Sunday, March 26, 2006

My other major project is also .45 caliber related. A couple of months back I got a Ruger New Vaquero .45 Colt. Of course one has to be able to carry ammo for reloading if this is to be a viable field gun. A belt slide was ordered from Rob Leahy of Simply Rugged and it carries another 6 rounds. Is that enough? I don't think so. Another 6 rounds would be good.

Now I've long liked the MTM ammo wallets and I saw that they had a model which was sometimes touted as for the .45 Colt. I got and 18-round one which came with a "free" 6-round wallet. Unfortunately, the capacity of .45 Colt is half that stated as these are produced for the .45 ACP! Irritating.

The wallet on the left is modified, the wallet on the right is unmodified. As you can see in the photo there is a stop or web between the cartridge dividers. I just cut those out. However, the cartridges can't be stored in the wallet in the same orientation as is normal but only reversed.

It amazes me that there isn't a demand for MTM to make a wallet for the .45 Colt. I would think it would also work with the .44 and .38 WCF (.44-40 and .38-40) and .45 Schofield. Perhaps shooters of those guns just don't find the plastic wallets to be traditional enough. Well, I got the gun for practical purposes and the modified wallet fits those purposes. I'm going to convert the other as well! Frankly, if you want to shoot .45 ACP, use moon clips or magazine...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Of course as I work with this gun I've been looking for neat on-line resources. Mostly after-the-fact like on reassembly, etc.

Here are a few of the better links I found:

- The Colt 1911 Home
- Removing a Colt 1911 Series 80 firing pin assembly
- M-1911 Disassembly

Also, Numrich/Gun Parts Corp. has the handy schematic. There are other parts suppliers as well:

- Bar-Sto Precision Machine
- Brownells
- Caspian Arms

Certainly, there are several forums devoted to the 1911:
- 1911 Forum
- 1911 Owners' Group

Friday, March 24, 2006

My good friend OD gave me a shorter trigger for the 1991A1. From a Norinco, this one is steel. He mailed it Tuesday and it arrived today. It is in the gun now...

You can't beat friends like that giving great birthday presents! The gun feels better to me with the new trigger. I think it looks better as well as that long nylon thing didn't fit the window and just looked ugly.

However, putting a series 80 back together was a bit of a pain. I had to use a slave pin and some grease to hold one part in while I reassembled the sear et-al and the hammer strut just didn't want to set on the mainspring right! All together now though! I am glad I had another series 80 to which to refer. Now there is some complication for no reason!!!

Had a bit of a problem, as I was taking the gun down the recoil spring plug took off and burst a flourescent light bulb right over my head. My wife thought I had set off a bomb. Caught pure heck for that! Took me two hours to get it all cleaned up!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

There's been some talk about S&W looking into purchasing the New Haven Winchester plant. That makes their new marketing moves interesting. Most importantly, I think, is the M&P (Military and Police) Family. There are the tactical rifles (as seen to the left) and the M&P pistol.

Another interesting thing is that Old Western Scounger (long a source for obsolete and hard-to-find ammo) was sold by Dangerous Dave to Val Forgett III. I'll probably find something else to order in the near future.

Yet another item of interest is the current availability of rifles from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). It seems that as the older surplus rifles are exhausted other items will become available. Be sure to check eligibility requirements.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

So I get this month's issue of American Rifleman and what should be in it but a write-up on the new Auto-Ordnance .30 M1 Carbine.

Photo courtesy of Auto-Ordnance

Now who wouldn't want a really good copy of this great and fun gun. Realistically, it isn't a mainline infantry arm but it wasn't designed for that. What it is perfect for is fun and it would be a great light recoiling defense gun for someone who doesn't shoot a handgun well. This is especially true when loaded with soft-point ammo. Surprise, surprise that's what it was orgininally intended to do!

Well, I guess this has to get added to the list. I've already got about 500 pieces of brass saved...

I had to have a holster for this gun. While I'm waiting to order a Bianchi UM84I for my new 1991A1 I've been looking for a daily carry holster a little less tactical. I found a Bianchi 7 in black. It works about as well as any other pancake type holster.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I haven't been doing much if any shooting lately and need to catch up the journal.

I was looking at my 1894C the other day and realized that the front sight was to the right of center. At first I was concerned because I was afraid that the sight was loose in the dovetail and might fall out but looking at the Foolproof I could see that it was adjusted for that. Apparently I was too dumb or too lazy and forgetful to fix the front sight when I zeroed the rifle. After some thinking and an attempt to drive the sight further left into the dovetail I fixed it. What I did was to drive the front sight out of the dovetail (left TO right) and then used a dovetail file on the SIGHT (never the dovetail) and clean off any burrs or machining marks on both sides of the male dovetail part. I then drove it in to center on the barrel and adjusted the rear sight to accomodate the change.

Of course I needed to check the zero and took the rifle to the mom's farm on my next trip out there. It was quite a warm day and a groundhog with cabin fever was out sunning and looking for lunch. He was right about 100 yards off and I used the 1894C on him. Took him dead center so I called the sights good and went about my business. I should check the sights at the range but that has had to wait. I've been distracted by a new purchase.

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My "new" Colt 1991A1

I've been wanting a full size Colt 1911 .45 ACP for a long time. Many years ago I was fortunate enough to get a MKIV Series 80 Combat Commander. It HAS been a better concealed carry gun but it isn't the GI type pistol that I wanted. Yes, I wanted a gun at least very much like the gun(s) I carried in the service. Then I saw this one in a local shop.

Now, I haven't been concerning myself with semi-auto anything for a long time and certainly not enough to keep myself up-to-date on all the variations and prices. I also know that the various "blue books" can be deceptive as to pricing for a lot of reasons. So, the first thing I did was ask some good, intelligent, folks if the price on the tag was reasonable. It was. Now the problem was funds. I was going to have to scrape the money together. That took a couple of weeks of counting change, leafing through books looking for the odd dollar, selling some unnecessary items (not blood, I'm not THAT addicted) and generally worrying that the gun wouldn't be there when I went back. Of course I wanted this gun and why you ask? Well, I think this says it all...
and, yes, I did get a box of Remington .45 ACP FMC when I finally went back for a last critical look and, ultimately, negotiations and purchase of the pistol.

As you can see it is very close to like new, it has the box, it has the original rubbery plastic grips AND a set of rosewood panels. It only came with one magazine and a clean bore. If it had been shot I don't think you could tell it, I couldn't. The breech face was just as clean. One thing I did like was that it has a flat main spring housing (MSH) but I didn't like that it was "A" nylon and "B" lacking the lanyard loop. That will have to be fixed. Another thing that bothered me, even more so really, was the long, plastic trigger. Not only is the trigger plastic and too long it also doesn't have a good fit top to bottom. Looks like an afterthought. One big positive was the excellent sights. They look military issue, almost, but they are much more defined and I can easily use them. Ok, so they aren't Novaks or Bomars but although they are simple they are easy to see and use.

Of course, I HAD to take it out for a function test with a box of factory ammo. So, I went up to my mom's and took the pistol with me. I have an 8" concrete block sitting on her pond dam about 80 yards from the garage. I pulled up, pulled the pistol out and let 7 rounds go down range at the block. 7 puffs of dust came off the block face. This was cool! A moment to reload and another 7 rounds flew downrange to meet their destiny at the concrete block. Oh yeah. Sweet.

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My 2 Colt .45s, MK IV Series 80 Combat Commander over 1991A1 "Government" Model

I used to have Pachmayr rubbers on the Combat Commander but after handling the new gun with the wood panels I rushed old faithful downstairs to the bench, dug out the factory issue grips and swapped them back. Being retired makes me a lot more appreciative of the wood!