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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 5/11/2014 12:41:23 PM EDT
Back in February, I sent a stainless 10/22 barrel and thread protector to Robar to be coated in black matte Roguard.  This matte coating was intended to approximately match the matte finish on the receiver this barrel was going into.  

The thread protector was made from a portion of the barrel, so they are exactly the same material from the same stock.

It took about 30 days, door to door.

I was not satisfied with the job as done.  They'd missed a spot (or something had wiped the finish off) on the thread protector, so stainless was showing through, and the barrel had shiny black spots where the matte finish has been burnished by something (they were not oil spots).  There was a pinhole of missing finish on the underside of the barrel.  It was ultimately the burnish/shiny spots that were objectionable, and the reason I was unhappy with the work.  I would have lived with the pinhole and bare spot on the thread protector.











I emailed Robar, expressing polite dissatisfaction, included photos, and asked how we could resolve the issue.  Hearing nothing after a week, I emailed them again, asking if they'd received my first email.

The next day, I get an email simply telling me to send it in for warranty repair on their dime, and providing an account number to ship with.  Sounds like a plan.

I sent the barrel/thread protector back in, with a copy of the email thread, and a copy of the original service order, which specifies a matte Roguard finish on barrel and thread protector.

It took about another 30-35 days, door to door, to get the barrel back.

I was a bit annoyed that it took a week and some prodding for the customer service guy to get back to me.  

I was a bit annoyed that they didn't offer even a token apology for screwing up the first time.  Not so much as a "Sorry, that shouldn't have happened, send it in and we'll fix it."  Just a "Send it in and we'll fix it."  Small things, but annoying just the same.

I was also annoyed that they didn't seem to expedite the refinish since the problem was theirs to begin with.  But hey, mistakes happen, they're taking care of it, and all's well that ends well, right?

60+ days after originally sending things in, I have the dubious distinction of owning a matte black thread protector and a semi-gloss/satin barrel.  

Both finishes are even, and look quite good, but I didn't ask for a semi-gloss finish, I asked for matte.  



As you can see, I've built the gun with the barrel as finished and delivered, because I was tired of waiting to complete it, and I wanted to shoot the damn thing.  

I'll live with the mismatched barrel and receiver for now, but I'll have them refinished as a single unit so that they match at some point, by another company.

I'm looking for some objective feedback here.  Am I being too picky?  Is this a reasonable finish job?  Am I out of line to request a complete refund at this point?  I'm not giving them a third shot at this, as I have no confidence that the third time will be the charm.  

I'm as much puzzled as I am disappointed.  Robar is a well known and well respected company, that does high quality work on expensive firearms for a number of people.  So, I'm having difficulty reconciling my poor experience with them with their overall reputation.

I can be a picky person, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect a consistent, even matte black finish, if that is what I specified, and what they purport to offer.

Edit with outcome as of 6/17:

Update:

I sent an email expressing my dissatisfaction with the second finish job, including the photo of the barrel and thread protector installed as in my original post, and requested a refund.

I got no response at 12 business days, so I sent a second email asking for an update on the first.

Crickets after 6 more business days, so I sent a third email asking for an update, and threatening to dispute the charge.

I got an email the following day from the GM, stating unequivocally that the barrel didn't leave Robar with the scuffs and scratches the first time, and further stating that the satin/matte finish mismatch I was complaining about from the refinish was not apparent either in the QC process, nor in the photo.

The implication was clearly that I lied about/caused the original finish issues, and that I was being overly picky about the results of the refinish, and they had tried their best to make things right.

He did process a refund for me, less shipping charges.  So, I'm out about $25 in shipping and taxes when all is said and done.
Link Posted: 5/11/2014 2:41:36 PM EDT
[#1]
Robar sucks.  They have plenty of unhappy customers.  You just won't hear much of it because nobody likes to be piled on.

Personally I'd call it a lesson learned and move on.
Link Posted: 5/11/2014 5:57:01 PM EDT
[#2]
This is the first I've heard of Robar having consistent quality and customer service issues.  I'm willing to believe it based on my experience, but all of the research I did revealed positive experiences.
Link Posted: 5/13/2014 8:57:06 AM EDT
[#3]
So, regardless of Robar's reputation, would anyone like to weigh in on whether or not it is reasonable to demand a refund?  What would you do in this situation?
Link Posted: 5/13/2014 11:44:56 AM EDT
[#4]
waiting on the UPS guy to deliver all my P228 parts that were sent out 7 weeks ago. i have a few Sis that were done by Robar and all look great. My only issue is the time it takes. I can cerakote a complete firearm in a day and have it shipped back out the next. I realize they do a ton of work but 7 weeks is pretty ridiculous as far was wait times!
Link Posted: 5/14/2014 5:35:46 AM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
waiting on the UPS guy to deliver all my P228 parts that were sent out 7 weeks ago. i have a few Sis that were done by Robar and all look great. My only issue is the time it takes. I can cerakote a complete firearm in a day and have it shipped back out the next. I realize they do a ton of work but 7 weeks is pretty ridiculous as far was wait times!
View Quote


One gun a day is fine if you don't have a huge backlog.
Ramp that up to 50 guns in house to do and you have gone past 7 weeks just to get to the last one that came in.

I am sure Robar prcoesses more than 1 gun a day, but I am also certain their backlog is considerably larger than 50 projects.
Link Posted: 5/14/2014 8:01:26 AM EDT
[#6]
Robar sucks. They are local to me.  I have had work done there four times.  Two good experiences and two bad.... that's 50/50 for the work being shit or good, and that's too much of a risk for me.
Link Posted: 5/14/2014 8:20:52 AM EDT
[#7]
Robar did a Hi Power for me and it turned out very nice.  Roguard on the frame and NP3 on the slide, trigger, hammer, etc.  Very happy.
Link Posted: 5/17/2014 3:15:55 PM EDT
[#8]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Robar sucks.  They have plenty of unhappy customers.  You just won't hear much of it because nobody likes to be piled on.

Personally I'd call it a lesson learned and move on.
View Quote


agreed  

Everyone I ever met in the reals life that has used the Robar has been disgusted at their work.    

But on the internets where people like the pretty catalogs and parrot information like a bad echo - Robar is epic wonderland.
Link Posted: 5/19/2014 7:26:25 PM EDT
[#9]


Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
agreed  





Everyone I ever met in the reals life that has used the Robar has been disgusted at their work.    





But on the internets where people like the pretty catalogs and parrot information like a bad echo - Robar is epic wonderland.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:





Quoted:


Robar sucks.  They have plenty of unhappy customers.  You just won't hear much of it because nobody likes to be piled on.





Personally I'd call it a lesson learned and move on.






agreed  





Everyone I ever met in the reals life that has used the Robar has been disgusted at their work.    





But on the internets where people like the pretty catalogs and parrot information like a bad echo - Robar is epic wonderland.



Ditto.  I won't use 'em.  I have really wanted some stuff NP3d...but dammit, ever time I think about giving them a shot.....





Had a buddy whose 1911 they did.  One of their gun monkeys installed the rear sight ( a very plainly index marked and well cut sight ) ....BACKWARDS.  





 
Link Posted: 5/20/2014 4:25:32 AM EDT
[#10]
Who else is recommended for nickel Teflon plating gun parts?

HighSpeedSteel


Link Posted: 5/20/2014 6:41:23 AM EDT
[#11]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Ditto.  I won't use 'em.  I have really wanted some stuff NP3d...but dammit, ever time I think about giving them a shot.....

Had a buddy whose 1911 they did.  One of their gun monkeys installed the rear sight ( a very plainly index marked and well cut sight ) ....BACKWARDS.  
 
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Robar sucks.  They have plenty of unhappy customers.  You just won't hear much of it because nobody likes to be piled on.

Personally I'd call it a lesson learned and move on.


agreed  

Everyone I ever met in the reals life that has used the Robar has been disgusted at their work.    

But on the internets where people like the pretty catalogs and parrot information like a bad echo - Robar is epic wonderland.

Ditto.  I won't use 'em.  I have really wanted some stuff NP3d...but dammit, ever time I think about giving them a shot.....

Had a buddy whose 1911 they did.  One of their gun monkeys installed the rear sight ( a very plainly index marked and well cut sight ) ....BACKWARDS.  
 


Caswells plating has a nickle/ teflon kit for home.   I am debating doing it because I would like an NP3 1911, but I can't trust Robar to put my gun back together or even give me "my" parts back.
Link Posted: 5/21/2014 9:01:25 AM EDT
[#12]
Well, I have asked Robar for a refund.  We'll see how it goes.
Link Posted: 5/28/2014 5:41:10 PM EDT
[#13]
Thus far, no response at all from Robar.
Link Posted: 6/7/2014 10:56:18 AM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Thus far, no response at all from Robar.
View Quote


No surprise.
Link Posted: 6/7/2014 11:42:20 AM EDT
[#15]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
No surprise.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



Quoted:

Thus far, no response at all from Robar.




No surprise.


Indeed.  That's Robar for ya.....



 
Link Posted: 6/11/2014 8:35:22 AM EDT
[#16]
Have had the same bad experience with Robar.  Also used Fail Zero for the NiB coating, also a bad experience.
Link Posted: 6/18/2014 10:47:41 AM EDT
[#17]
Update:

I sent an email expressing my dissatisfaction with the second finish job, including the photo of the barrel and thread protector installed as in my original post, and requested a refund.

I got no response at 12 business days, so I sent a second email asking for an update on the first.

Crickets after 6 more business days, so I sent a third email asking for an update, and threatening to dispute the charge.

I got an email the following day from the GM, stating unequivocally that the barrel didn't leave Robar with the scuffs and scratches the first time, and further stating that the satin/matte finish mismatch I was complaining about from the refinish was not apparent either in the QC process, nor in the photo.

The implication was clearly that I lied about/caused the original finish issues, and that I was being overly picky about the results of the refinish, and they had tried their best to make things right.

He did process a refund for me, less shipping charges.  So, I'm out about $25 in shipping and taxes when all is said and done.
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