As the legend goes…
The Buffalo Cartridge Company was tired of seeing guns that weren’t built with the same attention to detail as its signature ammunition and decided they needed to do something about it. Meet the BRG-9 Elite, the first of many pistols from the company’s newly founded arms division, BRG USA. This inexpensive semi-automatic striker-fired pistol hails from Turkey and is built to be tough as nails and a delight to shoot.
The BRG-9 Elite showed up in a kit that was more complete and put together than Alec Baldwin’s alibi, making it a terrific first gun if you are just joining the fold. Aside from a spectacular cleaning kit, the BRG-9 comes with two additional backstraps, allowing you to customize the grip to better fit your hand. A second 16-round magazine is included, giving you everything that you need to defend your domicile or just enjoy some time at the range.
As I looked over the Elite, I noticed a few familiar cues from a very popular Croatian pistol … but make no mistake, this is no clone. Among these features was the integral grip safety of 1911 fame that gives the user a bit of additional assurance should the pistol hit the ground or their finger inadvertently find itself inside of the trigger guard. Aside from this, the only other safety is inside of the trigger shoe, making this an exceptional choice for defensive work, as there are fewer steps to get lead on target. The controls of this pistol are oversized and easy to actuate in either dexterity, particularly the magazine release that can be pressed from either side to pop the mag out.
Next, I moved toward the ergonomics portion of this evaluation and noticed that the BRG was built with mild finger grooves. While I’m generally not a fan of this feature, it is only fair to mention that they are barely noticeable, and being that the frame is polymer, can be sanded off with very little effort. Although I didn’t like the grooves, I really dug what they chose for the grip texture and location. The front and back straps are studded for your pleasure and provide amazing control without beating up your hand. The same could be said for the sandpaper-style panels that are on the sides of the mag well, which were surprisingly gentle on my skin.
I headed to Westhampton Beach to find my favorite sand dune and proceeded to pump a few boxes of Federal’s 135-grain Hydra-Shok DEEP defensive ammunition through this little number. From a distance of 15 yards, I fired five five-shot bench-rested groups with the smallest measuring just 1.89” and an average coming in at just 2.51”. I have to say, for a $399 pistol I was certainly impressed. After completing the scientific portion of what I do out there, it was time to go ahead and break stuff. Well, hopefully not, as the AR 500 targets that I use are intended to stop even the stoutest of rifle fodder.
During this period, I worked on drawing the BRG-9 from a universal OWB holster to get a feel for how it pointed and recovered in between shots. As it is built with a common grip-angle, the three-dot sights all but aligned themselves onto targets that were within 20 yards and didn’t take much effort to get squared up at even further distances. The trigger on the BRG-9 Elite broke right around 4.5 pounds which is pretty light for an entry-level firearm and it made short work of double taps and Mozambique drills. I found that I was able to pull off split times as low as .20 seconds, which isn’t too far off from what I can do with my match pistol. Of course, the other half of the equation is a short, snappy reset, which the BRG certainly presented.
I wrapped things up with a quick disassembly and oiling, which revealed outstanding construction. The guide rails were all made of metal and the entire piece was devoid of tool marks and unfinished surfaces. Overall I had to admit it was an impressive firearm for that sub $400 price point and I am truly excited to see what they bring us next. For more information visit brg-usa.com
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