Go here if you are keeping on top of developments in the compact concealed carry pistol marketplace:
The Firearm Blog has the rundown on the new Remington R-51, a sleek pocket pistol for 9mm +P. A .40 S&W version is planned. The gun borrows styling cues and locking method from the old Remington Model 51, which was an excellent pocket pistol from the 1920's era. The new gun is thoroughly updated and strong enough for modern defensive cartridges; the old-time inspiration for the new design was chambered for .32 and .380 ACP.
I consider the .38 Special snubnose an indispensable sidearm. Up-to-date small auto pistol designs like this one lead me to reconsider, or at least to say that if you do not have a .38 snub, then you ought to have one of the new breed of small automatics designed for the same niche. I formed my preference for the small revolver back in an era when the small automatics were not so highly developed as those offered today. Revolver or auto, the niche you need to fill is a gun that is small and light enough to carry with you nearly anywhere, but is powerful enough to do you some good if you need a sidearm. If you are in the market for such a thing, Remington just gave you a new choice to consider.
The new pistol favors the original Model 51 in appearance, and also shows some art deco styling cues that remind me of the Whitney Wolverine.
|The new Remington R-51 pistol, via TFB|
There is a grip safety but no thumb safety, an interesting design choice that I sort of like once I think about it. As an old revolver guy, I do not like to have to remember to flip a lever to fire a gun.
Update (12 Feb 2014): A reviewer has turned up an issue that users of this pistol need to be aware of. The slide release and its spring must be assembled as per the instructions when you put the gun back together after cleaning. Otherwise intermittent failures to shoot will result. As this is something that people can get wrong they will, according to Murphy's Law, unless they know what to look for.
I continue to sit out the controversies and teething problems in today's subcompact auto pistol market, content with the.38 snub revolver, which had all its problems worked out long ago.