Early promo photo of the ill-fated R51. (Photo credit: Remington)
Remington is addressing issues surrounding the troublesome launch of their hotly-anticipated R51 single-stack subcompact. This was one of the most talked-about pistols in the days leading up to SHOT Show 2014 and one of the most talked-about guns after the show, although for completely different reasons.
The R51 is an updated, modern take on the classic Remington Model 51 .380 ACP pistol designed by John Pedersen dating back to 1917. It uses a clever hesitation-locked delayed blowback to cycle the action.
But immediately after the pistols hit the market people ran into serious and potentially dangerous problems with the new guns, ranging from failures to feed to bulging cases, a sign that the slides were coming out of battery too fast while the system was still under high pressure levels.
Other problems like loose sights and rough edges pointed to a hasty launch and, realistically, quality control issues. The R51’s reputation sunk in just a few weeks.
It wasn’t too long before Remington removed the R51 from much of their website (it is still listed in the 2014 catalog as well as on their promo page) and the pistol disappeared from store shelves.
Now Remington has acknowledged the flawed launch and are giving existing owners of R51 pistols a chance to send them back for a free replacement. As a consideration Remington will return the replacements along with two extra magazines and a custom Pelican case to everyone who sends their R51s back.
Given the nature and severity of the issues some R51 pistols have demonstrated, we highly recommend that all R51 owners give Remington a call at 1 (800) 243-9700, even if there is a wait for the replacement pistols.
Remington expects the R51 to re-enter production in October later this year.
Here is the R51 update in full:
July 25, 2014
Remington R51 Pistol Product Update
Earlier this year, we launched the innovative R51 subcompact pistol to critical acclaim. During testing, numerous experts found the pistol to function flawlessly. In fact, they found it to have lower felt recoil, lower muzzle rise and better accuracy and concealability than other products in its class.
However, after initial commercial sales, our loyal customers notified us that some R51 pistols had performance issues. We immediately ceased production to re-test the product. While we determined the pistols were safe, certain units did not meet Remington’s performance criteria. The performance problems resulted from complications during our transition from prototype to mass production. These problems have been identified and solutions are being implemented, with an expected production restart in October.
Anyone who purchased an R51 may return it and receive a new R51 pistol, along with two additional magazines and a custom Pelican case, by calling Remington at (800) 243-9700.
The new R51 will be of the same exceptional quality as our test pistols, which performed flawlessly.