Gun Review: The Remington RM380 Micro-Pistol

Phil White
by Phil White

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Phil White
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 retired as associate editor since December 14th 2017. My replacement is my friend Pete M email: you can reach Pete for product reviews etc.

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2 of 105 comments
  • Sean Sean on Nov 03, 2015

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

  • Jeremy leath Jeremy leath on Nov 19, 2015

    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.