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



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.


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.

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