HKPRO Forums banner
1 - 20 of 78 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to trick out a P7M8 for carry. Any opinions on which is nicer looking and/or more durable between FULL COVERAGE hard chrome from Tripps and NP3 from Robar? Any side by side pictures? Is the chrome more shiny and mirror like and thus harder to shoot? (this still will be a carry piece)

I am most interested in the comparision as it relates to a P7M8 and carry purposes.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,974 Posts
Can't say from personal experience, but I've seen pics of both and I think the NP3 looks better. The NP3 has more lubricative qualities or slipperiness than the hard chrome. Also, I've read about the metal actually being weakened by something during the hard-chroming process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
I like a dull hard chrome myself. NP3 can be months, while hard chrome can be a few days-if that matters to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Borrowed this pic from one of Limey's posts. To me, the hard chrome looks nicer. The NP3 looks a little dark and matte. For carry purposes, I think the hard chrome isn't apt to wear as easily as NP3 based on hardness characteristics.

I believe Limey states the NP3 is on the left, Tripp's hard chrome in the middle. The right piece is factory. You be the judge.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
Hard Chrome will resist scratches better than NP3.

NP3 has built it lubricity which makes it really easy to keep clean.

Hard chrome can be shiny (brushed flats) or Matte.

NP3 has a duller gray look to it.

I opted for Trips hard chrome in matte. You really can't go wrong with either finish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
This is a photo of my Springfield XD 9mm that I had Robar do in their NP3 finish:



It is definitely slick to the touch and appears to clean up very easily. I have yet to fire the gun since it returned from Robar as I am not sure I will be keeping it and feel that an unfired gun is likely to bring more on a sale than a fired one would.

Anyway, NP3 might be a little too slick to the touch as I experienced difficulty racking the slide the first few times I played with the XD upon arrival. I had to force myself to grip the slide much tighter and definitely by the cocking serrations.

The word from a few people that I know who have both NP3 and Hard Chrome coated guns is that the Hard Chrome wins out for a handgun that will see daily carry as the finish is much more resistant to scrapes and scuffs. If I have any of my firearms refinished again soon, I'll probably give Hard Chrome a try instead and see how it stacks up.
http://www.tngunowners.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=368&size=big&cat=recent&limit=recent
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
I have both. Hard chrome is a white/gray color and quite durable on my USPc that I carry daily. NP3 is darker, duck tape gray in color but quite slick, easy to clean as has been said, and makes the action/operation seem like its been to a custom shop. My Sig 45 lower has NP3 and it was the best thing I could have ever done to it. Its is just a step below the durability of hard chrome probably not really much difference, just do you want the teflon in the finish or not. Rockwell hardness is nearly the same, cost is a bit more for NP3. Both have good customer service, especially Robar. I will likely send them about 4 barrels for NP3 soon, it improves the tracking of the slide over them and eliminates the rub marks from firing in my experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,544 Posts
+1 for Tripp Cobra Chrome - its alot harder/more durable than NP3 nickel.
In the matte finish with no brushed flat surfaces, its very non-reflective, and holds oil very well when stored.

Hard chrome does not make metal weak...millions of chrome wheels on vehicles world wide by every auto maker, Im sure one realizes those chrome wheels have lives at stake!

Rockwell C hardness of Tripp Research hard chrome is RC 70-75.
Rockwell C hardness of Robar NP3 nickel is RC 48-51.
A heat treated frame is usually RC 28-32.
Hammers are generally RC 48-52.
Sears are usually around RC 56.

Firearm components are sometimes medium carbon steels (4130, 4140) or mild steels.
These materials are at the RC 38-42 range

Hard chrome is the hardest of the electroplating finishes and the wear characteristics are unequaled. It ends the discussion for the most durable firearm finish.

New kid on the block called IonBond is in the low 80 Rockwell C hardness is on the expensive side...Im sure its worth it tho.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
Great info. since I'm mulling this over for my new usp 45 a couple of more questions.
1) in the pictures above, it looks like you can still read all the engraving on the slide. Can you still read all the serial # and date code and everything after hard chrome? After NP3?
2) can you have other parts done, like the decock and slide release levers, and the hammer?
Thanks
Arthur
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Arthur,

I think most any major metal piece off a USP could be NP3'd or hard chromed. I think the sky is the limit depending on budget and overall gaudiness, LOL :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,544 Posts
1 - Yes you can read the proof marks/serial numbers after plating, the pictures show they can because they are fairly deep on the PSP/P7, the USP proof marks/serial numbers are very shallow and they cant be seen in photos as easy, but can still be read when needed.

2- Most all metal parts can be plated, springs cant be plated for obvious reason. (USP has a rubber tipped hammer so they typically wont be plated)
 

·
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
Joined
·
1,921 Posts
Stuff I have sent to Tripp has came back very pretty I have never had any experience with robar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
I know its not an HK but its had NP3 on it since just about when they first started doing it back in the early 90's late 80's. This was my daily carry for at least 10 years, IWB. No wear, no rust and cleans easy. The poor metal finish is Colt's fault not NP3. This is a lightweight Colt Agent.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
+1 for Tripps Hard Chrome

I went with Tripps Hard Chrome with brushed flats. Great service and turnaround was around 2 weeks. They're great folks to work with.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
373 Posts
Over the years I have tried many different after-market finishes with varying degrees of success. Today, the only finish that looks and perfroms to my expectations is Robar's NP3 - a nickel/Teflon hard as a rock finish - nearly as hard as hard chrome but IMHO its matte grey color is more aesthetically pleasing than bright hard chrome and best of all, it wears extremely well. Plus, is excellect lubricity means very little lube/oil is required (can't say that about hard chrome per se). As for Robar's customer service, I have found none better. They are terrific and for the reasons above, I keep going back for more.

Below is a Glock 27 with a NP3'd slide and barrel.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is an interesting thread to read!

Kraigster, did you ever try a hard chrome finish from or similar to Tripps? If so, I am just curious as to why you would so strongly favor the NP3 over it.

Thanks!
 
1 - 20 of 78 Posts
Top