Compact pistols are still a favored choice for many regarding CCW pistols. Even if you haven’t drunk the micro-compact KoolAid yet, you probably know there are now many options out there that fit this specific niche for concealed carriers. Rost Martin, a relatively new firearms company that started up less than 5 years ago, has decided to release their first firearm, the RM1C, as a full-featured and affordable alternative to the healthy lineup of compact carry pistols. Rost Martin is a veteran-owned company based out of Dallas, Texas, and just like anything else Texans do, Rost Martin intends to do things big with the RM1C pistol. Rost Martin claims that their handgun has gone through an extensive amount of durability and reliability tests surviving 50,000 rounds in addition to debris and drop tests. I just received my first copy of the handgun and although I haven’t fired it yet, I wanted to give everyone here at the blog a closer look at the handgun to help showcase what I think stands out about this new compact pistol.
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FIRST LOOK: The New Rost Martin RM1C: Affordable and American
- Color: Black, Gray, FDE
- Frame: Black Polymer
- Grip Width: 1.1 inches
- Length: 7.1 inches
- Slide: Nitrocarburized steel slide
- Barrel: 4 inch, hammer-forged
- Rear Sight: Black serrated
- Front Sight: White dot
- Magazines Included: One 15 round, one 17 round
- Weight: 21.1 ounces w/15-round magazine
- Trigger: Double Action Striker (DAS), +/- 5 pound weight
- Height: 5 inches with 15-round magazine
- Optics: RMR mounting plate included with the gun
- MSRP: $459.00
The Rost Martin RM1C comes with a whole lot of features, which is something I feel like we got away from at the start of the new micro-compact craze just a handful of years ago. The RM1C comes in a nice black cardboard box with a minimalist design. Inside you’ll find your RM1C, two additional grip backstraps, a single RMR-compatible optics plate, one 15-round magazine, and an additional 17-round magazine featuring a pinky extension.
I was pleased to see that both the slide stop and magazine release are ambidextrous, forward slide serrations are present on the RM1C and they’re quite aggressive and cut deep into the slide. The grip texture on the pistol is somewhere between the sub-par Glock OEM grip texture, and the absolutely abrasive S&W 2.0 series grip.
A lot of you will be surprised to hear that even though the RM1C doesn’t take Glock magazines, it does take CZ P10 pattern magazines meaning you can pick up spares on the cheap. In addition to the magazine compatibility, the RM1C comes standard with a flared magazine well. The RM1C already comes with its own RMR-compatible optics plate along with matching hardware, as well as a dust cover three-slot Picatinny rail for use with weapon-mounted lights. Additional mounting plates are available for virtually every modern red dot on the market.
Fit, Finish, and Polish – What does $100 American get you?
It’s no secret, mostly because Rost Martin will 100% admit it. The RM1C is definitely inspired by the Arex Delta M2. In fact, Rost Martin has gone as far as to say that they and Arex are design partners for the RM1C and Arex is one of several trusted suppliers for “certain parts” of the RM1C. The following quote was posted in the comments section of a video review of the RM1C, directly from the Rost Martin team.
We’ve been seeing some questions and comments about this, so we’re happy to answer this for you! The Delta is an amazing pistol. Arex is actually one of our design partners and trusted suppliers for certain parts of the pistol, and the Delta was our baseline inspiration behind our new RM1C platform. We have a great relationship with them, as we do with all of our suppliers. We designed our RM1C totally with the American consumer in mind, and it’s been crucial to us from the very beginning that we produced the RM1C in America at a competitive price point. Collaborating with other companies allows this to be accomplished.
The RM1C comes in at a $459 MSRP but I’m already seeing it at big box stores for about $420. But are you getting your $420 worth of gun from the RM1C? Starting with the polymer frame I figure that the material they used for the frame is about as durable as whatever Glock, SIG, and Smith & Wesson are using. The magwell is somewhat flexible, as is virtually any polymer-framed striker-fired pistol. The handgun features four total exposed roll pins, but the only one you probably need to worry about is the one at the back of the handgun which holds the replaceable backstrap in place. The trigger guard is quite large and would easily fit a gloved hand in it, this is an area that I have always thought that the Glock 48/43X (my daily carry) could improve on, and it is one that the Rost Martin integrates well into its frame for a modern look.
The handgun disassembles almost the same as a Glock with the slide coming slightly forward and then up off of the guide rails. Inside you’ll find your typical striker-fired fare of parts. A lot of the interior looks so familiar that I wouldn’t even begin to be able to tell you what aftermarket triggers, transfer bars, or other small parts might be compatible with the handgun – if any. With the design and some parts being derived from the Arex pistol, I would imagine some aftermarket parts are already in the works for this gun. The included trigger is flat-faced with a small hook at the end of the trigger shoe. The trigger breaks at around 5 pounds and doesn’t feature the typical gritty creep that you’re probably used to with your Glock. The RM1C’s trigger simply has about 1/4 inch of somewhat stiff takeup, with a clean wall and break at 4 pounds, at least according to my scale.
Finally, the included sights are metal and are of the rear U-notch type. I’m not a huge fan of U-notch rear sights but for what it’s worth, Rost Martin says that their handgun is sighted in at the factory from 15 yards using a center hold or “6 O’Clock” hold. Since the opportunity presented itself, I went ahead and mounted the Trijicon RMR HD and one of my spare Streamlight TLR-1 HL weapon lights to finish kitting out the pistol before we got to testing.
So far the RM1C looks like it might have a case for being one of the best new options on the market if you’re just getting ready to buy a new carry pistol. The gun carries 15 rounds in a flush fit magazine, has the same footprint as the Glock 48 with just a bit of extra width, and of course, it’s optics ready, weapon light ready, and comes in at an asking price of just $459. This seems like a ton of value given that this handgun is made (or at least primarily assembled) in the USA. Other similarly equipped handguns typically start pricing at the $550 plus mark which makes this offering more appealing to those on a tighter budget, who may be looking for a handgun that can accommodate a weapon light and red dot optic.
If you’re already convinced you want one, you can pick one up now in either black, FDE, or grey for about $420 or less depending on the website. Holsters are also already available from a variety of manufacturers depending on your style and carry preferences.
So far I’m reasonably satisfied with what I’m seeing from the Rost Martin RM1C. The price is right, the features are all there, and it’s coming from an American company who are looking to impress everyone with their very first offering on the market. If the handgun holds up to some typical range abuse, and a healthy amount of rounds down range without any problems, the RM1C just might be one of the hottest new releases in the handgun market for 2024.
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