Testing a Controversial Pistol—-Using Bad Ammo Skews The Results?

    The second generaton R51 handguns have finally made it to the range, but how do they perform? One of the first to record his experiences is YouTuber RyeOnHam, whose video is embedded below:

    Now, after that poor showing, I am going to stick up for the R51 Gen 2 here and say that I think there’s a high probability that the ammunition was the root cause of most of the malfunctions. TulAmmo Brass Maxx is loaded in Gorade, Bosnia, by Pobjeda. Whether this manufacturer is a good one or not, it is highly unlikely that Remington designed the R51 to work with ammunition made in Bosnia! Likely, there is a pressure difference between Pobjeda ammunition and the ammunition that the R51’s unique hesitation locking system was designed to work well with. Consider, for example, that some AR-15s do not work well with TulAmmo ammunition, not because they are bad rifles, because there is a difference in the port pressure of TulAmmo ammunition and the ammunition they were designed to work with. Ultimately, a firearm that is not getting enough power or power in the right part of the pressure curve won’t function properly.

    Another reason to think it might be the ammunition are the signs from the primer and the case. Both are bulged in many shots, something normally indicative of ammunition loaded too hot. However, these can also be symptoms of inadequately hard materials used in the primer and case. Is the Brass Maxx/Pobjeda ammunition loaded in weak cases with weak primers? I don’t know, but that would explain the “high pressure signs” we see there.

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    This doesn’t mean the R51 Gen 2 woks properly with the ammunition it was designed for; I do not know whether it does or not. However, I am content to dismiss this initial test as likely the result of poor ammunition. A further note: While it did work with Remington brand ammo, ROH did not shoot enough of the Remington ammunition for me to feel comfortable drawing a conclusion that way, either. Does using American made ammo fix the issues seen in the video? I don’t know!

    So does the R51 Gen 2 work or not? I don’t think we can say either way for sure, yet.


    Thanks to Daniel for the tip!

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]