Remington 1911 RAC BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Remington 1911RAC pistol
Remington’s 1911 RAC BB pistol is very realistic to look at and hold.

This report covers:

  • M1911A1
  • Why test the Remington?
  • The pistol
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • Magazine
  • Safeties
  • Disassembly?
  • Summary

M1911A1

For starters, let’s get the model right. The Remington 1911 RAC BB pistol isn’t a 1911, except through a broad use of the name. This gun is an M1911A1 model that has most of the updated characteristics of the Colt that were incorporated in changes made 1924-26.

The U.S. Army found that some soldiers had difficulty reaching the trigger, so the long 1911 trigger blade was shortened. Along with that change, scallops were machined into the both sides of the rear of the frame behind the triggerguard to provide additional clearance for short fingers. The short extension at the top of the grip safety was lengthened to prevent shooters with large hands from being cut by the slide as it moved in recoil. The wide cocking pad at the rear of the hammer was removed and the flat mainspring housing was arched to help some shooters point the pistol more naturally. The front sight was both widened and raised to make it easier to see and the notch in the rear sight was widened.

A pistol with these characteristics is properly called a 1911A1, though several of the features exist as replaceable parts (sights, grip safety, trigger blade, slide, hammer and mainspring housing), allowing owners to mix and match their guns at will.

Remington 1911RAC pistol and 1911A1
The 1911 RAC above a 1911 firearm. You can see the scallops and shorter trigger blade on the Remington. The 1911 has a 1911A1 grip safety installed. The original would have been shorter at the top.

Scallops in the frame is the only feature that cannot be switched between the 1911 and the 1911A1. If there are scallops, the gun is a 1911A1. Everything else is a part that can be swapped. I had about 40 1911A1s in my company arms room in Germany. Upon closer examination, though, many of those pistols had 1911 parts, since they were still in the supply system, where they could be ordered. The only things that were always 1911A1 were the larger sights and the frames with the scallops. My own 1911A1 had a flat mainspring housing, the wide hammer and a long trigger blade, since I prefer them.

Why test the Remington?

The Remington 1911RAC is one of the most realistic 1911-type BB pistols on the market today, and that’s saying a lot. There are quite a few very realistic models coming from from other manufacturers, so this one has to do a lot to compete.

Remington was one of the major makers of the 1911A1 firearm for the government in WW II. It was called a Remington Rand then and today their pistols are coveted by collectors.

The pistol

The 1911 RAC is an all-metal semiautomatic BB pistol. Everything you touch is metal except for the plastic grip panels. They resemble government grip panels that are also reddish-brown plastic. The gun offers realistic blowback action that should be good — given the weight of the metal slide, plus the fact that it fully recoils.

The metal is finished a dark matte black that resembles a phosphate military finish called Parkerization. The only drawback I can see is they have put white lettering on both sides of the the slide and frame. I find that distracting from what would otherwise be a very attractive pistol.

Remington 1911RAC pistol left
White writing on the gun detracts from the look.

The RAC has the older-style 1911 hammer that’s wider at the back. This is a popular feature that often gets replaced. It does nothing for the operation of the gun, but some people feel it makes the gun easier to cock. Their thumbs don’t slip off the wider pad as easily.

Since the 1911 platform is single action, cocking speed is essential to getting the gun into action quickly, so perhaps there is something to this. The normal carry for the pistol is with a round in the chamber and the hammer on the safe notch, and yes, the RAC does have the safe notch (the hammer pulled back one click). The gun is carried with the manual safety on. This is the safest way to carry the gun and still be ready to shoot.

Trigger

I tried the trigger, which is not adjustable. It’s 2 stages, but stage 2 is subtle and you can squeeze right through it. The hammer fall is dead, which means without vibration. The trigger is light and crisp and I think it’s going to be one of the best features of the gun.

The pistol weighs 2 lbs 1 oz, with a CO2 cartridge installed, while an unloaded 1911 weighs 2 lbs. 3 oz. So they are very close.

Sights

The sights are not adjustable. Both front and rear sights are cast in place, so they cannot be moved.

Remington 1911RAC pistol sights
The sights are fixed, but also sharp and easy to see.

Magazine

The magazine is a drop-free type that  releases when the button on the left side of the frame is pressed. It houses both the spring-loaded single stack BB magazine in front and the CO2 cartridge in the rear. The magazine holds 18 steel BBs. You know I will also try the pistol for you with the new Smart Shot BBs in both the velocity and accuracy tests.

The CO2 cartridge is pierced by a large Allen screw in the bottom of the magazine. The screw fits flush to the bottom of the magazine, so nothing protrudes down. An Allen wrench comes with the gun, but it cannot be stored on the gun, so you carry it with you when shooting.

Safeties

The grip safety works just as it does on the firearm. I tested it in the same way I test firerarm grip safeties and it functioned perfectly. The spring is light and you should have no trouble with the grip safety when shooting the gun. As long as you grip it normally — either right- or left-handed — it will work.

The manual safety also works the same as the safety on a 1911A1 firearm. It’s in the same place and is the same size and shape. The only difference is this one has an arrow and letters telling the shooter where safe is. After a half-century with a 1911 I feel this isn’t needed, but I do acknowledge there are a lot of new shooters who will probably like it.

Disassembly?

Yes, the pistol can be disassembled. The instructions are even in the owner’s manual, so they want you to know how. The parts are somewhat different from those of a 1911A1 firearm, but not so much as to be confusing.

Remington 1911RAC pistol disassembled
Some parts are different, but the 1911RAC can be disassembled in nearly the same way as the firearm.

Summary

I like what I see so far. This feels like a realistic gun, and with Smart Shot BBs it may make a good action pistol for us. We shall see.

50 thoughts on “Remington 1911 RAC BB pistol: Part 1



  1. If I get a co2 pistol anytime soon I may have to check this one out, definitely cant wait for the velocity test, if im flipping cans I want em singin’! Accuracy should be pretty good with the longer barrel. BB, question, you know how airsoft guns have “hop up”, a mechanism that puts back spin on the bb to make spin consistent and straight and airplane affect the higher pressire underneath it… would that be useful to steel shot bb guns? Smaller projectile but theory seems applicable no matter, and you can sometimes see bbs curve off left and right this should stop that, right?


    • Someone here came up with the idea of using a strategically placed magnet to pull the BB to the top of the barrel to put backspin on it.
      I’d really like to get a M712 before they’re all gone but I’ll be happy with my 2240 when it comes in,the HIPac kit for it is much less expensive than my 2400 was.


      • Reb,

        Get the M712, you will enjoy it. Just remember though, you will need extra magazines and lots of BBs and CO2 cartridges. Seriously. I shot one at the GTA Fun Shoot this past Spring. It was awesome! The cyclic rate is incredible!

        It does have a couple of drawbacks though. The magazines are difficult to load by hand. Well, maybe not so much difficult to load as slow. Most especially when you burn through a magazine in less than two seconds. A speed loader might work, though they do not have one specifically for this one. I also think it would be possible to modify the magazine in such a way that it would be easier. If you happen to get one, let me know and I will describe my idea to you and you can ponder it a bit.

        Another thing is the M712 is a CO2 hog. If you are careful, a CO2 cartridge is good for two magazine loads. What you will find is you will empty the magazine in the blink of an eye and be firing it without BBs. It does not have a stop to prevent this.

        It was fun to play with, but my personal interests are in a different direction. If I go to the Fun Shoot this coming Spring, I might bring a bunch of BBs and CO2 cartridges with me though. 😉


      • Reb.

        Interesting thought to try with the 499. Presicion barrel and precision bb’s. But,…since the bb’s are dropped down the barrel,….they may/will stick at the magnet point of attachment. Perhaps a bamboo bbq squewer to push it past the magnetized point? Maybe the bb will become magnetized? Some of those button sized magnets you can get in the craft section are extremely powerfull. Once on metal, you play holy heck getting them loose.

        The end cap screws out and with it comes the barrel still attached. Mmmmmm…….. 😉 Chris


        • Chris, I was thinking it was you that came up with that idea. Guess I’m glad I didn’t attribute it to you. I thought it was a decent idea but the only BB guns I have have the multi-shot tubes and was concerned about the BB’s getting stuck to the magnet causing feeding problems.


          • Reb,

            I did make a magnet releted comment awhile back,….but it had nothing to do with “back-spin”.

            I like the idea,…..I WILL be trying it to one degree or another! Thanks,…Chris


            • I have one Supermagnet that’s another 6mm in diameter that I’ve been using to mark the date on the calendar my apartment complex sends out every month that I found in the parking lot. It’s the strongest magnet of it’s size I’ve ever had and I’ve been saving it for a special project. I have no idea where it came from other than one of the posts that supports our covered parking.



              • Reb,

                The ones at Wally World craft section are 1/2″ dia. and about 1/8″ thick. INSANE power.

                You like playing with magnets,…play with those,…..Chris

                Side note….I got some RV levels and busted the vials out of the stick on casings and glued those magnets to them (1ea.). 2 on the end and 2 on the side of the vial. 4 vials total. I ended up getting a Hawke 11mm. scope level and I use the homemade scope levelers on the turrets to level the scope to the rifle. Works great as long as something on the scope has some ferrous content.



  2. Really like this report! First I want to Thank all the Veterans out there today for their service to our country! Thank you for this report! Couldn’t come at a better time! I have two 1911A1 45 cal. and third one in 22 cal. Semper Fi!!


  3. I bought one of these to compliment my Remington 1911R1 .45 ACP, and it’s my favorite BB pistol. The blowback action is great, and the accuracy for my poor performance is good. I bought a tin of the lead BBs but haven’t used them as yet. The only drawback that really irritates me is the magazine; when loading BBs you can’t lock the spring and have to hold it open with your thumbnail. It seems they could have a notch in the slot to hold the follower tab like other guns. And I agree, all of that white printing really detracts from the looks, but I still love mine.



      • I had the follower on my XBG slip and didn’t notice until I was almost done loading it. Talk about a mess! Coulda been a lot easier to fix if the mag wasn’t riveted and had screws instead.


    • I thought of the Remington 1911 when I saw this post. I hear very good reports about it as a relatively low-priced gun. There isn’t a lot of originality in the gun industry or probably in the world at large, but there sure is a lot of lateral activity in the form of applying old ideas. Reading about this bb pistol makes me conscious of the light and flimsy build of my airsoft 1911.

      Matt61


  4. B.B.,

    First, a thank you to all our veterans on this day.

    Second, I just looked up all of the CO2, blowback, all-metal 1911A and 1911A1 (excluding 1911 modern versions) BB pistols that are on the Pyramyd Air website. B.B., you, of course, are testing this one, the Remington 1911 RAC CO2 BB Pistol, $89.99, REM-89260, and you did a series of reports on the Winchester (Daisy) Model 11 BB Pistol, $89.99, DY-Model-11. The three others, listed alphabetically, are the Crosman GI Model 1911 CO2 Blowback BB Pistol, $69.99, CR-40021, the Swiss Arms 1911 CO2 BB Pistol, $99.99, PC28880, and the Tanfoglio Witness 1911 CO2 BB Pistol, $99.99, PC358003 (not to be confused with the plastic non-blowback Tangfolio Witness).

    Does anyone know if anyone has done a roundup of all five or even four of these? The Winchester/Daisy and Crosman seem to be different than the other three and different from each other. The other three seem to be the same air pistol from the same manufacturer (Wingun, perhaps?) but with different branding and maybe different finish. I have read that the Winchester/Daisy seems to have a slightly shorter blowback than some others. Can anyone shed light on all or many of these?

    Michael


    • Good job, Michael. I will address “the other three” in a general post. I will tell you now, though, that they are manufactured by KWC who in turn make variations for various distributors, Cybergun being prominent (I believe that may be KWCs own company). ~ken


  5. A safety concern: a 1911 firearm should not be carried with the hammer in the half-cock notch. If the gun should fall on the hammer it will likely fire. Three ways to carry are (1) loaded mag; empty chamber. (2) chamber loaded, hammer all the way down. (The inertia firing pin is not long enough to reach the primer with the hammer down; if the hammer is back the firing pin spring pushes the pin back so the hammer fall will propel it forward–beware after market pins) and (3) chamber loaded, hammer all the way back and safety on. If dropped on the hammer both the full and half cock notches would have to shear and leave enough energy to pop the primer.


    • Interesting, I thought that the half cock setting was a form of safety. What is its purpose it can’t be carried that way?

      I also thought that having the hammer down on a loaded chamber was not advised. As you say, there is probably not much danger if the hammer is struck. But it seems possible that the hammer could be inadvertently pulled back far enough to activate the firing pin.

      Matt61


      • The half cock is to catch the hammer if your thumb slips while cocking the hammer and the hammer is far enough back to fire the cartridge. If the hammer is not far enough back to activate the half cock, it’s probably not far enough back to fire the weapon. There is a possibility that the older 1911’s could fire if dropped on the muzzle. However the shot would be going downward. To prevent even this danger a firing pin block was added


  6. BB
    I agree with you about the white lettering on the gun. It looks like they went through alot of trouble to make the gun correct then did that lettering.

    I wonder if the white lettering could be removed without hurting the pistols black finnish.


    • Agreed, it looks tacky. It is amazing to me that Walther puts that banner logo on its firearms, not just its airguns.

      Thanks for your explanation about controlled power in cars. All I will add is that maybe that peppy feel that one reads about in the older cars is more a matter of perception that is tied to a lack of control. In some discussions, you read that some people like rough handling cars because they seem more powerful than smoother ones. The Dodge Viper, at least in earlier incarnations, was an example of this.

      Matt61


      • Matt61
        Especially if they are trying to copy a firearm to keep them similar. I think it’s cool they even put the tear down instructions in the manual. They went through alot to make that happen then the white lettering.

        And some of the old cars did handle and where fairly drivable. Alot of them that ran real hard was that there wasn’t very much of a useful powerband in the engine. If you were driving the car in that range the engine components where tuned for the cars ran great. But if you weren’t in that usable rpm range the cars could be a real dog.

        Try driving one of those 57 Chevy’s in the rain with a big cam and 4 speed and see what happens. If you where to low in rpm the engine was sluggish and didn’t want to go. Then you try to accelerate a little more and it would hit the rpm range where the engine wanted to start pulling and then the tires would spin.

        The same would happen with the high horsepower cars on dry pavement. It was very hard to control the power when it would come on. The new cars are more forgiving. More responsive and smoother the way the power comes on. So it makes them easier to control.

        Still when you put the pedal down on 700 horsepower you better hold on because your in for a fun ride. Be it a old car or new.
        🙂


    • GF1,

      I agree,…the TX is all black/blued,…the LGU black/blued, engraved to bare metal/silver,…the 92FS pistol silver with black lettering. Suggestion:,…..Pre-engrave and finish,…done.

      Everyones happy…….ok,…well maybe not the lawyers,…..prone to over-stating. The med. – end rifles seem to to a pretty good job of putting it on there and not having it be too obvious. Chris


  7. If the 1911 firearm pistol is equipped with a firing pin lock as with the Colt Series 80 1911, the gun won’t fire if the hammer is hit in a fall. The firing pin is only unlocked by this mechanism if the trigger is pulled. With the firing pin lock however, the trigger pull is not as smooth as with a gun not so equipped.

    I don’t know if these CO2 airgun 1911 shave a similar lock on their gas release valves, but I’ve seen hammer transfer bars on some CO2 airgun revolverss that would also prevent accidental discharges from the hammer being hit in a fall.


  8. Isn’t this essentially the same gun as the Swiss Arms and Tanfoglio 1911 BB guns? Don’t they all take the same magazines? I think the Umarex Colt Commander is also just another variant BB CO2 blowback pistol.


  9. B.B., I have been waiting for this report. I want to chime in there. As I looked through the comments I believe I can clear up a couple of things, only because this is something I have spent time looking into. Aside from an honorable mention for the Winchester Model 11, I will only address pistols with the same heredity.
    All pistols I list are manufactured by KWC. KWC starts with the same base and creates variants, which are then distributed by various distributors, something that seems to change now and then. I include only pistols that can be purchased from Pyramyd Air.
    1. Swiss Arms 1911 found under Swiss Arms
    2. Tanfaglio Witness found under Tanfaglio
    3. Colt Commander found under Colt – distributed by Umarex

    These are the three Michael asked about. There is one other we can purchase from PA, probably the black sheep of the family.
    4. Blackwater BW1911 R2 found under Blackwater.

    I bought three pistols before I purchased the Colt Commander. The Crosman 357, now the Vigilante with the same frame and different barrel structure. I can only shoot the 357 properly when I shoot in single action. For double action I have to place my hand high up the grip, too high. The other two are blow back and both have faults I won’t address. Then I got the Commander. It’s only a bb piston, but what a pistol. I have a birthday coming in early in December and I am going to treat my self to a the range to rent a 1911 for a bit. I have never even held a .45 ACP 19ll. Now I will find out just how close it resembles my Commander. I certainly realize the recoil will be different. I have shot a few .357s in my time so I think I’m up to it.

    I love the drop down magazine/cartridge holder, except for the pain of loading the bbs. One down side; if I want to shoot a lot of bbs without spending time reloading the magazine every 18 shots, I also need to install a co2 cartridge in each magazine.

    I am still interested in the Model 11, but I will almost immediately void the warranty by modding the manual safety to work properly. The M11 isn’t as authentic as this Remington; this next one is even less so.

    I bought the Crosman GI 1911; I will keep it but only because it will be part of my collection. I don’t need to criticize most things about it because I was already informed. However, once again, my hand just is barely large enough to reach the trigger nor is my index finger strong enough to handle the trigger weight past about eight pulls. I may have passed on this one had I done more research first.

    ~ken


    • Ken,

      The recoil of a 1911-framed pistol is light compared to a .357 revolver. It is slow and long and if you hold the gun right it just doesn’t bother most people.

      Hang the thumb of your shooting hand over the manual safety lever. On a government model this is harder, but on one with an extended safety it’s easy. That helps you control; the recoil. It’s more of a bounce than a snap.

      B.B.



      • B.B., I have spent more time working on my grip and aim with the Colt Commander than I have shooting it. I have watched videos and I have read how-to’s. I see that some top shooters vary in there methods somewhat. I will see how much my dry runs have helped or hindered me; well sort of, I don’t have any base line to compare to. We’ll see. ~ken


      • B.B.,

        In addition to that technique for one-hand shooting, Jerry Miculek recommends for two-hand shooting, to ride the web of your shooting hand as high up on the hook as possible, and to put a narrow strip of skateboard tape on the front and curve of the trigger guard for gripping that with your off-hand index finger.

        Michael


    • That’s quite a birthday present you have planned for yourself. I’ll be interested to hear the results. I remember the first time my Dad discharged a 1911, he acted stunned for a moment as if you could not comprehend the power. But if you’ve fired .357s, you shouldn’t have any difficulty. That caliber, the biggest pistol caliber I’ve shot is the only one that has made a significant impact on my hand, almost to the point of pain, even with the correct grip. I can believe that it was designed to shoot armored gangster cars making it anti-vehicular.

      B.B.’s advice on the 1911 has worked well for me. Here is one additional observation I’ve made. Putting your thumb on the manual safety gives an extra sense of control. But I’ve always wondered how you avoid abrasions from the slide that is moving at hundreds of miles per hour only fractions of inches away. I take care to position my thumb towards the outside of the manual safety, but I’ve never had the slightest problem in hundreds of rounds. Maybe this is a tribute to the ergonomics of John Browning. As one other note, when you put your thumb on the safety, it may, depending on the shape of your hands, remove just enough pressure from the grip safety to prevent the gun from firing. If that happens, just apply more pressure, molding your hands into the grip.

      Matt61


      • Thanks, Matt. I am making a note of your suggestions also. I may have to experiment (as safely as possible). I look forward to giving a report of my experience, if not my score. ~ken


    • Ken,

      Yep, the Colt Commander and Blackwater are the same, I just didn’t include them as they are modernized (cool to have adjustable sights). The Colt is handsome as all get out, but the Blackwater’s graphic is tacky, IMO.

      Despite the priciness of an extra mag that also contains the CO2 powerlet, you might consider it to be a benefit in the long run. Shoot 18 rounds, replace the empty of BBs and now cold magazine with a loaded and warm magazine, and that is a great fix for the temperature effect of the CO2 being expelled. I have decided that having the CO2 and BBs in the same magazine is a preferable way to do it, despite the extra expense with the extra mags.

      Except for the very long trigger pull of the Crosman, what do you think of it?

      Michael


      • Michael, I agree and understand why you excluded the two pistols. We were after slightly different ends. I wanted to report that all of the pistols I listed are made by KWC and all have the exact same base. As you say, these two are modernized.

        Tacky is a good word to describe the Blackwater, but you and I aren’t 14 any longer.

        BTW, I definitely prefer the white dot sights to the original.

        I have decided to address your question about the Crosman GI 1911 in the current blog. Some others may find it interesting or at least somewhat informative.

        ~ken


  10. Perhaps my one objection to the 1911 design is that the grooves on the slide are so shallow that it’s hard to get a good grip on them. That’s one reason that I rack the slide by grabbing it over the barrel. However, I’ve found with my CZ 75 SP-01 that the grooves at the rear of the slide are cut in such a way that it is easy to grasp the pistol from the rear. In part this is a necessity as the slide is set so low in the frame that you can’t grab it nearly as easily over the barrel.

    But this and the generally good ergonomics of the CZ have me wondering if in fact it is a superior pistol design. This is a momentous question I have struggled with! My information is that the CZ 75 is the single most popular law enforcement and military pistol in the world and apparently it is at least as popular as the 1911 in elite shooting competition. After due thought, I’m still giving the prize to the 1911. The CZ 75 feels like a lot of very good ideas put together. But the 1911 has a kind of coherent purpose that is the mark of genius. It is thin in its width like a tiger but still big and solid. And where the CZ has grooves and contours, especially in the grip, the 1911 has a kind of straight line perfection everywhere that simply can’t be improved on. But I still have to shoot the CZ.

    Thanks to all of our veterans. God bless you for your service!

    Matt61


    • Matt61, I have had one opportunity to hold and shoot a CZ 75B in 9mm, one unforgettable opportunity. I don’t have a lot of handgun experience, but as it stands, a Colt Commander .45 and a CZ 75 top my list. Still, these are for owning and shooting; they may not be the best for what I may need at any given moment. I suppose the main thing is to go for the best quality, no matter what fire arm. Have you looked at the CZ 75 in .45. The double stacked magazine suggests that small hands need not apply.

      ~ken


    • Matt, I believe I comprehend you remark about racking the slide by grabbing it over the barrel. Although it isn’t much an issue for me, I believe this could be a show stopper in a combat situation; it would just take longer to get on target (I have only run through this mentally so I have no idea how it may play out in the real world).

      You mentioned the over the barrel racking being low in the frame. I see that, but I do like how the slide rides inside the frame.

      ~ken


      • Ken,
        The .45 is actually a pretty tame and easy to manage gun. You shouldn’t have a problem just don’t put a Gorilla death-grip on it and it will come together quickly for you, my first shot with one was at a soda can placed on a piece of ‘re-bar through the drinking hole from 15yds.
        When I hit it the rebar almost laid down backward and spring the can about 10’ straight up.
        I was about 14 years old and never been bigger than I am now.


        • Reb, thank you for telling me about your experience and filling in some of the details. I am feeling confident every day. You know, there are really two parts. First is familiarity with the pistol, getting a good grip and stance. The second part is about sighting and hitting the intended target. I look forward to this. I may do a couple of things initially that I don’t want to continue to do. I just want to feel in person what all of you are telling me. For instance, I plan to start using the Weaver stance. I’ll feel less like a bowling pen waiting to get knocked over. Once I get a feel for it I’ll try the Isosceles stance. After that, if I am attacked by zombies I’ll take whatever stance I can get. ~ken


  11. You will find the recoil on a 1911 more of a “push” rather than the “snap” of the .357. The .357 is much sharper in recoil. Also, the nature of the 1911 being semi-automatic is that a large amount of the recoil is taken up during the cycling process of the action.

    Silver Eagle


    • Silver Eagle, thank you. You and the others have given me information I didn’t already have. The comparison of 1911 .45ACP to a .357 is not something I had thought about or have come across in my reading and video watching. I really appreciate that you took the time to tell me these things. ~ken


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