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Well, I got a big surprise today. I work at a gun shop and we sell the Rohrbaugh R9 pistols. They're very small and slick pocket pistols and very expensive too. Last week 2 different customers brought back their R9's for repair. One had just bought it the day before and the trigger wasn't working, and the other one had had the gun for a while and had shot it quite a bit and was having the same problem with the trigger. They wanted the guns sent back to the factory for repair, which we were glad to do, but we were surprised as they were the first ones we've had come back.

The factory was closed until this week, so we shipped the guns off on Monday, but apparently the owner of the gun who'd had it for a while also called the factory Monday to talk to them about his problem. He told us that he had mentioned to whoever he spoke to at the factory that he had fired 150 rounds through the gun when it stopped working and was told that the gun shouldn't be fired that much as it was meant to be a carry gun and not a regular shooting gun!

To be honest, we assumed that the guy either misunderstood what he was told or outright made it up. It didn't make any sense that a gun that finely made and expensive wasn't made to be shot a lot. Except that today the head of Rohrbaugh, Karl Rohrbaugh, called us about the guns we had sent and during the course of the discussion he confirmed that the gun was not intended to be shot a lot and that 150 rounds was too much. He said that every few months he shoots a magazine full through his gun, cleans and reloads it, then puts it back in his pocket. Of course, he's going to fix the guns and send them back to us, but that still doesn't explain the crazy limitation on shooting.

I certainly don't mean to offend anyone who has or likes the guns, nor am I saying that it's a bad gun, but I thought this information should be shared since nowhere on the company's website does it say anything about this important restriction. Also, I have to admit that I have not read the gun's manual and don't know if this matter is mentioned there, but even if it is it's very likely that a buyer would not see it until after purchasing the gun. I have to say that I'm very surprised and disappointed by the whole matter and I just wanted to pass on the information to anyone interested.
 

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Well, I'm glad you posted this info. I had considered the R9 until I saw the price tag. I am stunned that anyone would produce an expensive pistol designed for concealed carry that you can't practice with. I was furious when my Kahr PM40 kept breaking magazines and got rid of it.
 

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My guess is that the vast majority of people who own a J frame S&W, a Kal-Tec, or other small, lightweight handgun of respectable caliber never put a hundred rounds through the gun. So I can understand Rohrbaugh making the assumption that their guns would see light duty. But that doesn't mean that I agree with the premise. (The gun won't be shot a lot, so it doesn't have to take a lot.)

Personally, I would want to put a couple hundred rounds through any semi-auto pistol just to assure myself that it is sufficiently dependable to be a "carry" gun.

While I have no experience with the Rohrbaugh, I have noted that the company does advise that +P ammo is not to be used in the gun. That gave me cause to pause because the pressure difference in a standard and a +P round is rather small.

Thanks for the heads up. I'm not likely to ever own a Rohrbaugh regardless, but your caveat is good information to be aware of.
 

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They are not the easiest guns to get. A while back, my local shop here in upstate NY had one for $900. I've only seen one other at a gun show. The R9 was eventually bought by someone who had numerous issues with it and wound up returning it to the shop. The shop owner, a buddy of mine, told me he got the same talk from Mr. Rohrbaugh as described above. Shipped the gun back to him and waited a considerable time for repair. Upon getting the gun back, the gun had the same issues. Once again, was basically told to just carry the gun & not shoot it. Needless to say, the shop owner says he will never carry another Rohrbaugh again. This is the abbreviated account.
 

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I have an R9S and love it. I've only put about 100 rounds through it so far, but I've had no problems at all. Per the factory, the guide rod spring should be changed at 100 rounds, but that's the only specified maintenance outside of regular cleaning.

I was shopping for an NAA Guardian when I bought the Rohrbaugh. It's small, carries 7 rounds of 9mm and has the best trigger feel of any gun I've ever shot. The gun also has a lifetime warranty to the original owner.

I'll put some more rounds through this weekend and advise if I have any problems.
 

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Sounds like they are making guns for show rather than to actually be used. I could see 15,000 rounds being a lot or possibly 1,500 but 150 being excessive is unreasonable. Safe Queen?
 

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Wow... 150 rounds is an incredibly low number to be called "a lot," by anyone's standards... And replacing springs every hundred rounds seems a bit much, as well. I realize that the R9 is the bleeding edge of miniature autos in 9mm, but still...

I put 200 rounds through my PF9 in the first few days I had it - not pleasant, but absolutely no issues what so ever (and still none, with a few hundred more through it). Yes, the R9 is a bit smaller and has a better trigger, but what good is a gun you can't train with AT ALL?
 

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I have heard of this same complaint a lot lately and the company needs to make some serious changes if they are going to compete with Seecamp and NAA. When I was looking for a small pocket gun I looked at the R9, but the part about replacing springs every 100 rounds was a total joke!! Why not use quality parts. I believe the only thing that has kept them in business is there is no other gun in it's class in 9mm, but when stories like these get out it sure doesn't help sales. I chose the NAA Guardian in 32 and 380 over the R9 and Seecamp, the R9 was ruled out for the spring issue and the Seecamp for being ammo sensitive and no finger extension. I have two of the Guardians for less than a Seecamp in 380 and they both have been 100% reliable with every ammo I have fed them. The extra size and weight really help control full house SD rounds and is not a negative the way others claim it is.
NCH
 

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It's common sense that pocket guns shouldn't be pressed into service as a range gun. The small mechanisms are delicate due to the fact that they are small mechanisms. I believe Kel Tec states on their web site that the expected service life of the .380s is about 6k rds. I have a couple of those, and mine will never make that round count in my life time. How much pratice is required to maintain a proficency level sufficent to hit a man size target at inside 5yds? I put 100rds thru mine with my carry ammo of choice, and call it good if I have zero malfunctions. From that point on, I shoot about a mag a month, clean it, and put it back in my pocket. On the other hand, I would like to think that any pistol I paid $1k or so for would last longer than 150 rds!! They appear to be well made little pistols, and have a lifetime guarantee. Surely 100-150rds service life is not typical!!
str1
 

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I have been seriously considering buying an R9......but no way, not now. So I go buy an over-priced shovel, dig ten holes and it breaks, and the manufacturerer tells me it's only good for three holes and I should only keep the shovel around for when I really need a hole dug? I don't think so, there are too many other shovels that I can buy :mad:
 

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I think there may be a misconception here. I don't think that 150 rounds is the expected life of the gun. I think what was being said is that 150 rounds in a session might be excessive.
I have a R9s and have shot 1000+ rounds through it with ZERO malfunctions. I have replaced my recoil spring once, with the extra spring provided with the gun, upon reaching 600 rounds or so. I'm not sure if I ever shot 100+ rounds in one session, just thinking of shooting that much is hurting my hand. I guess I fall into the normal use category in that I shoot a mag or two full every so often, clean it, then put it back in my pocket.
 

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I think there may be a misconception here. I don't think that 150 rounds is the expected life of the gun. I think what was being said is that 150 rounds in a session might be excessive...
It's very possible that's what was meant, under the assumption that anyone who shoots it that much at one time will probably always shoot it a lot, and the gun is not meant for that. Since the company offers a lifetime warranty I'm sure they expect the guns to last a long time if used sparingly, as intended.

Nontheless, there's no mistaking the intent. The point made in both conversations, with us and the owner of the gun, is that "you shoot a mag or two to test it, then carry it". I'm glad the gun works good for you, as apparently it does for our other customers who have them.
 

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I have read that because of the tight tolerances, small parts, and caliber the gun should not be shot so much in one range session that the gun gets too hot. I am really considering getting a R380 Elite when I have the spare scratch.
 

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My guess is that the vast majority of people who own a J frame S&W, a Kal-Tec, or other small, lightweight handgun of respectable caliber never put a hundred rounds through the gun. So I can understand Rohrbaugh making the assumption that their guns would see light duty.

Thanks for the heads up. I'm not likely to ever own a Rohrbaugh regardless, but your caveat is good information to be aware of.
I have a Kelteck 380 and a 38 S&W 642, I'll put 50 to 100 rounds through them evertime I go to the range. I realize you said most people, but 150 rounds for the life of a gun is a joke.
 

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Wow.....great info. Thks. I doubt they're talking 150 rounds as the gun's life expectancy, but I'm still concerned. That'll definitely impact my decision whether or not to consider buying one.
 

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I haven't time to write a bunch tho there are several issues raised.

I have an R9 and admit I have not ''punished'' it .. altho it has had plenty of use, spread over many sessions. I'll be honest too - like any small pistol there is not a lotta fun to be had in shooting a huge number of rounds as a plinking excercise - it's pretty ''snappy''.

The comment of Karl's is being taken too literally I think - 20 or so rounds in a practice session and keeping the gun maintained will see the option for a cumulative thruput well beyond that 150 figure! Maintenance is vital.

It needs to be noted - the gun was designed around the 9mm ... and that is pushing the limits for the size. Spring changing is nothing to do with poor materials - it is down to the big problems of getting a spring that small and short to do the job with such a short slide travel. Timing on a gun like this is hard to get right.

Springs now are better than early on - and mag springs too are upgraded. To manage the round the barrel has a very generous freebore - 0.250 .... this in order to drop the pressure peak adequately - it can occasionally lead to slight tumbling altho heck, at ''bad breath'' distances I hardly see that as an issue to be honest.

In early days I put up a site to help folks with info - plus I chronicled some of the teething troubles experienced by some. I have not had time to maintain the site for ages and so it really just reflects those earlier days - it might tho be of interest to some ... go here.

The cost is off-putting I agree but it reflects the quality of build along with massive investments in top notch machines ..... these are effectively hand built guns. Initially tolerances were almost too tight and later guns have had these eased a shade, IIRC about a thou or so each side on the slide.

The .380 version that has been made is probably the better bet regarding handling of a round, the 9mm still IMO pushing limits within the scale of this gun. I still do not regret having mine and the 7# DAO trigger is smooth as butter. There have been occasions when trigger problems have occurred due to loosening of right side grip screws ... an item that needs checked periodically.

OK - already rambling but - do not write this puppy off ..... I still consider Rohrbaugh have made a very fine pocket rocket .. but unfortunately one that has carried some rep' for problems which now are minimal, but ultimately it is the cost that phases folks ... even tho $2.5k is paid for top 1911s - precision costs dollars.
 

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I have been reading many posts lately on different gun forums regarding these "works or art failing" I have seen the slide cracked, but most problems are with the trigger. For what these guns cost the failure rate should be less, I mean not everyone has one of these. For the same reason I won't buy a Keltec I won't purchase one of these. For those that are happy with their R9's, and feel they got their monies worth, and feel comfortable relying on it to possibly protect their lives and the lives of the ones they love, fine I hope it never let's you down. For me there are other choices for a quality pocket gun that have a better track record.
Have a good day!!
NCH
 

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The Rohrbaugh R9 is not the first handgun specifically designed to be carried a lot and shot a little.
The Seecamp .380 comes to mind.
That also was designed not to be a range gun.
As was the one older S&W revolver built for military pilots out of all Aluminum including an Aluminum cylinder.
It had a sole purpose of of giving the pilot an ultra-lightweight Emergency Firearm to be used on the ground if he was "downed" or had to bail out.
Other pistols were custom "trimmed and slimmed" down in weight by having their frames and slides radically reduced in weight by fluting and major metal removal.
These were all Specialty Firearms designed to give the defensive shooter the Maximum amount of Firepower & Punch in the lightest and smallest package possible.
They were designed to be "last ditch" carry and back-up guns that could be easily carried all the time and primarily only "brought out" to save the "precious bacon" in a last ditch emergency scenario.
In that respect they are not (or were not) ever intended for everybody and they were never intended to be every day "Shooters & Plinker's."
 

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Well, boys and girls....I will keep mine...

It does what its designed to do. Fit in a pocket, big cal, close protection. Its not a range gun. The life of the gun is not 150 rounds, it is suggested you change the spring that's about $5 every 200 rounds. That's what I do. I have about 500+ through mine, not a hicup. Shot it little, carry it alot...its ready...

 
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