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General Discussion / Remington Plant Re-Opens
« on: April 22, 2021, 01:00:22 AM »
The Remington plant in Ilion, NY reopened in early April with 45 employees returning to work.  200 will return by the end of the month (April 2021).  They are going to start production with the model 870 shotgun.  Question - Are unionized employees bad for Remington?

R51 General Discussion / Steps to a Fully Functional Model R51
« on: May 15, 2020, 07:26:04 AM »
There are plenty of haters out there.  There are also several folks out there that really love this handgun and have painstakingly sacrificed their time and sanity to figure out what was causing the issues with the model R51, which are actually pretty minimal.  Should Remington have ironed out these quirks prior to consumer release? Yes... but what's the fun in that?  The shortcomings of Remington's manufacturing and QA/QC process have allowed us to become more intimate with, understand, and appreciate the workings of a Pedersen hesitation-locked action handgun.  Here are some things I have learned from this forum and my own experience to ensure the proper function of a model R51:

1.   Read the R51 owner’s manual.

2.   Learn and become familiar with the R51 disassembly/reassembly process as it is different than most.  It’s not as big of a chore if you know what you are doing.

3.   While disassembled (field stripped), inspect parts for sharp edges and burrs, i.e. ejector and chamber end of barrel.  Make them smooth with a mini file and/or emery cloth.

4.   Polish the feed ramp, chamber, and breech block.  Additionally, you may want to polish the outside of the barrel and hammer.  The slide and action spring glides on the surface of the barrel and the breech block slides over the hammer.  I used a Dremel with felt bits and metal polish.

5.   Disassemble the magazines, remove at least 1/8” from the bottom of the follower legs.  Do not cut any loops from the magazine spring.  Shortening the follower legs provides the necessary clearance between a fully loaded magazine and the breech block.  This will allow you to rack the gun with a full magazine or run 7+1.  If you have ever fired your weapon with 7+1 and had the magazine forced out after the first round, this will solve that issue, among others.  Video
6.   File the inside edge of the bent tab at the nose of the magazine then polish the inside face and edge of the bent tab.  Polish the feed lips on the magazine for good measure.  Polishing both areas will assist in rounds feeding without fault.  Clean and reassemble the magazines.

7.   Thoroughly clean and lubricate your model R51.  Use gun grease on the slide rails, breech block, and hammer.  Use gun oil elsewhere.  It is not necessary to lubricate the firing pin, it will cause carbon build-up after a while.

8.   When racking the slide, do so rapidly – pull back and release either by hand or by slide catch.  This gun likes to feed rounds into battery swiftly.

9.   For right handed shooters, take caution not to have your thumb near the slide catch.  The slightest pressure on the slide catch will lock the slide open during the cycle.

10.   If you are shooting low on your target, the correct sight picture is acquired by using the combat hold.  The center of the front sight dot completely covers the bullseye.

11.   Different brands, types, and weights of 9mm Luger and 9mm Luger +P ammunition work in this pistol.  You should test which works best for you and your model R51.
12.   If you still have issues (doubtful), use the “search” function in this forum.  There is a wealth of information and knowledge to be gained from previous posts.  Plus, the subject of a post may not be what the conversation has morphed into.

Remington R51 Facts and Specs / A Brief History of the R51
« on: April 25, 2020, 01:59:48 PM »
In commemoration of the bicentennial anniversary of Remington Arms in 2016, Big Green looked to its' distant past for inspiration on a new generation of handgun.  America’s oldest gun maker set out to modernize the nostalgic pocket pistol model 51 produced from 1918-1927, which was available in .32 ACP and .380 ACP calibers.  It was introduced in a time when the American homeland demand was for revolvers; the expensive, compact, euro-style, magazine-fed model 51 was, perhaps, ahead of its time.  With limited commercial success because of a higher price point, Remington decided to pull the plug on the original model 51 as the Walther PPK and other less expensive handguns gained popularity.

Fast forward to 2014: the all new model R51 will be initially offered in 9mm Luger +P (.40 S&W, as announced, would never see production) and utilize the innovative Pedersen hesitation lock design found in its nearly century-old progenitor.  With the goal of breaking into the growing market of 9mm, subcompact, single-stack, concealed handguns it’s the perfect time for Remington to right the wrongs of the old model 51, but is it too late?  History may show that the introduction of the new model R51 may have been, once again, too early.

Note: the Remington M53 .45 ACP (aka M1917) was prototyped for the US Army during WWI.  The Army ended up staying with the M1911.  However, in April of 2018, the Navy and Marine Corps sought an alternative to the M1911 and tested the M53 in June of 1918.  They found it to be more reliable than the M1911 but was cost prohibitive.  Plus the war ended 5 months later in November of 1918.  As a result, the smaller model 51 was produced for civilian use.

The following is an attempt to chronicle the events leading up to and the seemingly end of the polarizing model R51 handgun:

•   January 2009 – Para Ordnance, a small company specializing in making model 1911 style handguns, moved it’s manufacturing from Markham, Ontario, Canada to Pineville, NC, a suburb of Charlotte, and becomes Para USA.

•   January 2011 – Remington, headquartered in Madison, NC, re-entered the handgun market with the centennial edition 1911 R1, an updated version of the 1911 Remington made for the US government during World War I, originally made at its Ilion, NY plant.

•   January 2012 - Remington (the Freedom Group) acquired Para USA to expand its handgun line.  Research & Development began at Remington’s R&D Center (aka "The Rock”) in Elizabethtown, KY for the model R51 and will be produced at the Para USA plant in Pineville, NC.  Chip Klass was the project lead and Adam Walker the lead design engineer.

•   December 2012 – A mass shooting occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT.  One of the weapons used by the lone actor is a Bushmaster XM15-E2S, an AR-style rifle.  Bushmaster is part of the Remington family of companies.  The other weapon was a Glock 20SF which jammed after he fatally shot himself.

•   December 2013 – A seminar for the media was held at the Gunsite Academy in Paulden, AZ where the model R51 was presented, tested and reviewed with critical acclaim.  Reports of performance and reliability were all positive.  This was most likely due to Remington sending eight bench-tuned prototype/pre-production units for media testing & evaluation.

•   January 2014 – The new 2014 Remington catalog revealed the new model R51, “Introducing the most intuitive concealed handgun on the planet - for when it matters most.  Forged from nearly 200 years of defending the American way of life.  Designed and developed by the industry's most powerful minds to keep you safe.  The definition of shootability, by America's most trusted gunmaker.”  The catalog offers accessories including magazines, wider grip panels, and black nitride finished threaded barrels.  The new Model R51 features:

o   Average of 25% less muzzle flip with the lowest bore axis in the industry
o   Intuitive pointing characteristics with optimized grip angle and slim, aluminum frame
o   Match-grade 3.4" barrel and bushing
o   Chambered in 9mm +P
o   Front strap checkered at 25 LPI
o   CCW trigger system
o   The lightest slide racking force in its class
o   Two flush 7+1 magazines

•   January 2014 – The model R51 was unveiled at the SHOT Show exhibit in Las Vegas.  To everyone's dismay, Remington withheld the handgun from the invitation-only event “Industry Day at the Range” for media and buyers to test.  The all-black model (MPN 96430 MSRP $420) and one with a CT laser (MPN 96432 MSRP $608) are displayed.  There is also a CT model displayed with a Ti-RANT-S 9 silencer from AAC.  According to staff, optional threaded barrels from Storm Lake, Ti-RANT suppressors from Advanced Armament Corp., night sights from Trijicon, laserguards from Crimson Trace, holsters from Crossbreed, Fobus, Bladetech, and Galco will all be available.

•   February 2014 – Remington announced that it will open a new state-of-the-art, “center of excellence” manufacturing facility in Huntsville, AL- a former Chrysler electronics plant adjacent to the Huntsville International Airport.

•   February 2014 – the model R51 was released for retail roll-out and is received with mixed reviews from flawless performance to several reports of performance issues and malfunctions including, but not limited to:

o   Failure to feed, failure to go completely into battery
o   Failure to extract, failure to eject
o   Magazine capacity issues: magazine pops out after first shot of 7+1
o   Magazine base plate too flimsy
o   Pins drifting loose
o   Sights drifting loose
o   Poor machining on slide and breech block causing jams and rough action

Author's Note: all of these issues would later be corrected in the Gen 2 with exception to the magazine follower issue.  A simple fix that would have regained consumer confidence and possibly turned the losing battle around for the R51.

•   April 2014 – the model R51 was shown at the NRA convention in Indianapolis, IN.

•   May 2014 – Remington announced it will close the Para USA Pineville, NC plant by August 2015, affecting its current 65 employees.  Quality immediately declined and warranty claims arose.  This may explain why some handguns performed well while others did not.

•   May 2014 – Remington announced it will close the R&D Center in Elizabethtown, KY, known as the “Rock”, and integrate it into the new Huntsville, AL plant.  Over 50 employees are affected by this closure.  Five of the former engineers decided to form their own R&D, Consulting, and OEM manufacturing firm known as Atlas Development Group.

•   July 25, 2014 – Six months after consumer launch, Remington issued a voluntary recall for the model R51 claiming that there were “complications during our transition from prototype to mass production”.  Customers are offered a replacement model R51, 2 additional magazines, and a custom Pelican case (MPN 96435).  They are also offered a full MSRP refund, or an exchange for a model 1911 R1 handgun, MSRP $729.  Remington states that replacement model R51s are expected to ship sometime in October 2014.  According to Remington, roughly one third opt for the replacement, one third opt for the R1, and one third opt for the refund.

•   October 2014 – The promised ship date of the revised model R51 comes and goes with no explanation from Remington as to when the expected date of re-release will be.  However, it is clear with internal corporate struggles, quality control issues, the looming Para USA plant closure, and the new Huntsville plant transition, the delay will continue into the foreseeable future.

•   October 2014 – Adam Walker, the lead design engineer for the model R51, is no longer at Remington.  Michael Snyder becomes the new lead re-design engineer.

•   December 2014 – A class action lawsuit was filed by 9 of the Sandy Hook victims’ families.  Bushmaster and Remington are named in that lawsuit.

•   January 2015 – The new 2015 Remington catalog still touts the model R51 in hopeful anticipation of its re-release.  Despite Remington’s best efforts, original owners would not see their updated model R51s in 2015.

•   February 2015 – Remington announced that Para USA will “integrate” into the new Huntsville, AL plant beginning in March 2015.

•   March 2015 – the Huntsville, AL plant is up and running.  The first handguns to roll off the line and bear the Huntsville mark are model RM380s, originally planned to be made in Charlotte, NC.  Now that the new Engineering Lab was up and running, the model R51 was being redesigned by the engineers.  Further testing & evaluation of the R51 continued.  Modifications to existing parts produced in Pineville were worked out or scrapped altogether.

•   March 2015 – The Para USA plant was permanently closed in Pineville, NC ahead of the August completion date.  All production for the model R51 is moved to the Huntsville, AL plant eight months after the recall.  It is only assumed that the Pineville plant was continuing to make parts for the model R51 during the dark period.  This may explain why there are so many “Gen 2” model R51s with Charlotte, NC markings.

•   April 2015 – Remington showed the newly redesigned “Gen 2” model R51 at the 2015 NRA convention in Nashville, TN.  Visible differences noted are the slide has been revised with new logo placement and the sights have set screws.  Handguns are shown without magazines.  At this point, it is unclear what internal mechanisms have been redesigned.  Representatives claim all the problems have been fixed.  It is speculated that pending litigation, manufacturing transition, further testing, and quality control keep the redesigned handgun off the market.

•   September 2015 – Remington released a statement that the new R51 is currently being re-engineered at the R&D center at Huntsville and are working to have it back on the market as soon as possible.

•   January 2016 – The model R51 was absent from the new 2016 Remington catalog as the re-release date of the model R51 is still unclear.

•   January 2016 – The model R51 was not displayed at the SHOT Show exhibit in Las Vegas, NV.  Bizarrely, at Remington’s 200th anniversary historic handgun display, the original 1917 model 51 was shown and the new RM380 has taken the rightful place of the model R51 in the display as the new generation in handguns.

•   June 23, 2016 – Remington begins to ship the new version "Gen 2" model R51 to original owners that sent their handguns in for replacement.  The handguns were still marked with Charlotte, NC, the R51 logo on the slide has been relocated closer to the ejection port, the magazine has a thicker base plate, and the sights now have a set screw to lock them in place.  The packaging was also different than the original.  These were the only noticeable exterior differences on the new handgun.  Known changes.

•   August 12, 2016 – Remington began the retail roll-out of the Gen 2 model R51 to consumers.  The first boxes sent to dealers were marked “Not for Sale or Display Until August 12, 2016”.  Steps to a fully-functional R51.

•   October 2016 – The Sandy Hook class action lawsuit filed in 2014 was dismissed by the State of Connecticut.  The complaint was found by the Court not to be valid by State or Federal law.

•   January 2017 – The model R51 was shown in the 2017 Remington catalog with the following “enhanced” features to address the revisions to the handgun:

o   Enhanced slide operation – updated internals ensure superior slide performance and smooth function.
o   Precision engineered extractor – built to withstand abuse, extractor precisely engages case rim for sure and forceful extraction and ejection.
o   Snag-free sights – locking snag free sights for fast target acquisition.
o   Finely-tuned recoil spring – force-balanced for impeccable slide feel and positive closure into battery.
o   Action spring bushing – hard chromed action spring bushing for extreme durability.
o   Superior trigger – crisp, single action trigger provides unmatched shootability and enhanced accuracy.

•   January 2017 – Model R51s were now marked Huntsville, AL on the frame instead of the previous Charlotte, NC.  The serial number format had changed from 0007333R51 to H007333R51.

•   January 2017 – The model R51 was shown at the Shot Show exhibit in Las Vegas, NV.

•   February 2017 – Remington offered a $35 rebate for all model R51 and RM380 handguns purchased between February 1 and March 5, 2017.

•   March 2017 – Several dozen employees including, Chip Klass, the Director of Product management for handguns and project lead for the model R51, were “released” from Remington.  Other high-ranking positions let go were: Director of Defense, SVP of Product Development, and Sr. Retail Specialist.

•   August 2017 – James Marcotuli, CEO of Remington, resigned due to “personal matters”.

•   September 2017 – A new variant to spark more interest and sales of the model R51 was released- a two-toned “Smoke” colored model with a gray anodized frame, black slide and grip panels (MPN 96234 MSRP $408).  These models begin with the serial number ~H023000R51 through ~H027999R51.  A factory prototype Smoke pistol has been identified as serial number H014704R51 (now owned by a forum member).

•   October 2017 – Anthony Acitelli is named new CEO.  The following executives at Remington left the company: SVP/GM of Firearms and Accessories, SVP of Ammunition, and SVP of Sales.
•   November 2017 – Remington offered a “Pre-Black Friday” $100 rebate for all model R51, RP9, and RM380 handguns purchased between November 1 and November 18, 2017.

•   January 2018 – The 2018 Remington catalog showed the model R51 in Black, Black with CT, and Smoke options.

•   January 2018 – The model R51 was shown at the SHOT Show exhibit in Las Vegas, NV.  The new smoke model was on display along with the black model.

•   March 2018 – Remington filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

•   May 2018 – Remington exited bankruptcy after a restructuring plan is supported by its creditors.

•   September 2018 – Production of the model R51 was "suspended" in Q4 2018 according to Remington.

•   November 2018 – After navigating the company through bankruptcy, Anthony Acitelli resigned as CEO.

•   January 2019 – The model R51 is absent from the new 2019 Remington catalog.  However, the catalog still showed that magazines, grips, and optional sights were still available for the model R51.  The handgun was still shown on the website as available for purchase.

•   March 2019 – The Sandy Hook families appealed to the Supreme Court of Connecticut where the ruling was reversed.

•   June 2019 – Ken D'Arcy was appointed as new CEO of Remington Outdoors.

•   November 2019 – Remington’s appeal to drop the suit was denied and the Sandy Hook families are allowed to proceed with the class action lawsuit.

•   December 2019 – Remington ceases production and sales of Bushmaster, DPMS, TAPCO, and Storm Lake.  Their websites have been removed from the internet.

•   January 2020 – The model R51 was absent from the new 2020 Remington catalog.  However, the catalog still showed that magazines, grips, and optional sights are still available for the model R51.  The handgun was still shown on the website as available for purchase.

•   July 2020 – Remington files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again.  A move that protects Remington from having to pay a massive and crippling judgement to the Sandy Hook families.

•   August 2020 – There are very few model R51 pistols and accessories available for purchase but can still be found at online stores.  An occasional Gen 1 will show up on auction sites.  The current political climate and Corona virus pandemic have caused most personal defense weapons and ammunition to fly off the shelf.  It is a shame that Remington could not capitalize on this record setting year of firearms sales.

•   September 2020 – A judge approved the purchase of Remington Outdoor Company by seven separate entities:

o   Vista Outdoor to purchase majority of assets- ammunition, accessories, brand and trademarks.  Vista will receive equipment, machinery, furniture, fixtures and improvements, tooling and spare parts from the Huntsville plant. 
o   Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc. to purchase Marlin firearms business
o   Roundhill Group LLC to purchase the non-Marlin firearms business including Ilion, NY plant and museum as RemArms.
o   Sierra Bullets LLC to purchase Barnes ammunition business
o   JJE Capital Holdings LLC to purchase DPMS, H&R, Storm Lake, AAC, and Parker brands
o   Franklin Armory Holdings LLC to purchase Bushmaster brand and related assets
o   Sportsman's Warehouse Inc. to purchase TAPCO brands

For now, this is where the chronicle ends.  With only a sporadic five year run from 2014 through 2018, will the model R51 be remembered as a total disaster or will it be remembered as one of the coolest looking handguns with predestined collectability?  This model R51 owner thinks the latter will be the case.  But, as they say, time will only tell.  In hindsight, the gun of the future should have been prototyped and manufactured at the plant of the future from the beginning.  In the end, and much like its predecessor, the success of the model R51 was doomed from the beginning amid the corporate turmoil at Big Green.

Production Note: Prior to the Great Depression of the early 20th century, the original model 51 only had a total production of 65,000 units.  It is believed that the new model R51 also had an estimated total production of 65,000 units (according to known serial numbers).  Approximately 37,000 units marked Charlotte, NC and approximately 28,000 units marked Huntsville, AL.

Photos - Remington R51 photos / R51 in Gun Case
« on: April 12, 2020, 02:58:34 AM »
Here's a couple photos of my smokey R51 in the gun case.  I got the case at Harbor Freight for $12.99 plus used the 25% off coupon.  Its the perfect fit!  A little sloppy on the foam cutting but it works.

R51 General Discussion / Back Strap Safety
« on: April 05, 2020, 09:45:27 AM »
I was inspecting my pistol and noticed that there are the numbers "2.2" stamped on the inside bottom of the back strap safety.  See the attached photo.  Does everyone else have these same numbers?  Does anyone know what it means?  Just curious.

Introductions section / Love my new R51
« on: March 25, 2020, 11:06:54 PM »
Just purchased a new R51 in the smoke color scheme.  Can't wait to take it to the range!

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