January 06, 2012
George Spafford is building a replica of the Yugo M70B rifle using a stub parts kit. A new installment will appear here every Friday
Loctite and Planning for Refinishing
Screws were backed out, Loctite 2760 thread locker was applied, screws reinserted and then screwed down tight.
There was a gap of a few weeks between the range and finishing the build due to other obligations. Early one Saturday morning with my coffee cup firmly in hand I got the rifle out, stripped it back apart and thoroughly degreased the rifle. I removed each screw, applied Loctite 2760, their high-strength impact resistant formula, and re-tightened each.
After my experience at the range test firing the rifle, it did make it clear that checking the screws periodically in the future to make sure they remaining tight would be a good idea — even with the Loc-Title — as part of cleaning when coming back to the range.
Safety Note: Going forward, if you use this method to build a rifle, confirm the screws are tight during each cleaning. So far, after almost a year and hundreds of rounds, the Loctite-treated screws have not showed any sign of coming loose.
Preparing to Refinish the Rifle
A very durable firearms finish that I prefer comprises of five steps steps — clean, abrasive blast the metal parts, clean like a zealot, Parkerize, and then apply Molyresin. In this case, I opted for their gloss black as it has a shiny wet blue look to it. I have followed this five-step approach for two years now and am very happy with the results. What may surprise you is how easy this is. Parkerizing may seem like an arcane black art but it is not.
With that said, you can get very good results without Parkerizing — it just makes the end result that much more durable because surface preparation is the critical key. Spray-on finishes really benefit by having an etched surface to "grab" on to. I used to just clean, abrasive blast, do a final cleaning and then spray on the finish. This has held up very well. Use Parkerizing to lay a foundation makes an even more durable finish.
Now I should tell you what doesn't work — you should not simply spray a weapons finish to metal that hasn't been prepped. It will chip off on areas with a lot of contact such as where the dust cover contacts the receiver. I tried vigorous sanding once and had very inconsistent results. I only recommend two methods — abrasive blasting and then application of the finish or abrasive blasting, Parkerizing and then application of the finish.