Rohrbaugh R9S long awaited range (and ammo) report.


May 14, 2004, 12:04 AM
R9S Range and Ammo Comparison Report - (bit long but I hope usefully comprehensive.)

Well ... managed to go early to a club meeting this evening and spend hour and a half on range to check out the lil' puppy. Took F-1 Chrony and printer ..... and set up target at approx 7 paces .. 21'. Used bench with sandbags, Chrony was approx 18" in front (didn't like the muzzle blast!! :D ). If anyone hasn't seen the pic of the R9S ... it's in this post. (

I fired a string of 5 shots of each of eight ammo varieties I had on hand .... all rested and at a slow pace, taking a print-out for each set .... using the printer then to give me other stat's values (see lower down this post). The first pic below is the major part of a sheet of letter paper with all shots on .. so variations due to ammo types, plus as you can see, the overall trend is for the gun to shoot a bit low and left. The paper is rather thin and so quite a few areas have torn excessively . It still tho gives a feel for where the shots went on average.

Next, standing shooting (used White Box) ... again from the 21' distance and at a moderate pace. Not true rapid, more deliberate but fast. Two rounds connected nicely in center and others spread out .... and I was aiming off to higher right, following the earlier results. Still, for the distance with such a small gun ... OK by me. And I'm no Jerry Mikulik (spl?)!!

Then moved forward to 15' distance ... and this time shot what I'd call medium rapid .. all a tad low but again, I wasn't complaining! Back to letter paper again.

And finally ... from the 7' distance ..... and this time fired at fastest possible ... barely any pretence at attempting aim recovery ... this was go,go,go time!! I was pleased with the three on the circle and the other two were not totally useless :p

So .. verdict so far in the test? Pretty damn pleased!! I will admit, like perhaps any of the real small guns, this requires some ''knack'' to get the grip right. Limp wristing is a total no-no! I guess I fired off about 70 rounds all told ... and my strong hand began to notice discomfort slightly - in area at base of thumb and, first section of ring finger. In fairness it was hot and humid and my sweat made for softer skin I think. Anyways .. heck ... this gun is not about shooting hundreds of rounds of bullseye ... it's a carry piece!

Recoil is, what? Pretty stout shall we say .... but what would you expect from a gun weighing a mere 12.8 oz unloaded and shooting a high pressure round.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing I was aware of throughout this test session was - the amazingly sweet double action pull. Sure, it's quite long - has to be .. but man is it ever silky (the trigger guard gives enough space for the finger too, something I do not like too much with the KelTec trigger guard which is not high enough for me), and - hard to believe it'll hit pin hard enough with so little effort to pull thru. Being D/A only ..... of course, racking the slide to load chamber does not leave a cocked hammer. There is no safety per se but the D/A is in itself well adequate to provide a safety feature. Also, the extractor acts as a loaded chamber indicator ... being flush with slide when a round is chambered .. easy to feel by touch as well as visual inspection.

The ammo results I'll now give you, reflect on its 2.9" barrel . It is locking breech and right hand twist. You may find some of this of interest both from the POV of the particular gun but also actual ammo comparisons in this cal. No FTF's at all.

Ammo type ........ UMC 115 grn FMJ

Shot # 1 - 1028.73 fps
Shot # 2 - 981.34 fps
Shot # 3 - 1016.20 fps
Shot # 4 - 998.76 fps
Shot # 5 - 601.49 fps (yikes!!)

Low vel = 601.49
Hi vel = 1028.73
Average vel = 925.30
Hi-Lo extreme spread = 427.24 (another yikes!)
Standard Deviation = 181.88
Muzzle energy (based on average vel) = 218 ft lbs

(I have reaffirmed my view that this ammo is near total crap ... that last shot gave me an FTE - hardly surpising perhaps. Dirtiest stuff out there. No more for me Mr Rem thank you).

NOTE!! .. First time using this printer and forgot to reset so all ammo shot was as one string! Duh! Never mind .. I am adding most info for remaining ammo types - just not bothering yet to work out Standard Deviation.

Ammo type ........ Winchester White Box 115 grain FMJ

Shot # 1 - 1036.48 fps
Shot # 2 - 1025.41 fps
Shot # 3 - 1037.72 fps
Shot # 4 - 1047.52 fps
Shot # 5 - 1038.97 fps

Low vel = 1025.41
Hi vel = 1037.72
Average vel = 1037.22
Hi-Lo extreme spread = 12.31 (good I reckon!)
Standard Deviation = (too lazy to calc!)
Muzzle energy (based on average vel) = 275 ft lbs

Ammo type ........ Igman (Bosnian mfr) ... 124 grain FMJ

Shot # 1 - 974.55 fps
Shot # 2 - 1002.07 fps
Shot # 3 - 960.32 fps
Shot # 4 - 1035.15 fps
Shot # 5 - 1015.18 fps

Low vel = 960.32
Hi vel = 1035.15
Average vel = 997.2 nom
Hi-Lo extreme spread = 74.83
Standard Deviation = (too lazy to calc!)
Muzzle energy (based on average vel) = 274 ft lbs

Ammo type ........ Fed HydraShok 147 grain JHP

Shot # 1 - 799.39 fps
Shot # 2 - 823.43 fps
Shot # 3 - 824.55 fps
Shot # 4 - 823.88 fps
Shot # 5 - 831.98 fps

Low vel = 799.39
Hi vel = 824.55
Average vel = 820.6 nom
Hi-Lo extreme spread = 25.16
Standard Deviation = (too lazy to calc!)
Muzzle energy (based on average vel) = 220 ft lbs

Ammo type ........ Fed HydraShok 135 grain JHP

Shot # 1 - 891.62 fps
Shot # 2 - 913.91 fps
Shot # 3 - 915.77 fps
Shot # 4 - 919.60 fps
Shot # 5 - 893.79 fps

Low vel = 891.62
Hi vel = 919.60
Average vel = 906.6 nom
Hi-Lo extreme spread = 27.98
Standard Deviation = (too lazy to calc!)
Muzzle energy (based on average vel) = 246 ft lbs

Ammo type ........ Remington Golden Saber 124 grain JHP

Shot # 1 - 1002.15 fps
Shot # 2 - 1002.73 fps
Shot # 3 - 994.16 fps
Shot # 4 - 985.02 fps
Shot # 5 - 980.79 fps

Low vel = 980.79
Hi vel = 1002.73
Average vel = 992.8 nom
Hi-Lo extreme spread = 21.94
Standard Deviation = (too lazy to calc!)
Muzzle energy (based on average vel) = 271.5 ft lbs

Ammo type ........ Federal American Eagle, 124 grain FMJ

Shot # 1 - 902.79 fps
Shot # 2 - 912.18 fps
Shot # 3 - 762.47 fps (not so good!)
Shot # 4 - 926.00 fps
Shot # 5 - 921.63 fps

Low vel = 762.47
Hi vel = 926.00
Average vel = 885 nom
Hi-Lo extreme spread = 163.53
Standard Deviation = (too lazy to calc!)
Muzzle energy (based on average vel) = 216 ft lbs

Ammo type ........ ''A-Merc'', 115 grain FMJ (first time I've tried it! ... be the last too!)

Shot # 1 - 373.04 fps
Shot # 2 - 372.86 fps
Shot # 3 - 371.13 fps
Shot # 4 - 355.23 fps
Shot # 5 - 353.32 fps

Low vel = 353.32
Hi vel = 373.04
Average vel = 365 nom
Hi-Lo extreme spread = 19.72
Standard Deviation = (too lazy to calc!)
Muzzle energy (based on average vel) = 32 ft lbs !!!!!!!!!!!!! What?? Sheesh!

Well!!!! I'll leave you to make up your own minds re some of the ammo!

That last ''A-Merc'' ... heck, not sure who makes it but .. wierd thing was it didn't feel that weak. Mind you - I should post some bullet pics. They are TERRIBLE quality!! Malformed (creases in jackets) .. horrible things. I can't believe this is being sold .. and it is no cheaper than White Box. Amazed too that it cycled the gun ... that too is hard to believe.! Wonder why they were not all FTE's to be honest!- - maybe a very slow powder?

The White Box figures quite impressed me .... that ain't bad for budget ammo - at all. The UMC .. well, hardly need say more!. The one round really screwed up the average of course! It is so dirty too .. and was responsible for my only FTE.

The ''Igman'' - Bosnian stuff ... it was cheap ... and I guess not too bad really. Good enough for plinking.

Fed American Eagle is not bad but here one round screwed the figures. Still, not bad for plinking. At least it burns clean!

The lighter HydraShok had the better energy figures but both weights were pretty consistent, tho energy a tad low.

The Rem Golden Saber seems to get the first prize for me ... good figures altogether .. and the energy is good. Good design bullet too IMO.

So - there we have it .. a selection of ammo .. some good some garbage! All digested admirably by this sweet mini pistol. I am again amazed by the precision of its engineering .. and again reiterate .. man, is that D/A ever sweet . You'd have to feel that to believe.

Sorry this is so long but ... wanted to try and make it useful and informative ... as much as anything to help those interested in this piece - for whom any info can be helpful. Any aspects I have forgotten to comment on ... do ask and I'll try and add later. This has taken a while to put together!

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May 14, 2004, 01:17 AM
Thanks for the thorough and well stated report. I am really glad to hear that this gun is proving to be a real winner by all current accounts. I was quite skeptical of a 9mm pistol this size being truly reliable but I'm happy to have those doubts unfounded. If they maintain this quality and the reliability proves out over time, I believe this will be THE gun to have within a year or two.

May 14, 2004, 08:25 AM
Nice report. You should try some Federal 115gr JHP (9BP) if you get a chance. That ammo has a very good track record and a 115gr bullet might be the best choice for a short barrel.

May 14, 2004, 09:36 AM
Thanks, Chris. Good info. Can't wait to shoot mine. The numbers look pretty good to me. I would like to try some Gold Dot and see that for comparison.

Can you compare the R-9 handling to a P-3AT or PM9?

May 14, 2004, 10:34 AM
Can you compare the R-9 handling to a P-3AT or PM9? DD ..... yeah, I have a P-3AT so able to compare with that. Not sure tho really quite how to best describe ... hard to put into words such that it means something!

First and foremost - and I mentioned this initially ....... the KT has for me a restrictive trigger guard .. I still fail to see why they did not make the opening uniform. That means the trigger access and freedom of pull is WAY better for the R9 .... no hindrance at all. Add that to the silky light pull and there is a world of difference.

From that I guess I can say that the R9 is therefore, by far the better for trigger control ..... pretty important with a small piece.

The ''feel'' is not too different, well - dimensionally. But the R9 sits much better. Maybe it is the feeling of more ''substance'' due to the extra weight. I sometimes think the KT is just too dang light!

From a recoil POV, the R9 is probably no worse with it's 9mm Luger round than the lighter KT with the 9x17. So, more bang but just as controllable, probably more so.

Then there is the sophistication aspect. The function of the R9 due to its tight engineering tolerances makes it feel more slick - not that the KT is sloppy. Just a better ''feel''.

Much of this is very subjective of course but I am trying to be as fair as I can. The KT is still a remarkable lil' piece.... no doubt there ... and when you bring cost into the equation, then naturally it scores too .. it is good value. Beyond that ... we are comparing a top of the range Lexus to a Chevy Cavalier!!

May 14, 2004, 10:55 AM
How does it ride in the front pocket in a good holster? For comparison: I found the Kahr PM9 to be a bit too large for pocket carry.

May 14, 2004, 11:00 AM
I agree, Chris -- its an unfair comparison. Just curious. I love my KT, but I think its going to lose carry time to the R-9s when it gets here.

Anklepocket -- I can actually speak to that a bit. K&D has a holster making dummy that is an actual gun welded up tight, so I have an idea of the size and weight. I think this is going to make a great pocket gun. Its not as big as the Kahr and a nicer shape for pocket carry. The weight is also less than the Kahr. The R-9 is similar to carrying an NAA Guardian in .380, but a lot lighter.

P95Carry will be able to give us his opinion soon... :)

May 14, 2004, 12:37 PM
Thank you for the excellent detail in your report!

May 14, 2004, 12:46 PM
Didn't get to clean the gun until late this morning .... and can now give some info on that for those interested.

Basically .. no real problems ... if you can field strip any auto then you're good to go. BUT ... some small aspects that do require ''knack'' ... which ain't hard!!

Once mag removed (and gun checked for clear, of course) ... the first stage is tricky .. you need to find a grip on the frame and slide, such that from right side you can ease out the 1/8" slide pin, by gentle pressure from a 1/16" or so brass punch. This will vary from person to person but with some experiment, perfectly manageable.

The pin comes out with ease and then you withdraw slide ass'y forward and off frame. That done ... remove the spring guide and assembly rod .. pretty easy .... and then barrel is free to remove. No biggie.

Having cleaned up (and I am sure the worst crud/soot was from that danged UMC!!) ...... a light lube with small qty of Militec.

Reassembly is of course the reverse but ... two tricky bits. Getting the spring assembly back in after barrel replaced is quite easy . BUT ..... it MUST be sitting true (parallel) to frame/slide axis ... if not then the end plate that abutts the barrel will foul in the slide and you'll feel and notice spring compression occurring when there shouldn't be. Again no biggie .. just attention to detail.

Finally ... getting the slide pin in again. Main ''knack'' to find is how to again hold frame and slide, long enough under spring tension with one hand ... to be able to get pin back in from left side. Just practice . that's all.

So - no nasty surprises .... I've dealt with much worse ...... people with Ruger Mk II's will understand. This pup is a breeze really.


DD ....... guess what was in the mail box? yep .. correct!! Nice and thx. Feedback later.

concerned citizen
May 14, 2004, 01:50 PM
chris, can you post a pic of the r9s in DD's pocket holster??


May 14, 2004, 02:35 PM
chris, can you post a pic of the r9s in DD's pocket holster?? CC .... yep, can do - only thing is when .. I have to go off later and am away also for last day of NRA Instructor Course tomorrow.

I'll see how schedule shapes up and if i can I'll do a quick pic or two before I leave ... otherwise, hang on!

May 14, 2004, 03:07 PM
CC .... I did this real quick so ... not ideal but should help. First pic is the pocket rig and below that the belt slide in situ .... there is another forward belt slot for that which I haven't used yet ... give me a bit more cant. Probably what I will use long term. That shot was direct flash BTW .. crummy color balance I'm afraid.

Excuse old t-shirt and shorts!

concerned citizen
May 14, 2004, 03:39 PM

Thank you!

May 14, 2004, 06:02 PM
So you're saying the R9s weighs the same as the R9???

May 14, 2004, 07:09 PM
First of all thanks. I've been looking for a more orderly evaluation than someone shooting a mag or two from a borrowed gun.

Secondly were there any FTF, FTE or any other malfunctions during your shooting?


May 15, 2004, 12:09 PM
for the new Rohrbaugh.. Unfinished to show details. TRS are the initials of customer..

May 15, 2004, 01:30 PM
All local dealers say they have no idea where to get a Rohrbaugh (that's if they've even heard of it).

May 15, 2004, 01:53 PM
FFL dealer must contact Rohrbaugh directly, they do not sell through distributers..

May 15, 2004, 07:12 PM
So you're saying the R9s weighs the same as the R9??? W9 ... the R9S is the R9 with fixed sights .... weight difference would be immaterial!!Secondly were there any FTF, FTE or any other malfunctions during your shooting? Curt ..... I did mention there was one FTE ... with the crap UMC stuff! :p . No FTF's ... amazing that the ''A-Merc'' didn't, it was so whimpy! The average ''throw'' on an empty case is generous and to right and rear .. they travel!!

Indeed ..... FFL's must make/place an order direct ..... they can call on 1 800 803 2233 and often get Eric. Wait 'till the first magazine reviews appear ... they'll soon know all about it!!:)

May 16, 2004, 06:12 PM
Great report, Chris!
Thanks for sharing!

May 16, 2004, 08:01 PM
Thanks for the report.

Awesome little gun, I hope to have one one day.:D

May 16, 2004, 08:26 PM
Nice work RJ, are you going to have a front pocket holster too?

May 16, 2004, 08:40 PM

Yes, as soon as I can get the time, I'm very rushed right now.. Expect to sell a few..

May 17, 2004, 10:09 AM
At 5-7 yards, these groups should be "minute of eye-socket" in my opinion.

Is it the mediocre sights, lumpy trigger or small smooth grip that is the hindrance?

May 17, 2004, 11:12 AM
At 5-7 yards, these groups should be "minute of eye-socket" in my opinion. Is it the mediocre sights, lumpy trigger or small smooth grip that is the hindrance? Anthony .... ''MOES'' .. hmmm, must remember that!:p

Let me correct some apparent misapprehensions you seem to have.... ''mediocre sights'' ...... I wonder what sights you'd expect to see on a gun this small, that is made exclusively for concealment ... and often that'll be pocket. Adjustable?? ..... hardly practicable or even necessary. Remember the dimensions of this piece .... it is 5.2" long and 3.7" high! Plus - point shooting will probably feature under stress anyways..... this ain't bullseye.

Maybe you are concerned re my first target .. indeed, shots are spread but from 8 different types of ammo, plus I have old eyes .. and freely admit my useage of open sights is not easy .. and we have a short sight base too. Then we have a mere 2.9" barrel. And so on .... I did not expect a lot more.... and doubt most would.

''Lumpy trigger'' ??????????? Where on earth does that come from?? If you'd read my report you'd see that the trigger is one of the amazing aspects of the gun. Quite long travel as one would expect from D/A only .. but sweet and silky .. probably as sweet as a ''worked'' Smith D/A.

''Small smooth grip'' ?? ...... Perhaps this could be called a factor .... the only one you have presented which might be viable. OTOH, it is not something that I was overly aware of ... because the grip needed to hold, control and stabilize this gun is perforce a strong and secure one .... and that means that the grip texture is not playing a great part - it doewsn't slip. Now the small aspect .. well sure ... but not any different really from coping with small grips, per the KelTecs - they go with the territory.

All in all ... I wonder if you are being serious re the ''MOES'' aspect! :eek: At even close ranges like 5-7 yds, and with rapid fire ... I'd not even expect the average reasonable shooter to be this tight even with a tricked compact 1911, or other larger piece. True, the accuracy and group size will shrink .. I know what I can do with my BHP for instance at 7 yds but sure as heck I ain't talkin minute of eyeball!

What after all is the prime requirement? It is, IMO, the ability to use the tool that conceals best (in extant circumstances) - to deliver the best cal you can ... in this case 9mm Luger from a very diminutive gun. Then to place those shots basically 2 COM, and one head ..... but even if we are talking just 7 COM (capacity 6+1) ... this is still gonna cause some grief to the BG, whether ''MOES'' or slightly spread.

Let's say we have some spread ... first shot impacts sternum .. not very useful because bone stopper. Next passes thru 4th/5th costal interspace and penetrates lung ... instant pneumothorax. Next might go low .... entering higher abdominal area .. maybe impacts aorta .... VERY rapid blood loss. And so on ...... no need whatsoever IMO to be able to pop every shot over a nickel ... not in extremis.. spread even advantageous.

To sum up .... after my rambling! VERY small gun ..... NOT easy (per se) to shoot ... but it fulfills admirably its purpose for me .... but if conditions permitted (more clothing) then it would not be primary carry ... I'll always carry the most gun I can ... but then it makes for an excellent BUG.

It will not be for everyone, both for cost and size reasons but in its class it is IMO unsurpassed.

May 17, 2004, 01:58 PM

New Front carry pocket holster for the Rohrbaugh

Mr Jody Hudson
June 27, 2004, 10:47 AM
Holster and Gun are both a work of art! Together they are wondrously beautiful!

June 27, 2004, 11:55 AM
Another style, *the Limited*

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