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BLACK SHADOW COATING by Nicholas Simmons 

    If, like me, over the years you've used several different types of rifles and shotguns, some with a classic blued finish and some with a stainless finish, you'll know there's nothing like the look of a nicely blued rifle/shotgun over the drab, boring and sometimes gaudy look of a stainless/synthetic. A classic blued weapon is great, especially if you only really use it on a nice bright day, whilst out for a Summer Roe buck or for thinning out some vermin on a friend’s farm.  But what if you're out in “all weathers and conditions”, crawling through mud, water, snow and bog (or all of the above!)?  Do you really want to drag your pride and joy through all of that?  Bit of a no brainer really isn't it?

     Some of us, being of a practical nature, just see sense straight away and go stainless/synthetic. Others are lucky enough to have both options and can have themselves something a bit special, plus an additional working piece. But more and more, nowadays, people from all walks of life are taking up shooting as a sport, and they can either only afford one rifle, or just can't justify the need for more than one weapon to their FEO.  So they're left with a dilemma as to what weapon/calibre/look will meet all of their needs and requirements.  I know, because I was in that position.  I love a nicely blued action and, for me, it's no great hardship to give my rifle a wipe down and oil it before putting it to bed. But some just wouldn't bother, and would end up, in a surprisingly short amount of time, with a rusty, pitted thing that just about goes bang.

     For me, fate intervened when the time came to fork out on a rifle, as I stumbled into one of the make, model and calibre that I had set my heart on, but found it was a stainless synthetic rather than the blued beauty that I had dreamed of.  After several trips out with my new rifle, in horrendous conditions, followed by long drives home, I found myself thinking that if I'd gotten a blued beauty it would be rusting up as I was driving, and I would have a lot of extra work to do at some ungodly hour when I got home, if it wasn't for the stainless beast that I got instead.

     I did all of the usual things to hide that shiny silver finish, including green tape and spraying with black spray paint, none of which really did the rifle any favours, and needed constant maintenance.  The rifle was all I had though, so I just lived with it.  Then, in an internet search for something completely different, I discovered Global Rifle and What a website ! Geared up for everything a man like me loves (except dancing girls and Land Rovers). Going down the menu, I saw Black Shadow Gun Coating, and, after a look at the pictures and a chat to Paul I thought “that's the stuff for me !”.

     Before treatment, and as part of my rifle care plan, I stripped my rifle down to its component parts for a clean and inspection, and then sent it, together with a copy of my FAC, to Global Rifle for Black Shadow treatment. You might feel a bit daunted by the prospect of stripping it down yourself and employ a gunsmith to do it for you.  A couple of weeks later I took delivery of a collection of parts that looked like they'd been taken from a spy plane!  Once I'd put it all back together, a job I like to do, I discovered my own stealth rifle!  Not only does it look like it was forged from parts of a B2 Bomber, but the action is so much better than before. All factory-made rifles, by necessity, have quite sloppy tolerances in the action to allow for the wide range of ammunition the end user is likely to use, and to keep replacement of components relatively straight forward.  Black Shadow acts as a self lubricating surface in the action and tightens the tolerances a bit so that your factory rifle starts to handle and shoot a bit more like a custom rifle.  It also protects the rifle underneath from the elements, so even a low cost blued rifle/shotgun can benefit from the process and become an all weather weapon.  Old T8 moderators get a new lease of life as well, though Black Shadow won't stop any internal corrosion.  

   The actual process of coating your rifle/shotgun is a trade secret and can't be spoken about.  All I know is that after using my rifle coated with Black Shadow, I can't recommend it enough.  Over the course of time I will be getting my rough shooting pump-action coated, and several of my friends are waiting for a bit of free time and spare money to get their rifles put into stealth mode.

    If this has peaked your interest, don't hesitate to get in touch with Paul, Romy or Fala at Global Rifle for a quote.  Global Rifle will be attending many shows and game fairs throughout the year, so don't just take my word for it, look in on their stand and handle a few rifles that have been coated to see the difference with your own eyes.          

Global Rifle Tel 01455 291100