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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


For those interested in such things this is the very first "Grey Ghost". It is 4 years old and many rounds later at this point. I took the gun back in for a tuneup and refinish a couple of weeks ago. The slide was in the white from the blue wearing off during carry and draws! I have documentation coming on exactly how many rounds have been through it but that will come later.

I'll get you some more before and after detail pictures, relate a story how the gun shot four years ago for me and what it will still do today. Plus the owner's commentary after carrying the MEUSOC pistol for years in the USMC, compared to this GG in drug raids over the S.E. USA and deployment in direct action missions with a SOG, UN team in Kosovo and Masadonia.

This one should be fun and interesting!





<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-09-08 03:08 ]</font>
 

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Dane, great post!

Being that I have one of these GG projects in the pipe with you, I am excited to see this "first prototype".

Could you elaborate on the initial foundation for the idea of the Grey Ghost (in addition to what is on your website)? What were this prototype's first components and how has the GG evolved since then? How did the field testing and feedback from the original lead you to the current incarnation of the Grey Ghost as it is now?

Thanks in advance for the responses. I am looking forward to more information and history on the GG.

Man, if this gun could talk...Hollywood definitely could not write a script with these stories!
 

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OK, well this is definitely "off topic," but perhaps Dane might appreciate it, since he has elected to pay homage to the memory of Colonel Mosby in naming this pistol the Grey Ghost.

Back when I was going through the Warrant Officer Advanced Course, we did a rather exhaustive study of Mosby and his tactics. Suffice it to say that this man became a living legend for very good reason.

One of the most celebrated of Mosby's exploits was the capture of Union general Stoughton (in his pajamas) at Fairfax Court House on March 8th, 1863. Here's a short account of the events of that night ...

Lieutenant Prentiss, awakened by shouts that there were dispatches outside for General Stoughton, was foolish enough to open the door to the raiders.  Six men strode in, but it was the smallest of them, the wiry one with the plume in his hat, who stuck a revolver in the lieutenant's ribs while he stood in the entranceway in his nightclothes holding high a smoking oil lamp.

Upstairs the beplumed intruder walked into the bedroom of Brigadier General Edwin H. Stoughton and pulled down the covers.  The brigadier was laying on his side, snoring, but he roused up stupidly, still somewhat intoxicated from his evening's soiree, when Mosby lifted his nightshirt and slapped him on the behind announcing, "Get up General, and come with me!"

The sound of the voice brought Stoughton more fully awake and, when he realized the man bending over him was a stranger, he shouted, "What is this!  Do you know who I am, sir?"

"I reckon I do, General.  Did you ever hear of Mosby?"

"Yes, have you caught him?"

"No, but he has caught you."


Upon learning of Stoughton's capture, President Abraham Lincoln is said to have lamented "I can make a much better Brigadier in five minutes, but the horses [Mosby also captured] cost $125 apiece."

Here's a period photo of the original "Grey Ghost." The caption reads "This picture of me was taken in Richmond in January, 1863. The uniform is the one I wore on March 8th 1863 on the night of General Stoughton's capture."



One of Mosby's most overt characteristics was his strong preference for pistols over the traditional cavalry saber. No doubt he would have found our 1911s very much to his liking -- and it's worth keeping in mind that Browning's masterpiece was originally intended to serve the horse cavalry. Funny how things come full circle sometimes, isn't it?

Well, I do apologize for straying so far off of the the beaten path, but it occurs to me that Dane knew exactly what he was doing when he christened his flagship pistol. :smile:

Chuck

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: StormMaster on 2001-09-08 15:14 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you haven't seen it, here a link to Mosby from my web site. No question Mosby could appreciate a fine "horse" pistol...or two. There is much to his history...all of it.....that is worth looking into IMO.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/%7ECLASS/am4 ... intro.html

More to come on this particular BCP gun. No doubt the owner would be embarrassed about some of the comments, mine included. He takes much of what we would consider exceptional, for granted, an everyday occurance.

This is his "new" pistol, ready for many more years of hard service.







<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-09-08 15:55 ]</font>
 

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Dane,

A cursory glance reveals a number of subtle changes between the old and new: trigger, slide stop, hammer ...

I'm looking forward to the complete "after action review" on this pistol!

Chuck

P.S. Matt - Many thanks for the kind words. I must agree that the truth is often stranger -- and often a heck of a lot more interesting -- than fiction. :smile:
 

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Dane--a truly beautiful gun, thanks for the pics of the detail work. And for the history--that was a great post, Stormaster. One of the great ironies of the Civil War is the knowledge that, with the Confederate military leadership and the Yankee numbers in men and supplies, the United States could have become an incredible power so much earlier had it not been pitted against each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had built two Kimbers for myself when I finished this gun. (there is never enough time) The original HP package and a new cone barrel gun..this gun. I just wanted a inexpensive, functional bull barrel gun. A month or two before I finished it I took a class from Ken Hackathorn. Ken turned out to be a great guy and someone I respected from his writings. Hackathorn came in to do his traveling road show for the weekend at FAS where I was working the normal classes for Marty.

Ken is pretty critical of a good 1911 and pistolsmiths in general. He has the experience and knowledge to voice a learned opinion. On his next trip to the NW I loaned him this psitol to give me some feed back on my work. I had already shot a full mag into less than an 1" at 27 measured yards, free style and the gun never missed a beat in the couple hundred rounds I shot through it. Plus it was sooo SOFT to shoot! I didin't give him junk :smile:

Ken was rough on the gun from his comments to me. He kept and shot the gun for 6 months or so. He and his buddy, Rob Haught, shot the gun and got it so hot you didn't want to hold it, I was told. No malfunctons and it still shot well when they were done.

Ken returned the gun to me after IDPA Nationals BBQ that year and I used it a bit over a couple weeks of teachng. My buddy Tracy Ertle shot it at the end of that training trip while we taught together and started handing me $100 bills until I said, "ENOUGH!" It is his gun now :smile:

Some things I changed on the rebuild. I ditched the MIM parts, thumb safety, hammer, disconnector, sear and firing pin stop, replaced the BP Wilson slide stop, steel guide rod, Kimber trigger and extractor. reason? I have seen problems of one sort or another with them all. Better now that have the gun fail in the field. Tracy gave me free rein over anything I wanted to do. The blueing was gone obviously. It now wears Hackathorn's prefered black parkerising. (which I suspect is a Larry Vicker's influenece originally) Ertle's choice too BTW, when I offered either chrome or Park for durability. I had previously done SHARP 25lpi checkering on the front strap and added a Brown 30 lpi mainspring housing. (the opposite of Hackathorn's choices but which I think make more sense for concealed carry) But with gloves I agree you need some type of checkeing or the "wave" on the front strap. For real tactical ops I would want sharp 20 or 25 lpi checkeing. Lots of good options for concealed carry. I recut the high grip blend of the frame and checkering. I redid the mag well and beveled the bottom of the slide.

A titanium guide rod was added to cut some weight. The entire trigger system was changed out. BCP best grade tool steel hammer, sear, disconnector and a solid Vedecki. I had to tweak the springs to get the pull back up to 4# with these parts. It started at 2# with these parts. The micarta grips have held up well and I just refinished them, as has the barrel. But I won't get a chance t shoot it till Monday. Tracy promises me a tally of exactly how many rounds he has put down the barrel. (Marines keep track of such things :wink:

I figure Hackathorn (Army SF, can they count? ) and I (no mil. history so I didn't care ) did at least a couple 1000 all together, 99% GI ball.

Tracy reports he has not had a malfunction to date. I am awaiting a full AAR I'll paste it in here on arrival. Targets coming from Mondays shooting session.
 

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I think there are two types of compliments to a gunsmith. First one is, buying a pistol from him. Personally, I think this is a compliment, but because advertising and talk-talk can encourage a person to buy, it is the lesser of the two. Second, and most important [imho], is a return purchase, or sending a pistol back for a re-do after mucho hard work.

Dane, of all the pistols you have put on this board, even the ones with my fav ivory grips, the re-do pics are the finest I have ever seen. Yes, *this* is the pistol I would most want to buy if it were for sale. Perhaps I am a sucker for a black gun [true], but, from what I see...it is the epitomy of the finest of the fine in pistol-work.

Thanks for the story and the pics. Nice to know this guy has probably put more rounds through that one pistol than I have through every pistol I own, combined, and it still keeps perfect time :smile: And, of course, that I have a couple from the same maker. :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am quite partial and have had enormiously good luck with the Wilson standard slide stops. Enough that I only use Colt's as a 2nd choice these days.

I have seen problems with the BP parts in general, slide stops and extractors in particular, so I no longer offer those parts from my shop. In Tracy's case I refinished both and they are now prefitted spares.
 

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Dane:

Would you care to elaborate on the types of problems you've seen with WC BulletProof slide stops and extractors?

Are the "standard" WC slide stops cut from steel? I though that the newer standard slide stops were MIM.

Oh, and I should also say, I love park'ed guns! Got hard work writtin all over them. Kind of like a new F150 with a hardhat in the cab, mud on the sides and scratches in the bed.

StormMaster:

I concur. One of the bed off topic posts I've ever read. Funny thing is, it wasn't really off topic at all!

Thanks for the history. Makes the "Grey Ghost" (pistol, that it) mean something to those of use who haven't studied military history.

EDIT: Or spelling either.... :roll:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JacRyan on 2001-09-09 23:20 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tracy has been out of town for a couple of days but here is his response to the thread I recieved this morning, unedited.

" The life of my Grey Ghost"

It is hard to believe that it has been three years since I talked Dane into selling the Grey Ghost to me. I have known Dane for some time now. I have a great deal of respect for him and his abilities. I must, because I entrust the function of this weapon daily with my life, the life of my family, and my colleagues. It must perform on demand, it cannot stutter, waiver, or bobble at anytime!
The Grey Ghost has performed admirably over the years, throughout adverse conditions throughout the globe. The Grey Ghost held up to the rigors of torrential rain, mud, sand, and high humidity and worst of all ME. I have shot just over nine thousand three hundred rounds through it, it would have been more but over the last year 45 caliber ammunition has been scarce overseas. The ammunition consisted of mainly my carry ammunition, 200-grain plus p Hornady and 230 grain Hydra-shoks, the rest being ball ammunition. I use this weapon not only as a daily carry weapon but also when providing training to numerous agencies and units throughout the US, it has never incurred a malfunction, matter of fact when teaching malfunction drills I have to work real hard to even set up a malfunction in this weapon, because it will feed anything. I was fortunate enough to have served as a force recon Marine. During that time I used a MEUSOC pistol, so I thought of comparing the Grey Ghost with the MEUSOC pistol. The MEUSOC pistol pales in comparison to the Grey Ghost. But looking at the total picture we can see why. A professional pistol smith builds the Grey Ghost. An armorer builds the MEUSOC pistol. The Grey Ghost is my primary weapon. The MEUSOC pistol is a second or sometimes a third weapon. That’s not to say that it is any less important but to say you have more options if there is a problem. I believe Dane has done a bang up job putting together a package that is no doubt as reliable as any piece of machinery can be. I carry a pistol daily as a profession, I do not take that lightly, and you shouldn’t either, and that is why it is so important to know who the person is building your weapon. I whole heartily recommend the Grey Ghost to anyone out there that demands their money’s worth when buying a custom weapon and doing so from a man with high morals and integrity with the utmost skills.

Tracy Ertle
 

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I'm not Dane, but I have personally seen numerous BP extractor hooks break at less than 10k rounds. I had good luck with the std line Wilson extractors, and both BP and std line have efficient and generously dimensioned hooks (ie. really deep). I've also seen several BP slide stops wander out of guns. I find them ugly, so I won't use them. My first choice is the EGW slide stop.
 

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What about using the AFTEC extractor? Anyone out there with experience with one in a carry pistol? I know Rusty Kidd puts them in his competition pistols. Doesn't the Grey Ghost utilize an AFTEC extractor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The AFTEC is a big improvement in extractors. Problem is that it has so many tiny parts. While it works "better" it isn't something you want to take to a harsh environment where you don't have easy access to parts.

I use this as an example..need a "raid gun" on a local PD....AFTEC is a great addition. Need a gun when you deploy over seas...use a standard extractor. If you have the skills to detail strip your own gun a AFTEC is OK locally. If your armorer or gunsmith does the work for you, stick with a GI style extractor.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-09-18 17:03 ]</font>
 
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