FAQ

Can I ship a firearm to you myself, directly? Or do I have to use an FFL?

Yes you can. Please read below for more specific information.

We prefer all inbound shipments be via UPS.

ALL SERIALIZED COMPONETS MUST INCLUDE A COPY OF YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE INSIDE THE BOX WITH THE FIREARM. WE CAN ONLY RETURN SHIP TO THE ADDRESS ON THE DRIVERS LICENSE.

This is directly from the ATF website: (You are responsible for checking any local ordinances which may be more restrictive to the ATF requirements.)

Any shipper who does not have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is considered to be an 'unlicensed person'. This section contains information on how unlicensed persons can ship firearms.

Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?
A nonlicensee (non FFL Holder) may ship a firearm by a common or contract carrier to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm.
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(2)(A), 922(a) (3), 922(a)(5) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.31 and 478.30]

Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service?
A nonlicensee (non FFL Holder) may not transfer a firearm to a non-licensed resident of another State. A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee (FFL Holder) in any State. The Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.
[18 U.S.C. 1715, 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5) and 922 (a)(2)(A)]

Additional information courtesy of Gunbroker.com

Shipment by Unlicensed Persons

Any shipper who does not have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is considered to be an 'unlicensed person'. This section contains information on how unlicensed persons can ship firearms.

You must inform the carrier that the package contains a firearm. Of course, the firearm cannot be shipped loaded; ammunition may not be shipped in the same box.

Notes on specific shippers:

US Mail: An unlicensed person can ship a rifle or shotgun by US Mail. Unlicensed persons cannot ship a handgun by US Mail. Postal regulations allow the Post Office to open your package for inspection. Ammunition cannot be shipped by US Mail. You can search the US Post Office Postal Explorer site for specific USPS regulations regarding firearms and ammunition.
FedEx Express: FedEx will only ship firearms via their Priority Overnight service. Ammunition must be shipped as hazardous goods via Ground in compliance with "Limited Quantity".
FedEx Ground: FedEx Ground will transport and deliver firearms (excluding handguns) as defined by the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, between areas served in the U.S. Ammunition must be shipped as hazardous goods via Ground in compliance with "Limited Quantity". FedEx Ground will accept shipments of ammunition. Special labeling is required.
UPS: UPS will accept handgun shipments by Next Day Air only. Rifles and shotguns can be shipped by UPS ground service. UPS will accept shipments of ammunition. Special labeling is required.
Most other shippers will no longer accept firearm shipments. Airborne and Roadway have specifically prohibited firearm shipments.

Shipment by Licensed Persons
Any shipper who has a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is considered to be a 'licensed person'. This section contains information on how licensed persons can ship firearms. If you do not have an FFL, please see the previous section of this page for shipping instructions.

Since licensed persons are responsible for knowing the law, we are going to assume that you already understand the CGA and know the applicable Federal, state, and local laws.

Notes on specific shippers:

  • US Mail: Licensed persons can ship a rifle, shotguns, or handguns by US Mail. In fact, we suggest that you use the USPS as it is now the most cost-effective way to ship a handgun. To ship a rifle or shotgun, you need only inform the Post Office that the package contains a firearm. A licensed manufacturer, dealer, or importer can ship a handgun via the US Post Office if the licensed dealer fills out a US Post Office Form PS 1508 and files it with the local Post Office branch where the handgun is to be shipped. You can search the US Post Office Postal Explorer site for specific USPS regulations regarding firearms and ammunition.
  • FedEx Express: FedEx will only ship firearms via their Priority Overnight service. Ammunition must be shipped as hazardous goods via Ground in compliance with Limited Quantity. FedEx Ground will accept shipments of ammunition. Special labeling is required.
  • UPS: UPS will accept handgun shipments by Next Day Air only. Rifles and shotguns can be shipped by UPS ground service. UPS will accept shipments of ammunition. Special labeling is required.
  • Most other shippers will no longer accept firearm shipments. Airborne and Roadway have specifically prohibited firearm shipments.

Notes on USPS Firearm Regulations

We recommend that you read the Post Office regulations on Other Restricted or Nonmailable Matter before shipping a firearm through the US Mail.

The following info comes from the USPS Regulation DMM Issue 54, January 10, 1999, section C-024:

Page C-39, section 3.0, Rifles and Shotguns: "Although unloaded rifles and shotguns not precluded by 1.1e and 1.2 are mailable, mailers must comply with the Gun Control Act or 1968, Public Law 90-618, 18 USC 921, et seq., and the rules and regulations promulgated there under, 27 CFR 178, as well as state and local laws. The mailer may be required by the USPS to establish, by opening the parcel or by written certification, that the gun is unloaded and not precluded by 1.1e."

Page C-39, section 6.0, PROHIBITED PARCEL MARKING: "For any parcel containing a firearm or a ballistic or switchblade knife, any marking that indicates the contents is not permitted on the outside wrapper or container."

The following pertains only to licensed dealers shipping handguns:

Page C-37, section 1.3, Authorized Persons: "Subject to 1.4, handguns may be mailed by a licensed manufacturer of firearms, a licensed dealer of firearms, or an authorized agent of the federal government......."

Page C-38, section 1.5, Manufacturers and Dealers: "Handguns may also be mailed between licensed manufacturers of firearms and licensed dealers of firearms in customary trade shipments, or for repairing or replacing parts."

Page C-38, section 1.6, Certificate of Manufacturers and Dealers: "A licensed manufacturer or dealer need not file the affidavit under 1.4, but must file with the postmaster a statement on Form 1508 signed by the mailer that he or she is a licensed manufacturer or dealer of firearms, that the parcels containing handguns (or major components thereof) are customary trade shipments or contain such articles for repairing or replacing parts, and that to the best of his or her knowledge or belief the addressees are licensed manufacturers or dealers of firearms."

What are the requirements for shipping knives, air guns, accessories and most gun parts?

Knives, air guns, accessories, and most gun parts need not be shipped to an FFL holder. We say most gun parts because each firearm contains at least one part that the ATF considers a firearm. This part is typically the part that contains the serial number. This part must be treated as a complete firearm when shipping the item.

How do I place an order?

Fill out our online order form.  This online order form allows us to determine ahead of time if we have your color or pattern in stock and will allow us to pre-order any supplies ahead of time if needed.  It also allows us to know what items are coming in so we know what/when we are expecting them.

What is the turn around time and do you offer rush services?

Turnaround times vary depending on work load at the time and how much work you are having done. More detailed custom jobs require more time. We quote all jobs 15-20 days regardless of service. Most simple jobs are much faster, but we still quote 15-20 days for everything. Please note that these are estimates, we do our best to stick with our estimates. But things beyond our control sometimes are inevitable.  We do offer rush services for law enforcement and military at specific rates for specific rush turnaround times, if our schedule at that time permits us to. We do not guarantee turnaround times, if you need a specific date, please email us with your needs and we will discuss if this is possible.  Gunsmithing requirements will add 5-7 days to the normal turnaround time.

Do you take reservations?

At this time we do NOT take reservations. As each gun is individually processed, some jobs take longer than others.   We have found it works better to process orders on a first come / first serve basis.

What payment options do I have?

We accept Visa, MasterCard , American Express, Discover, Personal / Business Checks or cash.

What warranty policy do you offer?

We warranty our work against all workmanship defects. Parts that we sell and offer that are manufactured by us are warrantied to be free from defect from original form (untouched / unmodified). We stand behind our work 100%. Please contact us directly via phone or e-mail with any warranty concerns.  All warranty work must be returned to Finish First Tactical physically for us to inspect. Modification to original work or parts will void warranty if done outside of the Finish First Tactical facility.  All warranty on labor/services are in store credit for services rendered (we will repair the warrantied item to the same exact service that was paid for originally). We do not offer cash refunds.  In cases of refinishing (such as Cerakote/Hydro-Graphics ) we do not warranty against holster wear, normal wear and tear, lack of maintenance, damage from accidental abuse or chemical damages. We warranty against workmanship defect, which workmanship defect would be noticeable instantly and not 2 years of use later. That would be considered wear and tear or abuse. We have to say this because we have had people in the past that 2 years after the gun was refinished, it was used, maintained improperly and they wanted to warranty the finish because it was showing wear.  This is not covered under the warranty. Hard edges and corner will wear faster.  We also do not warranty color changes after the item is finished. (IE you choose a color and decide you didn't like black and want silver.)

I sent my order in and changed my mind on a service and want to add or subtract something.

It is our policy to have a new order form sent to us (via our website) to avoid any confusion of lost e-mails, misunderstandings over the phone. A new order form eliminates all problems and is a hard copy that follows the item through its entire process from beginning to end. And therefore a new order form is a necessity for proper and speedy processing. If a new order form is not submitted we are not responsible for any changes that not submitted with a new order form. NO EXCEPTIONS.  If work has already been started to the point where the change was requested, a charge will be applied.

How do I reach a live person on the phone?

Monday thru Saturday 10 am -7pm eastern we have a real honest to goodness live person answering the phone. Obviously we do not have a switchboard of operators, so you might get the voice mail possibly if we are processing another customer. But please leave a name, number and brief description and someone will return your call asap. You can reach us at 267.382.0317.  We also have this number forwarded to a work cell phone, to assist you in any questions after hours you may have.  If we do not answer the phone immediately after hours, please respect our decision/family time to return your voice mail during normal business hours.

How do I check on the status of my order?

You are always welcome to call us during business hours 10 am -7 pm Monday- Saturday Eastern time for a status report.  Please have your JCN (Job Control Number) Handy for easier tracking on our end.  Very near in the future we will have a website that you can track your JCN and where it is in the finishing process.

Do you have a real professional store front or do you work out of mom's basement?

Yes.  We have a 5500 square foot facility with a display room.  We just ask that you make an appointment (say you are coming out Tuesday between noon and one o’clock, so we know to look for you) so we can give you the attention needed without being rushed.

What is Cerakote and how good is it?

In a nutshell, Cerakote is a high-tech, liquid ceramic that is spray applied.

http://www.cerakoteguncoatings.com/testing/

Cerakote Firearm Coatings improve performance and reliability over conventional finishes. This state - of - the - art coating technology out - performs any competitive coating in both laboratory settings and real world applications.
  • Superior wear resistance
  • Excellent corrosion protection
  • Impact & scratch resistant
  • Maximum adhesion
  • Maximum hardness
  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • High surface coverage
  • Air or oven cured paints
  • Smooth, consistent finish
  • VOX exempt in all 50 states
  • Made in the USA
**** In an independent military approved testing facility proved that Cerakote is 7 1/2 times more wear resistant than any other firearm coating.
Cerakote approved to ABRASION: ASTM D4060.

Do you remove all the coatings or platings prior to refinishing?

Yes.  The only exception is Aluminium objects that have been type III hard coat anodized.  If and only if it is in very good condition (no hard ware spots) we leave on as they give an extra "armor plate" effect for the aluminium.  If the hard coat is in a good condition, we media blast the surface in such a way that the hard coat stays and is just "scuffed" up enough to give the coating a proper adhesive surface.  All other covering/finishes are removed to ensure proper adhesion and for the warranty of our workmanship.  Old pattern removal, such as old hydro-graphics or “Krylon camo special’s” will be billed accordingly.

I have custom engraving on my item. Will my engraving still be visible after the finish is applied?

Yes for Cerakote. Cerakote is strived to be applied at .001” thickness, and all engraving will be visible. Please keep in mind that all scratch/gouges/extreme pitting will be visible as well.

Possibly for Hydro-Graphics. There are 5 layers that are applied when performing hydro-Graphics to metal. These layers are very thin but it will soften the edges of the area engraved, but in most cases still be visible. (For example, factory engraving on the side of shotguns are still visible)

My firearm/item is badly damaged/rusted/scratch can you fix it before coating?

Depending on how bad the damage is, we usually can give an estimate quote on the project. But until we physically have it in our possession, we can't 100% guarantee any fix or quoted price. We also can't guarantee that any rusted, pitted or damaged items can be fixed. In some rare instances the surface may be beyond safe repair and until we start to work on them, might not be able to tell until they are repairable until disassembled and stripped. We are also not held liable/responsible for any repair to badly damaged/rusted items due to unseen damage below the original surface coating during the removal process.

Do you cover return shipping and insurance?

No we do not cover return shipping and insurance. It is the customer’s responsibility to wisely choose the insurance coverage they feel necessary to replace or fix the item if it is damaged. The order form has areas to choose insurance and amounts. If the order form does not have insurance coverage filled out, we will assume that you do NOT want insurance coverage. So please make note that whether you insure your package or not, we are not liable or responsible for the package once it leaves our hands and the designated carrier has it. All claims must be made by the customer to the carrier. We will assist with whatever is necessary to further the claim if need be.  Return shipping will be billed at our cost rounded to the next highest dollar.  We will only charge above this cost when special packaging requirements are needed, and then only billed at our cost, rounded to the next highest dollar.  We are not in the business of charging anything extra for shipping or “Handling” fees.

How do I clean/care for my item once it has been Cerakoted?

Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any debris.

How do I clean/care for my item once Hydro-Graphics have been applied?

Avoid Gun Scrubber, Deet and any chemicals you would not apply to the finish of your vehicle.  We do use extremely tough PPG automotive grade finishes but it still has a few weaknesses.  If you do get some type of harsh chemical on your firearms, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth as soon as possible so it doesn’t sit on the finish.  Lubricating oils, such as Rem Oil will not harm your finish.

I see I can buy Cerakote and do it myself?

Yes you can.  And we will be more than happy to repair and do the job properly for you if requested.  We have invested our money and time attending the schools for certification and take extreme pride in our workmanship.  We have the experience, the PROPER equipment and facilities to finish your item with a very high standard.

I see I can buy “My Dip Kits” and do it myself?

Yes you can.  And we will be more than happy to repair and do the job properly for you if requested. We do it all the time.   We have been applying Hydro-Graphics for nearly 8 years and we have a very small learning curve now.  Each item takes time and patience to do all the proper preparation, technique for dipping each item, and applying quality finishes.  Let us dip your item properly the first time for you.

I have a raw skull that I want camo’d. What do I do?

Completely freeze the head.  Once completely frozen, double wrap in trashbags.  Place a good 1-2” of newpaper in the bottom of the box to absorb any possible liquids.  Ship by UPS on a Monday.  This will ensure it reaches us during the week without a weekend “layover” at a warehouse someplace.  We have never had any “oozing” issues when these procedures have been followed.  My UPS man is awesome, and I would hate to upset him or have to clean out his truck for him.

Are you a Licensed FFL?

Yes we are licenses class 07 and 08 FFL Holder.  Our license is available upon request.

Are you a Licensed Taxidermist?

Yes.  We are a license taxidermist in the state of Pennsylvania.  Although we do not perform taxidermy work in the sense of mounting.  We are required by the PA Department of Agriculture to maintain a license to be in possession of animal skulls for our customer while performing Hydro-Graphics or beetle cleaning services.

What is the best way to package my (clean) skull for shipping?

PLEASE DO NOT USE PACKING PEANUTS!!!!!  Use bubble wrap to provide extra padding around fragile areas such as the nasal area on deer.  Use newpaper, foam, or bubblewrap to pad around the skulls in side the box.  If the skull has antlers, zip tie the antlers to the side of the box to help keep it from sliding or shifting.  (Although shipping carriers say they handle with care…..I still would pack as if it would be ok falling from a 5’ shelf)

Do you offer wholesale pricing to taxidermists?

Yes.  Please call and provide your business information/license.

Do you offer wholesale pricing to Gun Stores?

Yes.  Please call and provide your FFL and business information.

What can / cannot be done in Cerakote?

Any Metal, Plastic, Polymer, Glass, Wood, etc. can be coated in Cerakote.  We use oven cured Cerakote unless we know the item specifically can not take the curing temperatures of the oven.  For example, magazines that have been pinned to reduce capacity.  Since the springs cannot be removed, an air cure Cerakote will be used.  Any type spring cannot be oven cured do to tempering.

What can / cannot be done in Hydro-Graphics?

Metal, Plastic, Polymer, Glass, Wood.  Any non-flexible surface (Some flex is ok, please call to confirm).  Items must be water-proof.  Scopes can be dipped but we recommend only higher end scopes (Just ask and we can give our OPINION if it will be ok to dip or not from our previous experience.) Check for water-proof, water-resist information.  We dip scopes at the owners risk only.  The process will include the initial dipping underwater (1-3 seconds) and a steady rinse cycle for 5-10 minutes (Equal to a 5-10 minute heavy rain storm)

Can you offer production runs? Small/Medium/Large quantities?

Yes.  We normally offer four pricing tier’s for production work.  Quantities tiers include 1-10, 11-50, 51-499, and 500+.   If you need an estimate or a custom quote, please let us know.  We prefer to receive two items for sample work if possible to help us give the most accurate quote and provide a quality return sample.

How durable is Cerakote?

Please take some time and watch the videos that are provided in the link as well.  We can write all we want about it…but when you see it…..that provides the ultimate answer.  http://www.cerakoteguncoatings.com/testing/

How durable is Hydro-Graphics?

We use high quality PPG automotive grade finishes, both flat and gloss, on all our Hydro-Graphics.   If it’s good enough to stand up to the wear and tear of your vehicle and mother Nature, then it’s good for us as well.  For example, we have some hardcore waterfowl hunters on staff, after multiple seasons of being used and abused (dragged through corn fields, thrown in boats, hours in the rain and snow) we still use these guns during our trade shows as displays.  Please know that extreme hard corners and edges will wear over time with constant use – such as a carry pistol in and out of a pants pocket over and over for years.  (Just ask to see mine when you come to the shop)

Will Cerakote void my factory warranty?

Check with the manufacture of your firearm or item.  In most cases no, it will not.  FFT is not responsible for any voided warranties to the items you send us for finishing.

Will Hydro-Graphics void my factory warranty?

Check with the manufacture of your firearm or item.  In most cases no, it will not.  FFT is not responsible for any voided warranties to the items you send us for finishing.

Do you offer gunsmithing services?

Yes.   If you need assistance in gun disassemble or reassemble we can provide this and will be billed in addition to the finishing work.  If our gunsmith finds broken or damaged parts during disassembly we will notify you for additional repair to proceed or stop.  Any parts $15 or less will automatically be ordered and repaired.  Our gunsmith also offers these services:   Detail strip and clean; Replacement of parts; troubleshooting; bedding barrel and action; scope rail bedding and mounting.

Do you offer discounts?

Yes.  We offer 10% to Military, Police, Fire, EMS, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Young Marines and Civil Air Patrol with proper identification.  Boy Scouts with their Eagle Award and Girl Scouts with their Gold Award receive 15% discount.