Sunday, December 22, 2019

CAA Micro Roni V4 Testing - Proving the Value

CAA Micro Roni V4 Testing - Proving the Value
Answering everything you ever asked yourself about the Micro Roni

The CAA Micro Roni has been one of those products I've been wanting to test for some time. The question that crosses everyone’s mind is whether the Micro Roni is just a fun tacti-cool product or a realistic defensive option. During this last Black Friday, I finally relented on a deal from the Israeli retailer called YRS who sells the CAA Micro Roni products. YRS had an incredible deal for about $250 including the add on tactical light on the newest Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 MIC-ROXG4ST for Glocks. To be clear YRS is not a product sponsor and they did not provide any discounts… in fact they have no idea I am even doing this review. About two weeks later, I had my Micro Roni shipment here in the US and a Glock 19 clicked in about five minutes later after reading the somewhat marginally vague instructions.

The intent of the Micro Roni Gen 4 is not to take the place of a rifle, short barreled rifle or even an AR pistol, it is first and foremost designed as a very compact handgun caliber PDW - Personal Defense Weapon. PDWs classically are chambered is handgun and small caliber soft armor piercing rifle rounds. 

The MP5 and Uzi formats both popularized and proved the value of a submachine gun size chambered in a 9mm handgun rounds with 2”-8” barrels. The intended ranges of these handgun caliber PDWs was 0-25 yards and this is where the Micro Roni fits from a realistic perspective. Yes, of course you can ring steel torsos at 100-yards all day until your heart's content, however typical 9mm rounds lose about half their energy at that distance and most consider 50-yards at the limit of realistic stopping power for most 9mm rounds.

One of the reasons I hesitated so long on trying the Micro Roni was concern about the overall lockup between the Glock firearm in the Micro Roni. Glocks are good combat guns with good combat accuracy, but there is some engineered slop to assure when the gun is dipped in mil-spec mud it will not seize up and still shoot. 

Considering the polymer Micro Roni mounts to the polymer lower Glock rail and is secured via a rear polymer wedge/hasp, I was skeptical on the lockup points. Would polymer on polymer lockup and mounting be solid enough to deliver any real accuracy improvements or would it actually degrade accuracy due to all those potential movement points.

Though it only takes a tiny amount of wiggle to destroy accuracy, the lockup feels rock solid and I think it would take some high dollar measurement gear to discern the actual play between parts. My only real concern on fit was the top picatinny polymer rail which has some noticeable side-to side flex when pressure is applied to a riser mounted red dot or scope. Based on what I saw the flex “returns to zero”. The solution for me was to mount the optics on top of picatinny rail screw mount points which are solid.

CAA does offer an aluminum top rail option which could help improve accuracy a little, but I do not think it is needed based on my testing. If there is concern about that, a few dabs of Devcon 2-ton epoxy would lock that rail on so tight it would never move again. I would suggest going over all the seams and edges with an emery board (aka manicure file) to remove all the sharp casting edges to improve comfort.

There are a few problems with how many variants are out in the market of the CAA Micro Roni. There are CAA versions, plus MCK knock offs, plus international versions, plus dealer accessorized versions, plus old version with updates, plus different Sig/Glock/H&K variants plus concept photos which do not match the final production… it is all very confusing.

Add it that CAA does not even have the Gen 4 STAB listed on their site yet and also really does a poor job of helping you mentally sort that out - the result is that you can get frustrated pretty quick when shopping. YRS is one of the largest CAA official dealers and has the best prices and longest list of options. Yes, they are in Israel, but shipment was fast. What I would look for to match the reviewed Roni model here is the Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 and specifically the “MIC-ROXG4ST” on the YRS site. 

Notably the white version was the only one on the site that had the right photo and the only one which did not show a concept photo of the Gen 4. The MIC-ROXG4ST is the only version that supports full size Gen 3, 4 & 5 Glocks including G17, G22, G31, G19, G19X, G23, and G32. I could not find anyone in the US that was stocking this newest version of the CAA MIC-ROXG4ST.

The add on tactical light is highly recommended and well worth the upgrade and is a very high quality and bright LED CR123 powered Olight tactical light - you will consider it a mistake if you do not buy it to start with.

This newest Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 MIC-ROXG4ST version addressed many complaints of the original designs and offer shooters pretty much everything they've asked for in the Micro Roni over the years. The newest version has a longer folding brace which makes it more comfortable to shoot and overall much more usable. 

There is also a simple and unobtrusive trigger guard that covers the trigger on a loaded and cased gun which the earlier versions did not have. The ejection port has been enlarged to prevent jams and the charging carrier is now captured within the frame, so you do not have the opportunity to lose it. The slide release is now also exposed which drops the problematic slide release linkage of previous versions and reduces some cost.

The Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 MIC-ROXG4ST has a new added feature that allows an integral lower rail to swap between an NFA legal angle forward grip or allegedly NFA legal angled magazine holder. This swap process requires two flathead screwdrivers to be simultaneously levered at the same time to release both the very stiff tabs for the swap - this a good thing because once clicked-in, it is literally impossible to move. 

The magazine holder is from my perspective an interesting feature, but logistically it is way faster to snag a belt mounted magazine on the reload. The mag holder is very secure and requires a push button release - that sounds cool, but in practice, it is slow. The other issue with the mag holder is that even a shorter G19 magazine mounts so far out of the holder that the Micro Roni loses a lot of it compact format which is its primary benefit. It sure looks cool, but I would stick with the forward angled grip and skip the magazine mount.

What is very unique about this newest version is that it will accommodate full size Gen 3, 4 & 5 Glocks including G17, G22, G31, G19, G19X, G23, and G32. Yep, one Micro Roni for 90% of the Glock models. This offers a single super versatile platform across a variety of guns. In my case, I tested with several Glock Gens and models including Gen 3, 4, & 5 G17, G19, and a Gen 5 G19X, however zeroing does change a little between the gun swaps so I would pick your favorite.

Mounting up a Glock to the Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 entails using the included hex wrench to adjust the blast shield/compensator to the appropriate model mark/length. I drilled a small hole in the rubber brace to hold the hex wrench for later use to assure I always have the needed tool with me. The chosen Glock model then snaps into the rear charging serrations, slides forward to then click into the rail lock. The final and third click is heard after closing the rear grip hasp and sliding it forward until it clicks. If everything has clicked in properly you should see green though a little side window at the rear grip hasp area.

The process is fast enough and with practice takes just a few seconds, however installation would not be something I would want to do under fire, but removal is pretty quick. The whole process is more of a pre-configured for shooting type setup in my mind. I can see where someone would have this Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 in a daypack and wants to leave the pack in the car but avoid leaving a gun in a vehicle. 

The shooter could take a few seconds to remove their Glock from the Roni chassis to convert back to a CCW gun and that removal could all be done clandestinely within the confines of a pack. One annoyance is that the QD swivel is proprietary and is only available from YRS or CAA, why they would do this I have no idea.

Reloads are slower any way you slice it. For at least my hands, I need to do the tilt and shift movement which means that I need to rotate the brace from inside to the outside of my shoulder and then back again after the reload. A naked Glock is faster on the reload. From a reliability perspective we had zero issues testing through six types of brass and steel cased ammo of all various qualities. I would not hesitate at all in using the Micro Roni for self-defense applications where reliability would be critical.


The big question everyone has is does the Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 MIC-ROXG4ST make a Glock faster to shoot and/or more accurate. The short answer is yes, but with some caveats. To give the Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 MIC-ROXG4ST the best fighting chance I tested for accuracy with Leupold 1.5-4 Hog Plex reticle scope - it was what I had in hand already in a QD mount for testing. Later I replaced the scope with a spare Vortex Sparc green dot because I thought the scope was overkill after seeing the accuracy results.

First I will note that the Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 does not somehow magically enhance all the greatness of a Glock into a 100-yard precision sniper system upon insertion… it is still a Glock but with a shooting brace and a more precise single plane sighting system assuming you have a red dot or scope attached.

To set the expectation for accuracy, Ransom Rest fixtured groups will scientifically show the capabilities of handguns. From my experience, locking in a stock Glock into a Ransom Rest will deliver average groups in the 1” range at 25-yards which is a great group most really good shooters can deliver at 7-yards offhand. Glock’s official factory accuracy test is passing a 1-inch 25-yard group from a ransom rest type fixture. Yes, some Glocks shoot better than others and aftermarket triggers, barrels and upgrades can greatly change that accuracy. A few years back I shot a 10-shot 1.1” 20-yard group from a factory Glock and match ammo I was extremely proud of, but by contrast I can do that almost any day with my GP-100 revolvers. A few years ago, a friend and I would take turns ringing the 100, 200- and 300-yard gongs with our Glock 9mm and .40 S&W models. Shockingly, it was not that hard to hit with some regularity once you figured out the number of feet to hold over and get the sight zeros tweaked - possible but not precision. The Roni will provide more fun with these type of range antics.

If weight was not an option, which would you choose? A Micro Roni, MPX, or Galil

No amount of Roni magic will deliver better than 1” overall average groups at 20-yards or 12” at 200 yards. The only thing the Roni delivers is a braced format and single plane sighting system - both of which help improve your ability greatly to shoot your Glock accurately more quickly while reducing recoil to almost zero. The benefit is that someone with far less practice and experience can deliver more accurate hits faster with the Glock Roni combo than with a Glock alone - it is extremely easy to shoot. For the experienced shooter who can shoot to the limits of Glock’s accuracy, the immediate accurate benefits are there but much harder to see.

We did not see all these benefits at the 7-yard or even 10-yard range or even a big difference at the 25-yard range. Where we were finally able to see a big clear accuracy, difference was beyond 50-yards with most of our testing at the 75-yard line with Sig FMJ 124gr rounds and an unfired brand-new Gen 5 G19. The other shooter and I are both confident with shooting 10-out of 10 on steel torso targets at 50 yards with our preferred Glock, but the pace was faster with the Glocks mounted in the Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 MIC-ROXG4ST chassis. At 75-yards, the pace differences and accuracy differences were significant with shot times well over twice as long with the bare Glock where the Roni system allowed solid shots quickly. A

t 75-yards we were seeing 8-12” groups with the Glock Micro Roni and 10”-20” groups with the bare Glock. Our best groups with the bare Glock were in the 8” range and we printed on very nice 4” group with the Micro Roni on a hostage target with Sig 147gr FMJ through the group moved high and right about 6 inches with that ammo. Ideally with Federal 147gr match rounds all these groups would have been tighter at this range, but the Sig 124gr and 147gr ammo worked for testing and proved the accuracy assumptions on the Micro Roni.

One thing people have noted is that the Roni dirties up the front and of your Glock pretty quick. I really had no issues with just wiping off all this powder residue with a Clorox wipe. yeah, they work really well for that. Dirty yes, affects function? No.

Whether you are shooting a $2800 H&K MP5, $2000 SIG MPX, or a used Glock clicked into a Micro Roni, I didn't see any difference at all between these guns out to 25-yards. The Roni can help you shoot a Glock more accurately especially for less experienced shooters - but for longer pistol ranges there are better tools with more precision and higher velocities thanks to longer barrels or tighter lockup.

The Ruger PCC is an extremely reliable and accurate take-down rifle that accepts Glock mags. AR formats such as my 10-inch barreled PWS 9mm AR format PCC pistol fed by Glock mags can deliver consistently solid 1.25” groups a 100-yards, but that is a $1200 rig. Admittedly, I have several Sig MPX PDWs and they are about 2x more accurate at above 25-yards than the Glock Roni rig all thanks to a fixed barrel and more precise metal AR format - but is that worth $1500 extra premium on the MPX for 99% of buyers? I bet not. The popularity of MRO red dot optics on Glocks and other handguns also offer pretty substantial improvements in accuracy. A recent test of an IWI Massad 9mm with Burris FastFire III delivered incredible easy to shoot near single hole 7-yard groups so you might make the case if you can do that with just a pistol, why do you need the Micro Roni.

The problem with 9mm ammo at the longer 50 and 75-yards distances out of a short pistol barrel is that the point of impact and accuracy moves around a lot with various ammo - in our case, point of impact would shift as much as a foot and accuracy would jump from huge 24” groups down to 4” groups with ammo changes. Ultimately, I would say a scope is way overkill because at shorter distances you do not need it and at longer distances the accuracy and precision of the Glock Roni with varied ammo is more of a “shooting at the target” vs shooting with precision. A red dot is more than enough on this platform.

I think buyers have to look at the Micro Roni as simply an option to get into the PDW feel without a lot of investment, have some fun, and potentially shoot their Glock better. I would be cautious to artificially promote a bare Glock or a Roni equipped version to “as good as” status with the MPX and MP5’s of the world. Those gun on a different level… the Roni is just a convenient and far less expensive option. Where this setup does have a pretty big advantage is weight. Any of the above more accurate firearms are nearly twice the weight of the Roni plus Glock - if you are concerned about weight, the Micro Roni has a big advantage.

If we say that there is little difference in accuracy for the highly experienced Glock shooter under 25-yards between a naked Glock and a Micro Roni and that power and precision trails off so fast after that same distance, you start to ask why in the world should I buy one? There are several really good reasons.

The whole concept is cool fun and a blast to shoot. It is a fantastic gun to use for training new shooters. Everyone loves it and it is super easy to shoot. The one other person helping out on this test was my 80+ year old father who noted a huge difference in recoil. He also noted that something like the Micro Roni would be a really great home defense option for someone who did not have the upper body strength to properly control a handgun, maybe has some joint or muscle problems or where a rifle may be too heavy - excellent point. The brace afforded another point of contact and allowed a lot more stability. 

My father’s perspective was the Roni system delivers a ton of confidence around the handling and shooting of a handgun you may already own in a short format. If you already own a Glock, this is a simple and inexpensive add on that could keep you shooting a Glock format you like even if you do not have the strength to continue properly control a handgun. This is a great point for new and younger shooters… the Micro Roni makes it easy to shoot.

Size of Micro Roni vs MPX

Un-experienced shooters get to start seeing a huge jump in their Glock shooting precision which can be a big confidence booster when shooting from 7-25 yards. For example, my father has never been a great shot with a handgun, but with something like the Micro Roni, I would be confident that he could hit what he is aiming at with reasonable accuracy and in a defensive situation it would be my strong recommendation for him.

A PDW without the PDW cost. The other buyer for this is the single firearm owner on a budget who also wants to have a PDW format as well. Used Glocks and LEO trade-ins are super cheap these days to the point that anyone can afford to pick one up. The same cannot be said for the PDW market with most quality PDW firearms starting around $1000 all the way to the $2000+ Sig MPX and $2800 MP5 H&K formats. Even the CZ Scorpion starts around $900. Good lord, my mags alone for my MPX are $60. The Micro Roni X Stab Gen 4 is a cheap option to get into a PDW format for $300 + the Glock you already own. As a side point, if you are not enamored with the PDW concept in the Micro Roni, you are going to be ticked you spent $1800 to get basically the same functional concept. It is a fantastic starting place.

Of course, check your local laws first, but in most states and cities if you have a CCW license, the Micro Roni is just as legal transport as your pistol ...because it is still a pistol. The Micro Roni Gen 4 is legally just a holder for your Glock, so carrying it in a backpack while shopping is no less legal than carrying your Glock concealed and holstered through the same venue. It is a light-weight carry-it-anywhere option and depending on your backpack could be brought into play pretty quickly.

The final reasons for buying a Micro Roni is that it is just fun. Who would not want to take the great Glock format and have some fun with it beyond what it was designed for? We are all waiting for a factory Glock rifle that is unlikely will ever come. While Ruger, Keltec and the AR15 market finally delivered to us a Glock fed PDW and rifle, the CAA Micro Roni is a Glock powered option that is fun, reliable, and inexpensive. It may have its limits, but somehow none of us could stop shooting it.

Any concerns I had about reliability were addressed during the perfectly reliable performance during testing and would certainly have no concerns using the setup from a defense perspective. This is a fantastic home for a good used Glock 17 to just hang out in a Micro Roni. With the optional light, a used G17 with an extended +3 magazine extension, it is a fantastic light little setup, reliable, fun, inexpensive, and defensively practice.


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