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Remington to re-release R51 later this year!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by RecoilRob, Mar 22, 2016.

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  1. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    So sayeth the American Rifleman on page 82 of the current issue. Haven't they been promising this for the last 18 months..at least? For some good reasons, I can't see this happening unless they do some very specific things.

    First is choose the ammo it'll work with, specify which brand/bullet weight/case material it's made to shoot and not care that it won't shoot anything else. Of course, the smart move would be to choose something compatible with the largest field of competitors so people have the most options...but trying to make it shoot ANY 9mm is going to bite them in the butt...again.

    Remember that back in the early part of the last century they successfully made some test guns in 45 ACP for the Navy...so it can be done. But making the Pederson lock work in 45 is a heck of a lot easier than in 9mm. It's an almost straight walled case that works at fairly low pressure...and for the Navy they only had to work with ONE bullet, the 230 ball.

    9mm is tapered and to an amazing degree from brand to brand. Part of this is the SAAMI vs CIP specifications...they're very close but not identical. Throw in cases with varying degrees of elasticity and thereby friction and you've got a problem.

    Reason is the Pederson action gets all of its' energy in that first .080" or so of blowback, and the rest of the action must be machined to allow this input to fully function it but also control battering should it be too energetic. Compare a relatively 'sticky' brass case with a steel one...and that blowback energy pulse is going to be very different. If you make it to work with one...it's likely to not work with the other or if you do it the other way around it'll be battered to death in a few thousand rounds. At least that's my take on it.

    Of course, the first aborted attempt to produce the R51 was also compromised by sloppy assembly and machining. Loose sights, wobbly triggers and slides that can't be racked have nothing to do with making the cartrige work with the Pederson action...that's just crappy work. But even a perfectly built gun is going to be hamstrung trying to eat any ammo you feed it. I'm hoping they get a working gun out to the public and have it tuned to work with the more common and available ammo. I'm positive that it can be made to work but is always going to be less flexible than a Browning tilting barrel and thereby more expensive to produce. The only other uses of the Pederson lock in a working gun found it more trouble than it was worth..and this was even using just one bullet weight! Good luck Remington!:)
     
  2. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    Kinda makes one wonder how Ruger can make the LC9s and its brethren function AT ALL, never mind with just about any ammo on the market, eh? Perhaps Remington should take a look at its competition.
     
  3. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    The Ruger (and all the competition) use the vastly superior Browning tilting barrel operating system which is much, much more accomodating to variables in cartridge power. The friction characteristics of the case being used is unimportant until it comes time to extract it...and generally using a stout extractor will take care of the sticky ones.

    Some people online keep harping on how great the Pederson Lock is...I disagree. It's a fussy and difficult design that offers NO advantages over the Browning and is a form of mechanical masturbation that offers some satisfaction when you finally get it to work. Sort of.
     
  4. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    What Remington needs to do is fire every single one of their QC members (if they even have any) and hire a brand new, trained team.
     
  5. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Yippeeeeeeee!​


    OK....sorry about your hearing, hope I didn't give anyone tinnitus!:neener:
    I guess I have something to look forward to! I always liked one but sent the one I'd bought in. The insides had been made by a drunk gorilla with a broken chisel.:rolleyes:
    I think this will be a great CCW gun. Plus it looks cool.
     
  6. Old Guy

    Old Guy Member

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    How much money was wasted on this cock up gun?

    If I made guns, I would make sure they worked first time all the time!

    LOOK at the fiasco of Glocks, the Model Gen4 Glock 19s! Nothing wrong with the gun, you are limp wristing it! Sure.

    Said that for months. They work now.
    Sent mine back to the Smyrna plant, got a present from them (because of the burn on my face) 6 G17 magazines, I use in IDPA Comp.
    Thank you Gaston.
     
  7. A Pause for the Coz

    A Pause for the Coz Member

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    I sure hope they do. I am a buyer.. 2nd beta if you will.

    If it works.. great.. It would be the perfect pocket 9mm.

    If not.. Off to the safe it goes all the while becoming more valuable as on oddity.
     
  8. Goju

    Goju Member

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    What a coincidence...I actually called Remington CS today from work to see if they would offer an update on the R51 project? Last time I called (several months ago) they only said the project was still active, but they were still transitioning work to the new facility and wouldn't offer any delivery timeline. Today I was told that they may be able to ship as soon as early summer, but they were still doing testing. It's been a long wait....
     
  9. FireInCairo

    FireInCairo member

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    You know, now that they've bought Roahrbaur (however you spell it), it would be nice to see if they could perfect the 9mm version of that gun. If they could, it would surely outsell the R51 as it is even smaller.
     
  10. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    Yeah, I'd take an R9 over the 51.
     
  11. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Not sure what you're talking about at all, here. The chambers were stupid-tight (i.e. cut with worn-out reamers) and only short-ogive, narrower-than-usual Remington 'spec' had a shot at chambering in many. Had nothing to do with the loads, but the parts being made right. When I reamed my chamber to proper spec, the cutter stopped about halfway it; chamber was probably about .005" too tight overall, and oval-shaped!

    Again, zero to do with the actual problems. My brass looked like it was drug through sandpaper the original chamber was so rough, and after finish reaming & polishing it, recoil was noticeably harsher --that's how much the surface finish was affecting extraction! Still cycled, though. Extraction was actually quite reliable for my gun, the only issues being intermittent failure to feed, usually getting hung up in the cheapo mags. Folks with really bad chambers found the gun would properly feed, but would fail to go quite all the way into battery, often the last 1/8" where camming of the bolt occurs (which, if you are also wedging a case into a narrow chamber, will obviously tie up the gun). Didn't help that the finish work on the camming areas so critical to smooth operation during the critical initial extraction phase was awful (the cams in the slide were extremely hard and sharp-cornered, and would gouge the soft MIM bolt body)

    And yet a locking lug made of aluminum is able to safely contain a 9mm +P without peening (the only peening I ever witnesses was on the MIM bolt, and caused by the disconnector blade being almost wedged in the vertical position and contacting the bolt in a very small surface area. The bur turned on the bolt would then gouge the upper face of the locking surface.)

    Ironically enough, the 'squish' in the Pedersen actually makes more resilient against excessive thrust, and more reliable across a broad range of inputs. Whatever energy is delivered, is delivered during that first .05" or so; it's not like a Browning where inertia is delivered to the barrel/slide throughout the entire travel of the bullet down the bore. Picking up and dragging back a stationary bolt body also dissipates recoil more than slamming a heavy barrel into a frame stop to unlock. It's hard for folks who haven't shot one to understand, but the initial squish means a 9mm and 9mm +P feel about the same as far as recoil; one's just louder.

    Agreed. In fact, it was so poor a Browning design would be hard pressed to function any better. Any tilt-barrels out there with all MIM internals but the barrel & slide? File/tool marks on the camming & locking surfaces? Half finished chambers?

    I will call this a wildly unsupported/unsupportable statement. Far too few Pedersen designs out there to make such a declaration. I also don't get where this "R51 has a reputation for short stroking" thing came from; the guns had issues with feeding, issues with chambering, issues with firing out of battery*, loose sights, magazines that wouldn't stay in (having taken my gun apart down to pins & reassembling, I guarantee the fiddly mag release spring was not installed properly in many of these guns), and incredibly cheap triggers. There's a lot wrong with these guns, but the design is sound. make it with good, or even decent parts, and it will be an excellent weapon.

    *while inexcusable as the result of shoddy workmanship, the design is uniquely configured to withstand an OOB better than a Browning-derivative. If fired while withdrawn slightly, the locking surface is hit sooner, and the gun fails to cycle, locking up tight with just enough case support to probably avoid a serious case rupture (despite all the reports of OOB, I've only seen one pin-hole puncture of a bulged case)

    Not sure how flexibility with ammo has anything at all to do with manufacturing costs, not that there are flexibility issues. Remington claiming only 'their' ammo works was a cop-out. The chambers were miscut, and Remington makes its ammo at the undersized end of the spectrum, presumably to better work with their terrible chambers. At any rate, the design was flexible enough that the magazine well is long and wide enough for a 45 ACP magazine, and the barrel is positioned below-center in the slide by roughly the same amount as a wider 45ACP barrel would rise to be on-center. It's clear the design was destined for a 45ACP chambering with the swap-out of a barrel & magazine (and maybe recoil spring).

    Perhaps Remington should hire some workers & managers that give a darn about the product they're making? And not dump the project on a factory that's about to be shut down after the initial production run (who'd a thunk that they would phone it in on their way to the unemployment line?)

    Way too little data on Pedersen actions to declare them 'vastly inferior' at this point. The M53 did beat the 1911 in trials, after all, only being passed over due to the urgency of WWI & immediate availability of the Colt for purchase. Browning himself was rather taken with the design. As far as friction, the Pedersen is as or more tolerant than the Browning. When initially firing, the bolt thrust vastly outweighs whatever friction dissipates; cycle speed is not greatly affected. However, when extraction does finally occur after unlocking, there is now slightly less surface area in the chamber to crack loose, unlike the Browning that has to start from square one long after the driving force of the pressure is gone. Not really an issue in either design, though.

    It's been used in exactly TWO designs, and when made correctly for the first one, yielded a gun with a fantastic reputation that sold well for years until the Great Depression. The advantage is a fixed barrel & much better recoil-handling than tilt-barrels. My R51 recoils like my FN P35 Hi Power which weighs a whole lot more & with a wider grip. A fixed barrel makes for more reliable feeding (granted, modern tilt-barrels have largely figured out reliable feeding also), and allows the use of silencers or muzzle attachments without worry for how they impact function --no need for Nielsen devices. The solid locking and interrupted 'power stroke' of the action also means they will be more tolerant of longer pressure curves caused by silencer back pressure.

    Going beyond the locking system, the safety arrangement is pretty darn slick, itself. Glock-like ease of use, while preserving a (theoretically) excellent trigger geometry and also a positive, external safety that's still intuitive.

    They did. What remains to be seen is if the Alabamans are any better.

    Sadly, probably a lot less than we think. Yeah, Remington had to eat the cost of some of their own 1911s, but that action still kept their facilities employed (unlike a straight cash refund, which only a small number took). By hanging out the possibility --however unlikely-- that new models would be coming, they kept many others (like me) from sending our guns in to be destroyed. Many folks are still waiting after sending in their guns for some reason, as if there's a chance they'll be satisfied one day. And seeing as the NC plant was to be closed regardless, and production moved to Alabama, I have to wonder if the cease in production for two years was a foregone conclusion.

    The only cost to Remington was their brand name's reputa-- HAHAHAHA! :D :D Couldn't get through that one without cracking up!

    You see, that's the right attitude. I bought my gun knowing that Remington would probably screw it up (there were a confluence of bad factors going in, not to mention the brand's already shady reputation), but hey, it's only 400$, and a lot more interesting than any other $400 new production handgun. Best case it's an awesome CCW probably to rival any other (thin, comfortable, controllable, accurate, powerful, good looking), worst case it's a Rogak to look upon with whimsy in a few decades with an eye towards 'what might have been.' I own a Mateba and a lot of other weird guns, so I'm fully comfortable with either.

    The only folks who are rightly pissed are the guys who were depending on the gun being a practical defensive arm; and they kind of shoulda known better than to expect perfection in this case (ignorance can be forgiven, it's not like everyone's a nerd following every bit of news about the gun as it was introduced). No one should be angry at this point, just dissapointed. Anyone who sent in their gun should have gotten a decent 1911 as a better-than-fair trade by now, or a straight refund, and moved on with their lives. Anyone still waiting for a new gun is, in my opinion, being a bit foolish, since they are wasting a lot of their money's time, with little evidence of an eventual 0% return at best.

    There's been a rumor of 'imminent re-introduction' every quarter for two years now. There's been nearly zero official corporate statements regarding this firearm within that time (and only to do with the recall). I don't think there are even pictures of the 'new production' pistols supposedly nearing their ship date. Sublimation-ware; was solid, now gaseous. ;)

    Seeing as you can only buy one of them at the moment, I'd tend to agree :)

    The Rohrbaugh is so tiny as to be clumsy to use. The R51 is still large enough for a pinky-grip, and is handled more or less the same as a full size pistol. IIRC, it's around 1911 'Officer' size, not really a true compact, let alone a sub compact mousegun like the 380 Rohrbaugh (I think Remington is having issues with the notoriously finnicky/delicate 9mm version, which is why the 380 is all that's available for now)

    TCB
     
  12. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    Most of the true pocket nines have ammo preferences, it is difficult to design a 9mm pistol with less than 5.5" OAL that works with all weights of 9mm bullets. The DB9 only likes 115gr - 124gr, the Kimber Solo only likes 124gr and heavier. I shoot 148gr Lawman TMJ and 148gr Ranger "T" Series out of my R9 and it reliably cycles them. Probably the least finicky pocket nines are the Kahrs. My CM9 shoots 115gr WWB, 115gr Federal Aluminum, to 148gr Ranger "T" and HST - all weights and no problems.
     
  13. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    I'm more referring to the 200-shot recoil spring life issue ;)
     
  14. 9 fingers

    9 fingers Member

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    I have given up on them making the design work properly and reliably. And I am ordering a Walther PPS M2.
    9 fingers
     
  15. W L Johnson

    W L Johnson Member

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    Good choice. One became my carry gun three weeks ago.
     
  16. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    I've heard about the rough and small chambers, and always wondered if this wasn't an attempt at controlling the recoil and action speed? Then they wouldn't go back into battery...from seemingly not enough recoil spring? Surely if they tried a heavier spring I'm thinking they might then not have had enough energy to cycle the action.

    Add in CIP vs SAAMI spec tapered case, and you've got a lot of difficulty getting one to run. Supposedly the guys who designed the gun in the first place didn't work at Remington, and their boss saw the prototypes and sold it to Remington without their knowledge. When they found out, they were angry because they'd already figured out that the design wouldn't be practical to produce and were very touchy to get working right....which is precisely what everyone else who ever tried to produce a Pederson lock weapon found out.

    The original R51 DID work, but how much of this was because of the Pederson action and could a similar size/weight gun have been built using something else? In other words, the same gun could have been made without the Pederson lock with little extra weight and a whole lot easier to build. They were always expensive to produce...wonder why? You just can't machine them up and throw them together like a Ruger...got to pay talented people to fiddle with each and every one until it works, then cross your fingers that things don't wear enough to throw the balance of forces out of whack.

    I really wish now that I'd bought one when I had the chance...would be fun to tinker with and I'm confident that I could make it work with the ammo I want to run. And then I could have seen how tolerant it would be with all the other stuff around. Perhaps I'm being too harsh on Pederson, and I'd really love to see the gun made and successful...but it sure seems like they're STILL having trouble with it. You can only blame poor machining for so long before I'd start blaming something deeper in the genes.

    Barnbwt....do you still have the R51? I'd love to see pics of what you've done, and maybe even an ammo test to show the ability to digest various brands and flavors of ammo. Steel cased Russian would be interesting compared to USA brass. If it runs 100%...and you want a challenge, I've still got some Brown Bear sitting here that none of my guns will reliably extract.:)
     
  17. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    LOL, maybe you should apply for a job in Remington's marketing group :D. No, those chambers were cut with bad tooling, at too high a speed, while not clearing chips. May have had the effect of sapping recoil energy, but no way was that the intent. They wouldn't go into battery because the bullet was crashing into the rifling; my chamber had no lead, like it was cut with a broken endmill with a single taper for the body, and the breech opening aggressively chamfered to the point it was ovaled (luckily it started so small it almost all cleaned up when fully reamed)

    The slide does not impact the frame violently and has plenty of force to strip & feed rounds into a proper chamber; no need for a stronger spring. That would also defeat a chief advantage of the design, a lighter slide rack (it's "bumpy" due to all the stuff going on below decks, but lighter than most Browning designs can get away with)

    Not at all. The Model 51 had highly complex machined surfaces in a bolt that worked like a BREN's. The R51 bolt looks like a FAL with much simpler cam surfaces, which are also much less likely to crack than the original. Practically everything else but the new mag release is identical to the original (the safety and trigger parts almost look like they'd interchange)

    Technically, the guns are somewhat 'self headspacing' and only require a correct chamber depth like all designs do, but there is no precision mating of locking surfaces required like in the older multi-lug Browning designs. My gun ran decently from the factory despite being nastier than a Chicom SKS under the hood; it's quite tolerant of bad workmanship, lol (so sad that this is even a factor to consider)

    I believe Remington can make good handguns; case in point, the R1 1911 and RM380 are by all accounts quality offerings. But they played their cards too early, and rolled out a half baked (or quarter baked) product. I think the Alabama plant which is making those is fully up to the task, but I also can't believe such a massive loss-leader as the R51 is getting priority (I'd love to be wrong, it just doesn't seem logical to push it in front of more lucrative projects)

    It's in this giant thread, somewhere (sorry :eek:)

    TCB
     
  18. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    barnbwt, thanks for replying to all of the folks and keeping the discussion about the facts and not supposition. I have a series of YouTube videos documenting my journey with the R51 that Remington has now had roughly 730 days without so much as an update email. I call them every once in a while and get the same stupid party line. They won't give me my gun back and they won't replace it. Are you planning on sending yours in for a replacement if they ever ship the gen 2 guns?
     
  19. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    No. They are going to re-release it in October 2014.

    At least that's what they said.
     
  20. Boarhunter

    Boarhunter Member

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    I am personally hopeful that my community neighbors here in Huntsville, Alabama (Rocket City USA), are able to make the gun work as intended. I have a soft spot for interesting and unique firearms, and this one certainly fits the bill, even when they are picky about the ammo they prefer (I have two Bobergs and a preproduction Kimber Solo, etc., as examples).

    I guess we will all simply have to wait and see.

    Boarhunter
     
  21. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    If it was so great, how come it hasn't been used for the last 90 years or so?
     
  22. Joezilla

    Joezilla Member

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    I am going with a Springfield XD Mod 2 9mm sub compact in FDE. May be able to pick it up tomorrow.

    Joe
     
  23. Ibmikey

    Ibmikey Member

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    I shall get in line for the purchase, I like my RM380 and R1 1911's besides it is my $ and choice to buy what i want (short of a Hi Point :)) .
     
  24. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    If they've fixed the problems, I might get one. Remington totally blew it with the initial launch, and there's no excuse for that.
     
  25. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    -The initial design had some distinct flaws (since remedied, from what I can tell)
    -It wasn't an inherently expensive design, so much as one executed in fairly high quality for the time, and was not viable during the depths of the Depression. Imagine if Cabot had invented the 1911 instead of Browning, and how well the 10,000$ wonder pistol would have fared (hint: about as well as the Borchardt, before the same mechanism was crammed into the Luger for a lot less money)
    -It wasn't already in production when WWI rolled around. Seeing as WWI/II is the primary (if not the only) reason the 1911 became so ubiquitous in the US, and the M53 was hanging right with it and also surpassing it during trials, the same success was plausible had the M53 made it to production in time.
    -It works just fine even with minor changes to pretty much just the bolt camming, provided you bother to make it decently. My pistol's issues have been clearly due to obvious quality issues which would doom any other design equally if not worse
    -Lastly, the Browning is fully adequate, and therefore tempting to copy for designers seeking a new product on the cheap. When this was not an option --during the patent period-- the Model 51 was a very viable alternative action.


    TCB
     
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