Gussie-Up Your Government Model Accessories
And Must-Haves For Your Favorite 1911
By Celia Crane
Having fought for freedom in the hands of American and allied forces during two world wars and countless lesser conflicts, no pistol has a more legendary past than the 1911. J.M. Browning’s game-changing design has inspired at least some functional element of quite literally every modern sidearm we encounter. It’s inherently powerful, robust and field serviceable, even over 100 years after being introduced. Reminds me a bit of the iconic B-52 bomber. It just keeps getting better. With hundreds of production models and limitless accessories available, you’ve got plenty to work with. To cut through all that noise, here are a few 1911 accessories — and an interesting gun — which have caught our eyes lately.
If Michelangelo were a contemporary 1911 ‘smith, his name might be Stan Chen. Although we’ve featured it once before, we thought a revisit was worthwhile for those who missed Chen’s Gen2 Magwell the first go-around. While many aftermarket magwells will bend or flex, potentially locking the magazine in the gun, this innovative magwell will not be bumped aside in the event of a drop. Requiring professional installation, Chen does all the machine work in-house on a state-of-the-art CNC machine. Like jewelry, only highly functional. Here we show the magwell and jig and a semi-finished one.
The best gifts I’ve ever given or received have been guns, and once that precedent has been set, subsequent presents tend to come across as lackluster! “Oh, dish cloths, how thoughtful.” Fortunately, Flint, Michigan-based Wicked Grips makes gifting a 1911 devotee a breeze. Catering to what I have long seen as an underserved market of millennial and Gen-X shooters, Wicked Grips has expanded far beyond what their name implies, offering an exciting line of carefully constructed, classy-as-hell 1911 upgrades. Wicked’s gem grip screws incorporate high-quality stones, polished and set by hand right here in the USA. Select from one of two dozen striking gem screw variations offered for standard thickness 1911 grips. These screws come with a custom spanner bit compatible with any standard driver. But don’t forget to check out their grips while you’re at it!
When it comes to fitting 1911 barrels, both hobbyists and professional gunsmiths will undoubtedly benefit from picking up a Brownells Barrel Hood Cutting Fixture. Simple yet effective, this handy device eliminates guesswork and labor-intensive hand-filing. Simply dial in the indicators, determine how much material needs to be removed, pass with a mill — and bam! Final hood fit is fast and reliable. Nothing more than a file stroke or two should be needed to get things to snick home.
As an OEM supplier to many of the world’s finest firearm manufacturers, MEC-GAR is the only manufacturer specializing solely on magazine production for over 50 years. Having shipped over 100 million units out of their state-of-the-art facilities in Italy, MEC-GAR has certainly shown its mettle — and its metal. Specialty heat treatments, high-tensile music wire springs, welded butt-plates and steel followers are just a few of the standard quality features you can expect from a MEC-GAR 1911 magazine. Oh, and did I mention they are readily available and reasonably priced? Featured here are 10-round 9mm and 8-round .45 ACP models.
While I adore the clean lines of a classic Gov’t-style 1911, I generally prefer Picatinny-railed models. Fortunately, if your favorite 1911 is missing a rail, you’re not doomed to a fate devoid of rail-mounted illumination. Designed by world-renowned Israeli weapons specialist Tamir Porat, Recover Grips will install on your 1911 in minutes, transforming the look of your gun while adding a rail at the same time. Constructed from high-grade reinforced polymer rugged enough to survive the toughest field applications, the Recover Grip and Rail System is an instant upgrade that looks great and requires no permanent modification. They also offer their HC11 Holster to accommodate the new setup.
Many shooters suffer from the inability to comfortably cycle the slide of a 1911 or other auto pistol. Enter Handi-Racker 2! The body of the Handi-Racker retains the slide within the slide channel. Press it against a wall or bench and push with your grip-hand while holding the device against the slide. This way you can use upper-body strength, not just your hand and arm. The Handi-Racker drives the slide back as you push. Then release pressure, allowing the slide to return home. Presto, you’ve racked your 1911, chambering a round. We tried this and it really works. Not for “combat” of course, but it may help to get a disabled, small-statured or infirm shooter back into having fun with their favorite auto! In the photo, we’re pressing it against a wall.
Present Arms is a veteran owned and operated small business and broke new ground several years ago by creating distinctive, beautifully machined platforms holding a wide range of guns. They are CNC machined from a high-tech synthetic material, and are used for cleaning, maintenance, assembly and gunsmithing work. Military and police units use them extensively. This latest offering allows shooters to display or work on personal guns like auto pistols or AR rifles by combining various “Sentinel” base plates with magazine posts. We use them for photographing guns around here, and we’re sure you’ll think of good uses too! Top quality — from great people.
Crimson Trace’s LG-401 Chainmail Lasergrip is made for full-sized 1911’s. The distinctive “chain mail” finish really helps turn any 1911 they’re installed on into an eye-catching package. Rugged polymer side panels and a rubber overmold activation button rounds out the design. It’s not compatible with ambi-safeties unless you install a shortened version, which Crimson Trace offers.
Handmade Grips (located in Turkey) exploded onto the scene a few years ago by introducing fancy grips with loads of hand work and precious inlaid metals. Their latest are their “American Style” grips showcasing that “Don’t Tread On Me” attitude we Americans have. We’ve had a few of the latest samples in our hands and they are beautifully made and fit everything we’ve tried them on. Being custom grip makers you can email them for special orders. They can also add logos, your family name or nickname on the side panels of the grips. Ordering is safe and secure and they are great people!
The 10mm is hot and coming back strong. Many makers are introducing long slide “hunting” models. This latest from Remington is part of that pack. Called the “1911 R1 10mm Hunter,” it features a 6″ barrel, adjustable sights and light rail (for night time hog hunters we suspect!). It has a stainless frame and slide, is coated in a PVD DLC finish and comes with VZ grips. It ships with two 8-round mags. We haven’t fired one yet but do have a test sample pending. We’ll let you know how things go with it.
Purchase A Password To Read The May/June 2017 Digital Edition
(Included FREE Download of PDF version of your desktop or mobile device)