SHOT Show: Rohrbaugh Firearms R9 is No Range Toy

As Karl Rohbaugh readied himself for iPhone immortality, the gunmaker shuffled the five pocket pistols on the glass countertop like a Las Vegas poker dealer. Within seconds all the guns were sitting dead center on their assigned black mats, all facing the same way. I realized that Rohrbaugh Firearms’ main man is a fellow OCD sufferer. Actually, I made the diagnosis even before I’d caught his attention, when I first racked the slide on one of his mini-marvels. It felt like all semi slides should: smooth, precise, solid, sexy. The double action-only trigger pull was as long as a midsummer’s night dream, but the R9 still felt like a lion amongst ladies’ guns. So, one mouse gun to rule them all? Well, that depends . . .

As the video indicates, Karl reckons the R9 is not a gun with which you would get to Carnegie Hall. In other words, you can’t practice, practice, practice. Which is a shame, because I like to practice, practice, practice. Not plink. Practice. Anyway, to secure a test gun for TTAG, I had to promise not to put more than a hundred rounds through the weapon. For me, that’s like leaving a sushi restaurant after a bowl of miso soup.

The things we do for love. Like replacing the R9’s recoil spring after every 200 rounds. On an $1150 pocket gun? Hey, the spring’s only $5 plus S&H, Swapping it out gives you the chance—well, forces you—to check under the hood of Rohrbaugh’s jewel-like gun. How great is that?