Birdsong Black-T coating?

This is a discussion on Birdsong Black-T coating? within the LCP Technical forums, part of the LCP Pocket category; Anybody have experience with Black-T coating? I have read from very reputable sources that firearms coated in this do not require lubrication, which I find ...

Thread: Birdsong Black-T coating?

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  1. #1 Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    Anybody have experience with Black-T coating?

    I have read from very reputable sources that firearms coated in this do not require lubrication, which I find hard to accept. I found the following description, which repeats this amazing claim. (I suppose on something like an LCP, you'd still need oil or grease at the metal/plastic interfaces).

    Black-T was developed as a finish for the external mechanical parts of Navy submarines. They needed a finish that would keep rust and corrosion from salt at bay, and did not need lubrication. Soon after they won contracts for submarine parts, it was discovered that it worked extremely well for small arms.

    Unlike the DuPont products, it is not merely sprayed on, but actually penetrates the metal. It is therefore slightly more durable than a good bluing job, and much more durable than any of the spray-on bake-on finishes. Once applied, it needs nothing – no lubrication, and no special care. As the metal is completely bonded, it simply cannot rust.

    A few things to be aware of with Birdsong: 1) Since he deals almost exclusively with government contracts, it may be a while before you get your gun back. 2) Prices are very reasonable. For as long as I've dealt with the company, the price has been the same - $50 for a handgun, $100 for a long gun. 3) Walter Birdsong is the nicest southern gentleman you'll ever meet. He still answers his own phone. 4) Since he has so much work with government contracts, he doesn't advertise and isn't particularly looking for end-user work, so he's hard to locate. But he is very personable and helpful if you do catch up with him, and I can help you with that: W.E Birdsong & Assoc.,Inc. 1435 Monterey Rd. Florence, MS 39073 601-939-7448.
    “The right of self-defense in international law is not directed toward the preservation of lives of individuals. It is concerned with the preservation of the State.”
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  2. #2 Re: Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    Apparently Mr. Birdsong, the inventor of this stuff, passed away last year.
    The company finally put up a website and there is contact info.
    Their prices have gone up since the quoted piece above was written.

    http://www.black-t.com/

    “The right of self-defense in international law is not directed toward the preservation of lives of individuals. It is concerned with the preservation of the State.”
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  3. #3 Re: Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    Hmmm. I wonder how this compares with Robar finishes. Is it the same type of thing, just a different proprietary process or is is something completely different? See http://www.robarguns.com/index.htm

    Decisions. Decisions.
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  4. #4 Re: Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    I looked at NP3, too, briefly. Robar's turn-around time is much longer, and they're a lot more expensive. That took NP3 off the list for me immediately. I also didn't like that they recommend lubricating the gun during a break-in period, which Black-T does not require. It's a silver-gray color, whereas Black-T has been described as a charcoal-black, which is closer to what I wanted. So NP3 had a lot against it for my purposes. From what I've read it sounds like Black-T probably lasts longer, too. Unfortunately, after I saw Black-T pricing, I decided to just go with a "boring" Duracoat finish. I can't quite justify dropping that kind of dough on such a cheap gun (let alone Robar's even higher prices). I'm still kicking around the idea for some of my better guns, though. I've read that the lubricity makes for a noticeably smoother-operating weapon all the way around, as they do everything -- springs, rods, pins, anything made of metal.

    Never could completely figure out what NP3 actually is (although I found statements indicating it's similar to a nickel finish).

    Apparently Black-T is similar to Teflon but much harder.

    I have also read that numerous government agencies such as the FBI specify Black-T.
    “The right of self-defense in international law is not directed toward the preservation of lives of individuals. It is concerned with the preservation of the State.”
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  5. #5 Re: Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    NP3 is a nickel/Teflon hybrid finish. It provides excellent lubricity, is extremely durable (I have NP3 guns that are over 3 years old, carried regularly and to this day, look brand new.) NP3 requires little oil or grease to function reliably, and is an extremely hard finish (the only thing harder would be chrome), and is a very attractive matte gray finish. If you plan on carrying your gun regularly, particularly in a Kydex holster, my guess would be, that NP3 will hold its "look" better and longer than virtually any blackened finish regardless of source. There ARE potentially two downsides to NP3: depending on the weapon it can be a bit slick. 'Not a problem with slides having deep serrations for gripping or stock power recoil springs (there are exceptions) and secondly, if you are a gun owner who simply prefers black, obviously NP3 is not for you.

    I have dealt with many different re-finishers over the years and IMHO, nobody comes close to Robar in terms of customer service or quality of product. That is not to imply that Birdsong is chopped liver, on the contrary. I just keep coming back to Robar because they treat me right. And for those in LE, they do offer expedited service and periodically run special pricing for all customers. I bring this up not to thread jack (the topic is Birdsong after all) but to clarify what has already been said and asked about NP3.
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  6. #6 Re: Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    Good info, thanks. I have a few other guns that I'd probably like a silverish finish on, so I'll think more about NP3.
    “The right of self-defense in international law is not directed toward the preservation of lives of individuals. It is concerned with the preservation of the State.”
    -- UN "Human Rights Issues" gun control report, 2007
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  7. #7 Re: Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    NP3 is not the only finish offered by Robar. They also offer Roguard which is a black finish. Seems similar to Black-T. Take a look. http://www.robarguns.com/roguard.htm
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  8. #8 Re: Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    Roguard is just a bake-on paint-like finish. Nothing at all like Black-T, which is a multi-stage chemical dip, like NP3. Even Robar's own site sets it up as the budget option and says that Roguard offers significantly less protection than NP3, requires lubrication, etc. My take was that it's comparable to Duracoat or the many other paint systems available.
    “The right of self-defense in international law is not directed toward the preservation of lives of individuals. It is concerned with the preservation of the State.”
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  9. #9 Re: Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    I have found that the best way to guage a product's quality is to talk to those who have purchased. I would agree that there is nothing particularly stellar about Roguard, albeit it is one of the better polymer finishes and is aesthetically pleasing. I had a XD45c that was done in Roguard after I found that the NP3 slide was just a hair too slick due to its relatively thin serrationsand a rather robust recoil spring assembly (Robar gladly stripped the NP3 and re-did in Roguard). Keep in mind too that cleaning an NP3 finished part is almost effortless - dirt and grime essentially roll off it.

    For my money if black is your preference, I am sold on Metaloy's Tactikote matte black finish - just keep in mind that it will not wear as well long term as NP3 or hard chrome. I had my HK45c slide "Tactikoted" and it is wearing very well. Metaloy's services are not cheap but they are one of the best refinishers on the planet and IMHO, their hard chroming is THE best in the industry.
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  10. #10 Re: Birdsong Black-T coating? 
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    Great info and food for thought. I am just thinking about when Elsie needs a facelift. I like her current color and a budget finish probably makes more sense given her initial cost. I just want to get my money's worth out of whatever finish I would end up picking.
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