In 2010, seventy years after the company made its first 1911 in Ilion, New York, Remington Arms restarted production of the classic Model 1911. Since then, the Remington 1911 line, the production of which will move later this year from Ilion to Huntsville, Alabama, has grown to include five models, including the most specialized model—the 1911 R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel.
The pistol tested for this article is a limited-edition, branded R1 made for Advanced Armament Corp. AAC is one of a stable of firearms and accessory companies owned by Freedom Group, which also owns the Remington, Bushmaster, Para-Ordnance and Marlin brands. The AAC 1911 is nearly identical to the 1911 R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel. However, the grips and markings are distinct from the Remington variant. The AAC 1911 has gray VZ “Grenade” AAC logo grips, and the slide is prominently laser engraved with “Advanced Armament Corp” on the left and has a light etching of the AAC “skull and crossed guns” logo on the right. The AAC 1911 comes in a Pelican plastic case with custom cut foam interior to fit the pistol, suppressor, extra magazines and tools.
The AAC 1911 is AAC’s second branded pistol, following a 1911 made several years ago by Nighthawk Custom. That pistol was a custom gun with a much higher MSRP, while the current offering is more affordable but still has features that appeal to suppressor users.
The AAC 1911 and Ti-RANT .45 suppressor are only available as a complete package sold by distributor AcuSport to Class III dealers. AcuSport explains that this is the first time that a pistol and suppressor have been sold together, and it will likely appeal to the collector market.
The AAC 1911 is a full-size pistol made from a forged carbon steel slide and cast frame. It is shipped in a sturdy, foam-lined case with slots custom cut for the pistol, magazines, cleaning rod and Ti-RANT .45 suppressor.
The AAC 1911 locking system is the conventional Browning design that uses a swinging link to attach the barrel block to the pistol’s frame via the slide stop pin and the standard recoil spring guide rod that allows disassembly without tools.
Like all Remington 1911 pistols, the AAC 1911 incorporates what many call the “Series 80” firing pin safety, named after what Colt referred to this system as when it first was released. The Series 80 system incorporates a spring-loaded plunger into the slide that prevents the firing pin from moving forward unless the trigger is depressed. The design allows pistols to be carried with a round in the chamber, because dropping the pistol on its muzzle would not move the firing pin forward to strike the primer. The original 1911 design lacked this feature, as do other current production models that use other drop-safe designs.
Most 1911 pistols sold today have many features (extended beavertail grip safety, lowered/flared ejection port, skeletonized trigger, lightened hammer for faster lock time, etc.) that, two decades ago, would have been considered customization. The AAC 1911, however, has all of these and adds some additional touches that have real value for the shooter, especially when running a suppressor.
The fixed sights are high profile to allow a sight picture with the front sight just barely clearing the edge of the Ti-RANT suppressor. These sights are high quality, durable and made of steel, with fine horizontal serrations on the rear edges to reduce glare and lend a crisp image to the shooter. They also have a single white dot on the front and a smaller dot just under the notch on the rear to make them easier to see and align to deliver a quick shot. Unlike many rear sights, there are no sharp edges to cut your hands. The best feature is the shape of the rear sight, which acts as a cocking ledge should an injured operator need to rack the slide one-handed by hooking the sight onto a holster, belt buckle or boot. Adjustment for windage is done by loosening a set screw and drifting the rear sight in its dovetail.
Get A Grip
A lot of care has been taken to give the shooter a very secure grip on the AAC 1911. The VZ G10 grips have aggressive checkering and both the flat steel mainspring housing and the “memory bump” on the extended grip safety have 20-lpi checkering. The frontstrap has vertical serrations. The forged carbon steel slide has front serrations for doing a press chamber check. Both the front and rear slide serrations are distinct enough to get a grip but do not feel too sharp.
For improved ergonomics, the pistols controls are slightly larger than is typically standard on a 1911. The magazine release is longer while the safety lever is wider and better shaped to allow the shooter easy access and manipulation.
The AAC 1911 has a lightened, skeletonized, medium-length trigger that has a screw to adjust overtravel. To keep the pistol stealthy, the aluminum trigger has been treated with black oxide. The AAC 1911 also has a match-grade, blackened stainless steel barrel threaded .578-28 and treated with black oxide finish.
Handling The Skulls
Accuracy testing was conducted using a Caldwell rest at 25 yards, which is CH testing protocol for full-size pistols. The AAC 1911 shot very well with the average size of all groups well under 3 inches. It’s been my experience that Remington firearms tend to shoot most accurately using Remington ammo, and the AAC 1911 was no exception to the rule. The best single groups of 0.94 inches and 0.98 inches were shot using Remington 230-grain full metal jacket (FMJ) and Hornady 200-grain jacketed hollow-point (JHP) loads, respectively, measured at the centers of all shots. Average group size of the Remington ammo was a very respectable 1.75 inches.
“The AAC 1911 worked flawlessly with the Ti-RANT…There was no muzzle flash, and it reduced the sound signature substantially…”
The AAC 1911 was also tested with the Ti-RANT .45 suppressor. At 8.74 inches long, the Ti-RANT is a full-size suppressor that makes the entire unit 17.25 inches long. The AAC 1911 worked flawlessly with the Ti-RANT with a 4-inch shift in point of impact at 25 yards (as noted in the sidebar, the Ti-RANT can be tuned to the pistol to minimize any change in point of impact). There was no discernable muzzle flash, and it reduced the sound signature substantially when used dry or wet with 5cc’s of water poured into the front of the suppressor. AAC states that the average dry/wet sound reduction of the Ti-RANT is 30/41 decibels.
Using a pistol equipped with a suppressor almost always compromises the sight picture because the sights are not high enough to clear the edge of the can. Though the sights on the AAC 1911 are high profile, the Ti-RANT’s 1.38-inch diameter still occludes some of the sight blades. Adding a Leupold DeltaPoint reflex sight will help the shooter reacquire targets rapidly, as it gives an aiming point high enough to clear the suppressor.
The AAC 1911 is both a collectible piece and a very good shooter. It is one of only a few pistols that come from the factory equipped with a cocking ledge rear sight that will set you back about a $100 if added later. This feature is something that I would recommend for any tactical pistol. The AAC 1911 may be hard to find given its limited production, but the nearly identical Remington Enhanced Threaded Barrel 1911 is currently produced.
For More Information
Advance Armament Corporation
This article was originally published in the November 2014 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS. Subscription is available in print and digital editions below.