If any of you remember my initial RP9 review, I was a little bit critical of the platform. Well, I am not too proud to say when I was wrong, and this time, I was wrong. Over the years, I have garnered a new found appreciation for the RP9 and the legacy of Remington handguns it represents. So this week when I found out about the promotion “Buy an RP9, get a case of Remington Brand 9mm”, I was glad to be able to set the record straight.
Despite what I said about its shortcomings, does the RP9 have some inherent advantages? I say yes. A number of them actually. Like many things in this world, it’s all in how you look at it. Some say the glass is half empty. Some say it is half full. Some say let’s call in an airstrike just to be sure. And I’m one of those.
Number 1, what is one of the most overlooked pieces of training? Malfunction drills. We all know they are likely to happen at the least opportune moment, and we all know we should practice them more. If you carry a Glock or an M&P or an H&K, you have to basically make up a malfunction with dummy rounds or expended brass. Not so for the RP9 owners. They have everything they need right out of the box. I guarantee you an RP9 owner is a master of clearing jams. And if that jam strikes in the middle of a two-way live-fire range? Well, that practice is going to pay off. He has the rest of his life to get it cleared and back into action.
Number 2, the RP9 simulates carrying a bigger caliber. How many of you carry a 40 or 45, but train with a 9mm because the ammo is cheaper? I’ve been guilty of this in the past myself. All well and good, except that normally a 9mm has much less felt recoil. Not so with the RP9. That oversized slide has so much reciprocating mass, it feels like a 40 S&W. Advantage RP9! Who else in the firearms world can make such a claim?
Number 3, the razor-sharp shark’s tooth on the magazine. When I first got my RP9, I was dismayed that one of the magazines actually had a razor-sharp tooth-like projection right at the top. But I guess being a relative cherry to firearms actually got the better of me here. I thought being a retired Green Beret/Recon Marine/3 Gun Shooter/Contract DOD CQB instructor meant I knew some stuff. I was wrong. It turns out that sharp spot has a purpose. Any Close Quarters Battle Veteran will tell you, shooting people can get messy at that range. And blood is slippery. Which legend has it was actually one of the considerations in the design of the venerable H&KP7 for the German GSG 9. Well, in this case, Remington did them one better. With the RP9 training mag, you will have blood all over your gun every time you go to the range. What better way to train for that possible contingency than creating it for free in a training environment? Point RP9!
Those are some pretty solid answers, but did you know the RP9 has also had an effect on the firearms world at large? I mocked the fact that Remington had achieved a “flush fit” capacity of 18 by extending the grip a quarter inch past competitors, but I was once again off. Glock has taken the ball and run with it, allegedly. I hear that in order to catch up to Remington’s market dominance in handguns, Glock has developed an all new variant that will flush fit the Glock factory 33 round mags. Called the 19T ( for Tall, much akin to the 17L Long Slide), the new gun will be released at NRA show this year.
Now all that said, some people are still just not happy with the reliability of the original RP9. Despite the fact that using an unreliable gun forces you to become a tactics master, some of you whiners want to short cut the RP9’s built in training and just have a reliable gun. While I usually don’t indulge cowards in this column, I do have a solution. After years of trial and error, I did come up with some fixes for the RP9 to make it better. A lot better. And the best part is, you can do it at home with just a few simple tools.
Jack stand ( x1)
The first thing you are going to do is take the blue painters tape ( important so as not to mar the finish) and carefully place a segment on the “9” slide mark of the RP9. Neatness matters here, so get it exact. Then, use the marker to trace the roll stamp from Remington EXACTLY. Next, peel that tape off and go stick it on a gun that isn’t a piece of trash. Finally, have a beer knowing that you have a gun that works now.
The donor parts can come from SIG, Glock, Springfield Armory, it really doesn’t matter. For just 500 to 600 dollars, you have now made your RP9 a very reliable and potent weapon.
Now about that rebate. Its really pretty simple. All you need to do is buy an RP9, fill out the enclosed rebate form, and send it in along with proof of purchase and a check for $1000. As soon as Palmetto State Armory gets the Remington Ammunition plant running again, they will send a case* right over.
The RP9 had some teething pains, but I am happy to admit I was wrong. With these new upgrades, it is a gun I can highly recommend.
*case now means 200 rounds, welcome to 2021.