Remington R51 Review and Range Report

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Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby Curzyk » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:44 pm

I succumbed to temptation and ordered the R51. I paid more than MSRP, but I did pay less, or about the same as I've seen the R51 going for on GunBroker (live bids, not just list/reserve price). I picked it up from my local FFL today and took it home and cleaned it. Field stripping the R51 is an interesting procedure and nowhere near as easy as the Sigs I'm used to. As long as you follow the directions in the manual, it's not that difficult, but it is complicated.

Note: The serial number puts it just past the 1,100th one made.

After cleaning, I packed it up and went to Black Wing. I only sent about 40 rounds down range due to a couple of issues. First, I experienced a Failure to Eject. This was with PMC Bronze 115gr FMJ. I do not consider this a big deal since some pistols take a certain number of rounds to be broken in.

Shooting impressions.. I love the feel of an all metal pistol in my hand. Perceived recoil was slightly more than the M&P Shield, but this pistol has a full length grip so it felt more controlled. I'm not a fan of jagged stippling, so I will replace the side panels once an aftermarket option comes available. Accuracy-wise, I'm not that used to the recoil and was anticipating it too much, but I'm confident it'll shoot straight if I train right.

The other issue, however, was much more disappointing. The pistol started dropping its magazine. I double and triple checked that I was not inadvertently operating the ambidextrous magazine release. After it did it a second time, I put it away. At home, I've cleaned and inspected the gun and can find no visible signs of what is wrong. I am able to reproduce the issue with snap caps and racking the slide. I pull the slide all the way back and let the slide go so the spring pulls it back into position. Instead of loading a round, it releases the magazine. I recorded video of the issue occurring, but haven't uploaded it because I talk too much.

On the plus side, I called Remington and wasn't on hold for even 60 seconds before I had a nice representative working with me. I described the situation and she indicated it was new to her. She placed me on hold and checked with her senior technicians and they hadn't heard of this happening either. They'll be paying for it to be overnighted back and she indicated that the R51s are getting priority in their service department right now.

I understand that as an early adopter, I'm likely to experience issues that haven't yet been identified. I'm okay with that since I got it new and have a warranty to work with. I'll post updates to this thread as they develop.
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby HancockCountyHAl » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:24 pm

Thanks for the report. Please keep us updated.
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby BobK » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:30 pm

Curzyk wrote:Field stripping the R51 is an interesting procedure and nowhere near as easy as the Sigs I'm used to. As long as you follow the directions in the manual, it's not that difficult, but it is complicated.

Did you see the article advising the traps found reassembling the R51: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/0 ... ngton-r51/

... Disassembling Remington’s carry piece is almost as “challenging” as changing an M1 Carbine’s extractor. No one will intuitively understand that you need to grab the R51′s barrel and pull it forward to get the slide free, and getting an American male to read the instruction manual is about as likely as Robert bagging his latest supermodel crush. But they really should [read the manual].

When you re-assemble the R51 you must slip a small tab on the slide stop of the gun underneath this little spring. You must insert it perfectly parallel to the slide. If you tilt the slide stop upwards by as little as a 1/16th of an inch, if it rides above the spring, the gun will malfunction. As Robert found out it might even refuse to feed. Not to put too fine a point on it, replacing the slide stop properly could be the difference between life and death in a self defense situation.

At the Remington booth, a display model failed to return to battery a couple times. The guy running the display admitted that the gun was improperly reassembled. A different gun cycled perfectly. The fact that Remington’s own sales reps – the guys specifically trained on the use of the gun – didn’t re-assemble the R51 properly tells you that the design is fundamentally flawed.

The R51′s user manual only mentions this critical step in a small sentence at the very end of the instruction, accompanied by a not entirely educational picture [above]. With every other gun on the market, if you re-assemble the gun incorrectly a quick function check will show you the error of your ways. An incorrectly re-assembled R51, however, will still pass a function check even with the slide stop installed incorrectly. There’s no way to test the R51 to ensure that it’s properly assembled (dry fire, function testing, or visual inspection) short of firing about 100 rounds through the gun. The first sign that something is wrong with the R51 will be when the gun suddenly stops working in the middle of a string.
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby Curzyk » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:09 pm

I did see the TTAG review and I was mentally prepared for it to be challenging. As such, I did review the directions and follow them, particularly when I got stumped. I did experience the difficulty with the slide stop and its spring, but figured it out when it failed function test. I'm positive I got it back together correctly afterward, and then again when I field stripped it again to try to diagnose the issue.

Other observations:
  • The slide doesn't rack anywhere near as easily as it did in their demo video.
  • The "Action Spring Bushing" shows a lot of wear on it, like something is scraping it up pretty badly when the action cycles. I suspect this is part of the resistance that I am feeling when racking the slide, and it is likely a contributor to the problem.
  • When the magazines are filled to capacity, it is quite difficult to push the first round back out of the magazine. The feed lips are pretty rough on the casing too. This is another source of resistance, at least when racking ammo/snapcaps through it. I know that new magazines have pretty stiff springs, but the feed lips might not be at the ideal angle.
I have included my observations in a note that they will see when unboxing it. I'll just see what Remington has to say about it.
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby carmen fovozzo » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:18 am

Were giving the R51's priority in our service dept.....that does't sound like they aren't having your problem...

Thanks for the report.....
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby EMPJohn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:25 am

Curzyk, thanks for the write up. Please keep us posted on your experience. I hope Remington takes care of you.

Like so many, I was excited about this pistol when it came out at SHOT, but there are horror stories all over the net now. I think we are at the point where Remington has screwed this up wih poor QC, and few will trust this gun now. They really could have had a gem based on the initial level of buzz about it. It's like the Healthcare.gov of pistols now :(

ETA for clarification: never was or will be a fan of healthcare.gov or its creator!
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby Mr. Glock » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:01 pm

They are pretty cool looking guns....beyond the QA issues, how do they compare size/weight to the Shield and other small 9s? Specs seem to be on the heavy side.
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby MAJORSDAD13 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:54 pm

I picked one up a my LGS and the action felt like two files being dragged across each other and the trigger pull was very inconsistent. Even the salesman couldn't believe how rough it felt. There have been several reviews online from Military Arms Channel and Tactical Existence both listing several issues with the pistol. This isn't a very good beginning for the pistol or Remington's already tarnished reputation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ65wbjq6t0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yicodN7BrgU
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby EMPJohn » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:19 am

Wow. Had not seen that second video before. What a P.O.$. That puts the nail in the coffin on the R-51 for me, gang. I could never trust my life to one of these things.
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby pleasantguywhopacks » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:28 pm

Consensus is this will be recalled..lots of issues..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOxXpNBdrVE
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby Curzyk » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:09 pm

Update #1:
Today marks one week since I called Remington. I have not yet received an airbill to mail in the pistol. I called them this afternoon and spoke to a rep. I provided my ticket number and advised that I haven't received an airbill yet. He indicated that he saw an entry for shipping and repair, but could not confirm that the airbill had been sent. He said that they just got a new computer system and attributed it to system error. He said he'd re-enter the request for an airbill, print it off and take it to the secretary to have it put in the mail today.

My ticket number was above 38,000 so they could have a newer system, but that would mean a pretty significant volume of issues compared to their volume of product produced and sold..
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby EMPJohn » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:49 pm

Hopefully that's not 38,000 of just R-51s, but reflects all the current RMAs. Otherwise, it must be darn near every one they've sold so far.
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby BobK » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:52 pm

Curzyk wrote:Update #1:
He said he'd re-enter the request for an airbill, print it off and take it to the secretary to have it put in the mail today.

When I have sent a gun back to Ruger, the rep entered the case on the phone. Then he emailed me my UPS Overnight label while we were still on the phone.

Same thing with S&W. My overnight shipping label was immediately emailed to me.

Those are two brands that I will remain loyal too.
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby Curzyk » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:02 pm

BobK wrote:
Curzyk wrote:Update #1:
He said he'd re-enter the request for an airbill, print it off and take it to the secretary to have it put in the mail today.

When I have sent a gun back to Ruger, the rep entered the case on the phone. Then he emailed me my UPS Overnight label while we were still on the phone.

Same thing with S&W. My overnight shipping label was immediately emailed to me.

Those are two brands that I will remain loyal too.


The first rep I spoke to said she typically does email them but said she couldn't in this case.. Unsure why.
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Re: Remington R51 Review and Range Report

Postby TSiWRX » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:50 pm

EMPJohn wrote:Hopefully that's not 38,000 of just R-51s, but reflects all the current RMAs. Otherwise, it must be darn near every one they've sold so far.


<whispers> XD-S...... :P
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