View Full Version : Remington Model 51 semi-auto

January 28, 2010, 10:29 PM
Newest of my pocket-autos from the 20s and 30s in 380 cal - built like a Swiss watch.


January 28, 2010, 10:52 PM
Looks pretty perfect to me. Something to collapse your lungs. Something for inhaling lighter fluid fumes. A flask to make your liver diseased. A nice pocket watch to tell you how late you are which will raise your blood pressure. And...a very nice example Remington.

Great picture by the way. Like the touch with the bank bag.

James K
January 29, 2010, 04:59 PM
Please forgive the repetition, but when I see one of those I always caution about NOT trying to pry off the grips, as I have seen a number of broken ones. To remove the grips, push in the mainspring pin from one side, slide that grip down and off, then do the same on the other side.

The action was much praised at the time, but few realized that Pedersen designed it to get around Browning's patent on a one piece slide and breechblock.


January 30, 2010, 12:04 PM
45Gunner - thanks - i wanted to put as many of the vices as I could in one photo.

Jim - Thanks for the warning but I've heard this before and have no reason to remove the grips on this gun.


January 31, 2010, 12:03 AM
I always regreted selling mine. It's one of the best designed pistols I've seen. The delayed blowback makes it very low recoil and it's very slim for easy carry.I wish someone would make the 45acp version that Remington made in 1918.

January 31, 2010, 02:58 AM
I gave a 1st variation 51 (9 slide serrations) away to my uncle for xmas. He had told me he always wanted one so I found him one. He loved it. Ya, I guess I really like my uncle.

January 31, 2010, 04:14 PM
45 gunner thinks the other items are dangerous but the Remmy is just a weakling low powered pocket pistol maybe? Try to take away his whisky and smokes and you might find out for sure! BTW I never see them in that nice condx.

January 31, 2010, 06:19 PM
That is poetry personified in metal. I REALLY like the lines of that Remmy. It vaguely reminds me of the Colt 1903/1908 Pocket Hammerless .32 and .380.


January 31, 2010, 07:43 PM
That Remington will be re-entering the pistol business. I've already e-mailed asking them to bring back the Model 51. Maybe if a number of us did, too?

The Doc is out now. :cool:

January 31, 2010, 08:52 PM
That is a great picture!
Anyone have any first hand knowledge as to the durability of the Remington 51? Such as will it last almost forever if you shoot a hundred rounds through it every week?

January 31, 2010, 09:38 PM
Here are the big three (American) pocket pistols from that era - similar yet different. Top to bottom, in case folks don't know, is the Colt 1903 (1908 too), Savage 1915 (rare but similar to the 1907) and the Remmy. I haven't fired the Remington or Savage yet but it should be interesting to compare. Prior to shooting, the model 51 has the best overall feel, followed closely by the Savage with Colt last but not uncomfortable. Thanks for looking.


January 31, 2010, 10:16 PM

I had all three of those models, and then some. People's opinions vary. I much prefer the grip of the 1903 Colt(I have 2). I have a Savage 1907 and had a Remington 51. I sold the 51 because it didn't really fit in my .32acp oldies collection and I needed the money. I read somewhere that the 51 in .380 was more susceptible to breakage that the .32 model and that parts are hard to find. I was never able to find one in .32acp. I didn't shoot mine much except to prove it was in working order. It's not a gun I would shoot regularly.

James K
February 1, 2010, 01:42 PM
The Savage is another example of a designer (Searle) having to work around Browning's patents. Browning not only patented a one piece slide and breechblock, but also patented the idea of holding auto pistol grips on with screws into the frame. That is the reason for the odd grip systems on the Remington, Savage, S&W and Dreyse (which was sold here).


February 1, 2010, 11:24 PM
What did someone say about the mother of invention? Both the Savage and Remington designs seem to work pretty well and I think that I read somewhere that the Savage sold more pocket pistols than Colt up to WWI?

I won't be shooting my pocket pistols that much but will take them out on occasion. I think any gun, even a modern one, would wear out eventually with 100 rounds a week going through it. Maybe if you bought two and took turns?

I like the idea of emailing Remington to bring back a modern version of the model 51.


February 2, 2010, 06:23 AM
There are many 380 pistols that have been made , all of different designs. A major difference is in the recoil system and the resulting comfort in shooting.
Of the ones I've had the least recoil is the Rem 51 with it's momentum block [ delayed blowback].
the CZ 24 with it's rotating barrel long recoil system.
The Mauser HSc with plain blowback. Most recoil
The Savage also has a rotating barrel but it rotates only 5 degrees and thus is in effect a plain blowback.

Remington is coming out with another 1911 in a field full of 1911s where it will be lost. Better idea would be re-introduction of their 45acp version of the M51 that was made in 1918. Something different , something nice !!

February 2, 2010, 08:00 AM
Sweet little Remington:D, would love to find one in that condition to complement the Browning I found last month.

Would really be nice to have one of each...I love these little hammerless .380s, as well as the .32acp.

Sold a couple of Brownings back in the early 70s just before buying my 1st house...took a long time to find the .380 below, still want to replace the .32 if a nice condition one pops up.


February 3, 2010, 03:58 PM
Gotta love the 51! I was given one years ago as a thank-you gift. .380ACP, original box and tools, bought new in 1919 by the gentleman who gave it to me. When American Rifleman did a "back page" piece on the 51 I couldn't help but pose mine with the mag. I shudder to think what Remington would charge for one if they brought it back :eek:


February 3, 2010, 04:56 PM
I was given one years ago as a thank-you gift:eek: What did you do, paint his house, barn, dog and chickens?!? LOL Sweet payback whatever it was.:cool:

February 3, 2010, 05:19 PM
What did you do, paint his house, barn, dog and chickens?!? LOL Sweet payback whatever it was.

He was into his Eighties (this was back around 1984-85) and was an old family friend of my high school sweetheart's Godmother. I helped him inventory and pack his things when he moved to Godmother's house, as he could no longer manage his own place. Giving me the gun was his way of saying thanks for the help. I cherish that pistol to this day. Still shoot it and think of him every time I drop it into the range bag when I head out to the AGC pistol range.

February 3, 2010, 05:39 PM
I cherish that pistol to this day. Still shoot it and think of him every time I drop it into the range bag Sounds like he gave it to the right person...cudos to you!:cool:

March 7, 2010, 01:40 PM
Finally got out to the range with the Colt 1908, Savage 1917 and Remington 51 in 380 acp. All neat pocket pistols with history. However, the Remington 51 was by far the most comfortable to shoot and most accurate of the bunch. It also has a modern magazine release. Not scientific given the small sample but that Rem 51 impressed the heck out of me.

July 3, 2010, 12:29 AM
I've shot my M51 mabey 4 or 5 times a year, 100 rounds each time, for mabey 7 or 8 years now. The only problem was a broken extractor which I was able to replace new (Brownells or Gun Parts, I don't remember now). No big deal. The gun shoots very well and magazines ARE available but you'll have to look and they go for mabey $30. Not that you need that many.

Breakdown is tricky as is locking the slide back but if you do a Net search there are instructions out there with illustrations to show you how to fieldstrip the gun.

By the way, the M51 can be made to shoot hollow points.... just not the first round. Use military ball for the first round and then hollow point and it should work (at least it does with the original magazine). Colt 380 magazines will fit in the M51 but you may have to play with the feed lips to make them work reliably.

July 11, 2010, 04:48 PM
i carry a 51 in 380 daily, becuase it is so slim and shoots so comfortably. mexican carry has been a bit hard on the bluing, but it was not pristine when i got it. still, it is about 90%, and a looker as well as a comfortable shooter and carry gun.