Rg revolvers?

Discussion in 'Other SNS' started by Foolsgold39, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Foolsgold39

    Foolsgold39 Member

    Evening gents,

    I was hoping we could talk rg revolvers. The bad, the worse, and the ugly, lol.

    Largely because I clearly hate myself I've been attracted to these glorified cap guns for a long time. Unfortunately my area is terrible for finding sns type pistols at anything like a reasonable price so I dont and have never owned one. Yet!

    So, let the education commence. We know that they are terrible, so we can check that one off right away (though supposedly some of the 38 caliber guns genuinely aren't bad). How difficult are they to rebuild? Parts interchangeability? How do they hold up for light recreational plinking? Tips and tricks? Thanks!

    onefootleft likes this.
  2. RG Revolvers? Umm, made in West Germany.
    Otherwise, umm, I got nuthin'.

  3. Foolsgold39

    Foolsgold39 Member


    Huh! That genuinely suprises me. My understanding is they were the OG of the modern SNS guns. I figured you would have one of the most thorough collections in history, lol.

  4. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Until 1971, then they were made in Miami until 1986. Sold to Umarex in 2010.

    Used in the Reagan assassination attempt in '81.

  5. CulperRing

    CulperRing Member

    I don't have any experience with them. Honestly revolvers are somewhat intimidating and so I have shied away from them. The idea of timing is a bit overwhelming, but maybe I should take a look again.

    It looks like the smaller RG revolvers are smaller than J frames, although that is based on seeing pictures and NOT on real world handling of a RG.
    Foolsgold39 likes this.
  6. I'll put some flesh on those bones.

    RG = Röhm GmbH out of Germany. Röhm is no longer in firearms manufacturing (other than blank firing guns).

    In the early 1950s Röhm GmbH of Sontheim/Brenz, which was traditionally focused on the production of chucking tools, diversified its product line and began to produce gas alarm guns, flare guns and handguns. Röhm’s product line of firearms was primarily established under the brand name RG.

    In the 1970’s RG established a factory in Miami, Florida under the name “RG Industries” as a direct result of the 1968 Gun Control Act (which placed severe limitations on imported handguns). The Miami factory produced revolvers, automatic pistols, and derringers in small calibers: .22 LR, .25 ACP, .32 S&W, and .38 Special. The Miami factory ceased its operations in 1986.

    In 2010 the management of Röhm GmbH decided to refocus on its core market of chucking tools and sold the firearms manufacturing operation to the UMAREX GmbH & Co. KG of Arnsberg.

    Röhm’s first real bullet firing firearms were the RG-7, RG-10 and RG-11. These were nothing more than their blank firing guns modified to fire .22 rimfire. These sold for 10-12 dollars when new. Although they didn't blow up, these guns had a tendency to fall apart, giving Röhm such a bad reputation that when they later built better revolvers, the stigma of being junk guns was too firmly attached to the Röhm name. Their later guns (RG 23 through RG 88) were as good as any of the other inexpensive pre-1968 German guns, but because of the shoddy reputation of their earlier models all of Röhm’s RG's were viewed as being very low quality or junk guns. It's been reported that the RG 60 series were actually fairly decent guns for the money.

    On March 30, 1981 John Hinckley, Jr. used a Röhm RG-14 revolver during his failed assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. During the attempt, police officer Thomas Delahanty was shot by Hinckley and Delahanty later sued Röhm with the argument that small, cheap guns had no purpose except for crime, and thus that the company should be held responsible. The suit was subsequently rejected by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in a suit that has served as case law for other similar product liability cases.

    Another lawsuit in 1985 “Glen J. Kelley vs. RG Industries Inc.” was filed over a 1982 shooting in which Glen Kelley, a grocery clerk, was shot in the chest with an Röhm RG-38S Revolver with the argument that under some circumstances a handgun manufacturer or marketer might be liable for gunshot injuries caused by the use of one of its handguns during the commission of a crime. As with the Delahanty case, this suit was similarly rejected.

    RG Firearm models: (as best as I know)
    RG-3 (6mm blank)
    RG-10 (.22 S)
    RG-14 (.22 LR)
    RG-23 (22LR)
    RG-25 (25ACP)
    RG-26 (25ACP)
    RG-30 (32 S&W Long)
    RG-31 (38SPL)
    RG-38S (38SPL)
    RG-38T (38SPL)
    RG-38 (38SPL)
    RG-42 (25ACP) (Erma??)(Ortgies??)
    RG-57 (44Mag)
    RG-63 (22Mag/ 38SPL)
    RG-66 (22LR/22Mag)
    Foolsgold39 likes this.
  7. Everybody has their limits, I pretty much drew the line at RG and refocused on RoF SNS. (I've since refocused on obtaining NIB RoF SNS, which is a work in progress.)
    undeRGRound and Foolsgold39 like this.
  8. From http://www.gunnews.com/rosco/

    The “Rosco”

    Posted by Greg Apgar on Thursday, April 17, 2014 · 2 Comments

    I recently wrote in another article about a cardboard box filled with dangerous items that some friends had found while cleaning out an elderly parent’s house prior to sale. One of the items in the box was a Rosco brand six-shot revolver chambered for .22 short. Rosco was one of several brands of inexpensive revolvers made by the firm of Röhm Gesellschaft (RG) in Sontheim West Germany. Many of these inexpensive guns were imported into this country prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968. In fact, the derogatory label of “Saturday night special” was coined by gun control advocates to specifically describe affordable imported handguns like the various Röhm revolvers, then on the market. Much like the pejorative term “assault weapon”, which was used by liberals to help pound the 1994 ban through the legislature, “Saturday night specials” were the primary target of the sponsors of the 1968 GCA.

    Röhm managed to gain even more notoriety on March 30, 1981, when John Hinckley Jr. employed an RG-14 revolver, chambered in .22 long rifle, in his unsuccessful bid to win the affections of Jodie Foster. The incident left four men grievously wounded, including the President of the United States; White House Press Secretary, James Brady, has never fully recovered from the injuries he suffered that day. Just five years later, after decades of frivolous lawsuits and legislative persecution, RG Industries ceased all operations in the US. Röhm Gesellschaft returned to quietly manufacturing drill chucks in Germany, just as it had before it ever started making firearms.

    Röhm revolvers were, more often than not, dismissed as total junk. That was not my experience with the Rosco. I found the revolver to be very basic, with a zinc alloy frame, but all of the steel parts are nicely machined and better designed than a lot of other “economy” rimfire revolvers that I have had experience with in the past. The revolver’s cylinder is free to rotate whenever the hammer is at rest. When cocked, the lockup of the cylinder is a bit sloppy, to say the least. At full lock, however, with the trigger fully depressed and the hammer down, the Rosco is as tight as my Dad’s Colt Diamondback. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of shooting an old Diamondback or Python, that means tight!

    After thoroughly inspecting and cleaning the Rosco, I loaded it with some Aguila Super Colibris to test it out. The very-low-power rimfire cartridges functioned perfectly in the revolver. At a range of about ten feet, the Aguila rounds grouped into a couple of inches and penetrated about three quarters of an inch into a rough-cut pine board. Modern, high-velocity, .22 shorts would certainly have blown right through the two inches of pine.

    In case any of you are starting to think that I’m writing a love story, let me assure you that the Rosco has its shortcomings as well. The ergonomics of the revolver are terrible and the whole thing has the general appearance of the “detective special” snub-nosed cap guns you could get off of a hook in the toy section of most supermarkets when I was a kid. Anyone with a middle finger larger in diameter than a no.2 pencil won’t be able to get it between the trigger guard and the front strap of the grip frame either.

    No, the Röhm “Rosco” is not an heirloom by any stretch of the imagination, but it and other low-cost revolvers like it offered a viable self-defense choice for those who simply couldn’t afford anything else. Wasn’t that enough?

    Filed under In the News:, Rotator Category, Uncategorized · Tagged with .22, antique, antique guns, revolver, Rosco, vintage

    Attached Files:

  9. I know 2 things about them for sure.

    1. They were really, really cheap to buy.
    2. The were very, very unreliable.

    An example of #2 that I know about very well. A guy hiding in tall grass shot at point blank range at the face of cop. The RG didn't fire. That resulted in an ass beating.
    undeRGRound and Foolsgold39 like this.
  10. Foolsgold39

    Foolsgold39 Member

    Great stuff guys, thank you!


    Really nice historical synopsis, thank you. I also really enjoyed the linked article. Much obliged!


    Yep, I find revolvers way more intimidating as well, but at the end of the day I think you would be just fine tinkering with one. I'm certainly still learning, and not comfortable enough in my "gunsmithing" skills to provide much insight, but there are a ton of great resources out there to help.

    Other than the obvious online tools, I particularly like finding old how to books from when the revolver was the primary law enforcement gun. Lots of info that used to be common knowledge that is getting forgotten. Super helpful stuff for me.

    Just based on my own adventures Smith and Wessons and Rugers have the simplest internal lockwork, with ruger being the clear winner. I think getting a beat old rg to practice on would be a great project for you. I'm planning on doing the same. Single action revolvers in particular are very simple guns.


    If you are comfortable saying more on an open forum, that sounds like a very interesting story.

  11. When I was in tech school I worked in a gas station by an exit for I-94. At closing time and as I shut off the outdoor lights a car was pulling in. The car didn't stop, but it to the station across the street.

    The guy got a fill a gas there. When the worker there told him the amount the guy point the the pistol at him. The guy then drove off, but was stopped by a road block a few miles later. The guy got out of the car, ran into a field of tall grass and hide in the grass.

    Of course the deputies did a search. When he was found the guy pointed the pistol into the deputies face and pulled the trigger. But as related, the pistol didn't fire.

    From that day forth, I always considered RG's to have earned their bad rep. And think a RG is really a 'potentially dangerous paper weight'.

    FWIW. The guy was one of prez Carter's Cuban refuges and I assume was from a Cuban prison. Some bleeding heart women in Chi town sponsored him. He'd been there a few weeks and for whatever reason on a Sunday morning he beat her skull in, took her Caddy and headed west on I94. That would have been in 1983, few or take a year.
  12. Dragonbreath

    Dragonbreath Member

    The Rohm models 38 and 40 in 38 special are of better quality than most of the rest of the Rohm revolvers. I would put those two models in the same quality range as the old charter arms guns.
    Foolsgold39 likes this.
  13. Foolsgold39

    Foolsgold39 Member


    That's a fascinating and very sad story. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully the POS got what was due to him latter.

    Thanks for the info and comparison. That's good to know.

  14. bumthum

    bumthum Member

    20170520_153037_zpstxpdlqt3.jpg I own a Rohm stamped RG-10 equivalent, I'm not sure if the "Rohm" stamp pre-dates, or post-dates the RG stamp, but there isn't 100% parts interchangeability between my Rohm and an RG-10, so they are not the same pistols with different stamps. Mine was bought as a "gunsmith special" with no front sight, no grips, and almost no finish. I made poplar stocks for it (RG-10 stocks wont fit), enameled the frame black and reblued much of the steel. The front sight is an RG-10 sight but I had to bore it out to press it onto the Rohm barrel and I still had to freeze the barrel to get the parts to press fit.

    I've fire .22 Short out of it, but I mainly keep it loaded with Super Colibri ammo and use it to shoot voles in my back yard. The trick is to wear a comfy pair of boxers, a Hawaiian shirt, and drink a beer with one hand while digging up their burrows with a shovel. Once the little turds scatter into the surrounding grass, you drop the shovel, grab the Rohm, and hunt them down before they get to their secondary holes. It's been pretty successful, but the neighbors hate it and give me weird looks. I'm not in any city limits though and firearms are not prohibited for pest-control in my neighborhood. Win-win. I use the Rohm to dispatch other pest animals as well, like rabbits, etc, when needed.

    As an aside, that little Rohm of mine has never failed to fire. Interestingly, the cylinder rotation stop is merely a ball detent in the front of the frame, but it works well enough.

    Re-Edit: I guess it's branded as "Thalco Plinker", I'm not sure if Rohm made these for a specific retailer or not.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
    undeRGRound, Rerun, yworrydog and 2 others like this.
  15. An old WWII VET gave me a RG Model 40 2"...box papers and all...apparently UN-fired....cylinder & barrel are magnetic...the cylinder latch is magnetic,along wid the hammer and trigger...rest of the gun is NON-magnetic....Reminds me of the Jap "last-ditch" weapons...

    RG Industries, Miami, Fl. 33152
    Made in the USA of American and German parts
    Do NOT use +P ammo

  16. bumthum

    bumthum Member

    Better life advice has likely never been given.
  17. I have a model 23. I have not had any issues with it. I had a 38spl but can't remember the model. No issues with that one either. I sold it years ago.
    Foolsgold39 likes this.
  18. CulperRing

    CulperRing Member

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
    Rufus Nathaniel REDD likes this.
  19. Quavodus

    Quavodus Member

    That "thing" is at about $200.00 to high right now. It looks like somebody had it concealed in a cows ass.
    HPD855 and undeRGRound like this.
  20. missiledefender

    missiledefender Supporting Member

    I own several of them. .25 autos (shoot sparingly, the slides tend to crack and finding replacement slides is getting harder and harder. .32 S&W revolvers and the various .38 revolvers. Great, lay around guns. If youre gentle with them and replace the springs (they are 30 plus years old), theyre G2G. Accurate and fun. Surprisingly accurate.
    Foolsgold39 likes this.