Modern-Retro Hybrid Colt 1911 Project

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I have always liked the look of the pre series 70 commercial Colt 1911s just as much as the US military issue guns. There is no doubt that those older vintage guns have a huge amount of appeal.  I have been  looking for a near mint example of one for my own collection and uses for years but they are hard to come by at a price I am willing to pay.

So over the last year I got the idea to sort of create my own, at least in spirit.  The idea was to take a modern plain Colt government model and slowly put it together to resemble a gun one might have walked into a store and bought before WW2.

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The first thing I did was change out the main spring housing.  Colt was kind enough to send me a MSH from their no discontinued line or re-issue 1918  WWI pistols. It is beautifully blued and highly polished with the lanyard loop.  Looking at it shows the amount of polish and beautiful bluing that went into those early guns that went to the trenches in the Great War.  Like all colt made military parts for the 1911, it dropped right in.

The next thing I wanted was the early original pattern of the safety lock.  Unlike modern safeties, it has a smaller shelf for the thumb to hit. There is a reason it was made this way despite what some thing. It acts as a surface to tap against for when detail stripping some of the other pins and parts on the gun. You can read all about it at rangehot.com  in the posts by John Travis on the 1911 and  the genius and thought that went into it.   That aside, it is correct for that time period. And I personally love the way they look. It is not a bit hard to hit to take the safety on and off. Once again Colt came to the rescue for me when I could not source one any where else. Midway sales them, but are currently out of stock, so if you want one keep checking back under their listing of colt parts.

The safety came off the line and had yet to be fitted for 1911s so I had to do about 30 seconds worth of careful filing and fitting. With that very little bit of work I got it fitted correctly and after function checking it. I shot it to make sure.

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Lastly, I found a WW1 reproduction 7 round magazine to go with the gun. These original mags came with a lanyard loop as well. I have heard a variety of reasons why the mags had loops as well as the gun. One theory is that the  US issue lanyards at the time meant for revolvers would not fit through the loop on the new automatic pistols so the asked for a loop on the mag in the meant time while they sorted it out.  I am skeptical about that, but I have no idea. I think it is for cavalry being able to not lose the gun or the magazines during a reload while on horse back.  In those days magazines would not have been looked as as nearly disposable items like they are now. So it seems reasonable to me to think that the cavalry wanted a way to retain the mag without having to use both hands while riding a horse on a full gallop.

Eventually I will replace the hammer with the original style and I may or may not go to a shorter trigger,  I think it will be more of a hybrid of a 1911A1 and a 1911 than fully one or the other. Call it a 1911A0.5 for my purpose. Of course it will still have its colt SS forged barrel and bigger high profile government model sights that can actually be used just as effectively as any other modern sights.  So maybe I need to think up a better name.

For now I am in love with this pistol. The new gun  is a plain model as it comes, but it has a very attractive highly blued finish. Not as mirror like as a TALO model, but not flat black. It is basically the modern day government model from the past, Before it was the MK IV series 80 and before that the series 70.  It is very close to the plain USGI 1911 of the past 100 years but with a bit of improvements for modern shooters. Example being a SS barrel, taller sights that are very easy to use but still can pass as GI sights for those who want that look, a slightly beveled mag well on the inside that helps with faster reloads but does not change the outward looks and a slightly enlarged ejection port.  It is the last pistol in the lineage of the GI issue pistols and it is fully capable of going out of the box and right into a fight but with no frills. No ambi-s safety or forward slide serration. But thats OK.  It is meant to be a throw back to an earlier gun but still be  capable as if if you need it.

I carry this pistol often, for special events, I guess it is essentially a BBQ for me., though I shoot it a lot. I enjoy shooting it for pleasure and for formal target or bulls eye type marksmanship. I do train with it just to stay on top of using a 1911 without a ambi safety, but not like I do with my more modernized every day CCW 1911.  My EDC is a Colt 1911XSE in stainless steel. I do love carrying this pistol that is my loving tribute to an earlier time.

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Front Sight – 2 Day Defensive Handgun and 1 Day CCW Class – My Experience

Guest writer and friend to looseorunds Lila recently went to the Front site gun school and wrote an AAR detailing her time there.

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I recently attended Front Sight’s 2 Day Defensive Handgun class and before I went, I searched all over the web for forum and blog posts in order to get prepared for my visit to Front Sight. The most recent detailed posts that I could find were a couple of years old, so I thought I would post my experience, with the best tips I have found. Front Sight is a place in the desert of Pahrump where you can receive training for a multitude of weapons such as handguns, rifles, machine guns, edged weapons, etc. When I realized I would be moving to Las Vegas, I bought a Diamond membership from a Calguns forum member for a really reasonable price (whereby taking one class would be worth the price of the membership). With a Diamond membership, you can take any class you want (that you qualify for), for your lifetime. You can also find discounted memberships from other gun enthusiast websites such as Nevadashooters and AR15. You might as well buy a membership rather than pay the full price of each course on the Frontsight web page.

I anticipated a grueling and hot weekend and it was – with temperatures as high as 102 in the afternoon. You will need to use strong sunscreen a couple of times at least, to make sure you don’t burn. Don’t worry if you forget to bring sunscreen – they provide several bottles of 50 rated UVA/UVB sunscreen for your use and encourage you to reapply as needed. I applied sunscreen at least 2-3 times each day and did not get sunburned.

Here is a list of the equipment/accessories that I brought:

H&K USP 9mm with 8 mags (bring high capacity if you can, to avoid having to reload as often)
Holster (non Blackhawk Serpa) – I used a Safariland 568 holster and it worked great
Uncle Mike’s Tactical Kydex Double Stack Double Magazine Case
Maxpedition Rollypolly folding dump pouch – medium sized – is really helpful to carry extra mags, ammo, gloves
ESS Ice eyeshield sunglasses
250 rounds of Remington UMC 9mm – I had a few left over, but if you only bring 200 you might be short
Bianchi velcro belt – got this from a law enforcement supply store. The velcro belt worked great – easy to remove and put back on and was very sturdy.
A baseball hat
Electronic ear muffs – Howard Leight R-01526 Impact Sport Earmuffs
HKS Speed Loader
Isotoner unlined driving gloves with leather palms
Hex tool to adjust my holster if necessary
Range bag to carry the gear

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gear

I read a lot about how you might need hiking boots, long pants, long sleeves, etc, but I also read that some people were fine with shorts, short sleeves and sandals. So, because of the weather, I decided to wear medium length shorts, short sleeve shirts and running shoes. This gear worked out fine for the 2 days. You do get hit by some brass, but it was not a big deal. There are lots of gravel to walk on, but I didn’t have any problems. Running shoes are lighter, have more air flow (mesh sides) and are more comfortable than hiking boots, but wear what you prefer.

I didn’t know how bad the drive would be and how exhausted I would be after each class, so I rented a cottage from Wine Ridge RV Resort at about $75/night with a Front Sight discount. The drive from the cottage to Front Sight (FS) was about 25 minutes. If you are coming from out-of-town, I would highly recommend staying here. The cottage is spacious, with a living room which had a recliner, small sofa and cable tv. There was a small dining table with 2 chairs, a kitchen with microwave, toaster, oven/stove, and good sized refrigerator. The bed was a queen size. The bathroom had a standup shower, but the water flow was not very adjustable, although adequate. I didn’t have time to sit on the attached porch but it looked nice. My friends rented an RV and were a couple doors away. They tried to book too late and they ran out of cottages. So, book early!

cottage

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In regards to food and drink – I brought a rolling cooler each day with at least 4 bottles of water, a couple of juices and a soda. I brought snacks of dried nuts/fruit to keep me going throughout the day. I also brought my own lunch, which consisted of a sandwich, fruit, and chips. You can pre-order the boxed lunches for $13.95, or get food from the trailer. My friends ate the boxed lunches and thought they were good. They do provide big containers of water and cups for you to drink from, but I preferred to know where my filtered water came from.

The first day, we arrived at 6:10am and the line to the gate was not too long (see below). The gates opened at 6:30am and you need to have your gear on and i.d. ready. In the photo you can see people getting their gear out of their trunks. After the gate opens, they will point you to where you need to park – it is very organized. First thing you do is go to Sign-In; they will assign you to a range and then you go to another area and have your weapon and gear inspected. You need to be wearing your belt with holster, empty gun in the holster, your 2 mag holders, and a box of ammo. After that, you can find your seat in the classroom for the first half hour lecture.

line to the entrance

The classroom lectures were done in a huge room that held probably 300-400 people and they get filled up, so try and get a seat early to choose your spot. The room was air conditioned so it was nice to get a break from the hot sun. For the 2 day course, you will have lectures on “Welcome, Signing of Liability Release, Dry Practice Release”, “Color Code of Mental Awareness and the Combat Mindset”, “Moral and Ethical Decisions Associated with the Use of Deadly Force”, and “Problems 2 and 3: Criminal and Civil Liability”.

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After the half hour lecture, you then proceed to the range that you were assigned to. We were assigned to Range 6, which is fairly close by. Range 4 is where the bathroom facilities were, so that was convenient. On the blogs there were lots of mentions of port-a-potties but those were for the ranges that were further away. You don’t need to worry about those in the 2 day and 4 day defensive handgun classes.

From 8:30am – 12:30pm, you are on the range listening to lectures and practicing. Topics were the 5 steps of drawing a weapon, weaver stance, check, load, unload, fire, and using front sights. One thing I liked about the structure of the class was that you were paired up with someone for the entire 2 days. Your partner would always watch what you were doing and tell you if you were doing something wrong or if you forgot something. First, they had veterans of the class stand up on the line first. Then they had newcomers stand behind them. I was paired with a guy who has had a CCW since 1985 and I felt comfortable knowing that I was with someone who knew what they were doing.

From 12:30pm – 1:30pm was a lunch break. You did have the option of shooting some full-auto’s like the Uzi, Mini Uzi, Thompson MP-5 and M-16, where you just have to buy the ammo to participate.

From 1:30pm – 2:00pm there was a classroom lecture “Color Code of Mental Awareness and the Combat Mindset”

From 2:15pm – 5:00pm there were range activities. We covered being at the ready position, shooting, stepping to the side, clearing the area and going back to the ready position. Also reloading and shooting in controlled pairs, among other things. The people with Glocks had the easiest times because they didn’t have to worry about messing with the Safety (like on my USP). The guns got really hot in the afternoon due to the extreme heat and shooting, so I was glad I had my gloves with me. When it came time to pull the slide back with my hand to eject the round in the chamber, the slide was too hot to touch with my bare hands.

From 5:15pm – 6:00pm there was a classroom lecture “Moral and Ethical Decisions Associated with the Use of Deadly Force”

I brought my own folding chair because I like having arm rests and somewhere to put my drink. I asked and they didn’t mind if you want to bring your own chair. Otherwise, you will sit on a hard plastic armless folding chair for hours each day. There were about 40 people on each range. The second day there were less people as some decided not to come back for one reason or another. They missed out though, because we covered a lot the second day with much more shooting practice.

lecture

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These two guys in the back were part of the 3 instructor team for our Range 6. The instructors were friendly but made sure everybody followed proper safety procedures.

instructors

On Day 2, the front gate opens at 7:15am. I didn’t arrive until about 7:35am but still made it on time to the range at 8:00am. (No need for sign-in or weapons check today.)

From 8:00am – 12:30pm – there will be range activities including dry practice, tactical reloads, clearing malfunctions, thoracic cavity and headshots, and shooting from a holster.

Lunch is 12:30pm – 1:30pm.

From 1:30pm – 2:15pm there is a classroom lecture “Problems 2 and 3, Criminal and Civil Liability”

From 2:25pm – 5:00pm there are more range activities with lots more shooting practice. At the end of the day, you will receive your Certificate of completion of the course.

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I signed up to come back for the One Day CCW Course, which is the Tuesday following the 2 Day course held on Friday and Saturday. I decided to just drive in this time and from Las Vegas, it was only about a 45-55 min drive. The schedule was as follows:

7:15am – 7:45am Sign-In and Weapons Inspection

7:45am – 9:00am Range Activity: Shooting the Nevada CCW Qualification Course

For the CCW test, you are required to shoot 30 rounds from 3, 5 and 7 yards. I hit 3 outside of the thoracic cavity, but I did pass the CCW test.

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9:00am – 10:30am Classroom Lecture on State Statutes covering Nevada, Utah and Florida

10:30am – 12:00pm Classroom Activities: Applications, fingerprint cards, and Nevada Written Test. It takes a while because they go over each of the 3 State’s application forms.

12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch (but nobody took a lunch break, we just waited in line to get our test scored and the applications signed off)

I was out of there by 1pm but there were still about 10 people behind me. Tip – get in line while you’re finishing up your paperwork.

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In summary, I was really glad that I finally made it out to Front Sight to take the classes. The only thing I regret was taking it in 100+ degree weather. I feel that I learned a lot from the classes that I would otherwise not have learned on my own or from friends. Everything they taught us was in a well structured manner, so that those with no experience at all, would feel comfortable learning each step of the way. There were many veteran shooters and law enforcement people attending, and they wouldn’t come back if they felt the instruction was not worth the trip. I personally feel that everybody who owns a handgun, should take at least the 2 day class, in order to be safe and know how to properly handle the weapon. All of the personnel at Front Sight were very friendly and helpful when you had questions. I definitely plan to go back for more classes.

A Modest Proposal

Suggested and compiled by Max Boom  on Facebook

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A SENSIBLE GUN CONTROL PROPOSAL
In 1865 a Democrat shot and killed Abraham Lincoln,
President of the United States.
In 1881 a left wing radical Democrat shot James Garfield,
President of the United States who later died from the wound.
In 1963 a radical left wing Democrat socialist shot and killed John F.
Kennedy, President of the United States.
In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford, President of the United States.
In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan, President of the United States.
In 1984 James Hubert, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and
killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant.
In 1986 Patrick Sherrill,a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.
In 1990 James Pough, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 10
people at a GMAC office.
In 1991 George Hennard, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, TX.
In 1995 James Daniel Simpson, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 5 coworkers in a Texas laboratory.
In 1999 Larry Ashbrook, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 8 people at a church service.
In 2001 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush, President of the US.
In 2003 Douglas Williams, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin plant.
In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung-Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.
In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner, shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others.
In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes, went into a movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.
In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis.
In 2013 a registered Democrat named Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people in a school in Newtown, CT.
As recently as Sept 2013, an angry Democrat named Aaron Alexis shot 12 at the Washington Navy Shipyard in Washington, D.C.

Not one NRA member, Tea Party member, or Republican conservative was involved in any of these shootings and murders.

Clearly, there is a problem with Democrats and guns.

SOLUTION :
IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL FOR DEMOCRATS TO OWN GUNS.

A buyers market, AKA LaRue triggers cheap.

It is absolutely amazing how the firearm market has become super saturated and how much prices have dropped. Great deals are available all over the price.

For example, Larue is running a sale on his match trigger for $125 shipped. The deal can be found here.

I went ahead and bought one. This is a really nice deal if you are looking for a nice trigger.

Update: Looks like the deals over already.

Colt XM16 Found In Cambodia Still In Service

We all hear or read the second hand stories of AKs turning up all over the world still in use. But often the stories of  M16s from long ago are not talked about as much.  That does not mean it does not happen.  Recently some one shared on facebook a picture of a XM16 Colt still being used in Cambodia.

Left there during the war, it still serving its owner all these years later. A  bit rougher than it left the US, but still working. And with some customizations!  Apparently even in Cambodia  the urge to customize the AR15  is hard to resist.

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