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Thread: Remington Model 51 disassembly problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Remington Model 51 disassembly problems

    I have a recently acquired model 51 that I'm having trouble with.

    Some background:
    The pistol has .380 marked on the barrel and magazine and is in the 46,000 serial number range. It has the slide with 15 narrow grasping grooves at the rear of the slide as opposed to the 9 wide grasping grooves seen on earlier pistols. When comparing the open breach of this pistol to an earlier model 51 I own, I noticed that there doesn't appear to be an ejector in this later pistol like there is on the earlier pistol.

    So my problem is this; I can't remove the slide on this pistol like I can with my earlier model 51. When I attempt to grasp the barrel and slide to remove it by sliding it forward as the instructions say, the barrel/slide assembly won't come off like my earlier pistol. Is there something different with these later made pistols/slide assemblies that require a different disassembly technique? I'd like to remove the slide and inspect it before I attempt to shoot it. I'm worried that since the slide assembly is coming off that there might be a broken internal part.

    Anyone with some thoughts or experience with these pistols they'd like to share?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    DFW in TEXAS!


    To remove the slide and barrel assembly on the Remington Model 51:

    1) Remove magazine, and cycle the action to cock the hammer.
    2) Holding the slide to the rear, remove the takedown pin.
    3) While still holding the slide back, grasp the barrel on or near the grasping grooves at the muzzle and pull slightly forward.
    4) the slide and barrel assembly should slide forward and come off.

    At least that's how my Remington 51 takes down. I also have the later version (s/n 42xxx) with the Remington trade mark and 15 groove slide.
    If you do not pull the barrel forward after removing the pin, the breech block locks down against the frame and the slide will not come off. You must
    also cock the action so the hammer is down in the frame allowing the slide to come forward. I remove the magazine to ensure the chamber is empty,
    the pistol is cleared and to keep the follower from interfering with the slide moving forward. You should be able to see the end of the extractor
    through the ejection port when you pull the slide back to cock the hammer.

    DO NOT rotate the barrel like you do when you take down a Browning 1910 or Colt 1903. If you do, you will bind up the action, and nothing will come
    apart until you rotate the barrel back into position (MUCH easier said than done).


  3. #3

    Default Replacing the barrel in a Remington Model 51

    I disassembled my "new" Remington Model 51 to clean it, and cannot get the barrel back into the slide. The NRA Guide to Firearms Assembly is no help, so I looked online for instructions and found a video on YouTube that said removal is not recommended because you need a jig and a vice to get it back in. Great!

    Does anybody have any suggestions/recommendations? I do not have the jig nor a vice - I'm a mobilized Army Reserve officer and all my stuff is in storage back home. I'm finally back in CONUS after 4 years overseas, and bought a couple of guns to satisfy my long-suppressed collecting urges. :-) I have a few basic hand tools with me, is all.

    Any ideas will be appreciated. Thank you.

  4. #4


    By the way, I'm not a "junior member". I've been a member of this forum since at least the mid-1990's, but none of my old passwords worked anymore.

  5. #5


    Success! Five minute after posting this, I took a fresh look and figured it out.

    The key is that the bushing has to be slid forward on the barrel against the spring pressure, and inserted into the cutout in the slide before the barrel can be fully inserted. I was trying to insert it by using the barrel itself to compress the spring, which simply didn't work. So, I'll try to break it down into steps in case anyone else has this problem:

    1. Assemble the bushing and action spring onto barrel.
    2. Insert the front of the action spring into the slide, seating it against the inside front of the slide.
    3. Position the barrel in the slide, partially compressing the action spring.
    4. Holding the slide in one hand and using your thumb to maintain the barrel in position, use the other hand to slide the bushing down the barrel (compressing the action spring) until the bushing lines up with the cutouts in the slide.
    5. Push the bushing (and barrel) down into position in the slide.
    6. Push the barrel forward in the slide, grasp the front, rotate it counterclockwise, and ease it back into the slide until it catches.
    7. Continue reassembly of the breechblock.
    8. Push the barrel forward in the slide, grasp the front, rotate it clockwise, and ease it back into the slide until it comes to rest against the breechblock.
    9. Continue reassembly of the pistol.

    Hope that helps someone else. I could not find instructions for this anywhere. As I was trying to get it together, I could just hear my dad from when I was a little kid, telling me "Don't force it, son!" He was a good teacher. :-)
    Last edited by hkp7fan; 11-19-2011 at 06:45.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Durand. MI.


    I have owned a couple of those neat guns. Have one now, but never taken one down. I think they are the ultimate carry pistol, nice and flat, small, light.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Arkansas Ozarks


    I have one I got from my uncle 25 years or so ago and love to shoot it but I've never had it apart. He said he'd only disassembled it once and would never do it again and recommended I not do it either.
    - Change it back -

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