Deep in the woods, just outside of Idyllwild California, I was shooting a piece on how to do a “Clover Leaf Recon.”
I had intended to produce that piece and only include short blurbs about the gear I had chosen to use, but when I started to research the glasses I had with me I found the coating on them so interesting that I thought I should share it with you all.
As a Sniper Instructor, grey had become my favorite color. It’s easy to darken or lighten, but its best attribute is its ability to smoothly blend into shadows and of course, when you’re hiding, there are always shadows.
For this reason I had brought out a grey pair of Oakley’s new Fuel Cell Cerakote glasses. As expected I was pleased with the fit, weight, and lenses but I was especially happy to see that after hours of crawling through bushes, and shoving the glasses in and out of my pockets, that they weren’t destroyed.
I knew they had a Cerakote finish on them, but to be honest, and I’m embarrassed to say this, I really didn’t know anything about Cerakote until I started doing the research for my original article.
Here’s what grabbed my attention about what Oakley is using to coat their replica glasses.
What you need to know about Cerakote
Cerakote is a ceramic based finish often used to protect and reduce the signature of high-end weapon systems as well as critical plastics, polymers, woods or metals that are expected to last and perform in a variety of conditions. Say like getting thrusted in and out of branches, leaves and dirt filled pockets.
Not just another paint job
It wasn’t the fact that Cerakote protects things from harsh elements that really caught my attention. It was how much better it protected things than other coatings that I found meaningful.
You can dip something painted with Cerakote into gnarly solvents like gun and brake cleaners, WD-40, Lacquer Thinner and even Acetone and Paint stripper with no effect on the coating.
Should you be putting your face into those things? Not unless you’re sniffing them out of a brown paper bag, but it’s not uncommon to be working with and around such things and having them get all over your hands and gear.
Don’t sniff anything inside of a brown paper bag unless your Momma put a day-old mayonnaise sandwich in it on a hot day. Only then do I recommend a “Sniff Check.” I’m not saying not to eat it. I’m just saying know what you’re getting yourself into.
Expose a Cerakote treated item to harsh salt spray and it will resist corrosion 575 times longer than stainless steel or blueing. Game changer.
There’s a test called “Taber Abrasion” that is used to determine the wear resistance of coatings. Cerakote’s closest competitor wore out after 600 cycles of the test while Cerakote continued to resist until it hit 8000 cycles.
That’s a crazy increase in abrasion resistance and that explains why they did so well when I had them in the field.
I wish I had Cerakote coated “Tough Skin” jeans back when I was a kid so that I didn’t have to roll to school with those funky patches my mom used to sew to my knees. Red hair, freckles and holes in my jeans – come on Mom!
Flexibility and durability
Cerakote can also handle 32% elongation as well as a 160 pound impact with no coating loss either.
Basically, the coating is earning one of my all time favorite Military descriptions: “Bomb Proof”
I almost don’t want you to click this link
Oakley has a particular pair of Cerakote glasses that I’ll be a doing a story about in the upcoming weeks and I just noticed that they’re already available in the Cerakote section of their site.
These puppies are actually individually airbrushed, have a killer story about where the design came from (which I’ll be telling later) and are the first and only “Cammie” styled glasses I’ve ever been excited about or would consider wearing on a regular basis.
You’ll know which ones I’m talking about when you see them…