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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

On Target

Despite the two fit and finish problems with the preproduction pistol, I loaded two seven-round magazines with BVAC hollow-point ammunition, snapped one into my R1, then took aim at a TQ19 police qualification target from a distance of 21 feet, and opened fire. My rounds impacted the chest and head area of this man-sized target, and the pistol functioned so reliably that I quickly forgot about the fit and finish issues. At least for awhile.

After emptying my first magazine into the target, I executed a quick combat reload and dumped seven more BVAC 230-grain hollow points into the targets. I also fired some 230-grain Speer Lawman FMJ ammunition through the R1, and was satisfied with the results.

Now I was on a roll. So I decided to get a little daring. I loaded two more mags full of BVAC hollow points. Then I repeated the qualification shooting. I also fired two different types of 230-grain Federal hollow-point ammunition into the man-sized paper target. The R1 performed amazingly well for a preproduction pistol.

During my first few range sessions, the preproduction R1 proved to be flawlessly reliable. Unfortunately, during the next range session, the Remington R1 failed to load the last round in the magazine and left the entire bullet resting on top of the empty magazine.

After separating the magazine that was involved in this stoppage from the other magazines, I then loaded the R1 with a Wilson Combat Magazine that I had used before in this pistol to shoot FMJ and hollow-point ammunition without any difficulties. Shortly thereafter, the R1 experienced a failure to extract that was so serious the empty round was rather severely dented when the empty brass case was caught by the slide as it cycled forward.

I should also mention that my preproduction R1 had a somewhat erratic ejection pattern, which may be explained by the fact that I believe the test pistol did not have a properly fitted extractor. I want to stress here that this was a preproduction test pistol that was sent into the field specifically so shooters could report any problems encountered back to Remington. Once these field reports were collated Remington used the information to make adjustments on their regular full production models.

It should also be noted that the preproduction test pistol tested in this article had more than 1,500 rounds through it with no malfunctions reported before it was sent to me to field test for POLICE Magazine. This means that my R1 was flawlessly reliable for some time before it experienced one feeding problem and one extraction problem during the POLICE Magazine testing.

Remington has taken all of the observations, comments, and advice from various shooters and has reportedly corrected every problem encountered. I checked with Diamondback Police Supply in Tucson and spoke to a sales representative who said he recently field tested a Remington R1 1911 and after firing 21 rounds (three magazines) they had no malfunctions. Then they fired a total of 300 rounds in one shooting session. I believe this means that since the initial preproduction and early production pistols were field tested, improvements were made to the design.

Carrying the R1

The Remington R1, like most 1911s, has a magazine capacity of 7 plus 1. In this day and age of high-capacity pistols, I have to wonder if most shooters will believe that is sufficient. All I can say to the doubters is that I know from experience that with the proper training anyone can execute an incredibly fast combat reload while armed with a pistol like the 1911.

When it came time to carry the Remington R1 1911 test pistol, I used a DeSantis paddle holster. I also have an excellent DeSantis leather Speed Scabbard and a leather inside-the-pants holster with a clip for concealed carry use. In the field I used the DeSantis paddle holster and BlackHawk coyote tan nylon Special Operations Holster. In order to carry spare magazines, I wore a variety of DeSantis mag pouches.

I believe the R1 1911 worked rather well for a preproduction pistol. In fact, now that all of these preproduction and early production problems have been resolved, I expect that every Remington R1 that you inspect at your local gun store will be a perfect specimen of an entry level 1911.

Nick Jacobellis is a medically retired U.S. Customs Agent and former police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent.



BVAC Ammunition

DeSantis Holsters

Federal Cartridge


PHOTO GALLERY: Remington 1911 R1 Pistol

Remington May Bring 1911 Pistol To 2010 SHOT Show

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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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