previous post next post  

I conducted a 2nd Amendment Exercise yesterday.

castle-colt.jpg
One that even Ezra Klein might understand.  I *am*, after all, a member of an organized militia, and still under 60 years of age, so I must maintain my proficiencies, yes?  This is the Castle's Franken-Colt M1911A1.  It's a Colt slide on a Remington-Rand frame, something not unusual with the post WWII rebuilds, this one having been through the Augusta Arsenal, by the markings.  In truth, while the tale can be spun that way, it is in fact a far more recent assembly pistol - with the original Remington-Rand slide having been replaced by a previous owner with the Colt slide - as he'd had the RR slide fitted with custom sights. The piece is fully representative of an arsenal rebuilt pistol, and I'm not a  collector who gets to that level of persnickety.  I'm happy to have an affordable, representative piece that I don't have to worry about it losing more value every time I rack the slide back or pull the trigger.

I was plinking at my swing-target stand, getting used to how the pistol shot in my hands with my eyes, when the heavy FMJ round hit too close to the weld and broke it off the stand.  Mind you, the weld might have been weakened by the Castle guest who used the International Harvester M1 to put the hole through the steel plate at 50 yards.  That guest will have to recertify in order to handle high-powered weapons on the range.  Of course, that FMJ round from the M1 might not have weakened the weld at all, given it went through the steel plate like it was butter.  Not, not an armor-piercing round.  I don't shoot armor-piercing ammo out here as I don't want to try to figure out the richochet danger area or spend the money to build an appropriate backstop.  Or start a fire.
 

And yes, I did consider using the pistol for a whatziss - except that would have been mean, even for me. Just show you the pistol, let you obsess about it, worry about what the booby-trap was... hmmmmm.  That gives me an idea.

30 Comments

My Concealed Carry instructor called the M1911A1 "...the finest close-quarter combat weapons system known to man,"  I've owned a M1911A1 since I was 21 years of age.  I've moved to an H&K compact .45 USP for everyday carry, but the M1911A1 remains my favorite pistol.
 
Over a quarter century ago I was first introduced to this piece of machined perfection in a dimly lit room that smelled of Breakfree and solvent in the Holder Complex at Ft Knox that began a love affair that continues to this day.
Having never shot anything prior to Basic other than a .22 for a merit badge and my dad's BB gun, shooting one of these seemed "easy" since for me, it was hard not to hit what you pointed at.
I came to be able to hit targets and qualify expert without even using the sights, just point and squeeze.
later on in life I got distracted by shiny things such as my .40S&W Taurus, or friend's Sigs, Glocks, and Berettas,  but nothing ever felt as good in my hands as a 1911 or shot as acurate to me.
I even took the time to learn/practice in an ambidextrous manner, racking the slide with one hand in a bit of prestidigiation (always strictly unloaded, in the event of being injured in a turret and having to actually do it one handed for real) with the thumb behind the grip and the forefingers over the top of the slide, then snap releasing and ending up in a shooting grip.
Even years later when they started phasing in the 9mm's I always managed to still be able to draw a Colt from the Armory for quals. (Honest Top, all I had to do was ask...)

When I either win the lottery or retire and escape this Communist state and buy that farm out near Gettysburg, I do plan on having no less than 4 of these on hand, awaiting the zombie apocolypse.
 
Sadly here is where I must turn in my guidirons.

I don't own a 1911

Not to say I wouldn't love too, I would. Unfortunately I have just never found one in a price range that I could afford at any point. (In other words everytime I found one that I wanted, i didnt have the cash heh)

I still love my Sigma .40's, and they are excellent pistols. 

But the mystique of owning a .45 is as much the joy as the firing of one in my book
 
The American .45 (of whatever pedigree)...the GAU-8 of handguns. Translation: it sets the standard, doesn't often fail, and whatever it hits doesn't get back up.

Me.

Want.
 
Definitely one of my favorite weapons.  I refused to carry the standard 38 that was issued to all "Peter Pilots" during the Southeast Asian war games.  And carried one of the Remington-Rand's, like the one shown only with the proper slide.  Have a S&W CS45 for CC.  Always thought the army scewed up when they went to the M16 and the 9mm!! 
 
For a rifle, my favorite is an HK-91 with a telescoping stock.  I've got a CAR-15, but I've always favored the HK-91.  7.62mm -- when you care to send the very best.
 
Attila,

"The American .45 (of whatever pedigree)...the GAU-8 of handguns." That's a classic! And also a basic statement of truth.
 
I have one of it's Franken-cousins: a Rem-Rand slide on an Ithaca frame.  No idea on if/when/where it may have been rebuilt.

Having been a company XO (a long time ago, a galaxy that seems far, far away now), my hypothesis was that two pistols with deadline faults (one frame-related, one slide related) became one good pistol, and one pistol with two deadline faults.
 
You know you often post your personal hmm... banging as the exercise of the 2nd amendment rights.  It's very lofty and high minded of you to remind us all of the value of those rights.

Of course the derivation of any pleasure would be entirely unrelated.  Purely coincidental you might say.
 
If you ever get to Ogden, Utah, visit the Union Station Museum. You can gaze upon the hand built prototypes of many of John M. Browning's inventions, including the 1911.  And most of the Winchester lever guns, and the 1885 Single Shot,   Also M1895 "potato digger" machine gun serial number 1, and the prototype of the 37mm cannon later used in the P-39 and on PT boats.  Lots of other cool stuff there too.

Join others in worshipping there, at the altar of the true American firearms genius.

Utah has declared January 24, 2011 as John M. Browning Day, with a big ceremony and display of guns in the state Capitol on the opening day of the 2011 session.  One bill to be considered will be to designate the 1911 as the official Utah state gun.

If you like this, feel free to flee to freedom from any oppressed areas.  You will be welcome here!
 
It is not bad, but it does not even compare to your 1911 collection that I saw over at Leavenworth that one year.  Those things were pretty nice looking.
 
Steve, you've got me confused with someone else.  I only have two M1911A1s.  I do know a guy (recently passed away, sadly) who had one of the most significant collections of M1911-series pistols in the country.  Shoot, Beau had *4* Singers...
 
I don't have a "collection", but I always wanted a 1911 since drawing and cleaning someone else's (Bn S-3) .  I finally bought a Colt 04012XSE Combat Commander last year.  If I had to stop something with one shot, I'd rather have the punch of the .45 than my 9mm Sig P226, although I typically have a tighter shot group with the Sig. And the XSE is smaller and easier to carry.
 
Heh.  When I was the HQs Battery commander, *no* one was allowed to draw a weapon (other than crew-served) that wasn't theirs.

The officers drew their weapons, and as long as I or the 1SG were wandering around, cleaned 'em, too.

I had words with a Lieutenant Colonel that included, "Well, sir, if you are so unprofessional and lacking in standards that you won't even care for your own personal weapon, so be it.  But I command this unit, and that weapon won't be turned in until it's clean, and I will take it from any soldier I find with it and return it to you.  It is your responsibility, Colonel, and no one else's."

Heh.  No mystery why my retirement grade isn't Colonel or higher.
 
@John -- yeah, I had the same experience when commander of an HHC for a mech infantry battalion.  Made O-4 as a Redleg, but I never was a diplomat.  Retirement as a Major is just fine with me.
 
I didn't mind drawing and cleaning the S-3's 1911 that much. I understood the difference in our positions and work loads. But I chaffed at being expected to fill his coffee thermos at the mess hall while at Graf, especially since he ate not more than 25-30 feet from the kitchen when we were in the rear area.  I think he spewed coffee grounds all over the jeep's windshield that morning when I accidentally dragged the ladle a little too far down in that big coffee pot.  LOL
 
Fine you didn't mind Frank - but *I* sure minded.  An officer who is too important to take care of his personal firearm?  When cleaning a pistol like the M1911A1, especially if it's never been fired, takes what, 15 minutes, max?

Of course, this guy would never have drawn a pistol at all, if he thought he could get away with it.  I caught him carrying a "rubber duck" early on.
 

Interestingly, I have a RR slide on a Colt frame

Were we then,  to trade, therefore... see where I'm going with this???

 

Interestingly, I have a RR slide on a Colt frame

Were we then,  to trade parts, therefore... see where I'm going with this???

 
What is a rubber duck in this context?  Obviously not a bathtub toy.  I hope.
 
If you can't be counted on to take care of yer own personal weapon, well obviously you can't be counted on to take care of yer, uh, "gun." No telling whom you might infect if you don't keep that thing clean.

  Reminds me of the words in the fitness report, " I would not breed from this officer."
 
It's a shame that so few can choose this as their duty weapon.  I carry a Sig, and I suppose that I should grab it first since it's what I practice with, but ...............
 
-Two S-3s I knew had privately owned .45s they'd haul out to the field.  They'd let LTs sign out the pistol (instead of lugging around an M-16), make them clean it, etc.  So much for "train the way you fight".

-Anyone experience what I did - varying accuracy among the Army issue .45s?  I know, I know, it is usually the guy behind the machine - but I swear, some of those old pistols I fired (back in the 80s) seemed a bit "loose".
 
@bad cat robot -- a "rubber duck" is a replica solid-rubber fake pistol.  I knew a couple of officers who drew their pistols from the armorer, wrapped them in an oiled cloth, and locked them up so as to avoid getting them dirty.  I always enjoyed breaking down and cleaning my weapons.

@jay season -- by the time the M1911A1 was retired, most all of them in inventory were WWII vintage.  The slides were loose and that affected accuracy.  Most of us thought that DOD could've just done some gunsmithing on the .45 and kept it.  However, I guess someone's brother-in-law stood to make big bucks if DOD adopted something that shot the "Europill" 9mm.  The price of 9mm Berettas doubled within hours of the announcement of the adoption of the Mk. 9.

I own two 9mm pistols (Glock 19 and a Ruger P-89) but I still prefer something that shoots the .45.
 
BCR - what MM said regarding the "rubber duck."  They were made for training purposes when you wanted the the weight and feel, but didn't want to put on the wear and tear.    The M16 rubber ducks were made with real, shot-out barrels and were often used for bayonet training.

Jay - again, what Maj Mike said.  I had circa 55 pistols in my arms room.  Some were in fine shape, some had been through three wars and as many rebuilds - but the last rebuilds had been in the 60's, early 70's, and here it was mid-80's.  I had worn down front sights, loose barrel bushings, and a couple of near smoothbores from the habit of previous commanders to only take 10 pistols to the range, and have the staff drive out at their convenience to shoot. 

As the Berettas were "on the horizon" and had been for years, DISCOM refused to do any work or authorize me to do any work.  I told the DIVARTY commander they were our go-to-war today weapons, not the PMs dream , and we weren't skedded to get the M92s for another three years.  Would he mind if I and my Armorer did what was needful?  He didn't.  Good golly, you'd have thought I had molested the DISCOM commander's dog and shot his wife when DISCOM found out what I'd been up to.  

I survived the kefuffle and had pistols that would hit what you thought you were aiming at. 

Reminder - the weapon, absent an ammo/mechanical malfunction, always hits what it's aimed at - the art of shooting is making the delta between where it's aimed and where you think it's aimed as small as possible a measurement.
 
but I swear, some of those old pistols I fired (back in the 80s) seemed a bit "loose".

I had one go full-auto on me, once -- worn sear.

Surprised the bedoodlewhoopies out of me, but I still managed to keep it on the target...

...barely.

 
Even though the .45 hits hard, accuracy still counts. There was a bar fight in my old home town once. The loser waited outside for the winner to leave. He then stuck his .45 in his opponent's face as he left the bar, and fired. The slug took out the top two front teeth, skidded along the roof of his mouth, and out the back of the neck, slightly off-center. The target woke up in the hospital with a headache and bandages. In another case, a neighbor's son, 'playing' with a .45, drilled a friend center-of-mass. This slug paralleled the diaphragm front to rear, missing all the important parts. I'd still rather have my .45 than a 9mm, though.
 
"Surprised the bedoodlewhoopies out of me,..."

Well, that explains the proclivity to neon blue thongs.....
0>;~}
 
Martin - your stories are simply examples of why one should *always* double-tap if you're serious.

If you aren't serious, then you shouldn't be playing, which we all know, of course.
 
Martin, I betcha they were shooting ball cartridges.  The Armorer hast recht, in that even the deadliest pistol cartridge ain't really all that deadly, compared  to something out of a rifle.

Did you know that everybody on the quarterdeck of USS Chesapeake was shot at least twice, in that famous fight?  A very bloody fight it was, too, which was prolly because of the presence of Irishmen on both sides.