Friday, August 29, 2008

Smith & Wesson 1911 Stainless Tac Rail .45 - Before and After

This is a pretty common DuraCoat refinish request-

Take this "X" colored pistol and make it "Y."

In some cases, it is because the original finish is worn beyond belief; sometimes, because it is stainless steel and too shiny for the new owner.

In this particular example, it was both.

This is a fairly "young" S&W 1911 .45, The stainless slide & frame tactical rail model, with blued controls.

Well, they WERE blue when they left the factory. After only a very short time in a duty holster (weeks, not months) they became less than 50% blue.

My impressions of this .45 are very favorable. It runs like buttah, and if I had one I was keeping, about all I would do would be to polish out some of the cosmetic machining marks left on the controls, specifically the Ambi safety (which I suspect is an option or an aftermarket installed by the owner.) Here is the "After," and this is matte Black DuraCoat with a 3-layer matte clearcoat on top, after 5 micron aluminum oxide blastification:

Note that the "Retard Warning" and the logo overkill were removed from the left side of the slide & frame by request.

It goes together very tightly; an Insight M3 Light seats just peachy on the rail.
My only personal gripe is the slide release, but I gripe about that on most any 1911.
I would prefer something other than the aftermarket Hogue grips if it were mine, but then again, I put sandalwood grips on my S&W M&P .38, so you know I'm odd already. The original wood would have been OK by me.

Nice gun. I'm sold on the Smith 1911; I'm NOT sold on the price (for me- I'd rather build my own.) But I can see the appeal, and I would not hesitate to recommend it if someone were after a pricey .45 instead of a pure all-weather duty gun, like a Glock or a Springfield XD.

Based on this gun's controls, though, I just wouldn't recommend a BLUED one.
There are stainless, scandium, and melonite models available.
At $1100-ish MSRP, this is not over-the-top out- of-line too fancy to buy and use.
And no stupid integral lock anywhere in sight.
Bottom line: Me likey.

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