Both Hyro Dipping and GunSkins offer a solution to complete concealment. But they are very different from each other when it comes to the Do-It-Yourself approach. It may be important to consider the pros and cons of each method if you are considering camouflage for your firearm.
Camouflage Hydro Dipping
First and foremost before hydro dipping, the gun must first be cleaned and pretreated. A base coat spray is applied to the surface to allow the graphic to stick to it with maximum adhesion. Next, the camouflage pattern design is laid to float on top of a large vat of water. The film is gravure printed, similar to the offset printing used for newspapers. Because the pattern is printed on water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol film, it can dissolve when sprayed with a chemical agent. This also activates the material for bonding.
At this point, the gun is lowered into the water, through the camouflage film. The pattern wraps around the surface of the gun. The gun may need to be dipped more than once to allow the entire surface to be coated. Lastly, remove the gun from the water and apply a coat of finishing solution to protect the newly dipped pattern. This creates a very professional looking, evenly distributed, camouflage coating that looks as if the gun were manufactured with the design from the very beginning. Every crevice, nut, and corner gets covered with camouflage.
GunSkins Camouflage Wrap
GunSkins camouflage kits are made from a conformable high performance vinyl material. They are 100% waterproof and very durable. These do-it-yourself kits involve applying the precut pieces to the surface of the weapon, then using heat to set them in place. For irregular shaped items the GunSkins material can be trimmed to fit. Simply cut a large section of miscellaneous material from the kit template and fit it over the surface area you intend to wrap. Any excess material can be used for overlap or be trimmed away.
Using a heat gun or blow dryer helps to make the material more flexible. After installing GunSkins, it is necessary to apply heat to the entire surface of the weapon to set the material. Press firmly on the surface with your hands to conform the material to the contours and recessed areas.
Compare and Contrast
|Application Surfaces: Wood, plastic, metal, glass, composite... As long as the object is submersible.
Application Surfaces: Wood, plastic, metal, glass, composite...
Installation: Do it yourself. Requires specific equipment, chemicals and approximately 8 hrs.
Installation: Simple do it yourself install. Approximately 2 hrs
Permanent: Can be removed using professional bead blasting.
Removable: Has no affect on the surface of the weapon.
Finish: Durable matte clear coat.
Finish: Durable matte laminate.
Longevity: 10+ Years.
Longevity: 5+ Years.
Hydro dipping is not inferior to a vinyl kit, but it does involve a lot more equipment, time, and cost. In the time and price of covering a single gun in the hydro film material, it's possible to wrap two or three separate firearms in GunSkins camouflage wrap kits. Removing the coating can also be difficult, and may require blasting the gun and leave an effect of the surface.
If you feel like there's one camouflage pattern that can be classified as the end all camo, then hydro dipping's permanent nature will work to your advantage. In contrast, however, GunSkins kits can be easily removed or layered and leave no effect on the surface of the gun. Therefore, new patterns can be applied over and over again as the situation calls for it.
It Comes Down to Personal Preference
We've had many customers who could not tell if the gun they were holding was wrapped in a GunSkins kit or hydro-dipped. When installed correctly, a GunSkins kit can appear seamless, completely fitting the contours of the gun, and offer total protection for both you and the gun.
Hydro Dipping and GunSkins both enhance the surface of your gun for the better. Both require effort from the end user as is the nature of any do-it-yourself kit. Hydrographics is a relatively costly and complex process that is very permanent. With little room for error and a large learning curve this process is best left to the professionals.
GunSkins offer a user friendly and forgiving installation process. They also provide and inexpensive way to provide a layer of protection for the surface of the weapon while still allowing the option for future removal.