5 Reasons to Check Out the Rost Martin RM1C 9 mm Pistol

This new compact, striker-fired 9 mm pistol is packed with features at a fair price.

by posted on April 1, 2024
Horman Rm Cover 1

Founded in 2020, Rost Martin is a veteran- and woman-owned gun company that operates out of Dallas, Texas. These are folks who want to support the Second Amendment by offering well-made handguns at a fair price. After years of research and development, this new company launched its first product at the 2024 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rost Martin opted to launch their pistol series with a compact chambered in 9 mm.

Dubbed the RM1C, it’s a compact-size, polymer-framed, striker-fired 9 mm pistol. Semi-automatics in this size and caliber class continue to sell well despite the more recent popularity of the so called Micro Nines. This is because they land so comfortably in the handgun “Goldilocks Zone.” They succeed at being trimmed down enough for concealed carry while still being just large enough to shoot comfortably and accept double-stack magazines that hold 15 or more rounds of ammunition.  Here are a few reasons the RM1C should garner a closer look. 

An Arex Delta Influenced Design
Building a new handgun from scratch is a difficult, expensive and time-consuming task. The number of details to work out is daunting! This is why it's a common practice for gun manufacturers to use an existing model as a starting point. Among the most commonly copied models are the M1911, CZ-75 and  Glock G19. 

This pistol ships with useful metallic sights and a grooved-top slide.

In this case, Rost Martin teamed up with the Slovenian company Arex Defense to use its polymer-framed compact Delta pistol as the initial blueprint for the RM1C. In fact, Rost Martin hasn't been shy about letting folks know that Arex is a design partner and one of the company's trusted components providers. The team has stated online that, "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." Teaming up with Arex has saved Rost Martin time and resources which is then passed along to customers with the reasonable $459 suggested retail price.

The U-notch rear sight rests behind the optics cut and above a ported slide plate with a visible cocked-striker indicator.

Although Arex is not exactly a household name here in the U.S., I've been working with their handguns since 2016 and even had an opportunity to travel to Slovenia and see their operations first hand. In short, the Arex folks really know what they are doing and do it well. However, it should be noted here that the RM1C is not a clone of the Delta series. Although the Delta DNA is clearly evident to those who know the platform, the RM1C is its own gun. It sports various unique touches that will appeal to the sensibilities of American concealed carry practitioners. 

Upgraded Sights & Optics-Ready Slide
Two of the corners that tend to get cut with budget-priced pistols are the magazines (more on them later) and sight systems. I'm glad to report that the RM1C arrives with a usable, durable set of metallic sights which are dovetailed into the slide. The serrated front sight’s bright white dot lines up with the U-notch cut into the serrated rear sight. Like a baseball into a catcher's mitt, the white dot is couched into the U-shaped notch to form the sight picture. This is one of the more intuitive sight configurations available because there is only one dot to focus on. Another nice touch is a series of glare reduction grooves along the top of the slide. This is a feature which is often omitted from modern striker-fired guns.  

The grip frame features an undercut trigger guard, all-sides texturing and interchangeable backstrap inserts.

In keeping with current trends, this pistol ships with a slide that is optics ready right out of the box. The polymer filler plate can be removed to make room for one of three in-house metallic micro red dot optics mounting plates which will accommodate most of the models available. However, to keep costs down, the mounting plates are sold separately through the Rost Martin website for $22.50 apiece. 

This pistol is relatively light with an unloaded weight of 21.1 oz.

A Full-Feature Compact
The RM1C's compact size provides enough slide and frame real estate for a variety of useful defensive handgun features. The 4” recessed crown barrel is an optimal length for use with standard pressure and +P power level 9 mm ammunition. The nitrocarburized steel alloy slide has plenty of room for two sets of deeply cut cocking serrations. The slide is also “melted,” or beveled along the muzzle and edges for a sleek appearance and easier re-holstering. The barrel's chamber has a witness hole, which serves as a loaded chamber indicator, and the slide is ported for a bright red cocked striker indicator.

The RM1C is easily disassembled for routine cleaning.

The polymer frames are available in Black (shown), FDE or Stone Gray. The dust cover is long enough for a 1.75" long 3-slot Picatinny accessory rail to support a variety of laser sight and flashlight modules. The front of the generously sized trigger guard is flattened and textured to serve as a finger rest. Above the trigger guard are right and left side textured touch points for the tip of the trigger finger. The pistol ships with a flush-fit 15-round magazine along with a second extended 17-round magazine. The magazine well is flared and beveled for faster reloading. The RM1C is on the lighter side of the compact weight range with an unloaded weight of 21.1 oz. with an empty 15-round magazine or 21.5 oz. with the 17-round magazine.

This pistol arrives with two magazines and a total of three backstrap inserts.

Control & Grip Configuration
The configuration of a pistol's controls and grip can make all of the difference when it comes to enjoyable practice sessions. And pistols that are more shootable tend to be carried and practiced with more regularly. It turns out that there is a good deal to like about these parts of the RM1C.

The comfortable grip and flat-face trigger contribute to enjoyable practice sessions.

One of my favorite features is the teardrop shaped ambidextrous magazine release button. It can be pressed from the left or the right side, rests close to the frame to avoid unintentional magazine drops and is easy to use. The slide stop is also ambidextrous. The remaining external control is the flat-faced polymer trigger with an integral blade safety lever. The double-action trigger exhibited a 4 lb., 15 oz. pull weight with a relatively short takeup and a distinctive trigger reset. 

This pistol operated reliably with all ammunition tested.

The grip features panels of moderate molded-in texturing on all four sides with smooth surfaces for the thumb and trigger finger. The trigger guard is undercut where it meets the front strap. The pistol arrives with a total of three backstrap inserts and the top of the backstrap features a short but effective beavertail extension. Overall the grip proved to be comfortable and the controls accessible. 

A Reliable Operator
At the shooting range the RM1C was put through its paces using a total of four factory magazines and a mix of practice and defense grade, standard-pressure 9 mm ammunition. This pistol reliably fed, fired and ejected every round without any malfunctions. Levels of felt recoil were typical for pistols in this class, which is to say moderate and quite manageable. Operating the controls and manually cycling the slide called for typical levels of hand strength. If you are looking for an easy-rack type action, then this may not be the pistol for you.

Formal bench-rested accuracy testing called for five 5-shot groups fired at 15 yards. Although the slide is optics ready, I wanted to work with the quick and intuitive U-notch style iron sights. Test ammunition included Hornady Critical Duty, SIG Sauer 365 and Sovereign Ammo loads. Here are the results:

Parting Shots
The Rost Martin RM1C is a rock-solid defensive pistol with a full set of popular features at a reasonable price. I tend to take an extra close look inside and out at brand new guns from fledgling manufacturers. This is because in some cases the pistols are still rough around the edges and in need of more development. This is not the case with the RM1C that I worked with. Its good looks, sturdy feel and reliable operations indicate that this is a fully mature, ready-for-market defensive pistol. Only time will tell if this brand is going catch on with the American shooting sports community. But based on this range test, the company's first offering, it's safe to say the future looks bright for Rost Martin. For more information, visit rostmartin.com.


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