RAVEN have continued to drop some fabulous pistols during this year, and we wanted to highlight a model today that’s appeared on the market with little fanfare, but is sure to please many “IRL-oriented” players!

The RAVEN R9 has been with us for a while already and continues to perform well, but what have RAVEN done here with the R9-4?

Simply put they’ve taken the great OS from their existing R9 pistols, tweaked it up and refined it, and upgraded the externals to “modern spec” at the same time! What you immediately feel when you lift the R9-4 from its box is the sheer solid heft of this full-metal handgun, as it weighs in just over 632g (mag out), just a tad more than the 600g of the existing R9. It’s a righteously solid, 215mm-long chunk of fully-functional GBB secondary that, if you’re anything like us, will give you a definite “smiley-face-vibe” from the get go!

The R9-4 has a 20mm rail on the lower front of the frame, this time a 3-slot picatinny version, so it’s a snap to fit a taclite. Sights are uprated too as the R9-4 comes fitted with green fibre sights as standard, and the controls will be familiar if you’ve ever had an airsoft “M9” as everything is on the left side of the pistol. The magazine release is a button-style where the trigger guard meets the frame, and the slide release can be found just above easily within reach of the strong-hand thumb, and in front of this is take-down pin for slide removal, maintenance and for adjustment of the hop.

You also get an ambidextrous decocking/safety lever at the rear of the pistol; with the action cocked, a simple movement of the safety catch down will decock the hammer, allowing you to carry the 4 in “Condition 1” like a 1911. However, the R9-4 can be fired from “Condition 1” without having to re-engage with the lo-profile hammer, as with the safety off it has an SA/DA trigger. Sure enough, the first shot will have a long pull with follow-ups being significantly shorter as the gas-efficient system comes into its own.

Other nice finishing touches include angled serrations on either side of the slide to give a positive handle when cocking the pistol, and lo-profile checkered pistol grips which offer, in combination with the backstrap, solid retention . There’s also a threaded outer barrel with a knurled shroud that will allow you to run a suppressor should you wish to do so.

You can read the full review of this new GBB in the current issue of AA available on the here on the website and on all of our regular digital publishing platforms; one thing we know is that we’re going to have a LOT of fun in 2024 with the RAVEN R9-4!