Nighthawk Talon II LW Bobtail Mini-review

Nighthawk Talon II LW Bobtail Mini-review

This is a discussion on Nighthawk Talon II LW Bobtail Mini-review within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I picked up a Talon II lightweight bobtail a few days ago. I took the gun out and put 350 rounds through it. I shot ...

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Thread: Nighthawk Talon II LW Bobtail Mini-review

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Nighthawk Talon II LW Bobtail Mini-review

    I picked up a Talon II lightweight bobtail a few days ago. I took the gun out and put 350 rounds through it. I shot it side by side with my Wilson CQB and I was amazed at how little difference there was in recoil. My Executive Carry had more felt recoil than the lightweight Talon II and I'll get to that in a bit.

    The gun functioned flawlessly with all of my mags. Mostly 47Ds, but a couple ETM's, the blued Nighthawk and the stainless Nighthawk with the slim pad. No problems at all, as expected. I induce them myself every range trip and the guns as easy to clear as any other.

    There are some major differences between my Executive Carry and my Talon II. Even though the Brown has a nice radius to the bobtail, it punched my hand and made it uncomfortable to shoot after 100 rounds. The bulge around the mag release where the trigger guard meets the front strap doesn't curve inward like the Nighthawk. This bothered my middle finger on my shooting hand quite badly. The checkering, though both 25 lpi, is perfectly tacky on the Talon, where it was too sharp on the Brown, for my liking.

    And now the major difference to me is the felt recoil. There was nearly no difference between my full size, all steel CQB and the alloy framed Talon II. Just a hair more rise, but I've learned that whether it's a push or a jump, recoil is recoil (within reason, comparing 45's, not a 9mm vs 500) and I get back on target in about the same amount of time. As long as they don't hurt my hand, I can survive with a touch more jump. The lighter weight of the gun and shorter length allowed me to get on target very quickly from the holster and from a compressed ready. Again, not much difference, but it felt very good and my times were basically the same.

    Anyway, I think a big part of the difference was the squared firing pin stop and the slightly heavier main spring. These things together seem to give me the recoil feel that I prefer and I was shooting the Talon as fast as my CQB and a touch more accurately. Very cool and very enjoyable to shoot where my Executive Carry wasn't.

    At 25 yards I was hitting center mass faster than I could with the CQB. this was a big shock to me and not at all expected. I figured 100 rounds would go through it and I'd be begging someone to make a deal with me for trade by today. Not the case and I'm pleased about that. I've found my new carry gun until my PDP comes in which is at least 3 months away due to the change to Diamond Black.

    I don't know what it is about the bobtails. I prefer the feel of the standard frame, but I seem to shoot more accurately with the bobtails. Another shock, but it is what it is. I can draw and also reload just as quickly with the bobtail, though during fry fire it doesn't feel as comfortable. This will change with time, I'd imagine. Overall, I love the gun and though I expected to be less that satisfied, I've now found my favorite 1911 so far. Now, I just need my PDP Commander and my PDP/Enforcer/Tactical Carry (waiting to hear back on what I can do with the tactical Carry - If I can get it without them cutting the frame and adding the magwell, that would be perfect. if not, maybe a Tactical Carry slide on the PDP or Enforcer frame) to complete my needed replacement 1911's. Then i can start buying for the fun of it!

    Thanks for those that read this far. Here's some pics which are also in the Nighthawk Picture Thread.















    The daily carry stuff (forgot the extra mag in the photo)





    The Brown for comparison. Notice the difference in the bobtail, the slight fitting difference in the beavertail (which really bothered the webbing between my thumb and trigger finger) and the area where the trigger guard meets the front strap. The Nighthawk's, and most others, curve nicely inward where the Brown's slightly bulges out. I use a very high, thumbs-forward grip which causes my middle finger on my shooting hand to rub there.



    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe


  2. #2
    JD
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    Congrats, my railed Talon should be done by mid to end September, like you the Diamond Black is pushing the lead time further out.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Nice gun! Thanks for the photos!
    Hiram25
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    Member Array kane4111's Avatar
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    very nice!!!!
    No matter what anyone says you can never own enough guns!!!
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    Sweeeet! Very nice.

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    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. My Talon II Bobtail is a 9x23, one of only four they ever made. I wish they'd offered an aluminum alloy frame back then. I love mine, but it would be nice if it were a tad lighter. While I don't own a Brown gun to compare, my impressions of the Talon II mirror yours. The Nighthawk boys do know a thing or two about carry guns! Only thing I see that I won't have on mine is the checkering on the back of the slide. I ruin enough coat linings as it is!

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Congrats, my railed Talon should be done by mid to end September, like you the Diamond Black is pushing the lead time further out.
    It's well worth the wait though. Once my PDP Commander gets here and I get that 5" Tactical Carry/PDP out of the way, a railed Nighthawk will be next. Probably the Talon. I love the Enforcer, but I'm not sold on the cast frame, even with their guarantee.

    Once my PDP comes in, I'll be able to finally decide what type of front strap I like best - checkered, scalloped or stippled and go from their.

    Man, this stuff never ends! That DB railed Talon is going to be one very fine gun...
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments guys. I took the photos right after I fired those 350 rounds, I just wiped it off with a rag. Also, in the few days I've owned it, it's had probably well over 250 presentations form a Milt Sparks VMII and a Wilson IWB that's similar but rides a little higher, I forget the name.

    So, even though I prefer the Diamond Black, the Perma Kote has held up pretty well. Any of my Kimbers would have been bare metal after 250 presentations. The Armor-Tuff has held up well for me too, but it just hasn't done it while looking so good!

    John LeVick,

    How do you like that 9x23? As for the checkering, it's absolutely fine. I wear a lot of nice clothes (due to my wife), so it's a concern of mine too for my daily carry gun, but it seems perfectly fine. I'll throw on a suit jacket today and see if there's any snag, but it doesn't seem like it will.

    I really like that checkering, it just looks good. They say it breaks up glare - maybe... I just think it looks nice.

    Thanks again for the posts.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Nice review.

    Beautiful pistol
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  10. #10
    OD*
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    Very nice pistol indeed, Jonathan.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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  11. #11
    Member Array muzzleloader's Avatar
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    I wouldn't put up with the abuse from that Ed Brown if I were you. I'm starting a home for unwanted high-end 1911's. I'll even pay the shipping to my FFL. Seriously nice Nighthawk. By the way, my Kimber wears the same stocks as your Ed Brown. How do you keep them from discoloring? I have to blast them off every time I clean.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    I will definitely keep that in mind if a buy another. This one has already found a new home!

    As for the Gatorbacks, I let them get dark. I like the way they look dark as long as it's somewhat even. That's actually the reason i went with the blasted black canvas (unfinished), I like how they darken. The finished ones have a little more sheen and I don't care for that as much.

    I have a tan set coming with my PDP along with the checkered and a 50/50 stippled Coco Bolo. I can't wait to get the tan ones and I may order a set for the Talon.

    What you can do is get a matte clear finish and lightly spray the Gatorbacks. I forget exactly what they use for the final finish on the other Gatorbacks, but I'm sure they'll let you know if you call John at VZ. Their's seem to be a little more of an eggshell or slight gloss. I'd go for matte and test it on the back to see what happens if you want to preserve the look after you've washed them off. I bet you that will work very well, actually. Again, I really like the darkened look but it has a working gun look and clashed a little with the Brown. I bet they'll look great on the Nighthawk though!
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Hey OD,

    I have the same review up over at M1911. I'm on 1911auto, but not active there. Just copied and pasted.

    Thanks zacii!

    If anyone wants any more info on the Talon that I didn't mention, just post it here. One of the biggest things I've learned over the years is the differences between the makers and how they affect me. Some are very subtle, but make or break the gun for me. I tried to keep that little review short, so i'm sure there's a lot of things I didn't mention.

    So, if anyone wants any input on the differences between the different 1911's, just ask away. I should do a comparison of the makers since the difference was so extreme for me. Not the accuracy and reliability, we know where they all stand there, but what makes them different from each other. Maybe some day I'll get to it!
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    Jonathan, I LOVE my 9x23s. Except when I sometimes switch to 10mm in the winter, it seems to be about the only caliber I carry anymore. Mucho horsepower, very reliable, and less muzzle flip than .45 with more capacity. From my 4 1/4" gun, factory 125gr. Silvertips run about 1425 fps., and they get right at 1400 from my little 3" Ultra Aegis and about 1450 from my 5" Aegis.

    Evidently, the guys at Nighthawk had trouble getting the 9x23s to run reliably, got frustrated, and told my dealer that they wouldn't make any more. At least, that's what the dealer told me. All of them sold here locally, with mine being the first. I owned one of the other ones for awhile, but it was set up differently than I like for carry (adjustable rear sight and some other bells and whistles I don't care for) so I sold it. At that time, Nighthawk had not discovered the flat-bottom firing pin stop, which I added to mine myself, and which is needed to reduce slide velocity enough to allow the magazine spring to catch up on the last couple of rounds, once it takes a little set.

    I had mine done without the checkering on the slide, and the bottom four rows of checkering were supposed to be left off the frontstrap (they forgot). Also, the front of the triggerguard is checkered. Luckily, the checkering at the bottom of the frontstrap is rounded off enough not to be too hard on clothing. I'm glad to hear that the slide checkering isn't eating your jacket linings, but various sharp pointy parts of my carry guns have cost me lots of money over the years, so I didn't want to take a chance.

    Here's mine:

    You'll notice that the finish is starting to wear off the slide on the front corners.

    I've been thinking about getting a stainless T3 from them in .40, and converting it to 10mm.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    aww man *drool* nice gun!
    where is the nighthawk picture thread u speak of? my searchfu fails me
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