Firearms

Review: Rost Martin RM1C — A Feature-Rich Polymer Powerhouse 9mm

Rost Martin RM1C 9mm semi-auto gun, Winchester White Box ammunition, and test target showing shots in the 10 and 9 rings

There’s a new kid in town when it comes to polymer-framed handguns! In my case, that’s almost a literal statement. You see, I live in the DFW area and Rost Martin is in Dallas.

The husband-and-wife owners of Rost Martin, Chris and Stefany Toomer, are strong Second Amendment supporters with a desire to make their own contribution. They are doing this in the form of an affordable, polymer-framed pistol. They have accomplished their goal with the RM1C. The RM1C is American made in the Dallas plant. It is currently shipping after a four-year development cycle.

Rost Martin RM1C striker-fired, polymer-frame 9mm pistol, left profile
The author selected gray, but the RM1C is also available in FDE or black. Notice, the controls are ambidextrous.

Rost Martin Background

Chris, who is a proud minority veteran, owns the company with his wife Stefany. Chris was an Infantry Officer with the 3rd battalion, 3rd Marines. Chris and Stefany got their background in firearms development and sales while working at Springfield Armory.

Stefany’s father and grandfather founded Springfield Armory in 1974. She worked in the marketing department at Springfield. Chris had his hand in many different departments throughout his work there — including product development, international projects, R&D, and compliance.

I asked Stefany about the significance of the company name and why the company its located in Dallas, since both owners were from Illinois. She explained that Rost is her grandfather’s middle name. As the founder of Springfield Armory, he is credited with being the initial reason her family became involved in the firearms industry.

Martin is the maiden name of Chris’ great grandmother who was instrumental in raising his mother and very instrumental in Chris’ life as well. Stefany attended college in Dallas at SMU and fell in love with Texas and the city of Dallas. The couple knew, when it came to starting a business and a family, growing roots in Dallas was exactly where they wanted to be.

Not only is Texas extremely pro-business, but the Second Amendment is built into the fabric of its culture. They wanted to live in and support a state that has Rost Martin’s best interest at heart, so they can continue to fight for gun rights for future generations.

Rost Martin RM1C striker-fired, polymer-frame 9mm pistol, right profile
A new gun in town, the Rost Martin RM1C is a $400 gun with everything you might want in a personal defense pistol.

RM1C Features

They put together a design team that worked on the company’s initial offering, the RM1C. This took four years, partnering with AREX on the design. The AREX Delta is the baseline inspiration for the RM1C. When I put in a request to get an evaluation copy, I had the option of choosing black, FDE, or gray.

I chose gray, and I’m glad I did. It makes for a very attractive, two-tone pistol since the slide is black. The RM1C weighs 21.1 ounces, is 7.1 inches long, and 5 inches high. The width is 1.22 inches. It ships with one 15-round and one 17-round magazine with an extended baseplate.

Three interchangeable backstraps are included, along with an RMR compatible plate for optic mounting. Other optics plates are available on the company website. Naturally, this means the slide is cut to mounting an optic. The gun shipped in an attractive black box with foam insert that’s kind of unique. At least I’ve never seen one like it in the gun industry.

grip texture, straight flat-face trigger, slide lock, and familiar Glock-type breakdown tabs on the Rost Martin RM1C 9mm pistol
Note the grip texture, straight flat-face trigger, small but easy to operate slide lock, and familiar Glock-type breakdown tabs.

I get my first impression of a new gun by holding it. The RM1C is well-balanced, and the texture provides a secure grip that is not overly aggressive. Aligning the sights provided a nice surprise. The rear sight is a black U-shape, and the white dot of the front sight fills that notch when the sights are aligned.

This makes for a more precise alignment than when using a wide rear sight. The sight notches are Springfield XD or XDm compatible. If you want to swap the sight for night sights, just choose something that is XD compatible.

The top of the slide has anti-glare serrations. A small window at the rear of the ejection port allows you to see whether the chamber is loaded. The back of the slide has another small opening, which is filled with a red indicator that appears when the gun is cocked.

Rost Martin RM1C 9mm semi-automatic handgun with additional backstraps, spare magazine, and optics mounting plate
The RM1C comes with two magazines (15- and 17-round), three backstraps, and RMR compatible optics mounting plate.

Cocking serrations exist on both the front and rear of the slide. They are wide and deep to make racking the slide an easy task. All edges of the slide are beveled to assist with concealment. Inside the Nitro Carbonized Steel slide is a four-inch, hammer-forged barrel.

An extended beavertail and undercut trigger guard allow for a high grip on the frame. While shooting the RM1C, I found the design significantly mitigated recoil. Fingertip pads (on both sides of the frame) where your index fingertip would land when extended adds a nice touch.

The flat-faced trigger has the Glock-type safety lever. It was designed to break at under five pounds with a short take-up and reset. Mine breaks at just under four pounds according to my Lyman trigger pull gauge.

The RM1C is completely ambidextrous, with slide lock and magazine release controls on both sides of the frame. The slide lock lever on each side is small but has serrations. It extends out (far enough) from the frame to provide easy access.

Breakdown for cleaning does not require a trigger press. Remove the magazine and ensure the chamber is empty. With the slide in battery, move it rearward slightly, and hold it while pulling the locking latches on both sides of the frame down.

loaded chamber indicator, optics-mounting cut, and cocked striker indicator on the Rost Martin RM1C 9mm handgun
The RM1C has the extras most people want — loaded chamber indicator, optics-mounting cut, and cocked striker indicator.

Push the slide forward slightly, and lift it off the frame. Once the frame and slide are separated, compress the recoil spring, and lift it off the barrel. Then, remove the barrel from the slide. The operator’s manual has instructions for cleaning and lubrication.

Range Testing

I’ve made two trips to the range with the Rost Martin RM1C as of this writing. I’m very pleased with its performance. I loaded 10 rounds of Winchester White Box 115-grain FMJ into the magazine for my first shots. All 10 rounds went into one ragged hole at seven yards.

Subsequent targets, shot with a variety of ammunition types, produced similar results. Sans one failure to feed with CCI Blazer ammo, I’ve experienced no malfunctions. That FTF happened, no doubt, because I did not lubricate the gun before taking it to the range the first time. I’ve now gained enough confidence in the RM1C to add it to my carry rotation.

Rost Martin RM1C 9mm semi-auto handgun with Speer G12, Winchester Defense, Winchester White Boxes, and CCI Blazer ammunition boxes
No matter the ammo, the RM1C digested it — demonstrating excellent reliability and accuracy.

I found a holster in my holster drawer that fits it well. However, I’ve seen one specifically made for the RM1C by Crucial Concealment that I will order for everyday use. Based on how well made the RM1C is, I’m looking forward to other models coming from the Rost Martin.

Is the Rost Martin RM1C another Glock clone, striker-fired polymer-frame 9mm? Or, is it a feature-rich pistol that fills the niche shooters have been looking for, at an affordable price? Share you answers or review in the Comment section.

  • Rost Martin RM1C striker-fired, polymer-frame 9mm pistol with two magazines in the shipping box
  • Rost Martin RM1C 9mm semi-auto handgun with Speer G12, Winchester Defense, Winchester White Boxes, and CCI Blazer ammunition boxes
  • Operator's manual for the Rost Martin RM1C 9mm gun
  • Rost Martin RM1C 9mm gun in a Kydex holster
  • Sight picture of the Rost Martin RM1C 9mm semi-automatic handgun
  • Rost Martin RM1C striker-fired, polymer-frame 9mm pistol, right profile
  • Rost Martin RM1C 9mm semi-auto gun, Winchester White Box ammunition, and test target showing shots in the 10 and 9 rings
  • Rost Martin RM1C striker-fired, polymer-frame 9mm handgun with 17-round extended magazine, right profile
  • grip texture, straight flat-face trigger, slide lock, and familiar Glock-type breakdown tabs on the Rost Martin RM1C 9mm pistol
  • Rost Martin RM1C 9mm semi-automatic handgun with additional backstraps, spare magazine, and optics mounting plate
  • loaded chamber indicator, optics-mounting cut, and cocked striker indicator on the Rost Martin RM1C 9mm handgun
  • Rost Martin RM1C striker-fired, polymer-frame 9mm pistol, left profile

About the Author:

David Freeman

David is an NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, a Chief Range Safety Officer and is certified by the State of Texas to teach the Texas License to Carry Course and the Hunter Education Course. He has also owned and operated a gun store. David's passion is to pass along knowledge and information to help shooters of all ages and experience levels enjoy shooting sports and have the confidence to protect their homes and persons. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and worked for many years as a corporate pilot before becoming actively involved in the firearm industry.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

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