There comes a point in every hunter’s life where a hunter makes a decision to make a change in equipment and for many reasons. Some hunters only want the newest and latest technologies; some want to upgrade after purchasing a cheaper model, and others have out grown their equipment.
I found myself in this particular position last spring but for a slightly different purpose. It was time to drop from a 12 gauge to a 20 gauge for shotgun hunting. Facing shoulder surgery, I wanted to continue to hunt while not putting so much force and recoil on my already damaged shoulder. After surgery I would need a gun, but didn’t want to worry about re-injuring my surgically repaired shoulder.
At gun shops, I drooled over new pump and semi-auto 20 gauge shotguns. I had the money to buy what I wanted but knew in the back of my mind, I already had a 20 gauge I was more than comfortable with; a gun my father had given me. I had used the gun for deer hunting but never turkey season. It had both the field and fully rifled barrels. It was a very versatile gun that I loved very much. The only problem was I did not want to carry the shiny gun through the turkey woods. I wanted to make the shiny parts camo, at the very least, and duct tape was not an option.
I debated and debated if I should buy a new gun or use the old reliable gun passed down to me by my dad. I chose to use my old gun but give it a face lift. At the suggestion of my husband, I decided to improve upon the product I already trusted and had many successful deer harvests with. I purchased aftermarket camo replacement stock and forearm for my treasured gun. When the parts arrived, they were for a newer version of the same model and did not fit my shotgun.
With turkey season approaching, I needed to do something. I had seen guns “dipped” and thought the same could be done to my shotgun. I contacted Hardcore Hydrographics, who would be exhibiting at a local hunting expo. Explaining my situation, I asked if they would be able to dip my gun. They were more than willing to camo dip my stock and forearm, and they asked for me to bring the parts with me to the expo.
Taking the stock off a gun is not very hard, however, getting the forearm detached was a little more difficult. I highly recommend paying careful attention to how the forearm comes apart before attempting to dismantle the gun parts yourself. If you are not familiar with these components, I would recommend having someone with more experience or a gunsmith assist you.
The items would be prepped and dipped to order. I had selected my choice of camo from many different patterns. Hardcore Hydrogrpahics also gave an option of finish; gloss or flat. I chose the flat finish to lessen the chance a turkey would see a glare off my shotgun.
I was instantly impressed when I received my parts back from Hardcore Hydrographics. The stock and forearm looked better than brand new. As I previously stated, if you are not familiar with assembling and disassembling of guns, you may need some assistance putting the parts back on your gun. Once assembled, my gun looked better than ever! Hardcore Hydrographics was able to improve my already great gun.
Once the gun was reassembled, I took the it to our back door range to pattern the gun with turkey loads. After shooting three different loads, I was able to pick a shell that patterned pretty close to my 12 gauge turkey gun. It was then that I was ready for Ohio turkey season. Having never used a 20 gauge for anything other than deer hunting, I was a little nervous. After patterning several turkey loads, I was confident the gun would do the job. I carried my recently dipped gun through the woods and brush. The finish did not appear to be affected despite briers and wear and tear from transporting the gun.
The first time my husband and I turkey hunted together in Ohio during the 2014 season, we found success as we doubled on jakes. My trusted shotgun complete with the camo dipped stock and forearm was not spotted by the sharp eyes of the flock of turkeys. The next day I used the same shotgun to tag out with a mature tom. I was completely satisfied with the results of the 20 gauge.
During deer season, I allowed my younger cousin to use my cherished shotgun for his first hunt. We practiced with the gun and took it to the woods for his first successful harvest. He carried the gun during an ice storm and a day of pouring rain. The finish remained without a blemish.
Hardcore Hydrographics camo dipping brings new life to an old object; just as it did for my treasured shotgun. With so many hydro graphic patterns to choose from, your item is completely customizable. Hardcore Hydrographics can dip lots of other items other than just gun parts. Some items I have seen dipped include European deer mounts, and mounts for deer antlers. Even items such as helmets and tire rims can be dipped.
The hydro graphics process completed by Hardcore Hydrographics has a MSRP of $60.00 for standard butt stock and fore grip as completed on my 20 gauge shotgun. Contact Hardcore Hydrographics for specific pricing information. Visit www.hardcorehydrographics.com for contact information, samples of their work, and pattern offerings.
The Hardcore Hydrographics logo is the sole property of its rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.
Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.