After putting over 300 rounds through the Remington 1911 R1 Hunter FDE 10MM pistol, I recommend this semi-automatic as a top firearms investment for at least two reasons.
First, with its six-inch-long stainless-steel barrel and match-grade sights, the R1 Hunter is accurate and powerful and, as the name suggests, a fine choice for handgun hunting.
Second, given the financial and managerial turmoil that has been Remington Arms, it’s possible the world will never see another R1 Hunter 10MM FDE being made. Buy one now, and you may have a collector’s item.
When the gun talk turns to Remington, the focus is usually on the company’s Remington 700 centerfire rifles and the Remington 870 pump-action shotguns. Understandably so, given the literally millions of each purchased by hunters and shooters.
But most gun talk never gets to Remington’s handguns. And that’s too bad. Because despite one flat-out disaster a few years ago (the Remington R51 9mm semi-automatic pistol), Remington has actually been making some pretty damned good 1911’s since 2010 when it launched its R1 line of pistols. And, actually, they also fixed the R51. It is a very accurate and serviceable 9MM, very suitable for concealed carry and home defense.
Handguns are nothing new for Remington. Actually, one of Remington’s first handguns was the 1858 revolver and it saw service during the US Civil war. Remington’s answers to the Colt 1873 included the model 1875 and later the model 1890.
Remington UMC manufactured the company’s very first 1911’s during World War One and Remington made more of this workhorse pistol during World War Two. As noted, it re-launched the current 1911 R1 line of 1911’s a decade ago.
The Remington 1911 R1 Hunter FDE is a single-action semi-automatic sporting a stainless-steel frame and slide, a great trigger, and a long sight radius thanks to the six-inch-long, stainless steel match-quality barrel. It is the “younger brother” of the more established standard R1 Hunter, but unlike bigger bro, this model sports a Flat Dark Earth (FDE) finish on the frame.
The pistol is no lightweight, not at 41 ounces unloaded, which means that loaded with eight rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, the R1 Hunter is pushing up against the 50-ounce mark. Weight bullet.
That weight and the tactical, high-quality word VZ-1o grips, though, work to make the powerful 10MM AUTO round relatively easy to handle.
Recently, I was visiting the St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club in Elburn, Illinois, and did some handgun training with the Club’s assistant manager Lisa Palazzo.
We shot a couple of different 9MM semi-autos, a 380 compact, and a full-sized 1911 chambered in 45 AUTO, plus the R1 Hunter FDE I brought along. And though she’s a relatively small woman at 5’3”, Palazzo actually did her best shooting that day with the R1 Hunter FDE.
“It looks like it’s going to be a real handful,” she told me afterward about the R1 Hunter. “But it’s really easy and fun to shoot. I haven’t shot a lot of pistols, and I can’t believe some of the hits I made with it!”
Credit the pistol’s weight and balance and first-rate grips for much of the shoot-ability Palazzo found with this pistol.
For my accuracy and function testing with the R1Hunter FDE is used three brands of 10MM ammunition: Honor Defense shooting a 125-grain hollow point frangible bullet; Remington Hog Hammer launching a 155-grain Barnes all-copper XPB bullet; and, Winchester’s Defender Elite loaded with a 180-grain bonded and jacketed hollow point.
At 10 yards and firing offhand, all three brands of ammunition placed multiple five-shot groups at 1.5-inches and under. The best group was with the Honor Defense 10MM loads, which pegged five shots at 1.15-inches—and three of those shots were touching for a .59-inch group.
Then, I moved to the 25-yard range and fired the three ammunition brands shooting from a rest. My five shot groups were 3.0-inches and under, with the Hog Hammer scoring the best with a 2.14-inch grouping on a hog hunting target. The Winchester Defender scored a couple of groups right at 2.5-inches.
Initially, the pistol was shooting several inches low and to the left at 10 yards. But that was easily fixed as the rear sight on the R1 Hunter FDE is fully adjustable for windage and elevation. Several clicks on each control, done with a small, flat-bladed screwdriver, soon put the pistol on the bullseye. The luminous fiber optic front sight pops nicely and pulled in my eye.
The trigger pulled on the R1 Hunter FDE came in at a crisp 2-pounds, 8-ounces according to my Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge, and it reset very quickly for follow-up shots. The trigger is also adjustable, but I didn’t feel the need to make any changes to mine.
The R1 Hunter FDE sports an ambidextrous butterfly manual safety and an extended beavertail grip safety. It also has a rail under the barrel for attaching lights and lasers or a shooting rest, and the pistol is sold with two, eight-round stainless steel magazines.
The Operator II VZ G10 Grips provided a very firm hold on the pistol, even when pulling off multiple shots fast.
I’ve hunted with my R1 Hunter FDE and the best holster I’ve found for it is the Great Alaskan Chest Holster made by Galco Gunleather. In the field, the Great Alaskan balanced the R1Hunter FDE nicely to the left side of my body, provides a good draw, and keeps the pistol very secure.
You are supposed to say something negative in a critical sense in a review to show balance and objectivity. Frankly, I am unsure what to say that might be “wrong” or a bit off on the R1 FDE Hunter.
Yes, it’s heavy, but that’s not a surprise with a large pistol sporting a steel frame and slide. The Great Alaskan Chest Holster is a big help there when afield with the Hunter.
Recoil from a 10MM, no matter the weight of the platform, is more significant than the ubiquitous 9MM or even a 45 AUTO. But, again, that comes with the caliber and territory.
Now, it does list for over $1,300, and that isn’t anywhere close to inexpensive. But, A), I can’t tell people what is too expensive for their incomes and tastes; and, B) as long as you don’t hurl this handgun down a rocky-strewn gorge, you should be able to pass it down to your grandchildren. Something I doubt you can say about the $300 striker-fired pistols available today.
As to possible collector value?
The Remington Outdoor Company or ROC went into bankruptcy this past summer. The various ROC brands–including Bushmaster, DPMS, Marlin, and Remington Arms proper–were sold off to the highest bidders, with the sales recently approved by a federal bankruptcy judge in Alabama in September 2020. Remington Arms now belongs to the Round Hill Group and investment group.
Are handguns, including the R1Hunter FDE, in Round Hill Group’s plans? Even if that is the case, will future R1 Hunters function and look at all like the current R1 Hunter FDE?
No one knows. The Round Hill Group could start turning out new and essentially the same R1 Hunter FDE’s in 2021, could take a year or longer to get out these handguns, or could abandon handguns or this particular model altogether.
Remington handguns were manufactured at ROC’s facility in Huntsville, Alabama. Media and internal sources tell me that various machinery was removed from Huntsville, including some used for firearms manufacture. Whether or not Huntsville will see future Remington production is anyone’s guess.
So, a “Hunter” from “Huntsville” could be a rather unique pistol.
Whatever happens, there’s a decent chance any original R1 Hunter FDE could have collector value one day.
Not that mine will. It’s already been on two hunts and will be on many more over the next several years, and with the banging around my handguns get afield and during practice sessions, my R1 Hunter FDE will likely have too many dings and wear to interest a collector.
And that’s okay. I am a hunter and a shooter, after all, not a collector. And the 1911 Hunter 10MM FDE is really made for the shooter and hunter who likes the power and versatility of the 10MM AUTO round.
SPECS: Remington 1911 R1 Hunter FDE
Caliber: 10MM AUTO
Frame: Stainless Steel
Slide: Stainless Steel
Barrel: 6”, Stainless Steel
Twist Rate: 1:16
Sights: Adjustable match grade rear, fiber optic front
Trigger: Single Action, Skeletonized, Adjustable
Finish: Flat Dark Earth, PVD finish
Overall Height: 5.75”
Weight: 41 Oz.
Misc.: Under-barrel rail, Operator II VZ G10 Grips, front and rear slide serrations, sold with 2 8-round stainless magazines.