Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wither the R51 - And Remington?

The Tam at View From The Porch reports that Remington has erased any reference of the promising R51 pistol from their website.

The R51 is/was a neat little single-stack 9mm pistol well targeted at the CCW community. It was announced with considerable fanfare just before this year's SHOT Show. Reaction from the shooting community was immediate and positive. Press releases and the first gun writer reviews indicated that Remington had hit the sweet spot of size, capacity, performance, shootability, style and price. Many (including your humbled scribe) expressed a barely suppressed desire for the pistol. It didn't hurt that the R51 was coming from one of the industry's icons.

Almost immediately, Remington stumbled badly. There were no R51s at the important SHOT Show Media Day shoot. Remington offered no official explanation. At SHOT, the display R51s  were criticized for a "gritty - clunky" feel. And later, pistols sold over the counter had plenty of well YouTube'd problems. 

Remington has been remarkably silent on the R51's issues. Now, the R51 has vanished from the website like a Stalinesc airbrushing of a nonperson.

Remington's problems seem much greater than the R51. They've serially fumbled the Marlin Rifle acquisition and the R700 recall remains a fiasco. Now there's concern that the iconic 870's quality is being short-cut, and some ammunition brands are having noticeable amounts of failures. Worse, Remington is apparently discounting the essential relationship with their customers by being largely silent or disingenuous about the many problems.

This is an absolute shame. Remington has a long, storied history as one of the World's preeminent firearm manufacturers. My safe is stuffed with Remingtons; many are the Clan's heritage firearms. it would be a tremendous loss if this American legend is driven into the ground -- and erased.

Fix the R51... and fix Remington. 

Your thoughts? 


  1. I'll freely admit that I was excited by the R51 announcement, too. It looks like a solid platform, slim, comfortable, good capacity, with a few interesting design features which made it ideal for the CCW market. The Remington brand didn't hurt, and it was modestly priced (about $350, IIRC), 1/3 the price of a comparable Kimber. The T&E prototypes at the SHOT range day were reportedly nearly flawless. Looked promising.

    Hearing about the problems encountered by purchasers was disappointing, especially after such successful T&E, but any truly new product is bound to have some manufacturing issues. The company refines its processes, fixes the issues, and moves on.

    Now, hearing that the R51 has been effectively "un-released" goes beyond the pale. As an engineer (of sorts), I have to wonder if any significant design or manufacturing changes were made after the T&E prototypes were built, but before the major public release began (this could/would result in wholly untested variants being released to the public). This, paired with the other issues Remington brands are experiencing, and compounded with the lack of any explanation or messaging on the part of the company makes me seriously question where their priorities lie, because it certainly doesn't appear to be on their product quality or customers' satisfaction.

  2. Nicely said, Archer.

    I've been watching Remington closely since they acquired -- and all but destroyed -- Marlin. I had a Remington Suit tell me to my face that they've fixed Marlin, and I'd be able to buy my longed for SS 1894 Lever Action in .44 Mag in the summer. That was two years ago. It's easy to make promises when you have no intention of fulfilling them.

    Since then, the entire Remington brand has been in decline. Quality seems to be suffering across the board. And that's a blot on America's oldest arms manufacturer and a danger to the firearms community.

  3. Yeah, a Marlin lever-action (preferably a 336) is on my short list of "wants," too, but unless Remington can fix itself, I'll have to try to find a well-used (well-loved?) one.

    And most people who have the well-loved ones aren't selling.