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We recently posted a review of the R51 9mm pistol. Remington’s new concealed carry gun was one of the most anticipated guns coming out of the SHOT Show this year. Remington was kind enough to send us two for testing and evaluation. Unfortunately, the gun tends to pound the shooter’s hand, making practice less likely. It’s also all-too-easy to re-assemble the R51 incorrectly. An incorrectly assembled R51 will not function properly. The slide lock may lock back before all the rounds in the magazine are fired. We stand by these findings. But we have responded to reader feedback with some changes to the review . . .

In the original version of the review, Nick stated that the R51 tames the snappiness of +P ammunition. Some readers wondered how that squared with his assertion that the gun was uncomfortable to shoot. While the R51 does a good job of making +P ammunition feel no more snappy than regular pressure ammo, shooting normal ammunition is an uncomfortable experience. Nick has updated that paragraph to clarify this point.

The review’s original opening paragraph pointed out that TTAG wasn’t included in Remington’s intro of the R51 to some members of the gun press. A number of readers considered the negative aspects of the review retaliation for being snubbed. Not so. Nick went into the review process with an open mind. His findings were extensively researched and duplicated on both guns provided by Remington. It’s also important to note that Nick has positively reviewed Remington’s products in the past, and owns some Remington models as well as those of its subsidiaries.

Following the release of the review we offered Remington the opportunity to dispute any facts presented and/or write a rebuttal (which we would publish without editing). They haven’t responded. Prior to publication, we contacted Big Green about the assembly problem. They said they’d seen the same issues in testing that we saw in their production guns. They admitted that consulting the manual for re-assembly is critical for assuring a fully-functional firearm.

All of the writers and editors at The Truth About Guns understand that the firearms we review may be used in life-or-death self defense situations. We also appreciate the over-arching importance of firearms safety and our readers’ financial limitations. We would never allow our relationship with any gun manufacturer – whether positive or negative – to influence our findings or opinions to compromise your safety or waste your hard-earned money.

Thanks for reading and your feedback. Both are very much appreciated.

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  1. Yeah, too little too late for me. Editing an article for logical consistency after the fact, without annotations, and laying out your big-ol’ axe you’re about to grind in the first paragraph… then deleting said paragraph… is about as journalistically suspect as you can get. I’ll go elsewhere for gun reviews.

    • Editing the +P point is hardly editing for logical consistency. If you followed the logic, their correction is implied. To state it explicitly isn’t to correct an inconsistency, rather it they’re just stating it explicitly.

      • No, no. It made no sense, so they edited it. “It hurts to shoot, but it turns +P’s into pussycats”. He spent half of last night clarifying the statement in the comments.

        • It took me a second, but I worked out his meaning well enough the first time I read the review. The editors are acting in good faith by clarifying their points for those who need it.

          Go somewhere else for your reviews, that’s your choice. Good luck finding reviews that are as honest and detailed as the ones you’ll find here. Good luck finding reviewers with the same integrity and experience.

        • Yeah. The review suffered from gibberishness. The chip on the shoulder was pretty obvious.

          It’s clear issues with the pistol exist, but there is nothing that cannot be averted by paying better attention to the details of re-assembly.

          I admit I’m not strong at such details; the value of the review is in the warning that gives the buyer/user. That part was very valuable.

      • While I do write for the site here sometimes, so I’m sure y’all will think I’m biased, I originally read Nick’s +P comment as meaning what he later clarified it to mean. It was obviously not clear and clearly caused confusion, but when I read the review I knew exactly what he meant. Maybe that’s because I have shot pistols where I could not tell the difference between standard pressure and +P and I believe that this CAN be mutually exclusive of whether the gun is uncomfortable to shoot in the first place, so I didn’t see anything contradictory in his comments. I agree that they needed to be edited for clarity (obviously), but do not agree or believe that anything dishonest happened. IMHO, it was a writing mistake that led to unclear language and the correct action was fixing it for clarity.

        I’ll probably get my hands on one eventually and will maybe even write up a brief review. No harm in having 2 or 3 different opinions in one place. It’ll probably happen with the Glock 42 also.

    • There are exceptions…

      I love TTAG but the reviews are very inconsistent.

      I haven’t gone here for gun reviews ever since I saw the review about how “hard” (snicker snicker) it is to load a NAA .22 revolver.

      Like… really?

      For gun guys, there are quite a few writers here whose operator street cred is non-existent.

      All that said, Joe Grine does a /fantastic/ job on reviews. Honestly they are some of the best I’ve seen.

      • Robert writes excellent reviews as well. I am always thrilled when RF posts a review of something I am interested in. It makes my day. It might be I just don’t click with Nick personally; I’ve never been stirred by any of his reviews. That doesn’t mean I won’t still read what he has to say and I definitely won’t stop visiting…I’ll just skim over his stuff and move on.

        • RF is just a good writer in general.

          I don’t always agree with the way he presents everything but the man has def. writing chops.

    • I’m inclined to agree. I’ve been reading this site since 2010 and the gun reviews have been going down IMO. Compare the Mosin review from Sept. 2010 to the R51 review.


      • And the glock 42 review. Both have NO “customize this” cred. The R51 gets 1 star, and the glock gets 4, because “wink wink, its a glock, they’ll make stuff eventually”.

        • Exactly. I HATE the Glock love on this website. If you like them, fine, but there’s no need to call them “perfection” in unrelated posts.

        • Not to jump on the hate train here…

          But the issues myself and others have brought up are especially galling when in various articles the writers pat themselves on the back so hard for their “honest”, crappy reviews.

    • Yep. They still haven’t corrected the article about the M-240LW that was previewed at SHOT Show. I think Nick, Tyler, and Matt in FL do a good job.

    • As with all computer technology an software reviews, if you are only using one source for your information you’re doing it wrong. Multiple reviews across 2-3 websites can give you excellent metrics, especially if you’re seriously considering a product. What I do is take down notes on every fault and praise on the product in question and compare them to notes on other reviews to see what is common and what might be suspect.

      I might be the only one that does this, but I guess it comes from the fact that I’ve got to procure mission critical hardware for a web server all the time and I don’t have time to mess around.. Same goes for defensive firearms that I’m considering.

      • No, you’re not the only person that reads more than one source. However I can’t read 20 or so sources EVERY DAY. TTAG is where I get my daily gun-news, amongst a few other places, so I’m extremely interested in the content.

      • I don’t even take down notes on the praises, really. Anytime I read a review of anything from cars to guns to computers, I look for whatever they didn’t like. Sometimes it’s hard to find. Sometimes they don’t tell you about it. That’s why (for instance) Guns & Ammo reviews are useless, because they don’t say anything bad. (I know, there’s that thing about knowing how to read them to discern the negatives, but I’m not invested enough to learn that. I want the info staring me in the face.) Once you know what people find to be negatives, then you can look for common threads. Is that thing that Reviewer A hated (or had trouble with) corroborated by any of the other reviews? If so, was it one other, or nearly every other? That’s how I buy things.

        That’s why I think many people value the reviews here. They know that whatever the problems the reviewers had are, they will read about them. The problems won’t get glossed over. Maybe they’re indicative of a larger problem, maybe they’re just indicative of an inexperienced reviewer, and the reader can make that call. But at least they’re getting the information, from a source that is known to be reliable in the past.

        All that said, you can trust that the reviewers will be looking over the comments here and taking them to heart, and likely reexamining their process to make sure they’re still producing satisfactory results.

        • “Anytime I read a review of anything from cars to guns to computers, I look for whatever they didn’t like.”

          Yep, and this is why when I’m looking to buy something from Amazon, I look at the bad reviews first. Sometimes, you can clearly GROK that they’re coming from a place of prejudiced unfairness.

          Other times, you can tell it’s coming from a point of honesty. Part of being a better consumer is learning to discern between the two.

    • I understood what he meant the first time.

      “Snappy” is used to describe nature of the muzzle flip, a high bore axis will be snappier even with lower power chamberings, a low bore axis will be less snappy even with higher power chamberings. A handgun can beat the crap out of your hand even if it’s not snappy. That’s usually a function of the grip design, and the translational, rather than the rotational component of the recoil.

  2. TTAG – can we get a very detailed breakdown of what this “critical re-assembly” is?

    I’m very interested in that aspect of the firearm and especially of the review.

    Edit – I’m watching the video on the original review.

    • The “critical re-assembly” is “if you put it back together wrong it doesn’t work right”. Same with every other mechanical object and firearm ever created.

      • But if I recall correctly, it might work well for a time – there’s no obvious indication (eg failing to go into battery or failing to drop the hammer) you did it wrong from basic post-assembly bench testing.

        For me, that’s the real problem. (But then I own a ruger mark iii, so my tolerance for annoying reassembly might be higher than some.)

        • Look again at the picture above. The “obvious indication” is that the spring is clearly sitting under the tab of the slide stop, instead of (correctly) over the tab. That is a visual check that can be performed in roughly half a second to insure that you reassembled the gun correctly.

      • When you re-assemble the R51 you must slip a small tab on the slide stop of the gun underneath this little spring. You must insert it perfectly parallel to the slide. If you tilt the slide stop upwards by as little as a 1/16th of an inch, if it rides above the spring, the gun will malfunction. As Robert found out it might even refuse to feed…..a display model failed to return to battery a couple times. The guy running the display admitted that the gun was improperly reassembled. A different gun cycled perfectly.

        Unless you plan on being in and endless cycle of strip, clean, take to the range to test, strip, clean, rinse, repeat then there is a SIGNIFICANT problem of the design of the firearm. By contrast most modern firearms give you problems if you get TOO picky during reassembly. It’s an epic design fail on Remington’s part (and, just my personal engineering opinion, the result of lazy product engineers).

      • As I read the review, it seems the issue turns on a single part. Note it when you disassemble it, orient it on the table in the correct direction, and you shouldn’t have a problem.

        I’m not in a position to shoot more often than once every couple of years, so I don’t disassemble until after every several hundred rounds, and I have fewer problems. Lots and lots of bore spray, a few Q-Tips, and I’m done for a couple years.

    • There is at least one other R51 assembly-dis-assembly video on youtube–that guy tells you that you need to follow the manual and make sue the slide stop goes in UNDER the spring. Nick’s point was that you can assemble the gun by not doing this correctly—meh. The other guy’s video also has significantly less grunting and heavy breathing than TTAG’s video.

  3. Hahaha…..

    “They admitted that consulting the manual for re-assembly is critical for assuring a fully-functional firearm.”

    Are you serious with this line? Like you had to get them to ADMIT it was necessary to read the directions to reassemble correctly? Isn’t reading the manual a REQUIREMENT for any device, let alone a firearm? How dare they!!

    • I think it’s more about the issue that a particular error during normal field strip will still allow the gun to be fully reassembled and pass a function check and will not manifest until it randomly fails during use. My Kahr and LCP both require a fiddly spring position step during reassembly, but neither will pass function check if improperly assembled and both manuals were very clear about this critical step. The Glock pretty much won’t go together wrong

      • Exactly. It’s the part where the gun will cycle and pass a function check right up until it doesn’t.

        The most fiddly bit on any of my handguns is the ejector on my SIG P238. It’s a little spring-loaded arc of metal that must be pushed down when replacing the slide on the frame. (Photo here) If you forget, it will provide some resistance before it bends or breaks, but not much, at which point you’re sending it back to SIG for repair. That’s fiddly, but it only takes one time to figure it out, and doing it wrong renders the gun completely and immediately nonfunctional. It’s also really, really obvious. No stealth failures there.

        The difference between that kind of “must read the manual” and the R51’s kind is that the P238’s is non-intuitive. Most people are going to have to look at the manual the first time to figure it out. That non-intuitive-ness provides a stop that prevents accidental unnoticed reassembly errors. With the R51, the slide stop drops into the frame just like it does on most every other gun of that design (including my P238, for that matter). The difference is, it doesn’t drop in like every other gun. It has a trick that is not immediately apparent, but that doesn’t stop the gun from functioning. Thus, it’s very easy to not notice that it’s assembled incorrectly, especially if you’re not very gun-literate. That is an unpleasant situation.

        • >Exactly. It’s the part where the gun will cycle and pass a function check right up until it doesn’t.

          That’s not what the other R51 reviews say–you CAN function check it w/o a mag. Improper reassembly results in the slide stop spring pressing UP on the stop instead of down–the function check is getting the slide to lock to the rear.

    • While you should read the manual, yes, every firearm I have ever owned has reassembled entirely intuitively, and in fact would be hard to do incorrectly. I would never, ever, purchase a defensive pistol that takes serious effort and care to not screw up.

  4. I for one thank you for all of the articles (at least 3,including this one) on the R51.

    I was seriously considering it as my first concealed-carry sidearm purchased for the purpose.

    I must admit I have a weakness for unusual designs and mechanisms, so the R51 was appealing on a number of counts.

    Now, however, I think I’ll go back and look over the options again. And I really did like that Boberg…

    Anyway, thanks for the honesty and candor. Its one of the two main reasons I read this site. (The other is the regular readers/posters – I usually get food for thought even from the ones I disagree with.)

    • Personally, when someone saves me $400 and change, I say “thank you.”

      If you don’t like the job he’s doing, why not do some reviews yourself? TTAG regularly publishes reader generated content as mainline articles, so here’s an opportunity to help Nick do his job better by providing a good example.

      And no I’m not being sarcastic. I actually am encouraging you to show us and him how you think it should be done. Just pick one of your current firearms or accessory and go for it.

      • I hate it when people make that shit argument. “If you don’t like it do it yourself”. Just because you can identify something is shitty, does not mean I can or want to do better. I can see a car rolling down the road with a shitty paint job, that doesn’t mean I am going to jump out and repaint his car for him. I couldn’t paint a car worth a shit to save my life, but I can sure as hell point out when someone else can’t either.

        • Sure.

          But consider what you paid to read the content.

          Also consider that there’s a difference between thinking “gee that’s a crappy paint job” and going to the paint shop and telling the people there that you saw a really crappy paint job they did.

    • Chris, did TTAG turn you down for a job or something?

      Or…. (puts on tinfoil hat) you’re a secret remington spy sent here to sabotage the inter-tubez?!

      Also, if I had to review a gun, it would be a Beretta NEOS 22 I bought. I don’t like it all that much, and would give it a not-good review. Does that make me a bad reviewer? There are guns that people don’t like out there.

    • Maybe if you keep saying it, you’ll convince others to think likewise! Or, perhaps, you could just make good on your threat to go away…

      • I think I am a different Chris than the one you think you are talking too. I very rarely post here. I simply find the reviews generated by Nick totally lacking, and the quality of the content here dropping in general. When every bit of news is BREAKING and a signifigant number of the articles consist of “THEY are after us again!” Followed by dozens of comments that ammount to a circle jerk it really has become rather uninteresting.

        There is this attitude of self importance from the authors and commenters here that geta worse as time goes on.

    • If I held such disdain for someone’s opinion or reviews, I think that I would stop reading that person’s reviews….rather than just bitching about them afterwards. But that’s just me, I guess.

    • This isn’t specific to firearms, but the bad reviews almost always seem to be the reviews with which I don’t agree.

    • If that’s the case, my response to Remington’s response is: Put something in your design that forces it to either be put together correctly OR fail a function check.

      My issue isn’t that it’s a pain to take apart and put back together (although that does cost it a few points in my book). My issue is that it is entirely possible to miss it, and then when you check the unloaded weapon you may not discover it until later when you go to use it.

      Every other firearm I own (rifle, pistol, or shotgun) – you either put it back together correctly or it fails a safety function check. If I made a mistake, it’s evident fairly quickly, just like most modern mechanical devices that expect routine end-user maintenance. Not so with the R51, which is where the problem is.

      Thank you TTAG for covering this, you’ve saved me my hard earned money and I will instead be looking at the Shield rather than this. The R51 was the gun I wanted to love, but it failed to live up to any expectations.

  5. Give it a rest, gang.

    One TTAG contributor wrote an honest review based on personal experience with a single firearm.

    Take it or leave it.

    If you don’t like the review, go buy the said firearm and review it yourself.

    I suspect all the haters in this post are not the people I want to be around at the range anyway, much less be armed in public. But, the 2A does not discriminate against haters, so carry on.

    And, STFU.

    • Drive on with your White Knight self!

      And I’m glad I don’t give most of the reviews on this site half a mind or I’d be missing out on some great gear.

      As I mentioned above, we have been told in the past (as a fact) that the NAA .22 mini revolver is hard to load.

      White Knight that one away. Try it. I dare you.

        • The embedded video in the original post is messed up now, but the original post is HERE and it showed RF having one hell of a freakin’ time getting the cylinder into the NAA mini and lining it up so the pin went it. I responded in the comments with a link to my own video showing an easy way to do it (this was back before I was writing reviews for TTAG sometimes), and RF followed up by making that its own post.

          This actually reminds me!… I need to write up a review of my NAA mini revolver. No reason not to. They’re cool little things.

          Oh… found RF’s video:

      • If I remember correctly they put up another post after that just saying that they sucked at loading it, not that it was too hard to load.

  6. Looks like the R51 Fanboi Olympics are Open!

    Sweet. Because I’m about the kick the podium off the stage.

    The R51 is an objective failure as a defensive firearm.Point one: the company’s own employees can’t put it back together right.How is a mother of three supposed to verify the pistol her own and her kids’ lives depend on is working? As a man who’s had to draw down in self defense, the last thing I’d ever want to think as the thug points his gun at me is ” I hope I put the spring thingie in properly.”

    A gun that’s ergonomically painful to shoot will not be shot often.That’s bad news when your skill level depends on how well you can shoot your gun.If Nick had problems with slide bite after just a few hundred rounds, a casual shooter would never make it through a 1000 round class.

    A gun which is painful to shoot discourages new shooters .Which is counterintuitive to our mission of expanding social recognition of the RKBA. I wonder what Emily Miller would think about the 2nd Amendment if the first gun she went through the trouble to buy were an R51 instead of a P229 ? Few things say “fight for gun rights!” like slide marks on your hand.Know that the single stack nature of the Remington means it’ll be a great on-paper choice for folks who live in 10< jurisdictions.Until they shoot it , and run to the first aid station.

    Bottom line: the R51 is a turd, and frankly always was going to be one.I say that because a little critical thinking would have made it clear why.

    Freedom Group, for one.You know, the geniouses who lost a wrongful termination suit for trying to steal AAC from its owner. The same folks who took the name "Marlin" and ran a brand which stood for quality over decades into the ground. I'm pained to say the fit and finish on a Brazilian made Rio Grande beats a Marlin 336 that's more expensive and US made.

    Two, the R51 is a brand new design using an action type which hasn't been made in decades.

    Three, even Glock had issues with their new Gen 4 G17s.

    So, those of you butthurt because you're now discovering the R51 is junk only have yourselves to blame.Expecting the R51 to be the perfect 9mm carry pistol right away is no different then seeing an African general seize power and thinking he's actually going to work for "the people".

    TTAG should be applauded for calling a turd a turd. Those of you who can't handle the truth will find Guns and Ammo magazine to be an excellent read.

    • Yup. Way I figure it? The original design never caught on for a reason and now we see why it didn’t.

      It’d be like some modern company making semi-autos based on the M1941 Johnson Rifle design. Cool, but I’d take a Garand over it any day.

      • The original design never caught on because the 1911 was “the” semi-auto pistol of the military and pocket pistols were rapidly on their way out in the 1920’s as American gun buyers wanted bigger, more powerful chamberings in their handguns.

        None of the nice little .32 ACP’s/.380’s of that era survived, regardless of how they were made. The 1903/1908 “Hammerless” Colts, The Savage 1907(et al), the Model 51, the H&R/Webley – all gone.

    • +1 Yep.

      I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always agree with 100% of everything TTAG writes (Nick’s review of the Lionheart LH9 versus Joe Grine’s more extensive, excellent review), but more often than not, at least TTAG is willing to put a brutally honest gun review out there. Most gun magazines (the print variety, not the cartridge holding variety) won’t dare to put bad reviews out for fear of making a manufacturer upset.

      As someone else mentioned, bad reviews are usually the most helpful. They save you both time, money, and on occasion, fingers and/or limbs.

  7. Here’s what I take issue with, from the original review:

    “There’s no way to test the R51 to ensure that it’s properly assembled (dry fire, function testing, or visual inspection) short of firing about 100 rounds through the gun. The first sign that something is wrong with the R51 will be when the gun suddenly stops working in the middle of a string.”

    Can anyone seriously look at the picture at the top of this page and not see that the gun is incorrectly assembled? Its pretty obvious that the slide stop is sitting up funny (visual inspection), and if you were to remove the magazine, retract the slide completely, and flick the stop up with your finger; i’m pretty confident that you would find it’s not returning properly under spring pressure (a function test that should be performed on a magazine-fed autoloading pistol after reassembly).

    • I’d like to see some of these guys put an M-240 back together.

      This site is great for firearms news, but the assumption that everyone who writes here knows what they are doing around all makes and models of firearms is one I have /never/ bought into.

      This is probably why the best reviews I’ve seen come from non-standard contributors.

      • I agree. I have read some great reviews on TTAG written by some knowledgeable gun guys. Nick is not one of those guys.

        P.S. I’m not saying this because I am some butthurt R51 fanboy. I despise Freedom Group and believe the R51 is a turd.

      • It’s always a mistake to assuming that anyone or anyplace knows everything there is to know about everything they review. No review will ever be completely objective or unbiased, let alone omniscient.

        The most you can hope for is that the reviewer knows his (her) way around firearms well enough to explore them and make informed comparisons and judgments — and is honest enough to tell you what really happened. This is what TTAG does.

        If you know of a place that does it better, then go there and hang out (if there’s a better gun place to hang out on the internet, I’d be willing to go there). Or show us your operator street cred and do a better job yourself; TTAG publishes reader submissions all the time and even takes on new contributors when they’re really good.

        If you can’t or won’t do either of those things, then do the rest of us a favor and shut the hell up.

        • Calm down. Seriously. It’s going to be okay.

          I suggest you read some of my other posts in this thread to get a little perspective.

          Reading comprehension is our friend.

        • Good grief. The comments on this post are just like YouTube: a big, loud bitchfest that’s doing no good for anyone. 90% of these comments are garbage, and I’m not excluding mine. I thought I knew better than to get sucked into this crap.

          I’m gonna go visit the other parts of TTAG and hope that we’re all back to normal when I get there.

      • Great reassembly video. It doesn’t look difficult or easy to get wrong to me at all. The only thing left in the review for me to have a concern with the gun is slide bite. I don’t have very big hands and that’s often a very individual experience, so I’ll have to shoot one on my own to decide that. Otherwise, it seems like this gun should have gotten a much better review than it did.

    • Jack, some people are just not machine-literate. I don’t know any other way to put it. Unfortunately the R51 is sufficiently complicated enough that it gets past those that don’t immediately notice things such as that.

      • I get that, I really do. It was definitely worth mentioning in the review that attention must be paid to reassembly. However, it’s just flat out FALSE that there’s “no way to test” if the gun is incorrectly assembled without firing it, and I expect more from a site proclaiming to tell the TRUTH about guns.

        • I’m going to do exactly what Remington did: tell you to read the manual.

          There is no visual way to check that the slide stop is in the right position — it’s not visible in the gap no matter whether correctly or incorrectly installed.

          Function checking the gun yields no helpful results, as it can be incorrectly installed and pass a function check. Heck, it can fire just fine for a couple rounds before malfunctions start too.

          I’m sure you can invent some way to check that it is installed, but nowhere in the instructions is such a procedure described. As such I applied the standard methods of testing a firearm to ensure that it works (the function check) and it passed all of the usual tests with an incorrectly installed slide stop.

          If Remington has some method of testing for this issue, they sure as hell didn’t tell me. There probably is a way, but it isn’t documented and it’s not something someone would normally do.

        • I get that some people aren’t mechanically inclined. That’s fine. Everyone can’t be good at everything.

          I have my own failings and limitations: I don’t write poetry, and I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket even with a gun to my head. For that reason, I don’t try to write in iambic pentameter or sing, no matter how cute the girl making the entreaties, or how fine the single malt whisky used as a bribe. A man has to realize his limitations.

          A man who isn’t mechanically inclined probably ought stay out of the innards of a gun, pocket watches and clocks, internal combustion engines and precision machinery.

    • “Can anyone seriously look at the picture at the top of this page and not see that the gun is incorrectly assembled? Its pretty obvious that the slide stop is sitting up funny…”

      There you go.

      Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

      Thank you Jack. I wish I’d caught that.

        • It doesn’t matter that the slide is locked back, you can still visually tell that the spring is out of position.

        • I posted this as a reply to your post on the review page, but I’ll put it here too for the benefit of people who don’t want to flip back and forth:

          Compare the photo on [this] page to the last photo on [the review] page. Both photos show the gun with the slide locked back, yet the slide stop position between the two photos is different.

          Either way, if you hold the slide completely back and remove the magazine, you should be able to tell if the spring is positively positioning the slide stop correctly. This is a function check that you should do with every magazine-fed semi-auto pistol after you reassemble it. To say that there’s no way to tell if the slide stop is functioning correctly is simply false.

  8. ” A number of readers considered the negative aspects of the review retaliation for being snubbed. Not so.”

    As a member of the gun world media, I know that when a company (be it a manufacturer or a retailer/wholesaler) gives you a sample product for your testing and evaluation, it’s harder to write critical comments of the product. Especially when you know or are friends with the person(s) providing the free product.

    I couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to write something critical if they took you somewhere and gave you stuff.

    No, I prefer to buy it myself and write a free and fair review. If something does well, I’ll praise it. If it has shortcomings (or just sucks wind), I’ll write that too without concern that I’m hurting a personal relationship.

    Kudos to Nick for calling it as he saw it with no shortage of explanation.

    I wouldn’t touch an R51 with someone else’s ten foot pole and will recommend against it to my self-defense handgun class students for the reasons Nick noted.


    • To say nothing of driving away advertisers with a poor review.

      For example, I’d say it’s a longshot Remington is going to run the equivalent of a full page ad at TTAG as I’m sure they did in Guns and Ammo.


  9. All gun reviews are inescapably narrow perspectives. You have to take several reviews in total to get closer to the truth of a gun. Nick’s review is no different. I think it was an honest review that, on its own, doesn’t sway me either way to buy or not buy the R-51. However, if I take his opinion and combine it with the opinions expressed in a few other credible reviews I’m left with the view that the R-51 is a v1 design that won’t be a reliable self-defense weapon until it gets to v2.

  10. I’ll be honest, you say you would never let your relationship with the manufacturer get in the way, but the fact of the matter is that out of the first seven articles you published on the R-51, all seven talk about you not being invited for the unveiling, and one admits to being “miffed” by this. I could have understood mentioning it once or twice, but the sheer number of complaints about the non-invite combined with the tone does not give the impression of objectivity. I’ve always enjoyed this site, but to be sadly honest, this whole business has damaged TTAG’s credibility in my mind. Claim objectivity all you want, but that’s not the impression you gave when three of your writers on multiple occasions felt the urge to complain about not getting invited.

    • I could see getting a little miffed at being snubbed if I ran/wrote for a periodical with readership nearing that of American Rifleman…

  11. hmm, more than one Joe now… I think I’ll become ‘lil 🙂

    The problem with doing a consistent good job is you only hear about it when something goes wrong. For all thos people hating on this site, why not just go elsewhere? Because most of the stuff you get here you like or find useful?

    Let me just say that despite having issue getting responses to emailed questions in the past that I think this is the best gun related website currently out there and I recommend it to all my friends who are starting on their gun journey. ’bout the only thing I would change is adding a membership fee to get rid of popups that annoy the $@%@#$ out of me.

    For all those people ragging on the review, as the other have said, put up or shut up.

  12. TTAG, as a growing force is learning that with that power, political forces (in the business sense not electoral) start to take notice. This when “compromises” start to be considered so that all the children in the sand box can play nicely together. I am sure that Remmy is exerting some pressure.
    At the same time TTAG’s review might make them re-engineer their reassembly problem.
    Maybe in the past, a big corporation would just swat a little blogger, but TTAG is a big boy player now.

  13. This whole ordeal has put a bad taste in my mouth for TTAG, not that I rely on a single review for purchasing decisions anyway. I’ve read a few reviews and find, like others have, quality diminishing. For instance, the G36 vs XDs 45 review. The biggest difference between the two was the sights. Of course there was a difference, the G36 had aftermarket sights whereas the XDs were stock. They didn’t hesitate, though, to state that the G36 would have received 4 stars had it not malfunctioned. Glock fanboy at it’s finest. This coming from a Glock owner.

    • Why not join the bi_chfest? My take on the G36/XDS review was different. I’ll admit, up front, that I own two G36’s, a G30SF, and routinely carry a G36 slide on the G30SF frame if a G36 isn’t required for the little extra bit of slimness. This has been my routine for years.

      It struck me as just a bit odd to use a borrowed G36 that wasn’t feeding properly, and odder to down-grade the pistol for that reason. What was Matafome doing with a malfunctioning Glock? He didn’t know before lending it for the comparison? Having never had a problem with my small G’s in .45ACP I found the review deficient for that reason, as any self-respecting fanboi would.

      • Glock had to replace the springs on that G36, as it did with all G36 springs of the same vintage. But even the replacement springs did not take care of the problem, so Joe eventually got rid of the gun.

        • I remember thinking at the time “It sounds like his ejector (not extractor…) was damaged.” Perhaps that was just a fanboi defensive guess. What does amaze me is that you and others (uh, hickok45) can shoot unfamiliar pistols well. That’s not something I ever manage.

    • Glock fanboy at it’s finest.

      I think I wrote that comparo, and as far as being a Glock fanboy is concerned, all I can say is HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

  14. I once taught a class on Microsoft Excel. My students had quite a range of experience and exposure to computers in general and Spreadsheets in particular. One wasn’t quite sure how to use a mouse. Others had quite a bit of knowlege about Excel.
    At the end of the class they filled out evaluations on me the teacher.
    A. “He went too fast, too hard to follow, covered difficult material too quickly. I got lost and he did’t help enough”
    B. “He didn’t teach me anything new, this class was worthless and a waste of my time.”
    C. “After KCK’s class, I can now do very usefull work with Excel. I learned so much, I can show my boss at work that I can use this tool”
    Point is:
    People like Chris above (Type B) think that every one has the same needs and requirements as him. So criticizing Nick in such crude fashion, “another shitty review” , just shows that Chris is the Master of the Universe and really does not need TTAG to learn from because he can tell from photos how the R51 should and does perform.

  15. I think that a few people have really hit the nail on the head (or the striker on the primer, if you will…). This is one review. It may feel a bit slanted one way or another for some but it is one review of many out there. One problem with the interwebz is that every person with a gun and some cargo pants considers himself to be 1) a low-drag operator and 2) a journalist. That’s one beautiful thing about TTAG – it has a big enough readership to lead to “self-correction” if there are issues with a writeup. As opposed to the cargo-panted penman sitting in the basement writing reviews based on his airsoft replica.

    I wouldn’t buy a car based on one web review. And if someone said “gee, I don’t like the way the seat reclines” I’ll see for myself. Same for firearms – I’ll take it all with a grain of salt. But when someone says “oh, by the way, you might mis-assemble it without knowing and with no failures in function checks until you get a click instead of a bang” – that catches my attention regardless of the bias or lack thereof in a review.

  16. One of the most important things for an engineer to consider, especially a firearm engineer, is that if it can be put together more than one way….it will be. Most guns are very difficult to put together incorrectly. That has always been something I appreciated about guns vs. say…an Italian motorcycle engine or an cheap bookshelf.

    • Exactly – if I put my Glocks together wrong (or my Rugers or S&W or Beretta) they tell me so right away – slide locking up, recoil spring popping, barrel out of alignment, etc……and even if I’ve made a good-faith effort to put it together exactly as I should – and my logical brain says “you did it correctly” – there’s always that nagging little voice that puts the distrust in there ,much like the folks that have had some FTF with the Beretta Nano (which for me has been a flawless little performer). Any amount of mistrust in a personal protection firearm is too much, whether it’s logical or not. Your trust in your EDC firearm needs to be absolute.

      There are probably people for whom this assembly issue is not a big deal and they’re fine with it. That’s their call. For others it’s a deal breaker. But that’s why we have choice.

  17. “We weren’t in on the big R51 announcement from Remington for some reason.”-

    “The Freedom Group is not TTAG’s BFF. We weren’t invited to Front Site to test Stage 1 (pre-production) versions of Remington’s new carry pistol, the R51”.-

    “Needless to say, we were all a bit miffed that Remington would hold a coming out party for their new R51 handgun and not invite us”-

    “ reports that Field Editor Wiley Clapp was “part of an elite group of gun writers that wrung the Remington R51 out at the Gunsite Training Center in Paulden, Ariz.” Although TTAG doesn’t split its infinitives, we’re willing to boldly go where other gun writers go as well. Not this time. The world’s most popular firearms blog wasn’t elite enough for the Big Green gun junket.”-

    “Where’s the -” “It’s not here,” the Remington rep interrupted. For reasons left unexplained, the “this is what GLOCK should have built” Remington R51 single-stack 9mm was not in attendance at the SHOT Show Media Day. The no-show was quite odd given the buzz surrounding the new pistol, and the fact that Remington junketed journos into the hinterlands to run the gun ahead of SHOT (not including TTAGers, for some reason).-

    So you didn’t get invited to the prom and the best that Nick could come up with was “If you put it together wrong, it doesn’t work.” Cutting edge journalism guys, cutting edge.

    • Lol @ people who dont honestly see a gun marketed for self defense that CAN be put together wrong as a fatal flaw.
      Go buy your turd, enjoy your turd. I wont partake.

      • I’ve fixed a number of Glocks that were put back together wrong by their owners.

        Several other makes as well.

        • I’m guessing they were rather obviously put together wrong. As in, “it doesn’t work and I can’t figure out why.” There’s the difference. This still works, sorta.

  18. A tale of two reviews. The Remington R51 looks to me to be an outdated and inferior design. That’s my opinion. Looking at the disassembly on the video link above, it doesn’t look exceedingly difficult. It does however appear to be able to be test fired after reassembly. That’s another glaring error that TTAG should address.

    The Glock 42 got a pretty glowing review while the R51 was eviscerated. Neither guns are perfect, and TTAG took legitimate efforts to document the shortcomings of both pistols. Both reviewers of the Glock 42 wanted the gun after they were done with the evaluation. Nick didn’t want the R51. They were both biased reviews, but both had articulable facts which led to the opinions of the reviewers.

    There are a lot of review critics here. I’ll state this: all reviews are inherently biased. Even Skynet would probably write a biased review on the Remington 40 Watt R57 Plasma rifle even if the T800’s were not reporting problems with it.
    Look at the guns in your safe. Got anything that you really like even if the performance isn’t 100%? Got anything that you like even if it isn’t objectively awesome?

    I’ve got a whole lot of guns (well, before that damn boating accident), and could’ve written a review for TTAG, also. It takes time to write a good review, and most of us haven’t taken that time. I never took the time, even though I could have reviewed the .50 Beouwulf upper, for instance. Is that an awesome caliber or a waste of time? I could go either way. So also could many reviewers based upon their hand size, wallet size, lifestyle, shooting preferences, etc.

    So I’m going to stick to the facts (more or less), and leave the petty crap behind. There’s part of me that doesn’t even want to write a review because of some of the ridiculous comments being made.

    • The flip side is also true: Some of the writing from reviewers recently on matters technical and factual have left me so unimpressed that I didn’t even bother commenting on the R51 review, and I probably will make a habit of that in the future.

        • Here’s the one that made me face-palm (as kids today call it), sigh heavily and stop reading:

          “It works more like a Luger P08 than anything else, with a fixed barrel and short-stroke style action.”

          • Can you give me the nickel tour of why that’s incorrect? Is it misguided, or oversimplified, or just completely wrong? I’m guessing it’s the latter, since the Luger P08 uses a toggle lock, and the R51, while different than a lot of other semi-autos, still moves the whole slide. In that case, I’m guessing that whole sentence shouldn’t be there?

        • Go study what happens after you pull the trigger on a Luger. Or a Borchardt C-93, same idea, just with a large enclosure at the rear for the flat mainspring.

          Notice how the barrel moves backwards, for starters.

          In other words, the Luger is the opposite of a “fixed barrel.” The barrel moves – straight backwards. The recoil movement of the barrel backwards is what pushes the toggle over a cam surface to then allow the toggle to break upwards…

          A blowback action has a fixed barrel. Period. What happens behind the barrel varies, but in a blowback action, the barrel stays rigid. That’s why the more/most accurate .22 (and other) target pistols are all a blowback variant of some sort. The barrel and the sights remains utterly fixed to the frame. “Magic” happens behind the case head – in low-powered pistols, the slide and spring can control the rearward motion of the case, and in more powerful situations, you need to retard the motion of the case to the rear to allow pressures to drop. But the barrel stays put.

          • Thanks for that. I wasn’t actually aware that the Luger barrel moved, and I didn’t find any videos that disavowed me of that notion. Now I understand the problem with that statement.

      • DG,

        I would love to see you write reviews. TTAG has definitely benefitted from your knowledge and technical experience.

        • The gun makers would be very unhappy, and gun companies advertising on TTAG even less so.

          I’m of an opinion that US gun buyers are getting mostly ripped off by the gun industry these days, starting with fit and finish and moving onwards into QC issues from there. Where firearms quality is concerned, I, like many gunsmiths, have very blunt opinions.

          Even high-end gun companies are now putting out crap. I’ve picked up bolt guns made by H&H at the SCI show and found overruns on the checkering. OK, that doesn’t sound like such a big deal… until you look at the $75K price tag, and then for $75K, the checkering had better be absolutely perfect.

          I recently realized (after doing some noodling around on Caracal after one of RF’s whinges about his pistol) that now Merkel, the fine German gun company of Suhl, is owned by the same bunch of cargo-cult capitalists, Tawazan Holding, out of the UAE that own Caracal.

          Oh well, just as H&H is now owned by a French cosmetics and women’s fashion company, I guess the German fine gun makers will start to fall as well, and the highly skilled gun-making elves of the Thuringian Forest will fade away…

        • Please please write for TTAG DG. I have some TTAG articles bookmarked literally because of your comments.

      • Please don’t stop. I really look forward to your input on technical matters. You bring knowledge to the comments that not many people can.

  19. Wow, Nick gave a crappy review to another “me too” single stack 9 and the internet explodes. Not every person likes every gun. Deal with it, or go check out the gun yourself and STFU.

    • It’s more a matter of Nick has a well earned reputation for liking specific brands / styles of rifles and his reviews are often more a matter of personal biases before every picking it up than actual pros or cons of the gun itself.

  20. A person who only relies on one review is clearly asking for trouble. We are supposed to be smart customers. A bad review is a good thing as long as it is fair.

  21. The design of the gun you’re testing has a fatal flaw, and you’re holding it wrong. Even if it didn’t have a fatal flaw you’ll die in a gun fight because you didn’t go to SEAL camp. It’s the shooter not the gun, unless it’s the gun. With that gun it isn’t even true that “an armed society is a polite society” unless you consider gun guys laughing at your gun choice polite. Again.

  22. Remington R51 fallout is, or will become, a classic example of what happens when internet hype meets reality, at least in the gun world. The initial announcement and pics made this gun seem small. Turns out, it’s about the size of a Glock 19. People were excited about the Pedersen action because it’ll tame the almighty fury of a 9mm. Reality: it’s responsible for the re-assembly issues, and it is a gimmick. Bottom line: technologies die all of the time. Some are best left on the scrap heap of history.

  23. I read Nick’s original review thoroughly, and although the +p comment seemed a little inconsistent with his earlier statement about beating up his hand, I was able to figure out what he meant. It didn’t take mental gymnastics to understand.

    With respect to the assembly issue, I have a major problem with a gun that passes a function test but may not fire because it wasn’t assembled properly. That is a huge fail.

    I know TTAG was snubbed by Remington, but I didn’t percieve any bias in the review because of the snub. If there’s any bias against the gun, it because it has a couple of significant problems.

    I’ll keep reading TTAG gun reviews because they’re about as detailed, professional and unbiased as one can find. Far better than American Rifleman, Field & Stream, etc, etc.

  24. We would never allow our relationship with any gun manufacturer – whether positive or negative – to influence our findings or opinions to compromise your safety or waste your hard-earned money.


    I recall several people pointing out quite the opposite on several of Nicks glowing a$$ kissing reviews of FN products. Or how he constantly compares or says this or that isn’t as good as the SCAR etc….

    • I’m not disputing what you say, but what did you (or they) find to be incorrect that Nick said? And if it was strictly an opinion of his that they didn’t like, not a factual statement, how is that (“Nick gave this FN a glowing review because he likes FN”) different than what people are complaining about with regard to the R51 (“Nick gave it a bad review because he doesn’t like Remington”)?

      As far as “this isn’t as good as the SCAR,” there are other things that he has mentioned that other guns do better than the SCAR. It’s called finding a point of comparison. Guns aren’t reviewed in a vacuum, they are always going to be compared to similarly situated firearms. Comparisons are inevitable. Is he giving too much credit to the SCAR, or is the SCAR just that good? Reverse that for the R51.

      I understand how some folks might give a good or bad review because of a relationship with the parent company. But I think most people who approach something professionally (as I think Nick and everyone else here tries to) will be able to put that relationship aside. For my part, I’m completely certain that regardless of how I feel about Remington (I don’t particularly have an opinion, but go with me), once the gun is in my hands, the rest is irrelevant. I don’t care how it got into my hands, or really, even whose name is down the side of the slide. I care about “figuring it out,” with all its unique features, tricks, and foibles.

      And that last part is where it’s nice that folks here are not beholden to the companies that are sending them the gear. FN wasn’t going to take Nick’s SCAR away if the review was less than glowing. They weren’t going to cut him from the shooting team. Likewise, if Remington hates this review and puts TTAG on another year-long (or longer) “no samples” list, so be it. TTAG is not reliant on those companies for products, or materials, or gaudy full-page full-color advertisements. We are under no obligation to cover up any problems, or even to shade any ambiguities in favor of the company providing the product. If Remington (or anyone else) won’t provide T&E samples, we’ll buy ’em, or borrow ’em, or find some other way to get our hands on one. And once it’s in our hands, how it got there doesn’t matter.

  25. Hopefully no one would buy a firearm for EDC, especially a version 1.0, based on a single review. Want to see the opposite of Nick’s not-so-subliminally-hostile review? Check out any of the NRA publications’ reviews.

    That being said, I appreciate the reviews on TTAG (especially from Mr. Grine) because they give me details of what to look and feel for when checking out a new gun.

    I agree with Sys-Eng above regarding Nick’s predictable comments when given the chance to compare something with a SCAR or FN-related. That doesn’t help, especially when trying to defend a review about other products.

    • “Nick’s predictable comments when given the chance to compare something with a SCAR or FN-related…” Yeah, I see how that can look bad. But, it’s also totally understandable because those are the guns that he shoots constantly and is most familiar with. Familiarity is the best/easiest way to state a comparison without having both items in front of you. I do the same thing, often comparing a new pistol to the ones I know inside-and-out. I can accurately and confidently do that. If I got a new pistol and wanted to compare it to something else like, let’s say, an M&P, I would also have to go borrow an M&P somehow and go back-and-forth a bunch of times to get a feel for how they compare. Whereas I know CZ, for instance, like the back of my hand and I can confidently make relative comments (if it makes sense to do so) based on existing knowledge. So it’s easy for Nick to say something like, “this gun kicks harder than a SCAR” because he shoots many thousands of rounds through a SCAR each year and he darn sure knows exactly how it feels, balances, ejects, etc etc etc

  26. I’m one of the guys who help start the whole controversy about the discomfort of shooting the R51 vs +P “pussycat”. That said, I felt the review was well written and really turned me off to a pistol I had considered buying. Went for an XDs9 instead. Thanks for the review Robert. That’s money not wasted.

  27. The entire thing about confirming re-assembly integrity is getting way overblown.
    Buy a goddamn snap cap already and find out. Seriously.

  28. I’ve determined that I can’t trust this reviewer and I will purposely reassemble the first one I can get my hands on incorrectly and get my own answers.

  29. Whole lot of butt hurt here today. I find myself wasting a lot of time skimming your articles and reviews… I like you’re styles. I don’t follow anybody’s reviews because honestly, I make my own decisions based off my own thoughts.

  30. “In the original version of the review, Nick stated that the R51 tames the snappiness of +P ammunition. Some readers wondered how that squared with his assertion that the gun was uncomfortable to shoot. While the R51 does a good job of making +P ammunition feel no more snappy than regular pressure ammo, shooting normal ammunition is an uncomfortable experience. ”

    That doesn’t even make sense. If the design can successfully reduce felt recoil enough to make +P ammo feel like regular 9mm ammo, then there’s no way that regular 9mm ammo isn’t receiving any reduction in felt recoil.

    Then again, I learned to take any of Nick’s reviews with a pound of salt – he’s very biased and instead of simply not reviewing something he’s biased against, he reviews it and comes up with any reason (no matter how illogical) to bash it. I remember a lot of complaints about his illogical bashing on the last AK he reviewed purely because it was an AK.

  31. I have no reason to doubt the integrity of the reviewers at this point.

    the ability to reassemble a weapon incorrectly without knowing it
    would be a Critical Factor.

    • Hi Dave. You are exactly correct. I watched the take down clip, it appear to far more complex than it should be.
      The highlight of the review for me was the re-installation of the slide Stop / Release and the critical fact that the function safety check will not reveal this error until you commence firing at your weekly defensive training session / or more likely in defense of your life; this is the wrong time to go “oops / more likely WTF”.
      Well done and thanks, Greg

  32. Hi Guys, thank you for the Review and the Follow-up Correction. A gun review is one person’s opinion. Some very well known Web & You Tube reviewers are obviously paid by the manufacturing gun companies and they always get a “buy now” recommendation every review. It is up to us the reading / consumer of these gun reviews to go to a number of different sources to get a wide range of assessments of various aspects of the topic item. Some You Tube reviews are done by self confessed idiots who admit they never clean their guns and wonder why a gun has a malfunction.
    As a direct result of you review I went to the “The Rock” (Alcatraz Prison) Remington web site. I was bombarded with hype and a vision of the demonstrating firer wearing shooting gloves (Warning Point 1). I went to the R51 page, hype but NO specifications (Warning Point 2); one reader asked Remington, “What is the calibre of the R51?” The Remington on-line manual page does not have a listing for the R51 handgun (or the 7615 P/A rifle) (Warning Point 3). There is no schematic for the R51 pistol available (Warning Point 4). A potential handgun buyer / enthusiast should look at these four items of information to get a good understanding of how the gun works. Certainly Remington should have all these details up on the web before the R51’s release.
    The R51 is a winner on barrel length (with the length of rifling divided by the bore calibre – as for Naval and Artillery guns) with a factor of [7.37]. This is critical as the 9mm defensive cartridge needs [6.3] to develop 70% of its potential power / range / accuracy. Refer to the Ballistics By The Inch web site.
    The R51 grip must not have a rubber recoil tube grip fitted as this would de-activated the only safety.
    Thanks again, Greg

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