October 29th, 2019

Amazing Arms — Head-Turning Guns from Our Archives

swing-out breech blockThis one-of-a-kind .50-caliber rifle was crafted by the late J.T. Smith. Along with the lever-actuated falling block, it has a massive swing-out breech block — like an artillery piece.

Beautiful and Historic Firearms
We’ve collected some of the most eye-catching firearms featured on AccurateShooter.com over the past decade. There are famous pistols, a shotgun owned by a princess, the fanciest Savage ever made, and some beautiful examples of engraving and stock-making. Enjoy this collection of firearms eye candy.

Centennial 1911 from Colt — Marking 100 Years
In 2011, to celebrate the 100th birthday of the 1911 hangun, Colt created a spectacular, fully-engraved “Anniversary Edition” pistol. J.M. Browning’s 1911 pistol was officially adopted by the U.S. Army on March 29th, 1911. {The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy adopted the 1911 pistol roughly two years later). This Centennial 1911 is pimped to the max, complete with gold inlay and genuine ivory grips.

Savage President’s Engraved Savage 99 Rifle
When you run the company, you get some pretty nice stuff — in this case you get what may be the most elegant Savage ever made. This rifle was created for Joseph V. Falcon, who served as President of Savage Arms. This highly embellished Savage 99 lever-action rifle is chambered for the .300 Savage. It features deluxe checkering and gold inlays.

World’s Most Perfect Colt Paterson — Worth Nearly $1 Million
This 1836 Colt Paterson Revolver sold in 2011 for $977,500 at auction. That set a world record (at the time) for the sale of an American firearm. The very rare, ivory-gripped Texas Paterson Revolver, with a 9-inch barrel and attached loading lever, is the finest known surviving example of Samuel Colt’s first revolver, produced in Paterson, New Jersey.

Stunning Engraved Trio — Colt, Mauser, and Luger
Here is a matching set of three three beautifully engraved pistols by the late Indiana engraving wizard Ben Shostle — a Luger, a Mauser, and a diminutive Colt. By themselves, these three matching pistols would make a prized handgun collection. Photo courtesy Amoskeag Auction Company.

Gun porn glamour rifle pistol shotgun stunning engraved Luger Colt Mauser Walther

Princess Diana’s Westley Richards Shotgun
This stunning Westley Richards & Co. shotgun was made for the 1981 nuptials of Lady Diana Spencer and HRH Prince Charles. It is rare, has a unique history of ownership, and is also elaborately decorated.

Princess Diana Gun porn glamour rifle pistol shotgun stunning

Butch Cassidy’s Colt Wheelgun
This revolver isn’t so pretty, but it has an impressive heritage — it belonged to Butch Cassidy. Butch Cassidy’s famous “Amnesty Colt” Revolver sold to a foreign museum for $175,000. The handgun was offered as part of a collection of Western guns and memorabilia auctioned in Casitas Springs, California.

Butch Cassidy Gun

The Right Stuff — Chuck Yeager’s Gold-Plated Beretta
Here’s another pistol with a famous owner “The Right Stuff” Pilot, Chuck Yeager, the first human to break the sound barrier. This Beretta has extra value because it was owned by pilot Chuck Yeager. Photo NRA Museum.

Chuck Yeager Beretta

Stunning Mauser Custom — Master-grade Wood and Steel
Forum member Kurz posted a dream gun owned by a friend in England. Kurz included a quote from a book created by the rifle’s owner: “There, with my father’s words ringing in my ears, I shall take that ‘step forward’ and order a perfect machine based on the Mauser ’98 action, built from metal and wood by master craftsmen who truly understand that ‘reliable’ and ‘mechanical integrity’ have as much relevance today as they did all those years ago.”

Rifle engraved

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Handguns 1 Comment »
May 12th, 2018

How to Buy a U.S. Military Surplus CMP 1911 Pistol

CMP 1911 Pistol lottery Service Grade Field Rack application procedure

You probably know by now that the CMP has been authorized to distribute U.S. Army surplus 1911 pistols. These were the actual .45 ACP handguns issued to American troops for most of the 20th Century. The first 8,000 pistols have been released from the U.S. Army to the CMP. The very best examples will be auctioned, while the rest will sold in three classes: Service Grade ($1050); Field Grade ($950); and Rack Grade ($850). Interest has been high in these historic 1911 service pistols, with demand expected to exceed supply. Now the CMP has set up the purchase procedure and pricing.

NOTE: The CMP 1911 Order Form Packet can be downloaded from TheCMP.org starting June 4, 2018. Only ONE CMP 1911 Order Form Packet per customer may be submitted.

IMPORTANT: To purchase one of these pistols, you must submit a “hard copy” application, and pass two NICS background tests. Potential purchasers must provide the CMP with a set of documents including: 1) proof of U.S. Citizenship; 2) proof of membership in a CMP-affiliated club; 3) proof of participation in a marksmanship activity; 4) a completed 1911 order form, including a notarized form 2A; 5) a signed copy of the 01, or 02, or 07 Federal Firearms License to which the 1911 will be transferred. All qualifying documents must be included in your order packet.

Designed by J.M. Browning, the M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. It was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

CMP 1911 Pistol lottery Service Grade Field Rack application procedure

CMP 1911 Pistol Purchasing Procedure

While the National Defense Authorization Act granted transfer of a maximum of 10,000 1911s per year to the CMP, the Secretary of the Army allowed only 8,000 1911s to be transferred to the CMP for sale and distribution this fiscal year. Some of those are anticipated to be unusual and worthy of being auctioned. The remaining number will be sold based on a computerized Random Number Generator.

Order Packet Availability: CMP 1911 Order Form Packet will be posted on the CMP website on June 4, 2018. Only ONE CMP 1911 order form packet per customer may be submitted. Hand delivered, emailed, and faxed orders will not be accepted. CMP 1911 order form packet must be mailed to the following address: CMP 1911, 1800 Roberts Drive, Anniston, AL 36207.

One-Month Order Window: Orders must be postmarked NOT PRIOR TO 4 September 2018 and NOT AFTER 4 October 2018. Any orders received postmarked prior to September 4 will not be accepted. Hand delivered, emailed, and faxed orders will not be accepted.

CMP 1911 Pistol Pricing

CMP has priced the 1911 type pistols at fair market value in accordance with CMP’s enabling legislation. The shipping cost is included in the price.

Service Grade $1050. Pistol may exhibit minor pitting and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.

Field Grade $950. Pistol may exhibit minor rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.

Rack Grade $850. Pistol will exhibit rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips may be incomplete and exhibit cracks. Pistol requires minor work to return to issuable condition.

Auction Grade. The condition of the auction pistol will be described when posted for auction. Note: If you have already purchased a 1911 from CMP you will NOT be allowed to purchase an auction 1911. If you purchase an auction 1911, your name will be pulled from the sequenced list. No repeat purchasers are allowed until all orders received have been filled.

(more…)

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March 19th, 2018

The 85% Scale 1911-380 — What Would J.M. Browning Think?

Browning 1911-390 Black lable .380 acp 1911 pistol

The classic John Moses Browning-designed Model 1911 pistol was created for the .45 ACP cartridge. Many believe the M1911 represents the pinnacle of .45 ACP pistol performance. The 1911 has served the nation in combat, and even today, full-size, hot-rod model 1911-type pistols dominate the top classes at action pistol shooting competitions (though typically shooting smaller caliber cartridges).

Which raises the question — does it make sense to shoot a down-sized .1911-type pistol with a smaller, lighter-recoiling cartridge? Browning, the company named after genius inventor J.M. Browning, thinks so. In 2014, Browning introduced an 85%-scale version of the 1911 that shoots the .380 ACP, another cartridge that Mr. Browning favored. What happens when the Model 1911 is reduced to 85 percent of its original size and paired with the .380 ACP cartridge?

WATCH: Check Out This Cool Animation to See How the 1911-380 Works:

This gun, with its polymer composite frame, is a LOT lighter than an all-steel 1911. The Browning 1911-380 tips the scales at a mere 17.5 ounces. Gun reviewers have praised Browning’s new 1911-380, saying that it functions great and fits well in the hand. NRA America’s 1st Freedom Editor Frank Winn states: “This is precisely where the [1911-380] Black Label .380 ACP excels so dramatically — as a transitional pistol. The 85-percent scaling caters to those with smaller hands and less grip strength. In every test we conducted, on paper, on steel (plates to 35 yards), and through defensive and competitive drills, the Black Label performed flawlessly.” Testers have praised the pointability and function of the down-sized 1911. It operates like a full-sized 1911*, and the “take-down” procedure is the same. This video shows the features of Browning’s 1911-380.

To be honest, we think this is sort of sacrilege. We like the full-size 1911 and we love the original .45 ACP cartridge. That classic fat round is accurate, easy-to-reload, and makes nice big holes in paper. One could also ask, if you want to shoot a .380 ACP, why not shoot it from another J.M. Browning design, the lovely little Model 1908. This beautiful design also served the U.S. Military, and it’s still one of the best-looking semi-auto pistols ever made. The NRA’s Frank Winn notes: “A revamped Browning design (based on the Colt M1903 “Pocket Hammerless”) became the M1908, the first mature, successful .380 ACP handgun. In 42 years of manufacture, several hundred thousand were sold.”

J.M. Browning 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP

So, much as we applaud innovation, we’ll stick to the original, full-size 1911. If we want to shoot the little .380 ACP cartridge, we’ll do so with J.M. Browning’s lovely little M1908, or another great .380 ACP pistol, the Sig P230/232. This editor owns a sweet Sig P230 in stainless. It is thin, handsome, durable, and easy to carry. It’s also an appreciating asset.


* The Browning 1911-380 has one main functional difference — it has a magazine disconnect. this means “with the magazine removed, the hammer won’t fall, even with all safeties disengaged”. LINK.

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August 18th, 2015

Walther Builds its First-Ever .45 ACP Pistol

Walther Arms .45 acp M2 PPQ pistol handgun

Believe it or not, legendary German gun-maker Walther Arms has never produced a .45 ACP pistol. Until now that is. You see Walther just announced that it will (finally) build a handgun, the .45 ACP PPQ, chambered for the classic .45 ACP cartridge. John Moses Browning would approve.

The striker-fired, polymer-framed .45 ACP PPQ boasts a smooth, 5.6-lb trigger with a 0.4″ normal travel and a 0.1″ reset. The 4.25-inch barrel features polygonal rifling (like HK barrels). Both slide and barrel have a hard Tenifer finish (like Glocks). The new .45 ACP PPQ includes ambidextrous controls, slide serrations, and front Picatinny rail for mounting accessories. The pistol holds 12 rounds and is equipped with three internal safeties. Overall length is 7.4 inches, and width is 1.3 inches.

Walther Arms’ VP of Sales and Marketing, Cyndi Flannigan, states: “This new caliber and product offering is a benchmark for Walther and the PPQ. We have built it to the same exacting German standards that deliver the ultimate home defense and personal protection firearm.” The new M2 .45 ACP PPQ pistol is expected to ship to dealers in early October, 2015.

Click photo for full-screen version:
Walther Arms .45 acp M2 PPQ pistol handgun

Permalink Handguns, New Product 2 Comments »
January 13th, 2015

Shades of SHOT — An Amazing 1911 Pistol Made from Wood

SHOT Show kicks off in exactly one week. What were some of the more unusual items unveiled at last year’s show? Well how about a convincingly authentic 1911-style pistol made entirely of wood. That’s right, every component — frame, barrel, slide, hammer, grips, trigger, even the functional beavertail grip safety — are made from wood. The gun shouldn’t be used with live, full-power ammunition of course, but otherwise it operates just like a real 1911. It will feed dummy rounds, the slide racks, and the trigger causes the hammer to fall — just like on a real 1911 made from metal. Somehow, we think John Moses Browning, father of the 1911, would have been proud….

Wood SHOT Show wooden 1911a1 1911 pistol nrablog

This unique all-wood pistol is a “tour de force” of craftsmanship. NRA Blog Editor Lars Dalseide was so impressed with the “all organic” wood 1911, that he named it as his favorite story subject for 2014:

#1 – A Fully Functional 1911 Pistol Made from Wood
When walking the SHOT Show floor last January I spotted what I thought was an incredible carving. But it was more than a carving – it was a fully functional 1911 pistol made out of wood.

From the Wood Caliber workshop in Davidson, Michigan, this beauty acts and feels just like a regular 1911. For the pure beauty of it, the 1911 wooden pistol is my top story for 2014.

Wood SHOT Show wooden 1911a1 1911 pistol nrablog

Permalink Handguns, News 4 Comments »
January 25th, 2014

Deliverance from Trigger Hell to Trigger Heaven at SHOT Show

While at SHOT Show, I visited nearly all the major pistol manufacturers, and tried out their latest polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols. To my dismay, these pistols (from a half-dozen different makers), all had one thing in common — really unpleasant triggers. The triggers were mushy, “sproingy” (my term), with a heavy (and sometimes rough) “stagey” pull that was not consistent through the pull cycle. Trying one gun after another, my reaction was always: “Yep, another awful trigger”. Most of the striker-fired guns also had a sloppy slide to frame fit, so they clanked around as they cycled. I’m sure they would function reliably, but I felt I was sampling staple guns, not fine firearms.

STI International Firearms

STI International FirearmsIn Search of A Better Trigger
Disheartened, I left the main exhibit hall and descended to level one. There, like a beacon, I saw the STI logo, and ranks of metal-framed, hammer-fired pistols. I picked one up. I worked the slide — it operated oh-so-smoothly, like it was on ball bearings. The grip safety functioned perfectly when I wrapped my hand on the grip — no conscious pressure was required and I didn’t feel an uncomfortable bump in the web of my hand. The safety just did its job effortlessly.

I asked an STI rep if I could dry-fire the pistol. “Go right ahead” he said. The first thing I noticed was that the take-up was smooth — butter smooth. There was no grittiness, and the take-up pull was constant. When you got to the break point, resistance increased, and at just about 3 pounds of pressure, the hammer fell with a precise release. No staginess (rising/falling pull weight), no “sproingy” feel (like a cheap coil spring compressing and then snapping), just even pressure and “click” the hammer falls. This was trigger heaven, compared to striker-fired trigger hell.

As I was at the STI booth, a young fellow came up next to me. I noticed, from his name badge, that he was from Austria, home of the Glock. He said “You know I have had Glocks for years. Then one day I said ‘Why am I doing this to myself, why am I putting up with this?’. The triggers are scheiße — I can’t stand them, and the grip shape is wrong. So I sold my Glocks and bought one of these [an STI] and now I am very happy.” He held up an STI and said “Now this is how a pistol should be made!” I smiled and said, “Isn’t it ironic that it has been more than 100 years since John Moses Browning invented the 1911, and his design still works so well?”


Here are two of the STI Pistols on display at SHOT Show. They are both built to very high quality standards, and they both have smooth-running slides and crisp, near-perfect triggers.

STI International Firearms

STI Target Master
The Target Master is built on STI’s 1911 Government-length frame with 30 lpi checkering on the front strap. The safety controls are STI ambidextrous thumb safeties and STI high rise, knuckle-relief beavertail grip safety. The 6″ slide features a lowered and flared ejection port, tri-level adjustable sights, and STI front and rear cocking serrations. The barrel is a 6.0″, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Target Master comes standard with a STI two-piece steel guide rod, Commander-style hammer and patented STI Int’l trigger system. The STI Target Master ships with one 1911 Magazine.

STI International Firearms

STI International Edge
Integrating patented 2011 technology with classic 1911 design, the STI International Edge is a high capacity pistol that carries John Browning’s design into the 21st Century. Since its introduction in late 1997, the STI Edge has become the standard for USPSA/IPSC Limited Division competition. Built on the STI Modular Steel 2011® frame with polymer grip, the Edge delivers the traditional features of a 1911 with the benefit of high capacity magazines. The Edge frame preserves the 17° grip angle (like the original 1911). The design allows for double stack magazines without over-sizing the circumference of the grip.

Along with its distinctive full-length dust-cover frame, the STI Edge features traditional front and rear cocking serrations. The Edge comes standard with a stainless, high-rise, knuckle-relief grip safety, stainless ambi-thumb safeties, and a stainless, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Edge ships with one 126mm magazine.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 9 Comments »
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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