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Archive for the ‘M1911 Variants’ Category

Review: Springfield Armory Mil-Spec

Impressions:

With their Mil-Spec M1911 Springfield Armory has decided that yes, you can improve on perfection. The pistol is, according to them, a step above the good ol’ GI model that served so well and is designed to the specifications of the modern US Military. The pistol looks good, feels solid, and shoots well, and though the MSRP isn’t cheap it can be found online, NIB, for prices rivaling manufacturers like Taurus. I features the following upgrades over the standard GI .45:

-High profile 3-dot sights

-High-hand grip

-Beveled magazine well

-Polished feed ramp

-Throated barrel

-Lowered and flared ejection port

-Angled slide serrations

As a finished product the pistol isn’t too different from the marines MEU SOC .45, slap on some Pachmayr grips, install a skeletonized hammer and you’ve got a pretty good civilian clone.

Quality:

In a word, excellent. The pistol is solidly built with real Cocobolo hardwood grips, forged steel frame and slide, good weight, and smooth cycling/manual slide cycling. The finish is on their good, only a few superficial scratches were evident on my test model, and that pistol had been used by hundreds of shooters. Overall the pistol feels combat ready.

Shooting:

The pistol’s accuracy depends almost completely one one’s ability to manage the .45 caliber recoil and aim properly, if one can do this you’ll get 1-2 inch groupings at 50 feet. As for the recoil, it is fairly manageable, the complete metal construction and lack of any attempt to lighten it (such as skeletonizing certain parts) means the gun’s heavy frame absorbs a good amount of the kick. This absorption is very noticeable if one then shoots a similarly sized polymer pistol (a .40 Cal Smith and Wesson M&P has more kick than this pistol) soon after firing the Mil-Spec. I would trust my life to this gun in a defensive situation, but I’d do that with any quality M1911.

As a Collectible:

The gun isn’t all that collectible, as 1911’s with similar upgrades can be found everywhere and it doesn’t look all that special. That said, is it a good gun to add to a collection of M1911’s you plan on shooting? Definitely yes.

Overall Ratings:

Quality: 5/5 (John Browning would be proud of this incarnation of his design)

Looks: 4/5 (This gun has classic lines, enough said)

Shooting: 4/5 (Very good but its not customized for competition/target shooting so it won’t be the talk of the local range)

Link to buy at gunsamerica.com: http://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=springfield%20mil%20spec

Review: WE Tech “Knighthawk” Custom M1911

Picture courtesy of evike.com

Impressions:

These days its hard to find an M1911 that isn’t custom, in the airsoft world and real steel worlds alike the good old bread and butter M1911 GI is hard to find. So when reviewing a yet another ‘custom’ gun, one must ask themselves a couple questions: How special does it feel? Does it feel truly custom and unique? With the Knighthawk the answer is a solid yes on both points. The gun looks and feels like someone customized it, like someone took the time to improve on a base gun. It has a nice suite of ‘customizations’ including:

-Flat mainspring housing.

-Skeletonized hammer and trigger.

-Laser engraved “Knighthawk” trademark on the slide.

-Various internal upgrades.

However, the upgrades don’t take it too far, it doesn’t have a light rail, which will grab on you holster and vest, and it doesn’t have a hideous wide bodied ‘Hi-Capa’ frame that many WE pistols come with. No, the Knighthawk isn’t some fancy Race Gun, from the practical upgrades to the convenient lanyard loop, the pistol is meant for combat.

 

Quality:

The pistol is solid, with a minimum of plastic parts. The frame starts off very wobbly, but, oddly, a little shooting will get it seated properly. The trigger was CNC machined from a single block of aluminum, and though it lacks a truly ‘crisp’ feel it isn’t gritty either. The internals are good too, the only problem is the spring and I’d order a second one with the gun if I did everything over again. I’ve noted one multiple occasions the slide getting stuck on the hammer when it locks into place after emptying a mag, so lubricating the underside of the slide and the hammer is important if you want your reloads to be quick and trouble free. One problem I noticed with build quality, small though it is, is that the grips have stickers in the middle of them, where an engraving or metal medallion really ought to be. Another big issue is that the finish on the black metal parts, (hammer, grip, safety, slide release) is very thin and will wear off quickly but can be touched up easily with some black paint or even something like a Sharpie.

 

Shooting:

The pistol shoots great, three inch groupings at 50 feet, beyond that, accuracy is limited by one’s ability to use the rather restrictive iron sights. The blowback is nice, if not always consistent, the recoil is comparable to a .22 which isn’t bad, but a little disappointing If you’ve shot real steel M1911’s in .45 ACP. For a pistol my airsoft POU (philosophy of use) is quick deployment close quarters personal defense and the Knighthawk fills that role very well. I recommend .25 High Precision BBs for close quarters performance and .20 gram for longer range.

 

As a collectible:

The pistol is very collectible, its a limited run and if you order soon you may get one with a serial # under 1000, which is fairly low. The serial # and manufacturer’s info (it has the Nighthawk Custom shop info, not WE Tech, in fact I couldn’t find ‘Made in Taiwan’ anywhere on the gun) are on the gun’s frame, meaning you can swap the slide and not lose the unique trademarks.

 

Overall Ratings:

Quality: 4/5 (the lousy finish on some parts shaves off a point)

Looks: 5/5 (its the most unique M1911 I’ve seen in a while)

Shooting: /3.5/5 (the iron sights can be quite tricky and the range is not great)

Link: http://www.airsoftpost.com/product_info.php?products_id=34364