The 1911 is America’s auto pistol. It has
been over a quarter century since the US Military replaced the
grand old Forty-Five with the current 9mm Beretta, but the
Beretta will never be burned into the hearts and souls of
American shooters as is the 1911. Even after being in production
for right at one-hundred years, the 1911 is more popular than
ever. I do not have any idea as to the number of pistol-makers
in the world who are producing the popular pistol design, as the
tally changes almost daily. Americans have a fondness for the
1911 pistol that has been unmatched by any other centerfire auto
pistol. Just over nine decades ago, the US Government contracted
with Remington Arms to produce 1911 pistols for the effort to
win “The War to End All Wars”, currently known as World War
One. Being as World War Two had not yet been planned, it would
have been presumptuous at the time to start numbering them, as
the second war was a quarter century away, and we are just now
into the first stages of the third. Anyway, Remington produced
almost 22,000 1911 pistols before the war came to a celebrated
halt in November of 1918, and Remington stopped producing 1911
pistols, until now.
About a year ago, the word got out that
Remington was going into the very competitive 1911 pistol
business, and a couple of months later, I got to play with one a
bit. However, production guns did not start shipping for several
months, and I now have a new production Remington R1 1911 pistol
here for review. I was pleased upon opening the hard plastic
case that the R1 is very well-fitted and finished. I had
previously seen a couple of early production pieces that were a
bit disappointing as to fit and finish, but this current pistol
exceeds my expectations for a 1911 American-made pistol in this
price range. The current MSRP is only $699, and they have been
selling for less than MSRP, as most firearms do. There has been
some flak on internet forums about the use of cast parts in the
Remington, but that old cast-versus-forged argument does not
hold water. The strongest handguns in the world use cast parts,
and cast can be every bit as good or better than forged. It is
just two different methods of making a steel part.
The Remington R1 has modern 1911features,
while still hanging onto a bit of nostalgia in the cosmetics.
The thumb safety looks like one from a decades-old GI pistol, as
does the style of the serrations on the slide, the traditional
short guide rod, slim grip safety tang, checkered walnut grips,
and the style of the slide latch. However, the R1 also has
modern touches like a beveled magazine well, stainless steel
barrel and bushing, high-visibility three-dot sights dovetailed
into the slide, lowered ejection port, throated and polished
chamber, and firing pin safety. The R1 seems to blend
traditional features with modern touches for a better-shooting
pistol, resulting in a good-looking 1911 that is ready for
serious work, right out of the box.
Critical specifications are listed in the
chart below. Weight is listed in ounces. Linear measurements are
listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed as pounds of pressure.
Height includes sights and magazine base.
|Weight with empty
I tested for velocity with my chronograph set
at twelve feet from the muzzle, and an air temperature of
seventy-nine degrees Fahrenheit. Velocity readings were taken at
an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level.
Velocities are listed in the chart below, and are listed in
feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is
a jacketed hollowpoint. DPX is an homogenous copper hollowpoint
bullet. Glaser is a specialty pre-fragmented bullet inside a
copper alloy jacket. PB is Cor-Bon Pow’RBall.
EPR and AF are high performance specialty bullets as loaded by Extreme
Shock Ammunition. LWSC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet.
Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights
are listed in grains.
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore FMJ
|Extreme Shock EPR
|Extreme Shock AF
|WCC 1911 Ball FMJ
Accuracy was very good. Accuracy testing was
done at a distance of twenty-five yards, with the R1 clamped
firmly into the Ransom Rest. Group
sizes varied from around one and three-quarter inches to just
over three inches, depending upon the ammunition tested.
Reliability was excellent. I experienced two failures to feed
200 grain semi-wadcutters early in the shooting, within the
first twelve rounds. After that, those lead semi-wadcutters,
hollowpoints, and ball all fed flawlessly. No other stoppages
were experienced. Ejection was positive, with no hang-ups at
all. The R1 has all of the safety features built into quality
1911 pistols. The thumb safety is for a right-hander only, but
an ambidextrous safety can be fitted, if desired. As mentioned
above, the R1 incorporates a firing pin safety to prevent the
weapon from discharging if dropped upon its muzzle. The grip
safety is automatic, and works as designed. Carried
cocked-and-locked, a 1911 pistol is as safe as any mechanical
device can be. It is the top choice of many professionals who
have the option to carry any sidearm that they desire.
What keeps the 1911 pistol so popular after a
century of production, I am not sure. It certainly is a great
design, brought forth from the fertile mind of John Browning and
inspired by God himself. There have been many excellent
centerfire pistol designs developed and produced over the past
century, but still, the old 1911 is more popular than ever.
Other designs come and go, but the 1911 just keeps getting
better. The Remington R1 is a welcome addition to the field of
good-quality 1911 pistols on the market, and proves that one
does not have to spend a small fortune to buy a good, solid,
American-made 1911 45 Auto.
Check out the Remington R1 online at www.1911r1.com.