Hey Remington, why Didn't you Mention This?

Dec. 17, 2019
A review of the Remington RP 45 revealed a surprising innovation

When I began my review of Remington’s RP 45, I was ready to dismiss this as a routine look at a typical semi auto trying to elbow its way into the market. At the conclusion of this review, I finished with, “Hey Remington, why didn’t you mention this?” The truth is, the RP45 separates itself from almost all other products with a simple innovation. 

The Remington RP45 is a striker fired, tilt barrel, locked breech, autoloading pistol designed to fire the .45 Auto cartridge. It has a slim polymer frame, generous front and rear slide serrations, and drift adjustable sights. The slide and barrel have a durable PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating, which adds hardness, durability and corrosion and chemical resistance.

Remington set out to make this particular handgun universal in design. It has an ambidextrous slide release, which was easier to reach than most similar duty guns.

This gun is easier to handle for smaller hands. It has a choice of three removable back straps. There is a trigger finger groove cut into both sides of the grip level with the trigger. This creates a taper toward the trigger and accommodates almost any sized hand. Since steering a gun relies on the web of the hand and the pinched thumb and the index finger, we found it pointed rather intuitively.

I like a little more texture in my grips than the stock material, so I added a Traction Grips overlay. These are die-cut rubberized decals that are easy to apply. I used alcohol to clean the surface, then sealed the grip with a hairdryer after applying.

The RP45 has a generous beaver tail and a relief cut below the trigger guard that brings the master grip about as high as one can go on a gun. I was shooting 200- and 230-grain practice rounds through it, and switched back and forth between my Glock 19 and my RP45. The felt recoil of my 45 was similar to a 9mm. I know the RP45 is bigger, but it only weighs 26 ounces.

There is nothing in the instruction manual about swapping the magazine release for left- and right-hand shooters, but I can guarantee that this is a possibility. The cut out and spring location suggests that it was set up for ambidextrous operation.

My RP45 does have a consistent trigger, which is under 6 pounds. It uses center blade safety, which prevents it from being fully pressed to the rear unless a finger is on it. There is also a striker safety and assembly which prevents the firing pin from contacting the cartridge unless the trigger is depressed and accidental firing if the gun is dropped.

Striker fired handguns make a distinct sound when dry fired. The RP45 makes that sound, which echoes a little inside the slide, and it took me by surprise the first time I heard it. Now that I have dry fired his gun a couple of hundred times I’m quite used to it. The trigger has a very short reset and a fairly crisp a break for a combat trigger.

Remington calls the magazines “easy loading.” When I first tested them, I was concerned that “easy loading” meant “questionable reliability.” After several hundred rounds through this gun so far without a hitch—they meant easy. It feels like there’s not much spring pressure when one is filling them up. Forty-five caliber rounds are fatter and it takes a lot of space to put 15 rounds into one, which is taken up by quite a bit of magazine spring. This is pretty good engineering on their part, especially since the magazine has a long taper up to the feed lips. It’s very easy to find the magazine well in the gun. The magazines are also easy to disassemble and maintain.

Remington has added some features that make the RP 45 a better handgun. First, it has front and rear serrations. It is easy to press check, and clearing stoppages are a breeze. I didn’t have any, but I trained for them. Second, it has boxy sights with a hook on the back of the rear sight, making one-hand slide racking routine. Third, it has a generous rail under the dust cover. I’m not very big on mounting things on my firearm, but I put a Streamlight TLR-2 on this one, making it a handy defensive gun to have around the house.

The slide is pretty simple. It has an external extractor, which is easily replaced by punching out a pin. The extractor has a loaded chamber indicator. The top of the slide is matte black, which reduced reflection in our face when shooting in the cruel summer sun of the Central Valley.

The RP45 is conventionally rifled, and my reloads worked well in it. Since I have had this gun for a few months, I can promise that reliability is outstanding. It is not ammunition finicky, and I can practice cheaply with lead or plated ammunition.

Although I had to drift the sights a little, the accuracy was above average. It’s not a target gun, but I could hit anything I intended at ranges less than 25 yards. The short trigger reset allowed for quick shot strings. I tested Remington Duty ammunition a few years back and it was one of the best post-barrier tests I have done. I had some, but not enough to complete a test. Remington has a new Golden Saber Black Belt ammunition, which is an improved version of the one I tested. I anticipate that it will give outstanding performance.

The biggest surprise I had was when I disassembled the gun. There was only a single pin in the frame to remove operational parts. I put my RP45 into an Apex Armorer’s Block and punched it out. It was then I realized the brilliance of this design. All of the fire control parts came out of the frame in a single chassis-like assembly. Remington has achieved the new goal of firearms design, and said absolutely nothing about it. The fire control parts are fixed in the frame by the front pin and a recess above the beavertail. Everything comes out, including the trigger. In one piece. It’s all self-contained.

What does this imply? This means that Remington has an opportunity to provide molded polymer grips to meet any tactical situation, from subcompact, to carbine, and anything in between. Other manufacturers have done this with astounding success. Remington has mastered this, and not said anything about it. In fact, I’ve read dozens of reviews on this gun and haven’t seen anybody say anything about this. This is big.

Imagine an agency adopting a duty firearm that shoots cartridges of confidence, whose parts are easily interchanged, which makes it an armorer’s dream. Imagine, over the working life of an employee, duty assignments change, and therefore appropriate firearms needs change also. This gun can do it all.

If I didn’t mention, the RP45 is exactly the same platform as the RP9, which is this gun in 9mm. I have shot both, but .45 Auto is more fun, so I stuck with a .45.

I found the RP45 to be powerful, accurate, reliable, and ergonomics. I have only one question: Remington, why didn’t you mention this?  

About the Author

Officer Lindsey Bertomen (ret.), Contributing Editor

Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California, where serves as a POST administrator and firearms instructor. He also teaches civilian firearms classes, enjoys fly fishing, martial arts, and mountain biking. His articles have appeared in print and online for over two decades. 

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