Review: 2018 Remington RP45
The .45 ACP dates back to 1905, when John Browning designed it for then prototype Colt semi-auto. It was Brigadier General John T. Thompson that was most influential in its adoption. Thompson was a pioneer in assessing ammunition effectiveness by using human cadavers, living and dead horses, and live cattle, the Thompson–LaGarde Tests of 1904. The 11.5 mm bullet diameter does not need expansion to be effective and the Chicago, Illinois stockyard testing results included the following.
“All of the bullets used in the experiments lodged in the body, so that every particle of energy was delivered with each bullet. The animals invariably dropped to the ground when shot from three to five times with the larger caliber Colt’s revolver bullets, and they failed in every instance to drop when as many as ten shots of the smaller jacketed bullets from the Colt’s automatic and Luger pistol had been delivered against the lungs or abdomen. This failure on the part of the automatic pistols of small caliber set to rest at once the claims of the makers that the superior energy and velocity of their weapons was a controlling factor in stopping power. The Board was of the opinion that a bullet which will have the shock effect and stopping power at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver should have a caliber not less than .45. .”
The pistol of interest is the .45 ACP version of the 9mm Remington RP9. It is 1.27 inches wide, has a 4.5 inch barrel, weighs 26.4 ounces unloaded, and comes with a pair of 15 round double stack magazines. It is the spitting image of the Remington RP9 9mm, is the same size, and has the identical weight. It comes in two flavors, one with night sights and the tested model, that comes with the familiar 3 white dot array that is drift adjustable.
Remington lists the trigger at breaking at between 5.5 and 8 lbs.: this example breaks at 6 lbs., on the heavy side for my tastes but it is very crisp with no grit. The standard RP45 has an MSRP of $418.09 (that must be someone's lucky number) and can be had for a surprisingly low $315 right now from some sources. It is a significantly lower price than the 13-round Glock 21, the 13 round Springfield XD .45 or the 15 round FN FNX-45.
It is soft-shooting for a .45, and more accurate than it needs to be for a nightstand genre pistol. I do like it quite a bit better than the RP9, for the same-size RP9 is a bit too big and bulky for a 9mm according to my tastes. This is clearly not the case for the RP45: it come in at roughly a quarter pound less than the Glock 21, with a more pleasant grip and a bit more firepower. Three interchangeable back-straps are included along with two 15 round magazines. Some do carry full-sized 1911s that weigh close to two and a half pounds, and some will carry this 26.4 oz. RP45, but that's all up to you. The way I look at it, this is a nightstand gun, a general home use pistol, or a Constitutional Carry firearm.
Just as the RP9 did, the Remington RP45 scores exceedingly well in most of the right places. Take-down of the RP9 is pathetically easy, easier than a Glock, requiring just the rotation of one take-down lever. It does away with the finger grooves on the grips that some find annoying. It is well-machined, reliable, and immensely affordable. The 15 round magazines are easy to load by hand, for the first 14 rounds anyway. 14 rounds is all I'll ever load into one of these. Certainly, some will struggle with with loading that last bullet for whatever reason (and then complain about it), but as far as I'm concerned there is no need to go that route. The RP45 is better in essentially all respects to the RP9 excepting magazine capacity. The magazines work better, the gun balances better, and it seems to me that the RP series was designed to be a .45 ACP from the beginning. The RP45 of course is a .45 and that's a good thing, a very good thing.
At the current RP45 price level, you really can't do any better and something like $600 for a Glock G41 makes those finger-wells look ridiculously overpriced. The 10 round Ruger American .45 ACP is significantly heavier in both price and actual weight to the 15 round Remington RP45. If you didn't notice the name of the box or have strong preconceived notions, the RP45 in 2018 would be a fair value at $500. It would be an excellent deal at $400. That you can buy an RP45 for $315 or thereabouts makes it a screamingly good deal and one of the true sleepers of 2018.
Copyright 2018 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.