I periodically get inquiries from former students and visitors of this site asking if their 1911 is in or out of spec. With countless manufacturers of the 1911, and even more aftermarket suppliers making slides and various small parts, without the original source material (the original blueprints,) it is hard to tell whose parts are in spec and whose is not. The resource I used in the past were the Kuhnhausen Manuals. Unfortunately, the drawings are not complete and contain some typographical errors. A few years back, a buddy of mine turned me on to the original 1911 ordnance drawings available from Nicolaus Associates. Continue reading
In the wake of SHOT Show, I had been pondering some conversations with folks who were interested in changing their agency or team over to the 1911 from a Glock, Sig, etc. Readers here likely understand the true investment required to run a 1911, and I wanted to throw out some fresh thoughts on what it means to keep after a quantity of pistols in LE service. If you are an agency armorer or a gunsmith contracted to repair a local agency’s weapons, what they issue/authorize could mean different things for your life. Important caveat for internet readers with short attention spans – what follows deals with LE agency use of the 1911 or other pistols, so hold your comments if you are not using one in that context. Continue reading
In yesterday’s post, I promised to discuss the holster and magazine in the photograph. For starters, the knife was an easy one to ID – a classic Gerber Mark II in factory black finish. That knife is probably one of my favorite all time knives, though a dagger design with a smooth double guard handle is impractical for most applications. Continue reading
For last week’s Throwback Thursday post on my 10-8 Performance Instagram page, I posted the above photo of a 1911 build I did back in 2001, along with a challenge to identify the holster rig, knife, and magazine. In a depressing turn of events which highlights a certain lack of attention span in social media, no one was able to ID the mag or holster. Let’s see if MSW readers can do any better. The answers will be featured in tomorrow’s article. Continue reading
Every now and then we get a question about where to find a stake on 1911 front sight, perhaps with fiber optic, tritium, or some other modern format. A quick search of the Brownells website turns up only two options for a stake on 1911 front sight, for a good reason – don’t get one. Continue reading
One of the most common questions that is heard in relation to gun parts, and 1911 parts in particular, is “do I need a gunsmith to fit it?” The short answer – if you need to ask that question, you will have the best results if you have a gunsmith do it. Continue reading
A recent discussion on Facebook about the 1911 industry and trigger designs reminded me that it would probably be of interest to our readers to go over the history of the 10-8 1911 triggers.
Before I delve into 10-8 triggers, a quick word on 1911 triggers is in order. Back in the early 1980’s, the dawn of the 1911 aftermarket part industry as we know it, there were just a few options for a custom trigger in your gun, and it usually was a Videki, King’s Gunworks, or a Wilson. Some other ones might have been around, but they slip my mind right now. It wasn’t like it is now, where you have a whole Brownells sub catalog filled with only 1911 parts. Continue reading
Just so nobody thinks we’ve abandoned the 1911 here at MSW, here’s a quick peek at my Springfield Armory TRP. I recently bought her LNIB. Continue reading
My first pistol I bought when I was 21 was a Kimber TLE/RL 1911 (external extractor) which I thought was pretty nice, being young and really having no other exposure than what the guy behind the counter at the local gun store had told me. Between the counter guy’s amazing advice and the gun magazines pushing the latest and greatest, it seemed like a solid choice. Fast forward a few years and more than a couple issues with my Kimber, I was at a range with a few friends of mine when out of one of their pistol bags came a small colt commander unlike anything I had seen before. This pistol was solid black with high power cuts, and one of the most unique textures I had ever seen on a pistol. I was quickly educated that I was holding a Chuck Rogers Built 1911 with his signature golf ball grip treatment. My opinion of stock 1911’s would never be the same again.
For anyone who has been into custom 1911’s in the last two or three decades you will have most likely heard of Chuck Rogers and his shop, Rogers Precision. Chuck has been quietly making some of the most beautiful, functional, and durable pistols ever built. Working out of Prescott, Arizona Chuck acquired his skill as a machinist from a long career as an aerospace prototype machinist in Phoenix. Chuck explains;
“1911’s had been a hobby of mine for several years prior. I was an active competitor in action pistol style matches. Many of the tricks of reliability and longevity were learned in competition. “.
Quickly establishing himself with his unique style and skill as a machinist, Chuck’s guns became more and more popular until reaching the high demand they rightfully deserve today.
I started talking to Chuck long before I had a gun built by him, and I have the great honor of calling Chuck a friend as well. After a couple years my name finally came up in the long list of people impatiently waiting for to be called. My great passion for custom 1911’s lends to my choice of having builds done in what I would consider the individual smith’s “style”. I like to order options that I believe set that smith apart from other builders. With that in mind I had a very specific carry gun in mind for Chuck and his amazing ability to melt the edges on his guns as well as some of his special touches. So, choosing a Springfield mil spec as a base gun for their slanted classic style serrations, the gun left for the Rogers Precision shop and the waiting game began. Chuck is fairly active on more than a couple online forums and a post fairly regularly with pictures of his artistry during the build process. So, I was able to follow the progress and watch with great interest as my base gun was transformed into the image I had built in my head.
Finally I received the call for final payment and the gun was on its way home to me. As you would expect with any high dollar purchase, the expectation I had set for this pistol was extremely high. I will say that Chuck’s reputation as an inventive and top tier pistol smith is absolutely warranted. Having pistols from more than a couple other high end builders, I would venture to say that Chuck is in a level all his own. Not a machine mark to be found and the attention to detail in every part of the gun was evident. The quick lowdown on major options I chose are:
-High Power slide cuts
-Rear of slide serrations
-Beveled magwell with lanyard loop rear mainspring housing
-Rounded mainspring housing
-Rogers Precision Sights
-Golf-balled front and back strap, slide stop and mag release
-An option Chuck calls his “bob nose” treatment to the front of the slide to match the angle of the serrations and the high power cut.
These options along with more than a few other small additions, a reliability package, 45acp Kart barrel, all tool steel parts and a covering of black cerakote finished off one amazing looking full size carry gun. The slide to frame fitment feels like they are on ball bearings and the fit of every part on the gun is top notch to include, barrel bushing, grip safety, thumb safety, mainspring housing, etc.
Currently I have had the gun for about 7 months and have only been able to send 2k rounds through it, sadly haven’t been able to get to the range as much as I would like. I’ve only done a very casual wipe down and light lubrication job before each range trip. With a combination of Tripp, CMC and Wilson mags I have had no failures of any kind and it produces little tiny groups.
I would love to nit-pick and complain about something but I can honestly say I can’t think of anything. The pistol is flawless and my overall experience from the ordering, interaction with Chuck and shooting the pistol is awesome in every way. The only negative thing I can think of is, I’m not wealthy enough to own 2-3 guns from Chuck. The wish list would be one of everything.
If you are given the opportunity and have the budget to afford a Rogers Precision 1911, they are truly exceptional pistols. I will not attempt to say they will give you the ability to levitate or walk on water, although my pants do seem to fit a little tighter. I will say for someone that enjoys a hand built 1911 there are few peers to one assembled in a small shop in Arizona by the one and only Chuck Rogers.
In discussing the 1911, the comment typically comes up that such and such modification to the design is superfluous, dangerous, stupid, blasphemous, or unnecessary because “that is not how John Moses Browning designed it” or “if the 1911 needed it, then JMB would have designed it that way.” Browning was one of the most brilliant and prolific inventors of our time, and to think that he would be satisfied with us rocking his pistol for over 100 years without updating or abandoning it is inconsistent with his history of innovation. Continue reading
It has been noted more than once that lately there seem to have been many MSW articles recommending against the use of the 1911 as a service pistol. This is not really a new trend, and even since the days of the 10-8 Forums we have always cautioned folks that the 1911 is not for the casual user.
Starting with IPSC back in the 80’s, I traveled a long road of being a devoted user of the 1911 in both competition and duty applications, a builder of custom 1911s, and a designer of 1911 components. The last 15 years or so had seen the 1911 absolutely dominate my existence, and everything I did seemed to revolve around the gun. With all this devotion to the 1911, it is even more telling then why I went away from it.
Earlier today (at the time I wrote this), 1911 guru Bill Wilson posted an excellent article on his blog on the secrets to making a short format 1911 pistol work reliably. Bill explains, “the basic functional difference between a full size (as John Browning designed it) 1911 pistol and a compact version with a 4.25″ or shorter barrel is slide mass and speed.” The point of the article was that these guns can indeed be made to run reliably if you know what you’re doing. The key lies in controlling spring weights, slide speed (hammer spring and firing pin stop geometry), a carefully tuned extractor, and careful ammunition selection. Follow the right formula, keep up on your preventative maintenance, and you can have a reliable compact 1911 (assuming it was set up correctly to begin with.)
The question is not meant to have a definitive answer. The answer will depend on your own use and experience. I wish only to offer some thoughts on the matter. The arguments on the thumbs down side usually lean towards users not wanting to have any obstacles to overcome when they need to fire in whatever high stress scenario they can imagine. The arguments on the thumbs up side tend to lean towards the user desiring some additional layer of protection from an unauthorized user being able to fire, and either thwarting their attempt completely or merely giving the owner time to react to the attempt. Being that this article is being presented on Modern Service Weapons, my thoughts are geared towards those who use pistols as just that, service weapons. Continue reading
Folks tend to get very emotionally involved and ego invested in their choice of firearm, and it gets very difficult to reason with them objectively. I have certainly been there myself, and my own road to discovery was long and rocky.
Let’s play a little game and remove the emotional attachment of a particular weapon system, and just outline a few things for consideration. What if someone told you any of these items about their awesome XYZ5000 blaster? Continue reading
One of the potential weak points on a 1911 pistol is the plunger tube. Shortfalls in either materials or workmanship (usually workmanship) can lead to the plunger tube becoming loose in the frame, or even completely falling out of the frame. The latter tends not to happen, since the grip panel will usually hold it in place. Continue reading