Remington’s R1 pistols have been around a while, being introduced in 2010 as a basic service-style build. In some respects, the R1 was a re-entry into the pistol market by the company, which produced pistols for use in World War I. More than 21,000 of the .45 ACP-chambered handguns were delivered by what was then known as Remington UMC.
Then, in early 2011, the company introduced the Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced version, which substantially upgraded the plain-Jane R1, the newer pistol coming with an adjustable rear sight, a red fiber-optic front sight, front/rear slide serrations, a beavertail grip safety with checkered memory bump, enhanced hammer, anodized aluminum match trigger, and an enhanced wide thumb safety.
Other features of note were 20-lpi flat checkered mainspring housing, match-grade stainless barrel and bushing, front grip strap serrations, grips with thumb groove and ambi cut, and 8-round magazines with bumper pad.
I first shot a Remington R1 Enhanced in 2012 and was impressed with it. I didn’t like how sharp the front-sight housing was, and it was enough of a ding that, had I kept it, I would have dressed that edge and had the sight re-blued.
All in, though, I’ve been impressed with the company’s Model 1911 R1s. So I was expecting a similar experience when I picked up an R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel from my FFL.
The Threaded Barrel version is just like the regular Enhanced model, except the TB version (Product No. 96339) comes with a 5.5-inch stainless-steel barrel (a half-inch longer than the standard Enhanced). The extra barrel length allows the muzzle to be threaded at a .578-28 pitch, and it comes with a knurled thread protector.
The American-made handgun came from Remington’s Huntsville, Alabama plant, according to its markings.
Midway down the left side of the slide, the word “Remington” was cut into the metal. In small letters below the ejection port, the word “ENHANCED” was discreetly stamped, and “1911 R1” appeared near the front serrations.
Out of the box, the R1 Enhanced had a great finish and tight tolerances between the slide and frame. The trigger broke at 4.0 pounds. The R1 Enhanced has the same Series 80–style internal firing-pin safety as the original R1, which didn’t affect the trigger pull.
The dull-black finish highlighted the wood-laminate grip panels. I didn’t miss more-common polymer or walnut grips and didn’t see the need for custom grips. The left-side panel featured a thumb groove for a right-handed shooter. The panel texture was pretty sharp, which I noticed even on the bench.
The front strap had vertical serrations that helped create sure handling during recoil. The rear flat mainspring housing carried 20-lpi checkering that extended to the bump on the grip safety.
The left panel was scooped out to improve access to the extended magazine release. The R1E-TB’s front and rear flat-bottomed slide cuts helped lock back the slide or, with the forward serrations, press-check to see if a round was in the chamber. There’s also a slot at the back of the barrel that lets the shooter see brass in the chamber.
Two well-made 8-round stainless-body magazines came in the foam-fitted pistol box. The magazines both had polymer drop pads that blended into the front strap and witness holes for fast round-counting.
The three-hole aluminum high-performance trigger had an adjustable stop. The left-side safety lever was wide and easy to use, and the shooter’s thumb could ride the top of the safety comfortably. The thumb safety had positive clicks up and down and offered no malfunctions.
The stainless-steel barrel showed crisp threads for a suppressor. The thread cover was finely machined, looked good, and didn’t work itself loose during shooting.
Remington says the tube is a match-grade model, and the results at the range suggest that’s true. Slide-to-frame fit and barrel fit were very good. Remington supplies a wrench to take apart the R1’s stainless-steel barrel bushing and a standard GI recoil spring/plug system.
Unlike on the regular Enhanced, the TB version lacks the robust fiber-optic front-sight housing. The suppressor-height rear sight is no Novak, but it’s a combat style with rounded edges and was drift-adjustable.
For sight alignment, two dots stack on top of each other to form an “8” shape in the rear notch. The high sights easily cleared the suppressor and were regulated for a mid-target hold at 25 yards. Part of my wish list for the R1, the rear-sight edges offered cut-free clearing of jams (and can be racked against a hard surface or belt). The edges of the ejection port didn’t cut either. Workmanship inside was excellent.
Regarding out-of-the-box performance, I had a few failures to go into battery at the start, requiring me to push the slide forward. That worked itself out after about 50 rounds. By the time I slapped on a suppressor, the gun ran like a champ. Also, it was very accurate, both with the can or without.
There were two sharp spots on the 1911 R1, at the bottom of the grip frame and the front of magazine well.
Shooting from the bench with Prvi Partizan 185-grain SJHPs, the Remington 1911 R1E-TB generated unsuppressed five-shot average groups of 2.2 inches at 25 yards. Suppressed, the gun shot even better, with a 1.6-inch group average.
Things only improved with 200-grain JHPs from Fiocchi, shooting unsuppressed average groups of 1.6 inches and suppressed average groups of 1.8 inches. But the winner-winner-chicken-dinner ammunition was Winchester USA 230-grain FMJs, shooting spectacular 1.0-inch unsuppressed groups and 1.5-inch suppressed groups.
Specifications: Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel
Caliber: 45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action
Barrel Length: 5.5″
Overall Length: 9.75″; w/Suppressor: 16.5″
Overall Height: 6.0″
Weight: 46.6 oz.; w/Suppressor: 56.8 oz.
Made In: Huntsville, AL
MSRP: $959 (retail about $675)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Aesthetics: * * * * *
Beautiful bluing, fit, and finish.
Reliability: * * * * *
Minor stoppages during familiarization. None after disassembly and oiling. Adding a suppressor didn’t affect function at all.
Customization: * * * * *
This is an awfully good gun right out of the box. The suppressor-height sights worked as needed and were very shootable, with or without a can.
Ergonomics: * * * *
The grip panels offered good purchase. It would be a tiny nit to pick to say they were a bit too rough. A little handling should make them more comfortable in short order.
Overall: * * * * *
This particular R1 Enhanced offers a lot of performance for the dollar. I would say that it makes some sense to prefer the Threaded Barrel model over the 5.0-inch barrel just so the ability to shoot a suppressor is there.