Well, what happens when two goobers switch .45s?
I'm on "vacation" this week painting my mother's house and pool, but I managed to sneak in a little gun runnin' on the side. My former classmate/friend who still has ties here has been looking to try a new pistol for a while now (he's a Border Patrol agent).
The funny thing is some time ago, he picked up the Springfield WWII GI in stainless when I mentioned I was likely to acquire one sometime, but he's not completely happy (or unhappy) with it but he still wants a single stack .45 so he arranged to be here today and we've swapped, at least for the time being. The Sig, while interesting, is still a fun gun to me at this point as I believe you should consistently train practice and carry one gun and for me that's the XD series.
I informed him of some of the problems I'd had with it and that I believed I'd solved them. I cleaned it up real good last night, and it was still functioning fine. Don't worry, he won't be carrying my Sig on or off duty until he testfires it for himself. Actually I don't think he can carry the Sig on duty anyway, but that's neither here nor there.
I then took posession of the 1911A1 and let me tell you, it looked sad, but I also know that as much as he teases me I'm going to hurt myself sometimes, I'm the much bigger gun nut of the two of us. I asked him if it had been cleaned recently and he said, nope, never.
He bought the gun new and it has never been cleaned.
So I took it home and immediately found that despite having seen it done and knowing that it was something involving a barrel bushing, I began the elaborate takedown ritual. Okay taking it down is not so bad once you figure out how the guiderod and barrel bushing all fit into the picture.
To his credit, the bore was pretty darn clean, but yeesh, the internals of that gun look like they'd been blackened a la Cajun food. It's had 400 rounds through it.
Anyway one good thing I found about cleaning the 1911 was everything does, with a little bit of cursing and judicious use of your third hand to hold things in place, come apart for easy cleaning and it didn't take long to get it back into shape. This gun is one made in Brazil, which in itself doesn't bother me, there's lots of guns made in Brazil that I like just fine, but I did think to inspect it.
The gun is just a little bit rough... a few machine marks here and there, nothing that really amounts to much though. Honestly a little bit of Flitz and a polishing wheel for your Dremel would take care of it if it really bothered you. I decided right away if I do get an inexpensive 1911 I should just pay extra for the stainless, because marks like this could not be removed from a parkerized gun so easily. But considering that this model doesn't retail for too much, it's entirely acceptable. I've honestly seen more expensive guns with worse finish.
Reportedly this particular gun does not "jam" ie misfeed, fail to eject, stovepipe, etc. That doesn't surprise me, the GI model is very close to the original 1911 design. Yes, once upon a time, when it was supposed to go to war and not function as a toy for a big boy, the 1911 was actually reliable out of the box. Fancy that!
Anyway after a little lubing, it was time to reassemble this fine firearm. It took only 11 tries, and the use of a jeweler's screwdriver and a rubber mallet. Simple, and only took 23 minutes. I kept realizing I likely could have field stripped and cleaned my XD twice in the amount of time it took me to put the 1911 back together.
The cleaning of the 1911A1 is not for the meek. However it seems the inept have no difficulty provided they've cleared their calendar for the afternoon.
I realize now that I could have saved myself a lot of time by going to the genetics lab and having a third arm spliced into my DNA, and then having a medium summon the ghost of JMB so I could have taken an armorer's course from him.
Amazingly though I did not scratch the frame or the slide. A small victory.
The gun back together, I then stupidly realized I should remove the grips.
Well they come off readily enough and it was fairly dirty under there... sigh. By the way, the checkered grips with the "US" emblem do look good and are wonderfully patriotic, but simple black rubber panels would actually function much better... and probably look just as good against the contrast of the stainless steel.
Anyway I google searched for some tips on lubing the gun properly, and after it was all said and done it actually does function much smooter.
I began to manipulate the controls. Egads that slide stop is sharp. One also has to rotate the the pistol in the hand a little more than I'm used to in order to reach it. In its defense however it's much easier to use than the SIG slide release even if it does chew your thumb up.
I almost immediately though that an extended safety would be mandatory, but after manipulating the controls several times I think the thumb safety lever that it comes with is probably the best overall compromise. If it were any bigger, it'd get in the way of the slide stop, and it's not any smaller than the safety on my CZ, it's just different.
Trigger pull isn't the best 1911 trigger pull ever, but it's smooth and crisp, and I can't imagine anyone would have any complaints about it.
The 1911 points naturally, and I do not foresee and hammer bite issues. I'm eternally amazed how thin guns of this type are.
I recently had opportunity to compare the Milspec and the GI when I finally found a store that had both for sale. The two things I was interested in on the Milspec were the sights and to a lesser degree the lowered ejection port. Well I can live without the lowered ejection port with no regrets, so it came down to are the sights on the Milspec worth it? I checked it out, and although they're easier to use, they're not worth $100 to me personally.
So while the sights on the GI are tiny, I can't help but admire how rugged and snag free they are, so it's not a completely bad proposition.
Once you get the gun cleaned up, it actually looks nice, real nice. I think a little bit of stainless steel cleaning product could turn it into a church gun easily enough.
Anyway it's mine for a while. Euclidean, meet Mr. 1911. Mr. 1911, meet Hoppe's #9.
I told my friend not to bother to clean the Sig...
Of course the proof is in the pudding, and I've nowhere to shoot it for the next several days.
I've only got the one magazine for it, and it looks like the factory magazine, which looks like crud to be honest.