A little less than a year ago Remington introduced a pistol that [if we are being honest] we would have never thought possible. After a couple years of forging through the constant caricatures of the keyboard commandos following the recall of the R51. Big Green was so bold to reinvigorate a concept pistol that has been in the works for a while. The RP’s.
As the heavy hitters in the striker fired game flourished, Glock’s release of the 42/43 and all the MOS models. Springfield Armory with their Mod 2 XD and Smith released the M 2.0. Then, Sig Sauer with their release of the P320 and others. To many standards, Remington would be late to the table by injecting yet another plastic pistol into the market. Someone once said that good things come to those who wait…well, the RP9 could very well be an instance where the wait was worth it.
A Positive Grip
Such a cookie cutter term, isn’t it? It is one that many firearms instructors use daily when describing the manipulation of virtually any firearm. What is a negative grip? Anyway…with the RP being designed and redesigned at Remington, adequate grip surface for their customers was non-negotiable throughout the process. There are few examples that top the “more annoying” scale than a janky grip of a pistol. All these factors included; would be considered janky…to our standards anyway.
- Absent ANY texture what so ever
- Slim profile
- Short grip surface
- Ergonomically disastrous [a rake so aggressive that abundant wrist “cant” is paramount to getting effective rounds to target]
Remington seemed to have the same opinion as us on what is adequate and what is overkill. The evenly textured surface is not too aggressive that we can employ without running the risk of being uncomfortable against the skin should they choose to carry the RP. Its texture is not one that we would consider stippled but there is enough of it there to keep it locked in hand. The factory texture extends to the front of the trigger guard to accommodate virtually every type of shooter and their preferred grip.
Across multiple use, the RP’s grip is one that you can identify and establish while in the holster. Many pistols in the RPs class often require a readjustment in the strong hand before shots break. As pronounced or minuet as they are, the RP offers a true grip to our shooting style. Throughout our testing the RPs grip was always “there” and aided in follow up shooting and multiple shot acquisition. We found while drawing from our High Threat Concealment tactical holster that the tang aka back strap of the RP was a bit more aggressive than typical poly hand guns. To the eye, a turn-off, until we put the gun to use. The over exaggerated tang enabled us to establish and keep a firm grip on the pistol while keeping our wrists straight, a well-known fact to efficiently managing recoil. According to Jeremy Teets an engineer and Mike Keeney in R&D at Remington, practical grip surface and recoil management were a priority during the development stages of the RP line.
Adopting what other striker companies have done with regards to modularity, Remington includes three options for grip width adjustments (interchangeable back straps). Once we opened the box and started manipulating the RP, we found that the factory installed (small) back panel was all we needed for our hand size and shooting requirements, a simple push of a rollpin allows for quick removal and installation of the desired back strap.
Aside from the width profile of the RP’s, its trigger guard undercut proved to be an added layer of comfort and practicality that set the RP9 aside from competitors. The cut made it easier and more comfortable to achieve a higher hold on the pistol allowing for quick follow up shots. The RP is equipped with ambidextrous thumb index cuts for a quick feel and consistent hand placement.
Slow Squeeze; Surprised Break
Yet another term that firearms instructors have been conditioned to use throughout their daily interactions with seasoned and brand new shooters alike. If you will let us jump up on a box, just for a minute? Is any trigger squeezing actually a surprise? Whether it be training, sporting or real life, you are deliberately removing any slack from the trigger moving closer towards your desired end state of sending a round down range and into your intended target. Personally… the term is ridiculous, but we understand the idea behind it…[off of box]
Factory triggers, historically have been a single point of contention with us regarding take up and over travel. The felt resistance is what it is…anything less than a double action pull of 12 lbs is a plus in our book for tactical pistols. Striker fired pistols luckily do not have to contend with the double action stuff so, now there is the over travel and reset that are commonly annoying feats…or have been up to this point.
We put quick 400 rounds through the RP9 at a decent pace, its trigger performed the same throughout and after we were finished for the day. The RP’s trigger broke within Remington’s suggested specs of the 5.5-7lb threshold. Consistency is key with shooting, Remington built and installed one of the more consistent triggers with the RP. Out of the box, the trigger proved to be one that is effective in our hard end user needs. Would we replace it if there was an option…Probably not, but everyone has their preference?
Hard End Use
The RP is by no means an out of the box “perfect” pistol. It does, however, have all the makings to check a variety of practical boxes. The PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coated slide makes for a sleek look with extra durability throughout the pistols lifespan. The PVD material adheres to the stainless-steel slide and barrel for an extra durable barrier between the elements and critical parts of the pistol. PVD has proven to be significantly lighter and stronger than other coatings and turns the re coating of common ceramics and phosphating into a thing of the past. Throughout our testing of the RP9, we consistently drew and holstered the pistol. The hard bolteron thermoplastic rig from HTC did not leave wear or marks on the slide and carbon build up, wiped off effortlessly, so maintaining the RP9 is easy and doesn’t require a whole lot of work to keep clean.
With an ambidextrous slide lock/release, those who are wrong handed shooters will enjoy easy slide manipulation. Coming from an instructor background, watching a lefty fumble around with a striker pistol that does not offer ambi controls for the first time is invigorating by the unequivocal stretching of nerves. By proxy, the muzzle of the pistol swings around which commonly results in grabbing the gun to ensure the muzzle stays pointing in a direction where no one would be ventilated should it discharge. The RP has a little something for everyone!
Aside from its grip, slide coatings and trigger, another check in the proverbial box for the RP9 is the contour and shape of the slide. At its base, the RP9’s slide is of “standard” width of 1.2 inches and tapers to .80 at the sight bases. Once you get your hands on the RP9, you will be drawn to the front of the slide where Remington cut contouring angles and that can aid in comfort when wearing the RP9 in a concealed capacity. We often found ourselves using the contours and ample cocking serrations for press checking and manipulating the slide throughout live shooting.
Remington developed a front and rear sight combo for the RP series that we had no issues finding while shooting. Both sights are drift adjustable to their end user preference. The standard 3-dot design proved to be effective at 3 and 25 meters.
One of our first questions when speaking with the guys at Remington had to do with night sights. We could confirm that there will be an option for aftermarket or factory installed night sights and that Remington continues to work with reputable companies to make it happen! For the time being the single dot front sight post and fighting surface rear [2 dots] configuration is adequate in acquiring sights and conducting disabled shooter drills.
Last and certainly not least, come the RP’s magazines. It seems these days, manufacturers are toeing the waters of how many bullets can they fit into a single mag. For us military guys…As we say in the “biz”, “how many people can we fit into an evacuation vehicle”? There’s always room for one more.
The RP9 magazine capacity holds 18 plus one in the chamber. Unless you live in a communist state where the law makers think that you are less lethal with 10 rounds in a magazine from the factory, Remington ships the RP9 with enough magazine space to house almost an entire box of ammo with both included. Convenient for gun fighting…the magazines proved to be even more convenient when at the range. Less time at the loading table and more time pinging steel!
Though Remington is known for many things, up to this year, being a contender in the polymer pistol space was not one of them. The RP9’s release seemed to have given Big Green the boost that they were after. Introducing a very reliable striker fired pistol with a mid-range price point was exactly what Remington had envisioned some time ago and finally made it a reality!
Our initial outing with the RP9 was positive. Up to this point, I personally gauge striker pistols from the model that I carry for daily use in Afghanistan. It was a breath of fresh air not having to compare the RP9. The pistol is adequate in our range needs and one that we would have complete confidence in as a home defense or daily carry if our preference was to carry a full-sized pistol. We understand that for some; carrying full sized is the only option. If so, and you have not yet gotten a closer look at the RP, check it out, it may be what you need for your EDC.
Only time will tell if other facets will be added to the platform. Mike explained that out of the gate, the RP line was not intended for a specific demographic.
“It is simply an adequately priced striker fired pistol that Remington felt was a great addition to the line”.
Who knows if there will be a threaded barrel option, or a trigger tweak available. One thing that is certain with Remington; they keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry quite religiously so if it can be done, we are certain its being looked at.
RP9 Vital Data
|Barrel||4.5” Stainless Steel PVD|
|Weight||1lb 11 oz (unloaded)|
|Sights||3 Dot, Drift adjustment|
|Trigger Weight||6lb Tested|
|Manufacturer||Remington Arms Company|
Remington RP9 Accuracy Results
|Hornady Critical Duty||115 gr||.49||2.31||1.31|
|Remington Ultimate Defense||124 gr||.99||1.97||1.4|