Rohrbaugh R9s

| March 7, 2009 | 1 Comments



Firearm tested
Rohrbaugh R9s

Ammo used
100 rounds – American Eagle 9mm 115gr FMJ

Today I am taking a look at my Rohrbaugh R9s. This is the micro 9mm from Rohrbaugh that is billed as (and appears to actually be) the smallest production 9mm pistol on the market. The “s” in R9s stands for “sighted.” The original R9 pistols did not have sights. This model, and later all models, come with small rudimentary sights.


This gun looks hot. I love the black and silver two-tone appearance and the shape and style are cutting edge. Very “Seecamp on steroids-ish.”

This gun is solid. One of the tightest gun I have even has the pleasure of owning. This gun is definitely in the same category as Seecamps when it comes to attention to detail.

It is a very simple gun. It is a lock-breech design with very little added levers or add ons. The trigger design is DAO and has an actual hammer instead instead of a striker style firing system.

This gun is made for one purpose only…that is to be small and powerful. It is designed to give you a 9mm pistol that can be slipped into a pocket and it delivers that in spades.

Some of the technical specs are as follows…

Overall length: 5.2″
Overall height: 3.7″
Overall width: .9″
Weight unloaded: 14.3 ounces
mag capacity: 6 rounds


This is where it falls a small bit short of Seecamp. The slide is solid stainless but the grip frame is aluminum. I know this is not a bad thing but I prefer all stainless builds. I knew this going into the purchase so it is not really a negative. I just wish a heavier, all stainless version was available.

The old carbon fiber grips have been replaced with G10 grips. In my opinion, the new G10 grips are an improvement over the old carbon fiber ones. In my experience with knives I have found G10 to be more durable and not to get that fuzzy look and feel o the edges after use that CF can get.

The gun is CNC machined from solid billets of stainless steel (slide) and aircraft aluminum (frame). That makes for an exceptional high quality fit and finish.

The gun has a very “elegant” feel to it and lacks any sharp edges to snag clothing..


I took this lil’ pup out of the box and immediately got some attention. Most people at the range had never heard of nor seen one before but they seemed very interested. I gave them a quick spiel about the gun and showed it off a bit. I then loaded up my first magazine. I The spring was pretty stiff and after 5 rounds it gets difficult to load. I was very amazed at how easily the first round chambered. I was expecting a stiff and picky slide but it was easy and smooth.

The trigger is long and deliberate but very smooth and consistent. It was very easy to get used to for me since it is similar to the trigger on my NAA Guardian and Seecamps. It takes a lot more effort than a SA 1911 trigger but I found it to be a slight bit superior to the trigger on my Kahr. Even though the Kahr trigger is very good.

Recoil was managable and even surprisingly light. I would compare it to my NAA Guardian and my PPK. Which is surprising since this gun is lighter than both of those and fires a more powerful round.. I attribute this to the fact that the PPK and Guardian are both blow-back designs and the R9s is a lock breech pistol.

The gun never failed once to go into battery. It had a very solid and fluid motion. I even intentionally limp wristed a couple times with no failure. Although I would not recommend doing that if your life was on the line. Once again I will say how amazed I was at how easily the first round chambered each and every time. Every time I pulled the trigger the gun went boom and was ready to fire again.

I cannot swear to or against the accuracy f this gun since I am not the worlds greatest shot. I will say it did much better at the beginning of the day but by the end the gun had developed a serious case of the shakes. Even a young, solid buck like myself could not manage to hold it still. My last few targets did not have any impressive groups on them but like I said…I blame the gun.

Below are some of the targets I used during the test.. I used groups of 5 rounds. Partly because it is easier to load 5 rounds because of the very stiff magazine spring and partially because it is easier to keep track that way since the boxes have rows of 5 rounds in them.

Target 1 is at 20-25ft (hard to see the mark on the floor). These where the firs attempts to achieve a good group after first firing the gun to get used to the trigger. One group was aimed at the head and one was aimed center of mass. These were slow and deliberate groups. Each group of 5 rounds took up to 10 seconds to complete.


Target 2 is also at 20-25ft. These were fast paced groups. Allowing only enough time between shots to recover position. Each group taking under 5 seconds to complete. Group 1 was aimed center of mass and group 2 was alternated between head and center of mass.


Target 3 is at 50ft (maximum distance on this range.) Groups 1 and 2 were aimed center of mass and group 3 was alternated between center of mass and head. These were very slow and deliberate groups with time taken to recover, steady, and aim between each round. Some of the groups took up to two minutes because of allowing my hand to steady between shots. I even leaned on the bench for added steadiness.



The only one that I can really think of is that the sights are borderline useless. Still, i do not think sights are even required on a gun such as this.

I had heard that this gun is not the easiest to disassemble and clean. I did not find that to be true…at least to completely so. It did require some juggling but it came apart quite easily. It is not the easiest gun to disassemble though. I guess this is understandable considering the size and low tolerances it was not a pleasure but it was not too bad.


This gun is amazing. The build quality is top notch, performance was flawless, accuracy was acceptable, and it looks hot to boot. It does not quite go as far as pushing my Seecamp LWS380 out of it’s “go anywhere, anytime gun” but it is a contender to unseat my Kahr MK40 from it position of favorite small OWB carry. Only time will tell but things look very good for this pistol.

Author: Playboypeguin over at the firingline wrote and authorized the posting of this content.

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