Untitled-1

I was excited when Remington announced they were creating a redesigned Model 51 handgun. I was looking forward to seeing what Remington could do with the Pedersen Action concept, formerly lost to the mists of time. But the redesigned R51 stumbled out of the gate. Badly. (Click here to read my original review.)

To its credit, Big Green recalled the gun. Rather than consign the R51 to the history books again, Remington went back to the drawing board. At the same time, they addressed the quality control issues bedeviling the gun. There were good reasons not to abandon the design.

John Pedersen created the original Remington Model 51, using a unique operating mechanism to cycle the action. Instead of relying on a tilting barrel design to lock the action during the firing process, the Model 51 uses a tilting breech block as the lock.

This allows the slide to start moving backwards (almost like a direct blowback gun) while keeping the case firmly seated in the chamber until the pressure drops to a safe level. The design creates less force for the recoil spring to soak up, which makes the R51 easier to rack and a softer shooting firearm. At least in theory.

P1210578

Looking at the firearm’s exterior you can see where that Pedersen action comes in handy. A standard tilting barrel handgun needs a taller slide to accommodate the barrel, the recoil spring and guide rod — parts which need to stay aligned with the frame of the handgun to work properly.

Today’s R51 has a fixed barrel surrounded by the recoil spring. The barrel becomes the guide rod, reducing the side’s height by a few millimeters. That’s a definite benefit for buyers looking for a slim and sleek concealed carry pistol.

The original R51’s sights were rudimentary at best. (Pedersen claimed his gun was so ergonomic that it was “self aiming.”) Remington mounted traditional three-dot sights on the R51 Gen 2 (Gen 3?). To make it easy to pull the handgun from a holster or pocket without snagging, the sights are rounded. But there’s still a ledge on the leading edge of the rear sight so you can rack the gun against your boot or belt.

Unlike its eighty-year-old predecessor, the new new R51 lacks a manual external safety. Remington has done away with the manual safety, relying solely on the grip version (and responsible gun handling). That’s more than enough — I never used the manual safety on my Model 51 anyway.

Other notable differences: the R51 sports a skeletonized trigger, an ambidextrous magazine release (that’s much easier to actuate its forebear’s) and a slide release lever. The original Model 51 didn’t lock back when empty.

The disassembly process remains the same as the previous iteration. Note to those of who think a GLOCK is too complicated to strip and clean: the R51 might not be your firearm of choice. The R51 has more moving pieces than a Ted Cruz/JFK assassination conspiracy theory. Getting it right takes some practice.

This is where the differences between this most recent R51 and the originally released “new” R51 I tested in 2014 begin.

The first R51 required the shooter to ensure that the slide stop was placed underneath the retaining spring in the frame of the handgun during reassembly. Get that step wrong and the gun would lock open with rounds remaining in the magazine.

I have deliberately tried to re-assemble the Gen 2 R51 incorrectly in the same manner. It can’t be done. Remington either redesigned the assembly to be harder to screw up or corrected a machining issue that allowed incorrect re-assembly. Either way, result.

P1210581

Remington also seems to have improved its machining processes, especially when it comes to the barrel and slide assembly. The previous model felt gritty and rough when racked, much like gliding sandpaper over rough metal. The new new R51 isn’t perfect, but it’s much smoother and has less hesitation when the slide slams forward.

The magazine has also been improved. In the previous incarnation the mags were designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. The magazine’s buttplate sat flush with the edges of the mag well. The problem was that to properly seat the mag, the shooter had to pay extra attention to pressing it up the gun. Slam it home like most other guns and it might not stay.

The new mags’ extended floorplate stands slightly proud of the magazine well. Shooters can easily and firmly slam the mag home. We’re talking about an extension of only about 1/8th of an inch, but it makes a world of difference.

P1210525

Out on the range I ran everything I could grab through the gun: hundreds of rounds of standard Winchester white box ball ammunition, a smattering of hollow point rounds, and a selection of +P ammo. I didn’t encounter a single mechanical failure. Zero failures to feed, no issues with firing out-of-battery (as the previous model did), and no “locking back when still loaded” gremlins. In short, the new new R51 works.

The R51 is about as accurate you’d expect. I shot roughly two-inch groups with the gun last time around. Neither I nor the firearm have improved since then. The R51 is good for “minute-of-bad-guy” accuracy, which is more than sufficient for the average self defense scenario.

That said, I still have some issues with the gun.

P1210610

The original Model 51 sported a tactile and audible reset: a little click you could hear and feel when releasing the trigger after firing the gun. That let you know the trigger was ready to go again. The R51 doesn’t have a discernible reset. You have to let the trigger all the way out before pulling it again.

Many gun owners (including this writer) “ride the reset.” They let out a handgun’s trigger just enough for it to reset it before firing again. Anyone who uses this technique who carries an R51 will have to retrain their brain to use the trigger’s full range of motion. Otherwise, they’ll find themselves “short stroking” the R51, pulling the trigger before it’s ready to rock.

13671865_154674284960720_1661262539_n

The original Model 51 was sleek and svelte. Much like the American public in the intervening years, the R51 has gained some weight. Looking at the excess material around the barrel and the indentations in the magazine, it appears the modern R51 was designed to expand into larger calibers, .45ACP and .40S&W no doubt.

That said, the excess material isn’t entirely a bad thing. The original Model 51 had an issue with the breech block splitting with regular use. In that sense, the new R51’s extra material is a feature not a bug. And I’d love to see a .45ACP version of this gun.

P1210537

One last item worthy of mention: Remington’s customer service.

When the first new R51 came out in 2014, independent gun bloggers and journalists gave it poor reviews. Remington initially denied the problems, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. They eventually changed their tune, and made a solid effort to make their customers happy.

Remington asked R51 owners to return their guns, and gave them a choice: exchange it for an R1 1911 or get some extra goodies when R51 Gen 2 version was ready. Remington sent R51 owners the revised handguns before anyone else. I’m pretty happy with that level of customer service.

P1210631

The Remington R51 is getting close to being an ideal concealed carry handgun. I love the grip safety. It gives a level of peace of mind that my GLOCK 43 “safe action trigger” doesn’t. The overall size, while larger than some, is good for a compact single stack 9mm handgun. It’s slim and short with rounded edges that ease everyday carry and make it quick to get into action.

The R51 isn’t exactly easy to clean. And that trigger, with no reset and some side-to-side wobble isn’t what it could be. But for the price this is a good, reliable little gun. I’d love to see some aftermarket parts, specifically a threaded barrel (no Neilsen device needed!) and a better trigger option. But at this point the new new R51 doesn’t have many rough edges to smooth out.

Specifications: Remington R51 

Caliber: 9mm para, +P rated
Barrel Length: 3.4 inches
Overall Length: 6.6 inches
Width: 1 inch
Height: 4.6 inches
Weight: 22 oz.
Capacity: 7+1, ships with two 7-round magazines
MSRP: $448 (street price about $385)

Ratings (Out of Five Stars):

Accuracy: * * * *
Minute of bad guy. For a sub-compact $448 concealed carry handgun, it gets the job done.

Ergonomics: * * * * *
Feels pretty great in the hand. It slides beautifully into a pocket or a holster, too.

Ergonomics Firing: * *
You’ll feel it when it goes bang, much like other compact handguns, and there’s no tactile trigger reset. But +P ammunition isn’t much stiffer than standard 9mm range ammo, which is an interesting and welcome change of pace.

Ease of Maintenance: * *
I’d rather detail strip my 1911 than field strip this thing. It’s certainly not in Ruger Mark III territory, but it’s no fun to take apart and put back together.

Reliability: * * * *
Over the standard 500-round testing protocol the firearm performed without a problem. Even after disassembling and re-assembling it on the firing line multiple times it continued to function flawlessly. I’d like to run a couple thousand more rounds before making a final judgement, but so far, so good.

Customization: *
There is exactly one holster available so far, but be patient. Given how hard Remington is marketing this thing there will be plenty of new gear available soon. Hopefully one of those options will be a replacement trigger.

Overall Rating: * * * *
As-is, the gun works. It’s slim and feels good in the hand, and more than accurate enough (especially for the price point). Reliability is excellent. The R51 is slightly larger than the G43 and other competitive single-stack nines, so it’s not quite as concealable. I’m knocking one star off for a) the lack of a trigger reset, and b) the difficulty in stripping the gun for cleaning. Otherwise it’s a nice piece of engineering. Finally.

117 Responses to Gun Review: Remington R51 Gen 2

  1. Nick:

    Nice review, but I do have one question.

    Do you think the new R51 offers anything beyond that offered by the S&W Shield or the Glock 43? It seems like a neat design, but at 4oz and 6oz heavier than those, respectively, I’m not really feeling a strong call towards it…

    • The Remington R51 has a alloy frame and steel slide. The S&W shield and glock 43 have a lot of polymer components. I would expect it to weigh more. Also, some like a little more weight.

    • Something this offers over those guns is an all metal construction. It feels more solid in my hand, and more solidly constructed. It’s the same reason I like the P226 over the HK P2000.

    • I handled one at LGS on the weekend – the trigger is definitely better than the Glock (and I am not a Glockophobe by any means).

  2. Nick, I simply do not trust Remington. Please review the R51 again in a year, after you’ve beta tested it and it’s been recalled again.

    • Come on Ralph. This is a positive review. Coming from Nick – for a Remington product. The stars must have aligned for this to happen.

      • Nick, I don’t trust Remmy. In fact, I don’t trust any gun in its first year of manufacture. I remember when I tested RF’s Caracal a few years ago. I loved that pistol, but said that I wouldn’t buy one until it had been proven through use. A few months later, the gun was recalled.

      • I’m curious how the camming surface where the breech block locks against the frame will hold up. Is that aluminum or a steel insert? IIRC, it’s aluminum, which makes me wonder how it will handle extended use.

      • If I’m not mistaken, didn’t the first-gen you tested run without hiccups*, as well? It seemed the primary faults were “punishing” recoil & frame bite**, and a poor trigger with no reset…the same faults in the current pistol reviewed, yes? So why the one-star review for the last gun, but four-stars for this one? None of the jams, feeding issues, extraction issues, or out of battery firing issues were known at large or experienced by you at the time of your initial review. Right?

        Be honest, was it the fact that you’d assembled the gun wrong for the range trip, wasted a bunch of time & ammo on a gun you thought was messed up, but only realized your folly after the fact and understandably didn’t want to repeat the range test? And felt subsequently vindicated by the extremely unacceptable results seen elsewhere? It’s totally cool to have a bad impression of the gun due to its recoil mechanics & the fact it made you feel a tad foolish at the range, just curious where the animus for an otherwise-working handgun came from, because those are objectively fairly minor quibbles. Especially since I don’t recall any particular attention to the overall poor build quality, which is what the review really should have focused on rather than trigger reset or proper disassembly, given how poorly wrought my pistol & all others (undoubtedly including yours) were.

        *without user-induced hiccups caused by improper reassembly, which could be considered a detriment to overall weapon favorability, but hardly constitutes a ‘functional reliability’ issue (especially when it could easily be accounted for, for the purposes of an accurate review).
        **at this point I’m convinced there’s a Chiappa Rhino thing going on with the gun, and that it really matters how and where you grip the thing, since you invariably hear it’s either “the most comfortable gun evar” as in my case and many others, or “the most slide-bitingest piece of crap since the P35 High Power” by everyone else, and hand size doesn’t appear to be the common variable

        PS- TTAG still has the skeezy-ass salacious bate-bait ads up that make your site look like a low-rent gossip rag, they type you’d be ashamed to be seen reading in public. Farago assured me it was being dealt with, but, well…we all know how that goes…

        • Amazing comment. Made my day.

          No r51 on my radar. Rem playing catchup adding zero to the knowledge base and nothing new for the customer is a sure sign they don’t even take themselves seriously now.

          But I guess the relic collectors out there will appreciate the r51.

        • @barnbwt,. SPOT ON! All of it. And particularly the bit about the cheesy bait ads. Redonkulous.

    • I just have to chime in here and tell all of those out there that echoed that exact same “judge them before you even have the facts” mentality, all of those who thought themselves wise and important enough to determine, for everyone, without any data or fact about this pistol or Remington could never be any good. Just look back and see what I said about waiting until you have the facts instead of spewing unfounded negative and inaccurate commentary. I for one would rather have a discussion or dialog based on facts and real information rather than emotion, hearsay, and innuendo. After all, that is the exact way and method the anti-gunners employ and believe. Now I wait for those who can’t help but argue they are right even without facts or truth. Let me start…No I don’t work for Remington.
      By-the-way, I think it is a really nice looking gun and I really like the grip safety.

    • You beat me to the punch. The market is literally overflowing with options in the mid/compact/subcompact concealed carry 9mm space that didn’t need to be recalled/heavily modified multiple times to finally (maybe?) be acceptable for trusting your life with. I have stopped carrying guns that I lost faith in for far less serious issues than what was going on with these when they came out.

      This may end up being the new best pistol in the world, but I won’t be looking at buying one anytime soon, if ever.

  3. Nick. What about ergonomics firing? Last time you said it was pretty damaging to the webbing of your hand. That still stands, yes?

  4. Concur with Ralph. Don’t see any advantage over my Ruger LC9s Pro? Similar in most every category with a significantly better track record in reliability. I used to be a huge fan of Big Green when I got my first 1100 40 years ago however, the last two Remington products I have purchased have been underwhelming at best in reliability. Trust is like viginity, you either have it or you don’t. Will wait and see.

  5. It looks like Remington has learned its lesson and put out a product with old fashioned Remington quality. Should have done that first time instead using its customers as beta testers. My opinion of the utility of the R51 remains the same. It is too big for the modern market’s preferences for a subcompact carry gun. It is approximately the same dimensions a XD/m compact. That is too big for a single stack non 1911 pistol. It’s narrower profile doe not offset its large size.

    Now, the weight is actually an advantage. It will have better recoil characteristics and therefore more accurate follow up shots than the lighter sub compacts. If President Hillary manages to get magazine limits through Congress then there may be an increased demand for the R-51 because double stack designs will not offer much an advantage. But then again why not just by a 1911 Combat Commander sized pistol.

    • As someone who has carried for years, a gun’s thickness is a very important dimension. A relatively long, relatively tall yet thin gun hides better than a short, small, thick gun does.

      • Rounded edges are more important than absolute width. A thin boxy pistol prints more than a thicker pistol with rounded edges. A Px4 disappears nicely under a shirt.

    • Even new-fashioned Remlin quality would be a large step up from R51 1.0. It was on par with the worst comm bloc SKS I’ve ever seen, seriously.

    • It’s the same dimensions as a S&W shield, except for a 0.5″ longer barrel. You must really hate the shield as well. 0.5″ in the barrel won’t make it any less concealable than the shield. Neither will the 3 extra ounces in weight.

    • The reason some of us don’t buy a Combat Commander or any other 1911 style of pistol is that we don’t like the way they feel, don’t like the single stack .45 ACP, don’t like the price on the good ones and have preferences for anything OTHER than a 1911!
      I own one, an officer’s model that the first time out of the box I was able to shoot a 1 inch, 5 shot group at 20 yards, (which I’ve never been able to duplicate) but, I personally have some medical issues that the 1911 gets in the way of! They are OK but unlike most of America, including most of my friends, I am NOT in love with the 1911!
      Someone in another post mentioned that the Browning P35 Hi-Power was a biter and a piece of crap! I carried one as a duty firearm for 20 years, and have yet to be bitten, or for that matter, I have yet to find a more accurate pistol from all of the cheapies all the way the the 2 and 3 thousand dollar wonder guns! Maybe I am just lucky, but the 1911 just isn’t for everyone because if it were that would be the only thing available! It’s called CHOICE, which is something we each have!

  6. Sure. Another(not so small)9. Same rating as the SCCY(on TTAG) which I just saw for the everyday low price of $229…in fact startlingly similar review. Trigger,accuracy,reliability…

  7. Remington has put out nothing but lemons for several years now. The first iteration of this gun was the worst in a series of very poorly made guns from big green. Personally, I have no desire to do business with Remington at this time, as there are so very many other manufacturers without such a disastrous track record. Also I’ve heard mixed reviews from acquaintences on the “new” R51; heard several people mention that, while the gun functions, the machining quality on their guns is still poor.

    • My experience with a Remington R1 has been exactly opposite of what you described. I have put well over 1000 rounds through it and it has been absolutely reliable. I have not had a failure to fire once. Seems like there are a lot of bandwagon haters out there who decided based on internet hearsay that everything Remington made was junk.
      Just so it’s clear, I don’t work for Remington nor do I own their stock.

      • The 700 fiasco having to recall due to trigger problems, the newer 870s having jamming issues out of the box, and the R51 fiasco that was not only a poorly made firearm, but was also a firearm they heavily marketed as a self defense firearm. Remington has had several high profile failures in just the past couple years. It is sort of ironic how the only firearm they can seem to get right (R1) is a design unchanged in a hundred years. With how many firearms companies we can choose from that not only have not churned out crap, but are also cheaper than the comparable Remington firearms, for me the choice is simple.

        • Yeah, i believe everything I read on the internet chat rooms as well. The internet is such a paragon of truthfulness!!
          I will take my friends and families opinions any day over any keyboard commandos here or elsewhere. The meme started that rem sucks and it is BS. Their model 700s are the most accurate guns for the price despite the trigger problems, the 870s that I have seen and used have always worked, despite rough treatment. This little gun maybe a piece of junk, I don’t know, but I will trust my own experience with it over some dude on the internet trying to drum up clickbait. The only guy I really read for his info here is the gunsmith out of Wyoming. Everything else I take with a grain of salt.

        • Joe, whether you choose to believe it or not, the 700 and R51 first gen were actually in real life recalled because they had serious safety issues due to changes in Remington made on previously proven designs (more than likely trying to cut costs). The new 870s have trouble chambering shells, seems to be mainly low brass. I’ve seen it firsthand. Feel free to go buy one of you want, it’s your money to throw in the shitter.

        • Let’s see, Tony; You have the previous recalled gun, you were too lazy or stupid to send it back during the recall, you now do not have a Gen 2 pistol, nor the extra mags and Pelican case included with the Gen 2, so you have announced that since you kept the lemon, the replacement is junk. Sounds logical to me…

        • They will replace it with a new one with extra mags, so what do you have to lose to try it?

      • Joseph,
        I agree with you. For all of the comments by folks who really tried the gun thanks. For the trolls and haters who
        have never said a good thing about anything in a comment, I feel sorry for you people.
        My R51 runs well, I hate the action spring, and it conceals nicely for me. I carry for protection, and because I can
        (barring election results) and I am not a wannabe firearm reviewer who knows nothing about guns, but thinks I do.

    • “machining quality is poor”
      Let’s be reasonable; it’s an all-metal 9mm autopistol made in America for under 400$. I think the next step down is literally Phoenix Industries pot-metal blasters. What matters is whether that poor machining impacts function. From several early new gun* reviews, things are looking a lot better than last time, well into the range of “acceptable” even.

      *the folks who got their guns replaced & got R51s sooner seem to have gotten the short end of the quality stick this time. Still need more time to see, but the in-store guns don’t seem to be having the same function or quality issues

  8. Hmm, if they had shipped it like this in the first place I would have been excited, back in the day.

    Fast forward to today, and the market is more than full of worthwhile products; XDS, G43, PPS, etc… short of an overwhelmingly positive review, this was just a giant meh. Honestly, the only other pistol in this class that has my curiosity piqued would be the Avidity PD10, but even that will have to score some really high marks in order to shine in this already saturated market.

  9. While I doubt Remington sent Leghorn a ringer, I’d prefer to see a test of a new one bought in a random gun store.

    • I have a new gen II R51 purchased at Champion Firearms in College Station Texas. It shoots like a dream.
      I have had no misfires, no failure to eject and it goes BANG every time I pull the trigger. I do not listen to the
      wannabe pistol smith on these blogs, but I get a really good chuckle out of them. Not so much the haters.

    • I bought a gen2 in a random gun shop, it’s garbage. Sending it back to Remington for a second time, they can’t fix their own pistol.

  10. Ive heard remington 1911s arn’t so bad. I personally have a 783 308. It is a straight tack driver, never failed, and is priced right. Older 870s are obviously better, but i wouldnt hesitate to use a newer one. 700s are hot sellers too. I ‘d give the r51 a shot as well

    • I have the R1 Enhanced with the tall suppressor sights. It is absolutely my most accurate handgun (at least in my clumsy mitts) – moreso than the Springfield Range Officer. Probably second only to my PPQ. Only complaint is that the grip safety is more uncomfortable than the Range Officer.

    • From everything I’ve heard and read, you should hesitate to use a new 870.

      As in more than one person I trust has said you’d be better off, at least for now, buying a Chinese (Hawk Arms Interstate) clone.

        • Okay. Go buy an 870 and tell us how wrong the thousands of people compligning about Bug Green’s quality nose dive are.

          Oh, wait. Hearsay. Inadmissible.

          Because the only way to know the validity of a thing is to verify it yourself, right? That’s why is are no industries devoted to reviewing and creating physical and Internet content about real world objects like guns and cars.

        • Every person I’ve heard of using low-brass shell casings has experienced frequent if not constant stuck shells due to poorly cut chambers…just like the crap chambers in the low end 700 rifles and initial R51 pistols…

  11. My subcompact choice is a Sig P938, all metal construction, single action (did pay for a trigger job, which I highly recommend) accuracy. If I was to move away from that I’d probably try out a Glock 43, then a Ruger LC9S, then a Springfield XDS, then probably every other one made before getting to the R51. I don’t know why they even bothered to reintroduce it honestly, should have just seen it as a failure a couple years ago & let it die!
    There is a ton of great subcompact 9mm’s, what is the point of being the last to introduce an average gun, with a history of failure, to a crowded field of quality competitors?

  12. I’ve been waiting and watching the development of the “New and improved” version of the R51 with bated breath. It’s been a long struggle for sure, but if the reviews keep coming like this one I’ll throw down the $400. Its a sexy looking gun, as long as it functions correctly.

  13. So Remington got it right the second time around… Let’s see if the TTAG commentariat can redeem itself this time around, too. The original review was right on, but the comments afterward were a total shitshow.

    • Sorry, but the decent performance of the pistol described in that review A) did not jive with the one-star resulting rating, and B) did not identify the ubiquitous problems related to poor quality experienced by almost every other purchaser

      So, yeah, not the most ‘useful’ review, objectively. We did learn that the gun didn’t fit Nick’s hand, didn’t have a tactile reset trigger, and required some attention to assemble properly. Those would be minor detriments in an objective review, but the gun clearly had left a bad taste in his mouth (ETA: inadvertently really bad turn of phrase, lol)

      • Many other reviewers corroborated the fact that it was not only possible, but highly likely that anyone who took it down for cleaning would assemble it wrong at some point — and not know it until the gun failed to perform in the field. That “small issue” all by itself would justify a zero-star review on something that bills itself as a carry gun.

  14. I like non-tilting barrels. I will consider this in .45 when/if it comes out. Yes, I know about the Beretta.

    • I had a PX4. Nice gun, shot well, but I wound up selling it. It just felt … unbalanced, I suppose, in my hand. And the recoil felt a little weird … an extra twisting as well as push and flip. Not bad, mind you, just different.

    • The CCP has a loooooong trigger. Otherwise it’s a very nice, soft-shooting gun for something its size, even with a +P defensive load. I’ve only handled the R51, but not fired it, so I can’t say how it will shoot but would bet a box of ammo it’s less comfortable.

      • It also requires a tool for basic takedown, something even the ‘arduous’ procedure of the R51 doesn’t need

  15. Finally! It has been years since anything good has come out of that company. I really want Remington to get back to its old self. While I wont redeem years worth of awful on one good review but I am stoked to hear good news about them for once. Still may just be a broken clock being right for once but. Still I’m excited.

  16. I really wanted one of these when they showed them. But, like a lot of things, I wait a while and see how things shake up. It’s good they fixed it, but I am not sure I would want to get one.

  17. I have actually shot the new R51. I’ve only shot 250 rounds so far, but that is 250 more than any of the other experts who have commented on it here. Plain and simple, the gun works .0 failures, good accuracy all metal construction and nice lines. Its different, to be sure, than all the other clones out there, which is exactly why I like it. If there was only one good one, the blogs wouldn’t exist, and everyone would have to find something more constructive to do with their time.

    • Schweet! The earliest reviews from folks who had their guns replaced on warranty had some problems, looks like the ‘real production’ guns are much better. Now if Remington would only make a ‘deluxe’ model with polished, blued & anodized surfaces with threaded barrel, we’d have a respectable tuxedo gun!

  18. This thing has intrigued me from the start. Unfortunately they made me look like an a$$h0le when I got to shoot the first one while working for Gander Mtn. They apparently brought one of the ringers out to our range day and I was so impressed that I sold at least 10 before they got recalled. Never again. I literally sold every freedom group firearm that I owned at the time and replaced them with firearms from reputable companies.

  19. As I’ve said before, all they had to do was recreate the original Model 51. OK, so the price would have come in over $500, but it would have been all-metal, it would have worked and it would be a proven design with few parts to go wrong.

    If they’d have made the Model 53, I would have stood in line to buy one.

    But noooooo. Had to cost-reduce it. As of now, all that cost reduction has been made a moot point.

  20. I work at a indoor range and we have just put one in our rental pool and it has been shot by quite a few people and the response is usually the same. It feels front heavy, shoots well but feels different in there hands. I also have shot it and the old one several decades ago. I feel that this is a different firearm and it reminds me more of a Ruger SR9S. The grip is slim and with my large hands is somewhat difficult to hold correctly. It has been reliable so far. Will have to see after 5000 rounds through the firearm.

  21. Dont see any advantage over my Kahr cw9. Remington is to guns what Gerber has become to knives: a ” used to be good” company with declining steel quality ( Gerber) QC and popular choices.

  22. I took my R51 Gen2 out this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised. Ran through 308 rounds. The first 300 was brass cased 115 ball and 124 ball and HP. Ran without a hitch. The last 8 was Tula steel case and had 2 ftf from light primer strikes and one nosedive that tapping mag well fixed. Does not like Tula steel case but neither do I so not a big deal to me. One thing about it – this is an easy pistol to shoot well. I like the way it shoots and handles. The low bore axis really does make a difference. It shot +P loads easily. Need more time with it but like so far.

  23. As I said previously on an NRA site:

    The replacement R51 Gen 2 recently received is all that the original promised, and a real joy to shoot! It has not yet replaced my SCCY CPX-2CB (the best bang for the buck of ANY pocketable 9mm) or my Springfield XDs .45 (a joy to carry and deadly as a banded sea krait), because I have a lot of rounds yet to send through the R51. And then, even more in 9mm+P, which the R51 was designed to fire with no stress or recoil problems.

    I have posted over the two years it took Remington to re-invent the R51 MANY bitter diatribes about the absolute silence from the company, a total customer relations disaster beyond any other recall from any other manufacturer in this century, but after it all is over, I am very, very pleased that I outlived the silent wait–and wait–and wait, and now have the most innovative and shootable handgun yet offered by anyone!

  24. I bought the second gen a couple weeks ago and ran a couple hundred rounds through it. Flawless! It shoots well, feels good and looks good! Remington got it right this time.

  25. Thanks for posting a review of the reintroduced R51. I have an original model 51 in .32 ACP (my grandfather’s) and it is a sweet handling item. I cannot say that the slide trigger had the best feel. I have longed for many years that the design should be available in 9mm, as it would be ideal. The appearance of the R51 (Gen 1) therefore perked me up…but the poor reviews were disappointing. I think the fact that Remington faced up to the quality problem and did a better engineering job on the Gen 2 indicates that they are entirely sincere about redeeming their reputation–and the reputation of the pistol design. The vilification directed against Remington seems merely spiteful.

    I am looking forward to handling the gun, and maybe being able to shoot a rental. I expect the low bore axis to suppress muzzle flip (a phenomenon that makes me disinterested in Springfield’s over & under pistols). My point of comparison is a Detonics Pocket 9, which is a brutal gun to shoot but very concealable. I am hoping the R51 will be a good update to my personal carry situation. Let us all extend Remington our well wishes that their production standard improves over time.

      • Sorry. That was supposed to have been a jocular reference to the fact that the Springfield Armory barrels are conspicuously high relative to the recoil spring assembly. I would be amazed if they did not flip.

  26. I’m going out to the farm tomorrow and I’m taking the rebooted R51 that I waited a year to receive. It’s been several months since Remington sent the new R51. Slight trepidation about shooting the new one. Still, one can only hope.

  27. Works with hollow points and it’s impossible to put it together wrong so the slide stop malfunctions? That doesn’t seem to be the case for all of them.

  28. Anyone who buys this gun again after such a disaster of a first run is a fool. In fact anyone who buys anything from Remington when it pertains to their firearms made after the early 2000’s is a fool. With the information we have at our fingertips now through the internet anyone who can read will clearly see that across the board Remington has made shit for well over 15 years now. The 700’s are a joke compared to the older ones. The 870’s feel like glued together, rushed production models that are flimsy and much lower in quality than the older ones. About the only thing they have made worth a shit is their 1911 series. Which a 1911 is a pretty hard design to fuck up, all you gotta do is just follow the blue prints that have been in place for over 100 years. So i give them no real credit for that gun because a 1911 is a 1911 and they just slapped R1 on it. About the only thing ill buy from them now is ammo, thats it.

    • I agree. People are too forgiving, of the P.R. disaster that Remington created, not to mention a shoddy product. And yes, a new manufactured 1911, can be found everywhere.

    • Dear John,
      It is indeed true that we can read all kinds of things on the internet, including blustering prejudice. The few reviews I have read of the generation 2 pistol are favorable.

  29. Purchased an R51 about a month ago and have put somewhere between 300 – 400 assorted rounds through it including the steel-cased stuff. As long as I load the magazine and slingshot it home it goes bang every time. Had three FTF/FTE episodes when I loaded a round, pulled the mag, topped it off, and reinserted it to get the classic 7+1. Will be going back to the range this week to put some of the premium and +P stuff through it. I really like the ergonomics of the gun!

  30. My ‘new’ R 51 has some issues. I own one, it has made one trip back on warranty after 200 rounds for a complete failure to fire mode. The issue, primer residue in the firing pin mechanism. If you look at a fired round the primer is bulged out, set a fired round base down on a flat surface and it has a 20 degree tilt. So the primer bulges out and eventually one breaks open and the junk goes down the firing pine hole and it locks the firing pin, you now have a throwable object, not a gun. The only recommended bullet weight is 124 grs. Do not expect the slide release to chamber a round from a fresh magazine reliably. You have to hand rack the slide back. The first go around the pistol shot 6 in. low and 4 in. left at 20 yds. Slide was replaced and it now shoots close to point of aim. Before it was sent back I had FTF FTE on a regular basis, light primer strikes with a failure to fire. As it is now I could not carry it and hope to have it fire. I need it to Fire, every time. Taking the firing pin assembly apart is not a good option.

    • I would not call the new version ‘awesome’, mine completely failed after 300 rounds. went back for repair. Primer residue in the firing pin block locked up the firing pin. Also replaced the slide so it would shoot near the aiming point. Out of the box at 20 yds it was 6 in low and 4in left. Look at the fired rounds, the primer is bulged up, and I guess some will rupture locking up the pin. Fails to chamber using the slide release, notes from Remington repair station states you are supposed to sling shot the slide.. Didn’t see that in the manual did you? Also the from the repair station, the pistol is optimized for 124 gr.

  31. I must take issue with the author’s statement about the quality of Remington’s customer service. I purchased a R51 as soon as it was available and ended up sending it back for a replacement. Two weeks after the promised date of replacement I called only to find the date had been pushed back to. After that date passed with no notice or delivery I called again and was told the date was pushed back again. That date passed and I called again to be told the date had been pushed back again as the production was being moved to Huntsville. At this point I expressed my displeasure and was handed off to a nice woman on the phone that offered a refund, to wait for the production to start, or substitute. The substitute she offered was the R1 1911 Commander. She even guided me to the right spot on the webpage to view it. Since I bought the R51 as a carry piece I decided to try it and agreed. Several weeks later I received notice that they would be shipping me a R1 1911 standard within two weeks. I called to remind them I was offered a Commander but was told it didn’t matter what I had been told or the fact that the Commander had the same MSRP as the standard. It wasn’t being offered. After several emails and phone calls I finally got to speak to someone higher up in customer service that told me it didn’t matter what I had been told. I was being shipped the standard and basically if I didn’t like it, too bad. I filed a complaint the the BBB and Remington shipped the 1911 the day they received it. Remington did not respond for several days then only saying that they had shipped the replacement and considered the case closed. I promptly sold the 1911 for enough to pick up a Sig P238 which meets my carry needs better than the R51 did.
    During all of this Remington never contacted me with any info on the status of the replacement program. I had to contact them to to find out anything. The only contact they initiated was to notify the shipment of the 1911. I will never Remington anything again.

  32. I, too, take serious issue with this author’s opinion. I bought two so-called GEN2 R51’s from Bud’s Guns within the last year; One for myself (I’m a 1911 guy, personally), and one for my wife. I watched You Tubes, read countless blogs and posts about the saga of the R51 and thought the re-release might be OK. WRONG. Most all of the issues of the R51 1st edition popped up everywhere. Bolt block galling, inadequate parts (rear extractor pin was way too short). It wasn’t even 20 rounds FMJ with FTF issues abound when I had to really break it down to see if the horrors lurked within. Well, bought extra mags, tried +p’s and after about 100 rounds of arduious range time, we gave up. My wife could hardly rack the first round and it just plain exhausted her. I wanted her to have a positive experience and have a good time when shooting (we both have had CCW’s for some years, now and it’s been hard finding the right pistol for her). I finally bought her a Sig P938 with night sights, and I went back to my 1911’s. The Sig hasn’t missed a beat right out of the box. What a total waste of time and money, the R51; And this guy mentions a model in .45 ACP? Clear the range. It’s a shame to see Remington put this crap on the market. I still have the Remington Model 33 .22 S,L, and LR single shot that my Dad got in 1934 for his 15th birthday. Learned to shoot with that rifle, and it is still spot on. Who knows how many rounds have gone down the pipe. In fact, I’m planning on passing that on to my oldest son, who will eventually give it to my Grandson, now about 20. The old timers knew how to build them. What happened, Remington? I know an old single shot may be a poor example to you, but I’ve had a few 870 Wing-Master’s along the way as well as a couple bolt guns I really liked.

    I’m done venting. My $.02.

      • Look at the fired primers, mine are all bulged out and and some came out of the cases, The gas then fouled the firing pin and the pistol had to go back to repair. Many malfunctions, at least one every 40 rounds. Out of the box at 15 yds it shot six in low and four in left. Tried factory rounds, 115 & 124 gr. hardball, no help, tried reloads no change. Sold the thing and got a Block 43, it has run approx 500 rds, factory and reloads with only one malfunction on a reload. No more Green for me.

  33. Nick,

    9 months in now. Have you had any of the issues mentioned…bulging primers, FTF or whatever? Any updates to your evaluation?

  34. In X number of years in assembling a disassembling several dozen semi auto’s, I have never run into a more stubborn and obstinate firearm than the R51, Gen 2. Watching the demo from Remington on Youtube for breaking down and reassembling the R51, I alternately cursed and laughed as the guy deftly pushed back the bushing and spring to remove or insert the barrel. Oh, please. I like the ergonomics. I have had very satisfactory range scores with it. However, I’m selling this puppy based on the miserable process of assembling and disassembling. You are so right, sir. Glocks are as simple as a Sig compared to the R51.

    • Thanks, Tom. After watching the U-Tube video and reading several critiques like yours, I bought an Honor Guard CC with 3.2″ barrel. Had been looking at the R-51 since it came out. Glad I bought the HG. Took me about 2 min first time I took it down, and 5 min to reassemble. Mainly just careful handling and trying to look at everything. Second time it was less than a minute to field strip and a little over a minute to reassemble. You have 100% access to the internals to clean. Did a quick clean and lubed the 5 points it said to lube with synthetic dry lube.

      Ran 200 rounds of brass, steel and zinc cased 9mm though it, with a variety of bullets, including ball and hollow points. No FTF, no FTE, no bulged cases or primers and the brass all landed in a 2.5-3′ circle when I shot on grass. Liked that they had a free spare 8 round mag (comes with a 7 and 8) and 50% off website stuff and a box of ammo as a rebate through July 4th.

      Sights were good for my “60-something eyes”. Grip and texture about the best for a CC gun that I’ve held, and it’s a low bore, easy recoiler. Has true ambi mag release and ambi safety IF you install one. Doesn’t come with one, and no mag safety, but manual safety available on the website. Good trigger…not gritty, and smooth pull. Said 6.5#, but mine felt a bit lighter.

      Couple of things I didn’t care for (at first). The manual is fairly detailed, but has a couple of photos that are useless. Fortunately a U tube is available and nice and detailed. Main thing is that the recoil pin and spring can be inserted wrong. As long as you remember to keep the cut out sections to the sides and rounded areas on the top and bottom, you won’t go wrong. Second thing is that the slide release is so contoured for carry as to be nearly useless for me. However, you get used to sling-shoting the slide quickly, and it only takes 25 rounds or so to loosen it up to where it isn’t tough to do. A guy with arthritis might have troubles initially though.

      Didn’t even have to think about it by 5th or 6th magazine through. Didn’t like that aftermarket mags aren’t available yet either, but the 50% off makes it easy to get more. I like to have 6-8 spare mags for the range. Took about 5 times reloading to not have to use a magazine assist to get all the bullets in. By the last magazine full, no problem loading them.

      Got a note from the CEO when I registered the rebate. Nice guy and good product.

  35. Reviews on this thing still seem so mixed, I talk myself into buying one yet. It looks like it is about the best-shaped small 9mm for carry I’ve ever seen, but still sounds way too finicky, Gen 3, maybe?

    • Yes, but only if they fix the tear down issue. I’d add one to my carry options then. I’m thinking about adding a second Honor Defense’s Honor Guard to my CC inventory. Having had it for a month now. It is stainless steel and American made which are big pluses for me. Over 400 rounds through it now without a hiccup.

        • So you are disagreeing with Tom Perkins above? Or you just don’t clean your weapon? I don’t have a dog in this fight. Just curious. Several reviewers said they liked the gun but hated the tear down process. The U tube stuff I saw on line confirmed what they said.

          Some folks never clean their weapon until they have issues. I have no problem shooting mine for a week or two, but it gets cleaned before it goes back in the safe. Likewise, when it is my primary carry weapon, it is clean when it goes on my hip I’ve had it with guns that take tools to disassemble or that you have to spend a lot of time working to disassemble. Just my preference.

  36. I bought a gen2 R51 thinking I was getting a good deal with the $50 rebate. It feeds fine as long as you never load the magazine to full capacity, especially 7+1. I sent it back to Remington and it was returned with a note that said “adjusted magazines”, it still doesn’t work. My experience has been horrible. I can’t believe the reviews I’ve read claiming the gen2 is a great pistol, it’s not. I could have bought a Taurus 111 for the same money and had a pistol that actually works like it’s supposed to. This isn’t over between Remington and me.

    • Good luck getting any satisfaction out of Remington. I’ve never been treated as badly by any company as I was from them. See my comments from January above.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *