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 Post subject: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 7:12 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1947
Location: Omaha, NE
So, I’ve been working on thinning out the accumulation, mainly moving out the the guns that I’m unlikely to use either afield or at the range. Now I’ve run across a Model 51 in nice shape. The price is very reasonable and I really like the way it looks. I’ve read here about the springs and carrier(?) that need updated or reinforced. If I were to get this and update it, how long before it needs updating again? A certain number of rounds? A certain amount of time?

Are these guns as addictive as the M37?



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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 8:18 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:27 am
Posts: 3117
Location: North Central West Virginia
I've always wanted one, but was afraid to buy because of all the problems I have read about.


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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 9:33 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:09 am
Posts: 2599
If you are over 40 years-probably not in your life time. These guns are sweet shooters!
Action springs and buffers are no big deal. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 9:38 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1947
Location: Omaha, NE
No I’m even more tempted! I’m over 50!

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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 1:47 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1308
Location: Ohio
I am not a 51 collector yet I have like 7 of them so yes they are addicting. As far a longevity according to Less the main problem was that the recoil springs that the factory used where too short straight from the factory. The short springs caused unnecessary wear and tear inside of the gun. In addition the nylon receiver and bolt buffer get brittle with time. I believe advancements in composition have probably rendered the new buffers more durable however I have not confirmed that thought. You can pick up new spring and buffer kit from Diamond Gunsmithing for about $50 plus shipping. I usually order two at a time partly to save on shipping and partly because I know that at some point I will be dragging another one home and it is nice to have parts on hand. To thoroughly clean the gun and install the buffers figure on about an hour the first time you do it. It is in my personal opinion that they shoot softer than an 1100. The down side is that parts are some what harder to come by and they only hold 2 in the magazine tube so it only a 3 shot gun. Also if you are wanting to shoot target loads either buy a 2&3/4 only gun or figure on buying a 2&3/4 barrel for a 3" gun. The difference is the size of the gas ports in the barrel. Hope this helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:07 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:00 pm
Posts: 1050
Location: Wisconsin
I love my 51's. Very soft recoil. My parkerized 3" magnum version is my main duck gun.
Please disassemble the gun before you purchase it to visually inspect the slide assembly for cracks. TIG welding is an easy fix for cracking so don't let that stop you from buying it. The new buffers are made from Delrin and will outlast you and the gun. Also, it seems like $350.00 is absolutely top dollar for a field grade M51 (in like new condition) so that should be your bench mark. Obviously, if the slide is cracked, negotiate down from there.
Final comment on LOA (level of addiction)... I have a bunch but because there are no serial number records, it's not the same as collecting the M37. Also, M51 barrels are not serialized so barrels are interchangeable and can't be verified to be original to any gun.
Things to look for: the early guns have spectacular mirror-like bluing and better than average wood. There were supreme skeet and trap grade guns with hand checkering in 12 gauge. There are also a few supreme skeet grade in 20 gauge (very scarce). There was never a supreme trap in 20 gauge. Finally, there are Deerslayer units in 12 gauge and supposedly some in 20 although the 20 was only cataloged for 1 year.


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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:11 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1947
Location: Omaha, NE
I appreciate all the input. Still deciding if I need to go in yet another collecting direction.

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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:37 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:14 pm
Posts: 21478
Location: Just South of Indiana Gun Club!
I have one, and it is a soft shooting gun, I don't use it a lot but I do like it, springs and buffer pads fall under normal maintenance for a semi-auto.



cdb

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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:19 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:40 pm
Posts: 13
I have a 51 Trap. Very soft-shooting, pretty wood, full choke.

I have two triggers, one pull, one release..........

I don't shoot it very much, probably hasn't been fired in 10 years, but I've been thinking of taking it out for a few rounds.............

Ric


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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:34 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1947
Location: Omaha, NE
Old thread here but I took the plunge. Found a 12ga, with a 30” full choke vent rib barrel. The gun is filthy! The slide assembly is good and the buffers are intact (although the receiver buffer was loose and wandering around.) I’ll be calling Diamond Gunsmithing tomorrow to get a spring and buffer kit on the way.

Pretty light auto!

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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:07 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:09 am
Posts: 31
Once upon a time I had a 20 gauge.
Years ago when I was working in a boatyard in Ft Lauderdale we use to shoot clay birds out at Markham Park. A Captain on a boat we were working on brought in his shotgun. I asked if it was a Remington. No he told me and said: "The Model 1100 is a piece of junk compared to an Ithaca Model 51"


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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:14 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1947
Location: Omaha, NE
I’m thinking of getting my 51 cerakoted because it’s got some pitting on the receiver. Any reason not to?

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 Post subject: Re: Thinking of a 51
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:43 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:00 pm
Posts: 1050
Location: Wisconsin
No reason not to but something to consider is barrel fit to receiver. Even though the M51 boasts interchangeable barrels, some receivers need to be filed a bit to accept barrels. If you have enough "play" where the barrel meets the receiver then there should be room for the cerakote finish. In my opinion, there aren't any surfaces on the gun that so tight that they can't be coated. I had a 20 gauge M51 parkerized and it functions fine.




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