Back on January
2nd of this year, we showed a brief review and video of the new
Remington R51 semi-automatic pistol. That short review
detailed my experience up to that point, which consisted of
shooting the R51 at Gunsite
in Arizona. Now, as promised, this is a more detailed review of
that pistol, now that I have had one here for the past few days.
At Gunsite, I had the opportunity to fire a few hundred rounds
of Remington ammunition through a couple of R51 pre-production
pistols. With a gun here for review, I focused upon testing the
R51 for accuracy and function with several brands and types of
The Remington R51 is based upon the Pedersen
design of the old Remington Model 51. The Model 51 was chambered
for the 32 and 380 ACP cartridges, but the R51 is modified to
fire the Plus P-rated 9x19mm (9mm Luger) ammunition. The new R51
also uses an aluminum frame to reduce the weight. Weighing in at
just over twenty-two ounces on my scale, the R51 also has a thin
profile, and excellent handling dynamics, The pistol points very
naturally in my hand. The sights are made of steel, and are of
the three-white-dot pattern. The rear sight is shaped for a
smooth, snag-free draw from a holster or pocket, and both front
and rear are windage adjustable by drifting in the slide
The R51 has a fixed barrel. The barrel does
not move upon firing, as do the barrels in most other 9x19mm
pistols. It is also not a direct blowback action, as are most
fixed-barrel pistols. The R51 has a breech block that locks the
action upon firing, then unlocks and impacts the slide to move
rearward, ejecting the fired cartridge case. A spring that
surrounds the barrel returns the slide forward, stripping
another round from the magazine to chamber the cartridge. The
slide locks in the open position on an empty magazine. The R51
ships with two seven-round steel magazines, for a loaded
capacity of eight cartridges.
The R51 does not use a manual thumb-operated
safety as did the old Model 51. The R51 has a grip safety that
blocks movement of the trigger until pressed. In use, one has
only to grasp the grip and press the trigger to fire the weapon,
getting it into the fight quickly.
specifications for the 9mm Remington R51 are listed in the chart
below. Weights are listed in ounces. Linear dimensions are
listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed in pounds of
resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital trigger pull
scale. Height includes sights and magazine base with the
standard seven-shot magazine in place. Maximum width is measured
across the top of the frame, and includes the slide lock.
|Weight with Empty Magazine
|MSRP as of February 2014
fired a variety of ammunition over the chronograph to check
velocities, with the results listed in the chart below.
Velocities are listed in feet-per-second. Bullet weights are
listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. DPX,
Buffalo Bore Lead Free, and Double Tap Tac-XP
are hollow nose homogenous copper bullets that are made
by Barnes Bullets. Guard
Dog is a FMJ with a soft plastic core to promote rapid
expansion. FP is a frangible, pre-fragmented flatnose bullet.
FMJ is a full metal jacket roundnose bullet. FMJ-FN is a full
metal jacket flat nose Buffalo Bore Penetrator bullet. PB is Pow’RBall,
a specialty bullet from Cor-Bon. Glaser is a pre-fragmented
bullet. Velocities were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above
sea level, with an air temperature of thirty-one degrees
Fahrenheit, and a relative humidity of forty-five percent.
Velocities were recorded at ten feet from the muzzle.
Bore Lead Free HP +P
Bore Lead Free HP +P
Tap Tac-HP +P
Tap FMJ +P
Bore +P+ JHP
Bore +P JHP
As noted in the chart above, much of the ammo
tested in this R51 is Plus P rated, meaning it runs at higher
pressure than standard 9x19mm ammunition, and is built for high
performance. However, two of the standard-pressure loads that
performed very well were the Remington Home Defense hollowpoint,
and the Federal Guard Dog expanding full metal jacket. Both of
these loads had relatively mild recoil, yet exhibited very good
expansion and accuracy. Accuracy varied from excellent to
average, with the Remington Home Defense turning in the best
twenty-five yard accuracy, and the WCC military ball the worst.
The Remington load would consistently group one and one-half
inches or better, while the WCC load grouped in the three inch
range. All other ammunition tested fell somewhere in between
Reliability was very good, and perfect with
most ammunition tested. I had two failures-to-fire with that WCC
load, and had extraction problems with the Buffalo Bore 95 grain
load. A shot of
spray lube corrected the failure-to-fire problem, as I found
that the slide was not fully closing, causing the pistol to not
fire. That Buffalo Bore 95 grain load works perfectly in most
pistols, and this just proves the point that firearms are
individuals, and that any pistol carried for social work should
be tested with the chosen carry ammo to assure reliable function
with that particular ammunition. Every other type of ammunition
tested, twenty-two varieties, both standard-pressure and Plus P,
ran flawlessly in this Remington R51 pistol.
The R51 is very easy to operate. The recoil
spring surrounds the barrel, allowing the pistol to sit low in
the hand. Also, by design, the recoil spring is lighter in
strength than most 9mm pistols. This allows for a slide that is
very easy to manually operate to chamber a cartridge. This
feature is a real plus for those who have trouble racking the
slide on a pistol. Also, the shape of the rear sight aids in
using a table, bench, belt, pocket, boot, or any other stable
edge to one-handedly rack the slide to chamber a round or to
clear a malfunction, in the event that two-hand normal operation
is impaired. The ambidextrous magazine release does not
protrude, but sits flush with the frame. This feature makes the
pistol to conceal better, and also prevents the unintentional
release of the magazine in the pocket or holster. The R51 has no
sharp edges, as it should be on a carry gun.
The Remington R51 pistol is one of the
softest-recoiling 9mm pistols that I have ever fired. The pistol
sits low in the hand, reducing muzzle flip upon firing. Even
when shooting the Plus P and Plus P Plus ammunition, the
R51 is very comfortable to fire. In addition to the hundreds of
rounds fired through the R51 pistols back last December, I fired
many rounds of the ammunition listed above through this
particular R51. In my hand, the R51 is one of the best feeling,
best handling, and most naturally-pointing 9mm pistols that I
have ever held. The R51 is just now going into production, and
should be readily available soon. The R51 is priced right, built
right, and built in the USA.
Check out the extensive line of Remington
firearms, ammunition, and accessories online at www.remington.com.
For the location of a Remington handgun
dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the R51 online, click on the Gun
Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality 9x19mm ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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