Can I Really Use a Gear Skin to Wrap Anything I Want?

Can I Really Use a Gear Skin to Wrap Anything I Want?

As a gun camouflage company we focus on designing kit templates that will accommodate the most popular firearms on the market, including AR-15s, AK-47s, pistols, rifles, and shotguns. But let's not kid ourselves, there are A LOT of guns out there and rarely are two of them exactly the same.

When someone wants to wrap a variant, custom-build, or unique type of firearm it may be hard to choose which product to use. That's where our generic kit comes in. If all else fails, you can always wrap it with a Gear Skin! This is a single sheet measuring 8" x 50".

Using Gear Skins, we've wrapped AR-10 rifles, sniper rifles, tactical shotguns, spear guns, compound bows, paintball guns, you name it! With a little custom cutting, trimming, and a little heat to stretch, Gear Skins will conform to any shape. There's really no wrong way to do it, everyone will install it in their own way. But here are some tips and tricks that can help you successfully install a Gear Skin, regardless of the application.

Gear Skin (Kryptek Typhon)

Gear Skin (Kryptek Typhon)

Clean the Surface

Okay so this one is not Gear Skin specific, but it's just as important. The vinyl will not adhere to the surface of your object if there is dirt or grease present. Sometimes handling the object with your hands is enough to leave oils on it. Use a brush and an automotive or gun degreaser to work the recessed areas, protruding edges, and any other details that might contain dirt buildup.

Install in Pieces

Unless your object is small like a knife handle or a flashlight, typically it's better to segment your installation in pieces. This is especially important if your item contains moving parts that rotate, slide, toggle, or press in and out. Cut the Gear Skin into rectangular pieces, a little oversized so it encompasses the surface area you want to wrap.

Use heat to press the material on the surface, centered is best. Use your fingers to work the material outward and around if necessary. Heating the material with a heat gun will enable you to stretch it over contoured edges and press it in where it dips. Use a hand squeegee or a piece of cardboard to flatten areas and work the material into places where your fingers might be too big to fit.

Gear Skin (Proveil Reaper Z)

Gear Skin (Proveil Reaper Z)

Trim to Fit

Installing a sheet of vinyl over a flat surface is easy, but it can be intimidating if there are a lot of protruding pieces, sharp corners, rounded edges, etc. It's going to look ugly before it looks great, but that's okay. After you have the material pressed where you want, it might hang over the edge. You can either wrap it around or trim it right there using the edge as a guide. Either way, you're going to need to use a sharp hobby knife with a fresh blade and trim away the material. Angle the blade outward whenever possible, away from yourself and the surface.

If you're wrapping the front and back of an item in two pieces, we suggest trimming away just past the mid-point on the top and bottom. There's no need to wrap beyond this as the second piece installed on the other side will wrap over the first and create a seam. Depending on the pattern, you can cut a straight line or it might blend better it if you cut around the pattern itself, or in a meandering "S" shape to help breakup the colors.

Troubleshooting

If you experience a wrinkle while pressing the material into place, there's no need to panic. You can simply peel up the vinyl and try again. Sometimes pulling away from the tension will help relieve the pressure. Use heat to reset the material to remove any hard creases. If the problem persists, consider wrapping the area in multiple pieces.

It's perfectly normal for air to get trapped under the vinyl. The material is non-porous, so it's not going to leak out on its own. Easy fix. Simply use the tip of your knife and poke the air bubble. Hit with heat and press down on the area to seal it up again. Spending extra time on detailing the install like this will really make a difference in the overall finish.

Gear Skin (A-TACS AU)

Gear Skin (A-TACS AU)

Post Heat

After installing the Gear Skin and trimming it to fit, the last step of the process is to hit the surface with heat and press down on it one final time. Use the low setting on your heat gun and just go over the entire thing. It will help set the adhesion for good and give your installation the look you want.

There's really no limit to what can be wrapped using Gear Skins. We've seen customers use them on their motorcycles, vehicle dashboards, helmets, phone cases, and more. We're blown away sometimes after seeing how creative people are. If you've used a Gear Skin on something truly unique, send us an email with a photo. We'd love to see it!

12 comments

  • GunSkins: July 22, 2020

    Kile, our Mag Skins work on any brand. The vinyl conforms to whatever shape or texture is on the surface. Generally speaking, most mags are similar in shape so it’s rarely an issue of having enough material to wrap all the way around. To get the material to contour your mag well requires using a heat gun or blow dryer and pressing the vinyl into shape with your fingers, squeegee, or piece of foam. When cooled, the vinyl will harden and stay in place, hugging every detail like a skin should.

  • Kile: July 21, 2020

    does the mag wrap work on a tapco mag or just magpul

  • GunSkins: June 22, 2020

    Perry, the good news is you don’t need a Gear Skin to wrap your AR-15. We have a precut template specifically for the AR-15 Rifle!

  • Perry Holland: June 21, 2020

    I have a AR-15 I WANNA FREAK IT OUT….

  • GunSkins: June 03, 2020

    Levi, the AK-47 Mag Skin can be easily installed over ridges, or trimmed away if any protruding elements get in the way. The Tapco resembles the Magpul P-Mag, with the grid-like design and we have wrapped those successfully without any issues. The material is very flexible and easy to work with. I encourage you to give it a try. If you are not happy with the installation attempt, we’ll make it right!

  • Levi Tims: June 03, 2020

    I wish I could find an option specifically for the sks tapco mags the way they have the extra ridge in the back, and how they aren’t exactly the same as an ak47 mag makes me wonder if it would not only fit but look good doing so.

  • GunSkins: August 15, 2018

    Joe, we recommend using our AK-47 Mag Skins to wrap your 7.62×39 magazines. Trimming may be required to fit.

  • Joe M Molina: August 14, 2018

    Will this work on magazines for AR-15 chambered in 7.62×39?

  • GunSkins: August 07, 2018

    It’s great to know you’re wrapping knives, Gary. Unfortunately, there are too many variations in knifes to accommodate with a single pre-cut kit.

  • GunSkins: August 07, 2018

    We appreciate your enthusiasm, Rick! You nailed it right on the head!

  • Gary Corn: August 07, 2018

    Been using it on all kinds of knifes since gun skin came out ask then to come out with knife kit.but not yet.

  • Rick miles: August 06, 2018

    The product is awesome , the big key you want to change the pattern you can , unlike duracoat or cerakote. You are stuck with what you have. Kudos guys keep up the good work. Semper fi🇺🇸

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