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Remington 380 Reboot

By Gordon Meehl

When you think of Remington, pistols don’t immediately come to mind. The name Remington conjures up images of the iconographic Model700 or the equally legendary 870. Pair Remington with pistols and you’ll point to the half decade old R1 -1911. Beyond that visions of Remington compact pistols get fuzzy with the short lived and less than stellar R51. Remington, however, redeemed their non-1911 shortcomings with the introduction of the sub-compact RM 380 chambered in the titular .380ACP. This all metal hammer fired micro-pistol is a welcomed contrast to its trendy polymer framed, striker fired brethren.

The .380 round, having been developed in 1908 by John Browning, is nothing new. It is and was from its inception, a self-defense round made to be eaten by small “pocket” pistols. Originally designed for Browning’s Colt pocket sized hammerless Model 1908, the .380 is a rimless low powered cartridge, usually fed into blow-back style pistols. The diminutive .380 and the smaller pistols using the round quickly became popular for concealed carry, often as a secondary firearm. The resurgence of .380 usage in recent years has seen more and more people carrying a .380 chambered compact pistol as their primary weapon.

The RM380 is not a wholly new design, rather it’s a re-work of a Rohrbaugh R9. As with other companies (Para and AAC come to mind) Remington acquired Rohrbaugh and assimilated their culture and designs into the larger Remington family. The challenge this time however was to take a niche market, $1200 pistol and re-work it into a mass marketable but quality sub $450 .380. Remington has exceeded expectations in achieving these goals.

The design of the RM380, as a whole, still adheres to the basic principles of the Rohrbaugh R9. In a “same mother, different father” manner the two firearms have very similar dimensions. The Remington is only slightly lighter (by 1.3 oz.) and a little taller (by .16 of an inch). The liberties Remington took with the original only prove to enhance the platform and increase its fit form and function. Most notably the RM380’s grip and mag release location are...


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