View Full Version : HELP! What the heck is an RG 23?

Apple a Day
December 2, 2001, 09:32 AM
I am looking for more info on a very small .22LR revolver, American made, called an RG-23. Any help, pics, or links are appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

Steven Mace
December 2, 2001, 08:56 PM
The RG-23 was a 6-shot DA revolver chambered in .22 LR and imported to the USA from the early 1960's until 1986 by R.G Industries located in Maimi, FL. The RG-23 was actually manufactured by Rohm Gmbh in Sontheim/Brenz, Germany. It was offered with either a 1.75" or 3.38" barrel. The finish could be either blued or nickel. All Rohm revolvers very inexpensive in design & finish. A RG-23 in excellent condition might be worth about $50-$75. Hope this helps!

Steve Mace

Apple a Day
December 3, 2001, 06:13 AM
Thanks Steven,
I just ran across one for $50 and thought it might be a fun little revolver to mess with. :D

James K
December 4, 2001, 12:42 AM
Yep, some of them even held together for a couple of boxes of ammo.


Apple a Day
December 4, 2001, 07:56 PM
Got a look at it. I think I'll pass.

joseph wolf
June 22, 2006, 12:18 AM
would anyone perhaps know how this goes together? a friend gave me one.. but its all in pieces.. ive found a schematic and tried to put it together.. but the trigger keeps sticking to the rear after pulling... so i am missing something.. and i have all the parts.. i checked.. otherwise the pistol is in pretty good condition..

June 22, 2006, 09:01 AM
Mr. Wolf, the pistol was in it's proper mode when it was in pieces :)

RG's are about the only make/model floating around out there that I could legitimately say are actual *hazards* when brand new. Even the ring of fire semiautos aren't as dangerous. I've had a few in my hands, they're undersized for the materials and assembly methods used.

Now, if you're assembling it to learn how a revolver works, then more power to you. I don't think you've got all the parts... but a handy thing to check is that the lug isn't sticking in the cylinder. IIRC the lug is a direct part of the trigger and it wouldn't take much to jam it into place.

June 22, 2006, 03:07 PM
I agree with mfree, unless you really want to put it together, just leave it alone and let it die. If you do put it together, the trigger pull will be anywhere from 10-20 lbs. Even after assembly if it still doesn't seem right, then congrats are in order because they didn't seem right when they came from the factory either.

That gun is just not worth the trouble, sorry.

George R
June 22, 2006, 03:54 PM
I have no pride. I've worked on a few of these and the trigger spring has to be tensioned before you reinsert the trigger. A slave pin will help.

June 27, 2006, 05:37 PM

As you can see from my previous posts, I am not an advocate of cheap guns, regardless of country of origen.
Some reflection however is in order.
Röhm is based in Germany, and believe you me, in a country that regulates even the use of cosmetic accessories to cars, firearms sold (and most certainly made) in Germany are subject of severe regulation.
Yes, Röhm and others have non-ferrous metal frames, but steel cilinders and barrels, and every individual gun is proofed in an official governmental proofing office.

As a member of the board I was in charge of the hardware in a reasonable sized gun club. (160 members).
Taking office I found 3 FN international in very used condition, one Diamondback 4" and an Arminius 6" totally used up.
After cleaning, checking and lubricating, some members really grew fond of the Arminius, which turned out to be very very accurate. Only flaw: the rearsight hinge pin would have to be recentered every few weeks. Big deal.
IMHO this was very much quality for relatively little money.
So, have it checked by a competent gunsmith, and if okay, by all means use it. If you then do not like it, have it deactivated and hang it on the wall, or turn it into a trophy for a match between friends. You can allways buy a S&W or Ruger later on.

Last word of advice: use standard velocity ammo only.

June 27, 2006, 05:41 PM
Please excuse me, I of course meant:

Ladies and gentlemen

June 30, 2006, 09:28 AM

Most RG, Rohm, and Arminius revolvers here in the states predate the 1986 "FOPA" act. I'm of the understanding that Arminius revolvers *currently* are being sold here under the EAA "Windicator" moniker.

One of these is not like the other.

60's Rohms and RGs in particular are unmitigated embarrasments. We're talking about a 60's zinc "as cheap as humanly possible and then cheaper" pistol that had the barrels *glued* in to the frames.

Modern German revolvers are at the very least respectable. Old German revolvers from the 50's and 60's... aren't.

January 5, 2008, 08:44 PM
To start my question, I need to post some family history.

When I was a pre-teen my dad worked as a night watchman in department store and in a cemetary, he carried a little pocket pistol for self protection.
My dad died in 1977, my mom past away last September, I have now have that pistol, here are the particulars:

The box is marked: RG IND.INC. Model 23 # 411675 22LR 3 3/8" $28.95

I've inspected the pistol and found that it's chambered for .32 S&W ammo.
It is a side loader (cylinder doesn't swing out) 6 shoots.
The cylinder doesn't turn when the hammer is cocked.
The only markings I can find is on the side of the frame "G 15"

I plan to keep it, but I would like to get it in working condition, can anyone pass on info to help me with that endeavor?;)

January 5, 2008, 10:50 PM
I've had several Rohms. Never had a problem with any of them. Only .22 pistol I even own now is a Rohm.

January 6, 2008, 01:57 AM
It sounds like either the cylinder pawl is missing or damaged, or the hammer is damaged. Either way, parts for RGs are generally unavailable, and they were never intended to be repaired by the average user. If you take the gun apart, you will have quite a bit of difficulty reassembling it.

James K
January 6, 2008, 04:36 PM
Yes, all those RG revolvers (the original Saturday Night Specials) underwent proof in Germany. Proof laws only ensure that the gun won't blow up with an overload - they don't say anything about the overall quality of the gun. The argument that anything made in Germany must be of good quality was used by people selling those guns, but it isn't always true. Those RG guns sold here at $9.95 retail (the anti-gun gang still peddles the "handguns can be bought for nine dollars" line to the ignorant), which likely means the factory cost was around $1.50. Heaven knows what the workers were paid, but maybe in Germany at that time any pay was better than none.


Bill DeShivs
January 6, 2008, 05:04 PM
I shot one in .22 short once, and the barrel flew out of the frame.

Rifleman 173
January 7, 2008, 07:12 AM
Didn't the RG pistols have a steel barrel, cylinder and hammer while the rest of it was "pot metal" or some sort of cheap, non-durable metal? If I remember right, wasn't the range of the RG pistols limited to the inside of a telephone booth? :eek:

January 7, 2008, 09:55 PM
wasn't the range of the RG pistols limited to the inside of a telephone booth?

Come down here and I'll show you what one can do at 25 yds.

January 8, 2008, 01:09 AM
Didn't the RG pistols have a steel barrel, cylinder and hammer while the rest of it was "pot metal" or some sort of cheap, non-durable metal? RGs had steel barrels, steel cylinders, steel hammer and lock parts, and aluminum frames (just like S&W Airweights). They had a steel recoil shield in the centerfire calibers so the frame would not get battered. When we would see RG revolvers in our gun shop, it was generally because some part had come unscrewed, or somebody had tried tinkering with them and could not get the thing back together again. They were a puzzle to reassemble. They were cheap, but fairly reliable. Not a gun to start a fight with, but capable of finishing one. They were not made to be practiced with, the life expectancy of an RG was about 100 rounds.

FWIW, they were not the original "Saturday Night Special", those were cheap chrome-plated revolvers made around the turn of the 19th-20th century, and the ones I have seen and handled had zinc frames, steel cylinders with a removable center pin, and a barrel drilled to the approximate caliber of the bullet and no sights. The ones I saw were in 32 S&W and 38 S&W, but I have seen pictures of some in 22 and 44 rimfire.

Bill DeShivs
January 8, 2008, 01:52 AM
RG frames were not aluminum, they were zinc.

January 8, 2008, 06:17 AM
the life expectancy of an RG was about 100 rounds.

100 rounds my butt. I've got one that's fired thousands. I'll admit they're not the best guns in the world but for the money they were and still are pretty decent.

shinnery jim
January 9, 2008, 10:35 PM
I have a RG 23 that I bought new a long time ago. I have shot several thousand rounds through it and it is as tight now as it was the day I bought it. It is very good target gun, it will shoot the bulls eye at ten yards all day long. oh I have several other pistals to shoot that cost a lot more. but it is still a good gun and shoots just fine.
just my two cents worth, but I like the little gun and am not afraid of it in the least.

January 10, 2008, 11:36 AM
Shinnery jim,

Thanks for proving my post above,

I rest my case in favor of the cheap exception to the rule that states:
"You get what you pay for".

On the other hand, would it not be nice if they were making the same in steel?

October 7, 2009, 09:44 AM
You can hate on RGs all you want. I have an RG 23 chambered in .22LR (Yes they made them in other calibers. .22 short for example.) and it has served me very well. Only one misfire in 4 yrs. and that was because of cheap ammo. I ran the same ammo through my Remington Fieldmaster and it didn't fire in that either. Joseph, I say go for it! If its anything like mine, you'll love it. The absolute only thing wrong with my revolver, is the pin holding the trigger guard. It comes out sometimes and the guard falls off. And thats because the previous owner disassembled it one too many times. All in all, wonderful gun. I have a gunsmith friend whose going to replace that pin for me. After that, it'll be flawless.

October 7, 2009, 10:53 PM
My friend has one (in .22LR), and he gave me the privilege of firing it on one occasion. Supposedly it's been fired quite a lot, but it didn't look too bad. In any case, it didn't blow up, or fall apart or any of that stuff. Seemed wildly inaccurate however and cylinder got gummed up really quickly after firing very few rounds, to the point that it would barely rotate.

If you want a real cheap .22LR revolver that comes with a better reputation and by far better accuracy, save up an additional $25-50 and get an H&R.

October 8, 2009, 01:26 AM
My wife inherited a RG in .38 spl from her father. they used to shoot together a lot when she was younger that gun still goes bang everytime the only complaint I have of it is that it shoots 6 inches to high so at the average pistol range if you aim at the ground in front of the target you will get on paper:D

October 8, 2009, 07:01 AM
I have owned two RG revolvers. A 38 and a 22. The 38 was not bad. I even missed it after I traded it. Replaced it with a Taurus. How ever the 22. I could not get rid of fast enough. Picked it up used. Looked good. But what a piece of junk.

October 8, 2009, 07:40 AM
Those Rohm revolvers were the byproduct of German gun laws, mainly produced in the free-to- purchase blank/teargas versions with blocked barrel. The use of the zinc frame was simply due to that circumstance, they weren't designed to have to take any recoil. There is simply no market in Germany for "plinking" guns due to the restrictions on purchasing non-sporting non-hunting guns. Few people will "waste" one of their restricted number of guns on something to bang beer cans around with.

October 15, 2009, 06:14 PM
Glad I stumbled onto this thread.

I have an old RG 14, beat and battered, that I bought used for a snake and varmint gun. It lives in the barn and has dispatched more coons, snakes and possums than I can count. It handles .22 rat shot, long rifles, longs, shorts and caps equally well, has never failed and is accurate enough at close range.

However, one of its weaknesses is that to load or unload it one must unscrew and pull a cylinder pin. A few days ago I LOST that pin, so my little trash gun is now really trash unless someone can tell me where to get a replacement pin at a reasonable cost. (The pistol is hardly worth repairing but does exactly what it is supposed to do here.)

Anyone know where I can get a cylinder pin?

Steven Mace
October 16, 2009, 03:44 AM
Eelfoot, it looks like Numrich has what you're looking for.


Steve Mace

March 22, 2010, 05:59 PM
I just inherited an RG31 that Dad bought for Mom at a Pawn in FL backin '82 for $54. Cylinder and bbl for .32SW long.

Seems to have same problems noted above. Lock position gizmo for the wheel not operating.

Glad Mom never had to fire it!

Nice looking paperweight though.