Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Range Report: Rock Island Armory Match

I'm finally getting around to posting this...I figured today's as good a day as any, considering it's been 100 years since the pistol was given a "home" with our military.

Chris, my cousin V, and I took the pistol out to the range last Wednesday (and by "last Wednesday" I mean a month and some change ago)...and, well, I'm pleased.  This was an excellent choice for a "big kid" gun - until now my only pistol was my Bersa, and it's incredibly different from the 1911. 

So, my opinions...

The trigger is nice and light.  There is almost no effort involved, especially compared to my little Bersa.  This surprised me - I expected the trigger to be much heavier, even knowing it's a 3.5lb trigger.

The sights are nice.  I like the large black rear sight, as it helps to make the front sight seem a bit more visible than the three-dot setup on the Bersa.  The pistol is really accurate out of the box thanks to the upgraded sights, and any accuracy issues I had were entirely operator-related.

So far, there are no reliability issues.  The three of us put 100 rounds downrange - I know, it's not enough to really test it, but it was enough to make me happy.  We had one malf, and that was due to the cheap extra mags I brought along.  With the original mag, it ate all the cheap Remington I put through it.  Next visit will involve other brands - we've got Winchester and UMC in the box at home, and I look forward to seeing how it handles those.

The grips are alright, but I intend to swap them out sometime soon.  I'm just not a fan of the checkered look (or feel - my hands is delicate!), so I'll pick up a set soon.  If Wilson ever gets the set I've been eyeing back in stock, that is.

And now, here's what you've all been waiting for (click to embiggenize):

And now I realize I need to oil it up...DANG that rear sight got rusty quick!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shooting Gallery

Very fun episode of Shooting Gallery last night if you like a little humor with your guns. A ride along during a zombie outbreak with Michael Bane. It almost felt like a new map for L4 dead. I liked the gear explanations and the Paul Verhoeven style newsbreaks that he made famous in Starship Troopers and Robocop. If you get outdoor network check it out.

Monday, March 21, 2011


So I see Breda caused a flap over on her blog. http://www.thebredafallacy.com/2011/03/snubby-for-pretty-lady.html

I'm late to the party and she has locked the comments. All I wanted to say is, I don't get why anyone buys those airweights anyway. When you run out of bullets and thow the gun at the bad guy how can you expect an airweight to leave a good dent in his forehead. Seriously, come on people.

The Big Bang!

So I finally got my new hotness to the range. A matte stainless Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 special. In lieu of another long winded post by me here's the short and sweet.

1.) It's AWESOME!
2.) Reasonably priced
3.) Build quality is excellent. Looks as good as any new S&W I've seen
4.) It's accurate. Single action 2" group at 25ft. double action 4" (That's mostly me)
5.) 5 rounds of 44 special weigh almost what the gun does.
6.) Bigger than a J frame smaller than a K frame. About the size of an sp-101
7.) It's fun. Flash and smoke and bang!
8.) It's manageable.
9.) It looks intimidating.
10.) See number 1

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rock Island

I was waiting for falnfenix to post pics and stuff of the Rock Island Match, but I'll just go ahead and give you my impressions. It might possibly jolt her into posting :)

I have owned a Colt 1911 since the day I turned 21. I'm not an expert about them, but I'm quite familiar with the various manufacturers and parts available for them. I am not a brand whore in any way and I generally look for good quality products not names. I was skeptical of the Rock Island 1911's though. I was familiar with the names history, but had never seen or checked one out in person. I had no idea who was actually making them. After reading a few reviews and talking to a few people I was impressed with what I was reading and hearing. Especially looking at the price and features of the match pistol she was interested in. I can't believe the current prices on 1911's. One would think they're made of gold. Why are they so expensive? Of course they're all metal and not plastic, but it can't cost any more to tool up for them than to make other handguns. I realize it has a lot of parts that have to work together, but come on. These aren't custom jobs that are precisely hand fitted for competition. I'm talking about basic off the rack pistols costing 1k and up.

Knowing this and considering her intended purpose, unless it was completely horrible I couldn't see a down side to ordering one. At least I'm sure It will stop her from drooling on mine. I came home from work and there she was the tiny dinosaur gleefully flitting about the kitchen. I got it! I really like it! come check it out. I looked. It came in a nice plastic case with one magazine and a lock. Walnut grips looked nice. The parkerized finish was even and looked well done. I could feel her staring at me waiting for my reaction as I picked it up. EWW it's all greasy. You didn't even wipe it off? No she said, I wanted you to see it the way it came. They had packed it in quite a coating of oil. A good sign I thought, It shows they care enough to make sure you receive the product in its intended condition. I pulled the slide back to check the chamber and after verifying it was empty noticed 2 things. The ejection port had been worked at the factory for better cycling and the barrel was thick and chromed with a mirror smooth finish on the feed ramp. My eyes traveled forward down the slide and I saw a full length guide rod. I looked at her and said. Ok I'm impressed. She smiled in that way only cartoon caricatures of T-rexes can. I released the slide and it slammed home. Solid I thought. There's no wiggle. Ambidextrous safety, beaver tail grip safety, spur hammer and skeletonized aluminum trigger. Nice features. The fiber optic sight was new to me and looked useful. Overall it looked great. Lots of expensive features, fit and finish were excellent. At this price point it has to be too good to be true. We'll see how it shoots. The T-rex grinned and said isn't it great? She put it back in the box and bounded off to the safe to put it away.

The next night I showed her how to take it apart for a proper cleaning without shooting springs and things around the room. The parts looked well made. The machining was smooth with no stray marks on anything. The barrel is heavy duty, thick walled with nice polishing and deep rifling. I added a spare Wilson Shock Buff I had and we put it back together. Tomorrow we'll see how it shoots.

At the range as she stood at the line I could see her tense for the big bang. .45 ACP is a bit different when you're used to shooting .380 . It can be loud and pushy like a bully to some. BANG! the first shot went. She hit the 8" target at 25ft a little high but in the black. Bang! Bang! Closer to the X ring. She relaxed a little and finished the magazine. Not bad at all. In the black and a 3" group with one stray. I'm thinking this can't be. Is it that good? I know shes not used to it, and we didn't even adjust the sights. She said you're good with yours see how it is. I walked to the line changed the target. I reloaded, and put the fresh mag in it and thumbed the slide release. I took aim and thumbed the safety off. Blam! dead center. the trigger was light and crisp with very little creep. When the slide locked back the X ring on the target was gone. Like those carnival games where you shoot out the red star with the completely off sight bb gun. I had done it to this target. I can't always do it with my Colt I thought. This fiber optic front sight really helps. I think this thing is too good to be true. We tried various distances with consistant tight groups and she relaxed and got better and better. I tried some old crappy surplus mags in it that I have and it didn't like one of them, but with it's included mag it never jammed once and we had no problems at all.

We put about 150 rounds through it and it performed flawlessly. When we were done at the range she said so what do you think? I said I think it's too good to be true. I think there's something wrong with it. It's that good and it didn't cost 1500 bucks. She smiled that cartoonish grin she gets all the way home after that. My opinion of the Rock Island Match is: If you're in the market for a 1911. Go buy one now! Quick before they realize what they have done and raise the price. Lots of features and quality build come in this package. Other than the limited finishes If you're overly concerned with that I can't see a reason not to buy one. It makes me think all those other manufacturers are ripping us off.