Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pistol Starter Kits.

There's been a bit of chatter about Remington's entry into the 1911 market.

I, personally, am not really interested in whether or not the new Remington 1911 has double diamond checkered grips just like great-grandpaw's trench heater. What I want to know is this:

  1. Is the frame forged or cast?
  2. If it is forged, where is it forged? Is Remington doing the forging themselves, or is it finish-machined Stateside after being imported as an 80% receiver?
  3. The guts: MIM or castings or machined?

I do like the fact that the front sight is dovetailed and that the ejection port is lowered and flared. If you had to do those modifications to the gun yourself, it would mean needing to refinish the slide.

(Note that with most any decent 1911 by a "name" manufacturer, there's no real need to modify anything, but I have a different set of gun-nerd desires when it comes to a sidearm then some people, I guess.)


West, By God said...

also not entirely thrilled about a "loaded chamber indicator"...

why adulterate a perfectly good pistol design with that?

Anonymous said...

"why adulterate a perfectly good pistol design with that?"

So they can sell it in California, a market of 38 million people.

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

"also not entirely thrilled about a "loaded chamber indicator"..."

It's just a little hole in the trailing edge of the barrel hood; most 1911s have 'em these days.

John said...

I'm probably buying one of those within the next year, year and a half, actually. I'm thinking a beavertail is about all I'm likely to do to it, though.

WV: preude - what happens before the ude, I guess.

Simon said...

Please excuse my ignorance, but why is a forged, machined part necessarily more desirable than a cast or MIM molded one? I know they are stronger, but is this really necessary given the added cost? If pistols with aluminium or plastic frames work well, surely a pistol frame made of cast steel would be more than sufficiently robust?

Great blog btw, I really enjoy reading it. Long time reader, first time commentator.

Tam said...


"I know they are stronger, but is this really necessary given the added cost?"

There's a great big "it depends" there.

With some parts (say, mainspring housings) it doesn't make much difference. With others, it can make a big difference under certain circumstances (whittling on a MIM sear nose during a trigger job can expose the softer inner metal and lead to an unsafe condition.)

Same with frames: While the 1911 frame is indeed overbuilt and can be duplicated in aluminum, and while a good casting is better than a bad forging, I'd prefer to start with a good forging as a basis for my own heaters.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

So, what non-custom models/brands are KNOWN, currently, to offer decent forged-where-it-counts 1911's?

Joseph said...

What 1911's south of a grand don't have MIM anymore? I think that question is probably answered with the MSRP.

Forged or cast? I hope it is forged, but would bet it is cast, probably in the Philippines like so many other 1911s. Not that cast is bad, but I swear the forged framed 1911s I have feel better than the cast. I'm sure its in my head, but the mind is what makes us better or worse.

Just My 2¢ said...

I like the concept of the 1911R1. It doesn't have any expensive bling-bling that contributes nothing to performance. No eye-candy. However, if I bought one, I'd plan on replacing the trigger group, the slide stop, and anything else that is suspected MIM. Here's a link that might explain why.

Why not MIM

atlharp said...

Does it come with a full length guide rod? Can I attach my Bayonet to the front? Come on, this what everybody REALLY wants to know! ;-)

Tam said...

"It doesn't have any expensive bling-bling that contributes nothing to performance. No eye-candy."

I'd be interested to know what you consider to fall into that category.

"What 1911's south of a grand don't have MIM anymore?"

SFAIK, it's down to just the Dan Wessons at the moment. The SIGs had no MIM internals up until a couple years ago.

If I were building to suit and didn't want to go from the ground up, I'd probably buy a loaded Springer or a Colt, and add C&S lockwork and a Greider or Wilson Bulletproof slide stop and call it a day.

2yellowdogs said...

" I have a different set of gun-nerd desires when it comes to a sidearm then some people, I guess"

This is NO BIG DEAL but when I catch a typo from one of the most literate writers on the net, it's an occaision. I'll be stopping by the quicky mart to pick up a lottery ticket today. Thanks, Tam!

Ed Foster said...

Cast and imported, but not from the Phillipines (think snow and beavers), and mostly MIM. Actually, several of the smaller MIM parts, finish machined in house by Remington, are from a very good source down in Texas.

Functional but so-so barrel, overall fit-up perhaps a tad snugger than one of the $500 Turkish guns. Not bad, not great.

I was playing with one over at Lyman's last week (we get our grips from them, they own Pachmayer).

I'd call it fairly priced and functional, a notch below a Smith and Wesson, 1.5 below a Nighthawk (the Smiths are a bit tighter, but the Nighthawk shoots better), 2 notches below a Kimber, a full 3below a Les Baer.

I would have scored the Kimber higher a year or more ago, but they've been having some minor problems lately.

Nice people, a classy bunch of folks, and I'm sure they'll iron out the minor tweaks. There's always room at the top of the 1911 chain for quality.

A pity their lawyers decided to handicap them with that Swartz "safety" trigger. What Browning put on the pistol a century ago was more than redundant on the safety issue.

The top is where all the profit is. Given the same price, would you buy a cheapo import or a high quality used gun? Right. That's why the Phillippino and Turkish guns have been dogging it.

We do our first release in 5 to 6 weeks, and I'll have to let folks decide for themselves how well we did.

Myself, I'm thinking the only competition we have is Les Baer, and we can undersell him bigtime, since we make almost everything but the Kart barrel in house.

He assembles and superbly fits really good guns with the best parts, but we manufacture, assemble, and fit really good guns with parts that are made 20 feet away.

Having everything under one roof is a big help, and we have a few aerospace machining tweaks nobody else is using yet (we've been making the front half of P&W engines and all the wiggly-stuff on top of Sikorsky fling-wings for 35 years).

The way I figure it, the more cheap stuff there is out there, the more upwardly mobile pressure there is pushing folks uphill toward Les, Ed Brown, the better Springfield stuff, and us.

Tam said...


"This is NO BIG DEAL..."

Aargh! I never had that problem before I started picking up touch-typing by osmosis. When I actually had to watch my fingers and what they were doing, they never ran off and substituted homonyms...

2yellowdogs said...

LOL, I do it, too.

I'll here something loud or tell someone there grammar is bad. Guess the brain takes over at some point and all you can do is hang on for the ride.

The Raving Prophet said...

Looks pretty similar to the Springfield Armory Milspec in features and price.

The SA is forged frame and slide, but is generally built in Brazil by Imbel. We'll see if Remington is trying to match it with in-US production.

Anonymous said...

Another 1911 in Les Baer's league???


Shootin' Buddy

staghounds said...

Ho hum.

Now if they were making Model 53s...

And if I were still carrying a 1911, it would still be one from Colt. There are still plenty around from before anyone dared to put castings in or MIM was invented.

Jeff said...

My boggest question when looking at a 1911 is.

How many extra fiddly bits did the lawyers add to muck it up in the name of safety?

I take it from Fosters post that this has the same firing pin safety in it that Kimber uses? If that's the case I will not be buying it for the same reason I will not buy a Kimber.

Series 70 style for me please.

The last 1911 I bought was a Foster frame and slide. I like to tinker and I know that every part in the gun is bar stock where it counts.

Sigivald said...

And to think I'm perfectly happy with my 15 year old Norinco 1911A1...

Tam said...

"I take it from Fosters post that this has the same firing pin safety in it that Kimber uses?"

I believe it uses the Colt Series 80-style, rather than the Schwartz-style.

Those parts had a bad habit of falling out of my Colts. Luckily they make shims to fill the gaps.

Tam said...

"And to think I'm perfectly happy with my 15 year old Norinco 1911A1..."

The Colt on my hip right now is two years older than I am. :D

Sendarius said...

The 1911 Colt I would have had on my hip right now was 2 years older than my father!

Damn those (insert curmudgeonly rant) Oz politicians.

Now I perforce must carry a double-stack STI Edge in .38 Super with only ten round magazines. Luckily it is illegal to carry, so I don't talk about it. I'm not sure I could stand the embarrassment.

WV: morsig - Umm, no, the authorities say the barrel is too short.

Geodkyt said...

Ah, Tam. I thought I was the only one who had problems with things falling out that are only redundant features that screw up the trigger pull. Hi-Powers and Series 80 1911's both.

Gewehr98 said...

My cast Caspian (aka, Pine Tree)frames will probably outlast me and those who eventually inherit them, so I'd say Question #1 really doesn't matter. Haven't seen a lot of failures, either with decent cast 1911 frames or cast M1A/M14 clones. Much ado about nothing, IMHO.

Gewehr98 said...

Forgot to add, while it ain't a new batch of Remington-Rand 1911s showing up, it's at least a good thing to see the folks from Ilion jumping into the fray!

WV-"fingsiax": Probably what someone would describe my hands doing when fondling one of my 1911 variants.

jed said...

Initially, I sorta squinted at that word "entry", because ...

The Colt on my hip right now is two years older than I am. :D

Mine is about 15. Remington, in fact, 194[4|5], with that cute little cannon ordnance stamp on one side, and FJA on the other. I keep hearing about various fiddly bits on newer 1911s, but mine seems to work just fine as it is.

But I can understand not wanting to use "re-entry", since that brings to mind burning up in the atmosphere.

Ed Foster said...

Jeff, by Foster frame did you mean a Rock River or a Colt with long dust cover and bottom Pickatinny? We made both at Continental. And the CMT will have a series 70 setup.