Skip to main content

Born Ready: Rost Martin RM1C 9mm Pistol

Leveraging a heritage in gunmaking, service, and unwavering patriotism, Rost Martin of Dallas, Texas, represents the next generation of American firearm manufacturing. Their first offering is the RM1C compact 9mm pistol.

Born Ready: Rost Martin RM1C 9mm Pistol

Compact, capable, optic ready, and affordable. Introducing the Rost Martin RM1C 9mm pistol. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz) 

More than 500 spent cases littered the range, a mix of brass from Federal, Hornady, Magtech, and others. Accuracy and reliability were flawless with the Rost Martin RM1C, despite its compact size.

“I don’t think I hardly missed,” the last police officer on the firing line said. “Even through the double- and triple-tap drills. I usually miss the second or third shots in rapid-fire strings with most compact autos, but not this one. It’s cool that there is an American-made pistol that shoots this well for less than $500. I’d have to put more rounds through it before carrying it on duty, but I would have no issue depending on it while off-duty or as a backup,” he concluded.

rost-martin-rm1c Colors
Beyond black, the RM1C is available with tan or gray polymer frames. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

I can offer no greater validation than that officer’s comments. This review is the exclusive first look at the company Rost Martin and its premier offering, the RM1C 9mm striker-fired pistol. The pistol stands to rival the popular Glock 19 Gen5 MOS ($600, SIG Sauer P365 XL ($600, and Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro ($679, All of those are proven, optic ready and capable of carrying at least 15 rounds of 9mm. The Rost Martin RM1C debuts at $459.

The Toomers

How can a new brand come to market and expect to successfully square off against popular rivals? Chris and Stefany Toomer are behind the Rost Martin endeavor. Chris served 5 years as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, deploying with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. He then went to business school. Stefany is the daughter of Dennis Reese, CEO of Springfield Armory. She grew up living the gun culture that started with her late grandfather, Robert Reese, a businessman, competition shooter, and veteran.

rost-martin-rm1c Trigger
The trigger averaged 5 pounds. It has a wide and flat face, and safety lever. An overtravel stop is molded as part of the frame. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Rost Martin is not connected — or supported — by Springfield Armory, which will be difficult for some to believe. Chris and Stefany are two entrepreneurial spirits who share American pride. The Toomers want to preserve and expand U.S. manufacturing of firearms in the face of the anti-gun agenda. That isn’t to deny that they haven’t gleaned an understanding of the manufacturing business from their experiences.

“Rost Martin represents the next generation of freedom,” said Chris. “It’s about making sure the Second Amendment is preserved for our children and our children’s children,” Stefany added.

The name is a marriage of family names. “Rost” is the middle name of Stefany’s grandfather while “Martin” is the maiden name of Chris’ great-grandmother, a woman remembered for her tenacity. Rost Martin honors the path paved by each of their families in the firearm space.

rost-martin-rm1c Slide release
The bilateral slide-release lever is a single part that doesn’t flex or twist. Unlike many pistols with ambidextrous features, this lever functioned reliably when operated with the left hand. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

The RM1C

Looking at the firearm landscape, it was obvious to Chris and Stefany that Rost Martin’s first pistol needed to be for the concealed carry market. Despite the segment being crowded, the numbers of firearms sold each month indicate that people are still looking for a pistol they can comfortably use, but not just another “boring striker-fired polymer pistol,” Stefany said. “Let’s look at the best aspects and make a name associated with a competitive price. It has to look, feel and offer unmatched reliability.”

rost-martin-rm1c Dustcover
The dustcover features a three-slot accessory rail for mounting lights or lasers. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

With an engineer and a lean operation, Rost Martin set out to make an all-American-made pistol in Dallas, Texas, redesigning various aspects of the compact-pistol platform. Their professional experiences quickly helped to overcome the usual hurdles encountered by typical off-the-ground manufacturing companies, which is how Rost Martin has a production-ready product to offer in less than 3 years.

“Once we knew how to source the tools and components we were designing, we looked at how the gun is marked. We trademarked the RM1C name and logos,” Stefany said. “Creating the RM1C at the sub-$500 price point was a mixture of finding partners who could supply us at an affordable level.”

rost-martin-rm1c Magazine Follower
The follower was molded in a highly visible yellow with a proprietary hue for branding. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Even while the RM1C was being developed, engineering continued for 2½ years to get the final product where it needed to be. Though the profile and takedown crossbar may give it an appearance similar to one of the many recent Glock clones, the RM1C possesses several unique features. It does utilize a double-action striker, but it has a unique striker capture that prevents it from moving forward no matter how a dropped pistol hits a concrete floor or how hard a hammer smashes the rear of the slide.

Features & Benefits

The trigger required longer development than most parts. It has the safety lever in the middle of the flat trigger face, but pressing it requires just less than 5 pounds on average — consistently. No one will describe the trigger of the RM1C as being “too light,” but they won’t call it “too heavy” either. There is a little creep before the wall, but it fires predictably and has an excellent reset.


rost-martin-rm1c Sights
The front sight is a white dot in a dovetailed post. The rear is serrated and features a black U-notch. The slide is optic ready. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

The flat-face trigger has a subtle hook at the bottom for a consistent feel and index. Its metallurgy is made of carbon steel, complete with a nitride finish. This is a cost-effective method to prevent corrosion and rust. Another cost saver I noted was the decision to use roll pins, which are easily sourced and replaced. Field-stripping the RM1C, however, will be familiar to those who are used to disassembling a polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol — with one exception. Unlike a Glock-pattern action, the RM1C can be disassembled without having to press the trigger. For many gun owners, this is an important attribute that makes the gun easier and safer to maintain. The slide on the RM1C doesn’t have to be held back as the takedown crossbar is depressed, and it doesn’t have to slide forward over the dust cover. Once the slide assembly is unlocked, it moves less than a quarter inch before it separates from the frame rails, even with a magazine inserted. The magazine does not prevent slide removal, and the pistol goes back together just as easily.

The serialized chassis is located within the frame, though the action components could be removed and replaced by an armorer. Finding the serial number was a bit of a challenge, at first. Once found underneath the frame within the triggerguard, seeing it required a magnifying glass and light cast from an angle. The font used for the serial number is small and hard to read, which might have to be addressed if the RM1C were to be adopted by a law enforcement agency that conducts regular inventories.

rost-martin-rm1c Grip and BasePad
The RM1C includes one 15-round magazine and a longer 17-round magazine. The extended basepad adds grip length, supporting the RGT texture and interchangeable backstrap. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

The polymer grip module is molded in one of three colors: Black, Flat Dark Earth (FDE), and Stone gray. A nod to style, the magazine follower is molded in a yellow accent color that’s unique to Rost Martin. Created to set Rost Martin apart, I was told that it would appear in the brand’s marketing and certain packaging elements, too. Functionally, the bright yellow follower is easily visible through the ejection port when an empty magazine locks the slide to the rear. Allow me to expand on that last detail. During Guns & Ammo’s (ongoing) test fire, the slide never failed to lock back (or stay back) when the magazine was empty. If you’ve fired other striker-fired polymer pistols, you know how aggravating it can be when you aim, press the trigger and hear click, not knowing if the pistol is empty or if you’ve experienced a hang-fire. Too many shooters tolerate a slide that slips into battery with an empty magazine.

Additional attention given to the frame is with the M1913-spec Picatinny rail at the dustcover. This rail was optimized for use with popular duty lights such as the Streamlight TLR series and SureFire X300. One reason was to ensure easy reach, activating the light using the thumb or support hand. The second reason was to ensure compatibility with most holsters designed for similar-profile Glock-pattern pistols. Until the holster market catches up, RM1C users will likely be able to turn to using existing Glock holsters to carry this model. ANR Design, Blackpoint Tactical, Crossbreed Holsters, DeSantis, and We The People already offer dedicated holster products.

rost-martin-rm1c Disassembled
The Rost Martin RM1C has a similar profile as a G19, but can be fieldstripped without the need to press the trigger. The slide contains a unique striker catch and pivoting extractor lever. The barrel, recoil spring and guiderod are conventional. The steel magazines are proprietary. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

“Consumers want the option to mount a red dot,” Chris said. “Stef was instrumental in advocating that our team give the customer more features and benefits with the RM1C.”

Note the metal red-dot adapter plate. Customers receive a Trijicon RMR adapter plate at purchase, but other plates will be available at a discount using a rebate and proof of purchase through the Rost Martin website. Notably, the pistol even included the correct Torx screws. This seemingly small detail is refreshing to those of us who have tired of dealing with plastic adapter plates or having to find screws with the right length and thread pitch. Thank you, Rost Martin. The slide-cut depth and optic fitment were secure and complimentary to the standard iron-sight configuration.

rost-martin-rm1c Magazines
The steel magazines feature a pair of alignment ribs, and witness holes marked to 15 rounds on the spine. The extended basepad increases capacity to 17 rounds. One of each mag are included. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Also noteworthy is that the slide features front and rear slide serrations, and a serrated topstrap prevents glare between the sights while adding a touch of style. The metal sights are excellent. There’s a dot up front and a U-notch rear that’s lightly serrated. I could see the RM1C getting a night sight in the near future, but there won’t be multiple models advertising different upgrades and various price points. Certain features will be optional, such as a threaded barrel and extended magazines, but that will have more to do with meeting state compliance regulations. Nonetheless, the RM1C is a well-equipped package.

Not to miss is the not-too-aggressive texture, which is present on the front and backstraps. Rost Martin has termed the touchpoints its signature “Responsive Grip Texture,” or “RGT.” RGT is a proprietary laser-stippled texturing designed to react, or “grip back,” depending on the amount of grip pressure that you apply. I found it to be a wonderful balance of comfort and control. The grip contour feels similar to a micro-compact with a longer grip for extended capacity, which is very comfortable to handle. I would suggest that it feels like the grip of the SIG Sauer P365 XL or Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro, larger than the S&W Shield Plus and smaller than a Glock 19 Gen5. The grip also features a funneled magazine well that readily accepts the supplied 15- or 17-plus magazines, which have the American flag proudly engraved on the basepad.

rost-martin-rm1c Texture
Serrated and textured touchpoints are at the front of the triggerguard and just in front of the takedown lever. Textured pads on the frame are on both sides, serving as a place to rest your finger while off the trigger or to index your grip with a support thumb. (Photo by Michael Anschuetz)

Not only does the RM1C come with two steel magazines, but it also ships with two additional backstraps, secured by a rollpin. Allow me to suggest that you only use a proper roll-pin punch to change backstraps when searching for that perfect feel. Changing backstraps wasn’t the easiest procedure for me, but hopefully you’ll only need to do it once.

At The Range

A thousand rounds were initially fired through the RM1C with only one hiccup attributed to a defective cartridge, which caused a failure to fire. For those who do most of their shooting at paper and steel using cheap 115-grain full-metal-jackets (FMJ), this pistol seemed optimized for range loads. In fact, with two witnesses — and an active police officer — I fired the most accurate five-shot group I’ll likely ever fire from 25 yards on a benchrest during testing. Using Magtech 115-grain FMJ, I produced a five-shot hole that measured .94 inch! That isn’t to say, “This is what you can expect,” but subsequent shooting demonstrated that the RM1C is capable of sub-2-inch groups in the hands of an experienced shooter with quality range ammunition, and sub-3-inch groups using heavier duty loads. For an unknown reason, two loads that Guns & Ammo’s samples did not shoot as well came from Winchester, both featuring projectiles with Hex-Vent.

rost-martin-rm1c Performance

To explore the extent of the pistol’s reliability, I fired several hundred rounds from a mixed bag of left-over test ammunition. Grain weights spanned 115 to 147 grains. Then, I fired 200 additional rounds of NOVX 65-grain polymer projectiles, which traveled at near rifle velocities. Some pistols do not cycle these lightweight loads reliably, especially when an optic is mounted to the slide, but the RMC1 produced zero malfunctions.

Parting Shot

rost-martin-rm1c Range

The Rost Martin RM1C is more accurate, reliable, and affordable than it should be for a company’s first-ever offering. The fact that it is U.S.-made by a company in Dallas makes me feel as though buying one is supporting the American job market. The RM1C is a fresh take on the striker-fired 9mm with a comprehensive list of features. The low-bore axis and grip design help it shoot reasonably flat, while the hammer-forged barrel provides excellent accuracy, even for a broad range of ammunition. The RM1C is advertised as being backed by a lifetime warranty, and considering the Toomers’ heritage, that should extend to the next generation of freedom lovers.


  • Type: Recoil operated, striker-fired, semiautomatic
  • Cartridge: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15+1 rds., 17+1 rds.
  • Barrel:  3.77 (in.), carbon steel, hammer forged, 1:10 RH, crowned
  • Overall Length: 7.96 in.
  • Width: 1.23 in.
  • Height: 4.92 in.
  • Weight: 1 lb., 5.1 oz.
  • Finish: Nitride (steel)
  • Grip: Polymer, textured; black,Stone gray, or FDE tan
  • Sights: Steel; white dot (front);U-notch, black (rear)
  • Trigger: 4 lbs., 15.2 oz. (tested);
  • Safety: Striker block, internal; trigger lever
  • MSRP: $459
  • Manufacturer: Rost Martin, 844-761-2022,
Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

HIVIZ FastDot H3 Handgun Sights

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

Meprolight's M22 Dual-Illumination No Batteries Reflex Sight: Video Review

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

Ballistic Advantage Continues Excellence in Barrel Design

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

Winchester Ranger Returns! Now In .22

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

Latest Name In Lever Guns: Aero Precision

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

SAKO 90 Quest Lightweight Hunting Rifle

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

Warne Scope Mounts New Red Dot Risers

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

New Warne Scope Mounts Skyline Lite Bipods

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

Smith & Wesson Response PCC: Now Taking SIG Mags

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

Mark 4HD Riflescopes: The Latest Tactical Line From Leupold

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

Show Stopper: Smith & Wesson 1854 Lever-Action Rifle

Its seems like every year is a busy year FN, and 2024 is no different. Joe Kurtenbach is joined by Chris Johnson and Ric...

FN 509 Pistol Updates and New Suppressors!

Guns and Ammo Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now