By Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is a classic (antique) pistol, the Remington Model 51.
These are unusual bordering on rare now days and have significant collectors interest. They were produced from 1918 thru 1927 and only about 65,000 were made. A small number were assembled from existing parts supplies in the 1930s. I bought mine on the basis of; “Gee, that is neat and I don’t already own one.” I make a lot of my gun buying decisions along those lines. Limited availability of decent magazines makes it less than fully useful as a shooter.
These were unusual at the time in that Remington put a significant amount of ergonomic design time into it. The gun points VERY well and is very comfortable to shoot.
They were originally made in .380 automatic and later in .32 auto as well. They feature a unique hesitation locked breech designed by John Pedersen. It is a very well designed, solid pistol Unfortunately it was fairly expensive at the time, selling for $15.75 in 1920. Also at that time most Americans preferred revolvers. The design made for a lighter pistol, but a more expensive one. This was the only production pistol ever to use the Pedersen locking device as far as I know.
The pistol uses an internal hammer and a single-action trigger design. It has a grip safety. There is not one screw on the entire pistol, even to hold the grips on. It weighs only 21 ounces with an empty magazine inserted and is only 0.9 inches wide. It is also kind of sleek looking, almost elegant.
George S. Patton owned one and was said to like it very much. I like mine and it shoots very well indeed.