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:
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.