Gunsmithing  Cerakoting a Factory Howa Bolt - Lessons Learned


Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Sep 14, 2006
West Michigan
A couple months back I wanted to add a Phoenix Custom Rifle bolt knob to my Howa 1500 with factory Cerakote finish.. Here’s the stuff you all should know before venturing into the same project.

- In some of the online Howa catalogs, Howa lists their factory Cerakote finish as “Gun Metal Grey". Cerakote's Gun Metal Grey (H-219) is not the correct color. See color swatch and gun picture.

- Cerakote/NIC does not know the color it supplies to Howa for this gun. I was told by Cerakote that Howa uses two colors for barreled actions: H-227 and H-237. Color samples were requested from Cerakote. H-227 and H-237 are discontinued (at least in the color swatches). They are also not the correct colors (per the samples shown online in the Cerakote gallery)

- Legacy Sports doesn't know the color Howa uses either. A call to Legacy Sports received no answer, and no follow-up call.

- The best color match I can find is H-255 Crushed Silver. See picture of gun barrel and color swatch.

- Due to the confusion however, I had Phoenix Custom Rifles just refinish the entire bolt assembly in black. If you want to maintain the same Howa color, when specifying a knob color with PCR I would recommend using H-255

- Thanks to Keith at PCR for being so accommodating with this confusing project.

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Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Sep 3, 2010
Black was the way to go.
Cerakote can be difficult to match (some colors are easier than others), which is why all parts must be coated with the same batch of coating or risk a re-do.

Best to go with an entirely different color, rather than risk being a shade "off".