February of 2014, I reviewed the then-new Remington R51
semi-automatic pistol. This was a sweet-shooting, compact,
reliable 9x19mm semi-auto that had a lot going for it, and I
had spent several days at Gunsite at a writerís event, as
well as quite a bit of time at home shooting the R51. I
anticipated a warm reception in the firearms market for the new
pistol, as compact nines are pretty popular with those who carry
concealed firearms. The R51ís future looked bright.
However, it did not turn out that way. The
pistols which we fired at Gunsite withstood thousands of rounds
of 9mm ammunition, and the one I had here for the review fed,
fired, and ejected flawlessly with most every load tested, with
only a couple of exceptions. The pistol is Plus P rated, and I
fired a lot of Plus P ammo through the R51. Then, everything
went to pot. When the pistol went into regular production, there
were problems, and Remington has been a long time re-engineering
the R51 to get everything right.
I was really impressed by the way that
Remington handled the pistolís functioning problems. They
offered their customers three options; 1) They offered a full
refund of the purchaserís money, 2) They offered to swap out
the customerís R51 for a more-expensive
R1 1911, or 3) The customer could wait for a replacement
pistol. A few folks took options one and two, but most opted for
option three, and those that did have received their replacement
pistols by the time you read this review. Remington sent the new
pistols out starting around July 1st of this year,
and along with the pistol, Remington is also paying the
dealerís transfer fees.
At the time of this review, new R51 pistols
are shipping to distributors, and will be on dealerís shelves
within a couple of weeks. The re-engineering on this pistol has
been extensive. Externally, the pistol looks like the original,
but Remington has put in a lot of time and effort in to make
sure that this new pistol is everything that it should be. The
extractor, ejector, and disconnector have been re-designed, and
every part has been tweaked to assure that the production
pistols function as they should.
I went into detail on the design of the R51
in my previous review, so I wonít re-plow the same ground
again, but upon receiving the new R51, I went immediately to my
range and started loading mags and emptying them as fast as I
could, using every type of 9x19mm ammo available to me, to
assure that this production gun would run, and run correctly. I
listed velocity and accuracy data in the previous review, so
there is no need to do so here. My objective in this review was
to determine if the pistol would run reliably, which it did. In
fact, it ran flawlessly, with everything except the lightweight Lehigh
Defense 85 grain loads, which have very light recoil. The
recoil impulse was insufficient to reliably cycle the slide
every time on the R51, which I have experienced with other
pistols and this load as well. The R51 ran perfectly with
Buffalo Bore Plus P Plus (+P+) ammunition, as well as every
other load tested, from cheap commercial reloads to imported
ball ammo, to the highest-quality hollowpoint ammo available.
This R51 runs, and runs well. It seems to run smoother than the
previous pistol, and compared to other pistols of similar size
and weight, the R51 is very easy on the hand, even with the
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 July 2016
The new R51 shoots comfortably, and handles
recoil better than most small 9mm pistols. Even the
high-performance Plus P ammo causes no pain to the shooterís
hand. The pistol has a loaded capacity of eight cartridges, and
it carries well in a good belt holster, of which several are
already on the market from makers such as Galco, Cross Breed,
DeSantis, Talon, Simply Rugged, and others. Crimson Trace has a
very lightweight, compact Laserguard to fit the R51.
I have high hopes that this ďborn againĒ
R51 will meet with success in the market, as it is a good design
which is comfortable, reliable, accurate, and made in the USA.
Check out the R51 online at www.remington.com.
To order the R51 online, click on the GUN
GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality holsters for the R51, go to www.galcogunleather.com and www.crossbreedholsters.com.
order quality 9mm ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com, www.lehighdefense.com, www.midsouthshooterssupply.com,
www.luckygunner.com, and www.doubletapammo.com.
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