I have tested both Norrells and GunKote moly Resin. It is my OPINION that Norrells is a superior finish, much easier to work with and thicker (doesn't take 5 coats to cover the piece).
I used Norrell's Semi-Gloss on my FAL, GREAT STUFF!
To the following I add:
1) Bake your parts at 300+F for hours BEFORE you start refinishing,
you will be surprised how much grease + oil seeps out after 1/2 hour at 300F.
2) With the semi-gloss, if you want a slightly rough texture (looks
refinish the parts when they are still 300F, it might slightly weaken the finish, but no excessive wear is apparent on my firearm.
3) Parkerizing the piece before refinishing with moly coat yields a
tough as nails finish. This idea was given to me by Derek at AZEXarms.
BELOW IS A POST FROM THE HEAD REFINISHER AT NORRELL.
MOLY RESIN ™ Professional Firearm Finishes Exclusive Product of John Norrell Arms, Inc./Norrell Manufacturing 2608 Grist Mill Rd. Little Rock, AR 72227 Fax 501-225-7864 / E-Mail > SMG1022@AOL.COM
By: Robert Tschiemer
For the past two years, I have been learning the art of refinishing
under the patience of John Norrell, using his moly resin
firearms finish. I have no background in refinishing, and I have slowly been developing this skill. It seems that it would help if we
can share what we learn with others in the firearm community, so I put together this short summary. I asked Tom Bowers if I
may post this article, and he agreed.
The most time consuming process in refinishing is firearm preparation.
This should involve removal of all grease or oil. If the
weapon has foreign substances on the metal in the nature of dirt, grease or oil, the finish will not penetrate and adhere to the
metal. In fact, often times an air hose's pressure can remove finish if it has not properly been applied, or it may flake or chip
prematurely. The importance of preparation therefore is a point that is critical to your result.
Many firearms have a large amount of grease in the receiver which may
be difficult to remove. These include particularly some
of the weapons that are popular such as AK's, FN Fal's, et cetera. If a weapon has any grease, it must be removed. I have
learned if there is a large amount of grease or oil that it may be necessary to soak the weapon overnight in a degreaser. One
may spray Formula 409 or similar products on the parts in a sink as well. Be sure and do not place any aluminum or alloy parts
in any degreaser that will harm them, however. M-16's and other receivers, including suppressors, therefore should be used
only in degreasers which are absolutely safe for them; if in doubt, read all available manufacturer's specifications for the cleaner,
and it would not hurt to place a test piece of metal in the solvent. Overnight soaking may prove necessary.
When the part is removed from the degreaser, run copious amounts of
water over the part to remove all solvent. You may then
want to dry it by spraying it with an air hose. I then will sandblast the parts. Next, you again wash the parts to remove all sand.
I have learned that sand can penetrate the nooks and crannies of metal and it must be thorough removed prior to refinishing.
Again, any foreign substance on the metal will cause the finish to fail to adhere to the metal. This requires removal of all sand.
Prior to sandblasting the weapon, you should block the barrel AND chamber
to protect them. A cork of the correct diameter
works well for this, but you may use a paper towel as well.
After the completion of sandblasting and rinsing the sand thoroughly,
again use an air hose to dry the parts, and then
immediately place them in your shop oven to dry them. Time is of the essence since once the weapon has its protective finish
removed by sandblasting, it may begin to rust, and some weapons, such an HK's may rust in a matter of minutes.
When you place the weapon in the oven, preheat it in preparation for
applying your finish. In the case of moly resin, which I am
familiar with, you do not want to overheat the parts prior to applying the finish. Using an air compressor, apply the finish to the
parts with a paint bottle and air brush. Before doing so, it is essential that the moly resin be thoroughly shaken. The moly resin in
your spray bottle should be shaken with an automatic shaker if possible for a couple of minutes, because if it is not allowed to
thoroughly mix from the settling that occurs, you will not get a smooth finish. You will have cleaned the airbrush after each
project using a solvent you spray from a spray bottle. We use MEK (methyl ethyl ketones). You wear protective clothing,
gloves and goggles, and wear a protective certified mask for organic solvents at all times.
When you spray the metal parts, be sure that they are not overheated
in your preheating, or it will cause a lot of your finish to
be wasted in evaporation, and it may affect the color of the finish. There is a difference in the temperature that you preheat the
metal with and that with which it is cured. I have my parts to preheat hanging in the shop oven with the temperature at around
150 degrees, and I let the oven heat up to that for about 5 minutes, or less, and then turn off the oven while I spray the parts.
On large receivers and barrel assemblies, such as on a Sig 550 or FN
Fal, it may be necessary to place the part back in the
oven to reheat it again during the spraying process if it begins to cool down. When the part starts cooling down, you may notice
a difference in how the moly resin appears to adhere.
Hold the spray nozzle directly in front of you and look down it like
you would a rifle, as you spray. If you hold it to the right or
left of your eyesight, you cannot as easily see whether you a missing spots. Spray using a sweeping up and down motion. I hang
the parts from a hook on one end of the parts. After you spray the parts, place them in the oven to cure. Turn the oven on again
to heat the parts. Then, turn off the oven again and take the parts out. Change the position of your hook to the opposite end of
the part, to spray the parts from a different angle. This also will allow you to spray the bare metal previously covered by the
hook or clamp, and not sprayed previously.
If there are any selector knobs, etc. you will have disassembled them
previously, but if there are any parts left on the weapon
that could not be removed, be sure and rotate them to spray all parts. This is especially true, for instance, on AK's where you
have a sliding part of the sight that is moved by pushing in a button and sliding the metal down the sight. You must spray every
spot of the weapon where you sandblasted it, or it will rust.
I also spray inside the receiver, and move the hammer forward and backward.
Again, be sure your chamber is blocked, to
protect it from the moly resin. Having the cork mentioned above in the barrel and chamber at oven temperatures will not hurt
since the cork will not melt.
After you have sprayed all the parts and are ready to cure them, allow
the oven to heat at about 300 degrees for 1 hour. When
you later inspect the parts, be sure you have covered every spot, and if not then repeat the process on that part.
My background prior to the last two years has not involved refinishing,
and if I can begin to learn these basic steps, I feel sure
any person can with time. The important thing is to not get in a hurry. Handle the parts you refinish carefully, avoiding dropping
them or banging them against the oven or other parts. If that occurs, you will have to sandblast the part again and start over
more often than not. That is the process of learning.
BELOW ARE THE MOLY-RESIN INSTRUCTIONS FROM NORRELLL:
MOLY RESIN ™
Professional Firearm Finishes
Exclusive Product of John Norrell Arms, Inc./Norrell Manufacturing
2608 Grist Mill Rd.
Little Rock, AR 72227
Fax 501-225-7864 / E-Mail > SMG1022@AOL.COM
Revised Copy 5/99
Moly Resin™ is a product trademark of John Norrell Arms, Inc. d/b/a
Norrell Manufacturing. These finishes are specifically formulated from a
phenolic resin base and molybdenum disulfide (a superior lubricant) with an
exclusive blend of additives only available through Norrell Manufacturing. Our
additives create a phenolic coating that is the hardest, most durable,
and the most chemical/heat resistant thermally cured finish available on
the market today. Our special low temperature sensitive catalyst will
cause the Resin to harden and bond to the surface to form a barrier to acids,
oils, paint removers, powder solvents, bore cleaners and other strong
industrial solvents. The low curing temperature prevents possible heat damage to parts during the curing process. We selected our phenolic base stock from hundreds offered by Dow Corning and 3M. The combination of the most suitable base stock, our additives, and molybdenum creates a truly unique coating that represents state-of-the-art technology. No other thermally cured firearm finish available on the market today has the same characteristics and properties that Moly Resin™ offers the professional gunsmith or home hobbyist. Moly Resin™ is a coating developed for ordnance usage on equipment and weapons, providing excellent corrosion protection, abrasion resistance and lubricity to meet automatic weapon dry firing requirements after 60 days sea water immersion. Available ready to apply. No thinning or dilution is needed.
Moly Resin™ will adhere to all of the following: aluminum,
steel, stainless steel, sandblasted and glass beaded metal, cast iron and
aluminum, copper, silver solder, blued or parkerized finish, anodized, nickel
and chrome plate, and many plastics, etc. Note:nickel and chrome plated
surfaces should be sand blasted to allow the best adhesion of the
For all metals, best overall results are achieved on freshly
sandblasted surfaces. Moly Resin™ is available in the following standard colors but hey may be mixed together to create an additional variety of shades.
Colors Currently Available:
GRAYISH-BLACK - Dark gray-black flat coloration that duplicates
appearance of the original Colt AR-15/M-16 finish. This is the
same product that is purchased from us by the U.S. Military to refinish Colt
M-16's. May be mixed with our Green Leaf Drab to obtain a
slight greenish parkerized appearance to match some older military
FLAT BLACK - Black in coloration with a non-reflective dull matte
appearance. Slightly darker shade compared to the above Grayish-Black Moly Resin™. Norrell Manufacturing supplies this Mil-Spec finish to the
sub-contractors that manufacture USSOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) products for H&K and the U.S. Military such as the sound suppressor for the H&K Mark 23 SOCOM .45 Cal. pistol used by the Navy Seals and Special Forces.
SEMI-GLOSS BLACK - Black in coloration with a slight
gloss that will
duplicate the original H&K (Heckler & Koch) type finish. Good
match to H&K, UZI, and other similar semi-gloss black gun coatings.
FLAT GRAY - Matches the U.S. Military gray parkerizing.
slight grayish green medium to light shade finish similar to the appearance
of Mil-Spec parkerizing. May be mixed with our Green Leaf Drab to obtain
a more pronounced greenish parkerized appearance or our blacks for a
darker gray shade. May be lightened by the addition of Off White
GREEN LEAF DRAB - Olive (flat) drab green (ammo can) appearance.
May be darkened or lightened by the addition of black or off white Moly
BROWN BARK DRAB - Medium flat brown appearance. May be darkened or lightened by the addition of black or off white Moly Resin.
TAN SAND DRAB - Medium flat tan appearance. May be darkened
lightened by the addition of black or off white Moly Resin.
OFF WHITE DRAB - Flat off white cream appearance. May be
all Moly Resins to lightened their shade.
STAINLESS STEEL - Stainless steel powdered metal mixed
phenolic Resin gives the appearance of brushed stainless steel when
applied over any type of metal.
CLEAR Hard Coat Sealer - Clear thermally cured phenolic
color pigment added.
ADDITIVES - Flattening and Anti-Drying Additives are also available.
Characteristics and Benefits:Easy to Apply
Four colors available
No Dilution Required
Use Home Oven to Cure
Low Temperature Curing
Rust and Corrosion Preventative
Resists Temperatures 800 f+ and -125 f.
Thin Flexible film allows reassembly of parts
Can be applied to all metals and most plastics.
Currently used by U.S. Government Contractors.
Meets Mil-Specs for 60 day sea water immersion.
All metals and plastics will match in color when coated.
Can be applied over original existing finish or sand-blasted surfaces.
Currently used by numerous firearm manufacturers, gun shops and
Meets Mil-Specs for accelerated salt spray tests equivalent to 30 years
Meets Mil-Specs for immersion in acids, powder solvents, paint
bore cleaners, etc.
Moly Resin™ was specifically designed for firearm owners.
past, a similar finish was obtainable only by vatting or plating your firearm.
Now, finally a product that can easily be applied in your shop or at home.
Simply degrease, pre-heat part(s), spray with Moly Resin™ , and cure in your
oven for one hour. Moly Resin™ can also be applied over existing finishes
such as blueing, parkerizing, anodizing, plating, etc. or on a sandblasted
or glass bead blasted surface. The coating adheres to all metals and most
The bonded coating will appear uniform in color, smooth and free
cracks, runs, sags, scratches, pin holes, blisters, bubbles, and
The optimal thickness of the coating will be between .0003" and .0009"
unless a thicker coating is desired. The thin coating characteristics of less
than one thousands of an inch allows easy re-assembly of precision fitted
Moly Resin™ contains molybdenum disulfide which provides excellent
anti-friction characteristics. Wear life is comparable to blued,
parkerized and other common firearm finishes. Moly Resin™ is a phenolic Resin that when thermally cured, produces the most durable thermally cured painted surface of any products on the market. Wear life when tested on Tabor Abrasurf with #CS10 wheel installed @ 500 grams weight minimum 235 RPM's.
The cured coating will withstand exposure at 500 f for 1000 hours
minimum and 1000 hour minimum soak at -125 f. Minimum initial oxidation
temperature is 880 f. Thermal breakaway is 1000 f minimum.
Moly Resin™ will meet 24 hour emersion requirements in the following
aviation gasoline, hydraulic fluid, jet fuel, lubricating oils, paint
removers, trichlorethylene, nitric, sulphuric and hydrochloric acids,
hydrogen peroxide, gun powder solvents, strong bases such as ammonium
and sodium hydroxide, and numerous other chemicals.
Moly Resin™ , when applied to bare sandblasted cold rolled steel will
pass the test procedures for salt water spray at 1000 hours, salt water
immersion at a minimum of 1000 hours, accelerated salt spray test equivalent to 30 years marine atmosphere exposure, and 60 days sea water immersion.
All Metals The surface of the parts to be coated should be clean and
free of any oils, solvents, etc. Best cleaning methods appear to
be soap and water;
however, a chemical cleaning with MEK, acetone, etc. is also acceptable. The dullest finish for each color is achieved by sand abrasive blasting the parts with a fine sand before coating. Glass beads may also be utilized and the coating may be applied over existing finishes such as blued, parkerized,
anodized, etc. for a slightly glossier appearance. Best overall finish is
achieved by andblasting. This will give the best coat bonding and adhesion, as well as, uniform texture. Sandblasting removes minor scratches and metal
surface imperfections. Chrome or nickel plated parts should always be
sandblasted for best adhesion. After sandblasting, rinse parts off with soap and water to remove sand dust and oil from air compressor.
After sand blasting and cleaning, the part(s) should be preheated in an
oven long enough to get the parts to a temperature of about 100 f. Shake
the bottle very well to remove all residue from the bottom of the bottle.
Remove parts from the oven and lightly spray Moly Resin™ on the part(s)
through an airbrush. Apply the coating from numerous angles and directions.
Several light fog passes are more preferable than attempting to coat the part
in one heavy coat. Airbrush pressure should be set low enough as to not cause the resin to dry in the air before it coats the surface of the parts. This
helps prevent "angel hair" or "cob webs" floating in the air. Parts may be
sprayed while they are 100 f so the liquid solvent can immediately be
evaporated upon contact with the warm part(s) resulting in a very consistent
finish. If parts cool down during spraying, you may return the partially sprayed
part(s) to the oven for preheating back to 100 f.
Curing Procedures: All Metals
After part(s) are coated with Moly Resin™ they should be cured
oven at 300 f. for one hour. If you prefer, the temperature may be reduced
to 250 f. and cured for 1 ½ to 2 hours instead of one hour at 300 f. The
300 f. curing temperature does product the hardest coating. Heating metal
firearm parts to 250 f. or 300 f. will not harm them.
Pretreatment, Application and Curing of Plastics.
A variety of plastic parts are currently being used on firearms.
for merely cosmetics reasons and others for weight reduction, toughness, or
simply ease of manufacturing. Although these parts do not rust, they
may become discolored or scratched up. In addition, they may not match the
other parts of the firearm exactly in color. For example, the Colt
M-16/AR-15 stocks are fiberglass with a black coating. If you scratch through the black coating the light colored fiberglass will show. If you want a perfect
match of color between metal parts and plastic parts, Moly Resin™ has been
formulated to adhere and cure on most plastics. Plastics that are
unsuitable are clearly those that will melt, soften, or otherwise be damaged due to the curing temperatures needed to harden the Moly Resin. In order to avoid possible damage to plastic parts such as stocks, forearms, barrel
shrouds, etc., we recommend that you do the following: 1.) Reduce the curing
temperature to 200 f. and cure for two hours, and 2.) Remove all metal
parts from the plastic before preheating and curing. If your oven
thermometer is not accurate you may accidentally heat the plastic to a temperature which will deform or melt so BE CAREFUL.
Heat: Preheating your part(s) before spraying will eliminate the
possibility of runs. If you do have runs or "wet spots" instead of a dry smooth
appearance when spraying, you are either spraying too close to your
part(s), your part has cooled down, or you are spraying too much Moly Resin™on the part(s). It should be noted that Moly Resin™ can be sprayed on parts at room temperature (no preheating) and then cured at 300f. If you do not preheat, you may find that you get what are called "fish eyes" in the paint industry. Fish eyes are very small spots that do not allow the spray to cover the metal and are usually caused by oils, silicones, or other impurities on the metal surface. Preheating allows the resin to cover this impurities.
The best sprayer for Moly Resin™ will be an inexpensive
external mix airbrush. They usually run from $5 to $50. and can be found at
discount stores, as well as, hobby shops and are powered by a aerosol can of
air, air tank, spare tire, or air compressor. The external mix airbrush mixes
the air and Moly Resin™ on the outside of the airbrush. External airbrushes
are much easier to clean than internal mix airbrushes. In addition, internal
airbrushes are usually more expensive. An airbrush will spray a much
smaller amount of coating thus reducing over-spray, waste and wet glossy spots.You may order an airbrush for $9.99 by contacting Harbor Freight Tools at 1-800-423-2567. Part # 06131-5JDB Air brushes from $27.99 up are also
available at Harbor Freight. Badger Model 350 is an excellant choice at your
local hobby shop.
After spraying, run acetone or MEK (methyl ethyl ketone)
through the airbrush to clean the tip. Acetone and MEK can be purchased at
your local hardware stores or solvent supply houses. Do not run "rubbing
alcohol" through your airbrush to clean it or use it to dilute or thin Moly
Resin™ . Rubbing alcohol has 10% to 30% water added for medicinal purposes. Do not mix or clean your airbrush with any solvent that has water. The water will immediately react with uncured Moly Resin™ making it hard to remove from the airbrush.
Moly Resin™ may be thinned, diluted or cleaned up with MEK.
Thinning is normally only needed if the lid on the bottle is left off
allowing the liquid solvent to evaporate. A
Failure to adhere to surface when cured is due to insufficient
shaking, incorrect curing temperature and/or the presence of grease,
It is very important that every time you use Moly Resin™ to
first vigorously shake the bottle until all residue is off the bottom. The
residue is the molybdenum and tinting agents. If you don't you will not get
consistent coloration or results. Tan is a combination of several
colors and it is extremely important to frequently agitate the Tan solution to
keep all the pigments in suspension. Failure to do so will produce different
shades of Tan.
Moly Resin™ may be applied over an existing cured Moly
Resin™ finish. Cured parts or complete firearms may be retouched by simply wiping the surface with alcohol, acetone, etc., preheating, and applying Moly Resin™ very lightly with an airbrush over any marred or scratched surfaces. Cure at 250 f. to 300 f. for one hour.
Moly Resin™ colors may be mixed together to create the
perfect shade for your project. Due to the variance in factory Colt color
shades, it is usually easier to refinish the entire firearm rather than experiment
with blending. The White and Tan Moly Resin coloration is heat sensitive.
You may produce a darker shade when the curing temp is higher.
Additives: A flatter non-reflective coloration of all the Moly Resin
colors can be achieved by the addition of the Moly Resin™ Flattening
Additive. Although varying amounts of flattening additive have already been added to all colors, you may want to increase their flat appearance or simply
turn the semi gloss black to a flat black. An ounce or two added to a quart
makes a noticeable difference. If you spray in a very dry or warm environment the Moly Resin™ Anti-Drying Additive will eliminate "cobweb or angel hair"spray textures that may occur in these drying conditions. See price listing for additives.
Rusted and Pitted Parts:
There is no chemical reaction required between the metal and Moly Resin™ for it to adhere as required with blues, parkerizing, anodizing, plating, etc; therefore, Moly Resin™ may be applied over rusted or pitted areas that have been filled by soldering, brazing, etc.
Moly Resin™ may be used for cosmetic refinishing and/or as a protective coating against the elements. When used solely as a cosmetic finish, it is unnecessary to completely disassemble many firearms to refinish. In many instances a large sub-assembly of parts may be coated without disassembly. You may sand blast, preheat, spray, and cured as one large piece since the airbrush will allow you to apply a coating to internal cavities and parts that you find difficult to disassemble. For example:
A revolver can be cosmetically refinished without removing the hammer or
trigger mechanisms. The hammer can be left in the forward position and
sandblasted, then cocked and again sandblasted. The sand can be washed
out with water and blown out with air pressure. After preheating, the
hammer can be sprayed in the cocked position and then allow to go forward and sprayed in the closed position resulting in all visible parts being coated.
The most appropriate material to abrasive air blast your metal
surfaces with is a fine sand that has been sized (strained) for sandblasting
purposes. You will find this type sand at your larger hardware outlets. It is
usually available in 50 to 100 lb sacks usually labeled "# 4 Sand" or "Fine
Sand." "Play Sand" is too coarse. Glass beads may also be used but due to
their less abrasive nature, glass bead blasting will not remove scratches and
surface imperfections like sand. Sand also creates a better bonding surface
resulting in superior adhesion of the coating to the metal.
Spray Booths and Paint Masks:
As with all spray paints and aerosol coatings, the use of either a standard automotive paint mask (organic fumes) or fresh air ventilation, or both, is strongly advised. The fumes should not be inhaled on a continuous and repeated basis. See Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for more information. A spray booth is not needed but is convenient especially in foul weather. A spray booth can easily be made out of a few 2x4 studs and clear plastic sheeting and constructed in the corner of your garage or shop. A simple inexpensive squirrel cage blower can be used to draw the over spray and fumes from the booth to outside air..
A home type cooking oven can be utilized to provide the curing
heat. Simply support the parts with metal hooks from the upper oven rack for
preheating and then for curing after spraying. A more convenient
method is to build a vertical oven using a "school locker." A vertical oven
allows you to hang barrels and complete barreled receivers easily along with
smaller parts. An inexpensive toaster type oven can be purchased at your
local mass merchandiser and then disassembled. The heating coils can be installed onto the inner walls of the oven.. The thermostat and timer can be placed on the outside. If you decide to build such an oven feel free to contact us if you need additional information.
Moly Resin™ is currently being used as a coating
by manufacturers of shooting glasses, caustic chemical valve and
automotive parts manufacturers, gunsmith schools, as well as, for surgical tools. The applications are numerous and varied.
Product Sizes and Prices:
PRICES: Includes shipping charges via UPS in continental U.S. C.O.D. UPS is $5.00
Colors: Grayish Black, Flat Black, Semi-Gloss Black, and Gray
$18.00 / 12 ounce, $39.00 / per quart, $131.00 / gallon. Colors: Green, Tan,
Brown, Stainless and Off White are $ 23.00 / 12 ounce, $45.00 / per quart,
$150.00 / per gallon.
Additives: Flattening Additive is $5.00 / 3 ounces. Anti-Drying
Additive is $7. 00 / quart or $4.00 / 12 ounces. Additive prices do not include shipping charges. Moly Resin products cannot be shipped by air
(overnight, next day, etc)
Please Note: When ordering use the full product description such as,
semi gloss black, flat black, etc.
We are unable to accept Charge Card orders. Send Orders to: John
Norrell, 2608 Grist Mill Rd.., Little Rock, AR 72227, Fax 501-225-7864. E-Mail