One of the few legitimate criticisms of a quality 1911 is that the pistol is long and heavy. To then make that pistol design even heavier, there must be a good reason and significant improvement. The Remington Limited R1 1911 is a large pistol, but it also holds a total of 16 rounds of .45 ACP ammunition. That is a lot of brass, bullet, and powder, as well as a healthy ammunition reserve.
Remington R1 Features
The Remington Limited R1 is well made of good material, well fitted, and accurate enough for action shooting. While Remington purchased Para Ordnance some years ago, this pistol isn’t a warmed-over Para Ordnance P14. The magazines and grip frame are different. So, don’t let the Para Ordnance pistol’s reputation — good or bad — overshadow the Remington.
When Para had a good gun, it was very good — some were less so. I own a .38 Super Para that has given excellent service. However, all pistols of the brand have not been as reliable.
The Remington R1 pistol has earned a good reputation for value. The R1 Enhanced is an upgrade that offers good features. The new Remington R1 Limited variant is based on the higher-end R1. The R1 Limited, the subject of this review, is intended for competition in the Limited classes.
The fit, finish, and overall appearance of the pistol was good. The dark finish was evenly applied. The finish is a modern PVD finish over a stainless-steel slide. The pistol featured a fiber-optic front sight. The rock-solid fully-adjustable rear sight was similar to the Bomar sight of legendary fame. Adjustments were easy, and the sight wasn’t going to get knocked out of its settings.
A tell-tale to the pistol’s origins were the markings on the rear sight — Para Ord. Well, no need not to use a store of parts! The ejection port was properly scalloped. The trigger action was heavier than expect or advertised, at 6.0 pounds, but smooth enough without creep or backlash.
The ambidextrous safety locked firmly with an audible indent. This is a well-designed unit that offers true ambidextrous utility. The grip safety locks the trigger in place until it is depressed. I liked the grip safety setup. It released the trigger a bit earlier than some designs.
Since some hands may have more difficulty with the high-capacity frame, this is a good step. Most 1911s of better design release the trigger about halfway into grip safety compression. The trigger on the Limited is ideal for competition use.
The hammer was solid stock rather than MIM. The pistol featured a full-length guide rod and forward cocking serrations.
The barrel proved to be a good, tight fit. The fit of the locking lugs was ‘hard fitted’ as experienced gunsmiths say. The fit of the barrel bushing was tight, but not particularly difficult to remove with a standard bushing wrench.
The barrel is advertised as match-grade, which is a reflection on the barrel’s rifling and finish. Fitting was good. The barrel was a ramped design. No worries concerning feed with the pistol. Now to the pertinent difference between this pistol and the other 1911s.
Remington R1 Limited vs. Traditional 1911 Designs
Remember, Springfield, Llama, and a few others have also manufactured high-capacity 1911 .45 pistols. Rock Island manufactures a high-capacity 1911, the FS High Cap, but I have never handled one. They all differ in some detail regarding hand fit and comfort.
Para Ordnance changed its grip frames from the early, more angular grip frame to a more comfortable, rounded grip frame in later production. The Remington is a different frame than the late-model Para and uses a unique tapered magazine.
The frontstrap featured checkering that was very well done. The grips were designed for maximum thinness on a fat frame. The grips were from VZ Grips. VZ managed to make the grips thin but sturdy, and many would agree that it doesn’t get any better than VZ Operator grips.
The magazines are well-made, sharply-tapered units with a thick butt pad. I could do without the base pad for carry use, but this is a Limited class competition gun. The magazines hold 15 cartridges. I had a devil of a time trying to load them to full capacity. For most of the drills, I loaded 14 cartridges.
The tapered magazine made speed loads effortless when I slapped it into the large magazine funnel. The magazine well, or funnel, was huge. I removed it and replaced the original long pin with a shorter mainspring housing pin. Later, after I learned to properly grasp and fire the pistol, I replaced it. The magazine well was a good competition feature, and I needed to let the pistol shine for the role it was designed to fill.
At 6 inches high and 8.5 inches long, this is a big pistol. The pistol weighs just over 40 ounces and a solid 50 ounces loaded. I think, with a proper gun belt, it might be a crackerjack service/special team handgun. It is 2 inches wide at its largest measurement.
While I have quite a bit of time in with the 1911, several adjustments were necessary with the Remington R1 Limited variant. Without pointing out my wobbles and missteps, I learned to take as high a hold on the grip frame as possible. The upswept grip safety compliments this grip style.
As you take the high hold and point both thumbs forward, the palm does not slip off the grip frame and deactivate the grip safety, so it is a good thing the grip safety is tuned properly for this grip. Remington did its homework. Once I adopted the proper hold, I was performing much better. This isn’t a pistol for the casually interested.
I test a lot of handguns. Whether it’s a less expensive gun or a better grade of factory production gun, I shoot right up to its capability. With my level of training and experience, I should. Some, like the Les Baer Hemi 572 as an example, challenge me. I will never shoot up to its capabilities.
25-Yard Accuracy, 5-Shot Groups
|Load||Group Size in Inches|
|Winchester 230-grain ball||2.5|
|Winchester 185-grain Silvertip||1.9|
|Browning 230-grain X bullet||2.4|
The Remington R1 Limited 1911 pistol requires considerable acclimation. I would recommend 15 minutes a day of dry fire as a regimen — for weeks — to get the feel of the handle and the trigger. This may sound excessive to some, but nothing worthwhile comes without effort.
If you are looking for a limited competition gun, the good news is the Remington is affordable, reliable, and well suited to the game. In my opinion, it will need a trigger job to win the gold. As issued, it is a fine beginner’s gun for competition. I think it would be a daunting proposition to carry the piece concealed, although it fits my Galco concealed carry holsters. The pistol is interesting and well worth its price for its intended market.