“Off-the-gun” finish is a widely used phrase among finishers. It means the finish hasn’t been rubbed out. It’s the simplest kind of sprayed finish—spray it on and leave it as is.
We have seen the phrase used to mean a poor finish, but this is not a correct usage. An off-the-gun finish doesn’t have to be a poor finish. In fact, it can be quite a good finish, and professional finishers often brag about their off-the-gun finishes. It all comes down to keeping everything clean and adjusting the spray gun and the finish to reduce the orange peel to nothing, or at least very close to nothing.
The finish on almost every commercial object you come in contact with is “off the gun.” Very few finishers, shops, or factories go to the trouble and expense of rubbing out finishes.
Look at some off-the-gun finishes in a reflected light and feel them with your hand. You will see, and feel, that the quality varies widely.