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Thread: Remington 51, are they a good pistol?

  1. #1
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    Default Remington 51, are they a good pistol?

    The last few weeks going to my local gun store this Remington model 51 has been calling my name. I'm more into the WW II military guns but have moved somewhat into the cold war era rilfes and pistols and this pistol for some reason cought my eye. This pistol is a 380 cal, has a chipped hand grip and the owner was asking $350 for it, today I looked at it again and asked if he's take $300 ... with a deep huff he said yes ... is this an ok price for this pistol? I have found they are somewhat on the rare side? S/N is PA 115XX and I have also found that later pistols were in the 32 cal making this an earlyer 51? It also has print along the top of the barrel. Can anyone tell me from the S/N what yr it may have been made? and help would be great Thank you. Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    BUY BUY BUY!




    General Patton was given one that he used for concealed carry, so technically it *is* a WWII military gun.

    Everything you want to know can be found here:
    http://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/Rem51/rem51.html

    "Brave men tell the truth, a wise man's tools are analogies and puzzles. A woman holds her tongue, knowing silence will speak for her"--Royksopp

  3. #3
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    Fushigi, Thanks for the page it's packed with interesting info and yes I have to agree ... if Patton carried one it has to be military tough

  4. #4
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    Sounds like you made an offer that was accepted; you should have bought it then, JMHO.
    03man - Don Voigt
    Author of "The Japanese T99 Arisaka Rifle" 2010 edition
    Co-author of "The Knee Mortars of Japan 1921-1945" 2011 edition
    Near Charlotte, NC

  5. #5
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    I put money down on it ... didn't want to pass it up

  6. #6
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    If he has two of them at that price, let me know!

    Always wanted a 51, but can't find anything decent at anywhere near that price in my neck of the woods.

    BTW: It shouldn't be all that hard to find grips for this puppy.

  7. #7
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    Very reliable pistols .



    FIVESHOT
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    ammunition , warning shots will no longer
    be given .

  8. #8
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    You will need to acquire instructions from somewhere on the proper way to take it apart. It is one pistol that you are not going to do so without them. The pistol was designed by John D. Pedersen who also designed the "Pedersen Devise" for the Springfield 03 in WW1. The pistol has a number of neat features, the grip shape was made after testing over 200 different styles, the grip safety is also a cocking indicator and a hold open devise. Depress the grip safety and the slide will go to battery. The breech bolt is a seperate part which can be removed from the slide.

    If you cannot find the proper instructions on the disassembly of the pistol. I have an old NRA Firearms Assembly Handbook that I can copy them for you.
    It is an outstanding pistol, but without the proper instructions you can/will damage the pistol. It does NOT come apart like any other that I have ever known! It is not HARD to do so!! However one must follow the takedown instructions.

  9. #9
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    +1 on Simson-Suhl's recommendations for proper instruction on disassembly.

    Excellent pistol!! Regrettably, I sold mine about 15 years ago. The only consolation is that I got more for it then than you just paid for yours.
    "You may fire when ready, Gridley" (Admiral Dewey at Manila Bay)

  10. #10
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    Simson Suhl, Thank you I may just take you up on your offer, I have been doing some reading up on this pistol and it looks to have many parts ... sounds like a chore to strip down. Thank you all so far on the info .. it has healed alot ... Dave.

  11. #11
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    It isn't exactly a chore to strip, but it does call for both knowledge (a proper set of instructions takes care of that) and care in ollowing them..

    The gun itself is rugged, reliable and very, very good. I have handled I am not sure how many handguns over the years (well into three figures), and it is is and remains the best-fitting and naturally pointing handgun I have ever picked up. That said - it does have deficiencies. One is complexity (please take that "get and follow the instructions for dis-assembly and assembly" seriously). Another iis the tiny safety. A third is the miniscule sights - but at gun-fighting ranges, the natural pointabiilty takes care of tings. Look at where you want the bullet to go, present the gun and pull the trigger - and to a high degree of probability, you'll hit where you want to. Try it and see. Oh - they design and material and method of attachment of the grips leads to frequent damage during removal and re-installation unless care is applied to understanding.

    I love mine. And the $300 is a bargain.

    I would advise that +P ammo is NOT a good idea. It simply wasn;t designed for that and if you break something, parts are not all that easy to find.
    Last edited by Clyde; 12-04-2013 at 11:56 AM. Reason: typos - ARRGG!! and add matter
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  12. #12
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    Just did a quick trip through GB, and only one is selling at $340, the rest are priced higher except for one at $300 which looks in far worse shape.

    BTW, auction 285115146 is for grips, but I am not sure if they are original. I'm sure reproductions are out there.

    "Brave men tell the truth, a wise man's tools are analogies and puzzles. A woman holds her tongue, knowing silence will speak for her"--Royksopp

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    I believe that Remington model 51 is really a quite nice and largely under-appreciated pistol. As alluded within the above posts, they are complex. This partially because they are a locked breech pistol. While such breech is generally conceded to be unnecessary in the 380 chambering, when properly engineered, the result inevitably includes some sophistication. Clyde rightly notes the natural pointing ability of the pistol, for which it was particularly renowned. I would add that another feature was its slim width which added to both comfort and concealment. To the favorable engineering, add high quality workmanship and the derived package was really something of a weapon ahead of its time. I learned about the Model 51 some long years ago and eventual a nice one came to me. But it took a while. I have seen comparatively few of these guns over many decades of collecting. On the scale of Colt or Smith & Wesson, the Remington 51 production was relatively limited. This seems likely accounted by several factors. First, was that they were relatively expensive guns to produce and such was quite likely reflected in the market place. Second, despite such as the Colt 1911, auto pistols as a genre were much slower to garner popularity in the States than in Europe. Third, Remington's limited ventures into handguns left it with something less than an accomplished reputation as a twentieth century handgun maker.
    A bit of reiteration in summary. The Model 51 is a complex, sophisticated, well engineered and highly crafted example of quality gunmaking. I happily own an example (pix below) and and am pleased with the gun.
    My take.

    Note: Perhaps not easily visible in the second photo, the slide top bears nomenclature artfully inscribed under the serrations.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 11 - 11.jpg   11 - 5.jpg  
    Last edited by iskra; 05-10-2012 at 10:58 PM. Reason: context error

  14. #14
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    If I remember correctly, it would have beaten out the 1911 as the main battle pistol except the war was already underway and they didn't want to change at the time. It was/is very accurate and much better ergonomics than the 1911. I believe the Remington 53 is the 45 caliber version...very rare. IMO, worth much more than you're paying and should appreciate considerably. Congrats.

  15. #15
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    As I understand it, Patton was at a meeting prior to the Normandy invasion. The question was, "how do Airborne and Gilder troops (surrounded) not shoot themselves my mistake in the dark" on the night of the invasion. Patton clicked the grip safety of his mod 51 a few times to illustrate that crazy cricket sound. Eureka... 1 click (who goes there) 2 clicks (friend)... no return click or wrong return sound... bang your dead. Officers had a clicker (a mod 51) already in their hand making it easy to dispatch an enemy... the rest of the troops used a New Years Eve clicker and their weapon of choice. It worked like a charm. After 15 years mine still works great, shoots straight and feels great in my hand. I trust my life with it when my 45acp or Glock 19 is too much gun to carry and I wish to be more discreet. I suggest upon receipt a newly acquired Mod 51 have a pro gunsmith check it for proper function and safety. I shoot standard 380 loads.

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