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Gun Review: BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

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Made by Burgu Metal of Turkey in the land of strong coffee and sketchy missile deals, Buffalo Cartridge Company of Ohio has released their BRG9 Elite to the American market. The BRG9 Elite follows the same theme as Buffalo Cartridge’s established ammunition line.  It’s a reliable, solid, quality product at a very reasonable price.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

For those of you currently shooting a popular European-made polymer-framed striker-fired 9mm pistol, the BRG9 Elite is going to look very familiar.

The sights on the BRG9 Elite are a common three dot set-up, with the rear ramp sight dots being white and the front sight red. Both the front and rear sights are drift adjustable.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

The slide and 4″ barrel are made of 4340 steel. That slide takes a lot of design cues from other common polymer-framed striker-fired semi-autos on the market, with deep serrations fore and aft. A two-slot Picatinny style rail section near the muzzle allows for simple mounting of a light.

Each of the two 16-round magazines that ship with the BRG9 performed flawlessly. You’ll find an easy-to-hold plastic baseplate, beveled out in order to grab and strip the magazine should it become stuck.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

The magazine well has a small inward bevel on each side in order to better feed the magazines themselves. I would have preferred if the front edge of the magazine well were beveled as well in case of a poor insertion angle, but overall the pistol is well designed when it comes to getting it fed and re-fed in a hurry, especially with an ambidextrous magazine release button that absolutely launches empties.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

When it comes to safety features, the BRG9 Elite checks a lot of boxes.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

The loaded chamber indicator is a small bar that stands up above the chamber when there’s a round in it. There’s also a cocked striker indicator at the back of the slide. When the little circle is filled, the striker is ready to fall with a pull of the trigger.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

Speaking of the trigger, it’s got the BRG9 Elite has the now ubiquitous trigger blade safety. And then there’s that grip safety as well. The grip safety not only blocks the trigger, but also prevents the firearm from being cocked unless it’s depressed.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

The BRG9’s trigger isn’t anything amazing, but it’s a whole lot better than I would expect for a pistol at this price point. The Buffalo Cartridge Company’s website states the trigger pull is 5 lbs. and that’s a pretty close estimate. On my Lyman digital trigger scale, the BRG9 Elite averaged 4 lbs. 10.5 oz over 5 trigger pulls. There’s a bit of takeup and squish before a not entirely crisp break.

Disassembly is window-licker simple and accomplished by dropping the magazine, unloading the gun, locking the slide back, rotating the take down lever, pulling the trigger and pulling off the slide.

The BRG9 Elite also comes with a lot of extras, especially for a pistol that retails for well under $400. The plastic case is better than most and arrives filled with a four brush cleaning kit, mystery lube, the legally required trigger lock, and a small cloth.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

The case also houses a magazine loader, and the other two (small and large) interchangeable backstraps for the pistol.

I like a large backstrap on every pistol as it usually puts my trigger finger closer to the correct length of pull. That was the case withe BRG9 Elite. No matter which backstrap fits you, the curving shape, fully molded texture all the way around the grip, and the grip length itself, make for a solid hold during long strings of fire.

And fire it I did. I put 400 rounds of mixed ammunition through the BRG9 Elite in one very hot afternoon range session. That was before any accuracy testing. I never cleaned the gun at any point during this review until it was time to take photos, but I did lube it with CLP prior to shooting, and only then.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

The BRG9 Elite never skipped a beat. Not one single failure to fire, load, chamber a round, drop a magazine, absolutely no issues at all during any point of the review. For this review, I fired FMJs, hollow points, truncated cones, and the weird but effective IMI die cut round.  Weights ranged from 115 to 147 grains.

I went ahead and buried it overnight in a mulch pile, with the action open. I took it out the next day, shook it off, loaded a magazine and started shooting. I put another 100 rounds of 115gr Winchester white box FMJ through it. I limp-wristed the gun. I shot it upside down with my pinky on the trigger finger. Slow fire, fast as I could squeeze the trigger fire. Zero issues.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

I was almost as impressed with how easy this gun shoots as I was with its reliability. At 30 oz. empty, it’s not particularly light, but it’s not race gun heavy either. It’s that weight, combined with good fundamental ergonomics and the 9x19mm chambering that make it easy to take the money you didn’t spend on the gun and use that cash turning noise into empty brass.

It was easy to get a good feel of the general precision of the gun during Mozambique drills, and the bench proved out my hypothesis. Good, but not great.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
Image courtesy JWT for

The best-shooting round was, oddly enough, the inexpensive 115gr Winchester FMJ round, firing 2.8″ average five-round groups over four shot strings. Only 1/10 of an inch larger overall was the 124gr Speer Lawman +P bullet. Remington 147gr UMC opened up quite a bit, to 3.5″ groups. All groups were shot in whatever time it took, off bags at 25 yards outdoors through a dirty bore.

You can get a decent OWB holster for the BRG9 Elite right from the Buffalo Cartridge Company website.

The BRG9 has an MSRP of $399 and can be currently found online for $50-$70 less than that. I shot the gun quite a bit before I looked up the price, and the fact that it was selling for so little surprised me a bit.  In the current market, I would have expected more.

BRG USA BRG9 Elite 9mm Pistol
BRG9 Elite (image courtesy JWT for

Buffalo Cartridge Company has brought a good, extremely reliable and very affordable pistol to the Land of the Free. I shot over 500 rounds through this gun in just a couple of days without even noticing it, and I have no doubt the BRG9 Elite would do it all again without so much as a hiccup.

Specifications:  BRG9 ELITE – 4″ 9mm Pistol

HEIGHT: 5.5″
WIDTH: 1.4″
MSRP: $399 (about $330 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance * * *
Nothing stands out here. It’s all utilitarian, all the time.

Customization *
There’s not much yet in the American market specifically made for this gun. You can swap the included backstraps to fit your hand size. That’s about it.

Reliability * * * * *

Accuracy * * *
Around 3″ groups with both inexpensive target loads as well as high quality defense ammunition.

Overall * * * ½
The BRG9 Elite is a good value, especially in today’s market. It’s perfectly reliable, reasonably accurate, fun and easy to shoot. Points off for no optic mount, no current option for a threaded barrel, and a good, but not exceptional level of precision.

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