The new Remington R51 9mm Subcompact Handgun combines trusted performance design with modern concealed-carry features. Given the R51’s noteworthy predecessor (it is based on the Remington Model 51), author Jorge Amselle decided to examine the new 9mm subcompact pistol for the 2014 POCKET PISTOLS and see how it performed on the range.

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“The original Model 51 was chambered in .32 and .380 ACP, although a .45 ACP prototype was also developed and tested by the U.S. military. It was also a favorite carry pistol for General George S. Patton. Remington decided to make the new R51 a true defensive pistol and redesigned the Pedersen block to be much stronger to handle 9mm +P ammunition,” notes Amselle. “Interestingly, Remington decided to go with a lightweight aluminum frame instead of polymer. The triggerguard has an undercut allowing a higher grip on the frame, and the pistol also features a fully functional slide lock/release and an ambidextrous magazine release.”


Continuing on with his examination of the R51’s internals, Amselle discusses a few of the single-action-only (SAO) R51’s noteworthy features. “The hammer is internal and there is no thumb safety. Instead, the R51 has a very positive grip safety that can be heard when it engages. There is also a trigger bar disconnect safety so the pistol will not fire unless the shooter has both a firm grip on the gun and intentionally squeezes the trigger. The SAO trigger itself has also been redesigned for improved
safety with a long, consistent travel. It is still
a fairly light trigger at a reported 6.5 pounds.”

At the range, Amselle put the R51 through a series of shooting drills and came away impressed by the compact pistol’s handling. “This is an incredibly easy and comfortable pistol to shoot (we put 3,000 rounds through the samples provided),” says Amselle. “The recoil impulse of this gun felt only slightly higher than for a compact .22 LR pistol. Accuracy at 7 yards from a supported position was good, averaging 2 to 3 inches, and the sights were easy to acquire.”

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