Featured image above: ROBAR gunsmith Jesse, ROBAR President Freddie Blish, and good friend Michael inspect some ROBAR custom work.
© Tami Jackson Photography

VoyagePhoenix (part of parent company Voyage Media) introduces American cities to visitors, and even residents, highlighting local gems that make a given locality shine.

As written at their site:

We think it’s important for media to more authentically represent the communities they serve and so we try to ensure that voices of those we feature jump off the page.


We also think artists rock.  We love small businesses, mom-n-pops, and hole-in-the-walls. We’re not snobs, but we aren’t fond of most chains.  We think independent entrepreneurs, freelancers and other risk takers make our cities exciting to live in.  We cherish the rebel spirit…


Accordingly our mission is build a platform that fosters collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions and those that make our city interesting.  We want to change the way people spend their money – rather than spending it with the big, cookie-cutter corporations we want them to spend their money with the independent, creative, local entrepreneurs, small businesses and artists.


And finally, we want the stories we share to help give our big city a little bit of that small town community charm, where people know each other and their stories at a deeper, more personal level.

Someone tipped off VogagePhoenix about ROBAR and ROBAR President Freddie Blish, and the result was the following snapshot of ROBAR, Freddie, the smiths and others who work for ROBAR, the firearms and coatings.

From VoyagePhoenix:

Today we’d like to introduce you to Freddie Blish.

ROBAR Companies, Inc was founded by Robbie Barrkman in 1983 as the first full time gunsmith at Gunsite Academy. ROBAR moved to its current location in 1986, where it continues to provide their clients with uncompromising, quality workmanship, and to provide the finest of firearms and firearms related products and customer service. ROBAR has built the precision rifles still in use by LAPD SWAT, as well as other Law Enforcement agencies throughout the United States and internationally. The USCG recently retired the ROBAR RC-50 anti-material precision rifle after over 25 years of service. ROBAR continues to build custom, Sub-1/2 MOA, precision rifles for law enforcement and civilians with over six different models to choose, to include custom hunting rifles.

Almost 30 years ago ROBAR introduced NP3 (Nickel PTFE) plating to the United States and is now used on all US Military aircraft and International Space Station. NP3 is an approved metal finish on firearms for numerous Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies due its superior corrosion and abrasion resistance, as well as its self-lubricating abilities. ROBAR has also introduced several other unique firearms coatings, Roguard and PolyT2 that have great corrosion and self-lubricating abilities. ROBAR will be offering a new coating in 2018 called Armorlube, which was developed in conjunction with the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

While ROBAR has its roots in the customization of 1911 and Browning Hi-Power pistols, and continues to perform those services, ROBAR was also the first to customize Glocks, and other polymer framed pistols, nearly 30 years ago and continues to be a leader in this area of custom gunsmithing.

ROBAR introduced its own Signature line of pistols four years ago, the RC-1911 pistols. These are true custom 1911 pistols built to the customers’ specifications. Additionally, ROBAR introduced the first PolymAR-15 carbine that weighs between 4.75 lbs. and 5.75 lbs., depending upon the model, and is guaranteed to be Sub-MOA accurate.

ROBAR was purchased by LtCol Freddie Blish, USMC (Ret) in April 1016, and continues to keep one foot in the past with regards to the quality of their craftsmanship and customer service, which built their reputation as a premier custom gunsmithing shop, while placing one foot into the future to continue to lead the firearms industry with innovative metal finishes, customization, and products.

VP: We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

Freddie: The firearms industry as a whole can be a volatile business with sales either spiking or plunging depending upon the political winds of the moment. The recent election has done much to suppress panic buying that often occurred under the previous administration. Panic buying helped increase short term sales for some companies, but they are now experiencing decreased sales as a result. So while firearms sales as a whole are down, there is a restored sense of optimize that with the new administrations improvements in business regulations and tax reform, the economy, thus sales, will continue to improve.

ROBAR’s business model of custom gunsmithing and custom built firearms has allowed us to remain very steady over the past two years, when others have experienced spikes or down turns. Thus, we are positioned to continue with steady growth as the economy improves.

VP: So, as you know, we’re impressed with ROBAR Companies – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.

Freddie: As previously mentioned, ROBAR is known both nationally and internationally for our custom gunsmithing and custom built firearms. We have earned a well-deserved reputation for quality that others try to emulate. But what we are most proud of are the people that work at ROBAR. The majority of our employees have been with the company over 10 years. We see ourselves as not only a team, but a family. They enjoy holding themselves accountable when it comes to the high quality control standards that have been set by the company and expected by our customers.

VP: So, what’s next? Any big plans?

Freddie: What we are very excited about is our new coating Armorlube that is very corrosion resistant with a low coefficient of friction (0.07) and is extremely hard (3000 on the Vickers scale). Whereas NP3 has a matte stainless steel appearance, Armorlube is black. The US Military is looking to use Armorlube on all of the M4A1 Bolt Carrier Groups and Trigger Assemblies.

Additionally, we looking to introduce a new line of premium dangerous game rifles and hunting rifles later in the year.


  • RC-1911 Pistols MSRP $2995
  • PolymAR-15 Carbines MSRP $1795 – $2295
  • ROBAR Precsion Rifles SR-60, SR-90, SR-21, QR2, MUHT, RC-50 MSRP $2495 – $9995

Contact Info:


Thank-you VoyagePhoenix for allowing us to show off a business we’re so very proud of: ROBAR aims for excellence, and everyone who works at ROBAR is an integral part of that effort!

ROBAR SR21 .308 with a Leupold Optics Mark 6 3-18X with Horus H58 reticle and an Aimpoint Micro T-1. © Tami Jackson Photography

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