Personal Remington R51 Woes

Okay… Okay… I admit it. I bought an R51 and right now, I regret it.

*Note- This was a personal purchase of a retail model. TFB’s formal evaluation pistol has been on hold since its release with no ETA.

At the NRA show in 2014, I was keen to get my hands on the little single-stack 9mm. Having handled the R51 on multiple occasions, and knowing full well the reviews of others, I decided to buy one on the spot through Davidson’s (if you didn’t know, they set aside special allocations for the major trade shows).

When I walked into the shop for the transfer my friend Randy stated emphatically:  “Dude! That gun has something wrong with it.”

Sure enough, racking it for myself was like trying to scrape velcro over sand paper. Nevertheless, I transferred it, took it home, and cleaned the pistol thoroughly. The scrubbing helped, but something was still grating in the action. Hoping to smooth it out at the range with some rounds, I headed out with my wife and experienced a myriad of problems.

In short, 28 of 92 rounds loaded and fired had a malfunction.


It wasn’t just one, it had a malfunction of nearly every type! Stovepipes, Failure to Extract, Failure to Feed, Double Feeds, and one Out-of-Battery Detonation at which point we stopped shooting.


I contacted Remington via their website on May 16th and finally received a response back today. It took them almost a month to get back to my e-mail asking for the very information I provided in my initial contact (Name, serial number, details of malfunctions, etc.). The customer service is lacking.

Silver lining: At least Big Green promises to pay for shipping both ways.

More to come after the pistol is sent back and returned.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Andy

    I was so excited about this gun, but I shouldn’t have been considering the current state of Remington.

    • hotairbill

      So, what is the current state of Remington? Do you know something that only you know? I know that they recently purchased a significant pirtion of Cerebus Int’l, but am unaware of their current state. Please enlighten me and anyone else that wants to know what you know. Thank you. Bill Butler

      • floppyscience

        I think he’s referring to the complete and utter incompetence displayed by Remington since their acquisition by Cerberus in 2007, and their total lack of ethics. QC took a complete dive as soon as Cerberus/Freedom Group took over, and they’ve repeatedly bought up classic companies, shut down the factories, fired all the employees, and started making crappy versions of the bought-out designs in Remington plants. Look at Marlin and H&R, Bushmaster. More recently they’ve just done this to AAC, Para and DPMS as well.

        This is not something only Andy knows, this is common knowledge for anyone who pays attention to the industry. The current Freedom Group/Remington Outdoors/whatever they change their name to next to escape negative press is an embarrassment and has ruined a lot of once good names.

        • El Duderino

          Yes, says the guy with a Remington-built Marlin 1895GBL in his safe that was originally shipped to Cabela’s so poorly made it was shipped back, refurbed quite well, and sold at a steep discount. I hear good things about their 1911s and some bolt actions but that’s about it.

          What’s funny is all the pre-release pub mentioned that the R51 should be really easy to rack due to the design. I put it on a short list for the wife b/c of low hand strength. She ended up with a 9mm Shield. The counter guys at my fav LGS even said they wanted to make the R51 one of their range guns but it was so bad they ended up just selling it as used.

  • echelon

    I try not to touch anything made by Freedom Group/ROC if I can help it. And that’s sad because I love the ACR.

    • Mike N.

      You know I had a pre-buyout Marlin 336, stupidly sold it, and then bought a Remington made 336 (a so-called “Remlin”) to replace it. Much disappoint doesn’t begin to describe it.

      • MattW

        I have a pre-Freedom Group Bushmaster AR-15 which I have had no problems with. A few acquaintances have recently purchased Bushmaster rifles and have been sorely disappointed in the quality.

        • El Duderino

          Well it’s a completely different group of people making them. They (Freedom Group) bought the name not the staff and factory. Bushmaster’s previous owner and most of his former employees got together and started Windham Weaponry. If you want an old-school Bushmaster it’ll have their name on it.

          • Hank Seiter

            I have a Windham Weaponry AR-15M4 and it’s wonderfully made, reliable and accurate. There was a time when the Bushmaster AR-15 was pure crap about two to five years ago, but I recently bought one to try it out for a friend who was interested in a “budget” AR and my specimen didn’t seem that inferior to Rock River, Stag Arms, DPMS, or even Daniel Defense … thought I’m still convinced Rock River and Daniel Defense are probably the best and most consistent QC’d ARs. The Rock River PDS (or PPS) is absolutely awesome as a piston-operated AR with a forward ambi cocking handle. These features should have been retro-designed in the second generation of M16A2s back in the late 1980s.

          • El Duderino

            Not surprisingly since Bushmaster was sold to Cerebus in 2006. I wouldn’t buy a Cerebus/Freedom Group Bushmaster personally.

    • My ACR is, hands-down, my favorite rifle. I shoot it nearly every weekend in competition. It is one of the Windham models prior to the production moving.

      I have not shot a post-production-move ACR. We have one of the new ACR DMR’s requested from Remington. Will render a verdict on the Illion models at that time.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Nothing against the ACR particularly… but “ACR DMR”

        Heh, 9lbs unloaded, no optic, no bipod, no sling, no sights, no suppressor, still in 556. My SPR is 10lbs with all those things.

        I look forward to that review. Please weight it as it’s shot! How they got those guns so heavy is a mystery to me.

        • echelon

          It’s the large front trunnion for the quick change barrel system and barrel and piston assembly itself. The Remington Defense versions that do not feature the quick change system are much lighter and sweeter.

          The kicker is that the IC competition is dead and Remington could easily push all of the changes and modifications they made down to the civilian Bushmaster version but they won’t! It’s pitiful.

        • The Stig

          It’s the 1 in 9 twist barrel. If they had used a 1 in 7 more material from the barrel would have been removed and it wouldn’t be as front heavy. /sarcasm off.

      • echelon

        I love my ACR too other than it’s a hefty beast! As a lefty I think it’s the best gun…the ARX and Sig 556xi are giving a run now though. I’ve had both pre and post ACRs move through my shop and my hands and I can say the quality is going down. I’ve had some in the Coyote color that have parts of the rails that aren’t coated or other parts. And the coating will rub or wear off after just handling or light use.

        The ACR is such a sweet design, it’s just terrible to watch it languish in Freedom Group/ROC purgatory.

        Beretta puts their ARX front and center at trade shows and so does FN with their SCAR. But go to the Bushmaster and Rem Def booths and you have to look hard to find the ACR. I think they’ve had the same DMR version displayed at every SHOT since at least 2012…

        And you still can’t get any new barrel assemblies for them. Parts replacement is spotty at best. I had an order for some ACR stocks that I placed in January and I received half the order in February and as of April I still hadn’t gotten any update or notifications so I cancelled the order. I just received confirmation of the cancellation two days ago.

        And other times I’ve called customer service and literally the phone just rings and rings. No message, no “all agents are busy”, nothing.

        And I could go on and on about post Freedom Group Marlins, Remington shotguns, 700s, etc…It’s bad.

    • Hank Seiter

      Just bought an ACR. I love it. I heard some of the horror stories about the QC issues there at Remington/Bushmaster when the ACR’s first started getting out into the civilian market a few years back. But I took a chance anyway and so far after about 500 rounds it hasn’t had one failure to feed, fire or extract. And it’s accurate as all get out, I’m able to hit a 300 meter 12″x12″ steel plate with iron sights nine out of ten times OFFHAND … okay, most of the time sitting at a bench but not sandbagged. I might put that Burris 3x tactical scope on the ACR’s picatinny rail just to see how accurate it is with factory Winchester 55 grain loads (M193). Again, the cool factor of the ACR is what really attracted me and I also own an IWI Tavor and a SCAR 17s. They’ve all proven to be great, reliable and accurate rifles

  • An Interested Person

    Sad. This pistol has the potential to be an amazing concealed carry option, but if it won`t shoot when it needs to nobody will buy it. Nor should they.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I see this written over and over since the announcement.

      What is it that you think this pistol would do better than other options IF it worked?

      It’s not as small as other options. It’s not as established. It’s not proven (clearly!). It had melted edges, but other guns do too. It’s nothing other than a new design that you were told was for carry.

      So I’m curious why people think it’s going to be this amazing concealed carry piece??? Because it’s new and other people have said the same thing?

      • Nolan

        (not my opinions, but what I see a lot of people saying) The fixed barrel can make the gun more accurate (for me that is a non issue, since I’m not that accurate anyway), it’s supposedly easier to rack (assuming your model doesn’t have the weirdness these ones do), the grip is longer for the actual size of the gun, giving you a full grip on a package that normally has your pinky hanging off, and it’s not the “standard” choice. People like being original. That being said? I’m not into it anymore.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          I’ve owned P38, P5, and Berettas will the same type of locking system. I don’t buy “more accurate” for a single second. These are Indian and not arrow issues. Anyone that thinks a gun is going to “make” them more accurate is being disingenuous about their ability. You have the right idea.

          Easier to rack I’ll give you.

          Grip is always a balance. I have large hands and love the shield. Pinching my hand in the mag could happen, but that’s a training issue.

          Personally I was never really interested, but like you even less now. I just don’t get people hoping on to blindly exclaim it’s going to be AMAZING. I’m not sure where that idea even comes from.

          • Asdf

            Well first off any of the guns you mentioned do not have the same action as the R51.

            Also, the gun has a noticeable reduced felt recoil over the Browning action, with was its biggest selling point to me.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            When did you shoot it?

            “Felt recoil”… A great subjective term to say, “yea, the moving parts are of approximately the same weight, at the same velocity and moving in approximately the same directions as everything else out there, but this one “feels” better”

            They all feel approximately like 9mms in X barrel length. I know about the fastest cadence I can shoot on a target while keeping the track of the front sight, I’ve never fooled myself into thinking splits deltas in the .100 second range were going to matter, ever.

            I hate to tell you, but “felt recoil” won’t make you a better shooter.

            This gun is a disaster so far. Almost no one saying how awesome it will be has actually shot it. It seems to offer nothing that I can see is revolutionary…. Still people attach an “amazing” tag.

          • An Interested Person

            I want one for carry because it is very sleek with little to nothing to catch on, 9mm, and comes threaded from the factory. Oh, and it is super cheap. Those things make me call it “amazing,” especially for the price point. Unfortunately, it would seem it was all too good to be true.

          • Sadly, it is not threaded. The marks you see are groves so you can grip the barrel in the disassembly procedure.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            SIG offers factory “melt” jobs among others. But it’s interesting, I’ve never once “caught” my Glock19 on anything that this gun wouldn’t catch on as well. The only issues I’ve ever had are one handed drawing from concealment, and it’s just large shaped object in my hand.

            Price I’ll agree with you on, but amazing I can’t. My Shield cost me $350 and it’s a SOLID firearm.

            Agreed on too good to be true for now. But none the less, when they work the issues out, try to fire one before you buy – that’s just the #1 lesson I’ve learned with anything.

  • allannon

    I was very interested in this design, but initial reviews were…less then reassuring.

    I wonder if it’s an inherent flaw in the design, or manufacturing/QC problems?

    • Annika R

      The original Model 51 worked well and generally garnered good reviews. The design is a solid one. There is no reason for me to believe that the step up in caliber from .380 to 9mm is inherently to blame for the new R51 firing out of battery. Not to sound too harsh, but if the designers, engineers, QC, etc. had done their job better we probably wouldn’t be having these problems.

      I thought Remington had been very brave to bring a neat old design back to life but now I’m afraid this blunder will be read the wrong way by other manufacturers and as a result they might shy away from trying anything similar. What a shame! Some other manufacturer should produce a scaled-up clone of the original 51 and just keep any design changes to a necessary minimum. There are a handful of other excellent old designs that really deserve to be brought back as well.

      • The primary problem as I understand it, and the cause of other recals from companies like Ruger, is you have prototypes that have hand fitted parts and everything looks great, works well. Then when you turn the job over to production any potential problems show up.
        That’s how guns from all companies end up having recalls or a halt in production until the problems can be worked out.

        • Sulaco

          Seems I remember not the same but similar problems with the first gen of Glocks moving up from 9mm to .40, not?

          • That’s true. We also had a run of Glock 17’s that were less than stellar. I actually had one of our PD’s new Glocks go full auto.
            Things happen with a lot of companies going from prototypes to using standard production methods.

          • Beaumont

            Browning had similar issues when they tried to chamber the Hi-Power in .40.

  • Steve Truffer

    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen complaints of out of battery. Bad, bad, bad.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Very! Really surprising they shipped a single gun if they would have know this could even remotely be an issue.

    • RKflorida

      Out of battery is more than a malfunction. Nearly every extensive test of this pistol has revealed this problem and the testers stopped the testing at that point. How this common problem could not be detected by the factory QA is a mystery.

    • Andrew Duffey

      If I remember correctly, it happened during Military Arms Channel video review on youtube..

  • KevinW

    Nathan – you also have the option of our Lifetime Guarantee for either replacement or repair of any firearm we sell.

    Feel free to contact me directly at .

    Kevin Wilson
    Davidson’s, Inc.

    • Steve Truffer

      Kevin, I think it may end up as a replacement. Remington’s been trying to “fix” the R51 for months. It may well just be an unsafe design.

      • KevinW

        Steve, generally speaking our warranty defaults to replacement, with repair being an option if a replacement is not available. Our warranty covers every firearm we sell, regardless of model or manufacturer.

        • Steve Truffer

          Always good to hear from a dealer. Shame I’m Central VA or I’d pay you guys a visit.

          • echelon

            Davidson’s is top notch.

      • Mystick

        Maybe that’s why the gratis “formal evaluation” pistol isn’t in his hands yet.

      • Anon. E Maus

        Give how common it is for the R51 to fire out of battery, I think that’s a pretty safe assumption.

    • bobs burgers

      so does this mean that the best way of getting someone to contact at Remington is making a website getting it famous then bad mouthing there customer service on it?

      • Guest

        Well… If Kevin here worked for Remington that could be assumed to be plausible.

        Kevin has quite clearly implied he works for the distributor that the author purchased the gun from.

        Have you had an issue contacting Remington or Davidson’s?

        • I have had issue with Remington only.

          Davidson’s on the other hand, is wonderful to work with. (Disclosure- I am actually one of their dealers now. I was not at the time of the R51 purchase or issues, which went through my LGS).

          I opted to contact Remington directly. Combined with the delay for the review sample, I believe it is safe to assume that a replacement now would be likely to have the same issues.

          • Leo Becker

            Its safe to say that the R51 is a flop and is a dysfunctional gun. Fortunately for me, I bought the flawless Remington R1 Enhanced! Over 1200 rounds of excitement and still counting!

          • Secundius

            @ Leo Becker.

            I don’t see you point? Remington builds a LEMON, and then replaces it with a LIME. Then they drop the “5” and replace it with “Enhanced”. People are STILL going to associate the LIME with the LEMON. The product line is TAINTED, replace the product Completely, with another Product Line. That way you loose the association and learn from you mistakes…

          • Leo Becker

            The 1911 is a flawless design by John Browning. Theres nothing wrong with the R1 Enhanced. Remington did a good job on the product. Not everything Remington makes is bad. Infact most of their products are good.

          • Secundius

            @ Leo Becker.

            Only “Time Will Tell” if Remington makes up from their woe’s.

          • Secundius

            @ Leo Becker.

            As you stated, the John Browning designed Colt M1911 is a “Flawless Design”. While the Remington R1 Enhanced is NOT…

    • interwebs762

      Now that’s customer service, nice!

  • Jeff Smith

    How is it that a major manufacturer is sending out weapons that should have never passed quality control?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Lol, Remington quality control. Funny.

      Pretty sure only the mil and police lines get any sort of QA now.

    • Limonata

      Watch the CNBC Special on the Remington 700 then you will know.

    • floppyscience

      You don’t have much experience the Freedom Group, do you?

  • Asdf

    Arg! Why did they have have to make this gun poo! It could have been great. Remington, you better get your act together.

  • iksnilol

    I find the mechanism interesting but I think I will stick to the Makarov.

  • ColaBox

    That really sucks. I was looking to grab one when they first got introduced. Now there’s no way.

    • Sulaco

      Same here Cola, I loved the idea and looks, I had my pen out ready to write the check. Not now.

    • Lockmazter

      Ditto. I was pumped. Literally driving around from shop to shop, in February (supposed release month) with a pocket full of cash, but nobody had them in stock yet. THANK GOD! A subcompact has but one purpose : To be reliable. To be depended upon to save your life.

    • Tothe

      I was quite excited about this new design, too. I hope they can fix their production and QC process to make it worthwhile but you know what they say, hope in one hand…

    • Beaumont

      Me too. A company the size of Remington should have been able to make this design work. It’s pretty obvious they just don’t give a crap.

  • MountainKelly

    It’s rough when a company rushes a product to market. Too bad.

  • me ohmy

    Bail.. sounds like a total waste of time and REMINGTON is making junk.
    hope they make good on fixing it up for you


    What I’ll never understand is with the multitude of fine, dependable, well-designed 9mm/45 ACP pistols out there, why would anyone buy this Remington product ? M&Ps, XDs and XDMs, Colts, the wonderful and venerable Browning Hi-Power, Sigs, and the list can go on and on and on.

    Well, this is still America (what’s left of it) and you can buy what you want. One’s choice may not be brilliant. Nevertheless, you still have that ability to choose. Myself, I’ll still with my M&Ps and XDMs.

    • Annika R

      Fixed barrel. I agree that buying Remington is generally a mistake but if they hadn’t botched this I would have bought one because it would be the only easily obtained fixed barrel 9mm pistol on the market (that’s not blow-back), which would theoretically make it ideal as a suppressor host, which is what I’m looking for. That and for the historical element, which I find to be far more interesting than that of a 1911, for example.

      • DAN III

        “Historical element” ??? What the hell is historical about the R51 ? Ain’t NOTHING, NOTHING more historical than a 1911 !

        • Annika R

          The historical element is indirect, and yet in my opinion still more interesting. If you don’t know what the original Model 51 is then see the link below.

        • Beaumont

          Well, Dan, a number of firearms are “more historical” than the 1911. Anything manufactured before 1911, actually.

      • Hyok Kim

        Fixed barrel has other issue regarding the reliability.

        Bullet has longer distance and more acute angle to jump from the top of the magazine into the chamber.

        U.S. military tested HK P9S, and VP70, both fixed barrel designs back in the 70’s, and both were at the bottom when it came to reliability, VP70 was the least reliable of the bunch.

  • David

    Why on earth would you buy one after handling it at SHOT?. I picked it, racked the slide, pulled the trigger and declared it a POS.

  • Raven

    I’m not understanding why they went with a 3.5″ for the first production model. The fixed barrel system is supposed to be more mechanically accurate, so why would you limit your initial offering to a compact-type pistol? Start off with a 4.5″ or 5″ like the 1911 did, set it up for competition, then once you work out the bugs there, start moving to the compact/CC market.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      “supposed to be more mechanically accurate”

      As someone who has shot quite a few handguns under highspeed, I can tell you that the bullet is LONG gone before any of the actions are really moving.

      • Dan

        Right, but the supposed advantage is that with a tilting breach that is built to very tight tolerances, the barrel has the potential to not return to the exact same point of aim after each cycle.

        • Hyok Kim

          “Right, but the supposed advantage is that with a tilting breach that is built to very tight tolerances, the barrel has the potential to not return to the exact same point of aim after each cycle.”

          So with a tilting breach that is built to very loose tolerances, would the barrel have the potential to return to the exact same point of aim after each cycle?

          What makes a gun accurate is not whether a barrel returns to the same position after a bullet is gone. It’s whether the average position of the barrel when the bullet leaves the barrel remains minimally disturbed shot to shot.

    • Hyok Kim

      “The fixed barrel system is supposed to be more mechanically accurate,”

      Not necessarily true. What makes a gun accurate is that the average position the bullet leaves the barrel at remains minimally disturbed shot to shot.

  • hydepark

    So, at what point is it going to clear to everyone that Remington will wait for someone to be killed or seriously injured before doing a total recall of these things? I get furious every time I see even the slightest mention at these deathtraps. They knew before they shipped them the were dangerous.

  • cedarhill

    I was interested in purchasing a Remington 51R because I have a Remington 51 from the 20’s. But I has given me problems and is not dependable. At a gun show a trusted dealer said the R 51 was junk. Now I am glad I didn’t purchase one. Maybe later when it is perfected.
    But I purchased a Remington R1 45 Carry Commander and I love it. Smooth and accurate and it has carried me to love to fire 45 caliber.

  • 101nomad

    Appreciate the follow up.

  • John McPherson

    You will never see this gun again, especially if you are lucky.

  • opie

    just dont buy the R51 until remington stops releasing guns too early without enough testing done. so sick of these companies using the shooters as the test subjects. there is a simple solution to the problem. screwed up thing is, the more guns you have to repair is more money lost…you could have made more money by doing things right the first time around..

  • Pete Sheppard

    This is why I like to wait at least a year before buying a brand-new design; they (especially those pushing the envelope) generally have bugs to be worked out. I hope Remington quickly finds fixes; I WANT to like that little gun. It just looks neat!

  • Zachary marrs

    Its really best for Remington to roll back to 3-4 designs and try to get quality back up to par, with issues with the 700 trigger, all the new 870’s with qc problems, and now the r51 boondoggle, they need to scale back

    • Rick Cory

      Don’t forget the 597 Magnum .17 buyback

      • Zachary marrs

        Tbh, .17 magnum and .22 magnums have rarely worked well in semis

  • Longrange Bob

    I handled one at the LGS the other day just to see if the reviews were honest about it. It felt as if I was racking the slide through gravel/sand slurry. Seriously, the QC was AWFUL. I asked the store guy how many they had, he said it was the only one. Went back 2 days later for ammo and asked the guy if it was still in, he said no, some guy bought it and the store employee told me that he practically begged the guy not to buy it. I would rather carry a highpoint or Llama pistol over this.

  • I hope the R51 works out. I’m interested in buying one.

  • atmar

    im glad i got the bersa bp9cc……..

  • percynjpn

    Wow – Remington has hit rock bottom; very sad.

  • brokegun

    had one for less than 2 weeks…from the looks of the above article, I could have written-almost my same problems to a tee. Traded back to dealer for Shield 9. I’m happy again! This is not the same Remington that built my 1100… 🙁 Buyer Beware!

  • Riot

    Apparently it uses steel on aluminum for the slide

    Some people think that’s the cause of the problems

  • floppyscience

    Is anyone surprised that Remington would release a pistol they know is defective and potentially dangerous, then keep on selling them and keep their mouths shit while every reviewer calls them out?

    This is the same company who knew about Rem 700s discharging when the safety was disengaged. There are dozens of accounts going back almost 10 year all over the internet, and Remington just recently (April) announced a “voluntary recall” on the affected model. These models are every single Model 7 and Model 700 made since 2006 that used the X-Mark Pro trigger.

    Remington does not care about our safety, not at all. I’m surprised so many people still support them after the X-Mark fiasco. It shouldn’t take 8 years and dozens of accidental discharges for the company to even acknowledge a problem. They should take a page from companies like Ruger and S&W, who actually test their firearms before releasing them, then after release they keep testing them and if they even THINK a product can discharge without the trigger being pulled they recall and retrofit them BEFORE it actually happens. People rag on Ruger for all their recalls in the last few years but they were pre-emptive and there are no reports of the recalled pistols actually discharging accidentally.

    • dupkaman

      Yes, it is rather sad. Gives capitalism a bad name.

    • Gubbins48

      Right on about Ruger–their customer service is excellent in my experience.

  • ensitue

    Name the previous model Remington designed handgun that was a success: 1858 New Army (and conversions)
    Sorta makes you wonder why Rem wanted to jump back into that market.
    Yeah, Yeah, The Marketers swore that Rem would make a mint, and the designers were pressured to come-up with ‘Product’ in time for the SHOT Show. I suppose that qualifies as Legit these days

    • screwtape2713

      The original Remington model 51 actually worked very well. I owned one made in the 1930s for awhile and have always regretted trading it away again. BTW, one of its fans was General Patton, who carried one when he wasn’t wearing a holstered sidearm.

  • Mark

    So it seems this handgun model is unsafe. How long and how many injuries until Remington recalls them all?

  • Zachary marrs

    Remington R51; so bad even gun stores are honest about it.

  • gunslinger

    looks like this isn’t a model i’ll be in the market for anymore

  • Bryan McConnell

    This is quite a disappointment. I had been seriously considering this firearm.

    • maodeedee

      Not me. I’m still waiting for Glock to make a 9mm single stack the same basic size of their new 380.

  • Had enough

    3 months and counting since sending it for “Repair” Next time I get 2-3 hours to waste on the phone with the once great Remington Fire arms company and initiate a refund. Clearly outside of a complete redesign. I am through with this unsafe and reliable poorly engineered and manufactured firearm.

  • dupkaman

    When I asked my local gun store if they had any in stock, they laughed and said I wouldn’t want it due to the problems mentioned in this article. Who knew a company would release a gun this poorly designed? Chevy Cobalt anyone?

    • Yojimbo556

      I had one as a rental, i could fit my hand in the gap between the front bumper cover and headlight…

      Back to the original topic. I wanted one, and dont now.

  • TheRedneckEngineer

    I had one of these in my shop recently with a slew of problems, and the owner didn’t want to bother with Remington.
    The chamber was cut incorrectly, and was very rough. The chamber was not cut deep enough to accept a GO gauge, so I re-reamed the chamber with a Clymer finishing reamer. The owner of the gun sat down and de-burred all the working surfaces and polished the mating surfaces in the slide and trigger assembly.
    Pretty much every piece of the gun had burrs and imperfections, now that I think about it.
    However, the gun runs great now, and has had 0 issues since then, with several hundred rounds of various ammunition through it.

    • Tothe

      So how much does the gunsmithing to make it work properly seem likely to cost?

      • TheRedneckEngineer

        Hard to say, since the owner did all the disassembling needed, then tossed his worst parts in the tumbler, and did all the sanding, filing, and polishing himself. All I did was the barrel.
        It took me an hour to re-chamber and polish the barrel, and him a couple of hours to stone and polish the internals. I figure that’s at least 100 bucks at any reputable smith.

  • grumpy

    INEXCUSABLE. Remington should be ashamed of itself for letting this POS out the door. What a reputation killer. The question remains though: Are they ALL like this one?

  • uisconfruzed

    Just another reason I won’t own or shoot Big Green.
    I’ve had their ammo ruin two match barrels, two shotguns separate barrel from receiver when the trigger pulled, multiple FTE due to non/poorly annealed brass that had to be hammered out with a wooden dowel, and two semi-auto pistols I rapidly sold.

  • grumpy

    Very simple solution to this, just by the Sig 938 instead.

  • Dragonheart

    When I read the first reviews I too was very excited and wanted one. The first guns that showed up were selling for $100+ over the MSRP and I just wasn’t going to pay that and now I am so glad I did. Videos of and forums posted by the early adopters showed guns with sights falling off, slides that wouldn’t open, malfunctions,etc.etc., but the worst was you can reassemble the gun incorrectly and not know it. They reported the gun may even shoot a round or two then lock up. I personally put my hands on an R-51 a few months ago and wasn’t impressed, it’s as big as a Glock 19 and I had difficulty racking the slide. The gun salesman laughed and said you should have tried the first one as we couldn’t open the slide and sent it back. Remington needs to recall all these guns and give the customers full refund. This is definitely not a self-defense handgun.

  • Guest

    I am only a ‘grammar nazi’ toward supposedly ‘professional’ work – like this …
    DUDE! Proofread your tex
    Having gone handled the R51 t !
    “Having gone handled the R51…” ?

    Having gone handled the R51
    Having gone handled the R51
    Having gone handled the R51
    Having gone handled the R51…” ?

  • Ironwulf

    I am only a ‘grammar nazi’ toward supposedly ‘professional’ work – like this …
    DUDE! Proofread your text !

    “Having gone handled the R51…” ?

    • maodeedee

      Yeah, shouldn’t that have been, “having gone DONE handled the R51?”

  • mxprivateer

    I recently had a similar experience with Remington’s poor customer service, too. My 700 SPS Tactical is affected by the trigger recall and I went to Remington’s special recall website and entered my data. It took two months for them to send me the paperwork via email for the repair and another week and a half to send a box to ship it back in. I am so disappointed in Remington and am an owner of several of their products. This article serves to confirm even further my disappointment in Remington’s quality and customer service.

  • Jason

    Remington has some serious customer service issues. When you take this plus the trigger recall on the Model 700, 7’s for the XMark Pro you have major problems. Most of the dealers I have talked to (3) have said that they have a pallet or more of Model 700’s to go back to Remington and Remington has yet to have them picked up. One of the dealers here in town gave up and bought Timney triggers for his stock. He is not looking to buy anything else from Remington again. Customer service can easily make or break a company. Hopefully it doesn’t break Remington.

  • Puff Snuffer

    Just buy a PF9 and be done with it. Or a Shield, or an XDS, or a Kahr, or any gun other than this. Only because it just seems like another “me too, I want to make money” gun from another company without the testing and research to make sure the design works good enough to get the job done. Maybe they’ll get the design right, but then again, there are a lot more options out there that already work fine.

  • Aaron E

    Hmmmm. I wonder if this is why Remington did not have the R51 out on the range at the SHOT Show Media Day. There was a lot of disappointment with that decision, but it looks like maybe Big Green may have known there were some problems in advance, and hoped to “resolve” the problems before the big shipments went out.

  • IronBuddha

    Out of all the reviews I’ve read and watched. I’ve only seen 1 positive review on it. Makes me and a lot of people wander if this guy was bought or if there’s actually a few good functioning R51’s out there.

  • Patrick

    I personally worked on this project. I had advised of potential issues early on but the attitude of the decision makers were, “I don’t want to hear about that”. I specifically mentioned about the variance in the castings that would create problems in the machining process for dimensional repeatable accuracy. Sorry to hear about your defective product.
    The lowest bidder strikes again.

  • Slobyskya Rotchikokov

    With customer service like that, Remington will never see another dollar of mine! Hope the word spreads.

  • Slobyskya Rotchikokov

    BTW – have not seen it mentioned BUT – would you ever, in future, trust your LIFE to a Remington product? A home invasion or carjacking would not be an auspicious time for a FTF or stovepipe. Maybe a KBar, a heavy stick or a brick would be better then a Rem. when it is go time!!

  • Secundius

    The Remington R51, is sort of reminiscent of the WW2 OSS “DEFENDER” pistol produced, by the ten’s of millions. In that war!

  • Bob Moon

    That’s Remington releasing another product without field testing it. Its like throwing money away they will attempt to fix it and then blame it on your ammunition etc.

  • Hank Seiter

    Okay, I bought and received some of the first R51s Remington released back around April 2013 and I have to say I was very disappointed in the function of the pistol out-of-the-box. I don’t know what it is about the engineering of the lock-up mechanism as it relates to the slide and barrel, but from day one it was ratchetty as all get out. I hoped it would “wear in” or smooth-out but even after nearly 400 rounds its just as ratchetty (if not more) as the first time I chambered the first round. I’ve had it apart, cleaned it, looked for burrs and dared not do any strategic filing as some have suggested. Apparently I wasn’t the only one having the problem.
    On the plus side, my R51 never jammed (stovepiped, double feed, etc.), I had no failures to extract/feed and it reliably shot factory and my 9mm reloads which duplicate factory performance and works in every other 9mm I own. But given the intricacies of the machining and the complicated design work that went into the lock-up/delayed blowback mechanism, I don’t see any real fix for the rachetty slide without possibly compromising safety and reliability.
    So, given I’m a .45 Auto shooter more than anything else, I cleaned the R51, oiled it up really well, stuffed it back into its box and put it in the back of one of my gun safes to be used as last resort if the SHTF. It does shoot and I imagine in times of desperation one wouldn’t be too put off trying to manhandle that slide when the adrenaline is pumping. Unless something is absolutely broken, I NEVER send my firearms back to the manufacturer because to me it isn’t worth the hassle hoping the factory will take the appropriate time to actually fix a flawed design.
    I have to admit, despite its mechanical issues (I don’t see how any female could possibly wrestle that slide back to chamber the first round), the look of the R51 has a certain cool factor about it and the finish is a very attractive and durable. It really does look like Buck Rogers’ backup pistol … a kind of a retro-art deco look. But even if it was working perfectly, the R51 is still a hard pistol to enjoy on the shooting line. Not the best pivoting trigger arrangement either.

  • maodeedee

    It seems to me that Remington is having nothing but trouble with quality control since they acquired Marlin. The first Marlins produced by Remington were of poor quality and now it seems that their repair facilities are overwhelmed.

    Along with Marlin Remington also acquired H&R NEF 1871 which produces break-open Single shots originally made by H&R. I recently bought a used NEF Handi-rifle in .223 and became interested in their accessory barrel program and sent the rifle in to have two other barrels fitted to it, What a nightmare it has been.

    I won’t even get into all the gory details but suffice it to say that after waiting over a month to get my gun back (and a good part of that was the fault of UPS) the original barrel that I sent in to be repaired had NOT been repaired correctly and one of the two new barrels was missing the front sight AND had a flaw in the rifling.

    Getting in touch with these people by Email is a lost cause and by phone it’s a nightmare but I tried to get them to ensure me that they would correct both problems before I sent the gun in for a second time, and I still have my doubts, because they seem uncertain as to whether what I consider a flaw in the rifling is a big enough flaw to give me another barrel and they say that they’ll have to look at it and decide. All I can say to that is they better not do that to me if they don’t want someone on the warpath telling the world not to buy their products.

    And even if they finally do right by me, I don’t appreciate all the crap they’ve put me through, and as such I do NOT recommend buying a Remington product in the near future, and I would give them a few years before they’re able to fix all the bogus guns they’ve sold in the past few years before I’d ever consider buying anything made by Remington again unless it was something made before about 1990 when the company started diversifying and losing their focus on making high quality firearms exclusively.

    (In 1993 DuPont sold the assets of Remington to RACI Acquisitions, a company organized by the New York investment firm of Clayton, Dubilier and Rice, for approximately $300 million on December 1.)

  • Chris U

    “In short, 28 of 92 rounds loaded and fired had a malfunction.” That’s from the article- if your command of the language is that bad, no wonder you failed to reassemble the gun properly after cleaning and before firing it. I made sure to put the slide lock back THE WAY THE instructions show and say. Read them- then try again. Mine has fired over 400 rounds with no problems.

  • Secundius

    There so many popular compact and sub-compact hand-guns on the market already. So why are we, so focused on, and talking about this one. It’s a dead-end issue, so why talk about it. If some people what too by it as a possible Collector’s Piece” , so be it. Too me the subject is mute. This gun has no foreseeable future, as anything other as what gun not to get.

  • Biff Sarin


    Like you, I ignored the bad reviews because I was taken in by what I thought was a radically ‘new’ (not technically new I know, just new to the current market) and different design. I too experienced an obnoxious number of failures during the ‘break in” session (12 FTF’s out of 50 rounds). I noticed when mags were fully loaded (7 rounds) that the rim on the top round would catch on the second round and almost lock in place. so much so, that it was nearly impossible to strip the round with your thumb. I have to wonder if this might be partially responsible for some of the issues.

    Unlike you however, I called Remington rather than sending an email. The person I dealt with was extremely helpful and immediately mailed me a label and tyvek envelope to return the pistol within its original box. I sent it in a couple weeks ago and have not heard back yet. I am hoping that someone can fix this gun. When it worked, it was actually great to shoot. The single action trigger has a light take up and a crisp break much like a stiffer version of the Geissle SSA trigger on my AR. Combined with the grip safety, this would make it a great carry gun if they can get it to be 100% reliable. I am hoping that they will send it to their custom shop for some TLC and that what I get back will be much improved. Fingers crossed.

  • Dan

    I have been keeping an eye on the R-51 since it’s press release, for the simple reason that I do not want to cart around a 42oz M1911 on a 90 degree day and the R-51 seemed to be a reasonable alternative, especially when/if they release a .40 cal version. On another note why is it that gun companies are trying to fix/improve models that have previously had a good working/reliability history? If it’s not broke, don’t fix it; (Kimber/external extractors) A friend of mine collects vintage handguns and his old model R-51 works like a sewing machine. I know this post is rhetorical but I had to ask.

  • SafeArmsReview

    So sorry to hear about your bad experience – that is one reason why I wait a year or two before I buy a new gun. One so that I can see if it has any problems; two, the price usually comes down as well.

    I hope Remington makes this right for you.

    With that said Davidson’s sounds great – I don’t know many who offer such a service. Kudos to Davidson’s.