Cerakote on Lugs

Feb 14, 2017
Brother in law brought down his new creedmoor this weekend. In my opinion the smith went a little crazy with the cerakote. R700 action. He coated the race ways, breach face, and ENTIRE bolt. Lugs both front and back. Bolt face. Everything. I cant help but imagine that creating headspace issues. Opinions? Is this common practice? The primer on his factoru hornady ammo is flattened completely with slight primer cratering
Sep 6, 2006
Southern California
Common practice. Shouldn’t distrurb headspace. Unless the firing pin was bushed, the cratering is just what most remingtons do. Properly applied cerakote is extremely thin. He should be able to wear it off the lugs in no time.
Feb 13, 2017
I had one of mine cerokoated , the guy coated the whole bolt and raceways ect . It didn't have any effect on accuracy but had a huge negative effect on the feel of cycling the bolt.


Jun 9, 2009
Black Hills
Commonly done. I don't know about the breech face, but I guess as long as the chamber was plugged it's fine.

The lug cerakote will wear off very quickly, and headspace was probably set before cerakote was applied, so it might be tight to start with, which is not dangerous. The only negative would be if ammunition didn't fit, but ammunition is usually UNDER a GO gauge on head space.

The bolt face will wear in slower, but eventually will smooth out. Raceway Ckote, keep it oiled and cycle it a lot. clean out the mud, rinse and repeat until it's where you want it. It will eventually level out on its own and be pretty smooth.


Staff member
Mar 13, 2013
Southeastern, Pennsylvania
Zero issue with factory Remington bolt. I had a 700 5R that I ordered a new PTG bolt for and gave them custom measurements to remove the factory slop but account for cerakoting the inside of the action and the bolt. It took some cycles to smooth out but was very nice once worn in.
Feb 14, 2017
Thanks for the replies fellas. Never seen a “custom” rifle of this caliber. With all the garage shop gunsmiths i cant help but be cautious. Then again ive only owned rifles from top tier smiths. Looks like he will be fine for the 2 times a year he is in the field

LongRifles Inc.

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 14, 2010
Sturgis, S. Dakota
I coat every square inch and here's why: Paint your car once. Does the body shop leave door jams and areas where seals go unpainted and left in naked steel?

Masking off stuff is the oldest excuse in the book for folks who either can't, won't, or don't know how to properly fit parts together in anticipation of finish work. Be it stocks or metalwork. If you have a .703" receiver bore and a bolt that measures .700 and you slap 2 mils of coating on both guess what? You now have a .003" interference fit. So, you have to prep the bore or prep the bolt body.

Now really complicate it. Coat in Desert Sand once, that stuff doesn't lay on anywhere near the 1 mil NIC says it does. The lighter pigments require a heavier coat to hide the substrate. That means even more clearance/fitting work.

Tribal knowledge and why finishing work is a very slippery slope.

Bottom line: Why on earth does a guy leave a gun half naked when the client pays good money for having a rifle coated? Sorry to be blunt but this is a very flawed pathway.

A little patience, a little work, and stuff runs all day as it should.

"Without fact, you have an opinion." -a quote I recently read and really like.
Likes: redx
Aug 4, 2007
I've gone both ways and not trying to start a pissing match here. As Chad said the lighter pigments require thicker coats. Maybe Im just an odd duck here but I prefer to tape off the lugs and the tennon/counterbore, It looks cleaner to me. Headspace, I shoot for GO +.0015, I try not to stack tolerances but I do cerakote the bolt face and it does all add up. If it was my rifle (my shits the last to get worked on) I would cerakote everything as looks dont concern me much and it dosent effect how they shoot. As Chad mentioned bolt to receiver fit, I've seen guys order a .703 bolt for a .705 raceway and want both cerakoted, It'll never run smooth. If I'm ordering a PTG bolt I like to see a .007 difference between the bolt and raceway.

Just my .02,


LongRifles Inc.

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 14, 2010
Sturgis, S. Dakota
Masking off a bolt face (not the whole bolt nose) and the rear bearing surface of the lugs is a far cry from an excuse on a gun with 0 HS or +.001 - +.0015"
My response to that would be set the HS in advance anticipation or the real world of .001" HS be it + or - does not make one bit of difference on anything. You can control this with a die all day long. Again, you want a painted hood or left in the white cause it might chip because someone didn't align it correctly? Been building guns now close to 2 decades and coating them for almost 8 years. Never seem to have these HS issues. We have plenty of others, but don't recall that one...


formerly eddief
Feb 22, 2013
Exactly^^^, it will wear off the rear bearing surface of the lugs and the bolt face. So why not take 2 minutes and mask it off, it so easy a caveman can do it. Sure you can coat it all, then claim you coat it all and nobody else can fit parts etc. I see tons of cocking pieces, trigger shoes, safety arms etc not coated??

A lot of exceptional work being done both ways out there. Seems counterproductive to claim your way is the only non-flawed way. That sounded a bit arrogant, i'm sure you meant it another way......sorry to be blunt.

Sonic Crack

Desert Tech Solutions
Oct 24, 2011
Wellington, Ohio
Been coating the entire bolt for over 6 years and yet to have a HS issue. Tape off the lugs if it gives you that warm and fuzzy.
I always feel its best to ask those types of questions BEFORE the work is done.
Primer craters with a factory 700 bolt are standard issue, nothing unusual there.
Feb 12, 2013
I recently had to remove a few .001 off the back of a replacement bolt that had been cerakoted to adjust headspace on a replaced bolt to match multiple barrels. The cerakote was .001" or so. Wouldn't affect headspace unless you were at the extreme tight limit. Realize, there is .004" between go and no-go. If you are precision reloading your own, then headspace hardly matters anyway since you adjust your shoulder bump to match your chamber. I bush every remington bolt I own to .062 nominal and have never seen a crater on a bushed bolt. So in this case, if factory ammo chambers easily, then you have no problem. If factory ammo is hard to close the bolt on, then the headspace is tight.



Sep 17, 2017
I'm going to cerakote a Stiller Tac 30 and I couldn't easily find what the lug-raceway gap is, so I'm note sure how this will affect the fit.

I could avoid coating the lugs. Thoughts?


Full Bird Private
Jan 22, 2013
My Surgeon Scapel was coated as well as a buddy’s GA Precison both of those run like shit through a goose, but it is the guy paying the money that has to be satisfied. When I had a new barrel spun up by West Texas Ordinance they coated the entire action and bolt and it is a slick as it has ever been.
Top Bottom