American Made: Republic Forge

A 100 Percent US 19110 — Including The Raw Materials!

The first thing I thought when I heard there was a new 1911 manufacturer bringing their gun to market was, “Wow, how not interesting.” Next we’ll hear is The Singer Sewing Machine Company will market a reproduction WWII M1911 A1 US ARMY and exact replica of the Educational Order W-ORD-396 gun from 1940. You’ll be able to swing by your local gun store in a Studebaker and pick one up. Back in those days both the Singer 1911’s and the Studebaker were made in the USA using American raw materials. And that’s what suddenly made the Republic gun interesting.

Like the Singer and the pre-war Studebaker, Republic Forge 1911’s are 100 percent made in the USA with American raw materials — no Chinese steel, Japanese CNC machines or Brazilian barrels. Republic Forge builds their guns from American steel, on American made tooling, deep in the heart of Texas. Last time I checked they haven’t seceded from the Union — yet.


A true gentleman’s rig. The Mammoth Ivory grips provided by
Republic Forge are expertly fitted to the gun and extended mag well.

Republic Forge

Benny Deal started Republic Forge in order to provide a high-quality, hand-constructed, all-American 1911, and everything about them is red, white and blue. He and master gunsmith, Jeff Meister, set about finding a source of American made steel, American parts, American machinery and trained American gunsmiths. The difficult task was finding American made machinery. Almost all the machines and tooling necessary to build guns these days are made in China or Japan. So, they went old school and bought American made lathes and mills from the ’50’s and ’60’s and completely refurbished them to today’s exacting standards. The guns are made at the Republic Forge facility in Perryton, Texas.

Jeff Meister started working on 1911’s back in 1983. He went to a Bill Laughridge, Cylinder & Slide Custom 1911 building class and Bill’s custom fitting 1911 match barrel class. Either class is grueling and they teach you to make a 1911 from the ground up. Graduation marks a significant accomplishment. Their philosophy at Republic Forge is “one gunsmith for each gun.” It’s his baby from the time the raw materials come in the door until the finished gun leaves the factory on its way to its new owner.


The Trijicon night sights are easy to pick up and
they’re relieved just enough to prevent hand injuries
when manipulating the slide.

Quality Of Build

Some folks think if a 1911 doesn’t rattle when you shake it, the gun will have reliability issues. In some cases that might be true. It all depends on the quality of build. The Republic Forge 1911 doesn’t rattle when shaken and it doesn’t have reliability issues either. That means someone took the time to get things right.

After lubricating the gun, I put 500 rounds of six different factory loads of varying bullet weights through it without a single issue. The next day, I did the same — this time without cleaning or a drop of lube — same result — no malfunctions.

Have you ever pulled the slide back on a 1911 and it sounded like a trash truck going down a gravel road? You won’t have that experience with this gun. The slide reciprocates almost silently and very smoothly. The ambidextrous safety on the Commander-sized gun I tested disengaged with an audible “snick” and a positive tactile feel assuring you’re ready to go. And, pulling the trigger yielded a crisp, sure break. One second you felt about four pounds of pressure on your finger and the next millisecond the sear broke and the round was down range. There was no slop or creep after take-up.

The Trijicon night sights were easy to see and smooth enough to not remove hide from your hand when manipulating the gun — also a bonus for a smooth concealed draw. Performance was excellent. Sandbag rest from 15 yards yielded a single ragged hole in the target.

Republic Forge finishes their guns with Cerakote and offers 10 standard colors to choose from. Mix and match is also allowed and even encouraged. Or, you can also pick any color Cerakote offers as a custom choice as well as matte blue or highly polished blue. The Cerakote finishes are practically indestructible and quite handsome, too.

Speaking of handsome, you can finish out your 1911 from Republic Forge with a choice of custom fitted grips. They offer real elephant ivory or if you’re looking for that mark of distinction, mammoth ivory or mammoth tooth ivory are available.

Galco’s cordovan alligator holster and magazine carrier provide
a perfect match to this Commander-sized Republic Forge 1911.
Note the fully covered trigger guard for added safety.


One of the biggest mistakes you can make is paying out good money for a quality gun and then put it in a crappy holster. Clint Smith’s “rule-of-thumb” is 25 percent of the cost of the gun should go to your carry option. I have a friend at Galco Gunleather so I sent him a photo of the Republic Forge gun I was testing with stunning Mammoth Ivory grips. He went nuts. A few days later the UPS guy dropped a package on the doorstep with one of the most gorgeous holster and mag carrier combinations I’ve seen in a long time.

The cordovan alligator rig was just the right touch to set off the gun and grips. The concealable belt holster and mag carrier came from Galco’s Custom Shop. It was beautifully finished and held the gun securely. Galco’s process of 2-piece construction is contoured on the body side to the natural curve of your hip. It keeps all the molding on the front of the holster, allowing a more comfortable carry and a narrower profile than an ordinary pancake type holster. The slight foreword cant provided a quick and positive draw cycle.


The precision-crowned and fitted barrel makes this a very accurate gun.
You can order the gun with or without front cocking serrations.

Barbeque Rig

Whether you choose a Commander-sized, Government-sized or tactical-type 1911 from Republic Forge, you’ll be going in style. The nice thing about it in this case is you’ll be carrying a gun both aesthetically pleasing and reliable. It’s the best of both worlds. You should be welcome at any Texas barbeque. Just don’t show up the cook.
By Dave Douglas

Read More Features


Order Your Printed Copy Of The American Handgunner Nov/Dec 2014 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner Nov/Dec 2014 Issue Now!

2 thoughts on “American Made: Republic Forge

Comments are closed.