Roguard and np3

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Jan 12, 2008
Any of you guys out there tried the np3 or roguard finish on any of your handguns. These are finishes made and applied by Robar located in Arizona.
If any have, I would appreciate any comments, recomendations or warnings since I am considering this finish and would like to know about any experiences good or bad.
I had a Colt Mustang done by them - the outside was done in Roguard, the rest was done in np3 - both finishes turned out beautifully and the gun functions perfectly. Turn-around was within the time frame quoted. Very good experience and great results.

Okay. Yes, I had them do some work on a firearm of mine. I chose them for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I had a relatively odd set of parameters, as I wanted the frame refinished on an old anodized aluminum framed Kimber. Not many places will work on Aluminum frames, and what coatings/treatments can be applied vary greatly by finisher and firearms retailer. Many places will not work on aluminum frames at all, and some only work on some from particular manufacturers (and within those manufacturers, only firearms that were manufactured up to a certain spec/finish/treatment/tolerances, etc are suitable, due to the application of a surface coating of X degree of thickness). Basically.....figure out what it is you want done to what firearm. Odds are they'll be able to help you, but it's best to call and make sure, their CS is extremely helpful and personable.

Anyhow. So, I shipped out a Kimber Tactical Custom II. At one point, it looked like this (I bought it used, with Crimson Trace Grips included, for $700--note the wear):


After some unrelated arm-twisting (different topic), I got Kimber to replace the slide assembly with an internal extractor--which included a new finish, hand-fitting of the old barrel to the new slide, and the new slide to the old frame, with some reaming of the throat and chamber. A new finish, and new night sights (under warrenty) were applied, as well. Cost to me: Zero, outside of S&H. Except now I had a semi-hand-fitted firearm that had a "new" top end, and a ratty bottom half whose trigger could use some work.

So I called up Robar to see about what it would cost to get done what I wanted. Due to the anodizing, they had to chemically strip the finish (extra money) in order to apply NP3 (their teflon-imbued Electroless nickel finish). To keep up the aesthetic and two-tone look of the pistol, I wanted them to finish the external controls and mainspring housing in Roguard, their black finish. (I also had them do some work on the trigger, simply because the gun would already "be there" and I'd save on shipping from sending it somewhere else). I made specific mention of all I wanted done (was guided through all of that by their CS rep, very helpful woman), down to the last detail, then sent it off to them complete with some printed-from-the-internet 15% off coupon.

And then I waited about 6 weeks, twiddling my thumbs and waiting. Once all was said and done, this would be the most expensive firearm I owned, at a total invested cost of $1100--but at the end of it I'd have a custom-finished, hand-fitted, trigger-worked 1911 to my own specifications, with $300 lasergrips already installed (which, as a side note, I did not send with the pistol--less worry, less to "insure"), for a substantial amount less than a new-manufacture Kimber Custom II. And when I got it back, it looked and felt pretty darn slick, and now looks like this:



Keep in mind that the finish on the slide is NOT Roguard, but rather the standard "black oxide" finish from Kimber proper. The Black on the ambidextrous thumb safety, beavertail, and mag release ARE Roguard, and the frame, trigger, and hammer are NP3 coated. (Note the color difference between the Roguard and "Black Oxide").

The NP3 is somewhat slick, but not "I can't get a grip on it slick" like so many folk will claim. It's not as "grippy" as a Hogue grip, but if that's what you're expecting, you're doing something terribly wrong. That, and my hands are somewhat sweaty anyway, so beyond a point they all feel roughly the same :p However, in the roughly 200 rounds I've fired through it since getting it back (hey, I'm in college, and time to shoot + $$$ for ammo are hard to come by), the finish is impeccable, nonwithstanding the fact that in winter months (and when I can get away with it) it rides around in this rig:

It's held up well and is significantly easier to clean and reassemble than the anodizing that was present on the frame when I originally obtained the firearm. I can clean most of the firearm outside of the barrel with a cut-off sleeve from an old T-shirt, rather than need to mess with solvents and such (though I still do where appropriate, carbon dust is a "non-issue"). The trigger job improved the trigger markedly....but I'm still toying with sending it off to Clark Custom to be made abso-freakin'-lutely perfect for a carry piece.

My verdict? An excellent set of finishes, from a top-notch company who knows exactly what they're doing, is reasonably priced, and who has awesome customer service. And, while it depends on what you want done, and to what pistol (prices are listed on their website somewhere, and are "spot on"), I would really recommend Robar if you need some refinish work.
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I got the slide and all internals NP3 refinished. The gun is a lot easier to clean and it really does take less lube. I can recommend it.
Thanks for the replies. You all seem to be satisfied. I read about this company years ago and forgot about them. My main semi auto starting to show some wear on the outside surfaces caused me to start thinking about after market finishes and I could only remember np3. So I did an internet search and found the company and their site.

Thanks again
I had them do a carbon steel cylinder for me to protect against rust. I had it coated with NP3, it looks great, doesn't rust. I've carried it just about every day for the last 9mos with no discernable wear.

Robar NP3-ed my G29's barrel, slide and slide internals some years ago. It's held up.

Great finish, great work. No issues ...

NP3 does seem to cast a bit of a different shade or appearance, depending on the lighting.

G29 indoors ...


I had a S&W 15-3 with a lot of holster wear and an SP-101 completely NP3'd a couple years ago. The Ruger trigger smoothed out very nicely. The S&W trigger was already smooth, now it's really nice. The finish is holding up very well, and is easy to clean.On top of that the folks at Robar are just great people to deal with. If I need (want) anything else refinished I'm going with them, no doubt about it.
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