DLC (Diamond Like Carbon)

Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) is a type of amorphous carbon material that exhibits some of the desirable properties of diamond. DLC coatings are extremely hard, have a low coefficient of friction, and are highly resistant to wear and corrosion. These properties make DLC an ideal choice for coating all firearm components, including but not limited to: pistol slides, pistol barrels, bolt action rifle receivers, bolts, gas rifle upper / lower receivers, and much more.

DLC is very durable yet thin-film coatings. DLC coating is used to reduce wear on critical components while drastically improving durability. Friction is reduced and general functionality of components is increased.

Although similar, DLC coatings are not always the same. Each DLC application process varies from one vendor to the next. Simply put, some do it better than others. We take pride in our work, and ensure that our DLC coatings are applied with the best possible methods. From prep work, until the finished product is revealed, DNA Firearm Systems provides quality, no matter what.

The Unmatched Benefits of DLC Application to Pistols

In the realm of firearms, particularly pistols, advancements in technology and materials have significantly enhanced performance, durability, and aesthetics. One such breakthrough is the application of Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coatings. This innovative technology offers a multitude of benefits to various components of a pistol, ensuring not only longevity but also superior functionality. In this blog, we’ll delve into the specific advantages of DLC coatings and which parts of a pistol benefit the most from this cutting-edge application.

Components of a Pistol Benefiting from DLC Application

Pistol Slide
The slide is one of the most critical parts of a pistol, as it houses the barrel and other internal components. Applying DLC to the slide significantly reduces wear from constant cycling and improves the overall smoothness of the action. Additionally, the enhanced corrosion resistance ensures the slide maintains its integrity and appearance.

Pistol Barrel
The barrel endures substantial stress and heat during firing. A DLC-coated barrel experiences reduced friction with the bullet, leading to improved accuracy and extended barrel life. The coating also helps in maintaining the barrel’s cleanliness and ease of maintenance.

Pistol Frame
The frame of a pistol, especially in polymer models, can benefit from DLC coatings applied to metal inserts or components within the frame. This ensures better durability and a longer lifespan for the parts that handle the most stress. It can be beneficial for coating application to the frame as well as the various small pieces, but the frame must be of a metal substrate.

Pistol Trigger Components
DLC coatings on trigger components enhance the trigger pull by reducing friction between parts. This results in a smoother, more consistent trigger action, which is highly beneficial for accuracy and shooting comfort.

Small Internal Parts
Pins, and other small internal components can also benefit from DLC coatings. Reduced friction and enhanced corrosion resistance for these parts mean less maintenance and a more reliable pistol over time. Springs should not be DLC coated due to temperature during application and the potential effects to a springs characteristics

The application of Diamond-Like Carbon coatings to pistols represents a significant advancement in firearm technology. By enhancing durability, reducing friction, providing superior corrosion resistance, and improving overall aesthetics, DLC coatings ensure that pistols perform better, last longer, and look great. Whether for professional use, competitive shooting, or personal defense, DLC-coated pistols offer unmatched benefits that elevate the firearm experience to new heights.

As the firearms industry continues to evolve, embracing innovations like DLC coatings will be essential for manufacturers and users alike, ensuring that pistols remain at the pinnacle of performance and reliability.

Now offering Gold Titanium Nitride Coating (TiN) and Chromium Nitride Coating (CrWN). See FAQ for more information.


Do you have a previous DNA build, or components you already own, that you would like to have DLC Coating applied to? Ask us about our DLC Coating Services on existing components. Note: Components are subject to cleaning and preparation fee for the DLC Coating Service in order to ensure proper bonding.

DLC Coating

DLC Application

DLC can be applied through various methods. The common methods are:

  • PVD (physical vapor deposition)
  • CVD(chemical vapor deposition)
  • PECVD (plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition)
    • Allows for lower application temperatures
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DLC Inquiry

Contact us today regarding your DLC Request. Please see our price list below. If your request isn’t in the list, shoot us an email or give us a call and we can price accordingly.


Price List

DLC is only offered in black at this time. Please see the FAQ section about the variations in black.

NEW: Titanium Nitride Coating (TiN) Available in Gold

Pricing includes prepping: blasting, cleaning and coating of parts. To avoid additional fees, parts must come to us completely disassembled. Component has to be metal for DLC Coating. We can DLC coat aluminum, but we cannot TiN coat it. Pricing does not include return shipping costs!

Pistol Pricing

  • Complete Pistol$475.00
  • Frame – 2011 or similar model$75.00
  • Frame – 1911 or similar model$112.50
  • Revolver Small Frame$75.00
  • Revolver Large Frame$112.50
  • Grip Module / 2011 Grip$75.00
  • Slide (all models)$75.00
  • Pistol Barrel (does not include link & pin)$50.00
  • Barrel Link & Pin$20.00
  • Barrel Bushing$20.00
  • Pistol Magazine$37.50
  • Magazine Release (body only)$20.00
  • Safety$20.00
  • Ambi Safety$40.00
  • Small Frame Cylinder$27.50
  • Large Frame Cylinder$50.00
  • Main Spring Housing$20.00
  • Grip Panels (both)$55.00
  • Slide Stop$20.00
  • Extractor$20.00
  • Ejector$20.00
  • Firing Pin$20.00
  • Firing Pin Retaining Plate$20.00
  • Front Sights (Fixed)$20.00
  • Rear Sights (Fixed)$20.00
  • Adjustable Sights (price tbd)
  • Hammer$20.00
  • Hammer Strut$20.00
  • Magwell$27.50
  • Grip Safety$20.00
  • Trigger$20.00
  • Trigger Shoe & Bow$27.50
  • Guide Rod (one piece)$27.50
  • Reverse Plug$20.00
  • Sear$20.00
  • Sear Spring$27.50
  • Disconnect$20.00
  • Small Pins, Grip Bushings/Screws, Spring Catch (will not coat springs)$7.50

Bolt Action / AR Rifle Pricing

  • Bolt Receiver Only$187.50
  • Bolt & Bolt Handle Only$75.00
  • Picatinny Rail Only$50.00
  • Bolt Release/Catch$20.00
  • Upper AR Receiver$187.50
  • Lower AR Receiver$187.50
  • Barrel – 7-8″$140.00
  • Barrel – 9-12″$185.00
  • Barrel – 13-17″$230.00
  • Barrel – 18-22″$275.00
  • Barrel – 23-27″$320.00
  • Barrel – 28 -30″$365.00
  • Shroud$20.00
  • Cocking Piece$20.00
  • Set Screw$20.00
  • Firepin Retainer$20.00
  • Recoil Lug$27.50
  • Extractor$20.00
  • Ejector$20.00
  • Bolt Carrier Group$137.50
  • AR Adapter Nut$27.50
  • Grip$75.00
  • Barrel Nut$27.50
  • Gas Blocks$27.50
  • Bolt/AR Magazines$87.50
  • Magazine Release$20.00
  • Safety$20.00
  • Front Sights (Fixed)$20.00
  • Rear Sights (Fixed)$20.00
  • Small Pins, Screws$7.50

Knife Blade / Scales / Handles Pricing

  • Up to 1.99″$20.00
  • 2.00-3.99″$27.50
  • 4.00-5.99″$40.00
  • 6.00-6.99″$47.50
  • 7.00-8.99″$55.00
  • 9.00-10.99$ 62.50
  • 11.00-12.99″$80.00
  • 13.00-14.99″$97.50
  • 15.00-20.00″$120.00

Other Pricing

  • Screws$7.50
  • Thread Protector (<2″)$20.00
  • ARCA Rail <5″$45.00
  • ARCA Rail <10″$90.00
  • ARCA Rail >10″$120.00

DNA Firearm Systems is not responsible for component failures/damages after DLC service application. During DLC application, components will be exposed to temps up to 450° F and undergo sandblast operations. It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that the component can endure these processes. DNA warranties DLC application for 30 days after receipt of service. Expect DLC to wear down to raw finish in high-wear areas over time. DLC breakdown is a positive reaction. Carbon deposits are being placed and will increase component functionality.

Key Benefits of DLC Coating

Enhanced Durability
One of the most significant benefits of DLC coating is its exceptional hardness. This hardness translates to increased resistance to scratches, dents, and other forms of wear. For pistols, which are often subject to rough handling and environmental exposure, this means that the weapon retains its functional and aesthetic qualities for a much longer period.

Reduced Friction
DLC has a remarkably low coefficient of friction. This property is crucial for the moving parts of a pistol, as it ensures smoother operation and reduces the wear and tear that results from friction. The smoother action also contributes to better accuracy and reliability.

Corrosion Resistance
Firearms are frequently exposed to moisture, sweat, and other corrosive elements. DLC coatings provide an excellent barrier against corrosion, protecting the metal components and ensuring that the pistol remains in optimal working condition regardless of the environment.

Improved Aesthetics
Beyond functional benefits, DLC coatings also enhance the visual appeal of pistols. The coating provides a sleek, soft black/dark grey finish that is both attractive and non-reflective, making it ideal for tactical and concealed carry applications. We can perform this service in various methods to achieve the desired look you are after. This is all performed during the preparation stages of the application. If we bead blast the piece, it delivers a matte finish. If the piece is polished, we prepare the piece for DLC application in a proprietary formula of chemicals rather than bead blasting the surface. Upon the completion of DLC application, the component will have a glossy dark black finish.


Alpha Models NOW Available with DLC application to various components.

DLC is an extremely hard coating that provides extreme hardness, strength, wear resistance and the coating is only 4 microns thick. The ultimate goal is more than just a coating the yields strength and reliability. Gas guns can get extremely dirty, (especially when used suppressed). The motive behind offering DLC application on most components that we offer is to aid in extremely fast and simple clean up. Therefore, more time in the field, and less time cleaning.

DLC Inquiry

Contact us today regarding your DLC Request. Please see our price list below. If your request isn’t in the list, shoot us an email or give us a call and we can price accordingly.


Before and After, DLC Coating
Coatings FAQ

Turnaround Time: Typically 3-4 weeks depending on volume.


DNA Firearm Systems
212 E Main Street, Unit #3
Locust, NC 28097

Please include in the package your name, contact information, return shipping address and what all you are wanting coated along with any special instructions if applicable. (i.e. If polished parts are being sent and you are wanting to keep a polished finished look, then we need to know not to blast components.).

To avoid disassembly and reassembly fees, everything needs to come to us completely disassembled. If we receive a package and the components are not completely disassembled, we will reach out to you beforehand to determine next course of action and what charges will be incurred to get the part ready for coating.

Payment: Due at pickup, or upon completion before shipping back.

Can I coat only a portion of a component?

Not wanting the entire part to be coated? We can mask areas for guns and knives that you are not wanting the coating to cover; however, we request as much information as possible so we know the best way to mask and can be confident the correct areas are being masked correctly.

It would be very helpful to us if you could send a drawing/picture with some kind of label or indicator showing which areas of the part needs the masking. There is a minimum $30 charge for this service due to the extra time and labor involved. Cost is determined by how many components are needing masking. Please reach out to us directly to discuss in more detail if you have any questions.

What colors are available?

DLC is only available in black. We cannot guarantee color matches to manufacturer coatings. Please note that the depth and vibrancy of the black can vary depending on the metallurgical makeup of the component and the type of surface the DLC is going on. Blasted surfaces will be a matte finish. It may appear as a light black or darker grey. Polished surfaces will be a shiny, more vibrant black. We now offer Titanium Nitride Coating (TiN) in Gold and Chromium Nitride Coating (CrWN) in Tungsten/Chrome. All coatings are extremely wear resistant. They serve as corrosion protectants and all are relatively the same thickness (~4 microns).

Please note that lead time can be longer if you choose the TiN or CrWN option.

More about DLC

Carbon, in a diamond crystal structure, is one of the hardest known materials. Carbon, in a graphite crystal structure, is very soft and lubricious. Carbon-based coatings, referred to as Diamond-like-Carbon (DLC) coatings, combine these two different properties of diamond and graphite – resulting in high hardness levels – in the range of conventional tribological PVD coatings, coupled with a coefficient of friction which is 200-500% lower than that of conventional PVD coatings. DLC Coatings exhibit a desirable combination of a low coefficient of friction and high micro-hardness, making them extremely effective in many tribological and wear applications. DLC is such a durable and lubricious coating it is also used in the engines of modern Super sport Motorcycles, Drag Racing Cars, Formula 1 and NASCAR Race Cars that undergo extreme abuse yet need to maintain superior performance.

DLC coatings are formed when ionized and decomposed carbon or hydrocarbon species land on the surface of a substrate with energy typically 10-300eV. DLC films may possess exceptional mechanical (high hardness), optical (high optical band gap), electrical (high electrical resistivity), chemical (inert) and tribological (low friction and wear coefficient) properties and can be deposited at low substrate temperatures (~200°C).

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