistol, or to your existing build sent to us for the upgrade. It starts with your choice of Gray, Green or Sage base. $350 upgrade price
Wear and Additional Information
All firearms finishes – including ARMOR-TUFF® – will show wear over time. Metal-on-metal contact causes wear to moving parts. Ejected brass will also leave impact marks on the ejection port area. Finish wear is common and expected. Brass marks can be from shooter, ammunition choice, recoil spring weight, and lubrication. Most brass marks can be removed with copper solvent on a patch. ARMOR-TUFF® prevents corrosion, adds lubrication, and reduces the firearm’s visual signature. It will show some wear from metal-on-metal contact and friction as soon as you use the firearm.
ARMOR-TUFF® was developed specifically for use on non-stainless steels on top of a phosphate (Parkerized) base layer. Wilson Combat also applies ARMOR-TUFF® to non-phosphatable stainless steel and aluminum. Without the phosphate base, the chemical and physical bond will not be as durable as the bond with the base.
Pistol barrels coated with ARMOR-TUFF® will show rapid wear on reciprocating areas. Any finish loss in these areas is considered normal wear and tear and not subject to the Wilson Combat Service Policy. Decorative finishes where ARMOR-TUFF® is applied will show wear from use and holstering. Including polished off stainless steel that leaves a two-tone or polished effect. They are also not subject to the Wilson Combat Service Policy.
Kydex and other polymers are excellent materials for fast and secure holster. Any molded or formed polymer holster WILL cause damage/wear to any firearms finish. Friction is common from the molding, abrasive grit from the holster making process. Also dust and grit embedded in the holster from range use. Over time, grit embeds in the soft polymer and will cause deep scratches if your holsters are not kept clean. A silicone rag is good for this purpose.
Due to the nature of true custom hand crafted finishes, variations in color and pattern will occur. The below images are only visual representations and are not identical references of the final product.
Long Gun Finish Options
Ash can be added to ANY Solid Armor-Tuff color.
Handgun Finish Options
Burnt Bronze/Black Combat-Tuff - $350>
Zombie Green/Black Combat-Tuff - $350<
Black Armor-Tuff with Stainless
Steel Small Parts - $50
Stainless/Gray Armor-Tuff with
Polished Sides of Slide - $125
Baron Blue with Polished Sides
of Slide/Frame - $600
WC Blue with Polished Sides
of Slide/Stainless Steel Frame - $150