Lower Receiver Safety Indicator Painting

We have all seen the H&K style painted safety indicators, and I have to admit they do look kinda nice. I am not sure they serve any real purpose though, as anyone familiar with the M16/M4 platform should be preforming by feel. Having said that, I do find myself at the range from time to time in an instructor capacity. Anyone in this position will see it happen at least once per day. Someone goes to pull the trigger and nothing happens. It is probably that the safety is on, but from a distance there is no way to be sure, so if they do not catch it on their own you are forced to assure they keep the weapon pointed down range and go look. Having the indicator painted helps identify this problem from a distance even with eyes and ears on.

 

Clean receiver with solvent
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This DIY is for a Teflon or painted firearm. If your receiver is only hard anodized, ignore all the steps except the ones which are red throughout the article. For supplies you are going to need:


All said and done the paint will be about ten dollars shipped. Worth a mention is if you are filling back in after an NFA engraving, you will want Testors 1749 Flat Black. With all your supplies gathered up, start my applying a light coat of solvent to the area on the receiver you will be working in. Wipe any excess solvent off, and wait a few minutes to assure that there is no solvent remaining as this can tint your paint.
 

apply medium coat of paint to ar15 receiver
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If you have a painted receiver mix in 2ml of thinner with 1/4 oz of the Insignia Red and shake for 60 seconds. Now using a cotton swab apply a medium coat of paint to the fire position indicator. Try not to make more of a mess than you have to, but a little excess is not going to matter.

If you have a anodized receiver mix your paint 3:1 with the thinner and shake. If you are using an insulin syringe draw up ~10 units of paint. Using the syringe as a sort of quill pen, slowly lay paint into the grooves of the fire indicator. No matter how much care you use, there will be some out side the lines.


dab painted area to keep paint damp
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Wait sixty seconds then with a solvent dampened paper towel lightly dab the area once. Do not keep blotting. All you are trying to do is keep the excess paint from curing while giving the intended are time to set up a little more. Wait another thirty seconds and and blot once more with a new paper towel. Then flip the paper towel to the clean side and wipe the area once. Use as little pressure as you can. The wait of the paper towel is enough. Repeat the steps until all excess paint is removed.

Use the same steps as above, but do not use a paper towel. Use a cotton swab with solvent on it. Do not use a lot of pressure of you will end up buffing the area.


Close up of painted safety indicator after cleaned
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From this point on the steps are the same for both types of receivers. After twenty to thirty minutes you can do back and lightly wipe down the entire receiver with solvent on a rag. Again do not use a lot of pressure. Now you can repeat the above steps for the white areas. Do the white last other wise transfer from the red will leave the white pink. After a day of curing pretty much nothing you do will remove the paint. Unlike whiteout or crayons, this is pretty much permanent. I have seen a ton of reviews on-line where this turns out looking good..... from 10 feet, or with a blurry camera. The ones that were not using the ten foot rule had noticeable buffing marks around the painted areas. Don't be a rookie. Do this right. If you still need more help check out the video below on AR15 receiver painting.