Articles, Blog

GunSkins AR 15/M4 Rifle Skin DIY Install Tutorial

I’m Kevin with GunSkins. Today I’m going to be walking you through
our AR-15 Install. First thing we want to do is we want to get
the gun good and clean. We’re going to head outside. We’re going to hit it with some CRC non-chlorinated
brake cleaner. We’re just going to soak the gun down. Scrub the recessed areas and just want to
make sure we get it good and clean. Let’s get to it. So for the AR-15 I’m using some CRC non-chlorinated
brake cleaner. I’m just going to soak the gun down real good. Work my way down it. Get everything just wet. Then I’m going to scrub the recessed areas. Up under the dust cover, under the shell deflector
and the forward assist. And especially right here where that charging
handle comes in. Even where that oil is going to want to settle
or be working its way through on the gun. Then I’m just going to come back up to the
top and soak it down. Just kind of let that stuff run off so it
leaves a clean surface. From there I’m going to flip around to the
other side. Kind of work through the same process. So you can do this same thing using Froglube
Solvent or another gun degreaser. You just got to make sure you take your time
and scrub all the recessed areas. Especially down in the rails here. You want to make sure that gets real clean. And then just make sure the gun gets rinsed
well so there is no residue left behind. Soak it down one more time. We’re going to let that dry. It’s ready to go. So I have my gun all cleaned and ready to start
with the install. I have my kit out here. Along with the kit I have my razor knife,
some extra blades. I have an install squeegee and that just helps
to press the material down into recessed areas that I can’t get my hand into. And then I have a piece of foam. And basically what I use that for is just
to heat the material and press it into the really deep recessed areas and really bring
the contours out. Let’s get to it. Okay, so I’ve separated out the bulk material
for the buttstock and the forend. We’re going to set that off to the side for
now. And on the kit you’re going to see that it’s
numbered from 1 to 15 and that is obviously the order that we’re going to work in. To get started we’re going to start with the
left mag. So I’ll pop the mag out. Remove the material from the backing. And I’m just going to set it on the mag centered. You can see there is a little notch at the
top piece of the mag there that sits right on the edge, the back edge of the mag. If you don’t like where it’s at, you can pick
it up. Reposition it. Put it where you want it. Take your fingers and just work it into place. Press the material around the front. And the back. And then we’ll use the heat to kind of set
it. And reveal the contours. It’s not uncommon. Especially with these recessed areas on the
mag or even on the gun. A little air in there. Just take the tip of your knife, poke it,
like on the 30, the zero for the PMAG. That kind of stuff. Just to let the air out of there. Allows the material to contour tighter and
grab on. Once you get that piece set move on to the
right side. Same thing. Center it up. Use the little notch in the top left corner
there. Just kind of press it into place. Work around the back. Same on the front. Ok. Alright. So from here there’s couple different options. So if you’re going to put the rail pieces
on, I would recommend putting those on before you put on the body pieces. It just gives a better seamless look. So if you’re not going to put on the rail
pieces you need to skip that and move onto the left upper receiver, number 3. We’re going to do the rails. So I’m going to prop it up. Peel the piece off. So you can see the rails are cut kind of like
a ladder. Just places those centered in your pic rails
and just kind of press down on them as you go. While you’re working it might help to take
the squeegee. Just kind of set it every so often. The handguard piece and the receiver come
together here. There is kind of this lager rail block. So we just trim it off there and then we’ll
start on that after we get this all laid down. Once you get the rails in place you hit it
with heat. And we’re going to take our squeegee and fold
the material under. And
the same on the other side. Alright, so these smaller pieces are cut individually. Just temp them up, get them where you want
them. Press down with your finger and then when
we’re all said and done we’ll hit it with heat and press it in with the sponge. It is a bit tedious. But, it finishes the look out nicely. If you have a longer rail than what we give
you in the kit we also have an additional quad rail kit that you can get to finish out
the set. Alright, so like to pull the charging handle
out of the way. It makes it a little easier to work with. And you’re going to grab your piece. Set it centered. Following that bottom line where the receiver,
the upper and the lower receiver come together. Just press it into place with your finger. Just going to pull it. You can see how it’s pre-cut around that bump
out there. Work it in. See this handguard comes back over the receiver
a little bit. So you’ve got to work the material up along
it and we’ll trim it off after it cools. Use the heat. Alright. So moving on to the left lower receiver. We’re going to center it on the safety selector
in safety position. Follow that line where the upper and lower
come together. You can see how the material kind of wraps
up towards the bolt release, bolt catch. Just going to work it around the safety selector. Use the heat to set it in place. Alright, so where we’re coming around the
backside here, you can see this pistol grip comes up around the backside of the receiver. Not all of them do that, but this one does
and that is what our kit is build to accommodate. So I’ll show you how we modify the kit when
we’re installing on an A2 just to get it to look right when we’re on the finished product. But with this particular setup with the grip
coming up behind the receiver, I’m going to hit it with some heat and we’ll pull around
the backside here. Press it into place. And I’m just going to run my knife between
the grip and the receiver. Hit it with some heat. And tuck that material in with my squeegee. So we’re moving on to the left magwell. Peel that up. And we’re going to place that centered on
that front takedown pin and right along that bottom line where the receivers come together. I’m just going to work it into place with
my fingers. Press that material in over there. And we just hit this front piece with heat. Stretch it around. It’s kind of like what I talked about with
the mag when we were doing that. If you get a little air trapped in there you
just take the knife and pop it. And hit it with the heat to finish it off. Grab this little piece that’s cut out of there
and you can actually drop it in right on top. Alright, so I’m going to set the pieces for
safety selector, this top piece. Just place it centered. This bottom piece just drops on like that. We’re going to use the sponge to set it. Okay, so we’re moving on to the dust cover. Grab this bigger piece of it, centered on
that spring there. Work it up along the edges. Press it into place with your fingers. I’ll hit it with heat. Like that. Another piece for below the dust cover. Helps to kind of leave it on your knife. You can tuck it up under there. Kind of keep it loose. Work it up in there. Get a wrinkle? Just pick it back up Just going to get down under
the seam there, trim away that extra. So it doesn’t mess with your disassembly if
you need to. Alright, so now we’re going to move on to
the shell deflector here. The shell deflector is cut into two pieces. So we’re going to start with this lower piece
here. We’re going to peel it off. It goes on the backside, centered and just
even with the top. Where you want it. Press it into place. Hit it with heat. Moving on to the frontside here. You can see how it’s cut to the contour of
the shell deflector there. Just get it in place. And just pull it around the bottom and top. Depending on the height of your shell deflector
it may not be a bad idea to run a little relief cut at the top edge there and top edge here. Fold that middle piece over. Okay, so we’re moving on to the right upper
receiver. Now I like to pull the charging handle out
of the way. Just makes it a little easier to get the piece
in there so you’re not fighting it. And then you just center this piece up starting around the ejection port Just press it into place with your fingers. You can see like how we encountered on the
other side this handguard comes back over the receiver a little bit. But we can work with that as we go. It helps to hold this up with one finger and
kind of walk it through with your squeegee. So you’re not fighting to get it down in there. Like that. And then work back towards the shell deflector. Alright, up here where we’re sitting on the
receiver, I’m just going to take my knife. Just take my knife along that edge, trim it
loose, and then press it down onto the receiver. Alright, so we’re moving on to piece number
9, which is the forward assist. And like to center it and then roll toward
the bottom and roll toward the top. Alright, so we’re moving on to the right lower
receiver. It helps to pop this take down pin out just
slightly. Drop it over like that. Follow that receiver line. Walk it out toward the front of the mag, er
the back of the magwell there. Press it into place with your fingers. Press the pin back down. So same thing coming around the backside of
here, we’re just going to hit it with a little bit of heat and work around into place. And we’re going to trim that way and right between the grip and the receiver. Use the squeegee to tuck it in there. Alright, so grab our piece that we cut out
for that take down pin. Use the tip of your knife and position how
you need it. Press it into place. Hit it with some heat. So for the mag release here, there’s two parts. You just want to take this inside part on
our knife and center it around the mag release. Place and then press down on it. Use the heat. Hit it. And then we got the top piece. Place that in there. Same thing, using the knife. Into place. And we’re going to move on to the top piece
for that magwell. So this one we want to start centered right
up here by the take down pin. Press it right along the edge there. Work back towards the mag release. Just keeping the material centered. You can see how it centers on the mag release
there. Press it over the top. Like that. Start from here, press the material back this
way. Alright, so you can see there’s a little relief
cut on the end of this piece. Push the one top piece down. And we’re going to bring this other piece
in over the top of it. Same thing on the bottom here. Wrap that one around. This one. Bring that around and bring this one over
on top of it. For the rest of this detail in here, you hit
it with some heat. Press down into the top corner. Press down into the bottom corner. And you’re good to go. Okay, so we’re moving on to the right magwell. Center it up. Hit that front with heat. Okay so I hit it with heat and we’ll pull
around the front. Alright, so we’re moving on for our last couple
pieces here. The left pistol grip. You want to follow this front edge. Center it up. Again, use your fingers to press it into place. Use the heat to stretch it over around the
front. So these are made to fit a variety of pistol
grips. You could end up with a little bit of extra
material here. Just trim it off when you’re done. Alright, so on to the right pistol grip. Same stuff, different day. Center it up. Press it into place with your fingers. Alright so we’ve let that material cool. I’m going to go ahead and trim off the excess
around the bottom here. Just want to find a straight line. Blend it out. Alright, so we have our body pieces installed. We’re ready to move onto the forend. So I have my bulk sheet of material here. I’m just going to lay it up next to the gun
so I can see how big of a piece I need. And then I’m just going to cut it off a little
bit oversized. I’m going to start right up underneath the
rail on the left side here. Just tuck the material right up in there. Just going to work it in with your hands. Use the heat if you need. If you get a crease or a wrinkle you can just
pick it back up, pull that tension out work it out. Keep working it around. Okay, so at this point, if you wanted to,
if you had a lot of tension build up or if you were having a hard time keeping it straight, you can find a line here and either trim down the middle. You can see there is a little seam right there
on this particular gun. So you can come right down the middle of it
all and you can break it here and start on the other side or you can just keep rolling
all the way around and trim it off at the other other rail along the top side there. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m just going to keep on moving over. Okay, so I’ve worked the material around my
top rail again on the opposite side. What I’m going to do now is I’m going to take my knife, right in the corner there just follow the natural line, trim it loose. From here I’m just going to start using the
heat and the foam to kind of work the material in where we want it. And then once we get the material, you can
see how it presses down into the cut outs there. Then we’ll let it cool and we’ll start trimming
those out. And that is important. You want to use the heat to get the material
where you want it, but you’ll want to allow the material to cool before you start cutting
it. Otherwise it wants to stretch and pull and
it just doesn’t cut clean. Alright, so we’ve let the material cool. We’re going to go ahead and start cutting
out these keyholes here. You just run the blade around it. Run the blade right up to it and pull a little
tension on it. Bring it around. And this really does help. Just pulling a little bit of tension on the
material while you’re cutting that remaining piece out. Whoops. It could have come out a little cleaner. So you’ll see here that we’ve got some frayed
edges. Kind of makes it look raw. It obviously not always going to cut perfect
as your blade gets dull or if it is a little soft still. Just hit it with the heat, you’ll see that
stuff shrink back up. You gotta press on it with your fingers and
it cleans up those edges. Alright, so for the stock piece. I’m just going to lay it up along here. Work my way around the other side. Just kind of hit it with heat as I go. Just want to lay it in. Make sure you’re centered. You have enough material to cover both directions. And you’re just looking for a natural place
to seam it. So this little ridge right here works good
for me. Set the material. Just use your fingers. Okay, so I’ve worked around the opposite side
now. I’m just going to start tucking the material
using the heat to press it into place. And then just like I said with the forend,
we’re going to press it where we want it and then we’re going to let it cool and start
trimming stuff off to get to our finished product. And it’s really important to make sure you’re
using sharp blades. Don’t be afraid to change them out. Make sure you have plenty extra just to work
with. That’s going to help you end up with a cleaner
install. And it’s less of a fight. So we’re going with a heat gun at this point. Its kind of like adding a shotgun blast of
heat as apposed to that pinpoint heat you get with the torch. It just kind of spreads the heat out more
evenly. So I got to heat the whole area and then start
pressing on it with that foam to get it where I want it. Alright, so now the material’s cooled, I’m
going to go ahead and start trimming all these edges and just working on the detail work. You just want to angle your blade away from
the stock and run it up in there. Right there. Same thing through here. We’re just going to take this centered piece
out. So we have our forend all trimmed up. The buttstock’s all trimmed up. So we’re going to move on to the post heat. And we’re going to use the heat gun and we’re just going to work the whole gun over and over. We’re going to get it good and hot and just
work on pressing the material in to the surface. And this really sets it. What gives the skin the longevity and really
that protective nature that we’re going for as well as the look is that post heat. You just want to take your time with it. Any of these areas where you trimmed out and
it’s a little frayed, you can put a little extra heat there or you can use the torch
and hit that and it’ll suck up in there. Clean up those edges. On these little ridges here you can use your
squeegee if you’ve got one to kind of tighten that up. You should really work on detailing things
out. On the grip this is where you’re going to
finish off bringing that texture through. Just put a lot of heat to it, keep putting
pressure on it. So here’s our completed AR-15 Skin install. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “GunSkins AR 15/M4 Rifle Skin DIY Install Tutorial

  1. Hey guys. I haven't bought any of your products yet, but they look beautiful on your website and look forward to picking some up.

    I was wondering, have you ever thought about doing a 1 colour skin? I used to be in the Canadian military and I miss the green colour of my C7 (M16) of which I now own an AR. Thing is, it's black and I'd be looking to pick up an all green skin to wrap around my foregrip and stock (or even receivers). Anyway, hopefully you'll add single colour skins to your line up and if so, I look forward to picking some up. If not, no worries and keep making the awesome products you make.

  2. Looks nice but in the summer or hot climates or when the barrel gets hot after shooting or you get a little dirt under the stickers…you end up with a sticky nasty mess on your hands…

  3. Video edit install time -33 minutes. Time it would take me to install – 4-6 hours. Looks great, but I don’t know if I would have the patience to install it.

  4. Man, if I tried that, it would be a hot mess. I can't wrap a Christmas present without a lot of wrinkles. Nice kit though!

  5. I love gun skins but I can't help but notice that the graphics don't line up 100% of the time and have some overlap here and there I myself don't mind a TINY bit of overlap here and there but a stickler would be pissed after a 50$ bill

  6. Love this idea, keep adding more skings, or even better, allow the user to upload an image of their choosing and then send them the template, is that an option?

  7. Can someone tell me what those tubes are on the right side that go across the top of the Magwell and around the mag release?

    Also I'd love to see an AR kit with an aussie flag on it, just to piss off our liberals haha

  8. How durable are these in comparison to other options?  Also, once you heat it to put it on how difficult is it to remove and is it still reusable at that point or garbage?

  9. what's the gun skin made of? is it water resistant once on? can it handle rain? what about scratches how resistant is It to being scratched? how well does it wear? how long should it last? looks cool

  10. I got an AR that was in a fire it wasn’t burnt too bad but it messed up the finish on the Rifle I was looking at different things to do to it but I think this is where I’m going to go

  11. …see so many issues with this it hurts….poking holes in the decals…..not wearing gloves so finger oils can be under the decals….setting this whole thing up to last a month or 2 and to start peeling….inless its a complete show piece to never be handled again

  12. It looks awesome! My only concern is how long will it hold up? I’m assuming the grip will come apart from normal wear and tear

  13. Instead of paintjobs.. Its acttly lukng cool..😍😘😘😘..Like.. It.. Waiting to c mre..👍👍👍

  14. That looks awesome! Surprising to me how well it turns out with just stickers. I absolutely love the american flag style you picked for the demo.

  15. For civilians, rifle skins are cool. For real life combat
    applications, we use duct tape. It comes in heavy duty versions and can
    be mission tailored within minutes for terrain, foliage, weather
    conditions, time of day, etc. Also the most important thing, the duct
    tape can hold burlap to break up the weapons contours. It can also be
    pulled off to attach natural surrounding foliage to the weapon. It
    literally takes less than 15 mins to prep the entire weapon. It's also
    cheap enough to replace weekly/monthly.

  16. This is SO much better than your 2014 vid. That was terrible and made me decide not to purchase. This video however convinced me otherwise. Very well done!

  17. I like it and not to mention you could just use it to accent the gun, you dont have to cover the entire gun if you dont want to. Honestly I will probably buy one… first I will need to build the AR lol

  18. I guess my only question would be is if you go to the range and put 500 rds through the weapon, would the barrel heat have any adverse affect on the skin?

  19. What does the gun look like when this stuff comes up eventually is the metal sticky as ever.. I can tell this materail is better than talon grips but i wasnt happy with the talon grips

  20. Wow, i had no idea how much work can go into this. Thank you for being so thorough. Great video and i subscribed

  21. I love this process even though is tedious, I would probably do some parts only, not the whole thing!! Good stuff though 🤘🏽🤘🏽

  22. I got this as a gift and only know a little about them. They look amazing! Are they designed to ONLY go on free float handguards or can they go in Magpul MOE handguard too?

  23. I just got my skin, but my AR-15 was painted awhile ago (one solid coat, done before I bought it) do I need to remove the paint before applying the skin? Or can I clean it and apply over the paint?

  24. id use a hair dryer instead of a torch ,just makes me paranoid the flame will melt the material .maybe just me but i am extra careful with my Rifle. lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *