Review: Remington R1 Enhanced Double Stack

A common complaint about the 1911 platform is its generally limited capacity. It’s certainly possible to carry a spare magazine, but it makes even more sense to simply carry a gun with more capacity. That’s where the double stack 1911 comes in. The Remington R1 Enhanced Double Stack in 45 ACP is a fantastic example of a well-made 1911 that offers more ammo right off. We put the gun through its paces and we’re here to report on how it shoots and easy it is — or isn’t — to use a gun this size for daily carry.

remington r1 enhanced ds
The Remington R1 Enhanced DS is a double stack 1911 chambered in 45 ACP. (Photo credit: Remington)

What is the Remington R1 Enhanced Double Stack?

The Remington R1 Enhanced Double Stack is a 1911 platform handgun chambered in 45 ACP. It’s a Government-sized pistol, meaning it has a full-size frame and a five inch barrel. Thanks to its larger size, there’s enough weight to mitigate felt recoil and muzzle rise. Although this is a double-stack gun, it’s not excessively bulky. It has a 15+1 capacity, which is excellent for a 45 ACP. This gun is part of Remington’s R1 family of guns, which is their 1911 platform pistols.

What are the features?

This is a full-sized 1911, so it has a five inch barrel and full-size frame. The gun has an overall length of 8.5 inches and empty weight of 41 ounces. As a double stack 45 ACP, its greater capacity also means it weighs noticeably more when loaded. That doesn’t mean it can’t be carried — it can. Rather, it becomes even more important you use a sturdy holster and gun belt combo.

Series 80 versus series 70
A Series 80 1911 (left) compared to a Series 70 1911 (right).

The Remington R1 Enhanced Double Stack is a Series 80 1911. This mostly has to do with the design of the internal safeties and components. The Series 80 and older Series 70 design differ by several elements. The series 80 has an additional shelf design in the lower part of the hammer, a full barrel bushing rather than collet bushing, and a metal lift that presses a safety plunger to deactivate the firing pin block when pulling the trigger. The biggest difference many gun owners mention between the Series 80 and Series 70 is the trigger’s feel. Many 1911 fans feel the Series 80’s trigger is inferior, but advances in technology have largely done away with any tactile issues.

This gun has aggressive G10 grip panels and checkering on the backstrap for a better grip during live fire sessions. Upright serrations at both the front and back make racking the slide easier. As expected, there’s an external thumb and grip safety. The hammer, magazine release, and safety are all textured with either ridges or checkering for improved tactile feeling and manipulation. The trigger is skeletonized and the mag well is cut in a way that makes magazine changes smoother and faster.

hornady 45 acp ammo
Hornady Critical Defense is a great option if you’re using this as a carry gun or for home defense. (Photo credit: Hornady)

How does it shoot at the range?

Over time, this gun has had a wide variety of ammunition put through it. It’s ate everything including Hornady Critical Defense 45 ACP 185-grain FTX, Federal Premium Personal Defense 45 ACP 230-grain HST, and Winchester 45 ACP 230-grain FMJ. The R1 Enhanced DS has had no problem with cycling whether the ammo in question is a target load or defensive round. This is not an ammo-picky 1911.

Loaded, the gun has good balance and fits well in my hands. I do have larger hands than many shooters, but smaller than others, so I had a few different people try it out. The pistol is great for shooters with truly large hands thanks to its bigger size, but can be a bit more challenging for those with small hands. The gun’s weight and balance are solid and helps mitigate felt recoil and muzzle rise, which translates to greater accuracy down-range.

Felt recoil with 230-grain loads isn’t excessive — the gun’s design sees to that. Thanks to the factory red fiber optic front and blacked out rear sights, the front sight draws your eye’s focus. This makes acquiring targets easier and faster. Rapidly re-acquiring targets for follow-up shots is simple as well. During rapid fire, the gun gets back on target smoothly. This might take some practice if you’re new to the 45 ACP, but it’s also going to be easier to accomplish than you might realize.

Shooting from the bench at 10 yards, single-hole five-shot groups were a breeze. Stretching that out to 25 yards, the groups opened up but stayed under three inches. Ringing steel at 50 yards and even 100 yards was easy to do once I was familiar with the ammo’s drop rate. This is an accurate gun, but not quite as precise as some. Shooting offhand, the results stayed about the same as long as shots taken were slow and steady. Rapid fire broadened the 25 yard, five-shot group to six inches. Paper targets used were Birchwood Casey’s Shoot N C reactive targets which makes it a lot easier to visualize shots on paper.

Overall, the gun performs well. It’s reliable and accurate. If you want to slim down the profile a bit, you could put thinner grip panels on it. However, I have no complaints about the factory G10s. Factory sights are great, the trigger has a clean crisp break, and the barrel length balances the gun so it doesn’t feel awkward or unwieldy.

remington r1 double stack
The gun can be used for carry although it is easier when using an OWB holster and cover garment. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

Can you handgun hunt with the Remington R1 Enhanced DS?

The gun itself is fine for handgun hunting, but the caliber isn’t ideal. With a five inch barrel, it offers the best ballistics you’re likely to get from a handgun in 45 ACP. It’s certainly possible to use on coyotes, raccoons, and feral hogs. However, 45 ACP doesn’t perform as well as other calibers — like 10mm — when it comes to hunting. It’s not a caliber I’d recommend on deer. Even on feral hogs, there’s no room for error on shot placement. You must be familiar with the performance of your chosen ammo before using the gun for hunting. It’s not that it can’t do it, it simply isn’t a superior hunting caliber.

Should you get a Remington R1 Enhanced DS?

If you want a double-stack 1911 and prefer the classic 45 ACP chambering, the Remington R1 Enhanced DS might be the perfect fit. Among the best handguns manufactured by Remington, it’s quite well-made. The finish protects it from wear and the heavy steel frame makes it rugged and tough. In fact, it’s a favorite of mine. It’s a great option for range use and home defense, and, of course, you can use it as a daily carry gun. With the right gear, Government-sized 1911s are suitable for concealed carry. This excellent pistol has definitely proven itself.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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