Just Arrived: Remington R51


Remington’s new R51 handgun was the belle of the SHOT Show ball this year, arguably beating out the GLOCK 42 in terms of popularity. We didn’t hold out much hope for getting our hands on these anytime soon since TTAG and Freedom Group aren’t exactly BFFs, but to my surprise two of these puppies arrived at my FFL this morning. One is destined for some heavy testing, and I get the feeling that Robert has designs on using the other to replace his Caracal carry gun while waiting for the gun to come back from the shop. Stay tuned as we find out if the R51 is really worth the hype.


  1. avatar PeterK says:

    I cannot wait, though I wish the msrp had stayed at 389. :p

    1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      I just want to get one and go pew pew pew pew

      1. avatar SD3 says:

        Pretty sure that’s what the G42 is for.

  2. avatar Joe Grine says:

    They sure are cool looking.

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      disagree. every bit as ugly and cheap looking as a Vektor

      1. avatar ThatGuy says:

        Couldn’t agree more. This thing is so ugly I wouldn’t pay anything for it.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          Definitely not as sexy as an LC9. Plus it costs more. Pass.

        2. avatar Knuckles says:

          An LC9 is as sexy as a welfare mom, while she’s changing her oil, with a kid in a backpack, while she’s chewing tobacco, and voting for a democrat. The R51 is only slight less attractive.

          The R51 is more like your standard overweight bus driver, missing a leg…

        3. avatar Frodo says:

          Who cares what it looks like if it performs?
          It is a firearm not a pinup model.

        4. avatar jwm says:

          Knuckles, sounds like you’ve been to Appalachia.

        5. avatar Paul W. says:

          I hate the LC9 with a passion. Trigger from hell.

        6. avatar Bruce L. says:

          I don’t like the look either, not that looks should matter. It’s really about how they shoot. But still, it sort of looks like a phaser wanta be.

      2. avatar SteveInCO says:

        My esthetic sense seems to run to *mostly* straight lines. 1911s, I like the looks of (but I don’t trust ones I can afford), Beretta 92s, CZs… but something as blocky as a Glock is ugly to me. And this goes way too far in the opposite direction. Ugh.

        But it IS esthetics and your mileage may vary.

        Making the front of the rear sight flat for racking against a belt or something like that IS a good idea… doing so by pushing the notch forward and reducing the sight radius–not so much.

        1. avatar WRH says:

          Try the Girsan Regard. It’s a Turkish clone of the Beretta. I hear nothing but good things about it.

        2. avatar ricnroll says:

          All true. Do not buy anything Remington or their prop up company. Carcal may have gone belly up, but Steyr M9 A-1 is more viable option anyway.

        3. avatar Diesel Dan says:

          The Girsan Regard is probably very well made like the rest of their line-up except I can’t stand the finger grooves on the front-strap and Girsan only imports some of their pistols to America, which looks like the Regard isn’t one of them. The MKE Beretta imported through ATI was also a good alternative, except ATI just had to F#CK with MKE and made them pull out from the U.S. market.

      3. avatar Andy says:

        They have a backward looking Novak type sight , which would be bad for ccw , the trigger looks like something that would be on a toy gun , I believe that the action is a partial blow back type , which would limit the lifetime of the gun , don’t know if they plan on a larger capacity magazine down the road but it would look like it would make the grip uncomfortable . I would say that unless you are just a big Remington fan that this weapon would not even be in the same class as a Ruger LC9 . Be prepared and ready. Keep your powder dry.

        1. avatar Eric says:

          “I believe that the action is a partial blow back type , which would limit the lifetime of the gun”

          Not even remotely close. It’s a Pederson Hesitation Lock design; same as the very reliable Remington M51 from the 1920s which you can still find shooting examples of at gun shows.

      4. avatar Chris says:

        Disagree. Looks awesome. Can’t wait to see if it works

  3. avatar Robert Farago says:

    Uh, the Caracal is dead. Long live the Caracal! Oh wait, the replacement isn’t available yet. Not ’til summer. At the earliest. So . . . Kahr PM9 for now. And MAYBE R51. We shall see. And share. Obvs.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Replace one untried, unproven pistol (Caracal) for another (R51)? Geez, do ya need a truck to fall on you?

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        Is that a trick question?

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          I think he was just trying to be helpful and speed things up. Friends don’t let friends rely on unproven guns. Think of the child, if the web site isn’t reason enough to live.

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          @ropingdown, I warned him about that Caracal when I reviewed it head-to-head against the Glock 19. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/05/ralph/9mm-faceoff-glock-19-vs-caracal-c/

          But did he listen to me? Noooooooooo.

        3. avatar ropingdown says:

          OMG, it just occurred to me: RF, have you been able to monetize your holster space? Is this like the Japanese school girls with adds between their knee-highs and their kilt’s very high hem? I’m awed.

          That has to be the explanation. That’s all I could come up with. So what do you really carry in, you know, the other holster?

        4. avatar Ralph says:

          So what do you really carry in, you know, the other holster?

          I’m guessing — his other gun.

        5. avatar Jared-Tampa says:

          I thought RF was carrying a G19. Or am I mistaken?

        6. avatar ropingdown says:

          I’m guessing the same thing. Except I keep seeing Japanese school girl advertisements in my minds eye. Hopefully this will go away soon.

      2. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

        The Caracal is very reliable! It was proven to go ‘bang’ everytime the trigger was pulled and even a few times it wasn’t.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Experimenting should be with hippy chicks in the back of a dodge van. Not your carry gun which may be needed to save you and your daughter’s life.

      1. avatar Knuckles says:


        I’ve been to Appalachia, but I’ve spent most of my life here in Michigan. Because of Michigan, I know ugly. Butt ugly. Holy what-in-God’s-name-gave-birth-to-that-mole ugly.

        The (not-quite) original home of Jennifer Granholm. This Jennifer Granholm -> http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g_H58kU8q1k

        She’s one of Hillary Clinton’s “trusted advisors”, and you’ll be seeing her again I’m afraid.

        1. avatar peirsonb says:

          I didn’t realize she was a Hilary advisor….apparently she didn’t do enough for our state, it’s time to take the show to the big time….

  4. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

    I hope it turns out to be better than the R.I.P. ammo. I wait with rapt antici……pation.

    1. avatar emfourty gasmask says:

      Are you shivering in antici…..pation?

  5. avatar scooter says:

    Finally figured out why it looks familiar! H&K VP70! First polymer pistol. Love to see a side by side…

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Or a makarov.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        While it does have some similarities to the Makarov near the muzzle, the rear of the slide is much more rounded than the Mak’s, and the Mak generally came with the more normal style of adjustable sight.

        The Makarov and this gun look like they will both let you put all of your fingers on the grip (unless you have very large hands).

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Surplus military maks, like mine, have fixed sights. Only the new made for civilian sale ever had the adjustable sights. Or the hi cap mags which proved problematic. The mak fits my hands just fine.

    2. avatar sven_va says:

      HK P9 is closer, and in my opinion (weird controls aside), one of the best looking guns ever made.

  6. avatar PeterC says:

    I saw and handled one at the SHOT Show. It sort of echoes the original Prohibition-era Model 51, but with modern stylistic touches like the “bow wave” on the slide and the holes in the trigger. Even at the $420 MSRP, which is still quite affordable, it could be major competition for the hard-to-get Kimber Solo.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      Hard to get? More like hard to want.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      People call the curve a bow wave, but nobody comments on this, the subliminal message in the design:

      The curve on the slide should be viewed with your eyes running from the muzzle back. You’ll immediately notice that the pair of curves outline the shape of a knife from grip to tip, including the clip point. It isn’t possible that that is chance. Did everyone see it but just not mention it?

      1. avatar Jim R says:

        I didn’t see it until you mentioned it. Now I can’t not see it.

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          Me, too. It’s just blatant. But I’ve decided it’s the perfect TTAG/TTAK commemorative pistol. “What’s a pistol without a knife?” Hope RF realizes what bonanza this is. Order 100 custom versions with the knife shape outlined in gold inlay, engraved.

  7. avatar FoRealz? says:

    Cool. Can’t wait for the report.

  8. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    It looks good. I hope it functions just as well. I wouldn’t mind an in between gun for my LCP and XD40 for carry.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      It’s kinda Art Deco, I think.

      1. avatar Eric says:

        *sigh* I so badly want an art deco pistol. The original Remington M51 is about as close as you get, and I really would have preferred Remington to keep the rounded barrel profile for the R51. The R51 aesthetics are growing on me, but I still want my art deco gun.

  9. avatar LJM says:

    I’d like to see how it compares to the LC9

  10. avatar Swarf says:

    So is it actually near as big as a1911, or was that picture that’s been floating around misleading?

      1. avatar scooter says:

        That’s what she said. Sorry, had to be done.

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          -but what she saw was her fault. It would have been 7″ if she’d been a bit more encouraging.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    The R51 looks like a late ’50s water pistol.

    1. avatar rawmade says:

      Yeah it does! Never noticed that

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      It looks like a decent pistol that for some reason they felt needed the image of clip-point knife ground into the slide.

      Is it a subliminal sales pitch or just sort of a GM “put fins on it” concept? Perhaps it’s to confuse people about whether it’s a slim pistol with a bulge on the slide…or a fat pistol with a slim grip. I’ll have to see one live.

  12. avatar Pascal says:

    Cool, cannot wait. I saw one in the case at the LGS. Do want if does everything it should.

  13. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    I like that the rear sight is flat towards the front and rounded off towards the rear, less likely to snag during draw and gives a flat surface to rack the slide off your belt.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      @ROHC, it’s The Freedom Group. They probably made the sight that way to save a nickel. If they could save a dime, they’d make the recoil spring out of fusilli.

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        That would make a great survival gun. If you can’t find anything to hunt you can eat the gun to survive.

  14. avatar Gunr, from Oregon says:

    Since I see no hammer, I’m assuming this is double action only? The trigger seems pretty far back in the housing for that??

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      It is an internal hammer design, similar to the FN fiveseven.

    2. avatar Eric says:

      Single-action internal hammer.

    3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      This pistol, and the original Model 51, as well as several other pocket pistols of that day (WWI or thereabouts) used hammers, but the hammer was concealed inside the rear of the slide.

      Colt 1903 “Hammerless” (even tho it certainly does have a hammer), The 1908 of same, etc. There are many other later semi-autos that have hammers which are concealed – eg, the S&W Model 41 target pistol, the Colt Woodsman, etc.

      1. avatar Gunr, from Oregon says:

        Thanks for all the reply’s. Myself, I like a gun with a hammer, so that it can be cocked and a slow well aimed shot can be taken when desired. a gun with an inside hammer would mean that you could not un-cock the action, without racking the slide and then dry firing. This is of course assumes you have the presence of mind to remove the magazine first
        To leave the weapon in a “ready to fire” state, with safety on, is in my opinion not safe enough, unless a strap on your holster keeps the hammer from flying forward, which of course cannot be done in this type of pistol.
        Besides a wheel gun, I prefer a double action/single action weapon, which is reasonably safe with the hammer down, but ready to fire immediately, without fumbling with a safety.

        1. avatar Eric says:

          This gun has a grip safety to prevent errant brushes of the trigger from setting off the single-action mechanism. It also has the various modern gubbins that prevent a round from going off (regardless if the hammer somehow drops) without the trigger actually being depressed. It’s a safe system.

  15. avatar Jay In Florida says:

    If it fits my hand and hides in my pants.
    I wants one.
    Ive never owned a 9mm anything never saw the need.
    Still don’t but want a cheap toy.
    Besides I like goofy looking guns.

  16. avatar Ed says:

    I cant get past its funny looks? (Recent Purchaser of the Glock 42).

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      If you think a Glock is pretty, you’re gonna hate the look of the R51. But then, if you thought the Empire State Building was lovely, you’d hate the Chrysler Building, when in fact the CB is one of the most stunningly gorgeous buildings ever.

      1. avatar Anon in CT says:

        Chrysler Building is the nicest looking skyscraper. Empire State is imposing and impressive.

  17. avatar ST says:

    A Freedom Group product, brand new, which uses a brand new platform based on an obscure action not made in decades.

    Yeah, lets just call this one a bomb and move on.That being said, id love to be proven wrong.

  18. avatar ropingdown says:

    Before you go any further, just tell me: How well does this thing handle G2 R.I.P.?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I see what you did there.

  19. avatar SteveInCO says:

    Ah, I forgot about the different action. I’d be curious to examine that, in a sort of engineer-geek mode.

  20. avatar Charlie Johnson says:

    I happen to really like the looks of it, but then I thought the Vector (CP1?) looked really cool, too. If it works as advertised, I’m getting one. By the way, for those who don’t know, it’s single action, with a grip safety.

    1. avatar Jay In Florida says:

      I thought I saw a little bumpity there.
      Now wheres the decocker??

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        De-cocker? I just met her! Him. Whatever.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Is that the transgender, cross dresser Ralph mentioned yesterday?

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Him or her? You double your chances of getting a date for Saturday night.

  21. avatar ensitue says:

    The next time someone calls a Glock ugly:

  22. avatar sean says:

    I honestly don’t care how it looks. Does it shoot well? Is it reliable? Are the ergonomics good? It is a gun. Not a piece of jewelry. While I have pretty guns, I would rather they shoot well first. Let’s see what the thing can do before condeming it.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      In a carry gun, I agree with you. I think Glocks are irredeemably ugly. I carry one, because it works well for the price.

      If the R51 works well, I could see it becoming a “it’s ugly, but it’s also concealed” sort of gun, especially at the MSRP price point.

    2. avatar PW in KY says:

      I’m with you on this one. I don’t accessorize my range bags like purses and I certainly don’t care whether people think my gun is “pretty” or not. To me a gun is about function. I guess that’s why I went with a FNX-45 instead of a 1911. Classic looks < 15 round magazines of .45

    3. avatar ensitue says:

      You work for Rem (who just sold out to Obama)
      Nuff said

  23. avatar Larry says:

    FUGLY as all get out. I will pass.

  24. avatar S.CROCK says:

    that is one ugly gun.

    it would interest me if i was in a free state. i guess i will just have to get a lc9… oh wait thats also dropping off the list.

  25. avatar jwm says:

    What’s the field strip like on this critter?

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      If anything like the original M51, pud-easy. You (not a gunsmith, but an experience gun driver) could have one apart and back together in under a minute with a couple minutes of practice.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Good to know. It’ll probably never be available in CA but it’s looks begin to grow on me. I think it looks more like my mak than anything else.

        1. avatar S.CROCK says:

          as a fellow californian who has a list of goodies i will never get in this state, let me tell you FOGIDABOUTIT!!!

      2. avatar Eric says:

        It’s got the same barrel knurling that the M51 had for pulling the barrel out along with the slide. There’s a youtube video of it being field stripped at the SHOT show, but I can’t find it at the moment.

  26. avatar Yoel Grauberg says:

    Who would want a Caracal back? Shouldnt you pay the Arabs to keep it?

  27. avatar NavyVet73 says:

    Is this is the same Remington Arms company in New York that everyone was talking about boycotting awhile back? If I’ve missed some pertinent facts or developments, please correct me, as I’m having that kind of day. 🙂

    1. avatar Eric says:

      Remington is pulling a very slow fade, opening manufacturing plants in other locations around the country. But it’s too large an operation to just say “eff’ yo’ gun law” and leave like Magpul did.

      1. avatar NavyVet73 says:

        Thank you, Eric. I couldn’t recall anything past their caving in and making a $20-million-or-so expansion in place. I’d find it encouraging to learn what they may be doing toward breaking free of their “shackles” and supporting freedom. I’ll search around for more details. Meantime, if you have any pointers, I’d be most grateful.

      2. avatar ensitue says:

        Cite your source

  28. avatar C says:

    I kinda want to get one before it drops out of production. All of these other modern handguns are boringly reliable.

    1. avatar Eric says:

      You’ll likely find this one monotonously tedious as well. The original M51 back in the 20s was notoriously reliable.

  29. avatar NavyVet73 says:

    Speaking of which, I forgot to click the followup e-mail button. That’s all this post is for. 🙂

  30. avatar Robb says:

    If you need an unbiased local reviewer, hit me up. 😉

  31. avatar Jim R says:

    I like the look of it. It’s a little different. I like that.

    If it performs, I’ll consider it.

  32. avatar Jim R says:

    Here’s a video showing a field-strip. Someone asked for it, and I found it.


  33. avatar Dave s says:

    I wouldnt pocket carry anything w/o an external safety. That means this requires leather to carry safely.
    The original had an external safety.

    too many things snag triggers and depress safeties

    Cute gun tho.

    All weapons are unproven until you are convinced its reliable enough for you. Any example of a production run can and has failed. hopefully at a non fatal time.

    1. avatar Eric says:

      You shouldn’t carry *any* gun in a pocket without a holster. That’s why they make pocket holsters…

    2. avatar NavyVet73 says:

      “Cute gun tho.”

      My first thought upon seeing it was the “Remington R51 Jetson.” 😉

  34. avatar VSN says:

    So does this mean that people are no longer pissed at Remington for taking that sniper rifle contract and not leaving New York? 😛

  35. avatar Mark Horning says:

    I want a detailed review of the workings of the grip safety.

    If it’s light weight and natural like a 1911 then I am very interested in one of these. If it takes firm pressure like an H&K P7 that would be a pretty major turn off.

    1. avatar bobo says:

      The P7 only required an initial “firm” pressure (and was easy enough to squeeze), once in, it was easy to hold

  36. avatar CoolBreeze72 says:

    If looks are important, bring back the Israeli supermodels.

  37. avatar Blood Fart says:

    Cheap cast zinc trigger, loud and clicky grip safety, cheap looking finish quality in the examples I saw at SHOT. Remington can keep their shitty R51 because if the QC is like the rest of the Remington product that has shipped in the last few years it will undoubtedly take a few trips back to the mothership in order to be “made right”.

  38. avatar Soccerguy83 says:

    Is that rust on the 9mm mark on the lower right one????

  39. avatar Steven says:

    Rumor has it the R51 is easy for a woman to charge and not easy to limp wrist. Can you confirm or disprove this claim?

  40. avatar Larry says:

    Ill stick with my XD

  41. avatar Mr. Pink says:

    Does anyone know if there is a steel insert for the “locking block” or does it just slam into and slide over the aluminum frame?

  42. avatar djsqueeze says:

    Bought one this wkend. Was
    Submitted by djsqueeze on Mon, 2014-03-17 00:46.
    Bought one this wkend. Was looking at the R51 and the Ruger LC9 w/laser. I chose the R51 because I had waited so long for its arrival. I now wish I had chosen the Ruger. I arrived home with my new purchase and as usual I put it to the test. I loaded one magazine with 5rds of 9mm snap caps. I pulled the slide and released it. The slide did not complete it’s forward travel. I pushed the magazine release button and found that quite stiff. Once the magazine released, I pulled on the slide, nothing. It was stuck. Throughout the day I’ve been trying to get used to the R51. However, with the problems I’ve been having I’m almost afraid to run live ammo through this firearm for fear of getting a live round stuck in the chamber; something I did later in the day. So, at this time I wish I had chosen the Ruger LC9 w/laser for $30 more.

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