Remington RP9 Striker-Fired Polymer Semi-Automatic Pistol

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

December 12, 2016


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The new RP9 is Remington’s entry into the very popular polymer striker-fired pistol segment. Aside from the pocket-pistol market, the full-sized polymer striker-fired pistol category is probably the most popular segment of the handgun industry right now, being very popular with competitors and hobbyists in the IDPA and other pistol games, as well as a solid choice for those who keep a pistol at hand for self-defense. The RP9 is a full-sized pistol, having a double-stack magazine that holds eighteen 9x19mm cartridges, for a loaded, ready-to-go capacity of nineteen.

The RP9 has no external manual safety levers, except for the safety blade in the trigger, which functions automatically without thought when the pistol is brought into the fight. The frame has an excellent ergonomic design, with a grip that is relatively small in circumference, with interchangeable inserts at the rear of the grip. The magazine catch is reversible, for those who wish to do so. The magazines are made of steel, as are, thankfully, the sights. The rear sight also has a profile which allows for quick manipulation of the slide on a boot heel or tabletop, if needed, while not being overly sharp to irritate or cut the hand in a quick slide rack.

The slide profile of the RP9 is particularly well-shaped for comfortable manipulation to chamber a cartridge from the magazine. The slide has plenty of surface area to grasp, and is serrated front and rear to assist in racking comfortably, and is finished in a black PVD coating, as is the barrel. The beavertail section of the frame is wide and rounded for increased comfort in shooting the RP9. This is one of the most-comfortable 9x19mm pistols to fire that I have ever used. From standard 9mm ball practice ammo to hot +P+ hollowpoint fighting ammo, the RP9 inflicts no discomfort to the shooting hand.

Critical specifications for the Remington RP9 are listed in the chart below. Weight is listed in ounces, and includes the empty magazine. Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed in pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital trigger pull scale and confirmed with my Timney mechanical trigger pull scale. Height includes sights and magazine base with the magazine in place. Maximum grip width is measured just below the magazine catch. Maximum width is measured across the ambidextrous slide lock levers.

Chambering 9x19mm (9mm Luger)
Weight with Empty Magazine 30.2 ounces
Trigger Pull 5.02 pounds
Barrel Length 4.5 inches
Barrel Diameter 0.567 inch
Overall Height 5.92 inches
Overall Length 7.91 inches
Grip Width 1.24 inches
Frame Width 1.26 inches
Maximum Width 1.38 inches
Trigger Reach 2.63 inches
Magazine Capacity 18
Magazines Supplied 2
Magazine Disconnect Safety No
Manual Thumb Safety No
Accessory Rail 1913 Picatinny Spec
Extras Supplied Cable Lock, Decal, Instruction Manual, Three Grip Modules
MSRP as of December 2016 $489.00 US

I fired the RP9 with a variety of ammunition over the chronograph to check velocities, with the results listed in the chart below. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second. Bullet weights are listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. DPX, Buffalo Bore Lead Free, and Double Tap and Barnes Tac-XP  are hollow nose homogenous copper bullets that are made by Barnes Bullets. Guard Dog is a FMJ with a soft plastic core to promote rapid expansion. FP is a frangible, pre-fragmented flatnose bullet. FMJ is a full metal jacket roundnose bullet. FMJ-FN is a full metal jacket flat nose Buffalo Bore Penetrator bullet. PB is Pow’RBall, a specialty bullet from Cor-Bon. Glaser is a pre-fragmented bullet. Velocities were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of fifty-six degrees Fahrenheit, and a relative humidity of ninety-two percent. Velocities were recorded at ten feet from the muzzle.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
CCI Blazer Brass FMJ 115 1126
Federal Guard Dog 105 1135
Double Tap Tac-XP +P 115 1117
Double Tap FMJ +P 147 1077
Remington Home Defense 124 1111
Buffalo Bore Lead Free HP +P 95 1445
Buffalo Bore Lead Free HP +P+ 115 1317
Buffalo Bore JHP +P+ 124 1321
Barnes Tac-XP 115 1023
Sig Sauer JHP 115 1235
Atomic HP +P 124 1209
WCC NATO FMJ 124 1097
Fiocchi FMJ 115 1023
Buffalo Bore FMJ-FN 124 1277
Buffalo Bore JHP +P+ 115 1442
Buffalo Bore JHP +P 147 1059
Cor-Bon Glaser +P 80 1534
Cor-Bon JHP +P 115 1303
Cor-Bon Pow'RBall +P 100 1287
Cor-Bon +P DPX 115 1122
Cor-Bon JHP +P 125 1254

The Remington RP9 proved to be very reliable. The only malfunctions were experienced with Freedom Munitions steel-cased 9mm FMJ ammo, which did not have sufficient power to reliably lock the slide open on an empty magazine, and on one occasion, failed to eject. Other than that, the RP9 ran perfectly with all other ammo tested, with the exception of CCI Blazer, which would function just fine, but it also failed to lock the slide open on occasion, due to insufficient power to fully cycle the slide. This does not mean that the ammo is no good, nor that the pistol is problematic; it just means that these two types of ammo are not the best for this particular RP9 pistol. A really mild-shooting yet effective load for social work is the Remington Ultimate Defense hollowpoint load. I have use this load for a couple of years, in several pistols, and it works very well, with relatively mild recoil. Accuracy was very good, with the pistol shooting to point of aim with most ammunition tested, and shooting as accurately as I could hold it. Keeping all shots in the kill zone of a human silhouette target at twenty-five yards was easy, and again, recoil was very mild, even with hot Buffalo Bore +P+ ammo. Ringing steel plates rapidly at various distances was also easy with the RP9. It points naturally, and the sights are easy to use effectively. The trigger pull is very smooth with a positive reset, releasing with about five pounds of resistance, but feeling more like three and one-half. Very good. This is a very easy pistol to operate and fire. It is almost as if the engineers had the human hand in mind when designing this weapon.

The Remington RP9 is one of the better full-sized striker-fired pistols on the market today. It has all of the features that shooters demand, is easy to shoot, and easy to shoot well. The RP9 is reliable, accurate, priced right, and made in the USA.

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Jeff Quinn

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