Wringin' Out the 'Rinco


September 16, 2004, 08:41 AM
Ran down to the ol' shootin' place yesterday to give the New-To-Me Norinco a go. I've decided to tear the gun down after every range session to inspect for peening, battering, premature wear, or impending parts failure. So far, none has been noted. Total round count since taking possession of the gun...approximately 900-925 rounds without cleaning.

As is my habit, I install a King's Drop-in wide grip safety before a long range session...300 rounds or more...to protect the web of my delicate
little mitt...so I won't be able to evaluate any wear or damage to the stock
grip safety at theis point. Future range tests will allow for that whenever I take it along (in stock form) with another pistol and split the round count.
Yesterday, however, was a pure "Rinco" day.

600 rounds went downrange. The ammo was a mixture of handloaded/reloaded, mostly thrice-reloaded brass of various headstamps...mostly PMC...with a hundred or so rounds of once-fired
Winchester from Wally World.

Bullets varied from mostly 230-grain cast lead RN, with about 75 rounds of
200-grain SWC that was contributed by a friend who loads nothing other than that bullet over 5 grains of Red Dot for an accurate 870 fps load.
The balance was 230-grain jacketed ball...Winchester manufacture...over
the standard "Hardball Equivalent" charge of Unique.

There gun wasn't punished as brutally as the GI Springfield...but it wasn't handled with kid gloves either. There were no failures to feed/extract/eject until near the end of the session, when I got two failures to return to battery with the 200-grain SWC ammo during a reload on a full magazine. One required a brisk bump to put into battery, while the other only a light push with my thumb. May have been due to fouling...May have been ammo related. No other problems were noted for the balance of the ammo...which I saved for last to test for function with a less-than-optimum bullet shape when the gun was good and dirty...and it was.

I never allowed the pistol to get too hot to hold, but it did get rather warm on a couple of occasions...just to the point of discomfort, but not to an "OWEE" level. The session started with the gun in the condition that it was in from the first session...about 300 rounds of jacketed hardball..but with a drop of FP-10 in the rails, locking lugs, and on the link. No further lubrication was used.

The accuracy wasn't anything approaching "Match Grade", but was entirely adequate for the gun's intended purpose...as are most ordnance-spec 1911s. It was, however, fully as accurate as my Colt
XSE Commander..and that one was pretty impressive for an out-of-box
production 1911, even before the bushing upgrade. 10-inch discs on the
falling plate machine were duck soup if I was reasonably careful and didn't
try to emulate Mickey Fowler or Rob Leatham in their machine-gun style on the exercise.

At 25 yards, the game was a little tougher, mainly due to the fact that the gun shoots a bit low, and I was hitting the frame of the machine until I adjusted my hold for the POI, but the gun was accurate enough to knock'em down as long as I did my part. The 200-grain SWCs seemed to be the most accurate of the day, but I didn't put any groups on paper in order to prove it, so it may have been just my impression or me settling down and shooting better at that point. Sometimes it takes a while for the effects of the Turbo Coffee to wear off...and I drank 3 big mugfuls before I hit the road.

Rapid-fire drills, including shooting from the leather with controlled doubles on steel, scaled-down B-27 shaped plates at 25 feet turned into a boring
exercise, as the quick hits were easy, with misses generally attributable to
a fouled draw.

I did get a chance to take the original sear by tolet my bud put it to the Rockwell test...he called me with the results late last night. The sear hit 52 on the C Scale...which is 2 points higher than maximum ordnance spec...
and 9 points above minimum. Since I've noticed that whenever a steel part fails prematurely, I usually find that it's a little harder than it should be...
I decided to do a truly scientific stress-test on the sear. I laid it on an anvil and hit it with a hammer in several places. Backside down with curve facing up...three medium healthy whacks with a 6-ounce ball-peen hammer didn't break it. Two whacks on the sear laying sideways with the bias of the force directed at the legs produced a slight bend on one leg...but nothing broke. The third whack bent the leg further, and the fourth cracked it very slightly. A control stress-test on a Colt MIM sear produced about the same results, but the OEM Springfield sear cracked the leg on the second hit. MIM sears are pretty tough!

Stand by for another 'Rinco Sress Test. It might be several days, since Ivan is probably gonna rain on my parade for the next few...The final test will start with a clean, oiled pistol, and I'll go through 2500 rounds without cleaning, with only a drop of oi prior to the session in the rails, lugs, and on the disconnector/cocking rail...in the interest of not wearing things too badly. The final phase will be evenly divided into 500 round sessions,
hopefully over not more than two weeks.

Detail-stripped, cleaned, and oiled..It's ready to go as soon as weather permits.

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September 16, 2004, 09:43 AM
You destructive person! To take a hammer to pistol parts when you can not break them the proper way. :D

Well if the Norico's can last, then the other forged slide-frame pistols should be OK.


September 16, 2004, 10:00 AM
Wildehond said:

You destructive person! To take a hammer to pistol parts when you can not break them the proper way.

Well...Where there's a will, there's a way.

My pappy always said that I could bust steel ball bearings in a sandbox with a rubber mallet...:D

Got a feelin' that this Peking Pistol's gonna be a mite tougher ta break than a lotta people suspect.

Jim K
September 16, 2004, 03:11 PM
As I mentioned, I have one with about 8.5k through it with zero failures of any kind, and another with about 2k+, also with zero failures. IMHO, those are well made and tough guns!

The first one is sitting in the desk drawer as I type, and I don't keep HD pistols around that don't work. To carry a comment over from another thread, it is loaded, I know it is loaded, and I don't need to do a press check to see if it is loaded.


September 17, 2004, 12:42 PM
Jim said:

IMHO, those are well made and tough guns!

Absolutely true. IMO, they're probably more durable than our beloved GI pistols, if they are a bit rough around the edges in most examples. I can
live with it, and attention to minor detail is an easy rainy Saturday afternoon exercise. They usually need a litle dehorning in the radius
just below the frame tangs, and most can use a little cleaning up on the triggers...but that's about it.

I've had the opportunity to examine about 50 Norincos...and I can almost believe that the ban came about due to the Big Three 1911 makers buying a few to look at...calling an emergency meeting of the board of directors, and the conversation probably went somethin' like:

"Boys...We gotta get this thing stopped, or we're all gonna be flippin' burgers at Mickey Dee's in a year!" ...and then lobbied Washington for a ban on Norinco 1911 imports. Wouldn't s'prise me in the least.

September 17, 2004, 11:25 PM
Keep these reports comin'. My Norinco is my only 1911 and it's great.

Old Fuff
September 18, 2004, 09:52 AM
>> "Boys...We gotta get this thing stopped, or we're all gonna be flippin' burgers at Mickey Dee's in a year!" ...and then lobbied Washington for a ban on Norinco 1911 imports. Wouldn't s'prise me in the least. <<

If so, it wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened.

This, and the results of your informal testing bring up a question. Why can the Chinese build an inexpensive USGI equivalent pistol that works and keeps working, while out domestic manufactures can’t do the same thing? Of course labor costs are part of the answer, but clearly not all of it. This is still another example of the decline in good ol’ American manufacturing ability and degraded quality that is seen in so many different areas. Maybe it’s because our corporations are controlled by folks who’s claim to fame is having an MBA from a prestigious university rather then any real experience with the products the company makes.

At least you will put to rest a claim made by another member of this forum that these Chinese guns “are junk.”

September 18, 2004, 11:14 AM

Nice report, makes me feel that I made the right decision. I've gotten 3 Rinco 1911 this year and can't be happier. I've upgraded one and kept the rest stock. As for "normal wear", is it normal for contact points to form where breach end of the barrel hitting the slide?

September 18, 2004, 11:26 AM
Air Power asked:

As for "normal wear", is it normal for contact points to form where breach end of the barrel hitting the slide?

Howdy AirPower,

I'd have to look at it to see exactly what contact points you mean, and if there's any sign of peening or battering. Could be that there's a tolerance stacking issue, or maybe somethin' out of spec. The only point of contact should be between breechface and barrel hood, and only then if the barrel is tightly fitted in that area. Probably just needs a little relieving at the back of...oops...at the sides of the barrel face. Hard contact shouldn't happen if all is within spec. Could it be barrel contact with the extractor?
if it's on the right side at about 3 O'Clock, that may be it.

Fuff...I'm afraid that it won't change anything. Once minds are made up, it's usually hard to change'em.

Brian D.
September 18, 2004, 11:37 AM
Haven't found a way to break any of my Nork 1911s, either. The one I've had the longest is up to somewhere near 20k rounds, believe it or not. (About four or so years ago I decided to shoot this gun some during every trip to the range, along with whatever other blaster went with me, to perform my own version of long-term testing.) Nothing has broken, just change springs as needed, once in a blue moon retune extractor...

While I understand those who may be turned off by the looks of the 'Rinco--I've seen some of the ugliest machining marks imaginable from this brand, inside and out from gun to gun--the rough spots never seem to fall where they have any affect on reliability. You just have to tell yourself, repeatedly: "Function over form, function over form!"

Now, all that remains for me is to find one of the rare Commander-size Norincos that got in before the Klintonian ban. Might permannently retire from seeking more 1911s at that point.

September 18, 2004, 12:39 PM
yeah, breach face and barrel hood, I just didn't know the terminology to describe it. It's penned somewhat on the breachface, but nothing extractor related wear. It shows up on 2 of the 3 Norincos but the one w/o wear is like new so I wont' know for sure. It's not bad by any stretch of imagination but it's there nonetheless.

September 18, 2004, 01:46 PM
AirPower said:

yeah, breach face and barrel hood,

Okay...There will be contact in that area, since the barrel is pushed into battery by the slide hitting the hood for the final bit of travel. If the barrel is tightly fitted there, there will be little or no clearance between the hood and the slide, but it's pretty unusual in a Norinco. Some smiths will fit the barrel to have a sort of "crush" fit as the barrel is pushed the last few thousandths into battery...but most like to leave a little clearance when the gun is in battery and the barrel pushed backward. I'm a subscriber to the clearance line of thought, for purposes of reliability, and I like to be able to put the gun in battery on a "GO" gauge, and feel a little drag
on a piece of .005 shim stock. Others may differ on this point, but I'm a reliability freak. Tight means that there's no place for dirt to go.

Dave Sample
September 18, 2004, 02:23 PM
I like Norinco's. I am sure they will do what they are intended to do from the first shot to the last. I just don't settle for less than the best I can do to a 1911. I am going to dig out my 2lb sledge hammer and smash all of that big sack of Norinco Parts and see for myself how tough they are!

September 18, 2004, 02:31 PM
Dave said:

I am going to dig out my 2lb sledge hammer and smash all of that big sack of Norinco Parts and see for myself how tough they are!


NOOOO! Cap'n...Send'em to me! make a list of whatcha got and I'll make an offer! I'll pay shippin'! hammers, thumb safeties, grip safeties, mag catches and slidestops!

September 19, 2004, 03:57 PM
Speaking of that, was is a good place for surplus Norinco 1911 parts? (provided they have not been smashed of course... :()

September 19, 2004, 04:13 PM
MNine asked:

Speaking of that, was is a good place for surplus Norinco 1911 parts?

John Marstar will do better than that. He'll send new Norinco parts.
Type in...Marstar...on Yahoo and hit search. Nice guy. Just be sure to specify GENUINE Norinco parts.

Stephen A. Camp
September 19, 2004, 04:20 PM
Hello. I've had surprisingly good luck with my one Norinco 1911. Did a few minor changes, but the gun has proven reliable and provides decent accuracy.
Tool marks do abound, but the gun works. Don't have but perhaps 5 to 6K rounds through it yet, but so far, zero problems.


Dave Sample
September 19, 2004, 06:28 PM
OK. I can't find my big hammer so they are safe for now. Good report, Tuner.

September 19, 2004, 07:29 PM
There is just something wrong about a 1911 made in CHINA!!!!

Old Fuff
September 19, 2004, 10:43 PM
No, what is wrong is that they can turn out a pistol that's rough as a cob, but still works fine, while what our manufacturers make looks nice ..... but isn't reliable.

Sometimes the truth hurts .....:banghead:

September 20, 2004, 05:59 AM

There is just something wrong about a 1911 made in CHINA!!!!

Yeah...That's what I thought too...and passed. My loss. When I got my hands on one, I groaned in agony. If I had known then what I know now, I'd have borrowed money and bought a pickup truck full of'em.:cool:

Welcome to THR!

September 20, 2004, 03:46 PM
I bought one in the 90s for $259.00 brand new. I took it out and it did everything I asked of it, never skipped a beat, but I thought a chinese gun couldn't be worth nuthin and it wasn't pretty so I sold it....I was a fool!!!!
I just picked up another one, a commander size, and I couldn't be happier with it, really decent guns for the money........tom

Dave Sample
September 20, 2004, 04:27 PM
Something that seems very hard to understand for some is the reasons that I work the way I do. I have been to China and they know a lot about metal. Norinco has many independent contractors located in small villages all over the country that produce parts for the guns they sell. Many of the big digital mills that I love are made there. I have a problem with the internals that others do not have. I simply am not a metallurgy expert like some of the people on these forums. I do not know whether these parts are soft, medium, or hard except for the way they feel when I file on them. I do not have a Rockwell Machine available to test them and even if I did, I would not waste the time doing it. It is easier for me to replace them with high quality parts that I have been using for years that will allow me to give each gun I build my NO BS Lifetime Warranty. I can tell the frames. slides and barrels are very good steel and can be cleaned up and re-finished. When you fit beavertails like I do, you have to blue the lower end again and so you might as well clean up the slide and match it up in the tanks. I use a NM Barrel Bushing and a new high quality Number 3 Barrel link and pin because it makes them much more accurate and reliable. They are a copy of a GI 1911 From the First World War. I think they did a great job of duplicating that essence, but they are pretty crude inside and out. The folks I do work for do not care for that, so I improve them. I also back them up when I am done with them and so far, I have not had one come back for any warranty work at all. They have not come back, Period. I have not heard much bad about Norinco 45 ACP's and presume that most folks like them just as they are. That is fine with me. I do not have any pictures of them as I did them, but they were very nice 45's with large combat MGW sights, Beavertails, Extended thumb safetys, Checkered slide stops, and Ed Brown Internals. Why anyone would find fault with my doing this is beyond my limited comprehention. You always get what you pay for with me. They had everything you need and nothing you didn't need. One owner turned down a $2500.00 offer for his. As far as I know , he still has it and shoots it a lot in both 45 ACP and 400 Cor-Bon. That is My Story, and I am stuck with it.

September 21, 2004, 11:25 PM
This thread has boosted the fragile ego of my poor (ugly?!) Rinco.
The only thing I don't like about it - is the name on it.


Brian D.
September 22, 2004, 12:46 AM
IMO, the fact that you've actually been to factories in China puts you ahead of most of us here in terms of expertise, knowledge, whatever you wanna call it, about Norinco 1911s. I certainly can't argue with you replacing their unknown internals with parts you have positive experience with, that's just logical.
I just decided to take a chance some years back and leave one of mine as stock as possible, replacing stuff only as it broke. Turns out that never happened in several thousand rounds, so now "shoot it 'til it pukes" is standard operating procedure for me with 'Rincos. Damned if I know why they hold up so well, but sure ain't carping about it if ya know what I'm sayin'.
Dave, let me close by saying your head may well be as hard as a Norinco slide, and that's a good thing in my book! :D Don't ever change that "I calls 'em like I sees 'em" philosophy of yours, okay?

Dave Sample
September 22, 2004, 01:43 AM
Thanks Brian. There is an old baseball story from the Days of Yesteryear concerning a lunch meeting with three Umpires. The shop talk kinda went like this...........................the first Ump said flatly " I call's 'em like I see's 'em!" and then the number two Ump said " I call them as they are!" to which the third and final Ump said " They ain't nothing 'til I call "em!" I was a cop too long to take anyone's word for anything. I like to hear all sides of the issues and not just the one I like the best. I do not swallow all the internet hog wash like the more gullible members of these "Forums". I also know that there are good parts and bad parts and parts that I use and parts that I won't use. I paid a lot of Yankee Dollars to learn what I will install in a 1911 and when they did not work like I wanted them too, I filed them in the circular file. How many of you know that the Bill Wilson Ambi used to have "A.Swenson" stamped on the side of it years ago. Bill purchased that from him (Or Mrs. Swenson) and hasn't changed it in 20 years or more. It is still too thin and no one cares, but I do. They tend to pry off your plunger tube becuase the pin is not centered right. It rides on the outside edge of the thumb safety. I don't use them. How many pictures have you seen of blown up and destroyed MIM parts on these forums? How many Chip McCormick hammers have exploded into a thousand little pieces? None that I know of, and I prefer them to any available. Maybe one will break someday and if it does, he will send me a new one at no charge. Machined/cast/investment cast/forged/Metal Injected Moulded........................and so forth. Just try to hand checker a Norinco front strap and then do a Colt '70 series. Then you will know what is hard and what cuts like Butter. So much for forged parts. Norinco lower ends are harder that the Hinges of Hades. Try a Bo-Mar cut on a Norinco slide and watch your tooling go bye bye and you will know what a hard slide is like. Contrary to popular belief on these forums, Experience Counts. That concludes my metal rant!

September 22, 2004, 03:16 AM
We are very lucky to have folks like tuner and mr. sample and others on these forums, you guys are the real deal!!!!
Heres a pic of my 'rinco commander.......tom


September 22, 2004, 05:53 AM
Brian, if the Cap'n was to suddenly wax all warm and fuzzy, I'd think he was at death's door...:D

He said:

Norinco lower ends are harder that the Hinges of Hades. Try a Bo-Mar cut on a Norinco slide and watch your tooling go bye bye and you will know what a hard slide is like.

Man yeah! That was one of the first things that put me wise to
Norincos...about 6 months too late.

I had been to the range, and took the long way home so I could stop by a semi-local, well-stocked smith's little shop of horrors to bum a few odds and ends so I wouldn't have to call Brownells. He's an old-school pistol wrench and 1911 armorer who...like me had sneered at the Norks
when he first saw'em. He turned down the chance to sell'em in his small
gun shop that he used to help fund his gunsmithing operation...open to the public 2 days a week for 6 hours a day.

When I walked in the back door of the shop, he was cussin' and fumin'
and fit to be tied. :scrutiny: Seems that he was in the process of cuttin' a dovetail for a front sight on a Norinco slide. He had completely dulled
one cutter, and the new one wasn't faring too well. His exact words were:
G-Da##it! EFFIN Chinese bas##ards! What the G-Da## hello did they make these effin slides out of? G-Da##ed PIG IRON???

Now...I had never heard him cuss much beyond a mild oath once in a blue moon...so I knew that I had stumbled onto somethin'. Not only are those parts harder than the "Hingles of Hell", they're also as tough as a piece of aged Hickory. Since the owner had ruined the hammer and sear with a
home-style, Dremel-enhanced trigger job, he took a break and we did a
scientific test on the hammer...We clamped it in a vise and beat on it with an 8-ounce ball-peen. Not only could we not break it...it was a pretty good strain to even bend it very much.

I heard a rumor that the Chinese had ripped up and replaced thousands of miles of railroad track...reclaimed the steel in the worn rails...resmelted
and re-alloyed it...and used it to make guns out of for the Yankee market.
Don't know how true it is...but I know they produced some pretty tough guns out of whatever the steel was.

I also know a guy who bought one of the early Norinco 1911s...He told me a story about how his son had goofed during the learning curve on a progressive loader...and had double-charged a small lot of jacketed 230 RN ammo...with Bullseye. When Paul dropped the hammer on the first round,
the report and recoil was something akin to a .44 Magnum. The pistol
took it in stride. Nothing was bulged, bent, or broken after firing a 230-grain bullet with 10 grains of one of the quickest and most violent pistol powders in the world. The pressures had to be right up there with a
low-end .308 rifle round...and the gun was unscathed. Paul shot the gun
an estimated 15,000 more rounds before he sold it to another range member...and it's still tickin'.

September 26, 2004, 10:13 PM
maybe the chinese melted their supply of tanks and transformed them into pistols.:p

ken grant
September 27, 2004, 08:07 PM
All the chinese did was take a proven design and make it of proper materials. Works everytime!
Not purty but it does work and takes a licking and keeps on ticking

Dave Sample
September 27, 2004, 08:51 PM
"Beauty is only skin deep, but Ugly goes all the way through" Just remembering some girls I used to know...................................

October 18, 2004, 01:33 PM
Finally! Popped back down to the old range this A.M. with my trusty bucket of H2-Oh and mucho ammo to put the 'Rinco through the 9th level of hell...One *thousand* rounds went bang (Ow, my pore hand)...and one thousand times the Chinese Clone didn't miss a beat. I ran it hot and dunked it in the water...brought it back out and kept on truckin'. I stopped at the 500 round mark to rest. I figured that the gun would have just fell plum apart in my hand, considerin' all the junk parts on the inside...
Goodness gracious! I guess I just got lucky with this one, too!

The second run at it produced the same results as the first. All ammo was
reloaded...5 grains of Hercules Red Dot (Not Alliant) and 234-grain cast bullets. I did a little tradin' a few days ago with my neighbor, and he swapped me some of my own ammo back that we loaded up for him to offset the price of the pistole that he bought back from me, and I felt obligated to burn it up before it went stale... :D

'Bout all I've got for this trip...but I'll clean it up and start anew in about a week or so. I've got another 1500 rounds and I don't wanna let it lay around too long. Oh yeah...I didn't oil the rails for this one. It's a miracle that it didn't gall and lock slap up! Goodness gracious! No tellin' what I might find when I break it down though...but I'll hafta wait a while. Did I mention that my hand is kinda tired and sore?

Welp...Gotta git!



October 18, 2004, 01:50 PM
Nice thread Tuner. I saw three NIB Rincos at the gunshow this weekend. Two were $450 and the third was $399.

October 23, 2004, 06:03 PM
Here's my Rinco story. I just bought one this week. It has MMC fixed sights which I believe is the only after market addition to pistol. The round count is unknown but it has some wear on the slide's dustcover where it contacts the frame rails. There was a little side to side play in the slide.

I took it to the range with with 7rd shooting star that came with it, a new Wilson 47D and new chip mccormick 10 rd power mag. The pistol was very accurate but with the wilson 47d it stovepiped on every last round in the mag consistently. With the 7rd shooting star and the CM 10 rd the slide would not lock open on the last round. I immediately suspected the slide stop. I took the slide stop out of the gun and replaced it with the slide stop from the range owner's colt gold cup and the malfunctions ceased.

Upon returning home, I read the following on the card insert that came with my CMC 10rd Power mag:

"When pistol fails to lock open on the last shot, check slide stop lobe length (.195 inch minimum). Some slide stop with dimpleswhere the plunger hole contacts will not lock open and need polishing or replacement"

Here is a picture of my Rinco's stock slide stop:


I guess that this stop could be polished to remove the dimple but I am probably better off with the Chip McCormick slide stop that I bought for $19.95 to replace it.

What do you think Tuner?

October 23, 2004, 06:20 PM
Howdy Dominic,

Looks like somebody dimpled that stop to keep it from lockin' the slide with ammo in the magazine...Sometimes that'll happen. They probably could have stopped it without the surgery, but that's another thing that we'll never know, since the stop is killed.

The last-round stovepipes...Extractor problem...Either not enough tension or the extractor is clocking in the bore. Most of the time....clocking shows up with a last-round failure...usually crunching the mouth of the case
between the slide and barrel hood. Put a little more bend in it to add some tension and see what happens. If it doesn't change anything or if the last round gets stuffed back into the magazine...it's clocking. Fit an oversized firing pin stop to the gun to keep the extractor squared up and it'll stop.



Dave Sample
October 24, 2004, 02:28 PM
If the malfunction stopped after the slide stop was changed, I would say that was the end of the story. Sometimes CMC slide stops have to be fitted so good luck with that job.

October 24, 2004, 05:17 PM
I took my rinco back to range today with 200rds S&B FMJ 230gr and one Wilson 47D magazine

I fired 40rds with the CMC slide stop installed. No failures of any kind.

I then removed the CMC stop and dropped in the stock slide stop (with the dimple shown above) in and fired 30 rds. The gun consistently stove piped the last round in the magazine.

I then removed the stock slide stop and reinstalled the CMC stop. Fired 30 rds with no malfunctions, though now I started to watch how the gun was ejecting and it really wasn't doing such a positive job. Some cases were kind of rolling out of the gun, if you know what I mean.

I should note here that I had thoroughly clean the gun and removed the extractor and removed the build-up on the hook. I had also tested the extractor tension by removing the recoil spring, loading a mag of snap caps with the slide open, moving the slide into battery by hand (it fed smooth) and then dropping the mag and slowing moving the slide back to see how the snap cap held to the breech face and it held before hitting the ejector. It seems to work fine, but of course it was a light snap cap and not a dummy round.

Anywhay, I had started to put another box through the gun and was about 20 rds into it when I decided to swap out the stock extractor for an Ed Brown extactor that I had in my range bag. The tension was too tight at first. The gun would not easily go into battery from slide locked open while chambering a round. I took the extractor out and bent it a little the other way to open it up a little.

That seemed to do the trick. The ejection improved dramatically and I was just a few rounds into my fourth box and everything was going swimingly when the front sight broke loose (aftermarket MMC, came with the gun), ricocheted off my bald head and landed somewhere at the back of the bay. I pulled out the surefire and got down on all fours and hunted for about 10 minutes and finally found it. It looks like sight was just sliver soldered into a groove and not staked. So then I finished up the box (which was kinda fun, without the front sight) and there were no malfunctions and ejection very positive.

I don't want to hijack the thread. I just thought someone else who is having gun-bugs might read my story and say, "Whew! I am not the only one!" LOL.

But why me? Why does every 1911 that I touch break? :uhoh: :rolleyes: :D

October 24, 2004, 06:39 PM
I'd love to see a chemical composition test of these Norinco parts. If steel is harder and tougher at the same time it's probably a different steel. I'm guessing they're using gun barrel steel to make gun frames. The nickle in them make them hard to cut and real tough too, even if they're not necessarily "harder" on the Rockwell scale.

Dave Sample
October 24, 2004, 09:47 PM
pieces/parts/flying front sights/ leave me with nothing more to say. I staked in the front sights on the Norincos I worked on. I have headr they were silver sodered on now but never saw one like that. I used a .055 tenon MGW front with a Combat MGW rear.

October 24, 2004, 10:52 PM
You guys have plenty of good things to say about the Norinco 1911's.. A local shop has one used for $270; is that a good price? I have no idea how much of it is stock. The grips, at least, have been changed. My Colt Gunsite Pistol needs some company, the idea of setting a $300 pistol next to a $1200 pistol tickles me somehow. ;)

October 25, 2004, 02:58 AM
Beren I'm sure others will chime in on this as well, but I believe that's an excellent price for a norinco. Of course you might want to take it apart to see how much of it in fact stock, but I get the feeling you're going to start having people ask you where this norinco is at...


October 25, 2004, 10:23 AM
How can I tell whether the internals are stock parts?

October 25, 2004, 10:41 AM
Beren asked:

How can I tell whether the internals are stock parts?

Hard to tell without knowin' what you're lookin' for, but a pretty good yardstick is to hold the trigger rearward, rack the slide briskly to cock the hammer, release the trigger and squeeze it until the hammer falls. Most Norinco triggers are a bit rough as delivered, and average about 7-8 pounds, usually fairly gritty or creepy.

Since the trigger pull is most often one of the first modifications done to factory pistols, if the trigger group ain't been dinked with, the rest of the gun probably ain't been dinked with either.

The trigger can be massaged to a pretty smooth, clean 6-pound break without messin' with any critical angles or compromising the relative safety of the gun.

November 4, 2004, 02:07 PM
I have owned my new in box norinco about three weeks. I have 600 flawless rounds through it with zero stoppages or failures of any kind. I used wilson 47-D mags for most of the shooting although even the mag that came with the pistol has been flawless in feeding. The only issue I have is that I need to aim about 10 inches low at 25 yards as the pistol shoots very high above point of aim. I want a drop in beavertail and better low mount sights and some better trigger parts. Based on what you guys have found inside the pistol I think I will go far a good quality slide stop and extractor at the same time.

I am not sure if I want to mess with the cosmetics... the slide looks like blueing that someone tried to remove with a scotchbrite pad... the lower looks like a 7 year old with a can of spray on grill paint.

Is the pistol worth 700 + dollars of parts and finish ??? sights / beavertail / trigger / sear / hammer / extractor / springs / barrel link / mainspring - housing / crown barrel / throat and polish chamber and ramp / safety / dehorn sharp edges.... I might as well have purchased an empty box ???? I could have purchased a used TRS or CQB for the same money it seems... ????

What do you think ???

November 4, 2004, 02:23 PM
Howdy quantico,

I think I'd like to have that extractor, hammer, slide stop and grip safety when ya upgrade it...Mainspring housing too, especially if it's got a lanyard loop on it. Let me know and I'll make an offer.:cool:

November 4, 2004, 07:41 PM
I avoided the Norincos...cheap Chinese made guns!...until about 15 years ago I asked a prominent gunsmith what to get and modify into a fine match pistol at a reasonable cost. He amazed me by advising me to start with either a Norinco 1911A1 or 1927 Argentine...he said either have better metal than any of the modern commercial .45s and are completely parts interchangable with the original Colt 1911s, an advantage to modification.

So I bought my first Norinco, and took it to the range to see what I needed to do to it. Found it to be utterly reliable and surprisingly accurate. I polished the feed ramp, installed a Clark trigger, and put on Hogue grips...and I have my favorite .45, which gets shot probably about ten times as much as my other three put together. My other .45's, each of which cost considerably more than the modified Norinco, have specific load preferences and are a bit finicky with some particular bullet types or weights...the Norinco has digested everything I throw at it without a hiccup. Have never had to have it repaired.

I bought a second Norinco and have it stored for the future, still stock...:D

November 5, 2004, 10:50 AM
1911 Tuner : The MSH has no loop on it. I will likely keep the stock parts just in case I want to go back to stock. The stock grip safety works for me about 40 percent of the time that I grab the gun.... so I hope that the drop in beavertail has enough bump for me to get the gun to fire when I grab it.... otherwise I will be doing the dane burns shock-buff trick.

Right now I am thinking of getting some 600 or higher grit hardware cloth and smoothing out the rough edges on the front of the slide and the trigger guard area and the bottom of the mag well. I hate and detest rough / sharp edges on any gun that I own. I won't go for full meltdown as I think it would look stupid on this gun... but what do you think of taking off all the sharp edges on the frame and slide that come in contact with clothing or hand ???? Don't worry .... I am not a dremel maniac. I will do this very very slowly by hand.

I purchased a springfield longslide in stainless a few years ago... and I purchased a few stones to take all the edges off of the gun that were drawing blood every time I handled the darn gun... I often teach women to shoot... and most women have little love for bleeding all over the place.... I don't mind bleeding on weekends and special occasions . . . , but cleaning up the rough edges didn't take away too much fun...:rolleyes:

Tuner . . . . you think the norinco " purists " will be burning crosses on my lawn again after this ? ? ?

November 5, 2004, 10:54 PM
After watching a "dinked with" Norinco being expertly morphed into a NorBrowCoDeckiMac, I know 2 people who won't be participating in a yard fire at your house.

November 5, 2004, 11:27 PM
19112XS - huh? :confused:

November 6, 2004, 07:35 AM
mpthole asked, with apparent confusion:

huh? :confused:

LOL...2XS is referrin'to the 'Rinco that he brought to me a few weeks ago
that had been dang-near smiffed to death. I replaced various insundry
parts, which included a Nowlin sear, an Ed Brown hammer, and a Colt thumb safety...and got'er doin goooooood. He came down yesterday and we ran down to the shootin' place and sent many many grains of lead downrange.

So....Now it's a Semi-Tunerized ColNork-McCormBrown-God-Only-Knows...
1911 clone. Shoots purty good though... :cool:

November 6, 2004, 11:07 PM
Characteristically Tuner is being entirely too modest.

That Semi-Tunerized CoNoBroIncoDekiAck shoots REAL good.

Some posters to the Boards are internet gunsmiths only. They can resolve any problem when cloaked by the anonymity and distance that the internet provides. Their solutions can prove unfounded, expensive to correct and just plain dangerous. As those Forum members that have been to 1911 Mecca can testify, Tuner really does know this stuff. He “Tuned” a Norinco exhibiting a “gunsmith” trigger job and intermittent hammer follow :eek: into a dependable sidearm using a box of small parts and a great deal of patience. This relatively inexpensive piece now has better internals and is more reliable than most new 1911’s being sold today.

Have I mentioned it shoots REAL good? :D

November 20, 2004, 10:33 AM
The norinco project has begun. I ordered three loads of parts so far. Flat wilson MSH / McCormick hammer & sear / wilson trigger / new pins / new barrel link / new wilson extractor & slide stop & grip safety & thumb safety . I still need a couple springs .

I have taken the file to the pistol and started breaking all the sharp edges and some 600 grit to remove sharp edges in the trigger guard area. I opened up the mag well at about 30 degrees on the sides to give myself a tad more wiggle room to insert mags quickly. I also polished the breech face and feed ramp . So far so good, I also filed off the made in china stamping on the front left part of the dust-cover. I have never attempted metal work, so this is interesting. The metal is darn hard , and I am going slowly with no desire to dremel anything except for a bit of polishing.

Does anyone have a way to convey how perfect I need to leave the metal surface so that I don't see file marks or imperfections ??? I will be sanding by hand with the 600 grit until spring if I can't figure out where to stop. I have taken a bit of metal off around the barrel bushing as I like the meltdown look. I can't tell how it would look finished. Boy that metal is hard !!!!!

November 20, 2004, 10:39 AM
Howdy quantico, and welcome aboard! Good to see ya.

Check your PMs :evil:

December 24, 2004, 12:39 PM
Any updates?


December 24, 2004, 12:46 PM
Howdy mister2,

Not yet...Too many corn fritters on my plate the last few weeks to allow indulgin' myself in burnin' copious amounts of powder for the sake of fun.
I should be back at it soon after the first of the year, with halfway cooperative weather patterns and temperatures. I've got a 35 degree rule.
If it's below 35 degrees...I stay home and drink copious amounts of coffee. :p

December 24, 2004, 02:02 PM
'Hey' back atcha, 'Rinco Star

Kinda dates me, downnit?

BTW are you still compiling Norinco serial numbers? It'd be interesting to see if certain 'issues' correlated to SNs.

Perusing your (N-related) posts has been my fireside read this season and once again, I salute your contribution. The Best of the Season to you!


December 24, 2004, 02:21 PM
To each his or her own. I have a hard time buying from communists. :cuss:

December 24, 2004, 02:38 PM
Except that you can't get them from the communists anymore.

Do you shop at walmart? If so, you're buying all kinds of stuff from communists, and with the phase out of tariffs, you'll be buying a whole lot more.

December 24, 2004, 03:48 PM
Do not equate my statement with the naive view that one can fight the global economy. Of course many things purchased are from Communist China,either in whole or in part. Given an option I prefer not to buy items made or sold by communists. :neener:

December 24, 2004, 04:03 PM
Macavada is right. You can't buy them from communists anymore. Only Americans. And that helps our economy. ;)

December 24, 2004, 04:11 PM
Gentlemen, please! The topic is a torture test on one pistol. Love'em or hate'em, there are a buttload of Norincos in the country, and they sold
as fast as they could be imported while it lasted. The thread is for Norinco owners to see the results of that test. Any issues with doing business with China is probably a better topic for the Legal and Political section of THR.

To buy or not to buy from communists is pretty academic in the face of filling up your car every week when roughly 50% of our oil comes from sources who...if the full truth was known... a majority would prefer that we choke to death on our Christmas turkey. In that light...what is buying a gun that has likely changed hands several times since the Red Chinese made their pittance off the sale compared to buying gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil that is measured in the billions of gallons/dollars annually? Politically, the Chinese may well be our enemies...but at least they're not actively engaged in blowing us up at the present time.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled flame war...and I thank you for your support. :cool:

December 24, 2004, 07:40 PM
Sorry Tuner. Merry Christmas. It is a good report.

December 24, 2004, 07:45 PM
Hey Webley!

No harm, no foul....Just didn't want this one to head off into the stratosphere. Politics tends to be a touchy subject, and I just wanted to put out the fire before it got started. :cool:

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

December 24, 2004, 07:59 PM
Way to right the ship. Sorry for taking it off track.

Dave Sample
December 25, 2004, 03:02 PM





December 26, 2004, 06:20 PM
Cap'n...Either you've had a run of bad luck, or I've had a good'un. I ain't seen but one Nork that rough... :eek:

Here's a "clew" for ya...Your barrel is dead meat.

December 28, 2004, 01:42 PM
One of my Norinco's had a bbl that looked exactly the same way. Textbook peening of the locking lugs. I didn't notice any problem in function or accuracy, but peening only gets worse with time. Slide lugs were still sharp and the trigger was relatively good. I installed a Kart EZ-Fit barrel and fitted bushing. This Norinco puts them all in one hole with 100% function (after fitting, of course). Never had a malfunction with any of my Norinco's, Stock or otherwise.

As for tool marks, some are just as bad as Mr. Sample's, if not more ugly inside.

Bill Z
December 28, 2004, 04:30 PM
The quantity and quality of the NC Norc's must have come from a special plant in China. I have only seen one around here in Augusta, never broke it down or played with it though and am not currently seeing any at the range and I host 18+ matches a year and attend other matches there throughout the year. I also had a conversation with a pistolsmith that does machine work for many 'smiths and has for years that, at his request wish's to remain anonymous so he doesn't get in this mess, has only seen about a dozen.

Now, Tuner certainly is lucky to have seen over 60 of them and in perfect or near perfect condition, I wish I would be so lucky, to have even seen 60 of them in one community and be able to get people crawling out of the woodwork to show me theirs, I'd really make a killing in this business then.

Cthulhu, I'm sorry that you got one of the 'average' norks, but am glad that you found a great way to fix it with a Kart barrel. Would you care to share exatcly what the installation guide that came with the Kart barrel had to say about the headspacing or using the Go/No-go guages? Is it on Karts reccomemded tool list?

Anyone install a Brown or a Wilson 'drop-in' barrel around here? What exactly did the instructions call for in the go-no go guages? Just curious, I'm only familure with the gunsmith fit barrels and the Kart line-up, but I would think these would wring out a 'rinco too. (BTW, Ed Browns benchrest manual only suggests them when you are reaming a chamber, not when you are fitting a barrel)

I cannot wait until the end of January when I get to the shot show, I really want to get Bill Wilson's personal insight on these Rinco's and how many he has seen and done and what his experiences were with them, after all, he made his bones on them, didn't he?

December 28, 2004, 06:22 PM
The quantity and quality of the NC Norc's must have come from a special plant in China.

Maybe....Maybe I've just been lucky. Still got feelers out on 4 more.
Never seen one with the barrel problems like the last two here, but there's one on the way that just might.

Anyone install a Brown or a Wilson 'drop-in' barrel around here? What exactly did the instructions call for in the go-no go guages?

The term "Drop-In" applies...and it still makes good sense to check the headspace with gauges with any barrel change...no matter what the
package says. I've seen a few fail, and seen several that were borderline.
Most factory barrels are below mimimum, which probably accounts in part for the feeding/rtb problems of late.

I'll stand on what I said, Bill...all due respect. To wit: Ideal headspace can't be verified by dropping an odd cartridge into a chamber and visually checking to see that it's flush with the barrel hood. It requires gauges and it requires the slide, the same as installing a barrel on a bolt-rifle requires gauges and the bolt, because headspace is determined by the distance between boltface and chamber shoulder. That's why the gauges are part of every armorer's equipment...so that they can determine whether or not the gun is deemed serviceable and safe.

Yes...I've seen a few over 5 dozen Norincos since I've had the feelers out.
I'd like to have a look at a few dozen more. I'm suspicious that the timing problems and damaged barrels noted here are part of a bad lot...and I'll keep looking until I can get more data or toss it off as luck of the draw, just like the odd Colt, Springfield, or Kimber. Why do I do this? So that just in case I can nail it down to a serial number range, I can warn potential buyers what to be on the lookout for.

Now...The topic here is a range report on one pistol. Stick to the topic, please. If you have a question on the results, ask. If you want to argue
about headspacing, there's a sticky on the top of the gunsmithing board.

December 30, 2004, 12:17 AM
Hmmm...how much space do they have inside the mag well?

Maybe I should try to find a Norinco to install my Chinese 7.62x25 barrel and magazine. I'm slightly loath to whittle on a Colt to make it fit :scrutiny:

January 3, 2005, 07:41 PM
I had to put a long trigger on my 'Rinco. The short trigger just wasn't cuttin' it. Didn't realize it would need fitting. :what: Got out the sandpaper and trimmed the top and bottom. Then had to slim the sides down just a tad. Put it in and ran the magazine through the bow and it wasn't quite right so I tweaked the sides of the bow just a hair. With these changes, the trigger just falls into place in the channel nice and smooth.

While I was at it, I found a pair of pearl grips at the gun show. They look nice!!! :evil:


Brian D.
January 4, 2005, 05:32 PM
Shootcraps, are you trying to set yourself a Chinese pimp gun? :p "Bad, bad, ReLoy Bloun, baddest man.."

Btw absolutely no offense towards anyone Chinese, or whatever else,intended.

January 4, 2005, 05:39 PM
Shootcraps, are you trying to set yourself a Chinese pimp gun? "Bad, bad, ReLoy Bloun, baddest man.."

You light, white boy. ;) Life's too short. Everybody should have at least one shiny gun. I'm taking it to the range shortly to try out the new trigger.

January 4, 2005, 08:01 PM
Winter is cold here in Washington State and sometimes frustrations just take over. Could someone send me a sack of Norinco parts so i can do the hammer test on them on an anvil or something.
Question: Should i use a Chinese hammer or an American hammer????

Thought a little humor would be nice. It is a trend that these guns seem to be made of very strong material. Maybe ripped out old railroad tracks. Some reloading presses are made of re smeltered rr iron. Curt in Wash

January 4, 2005, 08:39 PM
50 more rounds through it and the trigger feels nice. A little heavy, but it breaks nice and clean. You know, buying a case of ammo isn't thrifty cause it makes you want to shoot more. :evil:

Cottontoptexan, you can't hurt these parts with ANY kind of hammer. They are super-duper steel and we love 'em. :neener:

When is the next gun show? I need another Norinco cause I got two hands.

January 4, 2005, 09:02 PM
It is good to read all the fine comments on the many different pistols and especially the Norincos. I made a statement on another forum on the junky Norincos in the past and had to apologize to the gentleman lately for my short sighted comment. My knowlege of this firearm did not warrant my opinion to be accurate.
As for American quality it is still there. Companies have so many more issues to deal with than quality, like health insurance, benefits, workerman's comp etc. which the new foreign competition does not. I purchased an Auto Ordinance in 1995 wanting an American made pistol. I found out later the slide and frame were cast in Spain. I had to replace many of the parts within 2 years of casual shooting, which would have been about 1 month for anyone in the shooting sports circuit. The last hitch happened when it fired all 7 rounds without a hitch. Now this happened on 1 trigger pull. Went full auto on me at the range . Lot of slack in the parts , worn sear spring, deep grooves in the hammer and sear pins etc. Also the barrel bushing split down the side.
Maybe some of you can add to this forum but what i am seeing in the last few years (since i had spent many in manufacturing) is not so much where it is made but HOW it is made and to what specs. I can attest to this by the Jet lathe and drill press i have. Foreign made in Taiwan but the quality is excellent. I know it is a tough world now with much competition with countries which used to not be in the playing field . Somewhere down the line i guess it will all even out at sometime. Until then excercise good and safe shooting and reloading and keep the good info coming. I have learned more in a month on these forums than i could in a lifetime on my own.
I still love my 2 Colt Stainless MarkIV Series 80 guns and will probably die with them. They are reliable and well made. My Springfield Champion and Kimber Eclipse Pro II seem to be fine pistols. Only time will tell. I still have the Auto Ordinance after having many parts replaced. I guess i had it so long i just got attached to it even with the shortcomings. Thanks to all Curt in Wash State

Dave Sample
January 5, 2005, 02:06 PM




"Trashed Norinco Barrel" revised by the Know Nothing Pistolsmith " No Gauge Dave!

Old Fuff
January 5, 2005, 02:48 PM
Impressive ...

The pictures, not the barrel. :scrutiny:

Do keep shooting .... :D

January 5, 2005, 03:39 PM
Welcome Aboard™ Curt/cottontoptexan

It has been a little nippy around here lately.
I am still adjusting to the lower temperatures from being so much closer to the water now.

January 23, 2005, 11:15 PM
Kart NM barrel, Ed Brown beavertail, BoMars, Videcki trigger, dehorned, parkerized, etc. This was my IPSC limited gun for several years, while serving as my CCW. Whenever my sweaty Milt Sparks Summer Special wears off too much of the finish, it gets another parkerizing job. It shoots like a house on fire. :D


January 24, 2005, 11:40 AM
That is a good looking norinco... did yours come with no made in china or import stampings ??? I removed mine, but I don't see the metal altered on yours and no markings...

Is that a fine parkerizing ?? it seems less grainy or rough than many parkerizing jobs that I see....

January 26, 2005, 01:10 PM
The "Model of the 1911" stamp is on the left side of the gun, that's all. ;)

It's a dark gray-green parkerizing, appearing even more dark by the way my flatbed scanner acquired the image. :D

February 5, 2005, 07:12 PM
I asked a prominent gunsmith in the '90s what .45 I should buy to wind up with a top quality target pistol at minimum cost...expecting to start with a Gold Cup. To my complete surprise, he recommended either a Norinco or Argentine 1927, explaining that both had superior metal than most of the commercial .45s, and the parts were completely interchangable with the earlier 1911A1s...with the proper tuning and aftermarket parts, would work into a top level target gun at minimum total cost. After buying one, with minimal mods, it has remained my favorite .45, getting far more use than my others (including a Kimber) put togdether. The other .45s are finicky about some loads and bullet types, while the Norinco has always digested anything I could load into the mag, without a hiccup, and has remained accurate. Have bought a second one, stored for the future. :) I have upwards of 5,000 round through the Norinco, with no mechanical problems, and am occasionally disposing of one of my other .45s...

December 2, 2005, 11:16 PM
I have a Norinco 1911. Has a Wilson barrel, Wilson grips, Wilson firing pin & spring, Millett adjustable sights and everything else looks stock.
Looks great with no wear spots. My brother gave it to me but wouldn't give any of his Wilson magazines. I bought a few Kimber mags. It works real good. No trouble at all. I've shot alot of Wolf ammo but have been shooting the cheap Winchester ball and Rem. HP.
This March when I visit my brother again he's gonna give me a Mauser chambered for .243. Thats all I know about it.

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