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 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
I usually don’t post news items but this is just too good to leave behind!!
Utah Declares Browning Automatic Pistol M1911 the Official State Firearm!
by Bentley Gates
While President Obama pondered his March Madness brackets instead of keeping eye on world problems, Utah beat Arizona. No, not in college basketball, but in the race to become the first US state to declare an official state firearm.
Yes, joining the Rocky Mountain Elk (official state animal) and copper (official state mineral) as official state designees, Utah has recognized the Browning Automatic Pistol M1911 as the official state firearm. Gov. Gary Herbert signed the act honoring the pistol. Utah is the first state to legislate such a designation.
Arizona’s bill to designate the Colt Single Action Army .45 caliber revolver as their official state firearm is still pending legislative action. Endorsed by over forty state legislators, the act would recognize the revolver’s role in the history of Arizona and the Old West.
Alaska, not to be outdone, also introduced legislation to designate a state firearm. State Senator Charlie Huggins (R-Wasilla, AK) together with Sen. Kathy Geissel (R-Anchorage, AK) introduced the legislation. It was referred to committee per senate rules.
Utah chose the M1911 as their official state firearm in recognition that John Moses Browning was born in Utah in 1855 and in 1879 while working in his father’s gun shop Browning received the first of over 128 gun patents he would be awarded. Browning’s inventions changed forever the design of automatic weapons. His revolutionary gas blowback design has influenced gun designers worldwide, essentially ending mechanical recoil systems.
Former police officer and Utah state legislator, Rep. Carl Wimmer (R-Harriman, UT), the bill’s author, indicates the M1911 was selected as it served for so long as a personal protection weapon, both in military and civilian roles. Wimmer believes it is fitting that the act was passed in March 2011, marking the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the pistol by the US Army. Wimmer also notes that the Browning Arms Company is headquartered in Utah, although owned since 1977 by FN of Belgium. John Moses Browning was born in Utah after his gunsmith father moved from Illinois to Utah.
Critics of the legislation cite the recent tragedy in Arizona as reasons the state should not adopt an official state firearm at this time, but Wimmer replies we should learn our lessons from the Tucson event and move forward. Another supporter, Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (R-Orem, UT) noted a firearm never jumped from the floor and started shooting someone; it requires a person to pull the trigger. He contends the bill honors both the firearm and the inventor.
Utah has won the race to be first to designate an official state firearm. Arizona and Alaska vie for the recognition as the second. Is it possible that other states could join these in recognizing the role guns have had in the history of their states?
December 8, 2006
This is a Colt series 70 Combat Commander made in 1975. It made the trip to Cylinder & Slide so Bill Laughridge could do his magic on this older 1911 45 ACP. The improvements are a trigger job at 3.75 pounds, Wilson Combat sights, frame to slide fitting, Match barrel and bushing fitted(Wilson Combat),magwell beveled,Videcki match trigger, titanium firing pin, lowered and flared ejection port, barrel feedramp polished,extractor tuned. That covers most of the mods done. Needless to say he made a good gun into a fantastic gun that is reliable and very accurate. I also added some VZ Micarta grips. When this 1911 was customized the beavertail grip safety wasn’t always used on a custom job. The only addition I made was to add a Wilson drop in beavertail. These are pretty rare guns these days and I was certainly fortunate to find it.
With all Wolff springs you can expect much more life from these springs before replacement. The series 70 Colts have a particular appeal to me and with these mods which don’t change the looks of the series 70 very much it makes a classic into an even better gun!
Note: The rear sight is an older Wilson sight that fits into the factory slide cut. Wilson no longer makes them but another company does. You’ll have to Google it to find them as I don’t have that information.
December 8, 2006
The Sig is a wonderful gun that is the most accurate out of the box 45 I have ever shot! Great quality as you would expect from Sig. Some of the earlier Sig 1911’s had problems because of parts coming from several companies. Since Sig started making the entire gun in house and renamed it the Revolution all the problems seem to have gone away and QC is where you would expect it to be with Sig. Yes, there are MIM parts but the quality is good and I’ve had no problems with them. Generally I think most MIM parts get a bad rap that’s undeserved.The Milt Sparks 55BN is also made for the railed 1911’s. In spite of a different look to the slide the 55BN works just fine with the Sig. One other thing I like that Sig uses is a ridged grip safety which depresses 100% of the time which is not always true with some 1911’s. The front of the grip has also been changed to 30LPI instead of the previous 20 or 25 LPI. It’s easier on your hand now and still provides a positive grip.
Shooting the Sig Revolution:
Most out of the box 1911’s will shoot about 2 1/2 to 3 inch groups at 25 yards from a rest. The Sig outdoes most other 1911’s by shooting 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch groups under the same conditions. I got the tightest groups shooting my carry ammo which is the Hornady 230 grn. +P. The largest group was with WalMart white box 230grn. ball. The external extractor is a feature most people have mixed feelings on. With the Sig and S&W 1911’s this should not be a concern for any shooter thinking about purchasing a Sig Revolution or S&W 1911. The extraction is 100% and tosses the empties about 4 feet right rear and puts them in a nice little group of about 2 feet around. That sure makes it easier to pick your empty cases up:-) The extractor is large and I can’t imagine it needing any tweaking at less than 5000 rounds. With 1800 rounds over the last several months it has stayed very consistent in operation and is extremely reliable. I had one failure to feed and that was with an old magazine I later found to be cracked at the rear. If you demand extreme accuracy from a 1911 and don’t want to spend $2000 on a custom gun this is the one to get.
The other gun is my lightly customized series 80 Colt Government model. I did a trigger job which came out at 4 1/2 pounds of pull as well as a Videcki match trigger and Novak rear sight. A great gun!
UPDATE: I have been told recently that none of the Sig 1911’s have MIM parts anymore. This information was on the Impact Arms website.