Monday, March 28, 2016

Dying a Magazine for a Ruger 10/22

This trick has been around for a few years so I decided to give it a go. 
The process involves using Rit fabric dye and hot water to color the clear Ruger BX1 magazines.

Some have recently stated that the new Rit dye formula will no longer work on plastics, but others have had success so....damn the torpedoes!
Here are some of the colors that a guy on the Rimfire Central Forum has achieved..I don't know why, but I am digging the blue one...

 Our victims, one clear BX1 and one clear Butler Creek Steel Lips magazines, color to be supplied by Rit powdered dye in "petal pink", I am told the powdered version is the only way to make this work, something about the formula being different than the liquid version.


First we disassemble the BX1 with a 9/64" hex wrench


Then clean with soap and warm water


Then prepare the dye bath, 1.5 quarts of water with 1 tablespoon of the dye and 1 tablespoon salt (not sure if the salt is required, just following directions posted on line).

Then bring the pink mess to a boil and I should mention: don't use your wife's best pot, get a $2 one from the thrift store


After 10 minutes of soaking, this is what we got:


Not really what I was hoping for, so I added more dye, replaced some of the water and put it back in for another round, it got a little bit darker


This was what I wanted to achieve, this person used "scarlet red" and a short soaking time to get this color



Then we tried the Butler Creek magazine, the results were kind of what I expected...nothing changed.
I have read that the Butler Creek mags are made of polycarbonate and are difficult to dye. 

I have some pink water trapped in a section of the magazine, I'll have to drill a small hole and let it out. Obviously more research is in order.

 After putting the BX1 back together I took some pictures against a white background so you can see how much the color had changed.





Round two:
I am not one to give up easily, so I did some more research and found a couple of things:
 1. it is better to start with a dye that is darker that the color you want and monitor the time in the dye bath to achieve the shade that is acceptable.
 2. In order to dye polycarbonate you need to add acetone to the bath.

So I went back to the store and bought more dye, I bought Fuchsia this time, which for the men out there is a darker pink. 
These Rit powdered dyes only cost $2.50, so I bought two just in case.

We mixed up the dye with the salt and water and put it on the stove (it looks like Beet soup).

After 10 min or so in the bath, I saw very little change....oh well, it is pink, so I will call this a win
 

After letting the dye bath cool, I added acetone to it and dropped in the Butler Creek mag
 

 And again the plastic defies the dye


I wanted it to be pink, but still be able to see how many rounds were in the magazine.
I may try to paint this magazine with some model paint. Tamiya makes a translucent pink spray paint, designed for polycarbonate.