You probably recognize the Colt 1911. It’s an old gun, used by the U.S. Military for nearly one hundred years under many manufacturers and under many names. In 1918, Remington first tried their hand at making the 1911, and now in 2010 they’re trying again with the Remington 1911 R1. Does this pistol live up to the 1911 name? Read on to find out if this is a good buy for you.
The Remington 1911 R1 sports a pair of white dot iron sights, dovetailed rear and front. The rear is finished with two dots and the front has just one. The biggest problem with these sights is that, while they’re accurate, they’re uncustomizable. Most 1911 handguns use the classic Colt sights, which opens a wide array of distributors and possibilities for sight attachments. With Remington’s branch, only XS Sights makes attachment sights for the R1, which wildly slims down your avenues. Still, I found the 1911 to shoot straight and where I wanted. At ten yards, I regularly hit five-inch and three-inch groupings. The white dots are clear in whatever background you’re shooting and very easy to discern. So, while lack of customization may be an issue, I think the default make works just fine. If you’re interested the niche of scoped pistols, you should look instead to these .22 options.
While the gun itself I’ve found to be mostly fine, the factory magazines are not very good. The springs are prone to failure, as most 1911 factory mags are. The R1 itself worked remarkably fine. I shot over two hundred times and got one malfunction that entire time, in which case it failed to cycle. I cleared it with a simple tap, rack, bang and it worked just as well as it had previously. Like all firearms, I recommend cleaning it often and for this one in particular, to lubricate the slide so that it pulls back efficiently.
1911s handle like a dream and the R1 is no different. The grip safety is easy to reach and works perfect. It’s a single action pistol, which means you’ll have to cock the hammer back before firing the first time on a new magazine. The lever itself feels nice to pull back and I’ve never had a problem with thumbing it down. It’s a weighty gun at thirty-eight and a half ounces and feels really nice to hold. I also found the grip to be nicer than other pistols in similar price ranges. It’s a big pistol still, so those looking to conceal-carry should look elsewhere.
I found the trigger to be crisp and reliable, overall. The weight comes in at four pounds, which is satisfying to pull and helps with the accuracy a good bit. It’s short though, definitely. The trigger guard itself isn’t very roomy, so take off the gloves before shooting. The trigger reset is short as well, which makes consistent rapid fire easy and a blast.
Magazine and Reloading
As said previously, the factory magazines are not very good, specifically the springs. They don’t keep the bullets down well and are prone to malfunction, so you’d be better off getting new magazines. I found reloading to be simple enough, bog-standard quality as far as reloading goes, as long as you use a good magazine. The 1911 comes with two magazines and its capacity is 7+1, which is normal for most 1911 variants.
Length and Weight
The barrel of the R1 is a healthy five inches, the overall being eight and a half inches. I like the length of this gun, though it is pretty standard as far as .45 ACP pistols are concerned. Unloaded, the R1 weighs thirty-eight and a half ounces, which is around two and a half pounds. Loaded, it comes to fifty-three ounces, which is nearly three and a half pounds. Like all 1911s, it’s heavy.
Recoil is hard, which should be expected from .45 ACP. However, the grips being double diamond makes it easy to hold and keep accurate, even after a long session of shooting. If you’re comfortable with shooting larger rounds from pistols, it’ll be easy to keep control of. Those a bit newer but still wanting a heavy pistol might want try the Walther PPQ or the Taurus PT92 for less recoil.
The MSRP is $774.00, which is the standard for these types of “retro” guns. Like any firearm a decade old, you can find reasonable prices from under $600 retail easily and used R1s will cost even less.
This is a striking homage to the original 1911 and Remington’s second foray into the pistol. The price is reasonable, the gun feels nice to shoot, and I think it’s a very good entry-level 1911. If you’re looking for an old gun with new quality, you couldn’t go wrong with the R1.
Richard Douglas is a long time shooter, outdoor enthusiast and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field. Columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller and other publications.