I try not to go into the beginning stages of any gun review allowing expectations to sway me one way or another. But sometimes you can’t help it. This was the case when I first took the all new Regent R200S 1911 to the range to start my review. My expectations were high. VERY high.
Spoiler Alert!!!: I write honest and objective gun reviews. Never negative. I want that to be clear about that up front and be sure that when you read this handgun review or watch the video review, you need see them through to the end, I promise there’s a happy ending. Partially read reviews, assumption and hearsay are how ugly rumors get started. And I’m not a fan of any of those things.
So, simply enough, I took this brand new all stainless 1911 chambered in .45 ACP out for its paces supplied only with some paper targets and the single factory magazine. What I found that first time out was supremely frustrating. Just about every magazine load had at LEAST one failure to feed, some had a couple. With continued use it seemed like things were getting worse as when I would insert and seat the magazine fully only to find the top loaded round would shoot out of the magazine and become lodged somewhere in the chamber/ejection port area. Adding to the frustration even more was the fact I had forgotten to bring any reliable aftermarket 1911 magazines with me to the range that day. A quick inspection revealed that the feed lips on the stock magazine were apparently slowly working their way open and failing to retain the rounds properly. Frustrating. With a little hammering and bending on the table I found I could jury rig the mag just enough to function properly for a few mags through before it would start to fail all over again.
I figured the problem was one of two things: either the rounds were failing to feed because the feed area was way too rough and unfinished, or the magazine was absolute and total junk. Or both.
Intuitive as I am I ran to my gunsmith buddy, Stan and asked him to polish the throat of the chamber and the feed ramp on the frame of the R200S and his inspection confirmed what I had noted earlier. Which was a pretty rough finish job in terms of polishing of the feed area if any at all. It took him approximately 30 seconds to return with a mirror finish just as I had hoped.
Second, I collected as many aftermarket 1911 magazines I could find for a second test at the range, most of which were generously loaned to me by my buddy Roy whose Nighthawk you saw last summer. Wilson Combat, Chip McCormick, Springfield Armory, Pro Mag and even a Remington R1 Enhanced magazine made the cut. Each of these magazines had one single fact in common: they had been run flawlessly through several other of our early 1911 reviews in one capacity or another.
My second trip to the range yielded some much more relaxing (you’d understand my use of the word “relaxing” if you had been with me the first time) results. The gun actually performed like I had expected it would in the beginning which I have well documented in the video accompanying this review.
Reliability was one hundred percent in over one hundred rounds all the way up to the final round from the Springer mag. The pistol even fed our gnarly hand loads that’s caused even some of the best production 1911s to grimace and sputter. Also tested the second time out was Aguila Ammo, more PMC Bronze and Fiocchi Canned Heat from our home boys and girls over at LuckyGunner.com as well as the hand loads I mentioned above and the stainless Regent 1911 digested them all without prejudice. Now THAT’S what I’m taking about.
The Regent R200s Model 1911 we reviewed is something I’d kindly (but not disrespectfully) refer to as a “1911 on a budget.” Retail price on these is going to be around or under $600′ so you can see where I get my justification for the name. These pistols are made in Turkey and imported by the fine folks at Umarex USA out of Fort Smith, AR.
First glance of this gun while having a mental note of the price in the back of your mind is impressive. It’s a well formed and sexy shaped stainless 1911 with initial features carried by guns far more expensive. The sides of the slide have a brushed stainless look with the opposite sides on the frame and slide carrying a matte feel to them. Generous angles serrations can be found on the front and rear of the slide wears vertical serrations. The Hogue grip panels really round off the comfort added by the feel of the frame and full beavertail and memory pad grip safety. The thumb safety is ambidextrous and my impression was that the feel was a little spongy lacking a definite and convincing “click” into battery or while engaging the safety.
An even closer look will reveal that most of the smaller and internal parts are injection molded or “forged” if you prefer the term. While they stand out a bit in terms of quality, I didn’t find the pistol to be loose fitting or “cheap” feeling in the hand while shooting or even during disassembly. The fit and finish is a bit rough with some jagged edges especially if you’re accustomed to “custom shop” style rounded edges though the gun itself looks fantastic. At around 39 ounces it’s definitely not a lightweight, but handles recoil of full powered .45 ACP ball ammo like a boss. The three dot ramp style combat sights are a decent Novak style invitation and get the job done straight out of the box hitting regularly at center mast.
Look at the detailed pictures and watch the video to decide for yourself, but it’s my estimation that for what it is, a quality stainless 1911 with added features and a friendly price point, the Regent R200s 1911 is a fine budget or beginner 1911 pistol. Oh, and I failed to mention to this point, the trigger is fantastic. In fact I’d venture to say that the trigger on this bad boy is easily as nice as 1911s costing half again as much.