Apr 4, 2014

Weapons of Choice: Remington New Model R51

The Remington R1  line of pistols are works of art enhancing John Browning's invention of the Model 1911 available in several configurations like threaded barrel and the growing in popularity – the 1911-R1 Carry Commander and standard carry in .45 ACP. If you prefer 9mm, Model 1911-R1 is available for that also.The new R51 is a sub-compact designed for conceal carry folks.
The newest in the pistol line is the R51 sub-compact that looks like a firearm out of a James Bond film. Remington knows that more people are obtaining conceal-carry permits, they needed to design a reliable, easy-function easy to conceal firearm.

Remington Model 51
It is actually a modern version of the old Remington Model 51, first made in 1918 and discontinued in 1927. It just wasn't as popular as the old standby, M1911. But the age (return) of conceal-carry firearms has brought in back in a better version. The original was created by John Pederson who turned a bolt-action Springfield 1903 rifle into a semi-auto magazine-fed pistol caliber rifle with a simple change of the bolt. The following video shows the Remington R51 in action:

I think women may like this one for concealment carrying, but not for ease of maintenance. The R51 has improvements like sleeker lines than the old Model 51 and that includes the rear sight that is squared in order to allow the gun to be racked on a belt. The magazine release is recessed into the frame, which means no protrusions like other models, such as M1911. The magazine base plate is flush, but you have to press the mag into the gun in order to reload instead of usual palm-slap method.This may be a hassle for some to quick load.
Reports from the Shooting Industry magazine states that women like it because it does not tear holes in their purses, and the sell for under $500.
Unlike the original Model 51, the new R51 does not have a manual safety, just a grip safety. The only complaints I have heard is that those with bigger hands suffer from the recoil, even though it is light because of the thin compact design. The grip safety area where the web of your hand grabs the gun, has two jagged edges which forces the recoil into that area of the hand. This is called slide bite that occurs with smaller firearms being shot with big hands. The Gun Truth video demonstrates live firing with various 9mm ammo; but it gives all the appearance of a novice making an evaluation. There is a video and pics of disassembling the R51 at the website.
Roughly the same dimensions as the Glock 19, it is harder to field strip and re-assemble properly and serves-up half as many rounds in the magazine.
In ease of maintenance it does not receive favorable mention, and hurts the hand of the shooter, according to Gun Truth.
Gun Blast seems to like the firearm and has given favorable mention:
I'll go with the Gun Blast recommendation, who had no problem with the blowback or disassembly. I have examined the new firearm but have not had the opportunity to test fire it personally. Maybe I am favoring Gun Blast because I like their background music and always liked folks from Tennessee.
I love Remington firearms, old and newer, and ammunition, but prefer the Beretta Model 92FS when it comes to double-action semi-auto handguns in the 9mm variety.
Tactical Existence created a video of range firing the R51, which it fails:

Also see first look and concerns by Tactical Existence. The only report of hurting one's hand when firing was from Gun Truth, so I would discount that evaluation and future evaluations from that source. The next video was produced by NRA, which gave the R51 an OK:
Notice that the firearms was shot rapid fire with no slide or trigger problems. Apparently Tactical Existence had a firearm with a problem from the factory.
The HK USP 40 Tactical [available in .40-caliber and 9mm] is another recommendation which I will write about in future. HK makes great firearms, but pricey. Another recommendation is the new Springfield Armory pistol that is modeled after the Glock and will write about that once I get more time with that new edition in the Springfield line. Like Remington, at least other models than R51, I like Springfield Armory - an icon of American firearm history like Winchester, Remington, Colt, et cetera. 
UPDATE: See Recall List page for important information about R51.  

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