Gun Review: Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced in 9mm

Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced in 9mm

Travis Pike for TTAG

The Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced has me perplexed. Seriously, this weird thing has me left wondering how to consider a weapon’s reliability? You see, this gun was one I horse-traded for in rather odd circumstances. A fella I know had it and had soured on it. It never ran right for him until Remington relented and told him to send it in.

He did, and it turns out that Remington had installed a .45 ACP extractor into a 9mm pistol. When he got it back, he still didn’t want it, even though it functioned fine and he offered me a helluva deal. I couldn’t say no.

In my experience, this gun functions just fine. It doesn’t jam and it doesn’t fail to feed, extract, or eject in my experience. So…how do you judge a gun’s reliability? By your experience or by the impressions of its first owner? Well, I better figure it out by the end of this review.

R1 Enhanced Inside and Out

Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced

Courtesy Remington

The R1 Enhanced 1911 is a sweet-looking gun on the outside. It’s complete with plenty of upgrades you’d see on a modern 1911. That includes front and rear slide serrations, and aggressive front and backstrap texturing.

We get an Ed Brown-style extended beavertail for both comfort and control. The grips are laminate wood that look gorgeous and they’re textured aggressively as well.

Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced in 9mm

The grips are beautiful and functional (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Speaking of gorgeous, I very much like the matte black finish. It’s professional-looking, and in a world with so many gaudy 1911s, it’s nice to see something more subdued. The safety is an extended single-side design that has a massive shelf. The shelf makes it easy to manipulate the safety, and it gives you both tactile and audible feedback.

The skeletonized trigger is adjustable for over-travel and can be tightened down quite nicely. The trigger is stainless steel and is set off beautifully by the stainless steel barrel. That barrel is also listed as a match grade barrel.

Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced in 9mm

Beavertail and Safety are rather large (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Swerving over to the top of the R1 Enhanced, we find a Novak-style rear sight that is rounded and quite comfortable. The front sight is a high visibility red fiber optic design. It’s a robust front sight made of steel with a fiber optic tube supported by four steel rings. The rear sight is adjustable for elevation and that can be done with a flat head tool.

Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced in 9mm

Easy to see front sight (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The R1 Enhanced ships with two nine-round magazines, but I have a few different models from Mec-Gar, and they all work wonderfully. The 10-round Mec-Gars are my favorites because one extra round gives the full-sized, 40 ounce 1911 the same capacity as my micro-compact P365. The flush fit magazines shipped with the gun are also by Mec-Gar, made of stainless steel and seem very high quality.

Boom, Bang, Pow

The adjustable trigger helps soak up pre-travel, and the trigger itself is fantastic. It’s very crisp, light and comfortable. The reset is all 1911 and also well done and provides excellent feedback. Remington did an excellent job there. If you screw up a 1911’s trigger, you should consider a career at Mom’s Demand Action.

Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced in 9mm

Smooth and controllable (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The R1 Enhanced rattles like a pneumonia ridden lung, but it also isn’t ammo picky. Right now, ammo is hard to come by, so you take what you can get and what I could get is Winchester Forged.

It’s the dirtiest, dryest ammo I’ve ever handled. It gets your hands dirty, loading it into magazines. The R1 Enhanced had no issues eating it up and throwing it back out. Outside of that, I had a little brass-cased Winchester white box left over and some Monarch steel cased stuff. The R1 Enhanced ate it all.

Does it eat JHPs? Well, I’d like to tell you that, but all my JHPs are +P rounds, and according to the gun’s manual, you can’t use +P ammo in the gun. So that disregards a lot of self-defense ammo and is rather annoying.

Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced in 9mm

1911s do look cool (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The sights are very nice and easy to find quickly. The textured grip allows you to control the weapon as does the weight.

A 40 ounce 9mm 1911 just doesn’t have recoil issues. It’s delightful to shoot, and the recoil is soft and controllable. I love all-steel 9mms and how easy they are to control. I have a belief that the CZ 75 is the perfect 9mm pistol for new shooters, but the R1 Enhanced is very lovely to shoot and easy to control, too. If you like rapid-firing a handgun, you’ll love this one.

Accuracy is acceptable. I like to start at 20 yards and aim at a 10-inch steel gong. If I hit 3 out of 5 rounds, I step back five yards. I repeat until I can no longer consistently hit a target with the majority of my shots.

I went as far as 40 yards, and the pistol taps out here. I couldn’t consistently hit with the majority of my rounds at that range where the front sight completely covers the target.

Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced in 9mm

Forty ounces of blued steel sure looks fine. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Groups are decently tight given what I had to shoot. There are probably loads the R1 Enhanced shoots more accurately, but junk seems to be the only prevalent ammo available right now.

Within 25 yards, I felt extremely comfortable with the gun and its ability to hit targets, both large and small. I like the front sight quite a bit and find it easy to focus on. I’m also trying to learn how to track my sights, and this bright red fiber optic tube makes that easy.

The R1 Enhanced is a fun gun. It’s easy shooting, and — post-repair — seems to be quite reliable, even shooting filthy dirty trailer park ammo. I don’t hate it, but I don’t see myself tossing it in the range backpack often. However, I wouldn’t suggest it with a price around $750. While I like the R1 Enhanced a lot, you can find better guns for less money, hell probably better 1911s for less money. The Ruger SR1911 9mm model can handle +P ammunition and seems to be around the same price.

Specifications: Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced

Caliber: 9mm
Barrel Length: 5 inches
Overall Length: 8.5 inches
Overall Height: 5.5 inches
Weight: 40 ounces
Capacity: 9 rounds
MSRP: $903.00 (about $750 retail)

Ratings (out of 5 stars):

Reliability * or * * * * *
Pre-repair it’s a one. After the repair, the gun shoots perfectly. It eats bad ammo, and cycles it well.

Accuracy * * * *
It’s not good, but I’ve shot more accurately with other 1911s. The R1 Enhanced gets the job done, and inside of pistol ranges the excellent trigger and sights help a lot.

Ergonomics * * * *
The ergonomics are solid on the gun. I love the safety, the beavertail, and grip texturing. The slide also glides nicely. The only downside is that a 9mm 1911 grip can be thinner, and it feels identical to my 10mm 1911 width wise.

Customization * * * * *
The 1911 is like the GLOCK and AR platforms terms of customization options. They’re endless. Admittedly installing things isn’t quite as simple, but it can be easily done.

Overall * * *
The three-star rating takes into account the gun needing the repair, has to knock it down. If I were the first owner, I’d be pretty unhappy and soured on the gun, too. Now though, the gun runs like a champ. The inability to use +P rounds is a downside. However, this is a very good firearm when viewed in a vacuum.

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    Lost me at Remington.

    1. avatar D Y says:

      Saved me that comment. Managed to screw up a 1911-based gun. Color me surprised.

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        “turns out that Remington had installed a .45 ACP extractor into a 9mm pistol.”

        Just in case anyone should wonder why Remington is in the toilet,this is but a small example, they can’t even locate a purchaser for what is left of the company.

    2. avatar Chi-Chi Montezuma says:

      Para makes these for Remington. Remington bought Para which may or may not account for the extractor screw up but when I was researching these a year or two ago quality on these was still considered being on Para’s prior level. Hopefully this was just a one-time mistake. But yeah it’s hard giving any cash to Remington these days.

    3. avatar Marc says:

      A 40 oz. steel pistol that can’t handle +P 9mm ammo……..haha, what a joke.

  2. Same thing happened to me ,.45 extractor in 9MM. call them up and they sent me another .45 extractor , gave up and got one from Wilson

  3. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Not sure I could ever afford to own and use a 1911, but if someone offers it in 6.5Grendel, I might be able to sell something in order to raise the money. A true blaster with the effects of a Romulon disruptor.

  4. avatar tommy2fer says:

    Have the stainless version. Love it. Eats everything; out shoots me; nary a malfunction; But, then, I’ve never met a firearm that I shouldn’t have.

    1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

      “…I’ve never met a firearm that I shouldn’t have.”

      Priceless!

      Best Interwebz chuckle in days.

  5. avatar MouseGun says:

    I just don’t understand serrations on the the front of the slide, and I rack my 1911s from the front half of the slide, but the serrations are never where I’d put my hand.

    1. avatar ChoseDeath says:

      You and me both. And I think they’re ugly to boot.

  6. avatar enuf says:

    I get the point of buying or trading for a used gun that’s a great deal, that’s hard to resist. I mean, I picked up their R51 at a clearance price end of 2019. Just could not resist it at $199.

    But buying a new Remington **ANYTHING** at list or typical retail?

    I’d call that either foolish, fanboy or desperation buying.

    Remington needs a major change in quality. The examples of the wrong part installed in guns is just one example. They’d do well as a division of an outfit such as Ruger, for example. They need the management smarts of a company that has not forgotten how to make quality firearms.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “They need the management smarts of a company that has not forgotten how to make quality firearms.”

      Quality is a discriminator, a differentiator, not a goal. The goal is to make money. If quality products drive business, so be it. If quality products are relatively inconsequential, that works also. The purpose of business is to make a profit. China proved that price is the most important consideration. One can make a profit while being mediocre, middle-of-the-pack.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        I can see that quality is not a goal for industries make throw-away items that sell cheap and are not expected to last very long. In every factory I have been in (defense industry, semiconductor, aerospace) quality is an absolute goal. The attaining of quality and the sustaining of it is a major selling point to customers and vital to the bottom line.

        This applies to a gun maker, a lesson even Hi-Point comprehends and strives to meet n their simplistic, cheap, blow-back designs.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “In every factory I have been in (defense industry, semiconductor, aerospace) quality is an absolute goal. ”

          Having experience in defense/aerospace, one wonders at quality goals. Hand-fitted parts do not register as “quality” for me. The amount of “re-work” was appalling.

          In another case, the defense facility could not deal with a certain part that was sub-contracted, yet that supplier never had a part rejected for being out of spec. Eventually, the VPs for production and quality contacted the vendor and threatened to suspend the supplier if the parts were not usable upon arrival (the defense company had to individually re-work every one of those parts to fit the hand-crafted product on the production line.

          Too often we had line stoppages due to the number of parts that were awaiting QA inspection (shortage of qualified inspectors). Yes, we had quality slogans posted all over the place, and routine task teams deployed to fix newly arrived product at field units (more hand-crafting). Statistical Process Control methods were thought a joke, and equipment utilization rates were king.

          On the whole, I admit the products were considered quite good by field units.

  7. avatar Parnell says:

    Have a R1 Enhanced Commander in.45. Haven’t had any issues with it at all. Eats everything I feed it and hasn’t hiccuped in 2000 rounds. Best of all, it only cost me $550 new. I guess the Remington name gave me a cheap Para.

  8. avatar Ironhead says:

    Haven’t had an issue yet with my r1 doublestack in 45acp. It just eats and eats and eats.

  9. avatar jakee308 says:

    +p ammo is over rated (heh). Does so much more damage for a minimal result.

    Unless you’re expecting bad guys with armor it’s just not worth the damage done and danger. (even if your firearm is rated for it.)

  10. avatar ChoseDeath says:

    Remington R1 Enhanced in .45 ACP was my first handgun way back when. Good memories. That gun has become a tinkerer piece now, and been replaced with much nicer 1911’s, but it’s been a great gun. The magazines are hot garbage, and always were though, lol.

  11. avatar Virgil Caldwell says:

    Travis excellent photos

    Enjoyed them as much as the text

  12. avatar Greg says:

    Remington is ghetto.

    I’ll stick with SA or Wilson.

  13. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    Who wants a 9mm that’s not +P rated?

  14. avatar Bigus Dickus says:

    Let’s see….Remington…..installed a 45 ACP extractor into a 9mm. Nothing more needs to be said.

    smh

  15. avatar tdiinva says:

    Not rated +p on a steel framed 1911 chambered in 9mm? That doesn’t say much about its robustness. Most 9mm +p rounds are in the same power range as 45 HST.

  16. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Remington installed the wrong barrel/chamber and magazine. They had the extractor correct.

    1. avatar Marc says:

      Great comment

  17. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Who would want a 9mm 1911 anyway? That’s just stupid.

  18. avatar Daniel S. says:

    I agree, there are many better 9mm firearms out there; including the brand mentioned in the post, CZ. Not to knock Remington as I like my RM380 a lot, it’s been flawless, and my 1911 R1 Ultralight Executive 45 is a fine piece of craftsmanship too. But for steel or alloy 9mm, I’ll stick with the C75 B, CZ75 D Compact PCR, or the CZ 2075 RAMI.

    1. avatar R says:

      Somebody clearly doesn’t know much about CZ’s

  19. avatar Billb says:

    1911, my favorite pistol overall. I have a few and two are in 9mm. Both are cheaper pistols, stainless Taurus and parkerized Citadel. Both run like a top. I’m not sure but I think both run +P. I’ll have to get them out to be sure but it seems the barrels are thicker with the diameter being the same as 45acp. There should be no reason why they can’t handle +p in 9mm.

  20. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    100 years and still can’t get it right

  21. avatar RD says:

    The fudds and boomers are out in force this week.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Why Fudd with a 1911 when you can LARP with a Glock or M17 err I mean P320, right?

    2. avatar jwm says:

      As are the whiners.

  22. avatar Stuck in NJ says:

    Travis, is this a typo?
    “Accuracy * * * *
    “It’s not good, but I’ve shot more accurately with other 1911s…”

    If the accuracy is “not good”, then the accuracy is poor, so it should get only one or two stars, not four stars!
    Perhaps you meant to write, “It’s not bad, but…” instead of “It’s not good, but…”

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