The Remington R51 Is Back – Is It Fixed?

The Remington R51 is back – Big Green has 4 of them on display in their booth at SHOT. They have made some changes to address some of the gun’s issues, and those changes sound good – but of course it remains an open question whether they will solve the more fundamental problems with the gun.

Re-released Remington R51

One revision made to the fun is to modify the extractor so it retains a solid grip on the cartridge rim when the locking block tilts as it cycles – that’s definitely a good thing. The trigger has been improved; also a good thing. The locking block has been hard-coated to prevent it from binding in the action, yet another definite improvement.

My personal concern is about the choice to have a steel locking block interacting with an aluminum frame. Remington’s rep assured me that this will not cause any problems with normal use, but I’m dubious that it won’t suffer peening and battering. The solution, of course, is to get one when they start shipping and try it out. Remington understands that after the debacle of the original R51 release, having independent reviews of the improved design will be essential, and I look forward to seeing the results of some real testing.

[ Steve says: yes, it is fixed! ]

Ian McCollum

Ian McCollum lives in Arizona, where he spends his time searching out rare, unusual, and experimental firearms for his daily blog at His shooting background is in bullseye pistol, and before becoming a full-time gun writer he worked in the solar power industry.


  • Huh?

    Dude, that’s so weird. I posted a comment on here, adding to other comments, and ALL COMMENTS are now gone.

    • Looks like Ian and I had the same idea. There are two posts up on the R51.

      We each have a little bit different info, so I think the best thing would be to merge posts.

  • HSR47

    Perhaps I’m a pessimist, but the fact that I didn’t hear reports on it from the media range day speaks volumes to me.

    • Dracon1201

      Yeah, that puts up some red flags for me.

  • superflex

    Wouldn’t. Touch. It. With. A. Ten. Foot. Pole.

  • Smedley54

    Where to start. Not so long ago, I would buy anything Remington made, and then excuse the problems. But their 700 trigger disaster was the last straw – I sent my sons into the woods with an unsafe trigger?! Dear God. Now, they want me to believe that aluminum on steel will work out alright? And stake my life on it with a carry pistol? I just can’t.

    • Paul Epstein

      With the 700 trigger problem, that didn’t happen with stock, unmodified triggers, and no one could prove otherwise when it actually came down to it. That’s not to say Remington doesn’t have a lot of production and quality control problems, but the trigger issue was massively overblown.

      • Smedley54

        That may be completely true, Paul, I don’t know, but note that I said it was the last straw. This came after a series of problems with their 504, poor treatment by their service desk, and then struggles with their Custom Shop, I’m done. At one point the CS had salvaged the relationship, but a new manager operating under different rules convinced me customers didn’t matter.

        I would love to trust Remington again, especially with Magpul coming out with their new stock system for the 700, but it’s hard to see that happening.

  • SD3

    Ian, thank you for the inspired work you do. Both here, and at FW.

  • JD

    That’s going to be a hard sell.

  • SM

    I hope they fixed the initial problems. I’ll let others figure it out though,

  • nobody

    >One revision made to the fun

  • Don Ward

    Just remake the Remington Model 51 exactly as it was made. And the Remington Model 53 in 45 ACP.

    Dear God, please make the Remington Model 53…

  • pdxbnohica

    Firearms should not be like videogames which, too often recently, ship with issues that require patches. A firearm should work right out of the box – you can accurize, change sights, grips and all, but the function should work. When a company manufactures a product, especially a firearm (an item that the consumer’s life may depend on), it is especially important that they do it properly. I will never own an R51. Manufacturers should concentrate on QUALITY and not sacrifice that to the altar of supposed ingenuity. Just sayin’…

    • darthcoder

      So you’re basically writing off any Remington item, right?

      Because they can never learn from their mistakes?

  • john huscio

    Remington can crawl in a hole and die…..I won’t miss them….

    • JumpIf NotZero

      From their booth, brands, and reps at SHOT this year… It really seems like they are working on doing just that.

      The GenII DPMS guns were front and center, and they were rough as hell. AAC was a joke. The Rem Defense stuff was almost all universally heavy. R51 gets a special LOL. They seem to be betting on their 1911s as very sad as that is!

      • Dan

        after everyone left AAC, that’s pretty much to be expected.

    • I’m starting to feel the same way. After being without my 700 .308 for a few months due to the trigger recall, I’m now waiting for a box to mail back my brand new 700 AACSD (300BLK). Not only are they making NEW designs with issues (R51), they’re somehow making proven designs no longer reliable (700).

  • Rusty Shackleford

    No mention from the Rem reps about changes to the awkward reassembly of the slide stop or fixing the “false-positive” trigger reset?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      False-positive is definitely still there. This gun is garbage.

      • asdf

        I heard the guns at the show still had the old triggers in them. No idea if it is true, but I remember reading it somewhere.

  • gunsandrockets

    I want this pistol to succeed. But I am patient enough to let other people wring out all the bugs first before I buy.

  • mosinman

    i was interested in one of these when they first came out , but i think i’ll wait and see if it was really fixed

  • larry

    Didn’t wait bought a sig p290rs.

  • JumpIf NotZero


    There were four R51 units on display. Two with lasers and two without. By far and away, these were some of the WORST guns at SHOT.

    – insanely long trigger reset, I would have figured it was broken except that they were all identical.

    – gitty trigger pull, again, it seemed like a joke

    – grip safety, I forgot they had these

    – grip is thin… But extra “long from blackstrap to trigger. I have no idea who this is supposed to fit. It’s almost like they could chamber it in 38spl

    – overall a VERY cheaply made gun with an obviously cheap feel when you pick it up and rack it

    The R51 isn’t small and it isn’t something you should buy. I’m not at all joking when I say the Taurus Curve (which was also terrible) seems to be a better gun.

  • Sargasso

    I really hope they fix it and it’s great. I’ll still pick one up even as a non-shooting collectors piece though. I still really love the looks!