I’ve always wondered why we buy black rifles? I mean, they don’t blend with any camo pattern, and they get hot just sitting out in the sun. I guess the answer is that black anodizing is the most efficient and effective way to finish aluminum for the money. Colored anodizing is out there, but I’ve yet to see it catch on in a big way.
I’m glad more manufacturers are offering guns with factory Cerakote finishes. Daniel Defense began Cerakoting a few of their most popular rifles this winter, and I got to see them at SHOT. The result, combined with their new house brand furniture, is damned sharp looking; evidence the DD Mk18 shown above. Getting a factory applied Cerakote finish means you get all the benefits of a durable, colored finish without any of the angst and waiting associated with sending your rifle out for a custom color job.
A great feature of Cerakote is its ability to withstand solvents. Taking the DD’s Mil Spec+ (brown!) Cerekote for example, you have a rifle color that works fine in brown shade environs and with similarly toned camouflage patterns. If you’re heading someplace that calls for a color change or you want to add some shapes and contrast, just do it with a rattlecan of Krylon from the hardware store. When you want to switch it up again, or go back to the base color, just hit it with a can of brake cleaner. The Krylon will come right off and the base Cerakote won’t be affected.
DD is offering the DDM4A1, V5LW, V7 and Mk18 in Mil Spec+ for a $130 premium above their non-Cerakote rifles. Considering an aftermarket Cerakote job costs between $200 and $400, a factory Cerakoted rifle is a good value if you’re thinking of getting a non-black rifle.