BREAKING: Remington Scrubs All Traces of R51 from Websites

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I don’t want to say I called it, but I called it: the R51 is a massive blunder from start to finish. We’ve seen report after report coming from end users and other reviewers that the gun has serious design issues and has been plagued by poor manufacturing processes and shoddy quality control, and even when those guns were returned to the factory to be repaired Remington was unable to find a fix. Now, it looks like Remington is finally pulling the plug and has scrubbed all traces of the R51 from their website.

Go look up “R51” in Remington’s search bar — there’s only one result and it’s a promo video from before the launch. Looking through the Wayback Machine we see that Remington was at one point proudly displaying the firearm and even had a specific page for the gun, but that page has now been deleted.

The conclusion I draw from this new information: Remington is about to kill off the R51.

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Remington had been pushing their new gun extremely hard, running non-stop advertisements in magazines and even buying a massive booth at the NRA Annual Meeting this year specifically to pimp the R51. However, all the marketing money in the world can’t cover up the fact that the gun was universally panned (by those who weren’t paid to do otherwise, at least) and online reviews from actual users were almost universally negative. Even the Maryland State Police kept it off their approved list for sale in the Old Line State due to reported reliability problems.

I love innovation. I love seeing new designs come to market, and always try to encourage companies to try something new. And I had high hopes for the R51 when it was first announced. But when a firearm has significant issues just cycling the action on a flat range under ideal conditions, there’s no way anyone with any integrity can advocate for consumers buying that gun. Innovation is good, but it needs to work before spending millions of dollars on a marketing campaign and burning bridges with reviewers when they truthfully report their experiences.

[h/t TE]

comments

  1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Oh man, I feel bad for all of the early adopters. I’ve been burned in the past myself. I had high hopes for this too, as we all want a reliable thin, single stack 9mm.

    1. avatar Guywithagun says:

      Yeah, its already out there. Ruger LC9. Sure it’s double action only, but it’s small, single stack, and it goes boom EVERY SINGLE TIME.

      1. avatar k4R-15 says:

        The Walther PPS is a respectable single stack 9 also.

      2. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

        Yeah, guess I’m a picky dude at this point. Really need something that’s going to be heads above my standard G19 kit. Don’t like the thumb safety on the LC9. Think the XDS 9 is a little big/heavy for a 9. Not blown away with the Kahr trigger (or price point). Never been a huge Walther fan. Like I said, I guess I’m picky at this point. Not really a Glock fan boy, but was hoping they’d come out with a single stack 9. Guess we’ll see

        1. avatar Paul B says:

          Kel-Tec PF9. No safety. Keep it in #1 condition and it will go bang on the first pull of the trigger. You better have some trigger discipline.

        2. avatar Hokey says:

          People don’t give it much respect and in some places it is over priced for what it is, but try the Bersa BP9CC. Pretty sweet little pistol, but there’s only one around here and I’m having a hard time paying Glock prices for a Bersa (even though I believe Bersa was a fine firearm for the money)

      3. avatar Gunr says:

        Been searching the web to find a good reliable compact single stack 9. Went to town today to go to 4 gun shops in the city. Checked out a lot of guns. Nobody had an R51 (good thing) I had it narrowed to a Kahr CW9, but then I handled a S&W Shield. The trigger on it is above all the others. Short light let off, and what was important to me, it had a short reset. Also, unlike some other guns including the Ruger LC9, it will go BOOM without the magazine, an important feature if you use the gun as a carry weapon. There’s always a chance of accidentally dropping your mag, or damaging it.
        I had considered the Kimber Sole, but they run almost 8 Benjamin’s. Also sort of considered the Diamonback DB9 because of it’s size (smallest of the bunch and only 11 oz.) What turned me off on it were the numerous bad reviews, and the tip of the trigger really wants to puncture your index finger.
        For anybody that’s interested, Cabelas were definitely the highest priced!

        1. avatar Randal says:

          I know with the Ruger SR9c and SR40c you can remove the magazine disconnect very quickly and easily, after a quick google search it appears you can the LC9 also.

      4. avatar Neon says:

        Or an S&W Shield.

    2. avatar JoshinGA says:

      Kahr makes several models, the M&P Shield also immediately comes to mind.

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        That’s what I bought today, Great trigger. See my post above. Gunr

    3. avatar Gene says:

      Funny thing is I’ve seen a private sale on a local gun selling website for a used one. Advertised as having a low round count. LOL

    4. avatar bryan1980 says:

      Let’s not forget the XD-s 9

    5. avatar NJ2AZ says:

      i realize you mean compacts or subcompacts, but i do like my smith & wesson 3904.

    6. avatar Lunacite says:

      I’ve been very happy with the Sig P290

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        Yes sir, a quality firearm like the Sig with night sights and 2 mags in the $450 range is hard to beat, arguably the best bang for the buck in a small single stack 9mm. I’m about a month and 300 rds into my P290 RS, it has functioned flawlessly thus far, exceeded my expectations for fit and finish in that price range, and is noticeably smaller than the competition. Sig nailed it on design, quality control, and pricing with the 2nd gen P290. Obviously the R51 was plagued from the get go by multiple design flaws and quality control. Firearms manufacturers should take notice that recent quality control failures at Remington and S&W will be difficult if not impossible to overcome.

  2. avatar sota says:

    now I wish I’d bought one… just to collect it as an Ultimate Fail. The eventual value on ones still out there just shot up.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yes.
      I gotta find one!

  3. I was at that booth at the NRA Annual Meeting, and handled several R51s.

    First one, I cycled the slide as I always to do check for empty when I pick up ANY pistol. Slide came back–and stayed there. It took the booth personnel with tools to get the piece back in action (at least, I assume they got it back in action, when I left they were still working on it).

    Second one, grip safety stacked-stacked-stacked, then CLACK! finally depressed into frame. But slide would cycle, and so I could at least dry fire the trigger. Was OK.

    Third one, grip safety worked smoothly, but the trigger was horrific.

    Presumably, given that these were chosen for display at an industry event with 75,000 attendees specifically to be handled as I was doing, these samples were among the best the factory could produce. Zero QA/QC. None.

    And that’s all without so much as firing a shot. Frankly, I’m not sure I would have had the guts to do so, had the option been available.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

  4. avatar Gun_Chris says:

    Hopefully they don’t completely throw in the towel. It looked like decent, and if they’d just let the engineers finish the design and then implement some QA on the assembly line, version 2.0 could still be a success.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Recipe for success:
      -Polish the slide and blue/coat it dark & shiny
      -Tighten up all pivoting elements on their pins (they are ALL loose inside the gun)
      -Go to a pivoting disconnector, rather than a sliding one, or just tweak the current design to contact the continuous slide rails instead of the uneven slide internals
      -Buy some real 9mm chamber reamers instead of endmills (most issues are short-chamber related)
      -Reduce the positive engagement of the hammer/sear, to halve the trigger weight
      -Tweak slide-release spring, so Nick won’t complain about it again
      -Remove disconnector return springs, instead make the trigger return spring stronger to make for a ‘tactile reset’ that everyone suddenly cares about
      -Find a better company to make magazines, and start with a 9/357/40/45 offering since all will fit in the current ones. Bonus points for a 7.62×25 version, if you’re brave enough
      -Increase price 200$ to incorporate the above
      -Increase price 300$ and add a steel frame to the above for 500 pistols, introduce it as the “New R51 2.0 Deluxe” or whatever, and get some talented gun smiths to hand-tune each, distribute them to influential gun people while selling lower numbers through distributors to generate buzz/acclaim for the high quality, scarce specimens, before rolling out the pedestrian version

      TCB

      1. Shorter: Build a damned pistol that works.

        You left out “discover iron” and “invent gun powder.”

        If only they weren’t inventing the first pistol ever.

        Sheesh.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          Have you ever designed/built a gun, or machine of any type? “Make it work” is about the most oblivious command there is (like “make it profitable,” which Cerberus was undoubtedly screaming at the time). That as many tilting barrel designs work as well as they do actually is due to 100+ years of optimizing that specific mechanism, which the Pedersen action never got. The R51 is literally version 2, and does improve a lot of the worst and most expensive aspects of the original; it has real potential, if only Remington were still capable of realizing it.

          But yeah, I agree with your drift; when you can’t even ream a 9mm chamber properly, you should probably be devoting resources to something other than R&D (like bankruptcy lawyers)

          My R51 works fine, btw, for whatever that is worth. The chamber sucked, but I finished reamed it and chambering rounds is no longer an issue (it wasn’t before, but I wanted to be sure and the chamber was WAY off spec). The gun is about as nice as the roughest SKS made; very comparable, in fact. It works, but it is by no means a ‘nice’ gun. I excel at sewing purses from sow’s ears, so mine eventually will be, but sadly few others.

          TCB

    2. avatar Sock Monkey says:

      “…it looked decent…”

      Well, it looked really ugly, but the real problem was that it didn’t work. = )

  5. avatar S.CROCK says:

    I was all sad when I first heard about this gun because ca basically has a handgun ban on any new handguns but this gun just seems like a lemon design. I have heard nothing good about this gun. Now that I think about it, I haven’t heard much good about anything Remington since the Freedoms group took over.

  6. avatar Eric says:

    We will see the Caracal pistol return before the R51

  7. avatar Jeff O. says:

    Well now I kind of want one, as a testament to a corporate blunder.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      A better testament to a corporate blunder should be a very expensive one to the offending corporation.

      By you buying one, you’re making that lesson less painful to Remington.

      1. avatar Drew says:

        Since the gun no longer exists for Remington the only pain you might be alleviating would be the original owners. To solve that just lowball the guy or buy from a pawn shop that will have done the lowball ing for you.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Having worked in the Gun & Pawn biz, I’ll give you my perspective on this. Me knowing it’s reliability means I’d probably offer the guy/gal maybe 50 bucks if that gun came across my counter. I’d prefer my customers buy guns from me that actually work.

          I’ve flat turned down crap guns to buy/pawn.

  8. avatar mercutio says:

    Just another example of style over substance….

    1. avatar Drew says:

      Or another example of the truth that any possible improvements to the modern hand gun are bound to be minutely incremental at best with little if any space for a new player or design. Unless you are a mid/high priced 1911 maker with your own supper special slide serrations and silly roll mark. We can’t have enough of those.

      1. avatar Torro says:

        True enough about fire arms technology being mature. Most advances seem to be made in ease of manufacture and lessening cost of production.

  9. avatar LAC says:

    Version 2.0 will be plagued by the memory of version 1.0. A working, reliable pistol… maybe. Success… never.

    1. avatar Drew says:

      Sigma.

  10. avatar Clay says:

    doesn’t that mean that 50 years from now, these will be collectible?

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Yes, about as much as a Ford Pinto.

      1. avatar Matt says:

        Or a pacer, nova, gremlin, and vega.

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          You must understand that the Pinto is in a class by itself.
          It was known for out-of-battery detonations, just like the R51.

        2. avatar jsallison says:

          Hey, in driver’s ed I had a Vega woody-ish wagon with 4 on the floor all to myself. Lame-@$$ fellow students couldn’t (didn’t want to) handle a stick.

      2. avatar Taylor TX says:

        It definitely aint a DeLorean.

      3. avatar B says:

        At least any R51 you find 50 years from now will be pristine. Its not like people will be shooting them. Kind of sad, reminded me of a remix of the Makarov.

      4. avatar Gunr says:

        Hey, watch it!
        I had a Pinto, AND a Vegrant, that’s what my buddy called. Got lucky, no problem except a sticky throttle on the Pinto, Dealer took care of it.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      No moreso than a Winchester 1911 shotgun is.

  11. avatar Greg says:

    Get rid of the stupid locking system and just use a Browning locking system. Make it single stack, small and thin. Have a trigger safety without a manual safety. There. Easy.

    1. avatar PeterK says:

      The locking system is not the problem. The execution was.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Make it a Glock; easy, derp. A Glock made to as bad of tolerances as some of the R51’s would flat out explode when the hammer dropped before the barrel was raised. This has not happened with the R51 because the Pedersen action doesn’t fail out of battery that way. The design problems in the original caused fatigue-cracks, and were addressed in the R51. The remainder is just fine, if only Remington were capable of making quality items any more. The subcontractor that made all the MIM internal parts actually did an excellent job, but the machined frames and slides supplied to Remington by the Para plant were horribly done (they obviously knew their dump of an operation would be shut down shortly after the first batch of pistols)

      TCB

  12. avatar Paul G. says:

    Friend at the range must have gotten the only nice one, he loves it, and said all the bad press is BS. I didn’t shoot it, but handled it, tried the trigger, seemed decent from cursory inspection

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Or he does not actually shoot it very much, which is far more likely than him getting the best of a sorry lot

      1. avatar Paul G. says:

        He shoots it often, it is his EDC gun.

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Some people have all the luck, I guess.

        2. avatar Gunr says:

          “EDC” gun = Every day Coronary.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Mine worked sufficiently fine, too. Who knew? Had issues with hollowpoints before I tweaked the cheap magazines, and it doesn’t light off Tula primers 100% of the time, but that’s not uncommon. Mine needed a true grind/file/fluff/buff/polish (over and above fluff/buff) but did run out of the factory –it just racks easier now, and I don’t have to worry about cleaning metal shavings as the rough parts wear in. I also touched up the poorly-done-but-still-functional factory chamber to proper spec, just to make sure there is no worry about the gun not going fully into battery. Let’s keep things in perspective; it’s an all metal 9mm +P pistol with brand new design that cost the same as a 1911 with 100 years of cost-optimization under its belt; what were people expecting? Something nicer than the two Hi Points you could buy for the same price?

      TCB

  13. avatar Puyallup devil doc says:

    Can we get a Remington R51 vs Baby Nambu review?

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      That was a good one, you owe me a keyboard!

  14. They must have not read Shooting Illustrated’s review of it. It is a great handgun.

  15. avatar gearshiv says:

    Uggh why freedom group why must you make all the guns I like crap! first marlin then you get my hopes up with this?

    1. avatar Forrest McNabb says:

      I agree. Sometimes I wonder if there is an internal scheme to send the company down the drain. Even new 870’s need work as soon as you buy one. One of my local gunstores offer complimentary chamber polishing for 870s its so common. It’s ridiculous.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Lord knows Cerberus/Freedom Group weren’t aware of Remington’s potential liability when they signed the dotted line. Now we have a long-delayed recall of (every?) their most popular offering over the last 60 plus years, a possible class action suit both for that and the R51, and possibly more recalls/suits to come over the 870’s that are now suffering similar problems (bad chambers, general shittiness)

        TCB

  16. avatar PeterC says:

    Perhaps it’s time for Colt, or somebody, to bring back the Model 1903 pocket pistol, but in 9mm. Now that was a slick design!

    1. avatar PeterK says:

      What is really sad is there could be a sweet market for old designs, but when someone screws up this badly it makes it much less likely methinks. 🙁

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        The reason why companies don’t bring back the old designs is that they know that you, the gun buying public, are a bunch of cheapskates.

        You won’t pay up for quality. You won’t pay for hand-fitting parts to get tight lock-ups. You won’t pay for polishing the finish.

        So they don’t do it. They seek to put out the cheapest possible injection-molded crap there is, bead-blast the metal and put a phosphate etch on it, then market it to you as being “better.”

        That’s why, even tho people are buying small .38’s for CCW, you won’t see something like a Colt Detective Special come back into the market.

        If someone wanted to put out a 1903 today, even in the original chamberings, the MSRP would be at least $1,000 and probably closer to $1500 with a really nice blued finish on it. If Colt did put out a 1903/1908 auto in 9mm, I’d go out and buy two tomorrow – as long as they were made as well and with as nice a finish as used to be available 100 years ago.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      A blowback 9mm pistol? Astra and Hi Point already did/do those.

  17. avatar Scott says:

    What a shame they couldn’t get it right. I loved the looks. I loved the feel. Then I cycled the action. Well… I didn’t love it so much after that.

    HEY TAURUS!!! Here’s a project for you. You’re good at making knock offs of everything else. Give this one a shot and see if you can make it work.

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Why would Taurus bother with this garbage? Their quality is much better than it used to be. Don’t know where they are going as a major shareholder may attempt a hostile takeover soon.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      I looked at the slim 709 today, but the Shield’s trigger is much better.

    3. avatar barnbwt says:

      It would be a fantastic project for Taurus. They aren’t afraid of MIM (everything but the slide and frame are MIM), they know how to cut chambers properly, they can run mills properly more often than not, and they are great at fixing the originals’ design flaws. If they fixed the chamber, slide milling QC, shrank the firing pin diameter, and tweaked the disconnector so it doesn’t bump up and down over the bolt body when the gun is cycled, they’d have a fantastic gun for not much money.

      TCB

  18. avatar Rob Aught says:

    Shame. I was ready for something new instead of the endless rehashes of the 1911 and the latest striker-fired Glock wannabe.

  19. avatar John says:

    These looked really interesting before release, especially for the price point. It seems a shame that these guns weren’t better.

  20. avatar Great Scot says:

    I kinda liked the aesthetics of the gun, but, knowing now, I’m disappointed.
    I don’t know about the insides, but I could improve the aesthetics, starting with the trigger and the trigger-guard…

  21. avatar Eric E. says:

    GUNS magazine’s September issue has a major puff piece on the R51. Oops!

  22. avatar LJM says:

    Valley, if you want a reliable, thin, single stack 9…. LC9.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Nice gun, but has magazine safety.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Looks like they “missed a spot” during the webpage scrubbing…

  23. avatar Wielsucker (@Wielsucker) says:

    Tip: Buy pistols from companies that make pistols, buy rifles from… you see where this is going. Big Green is a rifle/shotgun/cybernetic-aimbot company.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Well, the gun was made for Remington by Para USA, so…

  24. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’m not a fan of the Ruger LC9 trigger. The M&P shield feels a little better to me, but I’m really holding out for a GLOCK (43?) single stack 9mm. If “perfection” doesn’t make one soon I’ll be another Shield owner. The R51 was barely even a blip on the radar, and I’m not fond of the .380 caliber in the Glock 42.

    I really like the idea of the compact 9mm single stack platform. Adequate power, cheap and plentiful ammo, and easy to conceal. I guess I’ve got the unique taste of millions before me.

    I do enjoy, in a schadenfreude type of way, how the praise was heaped on the R51 by *paid* reviewers. I’d actually buy Guns N Ammo and such if their reviews were trustworthy.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      I know what you mean. I bought a shield after looking at numerous single stack compact 9’s. See my post at top.

  25. avatar Tom W. says:

    Love my old 870!!!! Oh wait,….

    Nevermind….

    I try to avoid buying the first production runs of anything. Let the “bugs and gremlins” get worked out. R51 v 2.0 coming to SHOT show!!!!

    1. avatar Lemming says:

      Actually a point I wanted to make. FG can’t build a reliable pump action shotgun or lever gun to a decades old design. Why is there any surprise that a new design would be even worse?

  26. avatar former water walker says:

    OK…Definitely NOT a dandy little pocket pistol. It looked kinda’ interesting but aren’t there a bunch of tried & true similar sized single stack 9’s? And smaller too with the same capacity? Oh well…personally have never seen one in person & thought they had a goofy raygun look.

  27. avatar Patrulje says:

    I had high hopes for this gun, the retro look even appealed to me, but considering the reviews and after handling one at a gun show…I’ll pass. To each his own, I have a friend that restored and Edsel and loved it.

  28. avatar Ralph says:

    Innovation? The R51 was just a rehash of the Model 51 from 1917. And that pistol was a flop, too.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      To be fair, it was a ‘flop’ because the Depression hit and it was an expensive pocket 380/32. Hard to compete with blowbacks, don’t you know (also, concealed handgun hatred was ramping up at the time due to gangster and Depression violence, which could not have helped sales to the law-abiding public). It initially was as popular as the top-of-the-line model for any consumer product can be. The gun was sold with a good reputation for about 30 years, so considerably less a flop than most all semi-auto designs but the 1911, Hi Power, Tokarev, and a few others. The semi-auto market has never been as stable as revolvers, for some reason. Losing to the 1911 for logistical reasons doomed the design to little further development, so it inevitably fell out of fashion.

      As far as the new design, they did actually redesign the bolt and slide interface completely; the original was a BREN-like tilting bolt, the new one FAL-like. Much stronger and more robust against the fatigue failures that plagued the originals after many rounds. And that’s not counting the scale-up of the rest of the gun and components, which, contrary to popular belief, requires a lot more development and reverse engineering than most would expect. The internals, while very similar to the originals, are made through a totally-divorced process of MIM manufacture that also required a lot of development (unless there is another gun with nearly all parts but slide, frame, and pins made from MIM, the R51 broke new ground there. Also, the MIM parts are pretty much the only things Rem’s contractors got right, as far as quality and tolerance. Sounds like a dubious honor because of MIM’s assumed inferiorty, but it is impressive how many parts were made that way)

      TCB

      -Loved the “Apes” review, btw 🙂

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        it was a ‘flop’ because the Depression hit

        Well, the Depression was the final nail in its coffin, but the original was brought out in 1917 and was available throughout the Roaring Twenties, which was a very prosperous period. So it had more than a decade on the market before the Depression hit.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Actually, there was a pretty severe recession/depression right after WWI, called the “Depression of 1920-21” in economics literature.

          It was sharp and short, thanks to the attitude of “leave it alone” prevalent in the US government (esp the presidency and Congress) at that time. The Federal Reserve, as has become usual in the midst of severe economic downturns, didn’t help things much. Even when they were noobs with the monetary policy thing, the Fed didn’t help things much, if any.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Ah, no, it wasn’t. The original M51 was a victim of the larger economic situation coming out of WWI, but there wasn’t a thing wrong with the original pistol. It worked and worked well.

  29. avatar Myk? says:

    If we’re bringing back inovative designs, How about the HK p7? I’d love to get one in .45. Or some other squeeze cocker that doesn’t need all of the expensive machining.

    1. avatar PeterC says:

      There actually was an HK P7 in .45 ACP. HK had a couple of prototypes on display at the SHOT Show several years ago.

    2. avatar Ben English says:

      A reincarnation of the 9mm P7 would be a bit large to properly fill this niche. If it happens they need to fix a couple of things. It’s too heavy, so switch to polymer. It’s also way too thick for a single-stack 9. Fix those two things and I’ll overlook the slightly excessive height and length. I’ll be waiting in line, cash in hand.

      1. Plus the P7 is no good for any sustained fire (e.g., reasonably intensive practice or a match), as it rapidly gets too hot to handle–and I mean that literally. Smoking hot, burning hot, singeing hot. Hot.

        If it’s only going to be shot in small volume I suppose that’s not an issue. But that’s not how I shoot my PDW.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

  30. avatar S.dogood says:

    they should have just brought back the old R 51 from the early 20th century and called it a day

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      In what parallel universe would Remington be able to revive the 51? And let’s not forget it had serious design flaws of its own in both the slide and bolt, and from mere 380/32, let alone 9mm +P. The R51 actually did address these issues well, and the remainder is incredibly similar to the original. A Model 51 made as poorly, as it surely would be, would fare even worse. The future for Remington’s other products bodes ill.

      TCB

  31. avatar Scrubula says:

    If they spent all of that advertising money on making the design right the first time, maybe it wouldn’t be such a failure.

  32. avatar tdiinva says:

    For a guy who gets no respect I feel vindicated because I I gave R51 the big Why? back when everyone was so doe-eyed about it. I won’t claim that I said that it would be POS but it was evident that from the size and capacity that it was going to be a loser. It is a single stack “pocket pistol” the size of a double stacked XD/m compact. Where is the market for that when there are true pocket 9s out there?

  33. avatar Rog Uinta says:

    We already have a perfect retro-style single-action, single-stack, lightweight, compact 9mm: the Sig P938.

    1. avatar ShaunL. says:

      +1

    2. avatar Full Cleveland says:

      Agreed. As much as I like the carry convenience of the new pocket pistols whenever a possible need came up I wished I had my 239. That was an easy problem to solve. And thanks to TTAG for credible reviews.

  34. avatar Carter Cammack says:

    Sad, indeed. I’m a fan of the original 51. I even may have sent Remington an email encouraged them to try a new version. It’s too bad they’d rather spend money on marketing instead of development. The basic design isn’t the problem.
    Guess I’ll buy a CPX-2 instead.

    1. avatar Phantom72 says:

      I like my Shield 9mm, but I am growing fond of the SCCY CPX-2, and the Bersa BP9CC as well. IMO, I have been fortunate enough to fire a lot of 9mm in this category, and there are a lot of good firearms on the market in this niche right now. You just have to decide what kind of $ you want to spend, & go from there.

  35. avatar SelousX says:

    @k4R-15:
    It’s nice to see someone else touting the Walther PPS! Personally, I find it a welcome change from my Glock 19 during the summer. I must confess I am quite puzzled that the PPS is not more popular.

  36. avatar Calvin says:

    But but but … the dead tree guys said it was a fine piece of engineering and how dare you whippersnappers say they weren’t being objective!

  37. avatar geoffb says:

    One thing I noticed in the “Guns” “review” is that they talked all around about everything but the functioning. It would seem that in this case, at least, the corporate model for producing a product is Dilbert.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Yes. Somebody should come out with a “Dilbert” gun, and have a picture of him engraved on the slide.

  38. avatar Marc says:

    There used to be an 51….

    “… But it is gone now.”

  39. avatar Steve says:

    The value of these can only go up in the future… I should stop by my local Academy and grab one; they had one last I saw.

  40. avatar jake harper says:

    So you are saying that Remington is pulling a Stalin and erasing this from the history books? Ha!

  41. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    Was their anything dangerously wrong with the R51? Aside from general unreliability?

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      It fires out of battery. With the chamber not completely closed, and allows pressure to escape through the ejection port. Extremely dangerous.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Have there actually been examples of a case failure, though? I’m not saying that Remington’s undersized/rough chambers aren’t keeping some ammo from chambering fully (the chambers have no leade or freebore, as if cut by endmills, at least in my case), but the Pedersen action is uniquely suited to dealing with such disadvantageous scenarios. It will not unlock if fired out of battery, so you end up with a poorly supported case rather than a super-accelerated slide tearing the case under pressure. And cases should still fail at the feed ramp into the mag well as per usual, where the support is slightly less.

        The true design flaw in the pistols as delivered was the oversized firing pin and hole, as well as the pin’s unnecessarily long travel (presumably a drop-safe requirement). This is what causes the primers to form a pimple as they flow backward. I haven’t had, or heard of, a primer failure, but it is still pretty disconcerting to see a weirdo feature like that on spent cases. There’s also the issue of the crummy disconnector design, which rides up and over bumps on the slide internals 3 times each way, instead of being pushed down by a continuous slide rail except when in battery, like every other design; causes the notchy slide feel, but ‘technically’ doesn’t allow the hammer to fall at times it would be unsafe. A quick edit to the disco, slide, and frame could fix this, but it would be a more expensive part (so it won’t be changed).

        I maintain they’re poorly made, but not dangerous; more Corvair than Pinto.

        TCB

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          Poor analogy….the Pinto was destroyed by the press, it was not really that dangerous. My dad worked the Corvair line, they had regular fires or even kabooms in the drive off line.

        2. avatar barnbwt says:

          Oh, I thought the Ralph Nader hatchet job on the Corvair was worse. I’m not surprised the Pinto was similarly hatcheted, though (it was a crappy car, though, lol)

        3. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

          Tim Harmsen caught it on video firing out of battery after being properly cleaned and re-assembled. There is verifiable video evidence that it happens.

  42. avatar Don Davis says:

    A pistol is dangerously wrong if intended as a personal defense weapon ….. it MUST work. If the company could not be bothered to produce samples at the intro that did, they must not care to sell any of them.
    Just my two cents……

  43. avatar Tim U says:

    And with the death if the R51 also comes the end of any chance left I would buy anything that came out of Remington’s plants. The last holdout in freedom group I considered “ok” was DPMS and I was thinking of picking up one of their GII .308s, but with them moving to the same plant that spawned the r51 disaster I am going to have to pass entirely.

    I will not buy a freedom group brand gun. I have some pre-FG guns from those brand names they assimilated, but I will not touch the new ones.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      I thought the NC plant was being shuttered and PARA production moved to AL along with the others. Is DPMS supposed to be getting the old PARA plant, now? If so, lame; they apparently don’t even have proper 9mm chamber reamers, there, just dull endmills (if my R51 was any comparison; luckily a touch-up finish ream fixed that issue)

      TCB

  44. avatar Eric says:

    Good riddance!

  45. avatar John McPherson says:

    Nano, Nano, Nano, what more do you want?

    1. avatar Ben English says:

      The Nano grip is too short for those of us with large hands. Use the extended magazines and the entire character of the pistol changes for the better. I love mine and agree with you. If someone needs a pistol in the “small, flat 9” genre, they need to handle a Nano.

  46. avatar Roy says:

    Too bad. Such a neat idea.

  47. avatar clutch says:

    Well I just got notified my 700 finally got the trigger fixed. Maybe they’ll throw in some R51’s as packing!

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      What in tarnation makes you think your “fixed” trigger was made any better? I’d do some serious safety checks once you get it back. Rem’s entire process failed top to bottom on the R51, so much so it is impossible it was contained to that one product.

      TCB

  48. avatar Anonymous says:

    Remington:

    Oh no! Edit undo Edit undo.

  49. avatar SD3 says:

    Heads will roll, gentlemen.

    Heads.
    Will.
    Roll.

  50. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    I see Cerebus is running Remington like Chrysler. I guess it really is a dog from hell.

  51. avatar Joel says:

    Somebody ought to call the folks over at Guns Magazine. They just published a review of the R51 in their online edition, slobbering all over themselves about what a breakthrough firearm design this is.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      The design itself is actually quite fertile ground; the execution is at least 95% of the problem. The only design change I’d have made would be the trigger disconnector scheme, which makes the slide rack notchy and prone to hanging up (doesn’t affect function, though). With a fixed barrel, it is far easier to mount stuff like suppressors or fancy compensators, carbine kit barrels, and even barrel-frame fixtures with integral sight mounts that would make the gun as accurate as any auto loading rifle. An integral frame-mounted laser activated by the grip safety. I really hope someone else picks up on the design, since Remington is obviously in no position to pursue new ideas (or even manufacture guns) at this point; the torch will have to be carried by another.

      Although, since most people think “design” is the same as “delivered product” it is a hard sell to convince people the Pedersen action has its merits. But realize that a 1911 made as poorly would be peening/shearing barrel lugs and straight-up kabooming; doesn’t make that a terrible design, either.

      TCB

  52. avatar Fred says:

    Hmmm, a pistol they said was small, but was not, that they said was flawlessly reliable, but was not, that was new and innovative, but was not, that they said was light, but was not fails? That was a safe bet. Lets ignore the terrible grip safety that literally cuts you, the R51 was nothing it was advertised as. It’s not a looker, it doesn’t really do anything well, assuming it even functioned properly.

    If this were the only pistol on the market everyone would carry knives.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      You’ve shot one then? I make no apologies for the appalling number of problematic guns made due to incompetence top to bottom in the project, but half your list is either unfair or inaccurate.
      -Some random reviewer gave the bad initial size specs, not Remington (but their idiots did not correct him)
      -I’m with you on the reliability, but such issues are hardly unique to this product
      -It is as innovative as anything introduced in the last 2 decades or more (an FAL action you can fit inside your waste band)
      -It is as light as a steel slide, aluminum frame gun possibly can be; what did you expect? It even has a shorter slide and frame height than tilt-barrel actions, so those parts are possibly lighter for the barrel length
      -Grip safety that cuts you? I see, so you haven’t shot one.
      -It’s ugly; can’t argue with you there, since it is a point that can’t even be argued, being totally subjective
      -As for things it can do; shoot +P ammo with less felt recoil than my P35 High power shooting standard ball, and with no hammer bite worry

      TCB

  53. avatar VaqueroJustice says:

    had it worked, the r51 would have been a decent carry gun, manufacturing and quality control problems killed that, but at least those that grabbed one will have a collectors item, with so few being sold.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      A truly missed opportunity, that I hope can be salvaged by a group willing to evade some patents. The design is actually pretty brilliant, but it relies upon being made well, not unlike its contemporary 1911 (or any design, for that matter). I just wish that Remington blows some spare parts and especially magazines out when they cancel the project officially.

      TCB

  54. avatar barnbwt says:

    Congrats on yet another “I told you so,” not that it changes anything, nor improves anything. For the record, again, not that it matters, the gun itself is sufficiently well designed; a 1911 made this poorly would fare no better, and probably worse (since it is less tolerant of ignition out of full lockup). Also, again, none of the actual problems with the gun were noticed or explained in the review here, just observations that remain out of the mainstream of users’ experiences (like mine).

    “online reviews from actual users were almost universally negative.”
    Closer to 1/3rd good to 2/3rd bad. And a whole ton of people bitching about the notchy slide with no understanding of how the action works or why that doesn’t matter in and of itself. Most of the people with (very) positive experiences aren’t making much noise since they get inundated with “but it’s an ugly piece of crap and you a idiot fer buying one.” Not ‘widely positive’ reviews, but hardly “universally negative” or even almost.

    The word at this point is that if your gun balled up on the first shot, it was defective or you did not clean it (like the factory should have) of machining debris. If the gun has trouble chambering fully, Remington cut the chamber poorly with dull tooling (as mine was), an issue hardly unique to the R51. If neither of those issues were present, and the magazines were in good shape (also not an R51-specific issue), the guns were generally good-to-go. If you release the grip safety while cycling the gun, it can cause the slide to hang (do you screw with safeties and controls on other guns while cycling them?), but a proper grip prevents this. In any case, a simple design tweak to the disconnector cures this.

    “Remington is about to kill off the R51.”
    Remington has not been shipping these guns for months; why devote any energy to the project at all? Whether it is revived is a separate question, with equally obvious answer. Heck, the plant making the things is being shut down; should they waste ad-money promoting a gun that isn’t being made (or even serviced, in all likelihood?)

    Hate the R51 all you want; it’s problems are hardly unique to that product line, and will spread across what little good remains in Rem’s product lineup unless they do some serious cleanup on the organization, top to bottom. So far, they have only seen fit to reorganize the bottom rungs. The fact is the company is unable to produce good weapons anymore; good quality is now the exception rather than the rule. They can barely make passable 700’s and 870’s, and were unable to demonstrate any marketing, manufacturing, or management competence in rolling out a single new product line. If you cannot even ream a chamber to safe dimensions, you cannot build good guns, by definition.

    Between the corporate retraction, internal lawsuits, recalls, and class action suits soon to follow, it is very apparent the Remington we knew is dying. Dance in their blood while you can, if it makes you feel better.

    TCB

  55. avatar Esteve says:

    While they last! Exactly two R51’s available on GunBroker.

    1. avatar Phantom72 says:

      NO RESERVE!!! 🙂

  56. avatar Gunr says:

    can anyone say with accuracy, how many rounds they put through a simi auto pistol, besides the proof round or rounds. Considering the price of most guns, and what they can get ammo for, they should run at least a box through each gun. Probably run less that 5 rounds??

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      No, or few, R51’s were test fired. The amount of machining debris inside the guns (chips, metal shavings, blasting media) indicates QC was probably not even done in any capacity. Most of the problems stem from poorly cut chambers (so ammo won’t chamber well), and the remainder are typically due to people shooting the guns out of the box without clearing the aforementioned garbage. Glocks are cool, and all, but I doubt they’d do great with a palm-full of sand inside the gun, either.

      TCB

      1. So who’s fault is all that? Remington, no?

        I don’t understand your point. It would have been a great pistol if they hadn’t produced a shitty pistol?

        They made what they made. It’s crap.

        Sheesh.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      2. avatar Johannes P says:

        “Glocks are cool, and all, but I doubt they’d do great with a palm-full of sand inside the gun, either.”

        Or maybe they will!

        http://www.theprepared.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      The aforementioned single pre-release marketing video. The last vestige of the R51 left on Remington.com.

  57. avatar Royal T says:

    They really shot themselves in the foot with this one. I just hope no one else did.

  58. avatar Mark Davis says:

    My Kel-Tec Pf9 has never failed.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      It’d better not; they’ve only been designing/making Browning-derivative guns for 100 years, now 😉

      TCB

  59. avatar Michael Hagan says:

    This is a real teaching moment for our and future generations of gun owners. When you give Marketing too much say in the day-to-day operations of a company, the failure rate will be exponential. Sure, that’s where the revenue issues from, but the buyback cost to refund anyone that wants to sell their R51 back to Rem will be minor. The (further) damage to the brands of their other offerings in the shooting public’s mind is going to be significant. I like Rem; I want them to succeed. But this cluster-f**k lies squarely at the feet of their board of directors who may be inept or simply inattentive. Either one is a firing offense and the Freedom Group is going to have to do a lot of penance to make up for turning their backs on a problem that wouldn’t go away after the R51’s intro. Shame on the engineers, QA personnel (oh, wait–were they told not to say anything negative?) managers, officers and anyone else that had a hand in this. Didn’t have to happen but I’d suppose someone had to meet a deadline in order to achieve a marketing objective. This old company deserved better.

  60. avatar Lul says:

    Ohh man

  61. avatar Banky74 says:

    But, but, but, the new issue of Gun World that showed up at my door this week says that the R51 is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And so did all of the other gun magazines!!

    TTAG obviously has an anti-Remmington bias.

  62. avatar john says:

    They created a new website for the R51 and others…

    http://therock.remington.com/

  63. avatar Jack Reacher says:

    M&P Shield 9 – with or without the thumb safety is still out there ladies and gents! Problem solved.

  64. avatar Martin B says:

    I hear good things about the Taurus PT111 G2 9mm, for a concealed carry piece. Every reviewer (definitely none paid) has been very enthusiastic about it, and it is very compact for the 12 + 1 capacity. Separate safety, lightweight trigger pull, acurate and with good adjustable sights. There seem to be few of the problems that afflict the earlier Tauri, and at the price, what more do you need?

  65. avatar Jason says:

    I have not read much about this firearm, but I can tell you about my experience with my Ruger P-94 9mm. I bought one while on leave after SERE School in 1995. The Big Deal about Banning High Capacity Magazines was flying around back then. I was on Active Duty, stationed at Camp Hansen at the time, but on leave in Texas as I said above. I really enjoyed that pistol, right until the external Ejection Spring started coming loose and Double-Feeding live rounds…. I quickly got rid of it in exchange for transmission work on my Truck! Now, it’s a Kimber (Desert Warrior) and a Ruger GP-100 4in stainless……! Best money I have ever spent…. Semper Fi to All…. Praying for our Country, and Those who have/are Serving Our Country…. (0311/8621-Disabled)

  66. avatar Bob Newton says:

    What will it take for Remington’s Wall Street shareholders to realize that they are daily destroying the value of their company, across all of its brands, with their blindered focus on costs at the expense of quality? The damage done to the company’s reputation is enormous. Remington’s management is as out of touch with their business as General Motors was during the 1970s.

  67. avatar Charlie Thomas says:

    Even the “positive” reviews I read were 50/50 on the gun, and several talked about all the issues Remington had with the first version of the gun that was discontinued many moons ago. Why bring back a design that was flawed from the beginning? There are simply too many guns of the same size out there right now, with several of them being much cheaper and way more reliable, to bring something to market that wasn’t ready to be “consumed”. Hate it for Remington, but I hate it even more for the folks that have bought these boat anchors.

  68. avatar Roy says:

    no thanks, i will stick with my east german 9×18 mak.

  69. avatar Steve says:

    I have an old P6 (P 225 in the States)single stack, I picked up a few years back, it has been very reliable and is not overly large although it is a bit heavy. Although I have purchased a few pistols to replace it, I find myself going back to it after a few weeks.

  70. avatar David Kachel says:

    Very disappointed to see this happen. I had an original 51 and really wanted to see Remington succeed with this. On the other hand, it does not take very much of a soothsayer to see that when you have the Filipinos make your gun for you, it is going to be a disaster.
    They use poor metal on vital parts and the guns they make simply MUST fail. Had a 3″ 1911 made in the Philippines that was a joke. Every time I got one area working, another failed. Good frame, good slide, good barrel, all other parts were pure potmetal junk.
    Remington, if you can’t make it yourself, don’t make it at all. There is probably nothing wrong with the R51 design, it is the partners you chose!

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