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Old November 2, 2008, 10:44 PM   #1
ludwig1138
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Remington 32 auto pistol - info request

Got a pistol from my dad that used to belong to my grandpa. He had it when my mom was a kid so it's at least 70 years old.

Remington UMC 32 auto. SN PA90760 Has proof marks on the left side of KT and on the right side of an anchor symbol. Marked 32 auto and 7.62 on the barrel breach. Looks like bakelite grips with UMC molded in.

It's in real nice condition. Original blue and almost no wear. I'm going to take it out to the range and shoot it in the morning.

Anyone know when it was made, etc, and a value? Also disassembly instructions? :-)

Appreciate the help.

Bill
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Old November 3, 2008, 12:34 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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You have a Remington Model 51, built 1918 - 1934; KT is the Remington date code for May, 1926. PA serial number prefix stands for Pedersen Automatic, the designer of this gun, several other Remingtons, and the WW I Pedersen Device. (Pedersen, not Peterson.) Contrary to some legends, the anchor mark does not mean it was Navy issue, although the US Navy did consider the big Model 53 as an alternative to the 1911.

Grandpa's is rather unusual; Remington, unlike Colt and others, made way more .380s than .32s, yours is a fairly scarce piece, so take care of it.

Discussion and takedown - which is NOT intuitively obvious - are at
http://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/Rem51/rem51.html

Be very careful if you want to take off the grips (not recommended, they are brittle old plastic and absolutely irreplaceable if broken. From a previous thread:
DO NOT TRY TO PRY OFF THE GRIPS!!!

The grips have metal backing plates that fit into cuts in the frame. To remove the grips, press in (upward) on the hammer spring plug at the bottom rear of the grip. With the plug depressed, push the cross pin above it flush with the frame on one side. The grip on that side can now be slid down and disengaged from the frame. Repeat the process with the other side, pushing the pin flush with the frame on that side. Re-install in reverse.



I won't guess a dollar value, but for a .32 will be substantial. If you don't break the grips trying to get them off or crack the separate internal breechblock with too muchs shooting.
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Old November 3, 2008, 02:48 PM   #3
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Thanks very much for that information.

I shot it this morning and it performed very nicely. I think I'll clean it up and give it back to Dad. He'll be pleased to know the story on it.

bill
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Old November 4, 2008, 11:13 AM   #4
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I just sold a 98% .380, with a chipped grip corner, for $500 w/o box, etc.

As posted, a .32 is valued higher, in like condition.

.
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Old November 4, 2008, 07:51 PM   #5
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I got a book that says that is a type 3 variation. The 32's from serial number 90,501 to 92,626(last gun) were sold between 1926 and 1934, but production virtually stopped in 1927. Remingtons are quite desireable collectables now. So beware much shooting as we don't want any parts to break, good luck finding replacements, and just clean preserve and TLC it.
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Old November 4, 2008, 08:56 PM   #6
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Remington Model 51 Pistol, serial PA90760 was one of the 1417 manufactured in .32 cal, in 1926 (during which year .32's w/sn's from PA90501 through PA91917 were made).

.
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Old November 4, 2008, 09:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
I just sold a 98% .380, with a chipped grip corner, for $500 w/o box, etc.
We have the box too. Lid is torn some and held together with rubber bands, but it's there. The gun has been wrapped in chamois cloth with oil as long as grandpa had it. It's put away and probably won't be fired anymore. I wouldn't begin to know how to go about selling it.

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Old November 5, 2008, 07:24 AM   #8
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I'd have to see the box too, but maybe it could be repaired or something by a skilled person. Like fixed to the point that it looks better and will not come apart any further. I think the proper box adds value. Sometimes damage to articles like that will only get worse over time from normal handling etc. Maybe repaired with rice paper patches and rice glue or whatever they use to repair paper items that are damaged. Unless the box is saturated with oil or something and is disintegrating, I think it could be improved. A collector would love the box with it. If it is not gonna be shot at all, there might be better ways to store it rather than oily. Old guns that are just for display often get a coat of special wax instead of oils. But you would have to degrease it before that. Like they would do to museum display it.
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Old November 5, 2008, 09:00 AM   #9
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Approx 10 years ago, I sold a 96% .380 with a pretty decent box to a gun show dealer for $750.
I would expect to get at least $900 today, if not more, for the same gun.

I buy them, every once in a while when I run across one cheap - because I know their value, and the seller usually doesn't.

But........ I always hesitate to keep them for a shooter, as beautifully designed as they are - lest an unobtainium part break; and so sell them for something more practical.

It's OK to keep the pistol in an oily wrap in the box - just insulate the box from the oil by lining the box with an oil-proof waxpaper, similar to the wrap on older Ruger revolvers & available online.

If you're not used to the delicacy required for the box repairs, you might consider contacting a paper restorer/conservator, connected with a historical society in your area, for guidance.

.

Last edited by PetahW; November 5, 2008 at 08:19 PM.
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Old November 5, 2008, 03:27 PM   #10
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That pistol was designed (as the markings indicate) by John D. Pedersen, who was Remington's in-house designer for many years and who also designed the famous "Pedersen device."

The design is often praised because it uses a two-part breech, allowing a sort of delayed blowback action that supposedly allows a lighter weight and less recoil. Sounds good, but the real reason for that complex design is that the now-normal one-piece breechblock and slide had been patented by a fellow named Browning, and the other designers, like Pedersen (Remington) and Searle (Savage), had to work around that patent.

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Old November 9, 2008, 05:44 PM   #11
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I just came into possesion from my dad's collectin a Remington UMC 32 Cal Pistol. SN #PA64067. No Box but it did include a leather holster. Wondering what it's worth.
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Old November 9, 2008, 06:08 PM   #12
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Substantial variation in value depending on condition, moreso than the serial number. But all of them have collectors interest unless really ratty or neglected into a rusty relic status. So maybe post pictures or describe percent of original finish remaining, any rust or pitting, functionality, etc. A holster will generally add value if it is specifically made for that model of gun, for example, a German marked matching holster for a Luger, P-38, or a period holster with an antique pistol. If it is some kind of unmarked generic holster made for a variety of small autos, it might add a little but not as much as one that was intentionally manufactured for the gun, IMO.
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Old November 10, 2008, 02:50 PM   #13
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[a Remington UMC 32 Cal Pistol. SN #PA64067.]

That P51 is one of 2,547 made in .32 cal in 1922.

.
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Old November 10, 2008, 07:25 PM   #14
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Blue Book of Gun Values, 29th ed.

Model 51 Semi-Auto, .32 ACP or .380 ACP cal., 8 shot (7+1), hard rubber 2-piece grips with companys name, black finish. Approx. 65,000 mfg. 1918-1926

100%--$800
98%--$750
95%--$650
90%--$500
80%--$375
70%--$350
60%--$300
50%--$250
40%--$225
30%--$200
20%--$175
Note: .380 ACP much more common than .32 ACP cal, but commands a slight premium. ()
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Old March 3, 2014, 03:30 PM   #15
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Remington Model 51

I got a remington Model 51 32 caliber auto, serial number PA673xx. Any idea when it was made and value?
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Old March 3, 2014, 04:02 PM   #16
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That is a late one, probably 1924 or 1925.
Book values in the 32nd edition Blue Book are the same as in the previous post for the 29th.
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Old March 3, 2014, 08:07 PM   #17
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Remington has now revived the old Pedersen design and is making the R51 in 9mm Luger. There has been a lot of press on the gun and some discussion here. I have not yet seen one, but it seems to be a single column magazine, single action, medium size pistol. Different in its way of operation, but we shall see how it sells.

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Old March 4, 2014, 08:47 PM   #18
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I have read, that while Peterson was a gifted designer, he never used one part. when two parts would do.
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Old March 4, 2014, 11:55 PM   #19
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Part of his problem was having to work around the very comprehensive Browning patents. Mr Browning himself thought Pedersen was the best in the business.
He has been criticized for drawing big bucks from Remington and pushing his automatic rifle on the service while Mr Garand was then a government employee with lower pay and no prospect of royalties. But profit seems to be a dirty word in some circles.
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Old March 5, 2014, 03:55 PM   #20
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I have always thought that Pedersen had to be a heckuva salesman. He sold the Army on his "device", when a few minutes thought would have revealed that men marching across "no-man's-land" toward an entrenched enemy with rifles that would seem to be making no noise and firing no bullets would be committing suicide. Then he sold the Army on the .276 caliber, not bad in itself, but not a great idea when there were billions of rounds of .30 ammo in storage, plus the machineguns and the BAR would continue to use .30. And the .276 had no real advantage; Pedersen promoted it because he couldn't get his rifle to work with the more powerful .30. In WWII, it would have been outranged by the German 7.9mm as well as the Japanese 6.5 and 7.7.

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Old March 6, 2014, 08:42 AM   #21
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"I have always thought that Pedersen had to be a heckuva salesman."

Mmmmm...

No more or less so than John Browning, really.

The Pedersen device was seen as a partial solution to the rather intractible problem of providing covering fire while advancing.

The Chauchat was largely a disaster, and the military brass was too afraid of the Germans getting it to issue the Browning Automatic Rifle in the quantities that had been first envisioned, so the Pedersen device was seen as a logical alternative.

I'm sure that when Soviets armed with PPSh submachine guns advanced that it often didnt' seem as if they were firing bullets, either. Until the first German or two got ventilated.

"Then he sold the Army on the .276 caliber, not bad in itself, but not a great idea when there were billions of rounds of .30 ammo in storage..."

He didn't sell the Army on anything.

After US experience in World War I it was thought that a smaller, lighter battle rifle cartridge would be a good idea. The Army experimented with a number of different rounds, from .25 to .30 cal., and finally settled on the .276 bullet diameter (matching, oddly enough, the caliber chosen by the British in 1913 to replace the .303...)

I'm not 100% sure who the Army Chief of Staff was when the decision to proceed with the .276 was made -- it was either Maj. Gen. John Hines or Gen. Charles Summerall -- but it was made BY the Army brass without Pedersen threatening them with one of his Pedersen devices...

In other words, while Pedersen couldn't get his rifle to work with the .30-06, the decision had already been made to replace the .30-06 cartridge. He provided the military with a viable alternative. Not much salesmanship involved, really.

Remember, when that decision was made the Depression hadn't hit yet and money, while a lot tighter than it had been in 1918, was still flowing a lot more freely than it would be in 1931 when MacArthur made the decision to stick with .30-06 due to strictly financial reasons.

Remember... when the US military decided to go to the 5.56 it had hundreds of millions, if not billions, of rounds of 7.62x51 in stock...

And when the military decided to go to 7.62 from .30-06 the military likely had tens of billions of rounds in stores given that the US had just finished World War II AND Korea...


"In WWII, it would have been outranged by the German 7.9mm as well as the Japanese 6.5 and 7.7."

Chimera.

Maximum range isn't important. Effectiveness at combat range is.

Typical combat range during World War II was something along the lines of 400 yards.

The myth of the American soldier being a deadly one shot one kill sniping machine out to 2,500 yards with his trust ThuddyOrtSax is exactly that, a freaking myth.

The .30 Carbine provide itself to be MORE than effective at typical combat distances both in Europe and the Pacific, and the .276 Pedersen round would have also proven to be perfectly suitable and effective at typical combat distances, and a lot more.
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Old March 6, 2014, 09:30 AM   #22
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There is a big ".276 is better" thread over on THR. Now closed but a lot said on One Man's Take.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=745592
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Old March 6, 2014, 10:29 AM   #23
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Interesting.

This stuck out, though...

"yes money was tight in the 1930s but not as tight as many people believe"

Actually, it was tighter, a LOT tighter than most people believe, because a number of members of Congress, the people who would actually have to appropriate the money to be used to make the transition, were making serious noise about the military's decision to change cartridges.

They were also making noise about the money being "wasted" trying to develope a new battle rifle, given that the US had just won the War to End All Wars and the United States had just spearheaded the highly successful (and ultimately largely disasterous) Washington Naval Conference...
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Old March 6, 2014, 11:34 AM   #24
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Shifting gears a bit, I'm wondering how close a copy the new 9mm Remington 51 is to the old one. Besides the lack of a manual safety (YMMV), I wonder how the breechblock is going to hold up. The ones in the origial .380s and .32s had a tendency to crack in the rear by the roller. Definitely a weak point.
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Old March 6, 2014, 11:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Contrary to some legends, the anchor mark does not mean it was Navy issue,
Thank you. I can't tell you how many arguments I have had at gun shows with vendors who insist that their 51 was "U.S. Navy" issue for officers.
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