Skip to main content

Remington 1911 R1 Review

Remington 1911 R1 Review
Remington 1911 R1

When Remington announced last year that it was going to be making a handgun, it definitely got everyone's attention. Big Green, America's oldest gun maker, hadn't produced a handgun in decades, and this was going to be the first new 1911 from the firm in 91 years.

Everyone assumed its 1911 would be traditionally styled, especially considering the 1911's 100-year anniversary was rapidly approaching, and Remington did not disappoint. The R1 does have classic looks, but if you were one of those people hoping for an identical copy of its classic Remington-UMC, you're out of luck.

A lot of people like the looks of vintage 1911s but don't necessarily like shooting them. Their original style grip safeties hurt the hand, their minimalist "hump and a bump" sights are hard to see in direct sunlight, they are difficult to reload with any speed, and they can have reliability issues with anything other than FMJ ammo. Aware of these contradictions, Remington decided to put out a pseudo-vintage version of the traditional 1911 in hopes of pleasing everybody.

The American-made R1 has done away with the original sights and replaced them with simple three-dot combat sights set into dovetails front and back. The ejection port is marginally lowered and lightly flared to aid reliability, and it has a stainless steel barrel bushing for a distinctive look.


The mag well is lightly beveled, and the two provided magazines have improved followers reminiscent of the fabulous PSI ACT mags. The R1 has a short trigger compared to the original UMC's long trigger, a flat mainspring housing as opposed to arched, and there's no lanyard loop on the butt. However, it does sport traditionally styled double diamond-checkered walnut grips and original Government-style grip and thumb safeties.


The R1 comes with a Series 80-style internal firing pin safety. 1911s without that particular safety (which is the majority of them, including the original Remington UMC) are not unsafe, and the extra parts of a firing pin safety generally result in a grittier trigger pull--and increase manufacturing cost of a basic model--so I asked Remington engineers at a recent industry event what the reason was for that addition. They couldn't really give me an exact reason, so I'm assuming it was a liability-driven decision.

There is a tiny slot at the top rear of the barrel hood that Remington is calling a loaded-chamber indicator. While theoretically it can be used to see if there is a cartridge in the chamber, the slot is so small that I would much rather just crack the slide back and be sure.

At the industry event, Remington provided five R1s to a group of gun writers, and in just over an hour we put 2,000 rounds of full-power ammunition through those guns. The only problems encountered were one feeding jam (mostly likely due to limp-wristing), and one of the guns' front sights started to work loose in its dovetail.

The R1's magazine well is slightly beveled, but the flat mainspring housing didn't extend down quite as far as it should have.

A fellow writer and I shared an R1, and in 45 minutes we put more than 500 rounds through that one pistol. We had runners loading mags for us, and got the gun so hot the front of the trigger guard was nearly too hot to touch, but it did not jam on us. That said, it was not a torture test I'd care to repeat, as the R1's old-style grip safety bruised the heck out of my hand.


Modern manufacturing techniques have enabled the Remington engineers not only to make a relatively tight and surprisingly accurate pistol for an affordable price, but one that even with a Series 80 safety has a decent trigger.

After our torture test and a proper cleaning, the trigger pull on the provided R1 broke right at four pounds. Admittedly, it broke more like a carrot than a glass rod, but it was still a relatively crisp single-stage trigger--something that cannot be said about the triggers on the original Colt Series 80 guns.

The gun Remington sent me for accuracy testing had a mainspring housing that didn't quite extend down as far as it should have, resulting in the sharp edge of the frame digging a little hole in the heel of my hand.


None of the guns we torture tested had the same problem, so I'm guessing it was simply one mainspring housing cut a hair too short, and that was the only problem I found. If it was my personal gun, two minutes with a file would solve the problem.

The pistol digested all sorts of hollowpoints without a problem (try that with an original GI gun), although the owner's manual advises against the use of +P ammunition in the gun.

The name "Remington" has a history all its own, and for those of you interested in a classically styled 1911, the R1 should be at the top of your list.

  

 

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Compact Carry Pistols Are Effective With Practice

Compact Carry Pistols Are Effective With Practice

Small, compact semi-auto pistols are popular with concealed-carry firearm buyers, and these two models – the KelTec PF9 9mm and the Ruger LCP II .22LR – are no exceptions. They are effective for personal protection but only if you put in the time to practice.

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

KelTec CMR30 22WMR Review - Compact, Versatile & Fun to Shoot

KelTec CMR30 22WMR Review - Compact, Versatile & Fun to Shoot

Designed for lightweight, low recoil accuracy, the CMR30 .22 WMR features a nice, single-action trigger, ambidextrous dual non-reciprocating operating handles, ambidextrous safety and heel catch magazine release. The KelTec CMR30 is a .22 Magnum carbine that holds 30 rounds in each of its two flush-fit magazines. That's a lot of firepower for a 3.8-pound, semi-auto, collapsible truck gun. It comes out of the box as you see it, including Magpul sights and ambidextrous, non-reciprocating dual operating handles. She's a straight blow-back tack driver that delivers a ton of fun.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer SKU # 180023) is an easy-racking, soft-shooting pistol.Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 Review Compact

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 Review

James Tarr - November 06, 2018

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer...

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in PikeKahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ Industry

Kahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ

Handguns Online Staff - June 04, 2014

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in Pike

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhatPro Tips For Controlling Recoil Training

Pro Tips For Controlling Recoil

Richard Nance - April 11, 2017

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability.Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

See More Trending Articles

More 1911

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability.Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

Ed Head reviews the Nighthawk Chairman 9mm.Review: Nighthawk Chairman 9mm 1911

Review: Nighthawk Chairman 9mm

Ed Head - January 31, 2019

Ed Head reviews the Nighthawk Chairman 9mm.

Kimber's new Aegis Elite Custom OI combines functionality, modern styling and a pre-mounted optic.Review: Kimber AEGIS Elite Custom OI 1911

Review: Kimber AEGIS Elite Custom OI

Brad Fitzpatrick - September 20, 2018

Kimber's new Aegis Elite Custom OI combines functionality, modern styling and a pre-mounted...

The Nighthawk Custom Vice President is an outstanding example of what a 1911 can be.Nighthawk Custom Vice President 1911 Review Reviews

Nighthawk Custom Vice President 1911 Review

Keith Wood - June 26, 2020

The Nighthawk Custom Vice President is an outstanding example of what a 1911 can be.

See More 1911

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now