Model 51 .32ACP

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lbanks
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:44 am

Model 51 .32ACP

Post by lbanks » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:48 pm

Happy Holidays Everyone! I am a total newbie to this forum, and have reviewed the posts that appeared to be relevant to my interests...all related to the Model 51, but have not seen the information that I am seeking. I purchased my Model 51 back in the early 80's, and have fired less than 100 rounds during the time owned. I have worked out a couple of issues with the gun (at least marginally), e.g. double feed and ejection issues, by judicious filing of the internal slide retainer (maybe not the correct terminology), the (original) ejector (a remanufactured ejector I purchased was apparently not milled properly and would not work "out of the box"), and some rough edges at the top of the magazine feed area. . I have communicated with a gunsmith in a neighboring state who seems to be of the opinion that the gun is simply not reliable, nor are quality remanufactured parts available to restore the gun for reliable functioning. I respect the opinion, but am highly disappointed :( . I love my Model 51, and have not been able to experience a modern handgun of any caliber that "feels" as good in my hand. Does anyone know of a gunsmith who might specialize in this model and have the confidence to refurbish as necessary to allow me to use my "pick of the litter" as my primary CCW? Also, I would be interested to know the most "effective" ammo that any other 51 owners have opinions on...my choice has been the Fiocchi FMJ and/or the Federal Premium, Personal Defense, Hyda-Shok JHP.

Thanks in advance for anyone taking the time to consider my queries.

Ladds Banks

Jay Huber
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by Jay Huber » Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:27 pm

Are yo using an original factory magazine? I have found these guns often have a feeding problem with an after market magazine like KKK' Jay Huber RSA

lbanks
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by lbanks » Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:04 pm

Hi Jay...yes, as far as I know it is the original factory magazine. This was one of the issues that the gunsmith I referenced pointed out:

"The other major reason these jam are lousy magazines. If it were a 1911, a SIG or a Glock, something we could buy excellent quality mags for then this would not be a problem, but the only replacements I've seen are not very good quality and many of the originals (often expensive) turn up damaged in one way or another."

remington600
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by remington600 » Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:25 pm

A problem I have found is an issue with shooting higher velocity ammo and especially hollow points. The 51 was not designed to shoot todays higher velocity rounds. The spring is a little to light. The higher velocity ammo causes the gun to cycle to fast not allowing the spent cartridge to completely leave the action and the next to load. Also since the action is moving so quickly the hollow point rounds sometimes half feed. In my opinion you should not use the Hydra Shok ammo. The gun is an EXCELLANT pistol, BUT not up to shooting ammo like that. Your ultra velocity ammo was not made when that gun was introduced.

lbanks
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by lbanks » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:15 pm

Thank you Mr. Remington600!

Interestingly, my "intuition" would tell me the same thing. The gun is 80 + years old and ammunition standards have obviously changed considerably...however, the gunsmith I referenced also made the following comment:

They are a great looking little pistol, no doubt about that but I'm afraid reliability may turn into a real problem for you.
The reason is two fold, maybe three. First, I have never fired one that gave 100% reliability except when hotter than normal handloads were used (I know, the words "hot" and .32 ACP are an oxymoron.) These malfunctions generally take the form of double feeds produced by ammo that was simply not powerful enough to cycle the slide back all the way, so the fired case was never ejected but the slide still went back just far enough to engage the next round in the magazine.


I took exception to that statement, as the double feed issues did not appear to be a function of improper ejection, the ejection problems appear to have been related to the 'ejector' per se, which after my amateur gunsmithing seems to be at least temporarily resolved.

Typically the spent cartridge would eject, but the jam would occur post ejection, i.e., on the feed. I tend to concur that your description of the "half feed" is somewhat more accurate; I have even had instances where the initial shell would chamber, and a second shell would end up in the breech in a reversed position!! This led me to suspect the potential of the dreaded "rim lock" associated with the .32acp JHP ammo. In my first post, I noted that I also have used the Fiocchi FMJ, but it is a 73 gr. load as opposed to the 65gr Hydra Shock. That would, in my limited experience/knowledge, imply a "hotter" load. Whereas the FMJ would eliminate (or at least substantially reduce) the potential for "rim lock", would you consider that also an "ultra velocity" ammo? If so, what ammunition would you recommend for the most reliable performance in the model 51?

My primary concern is as stated in my initial post...I wonder if it is prudent to carry as my primary CC an 80 year old gun with an unknown history and general condition of the internal components. Is there no one that still has sufficient interest and competence in the gunsmith industry that could take my gun in and at the very least evaluate it, and ideally "refurbish" the handgun? I really would think that I would hate it if I ever found myself in the circumstance where I was compelled to use my gun and after one shot, asking the BG to hold on for a moment while I cleared my gun so that I could shoot him again :-).

The statistics I most recently read regarding the 32 ACP stopping power (hotloads.com), listed four 32 ACP loads: the Winchester ST @ 66%, Federal HS @ 61%, CCI GD @ 60%, and the Winchester FMJ @ 49% for "One shot stops", so the likelihood is that using a .32 for primary, as opposed to backup, would require the ability to discharge a succession of rounds to obtain the desired effect. I also have the Winchester ST's which are 60 gr loads, but as with the Federals (not FMJ's...I would assume by definition) I would be faced with the higher probability of "rim lock"

Thanks again for taking the time to address my post(s)...you too Jay :-).

Ladds

Laguna442
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by Laguna442 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:19 pm

If your 51 has sentimental value oil it, bag it in the safe and look on gunbroker and get another one that doesn't have issues. As for using the most perfect model 51 ever produced for self defense you would have to be nuts. I have a 51 and like it also but I can't stop laughing that you think you are going to hit the "BG" as you put it multiple times. I am sure your instructor carried a revolver with Colt or S&W written on it and I am sure he knows the statistics of how many trained police officers who shot their weapons under pressure and never hit the ''BG'' once.

lbanks
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by lbanks » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:30 am

Well...thanks for taking the time to post a response to my original questions, Laguna. I have been more than disappointed with the response(s) (lack of and uninfomed) since I originally posted my queries. I basically "threw in the towel" and purchased a Colt New Agent 45 ACP as my primary carry. I am very satisfied with the choice. BUT I still think it's a travesty that as fine of a design as the 51 was/is, that there is no support to be found...I have even tried two emails to the Remington manufacturers representative that is soliciting information on this model for a book he is writing and have not had the courtesy of a response.

I have simply decided to hang on to the 51, use the the Fiocchi FMJ's that feed wonderfully, and if the circumstances ever develop where I need to use that particular weapon, you can stick your laughing up your...holster, I will manage to put the damn bullets on target as long as I don't have a mechanical malfunction. But alas, it is academic...I don't have to be but just "lucky" with my current carry...one wild ass lucky shot out of 8 ought to be sufficient....

Laguna442
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Location: Wilmington,Delaware

Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by Laguna442 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:58 pm

Banks you might consider that the person collecting info on the model 51 is not a manufacturers representative. He is a collector or fan of that gun. I do not believe anyone here is a factory rep. The Remington Arms Co. was sold as you know by the DuPont Co back in 1993 to CD&R. Then bought by Cerberus Capitol in 2007. So there would be no interest in parts or support since the last gun was off the line 82 years and 3 owners ago.

lbanks
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by lbanks » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:05 pm

I guess I stand corrected. I knew that "Remington" still manufactured ammo and long guns, and made the 'assumption' that the way that the individual posted his name and contact info:

Please contact:

Mark Hammond

315 W. Ring Road

Elizabethtown, KY 42701-9318
mark.hammond@remington.com

(noting the @remington.com, and that on their web site, http://www.remington.com/about/company_information.asp, there is a corresponding address that matches: Technical Center, 315 W. Ring Road, Elizabethtown, KY 42701), that he was associated with the Remington Co. I realize that assumptions are often quite dangerous and lead to erroneous conclusions. Remington actually did make a handgun (if one stretches the definition) up until 1998 or so, I believe it was the X-100 or somesuch...too bad that they did not update what has been referred to in numerous articles as one of the most/finest...(insert accolade of choice)...handguns ever produced.

It's a sweet gun. It's small caliber and old. Bummer, I really like the feel and "vibe" of it. The Colt New Agent is a good handling gun and certainly packs a lot more wallop, but it will never replace the 51 as my most favorite of all the handguns I have ever owned...or even those I have not owned but physically experienced in one manner or another...and I just find it "interesting" that with as much appreciation and respect that the 51 has garnered, that there is not more interest/resources for restoration. I know where I can get some parts (i.e., Jack First; and I got a couple more references from a gun dealer at a local show), but it's perplexing that no one seems to know of any 'smith's' that have a working knowledge or interest in this gun.

old 51
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by old 51 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:53 am

I also have an older model 51 that belonged to my wife's grandfather. I saw the message on the site about the research and the blank form to fill out. However, I have not seen any explanation about who the researcher is or what will be done with this information. For example, will the results be available to those submitting information on their 51's? How will the details be archived and what are confidentiality protections? I want to know these things before I submit data.

lbanks
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by lbanks » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:07 am

Hello "old 51"...the best suggestion I would have would be to contact Mark Hammond via the email address he provided (mark.hammond@remington.com) and put those questions/concerns to him; perhaps he will respond to an email where he has a vested interest.

Laguna442
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Location: Wilmington,Delaware

Re: Model 51 $2000.00

Post by Laguna442 » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:59 pm

Anyone see the guy on Auction arms with the 51 /with box and the minimum bid of $2000.00

lbanks
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by lbanks » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:55 am

Check out their website...it is not unusual for their pricing structure. My guess is they won't get the $2k for the pistol...if they do, though, well I got one I would let go for a teeny bit less :-).

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azasadny
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by azasadny » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:40 pm

banks, do you still have your Model 51?
Remington Model 51 owner

lbanks
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Re: Model 51 .32ACP

Post by lbanks » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:48 pm

Hello azasadny...wow, I had all but forgotten about this forum/thread...well, ok, I HAD forgotten about it :-). Got a notice in my email box tonight about the new post...yes I still have my 51...it's still my 'favorite' handgun; it's a true classic in my way of thinking.

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