Carbines are great, but many Glock fans wish for a long-barreled version of their favorite sidearm. Thanks to CAA of Israel and Impulse Gun Barrel (IGB) of Austria, Glock owners really can have it all, and most importantly, without waiting for a NFA permit.
I recently had the chance to test the CAA Micro Roni and IGB 16-inch barrel for a couple months now. It’s been a surprisingly good ride. The Micro Roni is a modular conversion kit originally designed as a short-barreled rifle (SBR), making a full-size Glock into something easier for more people to wield and ready to load up with accessories. CAA makes an arm brace version of the Micro Roni that doesn’t require a long wait and $200 for the NFA tax. But it’s not quite as handy or as sexy as the folding-stock Micro Roni.
Solution? Add a 16-inch barrel to that pistol and you’ve got yourself, in order of importance:
- Cool Glock rifle
Enter IGB Austria, maker of unusual barrels for Gen 3 and 4 Glocks. The model in this case is a Gen 4 Glock 17; CAA kits and IGB barrels are model-specific.
IGB makes barrels of cold forged steel. The company’s machining process produces a mirror finish on the interior. Hardening is done by Plasmanitration, which is said to crank out diamond-hard surfaces without flaws common to older methods. Plasmanitration produces a dark gray, corrosion-resistant finish. Inside, tooling of the groove-to-field angle, with slightly rounded edges, is said to enhance durability and ease of cleaning.
The Micro Roni is polymer, 2.5 inches wide and 5.7 inches at its tallest point. It measures 23.75 inches long folded and 31.75 inches in ready position. The Micro Roni weighs 56 ounces sans Glock and barrel. The complete assembly, without mags and ammo, weighs in at a bit less than five pounds.
The IGB barrel simply replaces the original after a typical field strip. The one used in this case was IGB’s 16-incher with a threaded end that left me wanting at least a flash hider if not a suppressor to balance the appearance of the assembled product. But as it is, it’s light and packable.
Inserting a Glock into a normal Micro Roni takes just seconds. With the barrel attached, some disassembly is necessary. A 2.5 and 3mm Allen wrench and 3mm punch are necessary to undo three screws that secure the block and folding stock into place. A simple brace fits over the slide, creating an ambi charging handle. This was about a 15-minute process, including repeated glances to a tutorial provided by YRS, Inc., the U.S. distributor of CAA products.
Using the Micro Roni/IGB
The Micro Roni has no lack of rail space on any plane. I opted at first for flip-up iron sights, and later added a magnifying Leupold scope for accuracy testing. There’s plenty of room for whatever you prefer.
The folding stock clicks easily into extension. A triangle-shaped piece of polymer covers the trigger guard on both sides and is easily rotated away—it’s a reliable mechanical safety.
A great feature of the Micro Roni is that its foregrip doubles as a spare magazine holder. Retention of the mag is ingenious. The bottom of the well is shaped to hold the mag firmly without moving parts. With the stock shouldered, simply grab the mag in a fist and use the thumb to push up on the well, and it releases. It’s as intuitive and simple as a design can be.
As expected, felt recoil was minimal, as with any 9mm carbine. Is that round going faster out of the 16-inch barrel? Without a chronograph to help, I consulted Andrey Komorov of YRS, distributor for both CAA and IGB. The answer is yes, but not as much as I imagined. The biggest speed gain for a 9mm round from a longer barrel happens at the 10-inch mark, and the average gain is a 14 percent feet per second. Barrels longer than 10 inches have no positive influence on muzzle velocity. That gain is an average; grain weight and any +P factors, can vary the result.
That modest gain in velocity and greatly increased control over the firearm definitely pay off in the accuracy department. The Micro Roni, equipped with a magnifying scope and fired from a supported benchrest position, shoots 4 MOA groups from 25 yards with great consistency, loaded with 147-grain Federal JHP. Lighter FMJ bullets of several brands produced acceptable, but looser, groups. It’s my theory that the heavier bullet does a better job of dampening movement in the barrel as the round begins its trip from the chamber. After all, it’s easy to jiggle the barrel at the muzzle end.
My home range has a steel cutout that’s about 36 inches square; set at 185 yards. It’s good entertainment to try and hit it using a handgun, at least on calm days when hits are audible. My hit rate with the Glock 17 is 30-40 percent. With the same gun inside the Micro Roni, with BUIS and not a scope, I was hitting 6-7 times for every 10 rounds with cheap FMJ. The Micro Roni is a Glock force-multiplier.
Get Set, Go!
Gotta keep it legal, so get the IGB first. YRS has them listed for $350, with sales reducing that price at times. The Micro Roni for Glock 19, 23, and 32, or 17, 22, and 31, is $249.95; add $209.95 for an upgrade kit that includes a sling, sling mounts, a flashlight built to fit the socket under the muzzle end, flip-up rear and front iron sights, and thumb rest—handier than it sounds.
With prices of entry-level AR15s and pistol caliber carbines being about the same as this combination, it might be hard to justify the kit from a price perspective. However, there’s something very satisfying with being able to turn your Glock into a rifle whenever you choose.