Precise Shooter

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Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced

Everyone makes 1911s. Everyone. In the 100+ history of the pistol the firearms industry REALLY figured out this pistol. So, like an AR-15, this is a predictable gun - most of the clones are the same.

Which is why if I buy a 1911, it must be unique in some way - either extremely accurate (like Les Baer pistols which guarantee 1.5" groups at 50 yards), or extremely inexpensive (like Rock Island pistols some of which can be had for less than $400), or a particularly winning combination of both, such as Armscor Match.

So the last thing I expected to see is myself buying the Remington's R1 model. They are, by all means, solid guns but they do not stand out of the crowd.

Or so I though.

The reason I ended up owning one was the price. Remington had a screaming Black Friday rebate, the distributor had a sale, and with these two combined, I could get the Enhanced version of it for a very, very modest price more suitable for lower-grade US-built pistols.

The very first that catches the eye is deep, beautiful blued finish. The pictures do not do this pistol justice.

Everything that a 1911 should have, this version does. Very nice grips, serrations where serrations are due, skeletonized trigger and hammer, fiberoptic front sight, nicely serrated, vertically adjustable rear sight.

Once you get it in your hand, you feel smoothness. The action is like butter - very smooth, and at the same time, very snug without overtightness of a Les Baer. The pistol is ready to shoot out of the box, and it is pleasant to shoot out of the box. No break-in needed :-).

So, to the range we go. Since I shoot without a rest, measurements of accuracy are of course suspect - there is pistol, ammunition, and the shooter. For this reason, whenever I take a new 1911 to the range, I also take my Les Baer Premier II, with the 1.5" guarantee (this is - at 50 yards (!)). So I calibrate myself using this Les Baer - start shooting with it, when I get "in the groove", send a box or two through it, and take note of the accuracy that I am capable of on that day.

This accuracy actually varies quite a bit - I found that my abilities are different depending on the range, time of day (amount of light), clothes, position, and so on. The Les Baer with its known accuracy allows me then to compute the accuracy of the gun based on the measured standard deviation of my results with Les Baer, assumed standard deviation of Les Baer (0.75), and measured standard deviation of the pistol.

I was shooting regular range target ammunition which goes at the store for $16-$20, with the exception of Nosler Match, which I don't typically carry.

So, let's see the targets!

Calibrating with Les Baer

Shooting the R1

The very first target the gun produced was OK, but nothing to write home about. I expected better, so I checked the grips. As we all know, loose lips sink ships, and loose grips is #1 source of accuracy problems in handguns. Needless to say, they WERE loose.

After tightening the grips, results improved!

This is how all this measured up:

Again, assuming standard deviation of Les Baer of 0.75, we derive the standard deviation of shooter plus ammunition to be 2.1, which means that the Remington should be capable of shooting 1.1" groups at 25 yards, given handloaded ammunition and the shooting rest - the same parameters that Les Baer uses when proofing their pistols.

I think 1.1" at 25 yards is pretty decent for a pistol which after rebate retails for under $700!