This past weekend, I flew west for Texas Firearms Fest with Izzy and Alecia. TFF is a pretty unique experience and if you can make it next year, you should. It is a limited event, so get your tickets early. While there we tried out countless guns, met instructors and pro shooters, and went through an endless supply of my favorite brand of ammo: Free.
Yep, big dude, little gun. This was the biggest surprise of the day for me. The Remington RM380. It wasn’t the only gun on Big Green’s table, but it interested me the most because it has a lineage to it. The design is from Rorhbaugh’s R9, with a few changes. When Rohrbaugh made it, previous to being bought out by Remington, it was a 1200$ mouse gun. The current gun comes in under 500$. There were changes made, which DanZ over at TTAG covered pretty well last December. The most important to me, was moving the magazine release to the proper place. The Rohrbaugh was a very solid design to begin with, and the “Remington Edition” lives up to the reputation well.
Shooting it, as always, is the real test. I don’t care how concealable a gun is, if it sucks to shoot it. I’ll sacrifice accuracy for comfort in a defensive gun in a heartbeat. Remember folks, if it hurts, you will not practice enough. It is a double action only with a long trigger. It is a tiny gun in my large hands. I was expecting it to sting. I expected it to bite me. And I opted to use the minimal magazine. Remington includes a mag with a pinky extension, but I wanted the stubby one. If there is a worst case scenario to fire a gun, I want to feel that.
And it shot wonderfully. No pain, no snap, no bite, no blood. Like any tiny gun it does have more pop, but recoil was easy thanks to the all steel frame. The long trigger is a safety feature, but it isn’t heavy or gritty as you come to expect on affordable pocket guns. That trigger can be staged as well. This just means that you can feel or see the point at which the trigger will soon break. Which comes in very handy. In the picture up top, Alecia caught me testing this feature. I shot 3/5 rounds on steel at twenty-five yards, with the first magazine.
To really get this point across, this gun is not meant to be shot twenty-five yards. A pocket 380, especially one that costs close to 400$, is meant to be used as a contact defense weapon. Now, I’m not saying it will ever be a target gun, but the RM380 is accurate enough to place shots perfectly at five yards. However, if I had the time with the gun and a couple boxes of decent ammo, I am certain I could have taken it out to fifty yards with “minute of bad guy” results. This is something I don’t say often about small guns. In fact, the only subcompact I have bothered trying fifty with before is the Ruger LC380. The RM380 shoots just as well, while being the size of an LCP.
If you want a little more in-depth review of the RM380, I recommend the source of the above image. Jeff Quinn at Gunblast.com did a wonderful job of it, and it may be a bit before we get one in for further testing here at NBO. While the RM380 is a bit bigger than the LCP, it isn’t in the dimensions that really matter. Now, the LCP is a more affordable gun, however, in my experience, the RM380 is more comfortable to shoot and easier to control.
I did not expect much from Remington with the RM380. Honestly, they bought a company with a proven design, and made it affordable for pretty much anybody. I expected it to be a letdown, possibly a gentle letdown, but still. And it was not. Even if you considered it to be half the gun the Rohrbaugh was, it still comes in at 1/3rd the price. The key, I believe, is in that proven design. Remington made a couple of changes, and has the mass production capability to reduce costs, and that is what happened here. It is a great little gun that exceeded my expectations.