Author Topic: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench  (Read 6297 times)

Offline Relic

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First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« on: June 12, 2011, 12:06:06 PM »
First impressions:
The R9 is a simple and elegant design. †The influences of John Moses Browning and Gaston Glock are readily apparent. †The Rohrbaugh simplifies these earlier design implimentations even further. †I like that. †Simplicity with function is engineering elegance, a brass ring that few attain.

Many fawn over Mr. Glock's low parts count and ultra reliable design. †Others will tell you that John Moses Browning was sent down from the heavens to teach man how to make guns right. †The R9 is not a copy of anything, of course, but it does give a nod to some of the best design concepts of past firearms designers.

The R9 is evolution, not revolution, a sumptuous departure from the plastic and steel masses. Whereas I can read through the slide-dustcover gap in my Glocks, I couldn't find a gap to measure on the R9.

Disassembly is simple and straight forward. †With the slide slightly pulled to the rear, a dissassembly pin is visible through a small port in the slide, it is simply pushed through a larger port, on the opposite side, with a brass punch. †Again, elegance in simplicity, compare this one pin to the corresponding slidestop, spring and screw of a Kahr or the Glock spring loaded part. †Both are solid designs, but the Rohrbaugh answers the engineering challenge of barrel and slide retention and dissassembly with two machined holes and a simple, uncomplicated pin. †The pin is retained by the slide when in battery, it is brilliant in it's simplicity and effectiveness with a parts count of ONE pin that does double duty as the barrel pivot.

I've seen some say they have trouble taking the R9 apart. †I found it a 3 second effort and quite easy. †Here is how I recommend you do it. †Procure a brass punch that fits in the smaller of the two slide holes, in a pinch a paper clip would work, but brass won't scratch your finish.
With the firearm unloaded and double checked as unloaded, place it in your left palm so that the depression in the backstrap rests in the web of your thumb. †Wrap your fingers over the slide in front of the rear sight (if you have sights) with the outside of your first finger pressed against the rear sight near the first knuckle (closest to your wrist). †Your remaining fingers will wrap over the slide near the ejection port for additional purchase.
Now press the frame forward with your thumb as you pull back on the slide with your fingers in a simple gripping motion.
After about 1/4" of rearward slide movement you will see the pin which you can push out of it's slot with the brass punch, catching the pin in your left palm. †Release and remove the slide assembly. †This same slide retraction technique is taught for dissassembling Glocks. †It's easy and fast and retains control of the parts at all times.
Reassembly is probably the weakest part of the R9 design, it requires at least two tools (three if you removed the grip panel to clean the trigger assembly) one to compress and place the recoil spring (the manual recommends channel locks) and the brass punch used in diassembly.
To be honest, the channel locks would not be necessary if the slide tolerances were a bit looser, but since the guide rod is too tight a fit to go through it's hole in the slide when cocked at an angle, you must compress the assembly with the channel locks and release it when it is parallel to the barrel and aligned with it's hole in the slide and seat on the barrel lug.
I was critical of this assembly procedure at first, but I decided to time a field strip and reassembly and found I could do it, unrushed, in about 15 seconds.

Remember this is a self-defence pocket pistol, you won't be performing field expedient repairs or cleaning it in a foxhole. †Requiring a couple of tools isn't a big deal.
As an exercise I came up with several methods to reassemble the pistol, with improvised tools, that were successful, but at the risk of scratching the finish on the parts. †It's possible, but I just don't see the need for a firearm in this niche.

Overall the R9 oozes quality inside and out. †The stout barrel with it's thick conical crown, impressed me, as did the finely polished feed ramp. †The inside of the slide had some machine marks in areas that did not require precise fit, but all bearing surfaces are finely fitted and finished.

Wear marks were noted at the rear of the aluminum frame at the slide bearing surface, and also inside the slide where parts are designed to bear on each other. †No unusual wear locations were noted, but the aluminum finish does seem to take a beating in bearing spots and I can see that the greatest wear will occur at the rear of the frame rails, at least initially.

Unless the R9 can be designed to field strip and clean itself, I really can't find complaint. †It's a marvel of simplicity and beautifully designed and fitted. †Any change I would make would require compromise of some sort. †It's fine the way it is.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 12:06:25 PM by Relic »
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Offline JR956678

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2011, 01:02:05 PM »
Quote
Wear marks were noted at the rear of the aluminum frame at the slide bearing surface, and also inside the slide where parts are designed to bear on each other. †No unusual wear locations were noted, but the aluminum finish does seem to take a beating in bearing spots and I can see that the greatest wear will occur at the rear of the frame rails, at least initially.

This has also been noted previously here:
http://www.acbsystems.com/boards/rohrbaugh/basefile/frame-wear.htm

As suggested it seems to be "self-limiting" - at least in my case this is what I've noticed - it appeared early on and has been pretty much static through subsequent range sessions. I don't worry about it.

Offline yankee2500

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2011, 01:41:26 PM »
Relic your disassembly and reassembly methods are well thought out and may work great for you and many others, but anyone with limited hand strength or Arthritis in the fingers and hand will be at a sever disadvantage.
 †Also the RJ style tool is heads and shoulders above the channel lock method and wont scratch the gun and now with Davids takedown block there is another option for pin removal.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 01:42:32 PM by yankee2500 »
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Offline theirishguard

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 01:50:03 PM »
Relic, well thought out take down and cleaning method and yes the tools make it easier.  Tom
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Offline Reinz

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 02:45:50 PM »
Quote
First impressions:
The R9 is a simple and elegant design. †The influences of John Moses Browning and Gaston Glock are readily apparent. †The Rohrbaugh simplifies these earlier design implimentations even further. †I like that. †Simplicity with function is engineering elegance, a brass ring that few attain.

Many fawn over Mr. Glock's low parts count and ultra reliable design. †Others will tell you that John Moses Browning was sent down from the heavens to teach man how to make guns right. †The R9 is not a copy of anything, of course, but it does give a nod to some of the best design concepts of past firearms designers.


Nice assessment Relic, but I beg to differ on your first two paragraphs.
I believe some credit should be given to Harry Stanford of AMT,  I fiqure you have not had the pleasue of examining one the AMT Backups before, much less break one down.  Because our beloved R9 is pretty much an exact copy.  Blasphamy!   Yes I said exact copy.  Well that may be strong, but awful close on the inside.  The R9 has trimmed the fat and added the lines of a race car.  But you will be surprised when you take one down.

If you want a sneak peak of what the R45 will look like as far as size, get your hands on a AMT45 Backup and imagine it trimmed down wth the R9 lines and voila'.  Of course it will be lighter with an aluminum frame and all.
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Offline Relic

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 11:37:39 PM »
Quote


Nice assessment Relic, but I beg to differ on your first two paragraphs.
I believe some credit should be given to Harry Stanford of AMT, †I fiqure you have not had the pleasue of examining one the AMT Backups before, much less break one down. †Because our beloved R9 is pretty much an exact copy. †Blasphamy! † Yes I said exact copy. †Well that may be strong, but awful close on the inside. †The R9 has trimmed the fat and added the lines of a race car. †But you will be surprised when you take one down.

If you want a sneak peak of what the R45 will look like as far as size, get your hands on a AMT45 Backup and imagine it trimmed down wth the R9 lines and voila'. †Of course it will be lighter with an aluminum frame and all.

Thanks for the education about the Backup.  So it is a linkless cam then. I didn't know, havnig never field stripped one, as you had guessed.

I will offer only one line of good-natured dissent with you, JMB's 1890s designs that became the Colt 1900 in .38 ACP and later the 1911 and Hi-Power are where the tilting barrel design originated, as the 1900s swinging link (and later the legendary 1911) and the Hi-Power's linkless cam.  The Rohrbaugh is a variant of John Moses Browning's linkless cam design, as is the Glock and many other modern pistols.

But then again, it would have to be a narrowly focused conversation to talk about firearms design without speaking of Mr. Browning.

I assume you've owned and fired a AMT Backup?  What was your opinion of it?  It has always intrigued me, being in .45, one of my favorite calibers.
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Offline Reinz

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 02:25:00 AM »
 :D  Well you got me there!  I guess most everything new does descend from a JMB design one way or another. Or the Germans.  :D
Since I own all the guns you brought  up, I know what you are taliking about.

I guess I was coming from a different angle.  Basically referring that the R9 was copying  a "whole" gun design completely.  Not just  a lockup design. And that there was nothing fresh or evoutionary about it (the design).
I mean, even the pin for the takedown is similar. It does not go through the slide, but the pin is just like the Rohrbaugh.  As is the rest of the takedown with one exception.  Rohrbaugh has improved the recoil assembly by adding the dual captivated recoil spring plus the big replaceable spring.  The Backup just has the big one only.
The grip panel covering up the tigger return spring is even the same.  
And, the Euro heeler mag release is there as well.
If you tear down the two guns and lay the parts down all side by side, you would swear the same guy designed them both.

The big difference - the R9 performs and performs excellant!
The Backup has had reveiws all over the map.  Mine is a 45 and is not reliable.  Because of it's reputation, I have not found the right gunsmith capable or whom wanted to bother with it.

And please don't get me wrong, I am not knocking Rohrbaugh or crying sour grapes for AMT.  If AMT did their job right they would still be here. I'm just saying Rohbaugh had more help/inspriration than JMB and the Europeans.
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Offline kjtrains

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 12:19:44 PM »
Reinz and Relic.  You're both very knowledgeable in what you are saying and I commend you for sharing; each of you have interesting views.  Thanks!
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Offline raytor

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 01:31:25 PM »
Quote
Reassembly is probably the weakest part of the R9 design, it requires at least two tools ... one to compress and place the recoil spring (the manual recommends channel locks) ...

Cheap, Quick & Easy:
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 01:52:35 PM by raytor »

Offline Relic

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 02:34:12 PM »
Quote

Cheap, Quick & Easy:

Brilliance in simplicity.
Thank you for sharing that.  I'll be making one of those.  

Quote
<snip>....I guess I was coming from a different angle.  Basically referring that the R9 was copying  a "whole" gun design completely.  Not just  a lockup design. And that there was nothing fresh or evoutionary about it (the design).
I mean, even the pin for the takedown is similar. ....<snip>

Thanks for the informative and educational post.  You've taught me some things about the AMT backup and the evolution of the design.  I always enjoy learning.

I had heard very mixed reviews on the Backup, as you have.  Obviously the problems must have bee due to poor implementation rather than bad designed, since a nearly identical design (R9) has proven to be a solid performer.

It is surprising how just a few brilliant men have had such strong influence on the design of the majority of our modern firearms.  
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Offline parkgt

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 02:42:35 PM »
Quote

Cheap, Quick & Easy:
Mine wasn't quite that quick.  I had a piece of polyethylene cutting board laying around that was 1/4 inch thick.  Cut  a piece about 1/2'" wide and 4" long, then drilled a 5/32 hole in one end and cut  half the hole off.

The polyethylene is stiff enough to pry with yet will not scratch.  One cutting board will make a whole bunch of them.

Getting the guide rod in was the only issue I had doing any of it by hand.  It took me five minutes with out my piece of cutting board and less than that to make it.

Offline raytor

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 02:53:11 PM »
Those are plastic collar stays - they punch easily but are tough, slippery to pull out easily and won't scratch.  

Offline sslater

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 10:07:45 PM »
Raytor,
Plastic collar stays - pure Yankee thrifty genius.  Even if you aren't a Yankee!
I thought cutting off a chunk of a kid's 6 inch plastic ruler and grinding a slot was cool.  You're the man.  ;D

Offline raytor

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2011, 08:37:58 AM »
Quote
pure Yankee thrifty genius.  Even if you aren't a Yankee!

Cajun ingenuity!!

(and we don't need those collar stays for our T-shirts) ;)

Offline DavidS

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Re: First time with the R9 on the Cleaning Bench
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 11:43:31 PM »
In an effort to make disassembly and reassembly very simple, I have patented and produced a device used in the disassembly and reassembly of the R-9, the SlideBlok R-9. An instuctional video of how to use the device is posted on my website which can be accessed by clicking the following link, http://sites.google.com/site/slidebloks/ . Hope you find it useful.        
          David S.