Remington RM380—Micro-Sized .380 ACP CCW Pocket Pistol, Full Review!

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The RM380, shown equipped with a Crimson Trace Laserguard red laser, packs .380 power into a very small package.

The RM380, shown equipped with a Crimson Trace Laserguard red laser, packs .380 power into a very small package.

For more information, visit https://www.remington.com/handguns.

To buy an RM380 on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=RM380

In many ways the story of Remington is the story of America, and that’s not surprising given that the company, sometimes known as Big Green, is nearly as old as the nation itself. In fact, it is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. Brimming with Yankee self-sufficiency, Eliphalet Remington II was sent by his blacksmith father to purchase a rifle barrel from a neighboring gunsmith and study the process. This involved heating and hammering a long strip of metal around a mandrel that when removed gave the finished product its rifling and caliber.

Remington and his father set up the same system at their blacksmith shop and the young Remington built his own flintlock rifle from scratch. It was this first “Remington” that he used in a local shooting competition. He didn’t win, but the quality of the rifle so impressed other shooters that he left that day with a sheaf of orders for new barrels and the start of a brand new enterprise. Remington Arms was essentially born on that day in 1816.

By American standards, 200 years is a long time to still be in business and remain successful, but Remington has withstood the years and produced some impressive and extremely popular firearms. The latest Remington offering seems at first to be outside of their wheelhouse, which for decades was firmly ensconced in the rifle and shotgun market. The Remington RM380 is a distinctive pocket pistol chambered in .380 ACP and almost entirely the opposite of what Eliphalet first built.

The RM380 is simple to disassemble into its primary components for cleaning and maintenance.

The RM380 is simple to disassemble into its primary components for cleaning and maintenance.

SPECS

  • Chambering: .380 ACP
  • Barrel: 2.9 inches
  • OA Length: 5.27 inches
  • Weight: 12.2 ounces
  • Grips: Polymer
  • Sights: Fixed
  • Action: Double-action-only
  • Finish: Black
  • Capacity: 6+1
  • MSRP: $436

This is not, however, Remington’s first pocket pistol. During the Civil War Remington produced a single shot derringer pistol as well as a rather clever six-shot derringer that used six independent rotating barrels. These were never produced in large quantities and examples are rare today. However, between 1866 and 1935 Remington did manufacture well over 100,000 two shot derringer pistols.

Of course Remington produced other handguns as well including the popular New Model Army cap and ball revolver used by both sides during the Civil War. During World War I Remington (then known as Remington-UMC) produced over 20,000 1911 .45 ACP pistols. There was one other early Remington that might be considered a pocket pistol, or at least a compact pistol. The Model 51 was chambered in .32 ACP and .380 ACP and made from 1919 to 1926. It was designed by John Pedersen who maybe best known for developing the rare Pedersen device that turned a 1903 Springfield rifle into a high-capacity, semi-automatic rifle. Remington brought a redesigned version of this gun in 9mm called the R51 two years ago which had some production issues that have since been reportedly resolved.

The RM380 however signals Remington’s full entry back into the handgun market (they already produce an array on 1911 pistols). With this pocket pistol they are covering the bases from full size to compact to sub-compact. The only thing missing is a revolver.

MINI SIDEKICK

The magazine of the RM380 packs in six rounds of .380 ACP ammunition.

The magazine of the RM380 packs in six rounds of .380 ACP ammunition.

The RM380 is a semi-automatic pocket pistol chambered in .380 ACP with a six plus one capacity. This double action only hammer fired pistol features tilt barrel locked breech operation and all metal construction. No polymer here except for the grip panels which can be removed and replaced for a more custom look and feel. Remington’s own extensive testing found that the RM380 has a useful, no repair needed lifespan that is thousands of rounds past any of its competitors. Every pistol is fired with a full magazine before it leaves the factory and random production guns are put through extensive torture testing.

I shot an early prototype of this pistol, firing over 100 rounds on a gun that many others were also shooting. It was reliable and accurate with one problem. The right side grip panel had loosened with use and this was causing a trigger linkage blockage preventing the gun from firing. Remington has addressed this issue in their final production guns by adding a third grip screw and I tested the production gun again with hundreds of rounds fired by myself and others with no further issues.

The 2.9 inch stainless steel barrel is blackened like the slide and features an enlarged cone design for a tight lock up between barrel and slide, improving accuracy. The steel slide also features actual sights machined into it. These are very low profile and snag free but also a bit hard to acquire. Adding a bit of white paint to the front sight might improve visibility; however, adding higher profile sights would require dovetailing the slide.

The slide itself features and external extractor and wide serrations for easy manipulations and the frame is made from 7075 aluminum which keeps the pistol very lightweight but also helps extend the gun’s durability and longevity. Remington’s own testing of the RM380 against other polymer-framed pocket pistols revealed an operational lifespan thousands of rounds greater.

The front strap of the pistols features checkering for an enhanced hold.

The front strap of the pistols features checkering for an enhanced hold.

The RM380 comes with a flush-fitting magazine as well as one with a finger extension (shown).

The RM380 comes with a flush-fitting magazine as well as one with a finger extension (shown).

The front strap of the frame features aggressive checkering for a very firm hold, although I would have added checkering to the back strap as well. The trigger guard is undercut to allow for a higher grip providing better control of the pistol. The higher grip also brings the bore more in line with the hand helping to reduce perceived recoil and muzzle flip.

Remington has also optimized the grip angle for improved comfort and a more natural point of aim. The small but distinct beavertail at the back helps prevent slide bite and allows for a more instinctive grip. The polymer grip panels are also checkered for an improved grip and customizable aftermarket grips will be available.

A small but usable slide stop/release lever is located on the left side of the pistol.

A small but usable slide stop/release lever is located on the left side of the pistol.

Another pleasing feature is the slide stop on the left side of the frame. This securely locks the slide to the rear on an empty magazine or manually. It is rather small and difficult to use as a slide release but not impossible if so desired. The small triangle shaped magazine release is located at the rear of the trigger guard and is fully ambidextrous with a push button release. The magazine release sits below the thickness of the grip panels so there is no danger of the magazine being inadvertently released say during pocket carry. The magazine release is also aggressively checkered, easy to use and allows the steel magazines to drop free.

The steel hammer is bobbed flat with the rear of the slide for a very smooth and snag free draw. It should be noted that there are no external safeties on the RM380 while there is a passive internal block within the slide. According to Remington the RM380 has been tested using S.A.A.M.I. Jar-off, Drop & Rotation criteria and passed, so it is safe to carry with a live round in the chamber according to their testing.

There is a loaded chamber indicator window at the top rear of the barrel that can be seen from the ejection port. That said this is a double action only pistol and the steel trigger has a long pull that measured on my trigger gauge at nearly 10 pounds. It also requires a full release to reset so fire it like you would a revolver. The hammer fired system also allows for a second strike capability in case of a hard primer—a welcome feature.

The sights of the pistol are integrally machined into the slide and are very low profile.

The sights of the pistol are integrally machined into the slide and are very low profile.

Internally the RM380 features a dual spring recoil system around a steel recoil guide rod. This system works very well and helps to reduce recoil while also making the slide easy to operate, something those with weaker hands will appreciate. The clever dual spring design also extends the need for replacement to 2,500 rounds. Remington also includes a spare magazine with the gun which features a good sized finger extension that allows almost a full grip on the gun.

If the RM380 looks familiar to some that is no coincidence. Remington bought the rights to the Rohrbaugh R9 and based the RM380 on its design. However, Remington made significant changes, most notably the chambering in .380 ACP instead of 9mm (although Rohrbaugh did offer a .380 ACP version). If you look at the top of the RM380 magazines you can see a spacer as these are, or were, 9mm magazines as in the original design. Remington moved the magazine release from the heel of the grip to the more familiar position at the rear of the trigger guard, added the slide lock and changed the recoil spring system to make it much more durable.

The original Rohrbaugh R9 was a well-received pistol, notable as possibly the smallest 9mm pocket pistol available and featuring an extremely smooth double action only trigger. They were never produced in large numbers, however, and were also distinctly expensive with an MSRP of nearly $1,200. Remington not only improved the design they also cut the cost significantly to a much more manageable $436.

The RM380 offers shooters a compact and powerful pocket gun in .380 ACP.

The RM380 offers shooters a compact and powerful pocket gun in .380 ACP.

Disassembly of the RM380 is straightforward. Simply remove the magazine and check the chamber to make sure the pistol is unloaded. Then retract the slide slightly to line up the disassembly hole on the left side of the slide with the internal unlock pin. If you tilt the gun towards the left and tap it the pin will fall out or it can be pushed out from the other side. This will then allow the slide and barrel assembly to be removed out the front. The firing pin assembly can also be removed in a manner similar to that of a 1911. Reassembly is simple with one slight hitch; the rear of the guide rod must be lined up with the barrel block and above a very small guide rod lip. You will know right away if you did it wrong as the unlock pin won’t go back in. The manual is comprehensive, well-illustrated and easy to follow.

RANGE TIME

On the range, the RM380 I received for testing performed just as well as the production samples I had previously shot. I did have a slight hiccup at the start with the flush fit magazine. When fully loaded with six rounds the slide would lock open after the fifth round fired with another round still in the magazine. This odd malfunction occurred with the first three full magazines I fired and never again after that and it did not occur at all with the spare finger extension magazine. Chalk it up to a slight break in period, but if there is any doubt in your magazine reliability make sure to replace it.

The small pistol does an excellent job of absorbing recoil and only just starts to get slightly uncomfortable after 100 rounds or so. It should also be noted that Remington specifically warns against using any +P or +P+ ammunition. This was also a warning included in the original Rohrbaugh R9. The long trigger pull takes a bit of getting used to for those of us now accustomed to striker fired guns, but it is smooth and consistent with a clean break.

PerformanceFor accuracy testing I fired off hand at 7 yards. Better accuracy results could certainly have been achieved firing from a stable bench rest but that is not how this pistol is meant to be used. It is a defensive pistol and I tested it as such. Group sizes across three different types of hollow point defensive ammunition averaged about 3.5 inches at that distance and certainly good enough for any defensive use.

The Remington RM380 is not the smallest or the lightest or the cheapest .380 ACP pocket pistol you can buy, but it is could be the most durable and appears to be exceptionally well made. Remington planned the roll out of this gun very well indeed, and a Crimson Trace LG-479 red laser unit is available as well as several holster offerings including from Crossbreed and Recluse. The RM380 will also fit most any of the standard pocket holsters.

Even with the Crimson Trace laser installed, the RM380 is svelte and compact.

Even with the Crimson Trace laser installed, the RM380 is svelte and compact.

The magazine release of the RM380 is located to the rear of the trigger guard and is triangular in shape.

The magazine release of the RM380 is located to the rear of the trigger guard and is triangular in shape.

 

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • KIM January 16, 2017, 9:26 am

    NO MATTER HOW HARD THE TRY IT IS NOT A ROHRBAUGH, THET BOUGHT A GREAT GUN MANUFACTURE AND TURNED AN AWESOME PRODUCT INTO (HI-POINT, RAVEN, JENNINGS) CLASS OF FIREARM

  • KIM November 18, 2016, 11:08 am

    REMINGTON PURCHASED ROHRBAUGH AND TOOK A GREAT FIREARM AND TURNED IT INTO A PIECE OF CRAP

  • Kris October 24, 2016, 12:34 pm

    I,ve been in the concealed carry pistol game for several years now and have owned several models including a kel tec p3at which i never had a problem of anykind a eea compact which i never had any problem with and now carry a amt back sao which i prefer to the others they got it right back then and i prefer the stainless frame slide and barrel and all other parts the only plastic on it are the grip panels the recoil is mild compared to the kel tec smaller than the eea though the mag cap is 5 it has both a firing pin block left side slide saftey and a grip saftey so you can carry one in the chamber the accuracy rivals guns with longer barrels probaly due to the fixed barrel as opposed to the floating barrels found on most newer designed guns the trigger is great out of the box on this gun and if you do acouple of tune up tricks on this thing it shoots faster and smoother slide pulls easily trigger pull is short and crisp very reliable pistol have shot many other ccp in 380 but just cant see paying the price for the big R on the side of it when i got a corvina california made all stainless amt for under 300$ kel tec and eea were even less if they wanted it to be considered it would be under 300$

    • Brian November 19, 2016, 2:05 am

      People would be much more likely to read your words if you used proper sentence structure. No one wants to read an entire paragraph that’s devoid of any punctuation, capitalization, or any sentence structure. I gave up after the first dozen or so run-on words.

  • Jim July 27, 2016, 11:41 am

    I work a gun counter and we have a RM380 on our shelf. It is a fine enough pistol, I suppose, albeit a bit heavy compared to similarly sized and priced competitors, except for one glaring problem. If you hold the pistol with the left side facing down and rack the slide slowly, the disassembly pin will fall, sometimes completely out of the gun, sometimes just far enough to seize the slide. The pin itself is just a straight piece of tiny round bar stock, it has no machining or shaping to it. This problem could easily be fixed by a détente somewhere in the pin. Not even the ends of the pin are beveled to make it easier to put the pin back in!

    I do have a much less dire criticism of what I feel is a related symptom of the same problem on this gun. On most pistols, the notch where the guide rod fits against the barrel lug is notched as a half-moon and on the RM380 it is a straight, flat shelf. Like the pin, a small bit of machining would greatly improve the fit of the gun in a way that affects the mechanism. These both feel like decisions that were made to cut costs and were done at the expense of the proper function of the gun.

    Looking at these two issues on the RM380, I don’t know if Remington learned their lesson from the spectacular debacle that was the R51. After that very public misstep, I would be more careful not to poop the bed twice in a row were I Remington. While the RM380 is a significantly superior product to the R51, the disassembly pin falling out is a big problem. My company had a presentation by a Remington rep (who told us he was a graduate of a gunsmithing school) who was showing us the new RM380 pistol and it fell apart on him when he did not want it to and when he wanted to get the pistol to come apart, he could not.

    I am somewhat jaded against Remington after they have spent the last 15 or so years corrupting what was once a great company. I would not be so critical as to put the RM380 in the long list of crap-tacular Remington products like the 710, 770, 887, 597 and R51 that show almost an impassive disregard for quality in favor of making a cheap-to-produce product but clearly Remington could have thought through this pistol a bit more before bringing it to market, particularly so close on the heels of that last high-profile disaster of a pistol that was the R51.

    • Dick August 6, 2016, 2:30 pm

      Let me guess, when you are not working the gun counter you are a part time motivational speaker, right?
      You bitch and moan more than my ex-wife.

      • Dick August 6, 2016, 2:31 pm

        ★☆★☆★ T R U M P ★ U P ★ Y O U R ★ R U M P ★ 2016 ★☆★☆★ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩☆۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

      • ArmedPatriots January 1, 2017, 3:18 pm

        AHAHAHAHAHA!

    • Frank October 10, 2016, 7:40 am

      Dètente does not mean what you think it means.

      • Zengunfighter July 14, 2017, 9:59 pm

        Yeah, actually it does.

  • Glenn61 July 26, 2016, 4:47 am

    A small .380 makes an excellent carry gun, but the problem is when an auto pistol is reduced to long trigger draw single action only.
    Makes mounting a laser an even more stupid idea as the accuracy and steady aim of a single action shot is non obtainable without patient concentration , which is not what you’ll be doing in an emergency situation.
    So a Double Action only pocket pistol with a laser is just a DUMB IDEA….

  • Mikial July 26, 2016, 1:23 am

    Remington was always an almost mythic name when I was a kid. I was sorry to hear of all their problems, and hope they’ve turned a corner. So many of the ‘old standard’ manufacturers have dropped the ball in recent years (Colt, Remington) that it is almost a tragedy. These days I don’t own a single Remington. To be honest, when I think of handguns, I don’t think of Remington. Long guns, yes. Handguns, no. We’ll see how this goes.

  • Beachhawk July 25, 2016, 5:54 pm

    I guess a .380 is better than nothings, but why would anyone want a .380 when they can buy a 9mm just as small? For that matter, my SA XDs .45 with a CTC Laser Guard is not that much bigger.

    • ArmedPatriots January 1, 2017, 3:20 pm

      ok…but why would anyone own a 9mm or a 45 when they can get a 454 casull or a .50?
      We buy what works for US in OUR world.

  • Darrin rodia July 25, 2016, 3:02 pm

    How do I buy one, state of Ohio?

  • Sam Jenkins July 25, 2016, 2:15 pm

    Given the poor quality that Remington long guns (870 in particular) – I wouldn’t buy a Remington to trust MY life to . . .

  • Dave July 25, 2016, 11:13 am

    Looks like Remington FINALLY caught up with companies like Taurus (TCP) and Ruger (LCP).
    Unfortunately, they made THEIRS cost more than TWICE as much. Duhhhhhhhh.
    And who needs a laser on a pistol intended for CLOSE quarters self defense ?
    Most self defense encounters happen at distances of ten FEET, or less.
    How about HIGHER CAPACITY, instead of lasers.
    Making a DOUBLE stack magazine model, would have been a much BETTER idea.

    • joe July 26, 2016, 11:30 am

      380 for almost 500 bucks…bad all around. no power. Get a glock compact in 9mm, 40, gap etc..A wee bit larger but much more effective.. and the same price..If you don’t like glocks.. go Springfield HD’s,.. etc… What I mean to say is don’t go 380 cal…or buy this model in a 380. a 380 cal is just a underpowered short 9mm

    • SGT Mike March 27, 2017, 8:34 pm

      The .380 is called the 9 MM Kurtz (Short in German) ergo half the power of the 9 MM. The R-51 9 MM seems to be a better option, IMHO. I’m more of a .45 ACP guy and they’re several micro .45 ACP’s that would fit the bill.

  • Rick in MI July 25, 2016, 10:46 am

    Because I actually carry a “pocket pistol” in my front pocket daily, I think the idea of “improving” the magazine release my putting in on BOTH sides pf the handle is, frankly, insane! What is wrong with having the release at the bottom of the magazine like the original Rohrbaugh or a Seecamp? Just because this is the “European” location does not make it a lesser design! In fact, I carry one of these 2 guns in my pocket every day, and I much prefer the release on the bottom of the magazine if the SHTF. Frankly, I’d much rather have a smaller and better stainless Seecamp at the ready than this Remington. And I don’t want to think about why anyone would want a laser on a pocket pistol! Seriously, if I pull this gun it’s because I’m in bad-breath-distance from a bad guy, and the last thing I will be doing is aiming. At that point, a perfect shot is not needed and clearly not likely — and I sure won’t have the time to depend on a laser, and likely even time to look down the sights… the reason my Seecamp has no sights! I also don’t want the bulk of a laser in my front pocket!

  • Roger and Mick pull you heads out of each others asses July 25, 2016, 8:53 am

    “Lets all continue to spread rumors on ambiguous places online because we are too stupid to google things and check snopes.”

    Talk less and read/observe more. You’ll at least appear smarter that way.

    • Jeromy July 25, 2016, 9:56 am

      Don’t know if you have seen it or not but the Snopes CEO has been brought up on charges for Conspiracy to commit fraud. And has been linked to accepting bribes from companies to print false truths

      • John July 26, 2016, 12:39 pm

        Check the web this is not true!

      • Dick August 6, 2016, 2:35 pm

        Ok so it’s no different than the White House.

    • John July 25, 2016, 10:36 am

      Wow. Douchebag much?

      • Dick August 6, 2016, 2:35 pm

        Looks like Remington FINALLY caught up with companies like Taurus (TCP) and Ruger (LCP).
        Unfortunately, they made THEIRS cost more than TWICE as much. Duhhhhhhhh.
        And who needs a laser on a pistol intended for CLOSE quarters self defense ?
        Most self defense encounters happen at distances of ten FEET, or less.
        How about HIGHER CAPACITY, instead of lasers.
        Making a DOUBLE stack magazine model, would have been a much BETTER idea.

  • roger July 25, 2016, 5:16 am

    Remington is owned by Cerberus Capital Management

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