Remington R51 – Over Hyped?

One of the most anticipated new releases of SHOT Show 2014 was the new Remington R51 9mm compact pistol based on the original Model 51 designed in 1915. Like its predecessor, the R51 employs a grip safety and a rather unique locking method developed by John Pedersen that differs from the popular Browning tilting-breech design found in most modern pistols.

The Pedersen “hesitation locked” breech appears to be a relatively simple design that seemed to work fairly well in the very few firearms that employed it. To my knowledge, only the original Model 51 and an obscure SIG MKMS sub-machine gun from the 1930’s used this system of lock-up until Remington introduced the R51. The Pedersen design offers one advantage, a low bore axis which should aid in recoil management.

The R51 isn’t particularly small or light based upon the short time I had to handle it. The fact it’s constructed of all metal, including its alloy frame, lends to its heft when compared to polymer framed pistols offered by the competition. This may appeal to some buyers as many traditionalists continue resist purchasing firearms with polymer components and prefer all metal construction for their carry guns. I’m not one of them though, I’m firmly in the “polymer is the future” camp.

Remington R51 marks

While somewhat difficult to see in this image, there are very pronounced machine marks inside the slide of the new R51. However, the exterior of the pistol looks nicely finished.

The R51 features a 7 round magazine that offers a nice trim profile for concealment, but really isn’t anything special. It also features an ambidextrous magazine release.

Up until this point I’m fairly impartial to the new R51. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just new.

Now let’s talk about the grip safety. It’s horrendous. I’ve read fairly positive reviews from blogs such as Guns America of the pistol most have never fired. The R51 was suspiciously absent from Media Day at the Range this year so most gun writers weren’t able to test fire it. Of the reviews I’ve read, no one has pointed out that the grip safety feels much like a reversed squeeze cock system of the H&K P7 pistol. It requires a conscious effort to engage the safety to allow the pistol to fire. You’ll know when you’ve squeezed tightly enough to disable the safety as you’ll hear a clear “click” as it pops forward. The first thing that crossed my mind while handling it was how easy it would be to not disengage the safety in a high stress situation. And that audible click? I hope you don’t need to ready your defensive pistol silently to gain a tactical advantage. As a general rule I despise grip safeties on firearms and believe they have no place on a modern pistol. The R51’s safety is particularly bad and this alone is enough to prevent me from giving this pistol serious consideration as a defensive arm.

The actions of the two R51’s I handled were gritty and anything but smooth. While this probably won’t affect function in any negative way, it adds to the pistols rather cheap feel. It doesn’t inspire confidence, at least in me.

The trigger? It’s fairly heavy, gritty, and not to my tastes. I’ve fired Hi-Point pistols with more palatable triggers. Perhaps the heavy trigger is by design to keep the lawyers happy. I can’t say why it’s the way it is, all I can say is that I don’t care for it. It’s not horrible, it’s just not good.

My final nit-pick on the R51 is the presence of heavy machining marks inside the slide/ejection port. I wasn’t able to disassemble the samples at the show, but what I could see inside of the ejection port was somewhat concerning. The inside of the slides had deep gouges that were both clearly visible and could be felt with my index finger. I thought perhaps these ruts were by design — perhaps to give grime a place to accumulate — but upon closer inspection they seemed to be somewhat random in nature. I wasn’t impressed.

With a street price estimated at less than $400 I’m sure the Remington R51 will find its way into many holsters in 2014 despite my observations. The price is certainly right for those looking for a relatively small concealment pistol and don’t want to get a second mortgage to buy one. As for me? I’ll pass as I believe better options exist on the market.

Update 3/16/2014:

I got to handle a production model shipped to my local gun shop today. Here’s what I found:


MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

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  • Christopher Sine

    Glock just needs to go ahead and release a midget single stack 9mm. That will fill far more holsters.

    • Dennis

      glocks are overrated

      • José Pulido

        Blue jeans, Casio F91-Ws, and hard drives are overrated… because they do what they do well, and have done it for a long time.

  • John

    As someone who is very recoil sensitive, I’m happy to see Remington release an all-steel gun. I love my CZ-83 and CZ-75 and have enjoyed shooting the Beretta 92FS. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with polymers. They’re just not for me.

    I would love to see a wider variety of steel guns in a wider variety of calibers. I wish Remington had released the new 51 in the original .32 ACP and .380 ACP (in addition to 9 mm).

    • JQP

      It’s not all steel. The frame is aluminum.

  • Matthew Henik

    Has a look that stands out from the polymer offerings but that’s about where my interest ends.

    • OldYeller

      Yep. Kind of Art Deco – Buck Rogers.

      Pew, pew, pew! Darn you Ming!

  • aIpine

    Why do they feel the need to put that ugly script R on the grip.

  • Matt

    Unlike Tim, I am not opposed to grip safeties, so long as they are done well. I have several pistols with grip safeties and in some respects, I actually like them. That said, the grip safety on the R-51 (at least the 2 I handled) was absolutely horrible, probably worse than Tim described it in the article.

  • James

    The looks are the only thing that actually attracted me to this gun same as the novelty of the Glock 42. Frankly for $400 bucks I’d rather have the .380 Glock than a gun with a stupid grip safety. Sorry Remington but I’ll carry my Taurus before I carry the R51.

  • Richard Turner

    i’ll just toss this out there. is it possible the display models were not the final production version and just rough prototype/test pistols that had the outside refinished for display? i was curious about the action and i might pick one up, but i trust your opinion as you are very thorough and professional in your reviews.

    • Joe

      Gosh I hope so… I was REALLY looking forward to this pistol, but if the trigger and grip safety are really like that on the final version…
      I might cry.

      • Jake Hellmann

        you can always wrap electrical tape around the grip to disable the grip safety :)

    • Military Arms Channel

      That is unlikely. These weren’t display models, these were production pistols. They had plenty of them on hand.

    • Spamfritter

      That was my thought as well. This weapon will likely be popular enough to hit gun store shelves soon enough. Once they do, I’ll find out for sure. Until then the ones I saw at SHOT show are literally all I have to go on. And what I saw just wasn’t that good.

    • RPM509

      Th e flip side of this exact same coin, why would Remington display known crap at Shot Show? That would be counter-productive for them, knowingly showing ill-fitted prototypes or unfinished weapons. Even if they did, they would go out of their way to let everyone know if that were the case.

  • Kurt Andrews

    I was really looking forward to this pistol because of the fixed barrel, blowback design, the low bore axis, and the price. I really respect your opinion, but I don’t see any other options that offer those features in a 9mm pocket pistol.

    • JQP

      Barrel isn’t fixed.

  • Doug The-Shillelagh McCafferty

    A grip safety, especially one you have to actively engage, has no place on a high stress concealable point and shoot firearm. Its no secret that the less amount of steps from holster to bullet entering bad guy the better. That’s why when I teach I tell everyone to steer clear of the XD line for concealed carry. I’ll keep my G17 and G26. Maybe when Glock makes a 9mm single stack like the 42 I’ll grab that.

    • Vhyrus

      Obviously you’ve never owned an XD. It takes less than a quarter pound of pressure to activate the grip safety on an XD. I have fired thousands of rounds through multiple XDs and I have not had one instance of the grip safety causing a problem. The 1911 has had a grip safety for over a century but I notice you wouldn’t dare disparage that sacred relic.

      An XD has the same number of steps to fire as a glock: Grab it, aim it, fire it.

      • Military Arms Channel

        I have video I shot of a shooter drawing his XD on the clock, not disengaging his grip safety, then fumbling to reseat the handgun (in a hurry) and firing a round over the berm. Grip safeties offer absolutely no positive attributes yet offer an additional failure point. On a square range where stress is limited, they may seem like the ultimate safety device to some, however when things aren’t going as planned they can cause failures at the worst possible moment.

        I had a Colt Combat Commander that stopped working because of a grip safety failure. I had to replace the grip safety to return the pistol to service. The more parts you add to a gun that aren’t necessary the more likely it is you will have a parts failure of some kind.

        There’s a reason pistols like the Glock have a minimal number of parts used in their construction and do away with unnecessary feel-good devices like grip safeties. It’s because simple is always better.

        • HaroldBR

          I own a XDs, 45. You can almost blow on the grip safety to disengage it. With a proper grip, you don’t notice the safety is there. Under high stress and incorrect grip, the gun won’t inadvertently fire. I’ll take that added measure of safety.

  • Harrison Jones

    I really want to believe that this pistol will come to market as The Firearms Blog reviewed it. Multiple sources all of which I trust have either loved or hated the gun. And they are focus on the exact same things trigger and grip safety.

    I think that there are some major discrepancies in the models displayed at Shot. I also heard that the gun wasn’t at range day which makes me think the gun isn’t ready for prime time. I think Remington has a few guns that work as advertised, but they haven’t smoothed out the preproduction/production models yet.

    • Tim U

      Given the widely different reports between TFB and TBS, I have to wonder if they are still working on QC type issues and there’s just that much variability. TFB didn’t strike me as the bought-and-paid-for gun rag like Guns & Ammo or similar.

      TFB made me super excited for this, TBS brought me back to earth and now I’ll just wait and handle one in my LGS when they arrive.

  • Pickwick

    Love my Model 51 circa 1923. Put money down on this new one as soon as I could, if only to get a companion for my .32 auto :) I’m a sucker for oddball feats of engineering from Pedersen.

  • blehtastic

    I like how this thing looks and the design so much that I’m totally willing to pay a gunsmith to give it a once over to lighten the trigger and grip safety. I will hold off 3 to 6 months after the release date to buy one though, hoping they work it all out.

    Using the barrel as the recoil rod is also super awesome. I love everything about the design of this thing. I’ll replace or polish every part in it to get it running good if I have to. It’s got me hooked.

  • AKMer

    I would have to agree with Tim. The grip safety was terrible. Racking the slide was pretty rough too. Do not want.

  • peterK

    I WAS excited. Then the price was higher than first rumored, AND they didn’t let anyone shoot it at media day…


    • Military Arms Channel

      Yup, it was sketchy… and it backfired on them.

  • Spamfritter

    I handled several of these at the SHOT show. The grip safety and triggers are HORRID. I like grip safeties on some other guns but not this one. It really needs the bump added to M1911-A1’s and custom 1911s and it wouldn’t hurt for it to require something other than a specific hold and or death grip on the gun to engage the thing. It really does feel like the P7 squeeze cocker without the quality craftsmanship.
    The trigger is actually hit and miss. It can be gritty. On the four I handled 2 were terrible, one was OK and the fourth one felt pretty decent in comparison. So they aren’t terribly consistent based on the samples I’ve handled.

  • Colter

    Seems to be rather harsh criticism from someone who has never even shot one. I’m interested in handling one, and will likely make a purchase.

    Then again… every Glock I own has rough machining on the breech face, a far more critical area, and works fine. I also have never found issue with the operation of the P7 squeeze-cocker. If the R51 has a single action trigger and no trigger safety, the grip safety is really the only option since a manual safety is not acceptable on a serious defense pistol.

    A metal frame that will increase weight to offset recoil in a smaller pistol, a low bore axis to limit torque, a single action trigger with linear movement, and no manual safety. Unless the quality is absolutely terrible (“rough machining” so mild you can’t even get a good picture of it, in a non-critical area, on an early sample doesn’t count) then this sounds like a real winner in the single stack 9mm market.

    I’ve liked your reviews up until this point because they are usually well thought out, logical, and factual. This one is way, way premature and has a slight hint of some sort of bias… you might turn out to be right, but on paper the R51 is dressed for success. (And even for people who have shot one… it is all more or less still just “on paper”. When there are samples that have gone 30,000+ rounds we will know how they actually behave.)

    • Jwedel1231

      @Colter I agree on the bias. Ol’ MAC may be a really smart intuitive gun write, but his bias towards Glock pistols is almost palatable in this piece.
      I think that a grip safety is about as non intrusive as a safety can get without being completely internal, and the R51’s safety is the entire backstrap, making it unthinkable to me that a person could even pull it out without engaging it. When the adrenaline is pumping, you won’t notice the trigger pull, much less the grip safety. I’m going to let people actually shoot this gun before passing any kind of judgement on it, but it looks to be pretty favorable so far.

      • Military Arms Channel

        That’s pretty funny, what gun does Glock have that competes in this space? The new G42 that I ripped apart in a recent blog post?

        I’m favoring the M&P 9mm these days by the way.

        It’s unthinkable to you that someone would forget to tightly squeeze their pistol to disengage the far from passive (like a 1911) grip safety when startled? Have you held one of these yet? Everyone I talked to at the show commented on the grip safety and how poorly executed it was.

        • John

          “Have not even shot one yet” !!! Speaks volumes of how much credibility should be lent to your review !!!

          • Military Arms Channel

            It’s not a review, this is a report from SHOT Show. You would think that would be obvious.

          • Military Arms Channel

            Have you seen the recent news, John? I would say I pretty much nailed it.

  • RPM509

    I am disappointed with this review on the R-51, not the review itself, rather the R-51 of which I had held high hopes for. Then having slept on this information I have come to peace with the mentioned flaws, as they balance out well with the price tag. If any of the flaws are cosmetic or in non-critical areas I can live with them. The only flaw that really concerns me is the grip safety/trigger (I am assuming they are probably related), and then only if I couldn’t easily remedy them myself. I still think this is a better suited handgun as a backup CCW pistol than the Glock 42.

  • Casey Redinger

    I think the trigger and safety may clean up with break in time. For the price point I wouldn’t expect brilliant machining though. A little jewelersb powder does wonders in this case.I’ve always thought grip safeties were brilliant in the xd series because even with a slightly poor grip they would still function but it encourages proper grip. Proper grip is vital to recoil management and accuracy. This added to having an extra safety that intuitively disengages really makes it a valuable addition in my opinion. I can’t wait to check one out for myself. I am cautiously optimistic that even if its not entirely refined from the factory, an hour of bench time will makeb it drastically better.

  • OldYeller

    I don’t understand why it has a grip safety at all. That just doesn’t make sense to me unless they were looking to lawyer it up for sale in certain states. ???

    • Military Arms Channel

      I suspect it has the grip safety for nostalgic purposes, which is the wrong reason to put such a device on a modern carry gun. The whole purpose of the gun seems to be a fashion statement vs. an attempt to create a functional design that does something different, or better, than competing products on the market.

  • Wiebelhaus

    And this is why I read Mac, he can come off as prick sometimes but that’s because he’s paid his dues and knows his shit, he’s earned the firearm connoisseur prick-e-ness and doesn’t hold back truths. I really enjoyed when he busted out on camera that kel-tec POS bullpup shotgun.

    • Stegadeth

      I’ve never felt as if Tim came off like a prick. He has his likes and dislikes, just like you and me.

    • L Cavendish

      Have you actually used a KSG? Sounds like sour grapes.
      No gun perfect for everyone. Every gun has some fault or other.

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  • Fred

    MAC, not sure you’re giving the gun a fair shake. The grip safety was a part of the original design. Given that there is no other safety on the gun you interact with (such as a Glock trigger safety), I think it’s a good idea. As for the action feeling different, I suspect you’ve never handled an original Model 51. The action ‘feels’ different because it’s unique.

    • Military Arms Channel

      As Matt said above, I’m probably being too kind to the R51 given what I’ve seen so far.

      It’s 100% irrelevant to me that the original had a grip safety. The original wasn’t what most would consider to be a commercial success and was relatively short lived. So why copy the recipe?

      The R51 was designed in 2013 for a 2014 market. They could have borrowed the unpopular Pedersen design without incorporating the poorly designed grip safety.

      The Glock doesn’t have a safety on its trigger. The dingus on the Glock’s trigger isn’t to prevent you from accidentally pulling it, it’s a drop safety.

      Unique isn’t synonymous with “good idea”. When I’m shopping for a tool to save my life, how unique it is plays no part in my decision making process. All I care about is functionality. There’s a reason why Brownings’ design continues to be copied to this day and why the Pedersen design was relegated to the dust bin.

      • OldYeller

        And that’s kind of the mysterious thing. Was there some surge of popular outcry for someone to bring this pistol design back from the grave of “neat but who cares” obscurity? I’m thinking not.

        Hey here’s an idea! Let’s make a copycat of a weirdo pistol / obscure collectible from decades ago and put it up head to head against Ruger, Walther, S&W, Kahr, and Springfield in the slim 9 market. Derp.

        The fact that they were not willing to let the media go hands on with it at the range says something. Not sure exactly what, but doesn’t seem like it says anything good. SHOT being one of the biggest opportunities all year to get the word out about how awesome it is. To not let you guys shoot it seems weak.

        I think the market already spoke the first time it came out.

        • rocketile

          If you never handled an original 51 you would not understand. If you did you would wonder why they only sold 65,000. The analysis supports the claim that is was overpriced and that the depression took it’s toll. It is far from “in the dust” as there are folks who still carry them today. Back to the R51,

          If you want to get the facts from a group that actually fired thousands of rounds through 8 of them. Also shows how the novel mechanism works. BTW it is not a weak design as eluded to in this blog. I was over designed and actually Remington built built the Model 53 which was a 45ACP with an exposed hammer off the same. That did not make it to production as the military decided to standardize on the existing Browning 1911.

          As someone who owns several original 51s (often carry one when I need a thin concealment option) I can honestly say that if this fits and instinctively points as well as the originals… they have a winner. The hype about grip safety is all for not if the bullet does not reach its intended mark because your holding a plastic brick that doesn’t fit your hand well and the recoil is not conducive to easy point and shoot. Though I do agree that more parts lead to lower mean time to failure.

          I have three on order and can’t wait to celebrate the rebirth of some of the most innovative gun design in history.


          • Military Arms Channel

            Yes, Remington made 8 hand selected pistols available to a small group of writers with whom Remington likely has a strong relationship. Even more telling is that not a single R51 was made available to the gun writing masses at Media Day this year, which many writers took to mean there were still issues with the production models.

            The said the *design* has been relegated to the dust bin, not the firearms themselves. Can you name any other firearms that used the Pedersen design outside of the two mentioned in this post? If it were so innovative and wildly popular, as you seem to suggest, there would be hundreds of guns borrowing from the design — yet there are (2) including the Model 51 itself.

            No where in this blog post do I “elude” to the design being weak. To the contrary, I said the system worked well in the two guns that used the design.

            • Justin

              By your own admission the Pedersen design worked well in the firearms that used it. What relevance does it’s status in the dust bin hold if it functions well in it’s latest iteration?

              Thank you though, for giving an honest opinion. I will be looking at the grip safety and trigger.

              How did you find the slide serrations? I’ve heard they are a bit sharp on the top edges.

            • Military Arms Channel

              The relevance is that no one else used the design. That means engineers made a conscious decision not to use the Pedersen design in their work and opted for other alternatives. If something is truly revolutionary and does something better than other designs, it gets copied and reused like the Browning design. The Pedersen design started and ended with the Model 51 (with the exception of a rare SIG SMG).

              I didn’t find the slide serrations to be a problem.

            • JQP

              The Pedersen designed “worked” but not nercessarily that well. For one thing, there is a major weak point in the design and that is the breechblock on the original 51s. It was a complicated machining and very delicate, especially in the rear portion of it. If this major flaw has been carried over to this latest item from Remington, I would tend to predict a fairly short lifespan for it.

            • Justin

              Interesting that you bring the rear portion of the breechblock up as delicate. I was wondering how well it would hold up to being hammered repeatedly when it flys back to lock the breech. I am a bit concerned over peening or cracking and breaking in long term use.

            • dashpot

              The 1911 has both a grip safety and a thumb safety that requires a separate, slightly awkward movement in advance of gripping the pistol. Some people even find it necessary to install extended safeties because it is so very difficult “under pressure.” That seems a lot more complicated and likely to “go wrong under pressure” than just squeezing the grip yet nobody panics over it. The thumb safety on my Hi Power would be easier to flub than the grip safety on my Model 51. The Glock has the drop-safety but also a long odd-feeling trigger pull that a lot of people don’t like. The R51 is single-action with a straight-pull trigger, so at least has the potential for a clean single-action trigger.

              The R51 has a lower bore axis than just about anything going, thanks to the Pedersen design, which was a reason to revive it. Also a fixed (non-tilt) barrel, again due to Pedersen. These are significant advantages.

              I am not a huge fan of grip safeties, but anybody who lacks the presence of mind, the training, or the manual dexterity to activate a grip safety under pressure should not rely on their shooting skills with any handgun. People used to shoot it out with single-action revolvers, for heck’s sake.

          • OldYeller

            Well if it comes out and runs like a top I’ll eat crow.

            There are designs like the H&K squeeze cocker that I think are really neat and that have a lot of merits but they don’t stand up to the test of the market.

            Overall I’m kind of dissatisfied with the slim 9mm belt gun market. Meaning pistols that are just a touch too big to be truly pocket pistols for most, but would make a great IWB carry.

            Shield: has a thumb safety for no discernible reason.
            XDs: has a tiny nub of a grip safety.
            PPS: has the blackstrap piece that disables the gun.
            Kahr P9: though I like Kahrs the magazines have always been a touch sketchy.
            LC9: lawyerd up with thumb safety, ridiculous trigger and mag safety.
            R51: remains to be seen but I’m not a fan of grip safeties or designs that must have them because of the way the action works.

            Now I understand that none of the above might bother anyone, and it’s personal preference but I’d really like a clean 9mm IWB single stack option like oh, I don’t know the Glock 42, which of course is .380 at present.

      • JQP

        If this is an internal hammer gun as I suspect, then not only is a grip safety reguired, but a manual safety as well. With a loaded chamber and cocked hammer, all that is standing between you and disaster is that grip safety.

  • strongarm

    First, congratulations for Remington as daring to offer another system into the
    handgun field filled with time tested, trie, reliable tilting barrel kinds.

    As for the grip safety, it should be stated that Pedersen had several patents on
    the case even directing main spring exertion from uncocked to cocked modes
    and that “Click” may be indicator for a that kind, really a positive type for safe
    carry without fear of accidental discharge since cocked seeming hammer is
    not cocked at all, but seeming need some trimming.

    However, it should already be stated that, grip safeties safety features end as
    the handle being gripped. An outside impact may give an accidental firing, and
    other kind of safeties, especially Glock type sear integral with trigger bar types
    do not.

    Regarding to Pedersen hesitating lock, initial simple blowback recoil stage
    needs a short travel which ending nearly off limit of its providing purpose on
    the old production samples. New and more powerfull R51 should have some
    other measures for this lock, but nobody knows at the moment. Other delay
    systems with more lesser initial starting recoil distances like roller and lever
    using kinds like G3 or FAMAS and even Benelli M76, have accerelators for
    breechblock carrier or slide parts to continue their starting motion flawlessly.

    And as for the aluminium body, get off the half grip plates and it is evident that
    there is the plastic frame naked. It is certain that, after a moderate time, the
    production will change to that material, or in other case to remain in this price
    range is nearly impossible.

    • JQP


    • Colts3m

      While this seams attainable via Brownings conjecture, realizing historically that conclusive finality is reclusive without abundant documentation. Best regards:)

  • Thor

    I reserve judgement until I handle a production model. Even then, I would still like to wait a year or so to find and identify the major kinks.

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  • El Mac

    I’m curious, what is the better option on the market?

  • Asgard928

    I wonder if the grip safety can be bypassed or improved. I like everything about this pistol except for that grip safety. Maybe we will see a Gen 2 with either a trigger drop safety or a standard thumb safety with options to DA first shot or cocked and locked like a CZ. I really like the DA first shot with SA afterwards for a conceal carry pistol.

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  • Drmaudio

    That is disappointing. I was hoping to get one of these in the hands of my wife, who finds my Shield a little too snappy and the LC-380 trigger to be a challenge. I thought the extra weight and low bore axis might help. Perhaps the production versions will be better. Here’s to hoping.

  • Robert

    From what I have seen, many of the R51’s available at Shot Show were early prototypes with some pre-production models thrown in. That may explain the tooling marks and gritty action.

  • Robert

    I do worry about sour grapes a bit from writers who were not invited to the pre show firing demo. Hope this isn’t the case here….

    • Military Arms Channel

      No, I wasn’t invited to the all expense paid press junket, nor did I care to be. My opinion can’t be purchased. I’m more than content buying my guns from my local gun shop so I can say what I really think.

      Here we sit months later and what have we learned? Remington canceled the production of the gun in May and has pulled it from the market. They’ve now set about redesigning the gun.

      Sour grapes? Nope, just objective reporting on what I saw.

  • Gabe

    Been looking for a new concealed carry gun and got excited when the news of these popped up. I will still wait to shoot one before making the leap. My list of candidates so far 1) S&W Shield 2) Bersa BP9cc and 3) The R51 (if it turns out to be a good shooter).

    I’m leaning towards the Bersa but the press on them has been hit and miss.

  • Raoul

    This “could have” been a nice gun if produced by a different manufacturer.

  • Jay

    I’m gettn’ one. $370 bux as quoted by my I got on the list. Certainly at a price point where gettng one in hand to see how she runs is a no-brainer. If’n it dont ‘run’…sell her and move on.

    My only gripe with alloy is that I’d generally prefer all stainless steel and will willingly take a weight penalfy for it and that all metal guns tend to need more lube and care in cleaning and maintenance than our plastic-fantastics.

    But $370 bux!…c’mon.. I’m givin her a go and will come to my own conclusions based on the unit I have in hand.

  • Danny Hasty

    MY opinion is…The author’s “opinion” isn’t Bad…it’s just “not good”. I like the pistol, shot it, and am certain to buy it now($400 otd) simply because of this smugly written article. Btw…I’ve built more guns in my lifetime than the “colonel” has written articles. ;)

  • ABeiruty

    HK P7 is still more exceptional than R51.

    • L Cavendish

      And costs how much more? Chevy Cobalt vs Corvette?


    I think I about puked in my mouth handling the R-51 at Shot Show. Piss poor execution.

  • Louie T

    Im soured on the R51 george, im soured. Its like telling your wife for a year before Christmas what custom 1911 you want and when you open the box there is a lc9 in it. Not that there’s any wrong with it. The quest goes on.

  • Bender813

    I can’t rush out and buy this gun fast enough!

    • Military Arms Channel

      Hopefully Remington gets you the replacement pistol quickly.

  • JackIrish

    Fair assessment. However, this firearm has the same weight of an M&P Shield…a single stack 9mm with a polymer frame. Its aluminium frame appears to be a non-issue.
    Hopefully it will live up to its theoretically inherent accuracy on account of the fixed barrel. It comes as a surprise that such a detail was absent from your overview. I’m assuming that is due to the relatively non-critical nature of extreme accuracy in statistically close, defensive scenarios, as your reviews tend to be sufficiently comprehensive.
    My own concerns:
    Is the grip safety really so bad?
    Is its SAO trigger really “heavy?”
    Does the unique mechanism that provides its +P capability while retaining an impressively low bore axis really amount to a significantly “gritty” feel when manually cycling the action?
    If any of the above prove to be the case, will I buy it anyway?

    I doubt it to all.

  • Blake R.

    MAC’s credibility is nothing but rock solid. His reviews non-biased. It’s truly amazing how some Nancies get their feelings hurt from an honest critical review of a product, then lash out with personal attack against the man.

    I REALLY appreciate MAC’s direct, concise, frank reviews. Thank you! Please don’t let the over-sensitive Nancies of the world affect your excellent reviews or reporting.

    Sounds like the clunky grip safety is a serious negative (pun intended).

    I do like the low bore axis, but the Steyr may equal it. Anxious to see your review of their latest offerings.

    • L Cavendish

      And Steyr costs how much? Comparing apples and oranges much?

    • Military Arms Channel

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. As it turns out, I was one of the few who said the pistol looked potentially problematic at SHOT Show. I call them as I see them, and now Remington has canceled production and pulled the guns from the market pending a redesign.

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  • Havok

    The models that I was able to handle at both the Big Rock Sports and Hicks, LTD Dealer shows had much easier grip safeties than what has been described here. We will of course be taking them to the range to test how easy they are to use.

  • John

    Here is a “REAL” review from someone who has actually fired one !

    • Military Arms Channel

      That review turned out to be a bit misleading given Remington stopped production back in May and has now pulled the gun from the market. I would say I’m vindicated in my criticism.

  • Mr. Pink

    If the gun is in your hand and all you have to do to ready it is establish a proper firing grip, how does it keep you from establishing a tactical advantage? Just squeeze it as you put the sights on the target.
    No need to overthink things.

  • Fletchman

    If the grip safety is that much of a problem then it will be a problem. The only grip safety on any handgun I own is on my 1911. The fact is I never notice it. It’s so unobtrusive and depressing it is such a natural part of the grip I never think about it. However I like the appearance, the low bore axis and the ability to add a crimson trace already accounted for. I really want to like this gun as I am a big fan of John Pedersen designs. His model 14 pump action rifle had a specially designed tubular magazine that could hold spitzer bullets, which is a problem lever guns have always had. Anyway, when I get to handle one then I will see what I think then.

  • VeriAeq
  • ronaldo

    sounds like your working for the competition.

    • LyingMediaScum

      Or maybe he just hates grip safeties, especially grip safeties that are hinged at the bottom like a potato gun and run the entire length of the grip.

      Please explain a single reason for a “safety” like that other than riding cavalry during WWI.

  • Dk

    Whata hater…

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  • Paul L

    I got my hands on one at the LGS over the weekend and while I was
    excited to handle one, I must agree with your conclusions. The trigger
    short as expected, but gritty. The big turn off on the trigger was the
    complete lack of a tactile reset….none whatsoever. The action felt
    like a piece of sand paper running over rough metal; not nice. I must say that the ergonomics where well thought out giving it a natural point and the gun has an overall slender profile that would conceal really well. It seems to me that it is a gun that could have been better had it not been for a SHOT show deadline for show and tell. Needs refinement.

  • JPS

    First off, i have a r51. It is stiff pulling the slide but it is getting better. The grip safety is not a problem for me , just grip the damn thing well and it all OK. The real problem i have had is disassemble the parts seem rough and very tight, trying to get the thing to go together has been a royal pain, seem to be smoothing out somewhat after a range session and working the slide a lot at home. At the range a couple of times the last round did not feed out of the magazine, that was the only problem i had maybe that will clear up after i get to shoot it some more. Over all i like it and hope it breaks in well, ,

  • Scott Moell

    My girl just bought one and after I took it apart and gave it a good cleaning and oil everything seem to function way better. I do feel as we test fired it every round the gun cycled and functioned better. Accuracy was amazing even during rapid fire. The point in shoot design puts you on target instantly. I will say it did not like to feed the last round in the magazine the first few times but as it breaks in it happens less. I think function could be way improved but it’s so accurate with hardly any muzzle jump that if we can get the bugs worked out of hers I am buying one to carry while I’m riding my motorcycle as it fits my pocket great and smooth edges make it easy to draw with no snags. I give it a out of the box score of 6.5-10 after working n cleaning and putting about 50 round thru I give it a 6 on function a 7 on ergonomics and 8.5 on accuracy

  • Jeremy leath

    To all those who haven’t fired an R51 but choose to give a review…. wow. I ordered a R51 brand new to my LGS. I shot over 250 rounds of Remington 115 Grain UMC 9mm, then 50 rounds of Hornady 9mm+P 135 Grain as well.

    The pistol performed without issue, and never had a FTE or FTF. I cleaned the gun and reassembled it several times to see if I would assemble it wrong or if it would perform any different. And the gun in now my CCW. I am not doubting that some out there have had issues with there R51. But I do think that it is a little suspicious that so many people claim to have such vast knowledge of how horrible this gun is but I haven’t had a single issue arise out of mine?

  • Mr know it all

    Mine was junk & sent to Remington on a recall. After 17 phone calls & being put on hold 17 times I filled complaint with Attorney General & got money back in a whopping 9 months. Screw Remington