2017 SHOT Show Report
by Harwood Loomis for M1911.ORG
Photo courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation
John Caradimas, the owner of The M1911 Pistols Organization and our fearless leader and publisher (a.k.a. El Comandante), wasn’t able to make the trip to Las Vegas this year so he asked me if I could cover the SHOT Show for M1911.org in his place. I haven’t been to a SHOT Show for several years and I was able to make it work in my schedule, so I accepted the challenge. This is the first SHOT Show I’ve attended solo. It’s a daunting experience.
The show gets bigger every year. Held this year, as it has been for several years, in the Sands Exposition Center, there were more than 1,600 exhibitors. Attendance topped 65,000 people over the course of the four days from January 17 through January 20. That makes it the second-largest SHOT Show on record. The NSSF reports that there were attendees from more than 100 countries, and I can attest to having heard a number of languages being spoken as I wandered the aisles. I was one of 2,500 accredited journalists covering the show.
Colt, Smith & Wesson, Remington Arms, Ruger, and Sig Sauer all had huge exhibits, each staffed by a horde of company representatives. Other 1911 exhibitors had small, single-space booths that could easily be overlooked if someone was rushing down an aisle. 1911-related exhibitors were scattered throughout both levels of the huge exposition halls, and the maps provided weren’t always helpful in locating the smaller (or, indeed, some of the larger) exhibits.
It would be impossible for anyone or any single team to cover everything and to report on all the exhibitors, so we focus on handguns in general, and 1911s in particular. For a 100-plus year old, “obsolete” design, the 1911 shows remarkable longevity. It seems like around every corner of the display halls there’s another exhibitor showing either a new 1911, or new accessories for the 1911. We’ll discuss as many of them as possible but, be advised, it wasn’t possible in the three days I had at the show to get to every single 1911 vendor and manufacturer. If your particular favorite didn’t get a mention, my only excuse is that the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.
More photos of the show, courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shotshow
Without further ado, then, let’s take a stroll through what the show had to offer to the 1911 world (in alphabetical order):
Armscor (Rock Island)
The biggest news from Armscor is that the mythical Baby Rocks are now shipping. I spoke with two different people from Armscor and I received two somewhat different explanations of what happened. The condensed version is that the guns were in one place and the magazines were somewhere else. That has been rectified, the magazines have been united with the guns, and they are now shipping. So, if you’ve been waiting for a chance to look at or buy a Baby Rock, your waiting should be at an end.
Armscor Baby Rock
Armscor has another innovative variant on the 1911, something that (to our knowledge, at least) has never been done before: A 1911 chambered in .22 Magnum Rimfire. The pistol is the XT 22 Magnum. Like the XT 22 Standard, in .22 Long Rifle, the XT 22 Magnum uses a pinned, bull barrel and operates as a direct blowback action. Also like the XT 22 Standard, the slide is open-topped to reduce the reciprocating mass.
Armscor XT22 Magnum
Armscor is best known in the U.S. for the expanding lineup of 1911-pattern pistols, but they offer more than just 1911s. Four years ago M1911.org was one of the first U.S. outlets to publish a review of Armscor’s M200 and M206 6-shot, .38 Special revolvers. Armscor also offers a line of semi-automatic pistols reminiscent of the CZ-75 family. This group of firearms is designated the MAP series, with all-steel construction, and the corresponding MAPP series with polymer frames. Most of the pistol in this series are chambered in 9mm Parabellum, but a recent addition to the line is the MAPP TCM9R. Chambered for Armscor’s proprietary .22 TCM cartridge, this very interesting pistol comes with adjustable sights, an integral Picatinny rail, and has a capacity of 16+1 rounds.
Armscor MAPP FS TCM9R
Armscor MAPP TCM9R
Varmint hunters know that the hunter’s friend is a high-velocity, flat-shooting round, and Armscor’s proprietary 22 TCM cartridge fits that description. The cartridge was first introduced a few years ago in a special 1911 pistol. Now Armscor has introduced a bolt action rifle that fires the 22 TCM round. It’s a pretty rifle, with a solid hardwood Monte Carol stock, checkered pistol grip and forearm, and a butt pad. Best yet, although the standard magazine has a 5-round capacity (which many jurisdictions enforce as the maximum legal capacity for hunting), it also accepts the 17-round magazines from the 22 TCM 1911.
M22 TCM BA (hardwood stock)
Armscor M22 TCM Tactical
While visiting the Armscor exhibit I was introduced to Lisa Tuason, whose family owns Armscor. In discussing the new offerings from Armscor, Lisa reminded me that Armscor makes ammunition as well as firearms. In fact, we at M1911.org know this—Armscor USA has assisted us in our pistol reviews for the on-line magazine by providing ammunition for use in our gun reviews, and I have fired a lot of rounds of Armscor .22LR ammunition in my personal guns over the years. Lisa commented that they are expanding the ammunition line to include new (to them) cartridges, such as .300 Blackout, and that all the ammo Armscor sells in the U.S. is now manufactured in the U.S.
The big news from Caspian, for us at M1911.org anyway, is that Gary Smith has retired after thirty years as the voice and face of Caspian Arms. Gary was always very receptive to questions from us here at M1911.org and we’ll miss him.
One of the new items (actually, to be grammatically correct, “several” of the new items) at the Caspian display was their new line of Damascus small parts. Caspian has offered slides and receivers made of Damascus steel for several years, and now they have added matching small parts to complete that custom Damascus 1911, if that’s your style.
Also, although Caspian has apparently had them in their line for a couple or three years, I just became aware that Caspian now offers aluminum alloy receivers as well as steel and stainless steel. I was informed that they can still do titanium, as well, but they aren’t pushing that. It wasn’t stated, but I got the sense that titanium doesn’t sell well and is being phased out. If you want a titanium receiver, order it now, while you can.
When I arrived at the Check-Mate display I was delighted to have been greeted by Jackie Santoro, who has been a great friend and supporter of M1911.org for many years. Jackie gave me a quick summary of what’s new with Check-Mate—aside from their new facility, where they actually moved a couple of years ago. She renewed her invitation for us to visit the new facility, and we hope to take her up on the invitation before we get too deep into 2017.
Jackie told me that for this year they have just introduced a new 9mm magazine for competition. She described it as being a cross between the hybrid lip design and the wadcutter design. Of course, the hybrid design is called that because it is a hybrid of the original, Browning designed GI feed lips and the so-called wadcutter feed lip design. That would make the new design sort of a hybrid hybrid, leading me to suggest that Check-Mate should get a trademark on calling it a Hybrid2 (“Hybrid Squared”) or H2 design.
I also asked if Check-Mate is still producing magazines for the shorter-than-Officers size Para-Ordnance single stack pistols, such as the Slim Hawg. Jackie said they do still offer that magazine, but they are having trouble determining exactly which models it fits. If any readers own or have owned one of Para’s sub-compact pistols, please contact us here at M1911.org so we can try to compile a comprehensive list. The magazine was specifically developed by Check-Mate shortly after the Slim Hawg was introduced, but it also fits other pistols, in both the single action lineup and the LDA lineup. Please help us out.
Some of the models we have tentatively identified as using this magazine are: Slim Hawg (PSHX645S), Elite Carry (96669), LDA Carry (96643 in .45 ACP, 96645 in 9mm), Carry (CWX645B in Blue, CWX645S in stainless). In general, they are the single stack models listed with a height of 4.75”. If you have a Para-Ordnance or ParaUSA pistol that fits this category, please let us know.
Cabot Guns creates their 1911 pistols using mostly mechanized equipment and procedures rather than hand fitting, but there’s a reason: their proprietary technology is so precise that it results in a finer, tighter, smoother fit than custom gunsmiths can achieve by hand fitting slides and receivers. Cabot advertises that their tolerance is .001” (most tolerances specified by John M. Browning for the military M1911 were .005” to .007”), and they use aerospace gauging instruments to measure the dimension of finished parts to an accuracy of 40 millionths of an inch. Although Cabot’s web site shows a few standard models, customers can order their pistol virtually any way they want it.
Last year, Cabot made the headlines when they announced that they were making a 1911 pistol out of a meteorite. The first thing I asked Rob Bianchin at the Cabot exhibit was if they had the meteorite gun at the show. He said the meteorite gun had been sold and could no longer be displayed, so I didn’t get to see it.
This year they displayed a crystal 1911. In reality, it isn’t a totally crystal pistol (no, that wasn’t intentional alliteration), only a couple of parts were crystal. But they were real crystal. The trigger show was crystal, and the grip panels were crystal. The rest of the pistol is finished to an incredibly smooth finish that might was well be opaque crystal. Rob mentioned that one of the most difficult aspects of the crystal 1911 was figuring out a way to attach the grip panels without shattering them.
Returning to the real world, Rob showed me a new “standard” model in the Cabot lineup, the Vintage Commander. At first glance, it appears to be a standard Combat Commander, However, Rob explained that Cabot tweaked the internals in order to retain the full action length of a full-size 1911, for enhanced reliability. The front sight uses the Cabot longitudinal dovetail mount. The grips, to my amazement, are not ivory or fake ivory, they are American White Holly. They fooled me! The finish, as the model name implies, is Cabot’s proprietary “Vintage” finish. Whatever it is (it’s proprietary, so Rob wouldn’t tell me how they achieve it), it’s not a coating, and it’s not a conventional blued finish. Rob said the process converts the surface layer of the steel as it blackens it, making a finish that’s virtually impervious to rust or damage.
Cabot Vintage Commander
The big deal at the Colt exhibit was a couple of new AR-15 type rifles, and the new Cobra revolver. But, although they weren’t being pushed as heavily as the Cobra and the long guns, Colt had several different 1911s with light rails on display. I only knew about two models with rails, so they added some while I wasn’t paying attention.
The star of the Colt exhibit was clearly the new Cobra revolver. Although it is approximately the same size as the old Detective Special, this is an entirely new pistol, with a newly-designed lockwork. The Colt reps told me that the new Cobra does not fit holsters molded for the detective Special or for the old Cobra, but that several of the “name” holster makers either have created holsters for it or will have them very soon. I asked if the new Cobra uses the same “vee” hammer spring of the old Detective Special or if it uses a coil spring on a rod, like many newer revelover designs. The answer was, “neither.” It does use a flat, vee spring, but it’s not the same as the old ones. Colt also explained that they completely redesigned the lockwork in order to make it easier to build, more reliable, and less needful of TLC to keep it in time. I was told that the trigger pull is 8 pounds in double action mode and 4 pounds in single action, and that it is more uniform than even the legendary Python, shot-to-shot. I overheard a lot of other visitors to the Colt booth raving about the trigger. There were about a dozen samples of the new Cobra scattered around the Colt display. I tried most of them, in both DA and SA mode, and I have to say that (without any way of measuring accurately) they all felt identical to me, and the pull was very clean and smooth. I was especially impressed by the DA pull, since it exhibited very little stacking. Stacking is what makes DA revolvers difficult to shoot well, and it seems as though Colt has found a way to eliminate it almost completely.
On the 1911 front, 2017 looks to be the year of the railed 1911, as well as the year of the 10mm 1911. It seemed as though most 1911 makers have added at least one rail gun model and/or at least one 10mm model to their lineup. Colt was certainly not an exception.
For starters, one of the first new Colt 1911s I saw was a Delta Elite Rail Gun in 10mm (model O2020RG). Offered in stainless steel, this beast has a full-size, 5-inch barrel, takes an 8-round magazine, and comes equipped with Novak white dot sights (with the front sight dovetailed rather than staked), and an extended thumb safety.
Colt Delta Elite Rail
Another new 1911 model with a rail is the Close Quarter Battle M45A1. This is a full-size rail gun with a 5-inch barrel, beavertail grip safety, extended thumb safety, and Novak 3-dot sights. The slide and receiver are stainless steel, finished in a Desert Tan (or what some might call “Coyote”) Decobond™. The CQB M45A1 is available only in .45 ACP.
Colt Close Quarters Battle M45A1
Yet another rail gun (are we seeing a pattern here?) is the CCU™ Combat Unit™ Rail Gun®. Like the CQB M45A1, the CCU Rail Gun features a stainless steel slide and receiver, this time blacked rather than coated. It also includes a beavertail grip safety, extended thumb safety, front strap checkering (25 LPI), undercut trigger guard, and Novak 3-dot sights. The CCU Rail Gun is available in both 45 ACP and 9mm.
Colt Combat Unit™ Rail Gun® (CCU™)
Last year, Colt brought back the Lightweight Commander. This year, they’ve updated the all-steel Combat Commander with the same feature set as the Lightweight Commander: beavertail grip safety, featuring a beavertail grip safety, extended thumb safety, dual spring recoil system, Novak 3-dot sights, undercut trigger guard, and slanted cocking serrations. The Combat Commander is available in both .45 ACP and 9mm.
Colt Combat Commander
It’s not even on Colt’s web site yet, but at the SHOT Show Colt was showing a stainless steel Gold Cup Trophy. Intended for competition, this pistol features a beavertail grip safety, extended thumb safety, checkered front strap, adjustable rear target sight and fiber optic front sight, undercut trigger guard, and magazine chute. The Stainless Steel Gold Cup Trophy is available in .45 ACP (O4940XE) and in 9mm (O4942XE).
Colt Gold Cup Trophy
Colt has made some changes in the Competition Pistol category. First, they introduced a stainless steel version to go along with the blued version. In addition to .45 ACP and 9mm, both the blued and stainless versions are now also available in .38 Super. Both models feature a beavertail grip safety, undercut trigger guard, Novak adjustable rear sights with a fiber optic front sight, Both models also now feature a dual spring recoil system. This is not an “encapsulated” recoil assembly such as used in the Defender; this is two full-length recoil springs, nested one inside the other around a reduced-diameter guide rod. Colt used this type of dual spring recoil system on the old Officers ACP, and then abandoned it. Now it’s making a comeback.
Colt Stainless Competition Pistol
For 2017 Colt is continuing its collaboration with TALO Distributors, Inc., to produce a line-up of 1911 pistols carrying the name of venerable gunwriter Wiley Clapp. The line has expanded from what was originally a single pistol bearing his name to an entire series, in multiple sizes and finishes. Their primary claim to fame seems to be that they are “pre-Series 80” configuration, meaning they don’t have a firing pin safety. The Wiley Clapp line-up on display at the SHOT Show included the following models:
The Wiley Clapp Government is a full-size, all steel 1911 offered in .45 ACP only. It has combat sights, a beavertail grip safety, “rowel” style hammer, a traditional, M1911A1-style thumb safety, and 25-LPI front strap checkering. Custom grips round out the package.
Colt TALO Wiley Clapp Government
The Wiley Clapp Commander features a aluminum alloy receiver and a steel slide. Like the Wiley Clapp Government, it features combat sights, a beavertail grip safety, “rowel” style hammer, a traditional, M1911A1-style thumb safety, and 25-LPI front strap checkering. The Wiley Clapp Commander is available in blue (black) or stainless steel in .45 ACP as well as in 9mm (blued/black only).
Colt TALO Wiley Clapp Commander
Colt TALO Wiley Clapp Stainless Commander
Colt TALO Wiley Clapp 9mm Commander
Rounding out the Colt TALO Wiley Clapp series is the Wiley Clapp Concealed Carry Officers Models. Set up with all the same features as the other models in the Wiley Clapp line, the CCO is a combination of a Commander-length slide and barrel on an Officers ACP sized receiver. The magazine capacity is one round less than a Commander but the grip frame is a half inch shorter, for better concealment.
Colt TALO Wiley Clapp CCO
It’s not a 1911, but it bears the Colt Combat Unit nomenclature. The new Combat Unit Carbine is an AR-15 pattern carbine with a 16.1-inch barrel and a new, Mid-Length Gas System intended to allow the carbine to recoil and operate more like the M4 carbines in service with our armed forces. It features a Magpul® MOE® SL™ pistol grip, a Magpul® MOE® SL™ telescoping buttstock (where legal), and a 30-round (where legal) Magpul® PMAG® magazine. The Combat Unit Carbine is a flat-top configuration with a full-length rail for user installation of optical sights or scope.
The Combat Unit Carbine does not appear to be legal in California, Connecticut, or Massachusetts. We’re not certain about New York.
Colt Combat Unit™ Carbine
Ed Brown Products, Inc.
In addition to being a custom firearms manufacturer, Ed Brown Products is also the manufacturer of a complete line of high quality small parts for the 1911. For 1911 pistols, the Ed Brown web site shows five basic series of pistols, with between three and five models available within each series. The company builds some models to standard specifications for sale through stocking dealers, and they also build custom pistols, tailored exactly to the customer’s preferences.
Consequently, “What new models do you have this year?” is a difficult question. However, this year it turned out that there IS a new model for 2017. Yet, even with a new “model,” it’s subject to customization for the customer. The basic pistol is the 9mm Ed Brown Compact (ECO-SS-9mm). It’s a CCO-size pistol (one of my favorite form factors for the 1911), and they showed me two of them—neither of which was “bare bones” standard.
The first one I looked at was a fairly basic, stainless CCO featuring an Ed Brown beavertail, front strap checkering, fiber optic front sight, and a slightly rounded butt to relieve the sharp edge that’s often a nuisance when carrying a 1911.
Ed Brown Compact (ECO) 9mm Stainless
Then they showed me a more customized version of the same pistol. This one was blackened, and featured an Ed Brown beavertail, front strap checkering, fiber optic front sight, and a ledge rear sight. In addition, it also had a magazine chute, a recessed slide stop pin, a flush muzzle crown, and a Hi-Power-like relief cut at the front of the slide. This one also had Brown’s Gen4 coating.
Ed Brown Compact (ECO) 9mm Stainless Gen4
Those who know a bit about World War 2 and American small arms may recall that one of the makers of the M1 Carbine was the Inland Division of General Motors. A few years ago (2013), a company using the Inland brand name came out with a modern copy of the M1 Carbine, rapidly progressing to offer six variations of the iconic WW2 firearm. Now they also offer two pistols based on the WW2 GI M1911A1: the 1911 A1 Government, and the 1911 Custom Carry.
The 1911 A1 Government is a copy of the M1911A1 military pistol from World War 2. It appears to be an accurate reproduction, shipping with a 7-round magazine and with a period-correct Parkerized finish.
The other model is a bit more up-scale. The 1911 Custom Carry is a stainless steel pistol with front and rear cocking serrations, a trigger with over-travel adjustment, Novak-style sights, and a beavertail grip safety.
Inland advertises that their pistols are made entirely in the U.S.A. According to the Inland representative, the slides and receivers for the top line pistols are manufactured entirely from billet steel.
The M1911 Pistols Organization has reviewed Iver Johnson pistols in our on-line magazine (**insert hot link**). At first glance, the Iver Johnson booth seemed to be dominated by a group of firearms notable primarily for their finish; Iver Johnson has found that there’s a market for Hydrographic finishes, which allows them to apply multi-color finishes in patterns like snake scales.
Probing deeper, however, we found that there are new models, as well as several established models that will now also be available in a chrome finish.
I commented above that 2017 appears to be the year of the 10mm and Iver Johnson is no exception, with two 10mm models in their lineup. First is the 6-inch Eagle XL 10mm. This is a premium 1911 with a forged slide and investment cast receiver, beavertail grip safety, extended thumb safety and slide stop, adjustable target sights, and front and rear cocking serrations.
Iver-Johnson Eagle XL 6"
Iver Johnson also offers a variation, the Eagle XL 10mm Ported. This is essentially the same 6-inch pistol described above, but with a ported barrel and slide.
Iver-Johnson Eagle XL 10mm Ported
Not shown on their web site, for the SHOT Show Iver Johnson introduced a rifle version of their GI model 1911. This has a 16-inch barrel and a wood butt stock that fits into a recess machined into the mainspring housing. This package is reminiscent of a number of WW2-vintage handguns that could be fitted with detachable shoulder stocks.
Iver-Johnson 1911 Rifle
Nighthawk Custom was present, of course, so a stop at the Nighthawk booth was mandatory. Since the company’s beginnings as a 1911 shop Nighthawk Custom has branched out into other tactical firearms such as AR-pattern rifles, and shotguns. Despite these forays into non-1911 territory, they remain a premier maker of high quality 1911 pistols. For 2017 they have several new models to whet the buyer’s appetite:
First up is the Border Special model. Offered only in .45 ACP, this model features a Commander-size slide and receiver with the grip frame chamfered in a carry bevel (that we shouldn’t refer to by its customary nickname because another 1911 maker has that term trademarked), and a custom scalloped texture on the front strap and mainspring housing. The rear sight is a Heinie SlantPro and the front sight is a gold bead. The top of the slide is serrated. Standard finish is Cerakote; two-tone and all stainless are available as options.
When I saw the Complete Custom Stipple (CCS), I had to wonder “Why?” And I suppose the answer is probably, “Because we can.” The CCS is a full-size 1911 with the receiver and slide flats highly polished, and just about all other exterior surfaces aggressively stippled. The rear sight is a 2-dot Heinie SlantPro, paired with a tritium front sight. The lower, aft corner of the receiver and mainspring housing are gently rounded, but not chamfered in a “carry bevel.” It’s an eye-catching pistol but we suspect that it won’t appeal to a sizeable segment of the 1911 market.
The NHC Classic is also a full-size 1911 offered in .45 ACP. It features a round butt grip frame and mainspring housing, Heinie Black Ledge rear sight and gold bead front sight, extended thumb safety, contoured slide stop, flattened and serrated slide top with relief cuts. Offered in stainless steel, it also features a ball cut relief at the muzzle end of the slide.
Nighthawk Custom Classic
There appears to be a slight but increasing trend among 1911 makers to use non-standard barrel lengths. We first saw this a number of years ago with the Springfield Armory Champion, with its 4-inch barrel. More recently, we’ve seen a few 1911s with 3⅛-inch barrels. The Nighthawk Carry joins this movement, with a barrel length of 3.8 inches on an Officers-size receiver. Offered in 9mm, this carry-oriented model features a rounded butt receiver and mainspring housing, Heinie Straight Eight SlantPro rear sight and tritium front sight, and an anodized aluminum alloy receiver mated to a nitride-finished slide and fire controls. The grips use a square checkering pattern, with the left side relieved for better access to the slide release by the shooter’s thumb.
The Bull model is another full-size 1911 with no light rail. The distinguishing feature is that the lower front portion of the slide is cut in a bevel, rather than straight. This requires a special recoil spring plug that Nighthawk refers to as a “bowtie plug.” The front strap and mainspring housing are done in a unique texture that combines checkering with horizontal serrations. The thumb safety is extended and the slide stop is contoured. The rear sight is a Heinie Straight Eight Ledge, paired with a tritium front sight. Standard finish is Cerakote.
Nighthawk Custom Bull
The Nighthawk Tri-Cut Carry 9mm is, as the name conveys, offered in 9mm. It’s a fairly conventional Commander-size pistol with a Commander-length 4¼-inch barrel. What sets this model apart is the flat-faceted, angular-cut slide top, front strap, mainspring housing, and grip panels that look like refugees from an older science-fiction movie. Once past the grips, the pistol itself features an extended thumb safety, contoured slide stop, straight trigger, Heinie Straight Eight ledge rear sight, and tritium front sight. The overall appearance of this unusual pistol is futuristic and retro, all in one.
A true top-of-the-line pistol, the Nighthawk Turnbull VIP 1 is a creation unto itself. This pistol, along with its sibling VIP 2, is a collaboration between Nighthawk Custom and Doug Turnbull. It’s a full-size 1911 offered in .45 ACP, featuring a highly polished, charcoal-blued slide and fire control parts. The receiver is case hardened, exhibiting the color variations characteristic of the process. Grips are made from mastodon ivory. The rear sight is a Heinie black SlantPro, with a gold bead front sight. It also includes a mag chute, and a classic ball cut at the front of the slide.
Stable mate to the VIP 1 is the Turnbull VIP 2. Priced just a shade lower than the VIP 1, the VIP 2 has a charcoal-blued slide, case hardened receiver, and nitre-blued fire control parts. Also like the VIP 1, the VIP 2 carries mastodon ivory grips and is equipped with a Heinie black SlantPro rear sight and a gold bead front sight.
Nighthawk Custom Turnbull VIP 2
Remington Arms Company
The big news at the Remington handgun exhibit was their new, striker fired RP9 pistol. This is a polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol that’s a totally new design, not a derivative of a 1911. However, Travis Tomasie, Captain of the Remington Shooting Team, mentioned that the RP9 shares magazines with the former ParaUSA double stack pistols.
News that may be of more interest to 1911 aficionados was that for 2017 Remington is bringing back some of the former ParaUSA double stack pistols. Travis told us they will feature redesigned magazines, the well-known Para ramped barrel, and new sights. He said to expect the new double stack models in the second quarter of 2017.
Another new model is the 1911 R1 Tomasie Custom. Obviously geared toward competition, this is a full-size, double stack 1911 equipped with an adjustable rear sight and a humongous mag well so the rest of us can aspire to accomplishing magazine changes as quickly as Travis Tomasie.
Remington R1 Tomasie Custom
Another new model from Remington is the 1911 R1 10mm Hunter. This model, which doesn’t appear on Remington’s web site, is a single stack 1911 with a 6-inch slide and a Picatinny rail. It has an adjustable rear sight, extended thumb safety, and a left grip panel relieved for access to the magazine catch.
Remington R1 10mm Hunter
Remington also displayed a 1911 R1 Limited model. This is basically the same pistol as the 10mm Hunter, but without the rail and with a conventional 5-inch barrel.
Remington R1 Limited
Lastly, we looked at the new 1911 R1 Tactical 15.45. This is one of the re-introduced ParaUSA double stack models. Offered in .45 ACP, the 15-round capacity is a result of the redesigned magazine, which gains one round in capacity. The Tactical 15.45 also features a squared-off, ledge-type rear sight, an extended thumb safety, and aggressively textured grip panels.
Remington R1 Tactical 15.45
From entering the 1911 arena comparatively late in the game, Ruger moved quickly to establish a loyal market share, based in large part on having done their homework and introducing a pistol that proved to be reliable as well as affordable. Once their original SR1911 took off, Ruger followed up with additional models.
New from Ruger for 2017 is the SR1911 Target model. This is a full-size 1911, equipped with a Bomar-type adjustable rear sight, beavertail grip safety, and an extended ambidextrous thumb safety. The slide and receiver are stainless steel, but the fire control parts (except for the trigger shoe) are matte black.
Ruger SR1911 Target
Although Sig Sauer had several new firearms for 2017 in their extensive lineup, none of the new models were 1911s. My mission was to cover as many new 1911s as possible, so there is no report on the new non-1911 firearms from Sig.
Smith and Wesson
The big news from Smith & Wesson for 2017 is the new, polymer M2.0 pistol. In fact, when he learned that I would be attending the SHOT Show and I asked if there was anything he might like me to check out, the only request from my FFL was to get him information on the S&W M&P M2.0. (I did.)
It’s not a 1911, but there’s so much “buzz” about the M2.0 that we would probably be remiss in ignoring it completely. Although the M2.0 is in S&W’s M&P family, it’s a new design that features a refined frame and grip, a lighter and crisper trigger with “tactile” (S&W’s description) reset, four interchangeable backstrap inserts to fit the grip to the shooter’s hand size, a reversible magazine catch, and an optional thumb safety. It will be available in .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and 9mm. All models feature an integral light rail.
S&W M&P M2.0
For 2017 S&W also debuted a new AR-style rifle in 6.5 Creedmor. Unfortunately for us, there was nothing new in their 1911 line-up. We moved on.
Smith & Wesson M&P 10 6.5 Creedmor
Springfield Armory also had a large display encompassing their entire line of firearms. On the 1911 front, although it’s not really news it seems that not all Springfield fans are aware that their 1911 pistols are no longer made in Brazil. In fact, Springfield ended their long-standing relationship with Imbel about three years ago, and Springfield representatives at the show told me that all their 1911 firearms are now made 100 percent in the U.S.A. and are all assembled in Geneseo, Illinois.
What Springfield Armory was most interested in talking about was, of course, their new AR-15-pattern rifle, which they call the Saint. It’s a 16-inch, carbine length AR-15 with a flat-top upper receiver, telescoping butt stock, mid-length gas system, and a flip-up rear sight.
Springfield Armory Saint
Perhaps of more interest to the 1911 readers in our audience, Springfield has not neglected the 1911 side of their business, bringing out new models in two of their most popular lines: The EMP and the Range Officer series. In the EMP line, there are two new models, the EMP 3” in Black Armory Kote finish, and the EMP 4” Concealed Carry.
The 3-inch size is the original size for the EMP pistol, which (for those who don’t already know) is a shortened 1911 with a grip frame and magazine well that have been reduced from the length of a .45 ACP cartridge to the length of a 9mm or .40 S&W cartridge. The EMP 3” has low-profile combat sights (fiber optic in the front), a ramped barrel, beavertail grip safety, and an ambidextrous thumb safety. It ships with three magazines with polymer bases.
Springfield Armory EMP 3” Black Armory Kote
For 2017 Springfield Armory has expanded the EMP line with the introduction of a bigger brother, the EMP 4” Concealed Carry Contour. This model increases the slide and barrel length to 4 inches, while adding a carry bevel to the lower rear corner of the grip frame. Like its little brother, the Concealed Carry Contour has a forged steel slide, forged aluminum receiver, low-profile combat sights (fiber optic in front), beavertail grip safety, and ambidextrous thumb safety. The EMP 4” is a half inch taller than its little brother, at 5½ inches, and the magazines have flush floorplates rather than extended polymer bases.
Springfield Armory 4” Concealed Carry Contour
On my way from one planned stop to another, I encountered one of those unexpected 1911 exhibitors. Several years ago, I reviewed for the M1911 Pistols Organization on-line magazine a Turkish-made 1911 called the Regent 100. The manufacturer was (and is) Tisas, and this year they were at the show under their own name, with several 1911 pistols plus a couple of other handguns that look interesting.
Tisas began manufacturing 1911 pistols in 2008. In a few years, they have progressed from a single model, basically a clone of the M1911A1, to a variety of models to appeal to a broad range of prospective buyers. The basic model is the ZIG M1911. This is a no-frills, GI-style 1911 offered in a black chrome finish, with a GI profile grip safety and featuring a cold hammer-forged barrel.
Tisas ZIG M1911
A somewhat up-scale version of the ZIG M1911 is offered in white chrome finish. This version has black fire controls, a black beavertail grip safety, and a combat-style hammer.
Also in their full-size line is the ZIG M1911 Stainless Steel. Also set off with black fire controls, this model adds front cocking serrations and low-profile, combat-style sights.
Tisas ZIG M1911 Stainless Steel
Tisas also offers a pair of Commander-size pistols, designated the ZIG M45, also available in black chrome or stainless steel. Both models have beavertail grip safeties, combat hammers, extended thumb safeties, and low-profile, combat-style sights. These do not, however, appear to be what I consider to be “true” Commanders. Tisas lists the barrel length as 102 mm. That converts to 4.02 inches, compared to 4¼ inches for a Colt Commander.
The Tisas 1911 line-up also includes a pair of full-size pistols with Picatinny rails, designated the ZIG PC 1911. Again, this model is available in black chrome or stainless steel. Both models have beavertail grip safeties, combat hammers, extended thumb safeties, and low-profile, combat-style sights. There is also a variant, the ZIG PCS 1911, that’s compact size with a light rail.
Tisas PCS 1911 with rail
Most of the above models are available in 9mm as well as in .45 ACP.
Tisas had on display several models that appeared to be their own designs but the non-1911 pistol that may be of the most interest to M1911.org readers was a nice-looking clone of the venerable Hi-Power. Designated the ZIG 14, this looks to be a very good copy of the John Browning-Dieudonne Saive masterpiece. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information available about this pistol. It doesn’t appear in the printed catalog, suggesting that it may be a new model. It is available only in 9mm and there appears to be only one version, in black chrome with nicely executed wood grip panels.
Tisas ZIG 14 (Hi-Power clone)
Please go to this thread on the M1911 Pistols Organization discussion forum to discuss this article: http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.ph...cussion-Thread
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