BRG USA BRG9 Elite
Wide is the world of affordable handguns once we look past what local dealers have on their shelves. Chances are you've not seen a BRG9 Elite in person, nor heard of BRG USA before. Personally neither had I. Fortunately, it's my mission to bring you enough information to make the idea of ordering a gun sight unseen a little less scary. We can't fault our local dealers for not stocking everything on the market. That would require a lot of capital and is simply an unrealistic expectation.
What is the BRG9 Elite? At first glance it's a pistol heavily inspired by HS Produkt's HS 2000 (imported to the US as the Springfield XD). If your first reaction was to yawn you've missed the point. Pistols like these give the opportunity to be an evolution. With the main design out of the way these, "inspired by" pistols create the opportunity for a manufacturer to refine design and spend more time on details such as ergonomics which, for us the consumers, makes for an improved shooting experience. In comparison with my older Springfield XDM the BRG9 Elite demonstrates improvements in ergonomics, controls, and trigger.
Basic Specs as per the product webpage: (Note: BRG USA also allows you to buy direct)
Barrel and Slide: 4340 forged steel, dual heat treated
Rear Slide Plate: 7075 T6 Aluminum
Frame: High-impact polymer
Accessory Rail: Picatinny
Safeties: Grip and trigger
Indicators: Striker status and loaded chamber
Magazine Release: Ambidextrous (true, not one side or the other)
Sights: High visibility dovetail orange front, white rear
Overall Length: 7.36"
Empty Weight: 30oz
Trigger Pull: 5lbs
Magazines: 2 x 16rds
Backstraps: 3 included; S, M, L
Also Included: Mag loader, cleaning kit, gun oil
Warranty: Limited Lifetime
There are some gems of information hidden in plain sight for those with a lot of handgun experience. Let's break them down:
The barrel and slide steel is a tougher grade than is typically used. While 4140 is common, the more robust, more corrosion and wear-resistant 4340 is uncommon in handguns. The barrel and slide must of course be made to the same toughness or one would wear the other. I've only seen significant wear on 4140 guns after thousands and thousands of rounds. With the BRG9 Elite's 4340 we've got a pistol that could outlast all others available at an MSRP under many others.
Grip safeties have gained a bad wrap by those shooting an absolute isosceles stance who fail to provide enough rear support to deactivate the safety. Issues with that stance are worthy of another article, but in today's age of appendix carry that grip safety is worth noting so you don't put a hole in your body where a tourniquet is unlikely to help. The grip safety of the BRG9 Elite is nice and broad so it doesn't create a point of pressure when gripping the pistol.
Truly ambidextrous magazine releases are a great option for all hands if you typically have to shift your grip to hit the release. Instead use the trigger or middle finger of your firing hand. (this is demonstrated in our Shooting Impressions video) Some complain that an ambidextrous magazine release is too easily bumped with the firing hand middle finger knuckle. We have never experienced this, but have felt a release or two press into the hand. The magazine release of the BRG9 Elite is shielded enough that this shouldn't be an issue.
Also Included is everything you may need aside from the personal preference of holster and ammunition. The BRG9 Elite ships with a nice kit beautifully presented. As we noted in the Shooting Impressions video, it's certainly worth trying the different backstraps. On a pistol like the BRG9 Elite only the heel of the grip changes. Teya found the arch of the large pressed into the fleshy part of her thumb while I felt pressure at the base of my palm. The small and large both fit us better than the medium backstrap. We opted to shoot the range video with the small installed, but later Teya reflected that the large might have let her get more contact with the pistol for better control.
16-round magazines are not a common capacity as most stick to either 15 or 17. At first I suspected they were 15-round magazines that 'may' have space for a 16th round. I was wrong. The BRG9 Elite magazines load easily from the first round to the last and our Full Magazine +1 test showed that at 16 rounds they are not over capacity.
How does the BRG9 Elite Shoot? We hit the range with our standard battery of simple tests. Cold shots, Full Magazine +1, What's For Dinner™, Trigger Control Test, and Practical Accuracy.
Ammunition seen in our Shooting Impressions video was made possible by our Patrons and supporters of our ammunition savings account through Ammo Squared. Additional, on-demand ammunition through True Shot Gun Club.
We found the BGR9 Elite to be more pleasant to shoot than many of its competitors in the 4" 9mm category. The pistol feel solid in hand and is easily controlled. Word is that the BRG9 Elite will accept Springfield XD magazines. We did not have older-generation magazines on hand, but the newer XDM Elite magazines do not fit. What did fit were magazines from the Tisas Zigana F though they are longer and have less capacity. Overall it's a nice pistol at a good value and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
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Lowest current price on the web HERE.