The Remington Model 1911 R1 is a semi-automatic large-frame handgun chambered in .45 ACP. The Model 1911 R1 is a replica of the famous military pistol the 1911. It was the standard issue sidearm for the US Armed Forces from 1911 to 1985, and is still in use in some military branches today.
The Model 1911 R1 features a carbon steel frame and slide with a satin black oxide finish, and has walnut grips. The 1911 R1 comes equipped with front and rear dovetail sights in 3-dot format and includes two 7-shot magazines. If purchased through the manufacturer, it is shipped in a custom carrying case.
|Model 1911 R1|
|Sights:||Dovetail 3-dot sights|
|Trigger Pull:||3.5 to 5 pounds|
|Twist:||1 in 16"|
Remington, like so many recently, is fully in the 1911 game. Many are asking why we need another 1911. I wish every gun company made one – it would be a standard by which their whole line of weapons could be judged. The Model 1911 R1, released late in 2010, is a handsome addition to the line of available 1911’s.
The R1 pays homage to the traditional 1911. The checkered walnut grips and the thin beavertail are reminiscent of the older Colts. But the gun has all of the modern amenities you would expect to find on a 1911 workhorse. And did I mention it’s a Remington?
The gun has a firing pin block built into the slide, a safety feature introduced by Colt back in the early 80’s. While this adds an extra element of assurance against accidental discharge, many 1911 devotees claim that it monkeys with the trigger’s responsiveness. I’ve shot both styles, many times, and I can’t claim that I prefer one over the other.
I talked about the R1 with David Robinson, a smith who works at the Dominion Shooting Range in Richmond, Virginia. After I had had put few boxes through the R1, Robinson asked how I liked it. I had liked the gun. A lot. So I didn’t understand the tone of derision in his words.
He handed me a Kimber that he’d rebuilt from the ground up and went back to the firing line.
I understand what he means now – sort of. The R1’s firing pin block makes the trigger just a bit rough. The response is not as immediate as you will find on other 1911s that have had custom trigger work. After shooting a custom gun with a three-pound, series 70 style trigger, the Remington feels slow.
That said, the Remington’s trigger is on par with the triggers of most production handguns. Only elite 1911 aficionados will be able to tell any appreciable difference.
So what? How does it shoot?
I like the R1’s sights. Both the front and the back are dovetailed. While the angular front blade promises to hang up in a tight holster, the prominence (and the white dots) makes target acquisition fast and accurate. At 25 yards I shot five sets with an average group of 1.7".
I shot really well with the gun. It took me a full box of 50 just to get dialed in, but I’ve come to accept this. As a writer, I’m constantly shooting guns for an hour or so and then giving them back to their rightful owners. I don’t get the results that I get with the guns I’ve been shooting for years. But, in many ways, a 1911 is like a McDonalds. You know what you’re going to get.
I’m talking about predictability. The learning curve on the R1 isn’t half as steep as the curve on the FN 5-7, which I also shot on the same day.
And the gun is solid. I don’t mind a rattle in a 1911, but the R1 feels precise. Though the frame is cast, the slide is milled. The blued finish is accented nicely by the stainless steel barrel, barrel bushing, and the aluminum trigger. The contrast of the stainless against the deep black is subtle, as 1911s go. It’s pretty. And I think that’s an element of this iconic pistol’s design that is often overlooked. The 1911 is artistically modern blend of form and function that bridges the gap between the Art Nouveau’s graceful curves and Art Deco’s angles.
It is this attention to detail that sets this pistol apart, which is why I am mildly disappointed by the rather large Remington name stamped on the left side of the slide. I’ve never been so brand conscious that I wanted to pay a company for the right to advertise their products. And I’m not that likely to forget who made the gun.
I’ve read a decent amount of good press for this gun. My experience certainly echoes those sentiments. But I’ve also seen some criticism of the R1’s fit, in particular. Seems like some guns are being shipped with rough spots on either the slides or the frames that chew up the finish after just a few rounds. I’m really disappointed to hear this and I’m not going to come to the defense of Remington. If it were me, I’d go through the pains of asking Remington to make the situation right. In the end, what you’ll wind up with will be well worth it.
I like Remington’s business model. I like their history and reputation. And I’m thrilled to see them enter the 1911 market. I had an absurd conversation with a gun store clerk in Atlanta recently who held forth for ten minutes about what a waste all of these new 1911s were. In his opinion, Remington and Ruger and all of the others were wasting their time. They should be, he said, making the guns that they make.
I couldn’t disagree more. I can’t really identify much about this pistol’s performance that differentiates it from other 1911s in the same general price range. Ruger, Remington, Rock Island, Springfield, Colt – any of the recent pistols that are based on the A1. I’m sure a quick look at the specifications would help explain the differences in price. The R1 feels better than the Rock Island, and it feels as good as a Colt. Remington says their 1911 is made in America. At just over $600, this pistol combines aesthetics, performance, and the reputation of a tested company to produce an amazing gun.
Check out what others say about the Remington 1911 R1:
"Remington Model 1911 R1 Review" by Ebb, HausOfGuns.com
"1911 Remington R1 Review" by Army 1911, TexasGunOwner.com
"Remington R1 45 ACP 1911 Semi-Auto Pistol" by Jeff Quinn, GunBlast.com