Remington Engineers: R51 Launched Over Our Objections

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We have been chronicling the incredible failure that is the Remington R51 for quite some time now. The story took its latest turn yesterday when Remington recalled offered to replace all R51s sold to date. The story started with such promise, but as the rosy marketing hype gave way to the terrible reality of the finished product there was one question we kept asking ourselves: how did this thing ever get made? According to our sources, it looks like production may have started over the fervent objections of the people who designed the gun . . .

The word we are getting from trusted sources is that Remington went into full production of the gun before the engineers were happy with its final design. Taking an older firearm and adjusting the design to use modern manufacturing processes can be difficult, and the R51 was no different.

The reason for the objections was a major safety issue identified in the testing process, namely that the slide would bind up so badly that a chambered live round would be impossible to unload. It’s an obvious hazard to the safe operation of the gun in and of itself. But an issue that big may have also been a canary in the coal mine for the engineers to find the other flaws in the action that have plagued the gun.

Remington’s own engineers objected to launching the R51, but Remington’s top brass decided to go into full production anyway. There was a known safety issue with the firearm, but they still sold it anyway. That’s not something that will engender much trust in Remington products among America’s gun buyers.

comments

  1. avatar DJ9 says:

    Not cool, Remington, if accurate/true.

    Every shooter I know has at least a Remington rifle or shotgun; some have both, some have multiples. If you want to keep that trend alive, you’d best clean up this mess and publicly eject the folks who contributed to it.

    And I am NOT talking about the engineers…

    1. avatar Jim R says:

      I’m certain that IF anyone is called to the carpet over this (and that’s an awfully big if) the exceutive in charge will get a nice golden parachute. And they’ll probably fire the engineers.

      1. avatar Don says:

        The business guy will likely get promoted farther away from decision-making responsibilities. The engineering manager will be scapegoated.

      2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        About the way it goes in “Marketing Driven” Companies. Remember, this is Cerebus, the same company that put Chrysler under.

    2. avatar pyratemime says:

      I have been into shooting for eight years now but only recently have I gained a fiscal position that lets me start to expand my collection significantly. For most of the last eight years I have been eying a Remington 700 and a Marlin lever action. I was willing to give Remington the benefit of the doubt for the last few things but after this everything from the Freedom Group of firearms is off my purchase list. I am the gun guy for my circle of friends and associates and will actively recommend against any purchases from Freedom Group companies as well. The trend (aspiration?) of ownership in my little corner of the world is DOA for the near future at least.

      1. avatar The Brotherhood of Steel says:

        My thoughts exactly

      2. avatar FTA says:

        This mirrors my situation. I also even wanted a 700 and a Marlin .44. Ended up with a savage 10pc that I am very happy with, any recommendations on a non-Freedom lever gun? Not only has Freedom Group permanently lost my business, it continues to lose the business of anyone who comes to me for advice on firearms.

        1. avatar S_J says:

          I’d rate Henry very highly. Also Browning has some nice lever actions if you don’t mind that they’re made in Japan by Miroku. Heard very mixed things about Rossi’s offerings but some have had good luck with them and the examples I’ve handled in shops look better than modern Marlins.

        2. avatar Mark N. says:

          Uberti reproductions of Winchesters.

        3. avatar bontai Joe says:

          Lever gun? Henry or Winchester

      3. avatar TRAVISp says:

        Well the good news is there are tons of pre freedom group 700s and marlins out there in the used market, same for 870s.

        1. avatar Gene says:

          Bingo. There is lots of good local stuff if you’re patient, know what you’re looking for, and take time to look around.

        2. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Unless the Marlin you want is a ’94 in .357… Those things are going in the $900+ range now, and even at that price are hard to find!

        3. avatar Richard says:

          The problem, though, is identifying exactly which is which.

    3. avatar DickG says:

      1st Rule of Bureaucracy: The bearer of bad news gets the blame!
      .
      2nd Rule of Bueaucracy: $hit rolls downhill.
      .
      3rd Rule of Bureaucracy: If Rules 1 and 2 apply to you, you will never be forgotten nor forgiven.

      1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        You left out rule # 4: Never, ever, identify the person (s) responsible for making such dumb mistakes. It’s always gotta be “top brass” or “company officials”.

        1. avatar DickG says:

          It’s called “Decision by Consensus”
          .
          We all agreed!
          .
          It’s nobody’s fault!
          .
          I don’t know! Not ME! Everybody does it! Mary’s mom let’s her do it! The dog ate my homework! The hard drive crashed and IT destroyed it! It’s Company/ Department policy!
          .
          But the best of all: I didn’t think we’d get caught!
          .
          .

  2. avatar ST says:

    Now we have to expect there are issues with every Remington product now. If they’d launch a pistol which was technically incomplete, only Zeus knows what other problems they’ve let slide on their other products.

    1. avatar JT says:

      Just look at the Model 700 and Model 7 recalls for the triggers. There have also been some reliability and rust issues with newer 870s.

  3. avatar Jim R says:

    If this is true, I will never buy another Remington product again.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      I kind of had the same thought as well, particularly since new 870’s including the one I bought last year tend to have issue with chamber sticking out of the box.

  4. avatar PeterC says:

    Looks like the ultimate failure of beta testing. I had one of the original 1920s Model 51s. It was a very reliable, beautifully crafted gun. I wish I still had it. Now, if only Colt would come out with a well-engineered 9mm clone of their 1903/1908 pocket pistol!

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      If they kept it as slim as possible (screw the .40 shooters), added decent low-profile sights with a wide notch, and managed to keep the weight/recoil reasonable, I’d buy two of those…

      As long as I’m wishing, in matte-stainless steel, plz.
      I’ll start saving now, as they ain’t gonna be cheap…

      1. avatar bigfinger76 says:

        So you’d buy two of the lemons if it were thinner?!

        1. avatar DJ9 says:

          Referencing PeterC’s proposed Colt redesign, from his last line, above.

        2. avatar Drew says:

          So Colt 1903s and 1908s are lemons? I would say those jems were more significant to the self defense world that the 1911 ever was before everyone started selling replicas. I would snatch up a modern 08 in .380 or 9mm in a heart beat.

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        A low recoil blow-back 9mm pocket gun? Delusional.

        1. avatar whit says:

          Haha…

          Rolling out the R51 as a 9x19mm was a terrible idea, they should have made a .380 version that actually worked (easier as the old M51 was chambered in .32 and .380 ACP) and then attempted a Parabellum chambered pistol.

          As for the M1903, it’s a great idea. A new M1903 would be simpler than, say, a Colt Mustang…and cheaper to produce. Now, this is assuming it is a slightly modified pistol chambered in the original .380 or .32 ACP.

    2. avatar JT says:

      It would probably take some work to make a 1903/1908 in 9mm considering they were blowback guns.

  5. avatar Jacob says:

    Well, this settles it. I’m not going to buy another Remington product new ever again.

    1. avatar Danny S says:

      I decided to do the same when I learned that Remington will hold on to my SPS700 for about close to a year for a 5 minute fix (recall). Funny thing is I bought the rifle in December and was saving for good glass and I haven’t even taken it to the range yet. And the apology???? a 30 or 40% discount from their stupid store of grossly over-marked made in China items. This was my first & last purchase of a remington product…

    2. avatar MacBeth51 says:

      I will. As long as it’s pre Freedom Arms. Maybe post Freedom Arms, too, but I’ll have to wait and see on that

      1. avatar Amanathia says:

        Don’t you mean Freedom Group? Don’t make the mix up and tarnish Freedom Arms, Freedom Arms makes awesome ultra quality products lol.

  6. I’m enjoying watching Nick thoroughly vindicated as a result of all this. He got a lot of abuse from the dead-tree/gun industry shills of the old guard magazines.

    What do you have to say now, guys???

    Hmmm???

    Crickets chirping.

    1. avatar outwardhound says:

      . . . and my confidence (already high) in TTAG reviews went up even more

    2. avatar Jim R says:

      This is why I rely on TTAG and not the print media.

    3. avatar Gene says:

      Oter websites are backpeddaling and saying their R51 did perform flawlessly and the review stated they were early preproduction or demo models. They also said the the proprpd and demo models should not be expected to reflect production models.

      So… they’re basically saying the review is pie in the sky fluff and pointless because reality will probably be very different. I have since deleted those bookmarks. I’d much rather read a review of something a couple months post release and know it refects reality than read cutting edge garbage that doesn’t reflect actual product. Knowing the bad is just as imoortant as knowing the good. It’s called doing tradeoff betwen the different models being considered. there is nothing wrong with production model issues as long as it’s upfront.

    4. avatar ebd10 says:

      It’s worse than that; the latest issue of “Guns” has it on their cover! The article is a glowing review expounding on how wonderful it is. Dead tree writers are dead to me.

    5. avatar barnbwt says:

      “What do you have to say”
      I’d say Nick did not raise issue about real issues, and was lucky that other real issues he missed were present, or he’d have nothing to say “I told you so” about.

      -Binding on a chambered round (not mentioned)
      -Rough chamber (see above, not mentioned)
      -Failure to go into battery/OOBD (see above, not mentioned)
      -Loose trigger pivot (not mentioned)
      -Ridiculous hammer overtravel (not mentioned)
      -Jams on hollowpoints (not mentioned, he had no issues apparently)
      -Metal shavings in delivered guns (not mentioned, possibly ignored)
      -Bulging primers from an oversized firing pin with poor support (not mentioned, but ubiquotus among owners)
      -General build quality reminiscent of a crappy SKS
      -Bolt body damage (should have been some noticeable damage from disco peening and slide cam gouging after that many shots)

      What he did harp on were

      -Violent recoil (odd, since everyone who’s shot mine compares it to the P35 Hi Power I usually bring)
      -Slide bite (odder, in light of the very generous overhang of the frame
      -Trigger reset (a very nitpickey critique to focus on in light of everything else)
      -A simple and easy to avoid reassembly mistake (that he also incorrectly identified as unverifiable in a function check)

      In my estimation, he neglected to mention the same important details as the “dead tree” writes he so maligns, but because he wrote a negative, as opposed to positive review. To me, I judge a review based upon the useful information contained therein, not whether the yes/no conclusion reached at the end by the writer happens to be correct at the end of the day.

      Chirp…chirp…chirp

      TCB

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        I meant “Ridiculous TRIGGER overtravel” –like 1/8″

      2. avatar JT says:

        I second that. He mentioned that MAC had trouble with the gun but that was it as far as reliability went.

  7. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    As an engineer, I can say we are never ready to launch a product. The management has to listen to our reasons why, and determine if said reasons are valid for holding the product up.

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      100% true. The only caveat here (and it’s a big one) is that the product in this case has a life/death aspect to it You’d think the engineers had piles of quantifiable data to show that this thing was a turkey, but OTOH I’m sure you had a bunch of managers/executives whose performance bonus was tied to the proposition that this thing shipped on time.

    2. avatar Vhyrus says:

      As an engineer, I think we can both agree that there is a difference between a design being exactly how engineering wants it versus a production model meeting minimum design specs. There is no way this design would pass a production review and might not even pass a critical design review. As engineers, we tend to put our ego into our designs so upper management does have to decide what is ‘good enough’, but when the engineers hit you with ‘The damn thing doesn’t run right’ that should be a big enough red flag to stop a full production run.

      1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

        When a product only meets the minimum design specs engineers get a bad taste in our mouth. We take pride in the work (to a fault). I guarantee there were some heated arguments with the engineering team when they decided to go full production, as well as the aftermath of the management trying to deflect blame.

    3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      But as an engineer, you also know how to perform a risk analysis, and to use it to differentiate between showstopper issues and nuisance/nice-to-have-resolved issues.

      An issue with the action that results in the inability to unchamber a live round is absolutely, utterly unacceptable.

      1. avatar DickG says:

        “An issue with the action that results in the inability to unchamber a live round is absolutely, utterly unacceptable.”
        .
        Engineer: “Stop the presses!”
        Management: “Whaaaat!”
        Accounting: “This is gonna be expensive!”
        Marketing: “Maybe nobody will notice!”
        Management: “I like that!”

    4. avatar Don says:

      As an engineer as well, while a design is never ideally “finished” from the design standpoint there’s a big difference between “it works” and “it doesn’t”.

      1. avatar Andrew says:

        You know, there seem to be a lot of us engineers here. I’m wondering if any of us have experience designing firearms specifically. Might be worth teaming up and forming a new gun company, get to work cranking out those popular designs that people are hungry for yet the big guys can’t bring to bear. That 1903A1 idea sounds like a good one to start with.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          I’ve been studying as much as I can find on firearms design with this type of idea in mind.

          Working on guns professionally also gives me lots of perspective on what works well, what is cheap to manufacture, what needs more/less machining, etc.

          The thing that I’ve learned more than anything else is this: You can have guns that are easily made (ie, inexpensive), high quality or reliable.

          Pick any two.

  8. avatar Dom says:

    I’m still interested in this gun if and when they fix it. Still feel the review was inaccurate though.

  9. avatar KAp says:

    Seams that when you use unskilled Labor from The Border areas you get junk, R-51, 710 rifle.
    So now they Join S&W for big buck Saturday night specials!
    Only equipment that works as advertised are some of the Named Imports that want to keep a customer base by not producing Junk

    1. avatar P.M.Lawrence says:

      UNLESS you deliberately chose a design that would be forgiving of those very things, which is the path Kalashnikov followed.

      I’ve often wondered if the FAMAS or H&K G3 could be lightened or the Owen gun could use a larger calibre if they had Pedersen’s hesitation lock, only I just don’t know if that would lose those guns their cheapness and their reliability in field conditions.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      R51 was built by Para in Pineville, NC, I believe in a union shop. Or did you mean to say they SHOULD have built them in Texas (because, obviously they should have 😉 )? FWIW, the bright spot of the guns’ manufacture is the MIM internal parts, which were contracted out to a small private business, lol.

      TCB

      *TTAG, the ads make your site nearly unusable!

  10. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Is there a source?

  11. avatar FoRealz? says:

    I had nothing but hate for the concept from the moment I saw it and read the details of its design. I have been vindicated and all the fools who bought one should have listened to me.

    Lol. Just poking your ribs.

    But I never liked it, nor the the whole idea of it. I especially did not like the old gun media’s power boner and media whoring sellout over it even less. Not letting anyone shoot it at SHOT Show was a huge red flag. But I guess some people got to get hit with a hammer to figure things out.

    Now I don’t fault Remington for releasing a design I thought was ‘tarded, but if they released it knowing that it had a number of safety issues, and I suspect there are more than this one, I think that is completely irresponsible.

    I don’t own any Remington firearms, but if this pans out as accurate, I will avoid any of their future products like the plague.

    1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      I think the Pedersen action is pretty cool. First thing I noticed was the low bore axis without the recoil spring underneath. What about this “tard” design do you not like?

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        The original Pedersen action, evidenced in the Model 51 of 100 years ago, was very reliable, used fewer parts than the 1911, was less expensive to produce than the 1911.

        Hatcher detailed the Pedersen delayed blowback design in his notebook.

  12. avatar test says:

    stuff

  13. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Holy crap, I actually enjoyed reading and agree with a post from Paul T McCain. When do I get my pet Unicorn?

    I suggest getting a H& R pardner pump if you want an 870 that works. I never liked the 700, but if you want one find an older used one.

    1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      LOL

      This, absolutely this. I snorted when I read his comment and agreed too.

    2. avatar Mr Pierogie says:

      I have two 870s that work just fine, although I had to replace the original magazine spring and follower with a kit from Wilson Combat in the one with an extended mag tube, because the original one kept binding up. I was losing trust in Remington when it was clear their 700 rifles had unsafe triggers and they knew about it. Now more of the same with this pistol. I don’t see myself purchasing anything from Remmy unless there is different ownership with proper QC at some point in the future.

    3. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      -1. The 870 is the most reliable shotgun out there. I and most of my friends all have them and they have never given any of us trouble. That is zero, in years and years of shooting. Remington may have screwed the pooch on the R51 but don’t start attacking one of the most reliable arms ever made….

      1. avatar Drew says:

        You have not been keeping up with the chatter then. It’s the new production guns people are reporting issues with, if you have years of good service with yours it’s probably a pre freedom group piece. The Remington that built your firearm can effectively be considered dead and gone. The company that bought the name Intelectual property and tooling is a different entity.

        1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

          Please tell me how Remington is building the 870 any differently. I am all ears.

        2. avatar barnbwt says:

          Joe, they’re cutting chambers so poorly that people are paying shops to touch them up so shells aren’t constantly getting stuck. Very well known issue, that has crept into many 700’s and now the R51. They can’t seem to keep good reamers in the shops, or no longer have people who know how to use them (and run them too fast without flushing chips)

        3. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

          I will have to look into it. I will say that I know someone who bought an R1 enhanced and he has put now 800 rounds through it without a hiccup. It does look like Remington needs a firm shake up at the top. It is obvious they need a gun guy and not an accountant making the final decisions.

        4. avatar John Smith says:

          I can’t speak to the 870 particularly, but my buddy bought a new 700 last year, and we had a horrible time with shells getting stuck in the chamber. Had to hammer the bolt open, within the first ten shots. However, some steel wool polished out whatever kind of problem was in there, and now it runs great. In fact– consistently overlapping holes at 100 yards, this with factory Barnes .300 WM. I was horrified by the out-of-the-box jamming, but am now stunned by the accuracy. He went on to take about seven plains game species with nary a hitch… Happy ending, but it would have been headed straight back to Remington if the clock wasn’t ticking on the hunt.

  14. avatar Tom W. says:

    I guess they just dug through the old specs for the re-launch of the R1 1911,
    and didn’t mess with anything.

    Probably should have used the same play for this one.

    Big face palm worthy event. Some “brass” at Remington should “fly” out of a job.

    1. avatar Tactical Tightwad says:

      The original Remington 51 was chambered in .32 and .380, not 9mm.

  15. avatar Tactical Tightwad says:

    Following the R51 on The High Road, I never heard about the difficulty with unchambering a live round, but lots of complaints that the R51 had chamber dimension issues that prevented some 9mm loads from chambering, and a flaw that would allow the gun to fire when out of battery, creating a kaboom that the R51 admirably contained.

    I suppose if you had one of the rounds that wouldn’t fully chamber and you forced the slide forward, you could jam the bullet into the rifling and make extraction difficult or impossible.

    1. avatar Calvin W. Ledford says:

      Bingo – I have one that does exactly what you described. I chambered a round (Older Remington “Golden Saber” – oh the irony!) and could not retract the slide to un-chamber the round. There are others who’ve reported the same thing.

  16. avatar Jim says:

    If and when Remington fixes the R51 it will probably be a good gun as they will be paranoid about getting it right. I hope they do as the gun is attractive as a potential concealed carry weapon and good for those (like my wife) who have a hard time racking the slide on most semi-automatics. I worked as a restaurant inspector for 8 years. The best time to eat at a restaurant is after the Health Department closes it for unsanitary/unsafe conditions. When allowed to reopen, the restaurant will probably be very clean and on its best behavior. Remington may be the same way with the re-introduced R51. But I also understand that if you get burned once, that is it unless you are rewarded well for your loyalty. Remington should do more than just replace the gun. They should also provide 1000 rounds of ammo for free or something like that.

  17. avatar Nathanael says:

    This is a huge vindication for TTAG, particularly when combined with the kerfuffle over the Glock 42. Both were hyped products, both had some initial problems, but TTAG gave one a good review and the other a bad review, and took a lot of heat for doing so. Well, TTAG was right. The Glock has had its problems resolved quickly, and those with faulty early production models have generally been able to get the problem parts replaced quickly (my early production G42 has been fine from the get-go). While a .380 that size isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a good gun that has overcome a few initial problems. The R51, on the other hand, has continued to be a disaster, to the point of an effective recall being issued.

    Well done, TTAG. You guys got it dead right on the two most hyped pistols of the year.

  18. avatar Shire-man says:

    How is that any way to run a business? Did they think nobody would care or that the sun would burn out before consumers realized what a lemon they had?

    Thank god nobody was relying on their R51 in a DGU and ended up dead because of a known problem.

  19. avatar lolinski says:

    Mess with the engineers and this happens. Is it that hard to listen to the people paid to make sure the product works?

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      In American industry, yes, it is this difficult to get management to listen to engineers.

      See, engineers aren’t typically pretty people. We’re not well socially adapted, and we’re also not known for blowing sunshine, kisses, and butterflies up people’s posteriors when they ask for an opinion or appraisal of a situation.

      American business management is vastly composed of liberal arts, business, finance and other non-engineer/science majors, and these people increasingly come equipped a “MBA” behind their names. The “American MBA” disease started in the US Ivy League schools over 100 years ago (Harvard & Dartmouth). The typical MBA wants to gain “efficiency” at every turn, and lots of “efficiency” is done in pursuit of crushing expenses and plumping revenues. I’ve said more than once that the “MBA disease” is a large part of what is killing American industry and our economy. This business at Remington is just one more example – it isn’t new and is isn’t unique. It is actually epidemic in US industry.

      These types of management people really don’t like listening to engineers. Engineers don’t like cutting corners, and for many engineers, “the perfect is the enemy of the good enough.” I’ve been told to my face that “you engineers are the one guy in the room who can f*&( up a wet dream for everyone else.” The wet dream in question was promotions for management. We engineers were the ones working 80 hour weeks to make some higher-up’s promotion happen. Engineers rarely get promoted after one of these charlie-foxtrot episodes where engineers have to work ungodly hours for months at a time to clean up a mess. Management gets to go home on time, they get the glory, the promotions and the pay raises. They also get the big stock/option awards, the private secretary/assistant, etc, etc.

      The trouble for management is that engineers are also some of the last people to come out of American higher education from programs where affirmative action and grade inflation are not dispensed by the truckload. In engineering programs, you’re either right, or you’re wrong. There is no argument made “well, I might have gotten the math incorrect, but my intention were good!”

      My school flunked out 50% of the entire freshman class by the end of the sophomore year. “C” was the most commonly dispensed grade. Contrast that to Harvard, where over 90% of applicants graduate, and where “A” grades make up the large majority of all grades given. The attrition rate I survived was (and is) not unique to my alma mata – it is true of most engineering departments in the country.

      Then, what is also pretty typical in engineering departments is that cheating is grounds for the professors to crucify you. No, you’ll not get away with writing some mea culpa paper, and doing some “ethical” pondering. You’re toast, and before the age when academic records were under federal privacy protection, engineering schools would make sure you were basically black-balled if you wanted to get into another program. The rational behind this no-holds-barred destruction of someone was this: When a MD commits malpractice, perhaps one to two people die at a time. When an engineer commits malpractice, maybe hundreds of people die at a time. This has been shown by engineering disasters in the US. Here’s just one:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Regency_walkway_collapse

      That disaster is pounded into the heads of engineers to this day as an example of what happens when you don’t do all the work and take shortcuts. The smallest details, which seem utterly trivial to business management, often have large consequences in final results.

      Remington is now a company where the highest reaches of the ownership and management are simply chasing the buck. Let’s be honest with everyone here: The people at Cerberus don’t give a rat’s ass about guns or gun buyers. I highly doubt that anyone at Cerberus even knows which end of a gun the shot or bullet comes out of. For Cerberus, the gun industry is just another business sector where they are seeking to cobble together a large enough conglomeration of US gun and gun-related companies that they can do the typical MBA/Finance major “strip and flip” that is so common in private equity companies. Look at how they’ve handled the companies Freedom Group has acquired over the years, and you see the typical MBA/Finance “strip and flip” in action. It is absolutely textbook MBA thinking.

      1. avatar DickG says:

        Something my dear-departed father told me a long time ago:
        .
        “Son. NEVER let an accountant run your business!”
        .

        1. avatar P.M.Lawrence says:

          The version I heard was “never make an engineering decision for accounting reasons”. You can generalise this to any mismatch between the three typical arms of a firm: marketing, finance (broadly understood) and operations (which are industry specific, and could overlap one of the others in certain industries, e.g. banking or advertising). That is why those in charge of any of the three areas should understand this and know how to liaise with the other areas. It is also why nearly all firms need to be run by teams; it is rare for one boss to be familiar enough with all three fields for long, and nearly impossible for a boss to be hands on for even two fields without burning out.

      2. avatar JSF01 says:

        The part about MBA type degrees got me thinking, about another article TTAG posted before about how american gun companies tend to have above average customer service compared to most american companies. I am wondering if gun manufactures tend to be run more my engineers than most companies? If it’s true that would make a lot of sense. I would think the quality of the product is more important to engineers then maximizing profits.

  20. avatar Anon says:

    As an engineer, I can almost guarantee it was the accountants, lawyers and senior management who pushed this. They are driven by bottom line no matter what.
    Been there, done that and got the t-shirt.
    You’re nuts if you buy any Freedom Group firearms . . . . ever. Best to send the investors a message.

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    There was a known safety issue with the firearm, but they still sold it anyway.

    That seems to be Remington’s MO. Make a product with a known problem, sell the product to Big Green fanboys, then backfill as fast as possible.

    First, Remmy produced M700 rifles with the Walker Fire Control that was defective. It paid out at least $20 million in settlements. Of course, that didn’t bring back the dead kid.

    http://helenair.com/news/local/remington-to-settle-lawsuits-over-rifle-s-trigger-mechanism/article_1a7c33ee-065b-11e4-8108-001a4bcf887a.html

    So green replaced the Walker with the XMP trigger, and now they’re recalling those rifles!

    http://www.remington.com/pages/news-and-resources/safety-center/safety-warning-recall-notice-Remington-model700-modelseven.aspx

    This business with the R51 makes it clear that Remington cannot be trusted because it’s owned by vultures.

    1. avatar foggy says:

      Has Remington been owned by “vultures” since the 1940s? That’s when they started using the Walker design.

      It’s sad about the kid but he couldn’t have been hit if his mother had not had the gun pointed at him. That’s if the incident even happened as the parents described and there was no trigger pull.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        That’s if the incident even happened as the parents described

        So you think that Remington paid out $20 million on a bogus claim? Really? And it wasn’t some kind of crazy jury verdict, it was a settlement. Remmy knew that it was dead wrong, and that a kid was dead because of it.

        The Walker Fire Control may have been defective for decades, but it is incontrovertible that present Remington ownership knew about the defect and never recalled the defective and dangerous guns. It continued to sell a deadly product. And then replaced it with another defective product.

        Are you kidding me? Stop alibiing for a company that does not deserve your support. Or mine.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        The manner in which the boy on the other side of the trailer was killed by the discharge of his mother’s rifle (she took off the safety and the rifle fired) has been duplicated on loaded and unloaded 700’s – many times.

        The design of the Walker Fire Control Group is defective, period. The trigger was designed to cut costs to produce a good trigger pull, with no regard for the failure modes of the trigger.

        Gunsmiths have known about the WFCS issues for decades. If you had lube, dust, dirt, etc in the trigger group and you had the trigger pull weight set low, there was a tendency for the connector shoe to not return home when the trigger was released. If the connector isn’t under the sear when you take off the safety on the WFCS, the firing pin will go forward.

        All of this came about because Remington wanted a cheaper trigger & safety mechanism than the original bolt action rifle design, the Mauser. In the Mauser (and more faithful copies, such as the Springfield ’03 or Winchester Model 70), the safety isn’t part of the trigger mechanism; the safety is directly on the bolt. The bolt catch isn’t on the trigger or the bolt on the Mauser, Springfield or Winchester bolt guns. The Mauser-style safety & bolt sleeve require a bunch of machining that Remington didn’t want to do.

        Remington started this quest for lower costs over better and safer gun design clear back in the late 50’s. It has just gotten worse as time has gone on. Everything about the Model 700 screams “cheaper, cheaper, cheapest” – with the exception of not using a barrel nut, as Savage does. Well, now Remington is making rifles with a barrel nut.

  22. avatar borg says:

    If looks like Remington opened themselves up to be sued if someone suffered damages due to them selling a product that they knew was defective.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Remmy heard customer complaints about the defect in the ’70s. By 1979, Remmy’s engineers reported that about 1% of the guns would fire when the safety was switched off without the trigger being pressed. Remington started paying out big money damage claims in 1985. In 1989, a plaintiff proved that Remmy had designed an improved trigger but didn’t manufacture it. In 1994, Remington was slammed with a $17 million verdict by a guy whose foot was blown off. $15 million was punitive, to punish Remington for knowingly selling a dangerous defective product.

      They knew. So why should we stick up for those scvmbags? Because they make guns and we like guns? Sorry, but that’s not enough.

  23. avatar Skyler says:

    If there is a failure and someone is hurt, this will be so damning in discovery at trial. They will have to settle. Or the plaintiffs may refuse to settle and insist on a jury verdict!

  24. avatar former water walker says:

    +1Jeff…the rev is occasionally right. And he’s got some cool videos on YouTube. Oh yeah-get a pardner pump. I never thought the 51 was anything special…

  25. avatar Mark says:

    Perhaps Freedom Group can take all these recalled R51’s in there current state and give them to Eric Holder for another round of Fast and Furious. This way they can track them as no one other than the drug/gun runner would have them and chances are they wouldn’t work so no one would get hurt with one. Even if they were used, Mr. Holder will remain unaccountable.

  26. avatar Dan in Al says:

    Why is this surprising given how the Marlin acquisition was handled? Remington knowingly sold garbage to the public for years before acknowledging any problem and their quality is still substandard.

  27. avatar Marcus R. says:

    Does anyone really know about the background of the top players at Cerberus/Freedom Group? After years of this kind of fuster cluckery I’m starting to wonder about their legitimacy as being in any way actually pro gun.

    It seems like every since all these brands got brought under one umbrella, it’s been nothing but lousy (where extant) QC and bad management decisions. Call me paranoid, but I’m starting to wonder if there isn’t some sort of Soros-esque push to hurt the industry by having some of the biggest and most popular brands taken over as this ‘wonderful’ business move back then and then slowly discredited and run into the ground. I’ve had friends wonder the same thing when I’ve described the long series of screwups in Freedom Group over the last few years.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Cerberus Capital is the parent. It’s a private equity firm that has an ownership interest or controls Steward Medical, Albertson’s super markets, Panavision — the investments are all over the place.

      They aren’t gun people. They are money managers. And no, there’s absolutely no way that they are some kind of Trojan Horse. It’s just that they have no clue on how to run a gun business.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Exactly so.

        The head of Cerberus is one Stephen Feinberg. Has a degree in “politics” from Princeton, then worked as a trader at Drexel (among others) before founding Cerberus.

        In other words, he’s probably never worked at a firm or in a position that produced anything of tangible value in his entire life. His entire career has been spent shuffling paper to and fro on Wall Street, oblivious of the consequences of moving those numbers around.

        1. avatar Marcus R. says:

          That makes sense. I try to keep Hanlon’s Razor in mind, but this only -just- meets the test. Well to me anyway.

  28. avatar Wes says:

    This is just gossip as far as I’m concerned. Anonymous sources in Remington not even cited as an engineer? Really? An anonymous person at Remington who knows this how? Did this anonymous source speak with an engineer (still hearsay), or did he simply hear this about the engineers from the guy who sweeps the floors?
    I know a guy who knows a guy who knows another guy at Remington who tells me that the R51 was actually made from melted down car bumpers.
    TTAG is better than this.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I’ll remember your comment when Nick is proven to be right — again.

  29. avatar Don says:

    A good example of what happens when you “shoot the engineers and start production”

    It boggles the mind why business people tend to call the shots over engineers. My only theory is that business is so mind-numbingly irritating that engineers don’t want to deal with it.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      It is pretty simple, really.

      Engineers like solving problems – real, challenging problems.

      Most of what business management does is annoying to engineers. Some of what business management does is infuriatingly stupid from the perspective of engineers.

      Typically, your best engineers will never go into management. So the people who never were engineers, or the mediocre engineers, go into management. It is very rare that engineers make it to the top levels of an American company’s management. GM’s promotion of an engineer to CEO (Mary Barra) is quite the surprise to many industry observers.

      1. avatar Andrew says:

        Pretty much this. Hell, my boss joked that with the way our company is expanding lately, our engineering department (all three of us) might get pushed up to management to oversee a whole bunch of engineers. And my immediate thought was, “If that happens, I need to make sure my resume is up to date.” Because I became an engineer to solve problems and make cool stuff, not to get promoted to an office to sit on my backside all day. But you still need management. You still need someone to interface with Marketing and Accounts Payable and Procurement and R&D. And yes, you really do need those departments. And if the engineers don’t want to be there, well, they’re going to come from somewhere else. And if they’re not from an engineering background, you can’t expect them to understand why the engineers aren’t happy.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “A good example of what happens when you “shoot the engineers and start production””

      You don’t _shoot_ the engineers, threats if not outright coercion to keep quiet “Or Else…” works much better.

      I’m quite grateful Nick and the gang at TTAG are keeping the public aware of what’s going on at these companies…

  30. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    If you are interested in the R51 situation, you should get your hands on the latest issue of Handgun Tests magazine. (I think you can also subscribe to an online version)

    Handgun Tests does not accept advertising and is usually brutally honest when it comes to reviewing guns. Their review of the R51 is really unusual in my opinion. They document some odd quirks and problems, but then go on to give it an A rating.

    They found that it malfunctioned with some ammo, but if you use the exact brand specified in the manual they say it worked well.

    Perhaps one of the TTAG gun testers could take a look at the article and comment?

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      We test the gun we are given. It looks like the quality control was hit and miss, so it is entirely possible that they got a good gun. However, in this case other reviewers we trust had the same if not worse results and we included those as well in our latest version of the review.

      I will gladly revise a review down based on the reviews of others, but unless I see it function perfectly in my own hands I am hesitant to revise it up.

      1. avatar DickG says:

        If you read the reviews of “Gun Test Magazine” you might get the impression that it too is owned by Remington and managed by the Pointy-Haired Boss.
        .

  31. avatar MoltElevator9 says:

    Makes you wonder if it is all part of a Soros master plan, doesn’t it?

    1. avatar sven_va says:

      It woudl make all of this make sense, wouldn’t it?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I think you’ve been watching too much television.

  32. avatar geoffb says:

    Dilbert & Boss = Remington apparently.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Scott Adam’s PHB infects corporate ‘Merica…

  33. avatar david says:

    wish I could say that Remington is the only manufacturer doing this kind of half assed production lately. I’ve seen failures from smith and wesson kimber Sig Sauer walk all the way across the board keep dropping the cost of the material they were using to manufacture the parts gun start failing just the way it goes you get what you pay for. it starts when you have a company run by shareholders instead of by a family like Remington once was they’ve ruined dpms Marlon AAC and many others. I’ll never buy another Remington or production firearm ever ever again custom now I build my own rifles and I have custom gunsmith build my own pistols now no more run of the mill for to $500 pieces of junk!

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Shareholders? No one at a Corp gives a flip what a shareholder thinks/wants. Shareholders are marks you suck capital from.

  34. avatar John in IN says:

    Why would anybody ever want an r51 anyway? The market for Guns that size is already super saturated with much better guns: glock 26 (or 42…), xds, shield, kahr, small 1911s, etc.

    Amongst POTG that i know and talk to (and see here) there isn’t a lot of loyalty to Freedom group, even if this gun DID work. Why not allocate those resources on making the 700 not a kaboomer, or marlins into guns you pass down to your sons?

  35. avatar Bruce Abbott says:

    John Pederson must be spinning in his grave. My first bolt action rifle (45 years ago) was a Remington 700BDL in 6mm Rem that would shoot the 244 90 gr, and the 6mm 80 gr and 100 gr bullets to the same point of impact. I had a professional gunsmith massage the trigger, and it and the safety were utterly reliable. That gun would shoot 1.5″ 100yd groups off the bench all day with a Redfield receiver sight I installed myself, using the small ivory front bead and a fine peep. I traded the rifle for a Remington-Rand 45 auto that my dad once owned; still miss it. My scoped vintage Rem 788 in 22-250 would group at 200 yds what the 700 did at 100, cheap 3X9 variable, birch stock, and all. It’s a sad day for America’s oldest gunmaker…

  36. avatar Richard says:

    Plainly, whoever made the decision to proceed should be shown the door.

  37. avatar S.Dogood says:

    ill buy a remington R 51 when they reintroduce it why you may ask cause i have faith in em like marlin their coming back one must be patient……

  38. avatar Joe Mamuh says:

    I wonder if the illegal alien admittance administration (AKA the 0bama regime) has some of its top “folks” working at Remington…. “a company (Remington) can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive sabotage from within.”

    Paraphrasing Marcus Tullius Cicero

  39. avatar ebd10 says:

    This just makes me feel all the better for having purchased an M&P Shield. Hundreds of rounds and nary a hiccup.

  40. avatar Retired LEO says:

    I have a Marlin 336 stainleds steel made just after the purchase. Well made dead on accurate. With a perfect swing & balance. Looked @ a recent one mine must have been made before the good guys left. I buy a Rossi @ higher price than a new 336. If you can’t find a pre FG go with a Henry.

  41. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    @ Joseph Quixote-I know the 870 is a wonderful design. That is why I recommend the pardner, its an 870 design with metal parts that function. Like you said “years and years” they have been an excellent pump in the past but freedom group has been screwing the pouch on all QC even the 870. Read comments on TTAG, and a raffle shotgun my in-law won, had issues with rough chambers that required polishing.

  42. avatar Johnny says:

    1) Many “not in the know” will be unaware of this and buy this (and their other products).

    2) Even if they this, people still are buying Toyotas and GM products.

  43. avatar mike says:

    “Remington’s own engineers objected to launching the R51, but Remington’s top brass decided to go into full production anyway.”

    You sure Remmy isn’t a gov’t entity? Sure sounds like it’s run by one.

  44. avatar Gregory says:

    Why does anyone need to purchase a Remington product? There are plenty of better alternatives out there. I for one have a Ithaca 37 in stead of a Remington 870. The Ithaca is all steel and lighter than the Remington. Yes, the Ithaca costs more but It is for a good reason.

  45. avatar Tirod says:

    Oh, blame management because we can’t really identify the key players? Well, when that happens in a combat staff and it affects the way they fight, you fire them ALL.

    Sometimes it’s the only thing you can do to evict a continuous pattern of behavior that leads to horrible decisions.

    Look at a semi chronological lineup of Remington and the Corporate decisions.

    They use the 700 trigger problem to install another, both aren’t right, they fail solve the problem and lose customer confidence.

    They buy the design of the Magpul Masada, ignoring the pricing that competent engineers forecast, and the resulting disconnect destroys the anticipated sales projections by being entirely unrealistic.

    They sponsor the 6.8 SPC with their name on it, the ball gets dropped on a critical dimension, and rather than fix it they bail on any further development.

    Case in point, they don’t come out with the promised 6.8 swap barrel for the ACR.

    Further case in point their sister subsidiary AAC ignores the growth potention of the 6.8 and reinvents the .300 Whisper as the “Blackout” for suppressed use, promising cheap ammo and decent supersonic performance. It didn’t get any attention from 3 Gunners for 25 years as a competitive round at 400+ meters, it’s not going to now. No cheap ammo and no range capability, one of which is a certainly with 6.8, and the other imminent with with a military contract in force.

    And to prove .300BO is a great cartridge they send an obnoxious internet persona to post on forum boards about how superior the cartridge is when nobody else in the shooting world bothered for 25 years before.

    Remington runs Bushmaster into the ground.

    Remington acquires Marlin. DOA.

    Remington attempts to make the R51 and by the styling gaffes alone it’s a loser. Once in production the errors are discovered to not be just skin deep. If the project manager can’t put together a vision and sell it to the management team that ensures the viability of the product, it reveals that the rot runs even deeper than we thought.

    Now the plant is moving to Alabama – ref the opening statement. Some predict disaster, on the other hand, trimming the dead wood and forcing the selection of new decisionmakers just might turn things around. One thing is sure, with the immense debt they carry, and the company actually up for sale, the result will either fix it or kill it. While we might regret losing a once proud company, having it struggle on for years more with poor quality and inadequate product design would be like watching your favorite hero/heroine struggle on well past their prime. I say spare them the embarrassment. They either cut it or not. Specialty makers will fill the gaps and the market won’t be dragged down by mediocrity.

  46. avatar Gecko 44 says:

    Who are these trusted sources? This is a very serious claim.

  47. avatar Fred in AZ says:

    Although this story is unconfirmed, it’s plausible.

  48. avatar Amanathia says:

    What is super disappointing is compare this (i know, totally different product segment, but still) to a cheap $150 (well I think mine was my $130 or $140 when I got it) HiPoint .45 pistol.

    Granted it doesn’t get much use now that I have an XDm .40 which is a lot more ergonomic and fun to shoot (except for the zero recoil and extremely quiet blast from the HiPoint, not sure why, you could shoot it without ear protection on almost, or if you did it accidentally you’d be like wait..that was it?)

    But somehow HiPoint can make a CAST POT METAL gun that costs almost NOTHING, has a lifetime extremely good warranty no questions asked basically. And never, ever, misfires. And is accurate as **** and even has good sites. The trigger and ergonomics are terrible and it is heavy, but still. I’ve never had the $130 or $140 hipoint pistol malfunction. Ever. It’s only ever been cleaned once. Ever. lol. I shot some old ammo from the 50s that my great grandfather had reloaded. Shrug. No problems. Hollow points, ball, whatever. No issues, ever.

    If HiPoint can make a gun that is made from friggin CAST POT METAL and have it work…and i’ve never heard of any (in person) other HiPoint pistols failing to fire… There is simply ZERO excuse for Remington not being able to make a reliable gun. I know, I know…the Remington is small and not an ergonomic brick. But it also costs TWICE AS MUCH. And isn’t made from, you know, cast pot metal (I think? LOL).

    Again I’m not some hi-point shill. The thing is an ergonomic brick. I can’t imagine carrying it unless there was no other choice. But I mean COME ON. CAST POT METAL. ULTRA CHEAP. Never fails. And someone with the heritage of Remington can’t make a twice as expensive gun that even WORKS PROPERLY???

    That’s like buying a VW and having the windows fall into the door. Errrr….wait.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Without trying to lay out a huge treatise on the design of various gun actions, here’s the difference between the two:

      The Hi Points are direct blowback actions. Their massive slides are what keep the chamber closed up tight enough to prevent case failures before their bullet exits the muzzle and the chamber pressure drops.

      Lots of arms do this type of blowback action – even some very high quality firearms. My S&W Model 41 (a target .22) is a direct blowback, and it’s a $1K+ gun. Ruger MkI, MkII, MkIII .22’s are direct blowbacks, as are Browning Buckmarks and a whole host of other .22’s. The Colt 1903 Hammerless in .32 (and later .380) used direct blowback action, and if the 1903 were made today, I think it would be a very nice CCW gun. They were a “gentleman’s pistol” in their day, and many upper class men carried a 1903/1908 Hammerless in their coat pockets.

      The direct blowback action starts to lose appeal when you get to rounds with higher pressures than a .380 Auto, or longer barrels or higher mass bullets that take longer to accelerate – mostly because, as you point out about the Hi Point pistols, the ergonomics become compromised by the mass of the slide. As the chamber pressures go up or the “time at pressure” increases, so does the force acting on the breech face, and you have to increase the mass to keep the rearward acceleration of the case+breech down to the point where you allow the bullet to exit and the pressure to drop. It’s a brute force application of F=m*a.

      The Remington R51 is a re-spin of the original Remington Model 51, which used a “hesitation blowback” design. There are several “delay” mechanisms, and the Model 51 (now R51) uses a sliding breechblock that starts the slide moving rearwards, then the breechblock stops until the slide continues opening the action after moving rearward far enough.

      Another delayed-blowback action is the H&K “roller locking” mechanism used in some of their rifles (G3, et al). In this setup, the action is depending on overcoming a mechanical disadvantage caused by forcing rollers to came over an abrupt, high-slope surface to cause the breech to delay opening.

      The only way you get the weight of semi-auto pistol down while chambering the pistol in higher pressure and higher powered cartridges is to somehow cause the action to delay opening. The Glock and 1911’s do this by using recoil forces to allow the slide to come rearwards a bit off the breech, then the delay come into play by pivoting the barrel breech downwards.

      As for the cast pot metal on the Hi Points: While it is “pot metal” (a generic term for alloys high in zinc), it is a pretty good form of pot metal, called “Zamak-3” that is used for casting a great many metal products you see all around you. The real issue in any gun is whether or not the chamber+barrel can contain the pressures involved, and those pressures require steel. The slide and/or breech block of a gun don’t need to be steel, unless they’re going to lock or abut some surface against which they will recoil under pressure. With a pure blowback design, the HiPoint slide needn’t lock against anything – it is held closed by spring pressure only. And so, Zamak-3 will work just fine in that application.

  49. avatar dlj95118 says:

    Remington Engineers: R51 Launched Over Our Objections
    NASA Engineers: Challenger Launched Over Our Objections

  50. avatar Calvin W. Ledford says:

    Update – Remington released an update (7/25) that they are “replacing” all R51s. Production of the new guns is “expected” to start sometime in October. Note, this DOES NOT mean anyone will be getting their gun replaced in October (which will already be over 7 months from when Remington started getting the malfunctioning guns back on RMA) – rather it means that they might be started producing the parts required for the production of the new guns on or by 10/31. There is NO ETA on when owners might actually get a replace gun back. Oh, and I should mention that the “new” R51s will be produced in a brand new plant, in a different state, presumably staffed with brand new employees who’ve not even worked in the firearms industry – ever.

    Here is my take on the “update”…

    First and foremost, let me speak to Remington’s claim “we determined the pistols were safe. . .” – I find this statement to be an utter falsehood. The R51 was and has only been marketed as a self-defense oriented, designed for concealed carry, combat handgun. Any firearm intended for this role, which is anything less than scrupulously reliable, is for certain *dangerous* in that it cannot be trusted to function if absolutely required to do so in a life or death situation. The R51 has shown a grievous LACK of reliability related to not one, not two, but SEVERAL well documented issues. These issues include (but are not limited to): an almost ubiquitous trait of not going fully into battery when being loaded, a propensity for repetitively exhibiting failures to function (mainly related to failure to extract), magazines that regularly fall out of the gun while shooting, and (most seriously) a documented (in multiple guns) ability to fire out of battery (a dangerous condition taken alone) which leads to the massively deformed case locking up the gun.

    The bracketed inserts below are my comments and opinion.

    “Earlier this year, we launched the innovative R51 subcompact pistol to critical acclaim. [But that acclaim was NOT based on a functional review of the gun- which was conspicuously NOT present at the 2014 Shot Show Range Day] [Oh, and “sub-compact” is a reeeaaal stretch…]

    During testing, numerous experts found the pistol to function flawlessly. [So called “experts” who by in large shot the guns at Remington paid for corporate junkets where said “experts” were wined and dined, and treated to days of free shooting by Remington? Experts who later reported that the guns HAD malfunctioned at the Gunsite launch – but attempted to explain away the malfunctions as caused by wind and dust at the range?]

    In fact, they found it to have lower felt recoil, lower muzzle rise and better accuracy and concealability than other products in its class. [What obnoxious marketing crap given that they have had some people guns back on RMA for over 120 days now and nothing of any significance to these individuals has been stated at this point in the so called “update”!]

    However, after initial commercial sales, our loyal customers notified us that some R51 pistols had performance issues. [“Some R51 pistols?! SOME? Really?!! They are going to use “news speak” to paint an image that only “some” guns had issues?]

    We immediately ceased production to re-test the product. While we determined the pistols were safe [As an owner of 2 of these guns I whole hearted disagree that these guns are “safe” at all], certain units did not meet Remington’s performance criteria. [And how, pray tell, did these “some” guns make it out the door? And given that they did, we’re now just supposed to believe that future guns will be solid? Seriously?]

    The performance problems resulted from complications during our transition from prototype to mass production. These problems have been identified and solutions are being implemented, with an expected production restart in October. [With an “expected” restart of production? Does anyone really believe this? What exactly does “expected restart of production” mean anyhow? That on October 31st they might start making the parts again that ultimately are required to be assembled into functional pistols to return to owners? How long does it take from the “expected restart” to when fully functional guns are shipping to owners? Does anyone seriously think that they will be getting their gun back before mid-December at best?]

    Anyone who purchased an R51 may return it and receive a new R51 pistol, along with two additional magazines and a custom Pelican case, by calling Remington at (800) 243-9700. [My opinion on what this means – “we’re recalling this turd, but don’t want to call it that – so instead we’re “replacing” any R51s that have already been purchased.”]

    The new R51 will be of the same exceptional quality as our test pistols, which performed flawlessly. [We’re supposed to take this company’s word that they ever produced a quality product in the first place? Why, because the “experts” they are so cozy with reported only SOME issues with “pre-production guns?” Because of the “critical acclaim” that was based on NOT shooting the R51? What about durability by the way? Anyone going to mention the fact that the current guns have been showing a propensity to shred themselves severely in fewer than 100 rounds? That upon cleaning your gun after burning a box of ammo at the range, metal chips fall out of it?]

    We appreciate your patience and support.” [Patience? I purchased 2 R51s in mid-March – by the time I expect I will actually receive replacements in mid-December *9 MONTHS WITHOUT A FUNCTIONING GUN WILL HAVE PASSED.* And my compensation is to be a plastic case in lieu of the cardboard box originally provided with the gun?]

    I’ve learned to be very careful about saying “never” about anything in life. However, I will NEVER be purchasing another Remington product again. I don’t care if they truly do get the bugs worked out of the R51. [Something I seriously doubt]

    I also want to get his on record now. In the end, even if these guns can be debugged enough to function on some level that could reasonably be called “reliable” I believe the guns will STILL face a durability issue that will ultimately destroy them the longer they are shot. My honest belief (based on my guns and the wear they show from just a few hundred shots) is that these guns will have a service life of 1500 hundred rounds.

    Read more: http://www.gunsandammo.com/2014/07/25/r … z38m5XFBcJ

    1. avatar John Hope says:

      VERY WELL PUT! THERE IS NO WAY THE TEST PISTOL PERFORMED “FLAWLESSLY” THATS PLAIN BULLSHIT. IN FACT ALMOST EVERYTHING THEY SAID IN THE PRESS RELEASE WAS THE RUNNY SHITS

  51. avatar John Hope says:

    First of all Nick…..let me say congrats on being SPOT ON from day 1 about this firearm. No matter how Remington tries spinning it on the website…..ITS A RECALL. Anytime they scrap production and give everyone a new one that bought one….THATS A RECALL. Remington just doesn’t want to use that scary word. They are funny. Remington. They are the laughing stock of gun manufacturers these days. Period. A joke. Period. Embarrassing themselves. Double Period.. They claim a October 2014 re-release date. My ass…..I would bet a steak dinner it wont be until well into 2015. And if they release it a day sooner, they are making a huge mistake. They need more than a couple of months to fix the multiple and chronic issues with this design. Its a trainwreck of a gun. But they have once again wasted a HUGE amount of resourses and money to just give in and throw in the towel…. (20-20 Rifle)….ok maybe they do waste a lot of money and throw the towel on some things. I stand corrected. So they will tinker with it and release another cluster fuck of a weapon and try telling everyone its fixed and its limp wristing or user error if it fails this time around. Think of it like this. IF YOU BUY A CAR AND THE CAR IS A PILE OF SHIT, BREAKS DOWN, HAS SEVERAL ISSUES DO YOU GO BUY THE SAME TYPE OF CAR????? NO. YOU BUY A DIFFERENT CAR. SORRY REMINGTON. YOU SCREWED THE POOCH AND NO FIXING MAKES IT RIGHT. YOU LOST A WHOLE LOT OF CUSTOMERS. BUT YOU SHOULD BE USED TO THAT BY NOW. IM NOT EVEN SURE HOW THEY ARE STILL IN BUSINESS!

    1. avatar Richard says:

      Forgetting , for the moment, that the gun is just a paperweight that did not function reliably, if at all, friends came back from the SHOT show saying it was crudely mad and, did I mention, ugly. Just how incompetent are the senior leadership at the company?

  52. avatar Calvin Ledford says:

    Richard Mann speaks out defending Remington…

    Here is the URL:

    http://ramworks.net/blog/the-tale-of-an … tons-r-51/

    Here is my response…

    I’m really shocked that as badly as Remington had setup the “reviewers” who wrote articles on this gun, that any are still defending the company – yet this piece seems to be intended to do exactly that. Contrary to Remington’s statement that “some” guns were impacted, You and Gun Blast seem to have the only R51s described to run reliability. I’d love to see an unaltered production model that runs too.

    The continued defense of Remington and the adherence to their carefully crafted marketing position (especially the keyword “some”) is all the proof I personally need to believe that the allegations made about dishonestly on the part of both the reviewers and publishers is true. As if it doesn’t also seem extraordinarily suspicious that the “reviewers” who, until the Remington “update” on the 25th were STILL singing the praises of the R51 four *months* (see September issue of Guns) after widespread reports of serious problems with the production guns began being reported. Some of these same reviewers seem to be the only people with R51s that work. Others were ones who were treated to a Remington funding shooting junket (er, I mean product launch) at Gunsite. You know, the shooting academy where most people PAY to go to shoot firearms and ammo THEY purchased THEMSELVES, not burn up tons of freebies provided by the same Company who’s product they would review later…

    Regarding this article, a “mistake”? Really, is the best you can come up with is that Remington made a mistake?” Remington sold a dangerous firearm to an unsuspecting public. I know, I have two – four thousand apart in serial number and NEITHER work reliably or without exhibiting concerning pressure symptoms. That is a little more than an “oopsy” that you suggest actually “happens all of the time.” The gun, if not dangerous as shown by the repetitive examples of pressure conditions and out of battery discharges, is certainly dangerous due to a severe lack of reliability in a defensive firearm. Remington waited *months* (as in at least 4) before providing any response at all. When they did, instead of owning up to the matter and offering something of substance to the people whose money they’ve taken, they continue with the over-driven marketing crap and a complete refusal to call the matter what most would consider it – a recall. In Remington’s language it is a free replacement to anyone who currently owns a first generation R51 – and, oh, they’ll going to throw in a plastic box (to replace the original cardboard one) and 2 mags for your 7-12 months trouble of not having a working firearm after having paid for one. I will also point out that the “update” does not state that they will replace the pistol of “anyone who has an R – 51 that does not work” – they state that “Anyone who purchased an R51 may return it and receive a new R51 pistol” – period. There’s a subtle, but significant difference from your assertion. One indicates that the majority of guns floating around out there are just fine. The other indicates what the rest of us believe, that there is a problem will most of them (if not ALL of them) and Remington simply doesn’t want to admit it in so many words – especially on the heels of the 700 trigger fiasco. One thing is absolutely for certain based on my call with Remington customer service several weeks ago – the locking block has been redesigned and is due to be replaced on ALL R51s. How then is the problem limited to “some” guns?

    In closing, I’m not sure if the author of this article was at the Gunsite “launch” or not – but based on information provided in Bryce Towsley’s blog – there were 12 guns present at Gunsite and 5000 rounds fired. That works out to be about 416 rounds through each gun. Apparently, “Gunsite is a dusty place and as the day wore on the guns got incredibly dirty. So, near the end, we did see a few jams.” (Jeff Quinn of Gun Blast reported Gunsite malfunctions as well) Personally, I don’t see 400 round being too much for a gun to handle, outside of a sandstorm, and wonder how Remington or their “experts” define “flawless” function. You know, flawless? The word Remington uses TWICE to describe the R51 in their short 171 word update? Towsley and Quinn both admit that malfunctions occurred at the launch. Where does flawless enter into the picture?

  53. avatar Calvin Ledford says:

    Well, it is mid-December and no “updated” R51s. Remington reported to be now stating they won’t ship until early Q2. They are giving out R1s to people who don’t want to wait…

  54. avatar Dave Trainmore says:

    I grabbed the first R-51 to hit our town. It had some weird problems to start out with. But getting the grease out and replacing every last drop of it with Rem Oil, solved most of them. Now I’m looking around for someone with a real 9mm finish reamer. Other than a questionable chamber, my breech block looks like a flute broke off the mill cutter, machining it. The cross pin holding the firing pin keeps working out to one side. I could deal with the cross pin, and the buggered side of the breech block, is cosmetic, not functional.

    My R-51 runs smooth sided 9mm ammo O.K., but hiccups with Federals with their cannelured case walls. My next go will be with the Turk/NATO spec. ammo from Walmart.

    Personally, to me it looks like this slide was designed for a larger 40 caliber barrel. If so, they were sticking their toes into the water with a 9mm. If in tolerance parts finally become available, I will order what I need, instead of sending the pistol back to the factory.

    What those gun writers failed at revealing is that you have to fully activate the lemon squeezer, to get the slide to rack all the way to the rear. This takes the safety off in the process. Also, my wife cannot load the magazines with the stock 14 coil springs. I substituted an old WWII Walther P-38 one with only 11 coils, and it helped. Wolfe’s replacement P-38 spring is also 14 coils, so that didn’t help. E-Bay lists surplus WWII Walther P-38 Magazines for about $150, so that avenue is not available either. Putting a R-51 Spring or the Wolfe Extra strong one into the longer P-38’s magazine, actually helps these old warhorses to work more reliably. Polishing the feed ramps in the R-51 is a two minute fix. IMHO.

    These magazine springs have smaller “feet” on each end, so you can’t merely trim off a couple of coils. I’m holding off on buying the laser sight until this mess sorts itself out better. After the Ruger gaffe with their 357 Maximum Black hawks, I think that its safer to wait and watch. My little R-51 is just right for defending our Tin Teepee, from predators sneaking into hunting camp, to dine on our two Shih Tzu camp followers. I can load both magazines, for my wife, to keep at the ready.

    It really does shoot where its pointed, and that alibis a whole lot of glitches. But I’m not packing it around, where my life is in danger, either. To me, this is comparable to shooting a 22RF pistol, instead of a 32 ACP. The Colt cartridge is more reliable, but you can get better with a lot of 22 RF practicing.

    If Remington made a solid slide version in 22RF, or as a convertible kit, I bet they would have a real winner. As it is, the pinches in the magazine’s sidewalls, are way oversized for even the 9mm cases. I passed on a good 51 in 380, because I wanted the new metal in the R-51. I’m still sticking with this decision.

  55. avatar Mr. Pink says:

    In his initial review Nick failed to find ANY of the issues that ultimately doomed the R51.

    You Nick Leghorn fanboys need to go back and re-read the initial review.

    Mr. Pink

    1. avatar Dan Tanna says:

      Yeah, Leghorn was negative about it but for other reasons.

      I’ve not seen any impressive display of journalistic integrity here, despite the fanboys saying otherwise.

      Instead I’ve noticed they are timid in pointing out (or just plain choose to ignore) Remington’s long history of knowingly bringing unsafe designs to production.

      It’s not trivial; It’s gotten at least twenty people killed over the years, and Remington’s spent tens of millions on settlements. One would think that would be worth noting when that same pattern of corporate malfeasance also resulted in the release of the R51 to the public despite its dangerous flaws.

      There’s a pattern here, both in Remington’s criminal neglegence and these gun writers’ professional negligence in ignoring it.

      Print writers aren’t the only ones being less than dilligent in telling it like it is.

  56. avatar Joe Black says:

    The execs wanted to push this weapon, faulty though it was. The engineers will suffer, because crap runs down hill!!

  57. avatar Calvin Ledford says:

    Remington being sued by R51 owner after gun reportedly goes off and shoots him while the safety was engaged.

    http://www.guns.com/2015/08/07/idaho-man-suffered-injury-due-to-defect-in-remington-r51-lawsuit-says/

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