BREAKING: The Remington RP9 is Out in the Wild… And Already Having Problems

Remington’s new handgun has reached the hands of consumers, and the first reviews of the newest striker fired pistol from America’s oldest gunmaker are out… And you all know what I’m going to say next. Just the facts: I watched five reviews of the new handgun on YouTube, and in four of them the handgun exhibited issues. You can watch those reviews below, although I will note the Military Arms Channel’s video goes by far the most in-depth:

From those, we can distill what appear to be two distinct problems. The first is that the slide release has a flaw where it can flex about its flat middle section, preventing the left side release from actually releasing the slide as intended. Before we move onto the second problem, let’s take a closer look at this issue and try to figure out why it might be occurring. Here’s a screenshot from Military Arms Channel’s video on the RP9:

You can see how the ambidextrous slide release is folded, with a flat horizontal section in the middle. I believe this section does not provide adequate rigidity for the slide release to function properly. Let’s compare it to three other ambi slide releases, those of S&W, SIG, and Glock:

S&W M&P slide release. Image source: brownells.co.uk

 

SIG P320 trigger pack and frame. Image source: thrumylens.org

 

Glock 17M frame assembly.

 

Note how all three of these pistols orient the stamping vertically throughout the part, presumably to add rigidity and prevent twisting. The Remington RP9 is not designed like this, and it seems reasonable to speculate that this is why the slide release can twist undesirably.

The second issue is harder to diagnose. It seems that when the magazine is not fully loaded, the RP9 exhibits an erratic feed path, and the bullet is able to ram into the gap between the feed ramp in the barrel and the frame. This causes a very serious malfunction, as the incoming round wedges itself between the barrel and frame, binding them up. In severe cases, it appears as those this malfunction cannot be cleared except by stripping the magazine (with some difficulty, thanks to the captured round) and racking the slide.

What causes this issue? It’s impossible for me to know for sure without testing the gun myself, but my guess would be that this is the result of poor design or quality control with the magazines. One thing that puzzles me is why this malfunction can happen in the first place. In all of the striker-fired guns that I own, the feed ramp on the barrel comes down almost all the way to meet the front edge of the magazine; there is simply nowhere for the round to go to get wedged between the frame and the barrel as happens with the RP9. So then how does this happen with the Remington? I don’t know, but something is clearly very wrong.

I am not a Remington hater. I want the company to be on their best game, and I want their products to succeed. I own Remington firearms, and I have respect for the company. However, I must ask myself just how many more problematic releases, recalls, and other issues Remington’s customers will be willing to forgive.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • TJbrena

    Freedom Group was a mistake.

    • Cymond

      As Myth Busters said, “failure is always an option”. It seems especially true with Freedom Group.

      Freedom Group: the freedom to fail.

    • Sam Damiano

      I’m not sure I blame Freedom Group as much as modern “engineers”. I don’t think I’ve seen anything “new” in a few years. Everything is copied from somebody else, AR’s, 1911’s, Glock triggers.

      • Nick

        It’s pretty bad when a company can’t even properly copy not just one but multiple tried and true designs to end up with a functioning product.

        • Martin M

          Is the Freedom Group part of an Indian firm?

          • efred1

            There’s also rumors that it’s owned by George Soros, but I’m not certain.

            But producing sub-quality guns is not helping Remington’s bottom line, nor its long-standing reputation for quality, reliable, innovative firearms. Whoever is responsible for this and other money-“saving” clusterbombs desperately needs to be fired and banned from any position of responsibility, except for janitor/floor sweeper.

          • Jaehaerys Targaryen

            One doesn’t have to rely on rumors. It’s not owned by Soros, it owned by Cerberus Capital Management. The same people who owned Chrysler a while ago (before Fiat bought it). They didn’t exactly work wonders with Chrysler.

          • supergun

            Rumors are gun, I mean fun. Just dry sense of humor. Thank goodness H&Ks and Sigs are made in America.

          • supergun

            george soros? That is one way to control guns.

      • S. Plankenberg

        Then it should have been really hard to screw up.

        • supergun

          They were secretly made in mexico.

          • Anon. E Maus

            Mossberg has their Maverick 88 economy shotguns made in Mexico, and they exhibit no reliability problems.

            You can’t blame the Mexicans.

          • supergun

            That was my dry sense of humor. Products in both Countries will always have problems. We need each other. Just not the criminals.

      • Jaehaerys Targaryen

        It’s not an issue of innovation, it’s an issue of basic reliability. An AR clone is just an AR clone but at least it should work well. If it isn’t, go to a different company. Nobody is complaining about Freedom Group not having the most innovative firearms out there, they are complaining about their inability to make reliable guns.

    • TheMaskedMan

      I maintain that Freedom Group is a shell company run by the Brady Campaign.

  • DW

    RIP9

  • Don Ward

    All we wanted was a Remington M53/R53…

  • Anonymoose

    Where’s Phil when we need him to review this?

    • Actually I already have reviewed it the day after the embargo date was lifted. Here you go.
      http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/10/25/remington-introduces-new-rp-9-rp-45-pistols/

      I’ve had mine for several months now with no problems at all. I honestly don’t expect to have any at this point. I’ve shot it a good deal in the time I’ve had it. I sure wouldn’t have bought it if it didn’t work well. There are Remington haters out there that will always find a flaw in any gun they come out with. They screwed up the R51 the first time but not this one.
      This article has several videos claiming flaws. I imagine if I looked I could find as many or more who like it. I won’t post good or bad based on others opinions only if I have tested it personally.

      • FWIW

        Phil,

        Does the ambi slide release on your gun exhibit the same problems as in the MAC video? I ask because I didn’t see it mentioned one way or another in the review you posted. It seems to me the ambi release issue looks like a straight up design flaw, as Nathaniel noted above, so it would be interesting if it actually works on yours despite that.

  • iksnilol

    Is anybody surprised? Really?

  • Wow, what a shock– a legacy company bought out by a slash & burn holding company infamous for gutting quality control and churning out shoddy products has a brand new release with significant problems. ( θ_θ)

    • It doesn’t. At least mine hasn’t.

      • Well, good luck with that, I hope it holds up; bad QC doesn’t mean every gun out the door is a deathtrap, just that an inordinate number of them are poorly put together.

        I don’t take any joy from seeing a company I remember fondly from a childhood spent in the woods reduced to turning out junkguns, but there are just too many negative reports from too many buyers about too many different models for me to take Big Green seriously anymore in the Freedom Group Era. They’ve managed to turn the 870 into a flopsy rustbucket, for crying out loud.

        • MPWS

          This is not just “bad ” QC, this is obviously deficient design at first place. I made this observation FROM IMAGES I SAW AND IT WAS PRETTY CLEAR.

      • Charlie Victor Alpha

        You didn’t answer the question asked of you below. Does your ambi slide release function properly?

  • 22winmag

    Ambi = 2 problems, instead of one.

    • Swarf

      Twice more stronger!

  • USMC03Vet

    Remington is in the same category as hi point. The ain’t nobody got time for that category as far as my money is concerned.

    • Rick O’Shay

      Say what you will about hi point, but every one I’ve ever shot just worked. And if it ever doesn’t, they have a fantastic warranty. Which these days, seems to be more then you can say about Remington.
      Hi points are still uglier than sin, though.

      • tts

        Yeah HiPoint’s are ugly cheap guns that work.

        The RP9 is a more expensive gun that looks good and has better fit and finish but doesn’t seem to work well.

        • gunsandrockets

          Hi-Points are the STEN guns of handguns.

          • DW

            Hi point is a living meme. Want a 10mm Hi point? Get a 10mm reamer, a .40SW High Point and DIY. In the very unlikely event that you screwed up the warranty covers it.

            Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home, like don’t shoulder the pistol brace :^)

      • Giolli Joker

        “Say what you will about hi point, but every one I’ve ever shot just worked. And if it ever doesn’t…”
        …you can still throw it at your target!

    • Michael Powers

      No….all of the hi points I have shot function flawlessly. Just shot my buddy’s brand new RP9. The slide release kept malfunctioning. No feed problems, but we only used ball ammo.

  • Eric Ravak

    Just as a heads up – Remington offers gun shop retail sales personnel 46% off MSRP on the RP9. The cost ends up being about $264 for a gun counter salesman.

  • Ark

    Not acceptable for $400, not with so many other great options at or below that price point.

  • Louis Bethel

    Remington does it again.
    Look at the round compared to the feed lips on the magazine, looks like a magazine issue. Either the follower is not traveling properly or the spring is not right.
    On the slide mechanism rounded has more strength than a horizontal ledge, the issue is cheap material.
    It is a Remington after all.

  • MPWS

    What a shame, what an embarrassment. Even that Cerberus’ money behind it did not make it. Apparently, quality product needs dedication, money alone does not do it and that is refreshing truth.

    I am wondering, do they design their product in a central engineering office, or do they subcontract it from Joe any-mouse?

  • Stephen Paraski

    Problems with a Remington design? Bad Engineering? They have a “Fund” ed legal Department for that.

  • Will P.

    Watching the MAC video it looks like the feed ramp is really steep and the front of the mag is sitting just a bit too low. The slide catch could/should be an easy fix though. But it just goes to show Remington is so bound to put a “new” firearm out to compete in the striker fire market they are shoving it out the door before doing full R&D on it. Same with all R51 competing in the compact 9mm market. Behind the ball and rushing to catch up. They need to take a page from Ruger’s book and be a little behind but release a quality affordable product.

    • Phil Hsueh

      The really odd thing about it is that hollow points feed just fine with no problems at all, it only seems to jam when using ball ammo.

  • Will

    In my humble opinion Remington needs to stick to bolt action rifles and pump action shotguns…..
    But what do I know?

    • BigR

      Actually they’re not making rifles that are anything to cheer about. They’ve cheapened every product they make today. They’ve had dangerous episodes with the safeties over the years. They tried to cover it up for 40 year, and the just recently put a recall on most of the rifles they’ve produced for the last 50 years. I wouldn’t own anything made by Remington anymore!!!!!!

    • Nick

      Remington 700 trigger recall. ‘Nuff said.

    • Sean

      But they aren’t any good at that either, anymore

  • Jim Slade
    • iksnilol

      I think it is a good pun to be honest.

  • Tim Pearce

    Slide STOP. Not Slide RELEASE. Although the vast majority of people abuse the slide stop by shoving it down out of the way of the slide, instead of taking the tension off first, by pulling the slide back a little, that doesn’t mean it’s the way you’re supposed to operate the pistol. However, bearing in mind that we all know everyone’s going to abuse the slide stop, newly designed pistols should be designed with strong and tough slide stops because the manufacturer should be making the gun work for the end user.
    It’s still a design flaw, but it’s not a flaw in how it was made, but in why it was made that way.

    • Emfourty Gasmask

      I’m pretty positive that issue was addressed forever ago.

    • Joshua

      no see, the old designs, like the 1911, and the hi-power call it a slide release and intend you to use it as such, it’s not till this new generation of guns that manufacturers decided “oh we don’t want you to use the slide release and drop the slide on an empty chamber because you might break something and sue us.”

      It’s a flaw in the engineering, and I say that as an engineer. Our job is to calculate how it can go wrong under any scenario someone can put to us and then design so it doesn’t. This would seem to be a perfect example of “Good enough engineering” that Remington is so good at, they make it good enough to work on the shop floor and once it’s out the door if it goes wrong it is the consumers fault because they used it wrong, they used as a slide release instead of easing the spring pressure by slingshoting it, or it’s their fault because it’s a third party magazine that Remington didn’t guarantee, and so on and so forth.

      The grand refrain of our generation, this sucks and it’s your fault.

      • retfed

        The only gun that I was told never to drop the slide on an empty chamber with was the 1911.
        When I was an instructor at a multi-agency academy, we taught everyone to slingshot the slide because it’s easy to miss the slide stop/release/whatever if you’re wearing gloves, or if your hands or the gun are wet. Worrying about lawsuits had nothing to do with it.

        • Joshua

          your experience as an instructor, while very informative, is not experience working with these companies and as such is not directly relevant to this conversation. I have read owners manuals (a very odd way to pass the time I know) for modern guns and in them they tell you not to use the slide stop as a slide release, (many of them also caution against carrying with a round in the chamber), and while they don’t like to admit it, the reason is liability: if you as the end user use the the stop as a slide release and it breaks, they don’t have to fix it under warranty because you used it in a manner the owners manual told you not too, if you drop the slide and the drop safety fails and the firing pin bounces forward and touches off a round, they are not liable because the manual told you not to just drop the slide but to slingshot it. If you carry round in the chamber and in holstering or unholstering you have an accidental or negligent discharge and blow a hole in yourself or someone else, say it with me know, they are not liable because the manual told you not to.

          The original M1911 as part of the military training and discipline they dropped the slide using the release, say all you want about military and best practice being mutually exclusive, it worked for them, and it worked for a hundred years. Today every manufacturer tells you not to that, it is not because the guns have gotten worse, our knowledge of steel and stress-strain and endurance has gotten better, it’s because they won’t be liable if something goes wrong, it’s your fault.

          • Eric Lawrence

            Just for S and G’s I looked up the technical manual from 22 June 1964 for the M1911. The part you are referring to is labeled a “slide stop”. Not a “slide release”. Convincing evidence it isn’t, and I would love to get someone like Forgotten Weapons on this to find an older manual and find out how the Army trained, but at least since 1964 the part is referred to as a “stop” and I imagine the training reflected the name. I learned to use the “slingshot” method as well primarily for reliability since it is easier to miss the usually tiny release paddle with wet muddy blood covered hands and fail to chamber a round.

          • Joshua

            the first result I have found is this:

            youtube com/watch?v=Op1167lTVmI
            not a manual but he is a former service member talking about his training. My manual for my Hi-Power refers to it as a “Slide Locking Lever” however when it comes to the section describing operation it states:
            “(B) When the empty magazine is replaced by a filled one, the slide locking lever must be disengaged to allow the slide to move forward. This is done by pressing down on the thumb-piece of the lever. It can also be done by drawing back the slide slightly so the locking lever can return to its normal position.”
            The copyright date for that manual is 1966
            That’s what I have immediately to hand

    • RocketScientist

      The mechanism when debuted on early semi-auto pistols was designed to serve the function of releasing the slide, and was referred to as such. Many newer guns aren’t suited to this use and so refer to it merely as a “stop” but to act as if it is blatantly wrong in all cases to refer to/use that device as a “slide release” does nothing but exhibit your ignorance. In fact many pistols STILL refer to that mechanism as a slide release, and some (my Kahr EDC for example, specifically isntruct the user to ONLY use the SLIDE RELEASE to drop the slide, and reccomend AGAINST “sling-shotting” the slide as unreliable. So. No, youre wrong.

  • I have long suspected that the RP9 and RP45 magazine tubes are merely modified Para-Ordnance P18.9 and P14.45 magazines, with a different baseplate and an extra notch for the reversible magazine catch. As such, the RP9 magazine simply has too much room fore and aft for SAAMI length 9x19mm. You are basically trying to use 9x19mm in a .38 Super magazine. Some accessory makers catering to USPSA Open Division racegun shooters have made replacement 9x19mm followers with an insertable spacer to eliminate the extra space inside a double-stack .38 Super magazine tube. Right now, I only see these available for the STI and SV Infinity.

    • DW

      So RP45 should not have the same issue, we shall see.

      • I’d hope so, but I’m worried as to what they had to change to get the 15th round into the P14.45 magazine. The earliest F14.45 frame kit magazines were only 13rds. Then they bumped it up to 14rds once series production began of complete pistols. If they lengthened the magazine tube, it might be okay. However, if they screwed around with the follower and spring, disaster may yet ensue. I fear it may be the latter, as another channel’s SHOT 2017 video showed that Remington is introducing double-stack R1 pistols with a 15rd capacity in .45 Auto.

  • Swarf

    Breaking News from the land of Duh!

  • Sam Damiano

    I had always hoped that Remington would get back into the handgun market. Even with the copying of a 1911 it seems to be a disappointment.

  • Bill

    Again the interweb ignores anything to do with sample size and research methodology.

  • Ted Unlis

    I’M SHOCKED, SHOCKED I TELL YOU!

  • imtoomuch

    I’ll never understand how a company can struggle so much. Remington makes guns. They should be good at making guns. These issues should be caught in R&D if you have an engineer worth his weight in polymer…

  • InfidelCrusader

    It does not bode well for this gun that such reports are already starting to surface so soon after its release.

  • Oldtrader3

    Who but a Commie Devil like Soros, would name their company “Cerebrus” (guardian hound of Hell)?

  • Hoplopfheil

    I’m shocked by this news.

    Yes I am.

  • Paladin

    After the R51 fiasco Remington really needed to hit this one out of the park, and they choked. At this rate their reputation may be unsalvageable.

  • supergun

    I will just stick with the Smiths, H&Ks, CZs, Sigs, and Rugers.

    • Mel_Anosis

      A friend let me shoot his VP9 HK. Wonderful gun. The extra 200 or so bucks more than this Remington disaster is well worth it.

      • supergun

        I bought my H&K VP 40 with night sights and 3 mag for $579 shipped about a year ago. I saw an ad from Tombstone selling the VP 9 with night sights and 3 mags for $559. Dang good deal. Both of these guns are awesome.

        • guest

          The VP9 fits my hand very well and I want very much to like it, but the paddle mag release and the looooooooooooooong trigger reset were deal-breakers for me.

          • supergun

            The VP series feels very good. I liked the trigger on the VP 40. Many say the trigger is as good or better than the P-30. It reminds me of the Smith and Wesson M&P 40 or 9. Both pistols are awesome.

  • ToddB

    Gee who would think Remington would produce another seriously flawed 9mm? Do they not even test fire these guns before trying to sell them? Nobody along the way went hey that ambi slide lock just does not seem to work to well. Or that it had a terrible feed ramp? Question is how long before Freedom group starts gutting Remington for the cash then dumping the stripped carcass like they did with H&R?

  • Jim

    It could be that the reason for the poor design of the RP9 is that Remington is primarily a rifle and shotgun manufacturer with no modern handgun design experience. Did they hire design engineers with previous handgun experience or did they use their in-house engineers and ‘wing it’ from scratch? Once Glock hit the market in the mid-80’s, every handgun manufacturer secretly copied their design (after publicly mocking it). Now, every handgun company has their ‘own’ striker-fired, polymer framed, double-action auto. There’s an old saying that copying something is the sincerest form of flattery.

    • Mel_Anosis

      Good points. I have a 47 year old 222 Remington Rifle and it is accurate and dependable. Disappointing to see them struggle with a polymer handgun……after all, it isn’t a new concept.

    • pdxing

      Interesting story about their shotguns. A few years ago I contacted them about making an 18″ version of their Versa Max as their 22″ “Tactical” model is really more geared toward the 3gun crowd. The reply back from a higher up (VP/sales I think) gave me this long story about how difficult that would be due to problems with the gas system not working correctly in shorter barrels so he didn’t see that happening. Turns out that was total bull****, they were already producing the R12 in both 18″ and 14″ versions strictly for MIL/LE use. Their V3 Field Sport Black Synthetic, with a street price around $700, could be very competitive in the home defense market with a shorter 18″ barrel. Instead they choose to ignore that market and feel the need to completely lie about it.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    I have an RM380 (totally flawless), never one flaw. I have an original R51 and to be totally honest, no it hasn’t been flawless. However, it has not been the flawed like as many seemed to experience. Recently took it out and put through about 70 rounds of various ammo. Also shot a Sig P938 and Kimber Micro 9. The only firearm that experienced a failure on this outing, was the Sig. I will say that my R51 has become better the more it has been used. When it was new, I did have some issues with the occasional feed or slide return to battery. It may be that the machining was just not precise enough and use has worn off some rough edges that may have caused issues. As for the RP9, is it flawed, time will tell. Too many variables that can cause firearm malfunctions. Personally, the only design flaw seems to be the slide stop. Of course, I’ve never shot either of the ammo brands MAC uses. MIght have to buy some and see if I can have problems too . . . .

  • Anon. E Maus

    God, Remington is such a dumpsterfire.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    Interesting that one of the other video clips here also showed a problem with feed. Oh, it was also with a specific ammo brand used by MAC . . . Hmmmm . . .yet he had no issues with any other ammo he tried ? ? ? ?

  • Rebellivesmatter

    I buy nothing but ammo from Remington and this is why.

  • Colonel K

    I’m shocked, shocked to find that Remington is making a defective pistol.

  • jimpeel

    This is why I carry a Browning Hi-Power. Proven reliability and the favorite of armies, police departments, and dictators the world over.

  • Andrew

    Freedom Group changed its name to Remington Outdoor Company in 2014.

  • Lee

    Dear Remington….

    Please fix the quality control on your Remington 700 product line first…. before venturing into new stuff…. Seriously…. Stop trying to make handguns, and fix what you already make…. Just do it ok….

  • Suds77

    The bigger that R gets, the crappier the gun gets.