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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:57 pm
Posts: 100

Post Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:23 pm 
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Hmmm, three days off work, beautiful weather, wife out of town...

Loaded some guns and ammo into my old gun box (so old it says Los Angeles, 15, CA on it!) with two Colt Combat Commanders in .45, Argentine Colt 1927 Model 1911, Sig P228 9mm, Beretta 1914 and Baby Browning 6.35mm, and a brand new, never fired Rock Island 9mm Sub-compact 1911. No camera with me today; it was really just to (a) shoot some guns and (b) see how the 1911s shoot. I shot from the 10 yard line, which is usually where I start out with any new handgun for familiarization, function, and basic accuracy; then more often then not I will shoot the 30 round CBP Qualification Course that starts at the 3-1/2 yard line and ends at the 15 yard line with barricade. Here's a quick summary of the how they shot:

Both Combat Commanders are 1970s vintage; so pre-series 70; one blue and one satin nickel. The blue gun is box stock with Pachmayr wrap-around grips; the satin nickel has "old-school" Millett sights, rear outlined in white and the front insert is red. The blue gun had a few fail to feed issues, a gentle tap on the rear of the slide solved that but I suspect a change of springs and some gentle polishing with a mild metal polish and slow speed Dremel buffing wheel will solve that - any other thoughts about that? It was pretty much point of aim at 10 yards; I was using Blazer Brass 230 grain ball ammo; I had one round when I fired it sounded different so I dropped the magazine, drew the slide back - it had chambered the next round and the barrel was clear so I reloaded and kept shooting. I only had one fail to chamber completely with the satin nickel Commander; it could have possibly been a magazine issue but who knows? I was a bit disappointed with the sights - it could be me, I was using a 6 o'clock hold and the gun shot consistently low. Moving to a center bulls eye hold it still shot low. It isn't me. Although I'm not a MOA pistol shot I am consistent enough to know its the sights; I don't want to file on the front sight; any suggestions about what to do would be appreciated.

The Argentine made, Colt 1911 shot straight and true, only about 3" left! I can fix that; a brass rod and a gentle tap to the left on the rear sight should fix that. The gun, in the 100,000 serial number range was made in 1958; it has been ridden hard and put away wet, hardly any finish remaining at all but it has character and a bit of class. Sort of like the old Perdue Chicken Commercials in the late 70s when Paul Perdue would sit behind a roasted half chicken and say: We'll sell you half, it walks a little funny but sure does taste good." Well it looks old and beat up but it works. The only flaw on the finish is the Sarco Import stamp on the frame.

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Let's say that both the Beretta and Browning shot every time I pulled the trigger albeit in the case of the 1933 made Beretta Model 1914 I suspect installing some of those curled pieces of wire, you know, springs, will improve chambering the round every time! The Baby Browning - I don't think I'd have any reservations of putting in a vest pocket or in a little sewn in pouch on a sport jacket, as a last ditch, better then nothing, help you out, gun. A bit small however; could not get a very solid grip so I actually felt some recoil.

Last, but not least, I was impressed with the Rock Island sub-compact 9mm; instead of looking for a box of 9mm ball ammo I grabbed a box of Speer LE 124 gr Gold Dot HP ammo. Its what we used to carry in our Glock 17s before we changed to the H&K UPS 2000 .40 S&W. The first thing I did when I brought the gun home from the gun shop was to strip it down, clean, and lube it up; I've been using Mobil 1 30 wt. oil with some success ever since I was told that it helps to prevent galling on the two stainless Coonans I have. At the range I loaded 8 rounds in the magazine, chambered a round, and topped the mag off with another round. If I can round up a couple more magazines for it, and shoot another 100 or so rounds like the first 10 I shot - well Houston we have a winner. When I saw the gun in the display case I said to the guys at the gun shop that 9mm in a sub-compact 1911 (6-1/2" long x 5" tall) with bull barrel makes sense. I have a Colt New Agent .45, Para C6.45 LDA, and Para Warthog; but the 9mm Rock Island feels better in the hand - it seems as heavy as the combat commanders; and it shoots to point of aim, with no issues whatsoever. I think I'll keep this one!

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top is a .38 Super Rock Island.

Next time at the range I will try out my GO Pro HD camera while shooting.

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Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:42 am
Posts: 330
Location: North Carolina

Post Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:01 pm 
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I was pleasantly surprised by a friends Rock, the first that I had handled. It cycled smooth as silk. The fit and finish of some of the other part could use some work but that's the easy part. I think I will get it from him when I move back to NC and do some work for him.

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Frank Ramsden

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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:45 pm
Posts: 995
Location: Florida and Alabama

Post Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:52 pm 
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RE: The nickel Commander - Given that it has been "smithed" a bit (at least the sights), check the link length to see if someone long-linked it to tighten up the barrel lockup.

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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:57 pm
Posts: 100

Post Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:21 pm 
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BBBBill wrote:
RE: The nickel Commander - Given that it has been "smithed" a bit (at least the sights), check the link length to see if someone long-linked it to tighten up the barrel lockup.


BBBBill...although I slept in my own bed last night and not a Holiday Inn Express, when it comes to doing mechanical things (like working on the car or bike) the job isn't done unless I've gone to the store 2-3 times for tools and the drug store for a bandaid or two.

How would this "all thumbs" mechanic check that? I am competent enough to take a 1911 down to the bare frame and reassemble it correctly - even took down a S&W Model 39-2 Double Action pistol to the bare frame - and 4 weeks later got it all back together, after S&W sent me a safety detent. It seems that if you drop that little tiny piece of steel onto a shag wall to wall carpet you'll never ever see it again!

Thanks

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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:45 pm
Posts: 995
Location: Florida and Alabama

Post Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:55 pm 
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Assuming that it is still the factory barrel and unmolested by welding, take the barrel out and let the link hang in position as it would be while in battery. Is the top of the slide stop pin hole below the flat on the bottom lug where the slide stop pin sits in battery? If so, how much? If it is more than a hair's width below, chances are someone put in a longer link to enhance lockup. If enough longer, it can cause serious issues.

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