Remington 1911R1 Review

 

Remington has rejoined the 1911 market after 91 years with the 1911R1, based on the vintage model manufactured for the US military in 1917.

Package

Left

Right

Let me first state that I am not a 1911 guy. Remington’s 1911R1 was my first introduction to the 1911 series of pistols. I know now what made the 1911 so revolutionary in its time, and why the 1911 series has the following it does. John Browning’s design really changed things back then. I wonder what sort of marvels he would be able to accomplish were he around in the present day with modern manufacturing techniques, polymers, and computers… The model I tested was an early production gun, and several updates have been made to current production models.

Caliber

Chambered in 45 ACP, the 1911R1 packs a punch. However, due to the solid steel construction and weight, recoil is extremely manageable. Because the weight of the gun counterbalances the recoil, it was fairly easy to get sights back on target for rapid follow-up shots. My wife is not much of a shooter, but the single stacked 1911R1 fit her smaller hands well and the recoil was considerably less than she expected it to be. Recoil is significantly less than that of a polymer framed pistol in the same caliber, such as the Springfield XD.

Front Sight

Rear Sight

Sights

The 1911R1 features a traditional three dot sight picture. Standard Novak sight cuts in the frame allow for replacement if desired. I found the sights to be very accurate. Point of aim was right on the point of impact every single time. No adjustments were necessary. I was able to consistently hit targets as small as 1 1/2″ at distances of 40 feet. The grip angle allowed for a comfortable hold with natural indexing.

Trigger + Magazine Release

The trigger is very light and crisp, with minimal creep. There was no stacking or grit when pulling the trigger. The 1911 series trigger is a departure from the traditional pistol and rifle triggers, as it is pulled straight back and does not have a pivot point. I really like the trigger on the 1911R1. For those of you that are heavily in to 1911’s, you should know that the 1911R1 is a series 80 gun. Meaning, there is an additional firing pin block within the slide which requires the trigger to be fully depressed in order for the hammer to transfer its energy to the firing pin in order to make the gun fire. This serves as a safeguard to prevent accidental or negligent discharges. There’s a large debate as to if the additional safety in the series 80 models is actually necessary or not, but that’s another topic for another time…

Slide Release

The slide release is small enough to hide out of the way while shooting, but large enough to reliably operate without looking at it. It does not interfere with the hold of the gun whatsoever.

Safety

Grip Safety

The manual safety cannot be engaged until the hammer is cocked. For the gun to fire, the manual safety must be disabled, and the grip safety must be engaged. Without both, the trigger does not engage the firing pin.

In my testing, I found the Remington 1911R1 to be completely 100% reliable. Ammunition fed, fired, and extracted reliably — even when the gun was dirty. It didn’t matter what type of ammunition I fired or how I held it. I simply could not get the gun to display any sort of faults no matter how hard I tried.

I will say that the 1911R1 has a downside. It’s not really a fault of the gun, as it is faithful to the classic 1917 models. I shoot left handed, and the 1911R1 is does not have ambidextrous controls. Therefore, all the controls are on the wrong side of the gun (for me). The magazine release was not too difficult to operate. The slide release operated fairly well, but the manual safety was next to impossible to operate properly with my shooting hand. Definitely something to consider when purchasing this gun.

As an entry-level 1911, the Remington 1911R1 is a solid gun. It’s not going to be to the same level as a Kimber, but that’s not its intended purpose. I would recommend the 1911R1 to anyone looking purchase a 1911.

Specifications

Caliber 45 Auto
Magazine Capacity 7+1
Barrel Length 5″
Twist 1-16 LH
Overall Length 8 1/2″
Overall Height 5 1/2″
Trigger Pull 3 1/2 lbs
Barrel Finish Satin Stainless Steel
Grip Material Walnut
Grip Design Double Diamond
Weight 38.5 oz
MSRP $692.00

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