Remington R51 Photos and Information

Remington R51

I imagine that most of the gun community has heard of the Remington R51 by now.  If not here’s the basics:  it is a single-stack 9mm pistol based on a historic Remington pistol also called the R51.  It has been updated with modern manufacturing and metallurgy, but remains very similar to the original gun.

One of the more surprising things I experienced at Media Day is going to the Remington shooting lanes to discover that the company chose to not bring the gun to the range with them.  Asking about, I was not able to get a single answer on why that is.  Different reps told me different things.  But, all assured me the gun was in production and would be shipping soon.

Remington 9mm pistol

Remington had several of the R51 guns on the show floor.  Another writer told me he thought the trigger was gritty.  The one I dry fired, however, had a nice trigger on it.  I hope the production guns have the light, smooth trigger I experienced.

Remington R51 pistol

If you need a holster for your R51, visit our list of all holsters for the gun.

Remington R51 handgun

Remington R51 gun

Problems (April Update)

After the guns started shipping, people all over the country began complaining of problems with the guns.  In the era of YouTube and social media, these problems were quickly documented and repeated by many Remington customers.  Among the problems were guns exhibiting excessive primer flow, failing to go into battery and generally not being reliable.

I had the chance to shoot a production (not a test gun) R51 owned by Paul Carlson of Safety Solutions Academy.  We experienced many of the same problems with the gun that other people did.  I found this to be exceptionally disappointing considering how much I was looking forward to these pistols.

One of the problems I experienced beyond the normal reliability issues was pretty significant slide bite.  The web of my shooting hand was chewed up pretty bad by the gun during normal shooting.  I do not have large hands, and rarely have this problem with any other gun. (Note: I was later told by others who were watching me shoot, that it appeared the hot gasses from the chamber were actually responsible for injuring my hand. I believe this is something akin to flame cutting one might see with a revolver.)

Replacements (July Update)

It was announced in July of 2014, well short of a year into production, that the entire line of R51 pistols was being recalled by Remington.  No fixes to the existing guns will be made. Rather, the company will begin production of a new version of the handgun that they will ship to existing owners.

As a “make good,” Remington will throw in two additional magazines and a Pelican pistol case for all current owners.

In the press release, the company stated that “numerous experts found the pistol to function flawlessly.”  I’m not sure who those experts were, what they were shooting, or when they shot the guns.  Remington stated that “loyal customers notified us that some R51 pistols had performance issues,” and that they ceased production of the pistols once they realized there was a problem.

I’ve heard a variety of things about why there was a problem with the production guns.  Some people have stated that there were problems with an outsourced part, but Remington isn’t saying.

What I do know is that the company had enough guns for writers to shoot at a media event in the Fall of 2013.  When the SHOT Show rolled around in January 2014, Remington did not have a single R51 pistol on the range at Media Day.  The representative they had in the Remington portion of the range hemmed and hawed, but was not able to provide an answer to why the guns were not there.  Frankly, he seemed embarrassed by the lack of guns.

It would seem that somewhere between the media event and the SHOT Show, Remington encountered a problem.  Maybe a supplier changed…maybe additional testing suggested a problem.  I don’t know and I doubt anyone outside of Remington knows either.

Regardless, the lack of guns to shoot at SHOT Show suggests that there was a problem, and that problem may have carried over to the production guns.

So, now the consumers are in the position of having defective guns, but the promise of a future Remington R51 that will work.  The new pistol production should start in October 2014.  Hopefully, the guns will start shipping and get into the hands of existing customers quickly.

(Ed. note: As of September 2015, Remington has yet to re-start production of these guns. Read more about the situation here.)

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

11 replies on “Remington R51 Photos and Information”

A small aluminum framed pistol with a low bore axis and single action trigger. Also, based of an old proven design. Sounds like a great ccw. Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

I was much more jazzed about this new version of the R-51 at first with its rounded corners and sleek design but now that I see these pictures of it in a man’s hand; it looks bigger than I had initially envisioned. if it were smaller I would like it much better. It looks even bigger than a Makarov which has a fixed barrel design. The mag release looks to be in a more forward position than I would like it. I see it uses a spring over barrel design like the Mak too but I’m a little confused about it being a fixed barrel. Does the barrel move at all? I can see it does not tilt like most semi-auto pistols. From what I understand; the fixed barrel design maxed out at 9×18 so this Pedersen design apparently is more advanced so it can handle larger calibers. Interesting. I hope a reviewer can make this more clear to us novices at some point.

No handgun will ever fit everyone’s hand just right. I look forward to seeing and feeling how my hand works with this new offering. I do like that Remington is doing something unexpected and thinking outside the box by surprising us with this new (redone) 9mm.

I’ve now read two reviews by Mac@ The Firearm Blog and Caleb to whom you refer. They beat up on this gun as having a lousy trigger and grip safety. Then I read Jeff Quinn, who shot the gun and others who laud it as a great CCW piece. I find myself in a quandary since I’ve had some experience with my son’s XDs .45 and figure the 9 would be comparable and really liking what I’ve seen of the R51. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Hi Ed,

If your comment was directed toward me, I haven’t talked to anyone named Caleb about this pistol.

The grip safety is a matter of preference with people. I’d prefer not to have one, but I didn’t see anything that was problematic with the R51. Everyone is going to have their own preferences. Personally, I will stick with a striker fired gun like a Glock or M&P, but that doesn’t mean I would look down on anyone who likes & carries an R51.



Ed we didn’t get to shoot the R51 because Remington did not have the pistol at the Media Day at the Range. However, I spent a good deal of time handling them in the booth on the SHOT floor.

I felt that the R51 had a nice, sleek design, though not as small as some CCW carriers might prefer. The R51 trigger felt fine to me, so I’m not sure what the complaints were there.

On the grip safety, the design is opposite of the more familiar 1911 design, in that the safety depresses at the top instead of at the bottom like the 1911. That may be what some are considering a fault. However, if the shooter grasps the R51 high on the grip like good shooting form dictates there should be no problem in disengaging the safety. Hope that helps.

huge flop. if they actually addressed the issues such as failure to into battery, possible to fire the gun assembled incorrectly, long no-tactile reset, and constant jamming I’d be interested in getting one. since they won’t even talk about the problems and how they are being addressed, I’m not even going to consider the gun.

There are a lot of people who agree 100% with you. I was hoping to hear something positive from Remington on the fixes to this gun by now. Unfortunately, I’ve not heard a thing.

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