Remington R51… Did I Screw Up?

When this little guy was released to the public the first time, it didn’t go so well. All were recalled and customers were given the opportunity to get either a refund or wait over a year for a new pistol. Well, today I found a new one sitting in a gun show and I was thrilled… but did I make a mistake? Will it work? I’ll sure find out.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Slim934

    Please don’t suck oh please oh please oh please.

  • Hoping this thing works out.

  • huntman

    Isn’t that Alex C of Baylor fame, not Steve Johnson. I enjoy Alexi’s work and appreciated this short take.

  • Amplified Heat

    Please don’t have unrealistic expectations of a <$400 Remington handgun oh please oh please oh please

    • James Young

      What if I think maybe, just maybe it will be good…

    • Dan Atwater

      I think expecting a gun to not fire out of battery or have parts fall off of it isn’t too unrealistic

      • Amplified Heat

        Precisely. Expecting a nice finish and neat parts fitment at this price point is not (as is a notably nice trigger, but so far so good on that it seems, which is telling since it appears those parts were not redesigned)

      • Kelly Jackson

        Like expecting your .40 Gen 1 Glock not to explode?

  • Kevin Craig

    Did I screw up by clicking on an unboxing video thinking I was going to learn something about the R51 Gen 2?

    Why, yes… yes I did.

  • ostiariusalpha

    Whether it turns out to be a turd or not, I’d just like to say “Thank you, Alex” for purchasing this gun with a detailed review forthcoming. Every extra perspective gives us a more comprehensive understanding of the real strengths and faults of this controversial pistol.

    Hopefully you can cover at least a few aspects of the gun that I list here:
    1. Is it safe? We’ve all heard that the Gen 2 guns are much improved in this department, but a confirmation from you that your R51 is safe would be topmost in importance.
    2. Does it feed and eject a wide variety of ammunition reliably?
    3. Are there any perceptible marks on the case head of ejected brass from the feed ramp? Does your feed ramp intrude into the chamber?
    4. How much wear does it show on points of contact as the round count increases? Is there any galling that develops?
    5. How comfortable is the grip safety? Are there any sharp edges or pinch points?
    6. How much side slop, if any, is in your trigger?
    7. Does your trigger have any tactile or audible reset?
    8. Your pistol’s ejector pin, is it a solid pin or roll pin? How tightly is it seated? How long is it?

  • 22winmag

    The original model is spinning in it’s grave. I had one and it really worked.

    • Amplified Heat

      Well, until the bolt cracks, anyway. The new R51 redesigned bolt truly is a better design, if only the old machining artists were alive to produce it πŸ™

  • Dickie

    Must be nice to buy guns so easily. In NJ tha would of taken half the day to purchase and not a lunch break.

    • valorius

      move to america.

      • DaveP.

        Yeah, you’d really like it here in the USA. Lower taxes, better services and roads, MUCH better weather… AND the 2nd is a thing that exists!
        NC, SC, TX, GA– aim your car south and head for the sunlight!

        • valorius

          Pennsylvania is just over the bridge. πŸ™‚

          • QuadGMoto

            But you have to pay a toll to escape from Jersey. (Not going into Jersey, though. I wonder why? πŸ˜‰ )

          • valorius

            I call it a freedom tax. πŸ˜€

        • Klaus Von Schmitto

          Ain’t it ain’t chock full of people who vote like they’re from New Jersey.

          • John Yossarian

            In Philadelphia they do – Just like in nearly every city nationwide.

  • Woody

    I still have the Gen 1 release, mine works fine. But after reading a few comments of out of battery and such. You all have me worried.

    • ostiariusalpha

      I don’t like encouraging people to worry, but even though your Gen 1 pistol seems to function well for you, there is nothing mechanically on the gun to prevent it from firing out of battery. If you keep shooting it, there is a certain amount of inevitability that it will do something dangerous on you. That said, having a “functional” Gen 1 makes it somewhat of a collectible, so you might want to hang on to it; just not shoot as much or at all.

      • Woody

        Thanks, always enjoy an opinnion. I’ve considered taking the trade (R1) but actually like the lil R51. I’ll take it to the range and run it thru some paces. A working tool is always worth money but as we both know a broken one is worthless.

      • KestrelBike

        Like owning a Nambu?

        • ostiariusalpha


  • Charles

    I just hope that it doesn’t take additional ?years? to release the threaded barrel version -or- the .40 S&W varieties that were hinted at prior to the original 1st generation pistols getting to market.

    • iksnilol

      You can always do internal threads, the barrel seems to have enough meat for that.

      • Amplified Heat

        It’s clear by the meat of the barrel, the offset axis inside the slide, and the extra room both in length and width in the magazine that the gun is intended to be done in 45acp at some point

        What the gun actually needs is a miniature tri-lug or other quick-disconnect, since it’ll be kinda hard to take the gun apart completely with a muzzle device on.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I wouldn’t count on a thread version.

    • Amplified Heat

      On the plus side, the barrels are fairly simple & don’t really require external precision like a 1911 or Glock replacement does, so the aftermarket may be providing barrels before we know it

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    Why did they deiced to make such an ugly gun?

    • bluecheesedressing

      What, you don’t like that late 70s early 80s slide profile? The VP70’s aesthetics return (cringes). Yea it’s terrible.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        It looks like something you’d see in 50s or 60s sci-fi, and not in a good way.

    • Amplified Heat

      Because a Walther CCP is so gorgeous, right? Maybe if the R51 had an extra two ounces of metal to make the slide & frame blocky & snag prone it’d be more to your liking? Anyone who thinks the R51 is ugly (apart from its ugly surface finish) hasn’t drawn or holstered or fired one.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        Even if the gun is a great shooter doesn’t change the fact that it’s ugly. Unless it transforms or something.

    • maodeedee

      They should have tried to make it look exactly like the original Remington Model 51 that was in 380 caliber. That was a beautiful gun. The R51 is uglier than a Glock. It looks like a kid’s toy ray gun.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        I wouldn’t say the original was “beautiful” but it looks better than this new thingy.

  • Lee Enfield

    Other Youtubes showing problems already especially galling on the bolt after 100 or so rounds. More FTE’s then you can shake a stick at. Also internal parts have all kind of edges with burs. If this is typical of what is exiting the mfg line on an average day its gonna be another disaster.

    • QuadGMoto

      Is that the new generation pistols or the ones shipped before the recall?

      • Anon

        After, I believe that RyeOnHam made a video showing this on a new one.

        Also, they put a pin in that was like half the size that they were supposed to be.

        • QuadGMoto

          RyeOnHam seems to have several videos on it. I watched the one where he tested the Gen 2 at the range. It was a very poor showing.

        • Ebby123

          RyeOnHamm seems to have quite the chip on his shoulder for big green – I mean really, who does reliability testing with unknown reloads and Tula brass ammo?

  • valorius

    With all the outstanding pocket pistols already on the market, why would anyone be the guinea pig for one of these?

    • Uncle Festet

      Maybe Gen 2 is better than the existing 9mm compact pistols?

      It is an interesting design that has real upside … if they can manufacture them correctly.

      • valorius

        Shrug. Doesnt seem to bring anything new to the table.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          I havne’t shot it but the size of it doesn’t live up to remington’s marketing.

      • valorius

        The one 9mm pocket pistol i desperately want to see perfected is the 9mm Diamondback Arms DB9. TINY TINY gun.

        The gen ones had tons of problems, the gen 2s are out now, im waiting a year or two for long term reviews to show up before trusting one.

        • cwp

          I’d love to see the Boberg XR9 (now the “Bond Arms Bullpup”) perfected. I’m not at all confident that it ever will be, though.

          • valorius

            It is an interesting design. The DB9 is so light and tiny though- it gives my Ruger LCP a run for it’s money.

      • BigR

        Don’t hold your breath, if you buy one! I’ll stick with H&K, Sig, Glock, Colt, S&W and last but not least, Ruger. Any gun that’s not a Remington!

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I handled this at a gun show. Unless you’re 6’5 or wear very baggy pants it won’t work as a pockey pistol. It may work in a coat pocket.

      • Rick O’Shay

        I’m 6’5″ and I still wouldn’t be caught carrying one.

    • It’s fun to test stuff.

      • valorius

        LOL, that’s your job, i understand. πŸ™‚ I’m talking about joe average buying one for protection.

        • Dan Atwater

          It was on the cover of some magazines once, Remington is a recognizable name, and joe average isn’t very bright.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I’ve handled one recently at the gun show and I wasn’t impressed. It’s a pretty big gun for what it does. If they found a way to shrink it then I think they’d be onto something.

    Should sell okay to people that want an all metal gun in that price range.

  • Bob

    “You guessed it, it’s an R51.”

    Yeah, my psychic title reading powers are second to none baby!

    • Bob

      And now that I have seen the entire video, I know what they were thinking when they designed it, namely: “Hey, let’s take the original, scale it up to 9mm, and make it ugly while we’re at it.”

  • Sermon 7.62

    Production of Galil Rifles in Vietnam Has Begun

    “The Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) will begin to produce Galil assault rifles for the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA), according to a report by state-run news agencies in Hanoi. The production facility was under construction since 2011, at a built cost of more than $100 million. Russian and Chinese companies also took part in the tender. The production unit will supply an unspecified number of the ACE assault rifles to “gradually replace” the AK-47s currently used by the VPA”

    Such a great article I have found.

  • garymac66

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. R51? No thanks.

    • Amplified Heat

      R51, 700, 870…”fool me three times, shame on you; fool me four or more times, shame on me”

  • U8SM5C

    After the initial disaster why not just buy a Ruger LC9S Pro? Great pistol bout the same size and price with a much better reliability history. I used to love Remington however, lately not so much!

  • DanGoodShot

    I had a chance to handle one the other day. It had no reset. None. Nodda. Zip. Zero. Zip. No “click”. Trigger didn’t reset until my finger was all the way back in the most forward position. Not a huge deal to some. But it was something that felt very awkward for me.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    I couldn’t care less if it works or not. That is one ugly ass gun.

  • uisconfruzed

    You bought a Freedom Arms product, you made a mistake.

    • Amplified Heat

      I thought they re-re-rebranded (again), and are Remington Outdoor, or something now?

      • uisconfruzed

        New sticker on the same coin.

    • maodeedee

      It’s not just that Freedom arms makes crappy guns, like the first Marlins they made, but their customer service is HORRIBLE!

      When they re-organized Remington and Marlin and all the other companies the first thing they must have done was to save money by laying off all of their QC inspectors. After that customer service couldn’t keep up with all the screwed-up firearms being returned.

      I had the misfortune of dealing with them an dit took almost a year to try to resolve the issues. It was a nightmare.

      • uisconfruzed

        What hurts is I want a Marlin 45-70, I”m waiting on my SilencerCo Hybrid for one. πŸ™

  • He was pretty much looking for something to criticize.

  • Kjk

    That dark brown background though. Makes it hard to see

  • QuadGMoto

    It’s nice to see that it didn’t have any malfunctions with decent ammo. I thought I was kind of odd how the ejection pattern varied so much.

  • maodeedee

    Not if the gun doesn’t work.

    • nova3930

      Guns can be repaired like most other mechanical items. Got several in my collection waiting for the free time to do just that. Sometimes guns are interesting to have in the collection just because of the design, even if they don’t work very well….got several of those too….

  • Jamie Clemons

    Dude if it is recalled you didn’t screw up you can take it back to Remington and get either a new gun or a refund for full price.

    • Jamie Clemons

      I see now it is the new model. They should have all the bugs worked out shouldn’t be a problem.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    I have an original version R51, never received any recall notice and just recently wrote them about the replacement program (waiting for a reply, been 10 days now). Oddly, mine works quite well and I’ve less malfunctions than I did with my Sig P232 or P290, though not the same type of malfunctions. The Sigs wouldn’t fire the round, the R51 was a full return to battery on the slide most often (about 5x’s in 500 rounds) and about 5 stove pipe/eject issues in the same 500. A 2% failure rate, hmmm ?? Most of the failures 50% of the were in the first 200 rounds; is it improving with use? On the other hand, I also have an RM380 and it has been flawless for 300 rounds, and it is quite accurate and much less snappy than the Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard (which was returned to S&W for refund). If the reworked R51 is as good as the RM380, it’ll be a very worthy piece. My original is easy on the recoil and also very accurate.

  • PersonCommenting

    He is doing the same thing that the original writers did with the R51. Talking with a remington rep and probably a tuned up R51…. I cannot trust this review… Also I have seen videos from other Youtube guys that actually bought the gun and are having trouble. I really was rooting for Remington and liked the feel of the gun but wouldnt buy them.

    Also who is this guy? Gun writer?

  • Laserbait

    I have over 500 rounds through my replacement R51 now, and it’s been flawless. Eats anything I feed it, and I’m getting another one for my wife.