Remington To Replace All R-51 Pistols

Contrary to some people’s speculation the R-51 is neither dead in the water or being repaired. Yes you heard that right there will be no repairs. Think replacement!

Remington has been dealing with the R51 situation for some time. In fact a team of engineers was put on the project and dedicated to address and correct the R-51’s problems and the contributing production methods. They are very confident the new R-51 pistol will be ready for sale in late October early November once the present customers guns are replaced.

A great deal of work has been put into changing the manufacturing process as well as the problems of the previous production pistol. The whole problem centers on the difference between prototypes, pre-production pistols and production guns. Other companies have experienced this as well. It’s not an unknown situation when a gun works through all the testing done and then falls flat when it goes into regular production. That’s what’s happened here.

Remington Outdoors wanted a resolution as soon as possible and that solution had to be fair to the customer. As the press release says these guns will be replaced with new guns. In addition two extra magazines and a custom Pelican case will be given to each customer in addition to the standard accessories. I agree it’s taken a good bit of time to get this right but it seems a fair solution, which is what we all wanted to see.

The attached press release should provide all the information needed to send in your old R-51 for a new model with the two extra magazines and Pelican case. Remington has also tried to provide what they believe will be enough customer service people to handle all the calls.

I have one of the new pistols being sent to me in October when production allows. I intend to shoot 1,000 rounds through it in a single session. I’ll then report the results to our readers.

By all means email us and let us know about your replacement experience as well as how your new pistol runs. Our emails are listed under “contact” at the top of each page. TFB is the first in bringing you this news.


July 25, 2014

Remington R51 Pistol Product Update

Earlier this year, we launched the innovative R51 subcompact pistol to critical acclaim. During testing, numerous experts found the pistol to function flawlessly. In fact, they found it to have lower felt recoil, lower muzzle rise and better accuracy and concealability than other products in its class.

However, after initial commercial sales, our loyal customers notified us that some R51 pistols had performance issues. We immediately ceased production to re-test the product. While we determined the pistols were safe, certain units did not meet Remington’s performance criteria. The performance problems resulted from complications during our transition from prototype to mass production. These problems have been identified and solutions are being implemented, with an expected production restart in October.

Anyone who purchased an R51 may return it and receive a new R51 pistol, along with two additional magazines and a custom Pelican case, by calling Remington at (800) 243-9700.

The new R51 will be of the same exceptional quality as our test pistols, which performed flawlessly.

We appreciate your patience and support.

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


  • hikerguy

    I thought it prudent to not continue the pistol, but since they are going the extra mile here, it kind of makes me want to count my pennies add this to my fleet. Kudos to Remington.

    • This is about as fair as anything I’ve ever seen. I still have mine ordered:-)

    • sven_va

      “Going the extra mile” would be making people who purchased the weapons after reading glowing reviews whole from the experience; full and immediate refund, or prompt and no-cost repair or replacement.

      Finally getting there and replacing them after months of denial, obfuscation, and stonewalling of owners of defective products that attempted to contact them after finding problems (still evident in the press release’ weasel words; read it carefully) is still a pretty pathetic response, albeit one that is better than silence.

      The facts remain that they released a turd and are “promising” to fix it this fall. Glad to see that someone finally remembered Johnson and Johnson’s TYMURS playbook, but this will put me off considering anything they sell for a long time.

      • Sven it’s not promising a fix–it is fixed. I don’t know what all they did but I know it was part machining and part pistol.
        As far as the glowing reviews yes indeed they were and with good reason. My review was very positive. However the pistols we shot that worked so well through thousands of rounds were prototypes and pre-production models which is entirely different sometimes than production guns. I believe we all or most of us stated that in the articles. All a writer can do is report what they experience. We can’t see the future and know that the production guns would have problems.
        I don’t blame people for being angry or for being understanding and looking forward to the new guns. It’s an individual decision.

        • El Duderino

          Well I think we’ll do what we always do, ask current owners about their experience and/or try one at the local range. We can’t depend on the gun rags that are full of manufacturer’s ads, they’re not objective.

        • sven_va

          >> it’s not promising a fix–it is fixed

          Phil, with all due respect (and there is a lot of that), how can anyone possibly *know* that at this point? First shipping of new guns is months away, meaning that the replacements have not even been built yet. Given their history of lying to customers and selling defective products to them, there is no reason to assume rainbows and unicorns at this point.

          • Thank you for that I appreciate it. The production will most likely start in a few weeks under the new manufacturing process. So, no the new ones haven’t started full production. I know they’ve put a lot more time into this and rather than a couple of engineers I believe they multiplied that by three for this effort.
            Anyway I understand what you’re saying and there will be a lot of people with doubts until they come out and people start giving feedback. I wrote that last bit about readers letting us know how the replacement program worked for them. I want to keep people up to date on that. When readers start getting replacements we want to know how it goes so we can report that.
            We’ll see what happens. I just can’t imagine they would put the R51 back on the market if they weren’t sure it was done right. The consequences would be really bad if not.

      • FourString

        If you were in their shoes, and from a business perspective, what would you do? Give a full refund and have the last bad taste still in customers’ mouths, or give a fully functioning replacement, and two extra mags/a case, that leaves a better impression and association with the Remington brand?

        • Good point—

          • sven_va

            No, not really.

            By what logic do you get to the conclusion that people are going to have a better impression of the company that way than if they gave them the choice of getting their money back? You know, treating them like adults…

            They took people’s money for a product that turned out to be such a turkey that they cannot even fix the units that were produced, and are now continuing to hold on to that money with the promise that they will send replacements that don’t have the function and safety problems of the originals, and are going to include a case and a couple of magazines to make up for it?

            And yes, Fourstring, that is exactly what I would advise them to do. They made a huge mistake releasing the R51, and lost a substantial chunk of their dwindling reputation because of it. The only way Remmington can hope to get it back is to draw a line and prove that it knows what happened, and make it up to customers they essentially defrauded however the *customer* sees fit. This would show their confidence in the company, its products, and their ability to win back the hearts and minds of constomers. All they are doing with the current plan is coercing them not to join a class-action suit by dangling hope and trinkets.

            I’m actually not mad at this; just disgusted. I might be mad if I had believed the hype and bought one, and probably would be if I was one of the writers who were conned into promoting the launch. If I was an equity stakeholder in the Freedom Group, I would be mad at the clowns running Remmington, but would feel better once a row of heads were on the wall and the leadership was turned over to competent managers.

          • Freedom group is gone though–it’s Remington Outdoors.
            You would have a point if they intentionally sold a defective product. That’s not what happened. No company in their right corporate mind would sell a defective product intentionally.

          • USMC03Vet

            “No company in their right corporate mind would sell a defective product intentionally.”

            Auto industry does it routinely. Look at the current GM nonsense with ignitions. I wouldn’t put it past firearm manufacturers to put out knowingly defective products, I mean isn’t that the whole business strategy of hi-point. Sell cheap because unreliable crap known to malfunction?

          • sven_va

            My bad; substitute “current owners group” for the previous holding company name, and the rest stands.

            Phil, there is absolutely no relationship between whether I have a point and intention to sell a defective product, and I never said that they did. That said, it would be hard to make any case that they were in their right corporate minds when they pressed the “go” button on releasing it for sale.

            A tiny (in civilian sales) company based in the United Arab Emirates pulled a roughly similar stunt with a flawed release a while ago, and proceeded to attempt to make it right just as I have suggested. And now we are holding a flag-waving bastion of American firearms manufacturing excellence to a lower standard, and cheering them on for their handling of it? Seriously?


          • Worst case would be if they just stopped production, sold no other R51’s and hunkered down.
            I wanted it right the first time like everyone else.I’m just glad they are trying to do the right thing in the end. Now if this one doesn’t work—that’s another story. I don’t expect it though. There’s just too much on the line for them.

          • FourString

            “and proceeded to attempt to make it right just as I have suggested” Yes, but what kind of brand loyalty/reputation does Caracal have in the United States now? Not a very good one.

          • TXgnnr

            Except in the software and electronics industries. Microsoft and their MANY, MANY faulty products comes to mind. And yet, people in the millions continue to purchase the garbage they sell.

          • Anon. E Maus

            Most Microsoft products work alright for most people, Remington’s new gun is actually potentially hazardous to it’s operator, and they’ve generally had a reputation these last few years for substandard work, to the point that people look at soldered on bolt-handles coming loose and just shrugging, as if that’s just what to expect.

          • FourString

            Be realistic. If you had gotten a full refund, with only the memories of horrible failures in the first batch of R51s, would you even give the newer R51 a second chance? Probably not. You’d haul ass and give that money to another gun company long before then.

            IMO Remington made a smart decision here. You can be disgusted all you want, but now R51’s at least get a chance to redeem themselves. Pretty smart handling of such a large scale debacle.

          • sven_va

            Props for consistency, Fourstring, but you keep using the word “smart” in connection to this fiasco. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          • FourString

            Glock gave customers working replacements for faulty Gen 4 recoil springs—not full refunds. Do you think they “defrauded” their customers too? Defraud: I do not think it means what you think it means.

        • HKGuns

          I’d have done it right the first time, instead of releasing a pistol that was not ready for public consumption. Wake up US Companies, start getting it right and stop being lazy. This is EXACTLY how companies go bankrupt.

          100% buffoonery in its purest form.

          • FourString

            Agreed. However, perhaps I was not clear, I asked what would you do *after* the debacle has happened?

      • Dragonheart

        I agree, they should offer a complete and immediate refund including any transportation costs as an option. After all, an offer available later this year will translate into sometime next year……maybe. There are just too many good handgun choices out there available right now for less money. I received an online ad for a S&W 9 mm Shield for $375, a Sig P-938 for $499 and a Walther 9 mm PPS for $499. All these guns are proven winners.

  • Mine has been back at Remington for some time. As soon as the replacement is sent, I will shoot the snot of out it because I hope it can be a good carry gun.

    That said, I have never spent less than 15 minutes on hold calling Remington…

  • Mike N.

    Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to get it right the first time?

    To me it was an intriguing gun (sci-fi blaster looks and all) but the overwhelmingly negative reviews told me all I needed to know.

    If Remmy makes it work, I’m definitely taking another look.

  • Lon

    “…some R51 pistols had performance issues…”, “While we determined the pistols were safe…” A hell of a lot more than just “some” pistols had issues and these pistols as they are right now don’t seem safe to shoot, see MAC’s test firing the P51 with out of battery ignitions.

    • I’ve seen it but those, like Tim tested, will be scrap about the end of the year.

    • USMC03Vet

      Just watched it. The sights just outright sliding around was hilarious.

      I hope the people that got one and wanted their purchase refunded got it instead of having had to wait months for a redesign replacement carry piece. I guess the “R” will forever be known on that pistol as standing for “redesigned”.

      • Yea I didn’t see a refund option. I’d rather wait and get the Pelican case:-)

        • Zachary marrs

          Pelican cases CAN hurt. When you get 15+ of them stacked up in a closet, and you open the door just a liiiiittle too fast, and they topple down, and knock you out in the process

          That wasn’t fun

          • I was talking about refunds not the cases

          • Zachary marrs

            Fine, ignore my tales of pain and suffering

          • Ok already sorry for your pain and suffering from those evil Pelicans–uh cases that is/

          • Sulaco

            Did Zac have an uncle named Fibber Magee? Remember reading about his closet back in the silent radio days……:)

          • I can feel your pain… Done that once self. Having quote a few pelican cases, they definitely hurt when they fall on you.

          • Zachary marrs

            Mine were for cameras, when the studio I worked for decided they were out of date, I could buy them pennies on the dollar, plus all the pelican cases, I think I have 30+?

            Good for scopes, ammo, and handguns

          • That’s a lot of cases! Yes indeed they are good for storing a lot of things.

          • Ok you were serious. I thought you were kidding with me. Sorry—

        • I did. They denied it.

  • Aaron E

    Really disappointed that the R51 has been having so many problems. It seemed like a very nice reproduction of the original, with a nice grip and feel to it. I know many were upset that Remington did not include the R51 had the SHOT Show range day, but I agree that they are going above the norm in fixing the problem and making it right with the current owners. Hoping they can figure it out and “get ‘R’ done”!

  • Zachary marrs

    So what makes Remington think they’ll get it right *THIS* time?

    Moreover, which genius engineer decided that it would be a good idea to remake a poor selling pistol that needed strict quality control?

    That guy should be fired. Todays Remington couldn’t match the quality control of the 1950’s Remington if they tried

    • Zach you’re always so positive:-) A LOT of time, money and man hours . The original wasn’t poor selling where did you get that info.
      As far as the original engineer I have no idea what happened to him.

      • Zachary marrs

        Poor selling is relative, 65,000 were made, but at the time, it was expensive, and it wasn’t a colt, who at the time were more well known for pistols, and had a great reputation for cheap and well built revolvers

        And im always positive, AB+ , infact

  • Arc

    “While we determined the pistols were safe”…

    What a crock. Since when was firing when the weapon was out of battery considered a “safe” condition?

    Shameful, absolutely shameful. And to think that these meatheads nearly got the latest M-4 contract from the Army.

    • William Barnett-Lewis

      It will be a good day when “Remington Outdoors” goes kaput and the various companies spin off again. “Freedom Group” or “Remington Outdoors” or whatever propaganda name they use next remains one of the greatest disasters to befall the American firearms industry in our history. It will be a very cold day indeed before I buy another RemLin.

  • Dave

    Almost makes me want to pick up a used one to score the case and mags 🙂

  • me ohmy

    translation.. sorry we tried to build a chicken pot pie out of chicken poop.. please wait for us to make dog poop 2.0..

  • brokegun

    Mine was Garbage (traded back to dealer and lost $50 on a Shield 9), but as a loyal1100/870 owner, I’m happy to see them trying to correct the problem. Good Luck!

  • John

    The R51 is perhaps the most botched handgun release since the Colt 2000.

    • vereceleritas

      Don’t forget about the Caracal.

      • Xaun Loc

        Don’t forget the DiamondBack, DB9 – which they never did fix.

    • idahoguy101

      I forgot the Colt 2000…. The Colt Double Eagle didn’t do well either

  • 1911doc

    A new gun for an old junker and not a fast fix!? I think Remington is doing a good thing here.

  • Shayne

    Remington is banker owned, not shooter owned, and this is what you get.

  • ArmasDeFuego

    I’m soooooo glad I waited to buy one…

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I don’t know… Sounds to me like you are missing out on two free mags and a peli case.

      • ArmasDeFuego

        Good way to look at it…

  • Mark N.

    New gun means a new DROS. It will be interesting to see how California dealers deal with these transactions. Around here, transfer fees are usually $25 if they sell you a gun, $75 if they are just doing the transfer, plus the California DROS fee of $25…why do I think they’ll be charging $75 for every one of these?

    • Kalifornia

      With AB1964 signed into California law, no more SSE, so unless you’re LE you’re likely screwed with no way to legally receive the replacement in California if you can’t get the replacement into your local dealer by December 20th this calendar year.

  • SM

    I think this is a fair option to those that bought the original. However, It will be interesting to see how fast they can get the new models to their respective owners.

    This should also be a valuable lesson for Remington (well, everyone): Do stuff right the first time. You’ll save time, money and reputation that way.

    • SM I do know that all of the initial production will go towards replacing current owners guns. When that’s taken care of they begin sending them out to the open market.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    Cough*Vector CP-1*cough

    • Sulaco

      My thoughts as well when I read this…

    • Sean

      Except the CP-1 felt good in the hand, and was actually a decent shooting gun. Except for that whole possibility of it killing you if you dropped it.

  • Pete Sheppard

    This is why I’m leery of ANY totally new gun design. No matter how hard the designers and engineers try, there are problems that only come out with ‘real world’ use. I like to hold back and give time to resolve those ‘gotchas’.

    • Boundless

      > This is why I’m leery of ANY totally new gun design.

      The R-51 is hardly an all-new design (indeed, few firearms are, even the quirky Boberg carries echos, of the Mars).

      > No matter how hard the designers and engineers try,
      > there are problems that only come out with ‘real world’ use.

      This is true of rev 1.0 of anything.

      In a future where pistol suppressors, perhaps integrated, become more common, designs with non-tilting barrels might have a real advantage. The Pedersen action also makes slide racking a lot less work.

      • Synchronizor

        The R51 is an all-new design. It’s made from modern materials, uses modern manufacturing technologies, is built for a much more powerful cartridge, and has a completely re-thought shape. It may use the same action concept as the original Model 51, but it’s a completely new from-scratch do-over. And since (I assume) none of the original Model 51’s designers are still working at Remington, all the kinks and idiosyncrasies of the Pederson action have to be discovered and addressed all over again.

        • Boundless

          > And since (I assume) none of the original Model 51’s
          > designers are still working at Remington …

          They didn’t even have all the prints, according to a Military Times story out yesterday:

          They had to rely on the M53 (.45ACP) data for some of the design.

          • Arne Boberg

            They didn’t need the prints. If they wanted to establish a baseline, they would have just taken a .380 version of the gun and reverse-engineered it – that’s what CMMs are for.

      • Pete Sheppard

        Yep. Aside from newer materials, pretty much everything was invented 100 years ago. Until we replace the chemically-powered cartridge, designers are only tinkering around the edges.

  • embeddeddude

    As an engineer I know you don’t have pre-production being superior to production stage unless extraordinary efforts are made to create prototypes and a lot of cost reductions and little quality control go into production. Basically Remington has LOUSY quality and worse manufacturing engineering and preproduction. This makes me MORE likely to be suspicious of Remington’s quality. Remington appears to be recovering Marlin quality, however, the problem appears that it can’t manage its processes and it can’t provide enough resources to engineering and production efforts to make them successful.

    • Jesse

      Sure was dumb not to pull and test one periodically (don’t know, every 10th one maybe?)

  • justme

    Meh. No Remingtons for me. You can find better for the same price or less IMO.

  • Wetcoaster

    I’m filing this incident under the “There’s always time to do things right the second time” heading. It’s a big category.

  • Sulaco

    Well they still used us for beta testing, maybe without intending to, BUT looks like they are making good on the deal and sincerely want to make it right for customers. Can’t beat that with a stick. I will be watching this closely and plan to purchase one if they are as improved as they hope.

    • Sean

      Intent had nothing to do with it. They just didn’t give a shit. If the guns worked, great. If they didn’t, well, why would they care? The Freedom group execs got their first and second quarter bonus. It is the way that Cerberus runs everything they touch.

  • valorius

    Imo, even the r51 compact is too heavy to be considered among the best in its class. What im hoping for is a diamondback arms db9 sized 9mm pistol, made by a top manufacturer, it would completely dominate the ccw pocket pistol segment.

    Until then, i will hold onto my ruger lcp.

  • gunsandrockets

    Good for Remington. I’m glad they are doing the right thing for the customers, and I’m glad they are not giving up on the R-51. The market is flooded with small DA and DAO pistols, and we need more choices available for small SA pistols.

  • idahoguy101

    So is the R51 a good design poorly executed?

  • Still interested in this pistol. Waiting in Maryland.

  • Ted Unlis

    All this glass half full optimism by Remington diehards is ridiculous. The promise of this allegedly new and improved R51 (or is the R52?) does not mean that Remington will get or deserves a pass on this mega design and quality control failure. Remington customer service should have immediately offered a full refund and they didn’t.

  • Stuart Brainerd

    My dad bought one a few months ago and hadn’t fired it yet so I took it to the range to see how it ran. Put about 100 rounds through it, mostly UMC 115gr. ball. I experienced many of the commonly complained about issues, FTF’s, failure to go fully into battery, although I did not try to fire it without a tap on the back of the slide first. I also had the mag drop out after every few shots. Had a friend try it to see if it was me riding the release or something strange but it happened to him as well. The mag catch is kinda strange and at times not very positive when you insert a mag. I also noticed that if the slide was locked back when you insert a mag it rattles pretty badly but once the slide is in battery there is pressure on the top round and it is no longer loose in the grip. Recovered brass did not show any of the scary side bulges but the front 3/4 was scratched badly and the primers ALL had a bulge at the firing pin bore. I’ve read a lot of the reviews and complaint blogs and really think most of the issues with this gun could be attributed to an improperly reamed chamber.

  • floppyscience

    “Other companies have experienced this as well.”

    While issues stemming from the prototype to production transition are not uncommon, I can’t think of another company who’s had a new product fail so spectacularly. Brushing the R51 off as “oh well, it happens” is not very honest in my opinion, as Remington really went all-in with their trademark corner-cutting and incompetence, and it blew up in their face. This whole thing is was 100% brought on by them, not just another honest mistake.

    Anyway, I’m not holding my breath for the “new” R51. Actually acknowledging and fixing the problem is a step in the right direction, but given everything Remington has done in the last seven years, it’s hard to believe that’s what will happen.

    I still have a glimmer of hope that Remington will get their shit together. I miss being a fan of their products.

  • CorruptionInColumbia

    Dang, makes me wish I had bought one of the earlier (defective) models. Then I could be anticipating the replacement in another couple of months. In the photos above, would I be correct in taking it that the newer models won’t have the skeletonized trigger? If so, great. Skeletonized triggers, like forward serrations on a slide, are a big turnoff for me on my personal firearms.

    I hope this new model is safe and works as it should. I might buy one if they aren’t too expensive.

  • wjkuleck

    Will the “new” R51 run on anything other than Remington ammo? A recent review stated that Remington’s official position that only Remington ammo would function (time/pressure curve). That restriction would explain many of the documented R51 failures, which exhibit the characteristics of early “unlocking” or no “unlocking” at all (yes, I know, it’s not really locked, but how else to describe it except with “unlocking” in quotes?).

    • Arne Boberg

      My impression of Remington ammo, over the years, is that it has a smooth pressure curve compared to many other brands. This bodes well for delayed blowback guns that need to have the mechanism flow smoothly. Locked breech guns have the advantage of unlocking when the pressure is low, where the case is not ballooned in the chamber at a high pressure.

  • shootbrownelk

    Remington is an expert at stonewalling. Look at the model 700 trigger that they refused to admit was dangerous. They could have fixed the problem early at nominal cost. They refused and people died. Typical response to a POS pistol that should never have been dumped on consumers with little testing. The “Big Green” is more interested in the “Long Green” and not customer safety. Remington quality these days is non-existent. IMO

  • MiniBus

    I am not familiar with the intricacies of firearms manufacturing practices, but I have a sense of best practices and what I cannot fathom is how the first run of production guns were ever allowed out the door. One well known internet firearm reviewer did a video on an early production gun and it was a pathetic product. Among other flaws it was almost impossible to rack the slide and the rear sight could be drifted out of it’s dovetail and even off the the gun with a gentle push of one’s thumb. Someone with only vague familiarity with firearms could see that this weapon was totally unsound and not suitable for sale, to anyone, ever. I was frankly shocked that any manufacturing company could let such a defective their product escape their quality control and be shipped.

    While the pre-production guns are for testing the soundness of the design the first production run tests the soundness of the design of the tooling and the quality of the raw materials. While I think replacing the original guns is a good settlement it is not sufficient. Certainly any outside shareholders should demand that senior management involved in letting the production guns into the marketplace be replaced, for they are clearly incapable of meeting the demands of their jobs. Not only is this a costly fiasco for the company, with a modicum of quality control it was an utterly preventable one.

    • Arne Boberg

      Their biggest mistake was probably only testing the guns with what they had on hand – Remington ammo, which is very good stuff. Senior management trusted their subordinates, which, in a healthy company is a good thing. No senior manager could, or should, micro-manage the people on the CAD stations or on the floor. I’m just wondering what transpired when the Pedersen device was sold to management – it seems to me to be a huge technical risk since there was no history of it being used successfully with 9mm luger. Even the Pedersen rifle had to have its cartridges coated with mineral wax to keep things moving.

  • Arne Boberg

    They weighed the cost of replacement (which is huge) versus the bad PR impact. I think they made the right choice. However, I’m not sure if the Pederson device is going to ever be reliable with 9mm luger ammo, which can have a spikey pressure profile. Any serious pressure spikes can cause case stiction in the chamber, thereby messing up the flow of the slide cycling. One way around this is to add flutes to the chamber so the case can be “lofted” out of there. H&K did this for their delayed-blowback P7 series of pistols (and uses it in some of their rifles). Sure, the flutes will bleed about 10% of the kinetic energy off the bullet, but at least the mechanism would flow better.

  • James

    So glad to hear that Remington is stepping up. I intentionally waited beyond the 1st production run because of the potential unforseen problems just as I do when buying a car etc. I personally like the look of this pistol and will wait for the reviews to go pick one up.

  • asoro

    I never liked the gun from the start, But just to be nosy what was wrong with the first one out?


    This whole discussion is so very reminiscent of BMW motorbikes. They know of a rear drive issue, they continue to put off a real fix or even admit there is a problem for YEARS, they have multiple models affected, and owners new and old can smell them burning in their garages after a nice long romp. Remington has done the same thing here…albeit, not motorbikes, but personal firearms used for fun, sport and most importantly self preservation/defense. It is like a company this big that cries out to it’s buying public “…we’re still here – making items that really aren’t good for consumption/use – but we’ll keep making them because you love the marque…” Whether it’s GM, or BMW, or Remington, or **add your favorite company here**, we as consumers hold the cards/the winning hand in this. We can buy or not buy. What was a great company has fallen somewhat and perhaps they won’t recover. I know for me personally I don’t own a Remington currently and it doesn’t look like I will be. Oh, and by the way, I don’t own a GM or a BMW car or bike either. Vote with your wallets, people. YMMV

  • Silver Bullet

    You cannot fix stupid. Remington still disavows any knowledge of the 7200 which many thousands of buyers got stuck with. Poor design and manufacture. It is easily fixable with hardened extractors. But Remington wont even admit they ever even manufactured the rifle. Or “Its not in my database.” What a bunch of losers.

  • Jody Stomper

    How many of us Monday-morning quarterbacks, presently engaged in bantering on about how Remington screwed the pooch, have a workable, innovative, unique design for a pistol on the drawing board and believe we can get it to production hiccup-free?
    It’s not enough to design a pistol (or even to borrow features from other patents to create something you can market to a buying public unfamiliar with its parent designs, like Remington obviously did with Vector’s inspiration). You have to design tooling and programming for that tooling.

    You have to find people who can take the engineers’ vision and translate it into G-codes for CNC mills, give feedback to the engineers about critical tolerances that the engineers themselves may have overlooked, and (list goes on for 2-3 pages).

    You have to decide when to start marketing the things; neither before you have everything lined up for production, nor after you’ve already started building molds and writing toolpath instructions.

    And you have to do what the stockholders tell you, through the BOD, because that’s who you answer to until you get customer feedback from the buying public. Remember, people who want something from a company are not customers yet: Only after they’ve forked over some green in exchange for a product can you call them “paying customers.” The customer doesn’t have to put up one single penny until after the producer has gone through all the pains of conception, gestation, childbirth, weaning, potty training, and so on up until the point where the product is grown up enough to be let out on its own to go wherever customers will actually buy it.

    It is this impatience with industry that sends jobs overseas and leaves American companies courting bankruptcy, foreign buyouts, and dissolution. We want what we want, right now, cheap, and perfect the first time out. We want something different than what our neighbors have, and we want to be the first ones to have it, but we want it to perform flawlessly and be built to last. Personally, I’m intrigued by the R-51 and would love to have one, but I am waiting until 2 solid years’ worth of positive reviews by blue collar purchasers with some range time on them with bulk, reloaded, and cheap imported ammo (not gun rag writers paid with advertising dollars shooting hand-tuned preproduction samples loaded with precision handloads and premium ammo from brands also advertised in everything the publisher has its fingers in).

    Frankly, I’m impressed that Remington has made such bold moves. How long did they stay out of controversy by making only hunting rifles and shotguns (and one tenuous attempt at an inline muzzleloader)? Then they jumped in with both feet to make ARs, doing much to help the hoplophobes see that Eugene Stoner’s design is practical for many lawful purposes, not just shooting up freeways and shopping districts. While everyone else was jumping on the “tack-tickle” SWAT/SEAL/Ranger/Chuck Norris wannabe wagon and wondering why owning a black rifle didn’t instantly lead to hugs and housewarming parties from a pretentiously ignorant general public, Remington took the lead on the “Hey, Folks, no different than Granddad’s custom sporterized Springfield” approach and showed guys with full-length rifles, 5-round mags, and tree stand harnesses putting them to work in the deer woods. No, nothing makes a rifle good or evil, not even what size magazine or camo pattern or type of buttstock is on it, but Remington took a major gamble trying to get us rejoined with the mainstream. Even before the Clinton ban slipped over the horizon, Remington was out there encouraging those unfamiliar with modern firearms to put away their torches and pitchforks and stop calling the FBI whenever they saw someone in an orange vest step into the woods with an AR-type rifle.

    Then, not having produced a handgun since WWII (I said PRODUCED, as in gone into production with for domestic commercial sales – before any anonymous sharpshooters interject to report concept and presentation handguns unveiled after WWII), they gave us the opportunity to buy a 1911 made in America by America’s oldest gunmaker, at an attractive price. No, I wasn’t about to trade my Wilson go-to for an R1911, but I was glad to see them get on board. Apparently you can’t turn a profit in this country unless you make an AR and a 1911, no matter what it is you’d rather be making. (I’m still waiting for a Keystone Arms SuperCrickett 5.56.)

    Still not ready to rest on their laurels, they decided to give Americans something completely different from what they were familiar with, and brought out the R-51. And something done in the CNC programming didn’t translate from preproduction to mass production, so for a few months, as they tried to figure out what was wrong and how best to fix it while losing the fewest customers in the process, those of us out here with very little dog in the fight are lighting up Big Green as though they’ve perpetrated some scandalous bait-and-switch scam upon us. (Sven, did you actually buy one of the first-run R-51s or are you just exercising your First Amendment right to kick the can? You sound as though you’ve been personally victimized somehow.)

    Thanks for helping spread the word about Remington’s efforts to make this right, Phil, and I look forward to your review after you’ve had your 1,000 round range day with your “R-51 v.2.0.” I’ll decide after that whether to order one. I never buy a new model car in its first year of production, so while I’m curious and hopeful about the corrected machining and other production processes involved, I’m going to hold onto my wallet until there’s a deeper well from which to draw reviews.

    • Dave Trainmore

      Jody, if everyone waited for two years before purchasing a new product, there wouldn’t be any “NEW” products. There has to be trust in major firms, who can introduce new products which “WORK”. Whoever is really behind this conglomeration in our domestic firearms industry, is deliberately trying to destroy any such confidence. Its only a variation of “Pump and Dump”, which will milk out every cent, trash the quality, and then run off with as much loot as possible. I have no confidence that there will be any real fixes in late Fall of 2014, for these R-51’s. Also, if they change enough to make them work reliably, will the new parts still interchange with my original R-51’sd? If they change one thing like the mag. springs I mentioned in my other post, they have to go through and change a lot more parts. Remington techs told me on the phone, that this pistol was designed from the ground up. You just cannot drop alternative parts into it.

      Ultimately, there are two many shortcuts built into it. The steel breech bolt slamming into the aluminum shelf in the frame, is not what John Pederson designed for his model 51. In the M-51 the breech bolt drops into a squared notch in its steel frame, and is then pulled back up out of it.

      Ergo John P. called this his “hesitation” breeching system. In the new R-51, the breech bolt goes straight back, into the aluminum shelf, and is then levered up, off the frame shelf, by the slide cams. Its more of a kinetic energy trap, type of delayed blowback system. The real bug bear is that the lemon squeezer must be fully engaged to rack the slide all the way back. So those two finger videos of a woman doing it, are faked. She isn’t completely cycling this action, only the first half of it. This won’t strip off a round from the magazine lips. And you don’t see any dummy rounds being ejected while she does this, either.

      If you tightly grasp and compress the lemon squeezer, and then rack the slide, you had better be darn careful of where your trigger finger is resting. IMO, this is one dis-connector interlock too many. Plus it hasn’t completely stopped the hammer from falling onto the breech bolt/firing pin, before the action is completely closed.

      • Jody Stomper

        Dave, it seems from your knowledge of the pistol’s mechanical operation that you own one (as implied by your concern about interchangeability between revisions), thus you do in fact have a big dog in this fight. Thank you for taking the time to articulate your observations as to the model’s design flaws.

        I agree with you completely on your assertion that my kind of patience isn’t for everyone. Your “if everyone waited…” statement is spot on; not for one moment do I want everyone else to behave as I do with their money. I truly hope that the population at large will continue doing things as they do, so that I can continue doing things as I do and benefit from the conditions they create. I am completely retired at age 43 after 24 years (enlisted) in the U.S. Army, with no mortgage, no credit debt, no motor vehicle loans even for my RV or boat, my daughter’s college fully funded, and sufficient net worth to consider myself self-insured – all because I have been able to wait for the right time to do things, particularly when spending my money. I have been aided immeasurably by a market environment wherein others leap before looking. I’m very glad to be among a tiny minority who will wait for 2 years before buying a newly designed, or fully redesigned, product. And I’m glad most people won’t.

        There have been exceptions to my caution; I recognized both a fine design and a small investment opportunity when Ruger released the Gold Label. I bought 4 at $1,900 a copy, and have been offered $4,500 apiece for the 3 I haven’t fired. They’ll stay in their boxes, subject only to the handling needed in periodic inspections, until I can realize a 5-figure profit apiece. But Ruger enjoys a different reputation than Remington had going into the R-51 program, largely due to our trust that if something is wrong, they’ll make it right with us, quickly and without sidestepping or tapdancing. Ruger is owned by its own shareholders, independent of the influence of ownership outside of the American firearms industry. That’s why I own 680 shares. In Remington’s case, the folks who actually build Remington guns are under heavy-handed management who care more about the bottom line per annum than in maintaining the formerly-deserved reputation for quality that used to be synonymous with the name of America’s oldest gunmaker. Further, their management is so muddled by an ownership hierarchy scattered in conglomeration that I’d have to do more than a minute’s research to know exactly who controls them from one year to the next. I have no interest in owning any part of whoever owns them, because I am past the point in my life when I take risks for profit. Hence, I just want to own an R-51 – not shares in the company.

        Call it an expensive paperweight, a monument to what happens when a company strays from the best pursuits suited to its core competencies.
        I didn’t know the design well enough to be aware of a steel bolt being cammed or slammed into an aluminum locking or breeching arrangement. Now I’m even more intrigued, though less likely to actually shoot the thing much once I have it in hand. Please note that given the opportunity, I’m also interested in acquiring a Ford Edsel. If recovered, I’d bid on the Titanic’s rudder. Some disasters are interesting. (“Hey, check this out – what were they thinking?”) Perhaps if they throttle it back to .380 ACP, the design could be made viable. Whatever happened to .32 ACP? Good enough for Walther, good enough for me. The gun would be purely a curiosity for me, though, and would never play a role in self defense for anyone in my family. Again, a curio.

        What I do know is that the engineers, machinists, production techs, and marketing folks at Remington really do want to bring things to market of which they can be proud. My cousin works where Model 700s are finally assembled and inspected. I look forward to his take on the R-51 adventure. Based on your laundry list of specific technical faults, and comparing those notes to what my cousin has expressed he likes most about working up there, it’s clear that pressure came from somewhere else to get the thing into production and start shifting units as soon as possible. I’m sure if we could walk the shop floor, and talk to anyone who has made a career at Remington in the business of actually designing and producing firearms, we’d hear them tell us that they wish as much as we that the pistol had stayed on the drawing board until it could be made right.

        I can’t blame them for trying, though. Think of what Browning did with Henry’s adaptations of operating principles inherited with the Volcanic patents. I just wish they hadn’t marketed it so vigorously before fully testing some first-run production pieces. Many who fancy themselves to be geniuses are really just too arrogant to know their limitations. So the R-51 may not have been a “pump and dump,” but rather a modern iteration of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

        Ultimately, I’m still interested in owning one, and I still find it commendable that Remington has chosen to go with a full replacement recall and add some goodies for the trouble. That’s a huge gamble for them; they absolutely MUST get the next one right. From your account, I now also believe that it won’t be what we’d hoped for this time around either.

        As for all of the technical problems, thank you very much again for delineating them. Yours is the first listing of shortfalls I’ve read to be so cogently articulated. Yours is the most useful comment I’ve seen yet on this page, or elsewhere, related to what’s right or wrong about the R-51’s design. You’ve opened my eyes.

  • Tucson_Jim

    Wasn’t this an existing John Pedersen design? Wasn’t it already in successful production once, already…?

    I am disgusted with Remington… and, it’s personal, too.

    As a 30-year engineer with background in mechanical design, manufacturing engineering, and project management in 4 industries, I applied for 3 manufacturing engineering jobs with Remington. I was rejected for lacking an engineering degree.

    My Remmy 700 CDL, through which I have shot approximately 300 rounds (strictly range work) has been returned for factory rework twice, spending a total of three months with Remington. First for extraction issues, then, as part of the 2 million gun trigger safety recall.

    So, Remington, how’s that (as James Edwards of Men In Black would say) ‘best of the best of the best’ college graduate engineering staff working-out for you?

    Where are John Moses Browning, John C. Garand, John Douglas Pedersen, and Dieudonne Saive when you need them most… oh, they would be of no help anyway, since none of them had college degrees…

    • Zachary marrs

      The original was more of a flop, though well made, it was expensive and unproven compared to a colt

  • Dave Trainmore

    I will fix my R-51 on my end. I feel that this carrot being dangled is a trick. I passed on an original 380 Model 51, at Cabelas, so I could get something with new steel in it.

    Pay attention to the jiggling magazine comments. There is an intermittent flaw in the ambi catch. Also, the mag presents the top cartridge at a really strange angle, at the feed lips. I have a cross pin which keeps working out of my breech block, and the feed ramp needed polishing. The big item is the fourteen coil mag spring. I changed one out with an old WWII German P-38 mag spring, with only 11 coils, and this helps in loading them. In the longer P-38 magazine, the fourteen coil spring doesn’t stack up nearly as bad.

    Until they start over with a clean sheet of paper, one fix will merely highlight other problems. Right now, I’m looking around for a 9mm Para finish reamer, so I can put a legitimate chamber into my barrel. I can fiddle around with this simply because its going into our Tin Teepee, as a defense against four legged predators coming into hunting camp to devourer our two Shiht Tzu ankle biters.

    For personal defense, I’m sticking with my AMT 45DAO, loaded with Cor Bon 165gr. +P defensive ammo. I’ve chrono’d these at 1125-30 fps, out of my 3 inch barrel. For the R-51, I’m sticking with classic 115 gr. Luger ammo. Remington has always tried to make the Parabellum into a 38 ACP, by using their 125 gr. bullets.

    And this deviation probably has something to do with those “tight” chamber specs.

  • Biff Sarin

    I have read many of the comments below which bash Remington. I tend to judge customer service NOT on the absolute lack of mistakes (to err is human), but rather, on how one corrects their mistakes and makes appropriate amends. For anyone who has never developed a product from the ground up (not just another 1911 for instance), with a relatively unusual mechanism (the Pedersen action), and tried to go from prototype to full line production, I can assure you, it AIN’T easy! Think of it like putting together a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle with an image of ‘white noise’ on the pieces.

    Remington made a mistake. Unlike GM, however, who took a decade to own their ignition mistake, Remington addressed this issue head on and I for one, feel that their extra magazines and Pelican case offer is more than fair for a pistol for which I only paid $399. I purchased my pistol on May 9th and called Remington Customer Service 3 weeks later. They were exceptionally accommodating. At no time did they push back or try to deny that I was having an issue. When I described the problems that I was having the CS rep said “yep, it sounds like we better get it in here.” and gave me the info I needed to send it in, including a prepaid mailing label.

    Remington has a long history of manufacturing incredibly reliable firearms (the 700 Rifle, 870 Pump Action Shotgun for example) and I have no doubt that, once they have worked the kinks out, this will be another incredibly reliable Remington Firearm at an amazingly reasonable price.

  • Ratcraft


  • John

    Was ready to plunk my money down until all the negative reviews started rolling in. Have great hopes that they will get the bugs worked out because despite the initial fiasco I still want one. Does anyone know if they are still planning on a .40 cal version? If so I can wait would rather have a .40 over a 9 mm any day.
    What they are doing in replacing the defective pistols is great but truthfully all it is is damage control and in restoring/keeping the Remington name in a positive light. Reminds me of the Thompson Center .22 semi auto super accurate rifle from the early 2000’s. It was as accurate as a custom built match rifle but after about 100 rounds it would jam if you looked at it cross eyed regardless of what type of .22 ammo you used. Thompson never addressed the issue and the rifle went into obscurity. Hopefully the R-51 won’t have to follow the same path.

  • Parti$anHack$hatefact$

    Now…Make this gun in .380 (with all the bugs worked out) and you have a solid winner

    grip safety combined with a light trigger and low recoil = perfect CCW self defense pistol

  • Carl Carlson

    After watching numerous shows and the factory production steps, how does a weapon of less quality slip by? What were the major malfunctions?

  • Carl Carlson

    Looks like every one has put Remington thru the wringer. When the first corrected production models come off the line, lets run a couple thousand rounds thru the guns and see how they preform. Then reevaluate them on performance.

  • uisconfruzed

    After having two Rem shotguns from two different owners 870 & 1100, and guages 12 & 20 have their barrel separate from the action when I pulled the trigger, THEN have their ammo damage two of my match barrels, and the brass stick in a couple different guns- you couldn’t give me something in a green box.
    Buyer beware.

  • guest

    I have bought many Remington guns including the R-51 , they are A quality company, with
    quality people!, and they have a customer service that serves the consumer very well.
    Thanks Remington!.

  • fair enough and kudos to remington for doing the right thing but I never quite understood the appeal of this gun or the pederson mechanism. The compact concealed carry handgun is saturated as is with plenty of good guns so im not sure why the r51 was a serious contender in the first place.