Duty gun...badass once again!
I've been carrying a Kimber TLE/RLII as my primary handgun for about five years now. Several thousand rounds through it, multiple tactical school, a lateral academy, monthly and quarterly quals...it has weathered them all. Let me assure you, I LOVE this gun, and it has never failed me provided I kept it clean and run a 20lb spring. It's no secret that Kimber's QC has deteriorated over the years. While the gun has functioned flawlessly for me, the finish has always left something to be desired. Within a few months of carrying it, it started to develop surface rust on the the slide's serrations, and the cheapo "minor" parts Kimber used (like the grip safety, thumb safety, and slide lock) had very poor finish quality and began to show wear within just a few weeks.
A buddy of mine at work is an armorer for several weapons systems. He also has a professional sandblaster setup, a pro-sprayer for cold phosphating and paint application, along with an industrial convection oven. He's done a half dozen refinish jobs for guys at the PD with fantastic results, and also markets his service elsewhere. He does several finishes, and I chose the Gun-Kote based on the results some of the guys at work swear by. All he asks from us at the PD is cold beer, some meat to toss in the smoker while we work the afternoon away, and some help with the process. I took him up on his offer today.
Here's the gun when it was pretty new. I don't have any more recent pics showing the wear and tear, unfortunately.
Getting the old finish sandblasted off...
Post-phosphating and a round of heat, now getting the Kote applied.
In the oven.
The finished product! I went with a two-tone black and flat dark earth. Re-finished everything except the barrel, the guide rod, and the springs. :) A little cold perma-blue to nix some holster wear on the sights, and I've fallen in love all over again!