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Why I wanted an R-51.

Started by Seeleenickel, June 06, 2018, 02:49:03 PM

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I've had a Danshway (Egyptian/Maadi "Beretta" clone) 9mm for decades, and a Ruger P-89 9mm for nearly as long.  The P-89 is a great pistol, but it's large and bulky compared to many others.  Great for open carry, no so much for concealed carry or in the glovebox/center console.

I was interested in the R-51 when I first heard of them.  I loved the classic retro look, liked the smaller size, and read the initial descriptions thinking "That's the pistol for me!"..and of course they actually came out..and...well.....

So I waited and watched and saw what was going on with Remington.  In the meantime, I'd purchased a Remington 783 rifle in 7mm Magnum that is a great success!  It's a shooter!  I've had no issues with the rifle and friends of mine also knowledgeable in firearms were pretty impressed with the inexpensive rifle.  The scope that came with it was junk..Remington could have/should have done better than that no-name cheapie, but they did replace it for free (postage included both ways) and I put it in a drawer to maybe put on a .22 down the road.  I bought a Nikon 4-12 for the 783 and it's a fit.

Then I bought a new Marlin (Remington owned/made) 1895 Cowboy in .45-70.  Even though a lot of folks have had issues with Remington-made Marlins, mine has been great.  Again, no issues with the MUCH more expensive rifle!  It shoots great, functions perfectly, and bruises my arm after about 10 rounds.  I'm really a lever-action guy and I love it!

So, when Remington re-introduced the R-51 with "Generation 2", I was still very much interested, but wary and skeptical.  I read new reviews and saw some were having great success with the new ones, and some still had complaints.  A lot of complaints had to do with ergonomics, disassembly, finish, etc.  Even the most critical complaints still acknowledged the guns generally functioned pretty well now, though some had trouble with 115 grain ball ammo..but those that did struggle with 115 grain still had no trouble with 124 grain or better ammo.

So, when the rebate was active early this year, I looked into it seriously again..and though I still really wanted an R-51, the RP9 generally got much better reviews overall.  So, when I set out to the store to buy a new 9mm, I had actually intended to buy an RP9!  I held one and it DID fit my hand spectacularly.  It looked like a done deal...except for the fact that the RP9 is VERY similar in size/weight/bulk to the Ruger P-89 I already have..still, a good deal is hard to pass up.

Then I decided, "Well, let me look at the R51 too".  And once I held it, I pretty much knew the RP9 was out....I already had a 9mm like it.  The R-51 is UNLIKE anything I own..even slimmer and sleeker than on old .380 I've had for decades.  Light, small, quick.   The retro styling still appealed to me.  And given reviews were good with the right ammo, I decided that's the one.

I do not regret it.  I had an early problem with maybe three or four rounds out of the first few magazines full...the infamous "nose dive"..but then everything settled down and it has had no other trouble.  It even shoots 115 grain ball with no issues.  I generally keep the magazines loaded so the springs are constantly compressed.  Maybe that helped.  I've had no other "nose dive" issues since out of many hundreds of rounds.  Plus, it's a natural "pointer".  Even my wife was having great success hitting what she was aiming at right out of the box.  As she has about 20 years less experience shooting than I do, that is rare for her.  Certain firearms just "don't work" for her.

I'm very pleased with my decision.  Mine even has a very good trigger pull.  A couple friends who know guns have even commented on how nice the trigger is.

There's nothing I can think of that would stop me from buying another one.


Glad you like your new piece. Good for you exposing your friends to the pistol as well. The more good publicity we can get for this little pistol the better. Like me, you also took advantage of that rebate. I wish they would have another! I also liked the retro look as well. Pretty reminiscent of the Walther PP from the front. I really love mine, despite the fact it shoots a little low, and also despite the trigger pull (which is getting better with use, but still not good by my book). I am used to my 1911s and the crisp and silky smooth triggers they have, so this one has taken some getting used to.  But those are negatives which I am perfectly willing to work around, especially since the ergonomics, recoil, and carryability are so nice.

I used to carry a full size Gov. Model 1911, but I have really taken to the R51 as a primary carry gun, especially in the summer time around here. But like my 1911s, it is reliable, and I have yet to have a failure. Life is good!  :)
"A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders."

                  - Larry Elder