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Hello. Several weeks ago, I opted to build a long slide .45 ACP under the watchful eye of a close friend who had made a very fine 1911 via Dave Sample's On-Line 1911 class. I'd been most impressed with his pistol and that of his son, who'd also taken the course. I had seen and shot both of these pistols and had to have something similar.

I have fallen in "love" with long slide 1911 pistols since I tried an STI Trojan 9mm with a 6" barrel.

The Gun:

The frame and slide are from Caspian. I chose the cast frame as it cost less and I've had stellar results with a Colt/Caspian 5" gun that my gunsmith, Lou Williamson, did for me in the '80's.

I used Kart's EZ-Fit barrel. "EZ" is a relative term, but I can darned sure see how it would be easier than a "regular" oversized match barrel.

For my purposes, the range and for some hunting, I opted for the Bomar rear cut and the Novak front sight cut. Purely for looks, I went with the serrated flat on top of the slide. The frame was supplied with 20 LPI checkering per my request.

The flat mainspring housing from Ed Brown was also checkered 20 LPI. The hammer and sear are from Ed Brown as well. I flat don't remember who made the safety I wound up using as I'd owned it for quite a while. The trigger and disconnector are from McCormick. The 2-piece guide rod is from Brown and the stainless pins were from Caspian. The gun has a standard power mainspring and the recoil spring is 17-lb. The grip safety is an Ed Brown with hump and "memory grooves." The pins, hammer, slide stop, and thumb safety are stainless that I polished (for hours).

From the initial file stroke, through fitting the slide to the frame, and on to the finish was around 70+ hours. (I would starve to death as a gunsmith.)

Before the gun had a blue finish or even the sights applied, I test fired it. There were no stutters in firing or any malfunctions of any kind. However, it would not feed a Corbon 200-gr. JHP +P from a full 8-round magazine by hand. Downloaded by one, it would, but not off a full magazine. I experienced precisely the same thing today when trying to chamber a Speer 230-gr. Gold Dot from a full 8-rnd magazine. The same load fed fine from both a Novak and Colt 7-rnd magazine.

Here's a view of the gun after it was blued. It has polished slide flats as well as on the top of the grip safety (on the "hammer side") and the area inside and outside the triggerguard. This took several hours by hand. The only place a dremel was used was to clean up the inside of the dust cover. The bushing was bright polished by hand as well.

This is the polished area around and on the trigger guard.

The complete gun...


"Sweet Pea" has been used with several types of ammunition:

Handloads: 200-gr. Precision CSWC over 5.0-gr. Bullseye

200-gr. Hornady XTP over 7.2-gr. Unique

Factory Loads:

Sellier & Bellot 230-gr. FMJ
Winchester USA 230-gr. FMJ
Remington 185-gr. MC Flat Point
Corbon 200-gr. JHP +P
Winchester 230-gr. "Subsonic Deep Penetrator" JHP
Winchester 230-gr. Black Talon 230-gr. JHP
Winchester 230-gr. Ranger SXT JHP
Remington 230-gr. Golden Saber
Speer 230-gr. Gold Dot
Glaser 135-gr. Silver +P
Federal 230-gr. Hydrashok
Federal 230-gr. Classic JHP
Federal 185-gr. JHP

All total, approximately 600 rounds have now been fired through the gun.
There have been no failures to feed, extract, or eject. Cases are not dented during the ejection process.

I also used several different magazines today:

Colt 7-rnd
Novak 7-rnd
MecGar 7-rnd
Wilson 8-rnd
McCormick Powermag

All locked the slide open on the last shot. With all but the Gold Dot and the Corbon (using the old Speer "flying ashtray" JHP), they fed fine by hand when fully loaded.

It seemed that the Colt 7-rnd ran the smoothest followed by the McCormick. With ball, Golden Sabers, Federal 230's, and the SWC's I couldn't tell any difference in smooth operation.


This pistol is intended for accurate shooting. Therefore, it was fired in slow-fire only. Distances were 15, 25, and 50 yards. All groups were fired from a rest and in a seated position. The reason for this is to try and wring out all the pistol has to offer. I am sure that I didn't do that, but it was the best effort I could perform.

15 Yards:

Each group consists of 5-shots and was fired from a rest.[/img]

25 Yards:

The magazines used along with the handloaded 200-gr. Precision CSWC in firing this group. The flyers are my fault.

50 Yards:

This was done with Winchester USA 230-gr. FMJ.


Once again I have not seen evidence of the slide functioning slowly. Some have reported this when firing such versions of the 1911. This one operates fast as a 5" as far as my eye can tell and so does the STI 9mm.

Felt recoil is the same for me as with a 5" gun. I'd expected this to be a bit less due to the extra weight out at the end of the gun. Chronograph results show that the extra inch of barrel give roughly 50 ft/sec extra. Felt recoil is subjective to be sure but to me, I note no difference in recoil. There may be slightly less muzzle flip. In any event, it's not a problem.

This one's a keeper. Not only because of sentimental reasons and simply being proud of my first effort, but because it works; at least so far it does.

I intend to use it for the range and for hunting as mentioned above. Right now, I'll sight it in for the 200-gr. CSWC. For hunting, the rear sight will need to get about 2 clicks to the left. On this pistol I'm glad to have adjustable sights which have held true zero when set.

It is said that there can be but small difference between a hobby and an obsession. I now understand.

While I'm very pleased with this pistol and the way it performs, it is not perfect.

Maybe I can make the "perfect gun" next time....NOT! I don't think it exists.

This achievement most certainly does NOT make me a gunsmith in any sense of the word. It DOES make me appreciate and "see" more when I look at a 1911 that's been worked over.

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