Gun Review: The Remington RM380 Micro-Pistol

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I wrote the original story of the new RM380 some months ago. Since that time things have certainly changed for the better at Remington. With the hiring of a new CEO the way new Remington guns will be introduced has changed a great deal. I’ve covered this several times in comments and a previous press release article so I won’t go over it again.

Remington had new guns to introduce but rather than stay with the schedule the new management required these new guns to be re-evaluated and tested to the extreme before they would be allowed to ship. There would be no more mistakes in introducing guns until they were 100% ready.

Lets move on to the RM380 I received several weeks ago. The pistol all writers got were production guns taken directly off the production line. By the way they have been in full production for some time now. By the time you read this your local dealer will be able to order you one without any problem. Remington has plenty of RM380s heading to distributors.

The RM380 I received came with two 6 round magazines. One magazine has the extension while the other fits flush to the frame. Also in the box was a Crimson Trace Laserguard. This laser will retail for $229.00. Two holsters were also included for testing one of which is a CrossBreed IWB and a Recluse inside the pocket holster. The Recluse is made from horsehide with an MSRP of $59.95 with the CrossBreed MSRP of $67.75.

The RM380 with the CrossBreed and Recluse holsters

The RM380 with the CrossbReed and Recluse holsters

After unboxing I looked everything over then installed the Laserguard on the RM380. Over the past weeks I’ve used both holsters. There were no surprises the CrossBreed worked great just like we’ve come to expect. To be honest I wasn’t familiar with Recluse but as it turns out it’s one well made nice holster. What sets the Recluse apart from other pocket holsters is the method in which the gun is held in the holster. In the picture below you can see a spongy piece of material in the center that has a cutout the trigger fits in. This not only holds the pistol securely but allows for a draw that breaks the pistol loose as the user pushes their fingers between the gun and holster. This allows for a fast draw with no chance of the holster coming out with the pistol.

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For those who may not yet familiar with the RM380 it’s a DAO pistol with a Browning type tilting barrel. It does have the ability to do a double strike should a round not fire. Racking the slide is very easy and actually surprised me. It was easier than the first pre-production guns I shot some time ago. Anyone with an injury that requires a pistol with an easy slide to rack should check the RM380 out. Of course this also applies to those with small hands and limited strength. The trigger pull is a bit long as is normal for a DAO pistol. The pull is smooth and not very heavy and releases crisply. The hammer is exposed when firing but of course it will not fire single action. The magazine release is fully ambidextrous with a release on each side.

This shows the activation button and fit of the laser. The right side magazine release is also seen. The pistol has true ambi magazine releases

This shows the activation button and fit of the laser. The right side magazine release is also seen. The pistol has true ambi magazine releases

Takedown of the RM380 is simple and painless. Using your right hand and holding the pistol as you would in taking down a Glock you pull the slide back a short distance until the hole in the slide lines up with the pin in the frame. All the user does is push the pin out and remove the slide from the frame. I actually got to the point I could just line things up and slap the pistol in my left palm dropping the pin in my hand. Now some may think the pin will fall out or lock the pistol up. Well it won’t. Remington tested this extensively measuring slide speed and the time the two points would line up among other test. They have never had the pin cause a problem and I personally have never had a problem with that and over the time I’ve shot the RM380 I have approximately 2000 rounds fired through them including firing all 10 ten production pistols brought to the writers seminar in West Va. In all the rounds I’ve fired through these pistols I had one malfunction and that was a failure to fire with one of my old Winchester Silvertips. Its proven to be a very reliable little handgun.

Crimson Trace activated

Crimson Trace activated

I made several trips to the range with the new RM380 and fired roughly 300 rounds.All of the rounds were defensive loads. I used brands such as Barnes, Remington (made for short barreled pistols) as well as Cor-Bon which incidentally clocks in at 1075 fps. I also had some old Winchester Silvertips. Also, the trigger pull is right at 8 pounds measured on my trigger pull gauge.

Remington Ultimate Defense for short barrel pistols

Remington Ultimate Defense for short barrel pistols

In the range trips I made I had no malfunctions of any kind. The RM380 ran perfectly with all rounds tested. The distances were 5 yards out to 10 yards which is far enough in a pistol of this type. While the sights are small they are useable for range work when testing for accuracy. Most of my practice was rapid fire shooting double taps, triple taps and just firing all 7 rounds as quickly as possible. Accuracy was very good for it’s intended purpose of close defense. The little pistol was not cleaned during the course of my testing. I added a bit of lube before I started but that’s all I did to prep it.

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I should mention using the Crimson Trace red laser. Installation is simple as is aligning the beam with the sights. The included instructions are very clear and simple to follow. Now I’ve used the Laserguard on a 1911 and I didn’t like it. The laser took up to much space in the triggerguard making my finger bleed from rubbing on the sight itself. I didn’t have this problem with the RM380. The triggerguard of the RM380 provides plenty of space to operate the laser and it’s pressure switch just under the triggerguard. With the laser installed it also fits the Recluse holster just fine.

Activation button for the Crimson TRace

Activation button for the Crimson TRace

My overall impression of the RM380 is very positive and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as a good choice for a pocket pistol. The MSRP is just over $400. I imagine the street price will be around $350—$375. Additional grips will be available in the future.

Recluse Holsters
Remington RM380
Crimson Trace



Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • BattleshipGrey

    The look reminds me of a Rohrbaugh. I’m not going to buy one, but I’m glad the (est.) street price is competitive with the LCP and other such .380 mousers.

    • It’s close–Remington bought Rohrbaugh a couple of years ago. They made a few simple changes to it.

      • Jeff

        So when is Remington going to produce the 9mm version, which gave Rohhrbaugh its claim to fame? Wait I know – after they sell a ton of .380s, so they can sell a ton of 9mms to the same guys who wish they had waited.

        • RocketScientist

          Yeah!!! What is it with these damn corporations… always trying to turn a profit and stay in business!! I mean, how dare they release a product the marketplace obviously wants…. and then maybe release ANOTHER product the marketplace ALSO wants??? Disgusting i tell ya, disgusting.

        • I don’t know if Remington has considered this or not. The idea of making the 9mm version has never come up in conversation

          • I suspect that they didn’t want to cannibalize the market for the R51 by introducing another compact 9mm pistol. Even if Remington intends to introduce a RM9, there is an advantage to releasing the .380 version first. It will give them a chance to see what parts they need to beef up on the RM380 before introducing something more powerful. I suspect that the aftermarket will respond quickly with 9mm conversions of the basic RM380.

          • Good points—-

          • MR

            Try explaining that to the Ruger fanbois.

  • iksnilol

    You mean it has two mag releases? One on each side at the same time?

    HALLELUJAH! SOMEBODY KNOWS WHAT AMBIDEXTROUS MEANS!

    • Yep sure does. LOL–I do indeed know what ambidextrous really means:-)

      • iksnilol

        That’s a nice feature.

        I am just tired of people saying something is ambi because you can convert it for left-handed use. A Tavor can be converted to left hand use but it isn’t ambi.

        • Edeco

          I’m happy you’re happy, and I guess one or a few guns with dual releases isn’t too many. But to me its like in National Lampoons Vacation how the station wagon has eight headlights and four (large) taillights…

          • iksnilol

            Is good with two mag releases, in case one fails… or you switch hands.

    • Jeff

      What happens if you push them both at the same time?

      • Sianmink

        That would be like crossing the streams.

        • iksnilol

          I stole your joke without realizing it. I apologize.

      • The mag falls out:-)

      • iksnilol

        Like crossing the proton streams in Ghostbusters.

      • Seriously Jeff you can’t push both at once. They will meet in the middle and nothing will happen. You just have to pick one and use it.

        • Rick5555

          On my FNS, has a mag release on both sides. I’ve tried to cause the mag to drop when I didn’t want it too…to no avail. I actually like that both sides have a mag release. Though I’m a lefty, I can shoot proficiently right handed. As well as, I’ve always like having options. I don’t think it will be an issue for most users.
          Oh and Phil, thanks for say….”users” instead of “operators” I think people using the word operator is getting a used a bit too much. To the point in which the word becomes a cliché.

        • Jeff

          Well iks said “One on each side at the same time?” So I was asking about the same time part.

  • Yimmy

    Just remember all the glowing reviews of their 9mm R51 when they are their debut….. I think I’ll pass.

    • I think I addressed this with you last week. The R51 is a whole other issue. Those got great reviews because they were pre-production guns or prototypes. It’s only when the R51 went into production that everything went to pot.
      We tested RM380 production guns like everyone will get.

      • Jwedel1231

        While that may be true, “once bitten, twice shy”. Forgive us for being cautious. I personally hope that Remington has really begun to turn things around, but I remember the R51 and what they did to Marlin.

        • I understand why people would be cautious and I went into testing this one with an ok show me attitude. So far Remington has answered all my questions and addressed my concerns.
          I mentioned it in another article but the Marlins I shot this time around looked better than last years batch.

          • Swarf

            I’m not “cautious” so much as “pissed.” Different sentiments, same result in that I won’t touch a Remington product because of what FG has done to so many previously excellent and beloved brands.

            I’m looking at you, Marlin. Or I would be if I could stand to.

      • Ryan

        I don’t blame TFB for my Remington R51 (or any reviewers) purchase, but I’m pretty sceptical of Remington right now. I sent them my R51 the summer of 2014 and while they claim to have the issue resolved I still haven’t received my replacement gun. Now the are putting out another small gun??? Where is my R51? Their radio silence on this R51 is hurting their street cred. They need to tell us something else we assume the worse.

        • I do know the R51 isn’t dead but is being refined. They are going to bring it back but I don;t have a time frame for you. I wish I did. Of course they still have the open offer to give you an R1 1911 if you want to replace the R51.

  • ThunderJay73

    This article’s structure and grammar reads like it was written by a third grader. I hope The Firearm Blog’s quality isn’t slipping, and I hope an editor reviews future posts.

    • I am an editor—-geez do you come to read and talk about guns or just criticize grammar.

      • Christopher Barnett

        I frankly agree with ThunderJay, and I disagree that comments are an inappropriate place to point out poor QC. This is not the first time that TFB has demonstrated proofing / editing problems. However, I also just emailed you a list of concerns, Phil.

        • Dan

          Why yes instead of talking about the gun or holster lets talk about poor grammar. No better time or place for that. It adds so much to the conversation. Oh and i would also like to tell you about the new shoes i bought the other day. They are so comfy and very water resistant. They keep my feet warm when it is chilly yet when it’s warm my feet do not sweat. I love my new shoes.

          • TangledThorns

            So how sexy are your new heels?

          • DIR911911 .

            dammit, I knew someone would get to that before me. kudos to you sir.

          • You gotta be fast:-)

          • Dan

            Stilettos bruh. 6 inchers

          • Christopher Barnett

            Good Lord.

            Look, if all I wanted to get was facts about guns, I have other options. The whole point of a blog about guns is the writing. If the blog writers (Associate Editors, even!) do not deliver good writing, then that’s a relevant problem.

            Especially on *** this *** blog. New, politics-averse shooters are more likely to come here because of the “Firearms Not Politics” angle. That’s great! However, it becomes considerably less great if TFB’s work product makes shooters appear to be grammar-impaired.

            TFB represents us. Represents me. Whether I like it or not. I have an interest in prodding them to do a better job. As do you.

          • Bill

            Grammar and writing well are firearms related: “Speed is fine, accuracy is final.” Shooters have an image problem in general, the least we can do is make sure that what we present to the public is well-drafted.

            It’s a sore spot for me, partly because of all the crappy police and training reports I’ve read. I bought red pens by the gross.

          • My Sgt. read my reports at the end of the shift and usually just skimmed them. Why? He said he knew mine would be correct. We are all entitled to our opinions.

          • Bill

            I was once asked how to spell “tire.” The troop wasn’t kidding.

          • That is pretty bad!

          • I thought the whole point was the information about the guns themselves. I don’t want to argue about this I just want to talk about this gun and the holsters. I like to read the questions readers have and answer them. This is just distracting which is why I ask people to email so we can talk about it and get some specifics rather than general statements.

          • Dan

            You have a fair point and I agree we don’t want to sound like uneducated swine. But I don’t believe calling out the writers/editors in the comment section is the way to do it. I of course am a hypocrite for calling you out on it. My point is leave the comments section for comments about or closely related to the subject at hand. Send the editors a email saying hey bruh go take remedial english again. Then end the message with an emoticon and “lol” and jk. I don’t want our community to look stupid anymore than I want them to look like a bunch of in fighting grammar nazi vs bumpkin hillybillies. That thar is my two pennies.

          • Bill

            I am a bumpkin hillbilly grammar nazi.

          • Dan

            But…but that can’t be? That would be like dividing by zero! You sir are going to tear the very fabric of space and time!

          • Christopher Barnett

            Oooh, shiny pennies! Accepted in good faith. Thanks, Dan.

          • Swarf

            Are they Keens?

            Wait. Wrong gun website…

          • Dan

            Close! Merrells

        • Ok I’ll read your email shortly. I just don’t see it honestly. We have more readers who email or comment they enjoy the article or articles and see no problem with them.
          I just want those comments to be addressed in emails without the insults that some use.

  • nobody

    I don’t know what would be worse, being forced to carry a pistol made by Remington, being forced to use Remington’s Ultimate Defense .380 ammunition that will either over penetrate or under penetrate but never stop at 12″-18″, or being forced to carry my current pistol in that Recluse holster because yikes. One thing for sure is that whoever chooses that complete trifecta of failure is going to have a bad time. Although at least when they have an accident due to that holster they can take comfort in the fact that their choice of ammunition won’t penetrate to far into their leg, unless they have 4 layer denim pockets in which case they can expect great penetration.

    • Bill

      Do you have experience with the Recluse? I understand that the holster essentially locks the trigger from moving, after the pistol is inserted from the side. I’m having a hard time seeing how it would cause an ND, unless the user is the one person in the world who doesn’t understand that pocket holsters are supposed to be removed from the pocket before trying to holster the pistol.

      • The holster isn’t going to cause an ND I can promise you that. It certainly is safer than a standard pocket holster. The cutout the trigger fits in keeps it from moving.

        • Bill

          I’ve seriously considered getting one – it looks like a safety feature to me. And if I have an ND that gets me hit with a .380 and I ever realize it, I’ll let you know 😉

      • nova3930

        Maybe I’m overly paranoid but I just don’t like a holster that doesn’t completely cover the trigger, whether it locks in place by other mechanism or not, especially whent there’s lots of good pocket holsters that do cover the trigger…

        • Ben

          Agreed. I would never carry using a holster that leaves the trigger exposed. I don’t like testing Murphy.

      • Bill it does lock the trigger in place and it sure is safer than a standard pocket holster. The pistol is not going to move unless you purposely draw it. In fact its safer than any other pocket holster I’ve used.

      • nobody

        My worry wouldn’t be something jabbing through your pocket and pulling the trigger, but the gun coming out of the holster slightly if your pockets aren’t tight enough and then going back into the holster with the trigger behind the part meant to hold it instead of inside, at which point you have a something sticking into the trigger guard that can possibly fire the gun.

        • I just can’t see how that could possibly happen.

        • Bill

          If your trigger is flopping around that much, you’ve got bigger problems, but there are pills for that.

  • Don Ward

    Nice thorough article. It is heartening that Remington is taking steps to fix their soiled image. Neat little pistol.

  • andrey kireev

    Surely hope they got their QC under control this time around… but….Ehh… not really sold on it’s looks..P238 /P938 look much better me thinks

    • Jwedel1231

      The 238 and 938 definitely look better but cost a lot more and are single action only guns. Not really apples to apples, in my opinion

      • andrey kireev

        Pears to apples 😉

    • I believe they have. I have to cheer on any company who has a failure and then makes an honest effort to correct those issues. I know Ruger had a difficult time several years ago and they corrected those problems.

  • Joe

    Perhaps in use that recluse holster is ok, but purposely sticking something inside the trigger guard just scares me.

    Get the rm380 to an idpa match. I wanted an lcp until I saw how many malfunctions it had when shot quickly and under stress. While many may have been user errors, it was enough to scare me off.

    Magazine disconnect?

    • Dan

      I was going to say the same thing. The holster makes me nervous. However I have no experience with it so I cannot say that it is actually cause for concern. Phil could you enlighten us on the matter?

      • Well it’s like I was telling Joe the material that covers the trigger is a bit spongy but stiff enough to hold the trigger in place. When the trigger is pushed into the material the trigger is even with the top of the material. You actually push the trigger down to get it to set securely. The trigger just won’t move forward or backward.

      • This shows how deep the trigger is secured.

        • Dan

          Thanks Phil. Still makes me a tad nervous but I can see there wouldnt be enough movement to actually depress the trigger enough to discharge the gun.

    • Nope no magazine disconnect. The trigger actually pushes down into the material which effectively blocks it from moving until drawn.

      • uncle fester

        While I understand, years of “don’t stick anything in there unless you want to fire” make me nervous.

  • Car54

    Small 380s tend to be pretty snappy in recoil. How is this one? Also, how does it compare in size to other small 380s i.e, P3AT, LCP, PICO, Bodyguard etc?

    • RocketScientist

      This is exactly what I was wondering. BY all accounts it SEEMS like a nice lil package. But when you’re introducing a product into a very crowded market niche, the important question is how it measures up to the competition. Especially when the competition doesn’t have the burden of ill-will and poor reputation for QC to overcome as Remington does.

      • In comparing it to the other .380s on the market it stacks up well in the area of less felt recoil, good grip and a decent trigger. The Bodyguard for instance is pretty snappy but the grip doesn’t suit me very well. I think the grip has a lot to do with the felt or perceived recoil.

    • Recoil is similar to the SIG. As far as the Pico, P3AT and Bodyguard the RM has less felt recoil by a good deal. It doesn’t have that snappy feeling you mention. Size wise i’d say the RM380 is slightly larger than the P3 and equal to the LCP.

    • Oaf

      The one I shot about 2 weeks ago recoiled considerably harder than the SIG and actually bruised my trigger finger where the trigger guard met my finger on every shot. I was expecting it to shoot very soft, but it is snappier than a P3AT or LCP. Also, the trigger is terrible.

      • Hum–all of the production guns I’ve shot have had smooth if long trigger pulls. The early ones were not as good and had some scratchy points in the pull. I can only attribute the improved trigger to the extra testing that was done after the management change.
        Now my SIG 938 doesn’t recoil badly at all and I attribute that to the comfort of the grip. The grip on the RM380 also feels good in my hand which again gives me less felt recoil.

        • Rick5555

          Phil, per the grip, you can swap them out…from what I heard. Does Remington plan on releasing different grips in the near future? If so, then that would be great. Jeff Quinn just did a review of the RM380. And he said pretty much the same thing, regarding the trigger. A bit long. however smooth, with a nice clean/crisp break. Could be the RM380 might be a hit. With the new Mangement and the changes subsequently being made. Looks like Remington, is going to get back on track….for the better. I look forward to seeing the positive changes. Remington, is the oldest American Company. Just leaving NY was a step in the right direction.

  • imachinegunstuff

    I’d love to see one in person but my local gun store refuse to stock Remington after all the man hours it to return the 887s and Rem 700s.

    • Spencerhut

      I feel their pain. I’ve fixed more chambers, action bars and extractors on brand new 870’s in the last few years. We actually quit stocking 870’s and switched to Mossberg, CZ and Weatherby. Pretty sad when the Turkish made guns are beating the American made ones in quality.

      • Rick5555

        I’m not a big Shot Gun person. Though I have a Mossberg 500 and 590a in my collection…and that’s it. However, I thought the Remy 870’s were well made shotguns? Considering how many are out there. I would consider an 870 if I needed another pump shotgun. I also like the FN shotguns too..are they any good? I know FN makes quality stuff. And a big fan of the FNS line and their AR Tactical model. But, you never know with the big companies.

        • Spencerhut

          We noticed 870’s started having issues around 2009 time frame. The ones prior to that seem to be fine. This is what we observed in my shop. It does not mean they are all bad.

  • Spencerhut

    Looks like a neat little pistol. I carry an original Remington 51 in .380ACP as a backup gun. Made in 1919, I like it so much I acquired more Remington 51’s also from 1919. I’ve been trying to retire the one I carry, but have yet to find a .380 as small, pointable and comfortable to shoot. I’ll try this new RM380 and see if it can dethrone my little 51.

  • Jeff Smith

    Great review, Phil!

  • hami

    I work for a Trek Bicycles retailer and they moved to a similar method of releasing new products. When it’s announced to the public, it’s available to purchase. I think that’s the best way to do it.

    • I agree that way there are no surprises when shifting from prototypes to production guns. Of course this would apply to many products.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Seems like a little late to get into the compact .380 game.

  • Jeff Smith

    Just curious – is it “.380 +p” rated? I know it’s not technically a standard caliber, but some companies are making it and some manufacturers are listing their guns as being able to handle the added pressure.

    • There’s nothing showing it’s +P rated. I guess the Cor-Bon I used at 1075 fps is close. I don;t see how a round this small in +P would cause any problems. I know I normally will carry +P ammo but I don;t shoot much of it. I only shoot enough to make sure the pistol works with it,

    • Edeco

      Crud good point. In general I like the idea of a metal frame. But if it bottomed out I’d worry about aluminum deforming and/or fatiguing

  • All the Raindrops

    Meh

  • Scott

    RM380 – Two year limited warrantee, unless remington determines its due to normal wear & tear – or other things on their not covered list. Think I’ll have to pass.

    • That is a year longer than average—-

      • Jeff

        I guess that makes Ruger well above average. This gun is very tempting, but I know that as long as I own my Rugers, they will take care of any issues.

  • Rick5555

    Phil and TFB Staff, Not sure if you guys/gals are aware. That on Oct 26, 2015, the NY SAFE Act was subsequently “Upheld” by the 2nd Circuit Courts. Now, this case will most definitely go to the US Supreme Court…provided the SCOTUS, is willing to hear the Safe Act case. Hopefully, TFB, will follow this matter closely. This case can become quite detrimental to the gun industry/community. If the SCOTUS stands-by the 2nd Circuit Courts decision. Or doesn’t bother to hear the case at all. Then the Federal Govt. could use this (Safe Act of NY), as a model, in an attempt to be incorporated at a national level.
    This is quite dangerous, considering if the Democrats smell just a drop of blood in the waters (pertaining to the 2nd Amendment). These politicians will pounce all over it. Using whatever means that’s at their disposal, to ensure the Safe Act is implemented on a national level. Though it will take time for this case to get to the SCOTUS. If a democrat is elected president, the gun community could be in for a fight. Like none we’ve seen before. Most likely the new president, will be appointing 1 or 2 new justices. Which could tip the scale of power…and not in our favor. I would like to apologize, for going off the subject matter. However, this is truly important. And could very well have a tremendous impact on us ALL.
    Respectfully, Dr. Rick S.

  • sean

    the .380 was soooooo 2008…a little late to the ball Remington.

  • Jeremy leath

    I just purchased one of these on november 14th from Field and Stream Greensboro NC. This review does not do the pistol justice. I put an initial 100 rounds through this pocket pistol and thought it was fantastic. But something kept making me believe that I might not have tested it enough. So I shot another 150 rounds through it. The felt recoil was not like that of your typical 380. I’ve shot many of 380 and they can be annoying with the muzzle flip . This pistol really mitigates that and I found that it had such a natural point of aim that I didn’t even have to aim down sights during rapid fire. I could merely eye ball my target and keep all my rounds within a 2″ grouping at 21 foot.