“The gun is just flawed.” “Unfinished.” “It just doesn’t feel good to me.” “I really hope this doesn’t blow up.” “It’s just dangerous.” These are a few of the phrases that Tim at the Military Arms Channel uses to describe the Remington R51. We published our two star review of the Remington R51 a while back and got a lot of flak from the fanboys, claiming that it was a “sandbag job.” They said we were just biased against Remington and that the gun was in fact fine. Tim is one of the few people outside of TTAG who I really trust to give a fair review, and in his recently posted video . . .

he describes and confirms every single flaw that I found in the gun…and then some. His gun malfunctioned even when he was 100% sure he assembled it properly. His T&E gun (sent by Remington specifically for his review) fired out of battery. The gun even failed to fire with standard ammunition sometimes.

These are flaws that shouldn’t be acceptable in a modern firearm, especially one designed for concealed carry. I sure as heck wouldn’t trust my life to a gun this unreliable. And I might even kick down the rating we gave the R51 still further given Tim’s results. So the question remains…how did this gun ever make it to market?

114 Responses to MAC Confirms TTAG’s Take on the Remington R51

  1. Because the owners of Remington (and many other former manufacturers of quality firearms) decided that they didn’t need a QC department to save money? Seems like the only logical conclusion.

    • A QC dept does not build anything. Engineering, purchasing, manufacturing build quality. Its all over and done with when a QC inspector looks at a few pieces of _______.

      • That’s true, quality is designed (not inspected) into a product but QC is still needed to prevent the stinkers from leaving the door.

        • And to ensure component parts whether made in-house, or purchased from a vendor are within specification. (I was a draftsman at a medical instruments firm, the head of QC once came to me and told me that the engineer was out and I needed to open up the tolerance on a part so they could accept a shipment- otherwise mfg couldn’t build the insulin pumps the parts went into. Truly. I told him nope. )

        • Ah… tolerances… such small numbers can’t really be that important, right?

    • Sadly that’s what happens when ‘bean counters’ take over the management of engineering companies. Products get rushed to market based on timelines/budgets set by the by the sales/marketing/accounting side of the company before the engineering/production/quality assurance side has chance to fully validate the design and manufacturing processes.

      The bean counters never seem to realize that getting right and fully validate the design and manufacturing processes up front saves money in the long run.

      • +1 Sig Sauer aka SIGArms was in danger of going down this road. Thankfully they seem to have gotten their act together a bit. Sure I had to dump my 938, but the P320 seems to be starting off pretty well.

        • Just wondering why you dumped your 938. I love mine, have only put a few hundred rounds downrange but have had not one little bitty problem??? wassup?

          thanks

  2. Tin foil hat response:

    Because Cerberus (sp?) needs Remington to lose value so they can be offloaded easier.

      • If TFG wants to sell Remmy cheap, they’d just sell it cheap. What you are suggesting is like smashing your uninsured car into a telephone poll so it would be worth less, then you could sell it cheap and be rid of it. Why not just sell it cheap?

        Let’s face it — Remmy has made sh1tty guns ever since it was acquired by TFG, and the guns are only getting worse.

        • Drive the value into the ground, then sell it cheap to themselves under a different name. Didn’t Cerberus try this after vowing to sell the Freedom Group?

        • I had no intention of this actually being a discussion, but since it is…

          My real point Ralph, (and I agree with you about the car analogy), is they made all the money from the rush. Now if they can sell for a loss, they get the benefits of a tax write off rather than paying capital gains.

          Again, Ralph, I agree with your analogy, but they don’t seem to be that smart. Look what they’ve done to Marlin and AAC. Then again, maybe this is just SOP for TFG.

        • @Kelly in GA, I don’t think that TFG’s management is stupid, but it is pretty clear that they can’t run a gun business. Frankly, I don’t think they can run a bath, gunwise.

          @B, why would they run the business down so they can sell it to themselves? That would be like the Army destroying a village in order to save it.

        • Sorry not being clear, talking about this:

          http://tinyurl.com/qbup4ee

          The owner of Cerberus gets together with a different set of investors and buys the Freedom group. Its a loss on one side and a deal on the other. His stalking horse bid sets the floor price of bids for Freedom Group. Freedom Group losing value reduces the amount he needs to bid. The people getting screwed would be the teachers and government employees that have pensions invested in Cerberus, not so much him.

  3. MAC is one of the few youtube reviewers who still tells it like it is/isnt a shill for firearms companies in exchange for free ammo/guns/other assorted freebies.

    I had the chance to fondle a R51 at the LGS…happy now that I didnt spend the money to actually buy it considering the honest reviews it has received here and elsewhere. Seems like an over-hyped, very poorly engineered/produced pistol that will quickly be relegated to nothing more than a range toy for those unlucky enough to buy it.

      • I have once, with a very dirty 1911 (seeing how long I could go without failure,) using wrong very thick grease for the slide, at like 20 degrees F, using reloads, on a range during an IDPA competition. Slide was visibly slow cycling by that point before it failed to go all the way forward. I have never had one on a properly functioning gun. You don’t get those unless something is very very wrong, especially on a fresh brand new gun.

        • Just as in the MAC review, if any gun is having trouble making it back into battery, it is…unwise… to keep dropping rounds through it. Granted, Para machinists made it easier for the situation to occur in the R51, but that was just dumb seeing MAC keep shooting even though he was having to manually thumb the slide forward. Kept shooting –afterwards, no less– with no gloves, too.

          Word is that Para did a poor job reaming the barrels, and they range from rough (like mine) to undersized or short. The result is certain bullets will hit the rifling before the gun reaches full battery. This means the bullet is wedged in the bore (locked up gun when you pull the slide) and the Pedersen block is fully backward when the gun is fired. With the block back, there is less case support (not great to start with) and the case bulges. Because the block is fully back, it can’t move under recoil and the gun won’t cycle (see the MAC video and the RyeOnHam video). The wedged bullet also has the potential to greatly raise pressures when firing, which stresses the case further. The fact neither bulge incident ruptured the case leads me to believe the case support is still sufficiently good for all but a severe over pressure event, but is obviously way closer to the edge than we want to intentionally go.

          If you bother to ensure your gun is not prone to hanging up when going into battery with the ammo you use (‘plunk’ test), which all good little boys should, this should be a non-issue (R51 or otherwise)

          TCB

  4. Freedom Group rushed a poor product to market fearing if they sat on it new legislation might make it unsellable? Perhaps the idea was to get it to market and worry about fixes later, rather than wait and possibly have to redesign the whole thing to meet new requirements. Get grandfathered in and avoid that. Maybe. That’s a hell of a risky move though, and probably unlikely.

  5. “how did this gun ever make it to market?”

    Easy. Because they decided to go ahead and deliver it to market. I believe they were well aware of the gun’s flaws, but because they had invested in so much money in the thing, they decided to go full speed ahead, raise anchor.

    I am very, very grateful to TTAG for their work and analysis on this gun. Okay… shooting isn’t exactly “work”, but you get my meaning.

    TTAG, thanks. You have saved me a considerable amount of money. You were among the few who chose to tell the truth about it.

  6. I’ve had everyone of these issues, except the battery one, in my XDS, since getting it back from the recall.

    • Mines been perfect, freaking love my XDS9. Helps that my pinkie just fits on the edge of the magazine. Shot 200 rounds the first day on the range and immediately sold my Kahr CM9.

    • Ditto with B, my XDs9 after returning from the recall cycles and fires flawlessly excepting a single failure to feed in a dry dirty gun towards the end of one range session. Even that was corrected simply by slapping the bottom of the magazine after which the pistol fired through the entire mag without incident (I think I may have rode the slide forward a bit when charging it). I’d get that one looked at by a gunsmith.

  7. I wanted one, but wait for the reviews. My dad’s Rem 700 luckily was not part of the recall. I think it is sad that Remington has slid on quality. My family owns a lot of Remington guns, but they were older models. At least my newer 870 has been a good shotgun.

  8. This is one of the reasons I never anything new or something that’s a new version of an older design. Let someone else work out all the kinks. To me reliability is more important than performance.

    • I’m generally with you on the tried and true (and got stung by the XDs recall when I failed to heed my own advice). First it has to go bang, every time without fail, then we can discuss ergonomics, capacity accuracy etc.

  9. And I was one of the few readers who didn’t catch the fever he says while patting himself on the back.

    • These reviews can’t keep going on….this thing is headed for a recall….and soon. If they were smart they would have done in with the 700 and taken just one publicity hit.

    • Yeah, followed by “Let’s keep shooting it without gloves, then, and on camera!”

      If you’re car engine starts running rough, do you rev the engine to ‘buff’ it out? That’s what you do when you keep firing a gun that’s having timing and trigger issues. And that is hardly unique to the R51 (the disconnector binding on the slide and poorly-machined short/rough chambers courtesy of Para is, however)

      TCB

  10. Was anyone REALLY surprised at this development?

    You don’t get something from nothing. Freedom Group companies are botching products theyve been making for DECADES (see Remington 700 fiasco/Para USA’s Black Ops 14/45 QC problems) . The R51 was not only brand new, it also sold for less then $500. Those two pieces of information, combined with the company of origin, equaled junk-period. Those of you who thought this would work out of the box must have believed it when Obama said he wouldn’t go after guns in his second term…..

  11. Thanks, Freedom Group, for making me purchase a Timney trigger to replace the one on my 700 .308. And thanks for making this crappy handgun.

    /sarc.

    • Ditto. Just ordered mine. Got the nickel plated #512 so everyone can see it’s a Timney.

  12. Well, a famously bearded reviewer said that the R51 was “priced right [and] built right.” He minimized the three malfs he experienced, because, uh, just because.

    He left out the part about the R51 being “a joy to shoot.” However, he did say that “[i]n my hand, the R51 is one of the best feeling, best handling, and most naturally-pointing 9mm pistols that I have ever held.” Which is what he says about every gun he’s ever fired.

  13. Wow. I’ve never seen a video review done by MAC before, and I must say, the filming, format and content was really well done. Very professional looking video. Even at 26 minutes in length, I believe every one of them was worth my time.

    About the R-51: I am quite saddened by the lack of quality of this handgun. I was really excited to hear about a handgun that incorporates a new design change, or a barely used, recycled design anyway. I had high hopes, for it, and was hoping they might eventually roll out a R-53 chambered in 45ACP. Well I hope Remington manages to get the kinks worked out of it.

    • I’d like the review better if he made even the slightest effort to explain why the gun was doing what it was doing. Heck, I was able to form a hypothesis that the disconnector was sticking from the first video, and confirm it when I bought my R51 (mine doesn’t bind up the slide at all, but I can see how some minor shape variance in the disconnector would lock up the gun). He also totally misses the bulging (but not ruptured) primers and rough chamber scrapes that seem endemic to these guns. More importantly, why did he insist on continuing to shoot a gun with light strikes and trouble falling into battery? That’s just begging for an out of battery event, on any gun. Further, why insist on shooting the gun afterward without a detailed inspection to determine why that happened, and without gloves, no less?

      TCB

  14. The R51 is for the foreseeable future the worst gun I’ve ever owned. It also holds the title for the shortest time I’ve ever owned a firearm. That thing is an awful pile and should be a hands down winner for worst firearm of 2014

    • Care to elaborate..? Also, tell us how you really feel, lol! 🙂

      Mine has been satisfactory (hardly great), but I also insisted on inspecting the hell out of it before buying, and making note ahead of time of all known issues to look for (rough chamber, binding slide, hanging slide, loose mag catch). I still got ‘bit’ by the rough chamber, though it hasn’t been bad enough to affect function so far. I hope you at least got the chance to shoot it first, since mine is very enjoyable.

      TCB

  15. I call it the “Obama Effect.” An overall psychological malaise that creeps into every aspect of life. People are more and more stressed and uncertain, leading to institutional breakdowns and the inability of time honored companies to even produce functioning product anymore, under the onslaught of mind boggling govt regulations and threats.

    Same thing with cars made since 2008, they are getting crappier and crappier, all cut from the same piece of plastic. I dare you to differentiate a Ford from a KIA from a Toyota anymore, and look at the incredible lapses in QC from companies like Toyota, who now makes most of its cars in the US. All these manufacturers are suffering from the Obama Effect that insinuates itself from the individual worker into the corporate product. NASA cant even put people in space anymore. It will only get worse as the grip of Communist conformity chokes off ingenuity and aspiration.

      • Both were big spending big govt pro amnesty rulers, however in Bushes defense the firearm/ammo industry and RKBA enthusiasts were not under constant threat and attack. And most certainly Bush was not pushing for nationalized healthcare, which remains the biggest intrusion into personal privacy and illegal taxation in this nations history.

  16. It made it to market the same way most things do, because the company wants to put something new out to make money. The company markets the product as something you need, and lets the users find any issues. The issues are found after tons of people have bought the product, and the company has got a quick infusion of cash, which is then spent to refine the product and market it as the new and improved model that everyone needs. The process is repeated until the company gets the product right or the public decides that they do not need the product and don’t buy it. If the public decides not to buy the new and improved product then the company writes off the loss of money spent making it on their taxes and takes the money they get back, or money from a profitable product line, to try and build something new and hope it is a hit.

    • Hey, if it’s the choice of that, or the same old tired Browning/SIG designs for the duration of existence, I don’t mind chasing some bugs. It would be nice if mfg’ers were more diligent, though; Remington’s phone/online support systems apparently aren’t setup for R51 entries yet (and there’s a lot of them), and yet you also have outfits like Boberg with legendary customer service when occasional issues arise, despite being orders of magnitude smaller and with fewer resources.

      TCB

  17. wouldn’t be the first time that something was put on the market for its looks and not its performance (Megan Fox? nah, too easy. Uh, PT Cruiser).

      • Eh,
        The rollmark’s fairly shallow and is about as small as you can make the swirly font and still have it readable at three paces. It’s no Taurus or old-style RIA, for sure. Some folks hate the styling, yes, but the gun draws smoother from a pocket (and hopefully holster, when I find one) than a Hi Power or five-seven, and has not one feature on it that can dig into you. Honestly, the front of the rear sight is so radiused that I think the claims of hooking it onto stuff for a one-handed rack are overblown. Looks are subjective, and a lot of folks are used to Glocks at this point, which were themselves quite a departure when first introduced. The R51 grows on you, especially since it shoots as easy as a full size Hi Power.

        TCB

  18. Scroll down in the Youtube comments a bit, and there’s a commenter claiming that his father purchased a NIB R51, and found that it was missing the firing pin/striker. If true, WOW.

    • Well, the R51 is “hammer fired” so I doubt it would come with a striker… 😉

      I think Rem will be replacing the firing pins for everyone soon enough, regardless (bulging primers due to too light a pin and too pointed a tip), but they obviously should be included with purchase, lol. I still take those comments with a grain of salt, since the gun is still largely shrouded ignorance, with lots of folks still thinking it’s a straight blow back.

      TCB

  19. I can’t say I am shocked.

    I recently purchased an 870 police magnum. You know… the “our gunsmiths custom hand-build each one with love and care” model. You know… the super tactical model used by operating operators in operational environments while conducting operations… you know… therefore somehow justifying it being nearly twice as expensive as a standard express model. Haha. The “machined” extractor, which is one of the big police magnum claims to fame, looks like it was “machined” by a dude with a file, and I don’t mean lovingly either. Plus the finish is flaking off. I know I know… that doesn’t affect its function. Still, who does that?

  20. It sounds like when Remington went to an early 20th century design they also went to a 20th century management style.

    They put a product on the market before it’s ready because the sales/marketing/finance folks put the graphs up about all the money “lost” if we wait until engineering says it ready. Quality management never attends these meetings. The sales/marketing/finance guys will fire the head of quality, bring in a new head of engineering and collect their bonus as well as options when Remington does not recover and is eventually acquired by a holdng company.

    This story has been told so many times. Stick with SIG, Glock, H&K . They are focused on making the best defensive weapons for a world market IMHO.

    • You’re describing a 1980’s management style, my friend ;). Incidentally, the machine work is more reminiscent of mid 20th century Eastern Europe, as is the company’s Plutonian leadership way away in Hades (or whatever the Cerberus head office building is called)

      TCB

  21. I still like Jeff Quinn. Maybe it’s NOT a dandy little pocket pistol. I read Gunblast more for general information than guidelines for purchasing a weapon. When I first saw the R51 I thought “why”? Why reinvent the wheel? There’s a LOT of perfectly functional 9mm’s out there.

  22. Hey don’t knock Remington! They make awesome guns. Why as I write this, I’m carrying my Remington 700 rifle with the safety on, and my finger nowhere near the trigger–<BANG>!

    I’d like to amend my prior statement about Remington.

  23. I find it amusing that TTAG refuses to let this go and is now riding the coat tails of MAC on the issue.

    Is the R51 a total wreck? Evidence at this point says “absolutely!” Does that exonerate TTAG for their flawed, biased original review on the gun, or their actions in changing the content of that review after the fact? I don’t think so.

    None of the technical issues identified by MAC were mentioned in the TTAG review. All of the technical issues mentioned by MAC (and several he didn’t) have been common knowledge posted on youtube and forums for a few weeks now. Neither MAC nor TTAG brought in any technical insight or even observation to conversation that wasn’t already provided by others. (excluding TTAG’s failed reassembly concern which I address in moment…) Further, some opinions offered in the TTAG were directly refuted by MAC.

    Then there is the fact that Nick has brought untold criticism to the gun simply for the reassembly issue – despite the fact that, owning two and disassembling/reassembling them both dozens of times, I cannot incorrectly reassemble the firearm without using tools to intentionally do so. When considering the smear video that was posted online showing R51 malfunctions that were actually a result of Nick’s failure at correct reassembly and properly function checking the weapon in the first place, it is still obvious to me that there was bias associated with the original review.

    This bias (in my opinion) goes deeper when you consider that someone stating something as a fact, then someone else quoting that information, then the original furnisher claiming validation of the information because simply it was restated does not make it so. I’m not completely “sold” on MACs impartiality based on his prior blog statements after shot show. The 3 biggest detractors of the R51, TTAG, TacticalExistence, and MAC all seem on some level to be parroting one another on some of the less provable criticisms of the gun – like that it is so hurty to shoot. I personally find it laughable that guys who expect us to buy into their “expert” opinions can’t seem to manage a firearm that everyone I know who has one states (regardless the other issues) it is the softest shooting 9mm they’ve shot.

    The R51 seems to be rapidly turning into one of the biggest failed firearms boondoggles ever. That fact doesn’t clear those who were dancing on the corpse before any real technical issues were brought to light. I believe there was strong bias regardless to the technical issues surfacing and Remington simply hung the door wide open to allow this all to come home to roost. MAC, TTAG and TacticalExistence serve a useful purpose in all of this, the greater the insight into the debacle, hopefully the more likely the Remington will be to fix the problems. Beyond that, (again in my opinion) any suggestion of fair or balance to these reviews is a joke – all the ones I’ve seen reek with bias. Given all of the issues with the gun, it is sinking its own boat – so for the life of me I can’t figure out why it is so hard for those who want to convince us they’ve got no stake in all of this to simply let the facts speak for themselves.

    • “The 3 biggest detractors of the R51, TTAG, TacticalExistence, and MAC all seem on some level to be parroting one another on some of the less provable criticisms of the gun – like that it is so hurty to shoot.”
      Now, they seem to be suggesting (no, that’s not strong enough. “Boldy proclaiming” is more apt) the gun is an unsafe hand grenade with a ten yard blast radius. Forget that none of them have had a case rupture, or even a case bulge more severe than a G20 10mm. Not ideal and unacceptable, but not dangerous. Somehow, not one of them has mentioned the primer bulges I, and seemingly every other R51 owner experience due to (probably) the light weight and pointy firing pin. Not saying they are not being honest, just seems odd that one of the most blatant quirks went unnoticed by the experts. Not one of them seems to want to determine why the gun is binding or catching, either (it’s a hand gun; they’re not that complicated. It’s the disconnector and/or a bullet hitting lands in short chamber, btw. Mystery solved.) In any case, MAC wasn’t worried enough to put on gloves after the ‘out of battery detonaton’

      “You didn’t watch the video, do you?”
      You haven’t shot and don’t own the gun, do you? For some reason that guy kept shooting a gun that was having trouble returning to battery (probably because his bullets were hitting the lands in Remington’s stupidly short R51 chamber, since the slide did not appear to be binding on the disconnnector) until –shocker– it fired slightly out of battery. Never mind that the incident was fully contained and resulted in an easily-cleared failure; it’s a catastrophy failure threatening imminent injury or death to the shooter. Not one of my 250 rounds exhibited this issue; just consistently reverse-dimpled primers due to slightly sub-par firing pin support. The gun is also an absolute joy to shoot, but I was so busy being terrified of its pending explosion that I forgot to mention it (or wear gloves, apparently)

      TCB

      • barnbwt touched on some of my concerns related to these so called expert reviews that are supposedly “impartial” and “truthful.” Interestingly, the harshest critics of the gun also all happen to be “buds,” cross posting on each other’s channels, sites, and referring their followers to each other’s feeds, etc. I know from web searches that MAC and Tactical Existence get together in the “real world” – although online I get the district impression the image being put forth is that they’re two separate entities with no relationship who just happened to arrive at the same conclusion.

        While the gun has numerous, unquestionable issues – it seems that these reviews offer little in technical content beyond “oh, gee, look it’s not working again.” There just seems to be a bit too much glee in what I’ve seen in the convincing illustration of the failures and little in the form of assessment as to the issues. I guess I expect a little more critical thinking and observation from “experts.” I’ve also noticed that in the both the Tactical Existence
        (video 2) and MAC videos the guns were shown after a 100+ rounds were already (and presumably uneventfully) fired – then seemingly right around the time they started acting up the filming starts as well. In the TE first video, despite numerous statements about how “sticky” the gun was, he went ahead and shot it, filmed it and posted the predictable results – instead of simply field stripping the gun and lubricating it first. Heck, I thought everyone pulled apart a new gun and lubed it before shooting it the first time – but maybe it’s just me who does that. So, does this have any relationship to the malfunctions? Could it be that a carry pistol, designed and optimized for that and not for extended shooting sessions, might not do well without frequent cleaning when shooting more than a box or two of ammo– say every 100 rounds or so? While not ideal, I wouldn’t discount the gun necessarily for the such an issue either. Cough, PPK…

        I guess my concern is that while I’m seeing some common technical problems with the guns, aside from failure to go into battery on the first round of a full mag, all of the guns I’m aware of are pretty darn reliable outside of these in the vids.

        There are other potential opportunities to ding these experts in my opinion. Like it or not, the instruction manual says to release slide by pulling from rear and releasing. That method does produce much better reliability in chamber the first round and going fully into battery. Interestingly, despite this being pointed out, no one seems to be doing it in these “expose” videos. While the gun still seems unreliable on whole regarding this – I would think the that an impartial reviewer would take great pains to do everything possible to ensure that the failure they are showing is truly mechanical or design in nature and NOT operator error – to including failing to follow the instructions, shooting the gun when excessively dirty, failure to lubricate the gun prior to shooting it, improper grip (releasing the slide with the trigger finger on the slide/frame is probably NOT going to help a gun already having chambering issues…), etc.

        I don’t know what else to say, the guns are obviously showing numerous and very serious problems, these issue seem to be affecting A LOT of the guns out there – including mine. Remington, in my opinion, has released a true mess to an unsuspecting public. They were aided and abetted (I don’t know if knowingly or not) by the established gun media establishment. Having said that, I still see what I consider equally obnoxious behavior coming from opposite end of the spectrum, the non-traditional gun review sector. If you have to tell me you’re impartial, an expert, or truthful about things, I’m most inclined to think none of those statements are accurate. Conversely, There are a several videos on YouTube that show real technical problems with the R51 – they’ve been put there by everyday “joes.” The information speaks for itself. They’re posted by guys with no agenda other than to identify the issues and to hopefully help to troubleshoot them.

        I’ll close with an analogy. If someone is driving down the street and sees a person they don’t “like the looks of” and intentional swerves and runs that person over and kills them, then it is later discovered that the deceased was a murderer just leaving the scene of the act, yet the driver had no knowledge of this, does the driver get a pass? In my opinion Remington deserves every bit of bad press they get out of all of this. My post here is about the guys who purport to be the opposite of the established gun media, but who, in my mind, are no different. Bias is bias, whether it is bought and paid for, or simply an axe to grind.

  24. The original model 51 still works fine because it wasn’t designed under the Cerberus Capital Management umbrella.

    You never want to be owned by a private equity firm. Who do you think ultimately calls the shots and decides the funding? Look what happened to Sears and Kmart…bottom of the retail pile.

    • Me thinks you have no idea how many companies are owned by private equity companies. Bet you didn’t even know that some of those PE firms are publicly owned – that’s right you could own a slice of a company that owns other companies.

      Head exploded.

  25. Geesus, I am convinced no matter what you post or comment on this blog, someone will SPAZ out, take exception to what you said (as much as you tried to enter every caveat as possible) and basically call you out for what they see as a travesty. And it is almost never anything near a travesty.

    My God, people gotten lighten the EFF up.

    As far as Remington is concerned, well… being that I have to send in my 700 for a trigger issue, I have nothing good to say about them right now. So I’ll just shut up so I don’t get someone’s panties all in a twist.

  26. Such a shame, I love the slim vintage aesthethics of the gun and the action seems quite cool, but doesnt act cool.

  27. I’d say this firearm is a POS. If a T&E gun has this many problems what will a none T&E do? Also with modern firearm design techniques the disassemble process is a joke.

    • Mine works as reliably as my 1952 FNH P35 Hi Power. Which is to say a jam or two every hundred rounds, or so, which is not horrific considering it’s with a random assortment of ammo that isn’t necessarily optimum for it. Mine also recoils about the same as the HP despite being much smaller, far slimmer, and lighter. Combine this with infinitely faster sights and I can fire as fast as I safely can and keep all hits on a man-size form at 10 yards or so (with zero prior rapid-fire practice). Easily my funnest gun to blast with, and that’s saying something since I have an FNH five-seven which would otherwise get the nod.

      Disassembly is different, but not terrible. There’s a technique to it, which Nick hadn’t learned yet (pull back the slide while pushing in the pin, and you’ll never screw up the slide stop installation) but it’s not terribly slower than anything but a Glock or Beretta which are so easy they nearly take themselves apart and aren’t Jet Li-proof, lol. I’d put it on par with a CZ52, maybe tiny bit harder than a Hi Power. A non-flush extended barrel would make it a lot easier.

      TCB

  28. I work in QC at a conveyor manufacturer. I can tell you that “lean management” and “6 sigma” are killing quality around the world. Those that say QC isn’t important has never worked for some of these companies whose only concern is the bottom line profit and how much can be manufactured on a given day.

    • I’m actually shocked that the machining on my (satisfactory-ish-ly functional) R51 is as poor as it is, considering it comes from the Para plant in SC that otherwise churns out acceptable 1911-ish guns with no, or at least far fewer complaints. The outside of my gun is top notch for this price point. The interior looks like my Rusky SKS. Just like that gun, it’s smoothing out, though. Just need to polish a few important spots and keep it clean of metal shavings/dust and well greased as it wears in. The rough chamber is straight crap, though, and I’ll have to ask a buddy to clean it up at some point (doesn’t seem quite bad enough to affect function so far, but the brass looks horribly abraded –think 120grit sandpaper)

      TCB

  29. “We published our two star review of the Remington R51 a while back and got a lot of flak from the fanboys, claiming that it was a “sandbag job.” ”

    We called it a “hatchet” job. A sandbag job is something I hear you can get in west Hollywood 😉

    And once again, a review short on substance (the MAC review, not the ‘I told you so’). The gun is dangerous and fires out of battery but we don’t know why and won’t even bother to look. The gun will blow up in my hand but I don’t wear gloves for hundreds of rounds. The R51 slide is gritty at the beginning of the review, and is said/shown to be light and smooth at the end. The gun should have been based on the Browning action (as if that is even possible without an utterly divorced platform).

    Unlike every commentor I bothered to read here, I actually have one of these guns and have put about 250 rounds down the pipe. It met my expectations, but I was under no illusions. I very thoroughly inspected the gun and took it apart before buying, and still expected a rough chamber (I was only allowed a visual inspection). I bothered to clean the gun, removing quite a few metal shavings, and relubed it with a quality Teflon grease. I shot it with gloves, then without when no danger signs appears. I inspected it after a few dozen rounds, and cleaned out a few more metal shavings that were starting to roughen up the action. I then proceeded to shoot the remainder, suffering only a couple light strikes (very deep ‘light’ strikes, mind you) on steel-case TulAmmo, and consistent magazine jams on hollow points.

    The gun is stupid-easy to do fast shots with. The 7 round capacity is extremely unfair, since the gun is so fun to rapid fire. Recoil was very similar to my Hi Power which I shot side by side. Recoil was less than my 9mm CZ52. Trigger was better than the others, as was accuracy (in my hands). Accuracy halved when shooting rapidly, but was consistent and recoil controllable. You will kill your fingers loading the mags (Mr. MAC’s T&E mag springs are obviously weak since they do not fly out when ejected, and he can’t slam rounds into them quickly). The chamber is so rough the cases look sand-papered, but all ejected when ignited. Primers flowed very consistently into the primer hole except with TulAmmo primers, but there were zero ruptures. I think the hammer and pin are simply too light, and the pin too pointed.

    One thing that was somehow omitted in ALL these online video reviews, was that the internal parts have very poor finish work. Soviet-esque mill swirls, lines, knife edges, and burrs. But, like Soviet guns, mine worked (though not as well with Russian ammo, lol), but requires some saavy to optimize. The sticking slides are due to the disconnector binding against the slide, and if you do a non-firing break in, it appears to wear itself out without binding solidly. Remington designers compounded this with their choice of location for the disconnector; it actually moves up and down three times each cycle, adding ‘bumps’ to the slide feel, and allowing the hammer to fall against the bolt body if the user releases the sear early. The lack of ‘tack-ticle’ reset in the trigger appears to be due to the trigger pivot hole being oversized, making it wobble side to side and incapable of transferring vibration from the sear area to the finger. I had only one short stroke when wildly firing as fast as I could (safely). It’s a non issue. All the lathe-turned surfaces that slide over each other, like the barrel and spring bushing, have unpolished ridges. The enclosed portion of the slide is roughly bored. The camming surfaces on the slide have square corners that can shave metal off the (non-load bearing) ramps on the bolt body, unless you bevel them. The gouges in those bolt ramps create the ‘gritty feel’ reviewers keep complaining about, but refuse to diagnose. My bolt has been burnishing smoother since I hit those corners lightly with some sandpaper.

    Let’s all be honest with ourselves; if the gun was made nicer, it’d be 500$, and we’d be comparing it to much more established offerings, and the new kid on the block wouldn’t stand a chance no matter how flawless it was, since it was ‘unproven.’ In the <400$ price range, curious folks will continue to take a risk on it (like I did), though few will be particularly impressed. I am highly impressed with the gun's potential. I think an aftermarket and smiths can bring it about. I am not certain Remington is capable of accomplishing this itself anytime soon, given its corporate turmoil. I do not reviews with non-specific non-constructive criticism are helpful, either.

    Nor are bold claims the gun is dangerous when NONE of the reviewers experienced an actually dangerous situation. The primers bulged on my gun, but consistently. The casings that bulged, appeared to do so consistently, and only when the shooter was dumb enough to shoot them from a gun that was having issues returning to battery already (seriously?) The bulges I see look very much similar to Gen 1 G20 'Smilies' in any case, and we know that that was more noise than substance. The fact those cases did not rupture strongly suggests they were well-supported when it mattered most, but were closer to borderline than (obviously) desired.

    TCB

    • I own 8 H&Ks, have shot over 3,000 rounds through them, and have never experienced a malfunction. Shouldn’t we hold every manufacturer to this standard?

      • I would, if H&K’s sold for 400$. My 800$ five-seven has never failed me. But this gun cost me as much as two POS Hi Point pistols, and yet is orders more complex and well made (even in its marginal state). Believe it or not, the extra money H&K charges doesn’t only go to advertising. And the money Remington isn’t making by charging extra isn’t coming from the mouths of their shareholders. Aside from the brittle fatigue-failure issues* in the original Model 51s, they were reported to be incredibly reliable, besting the 1911 in the Model 53 configuration before its adoption (1911s were already in play and the Hun was on the march)

        *The bolt and slide were prone to fracture, largely stemming from the general ignorance of fatigue failure mechanics in metals in the early part of the century. New, harder steels were the wonder material of the era, and everyone was competing to have the most indestructible design; too bad they were glass-like and had sharp inside corners machined into them. And that’s why we ended up with Suomi M31’s with bolts/receivers harder than file teeth.

        TCB

  30. If all we have on YouTube was this single video expressing concerns and demonstrating malfunctions with the R51 we could assume perhaps that he simply got a bad appled, but the accumulating weight of evidence is there now to show that something is not right here and the handgun needs a serious overhaul.

    You don’t find these kinds of careful, objective reviews and commentary on handguns in any of the major gun magazines, which have a symbiotic relationship with the firearms industry.

    I can’t remember, frankly, EVER reading anything close to a negative review of any firearm in any of the magazines. They just go “radio silent” about firearms known to have issues and the copy they write for most new guns sounds like all they did was read the marketing material from the gun company and add a bit of their own gushing praise based on little more than handling it and *maybe* shooting it off a bench at a run range.

    Another quality video from Tim at MAC.

  31. Even if the R-51 was a top notch pistol it still makes no sense to carry one. It is too large for a subcompact and it you can get an equal sized pistol with a higher capacity magazine and the better ballistics of a longer barrel. The Springfield XD/m Compact comes to mind. It is not noticeably larger and comes with a 3.8″ barrel and a 13 round standard magazine. The only dimensional advantage that the R-51 has is that is narrower.

    • The “narrower” is huge and can’t be overstated. While I rotate between full sized framed semis (G21 and M92) during winter months and SP101 and G27 during summer, I have carried many others – including the PPK. The R51 is the cleanest, slimiest, most comfortable to carry gun I’ve carried in >20 years of daily carry. Further the gun, based on its design, is MORE accurate and much easier to shoot fast than any other sub/compact I’ve ever shot – and I’ve shot just about all of them.

      The “we didn’t need a different design, the design we have works fine” argument really bothers me. There are a lot of things in life that “work/ed just fine” but life is better because of innovation. The R51 has tons of issues to criticize related to the problems its having – but the “if John Moses Browning didn’t design it we don’t need it” mindset is shortsighted. If the gun was completely functional (unencumbered with the manufacturing issues) I would put it head to with any 9mm out there. As it is, I believe it to a be better shooter in all respects than most full framed 9mms – interesting considering its size, short barrel and other constraints.

      The design shows GREAT promise and I believe it is poor execution and not technical shortcomings that have led to all of this. Also ,for reference, I found MAC’s comments about the original 51 to be an underhanded attempt to undermine the operating system and cast doubt on it – for what reason I can’t say. In my opinion he implies the gun was a failure due to its design and essentially was weeded out of the gene pool. The reality is that the gun failed due to economic issues taking place in the US at the time during which the model 51 was quite an expensive handgun.

      • According to inflation calculators, $15 of 1920’s currency equates to roughly $184 in 2014 currency. I don’t now about you, but a $184 handgun isn’t something I consider to be “quite expensive”.

        • You would if you only made $750 annually. Then again, with a World War, a flu pandemic, and stock market crash (preceded by a terrorist attack – NYSE bombing on 1920) I’m sure there was plenty consumer confidence and everyone was rushing out to buy guns…

        • $750? Where did you get that figure? The average household income in 1920 was over $2,000, closer to $3,000 according to IRS data (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/20soirepar.pdf). Colt sold their 1911 for $36.75 in the early 1920’s, well over twice as much as the Model 51. So, in short, you’re in error. The Model 51 was an economically priced handgun during its era.

        • The Model 51 was a 32/380. It was hardly competing against the 1911 in mammoth 45acp. It’s competition were tiny pocket blowbacks with about half as many and easier to machine parts. The Model 53, however, showed great promise against the 1911, but was too late to the dance

          TCB

      • JMB did not design the XD/m series which is a very accurate pistol. I have made the argument that handgun thickness is a more important measure of factor than length for concealment and I will stick with that assessment. However, any pistol in this size class is also equally concealable. You don’t start getting an additional advantage until you get to the LC9/Nano sized pistols. I haven’t shot it so I cannot compare it to my Hi Power or XD/m. It would have to be an exceptional shooter to equal the smoothness and accuracy of the Hi Power.

        Perhaps you could meet me at Blue Ridge Arsenal for a test fire.

  32. I thought the thing was a cheap, ugly POS the first time I saw it. You couldn’t give me one for free.

  33. barnbwt touched on some of my concerns related to these so called expert reviews that are supposedly “impartial” and “truthful.” Interestingly, the harshest critics of the gun also all happen to be “buds,” cross posting on each other’s channels, sites, and referring their followers to each other’s feeds, etc. I know from web searches that MAC and Tactical Existence get together in the “real world” – although online I get the district impression the image being put forth is that they’re two separate entities with no relationship who just happened to arrive at the same conclusion.

    While the gun has numerous, unquestionable issues – it seems that these reviews offer little in technical content beyond “oh, gee, look it’s not working again.” There just seems to be a bit too much glee in what I’ve seen in the convincing illustration of the failures and little in the form of assessment as to the issues. I guess I expect a little more critical thinking and observation from “experts.” I’ve also noticed that in the both the Tactical Existence
    (video 2) and MAC videos the guns were shown after a 100+ rounds were already (and presumably uneventfully) fired – then seemingly right around the time they started acting up the filming starts as well. In the TE first video, despite numerous statements about how “sticky” the gun was, he went ahead and shot it, filmed it and posted the predictable results – instead of simply field stripping the gun and lubricating it first. Heck, I thought everyone pulled apart a new gun and lubed it before shooting it the first time – but maybe it’s just me who does that. So, does this have any relationship to the malfunctions? Could it be that a carry pistol, designed and optimized for that and not for extended shooting sessions, might not do well without frequent cleaning when shooting more than a box or two of ammo– say every 100 rounds or so? While not ideal, I wouldn’t discount the gun necessarily for the such an issue either. Cough, PPK…

    I guess my concern is that while I’m seeing some common technical problems with the guns, aside from failure to go into battery on the first round of a full mag, all of the guns I’m aware of are pretty darn reliable outside of these in the vids.

    There are other potential opportunities to ding these experts in my opinion. Like it or not, the instruction manual says to release slide by pulling from rear and releasing. That method does produce much better reliability in chamber the first round and going fully into battery. Interestingly, despite this being pointed out, no one seems to be doing it in these “expose” videos. While the gun still seems unreliable on whole regarding this – I would think the that an impartial reviewer would take great pains to do everything possible to ensure that the failure they are showing is truly mechanical or design in nature and NOT operator error – to including failing to follow the instructions, shooting the gun when excessively dirty, failure to lubricate the gun prior to shooting it, improper grip (releasing the slide with the trigger finger on the slide/frame is probably NOT going to help a gun already having chambering issues…), etc.

    I don’t know what else to say, the guns are obviously showing numerous and very serious problems, these issue seem to be affecting A LOT of the guns out there – including mine. Remington, in my opinion, has released a true mess to an unsuspecting public. They were aided and abetted (I don’t know if knowingly or not) by the established gun media establishment. Having said that, I still see what I consider equally obnoxious behavior coming from opposite end of the spectrum, the non-traditional gun review sector. If you have to tell me you’re impartial, an expert, or truthful about things, I’m most inclined to think none of those statements are accurate. Conversely, There are a several videos on YouTube that show real technical problems with the R51 – they’ve been put there by everyday “joes.” The information speaks for itself. They’re posted by guys with no agenda other than to identify the issues and to hopefully help to troubleshoot them.

    I’ll close with an analogy. If someone is driving down the street and sees a person they don’t “like the looks of” and intentional swerves and runs that person over and kills them, then it is later discovered that the deceased was a murderer just leaving the scene of the act, yet the driver had no knowledge of this, does the driver get a pass? In my opinion Remington deserves every bit of bad press they get out of all of this. My post here is about the guys who purport to be the opposite of the established gun media, but who, in my mind, are no different. Bias is bias, whether it is bought and paid for, or simply an axe to grind.

    • If someone has a negative opinion on a firearm, they all of a sudden have an agenda? Really? What would a YouTuber have to gain from such an agenda? Do either of the YouTubers you’re making accusations against have other videos discussing problems with Remington products? You’ve probably not looked, have you? I know you haven’t because I just did. Guess what, they don’t. If someone had such a hard-on for Remington you would think their channels would be full of Remington bashing, yet no such evidence exists.

      Two or three YouTubers talk to each other or, post links back and forth or, gasp, have met at a public event before??? BUSTED! AGENDA BABY! Oh wait, I guess the whole concept of a “social network” is lost upon you. Every YouTuber out there links to other videos, comments them, shares them… it’s the whole purpose of social networking. They even have YouTuber get togethers and many also meet up at places like SHOT Show or the NRA show. Guess what, most of the gun writers are at the same events, as are the manufacturers. For this to be lost upon you tells me it’s likely you who has the agenda, that or you’re socially inept when it comes to online and “real world” interaction.

      Oh snap, there must be a conspiracy between the manufacturers because many of them have met in the “real world! Seriously.

      I watched MAC’s video a coupe of times, and he uses both the “sling shot” method of loading the pistol and the slide stop release. Most of the malfunctions he has happened while “sling shotting” it (or firing it). I guess you can’t be bothered with such details when you’re actively pushing your own agenda though.

      We get it, you’re an angry little man who can’t stand the fact some people have an audience and are respected in the firearms community while you enjoy neither. You personify everything that is ugly about the internet.

      “I don’t know what else to say, the guns are obviously showing numerous and very serious problems, these issue seem to be affecting A LOT of the guns out there – including mine. Remington, in my opinion, has released a true mess to an unsuspecting public.”

      I think that falls directly in the no shit category and is exactly what the YouTubers you’re defaming have said and are showing.

    • I’m not sure your accusations warrant a response, but I have some free time so why not. Let’s address a few of your concerns about my impartiality.

      “interestingly, the harshest critics of the gun also all happen to be “buds,” cross posting on each other’s channels, sites, and referring their followers to each other’s feeds, etc. I know from web searches that MAC and Tactical Existence get together in the “real world” – although online I get the district impression the image being put forth is that they’re two separate entities with no relationship who just happened to arrive at the same conclusion.”

      I am not “buds” with Tactical Existence. I’ve met him once at a public shoot where I met other YouTubers and viewers. I believe it was the annual Bullpup shoot held last year in Kentucky where I met him. Just because I’ve met someone once in my life doesn’t mean I’m “buds” with them. But let’s pretend for a moment I am “buds” with him, how does that equate to some sort of conspiracy against Remington? In your mind, what purpose would such a conspiracy serve?

      “While the gun has numerous, unquestionable issues – it seems that these reviews offer little in technical content beyond “oh, gee, look it’s not working again.” There just seems to be a bit too much glee in what I’ve seen in the convincing illustration of the failures and little in the form of assessment as to the issues. I guess I expect a little more critical thinking and observation from “experts.” I’ve also noticed that in the both the Tactical Existence”

      I would agree the guns have issues, I think that much is irrefutable if you do a little searching online. You’ll find a number of R51 owners are talking about failures to feed, failures to go fully into battery and even bulged cases. I’m curious, do you think I’m in some unholy allegiance with everyone that has issues with their R51’s, or is it just fellow YouTubers you think conspire to unjustly bash Remington?

      Glee? I don’t see anything gleeful about my presentation, but perhaps I’m incapable of seeing my own expressions. Does anyone else see a gleeful presentation in my R51 review?

      You don’t think an unedited string of mishaps including failures to feed, failures to extract, failures to ignite and one out of battery discharge presents compelling evidence that something may be wrong with the R51? Especially when this unedited video evidence corresponds with the exact same issues you’ve read about elsewhere online and even admit likely plague the R51?

      I would like to also add that I’ve never presented myself as an “expert”. I am a guy with a YouTube channel. Constantly referring to me as an “expert”, in quotes, indicates some sort of bias on your part towards me. I would be curious to find out what I’ve done to offend you.

      ” While the gun still seems unreliable on whole regarding this – I would think the that an impartial reviewer would take great pains to do everything possible to ensure that the failure they are showing is truly mechanical or design in nature and NOT operator error – to including failing to follow the instructions, shooting the gun when excessively dirty, failure to lubricate the gun prior to shooting it, improper grip (releasing the slide with the trigger finger on the slide/frame is probably NOT going to help a gun already having chambering issues…), etc.”

      What makes you think I didn’t clean the gun? You’re really reaching to try and defame me.

      If you watch the video, you will see many of the malfunctions do occur while loading the gun by operating the slide fully (not using the slide stop). The gun wasn’t excessively dirty, that’s another fabrication on your part. I would also be curious to find out where you rest your index finger when loading a firearm if not on the frame. Obviously you’ve had far more training than I have and I would welcome a few pointers.

      As for troubleshooting the problems, I’m not an engineer nor do I present myself as such. Had I speculated on what I thought might be mechanically wrong with the guns I have, I’m sure you would have pounced and found exception with every word I uttered. It would seem to me that it’s you who has an agenda, as pointed out above, not I.

      I find it ironic that you chastise anything resembling a bias, even when it’s a figment of your own imagination, yet ramble on endlessly with your own biases and conspiracy theories.

  34. “(releasing the slide with the trigger finger on the slide/frame is probably NOT going to help a gun already having chambering issues…), etc.”

    Pray tell, how does one release the slide without one’s trigger finger somewhere on the frame?

    • The guy’s finger was on the joint between the slide and frame; so it was dragging on the action. Probably didn’t feel great, either, but got him the jam he wanted 😉

      TCB

      • LOL

        I suppose all the R51 owners out there reporting the exact same issues are “dragging their fingers” to induce failures too.

  35. Amazing how a product review turns into a kill the messenger bashing. I have an R51 and can speak from experience having had most of the same problems MAC spoke of. In the 400 rds I was able to get through mine before the slide totally locked up I had several ftf, and one fte but no out of battery firings or failures to return to battery. I did notice that the slide would move out of battery when reholstering in my iwb rig.
    I have actually had 2 R51s because the first one froze up after less than 50 rds and the lgs was nice enough to exchange it for another one they had on hand. Because of the experience with the first one I took great pains to clean and lube after no more than 100 rds fired. Strangely enough, the gun was clean and lubricated setting wrapped in the bag it came in in its original box when it locked up. I had manually cycled a few rds I planned to shoot the next day through the action to see if they would feed properly before putting the gun away for the night. When I removed it from its box at the range the next morning the slide would move 1/8 inch and no more. No amount of effort would move it any further.
    Right now my R51 is at Para USA and has been for there for 3 weeks. I have no idea when I will see it again since neither Remington nor Para has a customer service system in place to support the R51.

    .

  36. barnbwt, you seem pretty positive that the slide issue is due to the disconnnect. Without wanting to start a war, can you elaborate on what brought you to that conclusion? If I ever get my r51 back from Para and the slide issue remains unsolved I would like to have some idea about what to do about it.

  37. Gunblast.coms Jeff Quinn says the R51 is the softest shooting, most reliable, easiest to maintain 9MM he has ever seen. According to Gunblast the R51 is a must have. Who am I supposed to believe?

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