What is NP3 Coating?
We live in a day and age when advanced firearms coatings have now become the standard. Old techniques such as a high polished blue, ultra-bright nickel, or charcoal case hardening are still timeless and aesthetically pleasing, but these types of finishes do little to offer a true lifetime protection of the firearm in question.
Many are susceptible to breaking down when treated with modern solvents, leaving the firearm prone to the ravages of rust and corrosion. Even poorly applied nickel plating finishes flake off after less than a generation of use. In many cases, refinishing guns destroys their value. This is not the case with something like NP3, which imparts a host of useful benefits to enhance and prolong the life of a firearm and its ability as a smooth and reliable shooter.
NP3 Coating for Your Firearms
NP3 coating is a space age material used for coating the external and internal parts of firearms. A proprietary blend of submicron particles makes for an excellent surface treatment on all metal surfaces including stainless steel and hard chrome. NP3 coating offers high lubricity, corrosion resistance, micro hardness, and is self-lubricating. This is achieved via a process which binds the NP3 to the metal surfaces at the molecular level.
Although the most common time when people look to have a firearm or its internal parts refinished is after the gun is showing finish loss, rusting, or pitting, there is a growing trend among professional and knowledgeable shooters to address this from the very beginning. In other words, they are sending brand new firearms out for complete refinishing or at least the most important internal parts, such as the trigger components of a striker fired handgun or the bolt carrier group of a modern sporting rifle like an AR-15.
The primary reasons people have their new firearms coated is to improve the look or increase the performance. In the past, this was mostly done by hard chroming the firearm or using other modern methods of coating such as titanium nitride, Armor Lube, Cerakote, Duracoat, and a host of others. NP3 excels at these efforts, particularly in regard to improving performance.
Benefits of NP3 Coating
The NP3 finish became popular in the firearms industry as an external metal treatment for firearms and its non-reflective color was ideal for stainless steel firearms. However, it was discovered that its greatest benefits were perhaps on the internal parts of firearms.
These internal parts such as the trigger bar, firing pin, hammer, striker, trigger, extractor, plunger safety or even a bolt carrier group and charging handle are critical to reliability of function. When these crucial parts are coated with NP3, the benefits become obvious due to the low friction co-efficient. As a shooter, you want those parts to contact each other as if they are permanently coated in a lubricant for the smoothest action possible, whether that is cycling the action or squeezing the trigger. Additionally, you will want them to last longer without falling prey to the ravages of rust and corrosion.
Many shooters have observed and reported smoother cycling, an improved trigger pull, and the elimination of trigger slack and creep after using these NP3 coated parts. A simple NP3 coating of the internal parts of a firearm or replacing these parts with ones that have the NP3 coating results in the equivalent of a custom trigger job.
The smoother trigger is a result of the contact points on opposing surfaces having the properties of being permanently lubricated. This is without the need for any additional external liquid lubricant or malleable form of lube, such as grease, in the course of maintenance. NP3 is renowned among all the modern coating technologies for its self-lubrication. This coefficient of friction reduces friction wear and often prolongs the life of moving parts within the firearm.
Another obvious benefit of NP3 coating is the long-term ease of maintenance. Many NP3 coated firearms are extremely easy to clean. Powder residue can be wiped away quickly and easily by means of a simple soft cloth, with no need to use any solvent. It won’t leave behind an oily surface either. The major disadvantage to oils, solvents, and lubricants is that they tend to attract dirt, dust, carbon, and other debris via their film, which can affect the reliability of the firearm in the short term.
Lastly, the corrosion resistance factor of NP3 is outstanding and represents the best coating to use in a humid environment, whether that is hunting in the southeastern United States or even in the Alaskan wilderness. This trait also makes it ideal for a daily concealed carry firearm because NP3 ultimately protects the firearm from perspiration or condensation in a hot environment. It is vastly superior to some PVD coatings such as Titanium Nitride.
Unfortunately, NP3 coating is no longer available as a firearm finish to the general public on the retail market. It may still be available from a few manufacturers as a factory finish, but this amazing coating is most often found on small internal parts within a trigger group. It is considered valuable due to the increased lubricity and the overall feeling of a smoother and lighter trigger. This is particularly true regarding the striker-fired handguns, such as those manufactured by Glock, Smith & Wesson, CZ-USA, and Walther.
Overwatch Precision NP3’ed Products
If you still want to reap the benefits of NP3 parts in your pistol, you need look no further than Overwatch Precision. We may be the single largest source for these parts on the aftermarket today. If you want that feel of a smooth and light trigger for your striker fired handgun, you can purchase these parts and install them worry and hassle-free in your own firearms. Not only will you be purchasing a quality product, you also be able to avoid an expensive or even a potentially dangerous trigger job.
For example, the Overwatch Precision Minus Connector gives the shooter a smooth trigger break on all generations of Glock pistols while lowering the trigger’s felt break weight by as much as a pound. The shooter gets a defined wall followed by a crisp break no matter the model or generation of the pistol in question. It simply outperforms every other similar OEM product on the market while doing so. This is what you want in a pistol regardless of if you use it as a duty gun, carry piece, or competition firearm.
Another great NP3 coated part by Overwatch Precision is the NP3’d Glock OEM Safety Plunger. It goes without saying that this NP3 coated plunger imparts superior corrosion resistance and lifelong lubricity, but its greatest benefit is offering an improvement to an integral and crucial part of your Glock pistol’s trigger and internal safety system. On striker fired handguns, much of the issue with the perceived feel and weight of the trigger breaks down to these small parts overcoming individual hurdles regarding the force of resistance. Making this part move in a much smoother fashion significantly improves the perceived pull and weight of the trigger.
If individual parts aren’t a concern and you want it all in one bundle, something like Overwatch Precision’s PolyDAT Drop In Kit might make more sense. This kit combines many of Overwatch Precision’s premium in-house offerings in a convenient package to increase the performance and accuracy of your favorite Glock pistol. The extremely popular and economical PolyDAT shoe is included along with its internal safety, an OEM trigger housing with ejector, an NP3 coated trigger bar, an NP3 coated OP Minus connector, and an Overwatch Precision Extra Power trigger spring. This kit reduces pre-travel and the perceived break weight of the trigger. The flat-faced design of the shoe provides a clean, crisp inline and true rearward press without having to rely on the wait times, expense, or the talent of a custom gunsmith.
Because the NP3 surface coating on these parts represents a bonding made at the molecular level, there is no need for the end user to resort to any hand fitting or polishing. These are true drop in parts that fit as if they were installed at the factory.
Glock components aren’t the only parts that Overwatch Precision offers with an NP3 coating. Similar parts are available for the Smith & Wesson M&P series, Smith & Wesson Shield, CZ P10 and the Walther Q4, Q5 SF, and PPQ pistols (aside from the subcompact variants) and all are covered by Overwatch Precision’s lifetime warranty.
Regardless of your pistol brand, having all the components of your trigger system finished in this space age material will result in a much smoother and safer shooting experience, especially if you shoot thousands of rounds in a year in training or in competitive shooting matches. Most importantly, it may make the crucial difference between life and death when it is all on the line and the final outcome breaks down to microseconds.