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.