Ruger SR1911 CMD

I have always wanted a 1911 for no other reason than that it’s one of those handguns you must have in your collection (technological innovation, history and military significance and such). I have previously owned a GSG 1911 in .22 LR which in almost every aspect is as close to a “real” 1911 in .45 ACP as you can get; most of the parts are interchangeable with the real thing. I grew tired of it and eventually sold it (kicking myself today since after the new gun regulations in CT it can’t legally be sold here for whatever reasons only gangster daddy, I mean Governor, Dannel Malloy and his henchmen know).

German made ATI GSG 1911 in .22 LR commemorative edition. Moral of the story: Never sell a gun. You will regret it.

German made ATI GSG 1911 in .22 LR commemorative edition. Moral of the story: Never sell a gun. You will regret it.

A month or so ago I had finally done all my research and it was down to a Kimber 1911 Pro Carry II (4″ barrel) and an all-steel Ruger SR1911 CMD (Commander 4.25″ barrel). I tested both out at Hoffman’s Gun Center in Newington, CT and ended up with the Ruger. Partly because the Kimber isn’t completely true to the original design (doesn’t have a barrel bushing), and because the lightweight alloy frame of the Kimber makes the recoil feel more intense than the full-weight Ruger. The sales guy also more than strongly hinted that the Kimber was inferior. Both were similarly priced at ~$730.

I’ve taken it to the range a few times and have about 200 rounds through it and it’s disappointingly un-fun to shoot. It’s a wonderful gun, looks great, seems to be well made, and I can easily make a fist-sized hole center mass in a stationary paper silhouette that isn’t shooting back at seven yards. But it’s just a little blah, if you know what I mean. Compared to my polymer 9 millimeters it feels like chunky, dead weight in my hands and when you pull the trigger it’s a dull, thumpish boom and recoil. Nothing negative about Ruger here, I guess it’s just the nature of the 1911 platform.

Surprisingly, the trigger is the one thing that doesn’t feel refined about the gun. It’s not too heavy, the pull and break are smooth and crisp, but the reset is crunchy, and we can’t have that. I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos to figure out how the pistol works and how to take it apart, and, more importantly, put it back together (see pics below, completely broken down except for the mainspring housing, ejector, and hammer strut).

I’m fairly confident about the mechanics of the gun (I only needed to consult the book to figure out how the disconnector and sear mate together upon reassembly). All I need to do now is find out exactly which parts rub on each other for that millimeter or two from when the trigger is fully to the rear and when it resets, polish out whatever burrs or tooling marks that cause the crunch, and hopefully that will fix the issue. I’ve purchased a jig and some stones from¬† Brownell’s for that purpose.

I’ll update when such time comes. In the mean time I’ll practice disassembly/reassembly until I’m fully confident (as opposed to “fairly”) about the inner workings of the gun. No matter what, I think my new 1911 will spend most of its life in the safe. But at least I have one.

Get 1911 parts here.

Range Report

I took a trip to my friendly neighborhood shooting range today, Bridgeport Shooting Range, to put some holes in paper. I brought along my trusty SA XDm 9mm Compact and the newly acquired, not-so-trusty, Ruger LC9. While I was there I decided to rent a Glock just to see what all the hoopla was about. Personally I think Glocks are ugly, so I never considered them, but they’re everywhere and many shooters seem to have an unnatural loving relationship with this particular brand of firearm.

They're ugly as fudge, but after having shot one I may very well join the crowd of fanboys. Sweet!

They’re ugly as fudge, but after having shot one I may very well join the crowd of fanboys. Sweet!

The one I rented was a Glock 19, a mid-sized 9mm, so the comparison to my Springfield would be as fair as possible. First of all, let me say that the gun was filthy (note to BSR, maybe clean the rentals more often?), it didn’t lock back on the last shot, and while chambering the first round it jammed consistently throughout a box of 50 reloads bought at the range for $22 (the policy is you have to buy the ammo there if you rent; I know, they have to make their money one way or the other, but 22 bucks for 50 reloads?!?).

All this aside, the gun was sweeet to shoot. I liked it a lot! I shot it much better than my XDm, not to mention the Ruger, which I can’t seem to get a grip on at all; I’m lucky to hit the paper at all with that one, so I cleaned it out good once I got home and will leave in the box until it gets time for a trade-in. And guess what? Chances are it’ll be a Glock. But don’t tell my wife.

A Day At The Range

With the Superbowl (sorry about that Patriots, didn’t mean to rub it in) and all today, the wife and I figured it would be a quiet day at the range. Well, it wasn’t as quiet as I expected, but we didn’t have to wait more than a couple of minutes before we got a lane.

We had packed the Smith & Wesson model 66-1 .357 Magnum, the wife’s Bersa Thunder 9mm, and my new toy (yeah, I know they’re firearms and I’m not supposed to call them toys), a Ruger LC9.

We started off with the S&W, shooting a box of .38 Sp. just to warm up before going bang with .357s. I’m amazed at how easy that gun is to shoot. Hardly any recoil worth mentioning, no doubt due to the gun’s considerable heft and the new Hogue rubber grips I had installed to replace the original wooden stocks that look good, but make the grip very thick and a bit hard to handle. Both wifey and I did well, placing our shots in the general vicinity of where we aimed. We also ran into Frank Pinto, a retired cop and shooting instructor we had taken some lessons from, and he offered us a clip of +P .38s to try out, and they went “BOOM” almost louder than the .357s with little felt recoil. No doubt too expensive to shoot for target practice.

Next we pulled out the Bersa Thunder 9mm. Wifey loves this gun, but her “groupings”,¬† if I can even call them that, were a bit all over the place. I shot fairly well with it for the first time ever, and even managed to get some decent groupings (for my skill level) at 15′, semi-rapid fire.

The Ruger LC9

The Ruger LC9

Last, and least, was the Ruger LC9 (Light Compact 9mm), which I had only put about 50 rounds through on Tuesday when I got it. It’s “only” a 9mm (try taking a hit from it and see how “only” it feels), but is very snappy due to it’s light weight (about 17 ounces). It’s also double-action only, with a fairly heavy trigger pull, so both wifey and I were all over the place, lucky to even hit the paper. At the end of 150 rounds my hits very getting closer to where I aimed, though. I guess it’s one of those things you just have to get used to through practice in order to gain proficiency. Right now I gotta say I don’t care for the gun at all. It’s sleek and cool and excellent for concealed carry and all that, but right now there’s no love. I’ll just have to give it some more time, since wifey has put her foot down and no trade-ins or new guns until my birthday. Damn woman.

Did I offer my condolences to the Patriots? I think I did. Whatever.