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Reviews : Arsenal

Remington Model R1 1911 Pistol

Simple, easy to use, and dead-on accurate, Remington's classic .45 is everything a 1911 should be.

November 05, 2010  |  by Nick Jacobellis - Also by this author

Even though all Model 1911 pistols are based on a nearly century-old design, the 1911 is one of the most popular pistols in America. And it is actually getting more popular. When I began my law enforcement career, Colt was the only manufacturer of the 1911. By the time that I medically retired from the U.S. Customs Service, I couldn't count all of the companies that were producing 1911s.

During World War I, Remington Arms Co. produced nearly 22,000 .45 ACP Model 1911 pistols for the Allied war effort.

Recently, I had the chance to field test a preproduction Remington R1 1911. Testing a preproduction gun is kind of like beta testing software. The final product is not quite perfected, and the manufacturers are looking for input. But I chose to write about the R1 anyway because I wanted to give the readers of POLICE a look at what's coming down the road from Remington.


Most law enforcement officers are familiar with Remington products because Remington shotguns and rifles have been used by numerous agencies since law enforcement officers first started putting on a badge. But back in the days of the Old West through the end of World War I in 1918, Remington was also known for its handguns. And today, the company is once again planting its flag in the handgun market with the R1.

The R1 is an entry-level, all-steel 1911. It will be priced to sell for about $650 retail. (Law enforcement pricing is not available at this time.)

And I couldn't wait to get my hands on one so I procured this preproduction model. I have to admit that normally I write gun reviews about production model firearms and this is the first time that I have had the chance to review a preproduction pistol for POLICE.

My R1 was one of about 50 that Remington sent to gun testers to help them identify the strengths and weaknesses of their design. I found it rather refreshing that a firearms manufacturer would use that many pistols as test samples. I think it proves that Remington has no intentions of cutting corners on the R1's product integrity and reliability. By having all kinds of shooters with different backgrounds extensively test fire these preproduction pistols, Remington is making every effort to fine-tune the full production models of its entry level 1911.


Some 1911s need a break-in period. Remington says that's not the case with the R1. The minute it comes out of the box, it's ready for duty. Even though there's no recommended break-in period for the R1, it always makes sense to test the pistols that you intend to carry with the ammunition that you intend to use in the field.

The truth is the preproduction R1 really didn't need much fine-tuning. It's incredibly easy and comfortable to shoot. Better yet, even though the R1 is designed to be used with 230-grain FMJ or ball ammunition, the preproduction pistol proved to be flawlessly reliable when it was fired with three different types of ammunition.

The Remington 1911 has excellent high-visibility, three-dot sights that are very easy to acquire. They were properly sighted in from the factory, which was great. I love it when I don't have to make adjustments at the range.

If you're a fan of night sights, you still may want a Remington 1911. The company plans to offer a lot of accessories. That means you will be able to buy all of the bells and whistles that your heart desires.

Another feature that some shooters will want on a 1911 is a longer beavertail. Some shooters get slide bite unless they operate a 1911 with an extended beavertail. If this is a concern for you, then Remington will soon be offering a gun to fit your needs. The company plans to start introducing other models with stainless steel construction, an extended beavertail, eight-round magazines, and other features by early 2011.

I'll also say this: Of all the less expensive entry level 1911s that are currently on the market the Remington R1 has a beavertail that I believe is extended enough to be an improvement over the 1911s that have the World War I and World War II plain Jane frame.

My test R1 is as I've noted a preproduction pistol so I don't want to be too critical. But I did notice two fit and finish problems. The slide-to-frame fit was off by a hair, and the extractor was not flush with the rear of the slide. Neither problem was severe, so I headed to the range to see if these issues would affect the pistol's performance.

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Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

johnlaw @ 11/6/2010 1:18 PM

As long as Remington hasn't monkeyed with John Browning's design it will work. There was no mention in the story whether this is truly a 1911a1 or a wannbe like Para.
If in fact it is a true 1911, I will buy one to go with the rest of my 1911s.
As range officer I have able to convince about half of my officers to leave the plastic in the toy box and start carrying 1911.

gilbert @ 1/20/2011 9:07 PM

I bought RemingtonR1 here in the Philippines. I observed to the trigger of Remington R1 need to improve. The trigger was to depth which can not feel it smoothness when squeezing the trigger. I changed the trigger of my RemingtonR1 and now I pull the trigger smoothly.

Sergeant @ 6/29/2011 8:01 AM

I have owned a R-1 for about 8 months. I have fired over 1000 rounds in this weapon with no hiccups. The R1 performs flawlessly. As a Police Officer I am required to carry a dept. issued Glock 22 and, by policy, carry while off duty. Although I like the Glock, the R-1 goes on my side while off duty .45 acp stopping power is legendary and this 1911 is ultimately reliable

CLINT @ 8/29/2011 8:11 PM

I have the 1911 and fired 100 rounds 230 gr FMJ and I had 6 failures. The reciever did not move all the way forward and had to be tapped to move forward and finish loading the round so it could be fired, As a Police Officer I would not carry this weapon. I love the 1911, but need something dependable on duty.

dino @ 9/15/2011 5:31 PM

I have 1000 rounds of 230 ball with a few issues in the first couple hundred rounds. After that the next 800 rounds not one issue. I also have 3 different hollow points through of about 100 rounds and no issues. The gun shoots great!!! Also this is the Enhanced model I have had now for 2 months.

William L @ 11/14/2011 8:01 PM

I Bought a 1911 R1 In March 2011 and Been nothing but highly impressed with mine. During the 1st 50 rounds I had a Jam that was Magazine related ( one of two supplied) failed to activate the slide lock upon firing last round. I now use Wilson Combat 8 rounders and the Weapon shoots better than 3 Kimber's I tried out. on a Police B27 Target at 7 yards it as Bullseye deadly ( I was accused of standing 3 feet from the target) and Even better with Reloaded 230 Ball or Hollowpoint loaded to go 850 FPS. I paid $596.00 for mine and it shoots better than $1,400 1911's.

Mark @ 7/27/2015 11:52 PM

I bought the 1911 R1 SS version about 2 years ago. I have never had any feed or ejection issues. I think most (not all) issues encountered with this or any other properly built 1911 can be attributed to "limp wristing." I have a friend who went to the range with me a few months ago. He is an experienced (civilian) shooter. I am a former LEO and US Navy Vet. I have fired the 1911 quite a bit. He has not. Anyhow, same 1911, same ammo, we took turns. He had failure to feed problems with EVERY magazine he fired. I had no issues at all. It has never given me any issues. My friend's 17 year old son fired several mags with no issues as well. Operator error comes into play in some circumstances. No matter what I told my friend to help him, he continued to have issues and called the weapon junk. lol. There are several sharp edges on my R1. Those are my only complaints after approximately 800 rounds. However, my Springfield 1911A1 is as accurate with a better finish for about the same cost.

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