I don’t want to say I called it, but I called it: the R51 is a massive blunder from start to finish. We’ve seen report after report coming from end users and other reviewers that the gun has serious design issues and has been plagued by poor manufacturing processes and shoddy quality control, and even when those guns were returned to the factory to be repaired Remington was unable to find a fix. Now, it looks like Remington is finally pulling the plug and has scrubbed all traces of the R51 from their website.
Go look up “R51” in Remington’s search bar — there’s only one result and it’s a promo video from before the launch. Looking through the Wayback Machine we see that Remington was at one point proudly displaying the firearm and even had a specific page for the gun, but that page has now been deleted.
The conclusion I draw from this new information: Remington is about to kill off the R51.
Remington had been pushing their new gun extremely hard, running non-stop advertisements in magazines and even buying a massive booth at the NRA Annual Meeting this year specifically to pimp the R51. However, all the marketing money in the world can’t cover up the fact that the gun was universally panned (by those who weren’t paid to do otherwise, at least) and online reviews from actual users were almost universally negative. Even the Maryland State Police kept it off their approved list for sale in the Old Line State due to reported reliability problems.
I love innovation. I love seeing new designs come to market, and always try to encourage companies to try something new. And I had high hopes for the R51 when it was first announced. But when a firearm has significant issues just cycling the action on a flat range under ideal conditions, there’s no way anyone with any integrity can advocate for consumers buying that gun. Innovation is good, but it needs to work before spending millions of dollars on a marketing campaign and burning bridges with reviewers when they truthfully report their experiences.