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Discussion Starter #1
In my quest to make an intelligent decision about a 1911 carry gun, I’m trying to make sense out of all the information and marketing propaganda I’m reading. Could someone help me out with the following info from Rock River Arms? Is this marketing BS, or are their slides and frames really much better than, say, Kimber/Wilson or Ed Brown, or others?

- Don

“Everybody offers a match frame and slide, but what they don’t tell you is that you only get 4 bearing surfaces. If your finisher bumps the rails with a loose wheel during polishing, you lose your nice tight fit. With our frame and slide, you get up to 10 bearing surfaces, ensuring a tight fit and eliminating the need for rail systems. We strive for the most bearing surfaces and tightest fit possible -- to provide the highest quality frame and slide possible and lengthen the life of your firearm.”


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Don Puffer on 2001-10-29 22:50 ]</font>
 

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Don,
There is no question that Rock River makes a good gun. Too many people here have been eminently pleased with their purchase of their products.

The final test is what does the gun do when YOU get it from the maker. If it ain't what you expected or was promised, due to someones negligence for whatever reason, send the POS back and make them correct it or replace it.

On the paragraph you specifically identified: That's gonna be one hell of a bump, or a hell of lot of bumps. In any case, its their problem to get it right. Ok, so you only get 4 bearing surfaces, their long ones, and usually well fitted ones now days. Their also not the overriding reason a gun is accurate or reliable, within reason. Will a gun last longer with a tight slide to frame fit? Dunno. Look at some of the older military guns that have gone a goodly number of rounds and it makes you wonder.

These guys worked for Les Baer at one time I believe, so they do know how to make a gun.

On the other hand, so does, Kimber, Springfield, Colt, Les Baer, Wilson, Ed Brown, et al.

I pack a Les Baer Stinger, its tight and solid, easy to conceal, controlable, and after a bit of adjustments, reliable. It comes with a 3" @50 Yard guarantee. I like it.

Wilson and all the rest make equally good guns for carry. Choose one that has the features you want and you will be happy. Cant find one with what you want? Have it built or do it yourself, and be even happier.

There is probably some truth in their statement, but I suspect there is more sales hype in there than should be for this caliber of builder. I dont think they need it.

And no, they aint that much better.



_________________
if it flies it dies, if it runs it's done

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Zahn on 2001-10-30 00:52 ]</font>
 

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As an aside, slide-to-frame fit is a pretty insignificant contribution to accuracy anyway.

I mean, good gravy, Dane fitted a "semi-drop in" (*not* oversized "Match" type) Bar-Sto barrel in my plain ol' Colt and it is now a sub-1" @ 25 yard gun. What more do you need accuracy-wise, a free taco? :grin:
 

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In reality, it is mathematically impossible to have more than 4 bearing surfaces. You can come very, very close, but it is what engineers call "indeterminate" when you support a force at more than one point. Reality is different however, as the contact "point" is actually two surfaces of metal (hopefully) separated by a film of lubricant.

So what.

With all that said, I have 2 RR's, and the bluing wear on the slide is fairly even along the slide. That tells me that the rails are flat and parallel to the slide rails. The wear pattern indicates that the slide surfaces are bearing across a large area, which is good in that wear will be minimized (and the fit will degrade less) because the forces are spread out over a large area, and not concentrated at any one point.

And as stated above, this is fairly unimportant to the accuracy of a gun. All the mfg's you mention make good frames and slides. Baer and RR source theirs from Carl Lewis Machine, and Wilson, Kimber, CMC, and a few others from Jerhico. The metallurgy of frames has been worked out for years and is well known - I wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about it.

The reality: I have two targets that show 1-1/2" accuracy at 50 yds (disregarding the first shot) from both a full size and a commander sized gun, and they're reliable at 700 rounds through the full size and 600 rounds through the commander size.

So Chuck and co at RR know what they're doing. The Elite commando gets my vote for the best deal out there. I own nicer (much more expensive) guns, but for the money, these are really tough to beat.

PS the RR's are better finished than a Baer or Wilson - all edges dehorned and just a bit smoother overall. I carry a Stinger just like Peter above, and he and I have corresponded about our problems with them (that Baer fixed for both of us). The Stinger just isn't finished as nicely as the RR's are.

So go with a good gun and you'll be fine. RR (if you can wait), Wilson, Brown and Baer all make fine guns. My experience is that Wilson and Brown are best out of the box - but they cost more. RR and Baer can provide you with a great gun too, but maybe with a little more chance of requiring some tweaking.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JiminCA on 2001-10-30 14:40 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Jim & CB.

Your, and everyone else's, input is really expediting my education on 1911s. Just about a week ago I knew absolutely nothing about 1911s. Amazing how much you can learn when you have a site like this and good people who will help you.

- Don

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: don Puffer on 2001-10-30 15:22 ]</font>
 

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ever take a look at the frame of a HK Mk 23, or a USP for that matter? both support the slide on 4 TINY metal rails (2 per side) embedded in the polymer. this undoubtedly presents a much smaller bearing surface than a 1911 style pistola. however the HK pistols (Mk 23 and Expert especially) are extremely accurate and i remember reading on the net:

"In more than 450 accuracy test firings from a precision firing fixture, MK 23 pistols far exceeded the government requirement, averaging 1.44 inches, with 65 groups of less than one inch. There were four groups of .5 inches, with 5 rounds going through the same hole!"

thats pretty damn good in my mind and it was accomplished with a not-incredibly-tight fit and itty-bitty rails.

on the other hand, take the SV six-inch govt model. yes, that's right-- not just a longer slide/same frame kinda deal. this is a 6 incher that's had the frame and rails extended 1". are they on to something? hmmm....

hence the case for the good ole' normal (or not so normal when the 1911 you're talking about is a BCP!!)1911-- the goldilocks of pistols-- not too long, not too short, it's just right! :smile:
 
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