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Stop Using Crayons; Use Lacquer-Stik [Color Fill In Paint]

On YouTube there are several instructional videos showing how to fill in the stampings and engravings on firearms with color.  Some use crayons, others use nail polish, paint pens, Testors model paint, etc.  Some of these videos advocate heating items with a brazing torch (!) and use of harsh chemicals.  I have yet to find one that actually uses the product purpose-made for these projects: Laquer Stick.

Color Fill-In with Lacquer Stik.

Color Fill-In w/ Lacquer Stik for easy ID.  [Click to enlarge; Background – Hawaiian Shirt Friday]

Used like grease pencils, you just rub / smudge the compound into the markings you want to highlight and then wipe away with the excess with a cloth.  [I to use 100% cotton patches to prevent any chance of scratching.]  After a while it dries and becomes permanent. You can degrease with rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits beforehand if you want, but I don’t always do that.  The surface of the marker will dry between uses so the next time you need it, just take a knife a slice off the dried layer to expose fresh compound.  And they go a long way; at $5 per stick, one of each color you want to use is pretty much a lifetime supply.

While I generally don’t feel the need to advertise the makers’ marks on my firearms (Flair!), I do enjoy being able to quickly discern which flavor of Glock magazine I’m looking in the back of the safe without having to shine a light on it.  They are also useful for highlighting the round count numbers on magazines or safety selector marks on receivers.  A product reviewer on Brownells website used it to fill in engraving to prevent rusting of the bare metal.

So avoid the ‘Crayon and Flame’ method and do it right.

Tom Gresham’s Operation Mag Drop

A few years ago on Gun Talk, Tom Gresham announced the Operation Mag Drop campaign.  Essentially, whenever you go to a place that has a ‘reception area’ where people wait (doctors’ offices, airport lobby, hospital, etc.) you bring along a few gun magazines to leave behind.  The idea being that by appealing to people’s curiosity and offering an alternative to the usual reading fare we re-normalize gun culture and might even be able to counter anti-gun rhetoric found in other media.  In doing so, we hopefully reach people that otherwise wouldn’t hear our side of the story.

Granted, the likelihood of a magazine causing an instant pro-gun epiphany in a dentist’s waiting room is slim but if it at least causes someone to question the credibility of something like the “90% Lie” next time they hear it (plenty of folks still have no idea about Project Gunwalker), the purpose has been served.  Plus the overall positive portrayal of firearms helps in itself and you can say you’re saving the planet by keeping all that paper out of a landfill.

The reason I bring it up is because of the jury duty I served earlier this week.  I spent pretty much all of Monday in a jury assembly room.  Six and a half hours to be exact; simply waiting to be called.  We were greeted, thanked for our service, watched a 10 minute orientation film and then sat in silence.  There were several magazine racks already there with reading material, mostly fashion and Hollywood reporting magazines.  I felt prepared with a netbook, magazines and my smartphone but most people didn’t bring anything with them to occupy the time.  The courthouse did have open WiFi but only a couple out of the group had computers and many (Android) smartphones have short battery life when used frequently.  Even then the WiFi signal quit sometime after lunch.  It was a perfect setting for Operation Mag Drop.  During breaks, I seeded the magazine racks with some recent issues of Guns, American Rifleman and America’s First Freedom.  [I do trim off the address labels].  I would also recommend American Handgunner and other such broad spectrum gun magazines that show sporting use* of firearms.  I’ll leave it up to you as to whether to leave behind a Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement, S.W.A.T. or Soldier of Fortune magazine.  Those may not be the best for winning hearts and minds but I’ll still be thankful for them if I wind up in a waiting room where the only other choices are Redbook, Newsweek or Highlights.

[*Yes; not about duck hunting. Got it.]