Building A Protest Rifle With KAE Custom Coatings

Building A Protest Rifle With KAE Custom Coatings
Building A Protest Rifle With KAE Custom Coatings

U.S.A.-( As Antifa holds territory in the Pacific Northwest and tries to take over parts of the Nation’s Capital, the ATF points to the so-called “Boogaloo” movement as the greatest threat to our country.

They sent out letters to police departments about being cautious around people wearing Hawaiian shirts. The bulletin read that these citizens wearing the flowery shirts might hold “extreme Second Amendment beliefs,” and are probably well-armed. They warn that these people are not patriots, but they are a real danger to bring down the Republic.

I have been to multiple 2A rallies. I was at Lobby Day in Richmond this past January. I was at the “For Love of Country” rally in February. I attended the 2A Rally on the grounds of the US Capitol in November. Citizens of all walks of life participated in those events with “Big Igloo” flags, Hawaiian shirts, and leis. What I found there were caring American patriots worried about an overreaching government trying to strip them of their rights. These aren’t the people that we should be concerned about when it comes to violence. Hell, most of them have the background check to prove they aren’t dangerous.

Boogaloo Magazine

So, what should I, an admitted 2A extremist, do to combat this false narrative? Through my work at AmmoLand, my podcast, Gun Owners of America, and my lawsuits against state governments, I already have a pretty big target on my back. So why not poke the bear a little bit more?

Poking the bear by wearing a Hawaiian shirt didn’t seem “extreme” enough for a 2A extremist. That is what they called us, right? I wanted to live up to their delightful description of us. They did say we were well-armed, and I have armed myself with scary black rifles. Maybe if the gun were a little more flowery like our shirts, the ATF wouldn’t be so afraid of us and would concentrate on the real threat to our democracy. KAE Custom Coatings had an idea of how to do this, and I loved it!

I teamed up KAE Custom Coatings to produce what I call my “protest rifle.” I supplied a rifle that means a lot to me to KAE. It was a Zombie Defense AR-15. Zombie Defense was a company in my home Commonwealth of Virginia. I chose this rifle because it has an A2 stock and an outline of my state on the mag well. The A2 Stock would give KAE Custom Coating a sizable canvas to work their magic.

Plus, there are some personal reasons for my decision to use this firearm. I would never sell this rifle. I ordered it on the day my oldest son was born, and I was able to get his birthdate as part of the serial number. It might be sappy, but that is why I call it “Mighty Matt.”

Zombie Defense went out of business a while ago. In fact, this rifle is over six years old. I have put over 10,000 rounds down the pipe with only a couple of minor stoppages. That was another reason I picked this AR-15 for the project.

It is not like it is going to be my go-to rifle for self-defense. To be clear, this is a protest rifle. This gun is just to poke the bear. You can even call it a troll. I think the ATF’s thinking about the Boogaloo movement is ridiculous. I also believe that groups that push an anti-freedom objective like Mom’s Demand Action are pathetic. They demonize the modern musket (AR15), so why not poke at them as well.

The design KAE came up with was their “Boogaloo” pattern just happens to match my Hawaiian shirt. I didn’t buy my shirt because of the Boogaloo movement, but it sure did come in handy. I packed the rifle up and shipped it off to KAE to do its part.

Building A Protest Rifle With KAE Custom Coatings
Building A Protest Rifle With KAE Custom Coatings

During a Pandemic, I figured it would take a while to get the rifle back, but I surprised it only took them a couple of weeks to get it back to me. KAE made a multiple color CeraKote pattern on the rifle. The company is a genuinely no-compromise 2A supporting outfit.

When I saw the pattern on the rifle, KAE blew me away with their work. My black gun wasn’t a scary black gun anymore. It now self-identifies as an instrument of love and peace.

I looked for imperfections, and it was hard to find a sport where the Cerakote wasn’t perfect. Around the magazine release button, there was a little spot that was scratched, but that could because of the rubbing of the button. Other than that, the flowers on the rifle blended perfectly together. I have seen some other companies have produced similar patterns, but the lack of blending makes the firearm look a little off.

KAE’s design just works visually. It looks like a Hawaiian shirt. Everything is uniformed, and more than that, it just flows. I can’t imagine the amount of time that went into getting this rifle ready for primetime. There is a craftmanship that can’t be taught, and I can tell they have it.

I did send the complete assembled rifle to KAE. Unbeknownst to them, there was a reason I didn’t break down the parts. I wanted to see if the gun would still work after they broke it down and put it back together. I had an experience in the past where I shipped out an AR15 to get Cerakoted, and when I got it back, it looked great, but it wouldn’t cycle. It turned out that the gunsmiths with that company put it back together wrong. I am not going to name the company because they are now out of business, and it wasn’t for a review.

Needless to say, KAE put the rifle back together and worked just like it did before I shipped it off to them. KAE did provide me with a little surprise to go along with the rifle. In the box was a Boogaloo themed Magpul magazine. The company’s artist decorated it with flowers from a lei, and KAE wrote the words “Boogaloo” on the bottom. Fantastic!

This gun will be the rifle I will carry with me to rallies and protest. Yes, it will be a prop to start conversations, and yes, it will be loaded. Why carry an unloaded rifle?

The only person who gets to carry an unloaded rifle to a rally is the man whom I got the idea about a protest rifle. A friend of mine, Stephen Willeford, engaged the Sutherland Springs murderer with his AR-15. Stephen brings the AR he used to defend his community complete with evidence tags attached (that is why it is unloaded) to places he speaks.

Since the lockdown, I haven’t had a chance to break it out at any rallies, but there is one happening in Richmond on July 4th, and I will be there with “Mighty Matt” in tow! We will see if the average citizen will be less frightened of a “2A Extremist” and will be willing to talk.

Check out KAE Custom Coatings at

About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people from all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at RealJohnCrump, or at

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