After going through the disaster of getting the plunger tube on my old 1911 replaced under warranty I decided to sell that pistol and replace it with something a little better. My original plan was, and still is to go to an STI Lawman, but since there is a minimum 6 month lead time and I need a 1911 now I opted to purchase the Remington R1 Enhanced. Unboxing and initial impressions after the jump.
Why the Remington R1 Enhanced? I’ve owned a couple 1911s and shot about a dozen different models. Since I’m using this gun for IPSC, IDPA, and Service Conditions I had 3 sets of criteria it had to meet, and my own preferences. Since I’m into data analysis in a huge way, I rarely buy anything without doing extensive research first. Based on what I’d read these are the advantages and disadvantages of this pistol at least on paper.
- 2 year warranty, garunteed time frame, includes shipping, includes Canada
- Novak sight cuts
- Fiber front sight
- Beavertail with memory bump
- Extended magazine release
- Flat checkered mainspring housing
- Front strap serrations
- Front slide serrations
- Match grade stainless barrel and bushing
- Who is E-PRC?
- Remington is new to 1911s
That is a whole lots of pros, the only cons I can see for me are that there is next to no information available about E-PRC. Apparently they contracted Remington to build these 1911s. In the same token, Remington appears to be regarded as the new kid on the block when it comes to building 1911s.
The match grade barrel is interesting, but there is nothing that clearly says what that means; is it more accurate, is it hand fit, what are the tolerances etc? On unboxing I think I’ve figured it out. More on that later. Front slide serrations aren’t my thing, I use the rear of the slide to manipulate the firearm, but its a nice cosmetic upgrade if nothing else.
Taking the case out of the package it was shipped in it is pretty obvious that this is from Remington.
The case contains several pieces of paper and a cable lock. The lock is the same bright green as the case. The paper work includes the service plan(warranty) information and ammo rebate, the owners manual, the dealer’s business card, an ad for the Remington brand 1911 multi tool, and an ad for the NRA featuring Chuck Norris.
Getting all the paper work out of the way there is the pistol which was wrapper in a piece of plastic, two 8 round magazines, and a bushing wrench.
The right side of the Remington R1 Enhanced. The ejection port is lowered and flared, the front and rear slide serrations, and front strap serrations are visible. The finish on the R1 Enhanced is uniform and nicely matte, there are not any patches or finish issues that I can see.
The controls for the R1 Enhanced are on the left side, this is not an ambi pistol, not that its marketed as one, this is standard 1911 design. The safety is extended and feels very positive when engage or disengaged. The laminated wood grips on this pistol are very aggressively textured and feature a bevel on the left making it easier to reach the extended magazine release.
Field stripping this gun for the first time was different for me. I’ve only stripped a few brand new 1911s and never one with a match grade barrel and bushing. The bushing on this this pistol is tight. Like, holy crap did I get something stuck, tight. I could not move the bushing with my fingers. I used the bushing wrench to depress the recoil plug and turn the busing.
With the recoil plug removed I still had a hard time moving the bushing with just my fingers. The bushing to slide fit and the barrel to bushing fit are both extremely tight. With the barrel removed slipping the bushing on is almost difficult, there is no play between the two. The slide to frame fit on this pistol is also excellent. There is a small amount of play, but not much, racking the slide is like sliding butter on a warm pan. The recoil guide is the standard GI length and not full length, this is my preference as I find 1911s with full length guide rods tend to be difficult to field strip.
The sights on this pistol are exactly what i wanted. Fiber optic front, Novak style plain black rear. On the R1 Enhanced the rear sight is also adjustable which is a nice bonus for a Novak style sight in my opinion. The lower portion of the rear sight is serrated horizontally and the top is plain. From what I’ve read this helps reduce glare. The front sight is flat on the front and angled slightly on the rear. The sight picture is great and the red fiber optic is easy for me to pickup.
Taking the Remington R1 Enhanced out of its packaging showed it was very dirty. I understand that Remington, like most firearms manufacturers, test fire their products but the QC person on my R1 Enhanced must have had a couple extra boxes of ammo. The feed ramp appears to be beveled nicely and the contour matches up to the throat of the barrel.
The rear of the frame on the R1 Enhanced is another plus for what I want in a 1911. The main spring housing is flat, not arched and checkered at 20 LPI. The beaver tail safety is the Ed Brown style with the .250 radius and a memory bump. The memory bump continues the 20 LPI checkering on the main spring housing These are small additions that I think really add to the overall value of the R1 Enhanced.
The Remington R1 Enhanced brings a lot of value to the table for me. Having had bad experiences with too small controls, propriety sight cuts, poor customer service and warranty support, I think the R1 Enhanced gets me an almost perfect 1911 right out of the box. Col. Copper did say something about all a 1911 needs are a trigger you can manage, sights that you can see, and a dehorning job. The sights for me are perfect and they should be easy to change if I ever want to. The extended controls and Ed Brown style beaver tail are great additions.
The next step is to take it the the range and see how I like the trigger and start getting the R1 broken in. I feel that Remington should have included a few spare fiber optic rods, its not a huge deal but having a replacement available in case I break or lose the factory installed fiber would be nice. The only thing I’m thinking about adding immediately is a magwell to ease reloads.