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Thread: Hydro dipping your rifle.

  1. #1

    Hydro dipping your rifle.

    Hi guys

    I have very recently purchased a new tikka t3 Hunter in 270 cal (which came up at a very attractive price) and decided on a stock swop - the rifle is as yet unfired. I acquired a mint unused t3 black synthetic stock for the rifle from a member of this forum. I like the Idea of the robustness and maintenance free nature of a synthetic stock but the usual black Tikka T3 stock is a little bland for my liking. I initially tried to get hold of a synthetic Factory camo stock but had no luck.

    After a bit of research I decided to get the black stock hydro dipped, though I believe water transfer printing is the correct terminology. I am sure many of you are aware of the process but a quick rundown is as follows -

    It involves firstly prepping the stock by priming and if necessary masking off ( initially carrying out any minor filling of scratches dents or chips if required) A thin film of the desired patterned transfer is then placed into a tank of water and sprayed with an activator. The ink from the transfer literally then floats on top of the water while somehow still maintaining the exact chosen pattern, the stock is then very carefully dipped in to the water and the print adheres to the primed surfaces.

    The result depending upon the skill of the person doing the job can look spectacular! The item, in this case a gunstock is then dried and several coats of lacquer are applied to fully seal the transfer and to add an element of protection, this can give either a matte, semi matte or full gloss finish as desired.

    At the time of collecting the stock I was informed that it can take between one and two weeks for the four coats of lacquer applied to fully harden and give its best level of protection.

    The cost of the job was 85 which is pretty reasonable in my opinion given the quality of the finished stock. I chose an Autumn camo pattern which I am very pleased with. I prefer this to the factory Tikka t3 camo pattern which is incidentally, only available on a stainless rifle.

    I have also added the latest version of the limbsaver recoil pad to the rifle. This should hopefully help manage the recoil of the 270 cal a fair bit given the light weight of the T3 rifle.

    I am also planning to get the rifle Cerakoted at some point.

    I hope this thread has been of interest to anyone thinking of getting a stock Hydro dipped. There are quite a few different camo patterns available as well as numerous other finishes such as carbon fibre to chose from.

    I have added a few photos which are not ideal due to the flash bounce back at the time of the photo but it gives a pretty good idea of what can be achieved.

    Happy Dipping!...... Oh...the walnut stock in the photo is up for sale in the classified section under firearms components if anyone is after one.

    !Attachment 40766Attachment 40767Attachment 40768

    Some new photos now added.
    Last edited by paultap; 20-04-2014 at 13:41.

  2. #2
    Please keep us updated on the durability of the finish. It certainly looks the business. Have you got a link to the company who carried out the work?
    "If you can't see it, you can't shoot it"

  3. #3
    Attachment 40769Attachment 40770

    A couple more photos before mounting the action.

    The company that did the work was called AquaGraphix of Blackwood in Gwent. (South Wales)(AquaGraphix UK. Water Transfer Printing Hydrographics Services and Film Supplies, South Wales, Official importer of Hydro-Vator Activator)

    Tel 01443 835605.

  4. #4
    ive had a stock done a while now there are no marks on mine so far and seems as durable as any other finish the guy who done mine said it would be as good as duracoat but not the same chemical resistance so be careful with cleaning fluids i spoke to jager sa and they do a duracoat clear coat that would go over a hydrographic finish im going to get this done when i get a new 30-06 barrel from him

  5. #5
    When I first saw the heading of this I thought there would be a story about someone falling in a river with their rifle....

    Anyway, interesting process I have not heard of in the US.


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