The name Rohm will likely invoke a reaction from our readers who came to be in the 1960s. In that time period, Rohm revolvers were often categorized as junk guns, Saturday Night Specials, and names I can’t print here. They were known for their cheap design and price point of about 13 bucks. Rohm Revolvers were marketed towards self-defense and affordability. While affordable guns don’t always suck, the Rohm RG10 certainly does.
If I had to design a worse concealed-carry gun, I’d need a degree in engineering and a team dedicated to it. I own guns that are 100 years old and still function better than the Rohm RG10. Let’s discuss why this is the worst carry gun ever created.
Why It’s the Worst Carry Gun
There are lots of guns that would make poor carry guns and poor self-defense guns in general. However, they often aren’t advertised as such. A Remington bolt action pistol is a bad carry gun, but Remington doesn’t push it for self-defense. The Rohm revolvers were advertised as being quote “Terrific for home defense.”
With that in mind, let’s talk about why it was such a terrible choice.
The .22 Short is what I often describe as cute, but most would call it anemic. It’s a cartridge best left to target shooting, and in the year 2022, it’s become uncommon. This cartridge is terrible for self-defense. Sure, it could kill someone, but it’s not great at anything required of a fighting round.
The projectile is super light and chugs along at subsonic speeds. The round sucks at penetration and can’t meet the established standards. It sucks at expanding and, in general, isn’t good for much more than small games and plinking. Yet, the Rohm RG10 promises you six shots of .22 Short.
I’m no grandmaster when it comes to shooting, but I’m fairly capable with a small handgun. With the Rohm RG10, I can barely hit the paper. The steel rifle insert doesn’t seem to do a very good job of stabilizing or directing projectiles. I can’t group this gun. I have to pattern it. The Rohm RG10 has a terrible double-action trigger and an optimistic front sight.
There seems to be some mechanical issue affecting the accuracy of this gun. I’ve shot guns like the NAA mini-revolvers and have had greater success in the accuracy department.
You’d expect a gun chambering a cartridge like the .22 Short to be fairly small, but its’ bigger than a Ruger LCP. Sure the Ruger LCP didn’t exist in the 1960s, but there were still small guns. The Kolb revolver is a .22 Short revolver that’s considerably smaller than this gun and was made in the early 1900s. I don’t mind a bigger gun, but the gun is so awkward in size.
The benefit of a bigger gun, even when they are designed to be concealed, is better control and accuracy. The grip is super awkward for the size, and there seems to be a lot of wasted space and totally inefficient use of the weapon’s size.
It Will Wear Out….Fast
The reason these guns have such a bad reputation and such terrible quality is the fact they are made from what is nicely described as pot metal. They are pressed together, much like a cap gun. The gun has some steel pins that are tougher than the rest of the gun.
Guess what happens after shooting the gun a bit? Those pins wallow out the holes they sit in and eventually come loose. The gun comes out of time and, eventually, shreds lead with every shot before being reduced to a dangerous paperweight.
The Rohm RG10
The Rohm RG10 is a terrible gun. I often hear people say, “They don’t make them like they used to.” That’s true in both directions of quality. No one would get away with selling a gun this badly in 2022. The Rohm RG10 is an interesting capsule of what cheap guns were, and luckily the cheap guns we have these days are massively better than the cheap guns of yesteryear.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.
He serves as an NRA-certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.
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5 thoughts on “The Rohm RG10 – The Worst Carry Gun Ever”
I had one that a “buddy” traded me along with some other stuff. I used it for a while as a blank gun. The plastic grips were warped and needed to be held in place with electrical tape. The chrome plating was peeling off. I finally traded it to the police as part of one of their “gun buy backs” in exchange for a Christmas gift for one of my kids.
It was affordable and for us minorities, available.
Just having A. firearm often deters the bad guy. And it was better than a rock. LAPD would call us beanners, wet backs , spics. Even my Drill Instructor called me a white spic.
When I was a street cop in the late 60’s into the 80’s, the Property Clerk marveled at how many of these pieces of junk I turned in as evidence. She asked me once if I had a magnet in my butt and I replied that I didn’t think that a Rohn RG10 had enough real steel in it for a magnet to attract it.
When my Grandfather passed away 9 years ago, I inherited his small collection of guns and ammo. Pops had a couple of decent shotguns, a late 60’s Marlin Model 60, a first year production High Standard Model B, and a Rohm Snubnose Revolver in .38 Special. The Rohm was a hunk of junk, I remember him buying it from Gibson’s Discount Store in 65′ or 66′. I don’t remember how much he paid for it, but he was a tightwad with his money, so it couldn’t have been too much.
After inheriting it, I knew about Rohm’s questionable history already, but at the range, the DA trigger pull was so heavy, it bottomed my Lyman gauge at 25 lbs, and it still wouldn’t fire. I would estimate the DA trigger as close to 30 lbs. No way you could pull the trigger and hit a target in DA. In SA, the trigger measured 10 1/2 lbs. Even across a rest, accuracy was all over the place. At 25′, the 6 shot group measured 13 inches. I’m not a precision shooter, but I can keep all 5 shots from my S&W Model 36 in 3 -4″ groups at 25′ in DA. SA, I can tighten that up to 2-3″.
Most of the Rohm was pop-metal. There were steel sleeves in both the barrel and cylinder. The rifling, was almost nonexistant, and I know Pop’s never shot it much, because the two boxes of .38 he bought at the same time, one was full, the other had 24 empty cases, and 26 loaded, so I know the rifling wasn’t worn out from use. It wasn’t really there in the first place.
Knowing there’s some reports of Rohm’s catastrophic failures, I decided to cut the suckered in half and turned the pieces into the local PD.
I know some will be appalled at my actions, but my gunsmith suggested that action. I couldn’t in good conscience sell or even give that POS to anyone. My Bro-In-Law hadn’t retired from the force yet, so he walked me through the necessary steps.
If memory serves Travis, after the 1968 GCA, Rohm was one of the manufacturers that could no longer be imported into the US because of their use as Saturday Night Special role .
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