CAA Tactical RONI Glock Enclosure Review

FINAL UPDATE:

It was never clearly established if I received an Airsoft or “real steel” version of the RONI, but it is most likely that it was a “real” version. As such, we were disappointed by the enclosure’s effect on our Gen 4 Glock 19. Since the initial publication of this article, readers have responded with their own stories of success and failure. In short, Gen 3, full-size framed Glock pistols chambered in higher pressure rounds seem to do better than other Glock models / caliber combinations.

UPDATE:

I may have inadvertently acquired an Airsoft model as a “real steel” version. I am working with the vendor to verify and also with CAA’s PR group to get a different evaluation unit.

You can still read my review about the enclosures features etc, but until we can verify things please keep the reliability issues under consideration.

ORIGINAL POST:

In our informal poll, the RONI made by CAA Tactical was voted “most likely to be used as a prop in a science fiction movie.”

The CAA Tactical felt the best in my hands and was the best fit for me ergonomically. Unfortunately it suffered the most malfunctions of the three enclosures we tested, with eight failures out of just over 200 rounds.

If you want a SBR Glock enclosure that fits a wide assortment of body types and is still small enough to be portable, the RONI may be the enclosure for you.

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Price

The MSRP price of the RONI is $525. I bought mine for $300 before shipping from Arms Unlimited.

At less than half the price of the other enclosures we tested, the RONI was poised to steal this evaluation. On top of that, I’ve written about how nice the Regional Sales Manager from Command Arms was to us at SHOT Show. He seemed to really understand our blog and expressed a genuine interest in helping us review the RONI.

Unfortunately the rest of the CAA team is not on the ball as much as Mr. Harel. It was a hassle trying to get an “evaluation enclosure” and even after going through all the hoops for the program I’ve been waiting for over a month. I was in communication with CAA and their US distributor Command Arms since January of 2014 about how to spot knockoffs, the real RONI vs the airsoft one, etc but I haven’t gotten any information to pass onto you so you can protect yourself.

Like dealing with FAB Defense and the Mako Group, you might be on your own if you have problems with your RONI.

Construction

The RONI is almost entirely plastic. While this might help in the weight and cost departments, I also feel like it detracts from the RONI’s reliability.

The RONI weighs 4 pounds, 2 ounces. These dimensions put it in the middle of the FAB Defense KPOS and the Hera Triarii. The KPOS was the smallest and lightest enclosure we tested, but too compact for some to shoot comfortably. The Hera Triarii was the longest and heaviest of the enclosures, but was too big for others. The RONI was right in the middle, and everyone was able to shoulder it easily and manipulate its controls and features.

The stock has five points of adjustment. There is a button on the buttstock that releases the locking mechanism. The RONI can be adjusted from a fully compressed size of 19.25″ to a fully extended size of 22.5″. Due to its design, the RONI was comfortable to shoot in the hands of users ranging from 5′ 2″ to 6′ 3″. The shortest length of pull is 11 1/4″, with the longest length of pull being 13 1/2.”

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The RONI has quite a few features, especially compared to the bare-bones out of the box Triarii.

The RONI has a two-position folding foregrip. The first position is angled like the MagPul AFG. The second position is vertical. The release button is very easy to depress and works reliably, unlike the KPOS foregrip.

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The RONI has three rails. The two side rails are very short and are made out of plastic. I am concerned about their long term durability if someone takes accessories on and off frequently. I’m the type of guy that leaves my setup alone once I’m happy with it, but if you are constantly trying out new gear the plastic side rails may be a problem for you.

The RONI’s plastic charging handle fits on the top rear of your Glock slide. You can still fire the pistol with the charging handle installed. I was skeptical at first, but the handle stayed put throughout handling and shooting. I even let my friend Tank take a run at it, and he breaks everything.

The position of the charging handle is also the best out of the three enclosures. It’s ambidextrous and located close to the body. This makes it easily accessible to shooters of all arm lengths, and also easy to run. The RONI is the only enclosure that allows you to fix an out of battery issue, as the other two enclosures grab the Glock’s slide from the front. If your Glock becomes out of battery, just bump the RONI’s charging handle.

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The stock of the RONI has two interesting features. There’s an adjustable cheek riser, which is moved by a wheel on the right side of the stock. The RONI is the only enclosure with a built-in cheek riser.

There’s also a spare mag carrier which I feel is kind of gimmicky. The mag carrier was able to retain a loaded 33-round magazine while I ran around the house, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving it there all the time. Product literature always shows a 15-round mag, and that’s probably the safest option. Anyway, it’s there if you want it.

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I really dislike the RONI’s trigger guard system. As you can see, it does not fully cover the pistol’s trigger. The folks at CAA Tactical assured us it was impossible to depress the trigger with the guard deployed. When our RONI arrived, the She Shepherd immediately reached in and depressed the trigger. If her finger can weasel in there, so can other stuff in your bag. For this reason, I recommend keeping a loaded magazine in the Glock, but without a round in the chamber.

Installation

The first part of my RONI video review shows the installation process at three times speed. There are quite a few steps, but they are all easy:

  1. Set the RONI down on its right side.
  2. Extend the stock out as far as it will go.
  3. Pull the two captive pins out. One is at the front of RONI, the other right before the stock. You can see the latter pin in the picture above.
  4. Pull the front part of the RONI forward.
  5. Pull the rear part of the RONI backward.
  6. The left side of the RONI unhinges from the bottom.
  7. Place the plastic charging handle on the back of the Glock slide.
  8. Position the right plastic charging handle “horn” through the right side of the RONI.
  9. There is a post in the RONI. The notch of your Glock’s rail goes on this post.
  10. Shut the left side of the RONI.
  11. Slide the front part of the RONI backward.
  12. Slide the rear part of the RONI forward.
  13. Push in both pins, and adjust the stock to your liking.

That’s a lot of steps! Unlike the KPOS, the RONI installation can only be done one way and everything lines up easily and perfectly with the RONI.

 

 

Usage

The RONI was my favorite enclosure to hold. I felt like it fit me the best, and all of the controls were right where I wanted them to be.

Unfortunately, the RONI suffered the most malfunctions out of any enclosure we tested. It suffered eight malfunctions in just over 200 rounds fired. There was one extended stoppage, and seven simple stoppages (mostly stovepipes). I am not sure why the RONI induced these malfunctions so frequently, but I believe it has something to do with the all plastic enclosure and the way the RONI mounts to the Glock’s plastic rail notch.

When the RONI worked, it enabled fast splits and fast transitioning between targets. I really enjoyed shooting the RONI, and despite being a little too big for my bag carry needs I felt like it was the good mix of size and comfort.

Command Arms (the US distributor for CAA) is supposed to be sending us a second RONI enclosure for evaluation. I don’t know if this will increase reliability or not, but we’ll give it a try.

My NFA registered Glock 19 is a Gen 4, but supposedly that shouldn’t matter.

We used CCI Blazer, Aguila and Wolf / WPA Classic ammunition in this test. Malfunctions were encountered with all three types of ammunition, with the double feed malfunction occurring with the Aguila. As a pistol, my G19 shoots all of this ammunition without a problem.

I also cut my finger on one of the RONI’s adjustment screws. These are used to allow the enclosure to use a longer Glock 17. It wasn’t a serious injury, but I shot long enough to get blood on the inside of the enclosure. I found humor in cutting myself on one of the RONI’s few non-plastic parts.

Conclusion

I am not sure why we had so many problems with our RONI, but I was extremely disappointed by the results. The regional sales manager at SHOT Show was very kind to us and understood this blog and the reasons people were interested in the RONI. I think the RONI is the best enclosure for a wide range of people, and I really like the charging handle position and setup. I wanted the enclosure to work out.

Unfortunately it suffered the most malfunctions of the three enclosures we tested. I think that these enclosures should work with both Gen 3 and Gen 4 Glocks (and so does the verbiage on the manufacturer’s Web sites) but perhaps a Gen 3 would fare better. Hard to tell, and due to the stupid restrictions of the NFA I can’t test this out myself.

Even if reliability was not an issue, the RONI would be too big for my purposes. There are other purpose-built bags that handle the RONI just fine, but I prefer not to carry purpose-built bags if I can help it.

I have become spoiled by my SBR AK47 and AR15 300 Blackout pistol. Folded, both are shorter than the RONI at full compression by over 2″. This is important to me, as I try to carry these PDW-type weapons in an everyday “common” bag. I would be unable to put my RONI in my laptop case or triangle slingpack. The RONI is also just long enough that it would be harder to conceal in my backpack, whereas my AK47 and AR15 pistol leave plenty of room at the top.

Take a look at this two part video review and see if the RONI might be worth your time.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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21 Comments on "CAA Tactical RONI Glock Enclosure Review"

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  1. David says:

    On the plus side, looks like it can run AR-height optics right out of the box. The cheek riser seems like a waste in that context…

  2. Dave says:

    That looks like an airsoft model to me. I have one in tan that I got directly from CAA and it has a black foregrip along with an aluminum picatinny rail on the sides.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      This is why I was disappointed to not hear from Command Arms about how identify real steel vs Airsoft models, knock offs, etc.

      My unit was not marketed as Airsoft.

      I am curious what internal differences may exist.

      • Ghost Rider 2 says:

        I have 2 of the CAA kits that run 100 %. One for Glock 21 and one for Glock 17. This model doesn’t even look like the proper color I have to agree with Dave this one is an Airsoft model for sure.

        • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

          Thanks for the confirmation. I took a screen shot of the vendor’s Web site and am going to email them looking for answers.

  3. Richard says:

    So you bought the Airsoft version from Arms Unlimited, that probably why it was cheaper.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      According to Arms Unlimited, it’s not an Airsoft model.

      We ABSOLUTELY do not have any airsoft models, you can call CAA at http://www.commandarms.com/contact

      Ask for Roger, he will confirm we are their largest dealer of RONI stocks in the USA, we have 100+ in stock at any given time and absolutely no airsoft models in our inventory

      It’s possible CAA / Command put an Airsoft version in the otherwise full retail box. Command is taking a look at my unit right now.

  4. Wayne says:

    I bought mine from 24 Hour Tactical, it is the real version and works great. They answered all my question before and after the sale, Great customer service.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      That’s great! I noticed that you and Richard both posted from the same IP address, which resolves to the same rough area in Washington state that 24 Hour Tactical is in.

      Do you and/or Richard work for 24 Hour Tactical?

  5. Scott says:

    I’m wondering if the problems that you encountered with all of the enclosures are due to the same issue as has been seen with tactical lights on the .40 caliber versions of the Glocks.

    While this is sometimes been diagnosed as issues with ‘frame flex’ much of it has been resolved via the use of 11 coil magazine springs. I can see where the ‘frame flex’ which is seen in slow motion photography of the Glock frame under recoil-and is necessary for appropriate functioning-is somehow altered or negated by the frame now being placed inside the second frame of the enclosure.

    I’m clear you have recommended trying a Gen 3 model 17, which has long been recognized as the most issue free of the Glocks and in fact one of the most reliable pistols out there, so it would be interesting to see if the Glock 17 (Gen 3) would see the same issues. After all the Gen 3 model 17s have been relatively immune from the same flex issues with mounted lights as have the other generations and calibers.

  6. Dan says:

    Did you find out if yours is an airsoft?

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      I never received a definitive answer from Command Arms or CAA. Given the amount of feedback detailing why it was real, I believe it was real. I was also never given an explanation why I had so many problems with my enclosure versus the two they sent me afterwards.

  7. Brett Hale says:

    Will the recon version, no stock or vertical fore grip, fit a S&W 9VE?

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      It does not appear that the Recon version will fit the 9VE. You may want to contact Command Arms, but the product page doesn’t seem to indicate that it will work.

  8. Jose Garcia says:

    Was the roni you bought from armsunlimited the real thing or no? I just bought mine and I’m so upset after seeing this. Im starting to wonder if my roni is the real one or the airsoft one. I also got mine from armsunlimited.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Arms Unlimited consistently and emphatically stated it was a RONI enclosure for use in a live firearm.

      Command Arms never responded if it was Airsoft or not,nor could they explain why I had so many problems with my first unit but not my last.

      • Jose Garcia says:

        I emailed customer service to see if I could get my money back so I could order it from CAA, but they never responded. I got email about submitting a review and I wrote one and they removed it. I talked about how the Roni from CAA has all Aluminum rails and about how I tried to contact them. They took my review down I am not sure why. I did only give them one star, maybe thats why.

        • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

          Damn, I’m sorry to read this. I wound up sending mine back to CAA for “review,” but they never returned it and never gave me a definitive answer. You might want to contact CAA and see if they can help you.

  9. Adam says:

    Hi.

    I just received the Roni recon for 92FS and it has plastic side rails. How can I tell if its a real version or the cheap airsoft? Has anyone done a detailed comparison? I guess if the weight, build and everything else (other than side rail) is identical, maybe they are both the same?

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