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R51: Potentially catastrophic safety issue?

Moderators: Scorpion8, ripjack13, John A., jstanfield103


.410
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:35 pm
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:59 am
The following comments are my personal opinion. I am neither an engineer nor a firearms designer. I have been shooting and handloading for over 30 years and am simply sharing my observations and thoughts. I encourage anyone with questions or concerns to contact Remington directly.

I have been as strong a supporter of the R51 as anyone; our household owns two (hard to support much more than that) and I’ve been very vocal in refuting what I’ve viewed (and in some cases STILL view) as unfair, clearly biased, and inaccurate (possibly untruthful and certainly overblown) reporting of “issues” related to the Remington R51. I have been quite excited by the potential of this firearm and will state that my shooting session with mine (I’ve only had the opportunity to take the firearm out once, shooting 100 rounds) was exactly what I’d hoped for related to reliability, reduced recoil, rapid target acquisition, and minimal split times between shots. In short, I very much like my R51.

Having said all of that, seemingly legitimate reports of problems with the R51 continue to mount in various venues including at gun shop counters, within internet forums, and on YouTube review videos. At this point there seem to be more than enough to preclude further debate as to whether there are real problems with the gun. While some of the very first “reviews” may have been overly critical and certainly seemed to contain strong bias against the gun’s manufacturer, the newest videos provide strong technical evidence supporting the possibility of significant design problems. Stated another way, now that the guns have made their way into the hands of intelligent, observant, well spoken, open minded individuals, a very concerning possibility is emerging – that the R51 (as presently designed - 3/31/14) may not only be plagued with potential design issues, but might also be a catastrophically unsafe firearm.

First let me share my personal definition of a potentially “catastrophic safety issue.” This would be an issue that could cause significant damage (including premature wear) or destruction to the firearm and/or injure or kill the person using it. I think most will agree that a firearm exhibiting signs of overpressure and/or firing out of battery falls squarely into the possible “potentially catastrophic” realm. Attached is a link to a video that seem to show the R51 firing “out of battery.” (quite convincing evidence in the form of a severely bulged case recovered from the firearm is provided) There is an additional link to a video which also seems to indicate the gun experiencing potentially unsafe pressure issues due to primer flow. Keeping in mind that this gun has been marketed and stated to be designed for “+P” rated ammunition (my gun has +P stamped on the barrel) and a possibly disastrous condition exists; one where a firearm already being subjected to elevated pressure conditions due to either design or manufacturing problems is being used by owners who have been encouraged through marketing to use higher than standard pressure ammo.

Also attached are pictures of cases fired from my R51. Looking at the primers there is clear evidence of primer flow, bordering (in my opinion) on primer piercing. After reviewing ALL of the cases that I was able to recover during my shooting session, they all show the same two signs, primer flow and significant scratching on the case exterior. Both seem to support the opinion offered in the linked “Remington R51 Out of Battery Discharge Failure” video posted on YouTube. The opinion shared is that the cases are sticking in the chamber leading to an over pressure condition. A further opinion is offered that the same issue (poor chamber machining and/or a significantly unsupported chamber)is also leading to the much more serious issue of firing out of battery. A secondary design issue, that the trigger can allow the hammer to fall prior to the gun being fully in battery is offered a co-contributor to the OOB firing problem.

Also attached are pictures from Google (they are not mine) which purportedly show a case separation in an R51. A true case separation is something I NEVER seen or ever seen or even heard of in a handgun – especially one with a tapered cartridge such as the 9mm.


Videos:

“Remington R51 Out of Battery Discharge Failure” (shows budged case and primer flow – also offers great commentary on issue)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvEAr9T ... 8Nmksc3-eQ



“Remington R51 First Shots and Impressions” (even keeled review – if you go to minute 4:57 primer flow on fired cases shown)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ojm9HSSqSoI

UPDATED 4-1-14 11:22EDT
Picture of budged case from the linked video.

To me, it is hard to tell 100% from the video - but the gun *externally* did appear to be in battery...

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Pictures of fired cases from my R51:

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Pictures of case separation from google:

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.270 WIN
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:08 am
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:38 am
Thanks.

Keep us up to date on this.

On the case separation, I, too, have never seen one personally. Was it a reload? Any indication of whether or not the brass might have been compromised?

As far as potentially rough/poorly machined chambers go, I agree that this would be a Quality Control issue.

Keep your ear to the ground on the issue of the trigger. That seems to be the worst potential issue.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
http://cbd.atspace.com Martial Arts born in Western Civilization

.22LR
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:49 pm
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:47 am
445R51, That was the most professionally done & unbiased review I have read yet & I have had one ordered, but not now. I have read so many unbiased & bad reviews that I think now I will go ahead & get an XDs 9. I am old with bad wrists & was really looking forward to the R 51. Thanks for the great review.

.410
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:32 pm
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:52 am
I cannot agree more, I have been chastised here for expressing my opinions, I still stand by any thing I have posted with the Gun and what I think by now is reverberating in the corporate structure of Remington. My gun was delivered less then an hour ago to Remington for repair. Last week when I took my R51 to the range for the first time what could have been a potentially catastrophic accident save my safety training which is to always point a loaded firearm down range happened to me. Pulled the trigger then nothing.... re racked after a reasonable length of time and the gun fired down range with my finger off the trigger. UNACCEPTABLE.

.410
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:35 pm
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:01 am
Some great pics of primer flow from a GREAT (but longish) discussion on the R51. They actually get the gun to easily close on a no-go gauge. Skip ahead to about 23:00 in to cut to the chase...

About 30:00 is a great discussion about the grip safety, which I feel pretty much invalidates much of the negativity mentioned by others about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotatio ... wsY-dfEcWw

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.270 WIN
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:08 am
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:39 pm
draidt wrote:I have been chastised here for expressing my opinions, I still stand by any thing I have posted with the Gun and what I think by now is reverberating in the corporate structure of Remington.
I chastised you for promulgating unsubstantiated rumor about a Remington exec and I'd do so again. If at some point it can be actually substantiated, then it's real. Outside of that, it is old women gossiping at best and Libel at worst. (Yes, actual, literal legal Libel, potentially; the more likely against "Leghorn.")

Seriously. There is no need to circulate rumors. Stick with documented facts.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
http://cbd.atspace.com Martial Arts born in Western Civilization

.410
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:32 pm
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:14 pm
lklawson wrote:
draidt wrote:I have been chastised here for expressing my opinions, I still stand by any thing I have posted with the Gun and what I think by now is reverberating in the corporate structure of Remington.
I chastised you for promulgating unsubstantiated rumor about a Remington exec and I'd do so again. If at some point it can be actually substantiated, then it's real. Outside of that, it is old women gossiping at best and Libel at worst. (Yes, actual, literal legal Libel, potentially; the more likely against "Leghorn.")

Seriously. There is no need to circulate rumors. Stick with documented facts.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk



There is one documented fact Remington has not issued a safety recall on this unsafe gun. Is this guy your brother in law or what. I have been around long enough to know how Corporations sweep things under the rug and how friendly separations terms really work.

Can we agree to disagree ?

.270 WIN
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:08 am
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:57 pm
draidt wrote:
lklawson wrote:
draidt wrote:I have been chastised here for expressing my opinions, I still stand by any thing I have posted with the Gun and what I think by now is reverberating in the corporate structure of Remington.
I chastised you for promulgating unsubstantiated rumor about a Remington exec and I'd do so again. If at some point it can be actually substantiated, then it's real. Outside of that, it is old women gossiping at best and Libel at worst. (Yes, actual, literal legal Libel, potentially; the more likely against "Leghorn.")

Seriously. There is no need to circulate rumors. Stick with documented facts.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk



There is one documented fact Remington has not issued a safety recall on this unsafe gun. Is this guy your brother in law or what. I have been around long enough to know how Corporations sweep things under the rug and how friendly separations terms really work.

Can we agree to disagree ?
Can we agree that we shouldn't spread gossip?

Look, it doesn't matter what you "think" or what you "suspect" or if you've been "around long enough" to know that "corporations" (a rather broad brush) do X, Y, or Z.

The simple fact is that you're claiming something you have no proof for. That's pretty much the end of the story.
http://cbd.atspace.com Martial Arts born in Western Civilization
User avatar
.270 WIN
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:54 pm
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:41 pm
Lets just agree that the R51 has its fair share of issues right out the gate and its early yet to see how Remington will handle these issues. Maybe after they get enough of our guns in their shop and see a common issue they will then release a recall on the R51. Again, its still early as this gun is still somewhat difficult to find in stores and most people having their issues have just sent in their guns or will be soon. The next few weeks will tell the tale, lets just wait and see how Remington handles this. I wont comment on Remington with the R51 until I know how my repair is handled and if its indeed fixed when its returned.

Some guys say its first year production and they will have the bugs worked out next year and will be fine. I wouldn't go with that theory just yet. My Versamax had a few small issues that Remington made corrections for and is a great gun. My model 887 however is still a complete train wreck after being out for several years, bought mine after being out for 3 years (mines back at Remington right now for the second time) so that's why I wouldn't fall for the "first year" woes and then it will be fixed idea....

I'll be clear, I like Remington products and I want to love this R51.
"...to disarm the people - that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." -George Mason

.270 WIN
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:08 am
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:03 pm
remmy wrote:Lets just agree that the R51 has its fair share of issues right out the gate and its early yet to see how Remington will handle these issues.
I can agree with that. I'm the first poster to this forum who said that he's sending his R51 back in for work. Mag dropping. They got it last week and I plan on calling them this week too. I checked the brass I recovered and saw the same roughing up on the brass and some of them had the same reported "primer flow" too. But that doesn't mean that a certain exec was fired. That's gossip.

Some guys say its first year production and they will have the bugs worked out next year and will be fine. I wouldn't go with that theory just yet.
I don't think it's fair to claim that growing pains is positively what the issue is. But it is fair to say that growing pains are extremely common on first release gun designs. I'm a Kel Tec fan so let me pull a few examples there:

  • PF9 - Had to have the feed ramp re-designed
  • PMR-30 - was keyholing so often that they completely re-designed the barrel, removing the fluted barrel design
  • KSG - feed issues and breakage of the stock had them re-design

"First Gen" issues are super common.

Is that what's the problem here? Maybe. It is also quite possible that the apparent "chamber drag" on the brass, as evidenced by the marring and primer flow, is the result of poor quality control or poor machining.

Maybe the reports of out-of-battery are the result of poor quality control, loose tolerances, or poor design. But maybe it's also just flukes. We just don't know yet.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
http://cbd.atspace.com Martial Arts born in Western Civilization
User avatar
.270 WIN
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:17 pm
gene51 wrote:445R51, That was the most professionally done & unbiased review I have read yet & I have had one ordered, but not now. I have read so many unbiased & bad reviews that I think now I will go ahead & get an XDs 9. I am old with bad wrists & was really looking forward to the R 51. Thanks for the great review.



Gene51- If you end up getting an xds 9 let me know what you think of it. I'm considering the new 4.0 xds myself.
"...to disarm the people - that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." -George Mason

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