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This is part two of my review on the KG Coating system. The first part was a custom camouflage job they put together for me. I loved it, but I wanted to see what they could do with something a bit more “beat up.” And boy, did I have just the gun. See below for the “before” pictures . . .




My friend purchased this Kimber Custom II over a year ago with the intent of having a fine range gun, bedside table, and general “I deserve this” pistol. At the time, the LGS wasn’t able to get a model from Kimber with Trijicon sights so he bought a Custom II, ordered a set of sights, and took it back to the LGS for installation. What you see above is the result of months of angry phone calls, online orders, and asshattery. A long, sad story short, the LGS mangled the first set of sights so badly that a second set was ordered. In the process, my friend’s slide was marred as well. With his investment at just a touch shy of a $1000, he was crushed. He rarely shot the pistol, any mention of it sent him spiraling into a depressed state (perhaps I’m being inflammatory).

So when KG offered to coat a beat up pistol for me, I knew just the gun. As you can see, there were dings, scratches, and some surface rust on the barrel. I dropped the gun off and some weeks later, I picked up the following.




Which was all fine and good and wonderful until I noticed this little guy below.


I called my friend and broke the news. It was better, but not great. I offered to let him have it back and spend the weekend thinking about it. At the same time, I emailed Chris at KG to tell him that it wasn’t perfect. He responded immediately to my email and told me to bring it back and they’d fix it no questions asked. My buddy took the gun shooting over the weekend, and brought it back to me on Monday to tell me that he did want to get it recoated. Neither of our schedules allowed us to drive out to Taylor that week so I shipped just the slide. Huge mistake.

A few weeks went by and the slide came back. The imperfections are gone and it looked perfect. The only problem? It didn’t match the receiver. At this point, my friend was on the verge of not talking to me. So the slide and receiver made one more trip to KG, the final coating was done, and I got my friend’s 1911 back.

Prepare for picture overload









I’m happy with the coating as I feel it does a good job of protecting the gun from errant scratches and dings. However, given my experience with KG applying the coating, I’d recommend finding an independent coating shop (KG is happy to make a recommendation) to do the work.

Specifications: KG Coatings Pistol Coating

  • Type: 2400 Series Gun Kote
  • Turnaround Time: 2 weeks to 6 months
  • Contact: 800-348-9558
  • Price: Varies
    • Handguns – $150
    • Rifles & Shotguns – $195
    • Rifle Barrel – $85
    • Barreled Actions – $135
    • AR-15 Receivers – $85
    • Additional Colors – $25/color

Ratings (subjective & based on five star maximum)

Durability * * * *

Much like the camo coating on my rifle, this coating is tough as all hell and seems to be impervious to scratches and abrasions from clothing, leather, and Kydex. However, metal on metal seems to wear the coating thin ever so slightly as you can see on the grip safety in the pictures above. Subsequently, I award four stars.


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  1. Looks very nice, seems the coating did a good job. Nice looking 1911!

    I actually prefer my “working guns” to have some dings, scratches, nicks, discoloration, paint wearing off here and there, “tell” marks….shows me they are tools I’ve been using and training with rather than just keeping them as safe queens.

    Kind of like how I like to see a pickup truck with its bed beat up and rusty here and there… a working truth.

    Just my .02

  2. If he doesn’t like it, I’d love that gun, even with dings.

    I gotta say though, shipping out the wrong slide? Yikes

  3. Wow.

    Out of curiosity, when you say the slide didn’t match the receiver, you mean the color? Or something else (eg they sent the wrong slide)?

    • I’m guessing the color ended up being a different shade since he didn’t have the rest ofthe gun to color match.

        • I bet tylers buddy felt the same disappointment you would feel after finding out what you thought was a natural red head really wasn’t one. Sigh

        • I’m guessing that on most occasions at the point you realize she ISN”T a natural redhead it becomes a point for (much later) discussion.

  4. Those rosewood grip panels are very pretty. Makes me want to go out and get a set.

    Unless someone has a better suggestion.

    • I’m partial to VZ grips. A wide range of colors and textures are available. The engraver will work with you for a custom set too.

  5. I’ve been cross-shopping different coatings for an old P226 I own. This review is definitely appreciated, I might be sending some business their way in the spring.

  6. Very nicely done.

    That said… Personally, I don’t have much of a problem with the gun as it was in the “before” pictures (only rust really bugs me). I’ve long ago decided I prefer shooting guns to looking at them – and that dings and scratches are part of that territory. Though I recognize that some of these particular blemishes served to remind the owner of an uneccessarily bad experience.

    I like the “after” pictures, too. But – were it my gun – I might worry that being too pretty could keep me from using it regularly.

  7. Much as I like pretty guns, so it gets dinged up? That happens to tools, if you can’t live with it, I’ll give you 10 bucks for it…

  8. As a guy who makes his living in the coating business (not coating firearms), no coating will last forever or survive an extreme point load, steel to steel. It’s physics. The coating will fail before the steel. That said, it looks like a real knucklehead damaged this 1911. Nothing my 9″ orbital grinder can’t fix….

  9. Well looking at the prices listed…the price is fair. Too bad it took a slow boat to China event to get the finish right.

    There are way too many hacks refinishing firearms that charge double that $150.00 fee for a straight up blast and bluing for pistols. For a blued finish no less!

    Hey….people can pay what they want. But bluing firearms is certainly not as popular these days given how ceramic finishes protect firearms so well.

    If you’ve never been around an old fashion bluing of a firearm…it’s not a safe work environment and is not to be taken lightly. Bluing solution/s from heat and substance will scar ya for life…for me it is ceramics!!

  10. Tyler,

    Just came across your review here, and would love to include it on KG’s FB page, with a link back to this page. Would that be alright with you?

    KG Industries


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