Remington 1911 R1, Carry, by Pat Cascio

We’re taking a very close look at the new Remington 1911 R1 Carry handgun today. It is quite a piece of workmanship.

Remington’s Track Record

Over the past several years, the Remington group, or the group that owns Remington, haven’t had a very good track record with new firearms. As a matter of fact, it has been one failure after another, in my humble opinion. We had the Remington REM380, and it had a lot of problems. Then, there was the R51, and I’m not totally convinced they have worked out all the bugs in this one just yet. And Remington took over manufacturing Bushmaster AR-15 style rifles. I had an early Remington “Bushmaster”, and it wouldn’t group at 25 yards; it patterned like a shotgun, no matter what ammo was used. Then the grand ol’ 1911, that was one Remington used to make during WW2. The early, new model guns were a failure. They would shoot loose inside of a couple hundred rounds. I kid you not.

Still, Remington is our oldest gun maker, and I’m not giving up on them just yet. I understand some of the newer guns had some bugs that kept them from working 100% of the time. However, the 1911s they were making and that were shooting loose inside of a few hundred rounds are not a good thing, if you ask me. Truth be told, I’ve read a number of reports lately that stated that Remington might be on the ropes financially and could close their doors. I sure hope not.

Remington Bought Out Para USA

Some years ago, Remington, or the group that owns Remington, bought out Para USA. They were making some outstanding 1911s for many years, long before they moved from Canada to the USA. They had a few problems starting up again, when they moved to the USA, but got it figured out. Then out of the clear blue, Remington bought out Para USA. Lots of rumors were flying around, and no one could get an answer. Remington moved part of the Para operation down to Alabama. Still no Para 1911s were being made for some reason. I understand that some of the Para employees made the move to Remington. Others stayed behind. Why?

Years passed, with no new Para 1911s being made by Remington. What was the point of purchasing a gun company and then not producing the guns? It seems very strange, to say the least.

Remington R1 1911

Enter the new Remington R1 1911 line-up. Truth be told, the samples I have examined are actually Para USA 1911s. They have all the ear marks of being a Para, instead of a Remington. Look, no one asked my opinion, but I’m giving it just the same. With the start up problems Remington had with their first batch or two of 1911s, I would have canned them and instead started marketing the guns as Para USA guns on the slide and frame, instead of the Remington marque. But, like I said, no one asked me.

Remington 1911 R1 “Carry” Model

I have the Remington 1911 R1 “Carry” model, which is basically a “Commander-sized” 1911 with a 4.25-inch barrel and slide length. The rear of the slide, on the sides, has deep and wide grasping grooves. Hmm, it’s just like a Para USA 1911 I used to have. The rear sight is a Novak-design combat sight but without any white dots. The front sight is a white dot Tritium night sight, which is very fast to pick-up in daylight and night light. The slide is marked Remington on the left side, and on the right side it had “Carry” stamped on it and 1911 R1. The ejection port is lowered and flared, for sure ejection of empty brass and loaded rounds.

The Frame and Barrel

Moving to the frame, it is forged carbon steel. The front strap has nicely machined 25-LPI checkering for a very secure hold under all kinds of weather conditions. There is an ambidextrous safety that I could live without, but it’s there, and a speed combat hammer, plus a nicely fit beaver tail grip safety with a memory bump on it. The main spring housing is also nicely checkered, aiding in a sure grip under all kinds of weather conditions. The barrel is match-grade, held in place with a barrel bushing, instead of a bull barrel. This barrel bushing is stainless steel, and it has a standard recoil spring plug. I installed a heavier recoil spring because I fire a lot of +P .45ACP ammo in my 1911s.

The Trigger

The trigger is a match-grade aluminum model with three lightening holes. The trigger breaks on my sample at 4.50 lbs, which is very nice indeed, with no slack. The grips are beautiful Cocobolo with half checkered and half plain pattern grips. However, I changed that out for a pair of my own designed Mil-Tac “Code Zero” 1911 grips. Two mags came with the gun. One is a flat based 7-rd mag, and the other is an 8-rd with an extended base pad on it. The ambi safety snicked on/off with authority. The magazine well is slightly beveled for a faster reload, too.

One Handsome Handgun

All things considered, this Remington R1 1911 Carry is one handsome handgun, and it still reminds me that it is, for all the world, a Para USA. It just screams Para to me. And in the past, I owned quite a few Para USA 1911s. Full retail on this particular model is close to $1,100 and would be worth every penny of the asking price. However, my local gun shop had a special deal of $699, plus if you purchased in a certain time frame, you received a $100.00 rebate from Remington. I’m still waiting on mine and wonder if it will ever show-up, considering Remington’s financial situation. Even if the money doesn’t show, I got one great deal on a near custom 1911.

Having spent more than eight months recovering from a hip replacement surgery, I was able to spend more time out on the range doing some shooting. The hip isn’t quite 100%, but it is very close; however, I still can’t stand for extended periods of time, because of osteo-arthritis in my lower back. We all knew we would grow old, but none of us expected it to happen so fast. LOL

Ammo For Testing

I had a great selection of .45 ACP ammo to shoot in this nice Remington R1. From Buffalo Bore Ammunition I had their 160-gr Barnes all-copper hollow point TAC XP Low Recoil standard pressure fodder, 255-gr Outdoorsman Hard Cast FN +P, 230-gr FMJ FN _P, 185-gr JHP +P, 160-gr Barnes all-copper hollow point TAC-XP +P Low Flash, and the same load in 185-gr. From Black Hills Ammunition , I had their outstanding 135.0gr HoneyBadger load, 230-gr FMJ, 230-gr JHP, 230-gr JHP +P, and their 185-gr Barnes all-copper hollow point TAC XP +P. So there was quite a selection of ammo to run through this Remington. In all, I fired a bit more than 400 rounds through this gun with zero problems at all. I carried this Remington 1911 for two weeks in a Blackhawk Products SERPA hip holster. I love this one. It may not be the most concealable holster, but I really like ’em.

Accuracy Testing

Accuracy shooting was done over the hood of my Jeep Wrangler, over a rolled-up sleeping bag, with the target set at 25 yards down range. No loads exceeded three inches, and I wasn’t always on my game either. The outstanding winner was the Black Hills 135-gr HoneyBadger load, giving me groups slightly under two inches without much trouble. Second place was the Buffalo Bore 160-gr Barnes all-copper hollow point, TAC-XP low recoil, standard pressure load. This load was a real pleasure to shoot. The Buffalo Bore 255-gr Hard Cast Outdoorsman +P load is a handful, but it would be my first choice to stoke in any .45 ACP handgun I was carrying out in the boonies or anywhere I might face dangerous game. It’ll get the job done. As stated, no other loads exceeded three inches, and that is outstanding accuracy, I believe. With more trigger time, I can get groups down there well under two inches, too. The gun shows a lot of promise.

I certainly hope that this sample 1911 from Remington is the turning point for them and they’ll continue to turn out handguns that first time around will be winners. This R1 sample is a lot of gun for the money. Check one out.


  1. The only Remingtons I own are two old SXS shotguns that are fine old guns. (M1889 hammer and M1894 hammerless) Of course they are nearing 120 years old back when Remington still new how to make guns….
    I hope they get their act together again.

  2. The closing of any American firearms manufacturer is cause for concern. With all the ‘money’ that the globalists have (or could print) I am surprised that they have not bought all American firearms and ammo manufacturers. Then they could just shut down imports.

  3. I bought a 1911 R1 (full size) about four years ago and love it. It is a bit big for concealed carry in a hip holster, but does nicely in a shoulder holster. I’ve had a M700 in 30.06 and a M870 in 12 ga for more than thirty-five years with no failures or even complaints. Bagged many a deer and elk with the M700, and a few pheasant with the M870. I too, hope Remington survives the latest round of anti-gun fervor.

  4. You mention ” We had the Remington REM380, and it had a lot of problems.” but a search of the site doesn’t show any previous info on this. Could you tell us what the problems were? I have a Rohrbaugh R9s (9mm) that has performed flawlessly and the RM380 should be easier on the user, and I was thinking of getting one.

    1. I bought a REM 380 about a year ago. I have only run about 200 rounds through it but it has been flawless. Trigger not the best but it is getting better as I shoot it more.

  5. You mentioned problems with early Remington Bushmaster AR-15 rifles. I have a neighbor who purchased an early one and when he went to shoot it the first time he learned that a standard 30 round AR magazine would not fit into the magazine well–the magazine well was to small for the mag to fit into it without jamming it into place. It was a real piece of ___t engineering. He sold the rifle the next day. I have not purchased a Remington product since then.

  6. I have never been a Remington fan although I do have an old model 870 which I like, and I also have a Para Ord 45 which after a 200 rd. break in period I love, it is very reliable and accurate not sure about the Para’s after Remington bought them, but I sure would hate to see Remington go under. Thanks for your article. Trekker Out

  7. Everything libtards touch turns to road Apple’s, so no I’m not spending my hard earned money on anything Remington makes. Have a 870 Louisiana Purchase 12ga. shotgun and every time I pull it out I hear the same thing. I didn’t know Remington made high grade shotguns with beautiful wood and fine machining. And I have to say 40 years ago you were proud to own a 870 Remington, not so much now. Have you picked up a 870 Express or a 700 rifle recently? And Bushmaster forget it just buy a Windham Weapons and be happy.

  8. My new 870 3 1/2 “ 12 bore. It’s a dud. It would not extract after firing. Brand new. Sent it back to be fixed. Came back and still wouldn’t extract 3 1/2 “. Works with 3” only.

    I own a lot of Remingtons and I’m not buying any more .

  9. I have shot a Model 700 in .308Win to bring down many deer and have used a Model 870 pump shotgun for many winged prey. They are both marvelous at what they do.

  10. I had a para p14-45, never shot it, then one day I sold it for whatever reason ( don’t remember the reason now ), liked everything about it, but. Had a Remington Rand G.I. years ago, bought it $200 and it looked like it had just came out of the junk pile and shot like it. Stripped it down, cleaned it, reparkized it, new barrel. First five rds out of it were barely on a 4 ft sq target, 250 rds later, I was shooting 3 and 4 rd groups.All of this was shot from 25 yds bench rest. what the heck I was happy.

  11. I am reading a bit of Remington detractors here. Well I own 4 big Green guns and have very good experiences with all. A 542 .22 Target bull barrel rifle, very accurate and no problems. A 673 Guide rifle in .350 Remington magnum, no longer made. A tack driver, great trigger, smooth bolt throw. And for you Bushmaster haters my M4A3 patrol rifle shoots 2 inch groups- with Silver Bear Russian steel case .223. With my handloads I can shoot MOA, if as Pat Cascio is fond of saying, I do my part. Now to my R51. I admit that this pistol required about 100 or so rounds to break in and function correctly. It also likes only hotter 9mm, not really so much the UMC or PMC type ball ammo. But that’s OK because that’s what I use in it when I carry it. I’ll admit that the guns Looks are what I really like, just thought it was very cool. Also bucks the polymer frame trend with a very nice alloy frame and finish.

    I wouldn’t draw conclusions about whole models of weapons from just a small sampling of your buddies bad gun or your heard the neighbors couldn’t get one to group or whatever. But hey that’s me.

  12. You may have changed the outcome of the test by replacing the recoil spring. It might have been a more valid test to use the factory recoil spring. I have a Para P-13 made in Canada- wonderful 1911 -AFTER I REPLACED THE RECOIL SPRING WITH A HEAVY RECOIL SPRING. Prior to replacing it I had stovepipes about once a box or two, with the heavy recoil spring it works like a charm.

  13. I think Remington’s biggest problem is not having pro-gun people run the company, and not having all plants in pro-gun states. According to the internet, it still owns 2 plants in NY, didn’t even move a plant to AL until 2014. You look on line and there is story after story of them ‘caving’ to the anti-gunners. That does not build a customer base. I am sure there are a few gun lovers in anti-gun states, but I left Illinois a long time ago over guns and never looked back, I would suspect that they would find a lot more pro-gun people in pro-gun states to run their company and work in their company. I have owned a lot of Remington guns over the years, the 870 pump wingmaster, I must have shot 10,000+ times duck hunting in the 1970s and 80s, way better than the ‘Walmart special Mossberg 500″. The Remington 700, that was ‘the’ sniper rifle for the military in Vietnam, I have my 270 and 35 Whelen and those are great guns, of course they are all 30+ years old. Bushmaster, I have the XM15-E25 CAR, pre 1994, and its shoots great too. I have not bought a Remington in a long time. I wonder if the quality is no longer there, Such a shame. It was a great company.

  14. Has anyone bought a Remington 870 Express recently? I’m thinking of replacing my Mossberg 500 and am curious about the quality of the latest 870’s. Thanks for reading.

  15. Very nice write up. I purchased at a pawn shop, several years ago now, a Para Ordnance (PO) Expert Carry in .45 ACP and it is now my primary EDC. Being a big man with big hands most handguns designed for conceal carry have small hand grips and the handguns that are full size with grips that fit my bear paws tend to ride high or jab me in areas I do not want to be jabbed in. But after having discovered the Expert Carry, it turned out to be just the right choice for me. It has an aluminum black anodized frame with a stainless steel black nitride finish slide, a three inch stainless steel match grade barrel, an oversized flared ejection port, a beavertail grip safety, a skeletonized match grade trigger, slim grips and a two dot rear sight paired with a fiber optic front sight (a “some” day project will be to swap those with tritium) . As for how it shoots, I have to say, I shoot this as well and is as accurate as the full size Kimber Custom II that I own (my skills not withstanding). I have not once had any issues with any type of malfunction in regards to types of ammunition or magazines. Although I tend to stick to from multiple manufactures and Wilson Combat or Chip McCormick magazines. So far the only thing that I found difficult and different and this was when I first bought it, was the take down. Despite being almost new from the pawn shop and not having any manual to speak of I defaulted to the internet for said instructions. If you are confused by this and are not familiar with PO’s or this model, there is no barrel bushing like on standard 1911’s. Breaking them down is slightly different, to state the obvious. So to separate the slide from the frame, hold back on the slide similar to how you would on a Glock and then pop the slide lock lever out and voila! the slide separates from the frame. The rest of the breakdown is pretty much the same as any other 1911. Assembly is just the reverse.
    A few of my friends and acquaintances that I have discussed concealed carry with have asked me why I don’t carry something with a larger capacity and my response is usually, “Someday I might.” but for now I like carrying this one and I believe the .45 is plenty sufficient to stop a BG (Bad Guy). In fact after reading a rather long compilation of a forum post by a gentleman who is a (could be retired now) Medical Examiner from Atlanta talk about the various things he has seen come across his exam table changed my mind about carrying anything other than .45. Here is a link. It is worth a read and can be found at the following link.

  16. Just to set the record straight. My name is Rick Uselton and my afiliation
    With Remington Arms was to design and spearheaded the R1 M1911 Hand gun project in 2009 & 2010. This was the 1st hand gun that had been built in 93 years at Remington. The tolerance for parts and slide fit to frame was set at the time of design was around 2 to 4 thousands on most all parts. At that time Remington for a production line gun had the best 1911 hand gun for sell on the market. At that time my company was Uselton Arms inc. and I only built custom 1911 hand guns. I personally know the caliper size in all parts and the difference in custom 1911’s and production 1911’s . Later in 2010 Remington changed the parts specifications and changed most of the R1 parts and started building the 1911 to a much looser tolerance . I want go any further with this but Remington still has a really nice M1911. Now my company only builds 1911’s for our company which is Ultimate Arms LLC.
    Thanks to all and now you know the reality about the R1 Remington.

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