Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Remington R51 Review Up!

The first comprehensive review of the Remington R51 from Gary Paul Johnson is now up on DOWN RANGE. Gary has more than 200 rounds through the gun and has done extensive research on the R51 and it predecessors. This is a "must-read!"


Joseph said...

I don't have the time to read the article right now, but my immediate reaction to hearing that he only shot over 200 rounds is one of disappointment. I don't know that anything can really be learned in under 500 rounds. Certainly not reliability.

Michael Bane said...

Some people, you give 'em a handful of silver and they wonder why it's not gold. Gary shot 200+ rounds through the gun; over the course of the event he observed 5000 rounds go through the production prototypes. Read the article.


Ursavus Elemensis said...

I can't believe the love fest going on between the gun community and this product. Mechanically it may be OK, although other reviewers have had less than enthusiastic first impressions when firing this gun.

Anyway, we as gun owners and those who are determined to protect our freedom to defend ourselves should be running away from this product and its manufacturer as fast and as forcefully as we can. We should not be embracing this tool that was obviously designed specifically to DEFEAT every objection that gun owners can mount in court to the NY SAFE Act.

First of all, this gun is made by Remington, a company that has refused to leave NY State despite the SAFE Act having been rammed down the peoples' throat in NY by the Nazi's who run the state government. For that reason alone, this gun should not be embraced.

More importantly, however, is the fact that this gun creates for the NY State legal authorities all of the evidence they need to go into court and fight challenges that are mounted to the NY SAFE Act. With this gun, and with Mr. Johnson's glowing review, by the way, the NY Nazi authorities can go before a judge and say, convincingly, "Your honor, there is NO need for a concealed-carry self-defense gun to have more than 7 rounds loaded into the magazine. We have a handgun made specifically for the self-defense market, made right here in NY that has been enthusiastically embraced by self-defense experts at the highly regarded Gunsight shooting school. This gun is all that any concealed-carry gun owner needs for self-defense. They don't need 13 rounds. they don't need 15 rounds. they don't need 17 rounds. Do those gun nuts know more about guns and ammo and self-defense than Remington? Come on, no one knows firearms better than Remington, and those experts at Gunsight have confirmed, in writing by the way, of the 7 round-magazine-equipped self-defense handgun made by NY's own Remington that "its 7+1 rounds of 9x19mm cartridge bring a lot of defensive muscle to the table," and those same experts said, "today’s 9x19mm ammunition offers performance on a par with larger calibers. This is especially true when you consider the potential of faster, more accurate follow-up shots than when using a heavier caliber. And never forget; if you’re in a gunfight with any handgun, the ability to make fast, accurate follow-up shots are what will save your life!" Your honor, the fact that this gun is not only made by the country's oldest and most well-respected, and largest firearms manufacturer but it is also completely compatible with NY's SAFE ACT, passed For The Children (TM), AND the fact that it has been embraced lovingly by experts in self-defense use of firearms is PROOF POSITIVE that there is nothing unconstitutional about the NY SAFE Act. Your honor, we rest our case."

You guys in the gun media should forthwith stop ignoring the assault on our rights. I am disgusted by the praise getting heaped on this TOOL that was purpose-designed to SUPPORT gun control.

Michael Bane said...

Ursavus...dude, you're wrong. Those of us who have been on the front lines for years can easily argue (and have easily argued) against the "need" meme. We NEVER argue "need," nor allow a "need" argument to stand.

Let me explain my job to you...I teach people how to use different tools. The lever action rifle is one such tool. It was invented roughly around the Civil War, so it pretty much predates any modern argument on gun control.

I travel all over the country, including some places where I would be JAILED IMMEDIATELY for possessing an AR, which is my chosen primary self-defense weapon. I don;t film in those jurisdictions, but I do go there on occasion.

The Browning BLR was not "purpose designed to support gun control," but rather purpose designed to allow a lever action gun to use modern hunting bullets.


Michael Bane said...


Let me rephrase...the Remington R51 was not "purpose designed for gun control," but rather purpose designed for concealed carry, as was the original R51 back in the Back When.


Michael Bane said...

And BTW, you do know revolvers have, like, 5 or 6 rounds, mostly?

FM451 said...

Many of the popular compact self-loading pistols (Kahr, Walther, S&W)have single stack magazines (8,7,6 rounds)to facilitate concealed carry with a smaller envelope. The original AMT Backup and Colt Mustang had 5 round magazines. Not for 'gun control' purposes, but to meet a certain need/market. FYI, the '7 Round Rule' was recently thrown out by a NY Court as unconstitutional. I haven't heard anything about a possible appeal yet, so it appears the NY magazine limit is back to 10 rounds.

FM451 said...

Michael, re gun control, the microstamping issue is heating up. First Ruger, then Smith & Wesson have stopped selling self-loading firearms in California. DC also has a microstamping requirement. Is this a continuing trend, or will it die out as a bad idea?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the anti-gunners DO argue "need". They have done it very effectively too. Their popular meme "Nobody needs an assault weapon" is said by every anti-gun AND other ignorant newscaster in nearly every news snippet that follows a murder committed with a gun. Then, other uninformed individuals parrot it and it gets much traction in conversation and belief. This is followed by the anti-gunners capitalizing on those beliefs and the cycle starts again.

We should start talking about the "need(s)" that the Second Amendment was designed to satisfy. We should also show examples of why we are right. We need to use the same strategy as the "left", only we use facts.

Life Member

DamDoc said...

I read that the R51 is manufactured at freedom group's charlotte, NC facility... NOT Coumostan... any verification of that?

Michael Bane said...

The R51 I handled was marked "Charlotte NC."


DamDoc said...

kinka negates the ursavus rant, then.... I want one!

Joseph said...

Finally able to read the article linked to Michael, apologies for the quick bash, but too many times I see articles saying stuff about a gun that couldn't possibly be learned in the time spent and ammo run through a gun.

I do so want this to be a good gun as I really like the way it looks and I like a single-stack 9mm for concealed carry. The price of this gun makes me think it's too good to be true, so I'm plenty skeptical, but big R will very likely get my money on this occasion.

Michael Bane said...

I'm interested in the little Remington...I figure the only way to see if it really works is to get one, shoot it and carry it for a while. I gotta say my Eric Galloway-tuned LC9 and the Sig P938 are DARNED GOOD carry pistols. The Kahr .380 isn[t chopped liver, either...


Anonymous said...

How the hell is a large manufacturing company with 200 years of ties to a community going to pick up and move the day after a law is passed?

I am sick of people in the shooting community ranting on about how Remington supports gun control bla bla bla!

Remington has plants in Kentucky and North Carolina, and years ago moved its Ammo plant out of Connecticut to Arkansas. Moves have to be done so the company survives financially.

Look at what it took for Magpul to move.

I am fed up with gun folks going "Full Retard" over this.

Put them in the same category as the folks who constantly knock the NRA.

Most if they had ten more points of IQ would need a rabies shot and flea collar.

Harmony Hermit

Anonymous said...

From what I have been told by gun store employees here in the Charlotte area...the R51 is manufactured in Pineville, NC. Pineville is a small town just south of the city of Charlotte, but normally included in the "Charlotte area". From what I was told, the components are assembled at Para USA in Pineville.

DamDoc said...

here, here, harmony.. imagine what big green might do if freedom group and/or parts are sold to real gun folks!

kmitch200 said...

Michael, what do you have to say to the several other gun bloggers that say the trigger on this gun is shit?
One noted several FTFs & FTEs at the range.
Just curious....

Anonymous said...


Where are the "real gun people" that are going to buy Remington? I think that we all need to keep Remington healthy buy patronizing their company by buying their products AND giving them feedback on their products so that they can improve them so that they can sell more of them.* That way, it doesn't matter if the owners or investors are "real gun people" or not. It only matters that there are enough investors to allow capitalizing a good company. We should be wooing "non-real gun people" to join our ranks, not only to become invested in it, but maybe to also become shooters. The old saying that applies here is: "Don't bite the hand that feeds you"; so let's not bite the investors, or the company. (I know, I know, I can hear it all now; some of the reactions that will explode. I can hear the bending of this old saw. Just keep it "real".)

Life Member

* I am not a supper-big fan of Remington, as I have had some bad experiences with their guns over my last 50 years of shooting. It happened both long ago and in the not so recent past. Never the less, I own many of their shotguns and rifles. I have not had any ammo' problems, so I continue to keep a stock of that stuff.

Michael Bane said...

I pulled the trigger on 3 of the demo guns...the trigger was not the trigger on any of my 1911s, but OTOH it was better than the trigger on my LC9 before Eric Galloway overhauled it. Pretty much on par with the P938 trigger before it "shot in."

Regarding the reset that has been mentioned on many Internet reports, "riding" a trigger to reset is NOT the only way to soot a handgun fast and accurately...I refer you to Bill Rogers, who works with the FBI and the SEALs and has for decades, Bill's whole system is built on NOT riding the trigger, but instead having the finger come all the way off the trigger on each pull. Bill's initial rationale for his system was that it is INDEPENDENT of the firearm you're shooting. It doesn't matter whether it's a tuned competition 1911 or some obscure ill-maintained (and ill-mannered) Eastern European machine-gun...same same.

Funny aside, OUTDOOR CHANNEL got a letter from a furious viewer who said that Mike Seeklander didn't have any idea how to shoot because he didn't ride the trigger and that we should vet our instructors more carefully. Hmmmmmm...that would be the same Mike Seeklander who won Production Class at the Steel Challenge and the Back-up Gun IDPA Nationals? Who teaches Feds, Tier 1 military and civilians? THAT Mike Seeklander?

When a person explains how riding the trigger to reset is the TRUTH HANDED DOWN BY GOD ON A MARBLE TABLET, they just reveal how much they don't know.

We did NOT have R51s to shoot on Media Day. Gary Paul Johnson told me he was impressed with the production prototypes he shot at GUNSITE. Gary Paul has put more rounds through more guns than all the Internet "experts" put together and squared. Good grief, this is the man who co-authored the standard text on world assault rifles!

I know a lot about this stuff, and I have almost 50 years of putting rounds downrange -- including a decade of serious competition shooting. I have consulted for gun companies and see the products I helped design become best sellers. The last 10 years have been a "PhD in Gun," as Walt Rauch put it. I have evaluated hundreds and shot even more guns (maybe thousands at this point), and Gary Paul Johnson puts me to shame. That's not to mention his baseline experience was LAPD in the Glory Years.

The guns they had at GUNSITE were, in my understanding, production prototypes, essentially the first guns to come off the line. Their function was to show the engineers what needs to be fixed. Amazingly, I have met Internet experts who didn't know the difference between a tool room prototype, a production prototype and a production run gun. How can you be in the business without understanding just a little bit about how manufacturing works?

I worked for a decade with a manufacturing consultancy and am the co-author of the two standard texts on structuring bills of materials and designing new products in a world class environment. I have been in most major gun factories around the world, and in each case I have sat down with the Manufacturing Manager to discuss nuts and bolts. Gary Paul Johnson does the same thing.

Some of the people I talk with on the Internet seem to think gnomes produce guns out of unicorn horn and fairy urine.

Sorry...didn't mean to rant!!!!

I want to shot the R51...until I do, I have no idea how it is on the range. Let's use the LC9 as an example...I liked it the first time I shot it, but it took a year and a talented gunsmith to get it to the point I'd carry it.


Anonymous said...

Michael nails it, yet again!

By showing up how little so many claim to know. Opinion comes from observation and first hand experiences. Everything else is just dross, which is the dacron wombat filler of the internet - and there's no shortage of that!

People who 'want to' can never compete with those who 'have done' no matter how much they may dribble on about any given subject or topic.

Me, won't say how or where, just that Remington is not the only one looking at rebirthing Pedersen's designs.

Be interesting to see the R51 hit the $250 mark (2nd hand) by next Christmas.

Also, the original M51 sold for $15.75 which in wage terms for 1920, when annual was $1200 to $1600, so it is around 1/8th to one tenth.

Is the R51 priced at 1/10 of today's annual salary - not by a long shot. It's more like 1/100th.

Suggesting that the original M51 was more a work of art and hand crafted science than today's R51, or just overpriced back then with today's effort a mass produced product built to a price to suit a price driven market, so something had to give.... quality?

Time will tell. But one thing is for sure, gunsmiths will be the smart ones who can and will add the extra performance 'value' that the factory has failed to do in chasing the quick cheap sale with a less than finely finished product. The initial buy is low cost but add a couple of hundred dollars in after sales finishing and tuning, then you will have something that approaches the original M51.

Or just go and get an old one and interestingly a good M51 will cost around the same as a new R51, pay twice that for a glamor that will last at least another 100 years, but will the R51 fair as well with time. Time will tell.

Thanks MB for a great blog.

Trent said...

I want to comment on the rear sight . They are brilliant!!! Finally smooth on the back so you don't snag on the draw and flat on the front for one handed reloads off the belt or holster. I've pondered this for years and now some ones made it. I think if the rest of the gun is as we'll thought out as the sights then this is one fine weapon.

ELIMN8U said...

Looks like a sweeeet gun, if I didn't already have an S&W Shield I'd be all over this one.

Anonymous said...

I heard from a video of Remington staff at shot show, showing off the R51, saying it was 6 and 5/8 inches long...for a concealed carry gun like this that's a little big IMO

Jimmy Jones said...

I'll buy one, for these reasons:
It's American made
It doesn't have a plastic frame
It chambered in 9mm
It's a single stack magazine.
It's hammer fired, not striker
I can afford one (maybe even two)
These are my reasons, and though they don't matter much to anyone else, they matter to me. For the last (mumble, mumble) years I have carried a S&W Model 39-2 my absolute favorite pistol of all time.

Anonymous said...

Is this new Remington legal in California? If not could it be?

Anonymous said...

I picked up my R51 today from Gander Mtn (who, for you scum gunbroker scalpers should know, was only $429) and it functions, including the trigger pull, beyond all my expectations.

Regarding the 7-round argument: I've read quite a bit about use of firearms for self defense, for a paper I did, and 98% of the engagements fired less than 6 rounds, for what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

My R51 has had 250 ball rounds through it as I write this and I have to say at this point the pistol has been a deep disappointment.
When I received the pistol it was nearly impossible to pull the slide to the rear. I measured it with a scale. Average of 10 pulls was over 30 lbs.
I cleaned the pistol after the first range session and found very deep dimples on the cams that pull the breach block up and out of battery.
After cleaning I used some gun grease on the cam surfaces and the pistol cocks with a normal amount of effort now but the dimples mentioned before can be felt as the slide is pulled to the rear.
The frame is also starting to wear badly on the breach block locking surface. This wear is also much more prominent on one side than the other. This can only be a result of the frame or the breach block not being machined correctly, most likely out of square. The slide and frame also no longer line up at the rear. When I first handled the pistol the arc of the rear of the frame and slide matched up perfectly. Now there is a very noticeable difference in the two as the slide is traveling farther forward.
My hope is that Remington is going to do something to improve the pistol and rectify the problems inherent in them. I really like the way the pistol feels in the hand and it is quite accurate but it is unthinkable to consider the R51 as a carry or defensive pistol until the problems are rectified.