November 9th, 2013

Future Tech: 3D Metal Printing of Gun Parts and 1911 Pistol

Could your next metal scope rings, trigger guard, or muzzle brake be crafted with a 3D printing process? It’s possible. In fact, a wide variety of metal parts (even a complete handgun) can be printed using the latest 3D Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) process. The way this works is as follows: powdered metal is heated by a laser, causing the metal particles to fuse and solidify. This is progressively repeated, in vertically-stacked layers, until the entire metal part is complete. It’s like building a metal layer cake with the shape/size of each thin layer defined by a precise laser beam. The laser is guided by computer-controlled servos following a CAD “blueprint”.

This video demonstrates how metal parts are 3D printed using the DMLS process. This technology is offered by Solid Concepts, a leading rapid prototyping and manufacturing services company.

The Solid Concepts 1911 — World’s First 3D-Printed Metal Firearm

Solid Concepts has manufactured the world’s first 3D-printed metal gun using a laser sintering process and powdered metals. The gun, a .45 acp 1911 clone, has already handled 50 rounds of successful live-fire testing. A 1911 design was chosen because the “blueprint” is public domain. The gun is composed of thirty-three, 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625 components, crafted through the DMLS process. Even the carbon fiber-filled hand grips are 3D printed, using a Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) process.

3D metal printing 1911 DMLS Solid Concepts

Except for the springs, all the parts of this 1911 handgun were printed using the metal laser sintering process. Yes even the highly-polished slide, the barrel, the frame, and the hammer were printed. There are no forgings, castings, or conventionally-machined parts. With the exception of springs, all 30+ components in this prototype pistol were printed using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology. Watch the video for a glimpse into the future of gun-making:

World’s First 3D-Printed Metal Gun Test Firing

Solid Concepts believes that its fully-functional, 3D-printed 1911 handgun proves the viability of 3D printing for gun parts, even highly-stressed components. Kent Firestone, V.P. of Additive Manufacturing at Solid Concepts, states: “We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D metal printing. And we’re doing this legally. In fact, as far as we know, we’re the only 3D printing service provider with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”

3D metal printing 1911 DMLS Solid Concepts

Will we see complete 3D-printed metal guns on the market soon? That’s unlikely. It’s still more economical to produce complete guns the old-fashioned way. However, we may see 3D printing used for rapid prototyping. In addition, 3D metal printing has advantages for hard-to-machine parts with complex geometries. Solid Concepts reports that its 3D printed metal has fewer porosity issues than an investment cast part and better complexities than a machined part. It will be interesting to see what unfolds in the years ahead.

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October 22nd, 2012

Try Vihtavuori N320 in your .45 ACP Pistol

VV N320 for .45 ACP

VV N320 for .45 ACPMan does not live by long-guns alone. We know that many of our readers own .45 ACP handguns and load for this extremely accurate “classic” cartridge. When selecting a powder for the .45 ACP, there are many good options. All the major powder manufacturers make propellants with appropriate density and burn rate characteristics for the .45 ACP. Popular choices include: AA #5 (Accurate Powder); Bullseye (Alliant); Clays, HP-38, and Titegroup (Hodgdon); VV N310 and N320 (Vihtavuori); and WW 231 and WST (Winchester). We’ve tried all those powders in a variety of .45 ACP handguns. When we consider all the factors that make for a good pistol powder, we think N320 is one of the best available propellants for the .45 ACP. Vihtavuori N320 is very accurate, it meters well, and it burns clean, with minimal smoke and flash. If you haven’t tried VV N320 yet, you should.

Pros and Cons of Different Powders for the .45 ACP
This Editor has personally tried out eight or more different powders for the .45 ACP. Bullseye works but it is very dirty (both smoke out the barrel and sooty powder fouling on case). Though it otherwise burns clean, Titegroup leaves a singular (and nasty) high-temp flame streak on your brass that is hard to remove. AA #5 is a good choice for progressive press newbies as you use more powder so a double charge will (usually) be obvious. I like AA #5 but N320 was more accurate. Clays burns clean but some powder measures struggle with flake powders like this. WW 231 offered excellent accuracy and metered well, but it kicked out sparks with little pieces of debris that would hit me in the face. Who wants that?

I personally tried all the powders listed above with lead, plated, and jacketed bullets. After testing for accuracy, consistency, and ease of metering, I selected VV N320 as the best overall performer.

Vihtavuori N320

  • No powder tested was more accurate (WW 231 was equally accurate).
  • Meters very well in all kinds of powder measures.
  • Produces very little smoke from muzzle.
  • Does not put nasty burn streak on brass like Tite-Group does.
  • Low Flash — you don’t get particles and sparks flying out like WW 231.
  • Cases come out from gun very clean — so you can tumble less often.

Forum member and gunsmith Michael Ezell agrees that N320 is a good choice for the .45 ACP. Mike has also found that WW 231, while accurate, produces sparks and a large flash. Mike writes: “I first started using N320 after my first night shoot, while shooting IDPA/IPSC matches. It was astonishing how much of a fireball the WW 231 created. I was literally blinded by the flash while trying to shoot a match. As you can imagine, that didn’t work out very well. I went from WW 231 to N320 and never looked back…and the flash from it was a fraction of what a kid’s sparkler would give off. I have nothing but good things to say about [N320] after using both. Night shoots are a real eye-opener! When it comes to a personal protection… there is, statistically, a very high chance that if you ever have to use a gun to protect yourself or your family, it’ll be in the darkness[.] Being blinded by muzzle flash (and deafened by the noise) are things that should be considered, IMO.”

This Editor owns a full-size, all-stainless S&W 1911. After trying numerous powders, I found VV N320 delivered the best combination of accuracy, easy metering, consistency, clean burning qualities, and low muzzle flash. My gun has proven exceptionally accurate using N320 with bullets from 180 grains to 230 grains — it will shoot as accurately as some expensive customs I’ve tried. At right is 5-round group I shot offhand at 10 yards with my 5″ S&W 1911. The bullet hole edges are sharp because I was using semi-wad-cutters. Rounds were loaded with Vihtavuori N320 and 200-grain SWCs from Precision Bullets in Texas.

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August 24th, 2012

Paul Liebenberg DVD Shows 1911 Pistol-Smithing Techniques

Liebenberg DVDPaul Liebenberg of Pistol Dynamics is widely considered to be one of the finest pistol-smiths on the planet. When you ask other well-known pistol-smiths whom they would rank among the very best, Liebenberg is a consensus pick. And Paul’s work is in high demand. There is a multi-year-long waiting list for his custom pistols, mostly built on 1911-platforms.

Now Liebenberg is sharing his pistol building/tuning knowledge through a professionally-produced video from Panteao Productions. In this two-Disc DVD, Paul Liebenberg demonstrates the procedures he employs when crafting a custom 1911 pistol. The DVD covers all key aspects of customizing the 1911 pistol. Topics covered include: fitting barrel and barrel bushing, installing grip safety and thumb safety, installing and tuning the trigger, installing and tuning extractor and ejector, relieving the mag well, undercutting the trigger guard, lowering the ejection port, and much more. This is a rare opportunity to learn from a master gun builder like Paul Liebenberg. Panteao is accepting pre-orders for the DVD and expects it to be released shortly.

Liebenberg DVD30+ Years Expertise
A trained industrial designer from South Africa, Paul Liebenberg was a member of the World Champion South African Practical Pistol Shooting Team. An NRA High Master and four-gun firearms instructor, Paul competed successfully in many disciplines in the shooting sports.

In 1983 Liebenberg immigrated to the USA and joined Pachmayr Gun Works in Los Angeles where he rose to manage the Custom Gun Shop. In 1985 he opened Pistol Dynamics in Los Angeles to build high-end 1911 competition handguns and Pachmayr pistols on contract to that company. Today Pistol Dynamics is based out of Palm Bay, Florida where Paul continues to build high-end 1911 pistols.

WATCH Liebenberg Gunsmithing the 1911 DVD Promo Trailer

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March 11th, 2012

Elite Pistolsmith Joe Chambers Joins AccurateShooter Forum

Joe Chambers Pistol GuildAce gunsmith Joe Chambers (aka Joe C), who is best known for his custom pistols, recently joined our Shooters’ Forum. Guns built by Joe have been used to win 49 class championships at the NRA Camp Perry National Championships, as well as many regional, state and local matches. He has built guns for collectors, concealed carry and action pistol competitors as well. Joe’s custom pistols have been featured in American Handgunner Magazine. Chambers’ guns are noted for their outstanding reliability and accuracy. He has built 1911s chambered in .38 Super that will put ten (10) shoots in under 1.00″ at fifty (50) yards. (We’ve seen some factory rifles that can’t do that!)

You can view impressive Chambers-built customs on Joe’s website ChambersCustom.com. Here are some samples:

Joe Chambers Pistol Guild

Joe Chambers Pistol Guild

Chambers Gains Precision Rifle Knowledge Through Forum
While the AccurateShooter Forum’s main focus is on precision rifles, it’s good to know that someone with Joe’s skills and abilities can help forum members who have questions about 1911 pistols and custom pistol-smithing. In return, we invite our experienced rifle shooters to share their long-gun knowledge with Joe. A budding interest in long-range and F-Class rifle shooting drew Chambers to our Forum. He came to the right place. Many of the nation’s top F-Class shooters (both F-TR and F-Open) frequent our board. No doubt Joe will advance his knowledge of rifle shooting through participation in our Forum. Welcome aboard Joe — we are pleased to include you in our community of precision shooters!

Joe Chambers Pistol Guild

Story tip by Tanner F. (aka Flybuster). We welcome reader submissions.
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June 8th, 2011

ShootingUSA TV Reprises SHOT Show Special Today

Here’s your chance to see a wide selection of interesting new products from SHOT Show 2011. Today, Wednesday June 8th, ShootingUSA re-broadcasts its hour-long SHOT Show Special, originally filmed on-site at the Sands Convention Center in January. This 60-minute telecast features nearly 50 new products, including Colt Centennial 1911s, Smith & Wesson 1911s and Performance Center Hunting Revolvers, new Die Sets from RCBS, Les Baer Monolith AR10s, Mossberg Tactical Shotguns, Ruger Mark III Pistols, Hogue stocks for Savages, new Wood LaserGrips from Crimson Trace, and Thompson Center’s new Venture hunting rifles.

ShootingUSA Shot Show

ShootingUSA Shot Show

ShootingUSA SHOT ShowShooting USA’s hour-long SHOT Show Special airs on the Outdoor Channel on June 8, 2011 at the following times:

Eastern Time: 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 12:00 Midnight
Central Time: 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 11:00 PM
Mountain Time: 2:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time: 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 9:00 PM

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June 1st, 2011

1911 Centennial Catalog from Brownells

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of J.M. Browning’s 1911 pistol, and the classic semi-auto is more popular than ever. If you are looking for the source of “all things 1911″, check out Brownells Centennial (7th Ed.) 1911 Catalog. This richly-illustrated catalog features over 3,000 1911 products, including some 350 new items added just for this special edition.

Brownells 1911 catalog

Both Print and PDF Catalogs are FREE
You can order a hard-copy, printed catalog at no charge from Brownells website. If you don’t want to wait for the U.S. Mail to arrive, you can also download the catalog. CLICK HERE to access FREE, 72-page PDF 1911 Catalog.

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April 19th, 2011

Ruger Unveils New SR1911 Pistol

J.M. Browning’s 1911 pistol is 100 years old, and now the latest iteration is… a Ruger. Sturm, Ruger & Co. just introduced the Ruger SR1911 in .45 acp, Ruger’s first-ever 1911-style handgun. The new Ruger SR1911 pistol will debut at the NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburg, PA, April 29 – May 1, 2011.

Ruger SR1911 1911 Pistol

CLICK HERE for Ruger SR1911 Spec Sheet

With its bead-blasted stainless frame, contrasting grip safety, and Novak sights, Ruger’s SR1911 looks an awful lot like the Smith & Wesson 1911 with some important differences. Unlike the S&W 1911, the Ruger SR1911 has a traditional internal extractor and no forward slide serrations. The SR1911 pistol features a titanium firing pin and heavy firing pin spring. According to Ruger, “this negates the need for a firing pin block, offering an updated safety feature to the original ‘Series 70′ design without compromising trigger pull weight.” In deference to the lawyers, an inspection port allows visual confirmation of a round in the chamber. SR1911 features are shown in the DownRangeTV video below.

We think the gun looks good, and will sell well. However, given Ruger’s checkered history with handgun recalls, we might wait a few months until Ruger gets the bugs out. The Ruger SR1911 weighs 39 oz., ships with one 8-round mag, and has an MSRP of $799.00. We expect street price to be around $725.00 once initial demand eases. The SR1911 is not yet approved for sale in California and Massachusetts.

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March 31st, 2011

Spectacular Colt 1911 Auctioned to Benefit NRA Foundation

The official centennial of J.M. Browning’s 1911 pistol was March 29th, 2011, 100 years to the day since the legendary handgun was adopted by the U.S. Army. (The U.S.M.C. and U.S. Navy adopted the 1911 pistol roughly two years later). To celebrate the 100th birthday of what many experts believe is the greatest self-loading pistol ever made, Colt created a spectacular, fully-engraved “Anniversary Edition” pistol. It’s pimped to the max, complete with gold inlay and genuine ivory grips. The gun is currently up for auction at Gunbroker.com with proceeds to benefit the NRA Foundation.




Price? If You Have to Ask…
Want it? Well you may have to liquidate your 401(k) to buy it. Current bid price is $33,635.00 and a similar fully-engraved Anniversary 1911 sold for $83,025.00 three months ago. See January Auction.

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February 12th, 2011

New Improved Master Series 1911 Lasergrips from Crimson Trace

A century has passed since John Moses Browning created the legendary 1911 single-action pistol. In that time a whole sub-industry has developed to supply parts and accessories for 1911-style pistols. Among the myriad grip options available today, we were impressed with the lastest generation of 1911 Lasergrips from Crimson Trace (CT). If you want a laser-equipped 1911 grip, you’re no longer limited to an ugly, spongy rubber grip. CT’s new “Master Series” 1911 Lasergrips come in a variety of materials including Wood, Laminated Wood, Micarta, and the popular G10 compound, a laminated composite of woven glass fabric, carbon graphite fibers and epoxy resin. G10 is impervious to common solvents.

crimson trace master series 1911

Honey, I Shrunk the Laser
Crimson Trace’s engineers have down-sized the laser module so it can be fitted to normal-thickness, standard-profile 1911 grips. And the smaller laser has been mounted further forward so there is no interference with ambidextrous safeties. We like this upgrade, and we predict these grips will become very popular with 1911 shooters. The new Master Series 1911 Lasergrips will be offered in a range of sizes and profiles to fit Full-size, Commander, Officers’ Model, and Bobtail 1911 frames. CT hopes to have the Master Series Lasergrips on the market in May, 2011, with an MSRP of $359.00.

In the GunsAmerica video below, Top Shot Champion Iain Harrison (now CT’s Media Relations Manager), explains the features of the new Crimson Trace Master Series 1911 Lasergrips:

YouTube Preview Image
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January 29th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Sig Sauer 1911-2 and P210 “Legend”

While our SHOT Show coverage concentrated mainly on rifles and rifle accessories, we did find two notable handgun offerings from Sig Sauer: 1) a new .22LR version of the 1911; and, 2) a re-introduction of the classic Sig P210, with some enhancements. There are a handful of 22-cal 1911s on the market. Some, like the Chiappa, leave much to be desired, both in functionality and build quality. By contrast, the new Sig Sauer 1911-22 looks and handles like a high-grade .45acp 1911. CLICK for More Photos.

Sig 1911-22

The grip safety and ambidextrous frame safeties work just like those on a well-built centerfire 1911. The frame ergonomics and grips are identical to the classic 1911 design. The sights are good, and most importantly, the single-action trigger is light and crisp — just as you’d expect on a good, tuned 1911. We were very impressed with the gun, especially after noting the MSRP is just $399.00. We should add, however, that Germany’s GSG also makes a similar 1911-22 that costs less. You can buy a GSG 1911-22 for about $350.00 at larger gun dealers. The Sig Sauer 1911-22 we tried had nicer grips and a lighter trigger pull than the GSGs we’ve sampled.

Sig Sauer 1911-22

Sig 1911-22 Photos courtesy Osage County Guns and SigSauerGuns.com.

Sig Sauer Re-Releases P210 “Legend”
Prominently displayed at Sig Sauer booth was the Sig P210 “Legend”, an updated version of the classic Sig P210. The new version has been released with an American-style mag release at the rear of the trigger guard, and some subtle modifications. The original Sig P210 is a genuine classic, perhaps the most accurate 9mm duty pistol ever created. Because of the high quality of its construction and careful hand-fitting, the P210 has never been cheap. The latest “Legend” version will be priced about $2,200.00 in the USA.

The new P210 “Legend” continues to offer superb accuracy, with some enhancements for target shooters. As expected, the P210 Legend’s trigger pull was sweet indeed — light, crisp, with no creep. Let me put it this way — the Legend’s trigger is smoother and lighter than what you’ll get on most custom 1911s. The optional, new rear target sight has a 3-position slider that adjusts the zero for three different target distances. That’s a smart feature we’d like to see on other target pistols.

In the video below we show the Sig Sauer 1911-22 and Sig P210 “Legend”. The Video starts off with a visit to the Smith and Wesson booth.

YouTube Preview Image
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November 13th, 2010

Industry News: New Guns from Colt, Sig Sauer

Michael Bane of Downrange.TV traveled to the Gunsite Shooting Academy this week to sample new products from Colt, Crimson Trace, and Sig Sauer. Bane reports that Colt is returning to the consumer pistol and rifle markets in a big way. In 2011, Colt will roll out an extensive line-up of 1911 pistols, plus new AR-platform rifles. Bane also reports that Sig Sauer may introduce a new Sig 556 rifle, chambered in 7.62×39, which will take standard AK47 magazines. With the rugged Eastern Bloc magazines, the new Sig 556 could set new standards for reliability among “Sport Utility Rifles”.

Michael Bane’s Weekly Video Podcast

NOTE: Short Advertisement may precede the video. Loud firing noises are in the video’s second half.

Colt 1911 Pistol 2011

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September 30th, 2010

Wilson Combat Publishes New Gun Blog

Earlier this month Wilson Combat launched its new gun blog, which is worth a visit. Though focused primarily on handguns, the Wilson Combat Blog also features tactical rifles and shotguns. While there are match reports and gun maintenance articles, the Wilson Blog is mainly a showcase for products, which are illustrated with really superb photography (some of the best “gun glamour” images on the web). Here are some examples of the “eye candy” Wilson combat offers on its site…

Case Colored 1911 for Trey of Jackson Armory in Texas
Trey calls this unique, Case-Colored custom the “Patriot Elite”. The slide is hand polished and then sent to Doug Turnbull for his exceptional bluing and color case hardened finish on the frame. The frontstrap was left bare to show off case colors.

Case Colored Wilson 1911

Custom Professional with Flush-Crowned Barrel
Another interesting gun is this 4″ Commander-style 1911 K-5 with beautiful, fan-pattern Cocobolo grips. Notice that the muzzle is flush crowned. A new option for Wilson, the flush crown is made possible by the use of a flat wire, Glock-style recoil spring. This new feature is only available for compact/professional length slides at this time.

Wilson 1911 Commander

Wilson Arms AR Trigger — Long-Term Test
The Wilson Arms Blog also links to a Military Times long-term test of the Wilson Tactical Trigger Unit (TTU) for AR-type lowers. The Times tested the TTU over six months with 10,000 drops of the hammer. Click Here to read the full review, published on Sept. 29, 2010.

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August 25th, 2010

Kimber Super Carry Pro — Kobra Carry Clone for $1000 Less?

This year Kimber introduced a new line of ‘Super Carry’ 1911-style pistols. Assembled in Kimber’s Custom Shop, the Super Carry Pro (4″) and Super Carry Custom (5″) feature aluminum frames with an Ed Brown Kobra-style cut-back heel and snakeskin-style serrations. The Kimber’s slide is blackened stainless, making for a very handsome two-tone handgun. By using an aluminum frame (as found on the “classic” Sig-Sauer p226 and p228), Kimber has shaved significant weight off the Super Carrys — an important factor for guns intended to be carried all day long. The Super Carry Pro, a Commander-sized 1911 with 4″ barrel, weighs just 28 ounces (with empty mag) — that’s 7 ounces lighter than an Ed Brown Kobra Carry. Kimber’s 5″-barreled, full-size Super Carry Custom is 31 ounces with empty mag. By comparison, a full-size Smith & Wesson SW1911 weighs 41 ounces. A ten-ounce difference is significant when you’re packing.

Kimber Super Carry Pro

Kimber Super Carry Pro Copies Kobra Carry
It’s obvious that Kimber copied styling features from the Ed Brown Kobra Carry, notably the slide serrations and the cut-back grip heel, which mimics Brown’s Bobtail™ frame. Kimber can’t call its frame a “Bobtail” since Ed Brown has trademarked that term, but the looks and function of Kimber’s “round-heel frame” are much the same. If you’ve every carried a 1911 right behind the hip, you know the bottom of a standard 1911 frame can dig into the kidney area. So Kimber’s adaptation of Ed Brown’s Bobtail was a smart move, as was the use of aluminum (for weight savings). What about wear? Is there a problem with steel sliding over aluminum? Well, that hasn’t been a problem with the aluminum-framed Sig Sauer pistols, and Kimber’s aluminum frames are coated with KimPro II, a proprietary coating that Kimber claims is “self-lubricating and highly durable.”

Kimber Super Carry ProAmbi-Safety Makes Sense on Carry Gun
We like the new Kimber Super Carry models, though we could live without the snakeskin treatment on top of the slide. That’s over-doing it in our book. Having shot both the Super Carry and the Ed Brown Kobra I actually prefer the feel of the Kimber’s nicely radiused grip safety and I think Kimber is wise to put an ambi-safety on the gun by default (an ambidextrous safety is $75.00 extra on the Kobra Carry). In a self-defense scenario, a right-hander might have his strong-side arm disabled, so it is important that he be able to operate the gun left-handed.

How about accuracy? I only had a chance to shoot a few rounds with the Kimber Super Carry Pro, and it didn’t group as tight at 10 yards as the Kobra Carry I’ve shot, but the difference wasn’t that great. Also the nearly-new Kimber’s trigger was a bit heavy and gritty, and I didn’t have a chance to work up a custom load. Neither gun shot as accurately as this Editor’s SW1911 with my handloads (VV N320 and Precision Bullets 200gr semi-wadcutters) which cost just $700.00 a few years ago. That SW1911 prints easy 1/2″ groups at 10 yards with handloads. So, is the Kimber Super Carry a good buy? Street price for the Super Carry Pro is about $1300.00, and that includes night sights. That’s over $1000.00 less than a Kobra Carry which costs $2445.00 with night sights. We predict those who are in the market for a Bobtail, two-tone carry gun will look very seriously at the Kimber Super Carry Pro, given the huge price savings over Ed Brown’s Kobra Carry. This Editor likes the lighter, “round-heel” aluminum frame (particularly in the 4″ model which balances well), and I like the overall feel and appearance of the gun. For $1300.00, however, I expected more from the Kimber’s trigger. As with most production 1911s it can benefit from a trigger job by a competent 1911 smith.

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March 16th, 2010

Utah Legislature Approves J.M. Browning Holiday

John Moses BrowningThe governor’s signature is the only hurdle remaining for a holiday memorializing firearms inventor John Moses Browning. The Utah House voted 64-0 to commemorate the Utah-born inventor on Jan. 24, 2011, the opening day of next year’s legislative session. It will come 100 years after Browning invented the Model 1911 pistol, which became the official sidearm for the U.S. military. Even today, variants of the 1911 pistol are among the most popular handguns sold worldwide, and the 1911 is THE platform of choice for custom raceguns and self-defense pistols.

You have to love Utah’s legislators for voting to recognize J. M. Browning. At a time where states such as California are curtailing the rights of guns owners and demonizing the shooting sports, Utah is doing just the opposite. With this proposed holiday, Utah recognizes the important role Browning and his inventions have played in the history of this nation and the defense of democracy worldwide. We tip our hat to Utah and hope that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signs the legislation creating John M. Browning Day.

J.M. Browning model 1911 Pistol

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November 21st, 2009

Remington Plans to Produce Handguns

Remington Arms Co.Remington Arms Co. plans to start selling handguns, perhaps as early as the first quarter of 2010. In his Shooting Wire website, Jim Shepherd has confirmed that Remington is planning to build and market handguns, including a 1911 type semi-auto pistol. Remington recently named Tom Taylor as its new Senior VP for Handgun Marketing and Products. Taylor, formerly Vice-President of Marketing for Smith & Wesson, was hired for his handgun industry expertise.

Remington May Acquire Handgun Maker
Shepherd reports that Remington is seeking to acquire an existing handgun manufacturer, although it appears that Remington’s first new pistols will be developed and produced in-house. Shepherd writes: “it has been no secret in the industry that Remington has been ‘shopping’ for a handgun company. Several names have been mentioned, but it appears the first product will be ‘organic’ coming from inside Remington, rather than via acquisition. A 1911 is in first-production testing, and may be ready for introduction at SHOT Show in January”. Shepherd cautions, however, that Remington may move back the launch of its 1911 pistol to ensure all the bugs are worked out, and that the product is 100% reliable.

Will Remington Revive Older Designs?
Though Remington is now best known for its long-guns, it does have a rich heritage of pistol-making, going all the way back to the early 1800s. In the Civil War, Remington & Son percussion revolvers were often used by Union calvarymen, many of whom preferred the Remingtons over the standard issue Model 1860 Colt revolver. Remington also produced popular semi-auto pistols in the first half of the twentieth century. Shepherd speculates that “the small, reliable Model 51 might be a candidate for a revival”. A thin, sleek design by John Pederson, the Model 51 (shown below) was offered in .32 ACP and .380 ACP calibers. With some updates — such as improved sights and a shorter, more compact slide and barrel — a modernized m51 design could prove a popular carry piece. No doubt Remington hopes to emulate the commercial success Ruger has achieved with its recently introduced LCP™ compact .380 ACP.

Remington Arms model 51

History Lesson — How Remington Arms started
Legend has it that a young Eliphalet Remington II believed he could build a better gun than he could buy, and he set out to craft such a gun on his father’s forge located at Ilion Gulch, New York. In the autumn of 1816, Eliphalet entered a shooting match with his new flintlock rifle, and while he only finished second, his handmade rifle was a success. Orders for new Remington-made rifles and barrels began to accumulate from the many other contestants, and before Eliphalet left the shooting field, he was in the gun business.

Remington Model 51 photo courtesy Mob Guns Inc..

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July 1st, 2009

Colt Recalls 1911-type Pistols

Colt 1911 RecallColt Mfg. has announced a RECALL of its popular 1911 and 1918 WWI Replica pistols, and other 1911-style firearms. Colt states: “Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC has determined that the Slide Lock Safety and the Recoil Spring Guide Pad in certain Colt model pistols were not manufactured to Colt specifications and must be replaced. All of these Colt models were sold after March 2007″. Serial numbers affected by the product recall are:

1911 WWI Replica (O1911) From: 4597WMK To: 5414WMK
1918 WWI Replica (O1918) From: 1001WWI To: 3431WWI
New Agent (O7810D) From: GT01001 To: GT04505
Combat Elite (O8011XSE) From: CG10000E To: CG11293E
Defender (O7000D) From: DR33036 To: DR35948
Talo Night Defender (O7000NDF) From: NDF0001 To: NDF0400

Free Shipping Offered by Colt
If you log on to the Colt Recall Page you can obtain a FREE FedEx shipping label to return your O1911, O1918, New Agent or Combat Elite, or to receive a replacement part for the Defender Models.

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April 3rd, 2009

Great American Gun Giveaway on ShootingUSA.com

Every month ShootingUSA offers a handsome new firearm in a drawing. This month the prize is a S&W 1911 with Crimson Trace Laser-Grips, MSRP $1,493.00. Sweet Pistol. To enter the contest, you need to provide personal info and the name of an FFL-holder to whom the gun can be shipped. In addition, you need to answer a question. We thought all our readers should know the answer to the current question: “You shoot a One MOA group at 1,000 yards — How wide is the spread of the group?” The suggested answers range from 5 inches to 12 inches. HINT: 1 MOA is 1.047″ at 100 yards.

SW 1911 contest

About the Contest Gun
The S&W 1911 PD is a Commander-size model with 4 1/4″ barrel, carbon steel slide, and Scandium frame. With an 8+1 round capacity, it weighs 28 ounces empty. This model features a Novak rear sight, external extractor (for reliability), and wrap-around Desert Tan Crimson Trace Laser grips. This Editor owns a full-size, all-stainless S&W 1911. My gun has proven exceptionally accurate and has excellent fit and finish. With handloads my gun will shoot as accurately as some Baer and Wilson customs I’ve tried. Below is 5-round group I shot offhand at 10 yards with my 5″ S&W 1911. The bullet hole edges are sharp because I was using semi-wad-cutters. I used Vihtavuori N320 (my favorite powder for 45acp) and 200-grain SWCs from Precision Bullets in Texas. The only thing I would change on my S&W 1911 is the trigger shoe. I prefer the old-fashioned short trigger in 1911s (but that’s a matter of personal preference).

Target from Editor’s 5″ S&W 1911 (not contest pistol).
SW 1911 contest

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