Remington R51 Field Strip

The Remington R51 is a re-re-release of the Model 51 designed by John Pedersen that we have reviewed int he past to less than terrific results, but the hesitation locked mechanism at least makes for an interesting field strip. In this installment of TFBTV we take the little guy apart and try to show any wear on the gun’s internal components.

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Transcript ….

– [Alex] Hey, guys, it’s Alex C. with TFB TV and for today we’re going to be field stripping my Remington R51 pistol.

I have done a full review on this where I shot 500 rounds through it in one day and, yeah, it didn’t go so well.

It actually had a lot of malfunctions.

We discovered it wouldn’t take steel.

It really only likes defensive ammo and it really wasn’t the most fun review I’ve ever done for TFB, but thanks to Ventura Munitions for helping us out with the cost of ammo on that one.

That makes shooting 500 rounds with relative frequency somewhat feasible.

And the R51, you know, there’s so many things I like about it.

It feels great, it’s actually pretty ergonomic for a smallish gun, I just wish that it was a bit more reliable But anyways, on with the field strip.

You can see this relief cut here in front of the slide catch notch.

So pull it back and then pull out the slide catch like you would on a 1911 pistol.

Now you notice there’s some serrations on the front of the barrel, that’s to help with the disassembly process.

You’re going to want to kind of hold the slide to the rear, but maintain a grip on those serrations.

It’s very much like an original Model 51 in this regard, but it is kind of a pain when you first start doing this, but you do get used to it with some time.

Now once you have that gripped, you can go ahead and slide the whole slide right off the top.

Now at this point the frame is done and let’s go ahead and take a look at the surface that the breech block contacts.

These being hesitation locked guns is actually quite interesting.

I know the original Model 51s had a problem with this area getting really torn up and really chewed up, but after 500ish rounds, this one actually looks okay, just the finish is coming off, which is to be expected.

Now you notice two relief cuts on the slide to rest the recoil spring cup in.

This will allow you rest the barrel assembly and drop out the breech block.

A lot of people have asked to see what this looks like so far.

There’s a little bit of deformation, or rather, kind of galling here where it contacts the slide, but nothing to get too upset about at this point.

I did do a really good closeup that I posted on The Firearm Blog and there is a burr forming on one of the sides.

I’ll keep you guys posted if that changes.

At this point, you can pull the barrel up and out from the back and remove the recoil spring and the cup, kind of push it down and then pull it up and out.

Now there you go.

Kind of an unconventional field strip.

Not a whole lot like many other guns out there, aside from the original Model 51s of course, but a little bit different than something most people are used to.

Since it’s not a short recoil operated tilting barrel gun, a lot of people are almost put off by it.

If you’re going to be put off by this gun, make the performance that our review and other reviews have shown this gun to have or lack, however I can best put that, but you know, I really wish these worked.

They feel great, they’re cool guns, they function like the original Model 51s, they just did not manage to capture the magic of the original Model 51s, so anyways, I hope to see you guys next time and special thank you for watching.

Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • Swarf

    Put the new R51 next to the old one and you have my answer.

    Even if it worked perfectly from day one, it’s just another smallish hand gun. There is nothing particularly visually interesting about it, unlike the original.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Right, the PPK is a far superior example of how to make a good looking subcompact from an already handsome gun like a PP. The R51 just has a flaccid look, replacing the slim, elegant character of the original Model 51 with a superficial attempt to create some kind of unique styling by tacking on the funtionally pointless and rather silly looking swoops in the slide. The grip follows the lines of the M51, so it looks okay, and the curved serrations are actually not a bad touch; the rest of it is a dumpster fire.

  • toms

    Is the ability to shoot steel case really that important to you? Many firearms have problems with steel cases, usually due to hard primers, weak loading, and occasionally more variable case size. I have a new one i got for $360 and have had 400 problem free rounds. It fills the niche of a shootable subcompact well so far for me. The fact that it handles +P is a huge bonus. BTW way mine shot 48/50 wolf rounds, not great but I rarely shoot steel case anyway. The two rounds were light strikes which detonated on round 2.

    • Hoplopfheil

      I’m more interested in reliability with aluminum cased ammo, since where I live Federal Aluminum is the same price as Tula Steel, and doesn’t seem to suck as bad.

  • Bob

    R51. How long will it be till this version is recalled?

  • DaveP.

    If the R51 had worked right out of the box first time around it would have been a world beater. As is, by the time the ‘V2.0’ arrived the market it was aimed at (single-stack subcompact 9mm) already supports the Smith Shield and the Glock 43, both of which are better guns by almost any reasonable metric and neither of which are saddled with the bad history of problems the R51 has.
    I have a feeling that the life cycle of the R51 is going to be a “how not to do it” case model in someone’s business management course before too long.

    • Sulaco5

      And the Kahr P9

      • Swarf

        And the Ruger LC9.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    Step 1: send it back.

  • datimes

    Sorry to see Alex go. If his car collection is anything like his gun collection he’s got a warehouse full of super cars.

  • MrEllis

    Take care, Alex. I enjoyed your work!