A century has passed since Remington's first foray into the world of 1911s. Big Green's initial run of the M1911 took place during World War I, a time marked by a desperate need to arm tens of thousands of soldiers. When production halted in 1918, almost as quickly as it had begun, approximately 21,000 M1911s had been manufactured under the Remington-UMC name. Today those handguns are sought-after collector's items.
The company did not resume production of the 1911 until 2010, which is when the Remington R1 made its first appearance. While the R1 line has steadily expanded, it has understandably focused mainly on the traditional .45 ACP chambering. Until recently, the lone exception to this focus was the Remington R1 Enhanced 9mm, but now there's a bigger, badder 1911 joining the ranks: the Remington R1 10mm Hunter Long Slide.
The ergonomics of the R1 Hunter are immediately appealing. It's comfortable in my hand thanks in part to the rounded sides of the Operator II VZ G10 grips and extended beavertail safety. The ambidextrous thumb safeties and magazine release are within easy reach, and my index finger rests alongside the frame without maneuvering. Similarly, my finger's reach to the trigger feels natural. The gun weighs 41 ounces empty.
The R1 Hunter is made to take a substantial beating, a must-have trait for a hunting handgun. From its stainless steel frame, slide and barrel to its PVD DLC (Physical Vapor Deposition, Diamond-Like Carbon) finish, it's ready for anything, so I took it hunting—and on airplanes, long car trips and to the range.
On a muddy winter hunt in Mississippi, a Barnes 155-grain VOR-TX TAC-HP fired from 28 yards dropped a 150-pound wild hog. The temperature that day was minus nine, and despite the frigid temps—plus mud and precipitation—the pistol experienced no failures whatsoever and was consistently accurate.
During range testing, the Barnes load delivered a best five-shot group of 1.36 inches. I shot it alongside a Para USA Elite LS Hunter, and the R1 Hunter consistently fired between 20 fps and 100 fps faster than the Para gun. (Ed. note: If you weren't aware, Remington bought Para USA in 2012 and a few years later rebranded Para to Remington.)
It comes with LPA fully adjustable match sights and a red fiber-optic front sight, a setup that performed quite well at a variety of distances. Even better, the R1 Hunter fits my long-fingered hands nicely, provides a positive grip and is well balanced and quite pointable. The R1 has an adjustable trigger that came from the factory with a five-pound pull and a crisp, clean break.
The R1 Hunter proved its reliability by cycling approximately 550 rounds before experiencing a failure to feed, which proved to be ammunition related. I've heard 1911 owners complain about their guns being easily fouled and failing to cycle after only a couple hundred rounds, but light lubrication was sufficient to keep the R1 Hunter cycling despite it getting dirty.
The gun is a pleasure to shoot, and I think it's reliable enough to be a carry gun—although I would be hard-pressed to conceal it. Open-carry fans might find it to be just the thing, and mounting a light/laser on its accessory rail would make it a good choice for home defense. Whatever its purpose, it's accurate, simple to get on target rapidly and nicely balanced, and the 10mm is an outstanding caliber for a variety of uses.