Remington Model 51 .380 caliber


March 10, 2012, 11:53 PM
I am usually a pretty dedicated Springfield Armory and Smith and Wesson fan, but I have lately found a couple of these little Remington semi-autos after looking for the last 40 years it seems!
One of these I found in a pawn shop locally and the other I happened upon in the Cabela's Gun Library in their Illinois store. The first shows about 80% blue and a very good to excellent bore, the other is almost new with 98% blue and a like new bore.
I have not had much of a chance to fire them, but I did determine if I found a nice one, I would use cast bullets only in it. Both were made in 1919. I am using the little Lee cast bullet. Casts beteen 95 and 101 grains depending upon the alloy I use.
I'm wondering if any of you guys use one of these Remington 51's, and if so, tell me how it works for you. I had the pleasure of putting 50 rounds through each of the pistols today and both went 100%! I would like to find a selection of cast bullets up to 100 grains to also use and am starting to do a search for pre-cast bullets to save me some time. If these pistols continue in the 100% function mode, I will definitely use these for concealed carry. I have a pancake holster made by Ed Buffaloe in Texas for the Remington 51 and I am very happy with his work.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
Hayward, Wi

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March 11, 2012, 12:06 AM
I don't have one of the Remingtons (yet), but I shoot similarly aged Savages and Brownings with absolutly no problems with factory ball ammo.

March 11, 2012, 01:21 AM
The Remington 51's I own are two of my favorite handguns. Part of the allure of handguns for me is the mechanics of their actions, the Remingtons have what is called an inertial lock, some say it's not a true locked breech but rather a hesitation lock, but they are splitting hairs I think.

The much later Bennelli B76, B80 and B82 are very similar in their actions, as the gun recoils the action is kept from opening because the inertia of the slide holds a lug in place against an inclined surface, the breech cannot open until the inertial force is depleted enough to allow the lug to slip out of engagement. The Bennelli is more positive in it's lockup than the Remington, to my eyes.
The Remington looks like a handgun that was designed 60 years later, and that's largely due to the designer Pedersen, of some fame in gun design circles.

Disassembly is pretty tricky it seems to me, and the safety is not in a good place.
I load for mine just as I would for any .380, and in the .32 I just shoot factory ammo.
The gun deserved better acceptance than it got, in my opinion, very flat for it's power, a good carry gun except for the safety.

March 11, 2012, 11:11 AM
General George Patton carried a Remington Model 51 under his tunic. Called it his " Social Pistol".

March 11, 2012, 12:09 PM
My favorite .380 by far. Until the newest Keltecs itis the slimest concealment pistl I know of. It recoils about half as much as the similar sized 1955 Browning ,380 I also have. I feel safe carriyng it cocked and locked which I don't for other pocket pistols.

March 11, 2012, 05:52 PM
I had one, and it was 100% reliable, extremely accurate, and pointed like pointing your finger. The "self aiming" ad from the 1920's appears to be right on! The down side: Shoot them enough, and you may crack the breech block. This has happened to people, and replacement is almost non-existent. The sights are SMALL. I considered having Novak's put real sights on it, but the fragility of the breech design made me give it up. An absolutely beautiful desgn, otherwise, and Gen. Patton was a big fan; as HHB stated, he carried one under his tunic all the time in WWII as a "backup" gun.

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