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Remington's 1911 R1 45 ACP Part II
Like A Rock'em Sock'em Robot
By Joe D'Alessandro Editor | RealGuns.Com

Sure it was fun disassembling the Remington 1911R1 in Part I... for a couple of reasons. The first was the confirmation that this is a quality autoloader. The second, and perhaps of greater importance, was the thrill of taking apart a firearm and wondering if I would be able to reassemble it... without left over parts. There is actually an RG office betting pool regarding the latter. The better part of Part II, however, was blasting away and finding the R1 to be a well-behaved, accurate and quite controllable firearm.
The Remington R1 manual calls out 230 grain ball for recommended ammo, which is actually pretty typical for manufacturers of 1911 type guns to stipulate. Makes sense as the gun's sights, feed and recoil management mechanisms need to be tuned for some standard and ball ammo is about as reliable in use as ammunition gets. Which of course was why I felt it would be a good idea to try a variety of loads to see what a new Remington 1911 R1 owner might expect.
Now this was a lot of fun...
My personal favorite for the .45 ACP are 185 grain loads. I believe I developed the affinity for this bullet weight when one of my favorite guns was a short barreled Officers Model and it seemed the heavier weights wouldn't expand at short barrel velocity. A five inch barrel gun brings a lot more flexibility. The bullets appearing on the table below are in descending order as they appear left to right above. Alliant Power Pistol was selected for all loads as it is an excellent pistol powder, it is slow enough to be tenth grain forgiving and it produces uniform shot to shot performance.
Bullet Weight Length COL Powder Charge Velocity Energy 25 Yard
Five Shot
Group Avg.
Remington JHP 185 0.556 1.225 Power Pistol 9.5 1160 553 3¼"
Remington GS 185 0.533 1.200 Power Pistol 10.0 1253 645 2¼
Speer GD 185 0.535 1.200 Power Pistol 9.5 1151 544 3½"
Hornady HP/XTP 200 0.568 1.230 Power Pistol 8.5 1076 514 3¾"
Sierra JHC 240 0.642 1.200 Power Pistol 7.5 929 460 3"
Speer JHP 260 0.680 1.240 Power Pistol 7.0 887 454 4¼"
Remington 230 Factory Ammo 809 334 3½"

Maximum COL = 1.275" Primers = CCI 300 Maximum Pressure = 21,000 PSI

The table illustrates the two sides to every big bore discussion; high velocity and full expansion, or heavy bullet, moderate expansion and high momentum for penetration. All loads were very manageable in live fire and all delivered better than recreational shooting accuracy from a two handed hold... which means the gun's potential for accuracy was beyond the proficiency of the shooter. There was a relatively small shift in point of impact as bullet weight varied, an inch climb when going to from 185 grain Remington JHP handloads to Remington 230 grain ball ammo. I'll attribute the little extra velocity at 185 grains for the Golden Saber to the bullet's reduced bearing surface and incorporated driving band. This is an excellent starting point for an out of the box factory gun.

Is there life after Euro-Boy guns?

I can embrace technology as much as the next guy. My wife accepts it and doesn't seem to mind. However, I am at a point where the words "poly" and "striker" begin to read as "tired" and "bored" and I realize I don't have to accept what companies are pushing, or what people emphatically tell me I have to like in response to a trend. I am a firearm enthusiast first, so I get to like whatever it is that  I like and no justification is required. Personally, guns with lots of personality hold the greatest appeal and the Remington 1911 R1 seems to have a surplus.

The R1 feels like a gun, cold metal, the heft of substantiality... and blue as should be the case with useful and well-made machinery. The Remington 1911 feels solid when the slide is racked and the hammer is left back when it is cocked and locked so there is no ambiguity of purpose. The trigger feels like a real trigger, not a sponge ball with no beginning or end to compression. The gun digested and ejected virtually every bullet shape in use without hesitation or fault. A reliability that is a must in a defensive firearm and the R1 isn't chambered for the anemic nine. Pull a Golden Saber slug out of ballistic medium and it expands to the size of a golf ball and hangs into all of its weight.

You'd never see the R1 carried by the characters of fictional police TV shows. A 1911 would be too politically incorrect and not at all like the Glocks that these male and female models draw quickly, but never seem to pull the trigger even when someone's life is in jeopardy. The R1 is not a gun designed for video game appearances, movie action heroes or villains... or SyFy Channel fans. The Remington 1911 R1 is a workhorse gun that would provide many years of self defense and lots of recreational shooting With a little tweaking and refining, it would make a heck of a gun for competition. Nice gun. Great value.

Remington's 1911 R1 45 ACP Part I
Remington's 1911 R1 45 ACP Part II

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