The Robar Companies of Phoenix, Arizona have
been in the firearm finishing business for many years, and their
proprietary NP3 and Roguard finishes are among the most-durable
and beautiful metal finishes available anywhere. I have a Colt
Lightweight Commander that was finished with NP3 and Roguard
several years ago, and it looks as good today as it did the
day it was delivered. Both Roguard and NP3 offer superior
lubricity and protection for the metal beneath, and I highly
recommend both as the best available for a firearm.
What many people do not know is that firearm
finishing is only a relatively small percentage of the metal
finishing work done by Robar. Robbie Barrkman and his team do
the majority of their work providing superior metal finishing to
parts used in the medical and aerospace industries, in which
tolerances are many times tighter than those used on firearms.
Robar has the capability to hold tolerances of the dimensional
thickness to within .0001 inch (one ten-thousands of an inch),
and as a result, those of us who desire to have Robar finish our
firearms benefit from those same exacting tolerances held to the
finish of both exterior and interior parts of our weapons.
In addition to providing superior metal
finishing, Robar also highly modifies weapons, as well as
building custom firearms from the ground up. They will do
shaping a texturing of metal surfaces, grip reduction surgery on
polymer pistols, and pretty much any work that one would
reasonably want done to a firearm.
Robbie Barrkman was born in South Africa, and
came to the U.S. in 1977. His work as a firearms instructor at Gunsite
in Arizona had him working on his students' guns to keep them
running, and that led to his work on modifying and manufacturing
weapons and to the development of his NP3 and Roguard finishes,
which contribute lubricity and durability to firearms. Visiting
with Robbie a few months back in Arizona, I was privileged to
see his facilities, and also to learn that he is an excellent
photographer. Robbie did not just come to America to make his
living, but he is also a believer in the U.S. Constitution and
the American way of life, and earned his U.S. citizenship the
hard way. I like to refer to Robbie as my favorite
In addition to custom finishing and other
gunsmith services, Robar sells a dandy little tool for anyone
that uses an ACOG, Aimpoint, or other combat optic, called
"The Combat Optic Tool-Optimized". This little jewel
is very useful in the field for mounting, adjusting, and
otherwise keeping your combat optic secure and in sync with your
rifle. It is also handy for opening a bottle of RC Cola or other
Robar also builds an excellent version of the
AR-15 carbine, and that brings us to the subject of this review.
Theirs is not just a "me too" rifle resembling dozens
of other AR-15 rifles on the market, but really is a
custom-grade, premium rifle. Most AR-15 rifles on the market
today are heading in the wrong direction; becoming heavier and
heavier, and have strayed far from the original concept of the
AR-15 rifle. Thankfully, Robar has built a superior rifle while
holding the weight down to just a bit over six pounds. The rifle
now wears an aluminum handguard, but in January 2015, the KSP
polymer handguard will be standard, dropping the weight to below
six pounds. Robar has treated the bolt carrier group, bolt,
magazine catch, selector switch, and other small parts with
their NP3 finish for durability and lubricity. Parts treated
with the NP3 are much easier to clean, and they stay cleaner
during use. Specifications for the PolymAR-15 are listed below.
The first fifty rifles will be available with the tan upper and
lower receivers. After that, the receiver halves will be black.
MSRP is correct as of the date of this review.
ROBAR PolymAR-15 Carbines (standard
features) MSRP $1495 + 11% FET:
Sub six pound carbine (currently 6+
lbs, but with polymer forend, will be under 6 lbs)
Guaranteed Sub-MOA Accuracy
KSP POLYMER UPPER – TAN (1ST 50)/BLACK
KSP POLYMER LOWER – TAN (1ST 50)/BLACK
DIAMONDHEAD VRS “T” FOREND W/
THREE 3” PICATINNY RAIL PANELS – MATTE ROGUARD BLACK
(KSP POLYMER FOREND W/M-LOK,
AVAILABLE IN JAN 2015, WILL BECOME STANDARD)
POF ANTI-TILT CARBINE RECEIVER
EXTENSION (BUFFER) TUBE - (RIFLE RECEIVER EXTENSION TUBE
5.56 - POF 16”MIDLENGTH GAS 1:8
5.56 NATO NITRIDED BARREL W/ E2 TECHNOLOGY, MUZZLE
½” X 28 TPI
MAGPUL MOE BLACK CARBINE BUTTSTOCK
(MOE BLACK FIXED RIFLE BUTTSTOCK ON REQUEST)
MAGPUL MOE BLACK GRIP
MAGPUL MBUS FRONT SIGHT BLACK
MAGPUL MBUS REAR SIGHT BLACK
MAGPUL MOE BLACK VERTICAL FORE GRIP
GEISSELE SGB CARBON STEEL – MATTE
SPIKE’S TACTICAL MELONITED
MID-LENGTH GAS TUBE
NOVESKE QD RECEIVER END PLATE NP3
BCM CHARGING HANDLE – MOD 5 SMALL
M4 BUFFER SPRING
CARBINE BUFFER (RIFLE BUFFER &
SPRING UPON REQUEST)
ROBAR AR15 NP3 BOLT CARRIER GROUP
MILSPEC NP3 TRIGGER ASSEMBLY
MILSPEC NP3 BOLT CATCH
MILSPEC NP3 MAG CATCH & BUTTON
MILSPEC NP3 SELECTOR SWITCH
A2 FLASH HIDER
NP3 INTERNAL & EXTERNAL SMALL PARTS
accuracy testing, I mounted my mule: the Leupold Mark 4 8.5 to
25 power target/tactical scope. This scope allows me to get all
the accuracy that I possibly can out of a rifle/ammo combo. From
a solid rest, it eliminates most of my human error, and allows
me to see just how well a rifle will shoot. Velocity testing was
done with the chronograph set out twelve feet from the muzzle at
an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, approximately.
Temperatures hovered around the thirty-five degree Fahrenheit
mark during all velocity testing. Relative humidity was
forty-eight percent. Velocity readings are the average of
several shots fired, and the results are listed in the chart
below. Velocity readings are listed in feet-per-second (fps).
Bullet weights are listed in grains. FMJ is a full metal jacket
bullet. HP is hollowpoint. V-Max is a polymer-tipped varmint
bullet. TSX is a Barnes Triple Shock homogenous copper
hollowpoint bullet. The handload listed uses the TSX bullet with
24.5 grains of Ramshot TAC powder, a Remington small rifle
primer, and Winchester commercial .223 Remington cases. Accuracy
testing was done with the rifle resting in a Target
Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest, to eliminate as much
shooter error as possible. The rifle was allowed to cool between
each brand of ammo tested.
|Buffalo Bore HP
|Buffalo Bore HP
|Black Hills HP
|Wolf Gold HP
|Lake City M855
|Hand Load TSX
|Winchester USA FMJ
Accuracy was, as expected, superb. I
bore-sighted the weapon at twenty-five yards,
proceeded to fire on paper at fifty, and then at one
hundred yards for accuracy testing. The Leupold scope allowed me
to hold precisely on target, and the PolymAR-15 proved to group
well within its one-minute-of-angle (MOA) accuracy guarantee.
As expected, reliability was one hundred
percent. Every cartridge fed, fired, and ejected flawlessly. I
tested the weapon using the supplied Tango Down magazines, as
well as a twenty-round Vietnam War era Colt magazine. I prefer
these shorter mags when shooting from the bench, and they
functioned perfectly in the PolymAR-15.
There are plenty of AR-15 rifles on the
market that cost less than does this Robar, but I was surprised
at the relatively low price of this rifle, considering the
quality of the parts, and the fit and function of this weapon.
The NP3 on the small parts and bolt carrier group, along with
the quality of the other components used, results in a rifle
that is as good as any custom AR that I have ever handled, and
superior to most. There are very few ARs on the market, either
production or custom, that fit together as tightly yet run so
smoothly as does this Robar. You can pay a lot more money for an
AR, but it is doubtful that you will get a better rifle. The
PolymAR-15 from Robar is one of the finest AR rifles on the
market, and an excellent value.
Check out the extensive line of products and
services offered by Robbie Barrkman and his crew at www.robarguns.com.
For details on the Mark 4 and other quality
Leupold optics, go to www.leupold.com.
order quality 223 and 5.56mm ammunition, go to www.midsouthshooterssupply.com,
NOTE: All load data posted on this
web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor
GunBlast.com assume any responsibility for the use or misuse of this data.
The data indicated were arrived at using specialized equipment under
conditions not necessarily comparable to those encountered by the
potential user of this data. Always use data from respected loading
manuals and begin working up loads at least 10% below the loads indicated
in the source manual.
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