It takes time to get the bugs out of a new product. This is true in the world of guns, cars, computer software, and any complicated consumer or industrial product. Hop into the TARDIS with me and I’ll illustrate my point. In 1983, I bought a BMW 318i. It was a brand new model in its first production year (nominally 1984, but they released the cars early). Mine was number 54 in the production run and probably arrived on the first boat from Bremen, which should have been enough of a warning . . .
The car got a lot of attention from car guys, just plain guys and the occasional attractive person of the feminine persuasion. It also got much unwanted attention from the local constabulary when I depressed the long, skinny pedal a bit too aggressively.
While my driving experience was ten kinds of fun, my ownership experience was not trouble-free. There was an air hose that kept working itself loose on the 318i. The end of said hose fit over a flange. Presumably that flange was there to keep the hose securely in place. Except it didn’t, and when it didn’t the car was impossible to start and would shit the bed at inopportune moments. I finally cured the problem with a two-dollar hose clamp. The hose clamp looked incongruous on such a nice little engine, but I no longer had to worry about the car crapping out when I hit a compression at 95 miles an hour. Subsequent 318i models were fitted with wider flanges, so the hose never worked loose on those models.
Other first year flops include Windows Vista — need I say more? And how about that Medtronic wireless defibrillator/pacemaker that could be switched off remotely by a teenage hacker sitting at his keyboard in Belarus. Now that would have been a real knee-slapper. The GLOCKs with their all new springs didn’t spring, causing multiple FTFs. And let us not forget the late, lamented Caracal C.
Remember RF’s Caracal C? I reviewed it head-to-head against the GLOCK 19 and thought that the compact Caracal was a pussycat. Still, I ventured that I wouldn’t buy a Caracal until it had developed a bullet-proof reputation for reliability.
So, I was not exactly shocked when the Caracal was recalled. The fact is, I never expected the pistol to work properly because it was brand new and untested in the real world.
The Remington R51 may be this year’s Caracal C. As Nick reported, it can easily be assembled incorrectly, causing malfs. Like that hot gal or guy who dumped you for your roommate just before finals, the R51 may leave you just when you need it the most. Even more appalling is that Remmy probably could fix this problem easily, just as GLOCK fixed its problem springs by substituting older models, and the way I fixed my BMW with a cheap hose clamp. I believe that Remmy will fix this issue – eventually.
Buying a 1.0 product turns a purchaser into a beta tester. Which is just fine if we’re talking about a robotic vacuum cleaner, but not so good when we’re talking about pistols and pacemakers.
Ben Franklin once claimed that “there are three faithful friends – an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.” To which I add a fourth – an old gun.