Review: Regent R100 an Affordable GI Pistol

Posted by on July 31, 2018 10:10 pm
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Categories: Column 3

Despite the popularity of the modern, custom-grade, factory 1911 handgun with good sights, a crisp trigger, and good features, the GI-type .45 remains popular. GI-type 1911 handguns are simple handguns with small sights modest sight controls and fitting that is looser than most modern 1911 handguns. After all, the original design is famous for working reliably even when invaded by mud and sand, The Regent R100 is no exception.

Regent R100 1911 semiautomatic .45 ACP handgun right profile

Regent’s R100 is a reliable and solid GI type.

The modern GI guns are similar to the pistols our soldiers went to war with (and still do). There are seasoned shooters of the opinion that only the GI .45 is suitable for personal defense and warfare. All else is an unnecessary complication. In any case, the pistol has an appearance that many find pleasing on the basis of historical perspective, and perhaps, even emotional attachment. Few handguns have this appeal. Today, we have well made, but affordable, versions of the 1911 .45. One of these is the Regent R100 handgun.

I have carried the Government Model .45 for many years. One thing I have learned in many years wearing a badge and earning a degree in Criminal Justice, the bad guys will be caught (later), but preventing a murder or assault is another matter. Tactics mean a lot but everyone has a 50-50 chance of dying during the battle.

After all, most folks have roughly the same intelligence and ability, so the individual that is intent on murder has the same psychological and physical resources as the victim. The perpetrator may choose the time of attack—the time that is most likely to make their plan succeed. Depending on how much they want to evade capture, the plan doesn’t have to be very complex. It can be walk up to you and shoot, or it may be break in your house and lay in wait. You have no advance warning. Neither do the police.

fieldstripped Regent R100 1911 handgun

The 1911 isn’t terribly difficult to field strip and the R100 doesn’t need special tools to field strip.

Assaults occur quickly and are over in a manner of moments. The police response time can never be good enough to counter an assault. I have often made the point that being situationally armed is a poor decision. You must be armed at all times to counter the threat.

Don’t just deploy the piece when you are going to make a bank deposit or carrying large sums of money. Carry it at all times. I prefer the 1911 .45 for personal defense. The GI type is as good as it comes—simple, reliable, handy, and not incidentally lighter by a margin that the type with high visibility sights, over-size grips, and a light rail.

The Regent Model R100 is manufactured in Turkey. The Turks make no junk, and this is a credible handgun. The Regent R100 is a faithful reproduction of the 1911 in most particulars. The slide is a GI type with no frills and only a few roll marks.

firing pin block on a 1911 pistol

This late model R100 features a positive firing pin block.

The slide lock and slide lock safety are small GI-type units, but they function just fine for those who practice. The pistol features the original arched mainspring housing that most find to fit their hands well. The trigger isn’t quite as short as a true GI trigger, but then it isn’t the long trigger either.

This big .45 comes with plastic grips, as most of the GI pistols did. I replaced mine with Pachmayr classic grips. The combination of smooth wood and rubber finger grips is idea.

As for fit and finish, the dark finish is evenly applied. The slide rolls smoothly as the lugs lock and unlock, and the controls are crisp and work well. The hammer is as difficult to cock as the GI type, but then I keep my 1911s cocked and locked.

Pachmayr grips are a fine addition to the 1911

Pachmayr grips are a fine addition to the 1911.

The trigger action breaks at 6.5 pounds according to the Lyman Electronic trigger pull gauge. When I fieldstripped the piece, I found no tool marks inside the slide or on the receiver. The slide is a machined forging, and the frame is cast.

Side to side play was evident between the slide and frame, but no more than a number of modern 1911 handguns in the gun safe. The pistol features a firing pin block or drop safety. It isn’t the Series 80 type, but more like the grip safety activated type used by some makes.

The feed ramp is nicely polished with the proper gap between the barrel ramps that ensures proper feeding. Clearance of the barrel hood is good as well. The magazine snapped in place—smartly. I must note, some makes of magazines were a bit tight in the magazine well. I used MecGar magazines during this test. Function was ideal.

Regent R100 1911 semiautomatic .45 ACP handgun left profile

The slide lock, magazine catch and slide lock safety are all straight up 1911.

I lubricated the 1911 on the barrel hood, barrel near the bushing, cocking block, and slide rails. The 1911 isn’t a low maintenance handgun. It is very reliable, but must be cleaned and lubricated on a regular basis for carry, whether you fire it or not.

I selected three loads to proof this pistol. The first was a standard handload using the 185-grain Hornady XTP over enough TiteGroup powder for 900 fps. This is a pleasant, but powerful, load that has demonstrated excellent accuracy. TiteGroup has proven to be something of a wonder powder and well named. Accuracy potential is high and TiteGroup also burns clean.

While I occasionally use other powders, I could do well with TiteGroup as my only powder for self-loading handguns.

I also used the Winchester 230-grain USA load. This FMJ loading is an ideal practice load. If the pistol doesn’t feed 230-grain FMJ, it is sick! Finally, I fired the Browning 230-grain FMJ. The Browning cartridge case is coated for good function and the bullet features a flat point. At 870 fps, this is a good stout load for outdoors use.

rear notch sight on the Regent R100

The R100 features a typical square GI notch rear sight.

I fired 100 rounds of the handload as quickly as I could load magazines. The R100 is fast on target—like a 1911 should be. Firing at 7 and 10 yards, I ate the center out of a man-sized target quickly. The pistol is clearly well suited to personal defense. I fired a quantity of the Browning load as well. As might be expected, this load demonstrates stiff recoil. It is controllable and would be a good choice for defense against feral dogs and the big cats.


Action Type: Browning short-recoil single-action, centerfire semi-automatic pistol
Magazine: Detachable box, 7 or 8 rounds
Barrel length: 5 inches
Sights: Fixed notch rear, drift adjustable, ramp front
Overall Length: 8 5⁄8″
Height: 5 3⁄8″
Weight: Weight:

As for accuracy, the pistol is accurate enough for personal defense, informal target shooting and IDPA matches. Firing from a standing braced barricade, I fired two, 5-shot groups with each load at 20 yards. While the sights are small, they were well regulated for 230-grain loads.

The handload was the most accurate at 2.6 inches and slightly below the point of aim. Using the six o’clock hold, the Winchester load went into 3 inches and the Browning load into 3.15 inches. Original requirements for the 1911 .45 included a 5-inch group at 25 yards with 230-grain hardball, so the R100 is good to go.

The R100 is a good buy in a GI gun, accurate enough, reliable, and with that sense of style only a GI 1911 has.

Are you a 1911 fan? Which manufacturer makes your favorite GI 1911? How does the Regent R100 compare? Share your answers in the comment section.

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