Big Green Continues Operations While Restructuring For Bankruptcy: New 1911 R1 Double Stack — Full Review

Remington has had some mild successes on the handgun front and several debacles. Big Green and I might’ve had a difference of opinion on previous handgun models, but they didn’t hold a grudge. And I am glad, because this week we are taking a look at something that is an unmitigated success.

It appears that Big Green spent their summer doing steroids and practicing jujitsu. The new line up looks fully prepared to stomp some teeth out in a crowded marketplace.

You may have heard that Remington is currently filing for bankruptcy protection, but don’t count Big Green out yet. According to Remington, they’re going through a restructured bankruptcy that will keep the 200-year-old firearms manufacture still up and running while it restructures its debt. This is great news for Big Green fans and we’re glad to hear a long-standing staple in the firearm business isn’t closing shop.

New R1 1911s

The new R1 1911’s are double stacks, a subject we can’t discuss without bringing up the Para-Ordinance brand, which is under the Remington umbrella. Not that many years ago, Para-Ordinance was still independent. When 3 Gun was reaching its apex as a sport, Para did something out of the ordinary. They brought in pro shooter and champion Travis Tomase and worked with him to build a gun for the race circuit. This would be a pistol that would bear his name. The result was spectacular. Tomase set up demonstration bays at local North Carolina matches, where you could get your hands on and provide feedback. From the first time I shot one of the Para’s, I knew I had to have it.

Pricing

The problem at the time, and that still persists today, is that the cost gap of a race-tuned pistol. Even a 1911 hater such as myself will admit that for competition, a 1911 is a superior platform. The trigger cannot be beaten, weight isn’t an issue since you carry it short distances, and weather conditions don’t generally penalize you for a tight fitting gun. The only real problem is the price. But there is no such thing as mid-price, wide body 1911. T

herefore shooters generally fell into two camps. My camp, the Glock 34 crowd, made due with a suboptimal pistol. The other camp was the guys with a $3,000-$4,000 STI or SVI. Para Ordnance was stepping in to address the issue. They were offering high capacity, 1911 trigger, and most of the goodies at a sub $2,000 price. That is a lot more attainable for guys with a job and not a trust fund.

So the Para Ordinance got a following. We were waiting with bated breath for the first batch. I had one on order at a local gun shop, the fulfillment that was supposed to be any day. And then….. nothing. Remington bought Para Ordnance and started the process of moving them to Alabama. I don’t know if any of the Para models made it out the door, but I never saw one.

Big Green Rolls Out the 1911 R1 Limited Double Stack

But today is a new day. Remington dusted off the Para-Ordnance designs and unveiled the 1911 R1 Limited Double Stack. The new ones are Remington brand, but the heritage is the same. It seems, from initial experience, that they have done everything right. I got not one but three test models, 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP.

SPECS:

  • • 19+1 round capacity in 9MM
  • Match grade trigger – adjustable
  • Full-length, 1-piece guide rods
  • Fiber optic front sight
  •  Fully adjustable LPA target rear sight
  • Wide front and rear cocking serrations
  • Oversized magwell for lightning-fast reloads
  • 5” ramped, match-grade barrel
  •  Stainless steel frame, slide, and barrel
  • PVD coating delivers the smoothest operation and unparalleled durability
  • Ambidextrous extended thumb safety for easy operation in either hand
  • Machined G10 VZ operator grips
  • Checkered front strap and mainspring housing
  • Two double-stack magazines.
  • MSRP: Starting at $1,310

Why all three calibers? 9mm and 45ACP make sense to everyone. 9mm is for guys with weak wrists, and 45 ACP is for the codgers/ tactical ninjas. Okay, that isn’t exactly true. 9mm is the caliber of choice in 3 gun, they have no power standard. So max capacity is the name of the game. Not having a 1911 in 45 offering would be sacrilege, so that makes sense too. The 40 S&W, it just so happens, is the minimum caliber for USPSA if you want to make major power factor in Limited Class. I see the tactical potential of these guns, but they were built first and foremost to win on the competitive front.

 

And that I think they will do. The actions are very smooth, and the triggers are nice. Mine came out of the box at 4.5 lbs, but so do most factory 1911’s. A pistolsmith can tune that up right quick, and 1911 knowledge is well spread. Even if a bit heavy, they are crisp and break clean. There is a nice checkering to the front strap, and the grips are a good balance of texture. The rear sights are adjustable and flat black, with fiber optic fronts. Out of the box, you could take this to compete, no question. The only thing I would consider is a trigger job, and that is true of any factory pistol these days. You can thank the lawyers for that one.

Range Time

My test models ran like a sewing machine. They required no break in period. It has been a while since I shot an all steel 9mm, you forget how forgiving that can be. Even with full power ammo, it felt like the sights never left the target. I think this is a huge win for Remington, they now have a handgun for a market segment no one else does.

And let us not skip over the tactical implications as well. I typically don’t care for 1911s for that work, but a lot of people due. A lot of my argument is capacity, and the wide bodies solve that. The 9mm is 19+1, the 40 S&W is 18+1, and the 45 ACP is 15+1. That is comparable, if not better than most combat Tupperware and beats the pants off an 8+1 Single Stack. I bet with a few months of success, we see things like threaded barrels and factory night sights. Another nice thing about this being at heart a 1911, red dot mounts exist that aren’t cut into the slide. If you want to see a fast red dot, try one that doesn’t reciprocate with the slide.

At a price starting at $1,310, this is now the one to beat. Grab yours while the grabbing is good, on shelves now.

For more information about Remington R1 Models, click here.

***Check out GunsAmerica for your next Remington R1.***

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 61 comments… add one }
  • Roy H February 20, 2018, 7:27 pm

    Remington bought Para in 2012, I bought my first all steel P-14 in like 1997, and I’m sure it wasn’t from the “first batch.!” How were you waiting for one when they first came out and then Remington bought them before they were readily available? Para-Ordnance and the Para brand have been out for at least 25 years, and readily available before Remington bought them. If I remember right, they started off only making HC frames for you to put your own slide own, before they started making their own complete guns. Maybe I read it wrong, but not understanding.

  • Mike February 19, 2018, 8:36 pm

    How does this new Remington compare to the Amscor Rock Island TAC Ultra FS in .45ACP? The Remington holds two more rounds but the TAC Ultra is over $200 cheaper? I am looking for performance and handling of the weapon. Thanks for any information.

  • Paul Heimbrock February 19, 2018, 6:03 pm

    A while back Para Ordnance was sold and moved to N.C. from Canada and became Para USA. I bought one of their Black Ops 45s which holds 14+1 and it shoots anything that I have ever run through it. Everything on it from the grips to the barrel are upgraded from standard 1911 parts and are spectacular in use IMHO. I knew that Remington had bought them in 2012 and eventually moved them to Huntsville, AL., but I had not figured out what they did with them until now.

  • Roman1307 February 19, 2018, 4:08 pm

    Can anyone tell me if I should hold onto my unfired Para 1911 Expert 14/45 with match grade barrel or take it out and shoot it? It appears I got one of the last Para guns before they moved from my hometown Charlotte, NC to Alabama. I saw it on sale for $499 with a $100 rebate, ($399 after rebate) so I figured it was a safe purchase for a high capacity .45. I guess now I’m wondering if the value will go up or is it not a high enough quality gun to be a collectible? I’d really appreciate any positive thoughts on the subject. Thanks.

    • brad February 20, 2018, 1:39 am

      I’m certainly no future-teller, but if I were you I’d surely hold on to it for as long as you possibly can (especially considering what you bought it for). For the primary reason being they aren’t making them anymore.

      For the somewhat the same purpose, I also purchased a Para Slim-Hawg .45acp and a LDA .9mm the very week Para announced they were closing shop. I say somewhat because I always wanted those two pistols due to their unique features, etc., and especially then because they weren’t going to be made anymore. I haven’t shot either one of them and I very likely won’t. I’ve got plenty of other pistols (1911-types) to keep me amused, however I really appreciate the characteristics of both these somewhat unique pistols.

      They aren’t very likely to lose any value and I really like having them around, just for fondling if nothing else.

    • Tom Roberson February 21, 2018, 3:05 pm

      I think your weapon qualifies as a 1911, it is a 45 cal. weapon. As an old soldier I have problems calling a pistol an 1911 if it is not 45 cal. I say hang on to it, if it’s accurate and doesn’t jam then you got a deal!

  • Tom McKibben February 19, 2018, 1:27 pm

    Hey in your YouTube video who have your finger on the trigger most of the time your talking,,,,,,,,,

    • Scotty Gunn February 19, 2018, 7:46 pm

      You are right. After about 1:15 his finger slips into the trigger guard and stays in there.

      • Acquinas February 21, 2018, 7:45 pm

        Oh you Jarheads, always teasing people with all that safety stuff.

  • Todd February 19, 2018, 1:09 pm

    Well written and informative – thanks for posting.
    Odd that I should find this in my mail box this morning as just last night I had begun again in earnest setting up to build my next .38 Super or 9×23 heavy carry gun.
    This sounds just the ticket!

    Todd.

  • Carl February 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

    That 1911 Remington is a copy cat to the PARA Ordinance Limited that I have. Except for the flared magwell everything on it looks exacting like my gun!!!

    • Carl February 19, 2018, 12:59 pm

      I respond before I watched Clay’s video. He said it had the same features as the PO.

      • Dave February 19, 2018, 4:24 pm

        Remington acquired Para-Ordnance……I don’t think they are creative enough to make this up and have it work on their own lol

    • Vitaliy February 19, 2018, 5:33 pm

      No it is Rock island or armscor Filipino company
      got one in 9mm sold it accuracy was inheritable bad was planning to use
      it on local competitions.

    • Acquinas February 21, 2018, 7:43 pm

      Let’s get the old brain cells rolling here. I know it is hard, but here goes. Do you think possibly the Remington looks so very like your old Para, because Remington bought all of Para’s intellectual property, drawings, design rights, and now for the big one, and manufacturing equipment? All so they could build the same gun? I know, its a stretch.

  • Dan C February 19, 2018, 12:12 pm

    Remington is such a crapshoot these days, I wouldn’tbuy anything sight unseen. They ruined Marlin. I hear their Marlins have improved, but a QR code stamped on a levergun? I’ll pass on any Remington product until they make great strides in improvement of quality.

  • Youth coach February 19, 2018, 12:10 pm

    The heart of the video is very good, but I have to point out a few hiccups.

    1. The handling of the firearms leaves much to be desired: Handler NEVER locks the slide back and checks the chamber. Never checks it again even after inserting mags. Resets the hammer several times after pressing the trigger.
    2. I stopped counting how many times the handler waved the muzzle at the camera/cameraman (I stopped at 6! while handling just the 9mm!!)
    It would seem to me that in todays firearms love/hate environment that we firearms owners could and should do all we can to present SAFE and PROPER handling and uses of firearms AT ALL TIMES..
    I just think his safe handling practices were VERY poor and now the world can too!

  • Troy Westerbur February 19, 2018, 12:09 pm

    You looked like you were having a blast with that 9. Yes pun intended. I am a 1911 guy and have a 1911R1. Love it. The double stack looks awesome. I can’t wait to try one. I am also a Remington guy. Well because I work for a living and I have found I get the most bang for my buck with them. I sure hope that they are around for 200 more years.

  • William February 19, 2018, 12:03 pm

    They should have threaded the barrel for a can.

  • Johnny Raygun February 19, 2018, 12:03 pm

    For those who do not know the firearms industry has changed. Remington owns Marlin, D.P.M.S, Bushmaster, Harrington and Richardson, Tapco, Barns and purchased Para. They purchased Para only for it’s patents and manufacturing. Remington ultimately buried it’s name. This is the world where a Corporation buys up smaller corps and creates a conglomerate to control it’s slice of the industry…….. Look up Vista Group and you will find they control 42 of your favorite Brands. That includes Federal ammo, Savage, Blackhawk, Bushnell, Hoppe’s, Butler Creek and more. Often quality and price fixing are the first to be effected……Remington has hurt it’s reputation in doing just that, it is not your dad’s gun maker anymore.

    • Russ H. February 19, 2018, 2:09 pm

      I believe all those companies (Federal, Savage, Blackhawk, etc) are actually owned by Vista Outdoor, not Vista Group. Vista Outdoor is owned by Orbital ATK, which is about to be bought by Northrop Grumman. So yeah… What has happened to the entire outdoors industry? Much of it is controlled by one company. Look up Vista Outdoor – you\’ll be shocked to see how many well known companies they own.

  • Johnny Raygun February 19, 2018, 11:38 am

    My last purchase from Remington was a Veresamax. The instructions said take it completely apart and clean before using….. I tried to follow the instructions, but the threading on the two gas plugs had chatter marks and would not allow me to remove them. I bent the Hex wrench trying. Remington had me send it to a third party to repair it. According to the gunsmith he just ran it back and fourth to break it in. In reality the plugs needed to be replaced. Quality control is horrible, matching their company. Two years later, I have not shot it yet….. I prefer my 1962 Wingmaster, when they had a product and reputation.to match.

  • Lash Lariat February 19, 2018, 11:31 am

    1911’s are certainly well built guns but when will the designers make it a standard to design the gun with a rail for accessories? I guess if they did it would be called a 2018 instead of a 1911.🤨

  • Dave February 19, 2018, 11:02 am

    I bought a Remington RP9 (because of the $100 rebate) and after shooting the first time with no problems, went home to clean it. OMG, I felt roughness in the barrel running the cleaning rod though it, I look and see that the barrel has maybe a dozen what look like chisel marks in it! I called Remington, they arrange for a UPS pick-up of the complete pistol and about 2 weeks later it is returned with a new barrel. Good service for something that should not have happened in the first place.
    As far as Remington’s new 1911 double stacks go, I bought a used Para P14.45 Expert in SS a few years back and that gun makes me look good. Great trigger and great balance. I put a Leupold Deltapoint Pro and Hogue grips on it and putting all 13 quick rounds (the 14th round is almost impossible to insert) in a 6″ target at 25 yards with a standing 2 hand grip is easy. So if the new Remington’s are based on the older Para’s, I might need to add a 9mm double stack to my collection.

  • barry February 19, 2018, 10:48 am

    Hey Clay great review as usual, I am not a 1911 guy either but these may change some people’s thinking? I like my Glock’s but if they come out w/ a 357 sig Im getting one.. Thanks again for all your great reviews.

  • Mark Wolfson February 19, 2018, 10:45 am

    Great review Clay! Yes, it beats my tupperware Walther PPQ .45 (with 12+1), and I am sure with less recoil. Its now on my short list! Thanks.

  • MIKE February 19, 2018, 10:10 am

    HUMM!!! LOOKS A LOT LIKE A ROCK ISLAND (ARMCORE) BUT FIT AND FINISH ON THE $700 ROCK MIGHT BE A LOT BETTER AND IT’S MADE OF STEEL.. GREEN MIGHT BE A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT AGAIN !!1

  • John Seppanen February 19, 2018, 10:10 am

    Remington Arms is another company being run into the ground by piss poor management at the top level. 😛

  • Mark Duval February 19, 2018, 9:49 am

    Clay great review! I think Remington has a winner winner Chicken Dinner in these Guns, huge improvement over earlier Para offerings with Aluminum Frames. I hope Remington is around for another 200 years.

  • Mike Mackay February 19, 2018, 8:54 am

    Dude, wipe the gun down before you photo it. Fit and finish? Nasty looking now…

    • silentT February 19, 2018, 9:42 am

      Great information. always like your reviews…..
      Just a couple of comments:
      You are too far from the camera which makes the sound poor.
      Mike up
      Show close up pictures of the guns as you present them. We cannot tell what you have at this camera distance

  • Anthony M Fuqua February 19, 2018, 8:48 am

    Awesome guns, although I have to agree, you know he was excited , so excited he pissed himself. Ha ha.

  • Paul Betz February 19, 2018, 8:07 am

    I brought the Para “Pro Comp II”, slide fit like a square lid on a round pot…”hand fitted, competition ready.. finest 1911″ that I paid good money for was a piece of crap. Sent it back, they dropped in another bbl and sent it back worse, sent it back again, couldn’t be resolved without a hand fitted aftermatket bbl and bushing.. Para/Remington would not make it right or replace it. Remington’s head of the pistol division would’t even answer my letters. I for one hope they go belly up, sooner the better.

    • American February 19, 2018, 12:48 pm

      I bought a R1 S/S . I called Remington before I ordered it and asked if the R1 would take COLT or military parts and magazines ,they said YES and I found out that NO it will not. I should have bought the COLT series 70 I bought in the 1st place and saved the hassle of the R1 with a severe hammer bite. I’m with you as I don’t own one Remington. I live in Arkansas where Remington has a ammunition plant.Best 22 lr but no better then CC1 really. So for the folks working there I hope for the best.

  • Derek February 19, 2018, 8:07 am

    Too bad he pissed his pants. Should have edit that out.

  • Donald Hall February 19, 2018, 7:36 am

    Are those spots on the slide, in your photographs, fingerprints or a problem with the finish on the gun?

    • JoeBoy5471 February 19, 2018, 9:08 am

      The presenter had some other water problems………..Those are water spots…..

  • Jon S February 19, 2018, 7:36 am

    I remember paying for a Para-Ordinances between 650 to 750.00 for the longslide double stacks…

    • JoeBoy5471 February 19, 2018, 9:11 am

      Remington bought Para Ordinance in the mid 2000’s……………… Those pistols probably have inherited a few quality issues from the parent company……..

  • RWC February 19, 2018, 7:04 am

    One reason Remington is going bankrupt is they do not stand behind their product. They warrant is very fickle. Other companies like Ruger and Springfield have excellent customer service so why buy a Remington and get the wrong end of the stick. I would never purchase a Remington again they screwed me on my shotgun I bought from them.

    • JoeBoy5471 February 19, 2018, 9:16 am

      You are absolutely correct. Ever since the problem with the Model 700, it appears to be downhill for them. They made some acquisitions in the mid 2000’s;i.e. Marlin and Para Ordinance and I here there are quality issues with the products. I bought a R51 second generation, thinking I would finally get something that works. Back for service three times and in the end, all the parts except the frame were replaced.

  • Ron February 19, 2018, 6:44 am

    Years ago I bought a Para Ordnance 1911, 45 acp with the aluminum frame. I wanted a steel frame but they did not have one. I also purchased a G21, Glock 45 acp. Both of these went in my safe and went unused for many years as I carried a custom 1911, 45acp I had built for me. As I got older my eyes could no longer see those government sights so I retired my custom 45 and started carrying the Glock as I could see the sights on it. That was 12 years ago. I still have never fired the Para Ordnance, that pistol is still in its plastic case and still in the plastic wrap it was shipped in. I take it out once a year and check to make sure the lub is still good and no rust is developing.

    • meeester February 19, 2018, 7:52 am

      thanks for sharing

  • roger February 19, 2018, 6:44 am

    Not a new ideal. Hopefully they have the quality.

  • Jason M February 19, 2018, 6:42 am

    Can you use old Para mags with it?

  • triggerpull February 19, 2018, 6:37 am

    I saw the Para 6″ barrel elite hunter in 10mm at my LGS and sat around and waited for it to come in price–then remmie bought em and they disappeared forever as far as I know. Still kicking myself for that–best set-up and priced 10mm I’ve ever seen–though I’m currently eying sig’s.

    • b rad February 19, 2018, 8:11 am

      i have one. it is very nice

    • Carroll February 19, 2018, 10:02 pm

      Remington offers a 6″ 1911 ‘Hunter’ in 10mm. They brought it out a little over a year ago. It’s basically the same gun as the Para. You should be able to find one, if you want.

  • Frank Garza February 19, 2018, 6:12 am

    Rock Island makes a doublestack 1911 in 9mm/22 tcm and I like mine. They sell for about $650. I like mine, not only for the magazine capacity but also because the slide is very easy to manipulate. Epecially for an old guy like me. Semper Fi and keep up the good work.

    • Cam February 19, 2018, 10:01 am

      Yep, I bought a rocks 1911 for $420 shipped to do a diy bobtail on it and was so amazed with it I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The action is great the trigger is better than my Springfield TRP. The only thing I don’t like about it is it has a bull barrel so it uses their twin spring recoil. Their recoil set up sucks and nothing else is even close to a drop with fitting replacement.

  • martianone February 19, 2018, 5:04 am

    Have an R1 “enhanced”, I think about 5 years now. Why did I get it ? It was in a gun shop, I tried it, felt good, it came home with me. After I got it, even in the shop where I got it, I would hear “good luck with that” comments, delivered with a negative tone. Got the R1 for woods carry, it gobbles up “GI” type loads “like a sewing machine” to echo a phrase. It was 1000% reliable, with both supplied magazines. Got some p+ swc loads, not quite so perfect there- one brand was great another would hiccup once in a while. Fooled around with different springs and mags, about 99.9%. Next I tried a loads with a supposedly all copper machined bullet in two styles, one defensive and one penetrative. R1 with these loads is back to 1000% reliable, bullets have performed equally well, the combo will place three shots just about touching at 25 steps. Both bullets make a pronounced cavity in stumps and frozen gallon milk jugs. One of the penetrators wrecked the boiler room of a deer chasing feral dog at about 50 steps. In woods, carry the R1 in a cobbled together shoulder holster that mounts the gun in center of my chest, it is both out of the way and easy to get to. Two weekends ago, out for a stroll in the woods, snowshoes on, snow about waist deep when one snowshoe binding came loose and tripped me. Had to wallow around in the snow to get my shoe back on and upright again. Then we got a bit of mixed freezing precip, I spooked a coyote out of some thick pines, reached for the R1, grip edge sticking out of holster was completely caked with ice snow, rear sight was ice filled.. Frozen up R1 went bang, bang, etc…shooter did not do his part. My R1 has been great, not sure I know what better performance would look like?

  • Rich W. February 19, 2018, 4:51 am

    They got everything right…except the price. Para-USA was putting out the same thing for under a grand before Remington stepped in. Thanks Big Green…

  • Steve in Detroit February 19, 2018, 4:35 am

    Your Para is waiting for you at Sarco. At least the Trigger on this will not be a problem, Green hopes. And are those lights LED? If not then maybe you should upgrade. Oh and I almost forgot, does it take Glock mags?

  • Dr Strangelove February 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    Still too damn expensive for what it is. This is pricing for what the market won’t bear, and paying $1150 street price for a double stack Remington 1911 isn’t going to work. My Glocks are pretty accurate at half the price. I can get a Dan Wesson for MSRP. I’ve shot two Remington 1911’s. They aren’t better than a Glock 34. They are clunky, MIM ridden, pedestrian 1911’s on par with RIA. Revamping Para’s tooling won’t save their company. It didn’t save Para’s – they had a reputation for being a beastly thick brick with poor reliability and fragile parts. After floundering the RP9, taking a lateral back into Para is exactly why this company can’t make a buck. Remington should stick to two guns… the 870 and the 5R line of bolt rifles. They need to sell Marlin back to Marlin who at least knew how to make a proper JM gun.

    • John L February 19, 2018, 8:49 am

      Don’t forget the 1100.

  • Mike February 18, 2018, 7:42 am

    Nice review. Good to see high quality but reasonably priced double-stack 1911s again. Getting the .40 cal and 9mm is a bonus. Lets hope Remington can move forward from its current troubles and continue to produce quality firearms for another 100 years.

  • James February 18, 2018, 7:03 am

    Hi Clay,
    Is is that a picture of a saint on the wall behind you in your workroom? If so, who is it, please?

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