March 30, 2013
ATI FX45 Thunderbolt Enhanced
While looking over ATI’s new offerings I came upon the new FX45 Thunderbolt Enhanced. This is one 1911 that doesn’t lack good number of included options.
This model is an upgrade to the stainless steel FX45. They gave this one a matte blue finish with adjustable sights, ambi dexterous thumb safety, rail for any light or laser the user wished to use. ATI also added a magwell, which is well done and fits very nicely with the grip.
As with the previous model the Enhanced has a ported barrel with five ports per side. These ports are well executed and uniform in appearance and size. The trigger has a flat face that is smooth and a bit wider than the trigger body. Of course the trigger is fully adjustable.
One new addition that immediately catches your eye are the new grip panels. These grips are made by Timber Smith and developed through Tapco. Now we’ve all seen grips with large skulls carved into them but these are a bit classier with small skulls carved into the grips. There are also finely detailed background images around the skulls. The grips also help the shooter by adding three strips of a material not unlike a fine grit skateboard tape. These grips come in Rosewood and black. MSRP is $ 869.95. Of course your dealer price will be less.
July 30, 2012
For those who are familiar with Jerry he wrote a series of popular books back in the 1980’s called the” Survivalist”. They were wildly popular at the time since that was the height of that movement which we now refer to as “preppers”. Since that time he wrote thousands of gun reviews for many publications on gun related topics.
He was also a very devoted fan of Detonics pistols. In fact his main character in the book series always carried them. During one of the time periods when Detonics was looking for a new home Jerry was able to bring the company back to life once again. He was the president of Detonics from 2004 until 2007. Jerry’s obituary is below. Our prayers go out to his family and many friends. He will be missed!
Evans Funeral Home announces the death of Mr. Jerry Ahern, age 66, of Jefferson, who passed away on Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
Mr. Ahern was born in Chicago, ILL, a son to the late John and Arline Ahern. Jerry was an award winning, internationally known author of over 80 novels, including “The Survivalist” series, numerous non-fiction books as well as thousands of magazine articles. In recent years Jerry served as an editorial consultant. Additionally, Jerry was a strong supporter of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. Jerry had a strong Christian faith and led a vigorous and healthy lifestyle until a recent and aggressive cancer took his life. His positive and never give up attitude, as well as a good sense of humor, were a part of his day to day throughout. Jerry was deeply cherished and loved by his family; all those that knew him loved him. He had a strong devotion to his family.
Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Sharon Ahern, Jefferson, children, Samantha and Robert Akers, Commerce, Jason and Tracy Ahern, Buford, grandchildren, Olivia Akers, Alec, Aidan, Emily and Addison Ahern, nephew, George R. Smith, Hartwell.
A private family Memorial Service will be held on a later date.
Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, Georgia. 706-367-5467
Online Condolences at http://www.evansfuneralhomeinc.com
Hilton Yam is in my opinion one of the best builders of working 1911’s. Notice I said working. These aren’t competition guns these are built to be working guns for the CCW holder, Police Officer etc. In other words those looking for an ultra reliable piece of gun art meant to save your life. Hilton just released a new video on You Tube which is a video presentation of the printed version on the 10-8 Performance website. Check the 10-8 Performance website for many articles on the 1911 and how to run it right!
This would be a good one to download from You Tube and keep for reference. I use 10-8 sights and other parts for my 1911’s and S&W M&P. I hope you enjoy the video!
Click the picture for a larger view
Hum my Rock Island 38 Super looks a lot like his. I guess so since it has 10-8 sights and Ed Brown grip safety, 10-8 trigger, Tripp Research magazines etc. Yep I did the build:-)
July 18, 2012
A 71 year old man who has a CCW permit was in the middle of an attempted robbery in an Ocala, Fl. Internet cafe.
The video explains it all. No charges will be filed on Mr. Williams for taking action!
July 17, 2012
We’ve all heard this argument many times. You know where I stand!
May 10, 2012
(May 10, 1920 – September 25, 2006)
Since my blog has a big emphasis on the 1911 it wouldn’t be right not to celebrate the birthday of the father of the “Modern technique” of pistol shooting John Dean “Jeff” Cooper. Anyone who is a fan of the 1911 probably knows who the Colonel is or has at least heard of him.
These are some of his writings concerning the combat mindset:
Combat Mindset—The Cooper Color Code
The most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation, according to Cooper, is neither the weapon nor the martial skills. The primary tool is the combat mindset, set forth in his book, Principles of Personal Defense. In the chapter on awareness, Cooper presents an adaptation of the Marine Corps system to differentiate states of readiness:
The color code, as originally introduced by Jeff Cooper, had nothing to do with tactical situations or alertness levels, but rather with one’s state of mind. As taught by Cooper, it relates to the degree of peril you are willing to do something about and which allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to enable you to properly handle a given situation. Cooper did not claim to have invented anything in particular with the color code, but he was apparently the first to use it as an indication of mental state.
- White: Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be “Oh my God! This can’t be happening to me.”
- Yellow: Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that “today could be the day I may have to defend myself”. You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that “I may have to shoot today”. You don’t have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don’t know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to “Watch your six.” (In aviation 12 o’clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft’s nose. Six o’clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are “taking in” surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, “I might have to shoot.”
- Orange: Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to “I may have to shoot that person today”, focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: “If that person does “X”, I will need to stop them”. Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.
- Red: Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. “If ‘X’ happens I will shoot that person”.
The USMC uses condition Black, although it was not originally part of Cooper’s Color Code. Condition Black: Catastrophic breakdown of mental and physical performance. Usually over 175 heartbeats per minute, increased heart rate becomes counter productive. May have stopped thinking correctly. This can happen when going from Condition White or Yellow immediately to Condition Red.
In short, the Color Code helps you “think” in a fight. As the level of danger increases, your willingness to take certain actions increases. If you ever do go to Condition Red, the decision to use lethal force has already been made (your “mental trigger” has been tripped).
The following are some of Cooper’s additional comments on the subject.
Considering the principles of personal defense, we have long since come up with the Color Code. This has met with surprising success in debriefings throughout the world. The Color Code, as we preach it, runs white, yellow, orange, and red, and is a means of setting one’s mind into the proper condition when exercising lethal violence, and is not as easy as I had thought at first. There is a problem in that some students insist upon confusing the appropriate color with the amount of danger evident in the situation. As I have long taught, you are not in any color state because of the specific amount of danger you may be in, but rather in a mental state which enables you to take a difficult psychological step. Now, however, the government has gone into this and is handing out color codes nationwide based upon the apparent nature of a peril. It has always been difficult to teach the Gunsite Color Code, and now it is more so. We cannot say that the government’s ideas about colors are wrong, but that they are different from what we have long taught here. The problem is this: your combat mind-set is not dictated by the amount of danger to which you are exposed at the time. Your combat mind-set is properly dictated by the state of mind you think appropriate to the situation. You may be in deadly danger at all times, regardless of what the Defense Department tells you. The color code which influences you does depend upon the willingness you have to jump a psychological barrier against taking irrevocable action. That decision is less hard to make since the jihadis have already made it.
He further simplified things in Vol. 13 #7 of his Commentaries.
- “In White you are unprepared and unready to take lethal action. If you are attacked in White you will probably die unless your adversary is totally inept.
- In Yellow you bring yourself to the understanding that your life may be in danger and that you may have to do something about it.
- In Orange you have determined upon a specific adversary and are prepared to take action which may result in his death, but you are not in a lethal mode.
- In Red you are in a lethal mode and will shoot if circumstances warrant.
- I was fortunate enough to attend Gunsite back in the 1980’s when the Colonel was still teachings classes. Believe me it was not only an education in pistol craft but an education in how to survive.
- Check this web page for a complete biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Cooper
- There is a DVD set of the original VHS training videos done in 1987. It’s still relevant and enjoyable to watch and I guarantee you’ll learn something! You can purchase the set from Gun Digest. http://www.gundigeststore.com/jeff-coopers-defensive-pistolcraft-tape-series-on-dvd-w5277
September 28, 2011
An interesting video from Down Range TV on the evolution of the 1911 since the 1970’s until today. Enjoy!
September 24, 2011
If you want to save money on ammunition without sacrificing your beloved 1911, then this is the pistol you need! The Rock Island Armory Tactical 1911, one of the most popular 1911s on the market, is now available in 9mm. Compared to the more expensive .45 ACP model, you can feed it for much less money and keep the same number of rounds going down range.
I have always been very fond of Rock Island 1911 pistols. First and foremost they are well made with all, they have the features I like and the price is great at roughly $450 for all Tactical models. Don’t let the price fool you into thinking that it is cheaply made because it surely is not. I own several in 45 ACP, including both the full size and compact version. I received this sample Tactical in 9mm directly from Rock Island.
Now a number of you will say “but it’s a 9mm”! Well yes it is, but over the last few years the 9mm has gone through some serious improvements. Loads like the Buffalo Bore 9mm +P+ (115 gr. at 1,400 fps / 500 ft/lbs) and the Cor-Bon DPX (115 gr at 1250fps / 399 ft/lbs) will not leave you underarmed. Another advantage of a 9mm version of the 1911 is capacity. The Rock Island Tactical 9mm holds ten rounds with eleven rounds using a new magazine from Metalform. Of course, if you want to keep the 45 .ACP for defense you can always use the 9mm for practice.
Affectionately referred to as “The Rock” among owners, the Tactical has all of the features desired by most shooters. The pistol is made from forged 4120 steel with a hammer forged barrel. Its safety is an extended ambidextrous with Novak type low mount black sights. The grip safety has the beavertail configuration. A full length guiderod is also included. The barrel has a nice feature with an 11 degree muzzle crown to protect it from damage should the pistol be dropped. It also has a lowered and flared ejection port. The hammer is skeletonized. A durable parkerized finish is standard.
Rock Island packs each pistol in a hard black plastic case with one magazine. The Rock Island warranty is lifetime for the original owner.
Trigger pull on this example is 5 pounds with little takeup. This was a bit of a surprise because the trigger didn’t really feel like 5 pounds. Let’s just say the trigger is certainly a good one.
The stats are standard for a full size 1911 and weighs in at 38.5 ounces.
I spent about two hours in this session firing 250 rounds total of Armscor 115 .grn 9mm. Testing distances were 7, 10 and 15 yards. I used the standard 5 inch targets from Birchwood Casey.
The first rounds fired were some older Winchester Silvertips I had laying around. If anything will test a new pistol for reliability it is hollowpoints. I fired all 50 rounds at various distances and speed to check more for reliability than accuracy. The magazine was a bit stiff to load 9 rounds. After fifty rounds it eased up a bit. Even so there were no failures of any kind.
After loading up with the Armscorp ammo I set my target up at 7 yards and started working on accuracy testing.
Moving back to 10 yards I fired this string again measuring right at 1 inch. Pretty darn good for a new pistol right out of the box. Many times when a new pistol is taken to the range the first time some adjustment of the sights is needed. Rock Island sights these pistols in at the factory. I’ve never had to adjust the sights on one yet.
This range session was no surprise. I’ve spent enough time with these pistols to know them pretty well. As I said earlier they are 100% reliable and this one was no exception. There were no failures of any type during the entire session of 300 rounds.
I mentioned earlier the magazine was rather stiff and difficult to load. After using one magazine for all 300 rounds it was no longer difficult to load that ninth round. Aftermarket 10 round high quality Metalform are available from MidwayUSA [for $27.99](http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=582914.)
Recoil in a 9mm 1911 is very soft allowing the shooter to get back on target easily. It makes a range session firing 300 rounds easy on the shooting hand.
The Rock Island Armory 1911 have been very successful since they began being imported from the Philippines about five years ago. This is a 1911 with a large following that just keeps growing. New models are released fairly often.
What you get is a 1911 that is accurate, reliable and well made. The price sure is hard to beat. Honestly it handles and shoots as well as my much more expensive Springfield Armory with the same features.
September 12, 2011
I received this information from a friend in the Special Ops community. I thought i’d just cut and paste his email for your reading.This information is in no way classified but I will not use his name for obvious reasons.
Glock 22 40 Cal Rough Frame
The Army did drop the 1911 about 3 years ago for the Glock 22 rough texture frame which was “experimental” at the time. Glock really didn’t know if they were gonna go with it commercially at the time but since others in the community liked it, they put it on some Gen 4 guns.
There was a down select to the STI 2011 and Glock 22 in .40S&W. The 1911 were costing us way to much per gun to keep them running. Parts, labor, X-rays, you get the picture. Even when Kentucky (Lexington Depot) would build a gun, the unit gunsmiths would practically and literally rebuild the gun for the individual operator during the training course. There was a contract let years ago for a select manufacturer to make the frames and slides and several different parts and barrel manufacturers to make the internals. Much like the MEU/MARSOC pistols a while ago they just got to expensive.
And we changed the way we shoot. In training Army it was two in the chest and one in skull if needed. Now, if I give you 1 you are getting 2, if I give you 2 your are getting 5, if you get 5 then you get the rest of the mag. Plain and simple I am not going to let you get up and hurt one of my team mates.
And we will put all my shots right across your pelvis and then the shoulder girdle. I don’t care if you got a trauma team on hand, 5 shots across the pelvis and you ain’t getting up. The enemy is likely to wear some kind of armor now a days just as much as we are. 2 in a 3×5 card ain’t cutting it. So there are lots more ammo expended in training, which effects how well the guns hold up also.
We went through several different down selects for a double stack auto. The STI did not hold up to OTC and the students did not want to run their go-no go shooting test with a chance of failing. One Sabre SQDN got issued both guns and the guys selected to deploy with the Glocks to Iraq. So that ended the question. Now there is a cornucopia of 22’s, 23’s and 27’s across that command. We went from the 228 to the G-19/ G-26 and G-30’s.
And I understand the Navy has dropped the Sig and now gone to the HK (I want to say the) P-30 family in 9mm. I don’t know if they are going to the .40S&W? Air Force STS went to the G-22/23/27 and HK-416 cuz their Army partners did. Really all of JSOC is following what the Army Unit does.
Well here we go again. Just as we think all is lined out we have one service who doesn’t want to play ball. I know the Marines are broke but geez. Of course Mil.com has been wrong before—many times.
Marine special operators may have a new pistol by years’ end, but it won’t be the latest in sidearm technology.
The Corps’ weapons officials are bypassing decades of handgun innovations and sticking with the revered .45 caliber 1911 for its new Close Quarters Battle Pistol.
The service launched the effort to replace the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command M45 pistol, another 1911 design, in spring 2010.
The Marines want to take the manufacturing burden off of the internal gunsmiths who currently custom build the M45 and tap a commercial gun maker to provide a similar pistol.
But some military pistol experts maintain that the 1911 design, while extremely accurate, requires more training and care than other modern tactical pistols.
“You’ve got to be more dialed in on keeping it lubed; you’ve got to be more dialed in on trouble-shooting if there is parts or magazine issues,” said Larry Vickers, a well-known tactical pistol instructor and 1911 expert.
Marine weapons officials, however, are satisfied with the design and already have the money for a commercial off-the-shelf 1911 pistol, Clark said. Starting a new pistol program would require additional approval and could be a gamble as billions of dollars in defense cuts loom over all of the services, Marine officials said.
Like the M45, the new Close Quarters Battle Pistol will be “more accurate and more reliable than just the standard 1911″ and will be equipped with a Picatinny rail for mounting weapon lights, said Charles Clark III, who oversees infantry weapons requirements at the Corps’ Combat Development and Integration office in Quantico, Va.
Clark acknowledged that the service is in the middle of “source selection” but would not provide any details on the gun manufactures involved in the competition.
One contender is the Springfield Armory Full Size MC Operator, a 1911 design that looks very much like the M45. It has also been reported that the Marines are also looking at a version of Colt’s custom 1911 rail gun.
The Marines hope to make a selection by the end of this year, Clark said.
Like other services, the Corps issues the standard M9 9mm pistol to its conventional troops, and has no plans to change that anytime soon, Clark said.
The service began issuing custom 1911 .45 pistols to its elite Force Reconnaissance units in the 1990s. Gunsmiths at the Quantico Weapons Training Battalion Precision Weapons Section hand built them from old 1911s that had been replaced by the M9 in the mid 1980s.
With the creation of the first MARSOC units in 2006, the Corps began issuing the slightly updated M45. It features improved ergonomics, a custom trigger and better sights.
The problem, Clark said, is that the creation of MARSOC has caused the requirement to grow from 400 pistols to 4,000 pistols. Finding enough surplus 1911s for the Precision Weapons Section’s custom rebuilds became impractical.
That increased growth made it “really unworkable to have a hand-built solution,” Clark said.
Other special operations units — including the Navy SEALs — have upgraded to more modern handguns such as the Sig Sauer P226.
Vickers, who spent his Army career serving in special operations units, teaches the intricacies of the 1911 in one of his most popular Vickers Tactical courses.
In many ways, the 1911 is comparable to the M16 family, Vickers said. It’s extremely ergonomic and very accurate like the M16, but it suffers from reliability problems if it’s not properly maintained.
“It requires a higher degree of end-user sophistication to keep it running,” said Vickers, who prefers a Glock 17 for its reliability and simple design.
Marine officials maintain that the service has the money to replace the M45 with something similar. Choosing a more modern pistol would call for a new requirement, a venture that’s unlikely to win approval as the Pentagon faces massive cuts to defense spending, Clark said.
“With the constrained fiscal environment, getting a new requirement approved requires a separate funding line,” he said.
A bit of proof for the naysayers who seem to refuse to believe the above changes in handguns for the Spec Ops world. These photos are from an un-named arms room. There are Glocks in several models and a few 1911’s. These are gen 3 and gen 4 Glocks. These pics were sent to me from “Taz” and many thanks for his help! As they say a picture is worth a thousand words:-)
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August 3, 2011
Detonics has created an upgrade kit that will fit standard 1911’s as well as the older Detonics Combat Masters. As I understand it this kit includes all that is needed to complete the upgrade. Listed below are the parts included in the kit.
The Detonics Combat Master Upgrade Kit includes everything you need to put right on your 1911 style frame. Unlike other 1911 uppers, this includes all required parts, including: barrel, barrel link pin, barrel link set, extractor, guide rod, firing pin, firing pin spring, firing pin stop, front and rear sights installed, reverse plug, recoil spring set, and slide.
Available for Pre-Order immediately in the store.
Combat Master Upgrade Kit: $449.00
The kits are in production and will be available soon. From the information I have the kit will be in .40 cal. No .45acp’s will be offered.
The magazines will be $35 and $40 depending on caliber and size. Detonics magazines will be available separately from Detonics website.
I would have added pictures but the website does not allow copy and paste of any photos.