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Old April 9, 2014, 05:52 PM   #1
Crisisbill
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Remington R-51 issue

I stopped at the Gander Mountain in Kingston, NY today, they had one in the display case. I have wanted to get my hands on one since I first saw the video on the Remington website. Well as it so happens when the salesman took it out of the case and attempted to open the slide it wouldn't open, no matter what he attempted he could not rack the slide open. Tried dropping the magazine, tried reinserting the magazine, tried pulling, tried pushing, nothing worked. It was taken to the Gander gunsmith and he was unable to resolve it either.
The salesman told me that they had the same issue with the gun the day before but not as bad, guess I'll take that off my wish list till Remington works out the kinks in a few years.
So now I'm looking at the Smith & Wesson Shield instead.....
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Old April 9, 2014, 06:55 PM   #2
PetahW
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.

Welcome to the forum !

Under NY's Safe Gun Act, all new autoloaders are rendered inoperable, so you folks don't present a danger to yourselves, or others........ .






.
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Old April 9, 2014, 07:17 PM   #3
ammo.crafter
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Remy 1911

It may have been a binding slide spring.
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Old April 9, 2014, 08:32 PM   #4
JohnMoses
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A couple of weeks ago, my local Scheels had an R51 in the used case so I asked to see it. I racked the slide to check the chamber, but my grip on the piece would not engage the grip safety. I was immediately turned off and handed it back to the salesman. He could not rack the slide so I took it back and couldn't rack it either.Tried thumbing the grip safety, nothing. He took it in the back for the gunsmith to look at. Not impressed.
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Old April 10, 2014, 02:19 AM   #5
gyvel
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Sounds like a legend in the making...
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Old April 10, 2014, 07:31 AM   #6
skoro
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This has me wondering...

Has Remington transferred the QC team that was responsible for their Golden Bullets to the R51 dept?
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Old April 10, 2014, 08:00 AM   #7
joe-lumber
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R 51

I have a Remington 51 in .380 from the 20's and I can't get it to cycle properly either. I was considering purchasing one of these new R51's but after viewing and racking it at a Gander Mt. I have changed my mind. Just hearing it racking the slide and hearing the noise it makes scares me.
J
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Old April 10, 2014, 08:06 AM   #8
bedbugbilly
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It's really too bad . . . I think a lot of folks were anxious about this one coming out and hoping it would be a "good one". You either like the looks of it or you don't . . . at first, when I saw it, I didn't care for it but the more I looked at the photos of it, it grew on me.

I haven't been able to find one to even look at. I've read several threads on it though and while the folks weren't "bashing it" . . . it was very clear that the handgun has some issues that need to be addressed.

I read the reviews on the "samples/protypes" that were shot and it sounded very promising. A good shooter at a reasoalbe price. It really makes a person wonder though as to what or where QC is if this model, right out of the box has issues like slides that can't be racked, etc.

It's too bad as this could have been a good thing for Remington . . . but it is starting to sound like they have "shot themselves in the foot" . . . kind of makes you wonder how they could do that though if they can't get the slide pulled back to rack a round in?? :roll eyes:

Hopefully, Remington will get it figured out . . . there's far too many handguns out there that "work" to compete with for the market place. . . .
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Old April 10, 2014, 08:39 AM   #9
Skans
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Hmmmm, maybe I can pick one up cheap. I am certain there isn't anything wrong with them that can't be fixed.

On second look, with 14 bids and price of $425, folks are already throwing too much money at it. Patience......patience......

Last edited by Skans; April 10, 2014 at 08:56 AM.
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Old April 10, 2014, 09:45 AM   #10
SIMP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crisisbill
So now I'm looking at the Smith & Wesson Shield instead
Great choice. You will not be disappointed in it.
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Old April 11, 2014, 04:33 PM   #11
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Don't be a beta tester!
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Old April 11, 2014, 05:23 PM   #12
Model12Win
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The new R-51 looked extremely promising. The idea is great.

The execution... well frankly from what I've read, it's been downright awful.

It blows my mind that someone at Remington didn't care to try and rack the slide once and perhaps would have thought "that ain't right!" before shipping it out the door.

There have been numerous other issues as well that leave one scratching their head. On a popular YouTube channel one member who posted a video on his R-51 was able to slip the dovetailed right sight right out of the frame with zero effort. For any gun, let alone a defensive gun, that is without a doubt absolutely unacceptable. It is sheer negligence on the part of the manufacturer.

The Remington R-51 is off my radar, and it will be for a long time until they can clear these issues up. I can understand some teething issues for any new gun, but the things Remington are letting come out the door in this new pistol is ridiculous and far beyond the normal issues expected in a new product.

If I were Remington I would seriously be investigating my QC department starting from the TOP down!
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Old April 11, 2014, 11:02 PM   #13
barnbwt
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"I have a Remington 51 in .380 from the 20's and I can't get it to cycle properly either."
Good chance your bolt or slide are broken; it was a common issue due to a design that did not properly account for metal fatigue (fairly unknown science at the time it was designed)

"Don't be a beta tester!"
Aw, whatever. "Don't be an ignorant beta tester" is a better mantra. I've read up on what seem to be 1-3 recurrent issues with the gun, so I checked for those specific points on the pistol I bought (oh, and I bothered to take it out of the box and field strip and function check it to look for anything weird before tossing down money --like everyone should but doesn't). Only thing I couldn't check was chamber headspace (chamber is dull in finish from sub-par reaming, but not what I would consider poor; may make primer bulge a bit easier, though)

To the OP. The gun you examined was binding up on the disconnector. I think they all do it because Remington chose a really stupid way to implement that part (it's not even a disconnector; the hammer does that automatically. It's actually nothing more than an out of battery safety). Most guns have a single notch that aligns with the disconnector when in battery, only allowing the trigger to engage at that point. But Remington put the disco too far inward in the frame, so it is no longer driven by the slide rails, but by the bosses protruding into the slide that hold and cam the bolt body. The problem is that because they are not continuous, the disconnector has to ride up and over them (and the bolt lugs) both on the fire and return stroke --hence the notchy rack feel. Further, the pivot holes on the disconnector (which engages the slide with two ears instead of just one for no reason) are very sloppy so the disconnector can rock and slide side to side. This side to side motion causes binding, and is very important because the surface on the bolt body that happends to hit the disconnector ear is angled inward enough to cause that binding.

A gun locked shut like that has likely bent something on that critical out of battery safety (mine tried to do it while hand cycling at the store, but smoothed out before wedging up, and now doesn't seem prone to it at all. Still hangs up a bit everywhere that disco rides up and down the three protrusions forward and back. But, it did once require a good 40lbs of force to slide the disconnector over the bolt that one time it bound up; now it's about 15lb or so)

What Remington should have done was move the disco further outward and have it engage a notch in the rails like the slide stop (only on the inside) so it would have a continuous flat surface skating over it except when in battery. Put it this way; if I remove the barrel, spring, and bolt from the slide, it still takes a good 5+ lbs to get the slide moving and depress the disconnector at each contact point. I have no idea how that part works, but it's spongy and requires a ton of force to push down; disconnectors usually just float against a weak return spring, so I find it very curious why strong force is required on this one.

TCB
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Old April 15, 2014, 06:45 AM   #14
gyvel
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Quote:
"I have a Remington 51 in .380 from the 20's and I can't get it to cycle properly either."
Good chance your bolt or slide are broken; it was a common issue due to a design that did not properly account for metal fatigue (fairly unknown science at the time it was designed)
And most likely it's the bolt, since the rear of same is a very delicate and fragile part, prone to cracking right where the roller is.
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Old April 15, 2014, 08:02 AM   #15
barnbwt
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Roller? The slide camming lug is also prone to fracture. It appears the guns were made of extremely hard (i.e. high quality) steels, but without advanced knowledge of fatigue fracture mechanics, which didn't really mature until WWII and later (Liberty Ships and the DeHaviland Comet)

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Old April 15, 2014, 08:06 AM   #16
filthy phil
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My neighbor got one and had problems from the get-go
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Old April 15, 2014, 10:25 AM   #17
gyvel
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Quote:
Roller?
Yes. In this case, I am referring to what Remington called the "cocking roll,' which is located at the rear of the breech block.

The breech block, besides being made from extremely hard steel as you say, was also very thin and delicate and prone to cracking around that area (the rear) where the roller was located.

In years past, I have had at least two come across my bench with that problem. Another one had a broken firing pin.

The little 51 was a very thin pistol, and fit the hand extremely well, but it was never any serious competion for any of the Browning designed pocket autos.
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Old April 16, 2014, 09:56 AM   #18
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Don't think more grease would have solved the out of battery firing issue. Having had two Garands go off out of battery, (out of battery slamfires due to Federal Match primers) having a firearm blow up in front of you is a real event. Not something you forget, or want to repeat. If that case in the MAC video had a tiny brass flaw and instead of a case bulge, the case ruptured, you would have seen parts flying around all over the place. I can tell you, it happens so quickly, faster than human perception, you don’t know what occurred until after the event is over and done. And, once bit, twice shy.
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Old April 16, 2014, 05:18 PM   #19
Skans
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I watched several videos of the R-51 malfunctions and wear and tear shown on takedown. After watching these, there are two things that really concern me about this gun: 1) the excessive back and forth play in the trigger and 2) the excessive wear and tear on the aluminum frame where the slide travels. There are two things that would be difficult or nearly impossible for anyone to address.

However, I noticed several things that don't worry me as much. On a couple of the videos, the failure to completely seat the cartridge in battery was always on the 1st shot. This leads me to believe that a stiff magazine spring is putting too much tension on the cartridge, causing it to press against the bottom of the slide, slowing it down when racked to chamber the 1st shot. I would have liked to have seen what happened when the magazine was downloaded one cartridge, and then racked. If this is the case, then it may need a stiffer recoil spring, or a more relaxed magazine spring. In fact, this could just be a break-in issue that could work itself out.

The slide "grittiness" could probably be addressed by polishing the breach block.

The loose grip screws could be addressed with blue locktite. One problem showed where the rear sight could be drifted by hand - that's not good.

Anyway, the wear on the frame from a hundred or so shots - that tells me that Remington's designers put no thought into how to get a steel slide to work with an aluminum frame without gouging it up - I can't fix that. I don't think anyone can, except Remington.....maybe. Having had a catastrophic issue with a Taurus PT99 (aluminum frame and steel locking block), I am very sensitive to designs that permit any possible degradation to aluminum parts.
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Old April 16, 2014, 06:59 PM   #20
barnbwt
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It seems like all sorts of people are seeing the frame gouges in MAC's video and jumping to the conclusion that the frame material must be too soft. I would like to reiterate that there is actually no portion of the action that is supposed to contact the frame where he had the gouges. This means one of three things; the frame was gouged from the factory (doubtful, as the group that did the aluminum machine work seems to do a decent trade), the slide was mis-machined (which the incorrect-tool gouges in the slide milling and extremely hard rack are highly indicative of), or something (metal shavings) is getting between the frame and the slide and the user refuses to clean it out (also strongly indicated by his refusal to take the gun apart and see what might be causing the binding he keeps complaining about). I am not convinced the hardest steels there are could have stood up to whatever the heck he did to tear up his pistol.

My personal theory is the portion of the slide lugs that hit the disconnector upon recoil were very sharp (like my unlocking lugs), and since the disconnector design seems to make it very difficult to depress, this means his gun was shaving down his disconnector and spewing metal shavings into the space between the slide lugs and frame. Deep scarring resulted. The important part of the aluminum frame --the locking lugs and rails-- show only a line of removed finish and no rounding or peening. Highly unlikely that peening of some sort would occur after 200+ rounds if ever, without something else changing first. As far as the Taurus/Beretta; the R51 lug is not located right before the giant void of the magwell, split into two tiny areas and with holes/cutouts right below it; it is a large single step at the rear and has a much narrower FCG well behind it, and very thick solid walls buttressing it. Not to mention, the Pedersen bolt --when fired properly fully in battery-- actually doesn't apply bolt thrust to the lug faces; in the time it shifts back to contact the lugs, the chamber pressure is already dropped by quite a bit (the bullet may even have already left the barrel in a gun this short). The block mostly serves to arrest the bolt's momentum.

"Having had two Garands go off out of battery, (out of battery slamfires due to Federal Match primers) having a firearm blow up in front of you is a real event"
Different operating systems. A Garand out of battery has nothing holding the bolt back but very low mass. The R51 has a sturdy locking block capable of containing the bolt thrust regardless. The area a rupture could theoretically happen is right at a very large ejection port/magwell, so any case failure would be immediately vented; brass would be sprayed, but the bolt/slide would stay out of your forehead and your hands would be unharmed. As with Glock smiley 10mm/40SW, even if a rupture does occur while the action is so locked, the user's hand/life are still healthy enough to excoriate the interwebz ad inifinitem . I'm not saying the bulge is ideal; Remington needs to fix their disconnector so the gun cannot fire slightly out of battery. But this situation does not make the gun unsafe --at least not the issues we've seen so far.

For a gun that has injured or even seriously scared no one so far, a good fraction of gun people sure seem terrified of it; even those who otherwise claim (rightly) the Glock chamber is no big deal. Truth be told, MAC's terrified ignorance reminded me of the guys on Ghost Hunters.

Skans,
The triggers have a vastly, incomprehensibly oversized trigger pivot hole. No idea what happened there, maybe they forgot to have Para install a bushing. It's so bad, that the trigger rubs on the sharp frame opening and quickly removes paint (mine has). In fact, you will see many gun-store reviewers claim the motion is a hybrid pivot and straight back, which is probably them just detecting the slop in the trigger as they pull back on it. I believe this and the sear stirrup (which is basically a bent-wire spring with tons of give) flimsiness are the sole reasons there is no detectable trigger reset (or break, really, or any other feeling. But the expert reviewers managed to miss those after Leghorn made a big stink about the reset in particular)

TCB
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