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Scenario: your best friend loves to have the latest and greatest. Newest iPhone? Bought it – limited edition color, 64 gig model, of course. Aston Martin Cygnet? You think he’d cruise downtown Austin in a Car2Go? Please. So when your buddy said that he had first class plane tickets and an all-access SHOT Show pass, you weren’t surprised. His best friends work for regional distributors and he was able to purchase two of the hottest items there: a GLOCK 42 and a Remington R51. Problem is . . .

he didn’t clear the purchases with his wife who thinks he has “too many” guns. He also had some questionable expenses on his credit card from that Vegas trip. Something about a neighboring entertainment industry convention. His wife is and was, in the words of Stephen Foster, “a most knowing woman.” She put her foot down and stated, “one of those guns has to go!” Tucking his tail between his legs, he offered you dibs on one of them. He’d let it go for $200. After all, that’s what he told his wife he’d paid for them.

On the one hand, you have the GLOCK 42. Finally! A Glock in .380 that will fit in a pocket. You’ve spent years anticipating this gun’s arrival and now you can own one. It’s super-reliable and unlike your best friend’s marriage, is probably not going to fail anytime soon.

On the other hand, you have the Remington R51. It’s a 9mm, so you can actually find a reasonable stock of ammo for it and get more range time in. The gun is metal, so you won’t endure those tiresome “Tupperware” comments. Also, it’s American made, so you can dub Aaron Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring‘ over the video of you shooting it on YouTube to impress your more intellectual friends.

Which will it be?

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    • I have not handled either gun, so my uninformed pick would be the R51 because it is 9MM. I have no use for a .380 auto. I am a Glock owner, but I have no specific brand loyalty, I’ll buy and shoot whatever works for my needs, and for self defence, I need something more umphful than the .380.

  1. G42. I’d have a use for that now. The R51 I’d only buy as a collector’s item, and I predict they’re going to go through a dip in price (supply exceeding demand) before any long-term appreciation in value.

  2. I’d buy the Glock, trade it toward something else or sell it after I got tired of shooting expensive ammo out of it, and tell my friend to stop being a pansy.

  3. R51.

    I already own two Glocks. They all work the same, and owning a third will teach me nothing.

    The R51? Eh, there’s likely to be some gunsmithing required on them in the future, so I’ll take it, even if for nothing other than a shop mule.

    • Good call for a person in your biz, and it makes perfect sense for you.

      For me, another Glock would be welcomed into the fold with open arms. I tried the larger frame/caliber models, they all sat differently enough in the hand that I went back to the 9mm/.40 framed models exclusively. Having a smaller one to try, and compare to my G26, would be interesting.

    • Probably the Glock. Demand is huge right now. And every gun shop I go to I hear someone looking for it. I never hear anyone ask about the R51.

  4. Given the apparent failure problem if you don’t put the R51 back together EXACTLY right, I’d take the Glock.

    If that wasn’t an issue, I’d take the R51.

    • It’s insane that it can be assembled incorrectly. The damn thing shouldn’t go back together unless all the pieces are put back properly.

      That is a design defect.

      • Look guys, lots of guns can be re-assembled incorrectly.

        The Browning A5 (and the three derived shotguns), for an easy start.

        Oh, the Ma Deuce, when you’ve not done the headspacing correctly.

        The 1911. Worse yet, the M9, if you don’t know what you’re doing after detail-stripping the slide.

        The Browning BAR (not the real BAR, but the semi-auto sporting rifle). The Mossberg 500 trigger group.

        I’ve seen revolvers put together in bizarre configurations, involving everything from missing springs to mis-adjusted springs.

        The point being, there’s lots of successful, time-proven designs that need “attention to detail(s)” in order to get them back together correctly. You whippersnappers have decided that all guns should be as simple as a Glock.

        Well, here’s a news flash for y’all: I’ve seen Glocks put back together incorrectly too. To mis-assemble a Glock takes talent, certainly, but there are in fact some gun owners who have that very special talent.

        • DG, I understand and agree with you to a degree (and when it comes to my weapon I’m very detail oriented), but while a 1911, Glock or most other popular pistols can be field stripped well enough for adequate cleaning and only reassembled one way (that is, it wont go back together at all unless it goes back together in a way that renders it operable) the R51 seems to allow the user to reassemble it in a way that renders it inoperable and without a way of knowing that until one attempts firing it. That’s a design flaw that concerns me.

          I’ve never (at least not in the last 20 years) reassembled any of my pistols from field stripping and wondered if they would still shoot and I wouldn’t like to have one that I did have such concerns about. I press check pistols that I loaded myself the night before prior to carrying them the next day, my gun OCD would go crazy with a pistol that could be assembled in a configuration that looks ok but wont run.

          What you say is true, but the vast majority of us will never take a pistol down past field stripping, and with most designs it’s virtually impossible to reassemble them incorrectly from that state.

          I’m no Glock fan, and I really don’t see the point in the 42 but I know it will be dead on reliable, accurate enough and I already know how to run it, I’d have to take that over a questionable design with a number of unknowns.

    • Same here. If they fixed that one problem (and I didn’t live under the infernal handgun roster), then I would be on a R51 like wet on water.

  5. I still can’t find non defensive nine ammo on shelves so a point for Glock…

    That being said I like the idea of a grip safety, and don’t own a pistol with a metal frame.

    The ttag review was not stellar, but I’m a gluten for under dogs and I tend to find Nick’s taste a little bit more discerning than mine. I also dont recall him mentioning any reliability issues other than the reassembly difficulty.

    I’m not a glock fanboy (but not opposed either)

    I would try the Remington. That is of course assuming he let me shoot it to evaluate the whole pain in the web of my hand concern….

    • Strange. Just the opposite here. Practice 9mm is more common than .380, and cheaper overall. Not by much, but come on. There’s less powder, a smaller bullet, and a shorter case (less brass). So, is there more unicorn fat in a .380?

    • Weird…I just picked up 2,000 rounds of 9mm ball on Saturday. If you can’t find it locally(I did), order online.

      I know Detroit Bullet Works puts out really good reloads, and had a ton in stock. They are in Wixom.

      (Not sure if you are in the metro area)

      • Awesome! I’ve been in there a few time but its always been a two month wait. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll check em out.

  6. They’re both American made… I haven’t seen the G42 proving to be totally reliable — every review out there shows it failing to cycle with certain types of loads, whether that’s due to power level, bullet shape, or bullet weight.

    I’d take the R51. Actually, I really do want to put some rounds through one to see how I feel about the thing.

  7. I already have a bunch of .380s. The R51 can fill the void in my pocket until the Kimber Solo I ordered 6 months ago finally arrives. Many years ago, I had an original Remington Model 51, and it was a super pocket pistol. The new one isn’t as pretty, but it looks like fun.

    • Wow. Now I’m really curious as to what might’ve incurred the wrath of the TTAG word police when discussing two firearms and purely fictitious persons.

      • Sometimes I wonder if posters put “Comment moderated,” or “FLAME DELTED” on purpose, just to mess with the rest of us.

        • I’m pretty sure that they sometimes do, but in this instance with the link and all the one above sure looks official.

      • Let me sum it up. Glock 42 – Fail – dead horse – family guy.

        I kinda thought TTAG could find the humor in mild tongue-in-cheek criticism at worst or acknowledement and gratitude for their subtle brilliance at best. I was leaning toward the latter. Might want to consider running one of those NY triggers on the moderation gun. πŸ™‚

    • Hey, no question on moderating, think y’all do fine. Do have questions about Disqus! Are they changing how they do comment thread subscribing and notifications to email? Or is this all tied to the other system problems toddling around the intratubes harassing everybody?

      Here in west PA we have been experiencing some problems at service provider level, and Wifey has had some major virusi and freezeup troubles on her computer. I have noticed for a couple of weeks that Disqus has been a bit quirky. Just wondering if any of you Big Brains in the TTAG tech department have noticed anything, since y’all work with Disqus a good bit.

      • God I hate Disqus emails. I really don’t care when someone replies to a comment I made 2 months ago, isn’t there a cutoff date where they’ll stopp sending them?

  8. I’d check resale values online and take whichever one was selling for more. Then I’d sell it.

    Also, the Glock 42 is American made, according to Glock. If it wasn’t they’d be unable to import it, due to BATFE’s point system.

  9. That’s just evil. Neither is time tested or proven. You have a more conventional design with a weaker chambering in the G42, you have a better chambering but a less typical design in the R51.

    I’d have to say neither truthfully, but if I had to pick I think I’d go with the G42 and shot placement only because of how conservative Glock’s engineering is. I just trust the company a little more.

    If I could only own one handgun it would be a .357 mag revolver though. Preferably a 627.


    • I’m sure the thread has been done here before but I didn’t see it. . .

      I suspect you could learn a lot about a POTG by what their one handgun would be if they could have only one and their reasoning for it.

      In my current life, with rule of law, gunsmiths abounding and a need for concealment if I could have only one handgun it would without a doubt be a high quality 1911 in .45acp. I have a couple and to me/for me it’s the best shooting and most versatile pistol around. It’s thin enough to carry concealed daily ( I often do) it’s robust enough to last, it’s powerful enough to do most jobs and it’s accurate enough to take on targets out to or past 75 yards.

      Now, in a without rule of law situation I think that either a full frame 6-10 inch barrel .357 or .44 magnum revolver would be my choice. Speed loaders can keep it in a fight, concealment no longer much matters most of the time, very powerful, extremely reliable and with a scope mounted, accurate to??? Depends on the shooter but at least 150 yards.

      If we’re talking long term TEOTWAWKI I’d have to go with a major caliber black powder revolver: highly reliable as above, powerful and reasonably accurate, and I can touch it off with ground match heads and leather patched stones and an oiled, powder rolled thread if it comes to that and it still beats a club.

  10. R51. Because I hate Glocks, I have a reliable carry piece, and the Remington is certainly a conversation piece. Almost like having a cherry Edsel in the garage.

  11. R51. Can melt it down to make wire coat hangers. Those are getting hard to find, always work, and might increase in value.

  12. I’d probably get the glock. Better a decent piece in a less useful caliber than a hand bitey nitpicky piece in a desirable caliber.

  13. Here’s where a bunch of people say they’ll take a 6 shot .380 with documented issues shooting hot defensive rounds over a 7 shot 9mm that “won’t work when reassembled incorrectly”. I’ll take the Remington.

  14. Gotta go with the Glock 42. Not to hate on the R51, but it looks like that gun is a mess. The G42 isn’t perfect, but it’s not busted either. Honestly? I like my Beretta 3032 more than either of them (flame on, mouse-gun haters!)

  15. You guys are so darned hard on each other!

    I’d take the Remington. No good reason really, other than to say I’m like Beetle….I like all the wierd ones πŸ™‚


  16. Just called Cabellas and was told that the G42 production run is committed out to 2015.
    Gotta walk into the store at the exact shipment delivery hour to see one in the case.
    So back to the question, which one to grab? the one that is steel because you can’t grab vapor.

  17. Given the universally poor reception of the R51, isn’t that kind of an unfair question?

    “Which would you use to defend yourself from an attacker? This 12 gauge or Webster’s English Dictionary?”

    • Yeah, the sale of the Glock would make a nice down payment on a 938. Both guns are almost exactly the same size, but the P938 is much thinner. And in 9mm

  18. Based on the reviews on here, I’d take the Glock.
    Based on the reviews here if I were buying my own, I’d buy the Glock.

    Not too worried about it being a .380. It’s not a perfect cartridge, but it’ll do.

  19. Guess I’d have to go with the Glock, although that’s not my preferred model. I’ve put thousands of rounds through Glocks and never had one hiccup, so they’ve earned my trust. R51 is too new to have years and years of real world experience behind it yet – and it’s too heavy personally for every day carry for me. YMMV (as it always does).

  20. Glock USA isn’t going out of business anytime soon, and there’s a shite-ton of accessories. Although the 9mm is clearly the better defensive choice, and ammo is cheaper, the Glock is a better design. When they make the 42 size in a 9mm, I’ll buy that and hand the 42 over to the Mrs.

    My discounted price for the 42 is $339, and the tougher choice for me is LC9 (hate the trigger pull) vs. the 42 (like the design, not crazy about the caliber). I’ll also test fire the Kahr PM9 and S&W shield. I feel like I’m not a very good gun connoisseur since I don’t currently own a 9mm.

    • I’m a .45 guy at heart and can’t disagree that 9mm is a better choice than .380 (all else being equal give me more power), but, the gun that runs is the one I want in my hand regardless of caliber. It also seems to me that the size/configuration of the 42 would lend it’s self to putting a lot of rounds accurately on target in a hurry, which makes up for a lot of what the .380 lacks in power and size.

      Then again, this is a lot like asking if you’d rather step in dog S*&t or a cow flop when it comes to defensive pistols; one is capable of being accidentally reassembled so as it render it non-functional, has complains of excessive recoil and low capacity for size while the other sports a marginal caliber, is too big for its caliber and has reliability issues. To my thinking either of these is a poor choice for an everyday driver and would be a fair weather Sunday cruiser at best (and not even a nice Sunday cruiser at that).

  21. The Glock, as I’m already familiar with the ‘Manual of Arms’. I’d just start trying different loads until I found something that was reliable. This assumes I’m out of ^everything^ else, including my PPS and my G19.

      • The G19 Gen 4 is an acquisition gotten last month for a personal long-term CCW test. Before that was the PPS. In my shoot-and-compare analysis the G19 was marginally more controllable. That, coupled with the ability to make a 15+1 round capacity pistol disappear under camp shirt as it is plastered to my semi well-upholstered torso and the Gen 4’s improved grip angle made it an attractive asset for long-term evaluation. 250 rounds and six weeks later it’s still my go-to for CCW, night stand duty and home carry. I just picked up a G20 Gen 4 for hiking this summer on the strength of the G19 so far and the perceived need for a semi-auto pistol that has a decent chance of punching through the front of a Grizzly Bear skull. Hopefully it’ll never come to that, but better safe than sorry.

  22. Wich? Ist das Deutsch?

    I think the Remmington as frankly, I’ve little use for .380; or for $200 I could get a bazillion rounds of ΠšΠΎΠΌΠΌΡƒΠ½ΠΈΡΡ‚ΠΈΡ‡Π΅ΡΠΊΠΈΠΉ Π±Π»ΠΎΠΊ ammo…

    Yeah, I know – ask a desciple of 7.62 a question, get a 7.62 answer…

  23. Hmmm, for $200, both! As I could flip either one and get a S&W shield or G26 which is what I really want. Plus I already have a R51 that is nickel plated and from when they first made them.

  24. I’ve never owned a Glock that was not 100% reliable, but compared to a Rem that can be misassembled I might take it on as a project gun

  25. Always have been a 45 guy
    Advances in deep penetrating expansive ammo has made a 9mm in a small, light weight, similar capacity an option
    LC 9 and R 51 was on the radar as possible pocket 9
    Just purchased a LC9 which is going off list in CA/KA 3/14
    Due to micro stamping law I will never get to compare Ruger and Remington

    • . . .can’t . . . resist . . . pistol wars. . arrgh! JM Browning already created the perfect pistol, the 1911, just as if god had offered it up from the heavens!

      Ach! I went and said it!

  26. R51 is broken to me. Tough to put together with no way to know if you screwed it up until you pull the trigger, no thank you. Its also freaking huge. Glock wins by default, and I don’t even like Glocks. I’d prefer just to keep my CM9.

    • You should see Jeff Quinn’s video review at Gunblast. Night and day compared to Leghordn’s review here.

    • that’s not the half of it. glock 42 owner reports on local forums report these pistols are _extremely_ finicky with ammo.

      it’s the gen4 spring fiasco all over again.

  27. Can I buy $200 worth of .22lr from my friend instead? He can lie to the wife and keep both guns, and I can actually go plinkin’.

  28. R51, I don’t even need to shoot them to know it has the better trigger. Plus there is no way that Glock is any kind of “pocket gun”, at least for non-cargo pants.

  29. Glock. And only because Glock has so many fans, it’d be easy to flip for a profit and buy either another Shield, or money toward another gun purchase. πŸ˜‰

  30. I already have a glock 42. I got it because I found one and I figured that if i ever wanted to sell it it would be easy because its a glock and people seem to be more attracted to it just because its a glock

    • Agreed, one is unnecessary and questionable in it’s design and purpose and the other is, well, unnecessary and questionable in it’s design period.

      As nearly as I can tell neither can compete in any meaningful way with existing and tested designs in their respective classes. The Glock, for it’s size ought to be a 9mm and would be interesting if it were but no way would I pack a pistol that size in .380, that caliber goes on the ankle or in a coat pocket as a back up, not on the belt as a primary.

      The R51 for size and caliber has to compete with the M&P Shield and the Springfield XDs and loses before it even hits the shelves for weight and reliability, whatever good features it may have.

      I can’t see the Glock successfully competing on it’s merits against a Bursa Thunder or a PPK, similar capacity, reliability and accuracy, the latter two are considerably thinner.

      Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s better or even useful, it just means it’s new, which can be a bad thing in defensive pistols.

  31. Talk about fucked up question of the day. Is there an option C which is actually a good gun?

  32. If I had to pick one of those, G42. The Glock design is proven even if this model is new and untested. The R51 has way too many problems including a big fatal flaw.

    The G42 would be near perfect for my wife.

  33. Mr. Zimmerman, How about I pay you full list price for the R51 if you agree to publish a subsequent review wherein I demonstrate how to visually and mechanically check for proper slide stop function.

  34. ” She put her foot down and stated, β€œone of those guns has to go!”

    He should tell his wife to shut up and get back to the kitchen.

  35. Probably would go G42 and then sell it, not terribly interested in either. .380? No thanks, my pm9 fits in my pocket just fine. Weird design in a larger frame? No thanks, it doesn’t do anything my g19 doesn’t already do.

    When Glock gives us a 9mm G42 I will throw them my money.

  36. Whichever one does more damage when you use it as a club. I handled the R51 at the PA Sportsman’s Show a few weeks ago, I went in very interested in it for several reasons, it reminded me of a prewar Walther in style (which the original R51 is similar to), much as I do like Glocks, I miss the cars-as-airplanes-era styling. Also, single-stack nine, aluminum frame, not that I dislike polymer but I was interested in seeing a resurgence of improved manufacturing techniques to make metal frames cost-effective again. Aluminum certainly isn’t more repairable than polymer, but hopefully it stands up to holster edge-rounding a little better.

    What I got when I picked up the R51 was a size-misrepresented, tin foil profit machine. What a huge disappointment. It looked and felt sized more like a G19 than anything else, with half the capacity, and it feels like a $7 cordless screwdriver from Harbor Freight. Remington didn’t make a product to put them back on the map as a handgun manufacturer, they made a Kickstarter campaign to ask for free money from the public.

  37. Why the false choice between choosing one of these two guns? They aren’t really in the same class.

    If you want a pocket pistol .380, there are smaller and thinner choices than a Glock 42.

    If you don’t care about the ultimate in concealability, there are better caliber choices than the .380 round.

    IMO, the Glock 42 should be compared to .380s, and the R51 to nines.

  38. Neither…

    Glock… Money goes over seas.

    Remington…. Money goes to Gubment Flunkies.

    End of discussion.

    I’ll keep my Ruger, thanks.

  39. I’ve held both guns, did not fire either. the glock is not as comfortable as the remington. the glock is smallish and flat, good for your pocket and retains the glock appearance. its too plain almost generic.
    the R51 has style and feels good in the hand, but is almost a little to big to stick under your belt. i change my personal carry as much as i change my socks. variety is the spice of life. what you carry affects your
    attitude. when i carry my snub nose colt det sp i feel like a gangster, I carry my p238 when i get dressed
    up. i will probably eventually buy both weapons. as far as defending my self, I can do that with a dull pencil.

  40. I would go with the Glock, it is, reliable, mechanically simple and easy to handle. But if money is no object, I would get a SIG P239 in 9 mm, it is accurate, small, thinner, carries more than 7 rounds, handles well ,is easy to disassemble and unlike the Glock, it does not like a brick and has better ergonomics. As for the R51, it is a non seller since it does not bring anything new to the table and is difficult to service.

  41. G42 is picky about ammo.

    R51 runs well as long as Nick doesn’t get his hands on it.

    I’ll take the R51.

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  44. If you shoot both you’ll take the R52.
    They are nice shooters. They are definitely manageable during recoil and follow up shots are fast. The trigger pull is excellent.

    PS: Why do people insist on recommending guns, especially 1911’s when no one asked? The man said Glock 42 and Remington R51.

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