A Pictorial Guide to Normal Holstered Gun Finish Wear
ROBAR Companies, Inc.® is proud to offer one of the best warranties in the industry for our proprietary metal finishes, Armorlube, NP3 Plus and NP3 platings, as well as our Roguard and PolyT2 coatings. Per our website:
ROBAR® is so confident that this is the best product, ROBAR® gives an unconditional warranty against corrosion and peeling of the finish for the life of the gun to which it is applied.
This warranty does NOT cover normal wear and tear and does NOT cover abuse, alterations or damage to the finish due to neglect or accident; does not cover the firearm against damage, abuse or misuse; and does not include any incidental or consequential damages or loss. This warranty covers Armorlube, NP3®, NP3® Plus, Roguard and Poly-T2 finishes as applied by The ROBAR Companies Inc.® only.
Occasionally, we get inquiries from customers wanting us to warranty the metal finish on their firearm against normal wear and tear. The vast majority of these requests for warranty refinishes are normal holster wear on pistols, primarily the slide. This prompted discussion within the ROBAR Companies customer service personnel that we needed to perform a holster wear test and photograph the results so that customers would know what to expect. Additionally, this prompted us to consider comparing some factory finishes and other common aftermarket finishes, as well as proprietary ROBAR Companies finishes.
So that we could make the comparison as objective as possible, we decided on using Glock 19/23 pistols (four of the finishes were applied to the same Glock 19 Gen 4 MOS) and the same Level 1 Outside the Waistband Kydex holster from Tap Rack Holsters in Fresno, CA. Tap Rack Holsters is known for having the tightest friction fit Level 1 Kydex holsters, thus most likely causing more holster wear than other brands. The ROBAR employee “Voluntold” to perform the pistol 1000 pistol presentations, for each of the eight different metal finishes, is an experienced USPSA shooter. Thus, one person performing the pistol presentations, one kydex holster, and one type of pistol to test the eight different metal finishes.
Per Duracoat’s website, “DuraCoat will gain most of its final hardness, elasticity and chemical resistance over a 4-6 week period.” Thus, we decided to wait over 30 days for each of the aftermarket coatings like Roguard, PolyT2, Cerakote, and Duracoat. Other finishes like Tennifer, Ion Bond, NP3, and Armorlube are different processes, as well as applied differently, thus do not require prolonged cure times. However, all except Armorlube had been applied to the surface of the slide well over 30 days prior to our holster wear test.
Still, with all of that said, the finishes tested are only a sample of one and do not meet the number of samples required to meet a true scientific analysis. However, we do think the results provide our customers with pertinent information to make a more informed decision.
Level 1 Outside the Waistband Holster by Tap Rack Holsters
Glock Tennifer Finish
Ferritic nitrocarburizing, also known by the proprietary names Tennifer/ Tenifer and Melonite, is a range of proprietary case hardening processes that diffuse nitrogen and carbon into ferrous metals at subcritical temperatures during a salt bath. The process is used to improve three main surface integrity aspects including scuffing resistance, fatigue properties, and corrosion resistance. It has the added advantage of inducing little shape distortion during the hardening process. This is because of the low processing temperature, which reduces thermal shocks and avoids phase transitions in steel.
An additional step can be added to the nitrocarburizing process called postoxidation. When properly performed, postoxidation creates a layer of black oxide (Fe3O4), that greatly increases the corrosion resistance of the treated substrate while leaving an aesthetically attractive black color. Since the introduction of the Glock pistol in 1982, this type of nitrocarburizing with postoxidation finish has become popular as a factory finish for military style handguns.
There has been much discussion within the internet forums about how the Tennifer finish on older Glock pistols is more durable than on the new Glock pistols. We decided to include the comparison of the Tennifer finish on an older Glock pistol to that of a newer Glock pistol. The older Glock 19 pistol was purchased by the owner of ROBAR Companies, Inc in 1999 and has been through numerous high round count pistol training classes at Gunsite Academy, Trident Concepts, EAG Tactical, as well as USPSA and IDPA competitions so it started with at least several thousand pistol presentations prior to the holster wear test.
Glock Tennifer Finish – Glock 19 Gen 3
Glock 19 Gen 3 before holster wear test:
Glock 19 Gen 3 after 1000 Pistol Presentations:
Glock Tennifer Finish – Glock 19 Gen 4
Glock 19 Gen 4 before holster wear test – New in Box:
Glock 19 Gen 4 after 1000 pistol presentations:
Glock Ion Bond Finish – Glock 19X Slide
The new Glock 19X has flat dark earth Ion Bond finish. Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bonding that involves the electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions, and is the primary interaction occurring in ionic compounds.
Glock 19X Ion Bond Finish slide prior to holster wear test:
Glock 19X Ion Bond after 1000 Pistol Presentations:
Glock 19 with DuraCoat® Flat Dark Earth
DuraCoat® is a two part chemical coating. DuraCoat® was created specifically for firearms.
Glock 19 GEN 4 MOS with DuraCoat® Flat Dark Earth finish prior to holster wear test:
Glock 19 GEN 4 MOS with DuraCoat® Flat Dark Earth after 1000 pistol presentations:
Glock 19 with Cerakote Flat Dark Earth
Cerakote is a Polymer-Ceramic coating that can be applied to metals, plastics, polymers and wood. The unique formulation used for Cerakote ceramic coating enhances a number of physical performance properties including abrasion/wear resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength, and hardness.
Glock 19 GEN 4 MOS with Cerakote Flat Dark Earth finish prior to holster wear test:
Glock 19 GEN 4 MOS with Cerakote Flat Dark Earth finish after 1000 pistol presentations:
Glock 19 with PolyT2 Gun Metal Grey
Poly-T2 is a PTFE based modified epoxy coating specifically designed to provide lubricity and corrosion protection for metal components exposed to harsh environments and demanding service conditions.
Glock 19 with PolyT2 Gun Metal Grey finish prior to holster wear test. This is a ROBAR demonstration pistol and was used in a Trident Concepts Course, as well as a ROBAR Gun Writer Event prior to testing. This finish had at least 1000 pistol presentations on it before we started the holster wear test.
Glock 19 with PolyT2 Gun Metal Grey finish after 1000 Pistol presentations:
Glock 19 GEN 4 MOS with Roguard Matte Black
Roguard is a molybdenum-disulfide based polymer finish specifically designed to provide lubricity and corrosion protection for metal components exposed to harsh environments. It is available in a satin finish or a minimally reflective matte finish that will complement the appearance of any firearm.
Glock 19 GEN 4 MOS with Roguard Matte Black finish prior to holster wear test:
Glock 19 GEN 4 MOS with Roguard Matte Black finish after 1000 pistol presentations:
Glock 23 with NP3 plating
Robar’s® NP3® finish is an electroless nickel-based finish for steel, stainless steel and aluminum alloys that co-deposits sub-micron particles of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), otherwise known as Teflon™, with electroless nickel.
Glock 23 with NP3 plating finish prior to holster wear test:
Glock 23 with NP3 plating after 1000 pistol presentations:
Glock 19 Gen 4 MOS with Armorlube
Duralar® ArmorLube™ is a unique, advanced, ultra-hard permanent dry lubrication coating. ArmorLube™ offers many of the same great capabilities as NP3 Plus plating regarding corrosion resistance, abrasion, and low coefficient of friction — with the added benefit of being a matte black finish. Originally, a Duralar subsidiary developed Armorlube™ for the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Center to increase the capability and reliability of soldier weapon systems.
Glock 19 Gen 4 MOS with Armorlube 0 pistol presentations:
Glock 19 Gen 4 MOS with Armorlube 1000 pistol presentations:
All of us at ROBAR Companies, Inc.® hope this article and these pictures are helpful and informative for both past and future customers!