Wilson Combat has been innovating the 1911 world for decades, and hasn’t stopped yet. They continue to make some of the best high end 1911 pistols on the market, and they’ve been making 1911 magazines since before many of our readers were born. Recently, they’ve been changing the 1911 market by introducing flat wire spring technology in their 1911 recoil springs, which reportedly increase the maintenance cycle by up to 10 times. So if they work so well in recoil springs, why not put them in a magazine?
A common complaint regarding many 8-round magazines is the limited spring life. Use them heavily or leave them loaded for a long time and they quickly lose lift, resulting in malfunctions. The new ETM HD magazine addresses this with a longer tube to fit a longer spring, and a flat wire spring that is advertised to provide 25% more lift than standard springs. Like all their products, the magazine is guaranteed for life by Wilson Combat. Continue reading
Tim recently shared this photo of his duty gun, an extremely worn and reworked specimen of the Nighthawk 10-8 model with the now defunct Dawson Rail. His light setup is the old Surefire Military Light with the optional high intensity 120 lumen lamp installed.
After the tinge of nostalgia passed, I ran to the safe to weigh a similarly equipped pistol. The above pictured setup weighs 51 oz unloaded, no magazine. Ouch. That is a lot of metal to hump all day for 9 rounds and 120 lumens for 30 minutes run time. The light alone weighs 8.4 ounces. If this setup were updated to an X300, it would only pare it down to 4.1 ounces, for a roughly 47 ounce setup. My back hurts just thinking about it.
Springfield 1911/Colt M45 Dual Recoil Spring Assembly
A short time ago Hilton contacted me about evaluating the Colt M45 1911 Dual Recoil Spring Assembly. As you may know from earlier articles, Colt developed the Dual Recoil Spring assembly for use in the M45 at the request of the Marine Corps. The system is designed to prolong spring life between changes and increase the round count between them.
Recently, I got a call from an officer from a neighboring PD asking if I could take a look at his 1911. You know, because it wasn’t working. I asked him a few questions, and it turns out this particular example was a Colt Rail Gun, but really it could be any permutation of a 1911 Government Model that populate the local gun shops. He said the pistol was giving him fits, he had lost confidence in it, and asked if I could take a look at it.
Of all the 1911 pistols out on the market, Colt probably does the best job putting out guns that generally work out of the box, as seen in my article: Colt Reliability Out of the Box. But they aren’t perfect. So I asked this officer (over the phone), what is it doing? He said it was having feeding issues and also “jamming a lot.” I told him that doesn’t really tell me anything. His response, “Well, I’m not a gun guy.” Continue reading
Every now and then it comes up that someone asks about replacement 1911 front sights in tritium or other options. There are relatively few aftermarket options for stake on front sights, as it is an absolutely archaic attachment method which should be abandoned by anyone willing to spend money to upgrade their 1911. Continue reading
10-8 modified TRP Operator. Photo by Triple Bravo.
A recent inquiry from a customer prompted today’s post, which concerns the internet fable of how the Smith & Alexander magazine well is not “tactical” because when you drop or impact the gun you can pinch the horseshoe section of the well together and thereby pinch the magazine in place inside the gun. Continue reading
I set the time machine back about 10 years to revisit with the very first full house custom 1911 that Hilton built for me. I carried it on duty for a few years before retiring it to range duty. Before its retirement, it got shot quite a bit. Over 20,000 rounds through it, including a fairly steady diet of my agency’s then-issue Winchester 230gr Ranger +P (RA45TP) round. Eventually it was too much for the Kart barrel, which cracked from the barrel lugs to about halfway down the barrel.
The pistol went back to Hilton, who tightened the slide to frame fit, and fit up a rare National Match barrel and bushing set produced on contract by Israeli Military Industries. These barrels look and shoot great. The pistol also wears a prototype rear sight that later became the production 10-8 sight. Continue reading
Springfield Black Stainless After Rebuilding and Beadblasting.
This build started life as a Springfield Armory Black Stainless. While it was a unique finish and a striking pistol, it was a bit too flashy for my tastes. I prefer a more subdued pistol and utilitarian finish. The build list consists of the following parts. Continue reading
After upgrading my Springfield Black Stainless 1911, I decided to conduct the 10-8 Extractor Test while turning the test session into a drill. With the ammo situation being what it is, making every shot count is important. To get more out of the test as a drill I shot 2 – 8 round magazines 1 handed and 2 – 8 round magazines 2 handed. This totaled 32 rounds rather than the 16 of the standard test procedure. Each round was loaded and the magazine removed and the pistol holstered. The pistol was drawn and fired in the required manner to test extractor function, which it passed.
Springfield Black Stainless 1911- Alessi DOJ Open Port Holster- Mitch Rosen 5DM
I’ve gotten a few inquiries as to available holsters for the M45A1 CQBP produced by Colt’s Manufacturing. Some have tried to use the same holsters for the Colt Rail Gun, not realizing the rail dimensions on the M45A1 are different. Anyway, the holsters provided by Safariland to the Marine Corps are a great place to start if you’re looking for a functional, durable duty holster. The Safariland Part Numbers for the holsters are as follows:
6004SS-56-761-SP10-MS30-NH (No Light Attached)
6004SS-530-761-MS30-NH (X200/300 Attached)
These holsters come standard with the excellent Quick Locking System (QLS) which allows the holster to be quickly mounted anywhere you have the QLS locking plate. The SS designation indicates the holster has the compact leg shroud with one strap, a system I find to be more comfortable than the traditional dual leg straps. The compact shroud also allows the holster to sit higher on the leg resulting in less flop and a quicker, more consistent draw.
I did discover that the plastic grommet that surrounds the tensioning screw needs to be removed in order for the M45A1 to fit. This only applies to the model for the M45A1 pistol without the light attached. Both holsters utilize the SLS retention system, which works better for me than the ALS system when used in conjunction with a pistol with a manual thumb safety.
Both of these holsters are available through London Bridge Trading or can be special ordered through any Safariland dealer.
Another 1911 Armorer Course is behind us. Before I get to the nuts and bolts of things, I would like to take a moment to thank those students who took time out of their busy schedules to spend the weekend training with us. In addition to folks local to Phoenix, we had students travel from Massachusetts, New Mexico, Illinois, and Tennessee. About half the students had taken the 1911 Diagnostics Course before, and one hardy student (thanks Rob!) had taken that course twice. We were also very fortunate to have in attendance two of the full time professional gunsmiths from Robar Industries, as well as one of their marketing staff. With all those experienced 1911 users on hand, we were able to get to business and cover a lot of material. Continue reading
It is now officially Day Two of the 10-8 Consulting 1911 Armorer’s Course. One of our intrepid students brought their fairly rare MARSOC M45A1 to class to work on. It has already been through a high round count pistol course, and belongs to an educated end user who knows how to keep his 1911s running. It was no surprise it passed all our function tests with flying colors.
It is practically a staple of internet gunsmithing posts for people to reference their Dremel in conjunction with any project that includes material removal. Used correctly, motor tools like the Dremel and the bigger brother, the Foredom, are absolutely the correct tool for the job. Sadly, the manner in which I see people using them is for the wrong job 99% of the time. See that flat metal thing pictured underneath the Dremel? Know what it is? Continue reading
The Charlie build, after 1000 rounds fired without cleaning or lube.
In my last installment, I took a look at some common 1911 reliability excuses. The ensuing discussion brought up a few common misconceptions about 1911 reliability – lubrication requirements, and overall tightness of the build. I had tested these two ideas a few years back by building a factory grade 1911 for some lube and sand testing. Continue reading
My friend and MSW contributor Steve Harris takes a perverse pleasure in tormenting me with links to poorly written 1911 reviews. In reading these reviews, I see the same excuses for 1911 malfunctions as I typically see in training classes. Instead of excuses, let’s try to understand what is really happening so that we can fix it instead. Today we will take a look at a few of the common issues and their accompanying excuses. Continue reading