Before you begin, let's go through a brief list of tools that will help you install your gun skin. Aside from having your firearm and Rifle Skin, you may also need: a sharp hobby knife, a heat gun (or hair dryer), a gun-specific degreaser, and towel.
Clean the Gun Thoroughly
The very first thing some people like to do is to disassemble their firearm. This is not required, but some find it easier to install the GunSkins in pieces and reassemble the gun afterward. Doing it this way will enable you to wrap around the edges, and create a seamless look when finished.
The most important thing you can do is prepare the surface by degreasing the gun. We do not recommend using rubbing alcohol alone as this will not cu through gun oil. Make sure to be thorough in cleaning every area you intend to wrap. Use a small brush if to ensure detail areas, like ribs or texture, get properly cleaned. Otherwise, the vinyl will have trouble adhering to the surface properly.
A clean gun makes for a clean install.
Peel & Stick
GunSkins are made from high performance vinyl. They are very durable and will do well to protect your firearm. The material is adhesive on the underside. Simply peel off the material, one piece at a time, and place on the surface of the firearm. Press firmly with your fingers as best you can stretch over the edge for a tight grab, working away wrinkles and air bubbles if you come across them. If you need to peel the piece off and try again that's fine. The material is very forgiving.
The magic happens when you use the heat gun to apply heat to the material. Doing this activates it and allows for greater flexibility and form. The vinyl will soften and take shape of whatever is on the surface. Press in with your fingers and bring out the detail on the buttstock receiver, forend, and barrel.The forend is tricky because of the round shape at the front end.
To achieve a wrinkle-free forend, center the piece along the bottom and work your way outward, creating tension as you heat the material and pull tightly. When you get to the front, it will require more heat and pulling as you work the material outward along the round edges, working away wrinkles outward as you go. Wrinkles are caused by an excess of material and not enough surface to lay it on. Therefore, the goal is to cover as much surface as possible in a smooth fashion and pull the excess over the edge, causing it to "flower". The loose material, hanging free over the edge, can be safely trimmed away, leaving a sharp and smooth round forend installation.
Trim Excess Material
Every rifle is unique and will require trimming away of the material to make fit your specific model. We tried our best to design our template to cover as much surface area as possible because it's better to trim away excess material than to come up short. Please download our template on the product page to determine if it will be a good fit your rifle.
As you finish installing the rest of the pieces, remember to angle the hobby knife blade outward and away from you when trimming. When two pieces meet and create an overlap, it will create a seam. Trimming the top piece in a straight line will clash with most camouflage patterns, drawing attention to the straight edge when the pattern most likely contains organic and complex shapes. To combat this, we suggest trimming the overlap in a meandering "S" shape cut. This allows for the pattern to blend much better and will draw attention to the area.
The Importance of Heat
During the repetitive installation process of peeling, placing, and trimming, it's true heat helps the material to conform around edges and difficult corners. The more heat you apply to the material, the more flexible it becomes. However, heat also plays a role in achieving a long lasting bond between the vinyl and the surface. After installing the entire Rifle Skin, it is required to hit the entire thing once more with heat in the final step: the post heat.
Heating the entire Rifle Skin and press firmly with your hands helps to solidify the bond between the gun and the vinyl. We recommend spending at least ten minutes on this. The more time is spent on this step, the better the gun skin will be able to protect your gun.
That's it! Congratulations to your gun, looking sharp in a new gun skin.