Monday, September 17, 2007

A New, Old Colt, Part III -- a late answer

In the comments area of Part I, tom said...
Nice pistol Mr. JPG. Are all the parts on that pistol machined as they would have been back in the day or does it have MIM parts in it?Also, I know what you mean about the flat main spring housing. I replaced the plastic, flat mainspring housing on my Kimber Custom I carry for duty with a steel arched mainspring housing. It seems to point better with it. Not something you would want to do with a nostalgia pistol like your new Colt but its a good addition to a duty pistol.
tom - -

Sorry to take so long to answer, but it gives me topic for another entry.

Re: the parts.

I'm sorry, but I really can't detect MIM parts unless I can see the casting seam. I see none on this pistol, but that could simply be the shop paying close attention to finishing. I notice that, on the Colt site, they mention, "Forged knurled slide stop." They make no mention of other parts, so I'd wager at least SOME are MIM. If I can't tell, and if they're not high stress parts, then it makes little or no difference to me. See
Colt's site for their specs.

I hear you, concerning the plastic MSH. Several years ago, when Matt got his Kimber, the first thing he did was to raid my parts box and abscond with a steel, arched, checked MSH with lanyard loop. Not that he was ever gonna use a lanyard, but I'd shown him how to use the loop to open a be - - uh, soft drink bottle. (How long since you've seen a soda pop bottle without a twist off cap?) ;-)

Anyway, I did check the flat 1911 MSH with a magnet. It's steel.

In all fairness, though - - The plastic MSH on my Colt Officers ACP has been satisfactory. Remember, it is not a high stress part. The cross pin below takes the load of the mainspring. But, yes, I far prefer good ol' Connecticut Yankee steel.


lainy said...

I think I'd like to go shootin' with you!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Colts, here's a story.
My father, who used to recall his and his brother's lurkings under the porch when Frank James came to visit Unk (that's 'unkle' not 'unknown' although as the story progresses, you might think the latter is appropriate).
Now the thing of it was, Unk was just a sprout during the Civil War, which ruined his family, killed his mother, and caused everyone eventually to migrate to Texas. He was definitely raised a Southern gentleman by his father and mother, and by Uncle Kills, a Cherokee of indeterminate relationship who was part of the 'other' family of Unk's grandfather.
So here we have a very young man, well-educated, and expert in woodcraft, hunting, horses, and all manner of weapons who has been through one of the worst of all wars.
What does this man do? Well, he goes on 'cattle drives' from Texas to Kansas City, during which Jesse Chisholm gives him a Colt .41 pistol.
At least that's the story.
Unk returns to Texas where his brother's snotty wife will have nothing at all to do with him, his father has little to do with him, as does his remaining sister, so he goes to live in a little room with his niece and her family, which included my father and his brother.
Here the story gets complicated. The niece, my grandmother, knew Frank James. It seems that her father and the James boys had lived next door to each other in Missouri, where THEIR fathers preached the word of the Baptist for a while until the Reverend Mr. James got Gold Fever and hied off toward California. He died of cholera six weeks into the trek, and his sons went off the rails.
After Frank was pardoned and went to work for the Pinkertons, he was a 'floorwalker' i.e. store detective in Dallas, as I recall at Tiche's.
On his days off, he would sometimes go south to the little town in which my grandmother, her boys, and Unk lived. My father said he would come walking down the street all dressed in black, open the gate and stroll up to the front door, where he would briefly and with courtly manners, greet my grandmother.
Upon which, if Unk weren't home, the boys would be sent for him. Frank and Unk would retire to Unk's private porch with a pitcher of lemonade, a plate of cake or cookies, their Bibles and their pistols, where they'd spend all afternoon. No one dared go near them, except to replenish the pitcher or the plate.
My father said he'd never seen two such cold-eyed men in his life.
Once Frank and Unk took the boys shooting. Much to my father's amazement-and fear-Unk proved to be at least an equal shot with the deadly Mr. James.
Now, this question is still open: Unk grew up in Tennessee, then came to Texas. Frank grew up in Missouri, then went outlaw.
So how did they know each other?
Where was Unk really on the 'cattle drives?'
Why did Unk's family have nothing to do with him?
Who was the mysterious woman whose picture the bachelor Unk kept on his dresser, and why was the picture put in his hand when he was buried?
Was Chisholm really the Jesse who gave Unk the Colt?
Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
As to the Colt, it's the most beautifully balanced weapon I have ever shot. And, although it makes a small hole in a bale of hay, it will blow the entire back of it out. I have the theory that if a person even got hit in the little finger with one of those bullets it would be fatal. And the concussion would probably deafen everyone within a block.
Modern pistolas have nothing on the oldies but goodies.

JPG said...

WONDERFUL story, LawMom.

Is that, by chance, the Colt .41 through which I was able to few a few rounds a while back?

JPG said...

I mean, of course, to FIRE a few rounds.

Contrary to appearences, I AM fairly fluent in the English language.

Tom said...

Hey Mr. JPG,

The MIM parts are not a big issue I was just wondering if they made the whole pistol in the same process as they did back when the model was first produced. It is my understanding that if MIM parts fail they will do so early on in their use. I carry a Kimber on duty everyday and it's full of them and none have failed yet and I have somewhere around 8 thousand rounds through this gun.

Someday when I grow up and I am not paying for braces and tuition and such for my girl I hope to buy a Wilson Combat Pistol. They are ridiculously expensive but I like them and I really want a 1911 with no front cocking serrations. Wilson will build one just the way you want it. I really have no practical objection to front cocking serrations other than the fact I think they are ugly. A man should be able to have a pistol, his favorite gun, which is just the way he likes it. I would also have an arched mainspring housing and adjustable night sights installed on it. I like 30 lpi on the front strap. I would order it to begin with the original Armor Tuff fininsh and as that wore I may have it hard chromed down the road.

Oh well, who knows someday I may have $2500 laying around I can spend on a pistol.

I have some guns I could sell to finance the Wilson but I don't like selling guns, I like buying them. LOL. Besides, you never make out when you sell a gun, you always lose money on them.

Incidentally, have you seen that Rock River Arms has an AR style rifle coming out in .308? It is called the LAR-8. I called to order one last week and they told me it would be about 6 months. They have special law enforcement pricing. I have to send in a letter head and they are getting right around $950 with the discount.

Matt G said...

The flat MSH on the WWI 1911 feels distinctive, after having shot 1911s and 1911A1s all my life with checking, knurling, or serrations. There was no doubt in my mind that it was steel-- the color and temperature of it told me that it was not plastic, resin, aluminum, or zinc.

LawMom, you surely are speaking of that old scrimshawed ivory-stocked,nickel-plated Peacemaker that I've handled and shot a few rounds out of after Dad and I scrounged up a 50 round box, yes?

BTW, when we were shooting those rounds, LawDog was rapid-firing that resolver as fast as he could thumb-cock it at a paper plate 7 yards distant, and was putting a group up about the size of a playing card.

Anonymous said...

Yeppers, that was probably the .41 Colt. Dog has it for his 'court gun' but it's rarely out of hiding. Great weapon.

Anonymous said...

Well, Matt, you think the Dog is good, you just need to go shooting with his brother. The kid can deadeye with any weapon known to man and has been known to repeatedy put one bullet on top of another in a target at 100 yards.
And I didn't even teach him any of Unk's father's shooting tricks, like sticking feathers into a rail fence and having Unk and his brothers snap them off with bullets, or tying an iron skillet to a thin branch with rawhide and swinging it.
Once Unk's brother had broken the feathers and was shooting at the skillet when a bullet ricochetted and hit Uncle Kills (Cherokee) in the arm. From that time on, he was known as Busted Fluff.
My father and Dog's brother are naturals with weaponry. Dog and I have to work at it, darn it.

Tom said...

That was a great story Ma'am. You have a fascinating family. I wish I had such extended knowledge of mine.

Maybe we can get JPG to post a picture of that old Colt.

Anonymous said...

Hi tom-
As I recall, at one point in time LawDog did post a picture of the old Colt, either on TFL or his blog. You could ask him to post it again, of course, or jpeg it to JPG ( know, TERRIBLE pun, but irresistible) to post here.
Yes, fortunately my family was deep into passed-down family stories for several generations. Unfortunately, I believe I am the last to know them in their original form, including the story of my gg-grandmother's trip to Washington DC to see Lincoln to save her son, Unk's brother, from the gallows during the Civil War. I am trying type them in so we'll have them, but I have to get in a highly concentrated state, because the language used back then isn't the same as that we use now. I'm working on it.