The amount of people on the web ready to tell you how unreliable the 1911 is, may approach the population of China or India. Even some bigger name instructors wishing to get more attention by saying things controversial blather on about it even when they really do not know as much about it as they would have you think. One thing to keep in mind is that just because you can teach people to shoot, does not mean you are always a good judge of the tools themselves. Then again, they got guns with their names on them they have to sell for the companies that handed them a check.
Among all this babble I noticed Bravo company has a joint 1911 project with Wilson combat. Obviously the gun is only made by Wilson,but the idea is you get a very expensive high end 1911 with all the things the “BCM Gunfighter instructors” say a 1911 needs. I am skeptical to say the least. I am going to make an assumption and say the Bravo boys are most likely hard core Glock, M&P and other striker fired and DA/SA shooters. Not the guys I really think need to tell me what a 1911 needs. In addition, I highly doubt Wilson needs anyone to tell them how to make a 1911.
Now, if you read this website you know how I feel about 1911s made to hard/tight fit with all the other custom gunsmith alchemy added with the price reaching ever high levels. To sum up. I am not a fan. I think a proper made Milspec 1911 with a few touches is really all you need if you really want a serious use 1911. Not for target or competition work more than things that will abuse it. My rule of thumb with 1911s are , over 800 but under 1800. Its a good bet with a few exception over or under that price range is counter productive if you want a 1911 made the way it was meant to be. I have talked about this at great length before.
The 1911 pictured is for lack of a better term, my training 1911. It is a Colt XSE Government model. It is, with two exception, as Colt sold it from the box. I took off the ambi safety, not because I do not like them, but because I wanted something closer to what plain GI and what I may run across if I am forced to pick up and use a 1911 that is not mine and it forces me to deal with a single safety in drills to make it harder. The other change is I added a 1911A1 WW2 main spring housing arched and with a lanyard loop. I did this because I like it, and because it goes along with a certain idea I had in mind for the gun that I will go into at a later time.
I have been very rude to this gun. In the winter, it was thrown into muddy, icy water and frozen in sub freezing temps . I pulled it out and fired it with no problems. I fished it out of the water, broke the gun from battery to drain the water and fired it.
I have used this gun very hard over the years and I never clean it. I only oil it. Over the weekend while shooting, I tossed it on the ground and kicked dirt all over it and in it and shot it.
While I did get a face full of dirt on the first few shots every time I threw it down and kicked it around int the dirt, it never stopped. Fellow looseorunds writer Adam was with me taking pictures. He has been seeing me abuse 1911s for a few years and has started to have a major change of opinion on them after seeing my torture. The simple fact is, 1911s made right , work. Cheap 1911s will not work. The guns rep suffers because everyone and their mentally challenged brother in law make them. Some better than others. When some new trainer sees one of these lesser guns fail in a class, the run all over the net proclaiming it as junk. Indeed some are. But not the ones made correctly to the proper specs. Not a hard fit gun. Not a MIM filled piece of garbage like a currently popular brand who fools many with custom features. Not some cast made piece that falls apart as you shoot it. External extractors, MIM parts. Cast guns. JMB, Colt nor the army every mentioned any of that when making the military’s longest serving combat pistol still being used today when made correctly.
It does not have to be super tight. It does not need cost over 2 grand. It can be loose and rattle a little. None of that hurts a proper 1911.
A proper 1911 will last a very long time. The myth of 5,000 round barrels is also a common one. It is simply untrue. This guns has close to 24,000 rounds through it and I can still hit thrown skeet.And that is while is is caked in dirt and mud and filth
John Travis. gunsmith and writer for Rangehot speaks more eloquently on the 1911 than I can. His posts are informative and technical as he dis spells many of the tired old myths and just plain bullshit running out of the mouths of some of the younger generation of firearms instructors. If you really like the 1911 or want to learn more, Go check these links out. You will learn something you did not know.
With the new Aimpoint T-2s coming out and the super saturated AR market there are some awesome deals to be had on used Aimpoints. I purchased this T-1 used with the LaRue mount and IO cover for $425 off the AR15.com Equipment Exchange. I have seen several other good deals there on used T-1 Aimpoints. If money is tight and your looking for a top of the line optic, consider looking at used Aimpoints on the gun forums. Currently it is a buyers market.
Check out the alert sent to us today on the new Aimpoint H-2 RDS. For those who do not need night vision capability, the H-1 and new H-2 Aimpoint’s are the way to go.
The Colt, SP-1 is a classic. It has certainly become more desirable as time has went by and no doubt will continue to. I acquired the AR15 shown for my Dad who carried the Colt 602 version of the M16 in Vietnam and the SP1 is nearly the same gun. I am not much into “clones” nor do I much want an AR15 that is not a Colt or have at the least, a majoirty of Colt parts. So the SP1 really hits the nail on the head for me.
With the help of some very good friends over the years, I have managed to gather all the extras that came with various SP1s during their time of production. The last pieces I found was this MINT Colt Japanese made 3X scope. It has the regular duplex crosshairs and was never used.
Another friend was kind enough to give me a brand new never used Colt M16 Bayonet with scabbard. The bayonet is mint as well and in perfect condition. The same friend also gifted me the M16 spring loaded bipod also mint and Colt marked. Both items very hard to get in mint, unused shape and with the colt factory markings.
Lastly, my personal favorite detail of the AR15 is the chrome slick side Colt bolt carrier group. The BCG in the earlier guns were chrome plated and since the SP1 does not have a forward assist, the carrier is slick on the side with no grove cuts for a forward assist to even bare against. The majority of SP1s had the more common and now standard BCG with cuts for the FA and with the standard Milspec finish seen every where today. It was hard to track one down at the time but eventually the effort paid off. Pictured above is a set of new condition original 1956 web gear . the type used in the Vietnam war.
The SP1 has a chromed lined barrel with 1/12 twist, which fired the M193 FMJ round. This rifle will shoot groups around 1.5 MOA with quality handloads. I load the excellent 53 and 55 grain Barnes TSX solid copper hollow points for it in case my Dad or I ever want to use it for something more serious than paper. I have used it a few times for hunting and plan to try the combo of gun, scope and TSX ammo on a deer later this year unless something more exotic is put in my hands for review purposes. The lighter bullets will kill deer sized game just fine. Many threads are on AR15.com showing deer and hog kills using 55 weight range bullets and several deer kill threads. At one time I recall a retro AR15 thread about taking deer with the older guns. So if you have one. or a clone of a M16A1 etc, take that beauty out and let it do what it was meant to do. They are still fine rifles that will serve well.
One last thought before the end. As good as these are, and they are good and still effective. Do not fall into the trap of nostalgia over common sense or the idiotic “KISS rifle” concepts. Those guns will work. But the force multipliers and tools on modern guns out class them for serious practical purposes by light years. So don’t wax all nostalgic and try to use one for very serious work just for the sake of being different or cool. You can if you have to. but it would not be wise. Have fun with it, hunt with it. admire it. It is still deadly effective and just as reliable. But it is not going to beat a handy carbine with a red dot and weapon light.
Above is my SP1 Colt AR15 with friend’s Colt SP1 AR15 carbine
Above, SP1 and Colt M16A1 upper on Colt retro preban lower. A beautiful pair indeed and not a supermodel anywhere in sight!
Last year I did a series of posts where I fired a variety of common rifle and pistol rounds into a car to see what would penetrate different parts of the body. Today, we did a little PM on a Barrett M82A1/XM107 and decided to fire some round into the same car to see what would happen. We used plain ball and armor piercing.
We all have hear about the 50s power and ability to make scrap metal out of some pretty heavy cover. I have also heard claims it will shoot through the engine block. So today we put it to the test. We went the extra mile with it and even shot from only 25 yards.
I set a “Q” target on the back side of the car to simulate some one taking cover behind the engine and also to show any round that would go through and what it would look like.
And then one in front for the aiming point.
As you can see in the picture, the AP round hit in the kill zone. But it did not make it through the engine. Which also had been shot to pieces over the last few years anyway and was not in its best shape to begin with as can be seen in the picture. Of course, ball did not even come close. and AP failed completely as well. We did move the target more toward the front so the shot would not hit the engine and only rake through the front bumper and radiator.
Even as little as that barrel showed anything on the target. Mainly some shrapnel.
We did put some targets behind the car door and got spectacular results as expected.
Above picture shows opposite side door after AP had torn through the passenger side door and targets, then passed through drivers side door. The damage is impressive. Of course that is no surprise since we fired four 690 grain armor piercing rounds through it.
With this limited test, in this limited environment of shooting from 25 yards showed the 50BMG even using AP certainly is not the ultimate weapon some may think it is.
Once upon a time in this very country, a boy could wander through the woods on a warm evening exploring his surroundings. and shooting small game or tin cans or anything he felt like shooting. He was trusted to use his rifle. It was not powerful rifle, but he was taught that it was still a weapon,and he knew this and respected it.
As he wondered though the woods near his home, that groundhog that his older neighbor lady wanted him to get rid of, may turn into a Nazi, or if he was my generation, a commie. He would use the same rifle for small game when it was in season. Usually he just carried it with him and would plink when the mood came on. The rifle was usually a single shot bolt action with open sights. Maybe a repeating bolt action. A few would have carried a lever action or pump action, but it was always a .22 long rifle. Usually after years or carrying a BB gun before moving up to the holy of all holies, the 22.
This time is now long gone for the most part but at one time if was nothing special. When I was a boy I had a single shot 22 bolt action winchester like the one pictured. Though mine was not in this good as shape. I live in a rural area in the south east and n one thought anything of a boy walking down the single lane road with a 22 rifle. I would walk through the hills in the summer and fall with my rifle. When school was in, I would eat and after watching a few favorite cartoons if they were not canceled to show some boring ball game, I would grab my rifle and head off into the mountains behind my house.
I was never allowed to shoot at squirrel with the rifle at that age because my Dad feared me shooting at anything at a high angle. Like small game in a tree. He worried a miss might come down and hurt some one so I was told not to shoot at game in trees. but many chipmunks and other small game made for rich targets. One day I spent 8 or 9 hours leaning against a huge oak tree deathly still as I shot chipmunk after chipmunk. It never got any better than shooting commie groundhogs trying to raid my Grandma’s garden like Russkies sweeping through Europe looking for food after spending all their money on building nukes!
As I got older. friends would want to join me or come along. Mainly they wanted to waste my ammo and shoot just so they could say they did it. they were not gun guys like I already knew I was. they would come with me but showed little patience or skill and shooting was no more than a passing thought for them. Besides I nor my Dad trusted them with a rifle. so I very, very rarely had a friend with me.
When I held that rifle in my hand, I knew the rest of my life would be spent with a rifle or pistol in my hand. Even then I could not imagine life without one. By 9 years of age, my Dad had given me my first 1911 and I had been shooting it ,but It did not accompany me until a few years later. Ammo for the “45” was too expensive and important for just plinking. Later I was given a Marlin semi auto 22 by my Grandpa. It was pretty heady stuff for me at the time, but like every kid in history who had one learned, it was not all that accurate and cheap rimfire ammo fouled it so fast it was more a pain than it was fun.
Anyone who grew up in the 80s or earlier loves guns and lived in a rural area probably has a lot of stories like mine. I have met people who told me in the late 70s. they would keep their rifle or shotgun in their school locker before leaving to hunt after school let out. No one cared and no one was ever hurt believe it or not.
One of my friends a bit younger than my own Father has a lot of wonderful stories about him and his 22. When He was a boy he had a Winchester single shot bolt action. like a million boys before and after him. He lived in a rural town in WV that sprouted a few businesses near a creek, One business was a general store ( and my friend says upstairs it was brothel) that set against the creek. The owner kept grain and corn in barrel on the back side and was constantly in a fight with rats. My friend said every weekend he would wade across the creek with his rifle and lay in wait. He would shoot the rats as they came in from the creek bank to raid the corn. For every two rats he killed and showed the owner. he would get 25 cents. He used this money for buying his 22 ammo and it kept him shooting all summer.
My own Dad told stories of how he and friend would walk or ride their bikes to a garbage dump used by a local town at the time. Back then. the people would just drive to the city dump and toss it out. Predictably the place was lousy with huge rats. He and his friends would spend all day shooting those rats grown fat, lazy and complacent from eating the leftover swill of the townspeople. The dump was disturbingly close to the local river and apparently it was a real treat when it rained hard enough for the river to raise. When the water was high enough to get into the dump, the shooting became fast and furious as the rats swam into the water.
Of course shooting random trash floating down the creek or river was always worthwhile even when I was growing up in the 1980s. A lot has been done to protect the environment, but in the rural south east in the 80s, Garbage would still float down the river when the water was high after a long hard rain.
A lot of boys that grew up to be shooters spent countless hours with their 22s just like I did. No doubt the generations before had even more fun with their rifles than we did. Having more freedom and less people and homes around, they had freedom to do just about anything within reason. Sadly the days of a Boy grabbing his 22 rifle, Boyscout canteen, pocket knife and ammo and heading out to shoot , pick black berries and shoot tin cans, are probably over for soon will be. It was a great way to grow up and I feel sorry for those who lived in the city or another country and could not have these experiences.
Pictured is A winchester model 67 single shot bolt action. Vintage canteen was used by a friend of the family when he was a young Scout. Remington 100 year anniversary retro oil can and my Father’s vintage case knife with scarf.
The new Aimpoint T-2 is making making its way to the market. TheFirearmBlog posted up a video made by Jonathan Owen comparing the T-1 & T-2.
The T-2 looks like it has some nice little incremental improvements over the T-1, and but at this time I wouldn’t recommend throwing out your T-1 for a T-2. I really like the Aimpoint T-1 and highly recommend it.
The T-1 and T-2 cost more then some may want to pay. Then if your going to use one on an AR15 you generally have to drop about another $100 on a taller mount. If money is tight, look at the Aimpoint PRO. The PRO can be had for under $400, and has all the good features of the more expensive Aimpoints.
It was brought to our attention this was first formatted/posted to the internet by a members of the primaryandsecondary.com forum. Credit to them for a interesting bit of history.
Interview taken from “Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshall” by Stuart N. Lake
“I was a fair hand with pistol, rifle, or shotgun, but I learned more about gunfighting from Tom Speer’s cronies during the summer of ’71 than I had dreamed was in the book. Those old-timers took their gunplay seriously, which was natural under the conditions in which they lived. Shooting, to them, was considerably more than aiming at a mark and pulling a trigger. Models of weapons, methods of wearing them, means of getting them into action and operating them, all to the one end of combining high speed with absolute accuracy, contributed to the frontiersman’s shooting skill. The sought-after degree of proficiency was that which could turn to most effective account the split-second between life and death. Hours upon hours of practice, and wide experience in actualities supported their arguments over style.
The most important lesson I learned from those proficient gunfighters was the winner of a gunplay usually was the man who took his time. The second was that, if I hoped to live long on the frontier, I would shun flashy trick-shooting—grandstand play—as I would poison.
When I say that I learned to take my time in a gunfight, I do not wish to be misunderstood, for the time to be taken was only that split fraction of a second that means the difference between deadly accuracy with a sixgun and a miss. It is hard to make this clear to a man who has never been in a gunfight. Perhaps I can best describe such time taking as going into action with the greatest speed of which a man’s muscles are capable, but mentally unflustered by an urge to hurry or the need for complicated nervous and muscular actions which trick-shooting involves. Mentally deliberate, but muscularly faster than thought, is what I mean.
In all my life as a frontier police officer, I did not know a really proficient gunfighter who had anything but contempt for the gun-fanner, or the man who literally shot from the hip. In later years I read a great deal about this type of gunplay, supposedly employed by men noted for skill with a forty-five.
From personal experience and numerous six-gun battles which I witnessed, I can only support the opinion advanced by the men who gave me my most valuable instruction in fast and accurate shooting, which was that the gun-fanner and hip-shooter stood small chance to live against a man who, as old Jack Gallagher always put it, took his time and pulled the trigger once.
Cocking and firing mechanisms on new revolvers were almost invariably altered by their purchasers in the interests of smoother, effortless handling, usually by filing the dog which controlled the hammer, some going so far as to remove triggers entirely or lash them against the guard, in which cases the guns were fired by thumbing the hammer. This is not to be confused with fanning, in which the triggerless gun is held in one hand while the other was brushed rapidly across the hammer to cock the gun, and firing it by the weight of the hammer itself. A skillful gun-fanner could fire five shots from a forty-five so rapidly that the individual reports were indistinguishable, but what could happen to him in a gunfight was pretty close to murder.
I saw Jack Gallagher’s theory borne out so many times in deadly operation that I was never tempted to forsake the principles of gunfighting as I had them from him and his associates.
There was no man in the Kansas City group who was Wild Bill’s equal with a six-gun. Bill’s correct name, by the way, was James B. Hickok. Legend and the imaginations of certain people have exaggerated the number of men he killed in gunfights and have misrepresented the manner in which he did his killing. At that, they could not very well overdo his skill with pistols.
Hickok knew all the fancy tricks and was as good as the best at that sort of gunplay, but when he had serious business at hand, a man to get, the acid test of marksmanship, I doubt if he employed them. At least, he told me that he did not. I have seen him in action and I never saw him fan a gun, shoot from the hip, or try to fire two pistols simultaneously. Neither have I ever heard a reliable old-timer tell of any trick-shooting employed by Hickok when fast straight-shooting meant life or death.
That two-gun business is another matter that can stand some truth before the last of the old-time gunfighters has gone on. They wore two guns, most of six-gun toters did, and when the time came for action went after them with both hands. But they didn’t shoot them that way.
Primarily, two guns made the threat of something in reserve; they were useful as a display of force when a lone man stacked up against a crowd. Some men could shoot equally well with either hand, and in a gunplay might alternate their fire; others exhausted the loads from the gun on the right, or the left, as the case might be, then shifted the reserve weapon to the natural shooting hand if that was necessary and possible. Such a move—the border shift—could be made faster than the eye could follow a top-notch gun-thrower, but if the man was as good as that, the shift would seldom be required.
Whenever you see a picture of some two-gun man in action with both weapons held closely against his hips and both spitting smoke together, you can put it down that you are looking at the picture of a fool, or a fake. I remember quite a few of these so-called two-gun men who tried to operate everything at once, but like the fanners, they didn’t last long in proficient company.
In the days of which I am talking, among men whom I have in mind, when a man went after his guns, he did so with a single, serious purpose. There was no such thing as a bluff; when a gunfighter reached for his fortyfive, every faculty he owned was keyed to shooting as speedily and as accurately as possible, to making his first shot the last of the fight. He just had to think of his gun solely as something with which to kill another before he himself could be killed. The possibility of intimidating an antagonist was remote, although the ‘drop’ was thoroughly respected, and few men in the West would draw against it. I have seen men so fast and so sure of themselves that they did go after their guns while men who intended to kill them had them covered, and what is more win out in the play. They were rare. It is safe to say, for all general purposes, that anything in gunfighting that smacked of show-off or bluff was left to braggarts who were ignorant or careless of their lives.
I might add that I never knew a man who amounted to anything to notch his gun with ‘credits,’ as they were called, for men he had killed. Outlaws, gunmen of the wild crew who killed for the sake of brag, followed this custom. I have worked with most of the noted peace officers — Hickok, Billy Tilghman, Pat Sughre, Bat Masterson, Charlie Basset, and others of like caliber — have handled their weapons many times, but never knew one of them to carry a notched gun.
There are two other points about the old-time method of using six-guns most effectively that do not seem to be generally known. One is that the gun was not cocked with the ball of the thumb. As his gun was jerked into action, the old-timer closed the whole joint of his thumb over the hammer and the gun was cocked in that fashion. The soft flesh of the thumb ball might slip if a man’s hands were moist, and a slip was not to be chanced if humanly avoidable. This thumb-joint method was employed whether or not a man used the trigger for firing.
On the second point, I have often been asked why five shots without reloading were all a top-notch gunfighter fired, when his guns were chambered for six cartridges. The answer is, merely, safety. To ensure against accidental discharge of the gun while in the holster, due to hair-trigger adjustment, the hammer rested upon an empty chamber. As widely as this was known and practiced, the number of cartridges a man carried in his six-gun may be taken as an indication of a man’s rank with the gunfighters of the old school. Practiced gun-wielders had too much respect for their weapons to take unnecessary chances with them; it was only with tyros and would-bes that you heard of accidental discharges or didn’t-know-it-was-loaded injuries in the country where carrying a Colt was a man’s prerogative.”
This last week I went to my first USPSA match with a G19. I didn’t know what to expect out of a match, as all the videos posted online make it seem like everyone you go up against will be a speed freak with a laser like shot to the target. Seeing those videos can really put a dent in your resolve as you may believe that you won’t be able to compete.
First off, your will to get better should be the driving force behind your practice, the gun courses you take, and the competitions you go to. Watching too many videos of the World Class He-Men and She-Ra shooters will make you feel outclassed, so stop watching them and start doing! As pistol is my weakest skill, I *was* outclassed by many shooters… but the reason I went is because I know my pistol hand sucks. Perhaps for that reason, pistols were left behind when I need those skills as much as I need rifle skills.
The USPSA match would put me in the same position as it did when I began to compete with my rifle; it would put me out of my comfort zone and into a field were I could test my mettle against better shooters. It would give me a basis to compare myself and learn what I need to work on to master my sidearm.
“Make Ready and Holster Your Weapon”
I joined up and entered as a production division shooter which amounts to a 10 round magazine capacity limit on a box stock gun. New sights are allowed. I had a holster and a Blade-Tech mag holster and brought a total of 5 mags. The gear you need is really sparse, as a pistol, eyes, ears, ammo, gear bag, a mag pouch, and a holster are all you need to get started.
Each course was held in a bay with a total of five bays and five squads of shooters. Each course was set up to allow you to problem solve the situation and determine which targets would get your attention first. Two rounds on each target, with steel targets needing to be knocked down to be neutralized were the main COF.
I like to run guns with a more universal approach. I want to be able to compete in any event with the same guns I would use if the deepest, darkest SHTFANTASY erupted. I want my guns to be all the same, and each of them nearly worn out by the time I die. I want to be the man with one gun, or in my case multiple guns in the same platform. So any guns I shoot will be on the practical side… even if they cost me the National Championship. Yea No.
“Is the Shooter Ready? Standby: Beep!”
The courses were a challenge and pushed me and my G19 to hit COM as fast as I could keep in control. My biggest blunders of the day were failing to engage two targets completely. I didn’t see them as I ran the course too fast and I obscured them by moving to a different location. Otherwise, I hit all my steel and generally hit the targets where I was supposed to. The biggest challenge in weapon manipulation was focusing on the front sight in spite of the excitement of the COF.
I find that running my gun in a USPSA match was invaluable, and cheap, way to learn to self correct my deficits. Some takeaways from the day:
- Your gonna suck, so just get it over with… the suck will go away
- Your weapon will be well suited to have a malfunction in a USPSA environment
- You can only improve so much on a static target or if you are static at the gun range
- The “game” will, at the very least, help you improve your speed on target and follow up shots
“Clear Weapon, Show Clear, Hammer Down, Holster!”
The sport of USPSA will be a great, low cost means to improve my shooting with my CCW and my new *Home Defense Pistol* which is basically a G17 that I will modify for the hell of it. Get your gun working for you, and don’t hesitate to take it to a competition. There is far more to the art of the gun than shooting at a static target at crowded shooting lane on a Saturday afternoon. Avoid the non-member range danger, and try out a well controlled, challenging sport which will push you to master that pistol! It is NOT a complicated sport, and anyone can get into USPSA.
Video Courtesy of Guns1961
As a supplement to my rifle, its going to be a great year of shooting ahead! – The New Rifleman