Thursday, June 30, 2011

A request for gunwriters...

When you are reviewing a 1911-pattern pistol from a smaller custom house, will you please find out whose parts are actually in the gun?

I mean, when you're talking about a Wilson or an Ed Brown, it's a pretty safe bet that they're full of Wilson or Brown parts, but "Acme Custom Pistols" ordered the parts for that "Acme Custom Recon Ranger Tactical Model" from somewhere, and where they came from is one of the things the kind of people likely to drop a kilobuck-and-a-half or more on such a pistol in the first place would like to know.

Where'd the frame come from? Whose extractor are they using? How about the plunger tube? And is it properly staked?

I can generally figure out if it's 30- or 20-lpi checkering by looking at your pretty pictures, but I can't see inside the gun. I need you to do that part for me, chief, not prattle on about "acceptable combat accuracy".

Thanks!

17 comments:

Jim said...

"acceptable combat accuracy" may not stand alone. It requires an "if I do my part."

Even Skeeter Skleton knew that. :)

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Preach it, sister.

RobertM said...

Agreed. Is there any relatively easy way to find out the information about any of the 1911 manufacturers? Like you said, Ed Brown and Wilson are a pretty good bet, but I don't recall anyone saying where they get their stuff except for the well known high end makers.

Stuart the Viking said...

For a custom pistol costing a "kilobuck-and-a-half or more" I would think that the phrase "acceptable combat accuracy" would be considered a dire insult. Being impecunious myself, I have little experience with pistols in that price range, so maybe I expect too much.

s

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

What Stuart said.

If I'm going to pay a k$ for a pistol, I want to have one that will put every bullet in the magazine through the same hole at 25 yards if I clamp it to the bench, and I want that point of impact to be exactly where the sights tell me it should be (allowing for ammo-based variation only).

I can get "acceptable combat accuracy" out of $300 tupperware, or a $500 1911. For $1000+, "acceptable combat accuracy" is not acceptable.

RobertM said...

If the gun doesn't shoot better than you, then it's broken. I don't care if it's a RIA or Ed Brown.

Ancient Woodsman said...

...and gun magazines should use some 'layers of editorial oversight' so that they avoid filling half of the monthly edition with stories about the 1911 being the greatest combat pistol EVAR designed and the other half of the magazine about all the work that needs to be done/parts that need 'upgrading' to make it work properly, a la one of the recent editions of the Rifleman.

I have never laughed so hard at a gun magazine in my life.

docjim505 said...

I've groused about this before: firearms reviews usually blow chunks because they either place too much emphasis on what amounts to minutia ("The Blastomatic 1911-17 shoots a 1.23124545" group at 25 yards!"), or else totally skimps on technical details in favor of the shooter's opinion ("The Blastomatic totally ROCKS!").

Unfortunately, I don't know of anybody who has come out with a standard evaluation form for a firearm. O' course, it would likely be quite expensive (how many hundreds of rounds should be fired through a firearm before one can be satisfied about it's long-term reliability?), time consuming, and SOMEWHAT pointless anyway: people TEND to select based on the rep of the manufacturer, their own (often limited) experience from shooting a rental or their buddy's version, and how the firearm looks / feels in their hands.

Tony said...

docjim, I've read from somewhere that guns that are incorrectly / poorly made or assembled do not tend to last past 1000 to 1500 rounds. So there's your endurance test. If everything looks hunky-dorey after that amount of shooting, the gun ought to be good to go for its projected lifetime.

And speaking of high-buck 1911's, wouldn't the whole question of what the gun is for define things like acceptable accuracy? If it's a combat/defensive pistol, I am less concerned with accuracy (assuming of course that it it accurate enough - but half an inch group at 25 yards is not quite the requirement for "acceptable") and more concerned with reliability and how the gun functions in that use - from general "shootability"to minutia like does it use ski ramp sights or something more suitable for one-handed slide racking. Money spent on building a gun can be used on other things than just wringing out the last fractions of an inch on groups sizes, I just want to know where that money goes. Of course, if it's a target shooting pistol,then the whole question of just how accurate it is is much more relevant.

Really, though, I'd be happy if gun review writers would actually shoot the damn things they write about and be honest. (Understanding the purpose of the piece would help too, though.) I see a lot of "the gun went bang both times it was fired and thus was proven absolutely reliable", which is pretty ridiculous.

Bob B. said...

if they told you that, they'd have to include what of those small parts are investment cast. which is almost all. if in doubt, throw it out. put in good parts you trust.rullyp

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

Amen!

GuardDuck said...

Acceptable combat accuracy should only apply to a gun that first meets the acceptable quartermaster pricing test.

Davidwhitewolf said...

@Tony, when half the article or more is about the history of the cartridge and/or the platform, I figure that's either 'cause the writer's a hack or, if I know he's not, 'cause the gun was a piece of crap and he's following the "if you can't say anything nice" rule.

Readin' between the lines, y'know.

Stuart the Viking said...

Certianly I understand the whole "Combat Accuracy" idea, I just think it's so much BULLSHIT. Pretty much anyone with passing familiarity can wring "Combat Accuracy" from any reasonably accurate firearm. If "Combat Accuracy" is all you want, a trip to the range about once or twice a year sould be enough. NOT ME MAN! I want to be able to put the bullet exactly where I mean to! I want to be able to draw happy faces on the goblins chest with my .45 if he's still coming after I shoot him the first few times. I don't give a crap about target shooting. Accuracy to me is all about me and mine going home and badguy and his "going home" in a more final sense of the phrase. Will "Combat Accuracy" get you there? Probably, but we spend so much time and effort getting our CCW, getting the proper CCW gear, practicing, etc. all so that if/when we need it we have every advantage possible. Why then would we give up the advantage of a superbly accurate firearm? "Combat Accuracy" my ass.

s

Anonymous said...

I will give up a superbly accurate pistol for a totally reliable CCW pistol every time.


Gerry

Rabbit said...

I love 1911's as much as the next guy, but you've hit on why I like my 15 year old P220 juuuust fine.

mariner said...
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