A silicone coating process that improves the durability of silicone coatings on the surfaces of surgical needles and other medical devices. The silicone coated surgical needles or medical devices produced by this process have both superior lubricity and durability for ease of repeated and successive passes through tissue. The coating compositions used in the novel process contain an excess amount of polymethylhydrosiloxane cross-linker. After curing, the process utilizes gamma radiation to treat the lubricious coatings. The coatings have improved durability and performance. The penetration performance of needles coated by this novel method remains constant and flat over at least one hundred repeat passes through tissue or tissue simulation media. This provides a consistent or flat tactile response from the needles to the hand of the surgeon during a lengthy closure process, rather than an unpredictably increasing force profile. The process is also advantageous to coat reusable instruments, robotic instruments, and instruments used in minimally invasive procedures.