Remington R51 Comparison

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My review of the new Remington R51 was fairly comprehensive. So comprehensive that RF decided that the text and photos comparing the R51 to other, relatively small carry guns was TMI. In particular, I wanted to compare the size and characteristics of the R51 to two handguns: the iconic GLOCK 19 and my Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry 1911. So, let’s do it . . .

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R51 sitting atop a GLOCK 19

The R51 has a slightly less chunky profile than the Glock 19, and, being a single stack gun, it’s slightly slimmer as well. By “slightly” I mean a couple millimeters at best, nothing drastic. But having a rounded exterior instead of the masonry-inspired styling of the G19 allows it to slide into a pocket or holster much easier and stay concealed.

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R51 atop a Commander 1911

With the smaller Officer sized 1911, the R51 is almost exactly the same size. It’s slightly shorter thanks to the lack of an external baseplate on the magazine, and the lack of a beavertail means that it’s overall length is less as well. But again it’s the details that matter, and even with Bill Wilson’s personal touches, there’s no doubt that the R51 is a much slimmer and sleeker design.

Unfortunately, that sleek design seems to be indicative of the main issue with the R51. While the gun looks awesome, both the ease of use and range performance leave much to be desired. It almost feels like the gun is half finished, with just a couple of tweaks required to make it into a rocking awesome gun. Click here to read my full review of the Remington R51.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

63 Responses to Remington R51 Comparison

  1. avatarDirk Diggler says:

    Get a glock 26 and carry glock 19 mag as a spare

  2. avatarBort says:

    Anyway to get a view of the width of the guns side by side?

    • avatarNigil says:

      Suggestion for hobby project by TTAG readers: model your firearms in Sketchup, and upload. Easy comparisons, go!

    • avatarTTACer says:

      Maybe it is just me but I think that the width is the only thing that matters. And that on the margin a few millimeters in any direction do matter for a carry gun.

      • avatarArmy127 says:

        Do you know how small a millimeter is? 2-3 millimeters really don’t mean anything at all in a carry situation. And yes I have been carrying concealed for many years and I spent 15 years in the Army before I was injured in combat. The shape, smoothness, and weight are the big factors as of course is overall size. The R51 isn’t really that small, I saw one yesterday in my buddies gun shop and wasn’t impressed. I already have guns that are that size and smaller that I carry that hold more rounds as well.

  3. avatarJavier says:

    This gun would be awesome if it was the size of an LC9. As it is, no thanks.

  4. avatarManimal says:

    I thought it was supposed to be shield or XDS size. I guess not.

  5. avatarJay Wolf says:

    I will keep my 1911.

    As per your writeup, once you ass a pad to the R51 magazine so you can seat it dimensionally it would match the 1911 there. Of course the grip safety is bigger on the 1911, the grip safety that won’t rip the friggin hell out of your hand like the R52 did.

  6. avatarRoll says:

    Does anyone else think the R51 would look really good with a suppressor? I do…

  7. avatarKenpm says:

    Nick, what are those reddish marks/scratches on the outside of the R51′s chamber?

  8. Piffle..

    Walther PPQ M2 is the way to go here folks.

    • avatarJosh Schroeder says:

      I think you just have an irrational predilection for that manufacturer (let the reader properly distinguish).

  9. avatarDJ9 says:

    About the same overall size as a Glock 19, but with a half-inch shorter barrel and half the number of shots?

    I’ll pass.

    • avatarChad says:

      I agree DJ. Why would I want to cut my round count in half and still be the same size. If I want a 7+1 9mm I’ll stick with my trouble free pf-9. For that size I’ll stick with my sig p250 sub 9mm. It’s 12+1 and I’ve shot the piss out of it with no trouble.

  10. avatarChris says:

    Its the same size as the original model 51. I personally wouldn’t want to use a gun smaller than that. All these pockets nines and .380s out there are too small. This gun is the right size, and the width of it is going to make it easier to carry the comprably sized double stacks.

  11. avatarJAS says:

    That comparison means that a Dan Wesson ECO which is smaller than a 1911 Commander both in height and length, either in .45 or 9mm, is also smaller that the 51.

    http://www.czforum.com/index.php?topic=2492.0

    It’s also three times the MSRP but I’d take the ECO in .45 any day, Hard to call that Remington a compact.

  12. avatarAccur81 says:

    The fact that it’s only slightly smaller than the Glock 19 kills it for me. The Glock has 15+1 standard capacity in the same caliber, plus way more parts compatibility and aftermarket upgrade options. Glock really oughta make a single stack 9mm.

    I also like a good trigger reset and my Glock and Smith semi autos definitely have that.

    As with many new designs, comparison to the competition reveals glaring weakness.

  13. avatarColby says:

    While I questioned the assertion within the previous article of whether it is truly “impossible” to ensure that the slide-stop is correctly installed without actually shooting the pistol, based on these pictures I agree with the assertion that, on the issue of outside dimensions from the horizontal perspective, and considering the different capacities, it remains Glock 26/27/19/23 FTW.

    • avatarropingdown says:

      The Glock 36 is only 1/10″ thicker than the R51, weighs about the same, is 3/10″ longer…and will fire 6+1 .45ACP without biting your hand. This problem was solved years ago. With the G30S things only got better, using the same slide and barrel as the G36, with a 10+1 lower the thickness of a G19, and taking a G21 13-round magazine as a spare, provided you don’t want to carry a 30 round Kriss magazine as spare.

      • avatarColby says:

        True enough.

        In all actuality, I wanted the R51 l to offer more than it apparently does simply because it’s constructed almost entirely of metal, whereas other guns that apparently do offer more are made of polymer.

        Yes, I know, my attachment to metal is largely emotional, so I may still fall prey to the R51 if it ends up not sucking.

  14. avatarPeterK says:

    Sad. Was excited for this. What a letdown, haha.

    Oh well. That’ll learn me to put any stock (at all) in hype.

  15. avatarActually says:

    So the official specs (or at least the ones stated in the review) are off then I guess? Based on that picture there’s no way that’s only 4.6″ tall if the G19 is 5″ tall. Similarly, how can it be 1″ in width if the G19 is 1.18″ in width and supposedly “slightly thinner”?

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Those specs are probably right on, or at least pretty close. What you are seeing is the visual representation of what those specs mean.

  16. avatarTrick says:

    Can you guys please do a comparison to the 2 guns its actually competing with? The Shield and the XDS. I don’t care if it’s the same height as a 1911 or the same length as a Glock. This is a EDC single stack 9mm. Please compare it with other single stacks. And stop acting like .2″ is insignificant. That’s the exact same amount that the Shield and XDS are thinner than a Glock 19 but you never mention that at all.

    • avatarDJ9 says:

      It’s possible that some of us are ACTING like it’s insignificant, because it IS insignificant.

      If you can hide one, you can hide the other.
      If you CAN’T hide one, then you can’t hide the other.
      To make any other claim is a load of BS, in my opinion.

      Been carrying for 34 years, carrying concealed for 28 years, currently a state-certified CCW instructor, so I have some experience in this matter.

      • avatarTrick says:

        Direct quote from TTAG review of the S&W Shield. “At a dead-skinny .95” wide, this pistol is more that .2” thinner than the M&P Compact. Oh, so you think that .2” is much ado about nothing? Take a look at this slide by slide comparison.”

        TTAG is acting like its significant and in holding the guns its always felt significant to me. And when said another way, 0.2″ is 20% of the R51′s width. So the fact that the Glock is 20% thicker is indeed very significant.

        • avatarDJ9 says:

          And the fact that the 20% increase in thickness gets you a 100% increase in on-board ammo in the Glock is also significant. No one ever finished a gunfight and said “Wow, I just feel like I had way too much ammo in my pistol; I should cut back on that.”

          Most other areas being equal (or nearly so), I’d make that .2″ for twice as much ammo trade any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

          To get thinking folks to choose a new gun over an established/successful one already on the market, the new gun has to offer some tangible benefit(s) to the owner. At this point, the Remington does not appear to offer anything other than that .2″, and I don’t think that’s gonna get it done.

      • avatarBlueBronco says:

        If you think a Glock 19 is just as easy to conceal as Shield, something is up.

        • avatarDJ9 says:

          That was Glock 19 vs. Remington R51.

          I believe the Shield is significantly smaller than a Glock 19 in all three dimensions (length/width/height), thus it has significant appeal to those looking for a smaller carry pistol. However, the Shield is actually taller than a Glock 26, and given the propensity for a long grip to poke the cover garment outward (and the difference in magazine capacity; advantage: Glock), I have chosen to stay with my G26 vs. a Shield.

          I shot a friend’s Shield, liked it (quite impressed, actually), but still the tiny decrease in thickness was not enough to make me give up the proven performance of my Glock(s). I practice what I preach.

    • avatarJAS says:

      Throw in a CZ 2075 RAMI 9mm while you’re at it. I would really like to see you guys review more CZ 75 variants. Including the new CZ SP-01 Shadow tactical in 9mm,

      “The RAMI 9mm is shipped with one 10 round flush-fitting magazine and one 14 round extended magazine”

  17. avatarBill says:

    Throw a Taurus 709 slim up there for comparison, odds are, it beats them all handsdown, with the exception of the G26′s capacity which of course is a trade off for thickness.

  18. avatarLJM says:

    If I’m going to that size pistol, I’ll stick with the SR9c (w/ 17 round mag reload) or with the LC9 as the pocket nine. Didn’t think the R51 was that large in comparison to the 19 or 1911.

    • avatarColby says:

      +1

      If I absolutely need to go single stack, I think my first choice will also be a LC9 or XDS9 after seeing this, that is unless I find a smoking deal on a R51 and think I just cant live without an all metal pistol.

      I don’t need to worry about going with anything slimmer than a G26/27, SR9C, etc, though until the Texas summer hits. That’s still a little way off.

  19. avatarJay says:

    How does it compare to the real star of the Shot Show, the Zip Gun. //ultra sarc//

    I am unexcited about the R51. How it should replace my Kahr PM9 baffles me.

  20. avatarNathanael says:

    What a dud. It looks far too big for pocket carry and seems to have no real gains in accuracy, capacity, or shootability over similarly sized competition. At best it’s one more accurate and reliable subcompact 9mm that fits inside a waistband easily–but there are a ton of those. I’ll stick with my Glock 26 for that role.

  21. avatarAZ47 says:

    what happened to comparing it to the Glock 42?

  22. avatarDoug Petri says:

    I am surprised that anyone is giving ANYTHING Remington a second look. Didn’t Remington sell gun owners out for perks in the last year or so. My household bought Savage over Remington in the last year.
    As for the R51 size being nearly as big as the “Compact” Glock 19, why bother. The Glock 19 is an Icon as a personal defense/fighting pistol.
    With talk of using the G19 mags in the G26, let me add my .02 cents. The only failure I have had with a Glock was a G26 using a G19 magazine. I think there is too much magazine play in that short grip. I was surprised, even though I had heard similar issues with G26 and a G17 magazine.
    I just stick to 10 rounders or 10 round mags with that factory +2 extender for 12+1 capacity. Not a bad trade off.

    • avatarAZ47 says:

      I am no fanboy of anything. I like a wide variety of cars, music, and guns.. but out of all the fancy handguns I’ve owned, I am still at the conclusion the Glock 19 gen3 is as close to perfect as any handgun can get. it isn’t “the best” at one particular thing. not too heavy, not too big or small, not too expensive, perfect capacity, excellent reliability, sufficient accuracy, retard-friendly operation.. it’s so functional it’s boring.

      • avatarRenegade Dave says:

        Yeah… I spend a lot of time carrying a 19G4 and you’re right, the only thing that makes me sad is that there is sadly little to gratify my whizbang gadget side. Maybe I’ll get a light/canopener for the rail…

    • avatarBlueBronco says:

      When I hear “fighting pistol,” I tend to think P229 or P226 etc.

    • avatarAZ47 says:

      I know what you mean.. very under rated guns. if you’re in the market for a USEFUL single stack 9mm, you’d be stupid to not carry a Kahr.

      however, I have had a few problems with Kahr guns. magazine and ammo related. steep feed ramp doesn’t like some hollow points.

    • avatarRenegade Dave says:

      A lot of guys like the feel of their larger platforms which is why the XDs9 and the Shield are so appealing over the Kahr.

  23. avatarBlueBronco says:

    I find it hard to believe that this pistol is the size of my commander sized 1911. Those have full sized from and 4.25 barrels/slides. Similar to an officer sized frame and slide, maybe.

    • avatarBlueBronco says:

      That actually looks like the 3.6″ barrel Ed Wilson and to be a commander length, it should be 4.25.

      http://wilsoncombat.com/new/handgun-ultralight-carry-sentinel.asp#.UvpnhIU8se1

    • avatarDJ9 says:

      I took a closer look at the enlarged photo of all four pistols, and I believe you are correct. A true Commander-sized pistol should also have a full-length (for a 1911) grip frame, and that one does not.

      NICK, THAT IS A MAJOR ERROR THAT SHOULD BE CORRECTED IN THE TEXT AND CAPTION!

    • avatarDJ9 says:

      I sent RF a note, hopefully he’ll get it corrected in a timely manner.

      By the way, good catch, BlueBronco! Probably a couple of thousand gunnie-folks looked at those photos, and you’re the only one that caught it!

      • avatarMr. Pink says:

        A Commander is actually the size of a G17 for those who are interested, while the R51 is nearly the exact size of the Shield in every dimension except an extra 1/2 inch in length.

    • avatarDJ9 says:

      Well, they fixed the text in the paragraph under the photo, but not the caption itself or the photo’s alternate text (shows up when the mouse is hovered over the photo).

  24. avatarbilly spruiell says:

    Thanks for the review .. I was eagerly waiting to get my hands on the R51 sight unseen ..

    There are at least 2 faults I could not live with .. painful recoil (ad sounded good) , mechanical

    complexity … It pays to read reviews for avoidance of wrong mistake purchases … billy

  25. avatarDan Dickinson says:

    I carried a Remington Mod 51 in 380 as an off duty gun for years. I found it, in near new condition, in a pawn shop circa 1964. Slim and lightweight, It was easy to carry and conceal. The recoil was about that of a 22 and it pointed naturally. I almost wore it out at the range and never had a single miss feed or misfire. Realistically, If you cannot get the job done with the first few shots, a whole boxful of ammo will not do you any good. I can hardly wait to get my hands on the new R51.
    Obviously my old 51 did not have the power I wanted for a duty weapon, but it served its purpose well.

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