I’ve come around on the Remington R51. In my initial review in 2014 I wasn’t a fan, and the gun didn’t seem ready for prime time. Two years later, Remington had worked out the bugs earning the re-reviewed gun a four star rating.
I kept the handgun used in that review and have been shooting it ever since and I think I finally found the thing that takes this 9mm pistol from a four star gun to a five star gun, something that should have been a factory option: a threaded barrel.
When I spoke to Remington about their new R51 product lo those many years ago, one thing I repeatedly pointed out was that this would be an amazing suppressor host. The Pedersen-designed action means that the barrel is fixed in place. Instead of a Browning-style tilting barrel acting as a short stroke piston during the recoil cycle like pretty much everything else on the market in its class, the breech block itself performs that function. It’s pretty nifty.
The net result is that when you want to add a can to the gun you don’t need a Neilsen device (or “recoil booster”). Instead the can threads directly onto the barrel and remains fixed in place.
That means less muss and fuss transitioning between handguns and pistol caliber long guns for those who have threads on both. Less cleaning required between range trips. And lower chance of failure due to easier designed mechanisms. It’s a huge win all around.
At the time Remington seemed more interested in pushing this as their latest concealed carry handgun, positioning it almost as a modern HK P7. When the initial reviews and subsequent controversy caused the R51 to lose favor, it seemed like Remington would much rather have buried the project than improved it. But a few hardcore fans, like the folks at DangerCo, have been hard at work trying to bring those missing features to the market.
The DangerCo R51 threaded barrel starts life as a factory-standard R51 barrel, one that (if installed) would be flush with the front of the slide. That’s obviously no good for installing threads.
DangerCo adds a barrel extension to the front and threads that instead, adding about an inch-and-a-half to the overall length of the gun. Then they slap a thread protector on the front and ship it out to the customer.
In the video above, I go through the process of field-stripping an R51. As you can see, it’s not all that fun or easy. To install the threaded barrel you’ll need to go through the same process and swap out the old barrel for your new one, but there’s a catch.
The threads on the new barrel will make this process excruciatingly annoying. For me, at least, the threads kept catching on the slide and binding up. It was only after a good half hour of cursing John Pedersen’s existence that it finally slipped into place.
Once it was installed it was completely worth the time, effort, and money.
The fit and finish of the barrel is great. Which, considering that it’s pretty much an original Remington product with some tinkering, makes sense. As for the threading, the pitch is a solid and concentric 1/2×28.
Something interesting to note about the Remington R51, and the AAC Ti-Rant 9mm can specifically, is that the sights just barely clear the top of the can.
Normally you’d need suppressor-height sights on your gun which are significantly taller than the normal variety to get a clear sight picture, since silencers tend to be particularly thicc bois. In this case the chunky slide geometry of the R51 combined with the svelte profile of the Ti-Rant make for a sight picture that is legitimately useful.
The real beauty of this set-up comes when you’re out on the range. In practice there were no issues whatsoever when adding the can to the front of the gun, not one single added malfunction due to over gassing or any of the other ill effects that usually come with a silencer.
All that you get is a beautiful and easy-shooting handgun that not only looks like something straight out of James Bond (but in a real caliber instead of .380 ACP) but also is downright enjoyable.
The sound suppression is exceptional. And due to the Pedersen action, I actually think it’s quieter than a GLOCK with a similar set-up. Plus, as previously discussed, there’s no booster in the can to induce failures (or to clean after the trip). Easy as pie.
I liked the R51. The second generation, at least. But most of the time it spent its life sitting in the safe next to its original 1930’s era Remington 51 grandpappy. It was kind of a curiosity.
This one part, this one simple design change, has elevated the firearm from “hey look at this weird thing” status to the one firearm that I always bring to the range no matter what. It’s now officially the most fun thing I have in my gun safe, and that includes a suppressed MP5K.
Specifications: DangerCo Threaded Barrel for Remington R51
Rating (out of five stars):
Overall * * * * *
If you own a pistol suppressor, this one item will turn the R51 into one of the most eligible suppressor hosts on the market. And consider this: a brand new R51 from Bud’s plus this aftermarket barrel will STILL be cheaper than a current generation GLOCK.