Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Old 1911

In late November of 2010, I was at the range with a buddy. We were shooting my Colt Series 80 side by side with his new Kimber Custom 2. I was giving him some razz on buying a Kimber, since I've never really cared for the brand or the guns. I challenged him to shoot 50 rounds with each and decide which he liked, and dont you know it, he started leaning towards the Colt! At this point I felt pretty full of it, and after a couple great groups I was simply lording it over him.

That is until I dipped into my box for a magazine of my reloads for a fresh magazine. "BANG, BANG, pop". I was confused at what I assumed was just an old 3.5gr loading that wasn't able to cycle the slide, so I foolishly cycled the slide and shot again. The slide instantly locked and froze up. I ejected and checked the gun and saw there was only an empty casing in it. At the time I thought it was a double charge that had blown the slide back and smashed up the slide and barrel lugs. Either way, I was pretty scared.

We both were a little shook up by the incident, so we went back into the shop portion and talked it over with some of the staff. A very nice old gentlemen behind the counter actually offered his help, and managed to unfreeze the slide and get it all apart to survey the damage. At that point we found out what happened: a squib in the barrel, followed by a live round. The barrel was ringed and bulged. He was pretty helpful in making me feel better, claiming that he had done this before and so had other shooters, and at the very least I can look forward to getting a match grade barrel fitted.

So I did! I picked up a stainless Ed Brown Match Barrel and Bushing combo for about $140 at Midway, dropped it off with my Smith, and after a whole two months of glacially slow service, I finally was able to pick it up yesterday, the day of the Gun show! I think it looks nice with the stainless bushing. Its pretty stiff engaging at the point, but I'm sure it will loosen after a hundred rounds or so. It just goes to show you that a bad experience can lead to improvement and a learning lesson in the end.

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