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My Beretta Pico vs my S&W BG380 and my Reminton RM380

Awhile ago over on the Beretta Forum I posted a comparison of my Beretta Pico and my Ruger LCP. BuckeyeBlast posted a comparison of his Pico and his Kahr P380.


Now I'd like to continue the comparisons with my Pico vs my Smith & Wesson Military & Police Bodyguards 380 which ain't big enough to carry that full name so will be known as the BG380; and my Remington RM380.


First the BG380. Like the Pico it is a polymer framed very small truly pocket pistol. Also like the Pico it has adjustable and changeable sights. The sights though are only drift adjustable, and just plain black no dot sights. Other similarities are that like the Pico it is a true traditional DA action with multi-strike capability. It came standard with two magazines, one an extended thumb rest and the other a flat plate. Capacity is 6 + 1. So far it's fed, fired and flung all the ammo I've tried with it including some of the new sintered frangible ammo.


Reviews of the BG380 have often mentioned that take down was difficult however this latest iteration is almost as easy to take down as the Pico. I simply turn the tack down lever and at about one full rotation it pops out. Assembly is as simple and again after one full turn the lever locks back in place.


There has been one problem, not big enough to warrant a trip back to the Mother Ship but certainly annoying. While the slide does lock back on an empty mag it will immediately release if I drop the mag without pushing the slide stop fully up.


The version I bought has the manual safety. I wanted that feature since I will sometimes carry this one on my hip and open carry. Even with a thumb break holster I feel better when there is also a safety just in case there were a gun grab. Having that safety might just give me a few extra seconds to transition to Plan B.


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Of the four pocket guns I've reviewed in this series the Remington is the only one with a metal rather than polymer frame. It's the heaviest of the group but just slightly; it's still really small and light. Like the BG380 and Pico, it is a true DA with double strike capability. Also it too has fed, fired and flung everything I've offered it. The handgun came with two magazines, one with a flat base the other a thumb rest. Of the four sets of magazines, these seem to have the strongest springs, even stiffer than those that came with the Pico.



A common theme in most if not all the reviews of the Remington I found was about how hard it was to take down and field strip the gun. Maybe I'm just lucky or Remington has been making subtle changes over time but with this one I have found it actually does just what they claim, allow a tool less take down. I simply hold the frame left side down, slowly, very slowly pull the slide back until I see the end of the retaining pin, a slight shake and the pin does fall out. But I'l admit that initially I was thoroughly frustrated. Now that I seem to have learned how to hold my tongue it has become a piece of cake.


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So on to some summaries: Comfort and Concealability.



Thinnest of the guns is the Pico, by far. But compared to the snub nose revolvers I've carried over the last half century and more they are all much thinner. They are all about the same weight as the newer Smith Airweight guns, maybe even slightly lighter when loaded. They all offer one or two more rounds initially than my snub nose revolvers.


The Pico and Remington are ambidextrous from the gitgo. The mag release on the Remington is in the conventional US location while the one on the Pico is in the same location but a pull down rather than push in.


The Remington was by far the most comfortable to shoot, mostly because it is slightly heavier but mainly because it has the longest grip of the four and maybe the widest. It simply felt like it was designed fo my hand.



The Pico has the best trigger followed by the BG380 and Remington with the LCP coming in last. Not only is the LCP not a real DA, it has a really strange double reset. When you hear or feel the first reset you get nothing by pulling the trigger. You need to let it out until the second reset before you can make it work. The BG380 trigger is smooth and lighter than the trigger on my fairly new version S&W 642. The Remington is almost identical to the BG380 with one exception; the reset on the BG380 is shorter than the RM380.



The Pico's sights are simply in a whole different class than the sights on the other three. The standard sights are true three dot and both front and rear are dove tailed and held in place by a set screw making adjustments or replacements easy. The next best sights are the BG380 while the sights on the Remington and LCP are milled into the slide.



Since all of these are meant for up close and personal self defense where even point shooting may be the norm the sights are simply not a major issue with any of them.


In quality of materials and construction the Pico is by far the winner. All the pieces parts fit together tightly and just feel better finished and thought out than with the others. Also the modular design and ease of access to all the internals makes repair much easier. Even the magazines seem exceptional with stainless and a metal follower. The Remington and Smith both come next while again the Ruger just feels like it was built to a price point.


In the final analysis though they all worked and worked flawlessly. I have no reliability concerns with any of them and feel adequately armed with any of them.
 

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The Instigator
Another great write-up! Professional job.

Pico does seem a neat little gun, and the Remington interesting, but.

9mm is not just cheaper and more powerful, it's ubiquitous. Three good reasons to go micro-nine.

I have a Walther PP. Love it. Has never jammed. But .32 ammo ... spendy and hard to find. Same kinda road.

Obviously .380 is alive and well, it's not the same.
And ounces DO count in EDC.
And there's plenty of excellent .380 SD loads, so.


AA
 
I have a Walther PP. Love it.

Would love to shoot one. Have only handled one and it felt like it was made for me. Rarely see PPs around me, plenty of PPKs though and have nearly bought one a few times. Like the larger grip of the PP though.
 
Another great write-up! Professional job...
Agreed, thank you!

...A common theme in most if not all the reviews of the Remington I found was about how hard it was to take down and field strip the gun. Maybe I'm just lucky or Remington has been making subtle changes over time but with this one I have found it actually does just what they claim, allow a tool less take down. I simply hold the frame left side down, slowly, very slowly pull the slide back until I see the end of the retaining pin, a slight shake and the pin does fall out. But I'l admit that initially I was thoroughly frustrated. Now that I seem to have learned how to hold my tongue it has become a piece of cake.
Haha ... consider me a moron, as I tore right into the RM380 without reading/viewing the op manual/YT videos. After cleaning & lubing the pistol, all the planets aligned perfectly against me when I attempted to reassemble the pistol. I inserted the pin in such a fashion that one would have thought that the slide & frame had suddenly become one! I couldn’t budge the slide, I couldn’t remove the pin, even after VERY gently tapping it with punch ... to make a long story short, I sent the Remington back to Alabama for ‘repairs’. Only then did I watch Hickok 45’s video and in particular, the reassembly portion. He also struggled with that doggone pin, but unlike me, was able to figure things out! Oh yea, the Remington smith returned the the 380 a couple weeks later with a note that read, “Removed pin & reassembled pistol. No charge.” Thanks to Hickok, the pin-reassembly process has become “a piece if cake.”

I do apply a wee bit of heavy Slide Glide grease to the pin, but as Remington & nearly 100% of the reviewers attest, it’s virtually impossible for that pin to fall out.

Don’t know if you’re familiar with Galloway Precision, but they offer an increased rate recoil spring & trigger return springs and also, a reduced-rate hammer & firing pin spring. I did replace the factory springs with Galloway counterparts and they definitely smooth out the trigger & hammer, while noticeably taming the recoil. Galloway recently began offering a short-stroke trigger system, but at $70-80, I’ll probably pass on that. As an up close & personal pistol, the long factory trigger return isn’t an issue for me.

Now, one wonders if Remington has any plans for an RM9...

Galloway: Galloway Precision - Your Carry Pistol Specialist
 
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Agreed, thank you!


Haha ... consider me a moron, as I tore right into the RM380 without reading/viewing the op manual/YT videos. After cleaning & lubing the pistol, all the planets aligned perfectly against me when I attempted to reassemble the pistol. I inserted the pin in such a fashion that one would have thought that the slide & frame had suddenly become one! I couldn’t budge the slide, I couldn’t remove the pin, even after VERY gently tapping it with punch ... to make a long story short, I sent the Remington back to Alabama for ‘repairs’. Only then did I watch Hickok 45’s video and in particular, the reassembly portion. He also struggled with that doggone pin, but unlike me, was able to figure things out! Oh yea, the Remington smith returned the the 380 a couple weeks later with a note that read, “Removed pin & reassembled pistol. No charge.” Thanks to Hickok, the pin-reassembly process has become “a piece if cake.”

I do apply a wee bit of heavy Slide Glide grease to the pin, but as Remington & nearly 100% of the reviewers attest, it’s virtually impossible for that pin to fall out.

Don’t know if you’re familiar with Galloway Precision, but they offer an increased rate recoil spring & trigger return springs and also, a reduced-rate hammer & firing pin spring. I did replace the factory springs with Galloway counterparts and they definitely smooth out the trigger & hammer, while noticeably taming the recoil. Galloway recently began offering a short-return trigger system, but at $70-80, I’ll probably pass on that. As an up close & personal pistol, the long factory trigger return isn’t an issue for me.

Now, one wonders if Remington has any plans for an RM9...
Actually I have done the Galloway versions but also passed on the short return trigger. I found I had to remove both grips to punch out the hammer spring retaining pin, mine was really solidly in there. Of course the slide stop, slide stop spring, hammer pivot and everything else not nailed in place fell out. I now feel like I know the innards far better than I would like.
 
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