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Pistol Carbine Goes Mainstream

By Oleg Volk

The Israeli-designed Command Arms Accessories (CAA) RONI kit has been around for about six years. It’s a mostly plastic shell designed to snap around a handgun to provide a shoulder stock for greater control. While shoulder stocks for pistols go back at least to the 18th century flintlocks, it was the Mauser C1896 that popularized the concept. This same approach has been tried with long-barreled Lugers, the C712 machine pistol and its Spanish Astra clones, the Browning Hi-Power and the Soviet APS machine pistol. All those suffered from a relatively short sight radius, flimsy holsters and the lack of a forend. RONI kits fix all of those problems, yielding very handy pistol carbines that fill the gap between handguns and compact rifles.

More recently, the concept was revived in Israel. As with many weapon-related inventions, it came from the restrictive laws that severely limited the ability of Israeli citizens to own firearms.

While it is possible to get a pistol license, almost no one in Israel, including retired army snipers and senior officers, is permitted to own a rifle. The weapons we see in the news are owned by the state and lent out to army reservists. The RONI adapter was a legal way to have an almost-rifle in Israel. Facing terrorists armed with rifles, some Israelis use RONI kits to improve the practical accuracy of their carry pistols. In 2015, such a kit made the news in connection with the Mayor of Jerusalem carrying a .40 caliber Glock in a RONI stock when detaining a knife-wielding attacker. Originally offered only for Glocks, RONI kits are now available for many brands and models of pistol.

In the US, ATF considers the resulting firearm to be a short-barreled rifle and requires a $200 tax stamp and registration, so it’s been less popular here. Before obtaining both the RONI and handgun for it, a Form 1 with $200 tax stamp must be approved for an individual. Until recently, its unique benefits remained largely unknown to the American public. With numerous pistol caliber carbines available, why bother with a heavily regulated...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N6 (July 2017)
and was posted online on May 19, 2017

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