American Rifleman - December 2020 - 64

DOPE BAG

RO

Rock River
R9 Competition BT-9G
C

olt kicked off the 9 mm Lugerchambered AR-15/M16 market
when it introduced the Colt
SMG in 1982. The SMG made use of
a straight blowback action that fired
from a closed bolt rather than the M16's
direct-impingement, gas-operated,
rotating-bolt system. Three years later,
Colt introduced a 16"-barreled semiautomatic model for civilians. By then
Olympic Arms had already beaten them
to the punch, and the civilian 9 mm
AR market was on its way.
ARs chambered for pistol cartridges
remained on the fringe of the AR
scene, as a cheap-to-shoot alternative
to a rifle chambering, until a recent

surge in interest in pistol-caliber
carbines (PCCs). PCCs have gained so
much popularity that they have made
their way into the competitive shooting world. Starting in 2016, many
shooting leagues began to introduce
PCC classes, which quickly became
dominated by AR-platform rifles
chambered in pistol cartridges, many
of which also feed from handgun
magazines. An example of this type of
rifle is the recently introduced Rock
River Arms R9 Competition BT-9G, a
PCC ready for competition straight
from the box. 
The use of pistol magazines is
a recent innovation among pistolcaliber ARs, as early Colt PCCs used an
Uzi-derived "stick" magazine. Today,
the most popular trend is for manufacturers to make their lower receivers compatible with the ubiquitous
Glock pattern of handgun magazines.
Besides allowing for the use of a common and inexpensive magazine that is

compatible with a popular handgun, it
also allows the firearm to have a more
streamlined front receiver profile.
The popularity of PCCs in 3 Gun
competition caused Rock River to
introduce a version of its 9 mm AR-15
called the R9 Competition. Rock River
offers two versions of the R9; the
LAR-9 model uses Colt-style magazines,
while the BT-9G version that we tested
uses Glock-compatible magazines. The
BT-9G's billet lower receiver shaves
about 9 ozs. off the overall weight
of the LAR-9 version, has a flared
magazine well for faster reloads and an
integrated "winter" trigger guard. The
upper has no forward assist and uses
an abbreviated dustcover.
The R9 bolt follows the original
Colt design. What is the gas key on a
traditional AR bolt carrier is merely
a point for the charging handle to
engage on the 9 mm bolt. Unlike a
5.56 mm bolt carrier assembly with
its separate rotating head, the R9

Apart from its blowback operation, as evidenced by the shape of its chamber (l.)-and the
changes necessary to make it compatible with Glock-pattern handgun magazines-the BT-9G
is laid out similarly to a standard AR-platform rifle. An adjustable nylon screw in the lower
(below inset, arrow) allows the user to remove any play from between it and the upper.

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64
R2012_DOPEBAG.indd 64

DECEMBER 2020

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

10/8/20 9:57 AM



American Rifleman - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - December 2020

Contents
American Rifleman - December 2020 - C1
American Rifleman - December 2020 - C2
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 1
American Rifleman - December 2020 - Contents
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 3
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 4
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 5
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 6
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 7
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 8
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 9
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 10
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 11
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 12
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 13
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 14
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 15
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 16
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 17
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 18
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 19
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 20
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 21
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 22
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 23
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 24
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 25
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 26
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 27
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 28
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 29
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 30
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 31
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 32
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 33
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 34
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 35
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 36
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 37
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 38
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 39
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 40
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 41
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 42
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 43
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 44
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 45
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 46
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 47
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 48
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 49
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 50
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 51
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 52
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 53
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 54
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 55
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 56
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 57
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 58
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 59
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 60
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 61
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 62
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 63
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 64
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 65
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 66
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 67
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 68
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 69
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 70
American Rifleman - December 2020 - State_1
American Rifleman - December 2020 - State_2
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 71
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 72
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 73
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 74
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 75
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 76
American Rifleman - December 2020 - C3
American Rifleman - December 2020 - C4
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