Remington’s R51 9mm Pistol

After using an R51 to test new Remington 9mm ammunition in gelatin it was time to put all the guns through their paces.  For us to test the pre-production R51 pistols, Remington shipped 5,000 rounds of 9x19mm hollowpoint ammunition to Gunsite, and at the end of the day notified us that we had fired every round!  We were told to expect malfunctions and to advise Remington personnel so they could inspect to evaluate the cause.  Out of at least 200 rounds I fired from several guns, I had only two failures to feed the first round from  fully loaded magazines, and I only heard a few other such reports.

At times, the guns became so hot as to be uncomfortable to touch, not to mention them not being cleaned or lubricated throughout the shooting, but we all found the R51’s comfortable to shoot and surprisingly easy to control, no doubt thanks to the gun’s ergonomic design.  With the vast majority of the shooting becoming fast and furious with informal competition against steel targets at 50 feet, there was some equally informal shooting for accuracy.

From 10-yards while sitting with elbows on a table five shots were able to be kept in about 2-1/2”, and while standing modified Weaver, I could keep five hits in about 4-inches from 50-feet on a camouflaged paper target.  This accuracy from a pocket pistol more than satisfies me, but I plan to do a lot more shooting when I can get a production R51, especially one with rubber grips, which with rosewood, will be optional.

The R51 with suppressor attached.

The R51 with suppressor attached.

Other R51 options include a longer, threaded barrel for use with a sound suppressor and laser sight from Crimson Trace.   Designed exclusively for the R51, this sight will be factory mounted to the pistol’s dust cover in front of the trigger guard with a remote pressure switch rounding the trigger guard to locate just below the undercut portion of the frame.  This laser module mates perfectly with the R51 as a valuable no-snag sighting system in low light.  I tested the sample brought to Gunsite and found it to my liking.

Am I impressed with this little pocket pistol?  You bet, especially at a MSRP of only $389.00!  The R51 feels great in my hand and its 7+1 rounds of 9x19mm cartridge bring a lot of defensive muscle to the table.  A caliber with a reputation that sometimes continues to suffer from 1970 vintage bullet technology, today’s 9x19mm ammunition offers performance on a par with larger calibers.  This is especially true when you consider the potential of faster, more accurate follow-up shots than when using a heavier caliber.  And never forget; if you’re in a gunfight with any handgun, the ability to make fast, accurate follow-up shots are what will save your life!  Check out the R51.  You’ll be glad you did.

For more information, visit Remington.com.

About the author:

GaryPaulJohnstonbioHaving fired his first shot at the age of 5 by killing a pig his uncle was going to butcher, Gary Paul Johnston began a lifelong interest in firearms, hunting and shooting.  Beginning a 28-year in law enforcement in 1963, Gary worked every division, always favoring uniformed patrol where the action was.  He began writing in 1976 with nearly 2,000 articles on firearms published to date, along with two books, Custer’s Horses and co-authoring The World’s Assault Rifles.  Having attended more schools on shooting and tactics than he can count, Gary is still learning,  He says that if he can pass on even a little to others of what he has learned he will have achieved a worthy goal. Gary and his wife, Nancy, also a retired police officer, live in Colorado, are both Life Members of the NRA and strong 2nd Amendment advocates. Gary is also featured on MidwayUSA’s Gun Stories.

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7 Responses to Remington’s R51 9mm Pistol

  1. Irvin Bennet

    January 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Great article, I might have to look for one of the original 51s to add to my pistol collection. There were a lot of great little semi-autos designed back in that era, seems like everybody made one. Smith and Wesson, Savage, Beretta, Walther, Colt, Steyr and Mauser just to name a few, everybody made a nifty little .32 or .380.

  2. Jimid Mansayagan

    January 29, 2014 at 12:45 am

    This will be my first pocket 9mm pistol. Hope it will be available in the Philippines soon. Thanks, Pedersen and Remington Co.

  3. Jimid Mansayagan

    January 29, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Thanks you very much Gary Johnston for this very informative article on 9mm R51.

  4. Christian Paul

    February 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Looks like a very nice CCW piece. I’ve heard different availability dates, I’ll be keeping an eye out!

  5. Thomas Smith

    February 18, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Looks like this gun won’t be available any time soon and once it is finally released it will be in limited supply which drives up the price and it will sell for a lot more than MSRP. I was told by my local gun shop not to look for it until sometime in May and even then it will be difficult to find. It’s like the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. After all this time it is still difficult to find.

  6. Jim Figaniak

    March 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Just picked up my R51 from LGS ,price $420.00 + tax.Hopefully to the range tomorrow.

  7. David Trainmore

    April 26, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I purchased the first R-51 to show up in town, for $400+ tax. I’m still breaking it in. There are some things I do not like, which should have been covered in this review.
    1. The pin retaining the firing pin has worked out twice now.

    2. The springs in the magazines are so stout ( 14 coils), that my wife cannot reload the mags.

    3. I changed out one of the two mag springs with one from an orphaned WWII Walther P-38 magazine, (11 coils) and that seems to work O.K. Its a lot easier to reload, anyway.

    3. The slide has stopped short of battery a few times, with American Eagle 147 gr. ammo.

    4. The magazine seems to have way too much slop with a round at the top. Empty, the plastic follower engages the slide stop lever and it feels solid like it should. At least a Sixteenth of an inch slop with loaded mags. I have never had so sloppy of a mag. catch before.

    But once you get the first round in battery, it seems to cycle pretty reliably with 115 gr. classic Luger ammo.

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