I have handled the R1 Carry Commander again… This time taking a good hard critical look at it. Dang if I can’t find a fault in it. The action is super smooth, not too tight, not too loose – it’s totally Goldilocks. This is just about the most flawless Commander I’ve seen for production 1911’s. The finish inside was excellent. I’m impressed, Remington. Very impressed. This gun is a contender for the next 1911 I get. It really is. If you get a chance to look at one at your local gun seller – take a good look at it and tell me what you think.
My current picks for the best production 1911’s you can buy. I’m going to roll with some specific guns and give some more details. But following the recent AR-15 article pattern, I’m going to stick with regular production 1911’s and not touch on Custom and Semi-Custom. Otherwise this list would be all about Nighthawk, Ed Brown, Les Baer, and Wilson Combat.
1. Springfield Armory: I’m putting Springfield as a top choice because their guns are consistently well above par, and their customer service just might be The Best in the entire gun industry. Their policy is that they want you to be happy with your gun. So you can buy a Springfield without hesitation. Any complaints I have heard about Springfield usually involved the person having some extreme form of Unrealistic Expectations. “I had a problem with my GI Model so I think Springfield should give me a TRP! With a 3 day turn around!” That kind of thing.
Picking 3 guns out of their line up, the TRP, the MC Operator, and the Champion LW Operator. (Champion being Springfield lingo for “Commander”) I would really like to see Springfield do a “CCO” type pistol, and Loaded LW Commander, er… Champion.
As some do not know, MARSOC was buying and using the Springfield MC Operators for years and years before Colt snagged the contract. Considering Colt’s new CEO is a former Marine General… Hmmm… I’m sure that contract award was completely legit.
2. SIG. SIG really hit the ground running making just what could be best overall 1911’s you can buy. Problem with them though, is that they departed from tradition with a sharp turn. Non traditional external dimensions/profiles, with external extractors. Then they came out with their “Tradition” series – which does look like a regular 1911, but still has that exterior extractor. However, these guns are so good… I just love them. Very much so. Their C3 and RCS are amazing CCW guns. And this gun here…. It hits all the right buttons. Make this a Commander sized, SIG. Please. You can’t go wrong with a SIG 1911.
3. PARA USA. It’s not a secret that I’ve just never really cared for Para’s guns. But ever since Para Ordinance became Para USA, they have been making huge strides. Their LDA trigger system, I still don’t care for. If you like it, that’s fine. I just don’t. However their regular 1911’s… They have evolved into guns that are just excellent. Their new Black Ops 1911 is unquestionably a fine 1911 handguns by any measure. But it’s their Elite series that I really dig. Simple, no front slide serrations… and this one is almost perfect. Just please, get rid of that fiber optic FSP. I’ll take a regular tritium FSP, thank you. I’ve talked with some of the guys from PARA USA, and they are taking their guns very seriously. They want to be the best. And you know what? They keep on this road, they sure will be. I’m liking where they are going.
4. Remington’s 1911 R1. This comes as a surprise to me… but Remington’s R1 family of 1911’s are just flat out excellent. All of Remington’s problems do not exist in or effect their 1911’s. And they are offering these well built and solid 1911’s at extremely reasonable prices. They make one that I would be very tempted to add to my own collection. Tell me that isn’t just gorgeous. Remington is using a very good steel alloy, and are sporting very nice finishes.
Now if they could just put this attention to detail into the Marlin Lever Actions – I’d be a happy happy Ogre.
5. STI. Specifically, STI’s Lawman 4.0, and the Nitro 10. I favor the Single Stacks, and I favor the guns that use the bushings… but that Nitro 10 is just too cool, so I can forgo the bushing requirement.
6. Dan Wesson. Because Dan Wesson. Their Bobtail Commanders are probable the most FLAWLESS 1911’s I’ve ever seen that didn’t cost more than a good used car. Their 10mm Razorback is just too damn good. But the ones to really look hard at, are the Valor Black and the CCO. Perfection. Where is the Valor Black Commander though? Oh, and hey, CZ USA – Make these in 10mm as well. I don’t really dig the Titan 10, because I don’t hunt Vampires, professionally, so I don’t need all the race-gun hints. I want a clean and simple 1911, in 10mm… that’s not stainless.
Here’s what I look for in a 1911: Simplicity and understated elegance. I don’t like bushingless bull barrels. I don’t like full length guide rods. I really don’t even particularly care for ambi-safeties. And the one thing I really don’t like – but they are almost universal… The Novak style ramped rear sights. But I can live with it. I will also stay away from anything that even resembles a “Series 80″. I prefer Commander length barrels. The 4″ to 4.25″ barrel lengths. They balance just right to me. I do prefer if I can get it, the light weight frames, but will take solid steel happily. I also do not like extended slide releases and safety levers. The “Tear Drop” style safety lever is my favorite. I do prefer a bobbed hammer or commander style hammer, followed up with a nice wide high ride beaver-tail. Those work for me.
One to keep an eye on: Rock Island Armory is getting better and better, not every year, but every day. They are like the Kia Motors of 1911’s… they used to be cheap and laughable, but now they will make you turn your head, “What is that? THAT’s a Kia?!?” RIA is having that same effect. While not one of my top choices now, they could be at some point in the future sooner than anyone could expect.
Remington was once known as Big Green. They were huge and they were moving. Winchester had dropped the Model 70 and Savage wasn’t even an option… Brownings and Sakos were for the rich and famous. The Model 700 was dominant as the bolt action for the Every Day Man. The only shotgun worth having was the 870 for serious field use. Remington rifles were known for accuracy and quality. The shotgun for rugged durability. There was no question about this. These were Remington’s halcyon days.
Now we’ve had yet another recall on Remington 700 and 7 triggers. Remington only original pistol design the 51 was brought back and it’s looking like a major flop. Remington’s acquisition of Marlin has been regarded as a death knell for Marlin as a brand as the quality control of those storied lever action rifles has fallen through the floor. The ACR rifle which was the great promise of freeing us all from the doldrums of AR-15’ness has fallen flat on it’s face from a lack of the Barrel Conversions as promised to change lengths and calibers. We were supposed to have had them a long time ago, and here we are in 2014 and we still don’t have what what promised. You know, the whole major selling point of the ACR other than “it’s not an AR-15″. I’ve even seen and heard other guys talk about the Remington 1911 in tones of disappointment and regret. Even Remington brand ammunition is pretty much my least favorite ammo out there. In fact, I’d rather shoot steel cased Wolf stuff through my guns. A common theme in the remarks about any Remington product is “I’ll never buy another Remington again”.
It would seem that Remington is caught in a Huey Tuck of unfortunate failures, and doesn’t have the altitude to pull out of it. What can Remington do to prevent the impending doom of crashing through the tree tops?
First off, Remington needs to concentrate on quality control. Every gun that goes out there door needs to be individually inspected by a Gun Smith, not just a packaging clerk in the shipping department. And that needs it’s own QC there too. The actions, triggers, extraction and ejection, everything. If it’s not perfect – don’t just ship the bloody thing!
Second. There is no valid reason that there are not a plethora of barrel kit options for the ACR platform. None. Zero. Any reason you think you have, is just as excuse. Get them out there and get it out at a decent price. Have barrel options for 12 to 20 inches in all applicable calibers. Just do it. You have a whole mess of people waiting for those and a whole lot of other people that would be buying the ACR if they were actually available. ACR Barrel Kits are now Vaporware on the same level as the fabled Glock Carbine.
Thirdly. Just drop the R51 pistol. Continual production and sales of this lemon is putting Remington at risk. A gun that can fire out of battery is a gun that is waiting to Frag its owner and cause serious bodily harm. That’s a mountain of liability that you do not need right now. Someone is going to get hurt and they are going to go after you tooth and nail for producing this thing. And with all the videos on YouTube showing that this is a known and documented issue – you guys are already in trouble on this. It’s just a matter of time before someone files. It should be recalled and discontinued. Or recall it and do a radical redesign. I’m sure there are people at Remington that know how to make the R51 work. You need to listen to them. And fire whoever is keeping them quiet.
Fourth. Get rid of the Corporate Yes-Men and start telling people in the upstairs offices “No”. Because not all the ideas have been good ones. Like the 887 Shotgun. That’s a terrible gun. It’s no improvement over the 870, and it feels cheap and wrong. What’s the advantage? No, don’t answer that, I don’t need to hear the propaganda. That was just a bad idea.
Fifth. Marlin. You guys really stomped all over the Marlin name. The quality control has been the worst I’ve ever seen. In the production and in the Warranty department. Absolutely the worse. Quality Control there was an absolute joke. We had new guns come in that we couldn’t even get the actions to cycle and we would have returns come back from warranty service missing parts in areas that were unrelated to what they were sent in for. I don’t know how they managed to fail so hard. Who is working in the Marlin department? Chimps? I know things have gotten better. But that’s a low hurdle to mark down as an achievement. When Rossi is making a better Lever Action – that’s just sad.
Take a look at Taylor’s and Wild West Guns and look at how they are making some guns that people are wanting… How come you do not have anything like that? Where is your take down? What year is this now? Where are your winged and adjustable aperture sights?
I don’t know guys… Can Remington be redeemed? Or have they fallen too far now?
The shotgun remains the most versatile arm we have in our armories. For home defense, it is without equal. Yet they are always forgotten and neglected. They are not the guns that people pull out to show friends. The classic 870 Remington is still my favorite. Now, my friends at Scalpel Arms have taken the 870 to heart as well… They did the 870 proud.
The finish is pure art… but what I like about it best is the 12.5″ Barrel. It looks good… nice and tight. And done right, will still shoot very well. But I think I like 14″ the best… but I’m not sure. I need to test both side by side to see which works the best.
Well, let’s just get this out of the way. I have a new desk calendar, so that means it’s a whole new year. I’m really not all that hyped about the whole New Years thing. This just means we’re all a little older and we still keep plugging along doing what we’re doing… except now we’re doing it with 58 Billion in new taxes and 40,000 new laws. This also means we get to start worrying about Taxes and all that… Let me find my party whistle for that.
I started out 2014 as optimistic as ever, but that faded faster than my list of New Years Resolutions. Which was first to have one. I couldn’t find it. SO.
For us Gun Guys, the New Years means getting ready for SHOT SHOW which is in a couple weeks. Why is SHOT always in January? Really it needs to be in March. March is a much more reasonable time. Spring time. The new beginning. Where as January is the dead of winter and I’ve yet to travel to or from SHOT without having to use Four Wheel Drive at some point. Well, Last year I did drive a 4×4, but didn’t engage it. We were however engaged by Homeland Security armed with HK MP5 topped with EOtechs… And this year I’m looking at a lack of snow and now suddenly wondering if I should fly to Salt Lake and rent a 4×4 for good luck. Alas, the flight is already booked and the down side is that the flight plan actually takes me to LAX before rebounding back to Vegas. So not only do I have to enter California, but I’ll be in Los Angeles of all places. I must have been unusually cruel to puppies in another life. But still… SHOT SHOW. I’ve got a schedule of meetings I’m putting together, and in between, I’m going to be looking at some of the New Hotness.
Already there is much buzz about the Remington R-51 pistol, which you have all already seen. Quick note to all those telling to look at the Remington R-51 Pistol. Yes, we’ve seen the new Remington R-51 and are blown away by the resurrection of the strange design from 1917 that was then a commercial failure but will now be a dramatic renaissance. It is a good looking pistol and different from what is current fashion. We are sure it will sell like hot cakes. However it does not impress me. The action seems wonky to me and I don’t like it. While it has some nice features, I’m just not as impressed as some folks. I eagerly await the return of the Savage 1907 and the Borchardt C-93. I shall start saving immediately. But I’ll look at this new R-51 and give it a fair shot. I will strive to be open minded, as I always am and will freely admit that I was wrong if it turns out that I am. I’ve changed my opinions on many things as new information comes to light. So while I’m not impressed in the slightest, if it feels good in the hand, if it has a good trigger, those are certainly pluses. But reliability is my main concern and reliability will not be proven at SHOT Show.
This was one of those “What the hell, I’ll try it” sort of things. With a big “I’m glad I did” sort of results. I was in the market for a new stock, but not exactly for a pistol grip… so I’d likely have passed this up until our friend Ryan Horst at Tannerman’s Trading Company offered this to me.
This is a synthetic product that is reminiscent of the results of the old school mod of chopping down a standard wood stock. It’s got that look and feel, but with a better finish. Compared to some other pistol grip, or Breacher grips out there, this has a better look and feel. Better in that it looks more traditional. It is both solid and comfortable and during recoil, it feels more comfortable than most standard pistol grips out there.
Mounted on a standard factory Remington 870 HD model, it helps make for a nice compact Home Defense weapon. It begs to be used on an SBS or AOW shotgun. The Raptor Grip is not for everyone. The purpose is more specifically CQB in tighter areas, or for where you need to transport a potent weapon in as compact a package as possible. This isn’t for any Duck Commanders out there.
You can see it removes a lot of length from the weapon, while keeping a legal OAL. Any shorter here and I’d have to be doing some ATF Paperwork.
Available from Shockwave Technologies. For the Remington 870, NEF and H&R Clones, and IAC Hawk shotguns. Also available for Mossberg 500 and those related shotguns.
My favorite gun is the classic old Remington 870.
I’ve got one just like this one… And it’s my personal favorite. An old Police trade in. Very basic. Mine has a two shot extension, but otherwise identical.
Looking through all my guns… I just gotta say that my very favorite gun is the Remington 870 that was traded in from the local Police Department. There is nothing special about it. It’s just an old 870.
I keep coming back to it.
It’s got rifle sights. Extended feed tube. Side Saddle. That’s it. And it’s perfect.
Just read that Remington has acquired TAPCO. That’s interesting. Because as much as Remington has turned MARLIN into a major SNAFU, they have been doing very well the Tactical stuff. Bushmaster and DPMS – for all their flaws – has been made better by Big Green. AAC, the guys that make some serious use Suppressors has had some more attention as well. Remington is putting a huge amount of effort into the Tactical Category. I find this very interesting. And now TAPCO. Well, if anything, Remington can’t screw up TAPCO, makers of cheap crap to hang off your AR. Sure, some of it isn’t bad I guess, functional, and does what it is supposed to do.
I still find the MARLIN, H&R, New England Arms purchase to be most curious. Remington wanted to get into the Lever Action business and has just about completely ruined Marlin because of it. But then again, Marlin was on a downhill slope to begin with. But I still find it funny that Remington is still having Marlin make their Savage Clones, and New England is still importing their Chinese made 870 knock-offs. I don’t get this. Did Remington really need to get into the Cheap Gun market? Or did they need to get into the Lever Market?
I tell you what though, Remington needs to get back into the Hunting market. That’s what built Big Green into Big Green. The Tactical Market has far too many competitors and Remington is gambling big time on the possibility of future Military Contracts. And while they are concentrating on Fighting Guns, the Hunting Gun market is slipping out of their grasp.
If I was going to buy a hunting rifle right now – whatever caliber – I’d be looking at Sako A7’s, Tikka, or Browning. The T3’s have come a long way and are consistently impressive with their accuracy. Browning rifles have never disappointed, in fact, their X-Bolt rifles are a top choice. I’ve not seen one that looked like it was the last rifle slapped together on a Friday evening. I’ve not seen one that couldn’t shoot. They are building them right.
Back to TAPCO. Why would Remington need to buy TAPCO? I would have thought Remington would have rather swallowed up MAGPUL, considering that they are already using a lot of MAGPUL stuff in their BushyPanthers. The MOE line is almost as universal as “A2″ Furniture. Are they going to stop using MAGPUL now and go TAPCO Intrafuse? That would be a mistake, but if they own the brand, they are going to want to pimp it as much as possible. And I’ll be honest, I’d rather not have anything TAPCO on any of my AR’s.
So why TAPCO?
What does TAPCO do in the Tactical Market that no one else is really doing? AR SWAG? No… Shotgun shit? Cheap ass stocks for your Mini-14 and SKS? No. You know what comes to my mind when I first think of TAPCO?
AK-47’s. They are the Go To Guys for your AK parts. Their stocks are industry standards, and if you want a Trigger then you have to get the TAPCO G3 trigger. The only company really doing anything else for your Kalish is US PALM, but they are small potatoes compared to TAPCO’s market penetration into the AK sector.
Does this mean that REMINGTON might get into the AK business? Well, yeah, they just did. But are we going to see an R-47 rifle? Hmmm…
Please make a few versions of the Model Seven in 6.5 Creedmore. I see you can get them in .260, which is cool, but the 6.5 Creedmore (which does the same thing) is actually getting market traction where the .260 is pretty much a commercial flop. IE – You clowns woudn’t even chamber your own R-25 Rifle in it! Come on! Well, the 6.5 is the commercial winner.
CDL and BDL versions would be great, and they need to be done. But also a few more slightly different.
An SPS Varmint style stocked 16″ threaded Heavy Barrel for one.
A version of the Predator without camo, and with ATACS or Mulitcam.
A Synthetic Scout configuration with iron sights.
Offer these same variants in .308 as well. Thank you.
I really like the little Model Sevens. They just may be the sweetest bolt action rifles on the planet. The problem that they have is that Remington really doesn’t know how to market them and most Gunners don’t even know what they are or consider them to be guns for Chicks and Kids. This is unfortunate as the gun community is seriously overlooking what is potentially the best option for those looking a compact lightweight rifle.
I might be Geeking out a bit on the 6.5 Creedmore, but i’m thinking it just might be the best cartridge out there for serious use (Killing Things) in a Short Action. And the Model Seven would be the ideal fit for it.