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Old 01-28-2016, 05:45 AM   #21
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Those are Nice Ed
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:20 AM   #22
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Those are Nice Ed
Thanks Javlin, they shoot very well too. A little backstory on the gripstock on the Mak: I used to promote Hakan Pek's stocks all the time on various forums, and one day out of the blue he dropped me a line saying he wanted to make me some stocks. Other than choosing my Mak and one of my HP's for the guns, I let him make all the choices. While probably not my first choice of color, he did an excellent job, as always. I also have a couple different pairs of stocks for the CZ83 but they are very difficult to make from wood. IIRC, these are tulip wood.
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:51 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by csmkersh View Post
Who currently makes the best across the counter 1911? Kimber has suffered a ding in its reputation with some. So, Colt, Kimber, Remington, Rock Island? I'm looking for a commander sized* pistol with tritium sights and Ambi-safety out of the box.

*4 inch barrel, not 3.
If I might ask, why is the Ambi-Safety so important to you?

Are you left-handed and need it?
Are you right-handed and planning on carrying the gun concealed or in the field?
(Where ambi levers, especially oversized ambi levers routinely get snagged on things and, separately, often get pushed out of position?)
Will you be shooting matches where somebody has you firing stages where they wrongly expect you to put the safety on before you transfer the gun from your right hand to your left?
(Something that you will never do in real life. Hell, as a civilian, just transferring the gun to your off hand is unlikely in a real world engagement.)

If you are not left handed or shooting matches that teach bad habits, I would seriously consider dropping that feature from the list of things you want or need here.

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Originally Posted by CaptainGyro View Post
I have one of these and it is top notch:

Product: Model SW1911Sc<br>E-Series?, Round Butt, Scandium Frame

Also, I have never been disappointed with Springfield Armory. I have two Range Officers (.45 and 9mm), a TRP, a MilSpec, and an EMP. All excellent.
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Originally Posted by M118LR View Post
I went 20 years between purchasing 1911's, Kimber had a solid hold on my 1911 purchases both 9mm & 45 ACP, but I finally caved in and purchased the S&W E Series with the external extractor and Tritium Sights. Now if I could only do something to change my Combat Tupperware Syndrome when cinching up my Duty Belt? But other than purchasing a sight adjustment tool to slide the front sight without damage I can find nothing to complain about the S&W 1911 E.
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Originally Posted by Kevin Gibson View Post
Mine has been flawless, I can't complain. My preference for the Colt's is mostly on aesthetics since I've found the new Colt's are every bit as reliable.
The Smith linked to above has been out for about 5 years and is a scary good gun. The man who brought it to market for S&W is an amazingly knowledgeable guy (much like Mr. Clapp below) and it is a really good pistol as long the radical round butt treatment works for you.

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Originally Posted by Charlie Petty View Post
Top I have never had any trouble with quite a few Kimbers or the S&W but right now the best bargain is the Springfield Range Officer. I've had a couple and have another on order.

They have a commander (4.25") size with what you want although I'm not sure if the ambi is standard but they're available.

There is a long article in the new Hodgdon Annual Manual where a 5" one was used for load development and there were some sub 1" 25 yd. groups
Charlie is right about the Range Officer being the hot setup from Springfield these days.
They’ve sold the daylights out of the full size 5” gun (and just introduced a Stainless version of it SHOT) and the 4” (not 4¼”) “Compact” (6 Round Mag) and “Champion” (7 Round Mag) models should be doing well too.
However it lacks your ambi-safety and it is an alloy gun. I believe it also uses a combination of a non-tritium Novak knockoff rear and HI VIZ knockoff front but you could do worse. I would look at them too.

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...I have owned exactly one Colt's 1911, and one Kimber, because when I was just starting out in the world of JMB guns, everyone told me that's what I should have. Being new to the game I came with no preconceived notions, and comparing the Colt and the Kimber to the other manufacturers, I gradually started to think, "You've got to be kidding me. People are paying extra for these, when the other offerings on the table from non-traditional manufacturers are so much better, and cheaper to boot?"

That S&W E series may be from a "wrong" manufacturer, but even with a 4" inch barrel it will nail a steel prairie dog from 70 yards about a third of the time, and the misses are close. The Range Officers will do a little better. My Colt's (Series 70 Mark IV, customized with a hand-fit Kart barrel by Don Williams of The Action Works) isn't as accurate, and the fit and finish are ho-hum. I shot it a few times, then put it in the safe until the right "Colt's man" comes along.
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Originally Posted by csmkersh View Post
Skeptic49, I'd prefer steel over aluminum frame it that's what you meant by alloy. S&W has a bob-tailed 4.25" barreled gun with ambi-saftey but it's a little costly and close to $1,500 MSRP. The Springfield Charlie mentioned doesn't come with ambi-safety but I can and have fitted them to a Colt Government Model and a Rock Island.

Thanks, guys.
Colt just introduced a steel (stainless steel) Commander last week at SHOT.

Wiley Clapp Pistols

It is the third one down from the top. The lightweight version is second down from the top and is something they have been making for 4 or 5 years (and has been discussed on this Forum here in detail in the past: Question About CNC Design/Machining, I'm Gonna Have to Put Myself in Rehab... and I'm Gonna Have to Put Myself in Rehab.... The CCO (with a Commander Slide) has been out for a year and is currently the focus of a feature article in Guns Magazine: Wiley Clapp?s Classy ColtGuns Magazine.com | Guns Magazine.com

The Clapp guns are not Custom Shop guns but they have the same people build them every time a batch is put out so they are really well detailed and very consistent from gun-to-gun.

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Originally Posted by Kevin Gibson View Post
The S&W is a true commander length, but they're aluminum (scandium) frame guns. I've been carrying one for about 12 years and mine has been a very good pistol. In fact my daughter has laid claim to it and if she does go off to college next year it's going with her, so I'm in the market. My plan at this point is to buy the Colt LW Commander in 9mm and fit a .38 Super barrel. I just think a .38 Super LW Commander is so damn cool; just gotta have one.

The Springfield is a 4" rather than a 4.25" and I think it uses a cone barrel. I've heard great things about the RIA Commanders but I've never shot one.

Oh this just in (because I just thought of it); don't overlook the Ruger. They make a steel Commander and every Ruger 1911 I've had my hands one was very well built.
The Ruger is a great gun for the money and the guy who worked it up for them is a smart, detailed-oriented man too. It's just that it is more of a baseline gun designed for a different market. They make a number of 4¼” guns and having watched them being made in the plant in Prescott, I was amazed at the amount of fitting that went into their hi-volume, hi-output assembly line.

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Originally Posted by Kevin Gibson View Post
Sam,

These days if I'm buying a factory 1911 it's a Colt. Unfortunately I don't believe Colt makes a steel frame commander anymore with those features. And most makers don't offer tritium sights right out of the box. If you could tolerate a LW Commander (which is my preference), then the Lightweight Commander is the best they've made probably ever, and as icing on the cake, the roll stamping on the slide is old school Colt.

As stated above, Colt began offering that Clapp gun in Stainless just last week so most people really don't know about it yet. The reintroduction of the base level Lightweight Commander (Lightweight Commander®) is a good deal pricewise and was brought to market because of the on-going success of the Clapp lightweight gun I also mentioned above but it is an alloy gun (you said you wanted steel) and it’s an outright production model. So while it is much (much) better than what Colt was doing a decade or two ago, it might not have the amount of care and detailing seen on the Clapp gun. Note that does not mean it is a bad gun (it’s not, it’s a good gun); it’s just that you get what you pay for.

Finally, I haven’t shot any of Remington’s 1911 R1 COMMANDER’s but their full size guns (that nobody’s buying because nobody thinks of Remington as a handgun company) that I’ve shot have been dumbfoundingly good and accurate performers; especially for the money (I think that the base model steel frame COMMANDER sells for less than $750 and the last time I looked — last week — CDNN was blowing out the fancified “Carry” version with a real Novak rear and a Tritium front sight for around $900).

There are obviously more options out there but these are just my remarks on the guns already mentioned.

Last edited by P. Marlowe; 01-29-2016 at 12:55 AM. Reason: Grammar correction
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:09 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by P. Marlowe View Post
If I might ask, why is the Ambi-Safety so important to you?

Are you left-handed and need it?
Yes, I'm left handed.

For years I managed with just the wrong side safety in a flap holster but nowadays I use either a Yaqui slide or an IWB from Milt Sparks.

Smith and Wesson has the Model SW1911SC E-Series which comes close as you noted but then there's the round butt.

Springfield's Champion Operator Lightweight also comes close and does have a square butt and ambi-safey and way less cost than the S&W pistol.

Ruger has a 4.25" barreled gun that's dark (Black Nitride) but no ambi-safety.

You wrote that Colt has shown a SS pistol at the but I really prefer a blue or dark finished gun and few bother to coat their stainless guns. Colt has had some major price changes downward. Their lite weight Commander cataloged at $950. If Colt offers this with a dark finish on the slide and frame I'll give it some thought but at this point I'm going to have to forgo an all steel pistol which means that most likely my next purchase will be the Springfield Champion Operator Lightweight.

I find I need to read you missive a couple of more reads to digest it later today.

Guys, I really appreciate the info.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:27 PM   #25
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Why is it I feel compelled to answer?

Perhaps this is a time vs Training thing P..

If you are right handed and use the Weaver Stance, than your off hand practice is with only one hand.

Off hand practice from behind barricades is even more self explanatory.

Off hand multiple target practice requires off hand only, manipulation of the sidearm.

Perhaps a parable: Folks trained with plates race in squared up. Folks trained before plates minimize the target area and have a tendency to squat as they move forward.

Back to the original ambidextrous safety question. It depends on your ROE's, If you take one before returning one you may not have a dominant hand to return fire with. If you practice off hand with more than one hand what is the purpose?
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:10 PM   #26
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I have tested almost all the guns mentioned here except for Wiley's. The new Gold Cup was less accurate than box stock Kimbers.

Mr. Marlowe is right about the Remington it is very accurate and the most accurate of all those I tested for the 100th anniversary 1911 story. I really would like to know where it really is made.

Kevin, you and I are usually on the same page but Colt would be my last choice because of the bad experiences I've had in the past. It is certainly true that they are making progress and may someday catch up with Kimber and Springfield but I have no desire to shave with my 1911 slide.

The S&W "E" series is a great gun and the designer to whom mr. Marlowe refers is a dear friend and a shining star of firearms knowledge. Sadly he is one of the few real gun guys in manufacturing these days.

I heard lots of gripes about the external extractor almost surely from those who never even saw one let alone shot it. From an aesthetic viewpoint it is cosmetically way ahead and dare I say "sexy"? It is also noteworthy that S&W has always had external extractors and nobody complained about them... except for the early Model 39 and they fixed that.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:06 AM   #27
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I have tested almost all the guns mentioned here except for Wiley's. The new Gold Cup was less accurate than box stock Kimbers.

Mr. Marlowe is right about the Remington it is very accurate and the most accurate of all those I tested for the 100th anniversary 1911 story. I really would like to know where it really is made.

Kevin, you and I are usually on the same page but Colt would be my last choice because of the bad experiences I've had in the past. It is certainly true that they are making progress and may someday catch up with Kimber and Springfield but I have no desire to shave with my 1911 slide.

The S&W "E" series is a great gun and the designer to whom mr. Marlowe refers is a dear friend and a shining star of firearms knowledge. Sadly he is one of the few real gun guys in manufacturing these days.

I heard lots of gripes about the external extractor almost surely from those who never even saw one let alone shot it. From an aesthetic viewpoint it is cosmetically way ahead and dare I say "sexy"? It is also noteworthy that S&W has always had external extractors and nobody complained about them... except for the early Model 39 and they fixed that.
Thanks Charlie, for jumping in about the Remington.

I shot a number of them when they first appeared in the full size format and was amazed at how well they performed. I also had dinner one night with a bunch of serious shooters who were all affiliated with the LE Division of the NRA and it turned out that their experiences with the gun were just like yours and mine. And our California PC friend who worked with me both in New England and Pacific Northwest liked the over-the-counter samples he bought to evaluate so well that he kept them. Like me, they proved to be really eye-openers for him.

Finally, the aforementioned Mr. Clapp has reviewed several Remington’s in detail for the NRA (in the American Rifleman) and those pieces are available here: American Rifleman | The Remington R1 M1911 and here: American Rifleman | A Bullseye View of Remington's R1 Pistols. He too seems a bit astonished at how guns this affordable and showing no signs of special fitting were capable of shooting as well as they did.

Once again, I have not shot the blue, steel frame Commander I mentioned in my last post (that is pictured here on the current Remington site: 1911 R1 Commander | Remington) but it and higher end Carry Model (1911 R1 Carry Commander | Remington) being closed out at CDNN as of this writing (and seen here while supplies last as of this writing: CDNN SPORTS - REMINGTON 1911 R1 45ACP CARRY COMMANDER) might well fill the bill for “csmkersh”; especially the Closeout Carry Version (before they are all gone) as it is only $900 and it is steel, it’s blue, and it has both an ambi-safety and a tritium front sight (all of which he requested).

As to your remarks about the man from S&W whom we both know, I found this piece online from somebody he once worked with, that not only talks about the Enhanced Series of Pistols when certain models were introduced at SHOT 5 years ago in 2011 but also about him and some of the other things he did for that company and about which the general public generally had no idea regarding his involvement: https://www.policeone.com/police-pro...-Smith-Wesson/

Thanks again Charlie, hope things are good with you.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:39 PM   #28
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Looks like I'm SOL on the springfied I liked. The Range Master seems to be more available. Remington R1 commander is all but gone. I looked at the cite Mr. Marlowe pointed to but I don't have a local dealer I feel like trying to act as my agent.

I guess I keep looking for a low dollar old Colt Commander and get it rebuilt to suit Sam or learn to be happy with my Rock Island that I added a ambi-safety to last year.

I really appreciate all the feed back.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:09 AM   #29
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Charlie, the reason I discounted the Ranger Officer is I'd have to replace the sights as well as fit an ambi-safety.
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:58 PM   #30
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I have tested almost all the guns mentioned here except for Wiley's. The new Gold Cup was less accurate than box stock Kimbers.

Mr. Marlowe is right about the Remington it is very accurate and the most accurate of all those I tested for the 100th anniversary 1911 story. I really would like to know where it really is made.

Kevin, you and I are usually on the same page but Colt would be my last choice because of the bad experiences I've had in the past. It is certainly true that they are making progress and may someday catch up with Kimber and Springfield but I have no desire to shave with my 1911 slide.

The S&W "E" series is a great gun and the designer to whom mr. Marlowe refers is a dear friend and a shining star of firearms knowledge. Sadly he is one of the few real gun guys in manufacturing these days.

I heard lots of gripes about the external extractor almost surely from those who never even saw one let alone shot it. From an aesthetic viewpoint it is cosmetically way ahead and dare I say "sexy"? It is also noteworthy that S&W has always had external extractors and nobody complained about them... except for the early Model 39 and they fixed that.
Charlie,

Not sure what your experience has been with Colt's of late, but for the past 5-6 years I've had several come into my shop that were made exceptionally well and every one of them has worked (they all just wanted further customizing). The frame and slide manufacturing quality has all the really big names beat hands down. The rest of the gun is pretty darned decent for a gun just under or just over a grand. I'm really impressed with Colt these days personally. But yeah the edges are crisp (although I haven't found any that would cut by any means). As a custom pistolsmith, I really prefer to start with a Colt because the end product comes out aesthetically perfect almost every time and I don't spend time cleaning up factory cosmetic mistakes.

As for the S&W. Mine is pre-E series, the M1911PD; more of a "real" Commander and it has been a GREAT pistol (wearing it as I type this). There are cosmetic flaws on the frame and slide (lots of cosmetic flaws on the slide) and I was rather disappointed about that. But they're much better these days (bought my around 2004). Since mine is a dedicated carry gun I really didn't give a flip about cosmetic flaws as long as the gun works right. The grip safety was very poorly fit and I ended up replacing it with a Wilson (which required me to do away with the Schwarz system). Little niggles aside, I'm very pleased with the S&W, but I must say I would trade it for a .38 Super Colt in a New York minute.

Actually my daughter has designs on my S&W commander and if she decides to go off to college next year it will accompany her, and I'll just buy myself a new gun or build one.
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Old 02-02-2016, 02:19 PM   #31
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I had no idea that Herb worked on the autos, I thought he was the dedicated revolver guy. Herb is a true gem in the gun world. His knowledge is extensive and I could just listen to him talk for hours and have offered to keep the drinks coming as long as he was talking.
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Old 02-02-2016, 02:25 PM   #32
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Looks like I'm SOL on the springfied I liked. The Range Master seems to be more available. Remington R1 commander is all but gone. I looked at the cite Mr. Marlowe pointed to but I don't have a local dealer I feel like trying to act as my agent.

I guess I keep looking for a low dollar old Colt Commander and get it rebuilt to suit Sam or learn to be happy with my Rock Island that I added a ambi-safety to last year.

I really appreciate all the feed back.
Colt has announced a "basic" all steel Commander in blue or stainless in the "1991" series that could be a good platform for a personal build. Just an old school no frills Commander with a price that ought to be south of $800.00.
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Old 02-02-2016, 02:52 PM   #33
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Thanks, Kevin. I'd rather start that way than replacing almost every internal part.
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:41 PM   #34
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Looks like I'm SOL on the springfied I liked. The Range Master seems to be more available. Remington R1 commander is all but gone. I looked at the cite Mr. Marlowe pointed to but I don't have a local dealer I feel like trying to act as my agent.

I guess I keep looking for a low dollar old Colt Commander and get it rebuilt to suit Sam or learn to be happy with my Rock Island that I added a ambi-safety to last year.

I really appreciate all the feed back.
csmkersh”:

With all due respect, you are in the San Antonio, Uvalde, Kerrville, Austin ellipse and you can’t find a local dealer you trust not to act as your agent (he or she won't be negotiating anything on your behalf) but merely as your receiver and deliverer (for that’s all they have to do: receive the gun from fellow license holder CDNN and deliver it to you, while following all the applicable local and federal laws)?

I don't get down that way as much as I used to but between the bird shooting in Uvalde, the various game and exotic hunting in Kerrville (as well as shooting at Clint’s place back in the old days), and the numerous shops in SA and even the liberal Austin, somebody has to be around to merely accept a gun for you and pass it along legally and at an acceptable rate.

CDNN is one of the straightest and most accommodating outfits around. They will not lie to you, misrepresent things or string you along. They will either ship you a gun they have or they will tell you that they're already gone. All your receiving dealer need do is accept it, legally deliver it to you and charge you a previously agreed-upon fee for doing so (Austin Gun Liquidators in Austin, for example, will do something like that for $35. Note that I am not recommending them but just telling you what they say they will do.)

As I thought I made clear the last time, that Remington Carry COMMANDER has everything you say you are looking for: Steel Frame; Blue Color; Night Sight; and an Ambi-Safety without having to modify anything (self-modifications being something that always negatively affects resale value) and it springs from a family of guns that have been highly regarded since they were first introduced a few years ago. This gun not only makes the most amount of sense but it is also the best buy on something new and unaltered that you are likely to find.

Time to pull the trigger if this is what you really want.

[PS: At the moments, if they haven’t made a mistake somewhere and they usually don't, Bud’s Gun Shop is offering the same “Carry” version of the gun for supposedly $813.70 Retail or $790.00 Cash as of this writing (Remington 96335 R1 Carry Commander 7+1 45ACP 4.25" $790.00 SHIPS FREE) and they will ship it to a preferred dealer of theirs in your area so that you don't have to screw around arranging for anything on your own: Discount Guns for Sale - Buds Gun Shop-- FFL Search. I have no idea where you are in the San Antonio area but I searched for dealers within a 50 mile radius of the centrally located (just north of downtown) 78212 area code and lost count because there were so many. Most were charging for $20-$30 for accepting and legally delivering the gun to you. Bud's is a standup bunch too.]
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:53 PM   #35
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I had no idea that Herb worked on the autos, I thought he was the dedicated revolver guy. Herb is a true gem in the gun world. His knowledge is extensive and I could just listen to him talk for hours and have offered to keep the drinks coming as long as he was talking.
Kevin:

Herb was pretty instrumental in certain facets of the extremely well organized Shield pistol introduction too. But sadly that year at NRA when the gun was introduced, I was “speaking” for real all three days and only had a short time to "speak" to him (privately and off the record) about it.

That said, the next time you do sit down with him, screw the gun stuff and ask him about watches and clocks; he’ll impress you even more about them (or, if your offer holds up for them too, he’ll just drink you under the table).
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:02 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by P. Marlowe;544331
[PS: At the moments, if they haven’t made a mistake somewhere and they usually don't, Bud’s Gun Shop is offering the same “Carry” version of the gun for supposedly $813.70 Retail or $790.00 Cash as of this writing ([url=http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_925/products_id/85324
Remington 96335 R1 Carry Commander 7+1 45ACP 4.25" $790.00 SHIPS FREE[/url]) and they will ship it to a preferred dealer of theirs in your area so that you don't have to screw around arranging for anything on your own: Discount Guns for Sale - Buds Gun Shop-- FFL Search. I have no idea where you are in the San Antonio area but I searched for dealers within a 50 mile radius of the centrally located (just north of downtown) 78212 area code and lost count because there were so many. Most were charging for $20-$30 for accepting and legally delivering the gun to you. Bud's is a standup bunch too.
Don's at Fredericksburg Road & Loop 410 is my closest dealer. I usually deal with Lorie. I'll try to get by there tomorrow afternoon and see what can be done WRT the Remington R1 Carry Commander. If no luck, will fall back on the Colt 1911 04691. It's all steel & blue. Yes, it'll need a dovetail cut for a new front sight and a ambi-safety fitted. That would be more dollars than the Remington though.
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