Welcome to M1911.ORG
The M1911 Pistols Organization Forums Site


Dear members,
Please make sure the email address we have for you, is correct and valid.


Sponsors Panel
If you intend to buy something from the companies advertising above, or near the bottom of our pages, please use their banners in our sites. Whatever you buy from them, using those banners, gives us a small commission, which helps us keep these sites alive. You still pay the normal price, our commission comes from their profit, so you have nothing to lose, while we have something to gain. Your help is appreciated.
If you want to become a sponsor and see your banner in the above panel, click here to contact us.

Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: 1911 R1 Commander Quick Review

THREAD CLOSED
This is an old thread. You can't post a reply in it. It is left here for historical reasons.Why don't you create a new thread instead?
  1. #1
    Join Date
    15th April 2009
    Location
    Escaped to the wilds of Nevada
    Posts
    62
    Posts liked by others
    8

    1911 R1 Commander Quick Review

    I picked up this Commander-length 1911 R1 at a local sporting goods store's Father's Day Sale. For $474 with a $75 rebate, I couldn't pass it up, even in the face of the poor reputation that Remington has lately built for itself.

    The pistol is finished in black oxide, with the exception of the trigger, which appears to be aluminum; the barrel and barrel bushing, which are stainless. The bushing is polished and the barrel is matte, which is a bit odd in appearance but functionally not an issue. Sights are high, fixed and equipped with dots. More about the dots in a minute.

    Two magazines were enclosed with the pistol; they appear to be ACT-mags or some very similar make. The mag bodies are finished in black oxide and the followers appear to be stainless. Magazine capacity is 7 rounds.

    Grips are sharply checkered walnut in a double-diamond pattern. Grip screws are Allen head button screws, and on my pistol, were not torqued in place when I received the pistol.

    The grip safety and thumb safety are milspec-appearing parts. The hammer is a Government-pattern part. All are finished in black oxide.

    The first thing I did with the pistol is test fire it, utilizing the indoor bullet trap at my place of employment. Ammo was Winchester bulk 230 gr. FMJ. I don't normally use factory mags included with inexpensive pistols as they are usually of questionable quality; for this test fire I used an 8-round KimPro TacMag which has functioned perfectly in every 1911 pattern pistol I've used it in... which is quite a few over the past few years. The very first round nosedived into the frame's feed ramp and jammed. Once I cleared the jam, the remaining rounds in the magazine, and all rounds from a second magazine full fed, fired, extracted and ejected without issue.

    After reassuring myself that the pistol was functional and had no major issues, I fitted a SIG-Sauer 1911 ambidextrous thumb safety. Being left-handed, an ambi safety is a necessity on 1911 pistols; I prefer the SIG pattern part as the levers are unobtrusive but large enough for easy operation. The safety was very easy to fit to the 1911 R1 - it almost fit correctly right out of the package and required only a little stoning on the lug. Safety function is crisp and positive, more a testament to the quality of the part than my gunsmithing skills.

    Today, I took the R1 to my local range and set up a target at the 10-yard line. This time, I brought the factory magazines given the feeding issue demonstrated by the KimPro magazine. I started with Winchester White Box 230 gr. FMJ; point of impact was about 2-3" high and about 2" right of point of aim. Before we blame the pistol, though, I have to say that I haven't fired a 1911 regularly for quite some time. Running about 40 rounds of this ammunition through the pistol, I had one malfunction; upon firing round #6, both the empty case of round #6 and the last loaded round in the magazine were both ejected. I would have to say that I've never seen a 1911 do this trick although I have observed it in other platforms. I examined the magazine, especially the feed lips, for damage but observed none. I continued to fire the WWB ammo until I used up all 40 rounds on hand with no other malfunctions. POI remained high and right of POA as noted.

    Next, I tried some Remington 185 gr. JHP... with some trepidation as I did not expect the hollowpoint ammo to feed at all. Surprise! Each round fed smoothly. POI with this ammo was about 2" above POA and right on in windage. A 5 round group came in at about 4", using a two-hand hold.

    Moving on, I tried some Remington 230 gr. JHP, a box of ammo I've had in the ammo locker for several years. Again, no feeding issues at all, same POA/POI. This was starting to look like the R1 was a winner!

    Next up was PMC 230 gr. JHP, same results; smooth cycling and POI about 2" above POA.

    Finally, I finished up with some CCI Lawman 230 gr. FMJ, firing about 100 rounds. I had no further malfunctions with this ammunition and POI remained at 2" above POA. I fired 10 rounds offhand with a two-hand hold for group with the following results:


    The two flyers, top and bottom, were called. As I said earlier, I haven't fired a 1911 in some time and the trigger on this one is much better (and lighter) than I expected on a budget 1911. Additionally, I had problems with the dots (see, I told you I'd get to that) as they did not appear aligned when the top of the front and rear sights were aligned. I kept hunting between aligning the dots and aligning the top of the front and rear sights. I may black out the dots.

    Not a bad group for a $400 pistol!

    All in all, I have to say with a certain amount of caution that this is the best handgun purchase I've made in quite some time. Durability is now the only question, and only time will tell.
    I'm retired. That's right, retired. I don't want to hear about the cop who stopped you today or how you didn't think you should get a ticket. That just makes me grumpy!
    Likes (3) :
    MuyModesto (22nd July 2019), PolyKahr (23rd July 2019), Ric4509 (22nd July 2019)

    Last edited by Grumpyoldretiredcop; 22nd June 2019 at 01:11.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    18th June 2012
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    224
    Posts liked by others
    54
    Excellent, detailed, complete write up. Thank you.
    Regarding white dots, I have never liked them even when they surround a tritium vial. I find them distracting and get rid of them quickly after a purchase.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    8th December 2014
    Location
    South Central Kansas
    Posts
    27
    Posts liked by others
    5
    Glad to hear you are enjoying your R1. I had one that I have since traded to my son after acquiring another 1911. The one I had was very reliable and never had a problem. Kinda wish I hadn't traded it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    21st September 2008
    Posts
    9,962
    Posts liked by others
    200
    Nice write up, and pistol.

    If the white dots are a problem, consider blackening the rears only. Then you won't be using the front for alignment, just have it as something for your eyes to pick up in the draw.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    15th April 2009
    Location
    Escaped to the wilds of Nevada
    Posts
    62
    Posts liked by others
    8
    Thanks, Spyros. That's exactly what I wound up doing before shooting it yesterday and it does make a big difference! I'm giving some thought to a Dawson front sight; not for the dot issue but for the pistol's propensity to print high. In testing at 50 yards, it's 6 to 7 inches high. Since that's about as far as I shoot a 1911 or other defensive handgun these days, it would pay to get a slightly taller front sight to bring POI down to POA at 10 yards.
    I'm retired. That's right, retired. I don't want to hear about the cop who stopped you today or how you didn't think you should get a ticket. That just makes me grumpy!
    Last edited by Grumpyoldretiredcop; 30th June 2019 at 16:22.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    21st September 2008
    Posts
    9,962
    Posts liked by others
    200
    Seven inches high at 50 yards? It almost sounds like it has too tall a link... but if it runs OK as-is, I'd leave that alone and mess with the sights.

    Dawson have a good formula in their website to help you figure out how tall a sight to order.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    15th April 2009
    Location
    Escaped to the wilds of Nevada
    Posts
    62
    Posts liked by others
    8
    Spyros, I thought that might be the case as well, but it runs well and I'm not seeing any unusual wear or damage on the lugs or recesses so am leaving well enough alone there.

    Turns out that swapping the flat MSH for an arched housing made some difference. Not perfect, but reduced that 7" to about 3-4". I can work with that for now. I was probably unconsciously heeling the pistol because I couldn't feel the MSH contacting my hand. The shape of my hand makes arched MSHs almost mandatory. I'll probably still wind up switching front sights and might switch the rear for the stock Remington part for their 5" pistols which has a locking screw; the Commander doesn't. It appears to be the same part, same height and shape but just not drilled and tapped for a locking screw and it's stuffed into the dovetail very tightly. I'm annoyed that I can't get the rear sight to move, even with a sight pusher. I broke my sight pusher (OK, it was an inexpensive pusher, but still...) trying! It might take a brass punch and vigorous persuasion to get it out; it reminds me of the RIA Tactical that I had at one point - that one did require major persuasion to remove. Since Remington is using a proprietary rear sight dovetail, there aren't too many rear sight options other than ordering their rear sight.

    Picked up a full size R1 this week as they went back on sale for the same price and I just couldn't pass it up. Adjusting windage on the 5" was a piece of cake as its rear sight was properly fitted and locked in place with a locking screw. That's what got me thinking about ordering the same rear sight for the Commander. With the full size R1, at 10 yards POI is exactly at the top of the front sight - it's definitely a keeper also!
    I'm retired. That's right, retired. I don't want to hear about the cop who stopped you today or how you didn't think you should get a ticket. That just makes me grumpy!
    Last edited by Grumpyoldretiredcop; 22nd July 2019 at 01:36.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    15th April 2009
    Location
    Escaped to the wilds of Nevada
    Posts
    62
    Posts liked by others
    8
    Finally got the chance to do some followup work on this 1911 and thought I'd bring you "the rest of the story". First, after carefully measuring the front sight dovetail, I concluded that this one is indeed cut to approximate the Novak dovetail pattern. Apparently, some are and some aren't, depending on model; my 5" R1 certainly is not. From Dawson Precision's website and their sight calculator, I ordered the closest I could get to obtain my desired correction; a serrated ramped blade 0.160" in height and 0.125" wide. It required only a small amount of fitting, taking material off the bottom of the sight dovetail and a small amount off the bottom rear of the blade as it is longer than the sight cutout on the slide. After that, mounting was easy.

    Now for the recalcitrant rear sight. As I'd guessed, with the slide firmly clamped in a vise, a stout brass punch, some very firm persuasion from my largest hammer, some bad language and a little blood to lubricate the project, the rear sight did give way and could now be adjusted to correct windage. A slight adjustment left did the job, although as the sight is still pretty tight in the dovetail, getting exactly the correction desired was not the easiest of tasks.

    Now, at 10 yards, POA and POI coincide perfectly with rounds impacting exactly at the top of the front sight, just like my 5" R1 did out of the box. With the addition of a set of Pachmayr grips, I call it a definite keeper and wintertime carry pistol candidate once I've fired enough defense ammo to be certain of reliability. Best of all, it's still well under $500 all in.
    I'm retired. That's right, retired. I don't want to hear about the cop who stopped you today or how you didn't think you should get a ticket. That just makes me grumpy!
    Likes (2) :
    Rick McC. (10th October 2019), Spyros (13th October 2019)


  9. #9
    Join Date
    2nd October 2006
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Fl
    Posts
    5,568
    Posts liked by others
    152
    Excellent Sir! Glad you got things sorted out to your satisfaction.
    "Sights are for the unenlightened."

    Rick

    IDPA Certified Safety Officer

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Sponsors Panel
If you intend to buy something from Brownells, please use their banners above. Whatever you buy from them, gives us a small commission, which helps us keep these sites alive. You still pay the normal price, our commission comes from their profit, so you have nothing to lose, while we have something to gain. Your help is appreciated.
If you want to become a sponsor and see your banner in the above panel, click here to contact us.

Non-gun-related supporters.
Thank you for visiting our supporters.