METACOL III™ Satin Black

METACOL III™ is the best firearm coating available and has made all other coatings obsolete. METACOL III™ is a bonded, solid-film lubricant. Unlike paint, it will not chip, peel, bubble, or crack and is thin enough (.0003" to .0007") to coat most delicate internal components. When thermally cured, it chemically bonds at the molecular level with the base metal. It is unbelievably tough, impervious to rust, and the molybdenum disulfide content makes it self-lubricating. METACOL III™ is the ideal coating for modern weapons and can be applied to carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, brass, "pot metal," and some high-temperature plastics (like HK™ collapsible stocks).

I specially adapted METACOL III™ Satin Black to match the factory finish on Heckler and Koch rifles, and I have been the authorized refinishing center for Heckler and Koch, USA, for over 13 years. It is also an excellent match for the Uzi, Galil, L1A1 and Belgium FAL factory finishes, as well as matching the "Black Stoving Lacquer" found on many Commonwealth military arms. Satin is the middle of a sheen scale that includes flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. I have selected satin as it has the best lubricity, wear properties, and cosmetic appeal. Flat finishes are obtained by adding a talc powder to the finish. This coarser finish reflects less light, but at the cost of decreased lubricity and wear resistance.

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I developed METACOL III™ Gray to match the color of METACOL IV™ manganese phosphate for non-ferric metals, such as aluminum and stainless steel. My target was to match both the gray of Parkerizing, and an older Colt™ AR-15 anodized aluminum receiver.

METACOL III™ Classic Patina™

METACOL III™ Classic Patina™ is a color I developed to match the finished of aged Parkerizing. Manganese phosphate is a dark gray, but long-term exposure to Cosmolene, oil, and cleaning solvents will give it a greenish-brown hue. Classic Patina™ results from a special curing process and closely duplicates this "old Parkerizing" color. This special process has the added advantage of being an even color throughout and hiding areas of different hardness that standard Parkerizing would highlight, such as weld marks. It is beautiful on M1 Garands, M1As, Springfield 1903s, M1 Carbines, Israeli FALs, and similar firearms.

METACOL IV™ Manganese Phosphate

METACOL IV™ is a specially-applied manganese phosphate coating that yields a beautiful charcoal gray color. The shade of gray depends on the hardness of the metal: usually softer metals yield a medium gray, while harder metals yield a charcoal-gray color. Phosphating will often reveal heat-treated areas as well as weld marks from manufacture or repair. Phosphating involves chemicals precipitating out of solution and adhering to metal. This coating acts as a physical barrier against abrasion, has anti-galling properties, and provides additional corrosion resistance through its ability to retain oil. Phosphates are common on military arms, and METACOL IV™ manganese phosphate is the best "Parkerizing" for your guns. Phosphates do not adhere to stainless steel or aluminum, however METACOL III™ gray is a close match to METACOL IV™ and can be used if your firearm has a few aluminum or stainless parts.

Metacol Special Projects

While METACOL III™ is the best firearm coating available, it does have its limitations in certain applications. As a thermally-cured coating, the part in question must be able to handle the curing temperature (same temperature as hot bluing). Some items like wood and some types of fiberglass rifle stocks (such as the H&S Precision, McMillan, and Bell & Carlson) will not safely handle the temperatures. The same applies to some plastic components like on the SCAR. I am constantly striving to attain the perfect multi-environment camouflage. I've hesitantly named it "Geckoflage," as the Sonoran Desert Gecko has been part of my inspiration. And it sounds better than "flounderflage", as the spotted flounder has influenced the contrasting dots. For this type of application, I use Sherwin Williams Industrial Polane-T™ catalyst-cured epoxy. Sherwin Williams Industrial handles the military CARC (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating) used on our nation's military vehicles. I use the same military CARC colors in the Polane-T™ line of coatings. I've also experimented with off-the-shelf colors from Krylon™and Rustoleum™, balancing their inferior durability with the ease of application.

  • Capt. Jason N.
    My ARS Hi Power is the pride of my collection. It is simply the best shooter I could hope for. I've put better than 1500 rounds through it since Dec 01 and have absolutely zero complaints. Everything is still tight, smooth and crisp.
    Capt. Jason N.
  • Scott L.
    I bought your video and workbook through FAC as I as buying some other things there. I sat down and watched the whole thing in two sittings! And my wife and oldest boys (13 and 9) came in too. Everyone was fascinated and we all learned a ton. I just wanted to tell you that I think it is excellent for us newbies and give very detailed information on all the things that we seem to run into. It is obvious that you have done many of these, and the short cuts you show help tremendously. I am just starting a redo on a STG kit I bought from DSA and I know feel I have the resources to get the job done. Between you and the, I have received an entire education in a couple of short weeks. Now, putting it into practice...(Dang! Sounds like graduation day all over again!)
    Scott L.
  • John H.
    Another kudo for Mark Graham at ARS-I have a Belgium. Army lower with Israeli. FALO upper, that was malfunctioning on every 2-3 rounds. he rebuilt the weapon form the ground up, FANTASTICALLY. Boy, oh boy!!!!!! thank you for turning me on to him ~2 yrs ago.
    John H.
  • FF
    I recently sent my FAL kit to A.R.S for a complete build and park. I received the rifle a few days ago, and was amazed by the quality work Mark does. This rifle is absolutely awesome and I highly recommend his work. He is also a stand up guy and straight shooter no B.S. all you get is quality work. This was my first dealing with Mark and will not be the last.
  • George A.
    I received my HK93 and the new A3 stock yesterday. Everything looks fantastic! Your reputation for quality is well deserved.
    George A.
  • Daniel D.
    Fine job Mark. I'll be back at you with something more worthy of your craftsmanship...something really "rare" that requires your artistry!
    Daniel D.
  • Brian D
    Just a quick note...I just wanted to thank you for the excellent job threading the barrel on my PTR 91. I am very pleased with the over all quality of your work. Now I just have to run to the range and test drive it.
    Brian D
  • Mike S.
    Received the Glock 20 frame today via FedEx and let me say that I am well pleased with your excellent work and extremely speedy service. Thanks. Will pass the word on your fine work and speedy service.
    Mike S.
  • Mike H.
    I received my HK-94 today, I must say you did a great job! You were right, it looks like new. I am impressed and so were the guys at the gun shop. I have an HK-91 that I am going to send to you sometime in the next month or two for a refinish job. I was a little scared of sending one of my HK's to someone I have never dealt with, but my fears are at rest with you. Again, thanks for the superb work you do!!
    Mike H.
  • Irving F.
    I received the HK94 today. Just wanted to let you know how pleased I am. Thanks for the great work.
    Irving F.
  • Jeff V.
    I received my rifle last week and I can't say enough about the quality of your workmanship - WOW. If you ever need a reference and I doubt that based on your quality but if you ever do, please don't hesitate. YOU ARE THE GUNPLUMBER!
    Jeff V.
  • W.R.F.
    I sent my duty pistol, a G21, to you for the December 1, 2006 run of Glock grip modifications. I also had you do the beavertail, forward cocking serrations and refinish in black metalcol. I was pleasantly surprised to find it back in my hands before the new year. That is amazing! I am 110% satisfied with the fantastic work. It is a much more user-friendly pistol, now. It is tough for LEO's to go without their service pistol for any length of time and luckily I was able to get issued a "company gun" while mine was with you, but let me assure anyone who reads this, it was well worth it! Your work is top notch, sir. You'll be getting more pistols from me in the future
  • Jon C.
    Just wanted to let you know that I received your BHP Gunsmithing video, and it's superb. Thank you for offering such a highly informative, no-B.S. product. I look forward to doing business with you again soon.
    Jon C.
  • Matt H.
    I was finally able to get to the range today and try out both of the AKs you built. I put several hundred rounds through each and I wanted to let you know how pleased I am with both weapons. Both guns ran flawlessly and accuracy was better than expected. I stuck an Aimpoint Micro T-1 red dot on a K-Var side mount and hung it on the Khyber Pass AK. I'm a total hack and was able to put three-shot groups into a saucer sized area at 100 yards. With a bit of instruction I expect the groups to shrink just a bit. In an era when most products are over-hyped and fail to deliver, your products do not disappoint.
    Matt H.
  • John F.
    Sir, I just picked up my gun from Newington Gun Exchange. It looks fantastic! Great job!
    John F.
  • Rod M.
    Hi Mark. I just wanted to take a moment to drop you a line and thank you for the excellent work that you have put into the Gunplumber's Manual. I purchased it to complete my first FAL project, and have read it cover to cover. While I'm still waiting for my receiver to arrive, I believe it has given me a foundation to work forward from. I'm really excited to start this project and feel I have you looking over my shoulder as I move forward. The good folks at the FAL Files take your word as gospel, and I know why. I enjoy your posts, view points and feedback. Thanks so much!
    Rod M.
  • Gene T.
    Thanks for the FAL (Gunsmithing DVD & Workbook) info, and very quick shipment! I was just dropping a line to express my complete satisfaction with the DVD and workbook - outstanding job! You clearly not only have expertise in the subject, but are able to convey it well (something not all who have expertise are able to do). Worth every penny!
    Gene T.
  • Mike B.
    Got off kind of late from my shift downtown tonight and found your package waiting. I had to let you know: the book is FABULOUS! It is well-written and extremely helpful in all regards. This is just what I needed to understand all aspects of my new rifle. Thanks very much for your work on this. The dedication, knowledge and love of subject, and commitment to excellence are obvious. A real service to those who receive it and well worth the price. I'm pumped! Already read through about half of it. You are to be commended.
    Mike B.
  • John P.
    They (2x StG-58) arrived two days ago and thank you, very much. Your work is masterful and these weapons will be heirlooms for many generations. Your Stoll flash hiders are most impressive. I appreciate ... your careful packing.
    John P.
  • Alan R.
    Received the (Arsenal Milled AK) today from Fed ex awesome work some of the best I have seen. Great job!!!!! Thanks
    Alan R.
  • Willie G.
    I received my Rhodesian R1 build yesterday. Great job. It looks awesome. I am waiting on a receiver for a G1 that was used in Rhodesia. It will be heading your way as soon as all parts are present. Thanks.
    Willie G.