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Topics - lklawson

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NRA Certified Rifle Instructor in/near Lewistown, PA needed to assist with youth High School air rifle team.

I have a friend who has managed to convince his PA HS to start an Air Rifle team. They've put him in charge of it, even given him a budget for equipment. But he needs an NRA certified rifle instructor. Maybe an RSO too, I don't know yet.

If you can help, or put him in touch with one, respond here or PM me.


Peace favor your sword,

General Discussion / HPFF Back To School giveaway
« on: August 31, 2018, 12:16:46 AM »
HPFF is having a "Back To School" giveaway.

A set of 5 NiteSiters dots.


Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / NRA Gun of the Week - R51
« on: November 30, 2017, 02:20:06 AM »
The R51 gets highlighted as NRA's "Gun of the Week"

A brief description and a short video


Peace favor your sword,

Other Guns - talk about them here / Remington RP9 chamber
« on: November 24, 2017, 12:41:29 AM »
Friend over on HPFF just bought the Remington RP9.  He reports the same issues with the chamber of the RP9 that I've seen on the R51.  Tight chamber, short leade, short freebore... All within SAMMI spec, but just barely.


Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / Gave up on HC in my R51
« on: October 04, 2017, 12:32:10 AM »
Whelp. I've given up on trying to find a Hard Cast Lead (HC) which works reliably in my R51.  After trying five (5) different HC bullet shapes and weights (115gr x 3, 124gr, and 125gr).  I broke down an ordered 1,000 115gr. FMJ from Rocky Mountain Reloading.

My picky-eater R51 has always seemed to like standard profile ogive 115gr. FMJ so I have high hopes.

Peace favor your sword,

A bit over a year ago I contacted Galloway Precision to ask if they would be making replacement triggers for the R51.  Brandyn Langston, Lead Gunsmith for Galloway responded that they would be but that they'd be taking their time about it to make sure that 1) they got their product right and 2) that the Gen 2 wasn't going to be a flop.

Now, a year and a month later, I contacted them again to ask for an update.  This is the one-sentence response that I received from Mr. Langston: "We're not going to be making any parts for the R51."

Given that the trigger is one of the biggest complaints about the R51, the side-to-side "wobble" and that many people describe the trigger itself as "cheesy plastic" I am very disappointed in this turn.  While there are other manufacturers which make drop in replacement triggers, I considered Galloway to be the best candidate.  Perhaps they may change their mind at some point in the future if they get enough interest from R51 owners.  They do have products for the RM380 and the RP9, after all.


Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / Sensitive to COAL
« on: July 18, 2017, 12:16:52 AM »
Well, not that it's any surprise, but my R51 is sensitive to Cartridge Over All Length (COAL).

In order to make my barrels short leade/throat safe with the lead cone nose bullets, I had to seat the bullets deeper and reduce powder charge to prevent over-pressure.  Well, it looks like the load is safe and not over-pressuring but the shorter COAL is causing feed problems.  The COAL is 1.08".   The feed failures is a live cartridge stove-pipe.  Basically, as the cartridge is stripped and feeds up the ramp toward the chamber mouth, the nose goes up too high and misses, popping out of the mag, point up, with the slide closing on it.

My R51 really prefers an COAL of about 1.10" to 1.125" (standard for jacketed bullets).

So if I want to use Hard Cast bullets, I need to find one with an appropriate ogive and length (which also means weight).  As I wrote before, I may just end up giving up and sticking with 115gr FMJ.

Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / Short Leade and/or short Throat
« on: July 07, 2017, 01:34:37 AM »
OK reloaders, heads up here.  My tight chamber issue turns out to be, 100%, the issue of a short Leade and/or short Throat ("freebore").

This is true for the factory barrel which came with my 2nd Gen (replacement) and for the eBay barrel I bought.  Both appear to be within SAAMI specification.  Both chamber jacketed bullets safely.  This includes all Jacketed Hollow Points (JHP) and Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) ammunition I've tried.  It also includes 115 gr. FMJ dummy rounds and FMJ Profile "snap caps" I've tried.

The catch is when I try Hard Cast (HC) lead reloads.  With only one exception, all of the HC lead bullets I've tried, when seated to manufacturer recommended seating depth, all engage the rifling, leading to pressure spikes.  Seating the bullets deeper does solve this problem.  However, when seating deeper, you have to reduce the powder charge because deeper seating is the equivalent of intentional "bullet setback."

The one HC bullet which did not engage the rifling when seated to recommended depth was 115gr. coated HC from SNS Casting.  I believe this is due to the longer bullet profile which has a longer, more narrow ogive than the more domed shape of others I've tried.  However, the SNS Casting bullets, had other problems, including failure to enter the chamber and jamming point up.  Perhaps if I had seated the bullets further out they would feed better.

It also appears that the Out Of Battery disengage is more sensitive than some other guns.  I'll have to figure out a way to test this.  But it is an issue for me because I reload 9mm so that I can shoot cheaper.  To that end, I use a lot of mixed brass and range pickup.  That means that there is little consistency in case length.  I may have to buy and use a 9mm case trimmer.  Ick.  :(

Anyway, just a heads-up for reloaders.  R51 barrels still have a very short Leade/Throat.  Plunk plunk plunk!

Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / Replacement barrel
« on: June 19, 2017, 06:55:31 AM »
So my flea-bay barrel came (Tuesday, IMS).  It plunks a little be looser than the original but still a tad tighter than the other barrels I used for comparison.  I took it to the range on Friday.

It runs Factory New FMJ just fine.  I didn't have time to extensively test with my reloads but it seemed to feed them without any issue.  Did "dead trigger" twice on my with my reloads.  These reloads were using the SNS Casting 115 gr. LRN (coated HC) instead of the Missouri Bullet Company 115 gr. LRN (coated HC) that I had been using (I didn't have any loaded up to test).  Fed and ejected them just fine.

Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / Reloading ammunition for the R51
« on: April 26, 2017, 03:59:32 AM »
My R51 is a little bit of a picky eater lately.  I've been reloading with 115gr. coated HC from Missouri Bullet Company.  Seated to 1.08" COAL, per manufacturer spec, and stoked with 4.0gr of Titegroup.  These are accurate and feed reliably in several other guns but don't like to feed well in my R51.  Turns out it's a tight chamber.  I got a FCD for 9 and that helps if feed the chamber but the gun is still picky about eating these.  Dead trigger issues and nose up during feed issues.

I'm planning on using up the remaining 115gr. round nose HC coated for shooting in other guns and switching to the 125gr. cone HC coated.  Probably have to bump up the charge to the 4.2 or even 4.3 (max).

My R51 likes most factory new FMJ and seems to really like Critical Duty so I'm looking to get a load/shape similar to Critical Duty (without buying CD bullets!).

Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / Addressing reliability issues
« on: December 21, 2016, 03:42:22 AM »
I haven't seem this article posted yet.  The author is, apparently, a gunsmith and engineer.

Remington, reliability, and the R51

I thought I'd write a bit about the Remington R51, because a lot of friends really like the look of it (and the original Remington model 51 it was based on) when they brought it out a few years ago, and they were very disappointed when it proved so unreliable that Remington had to discontinue production and recall all the shipped pistols.

Recently, Remington brought out a revised version of the R51, and it has come back to mixed reviews; some stating it had fine reliability, and some that it had better than the first production run, but still poor reliability.

TFB-TV, the video production side of the Firearms Blog, ran a full test of the weapon (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/08/17/remington-r51-gen-2-review/), on video, with 600 rounds of 8 different kinds of ammo... and really, the quote speaks for itself:

    "After 600 rounds of testing, the [second gen.] Remington R51 is looking like the kind of gun I'd want my enemy to have in a gunfight" -- TFB TV

Watching the testing, I think I have a pretty good idea of what's wrong... and I thought I'd break it down here.

Basically, the only ammo it would run cleanly with, was the hot German 124gr NATO round nose FMJ stuff. It had just one total failure in about 200 rounds of that ammo.

That's very good ammo by the way, and my favorite factory load for breaking in difficult 9mm pistols, and for shooting through subguns and 9mm carbines. You used to be able to get it pretty cheap by the "battlepack", but I haven't seen any available lately.

The remainder of 8 ammo types tested were averaging one malfunction per every other mag of brass ammo, and the weapon wouldn't run any steel cased ammo at all, with one or more malfunctions per magazine.

Essentially all the malfunctions with brass cased ammo were nosedives, most of which the slide overrode. This normally suggests that the magazines are the primary issue... as is generally the case with MOST self loading firearm malfunctions.

Given the 124gr nato ran very well, and all of the other ammo did not... most of it was lighter, and if it wasn't lighter it was hollowpoint... It seems the weapon is extremely sensitive to cartridge OAL and nose profile.

The German 124gr nato ammo has a long ogive nose profile, making it a couple millimeters longer over all, than either a 124gr JHP, or lighter FMJ or JHP loads (its also longer than 124gr winchester white box, which has a shorter ogive and a rounder more spherical nose profile).

That NATO spec ammo is also hotter than most ammunition... in between an American +P and +P+... It will result in higher slide speeds and energy, even with the "Pedersen Hesitation Lock" blowback action, because it's a modified blowback system that locks the barrel and breech block together until pressure drops, but it still has much more energy hitting the slide earlier in the timing cycle, than a Browning or Walther style locked breech operation (and because it pressure dependent, it is much more sensitive to ammunition variability).

What this suggests to me (as an engineer, a gunsmith, and a shooter) is a combination of timing, and magazine issues.

Hesitation lock weapons are almost always going to run better with hotter ammunition, and may be unreliable with lighter loads. Also, cartridges that obturate differently, or that have different lubricity and stiction (such as steel cases vs. brass), may dramatically alter the timing of the weapon compared to brass test loads.

If  you tune an action to run reliably with lighter pressure ammunition, with hotter ammunition it's more likely to unlock too early, and possibly malfunction, accelerate wear, or even have a catastrophic failure.

If you tune it to run reliably with hotter ammunition, though it will be less likely to have safety and durability issues, and will wear less; it may be unreliable with lower pressure loads.

It's a delicate balancing act that's difficult to manage even with all other factors being perfect. Adding steel cases which obturate in the chamber very differently, and which have dramatically different friction characteristics, just adds another set of issues to the tolerance stack.

That's the timing issue. But, while the other +P ammunition also ran better than the standard pressure, it still had problems... thus the magazine issues.

Its likely that the magazine lips and follower are presenting the cartridge too far back, and too low, at too shallow an angle, and with too much friction on the cartridge.

This combination would cause the feeding cartridge to tilt nose downward too far... without moving forward, or at least before it moves far enough forward... thus a cartridge with too short an OAL may fail to engage the feed ramp, and instead slam into the front of the magazine.

Since the slide is overriding the cartridges instead of jamming on the rims, it also means it's pushing the cartridge stack down far enough, with little enough effort, to continue its stroke.

The failures with steel cased ammo were mostly nosedives as well, but there were also FTI failures, from light primer strikes.

They had nosedive failures every few rounds with steel, which doesn't surprise me, because steel is going to have higher feeding friction, against the mag lips, mag follower, and the rounds under it. Thus the nosedive problem would be exacerbated.

The light primer strikes are lightly due to inadequate force exerted on the firing pin, rather than any more complicated issue.

Both of these issues indicate to me that they used springs that are either too light by spec, or too soft by QC, both for the internal hammer, and for the magazine.

These spring issues are common failures in quality control for any manufacturer, and common problems with any self loading pistol... and frankly, are not surprising given the state of Remingtons manufacturing and quality control issues over the past few years.

When the geometry and timing of a design are just barely on the edge of being reliable, a slightly soft spring can easily make the difference between a weapon that runs, and one that doesn't.

So... what do you do to fix it?

As a manufacturer or a gunsmith, there some relatively simple changes that might help.

First, I would try a slight revision in the mags and mag catches, to make the magazine sit just a little bit higher could improve feeding function; as could a slight easing of the feed lips, reducing friction on the feeding cartridge, and presenting it in a slightly more nose up attitude, allowing it to move further forward with less pressure; thus making it easier for the cartridge to engage the feed ramp and jump up under the extractor, rather than nosediving (particularly for shorter OAL or steel cased cartridges).

If one has an R51 that is overly load sensitive, and has similar issues, and changing to a stronger mag spring doesn't resolve them, then one could try easing the feed lips slightly themselves, as well as polishing them with emery cloth, to reduce feeding friction.

Other than that... There's not much you can do, except to internally blueprint the gun... polish metal mating surfaces, deburr anything that would be in a feed path etc...; and make sure that your springs are good.

Self loading firearms are all going to be sensitive to timing, ammunition variability, magazine geometry, quality control in springs and mags, and quality control in general; and pistols doubly so over rifles, since you've got much less energy and much shorter distances and time windows to deal with.

Honestly, it's pretty easy to make one unreliable, and pretty difficult to make one reliable.

Using a locked breech design helps reduce the variables, and make them less sensitive, which is why you don't see many full power centerfire pistols that don't have a locked breech mechanism.

Even the original Remington model 51 was only available in .32acp and .380acp. There's good reason why blowback pistols... even modified blowback pistols such as the R51... above .380acp in power are rare.

You're already cutting your tolerances close and stacking them high... when you add questionable quality control on top of it... well... the results are... predictably unpredictable shall we say?

Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / SurvivalBlog Review
« on: November 21, 2016, 05:41:52 AM »
R51 Review by Pat Cascio of SurvivalBlog.com


Spoilers: "I tried, I really tried to not like the R51, but the gun just grew on me. The more I shot it, the more I liked it. The more I handled it, the more I liked it. ..."

Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / Trijicon tritium sights for the R51
« on: October 27, 2016, 05:44:32 AM »
Trijicon is now offering tritium night sights for the R51.

Peace favor your sword,

R51 General Discussion / Firing pin fail
« on: September 16, 2016, 06:43:06 AM »
Wells piffle! I was at the range doing two shot string drills when I started getting light strikes and clicks. I disassembled the gun there on site and found that the firing pin, inside the Pederson block, was acting sticky. It would go forward and not retract and not want to go forward as far as it should, binding up or jamming on something apparently. I haven't disassembled it yet, and may not at all, but my current guess is that a bit of detritus somehow got in the firing pin Channel or, less likely, that the firing pin spring has somehow gotten wonked up. I will be pulling it down and taking a closer look at it here very shortly.

Peace favor your sword (mobile)

R51 General Discussion / Buds reviews = good
« on: September 15, 2016, 05:12:35 AM »
The Buds website finally has a review for the R51.  Spoilers: The reviewer likes it.


Peace favor your sword,

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