Remington has been in the gunmaking business for a long time—almost 200 years, in fact. It is the oldest firearms manufacturer in the U.S., and in all that time it has earned a reputation among American shooters for remarkable quality and reliability and grown to be the largest domestic manufacturer of rifles and shotguns (not to mention a major ammunition producer as well). Remington, however, is not traditionally known as a handgun manufacturer, with two major exceptions: the Remington Model 1858 revolver, which was used during the Civil War, and the 1911 pistol, which was manufactured by Remington UMC and Remington Rand in World War I and II respectively.
During WWI, Remington UMC, which was formed through the merger of Remington Arms and the Union Metallic Cartridge Company, produced over 20,000 Model 1911 pistols for the U.S. military. These 1911s are rare and collectable today. In WWII, Remington Rand, a typewriter manufacturer that was a spinoff of Remington Arms, was the largest producer of 1911 pistols—with nearly 900,000 delivered by the war’s end.
It was uniquely satisfying that Remington announced the introduction of a new 1911 pistol on the cusp of the 100th anniversary of its adoption by the U.S. military. The Remington R1 is a full-sized semi-automatic, 1911 pistol chambered for the classic and hard-hitting .45 ACP. Within a very short time, Remington also introduced stainless steel versions and an Enhanced tactical model. The latest example of this is the Remington Model 1911 R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel.
This new pistol is designed to take full advantage of the growing interest in suppressors, which are legal for civilians to own in most states. This is also a wise move given that Remington and premier suppressor-maker Advanced Armament Corporation are now part of the same parent company. Of course, making a suppressor-ready pistol does requires a few additional features beyond the aforementioned threaded barrel.
The 5-inch, match-grade, stainless steel barrel is left in the white and extended to include the threads for attaching a suppressor. The barrel also includes a knurled thread protector for when the pistol is used unsuppressed. Like all 1911s, the R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel uses a linked, recoil-operated system. As the bullet travels down the barrel, recoil forces the slide and barrel backward. However, only once the bullet exits the muzzle and the chamber pressure drops to a safe level does the barrel link pull the back of the barrel down to unlock the action and permit the slide to continue its rearward motion. This extracts and ejects a spent round and recocks the hammer. Then the recoil spring pushes the slide forward, stripping a fresh round from the top of the magazine and into the chamber.
The slide features blackened, fixed, raised sights to allow for aimed fire over an attached suppressor. The sights are dovetailed and drift-adjustable if needed, although they come factory-sighted. (This is quite distinct from the standard sights on the R1 Enhanced, which feature a red fiber-optic front sight for faster target acquisition.) The slide also features sharp, square serrations at the front and rear for a more secure hold during slide operation. The ejection port has been flared and lowered for more reliable ejection of spent rounds. The raised rear sight also helps in getting a firmer hold for slide operation and could be used to cycle the action one-handed if pressed against a flat, hard surface such as a wall or the edge of a table.
The frame includes many significant tactical upgrades that shooters will appreciate. Vertical serrations at the front of the grip help secure a firm hold while remaining very comfortable. The rear of the grip features a flat mainspring housing with 20 lines per inch (lpi) of sharp checkering. The aggressive beavertail grip safety sweeps upward to protect the web of the hand from hammer bite and allow a high handhold. The grip safety features an extended memory bump that ensures the safety is properly deactivated when the pistol is gripped. The memory bump on the grip safety features the same 20-lpi checkering as the mainspring housing.
As a single-action pistol, the 1911 has multiple safeties. In addition to the grip safety, the primary safety is a thumb safety that locks the sear to the hammer so that the trigger cannot release it. For right-handed shooters, deactivating this frame-mounted safety requires a very instinctive downward motion with the shooting hand’s thumb. Aftermarket, ambidextrous thumb safeties are available, however, and fairly easy to install. The R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel has an extended thumb safety for ease of use and clicks from the safe- to the fire-position and back with a comforting click.
For a 1911 to fire, the hammer must be cocked with the grip safety held firmly down and the thumb safety in the off-position. Those who choose to carry a 1911 for personal protection will usually carry in Condition One, which is with a round in the chamber, the hammer back and the thumb safety activated—this is also known as cocked and locked. Some may prefer to carry in Condition Three, which is with the safety off, the hammer down, a full magazine and an empty chamber; in this condition all that is required to fire is to first rack the slide. Condition Three is not commonly used, but some foreign military units have, at least in the past, adopted this method with single-action semi-automatic pistols.
The Remington R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel also uses the Colt Series 80 safety system. This is a firing-pin block that Colt added to the standard 1911 design in the 1980s. If a standard 1911 is dropped with a round in the chamber and the hammer is down, the hammer can strike the firing pin with enough force to set off the primer and fire a round. Likewise, if the gun falls barrel first and hits a hard surface, the force could be sufficient to drive the firing pin forward and set off a live round in the chamber. The Series 80 safety system adds a firing-pin block that prevents the firing pin from moving forward unless the trigger is depressed. Pressing the trigger backward raises a bar inside the frame that contacts a pin at the back of the firing pin, raising it and unblocking the firing pin so it can move forward when the hammer strikes it. Some feel that this system changes the trigger feel of the classic 1911, but most find the change imperceptible.
At the rear of the pistol is a combat, Commander-style hammer that is easy to cock. The anodized-aluminum match trigger is skeletonized and includes an adjustment screw to eliminate overtravel. The front of the trigger is curved and serrated, and the magazine release is extended for ease of use. The magazine well is slightly beveled as well, to aid in faster reloads.
The R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel also features very attractive custom grips made from a laminated, dark-colored wood with diamond-pattern checkering. On the left side is a smooth cutout for easier access to the magazine release, which really helps display the detail on the lamination. Remington includes two eight-round magazines that each have a polymer follower and thick, polymer bumper pad. The body of the magazine has an anti-friction coating for a smooth feel, and the mag itself drops free and feeds easily. With or without the bumper pads, the magazines do extend slightly past the bottom of the grip to accommodate the higher-than-normal capacity.
The fit and finish on the R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel was excellent, including a bushing that was fit very tightly onto the slightly flared barrel. (The enclosed disassembly tool comes in very handy at this point.) The all-steel pistol also features a matte black satin-oxide finish that is very well applied and provides resistance to corrosion and wear.
I test-fired both the standard R1 Enhanced and the R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel with and without a suppressor. With an Advanced Armament Ti-RANT .45 suppressor, the R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel gains almost 12 ounces to its already full-sized 42-ounce weight without a full magazine. The weight alone does a good job of taming recoil and will give your arm a good workout on extended range sessions. The Ti-RANT .45 suppressor also does an excellent job at reducing noise by 30 decibels when fired dry and 41 decibels when fired wet.
The suppressor does add more than 8 inches to the R1, nearly doubling its overall length. It also gives the pistol a distinct feel when firing, as there is a bit of backward pressure. The elevated sights are much appreciated and make it possible to see the target over the suppressor.
After a full day of shooting, the R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel, I grew to distinctly appreciate the checkering on the back of the frame and the grips, which are a bit on the sharp side and to tend to bite into the hand, but not in an unpleasant way. They do keep the pistol firmly in the hand and prevent any shifting from recoil. The trigger itself was excellent, with slight creep and a very crisp break just under 4 pounds. This and the match-grade bushing and barrel contributed significantly to the excellent accuracy results.
In testing the R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel, I used a mix of ball and hollow-point ammunition with zero malfunctions experienced over several days of shooting. For accuracy testing I fired from a benchrest at 25 yards, with my best group measuring 1.25 inches using Winchester ammo.
In producing the R1 series of 1911 pistols, Remington has done a great service to American gun-owners. The R1 Enhanced and R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel models are stand-out pistols that offer excellent, reliable service, with many desirable and well-thought-out features. For more information, visit remington.com or call 800-243-9700.
Remington has been in the gunmaking business for a long time—almost 200 years, in…
by Tactical-Life / Jun 26, 2013