Remington Arms Company has announced the introduction of the Model RM380, a compact .380 semi-auto pistol being labeled as a “micro pistol”. The RM380 is a hammer-fired, single stack .380 caliber pistol, specifically marketed to the Concealed Carry buyer.
The all metal RM380 is the newest member of the continually growing family of Remington handguns. Though very late to the compact .380 caliber pistol market, Remington appears to have done its homework to provide a product that competes in the most critical aspects demanded of a concealed carry firearm. Hopefully the RM380 will fare much better than the much-anticipated, but beleaguered R51.
Until recent years, when the name Remington was mentioned it was in the context of rifles, shotguns, and ammunition. However; in 2010 Remington re-introduced their Model R1-1911, a pistol they had not produced since receiving a government contract around WWI. Though a few other Remington handguns have been available, the R1-1911 announcement was really the beginning of the Remington push into the modern handgun market.
The RM380 is hoping to carve a niche in the already flooded and highly competitive .380 concealed carry market. The pistol has a sleek design, measuring just 5.25″ long and weighing only 12.2 ounces. Despite its compact size, the RM380 is reported to have the longest barrel in its class to help maximize muzzle velocity, precision, and providing additional energy at impact for better self-defense bullet expansion.
The grip of the RM380 has a squared texture on the aluminum front, with a diamond-shaped pattern on both glass filled nylon side grips. The trigger guard is undercut, allowing the shooter a higher and better grip than handguns without that cut. The slightly extended beavertail also enhances the grip for a sure feel while firing. The grip angle is reported to be ergonomically designed for the pistol to provide the best hand alignment for the RM380 design.
The RM380 will come with (2) single-stack magazines – (1) with a pinky extension, and (1) without. Both magazines have a 6-round capacity, but there are talks of an after-market 7-round option. The magazine release is ambidextrous, and low-profile to the frame to avoid snagging.
There are no external safeties on the RM380. The iron sights are very low profile, which could cause some difficulty aligning a sight picture for shots beyond very close range. In addition, the advertised 10-pound trigger pull is just too heavy in my opinion. I’m just not sure why Remington couldn’t lower that pull to say, around 5-7 lbs. Though described as “long” and smooth, that is a difficult pull to make.
Those lower trigger weights maintain the desired safety feature of a heavier trigger, but don’t make the weight and draw length so intimidating on that first shot. The combination of weight and length of pull will most likely cause anticipation jerking and erratic first shot accuracy for all but the most practiced shooters. The reset on the trigger is described as crisp and smooth, so a shooter who maintains contact with the trigger should be able to make rapid follow-up shots that are much easier than that first shot.
In an era of polymer pistols, including several competitor .380 models, the RM380 has gone with an all-metal design. The RM380 frame is made 7075 aluminum, with a 410 stainless steel barrel. Though some really early postings mistakenly advised the RM380 would be chambered in .38 ACP, the final product is in .380 ACP. The .38 ACP is a longer cartridge, and rarely used in modern firearms.
Remington RM380 Features
- Caliber – .380 ACP
- Frame Material – 4075 aluminum
- Barrel Material – 410 stainless steel
- Grip Material – Glass filled nylon, removable for customization
- Overall Length – 5.27″
- Overall Height – 3.86″
- Barrel Length – 2.90″
- Weight – 12.2 oz. (unloaded & without magazine)
- Capacity – 6+1
- Magazines – (1) extended grip, (1) flush grip
- Twist Rate – 1:16
- Action – DAO semi-auto
- Trigger Pull – approximately 10 lbs. (TFB review below found around 7.9 lbs.)
- MSRP – $417.00.
The RM380 will be officially announced at the NRA Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee this weekend. Richard will be at the Conference and may be able to provide some additional information on availability and accessories.
RM380 Take-Down & Re-assembly Procedures
The RM380 is easily field stripped for cleaning and other maintenance issues. Like most semi-auto pistols the RM380 should be gripped with the thumb underneath the beaver tail and the fingers over the slide. The shooter than pulls back on the slide a short distance until the take-down pin is aligned with pre-drilled holes on the slide (above the front grip screws in the pictures above).
Once the take-down pin is aligned with the holes the pin can be removed, allowing the slide to come off the frame. Removing the pin can be accomplished with a punch or by lightly tapping the side of the RM380 on hard surface.
When the slide is removed the recoil spring can be detached, allowing the barrel to be removed as well. This is as far as the shooter should go in field stripping, ending up with (5) primary components – the frame, slide, barrel, recoil spring, and take-down pin.
Once cleaning and maintenance is completed, the barrel is inserted into the slide, and the recoil spring properly reattached. The slide is placed back on the frame, and then the shooter grips the slide in the same manner as the take-down procedure. Pulling the slide slightly rearward until the take-down holes are aligned, allows the take-down pin to be reinserted. When completed the slide is allowed to return to its resting position, and safety and function checks should be performed.
RM380 Holsters, Accessories, and Test Firing
CrossBreed Holsters has already designed a couple of RM380 specific holsters, with Galco and DeSantis in line to do so as well. There is talk that in the near future there will be an option that includes Crimson Trace laser grips, that have proven to be highly popular with the concealed carry pistols.
Make sure you check out GunsHolstersAndGear.com for a full list of all Remingtom RM380 holster options. Richard has assembled quite the list of carry rigs for this small pistol.
Our friends at The Firearm Blog were able to conduct a live-fire review of the RM380 at the Gunsite Academy in Arizona. After firing around 750 rounds at paper, steel, and a shoot-house scenario, the RM380 performed flawlessly and with relatively good accuracy for such a small pistol. Katie even performed a 250-round “failure” drill (firing rounds as quickly as could be loaded), and the RM380 had no failures-to-feed, failures-to-fire, or failures-to-eject.
The BlueSheepDog Crew loves to examine new firearm offerings, and has stated on several occasions that the smallest caliber we could faithfully recommend would be a .380. What are your thoughts on the new Remington RM380 and its application as a CCW, or back-up handgun?