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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Meet "Little Bill*"

(*That moniker is a tip of the hat to legendary gunsmith, gun designer, gun builder Bill Laughridge, the President of Cylinder & Slide, Inc., who is alleged to have helped Colt with the design of the Colt Defender.)

Recently, after completing a thorough range-session with a different pistol, I put a quick six rounds of Federal 230-grain Hydra-Shok through this lightweight, 45 ACP, 3'' barreled early vintage Colt Defender.  This was simply a preliminary function test; it is a used pistol but it looked to be unfired or nearly so when I bought it a few months ago.  The first round that I fired hit red-center but the muzzle-blast shifted my subconscious into the dark world of bad habits and I pushed the next two rounds low.  I had to settle myself in and focus on sight, breathing, and trigger in order to bring the final three rounds into the zone of "good enough."

Six rounds do not a reliable pistol make, but I did not bring it along to the range that day for a full shakedown; mostly I just wanted to see how the extractor on this pistol performed in realtime (poorly tuned extractors, or those made from poor material or with substandard production quality control, cause some of the common reliability issues with 1911 pistols of all sizes). So far, so good.  Time will tell if this pistol is going to work out for me.

EDITED TO ADD:  There are different brands of these 3'' 1911 pattern pistols.  CLICK HERE to read a good article regarding the spotty reliability of these little pistols.


Dave McElhinny said...

I just checked out one of these in 9mm about a month ago at the local firearms emporium. But I felt it was still too large and heavy for concealed carry. Looking into the Browning 1911 380 and the Baby Rock 380 (as yet unseen in person). Browning's website shows some compact versions (shorter barrels) but haven't seen any in stores.

James Zachary said...

Hey there Dave!

If you get to try one of those Browning 1911 .380s lemme know what it is like. Those are cool looking.

Wilson said...

Nice Colt and good shooting!

James Zachary said...


B said...

You will find that these can be reliable IF you clean them often. Lube them sparingly. Replace the recoil spring every 1500-2000 rounds, and the mainspring every 5K or so (the hammer slows things down a lot).

Pay attention the safety plunger if it is a schwarz safety. And make sure you clean the plunger if there is a series 80 mechanism.

I find that the 3" 1911's are good for 60-100 round before cleaning. THen they get unreliable.


James Zachary said...

Thanks B! I appreciate it.