It has become a routine now; every January M1911.ORG travels to wherever the SHOT Show is held and reports back to you with all the new pistols which appear in the 1911 world. So again, for 2012, I came to Las Vegas, NV, to see and report for our readers.
The SHOT Show traditionally starts with what is called the "Media Day at the Range." It's a special event (until last year, it was totally independent of the SHOT Show, which is organized by the NSSF) which takes place at a shooting range in the Nevada desert, near Boulder City.
The exhibitors of the Media Day at the Range (MDR for short) rent a part of the shooting range, where they make their products available to the media so that we can try them out. It's the only chance we get to fire the new models until we receive them for reviewing. Here is a picture for you to understand how the MDR is organized.
Everyone of the booths you see on the right side of the picture is rented by a company, which sets up a shooting range, where the various reporters can shoot the new guns presented.
I visited the MDR and here are the 1911s I saw there:
1. Rock Island Armory
Our friends at RIA surprised me nicely last year, with the RIA TCM pistol (Lisa, we still haven't received our review sample). This year, they had an even more interesting pistol.
This, dear readers, is a 1911 pistol chambered for the .22 Magnum cartridge. Don't ask me how RIA made it (to fit the .22 Magnum cartridge in the 1911 frame), they were a bit secretive about their new baby, but they sure made it and the pistol I shot worked like a charm. So it seems that a new caliber will be added to our 1911 world. Do not hold your breath however, because the .22 Magnum pistol is not immediately available, but I was told that it will probably be in the market within the year.
RIA has also created a factory in US, where all their ammo will be manufactured. Good news indeed!
Great work guys and gals!
Colt had two new 1911s on their tables in the MDR. The first one is a new version of the popular Gold Cup National Match.
No, the pistol doesn't have a long barrel in the picture above, it just had a chamber plug in it when I took the picture, and the slide is somewhat back from its in-battery position. I didn't shoot the Gold Cup because it has a standard GI grip safety with a spur hammer, a combination that always draws blood from my hand.
The second pistol was what Colt calls the "Special Combat Officers".
In reality, it is a Special Combat CCO, with a 4.25" barrel and a Commander slide mated to an Officers size frame. I did try this pistol and I loved it so much that the nice Colt folks had a hard time taking it away from me. The frame on the sample I shot was bead-blasted stainless steel, which contrasted beautifully with the blue slide. A lovely pistol, if you ask my personal opinion.
3. Cabot Guns
Our friends from Cabot Guns had three new pistols in their booth. You have already read about their "Lefty" (actually the serial number of the pistol was LEFTY0001) and it is a mirror clone of the standard 1911.
If I am not mistaken, it is the only 1911 in the market right now made specifically for the left-handed shooters.
Other models in Cabot's booth were their new stainless pistols, in both matte and polished stainless steel.
The polished one is a beautiful "barbeque" pistol, I am sure our Texans friends will love it.
Something I tried in Cabot's booth is a test I always wanted to do, since our editor Steve Clark visited their factory and talked about the interchangeability of their parts. Well, I took one 1911 frame and mounted 3-4 different slides on it. Amazingly, each and every slide fit the frame perfectly with the same exact precision.
A couple of nice blue pistols from this company.
There were some Turkish 1911 pistols in the MDR, from a company called Girsan. They'll be imported in the US by a company called SAMCO. The one I tried was a very rough sample, with a horrible trigger pull and a weird problem where the pistol couldn't be fired some times. I believe that the disconnector was not resetting properly, but I didn't have the chance to check it out, the person responsible was quick to take it away from me. If SAMCO sends us a review gun, we'll see how it works.
Talking about the SHOT Show, I would like to mention here, an organizational issue that is affecting a lot of the show visitors.
This year NSSF (the show organizer) decided to reduce the bus routes which were serving the show. As a result, those of us staying at the hotels towards the northern side of the Strip (Circus-Circus, Riviera, the Stratosphere, etc.) have no way to go to the show, unless we walk or take a taxi. I do not know where NSSF based their decision to cut those routes, but it definitely was NOT a wise one.
So these are the new 1911s I saw at the MDR. Tomorrow, the SHOT Show starts, and I am sure I'll have many more new pistols for you. Until then, stay tuned!
Discuss this report at: http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=98226