In Hog Heaven

Nighthawk Custom’s Heinie Long Slide 10mm

By Mark Hampton

Mark got a chance to try out a Nighthawk Custom 10mm Heinie Long Slide, custom cut for and equipped with a Trijicon
RMR. It has the potential to be a great hog hunter. Recoil is snappy but the long slide calms things down. Note the brass flying through the air.

The Long Slide was a shooter, getting these good groups at 25 yards.

When His Editorship asked me if I wanted to test a Nighthawk Custom pistol, it only took me a second to respond. Did he really think I was going to pass up an opportunity to work with a high-end, well-crafted pistol? I may be from the country, but I’m not slow! I jumped all over the chance. Roy and I had the pleasure of visiting with Mark Stone, head honcho at Nighthawk Custom, at SHOT Show. I mentioned I am an avid hog hunter, and Mark was kind enough to offer to send a Heinie Long Slide 6″ 10mm. This pistol just screams hunting. Mark deduced I’m a card-carrying member of AARP and sent the pistol topped with a Trijicon RMR reflex optic; geezers like me need optical enhancement.

The test gun arrived in a professional-looking green gun bag with the Nighthawk Custom logo eloquently embroidered in gold. The pistol inside was equally impressive. At first glance, it looked like something our Navy SEALs pack around — all business-like. The full-size frame handles and balances well with the 6″ match-grade barrel. It’s no compact, with an overall length of 9.65″ and a height of 5.4″.

This pistol just plain feels good. Grips on my test sample were G10 “black alien” with an aggressive texture and Nighthawk logo. Sweaty hands will not slip and slide under recoil on these. Sights of my test model consisted of suppressor-height Trijicon tritium units. They have sharp, vivid outer white rings around tritium dots for easy, quick sight acquisition. This particular pistol had been upgraded with a cut and mount for Trijicon’s RMR optic, and the raised sights allowed co-witnessing through it. The unloaded pistol tipped the scales around 48 oz. with the optic.

Another upgrade featured on this pistol was the Shadow Camo Urban Gray finish. This subtle camo pattern wasn’t flashy with a ton of bling — just nice and stealthy looking. There would be no glare to worry about under bright sunlight and the urban gray finish looked good to boot.

The distinctive 25 lines-per-inch checkered front strap and mainspring housing provide a comfortable and positive gripping surface. Rear cocking serrations can be easily accessed with the RMR reflex sight in place, making slide manipulation painless. The tri-cavity trigger’s made from lightweight aluminum, featuring light serrations on a slight curvature of the surface. This custom pistol also featured a new ultra hi-cut front strap. This professional-looking Heinie Long Slide was shipped with two magazines with capacities of 9 rounds, providing plenty of firepower for any big, mean hogs I might come across.

The checkered front strap and the G10 grips have aggressive texturing to make sure your
sweaty hands don’t slip!

Feeding The Beast

There are a lot of choices when it comes to ammunition for the 10mm. For testing purposes I loaded up with a wide variety of factory ammunition from Federal, HPR, SIG SAUER, Winchester, HSM, Buffalo Bore, DoubleTap, Hornady and Cor-Bon. I wanted to run as big a variety of ammo through the pistol as possible.

I figured out quickly on the range this custom pistol’s well-made with superb fit and function. The slide’s silky smooth, and the trigger has a crisp, clean break at a little over 3 lbs. The pistol points well and was easy to get on target. All ammo fed flawlessly and ejected with authority. Nighthawk machines a special plug for the 10mm long slide, making it possible to use a standard-length recoil spring normally found on 5″ guns.
I really liked the Trijicon RMR reflex sight on the gun. RMR stands for “Ruggedized Minature Reflex,” by the way. The pistol came with the RMO 6 Model with a 3.25 MOA red dot. Other models are available with smaller or larger dot sizes. The RMR has eight brightness settings adjusted by pressing the “plus” or “minus” buttons on either side of the optic. This is a real benefit as the shooter can adjust the intensity for changing light conditions.

The reflex sight runs off a standard CR2032 battery. Adjusting the sights was simple with the user-friendly windage and elevation controls. I’ve several handgunning friends who mount Trijicon’s RMR optic on some heavy-kicking revolvers without ever experiencing a problem. I’m confident this reflex sight will hold up forever on the 10mm.

The Nighthawk Custom performed well at the range. My initial shooting was conducted from 25 yards and I was able to shoot several 5-shot groups measuring a tiny fraction over 1″. Pushing the gun out to 50 yards, I was able to get 5-shot groups to land inside of 3″ pretty consistently.

At the end of the day and several hundred rounds later I hadn’t had one jam or malfunction. See what happens when you combine quality ammo with a premium handgun? I am totally convinced this would make a serious hunting tool for hogs, whitetail and such.

The suppressor-height Trijicon sights allow co-witnessing through the RMR reflex optic. You’ll still get the hog, even if you lose your dot!

Have It Your Way

I am perfectly happy with the Heinie Long Slide the way it came, but if you want to consider options and upgrades the list of possibilities from Nighthawk is lengthy. A T3-style magwell is available. A variety of grips can be ordered, including Gator Back Grips, Alumagrips, Crimson Trace Lasergrips and many others. How about an aluminum frame upgrade with a concealed carry curve? Barrels can be had threaded or in a bull barrel configuration with chambering options including 9mm and .38 Super.

My first experience shooting a Nighthawk Custom was a most welcome treat and could easily spoil a guy or gal. The Heinie Long Slide 10mm is not only ideally suited for hunting but would make a great personal defense pistol for the home. For those dedicated semi-auto fans who enjoy hunting, this pistol will really shine in the woods.

I will be carrying the Nighthawk Custom in a Diamond D Custom Leather Guide’s Choice Chest Holster with an extra magazine pouch on my hunts. The combination will be both comfortable and comforting for whatever might appear. Having run this gun, I can’t wait for Roy to ask if I want to shoot another!

For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index, Nighthawk Custom, Ph: (877) 268-4867

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