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Robar Companies Custom
Springfield XD Tactical 45 ACP Handgun


By Dan S. Defense

The Springfield XD Tactical, in 45 ACP, is a rock solid production handgun. The XD was reliable and shot well out of the box, but it had the feel of a generic production gun, and it lacked several features that I wanted to have on my carry self-defense handgun. I knew what improvements I want made ,and my search for right man to do the job led me to Robbie Barkman's company--Robar Companies Inc.. In this article I'll detail the work that Robar performed on the base XD Tactical and share my experiences with this handgun in the range and on my hip, as my chosen "bug out gun".

Robar's mission statement says everything you need to know about the firm and Robbie Barkman: " The Robar Companies Inc. strives to provide our clients with an uncompromising quality of products and customer service. Our commitment to producing the finest custom firearms and finishes on the market today is steadfast, and remains the foundation of our continued success ." I'll simply add that Robar not only strives, but also succeeds in exceeding his customers' expectations and that their customer service is indeed superb.

The XD Tactical, while being a solid handgun, had several deficiencies. The trigger was OK but somewhat lacking. It was long, had too much over travel and was a bit heavy for someone used to a fine 1911 trigger. The grip was also insufficient for my needs. It didn't work well for me, especially with wet or moist hands. Living in the wet North West, where it rains more often than not, I wanted a grip that will assure my hands stick to it. The sights were generic white dots and I prefer night sights on all my self-defense handguns. There were a few other items I wanted changes, such as the finish which needed to resist the high humidity and my unfortunate skill of scratching handguns. I wanted a finish that was be tough and highly resistant to the occasional training hit.

When it comes to custom work, Robar offers great flexibility and you can get pretty much anything done, as long as it is safe and legal. To make work more affordable, Robbie Markman put together packages, to address common wants and asks. For my needs, the Robar Springfield XD package was ideal. It would address all my needs and add a few extra items that I haven't initially considered. The price was very reasonable, given the skill that would be invested and quality materials that would be used. You can see the current package and its price on the Robar website as well as 'a la carte' menu that allows you to pick and choose every item independently.

The work is described perfectly in this short quote from the Robar site "Beginning with the trigger, take-up is decreased significantly, an adjustable over-travel stop is added and trigger release weight is reduced to 4.5 lbs. The grip is modified to get your hand up higher slightly for better control, the trigger-guard is rounded, a beavertail is added to prevent slide bite and to get your hand in position on the grip quickly for drawing, and the grip itself receives Robar's unique texture treatment, identical to our renowned Glock grip texturizing.

Finally, the barrel feed ramp is polished for more reliable feeding and the Robar logo is engraved on the slide." What else can an XD owner ask for? How about this: "For improved sight acquisition in all lighting conditions we replace the factory sights with a set of tritium sights from your choice of manufacturer - Trijicon, XS Sights, TruGlo [which I selected for my project] or Meprolight. The pistol is test fired to confirm correct function and sight alignment."

And finally, there was the question of the finish and here too several options were available from Robar: "To provide the maximum surface protection the XD receives our advanced NP3 Electroless Nickel with Teflon coating on the slide, barrel and all appropriate internal metal parts including one magazine [which I opted for as well as 5 extra mags]. Optionally, you may select our Roguard black polymer-based finish for the slide while retaining NP3 on the remaining components". And that's what I would call perfection.

When we seek perfection, and set great expectations, we are often disappointed. I waited for many weeks, I think about 10-12 weeks, and the received a call from Debi, Robar's charming, cheerful and expert customer helper, to advise that my new Robar XD will arrive the next day. As an aside, I have had two guns customized to date, and I have two more handguns at Robar now. Then, as now, Debi was instrumental in advising on key choices, and helped me get additional custom work done by a shop they work with. I can't say enough good things about Debi, and I'm sure you'll feel the same after dealing with her.

The Robar XD is truly a work of art. My generic production gun, which went in as an all-black gun, with several scratches, came back in green and silver (see pictures). The grip fit my hand like a glove. I actually put my hands under running, cold water and then griped the gun and ran a few drills with it. The new grip was perfect, as were the new sights and the new finish. It was then time to dry fire the Robar XD and that's where this work of art really shined.

The trigger was perfect. I'd say better than perfect but that would be impossible. The Robar XD trigger could rival any of my best custom 1911 handguns. With the new high, beaver tail extension, I was able to get a high grip which naturally placed my finger on the right spot. The months of waiting were well worthwhile, the cost seemed too low when compared to what I got and my very high expectations were first met and then exceed when I took the gun to the range.

Writing objective gun reviews calls for a high level of detachment. But with the Robar XD that's nearly impossible to do, and I for one will just advise you that I feel great affection to the gun and admiration to the skill of the folks who built it. The gun shot to point of aim, and I got several one hole, or touching holes with different types of 45 ACP, self-defense ammo.

I added a Surefire X300 to the handgun and muzzle rise seemed minimal to me. This handgun shot like a dream and has continued to shoot that way ever since. Given the quality of the work, the perfect reliability with unbelievable accuracy, as well as 13 rounds of self-defense ammo, made this handgun my favorite fighting gun. If I ever need to call on a weapon, to help resolve extreme danger (i.e. bug out gun), the Robar XD will always be my first choice.

In summary, the Robar XD package will turn a solid handgun into a functional work of art. If you seek perfection, in look as well as function, I highly recommend you give Robar a hard look. As a true custom shop, Robar can work on your firearms or build you one from scratch.

I have two handguns undergoing serious work, as I type and one of them will be my wife's first custom handgun. I think that provides context to the trust I place in Robbie Barkman and the Robar Companies. Give them a look and see if they can help. From experience, I can say with confidence, that you that you will not be disappointed!

Until the next time, stay safe by staying alert!
 
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