2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rebirth of the Regent 1911

I know that sounds funny to read after just getting the pistol a few months ago, but I must say it is quite true.  I bought the Regent R100 1911-A1 as a journey into the world of budget 1911's to see whether it could live up to its own marketing hype.  What I found was a solid shooter that ate everything I shoved into it and stayed fairly true to its 1911-A1 heritage.  It did suffer from a few minor gripes on my part...

  • The trigger pull was heavy, just like an issue 1911...
  • Its sights were too tiny for my aging eyes to use at times, just like an issue 1911...
  • Its grip safety rubbed the webbing between my thumb and forefinger..

Well, a trip to the internet to get a replacement grip safety with matching hammer, sear and trigger and an "improved" GI style rear sight seemed to put me on the path to getting these issues fixed.  I tried to install the parts myself as Wilson markets them as "drop in parts" but to no avail.  Upon dropping off at a gunsmith that works out of one of my LGS locations he confirmed that "while guns are sold as spec 1911's, often there are minor differences in dimensions that make installation of critical parts for the professionals.  Fair enough said I and handed it over to him.  I got it back this Saturday, money well spent. This pistol shoots totally different now.  Take a look at the "before and after" pics...



Not a huge amount of changes but the beavertail allows me to get a higher grip on the pistol bringing the now improved sights onto the target more naturally.  The increased sight picture afforded by the wider notch on the rear allows me to clearly see light bars on either side of the front blade and gets it on target quicker.  I have painted the front ramp with some orange paint but will probably change that out to some bright green paint I have, it just seems to work better with my eyes on picking it up.  The install of the new rear notch has changed the POI of the rounds somewhat (now higher up on the target, a 6 O'Clock hold seems to work now) but I am grouping better thanks to the rest of the upgrades.

The sear I bought was not needed so he installed the other parts (including the trigger which I thought would be a no go after talking to him a week ago!) and gave them a good fitting and polish.  The trigger now breaks crisper and much more lightly than the original stock trigger on the unit.  I took it to Kev's tonight and he confirmed that this was also his observation.  The only thing I noticed is that the safety does not "click" into the safe position (up) now like I remember, it works and will not come off safe unless deliberately pressed, but it is notifiable to me that it is not as crisp as I remember.

The only other issue I came across was a nasty FTE on one round out of a box of Winchester white box ammo....I have thrown over 400 rounds down the pipe in this now and that is the first hiccup...I am going to write it off on ammo for now until (if) it happens again...no reloading this guy....

Just for the record the work was done by Brian at The Powder Room in Powell, Ohio and the entire install was done for $50!! That's cheap considering he told me installing the "GI style" sight took over 2 hours in itself to accomplish and he gave it a trigger job to boot.  At those prices I will have to take it back and have him give the mag well a slight bevel to the edge as well.

Now getting back to the original purpose of buying a cheap 1911 to have one...I spent $460 on the pistol, another $120 on parts to improve it and $50 on labor to have it done right...all of that equal $730.....not exactly in the budget gun range now...and I just found a guy who will sell me a SR1911 for 10% over cost at about $600....  You can see where sometimes budget isn't so budget once you get to where you want to be.

Anyway, not really looking to get rid of the Regent at this point, it shoots just fine and is now more comfortable and user friendly to the operator.  Still a fine pistol for anyone in the market for a 1911.

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