“Trust, but verify.”
Although The Gipper (aka, Pres. Ronald Reagan) said those words in reference to the Soviet Union, they also apply to any gun you intend to use for self-defense. The Remington RM380 Micro Pistol passed its trust qualification with flying colors for me earlier last year, out in the desert at Gunsite Academy.
I shot it again recently, in West Virginia, and afterward I sat down with the engineer who developed the gun to find out why Remington wanted to create this firearm, which will appeal to the burgeoning women’s market.
“We didn’t set out to make a gun that was a ‘woman’s’ or a ‘man’s gun,’” said Daniel Cox, Senior Product Manager for Handguns, “but I do have a very petite wife who tends to carry a very small gun that she struggles with … so I took the opportunity to see the things firsthand—small caliber, double action, lightweight, slim and heavy slide racking—that all equate to a gun that can be vicious to shoot.”
“It was clear to me what my wife’s problems with a small gun were, and then, talking to women in the industry, they all seemed consistent,” added Cox. “Everything that makes this gun more user friendly for anybody that doesn’t have the upper body strength or hand dexterity that sometimes a larger guy has, it’s all better for them. It doesn’t detract from the usability for a guy like me, either,” he continued.
At the West Virginia shoot, we fired a few rounds downrange, but at the aforementioned desert outing, we shot those little pocket pistols in Gunsite-directed drills for two days. One among us even fail-tested it, and it wore out his trigger finger before we saw any failure from the gun. Indeed, Remington’s engineers claim the gun will handle at least 7500 rounds—at least 2.5 times longer than the average pocket pistol.
The RM380 comes in all-metal construction with a light double-action-only (DAO) trigger. Lefties will appreciate the ambidextrous magazine release, and if you want, you can replace its grip panels for further customization. While on the subject of the grip, the angle and ample checkering worked well for the other women and for me. The guys certainly hit their targets in good, tight groups and never complained that their guns slipped away from them—which makes me think Remington found a great middle-of-the-road-pleasing carry gun here.
The RM380 comes with a slightly extended beavertail, which also kept my hand on the grip and especially made it easy to find an accurate hold when drawing from a holster. The trigger guard—designed and undercut so that a shooter can hold on higher on the front strap—also contributed to being able to maintain a firm grip on this gun.
Features like a 2.9-inch 416 stainless steel barrel (the longest in its class) and aluminum frame (in all-metal construction) make this firearm particularly appealing for hot-weather carry. And the sights? Low lying and snag free, they are what you would expect on a micro carry gun.
Petite women and some seniors will appreciate the light force it takes to rack the slide back, and when you’ve fired the last round, the slide stays back. No guessing required as to whether you’ve emptied the magazine and cleared the chamber. You can check easily. You can also pull the slide back easily, thanks to the wide, positive cocking serrations. The grip handles can be replaced.
Also, the RM380 weighs 12.2 ounces and comes with an angled trigger with a 10-pound trigger pull. The magazine holds 6 rounds.
We shot the RM380 from 3, 5 and 7 yards in speed drills, in a competition shoot-off at about 15 yards and in several stimuli drills. If the bullet flew off the center of mass, I knew it meant operator error on my part—moving and not adjusting my aim properly, which is something I need to work on.
We also performed the Dozier drill at about 15 yards, where we had to shoot at four opponents quickly. The opponents—pepper poppers of steel—kept going down faster and faster, as we improved our abilities to hit and move on.
We also spent time in the shoot house, learning to clear it room by room and looking for the "bad guy." Talk about a wee bit of pressure, with the instructor’s hand always on the shooter’s shoulder and danger around every corner.
Remington shipped the RM380, chambered in 380 Auto, recently and it should be in stores near you now. It comes with the following accouterments:
- Custom foam-cut box
- 6-round flush magazine
- 6-round extended magazine
- RM380 owner’s manual
- Pistol lock
- MSRP: $417
The RM380 is also available with a Micro Crimson Trace red laser, for $609.