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Gun Wrap Installation

How to install your new 3M® gun wrap.

Tools needed:

  • EX-ACTO knife or utility razor.
  • Heat gun
  • Gun degreaser
  • 70% rubbing alcohol
  • Lint free towels

 Gulch Cross Cover® Gun WrapStep 1: Make sure your gun is unloaded before you begin.

Step 2: Disassemble your gun (only the parts you are going to wrap) and clean using a good gun degreaser.

Oil is your enemy, as it prevents a good adhesion of your gun wrap.  We recommend cleaning every part of your gun, even parts you are not going to wrap.  This prevents contamination if you pick up and move parts around on your table as you work.  If you can not take apart your gun, no worries, the gun wrap still can be installed, it just takes a bit more time to trim or wrap around edges.  Use your gun degreaser to thoroughly degrease all parts of your gun, then dry the surface thoroughly with clean, lint free paper towels or use Microfiber towels.  As a final step, 3M® suggests to use isopropyl alcohol (70% rubbing alcohol) as a final preparation of the surface.  Using a clean lint free paper or microfiber towel, give your gun parts a final rub down with 70% rubbing alcohol.  Dry the surface thoroughly and use your heat gun to apply moderate heat to insure all parts are completely moisture free.

Cross Cover Gun Wrap Panels

Step 3: Preparing the wrap for your gun.

There are four panels you will be working with: Stock, Barrel, Forearm and Receiver (figure 1).  The stock is not precut and will need to be cut out around the edges using your X-ACTO knife or utility razor (figure 2).  Use a protective piece under the panel so as to not to damage your table surface, as you need to cut all the way through the wrap material.   Cardboard underneath works well, just don’t cut all the way through to the table.  Don’t worry if your cut lines are a bit wavy, it will be trimmed again as you fit it to your stock.  Flip the other gun wrap panels over and you will see a sticker that tells you which panel is for each gun part. Don’t toss out the extra wrap that was cut out of the stock panel (the white area) you want to use this to test wrap a piece of your gun to get a feel for how the material can be applied.

Cross Cover Gun Wrap Stock Cutout

Step 4: Applying a test wrap to your gun.

Now that your gun parts are cleaned and you have identified each individual wrap piece, you want to use those white leftover pieces from cutting out the stock panels as test pieces.  Trim a leftover white panel piece and remove the protective backing and place on a contoured part of the stock.  A good starting point would be where your thumb goes over the stock on your shooting hand.  Once positioned, use your finger to press in the center of the wrap and smooth the wrap out toward the edges, pushing the trapped air out to the edges to be released.  Your 3M® gun wrap has air release channels that allow trapped air to exit through the edges of the graphic.  Wrapping around contoured areas of your gun, use a heat gun to heat the wrap until you see it soften and almost start to sag.  This happens very fast and you do not want to melt the vinyl, just enough to allow for ease of contouring as you work the wrapping material around the stock.

 Why use Heat:

  • Heat softens the adhesive, which assures good initial adhesion.
  • The right amount of heat allows the graphic to be stretched so that it will conform to the complex contour.
  • Too much heat makes the films too soft and difficult to handle. It can also melt or shrivel the film.
  • Insufficient heat may cause the film to tear rather than stretch. It may also eventually lift out of the recesses.
  • Heat removes the film's flat memory position and allows the film to set the new memory to the contours of your gun.

Depending on the severity of the curve, the film may bunch or ruffle and then wrinkle at the edges.  For light bunching or ruffling, try using gentle heat to slightly shrink the edges of the film before squeegeeing.  To eliminate heavier bunching or ruffling, cut the film to the point where the film lays flat, using care not to scratch the substrate and overlap those cuts, thus removing the bunching.

There are many spots on the gun that might require a relief cut and overlap in the wrapping film to get your coverage to lay flat.  This is because any inside curve will be smaller than the wrapping film.  Using your white test pieces will help you understand the characteristics of the 3M® film installation process and lets you make mistakes before installing the real panels.


Step 5: Final application.

The time required for install all four of your wrap panels can take up to a few hours.  Take your time and don’t rush it.  You do not need to finish it all at once but if you do stop make sure to cover all of your gun parts to prevent dust from settling on your cleaned parts.  


The Stock

Cross Cover Gun Wrap Stock

After a few tests you should be ready to apply your gun wrap.  Before you start your final install, be sure to remove your white test areas and give all your parts a light rub down again with a lint free towel and rubbing alcohol.  Dry the surface thoroughly and use your heat gun to insure all moisture has been removed.

  • Start with the stock. If you shoot right handed, start with the right stock panel, if left handed shooting, start with the left stock panel.  This is because you want the overlapping of the two stock panel pieces to happen on the opposite side of your cheek rest.  When two panels overlap, they will have a very slightly raised feel on the edge of the exposed overlapping piece.  This keeps that edge off of your cheek resting side.
  • Clear an area on you work surface to place your stock wrap down on the table with enough room to accommodate your entire gun stock. Depending on dominate shooting style, start with that panel by separating the backing and placing sticky side up on the table.  Hold your gun stock over the panel and align to match up with your stock. You do not want to wrap around the butt end of the gun stock or over the recoil pad.  Align the wrap butt end to have just enough so you can make a nice trim line in the groove where the recoil pad attaches to the gun stock.  Now press your stock down onto the panel- it should stick to the stock in just enough spots to allow you to gently flip over the gun's stock with the panel on top of the stock.  You are just tacking it down for the turnover.
  • I like this method better than trying hold and place the panel from the top, down onto the stock. By starting with the panel down on the table method you are looking at both the silhouettes of the panel and the gun stock.  This makes for a more accurate placement during the initial contact of the panel to gun part.
  • Make sure you do not cover the on/off markings of the GUN’S SAFTY with your wrap or the gun's serial number!
Cross Cover Gun Wrap Stock S Cut
    • Check to see if you have equal spacing of the panel piece around the top and bottom of the gun stock and are lined up on the butt end of the gun stock. If you are unhappy with the first results, just lift the panel off of the gun stock and repeat the process until satisfied.  When you like the placement, you are now ready to set the final position of the panel.  Start in the flat center part of the stock and begin pressing down firmly and working outward, pushing the air out towards the edges, using heat only where you need to conform and flatten an area.  When there are areas that are gathering material you want to make a relief cut to remove the gathering, then overlap and flatten.  There should be plenty of wrap material on the panel that you will need to trim off.  Stop just before the edges to allow yourself enough room to trim off extra material with a wavy or “s” curve cut line along the edge (figure 3).  You want to have enough coverage to just wrap around to the other side of the stock on the top and bottom.  On the front, top, and bottom of the stock, trim your panel down using a wavy cut line along the edge.  A wavy line cut helps your wrap panels blend with the overlap of other panels.  On the butt of the gun stock, match your trim line along the recoil pad where it meets the stock.  This could be a straight line or a slight arc to match seamlessly.   Apply the other side stock panel using the same method.


    The Forearm

    Cross Cover Gun Wrap Forearm
    • Locate the Forearm panel piece and precut a “S” wavy curve line at one end of the longer side. This is the part that will match up with the stock panels.  Check the length of the panel piece for proper length, taking in account that the front end needs to wrap around the tip.  Trim down the length of the forearm panel to fit and set aside this extra piece.  Separate the wrap from its protective backing and place on the table sticky side up with the “S” cut end facing you.  Line up your gun's forearm, barrel side up, looking down on the gun and press down in the center of the panel giving yourself a ¼ overlap with the forearm panel and the stock panels.  Carefully flip the gun forearm over and check the position to make sure it all lines up to give equal dimension on each side of the stock.   If you like the position, finish out wrapping the forearm panel in the same method as the stock panels.  Start pressing down the panel in the middle of the forearm working the length of the gun and then down the sides.  Wrapping the very front will require some small relief cuts and overlaps to contour to the fronts forearms arc.


    The Barrel

    Cross Cover Gun Wrap Barrel

    • Locate the Barrel panel and trim to the length of your barrel, from tip to the end that ties into the receiver. Separate the wrap from its protective backing and place on the table sticky side up.  Center the top side of the barrel over the panel and press down onto the wrap.  You are contacting the top side of barrel because you want the “S” curvy seam line to be on the bottom of the barrel.  Work your way up and down the middle of the barrel before pressing it around the barrel.  This can be a bit tricky with a tapering barrel.  Trim one side first and then trim and wrap the other side with a “S” curvy cut line.


    The Receiver

    Cross Cover Gun Wrap Receiver
    • The last piece to finish is the gun's Receiver.  You only need to wrap the exposed part of the receiver that you will see (not the half that resides inside the stock/forearm).  Since this can be a small area, cut down the receiver wrap panel to fit your gun’s receiver before separating the protective backing.  Once this is done, it might be easier to cut your “S” curvy boarder on the front part that will match with the barrel wrap piece before applying.  When applying the receiver wrap, cover the hole in the gun’s action where the shell enters/exits as you will cut out the hole after it is wrapped. 


    Setting your Wrap (200°F to 225°F). 

    • The final step is to set the 3M® wrap by heating the entire gun’s surface that is wrapped using your heat gun or hair dryer and pressing firmly. We recommend wearing gloves because the surface of the wrap will be to hot to touch with your bare hands.  This is the most important step: post-heat all of the film on the gun to 200°F(94°C) to 225°F(107°C) and be carful not to over heat the 3M® wrap film.
    • Post heating sets the film’s “memory” to the contours of the gun and is an essential final step for a successful, durable installation. We recommend using an Infrared Thermometer to check the temperature. Hold the thermometer close to the film immediately after heating each section, before the temperature can drop off.


    Gulch LLC shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever and in particular, loss or injury to any persons or property arising out of or related to use of this product, nor shall Gulch LLC be liable to the user of this product for any general, special, indirect, consequential, incidental or other damages of any kind.