Remington’s Gamble: Old School, Not Tacticool for New Pistol

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There were a lot of new pistols at SHOW Show this year, but I think most unique design had to be the Remington R51.

Breaking from the popular frame designs like Glock and 1911, Remington Arms Company has produced a very streamlined carry pistol that is loosely based on the 1916 Remington Model 51, designed by John Pedersen.

It looks like something that would have been right at home on the set of an early James Bond flick.

But I’m not judging. I didn’t see it fire on the range, but it does have a lot of features that warrant a closer look.

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For one, Remington designers positioned the recoil spring over the over the barrel instead of under the barrel to give the R51 a lower bore axis. This means less muzzle rise, so less felt recoil, said Leland Nichols of Remington Arms Co.

The R51 is single-action and hammer fired with an internal hammer. It also has external grip safety that deactivates when squeezed. It’s chambered for 9mm Plus P, instead of .380 like the new compact Glock 42.

“Most people don’t have the confidence in .380,” Nichols said. “This same platform will do a .40-caliber round.”

Remington is considering offering the R51 in .40 and eventually .380, he said. It just depends on future demand.

One feature I like about the R51 is that the slide requires very little effort to operate, making it ideal for the elderly and for women who just don’t have the hand strength to rack the slide of an M&P or a Glock.

“Our target was to have less than 20 pounds pressure to rack the slide,” Nichols said. “We achieved 17 pounds.”

It’s a nice size for conceal carry at 6 inches long, 4.5 inches high and 1 inch wide. There are no sharp corners for snag-free drawing.

It comes with two seven-round magazines and costs about $400 bucks.

About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox has been a defense reporter since 1998 and is an associate editor for Military.com. He traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq numerous times from 2002 to 2008, covering infantry units in combat. Matthew was an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division.

15 Comments on "Remington’s Gamble: Old School, Not Tacticool for New Pistol"

  1. Pete Sheppard | January 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm |

    I've read a couple of other reviews, and I'm VERY interested! I'd like to compare it directly to the K-T 9mms.
    Another problem with .380's: Where's the ammo? All I see is 9×19, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

  2. Wow! It's nice to see Remington making pistols again. I like the design.

    About the ammo problem. Get whatever you can of what you need. Please don't horde. There is a severe ammo drought that will be affecting everyone very soon. If you thought last year was bad, just wait for the repercussions of China being our only supplier of lead for your bullets now. Quantities are going to drop and prices are surely going to skyrocket. And you must know, all of this is by design, the same as energy, health care, food and everything else that we all depend on. Sorry to get off subject, but I thought this was important.

  3. It's an interesting looking pistol to be sure, but with the 6 round mag is clearly being marketed as a CC firearm, and it's a tad large for its round capacity when compared to similar sized arms.

    Haven't being seeing anything really and truly new and innovative come out of this shot show.

    At this point there are enough decent pistols out there for both CC and duty, we don't need any more UNLESS the firearm is: abnormally small, ultra high capacity, or has some groundbreakingly new recoil management system. Just my 2c.

  4. Looks nice wish 007 would ditch the PPK and go with this.

  5. Why in the holy name of F*@& did glock ever introduce the 42 in 380?

    They could have made a killing selling single stack 9mms after many (including myself) poked, prodded, and begged for them to introduce one.

    Nope.

    Fine by me. Ill buy one of these after they've been out for a while if there are any unintended bugs.

  6. Misled minds? Effective everywhere? Except FBI ballistics tests. The 380 round is anemic when compared to modern service calibers. Hollow point rounds do not effectively expand so all rounds perform as FMJs.

    A 9mm is leaps and bounds above the 380 and would involve absolute minimal dimensional changes.

    – Rick

  7. The R51 seems a tad large to be a pocket pistol or to fit in a woman's purse that is medium to small size. For a pistol the size of the R51, it needs to hold more than six rounds. My Kahr 9mm is significantly smaller and holds up to seven rounds, and will still fit in a pants pocket.

  8. defensor fortisimo | January 26, 2014 at 11:40 am |

    If they go the route of other slim-line 9s, they'll probably make an expanded magazine. Also if you read the article, it says they are shipping out with 7 round magazines. I don't know, it sort of has a retro look, I kind of like it, especially since according to wikipedia, the original was a favorite of patton.

  9. I cannot believe that we have survived this long without this superior handgun design. This is going to revolutionize the way wars are fought an won!!

    But seriously, just looking at it reminds me of a high point and makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

  10. 'I am not a fan of the 9mm. I find it lacking in accuracy. This would be an excellent pistol with a .40 round or a .380 round. It is a good looking piece and the design is most interesting. It looks like a good piece for an automatic. I have not heard any range testing results so it would be difficult to say for sure with the range testing but I like the design. It is boxy looking and it seems to offer a number of different bullet sizes. It is a weapon that I would give some consideration to purchasing.

  11. Just for the record, the R51 is 6.625 ins. long. It's just a little shorter than the XDs 9 4.0. Maybe not a pocket pistol but a damn nice CCW.

  12. The real problem with military pistols is that a 9mm with a FMJ will over penetrate at almost all ranges. Where as the 40 cal using FMJ will not. It 40 has more knock down power.

  13. Well, Dave Hudson, your lack of knowledge on the accuracy of the 9mm is either from ignorance, lack of usage, bad marksmanship, or inaccurate firearm. Just a clue, the 9mm is the favorite caliber of the Bianchi Cup. In case you are unaware, that is ALL about accuracy from a pistol. Oh yeah, after the 9mm. it is 38 spl, 38 super, and 45ACP. 40 does not make the list.

  14. Dave tell me your kidding tell me your post is a joke. 9mms is very accurate

  15. John Friedson | January 31, 2014 at 4:11 pm |

    How the heck do you have a 'single action' pistol with an internal hammer? What am I missing?

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