We have used many finishes over the years on our 9mm suppressor designs, but the most prolific and widely used has been and continues to be, NiB Cerakote. There is good reason for the use of this coating too, it is durable, relatively easy to apply, heat resistant and it looks good.
But before we delve too deep into our current coating let’s step back in time a little to look at what coatings we have used in the past that has led to the adoption of Cerakote.
The first coating we used back in the day was KG Gunkote that we bought from Brownells in the little spray cans. It is a thermal cure epoxy based coating that is durable and comes in many colors, it is also really easy to apply, and you heat cure it with an oven. This last feature is also it’s downfall. It seems that silencers get really hot at times and this is an epoxy based coating, which if you didnt know, is basically plastic. So we would see 9mm suppressor warranties come back for a variety of things and one was that the finish had burned off really fast.
Another finish we have used in the past, and yes…even on our 9mm suppressor models, is natural metal finish, also known as “in the white” in machine shop circles.This is a rather difficult one to pull off though as it ends up that you can scratch it so easily. It looks really good though and we have done it a lot in the past. The good thing about this finish is that it doesnt burn off and we do not have to outsource the finishing. Just polish it out in the same machines you cut it out on and your done.
The next evolution in our silencer finishing journey in salt bath nitride. We used this finish for several years on a few of our suppressor models, but only on part of our 9mm suppressor parts. The Mystic X and it’s family all share a tube retaining ring that is black nitride treated. This is a great finish, but typically leaves the metal with a shiney finish… (not something you would want on a 9mm suppressor) So what we have figured out is that we have to prepare the retaining rings by media blasting them first to matte finish them prior to nitride coating. This makes them a nice dull black that is also durable.
Then we arrive at Type C Cerakote, the finish that we feel is the perfect finish for a silencer. This coating is incredible in that it can withstand an enourmous amount of heat, which even 9mm suppressor use can generate. This typically comes from either 5.56mm NATO as it is a very hot round when run through a silencer. Another is 9mm NATO when run full auto through a silencer. These two scenarios can easily burn off the finish of a painted silencer that is coated with something like Gunkote, or any of the thermal set resin type finishes. So we opted for the most durable finish we could find when we chose Cerakote as we just wanted it to work.
I hope you enjoyed this little discussion on why we use the finish we use and until next time, keep your powder dry!