I can hear the typing coming from a mile away even before any of you have read this first paragraph. “It’s from Turkey! Pass!” Yes, the BRG9 Elite is a not-so-subtle nod to the Springfield XD series of pistols but whereas the XD (aka the HS 2000) hails from the great country of Croatia, the BRG9 Elite instead hails from Istanbul, Turkey, and is imported to the United States via the Buffalo Cartridge Company of Findlay, Ohio. Buffalo Cartridge has a well-established business manufacturing an extensive line of both pistol and rifle ammunition including some of the more obscure cartridges not normally found at your local big box store like .44 Special, .38-40 Winchester, and .458 SOCOM. The BRG9 Elite is a brand-new import for Buffalo Cartridge for 2022 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for testing and evaluation purposes. So today we’ll take a closer look at the BRG9 Elite, its features, and its price point to see if this might be a pistol worth picking up,
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TFB Review: The BRG9 Elite 9mm – Best Turkish Firearm Value?
The BRG9 Elite comes standard in a hard-sided plastic case complete with a two-tone, textured high-density foam interior which has been pre-cut for the entire kit you get with each BRG9 Elite. The kit includes gun oil, a couple of microfiber cloths, a trigger guard-mounted gun lock, 4 cleaning brushes, a magazine loader, two 16-round magazines, and thee different replaceable backstraps. Essentially the kit comes with everything you’ll need to start hitting the range aside from the ammunition. If you’re the kind of person who likes to have a set of tools and gun-specific items for each firearm you own, the extra gear the BRG9 comes with is a huge plus.
The firearm looks and also feels well constructed with the exception of a few minor details purely having to do with the frame of the pistol. While at first glance the frame appears to be nice and smooth where it needs to be, there happen to be several roll pin holes that have sharp edges to them or even have bits of polymer hanging off of them which can make handling and shooting the firearm uncomfortable. If I were to modify this pistol, the first thing I’d do would be to countersink some of these burrs. Other than that minor gripe, the pistol is soundly constructed.
The pistol comes standard with 3 dot sights with a bright orange front dot and a two-dot white rear. Rumor has it that the BRG9 Elite and the Springfield XD share dovetail patterns so if you happen to own a BRG9 Elite and want some aftermarket sights for it, you may be able to swap them out without issue. The pistol also features a loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide, a striker indicator on the back of the slide cover plate, as well as both a trigger blade safety and a grip safety – the gun is certainly pretty safe. To be frank, I’ve never been a huge fan of grip safeties, however, the BRG9’s grip safety isn’t too obtrusive and only needs to travel about 1/4 of an inch to activate.
Throughout my testing, the BRG9 Elite remained very consistent in its performance. However, I’ll note here right off the bat that the BRG9 had a minor issue with 9mm 115gr ammunition from Unlimited Ammo. With this specific type of ammunition, the BRG9 would not go to slide lock on a consistent basis. However, Unlimited Ammo’s 124gr HP NUKES, 115gr TulaAmmo, Federal Syntech 150gr, and Hornady American Handgunner 135gr all cycled flawlessly through the pistol without issue or any sort of malfunctions.
The trigger of the BRG9 Elite breaks at about 4 pounds and is decent enough but does have a fair bit of sponginess that I’ve come to expect from most off-the-shelf striker-fired triggers. The trigger is comfortable to shoot and Is actually somewhat flat-faced in design. If anything, I would say that the BRG9 Elite’s trigger combines the best aspects of both curved and flat-faced triggers without going too deep into either one’s cons. Reloads were a breeze with the BRG9 Elites internally beveled magwell, this was a small surprising feature that really made a huge difference during my range sessions.
Overall, the pistol shoots accurately enough (3-4 inches on paper @ 10 yards shooting from a bag with Syntech 150 grain). This is well within the realm of acceptable accuracy for defensive work, however, I will note that is nowhere near the territory of many competition pistols which are often capable of maintaining 1-inch groups at 25-yards.
The BRG9 Elite comes in at about $100 less than its look-alike and offers similar performance and reliability to it as well. If you wanted that particular pistol but wanted to get one cheaper then I’d say the BRG9 Elite is an excellent choice to fill that role. I didn’t have the same experience as I normally would have with some other Turkish-made firearms, the pistol handled every single one of the 500-rounds of various ammunition I put through it and while that isn’t what I’d call a high-round count, I will say that it has at least been consistently reliable throughout that time.
I think for the money, the BRG9 Elite has got to be the best value in terms of Turkish import guns. However, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the BRG9 Elite. Do you feel like there are better pistols sitting around the $325 mark or does BRG9 Elite offer you enough value for you to consider picking it up as a tackle box gun or some other role best suited for a handgun? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!