Review: CAA Roni Brace Elevates Pistol from Backup Weapon to Fighting Gun

Avoid the compromise of a pistol and $200 tax stamp of the NFA with the CAA Roni Brace, which elevates your pistol from backup weapon to fighting gun.
Review: CAA Roni Brace Elevates Pistol from Backup Weapon to Fighting Gun

A short, buttstocked pistol offers tremendous advantages over a traditional one in terms of recoil control, modularity and accuracy. (Photo: CAA)

Pistols, by design, are a compromise. They lack the effective range and terminal ballistics of shoulder-fired weapons, as well as the controllability and magazine capacity of larger firearms. Pistols sacrifice these benefits in exchange for portability, convenience and concealability.

Despite this, engineers and gun makers have toiled for centuries to mitigate these shortcomings, and shoehorn the lowly pistol into a role of a personal-defense weapon (PDW). It hasn’t gone by that name until somewhat recently, but make no mistake, a stocked-black powder revolver served the same function then as a select-fire MP7 does now. Both attempt to give the wielder greater combat effectiveness without burdening them with a full-sized longarm. In that regard, they’re wildly successful.

A short, buttstocked pistol offers tremendous advantages over a traditional one in terms of recoil control, modularity and accuracy. The only downside for homeowners in the United States, is the National Firearms Act (NFA) restricts adding a stock to a handgun without first obtaining a tax stamp for $200.

For years, this left most shooters looking for a perfect home-defense weapon at an impasse. They either had to deal with the shortcomings of a handgun or pay a $200 tax and wait six months for its approval. This all changed with the introduction of the SB Tactical pistol brace in 2012.

The Roni features a full-length 12-inch optics rail that allows for mounting of reflex-type optics or holosights. (Photo: CAA)

Although the brace was designed by the company owner for a friend who lost the use of his support hand, it quickly gained traction in the AR-15 community for offering many of the same advantages of a PDW, without the tax stamp nonsense.

On the other side of the world, security and police forces in Israel were struggling with the fact that policies restricted their armament to pistols only. In response, CAA designed a new chassis for the most prolific sidearm in the modern world — the full-sized Glock pistol.

Since Israeli lacks any laws restricting short-barrel rifles (SBRs), police and security forces can attach foregrips and stocks to their sidearms without concern. But when CAA decided to bring these same Roni chassis to the U.S. market, they replaced the shoulder stock with an SB Tactical-style brace.

While this setup initially resembles an odd hybrid of a PDW and an over-sized pistol, it’s surprisingly effective at increasing the shooter’s ability to hit distant targets and control recoil. But not just, the Roni is practically dripping with features that elevate the pistol from backup weapon to fighting gun.

For instance, the Roni features a full-length optics rail that allows for mounting of both reflex-type optics like the Trijicon MRO, AimPoint PRO or even holosights like those offered from EOTech. Since the rail runs a full 12 inches, shooters can also install a magnifier for these optics if they wish to further extend the reach of their handgun.

The latter setup, however, won’t work unless the shooter intends to ‘cheek’ the brace. This is because the eye relief on magnifiers isn’t sufficient enough for the shooter to obtain a proper sight picture if held away from the face.

Another valuable addition to the host pistol is the inclusion of accessory Picatinny rails on the sides and bottom of the Roni Stabilizer. The bottom rail includes a small hook that functions as a handstop, preventing the shooter from extending their support hand past the muzzle.

For me, it provided the perfect spot to mount the newly released Streamlight ProTac HL-X weapon-light. Offering 1,000 lumens of eye-searing brightness, full-sized tac-lights like the ProTac handily outperform any pistol-mounted light.

Another valuable addition to the host pistol is the inclusion of accessory Picatinny rails on the sides and bottom. (Photo: CAA)

One note of caution with that bottom rail: installing a foregrip will change the gun (in the eyes of the Bureau of Alcolol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — ATF) from a handgun to an any other weapon (AOW). AOWs require a tax stamp and are subject to NFA regulations. In a nutshell, don’t do this without first getting a tax stamp.

Above this rail are a pair of side rails that are excellent for mounting lights or lasers without changing the handling characteristics of the Roni pistol combo.

Of all the design features of the Roni Stabilizer, the one most overlooked is how quickly and easily it is to install on a host pistol. The shooter just needs to turn two thumb screws and push out two AR-15-style push-pins, then toss their pistol into a small sled that guides the slide into the chassis. After that, just close the Roni and re-install the screws and push-pins. The whole procedure takes roughly 15 seconds.

Back to the handling characteristics of the setup. While the aforementioned features explain the increase in effective range, red dots are a little more precise for most shooters than pistol irons. None of this explains reduction in recoil, other than the added weight of the system.

Basically, there are two main factors that sharply decrease felt recoil on the Roni. The first is the aluminum, slotted compensator that surrounds the host pistol’s muzzle. While the recoil impulse of a 9mm Glock is fairly mild, the .40 S&W version is another story. The comp functions by diverting some of the expanding gas from the pistol skyward, countering some of the muzzle rise.

The other recoil-reducing feature is the SB-Tactical brace itself. Whether the shooter uses the brace as designed or braces their cheek on it, by adding more points of contact to the firearm, the gain increased control.

Overall, the Roni won’t magically transform your Glock, Beretta or CZ P08 into the ultimate fighting weapon/carbine replacement. But shooters looking to increase the potential combat effectiveness of their pistol will find a lot to love about the Roni Stabilizer chassis.


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