At the ShotShow in 2019 I picked up a couple of kits form the folks at GunSkins® so I could try them. The variety of skins for different guns in different patterns was impressive all by itself. As a lifetime gunsmith with about 35 years of work under my belt, I have seen a lot of products come and go. In recent years the arrival of many new finishing products for guns has given the client/end-user a lot to choose from. Not many of them are what I would consider DIY, GunSkins truly are!
One of the kits I was given was for a standard AR-15 magazine. Naturally, I selected a patriotic, 2A pattern for my project. GunSkins AR-15 Mag Skins are designed to fit 30-round 5.56 x 45 NATO (.223 Remington) AR15/M4 compatible magazines. The kit includes pieces for the left and right side of a single magazine. I actually read the instructions just for the fun of it… Just six easy steps. It was really pretty self explanatory. A clean surface is the most important thing when doing any finish work, no exception with this product.
I really like the idea of making my magazines easy to tell apart from my shooting buddies. The vinyl provides a modicum of protection to my magazines as well.
Time invested on my first wrap was about a 1/2 hour as I was trying to learn as much as I could about how the vinyl stretches and how the heat gun affects it. I used a couple of things like a pen cap and Sharpie® pen and a cleaning brush to form the vinyl into the grooves of the magazine. Items with a sharp edge may tare the vinyl so everything I used to form was dull or rounded. Occasionally a bubble would refuse to go away, I poked a tiny hole it in with the razor to allow the air to escape. Once you get the hang of the process it would go pretty fast.
Generally speaking, vinyl wraps are less expensive than some of the other gun finishes out there. That does not mean they are cheap. GunSkins says they use the highest quality vinyl for their kits. They offer a 100% waterproof cover, durability and color. GunSkins are NOT permanent the vinyl can be removed
any time you want to change the look of your firearm.
Many other gun finish options require shipping your gun away or waiting hours or days for the finished product to be usable. GunSkins are designed with the end user in mind, as a simple DIY project that can be accomplished in just a few hours. Popular names in camouflage, such as A-TACS, Kryptek, Kuiu, and more are available. Allowing you to match the GunSkins wrap to apparel and gear of the same pattern.