In early January Remington announced the new R51 pistol, a concealed carry sized 9mm pistol based on the the old Remington Model 51 from the early 1900′s. We recently received a new Remington R51 here at the shop and decided to try it out.
Frame and Slide:
Remington took a different approach to the single stack 9mm pistol than many other manufacturers and instead of the polymer frame that we’ve become accustomed to, the R51 has a nicely done aluminum frame that accepts removable grip panels. The front strap is nicely checkered, aggressive enough to keep the pistol in your hand while shooting, but not so rough that it’s irritating after shooting lots of rounds. The slide is nicely machined and finished, and arrived fitted with 3-dot sights.
The R51 has a large grip safety along the back strap that clicks into place with an audible snap. The grip safety runs the full length of the back strap, and it wasn’t found to be noticeable while shooting. It’s well done, with no pinch points or sharp edges.
The R51 trigger is a little different than some of the others in it’s class. There is very little take up, a crisp break, and a bit of over travel after the trigger breaks. We didn’t gauge the trigger pull weight officially, but it appears to be right in range with the other pistols in it’s class. The trigger reset is fairly long compared to the overall length of the trigger pull and there is no audible click or snap when the trigger resets. The reset is consistent, and after shooting a few founds through the pistol finding it wasn’t a problem.
If anything has spurred controversy about the Remington R51, it’s the size of the pistol. After handing it around the shop, everyone agreed that the R51 is a really nice size for a concealed carry pistol. It’s a little bigger than some of the competition, but in all the right places.
The low bore axis of the Pedersen action allows a shooter with even the biggest hands to get all fingers on the grip, while the overall height of the pistol is comparable to many of the other single stack 9mm pistols on the market.
(Left to Right: Springfield XDs, S&W Shield, Remington R51, Ruger LC9, Sig Sauer P938)
Shooting the R51:
We shot 150 rounds of Blazer Brass 115gr 9mm through the R51 and found it to be a nice shooter for the most part. In the beginning of the range session the R51 had several failure to feed malfunctions on the 9th, 27th, 44th, 45th, 51st, and 54th rounds fired. On every occasion it appeared the round didn’t move up the feed ramp and the slide was then held open by the jammed round. This happened once more on the 101st round fired, but the malfunctions tapered off toward the end of the range session as the R51 began to break in. With an experienced shooter, the R51 shot consistent 3-4″ groups at 7 yards, and groups tightened as the shooter became more accustomed to the trigger.
The Pedersen action is supposed to reduce felt recoil. We fired the R51 next to another 9mm pistol, and felt that the recoil was pretty consistent for a 9mm pistol it’s size.
When gripping the pistol with a “thumbs forward” grip, the shooter (who has large hands) experienced some light slide bite on the web of his hand as the pistol cycled. After switching to a lower grip, the slide bite was eliminated.
All in all the Remington R51 looks like it will make a nice concealed carry or range pistol. We’ll certainly be getting more R51′s in the future, so come on down, and let us know if you want one!