When we think about Remington, we tend to think of rifles, and of ammunition bearing that famous brand. The name Remington isn’t exactly a brand we associate with handguns.
Except for a large run of 1911’s manufactured by Remington-Rand during the last Great War, and a foray into the same model today, the company’s involvement in handgun production has been limited.
Maybe that’s why Remington acquired Rohrbaugh recently—to beef up its presence in the handgun market. The company has since diversified its offerings into compact handguns, starting with the sub-compact R51 9mm pistol, and now, the new micro-compact RM380 in .380 ACP.
The new Remington RM380 is a hammer-fired, tilt-barrel autoloading pistol that fires from a locked breech.
This pistol uses dual, nested recoil springs that are more easily compressed than those usually found in blowback-operated firearms of similar size and chambering.
For individuals with minimal hand strength who might otherwise struggle to cycle the slide, this is no small consideration. In addition, deep cocking serrations machined into the rear portion of the slide decisively aid in its manipulation.
Because the Remington RM380 was designed to be both print- and snag-free, the slide’s ends have been properly contoured.
Milled into the slide are no-frills, low-profile sights; the front is made up of a simple 0.110″ wide ramp, while the back is of the notch style with a 0.135″ channel.
There are no hued outlines, or fiber-optic or tritium inserts; nonetheless, the sights are easy and fast to acquire, not to mention very robust.
The extractor lies in a machined pocket to the rear of the lowered ejection dock, and an integral ejector is on the left wall of the slide. The design of the slide and barrel is such that the chambered round is visible both from above, and from the side of the slide.
Ergonomic Metal Frame
Unlike many .380 ACP-chambered “pocket” pistols with polymer casings, the RM380’s frame is machined from durable, low-maintenance, aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy that has been given an anodized black finish.
Once more, care has been taken to shape the frame so that there’s nothing at all to snag. A nice carryover from the Rohrbaugh pistols is the under-cut trigger shield, which affords a higher hold and a strong two-finger grip with the standard magazine in place, or three fingers when using the magazine with the extended baseplate.
This higher hold effectively lowers the bore’s axis in the shooter’s hand, helping to minimize muzzle flip.
Two other welcome inclusions are the extended beavertail, which eliminates “slide bite,” and finely-executed checkering on the front strap to enhance purchase.
Attached to the aluminum frame are glass-filled nylon stocks with molded-in checkering and the Remington “R” logo. They can be instantly swapped out if so desired.
The internals of the RM380, which can be fieldstripped without tools, include a solid metal guide rod and a nested recoil spring assembly. The barrel’s muzzle is belled to engage the slide when the pistol is in lock-up. It also has an underlug with a kidney cut to engage and disengage it from the slide.
Improvements over the Rohrbaugh
Those acquainted with the R380 and R9 pistols will easily recognize that, on the Remington RM380, a bilateral, low-profile magazine release button behind the trigger guard has replaced the original, grip heel-located magazine release of the Rohrbaughs.
In addition, there’s a fully functional slide stop; the slide can be locked open and will do so on auto-pilot after the last round is fired.
Because there is no external safety, the trigger is of the long, double-action-only (DAO) design. This provides a degree of safety when the gun is carried in a pocket holster.
The RM380 comes shipped from the factory with two magazines. Although both of the steel, single-stack magazines have a six-round capacity, one features a standard baseplate while the other has a pinky-accommodating extension. Witness holes on the side of the magazines help verify the number of rounds left.
All told, the RM380 can be expected to gain a foothold in the growing pocket pistol market, right alongside offerings from North American Arms, Kel-Tec, Ruger, and Smith and Wesson.
It’s a solidly-built and thoughtfully-designed item—one of the few with a solid metal frame—and it may be expected to provide years of useful service. If you’ve been thinking of acquiring a pocket pistol in .380 ACP, this might just be the gun you’ve been waiting for!