People make much of the saying that a handgun’s primary purpose is to help a person shoot their way to a bigger gun (usually a rifle). So when you make it to the rifle and you’re on your last legs and your last mag, you need that thing to work, regardless of the conditions or the climate. Whether you’ve had time to lube it up or it’s just been sitting in the trunk of your car for a month (never mind where in your list of priorities weapon maintenance should be…), you have to be able to count on that rifle to go bang. And if you’re in that situation, you probably need it to go bang several times in rapid succession.
If there’s a chance this might apply to you, Robar has a word of advice (something to the effect of): “Send us your stuff.” As you might recall, Handgun Planet sent Robar a magazine last year (NP3 Plus Review- March 2013), and we were highly impressed with the lubricity as well as the corrosion resistance. This time around, we sent them a bolt carrier group. And I’ll go ahead and tell you now: after experiencing the results of this test firsthand, there’s going to be a third installment.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the moment I charged the weapon after throwing this BCG in it, my plain Jane AR felt as smooth as rifles costing more than twice as much. Dry. No wonder Wilson Combat coats every BCG that goes in one of their custom rifles with NP3: it really is that good. Prior to lubing it up, I ran about 100 rounds of PMC X-Tac 55 grain M193 5.56 ammo through 20-round Lancer L5 AWM magazines as well as a Surefire 60 rounder, and the rifle ate it up without a hitch. Then I oiled the carrier rails with some Wilson Combat Universal and went to town doing some simple drills at close range. After a couple hundred more, I stopped shooting because I didn’t want to blow through my ammo budget for the month in one afternoon.
I took the BCG apart when I got it home to see if all the “It’s so easy to clean” talk was true. And it was. Even on the bolt tail, slowly rotating it in a patch with some CLP on it between my thumb and forefinger was all it took to get it clean. But writing about super-clean gun upgrades doesn’t tell you what you really want to know. And that’s that this upgrade is worth your money and it has the stuff to earn your trust.
So I went another year without cleaning it again. And although I don’t put as many rounds through a rifle as a lot of people, NP3 has earned my trust. All told, I lost count of how many rounds I put through the gun before I finally took the BCG out to wipe it off, but I think it was somewhere around 1,000. I still never cleaned the rest of the rifle because I haven’t seen a need to. This coating works; it protects the metal from corrosion, allows you to run the rifle dry if you’re in a dusty environment where the lube might attract unwanted debris, and cleans up in a fraction of the time it takes to get a phosphated BCG back up to par.
Although it’s true there are a handful of trainers who have put more rounds through standard BCGs without cleaning than I put through my NP3’d one, I don’t think that any of them would disagree with the potential advantages offered by this finish, and I have to wonder how many rounds they could have made it through if their BCGs were NP3’d as well. This site is called Handgun Planet, not Rifle Planet, so I didn’t have the budget to do much more with 5.56 than I did for this test (and even that much took a year). But it won’t take you a year to discover that you’re a Robar fan if you send them a BCG to plate. Robar is so confident in their product that they offer an unconditional lifetime guarantee against corrosion or peeling. That’s tough to beat. HP
–Colt Driver; Photos by kChanko; Robar BCG refinishing ($115 for NP3, $150 for NP3 Plus); www.RobarGuns.com