Remington 51 .380

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by duck32man, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. duck32man

    duck32man Member

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    Anyone have any experience or words of wisdom on replacing the grips? I bought one for a really good price but the right top grip has a chip out of it and rest of grip is glued. The grips are riveted to a metal mount and all the online ones that I have seen do not include the riveted part. Thanks
  2. SwampElk

    SwampElk New Member

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    I have a 51 and have been told by other collectors not to try disassembly....even with a manual. It's a great gun designed by a genius but with too many parts and should only be servicrd by an "older" gunsmith that has seen these before.

    I love mine and only clean it myself....if anything were to happen to it I won't try anything on my own......it's too rare and much to hard to replace parts that no longer exsist.
  3. duck32man

    duck32man Member

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    Thanks Swamp Elk. It is a sweet little gun.
  4. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Duckman/Swampelk -
    ANY PICTURES??? I (and probably a lot of others) would like to see this one.
  5. duck32man

    duck32man Member

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    Here it is Jim. Sorry so big. Not sure how to downsize the photo.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I just got finished responding to a guy who wants to take his Model 51 down to replace the trigger spring. My first advice was to remove the grips before working on the gun and how to do that without damaging them. DO NOT PRY THEM - that is the way yours got broken in the first place!

    So, OK, you have cracked grips and can only get the plastic part as a repro. So here is what you do. First, drive the grip safety pin (at the bottom rear of the grip) flush on one side. Slide the grip down and pull it off. Then do the same on the other side.

    You now have the grips and the backing plates off the gun. What you will have to do is drill holes in the back (inner side) of the rivets so they can be compressed and removed. Don't just grind them off as you will need to replace them.

    Remove the rivets and the grips from the backing plates and replace the grips, riveting the new ones back on. You might (and I say might) be able to find rivets the right size, but I doubt it. If it is not possible to rivet them, you can stick the old rivets in for show and glue them in, then glue the grips to the backing plate. Replace the grips the same way you took them off.

    The reason for all that elaborate grip system is that there was a patent on the idea of holding grips on an auto pistol with screws, and one John Browning had it. John Pedersen, the Remington designer (yep, he of the Pedersen device) had to figure out how to work around that.

    Jim
  7. duck32man

    duck32man Member

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    Jim - that other post was me - thanks for the excellent info. Based on what you can see above is it even worth changing or leave it alone. Which one devalues the gun more glued orginals or reproductions? I paid less than 300.00 for it (.380 version).
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I would replace the grips if I could get good repros. Replace both, though, as they look funny when they don't match.

    Just FWIW, I have agonized a bit about repro grips. The purist collectors may (will) disagree, but I think good repros are better than cracked or broken originals. When dealing with the situation where only one is broken/missing, and the repros are good, I have often replaced only that one to keep the gun as original as possible. But where the repro is not a true match, I will replace both, as I think the match is more important than having one original grip.

    Jim
  9. duck32man

    duck32man Member

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    Thanks Jim
  10. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    duckman,
    Thanks for posting the pic. Very interesting gun. I don't know that I've ever seen one before, and if I did, it would have escaped my interest - now I'll know - I learn at least two new things on this forum each time I'm onboard. Sometimes I merely learn how much I don't know!
  11. WDfrmTN

    WDfrmTN New Member

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    I wouldn't tell anyone not to, but rather get with someone who has one and be shown how to. It's not hard, although some models (such as mine) require a bit of nuance and "massaging" to get the barrel/slide assy off.
  12. WDfrmTN

    WDfrmTN New Member

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    Any source for the plates? If not, I can probably make one for the side I have missing.
  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I know of no source, but you could try the usual suspects, like Jack First and Numrich,

    Making a plate is no problem and you have one to copy, so it is just a mirror image. You can get thin steel plate at some hardware or big box stores. This is one area cold blue will work fine to make it look better. You don't even need to drill the rivet holes if you are gluing the grips on. If you don't have the rivets, just get a couple of nails and round off the heads to the right contour, then cut the shaft to the right size and cut the heads off with 1/8 or so shaft for sticking in the hole in the grip. Glue them in, daub a lttle cold blue on them and it will be hard to tell they are not the original rivets.

    (See, I do recommend cold blue, sometimes; just not for whole guns.)

    Jim
  14. WDfrmTN

    WDfrmTN New Member

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    Have notification requests with them. Have some notification requests out for magazines, too.
    Looks like I'll be fabbing a piece. Hate to take the old remaining grip apart, so maybe I'll make two, and just mount two new grips and save the old one.
    Not much blue left on the old gun, and I hate to mess with the value, but been thinking about either getting it reblued or doing a Dick Culver "stovetop parkerizing".
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    On a gun like that I would try to have it professionally reblued. Actually they were rust blued, so tank blue will look odd but not as odd as Parkerizing.

    Jim
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