Glock 42 Compared to the Remington R51

Here is a comparison of two similar handguns, the Glock 42 and the Remington R-51.

Model  Glock 42  Remington R-51
 Caliber  .380 ACP  9mm
Capacity  6+1  7+1
Barrel Length  3.25″  3.4″
OAL  5.94″  6″
Height  4.13″  4.5″
Width  .94″  .96″
Weight  13.76 oz  20 oz

As SHOT Show 2014 began to approach the thing that was most exciting to me was the possibility of a single stack 9mm from Glock.  Early last week it became very clear that Glock had no intention of releasing this gun.  Instead, and understandably, Glock unveiled a single stack .380 ACP.

This image comes from

The .380 has a very wide appeal to folks that are interested in carrying a small low recoil handgun for defensive use.  .380 is often considered under powered when it comes to defensive use, however, it has it’s proponents ands it’s advantages.  .380 really is a 9mm, just shorter.  In Europe it is known as the 9mm Kurz, literally meaning 9mm Short.  It is a 9×17 where what we in the US 9mm is a 9×19.  2mm difference in overall length.  That is what everyone’s nose is out of joint over.  I don’t want to spend too much time on the 9mm vs. .380 debate but if you want to learn more you should head here to read Grant Cunninghams excellent article on the issue.  Grant wrote his thoughts before Glocks announcement but he and I had a chance to discuss it in detail and I largely agree with Grants thoughts.

The bottom line for me however, is that I don’t need a .380. In my hands, the single stack 9mm is an incredibly shootable gun and I think that is the truth with most people out there.  The problem is that there isn’t a good single stack 9 out there.

Yes, I do know about the S&W Shield.  The Shield would be a great gun if it wasn’t for that pesky manual safety.  It is completely unnecessary and is so small that it is difficult to manipulate.  This crosses it off my list.

Yes, I am aware of the Springfield XDs 9mm.  To me this is still a largely an unproven gun.  It hasn’t been out of recall long enough to know how it really performs and I’m not really a fan of the grip safety.

The Bersa you say.  The BP9CC has some merit but many have been plagued by reliability issues and trigger reset problems.

There just isn’t a really good entry in the market.

It looks like Remington wants to change that.  At SHOT Show this year Remington will be all over the range introducing a new rifle, a shotgun some ammunition and most importantly the R51.

R51 rem single stackEarly reports from the writers who were invited to Gun Site to test the gun were very positive.  They spoke about a very shootable and reliable handgun.  As a side note I went back through my mail and didn’t come across my invite.  It must have been lost in the mail…

The table here in the post tells us a lot about these two guns.  Other than caliber and weight the guns are pretty close in specifications.  But those two, they may tell us a story.  Why a .380, the answer is less recoil and the .380 does have less recoil.  Certainly a fair guess might be 80% of the felt recoil of a 9mm.  That is a 20% reduction.  Substantial.

Those of you that read here regularly know that the cartridge is only part of the equation.  The mass of the gun plays a big part in this physics equation.

So let’s look at that mass.  The Glock weighs 30% less.  Now I admit that the recoil numbers are arbitrary and that there are many factors that go into what we feel when we shoot a gun, but, if we consider the logic for just a bit I’ll say that I’m not interested in  a cartridge with less power, a 20% reduction in recoil and a 30% reduction in mass.  That comes out to a 10% increase in felt recoil.

Again, arbitrary to a point, but the logic holds true.  I’ll have my answers for real when I get out to Las Vegas to the range and shoot these two pistols.  Of course I will report what I find so stay tuned!

3 replies
    • PaulCarlson
      PaulCarlson says:

      did you actually read the damn article or just the title. If you did read it you would notice that it is written BEFORE SHOT Show.

      Maybe you are you asking me if Glock and Remington like me so much better than all of the other gun writers in the world and flew me to a top secret range for a one on one comparison. The answer to that one is no. The R-51 wasn’t available to shoot at the range at SHOT Show.


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