While staring at the calendar recently and continuing my countdown to day one of the 2012-2013 hunting season I started making out my list of things to do before the opening day arrives.

Like many hunters so often do there are a few things that always get pushed to the back burner with the thought of “I’ll get that done tomorrow” when in all reality we really know that means “I’ll do it at the last minute”.

Several items that always show up on the list include sighting in a bow or rifle, tuning up an ATV, rigging up new decoys and always checking waders for leaks. Nothing welcomes you to the morning in a duck blind like leaking waders.

This year I had another chore to take of and that was having a shotgun refinished for my son Hunter. After five tough years of hunting ducks in primarily a saltwater environment his Benelli was showing some serious wear as many guns are prone to do, especially those with a blued finish.

It almost inevitable that rust or pitting will occur no matter how religious you are when cleaning or caring for your weapon, it’s just a fact of life. Now there are several alternatives to refinishing your gun including a variety of coatings or camo dipping processes.

After doing some research and asking plenty of questions I settled on having the gun coated with Cerakote. Cerakote is the most durable finish on the market and is the choice of numerous gun manufacturers all over the world.

I was sold after seeing a few guns that had been coated using the process and then reading the tests that had been performed by several labs. The most intense test of the bunch was an abrasion test that basically rubbed the surface until it the coating wore through and the metal that had been coated became exposed. Finishes like Duracoat, Parkerizing, and GunKote were able to sustain approximately 700 cycles from the Taber wheel. The Cerakote finish made it through 6,000 cycles, nearly 10 times more than the others. Tough to argue with the results.

After deciding on using the Cerakote finish the next order of business was finding a shop to apply the coating. The biggest problem with having a process like this done is often the weapon has to be shipped off and that can be a pain since it involves using shippers with Federal Firearms Licenses.

Fortunately I found Landers Weapon Solutions in Lumberton who specializes in not only applying Cerakote finishes but in other various coatings and specialty gun work. The burden of shipping and insuring the shotgun was now out of the equation.

Garrett Landers who owns and operates LWS showed me several guns that he had just finished coating and they were top notch.

The prize of the bunch was an older model Remington 870 that had been coated with a silver or gray Cerakote finish while the wood stock and forend had been stripped down and refinished to show room condition.

The gun was flawless and a definite eye catcher.

The Cerakote finish is no doubt the best way to rejuvenate an older gun or to just protect a new gun with some extra added insurance. Taking rust out of the equation and making a firearm more durable is something that all gun owners can appreciate.

If you have a weapon in need of some work or just want to protect your firearm investment take a look at the Cerakote finishes. Pistols, Rifles, and any other weapon including knives can all be done in a variety of colors or patterns and the process is not expensive. If your looking to get a few more years out of your weapon check out Cerakote, it’s mighty impressive.

Photo: This revitalized Remington 870 came to life with a new Cerakote finish from Landers Weapon Solutions. RECORD PHOTO: Chuck Uzzle