How the new RM380 stacks up against KTs
Remington introduced the new RM380, essentially a redesign of the high-end Rohrbaugh R9 in a slightly smaller caliber, as their intro into the micro-pistol field of single-stack pocket guns to compete against the Ruger LCP, S&W .380 Bodyguard and, of course, the gun that really started it all-- the Kel Tec P3AT. With that in mind, let us take a look at the new 380 on the market.
What is the Rohrbaugh?
In 2000, a well-respected firearms designer by the name of Karl Rohrbaugh in Deer Park, New York, came up with a handy little pistol, the 6-shot 9mm R9, that weighed in at 13.5-ounces while staying all-metal (not polymer-framed).
They were very nice and had a number of next-level features such as using a 7075-T651 aluminum frame, all stainless internal parts cut from solid billets, carbon fiber grips, stainless slides with Robar corrosion resistant/self-lubricating finishes, recessed hammers rather than strikers, you name it. In fact, they were good enough to pick up Shooting Illustrated's 2005 "Handgun of the Year," award.
Of course, this meant the MSRP of these guns ran about $1100, but came with a lifetime warranty.
Well in 2014, as reported by Bearing Arms, Remington bought out Rohrbaugh and moved production to Bayport, New York while they cooked up a new gun based on the R9/95.
Enter the RM380
Quietly launched following the fiasco of the R51, Remington introduced the RM380 this year based on the R9 but with a few changes to include adding a slide stop, swapping out the European-style heel magazine release with a push-button one, and changing the recoil system. The result was an aluminum framed semi-auto .380 with a melted feel to it, an 8-10 pound DAO trigger with second-strike capability, good surface controls to include an ambi mag release and replaceable grip panels.
The first production batches of the RM380 came off the line this fall with a shipping date to dealers announced in late October.
Let's look at those....
Caliber .380 Auto
Magazine Capacity 6 + 1
Barrel 2.9" Stainless
Overall Width .94"
Overall Length 5.27"
Overall Height 3.86"
Trigger Pull 8-9 lbs.
Finish Satin Black Oxide
Slide Stainless Steel
Average Weight Empty 12.2 oz.
MSRP: $417 although they are running about $350~ on Gunbroker etc
Caparison to the P3AT
George Kellgren introduced the P-32 in 1999 with lessons he learned while running Grendel Firearms. In 2003, he souped up the P-32 to a slightly larger .380ACP offering dubbed the P-3AT that we know and love today.
The short recoil operated, locked breech pistol was extremely light due to its polymer frame, tipping the scales at just 8.3-ounces unloaded. In fact, with its 6+1 round magazine fully charged, the Kel Tec clocks in at 11 ounces flat-- still less than either the Rohrbaugh or the RM380 offspring. When length and width are compared, the guns are dead ringers while the barrel of the Remmy is just slightly longer.
The Kel Tecs, besides being lighter, are also less expensive and have a longer-- though not quite as custom-- a pedigree.
Still, you can bet the RM380, with its all-metal construction and host of features could be a neat gun as long as it stays more to the Rohrbaugh family line than more recent Big Green experiences. Until then, there is always the P3AT.
Jeff Quinn over at Gunblast gives his take on the RM380 below.