The gun for this review was provided by the Kentucky Gun Company.

In 2014, Remington Outdoor purchased Rohrbaugh Firearms. Considering Remington’s stewardship of other assimilated brands, devotees of Rohrbaugh’s fabulously expensive, finely-crafted pocket pistols were apprehensive. Remington soon realized their worst fears, consigning the Long Island gun brand to the dust heap of history. But not before going full Borg. Enter the RM380. It’s basically the Rohrbaugh R9 – Shooting Illustrated’s 2005 “Handgun of the Year” – made new . . .


Remington ships the all-metal RM380 with two six-round magazines, one flush and one with a pinky extension.


There’s no mistaking the RM380’s DNA. The photo above shows the RM380 spooning with a Rohrbaugh R9. Other than a little bling, they’re identical. Well, almost. As you’d expect, in their quest to convert an almost $1200 niche market pocket pistol into a competitively priced, mass-marketable self-defense gun, Remmy’s altered a few things, mostly for the better.


Remington replaced Rohrbaugh’s Eurotrash-style heel-mounted magazine release with a good ol’ traditional ambidextrous button behind the trigger guard, right where it ought to be. The relocated mag release makes for easier, quicker mag dumps and reloads. They also added some well executed checkering to the front strap for a surer grip.


In the interest of keeping their little guns as sleek and snag-free as possible, the Rohrbaughs lacked a slide stop. The resulting gun didn’t lock back when empty (obviously). The RM380’s slide stop ensures that once the hammer’s dropped on your last round, you’ll know it – without that awkward ‘click’ on an empty chamber.


Remington’s also reworked the Rohrbaugh recoil system. Rohrbaughs were notorious famous for needing a spring swap every 200 rounds (some wags called them “the gun you aren’t supposed to shoot.”) Big Green wisely subbed two nested recoil springs for the Rohrbaugh system.


Getting to those recoil springs is not as easy as one would hope. Takedown on the RM380’s a bit on the fiddly side. Remington included an addendum to the manual telling owners that holding the gun ejection port up (i.e., gangsta style) and moving the slide back slowly will release the takedown pin enough to remove it. No such luck. The pin on my T&E gun dropped slightly, but not enough to grab and remove it.

I needed a paperclip to push the pin free. On one level, that’s a good thing. If merely aligning the hole in the slide with the pin caused the pin to drop free, that could happen when you really don’t want it to (especially if you’re a gangsta). Still, takedown’s an issue.


Like most safety-less pocket guns (and the Rohrbaughs before it) the RM380’s got a long trigger pull. How long? If I were to aim the gun downrange and pull the trigger you’d have enough time to check your email before it launched lead. While the RM380’s bangswitch isn’t as buttery as its forebear, it’s noticeably smoother than most mouse guns. Smith & Wesson Airweight fans won’t be jelly, but owners of the class-dominating Ruger LCP might turn slightly green. So to speak.

As with all of its competitors (e.g., the aforementioned Ruger LCP, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard and Kel-Tec P3AT), the RM380’s trigger’s re-set is a bit of an issue. There isn’t one. No audible or felt re-set point. An RM380 shooter has to let the trigger all the way out before squeezing off a follow-up shot. If you short-stroke the gun, you ain’t got nothing. Avoiding that unfortunate outcome takes regular training.


I brought our RM380 sample to the range and fed it everything you see above — an assortment of rounds from cheap cheap range reloads to premium self-defense ammo. In all, I pulled the trigger more than 500 times on little gun. It shot everything I threw at it — or into it — without complaint. I fired the RM380 in about every position I could imagine. That potentially troublesome pin caused no troubles whatsoever.

Thanks to the RM380’s re-set, or complete lack thereof, I found myself slapping the mouse gun’s trigger. Or, yes, short-stroking it. With a little practice, I could keep my finger on the go-pedal and fire reasonably fast follow-ups and double-taps. Under stress . . . who knows?


As far as accuracy is concerned, you needn’t be. Concerned, that is. With its fixed, low profile, snag-free sights, the RM380 delivers minute of bad guy good terminal ballistics, which is all you need in a pocket gun.

Rohrbaugh’s little pistols had a devoted following. Big Green’s version removes the defunct New York gun’s biggest (smallest?) problem: the 200-round recoil spring replacement issue. The “new” gun also puts the design well within reach of the average gun buyer. While the tiny nine market has sucked a lot of oxygen out of the once-fashionable .380 market, the RM380 is an almost perfectly suitable alternative to the established players.


Caliber: .380 auto
Capacity: 6+1
Action: DAO
Overall length: 5.27″
Barrel Length: 2.9″
Overall height: 3.86″
Pull weight: 8-9 lbs.
Weight (empty): 12.2 oz.
Price: $417 (MSRP), about $360 street

Ratings (out of five stars):

Build quality: * * * * *
Steel slide and barrel, metal frame. A solid, nicely executed deep conceal or backup gun.

Ergonomics (carry): * * * *
Slightly chunkier (wider) than its primary competitors — think LCP, Bodyguard 380 and P3AT. Still eminently pocketable.

Ergonomics (shooting): * * * *
No mouse gun is fun to shoot, but the RM380’s added thickness fills the hand which reduces felt recoil and makes emptying a few mags at the range more than tolerable. You’ll need to practice with that trigger.

Customize this: * *
You can replace the grip panels and add a laser. That’s it.

Reliability: * * * * *
Rock solid.

Overall: * * * *
One star deducted for the RM380’s long trigger pull and fiddly takedown. Still, Remington bought a proven design and made it better and cheaper.

The gun for this review was provided by the Kentucky Gun Company.

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74 Responses to Gun Review: Remington RM380

  1. Let’s see here…

    Did Remington have anything at all to do with the manufacture of that weapon?

    Is that a yes?

    I wouldn’t touch it with Dirk’s 10-foot pole…


  2. Anyone giving a review of the RM380 with no mention of it’s predecessor the ill-fated R1 is mis-leading the public. Is the RM380 the R1? We don’t know yet, but it is certainly at the very least a buyer beware situation. The R1 was an unmitigated pathetic quality control, poorly tested disaster, that was doomed for failure. Any company that would release that kind of pistol to the public without the proper R & D deserves a pause before any kind of endorsement on a similar new product. Is it possible they got it right? Perhaps, but the R1 was Remmingtons first venture in more than a few decades in the SD handgun market and it was VERY wrong. And it’s not like they’ve been hitting home runs in QC in their existing market products.

    • Exactly. Any product from any Freedom Arms Group company is to be considered flawed, until that has been thoroughly debunked via extensive testing. I personally have not see a single product come out of Remington or Marlin in years that I would buy for half price, new in box. Quality control is now 1970-80s GM.

      We all knew this was coming when Cerberus got involved, let alone putting Nardelli at the helm. The only interesting part of this deal is I can’t really figure the exit strategy at all. The angry puppy has long since trimmed the fat, lean, and has been shaving bone out of these once proud companies for a while now. They’re all just coasting on their long-expired reputations, who is gonna buy the husk? It’s gonna take a ton of time and CapEx to undo all of the doggie damage.

      Unlike their other plays, the Fed or some rival is not going to have the readies to snap up the corpse.

    • While I agree that “buyer beware” is advised when buying anything from the Freedom Group, the origins of this pistol and the R51 are vastly different. The R51 was an all-new design from Remington. The RM380 is a mildly-refreshed version of the Rorbaugh that had been in production for more than a decade by the time Remington bought the company in 2014. Could Remmy have f’ed it up royally? Possibly, but it doesn’t sound like they’ve fundamentally changed the design, so that seems unlikely.

      • They don’t have to change the design, they just have to put them together as pathetically ill-finished as they have every Remmy or Marlin I’ve seen NIB for the last 2+ years. I’ve seen many between friends and shows – look like they were made by Soviets. During a war.

        YT is replete with vids of for instance, Marlin lever actions, a gun that used to be very nice, now a complete pile of junk. Stocks not fitted, action feels like its full of sand.

  3. Meh-the name Remington ruins it(for me). Odd you mentioned competition without the one’s with the best triggers-Taurus TCP. Or Kahr. 8 or 9 pounds is awful but still a good review.

  4. Hard to figure out why the original cost over 1k…especially with the 200 rnd spring replacement…still wouldn’t touch a freedom group firearm for anything.

    • I have an original Rohrbaugh R9. I also know the man that designed it. The original intention for this gun was to be a backup piece for Officers and for LEOs that needed a small powerful concealed carry. Those who complained about the springs failing at the range never got that. It’s not a range gun. That said, Remington bought the company and did some nice redesign work. They also screwed the guys that designed it in the first place. As for why the cost was so high on the Rohrbaugh compared to the Remington? That’s easy. Rohrbaugh built them one at a time with limited machinery. Remington has the ability to mass produce.

  5. I got one too and like it. I think the RM380 is an indication that Remington has seen the error in its ways and is taking measures to change, like moving production to Alabama, to increase value and try and regain consumer trust.

    • They’ve got a long way to go.

      What they did in general is inexcusable. What they did to Marlin is– for me at least– pretty damn near unforgivable.

  6. They are about a decade late. With all the P3AT/LCP/TCP/Bodyguards/etc. out there, who cares about another pocket .380. That is a niche that we have already filled. Heck, the micro pocket 9 fad is already almost as saturated as the .380 market. Maybe Remington should focus on actually making quality 870’s and 700’s.

    • +1. They have ruined their reputation in handguns. About the only stupid move left is to ruin their reputation in 870s and 700s. Wait, they ruined the trigger in the 700s, right? Maybe they should outsource the 870s to the Turks and call it a day…

  7. count me as another reader who arrived here for the reviews.
    most everyone here is aware of big green’s recent foibles under fg.
    if dan says this one (the one kg supplied…) works, then there’s your guntruth.
    elsewhere it will receive mostly rave reviews and adorn the cover of some gun porn magazine(s).
    .380 is hotter than .25 or .32 and this is priced well.
    this should sell. i won’t buy it because p938.

    i’m still upset about the new marlins. the .357 and .44 are legal for indiana deer and i want something in .45- 70 or .444.

    • I’ve been hankering after a marlin in .45-70 for a while. And by hankering, I mean drooling over pictures of them in Gun Digest. Darn near ruined the page.

      • find an older one. the new midsize hooplevers look great on the outside…
        or a henry… did savage make one?
        my brother has a contender in .45- 70. i declined his offer to shoot it a second time.

        • Savage made one of the best, the Model 99, rotary mag so it can use pointed bullets, and came in high-pressure calibers like .308 and .308’s daddy, .300 Savage. My dad picked up a beautiful made in 1953 example chambered in .300 Savage at a yard sale in Fla. about two years ago for $300.

      • I bought A Marlin 45-70 classic as a Christmas present for myself in DEC 2015. It is a well put together, decent gun for the money (paid $599). Not the slickest action in the world but very usable. If you shoot Cowboy you may want to smooth it up but for hunting it’s fine the way it is. With the right load it’s nuts on accurate. Apparently they worked out the kinks in the new manufacturing process.

    • P938 is a nice firearm for a Sig, but like all the Sigs I’ve owned, I had a problem with it, actually two of them. After the first outing, the night sight vile in the front sight was missing (that is correct, it blew out somewhere during shooting). About a month ago, I noticed something I thought was unusual about the guide rod, but upon inspection it seemed to be okay, so I thought. Came to find out a few days later upon racking the slide that it was not okay. The guide rod flew out! I didn’t realize it was a two piece unit and had been unscrewing while firing it. It had finally reached the last thread and shot out; thankfully while not actually using it. Since then I have used pliers to reattach it and it has not budged yet. Only shot it about 75 rounds since then however. I don’t like thinking I am going have to recheck this on a regular basis; should be one piece. As for the RM380, I like it a lot, even owning the P938.

  8. The R9 was sort of special, a 9mm that was just slightly bigger than the competition’s 380s.

    But the RM380 is a 380 that’s slightly bigger than a 380, so what’s the point?

    • +1
      The R9 was an achievement. The RM380 is the equivalent of Homer carving his chili eating spoon out of a bigger spoon.

      • *applause for comment of the day

        This is more like the LC380 than the LCP; a 380 chambering of an existing 9mm design. But if Remington tried to keep it a 9mm, maybe the recoil spring would still need changing and the gun wouldn’t be reliable.

        • The RM380 is closer in weight and size to the LCP than the LC380. The LC380 weighs 5 ounces more and is about .75″ longer. The LCP is less than .25″ shorter in length and only weighs about 2.5 ounces less than the RM380. The barrel length of the RM is right in between the two and in height it is again closer to the LCP than the LC380. I guess Remington did their homework quite well. They created are marketing one firearm to replace two Ruger models with a bias toward the pocket carry size of the LCP, and due to the alloy frame, recoil closer to the LC380; guess you could call it the best of both worlds.

  9. The author’s worries of the roll pin working its way out, there is one at a local shop here that when you rack back the slide and shake it a bit, the roll pin simply falls out.

    One mishap after another for this company. Unfortunate for a company that could have been great.

    • That’s what the manual says is supposed to happen (when moving the slide back slowly). They claim, however, that the pin will not come out during normal firing, whatever the position. And that was my experience.

    • Of course, in typical Remington style, they left out the small piece of wire, which even Kel-Tec had designed in from day 1.

      • Ironically, many owners put so-called “hitch pin” with straight shank in and thus disable the wire on Kel-Tec’s larger guns. But as you said, at least they put it in. Perhaps this way Remington saved a few cents.

        Glock 42 has a similar pin, which has grooves almost exactly like Kel-Tec designed, but they cleverly used the slide stop as a retaining clip, which removes a need for separate wire. A nameless engineer upstaged GeorgeK in Smyrna (unless it’s an idea dating back to Gaston himself — I’m not familiar enough with historic Glocks).

    • Speaking of… I’ve had at least one dud round in each of the last 2 boxes of Core-Lokt I’ve shot. One might say it adds to the suspense of squeezing the trigger on a trophy in your crosshairs.

  10. “Eurotrash”?… you slob. I’m an American and I guess it’s only mildly, sometimes derogatory, but it’s unprofessional.

        • How is the term ‘Eurotrash’ not an accurate description of a person many of us know?

          How is describing someone/something to fit a metric being an ‘asshole’?

        • I actually would prefer heal mag release. It may be slower but you will almost never drop the mag by accident. And in the design of a gun which is up close and self defense i would say give me 100% reliable over a little speed.

  11. I find it hard to trust anything Remington says or does . All this issues with their products . I got burned on my ACR rifle ,no barrels no parts no nothing 2.5K paper weight . I would never believe a thing they or Bushmaster ever say because you know it is False

  12. “As with all of its competitors (e.g., the aforementioned Ruger LCP, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard and Kel-Tec P3AT), the RM380’s trigger’s re-set is a bit of an issue. There isn’t one. “

    My Taurus TCP has a very audible and tactile reset. It doesn’t come until the trigger is almost all the way forward, but it is quite noticeable. The TCP has an excellent trigger for a $200 mouse gun.

  13. How can one do a concealed carry gun review and not mention the surface treatment?! For something that’s going to be exposed to the rigors of daily life, it’s nice to know how much it’s going to have to be babied (or not).

    • Would that Oriental massage be in a place with aluminum foil covering the windows? if so, I’m “in” !

  14. OK, for gun buyers, riddle me this:

    What’s this gun have that a CZ-83 doesn’t have? Besides probably a better trigger, an external slide-mounted safety and a hammer (part of why it probably has a better trigger), I mean?

    • Not sure what you’re getting at. The CZ-83 and this thing aren’t really in the same category. The CZ is an inch bigger in height and length, and the grip is definitely going to be much wider. The CZ weighs more than twice as much as the RM380. And they don’t make CZ-83s anymore, so you can’t buy one new.
      Apples and oranges.

      • They’re both .380’s and they’re both under $400. After that, the differences start to become personal preferences, I guess. Once we’re into dealing with .380’s, you’re into dealing with a marginal defensive round, so you might as well get the gun you can shoot the best.

        • Well, if that’s your criteria, then OK. I’m rather sanguine on pistol weight, mostly because I like pistols with heavier rounds. I’ve put my Glock 36 into a homemade pocket holster and carried it that way, but pocket carry isn’t my preference because of how it prints when I sit down. I’d much rather carry a snubbie in a pocket because when it prints, people just think I’m some sort of pervert instead of a gun snob. 😉

        • Isn’t that kind of like saying that the differences between a Toyota Tacoma and a Mini Cooper are just down to personal preference, since they’re both under $30,000 and have 4-cylinder engines?

    • External safety on a carry pistol is a dumb idea. So CZ loses here. If they built a DAO RAMI (like SiG does with DAK), it would be interesting, but they don’t.

      • The CZ-83 has that covered here, actually. The safety on the 82/83 models can’t be engaged unless the hammer is cocked. So if you’re carrying DA/SA, the safety can’t accidentally engage and trip you up. If you’re carrying cocked-and-locked, then presumably you’ve trained yourself to flick off the safety on the draw.

        It’s the only pistol I’ve ever used that has that particular either/or manual of arms.

  15. As with all of its competitors (e.g., the aforementioned Ruger LCP, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard and Kel-Tec P3AT), the RM380’s trigger’s re-set is a bit of an issue. There isn’t one. No audible or felt re-set point. An RM380 shooter has to let the trigger all the way out before squeezing off a follow-up shot. If you short-stroke the gun, you ain’t got nothing. Avoiding that unfortunate outcome takes regular training.

    The trigger action was a big reason I stayed away from all of those when I was shopping for a pocket gun. If I’m actually pulling the pocket .380, it means that I went out dressed up all fancy like to the nice part of town and things took a hard left turn anyway. Remembering that the trigger reset is all sketchy is not something I want to have to do at that point….

    The Kahr .380’s trigger has a nice reset, I’ll give it that. (As, of course, does the GLOCK 42….)

  16. I was quite intrigued, but the gun is just a little too small for me. Also, a funny thing happened: by checking it out in the store, I managed to jam the gun solid in halfway-racked position. I decided not to commit to RM380 for now. It would be interesting to see if Remington make longer magazines, like SiG does with P290RS. With the magazine release relocated, they can do that.

  17. I would like to know if this review was a production piece or one sent by Remington to be reviewed.
    All the RM51 that were prodotype had glowing reviews and worked great, the production pieces were garbage. Remington lost a lot of cred on that debacle. Course they also had the Remington 700 trigger issue. Funny, I have 4 700s that I bought new and filled out the registration cards and mailed in and have not been contacted on the recall.
    Of course Taurus and savage have had a couple of black eyes lately too. Even glock had some problems on their new 42 that warranted new frame and magazine design.
    Guess it’s what happens when you put price point and profit as first priority.
    Price on this is just a tad lower than where I always thought the r9 should have hit. Never understood why anyone would pay 1200+ for a rhohbar. Sorry is that offends any of the r9 fanboys, but they seemed way overpriced for what you got to me, but that good for you cause I won’t be competing for nos , like new or even shooters for you collectors.

  18. It is important to remember that the gun review was written by a gun retailer. Here are some important points that they “missed”.

    1. The slide and the slide stop have a black oxide finish, not a nitrided (e.g. melonite) finish. The black oxide finish on the slide stop was already wearing off on the display models I looked at. If S&W can give us a melonited slide on the Shield for a $449 list price, Remington should be able to do the same with this smaller RM380 gun that has a list price of $417.

    2. The reviewer’s remark about the RM380’s trigger reset is essentially a false issue. This is a hammer fired mouse gun, not a striker fired one, and that is one reason why there is no early trigger reset. The long pull of the trigger is also not an issue in a pocket gun. Rather, the BIG issue is that the trigger on the RM380 breaks at the most rearward position possible, just before hitting the trigger guard frame. In order for the trigger to travel to that position, your trigger finger will be in an awkward, unnatural position if you use the pad of your finger to pull the trigger. Less so if you pull the trigger using the crease of your finger. IMHO, this is the glaring shortcoming of the gun.

    3. If you are an old timer who does not like MIM (Metal Injection Molding) parts in a gun, then looking at the very visible molding line on the hammer will give you a headache. The molding line can be seen in one of the pictures in the review.

    4. One of the positive points missed in nearly every review of this gun is that the slide is easier to rack on the RM380 versus competing mouse guns such as the Ruger LCP and Beretta Pico. I believe that feature alone will attract many woman to the gun who worry about having the hand strength to manipulate the slide.

    5. It is also important to mention that on the 3 RM380s I handled, the slide to rail fit was surprisingly very good and smooth. And while the trigger pull is long, it was very smooth with a fairly even pull weight throughout the pulling action.

  19. As a retired LEO , and licensed dealer my only concerns with all these small semi autos. Is the buyer learn what ever they purchase. I have Keltec in both 380 and 32 cal. , they have been great deep cover guns., but only after I put 500 rounds through each not on just paper scenarios.

  20. Recently bought the RM380 as it is safe as a snub nose revolver, fits it the pocket, light weight, more rounds, and big enough to shoot reasonably well. After a limited test of 125 rounds of various 380 ammo I have only one issue when pulling the trigger just using the pad on my finger. It became a little sore but this is not a range gun. Accuracy and speed was as good as me shooting a snub nose. I also painted the front sight which helped in the poor light at the range. If the RM380 holds up and stays reliable Remington has a winner. I see lots of opportunities for different finishes, colors. etc.

  21. Picked up an RM380 first week of November; first one I know of in the Seattle market. So far I’ve been out 3x’s and shot 300 rounds. A combination of FMJ’s, HP and Hornady FTX rounds; all without one hiccup. Feels nice, less recoil than the LCP and I like the slide hold open feature after the last round (unlike the LCP). Hope fully they’ll release an extended mag than holds 1 more round and offer some alternative grip panels shortly. Still as it is, I like it a lot and certainly recommend checking it out, if you are in the market for a 380 pocket pistol. As for the R51, I have one, it has not been the disaster that everyone speaks of. Yes, I have had a few issues, but considering I haven’t broken it in entirely (as many say it takes 500 rounds for most firearms) I still need to shoot another 100. It is actually a very accurate weapon and comfortable to hold and shoot. Supposedly they are releasing a new version of it this year sometime, if they do, and offer the ability to trade it in; I will likely take them on it, it’s a nice gun and would be great if it were totally flawless.

  22. The size and weight of this gun is almost the same as a Kahr CM9 9mm which I bought new for $325 last year.

  23. Who in their right mind could possibly entertain this rehashed Rohrbaugh after the R51 debacle? 380 is a junk round but you are better off with a LCP or G42 than this junker.

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