Author Topic: NIB R9 Review and Range Report  (Read 1226 times)

Offline boscobarbell

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NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« on: February 19, 2021, 10:56:58 PM »
As I mentioned on another thread, I was finally able to take my NIB Rohrbaugh R9 home earlier this week.  During my waiting period, I managed to find an additional magazine on gunbroker and overpaid for 100 rounds of 124 gr Speer Gold Dot.  I already had some Federal HST and Inceptor ARX ammo on hand, so I felt like I was ready for my first range day.  On top of that, I contacted Brian at designergrips and ordered carbon fiber grips with silver inlays, as well as his disassembly tool (for those who haven’t had the pleasure yet, Brian is wonderful to deal with).   
 
When I got my R9 home I gave it a good cleaning and lube with Ballistol and Eezox (and Slip 2000 for the rails) and took my time getting familiar with the pistol.  It really is a beauty…top notch fit and finish, and an amazing trigger.  The magazine release is very stiff to operate, but I sorta got the hang of it and felt better about it over time.  For those familiar with the RM380, you already know how it feels in the hand.  I have small but meaty hands, and it seemed to fit me just perfectly.  If you have bear paws for hands, you may disagree.  While breaking the pistol down was a snap, reassembly was another story altogether.  Dear god, no one who has complained about that recoil spring assembly was exaggerating.  Brian’s tool was a godsend, and after a few tries it got to be second nature (although reinserting the disassembly pin can be its own bit of torture).
 
I took the pistol to the range the next day on a clear and balmy New England day (25 degrees tops, with 10 MPH winds!!).  I typically shoot inside 7 yards for most of my training, but I had to share the range with someone test firing a .22 rifle, so I ended up shooting a steel plate at 25 yards.  Certainly not ideal for a pistol this size, but I was more concerned about functionality.  (And I was surprised to be hitting steel well over 50% of the time, even though I was really just putting rounds downrange.  I think that speaks to how well this pistol points, and how darn good this trigger is.)  Despite my trepidation, I didn’t find the recoil to be particularly harsh, nor did I notice that it made the pistol squirm around in my hand.  I was able to get back on target fairly quickly for followups.  And the ARX rounds felt like I was shooting .32 ammo…they really turn the pistol into a pussycat.
 
As for functionality, I probably put about 50 rounds downrange, and ended up with two FTF hangups.  Both were with the Gold Dots, which surprised me.  But the good news was that the HST and ARX rounds were 100%…and if I had to pick two rounds for carry, these would be it.  Weirdly, one of my magazines was out of spec…wouldn’t budge after being inserted a few inches into the well.  I mixed the mags up in my bag, so I have no idea if this one came with the gun or was the one I bought separately.  But that still leaves me 3 good ones.   
 
When I got the pistol home I cleaned her up again (I’m a pro at taking it apart and putting it back together now), and put on Brian’s CF grips (they add just a bit of swell to the palm, which I appreciate).  Damn, what I fine looking pistol.  It has been on my waist ever since, and will likely remain there for the foreseeable future.  Frankly, this gun was as steal at the price I paid, and I only regret not getting one sooner.
 
Sorry for the longish review, but I figured it wasn’t too often that someone gave a review of a NIB Rohrbaugh. 
 
TLDR Version:  The R9 is a little gem that feels great in the hand, shoots better than it has any right to, and sports beauty queen looks.  What’s not to like?   
 
Here it is after it's first cleaning, posing in a family photo, and sporting its new grips:
 
https://imgur.com/a/W7fVSMB
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 12:03:55 AM by boscobarbell »
Those who dream of the banquet, wake to lamentation and sorrow.
Those who dream of lamentation and sorrow wake to join the hunt.
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Offline MikeInTexas

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2021, 10:02:29 AM »
Very nice write up.

Glad you got some range time with her.



.

Offline boscobarbell

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 01:27:02 PM »
Very nice write up.

Glad you got some range time with her.


Thanks, Mike.
Those who dream of the banquet, wake to lamentation and sorrow.
Those who dream of lamentation and sorrow wake to join the hunt.
               —The Wisdom of Laotse, 236

Offline ECR

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2021, 09:08:23 PM »
Good Evening Bosco,

Well, it sounds like a fun first day at the range. Thanks for the write-up for us to all enjoy! I can shed some light on the one magazine you purchased separately from the pistol. The R9 is all hand fit, and that includes the magazines. Each R9 that left the factory we test-fired with the two mags that go with that gun. The issue that you are experiencing did happen for a run of two trays of frames. What transpired is this:  In machining, there is something called “The stacking of tolerances”. What happened with that one mag you have that doesn’t fit correctly is that was not tried in that particular gun frame. The tolerances in the R9 were that exact that if you have a mag well that the I.D. measures at the low end of the acceptable QC specs and a mag, manufactured by a very reputable company such as Checkmate, and that mag O.D. measures in at the high end of the specification, you can experience the issue you have with that one magazine. Snug fit. That did happen once in a while for those few frames and that was mostly when someone ordered extra mags from us and we did not have the pistol to try the magazine fit in that particular firearm. We went over the drawings immediately and came to an agreement for new specs for the frame and the magazine to alleviate that problem. I’m sorry that your one snug-fitting mag is just one of those out in the mix. I apologize for that good Sir.

Well, with that piece of inside information about the few tight magazine issues experienced, it seems like your NIB R9 is in good condition and ready to go to work. Being it was built during the end of our run, there is one last bit of information that everyone may like to hear. Prior to us selling the company to Remington Arms Corp. in January of 2014, we began using Storm Lake in Tennessee to manufacture our barrels about one year earlier in 2013. They did a great job on those. However, just as Remington was negotiating with us, they also purchased Storm Lake. 

Congratulations on your new pistol and should you have any questions about it, feel free to ask away here. We have many enthusiasts that are well versed in the workings of these pistols. If you are in a real jamb that can’t seem to be rectified, you may email me personally through the forum here via a pm (Private Message). I will send you a response as soon as I can and we’ll work together to make things right.

Sincere Regards,

Eric C. Rohrbaugh
Makers of the NRA Shooting Illustrated: "Handgun of the Year for 2005" and receiver of an NRA Golden Bullseye Award.

Offline hoserack

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2021, 09:19:21 PM »
Nice write up.
I've been carrying my R9 since 2008.
It's my daily carry down here in Florida.
I love this little gun, my daily companion, lol

Offline boscobarbell

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2021, 09:46:47 PM »
Good Evening Bosco,

Well, it sounds like a fun first day at the range. Thanks for the write-up for us to all enjoy! I can shed some light on the one magazine you purchased separately from the pistol. The R9 is all hand fit, and that includes the magazines. Each R9 that left the factory we test-fired with the two mags that go with that gun. The issue that you are experiencing did happen for a run of two trays of frames. What transpired is this:  In machining, there is something called “The stacking of tolerances”. What happened with that one mag you have that doesn’t fit correctly is that was not tried in that particular gun frame. The tolerances in the R9 were that exact that if you have a mag well that the I.D. measures at the low end of the acceptable QC specs and a mag, manufactured by a very reputable company such as Checkmate, and that mag O.D. measures in at the high end of the specification, you can experience the issue you have with that one magazine. Snug fit. That did happen once in a while for those few frames and that was mostly when someone ordered extra mags from us and we did not have the pistol to try the magazine fit in that particular firearm. We went over the drawings immediately and came to an agreement for new specs for the frame and the magazine to alleviate that problem. I’m sorry that your one snug-fitting mag is just one of those out in the mix. I apologize for that good Sir.

Well, with that piece of inside information about the few tight magazine issues experienced, it seems like your NIB R9 is in good condition and ready to go to work. Being it was built during the end of our run, there is one last bit of information that everyone may like to hear. Prior to us selling the company to Remington Arms Corp. in January of 2014, we began using Storm Lake in Tennessee to manufacture our barrels about one year earlier in 2013. They did a great job on those. However, just as Remington was negotiating with us, they also purchased Storm Lake. 

Congratulations on your new pistol and should you have any questions about it, feel free to ask away here. We have many enthusiasts that are well versed in the workings of these pistols. If you are in a real jamb that can’t seem to be rectified, you may email me personally through the forum here via a pm (Private Message). I will send you a response as soon as I can and we’ll work together to make things right.

Sincere Regards,

Eric C. Rohrbaugh

Thanks so much for taking the time to explain it all to me, Eric.  That magazine issue was really bugging me, so it's good to have the mystery solved.  Oh, and no need to apologize on the issue.  I consider the R9 to be a real gift to discerning gun owners, and I'm grateful to finally own one.

As to the tolerances, I was expecting the little gun to have its likes/dislikes when it comes to ammo.  My Seecamp is the same, as have been a few other micros I've owned (oddly enough, my RM380 eats whatever I feed it, dirty or clean).  Now, if I go back to the range and it chokes again on the other ammo, I may start to panic!

Oh, and thanks for your offer of future assistance.  Knock wood, I'll never have to take you up on it....

Those who dream of the banquet, wake to lamentation and sorrow.
Those who dream of lamentation and sorrow wake to join the hunt.
               —The Wisdom of Laotse, 236

Offline boscobarbell

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 09:47:26 PM »
Nice write up.
I've been carrying my R9 since 2008.
It's my daily carry down here in Florida.
I love this little gun, my daily companion, lol

Thanks.  Yours is the kind of story that convinced me to try the R9.
Those who dream of the banquet, wake to lamentation and sorrow.
Those who dream of lamentation and sorrow wake to join the hunt.
               —The Wisdom of Laotse, 236

Offline ECR

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2021, 10:14:44 PM »
Good Evening Bosco,

Well, it sounds like a fun first day at the range. Thanks for the write-up for us to all enjoy! I can shed some light on the one magazine you purchased separately from the pistol. The R9 is all hand fit, and that includes the magazines. Each R9 that left the factory we test-fired with the two mags that go with that gun. The issue that you are experiencing did happen for a run of two trays of frames. What transpired is this:  In machining, there is something called “The stacking of tolerances”. What happened with that one mag you have that doesn’t fit correctly is that was not tried in that particular gun frame. The tolerances in the R9 were that exact that if you have a mag well that the I.D. measures at the low end of the acceptable QC specs and a mag, manufactured by a very reputable company such as Checkmate, and that mag O.D. measures in at the high end of the specification, you can experience the issue you have with that one magazine. Snug fit. That did happen once in a while for those few frames and that was mostly when someone ordered extra mags from us and we did not have the pistol to try the magazine fit in that particular firearm. We went over the drawings immediately and came to an agreement for new specs for the frame and the magazine to alleviate that problem. I’m sorry that your one snug-fitting mag is just one of those out in the mix. I apologize for that good Sir.

Well, with that piece of inside information about the few tight magazine issues experienced, it seems like your NIB R9 is in good condition and ready to go to work. Being it was built during the end of our run, there is one last bit of information that everyone may like to hear. Prior to us selling the company to Remington Arms Corp. in January of 2014, we began using Storm Lake in Tennessee to manufacture our barrels about one year earlier in 2013. They did a great job on those. However, just as Remington was negotiating with us, they also purchased Storm Lake. 

Congratulations on your new pistol and should you have any questions about it, feel free to ask away here. We have many enthusiasts that are well versed in the workings of these pistols. If you are in a real jamb that can’t seem to be rectified, you may email me personally through the forum here via a pm (Private Message). I will send you a response as soon as I can and we’ll work together to make things right.

Sincere Regards,

Eric C. Rohrbaugh

Thanks so much for taking the time to explain it all to me, Eric.  That magazine issue was really bugging me, so it's good to have the mystery solved.  Oh, and no need to apologize on the issue.  I consider the R9 to be a real gift to discerning gun owners, and I'm grateful to finally own one.

As to the tolerances, I was expecting the little gun to have its likes/dislikes when it comes to ammo.  My Seecamp is the same, as have been a few other micros I've owned (oddly enough, my RM380 eats whatever I feed it, dirty or clean).  Now, if I go back to the range and it chokes again on the other ammo, I may start to panic!

Oh, and thanks for your offer of future assistance.  Knock wood, I'll never have to take you up on it....


Ha haa. . . . .  . Well, as long as I'm alive and healthy enough to be on the internet, I'm around to do what I can for ya.

Enjoy your evening.

ECR
Makers of the NRA Shooting Illustrated: "Handgun of the Year for 2005" and receiver of an NRA Golden Bullseye Award.

Offline boscobarbell

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2021, 07:02:35 PM »
Range Day 2:

I wanted to post a quick followup since, as promised, I got my R9 out for a second range visit.  While I was overjoyed with my first day's results, I did have a nagging bit of doubt since I got two FTF with Gold Dots.  So I overpaid to buy more HST rounds, and similarly overpaid for some 115 g Critical Defense rounds.  I brought both those with me today, along with the ARX Inceptor rounds that my R9 liked so much the first time.

Once again Mother Nature was conspiring against me with cold temps and nasty winds, but I was able to put close around to 40 rounds downrange before it got unbearable.  The good news is that it ran 100% this time.  The HST rounds were a bit hot but not unmanageable, and the ARX again felt like I was shooting mild .380 ammo.  The Critical Defense was somewhere in between the two.  All were quite accurate (well, for a little pistol shooting hurriedly at 25 yards)...this time I probably hit the steel plate 75% of the time without really trying too hard.

Anyway, this pistol now has my complete confidence with those 3 rounds, and will be on my waist until such days when I wander far from home, or into the worst neighborhoods in my state...only then would I feel the need for something with a bit more capacity.

Like I said before, I should've bought a Rohrbaugh years ago.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2021, 10:42:02 PM by boscobarbell »
Those who dream of the banquet, wake to lamentation and sorrow.
Those who dream of lamentation and sorrow wake to join the hunt.
               —The Wisdom of Laotse, 236

Offline ECR

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2021, 08:58:07 PM »
Good report bosco.  Keep your little friend close and she will take care of you.

Stay well, Stay safe out there.

Eric R.
Makers of the NRA Shooting Illustrated: "Handgun of the Year for 2005" and receiver of an NRA Golden Bullseye Award.

Offline backupr9

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 09:00:33 AM »
Well done Bosco!  I am glad that the “pup” (as we old times on the Forum used to call it) makes you both happy and safe.
John
"Those who would sacrifice a little freedom for a little order, will lose both, and deserve neither." 
Thomas Jefferson

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Offline P93DAO

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 10:54:29 AM »
Good report, glad you like it.

Offline cargaritaville

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2021, 04:11:48 PM »
Good report, now reward yourself with some Caserta's Pizza, Olneyville Hot Weiners, and a Del's Lemonade!  ( You have to be from RI to understand...).
Having a gun in your hand is much more effective than having the entire police department on the phone!

Offline boscobarbell

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2021, 05:52:24 PM »
Good report, now reward yourself with some Caserta's Pizza, Olneyville Hot Weiners, and a Del's Lemonade!  ( You have to be from RI to understand...).

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Those who dream of the banquet, wake to lamentation and sorrow.
Those who dream of lamentation and sorrow wake to join the hunt.
               —The Wisdom of Laotse, 236

Online tracker

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Re: NIB R9 Review and Range Report
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2021, 07:45:08 PM »
The Hotel Viking worked for me.