Full house custom 1911 - Valtro by John Jardine


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Sven
December 21, 2002, 02:09 AM
I met this week with Mr. John Jardine at Target Masters West in Milpitas. During our meeting, John showed me the amazing two-tone custom gun below, and gave me permission to take these photographs for your enjoyment:

http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/custom/side_sm.jpg http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/custom/frontstrap_triggerguard_sm.jpg

http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/custom/side_right_sm.jpg http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/custom/slide_left_sm.jpg

http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/custom/magwell_mouth.jpg

view photo gallery (http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/custom/twotone.html)

John told me that this gun may be showing in his booth at the SHOT show this year. He emphasized several times that it is a work very much in progress. He also wanted me to emphasize that this gun was not polished or cleaned for these photos.

This gun felt like it sat deeper in my hand versus my stock Valtro - John confirmed that the beavertail is cut differently. Check out the big image of the magwell seam... or lack of! Flawless execution.

The enlarged magwell opening looks very nice from both a "look" and "feel" perspective. The grips are actualy 'inlaid' inside the frame... not sure how to describe this - check the images.

The backside of the slide is serrated to match the sights. The sights are also chiseled in a bit on the sides, compared to the stock sights on the Valtro. This example has a painted dot (front sight) and slit (rear). John went on to described his next steps - a fluted barrel, fluted slide, a smaller roll mark (!), and more.

John has that rare combination of craftsmanship and passion that really shines in the details. Not only does he know his stuff, he is a very nice guy. He showed me - a total 1911 newbie - how to properly grip with a Weaver stance and gave me pointers for a full hour. All of my questions were answered directly, with no hesitation or condensation.

John told me I can dry fire my Valtro, no problem. He then got agitated about all the misinformation that circulates regarding dry firing, dropping a slide on an empty chamber, etc.

Demonstrating his point, he racked the slide onto an empty chamber 6 times, slammed a mag into my Valtro, dropped the slide by 'whipping' the gun (I'd never seen this before), and shot an amazing group.

Then he continued, describing detail after detail on this gun, illustrating how form affects function. I have complete confidence in the man and his work.

My Valtro now has the single-side safety and has been completely reblued. John sold me a killer set of Valtro grips in Cocobolo ($35) and set me up with Torx-head screws ($10). He even polished a ding on the beavertail out for me.

4 days turnaround.

One reason to enjoy living in California - quick access to John Jardine.


http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/sven/rifling_sm.jpg


-sven, on the lookout for silver linings (in clouds and barrels)


http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/sven/crown_sm.jpg http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/sven/trigger_left_sm.jpg

http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/sven/full_right_sm.jpghttp://www.imageseek.com/valtro/sven/ready_sm.jpg


Check out Sven's Stock Valto (http://www.imageseek.com/valtro/sven) - Yo!

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Correia
December 23, 2002, 12:10 PM
sven,

I got to meet John at SHOT show last year. He is a great guy, and he takes some serious pride in his work. I was really impressed with the Valtro. I wouldn't mind having one when the finances will allow.

My wife is from Milipitas. Target Masters actually struck me as a pretty good gunstore for California. :)

C.R.Sam
December 23, 2002, 12:24 PM
Definately a work of functional art.

Sho not a gun to throw in the tackle box.:D

Sam

Correia
December 23, 2002, 01:05 PM
Sam,

On the contrary, you should see how John treats his guns! He is a firm believer in function first, pretty second. :)

Sven
December 23, 2002, 08:09 PM
John's quote was 'this is a working gun'.

Plan's to get the chrome for the safe queen - then train with the blued.

Tamara
December 23, 2002, 08:40 PM
That is one gorgemous 1911! :eek:

Jim Watson
December 24, 2002, 02:08 PM
Best I can tell, John Jardine IS Valtro USA.
http://www.pistolsmith.com/viewtopic.php?t=14616
Leads off: "Spoke to John Jardine last week. He said that because he had to disassemble all the Valtro's coming in to him from Italy anyway, he is now receiving parts and assembling them in his shop."
There was a good deal of discussion on 1911Forum about the relative quality of Valtros sold in the USA and in Canada. Seems the main difference is that J.J. was checking and setting up the ones imported through his shop.

Shmackey
December 24, 2002, 06:19 PM
Is that checkering *under* the trigger guard? I've never seen that before. Seems like a good way to wear through to the bone on your middle finger.

These Valtros are going to make a lot of people jump ship on the 18-month Rock River wait list.

Archer
December 24, 2002, 09:09 PM
For someone who describes himself as a 1911 newcomer you have excellent taste.

This gun felt like it sat deeper in my hand versus my stock Valtro - John confirmed that the beavertail is cut differently

It also appears to have a very high cut under the triggerguard, which would change the feel as well. Should be great for muzzle control.


Smaller (or better yet, no) rollmark would be a good move.

Wondering about the reason for the 8-groove reverse-twist barrel your photo shows. Anyone know ?

Bergeron
December 25, 2002, 03:34 AM
Is it possible to get a Valto without the foward cocking serrations?

Nosferatu
December 25, 2002, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by Bergeron
Is it possible to get a Valto without the foward cocking serrations?

That would push me over the edge. Also without the checkering under the trigger guard. It is a very nice looking pistol. From the posts I have read in various forums, it is a very good shooter as well.

Rinspeed
December 25, 2002, 12:38 PM
Wow that sure is sharp. I want one, bad.

mellow
December 25, 2002, 04:51 PM
MADON' Dat's some beautiful ting!!!

Erik
December 25, 2002, 04:58 PM
That's one nice looking 1911. Thanks for the thread and pics!

Erik - Scribbling the first line of next year's X-mas wish list. ;)

Maddock
December 25, 2002, 07:14 PM
Beeyuuuteefuulll!
I’m in lust.
:D

Wildalaska
December 25, 2002, 08:44 PM
He then got agitated about all the misinformation that circulates regarding dry firing, dropping a slide on an empty chamber, etc. Demonstrating his point, he racked the slide onto an empty chamber 6 times, slammed a mag into my Valtro, dropped the slide by 'whipping' the gun (I'd never seen this before), and shot an amazing group.

Hmm I guess that Mr. jardine knows something that EVERY other custom smith doesnt, eh?

Bottom line..it is not only bad for the pistol, but potentially hazardous, to drop the slide on an empty chamber, and I am dissapointed that someone who purports to be an expert on the 1911s would claim otherwise.

Gewehr98
December 25, 2002, 10:30 PM
For dropping the slide on an empty-chambered custom 1911. I never let it happen again.

I don't understand the checkering under the trigger guard either. Maybe it's a callous remover for the skin of the middle finger? Frontstrap, sure, good grip. Front of squared-off trigger guard? Sure, good hold point for weak-hand index finger. But checkering there? :confused:

stevec
December 26, 2002, 01:55 AM
Bottom line..it is not only bad for the pistol, but potentially hazardous, to drop the slide on an empty chamber, and I am dissapointed that someone who purports to be an expert on the 1911s would claim otherwise

Well, if Sven breaks his gun dry firing it, or ruins his trigger dropping the slide on an empty chamber - then Jardine is on the hook to fix it. :D

FWIW, Jardine apprenticed with Armand Swenson (John is his nephew or something like that). While being a good smith isn't anything hereditary, he may have some insights.

Steve

Pendragon
December 26, 2002, 02:27 AM
Everything good that you hear about the Valtro is true.

And then some.

Wildalaska
December 26, 2002, 02:42 AM
Originally posted by stevec
Well, if Sven breaks his gun dry firing it, or ruins his trigger dropping the slide on an empty chamber - then Jardine is on the hook to fix it. :D

FWIW, Jardine apprenticed with Armand Swenson (John is his nephew or something like that). While being a good smith isn't anything hereditary, he may have some insights.

Steve

I wish I knew what those insights were...:)

Pendragon
December 26, 2002, 04:13 AM
Jardine knows what he is doing.

As for the thing about not letting the slide fall on an empty gun - seems to cause the trigger and sear and other parts to rattle or shake in a manner that is not usually anticipated.

Jardine makes his guns out of extremely hard steel so perhaps the parts are less prone to wear or breakage than your average production 1911.

Wildalaska
December 26, 2002, 04:39 AM
Originally posted by Pendragon
Jardine knows what he is doing.

As for the thing about not letting the slide fall on an empty gun - seems to cause the trigger and sear and other parts to rattle or shake in a manner that is not usually anticipated.

Jardine makes his guns out of extremely hard steel so perhaps the parts are less prone to wear or breakage than your average production 1911.

Not if he is advocating dropping the slide on an empty chamber, IMHO and with all respect to him..

I am sure his parts are no harder than C&S parts, and you dont drop the slide when you have theirs installed...

I dont mean to rain on anyones parade, and the Valtro I have seen is nice, but I would hesitate to pay $1700 for an Italian made pistol...for a few bucks more you can get a custom Colt.

Correia
December 26, 2002, 01:32 PM
Wild, I don't know where you get that figure, the Valtros I have seen have been much less than $1700. They were closer to $1100 or $1200 if I recall correctly.

At that price the Valtro is going against the lowest price Wilsons or Baers. And I think that the Valtro is more than comparable. The last one that I looked at had the best blueing I have ever seen.

Archer
December 26, 2002, 01:50 PM
I would hesitate to pay $1700 for an Italian made pistol...for a few bucks more you can get a custom Colt.

That's funny, lots of people are willing to pay $8000-$60000+ for Italian made shotguns...Perazzi comes to mind.

BigG
December 26, 2002, 02:55 PM
He then got agitated about all the misinformation that circulates regarding dry firing, dropping a slide on an empty chamber, etc.

Anybody who knows a lick about machinery knows that you can't hurt a Colt/Browning or any other quality pistol by such foolishness. Those are old wive's tales to trick the gullible into thinking the guy is WISE. If your pistol will get hurt by this, get another pistol as the stresses of firing are a WHOLE LOT more rigorous than any dropping the slide ever could be. Oh, you got an MIM pistol? Excuse me! BTW, you need to break in the barrel in on that AR15 too. Let me get you some JB Bore Paste... <rant off>

I would trust Mr. Jardine as a craftsman just for making a level-headed statement like he did above.

Penman
December 26, 2002, 07:37 PM
I believe the checking on the underside of the trigger guard is supposed to help in consolidating the grip of the support hand by providing more purchase onthe gun. If anyone uses the "Ayoob wedge", where you place your suppor hand on the firing hand with the index finger extended and then pull the index finger into the corner formed by the middle finger and the base of the trigger guard, the checking may help. Don't see a need for it on my 1911's but it can't hurt much.

ktmhk53
December 26, 2002, 07:46 PM
Greetings,
The checkering under the trigger guard is a favorite addition to all of my 1911s. Its purpose is to prevent the natural tendency of twisting the muzzle to the left, when shooting right-hand strongside. The checkering rests on the side of the left hand index finger and acts to stop the gun from sliding towards the knuckle when firing. I have shot tens of thousands of rounds in my guns and have yet to break the skin on my finger with the checkering. This wonderful addition really shines when your hands are wet with sweat and/or tired from many hours on the range.
Unlike most additions people do to their guns, this one really helps you stay on target...

ktmhk53

Gewehr98
December 26, 2002, 09:17 PM
That one places their left index finger there. Mine covers the front of the trigger guard, allowing a higher grip, to complement the high thumb grip of the right hand. Now, I have worn my right thumb a bit riding the slide from that style grip.... ;)

Wildalaska
December 26, 2002, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by BigG
Anybody who knows a lick about machinery knows that you can't hurt a Colt/Browning or any other quality pistol by such foolishness.
I would trust Mr. Jardine as a craftsman just for making a level-headed statement like he did above.

Ok I guess most smiths are wrong then...none of them know a lick about machinery.

Just keep on droppin em! :D Keeps gunsmiths in business. Looks cool like on TV too....

Wildalaska
December 26, 2002, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by Correia
Wild, I don't know where you get that figure, the Valtros I have seen have been much less than $1700. They were closer to $1100 or $1200 if I recall correctly.

At that price the Valtro is going against the lowest price Wilsons or Baers. And I think that the Valtro is more than comparable. The last one that I looked at had the best blueing I have ever seen.

Milarms lists them at $1650 I think...even at $1300 you can still do a nice Colt.....

Sven
December 27, 2002, 02:23 AM
My impression was that the two-tone gun was designed to show all of the various features available from his shop - hence, 'full house'.

You could start with the stock Valtro and build from there.

'Developing...'

stevec
December 27, 2002, 02:57 AM
Milarms lists them at $1650 I think...even at $1300 you can still do a nice Colt.....

I don't think a Colt is in the same league at that price. The Valtro frame and slide are forged 4340 steel, machined _after_ heat treatment, and the slide/frame/barrel fit has no apparent play, but they'll apparently feed and shoot any crappy old ammo you feed them.
Yeah, "italian" to me means great style, crappy reliability - but there's probably a big difference between the large socialized manufacturing industries, and the smaller traditional craftsmen. And I think that John Jardine has had some talks with the Valtro manufacturing folks, to cure them of any "dolce vita" work ethic...

Steve

Pendragon
December 27, 2002, 04:01 AM
John has the Valtros made to his specs using metal to his specs.

The Valtro weighs 2oz more than a regular 1911 (40 vs 38 oz).

He makes the slide very slightly thicker and beefs up some other parts of the gun.

After taking apart my Colt and my Valtro and seeing how they are made and how they are fitted, I can say there is no way I would buy a Colt and then have it customized. Why pay someone to re-do what Colt could have done a little better in the first place?

I am continually amused by the people who have never seen a Valtro in person, but are still quite sure they know what it is or is not.

The Valtro I bought retailed for $1289 and Most of the Colts on the shelf were pushing high $700s to over $800.

There is just no way you can take a Colt, do the dehorning job and checkering that the Valtro has, debur and smoothe the entire inside of the gun (The Valtro is smoother on the inside than many guns are on the outside) do the accuracy work, fit the sights, trigger, etc and get it all done for $500-$600. Even if you could do a lot of that, the Colts just are not as strong and I doubt you would get the level of fit and detail of the Valtro.

Trying to make the Colt perform like the Valtro is like trying to make a Civic perform like a Mustang GT. Sure - you can buy the Civic for $8000 less and then dump $8000 into the car to make it "fast" but in the end, you still have a Civic.

The other factor for sven, steve c, myself and many others is that we live in CA. We can only get certain guns that are "approved". That covers over 800 handguns now, and a lot of 1911s, but you cannot go buy a purely custom gun here because it would not be "approved". You can have your gun customized, but a lot of smiths are afraid to do it and those that do it are swamped and the backlog is tremendous.

There are a few guns that can compare and perhaps even surpass the Valtro - a few are available in CA, but all of them cost several hundred dollars more. (Wilson, Baer).

Can you buy a better 1911 than the Valtro? Probably yes.

Can you buy a less expensive 1911 than the Valtro? yes

Can you buy a gun that is as good as a Valtro for ~$1300?
http://www.valtrousa.com/photogallery/tisevaltromedium.jpg

No.


As for the slide drop on empty chamber - I got no dog in that fight, but I have seen Jardines workmanship and knowledge first hand - he guarantees all of his custom guns and his Valtros for life (probably his life) and I would think that if the slide dropping hurt the guns, he would be fixing them and telling people not to do that. I do not do it myself. Oh, and word is that the range in San Rafael has a Valtro with well over 80k rounds through it and all thats been done is new springs and new blueing.

BigG
December 27, 2002, 09:00 AM
With all due respect, the guys who have advised me not to drop the slide are about as mechanically inclined as my dog, but they have it "on good authority" that it's b-a-a-d to do.

Look at it like this: If you have a trigger job that is so delicate you've got to go thru some mystical hocus pocus to close the slide you got a bum trigger job. I am really shocked the guys who would tell you he's got a 100% reliable carry gun but was afraid the trigger would break. Do you see the inconsistency here?

Now, if you prefer to baby your gun, that is your PREFERENCE but it does not make it an immutable LAW that must be obeyed.

Gunsmiths are salesmen, too. Look at Gale MacMillan who posted on TFL. In a rare display of honesty (maybe characteristic of Gale but not everybody is so forthcoming) he said bbl breakin was hocus pocus yet how many gunsmiths recommend you break your new bbl in? Marketing based on consumer ignorance.:o

Wildalaska
December 27, 2002, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by BigG
Look at it like this: If you have a trigger job that is so delicate you've got to go thru some mystical hocus pocus to close the slide you got a bum trigger job. I am really shocked the guys who would tell you he's got a 100% reliable carry gun but was afraid the trigger would break. Do you see the inconsistency here?

Now, if you prefer to baby your gun, that is your PREFERENCE but it does not make it an immutable LAW that must be obeyed.

Gunsmiths are salesmen, too. Look at Gale MacMillan who posted on TFL. In a rare display of honesty (maybe characteristic of Gale but not everybody is so forthcoming) he said bbl breakin was hocus pocus yet how many gunsmiths recommend you break your new bbl in? Marketing based on consumer ignorance.:o

With all due respect, it is not just the fire control parts such as the sear, hammer and disconnector (the trigger itself is not a problem) that can be affected by such behavior, but in addtion thereto, the frame. The 1911 was designed to operate by using the round to slow the slide inertia and use the round as a "cushion" to prevent battering. While an occasional drop of the slide will probably not harm a pistol, making a regular habit of it will. There is no inconsistency.

With all further due respect, and on a personal note, I dont baby my guns, I treat them as the tools they are. That being said, I do not abuse them either.

IMHO, people that drop the slide on an empty chamber are as ignorant of the proper use of firearms as those who close the cylinder on a revolver by "whipping " it shut like a Hollywood gangster, or those who aim their gun sideways like an urban movie gangsta.

I dont see how advocating the non abuse of a firearm is "salesmanship". By the way just because Mr. McMillian says you do not need bbl break in does not make it so...maybe he is trying to sell HIS barrels...

In any event, just keep dropping that slide.Sooner or later you will see the results.

Correia
December 27, 2002, 04:01 PM
Wild,

I get the impression that you didn't know Gale. You should read up on him sometime. Really interesting stuff.

ROSANGHAL
December 27, 2002, 04:54 PM
I've seen these photos before. But it still takes my breath away the more I see Mr. Jardine's work.

Gotta love them 1911s :D

Thanks
Ross T.

Pendragon
December 28, 2002, 02:03 AM
Yeah, that new pic really starts to do the gun some justice.

I got mine in September - serial # is in the low 400s and it is the one gun I pledged I would never sell.

I hope my son will treasure it when I am gone (in 40 or 50 years).

BigG
December 28, 2002, 02:40 PM
I agree about not whipping a revolver shut, Wildalaska, but anybody who claims a quality autoloader will be damaged by letting it close by itself has been misinformed. Pure voodoo. There are others who say NEVER close the weapon using the slide stop; ALWAYS retract the slide and let it close. Wow. Wonder why Colt doesn't put some of this vital information in its owners manuals? :eek:

I do not make it a practice to abuse my guns either. I just think some of these urban legends need to be challenged. ;)

And, of course, my opinion is as irrelevant as yours also. :)

Wildalaska
December 28, 2002, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by BigG
I agree about not whipping a revolver shut, Wildalaska, but anybody who claims a quality autoloader will be damaged by letting it close by itself has been misinformed. Pure voodoo. There are others who say NEVER close the weapon using the slide stop; ALWAYS retract the slide and let it close. Wow. Wonder why Colt doesn't put some of this vital information in its owners manuals? :eek:

I do not make it a practice to abuse my guns either. I just think some of these urban legends need to be challenged. ;)

And, of course, my opinion is as irrelevant as yours also. :)

OK I guess my eyes have been misinformed since I have seen the results of such abuse on a hammer/sear fit...

It is OK to use either the slide stop or retracting the slide to let it close as long as there is a round in the chamber...

Sorry but after seeing literally hundreds of custom 1911s built and from talking to major gunsmiths, I just dont see it as an urban legend...

106rr
December 28, 2002, 08:29 PM
I shot the Valtro at Bullseye in San Raphael. In fact I was shooting it when the extractor failed. This pistol is on it's second bbl. It is a very heavily used rental.
I would like to know if the Valtro uses MIM or cast parts internally. I understand that the frame and slide are forged etc. Is it possible that the extractor is a casting?
Thanks,
Mike H

Pendragon
December 29, 2002, 04:39 AM
I asked Jardine about MIM and cast parts.

It was interesting because he kind of challenged me for even asking the question. He said that on a lot of parts, it does not matter and the MIM parts are as good as any part.

I then dropped the question. I did not get the impression that he used MIM parts, only that he gets that question a LOT from people who know didley squat about metalurgy and 1911s.

Anything can wear out eventually and extractors take a lot of stress.

I would imagine the gun at Bullseye sees mostly FMJ - I shoot lead exclusively so I think my barrel will last possibly my whole life.

Anyway, as for MIM in Valtros - I do not know, but I highly doubt it.

stevec
December 29, 2002, 02:45 PM
I asked Jardine about MIM as well, and he had a very strong opinion about it (he's an opinionated guy:) )

He said that in his destructive testing, he has seen MIM parts that are superior to forged tool steel parts. At the same time, he said there are lots of MIM parts that are plain junk. A lot depends on the manufacturer and their process.

My guess is that there might be MIM parts in the Valtros, but that if there were, they would probably be higher quality than people typically associate with MIM.

Steve

Wildalaska
December 29, 2002, 03:09 PM
He said that in his destructive testing, he has seen MIM parts that are superior to forged tool steel parts. At the same time, he said there are lots of MIM parts that are plain junk. A lot depends on the manufacturer and their process.

O really? And how many MIM manufacturers actually make gun parts? And do we have the results of destructive testing?

MIM is junk, no matter what the process...

WADR, Mr Jardines opinions seem designed to sell his Italian made guns....

CGofMP
December 29, 2002, 03:43 PM
Heya Wild,

Just got through reading this thread and your strongly held opinions.

Have you ever talked to John? If you do you might find yourself thinking twice before knocking his opinions...

In my opinion... The man really does know his stuff on 1911's. He has been doing custom work (as Jardine's Custom) - since 1965 if memory serves. He worked with his uncle, a legendary man needing no introduction in this community and Jardine retains wisdom and technical skills and knowledge from those years.

In addition he has refined and made his own imprvements to the 1911. He will talk your ear off on the smallest little detail of some minor process in making a 1911, its parts, or in some tiny nuance of improving and tuning one.

I too have had the MIM discussion with him and also talked about quality in general as it is somehting that really does sell the Valtro. The man is passionate about his profession, passionate about the Valtro project, and pasionate about the 1911 and all its refinements.

Truly, you should speak with him if you feel he is giving flakey information. If he is and you convince him I am sure he would rescind his opinions... However, you may find that you are the one convinced in the other direction.

John does not, in my opinion, base his opinions on his sales figures. If he did Valtro would move more pistols than they do because John babies each of them and inspects/tunes all that come into the USA in his shop.

The fact that John has made representations as to how he will stand behind the Valtros that pass through his hands and then tells customers to do what you suggest will wreck them tells me he isnt very concerned about his weapons coming back to the shop.

So, in short, I suggest you make contact with Jardine and challenge him on this stuff. See what he says. If you convince him I bet your suggestions will find their way into production guns and advice given by a master pistolsmith. If not well perhaps you my come away with wisdom you may not have had prior to the phonecall.

http://www.valtrousa.com/contactus.html

With respect, and the above is my opinion only - I am not speaking for anyone but myself.

Charles

Wildalaska
December 29, 2002, 04:03 PM
I've got no quarrel with Mr Jardine, nor his expertise, only have a quarrel with the opinions he allegedly expressed (or at least as reported by others), viz:

Thats its OK to drop the slide on an empty chamber, evidently as a matter of practice and technique..

and..

That MIM parts are somehow better that cast/machined forged parts...

AS to the former...well I would respectfully submit he is in the minority of custom smiths, many of whom have the experience and reputation equal to his and

Ditto as to the latter...I know at least one smith advocates MIM parts...because he sells them...

BTW, I once got a mailing from a MIM company....they were advertising slide stops in quantity levels at about .10c each....

I doubt I will change Mr Jardines opinions and he wont change mine. He is trying to sell guns, thats OK..I give him credit for marketing, just like I do SA...after all they take foreign made frames and components (maybe slides too?) and turn them into pistols that can sell for as much as a domestic product. Thats business..

What scares me is that his alleged opinions that it is OK to drop on an emprty will find its way into the hands of a tyro who will bust his gun or worse...especially if he does not havea "Valtro tough" pistol....

BigG
December 30, 2002, 11:43 AM
Since when is being a minority in and of itself bad? You, as a gunnut are already a pretty small minority, Wildalaska, as all of us here are.

If a pretty small minority of the early population of the 13 Colonies (now our founding fathers) had not found it expedient to challenge the status quo, we Americans would still be singing "God Save the King (queen)." !!;)

Sven
January 15, 2003, 10:35 PM
I asked John what he meant about being able to drop the hammer etc and he said, to paraphrase:

"...dropping the slide on an empty chamber or dry firing is bound to happen occasionally during normal operation, so a working gun __has__ to be able to handle this happening. Any gun that with the right parts and properly fitted should not have a problem with having these things happen occasionally.

...if you are worried, put a piece of leather over the firing pin."

He is confident in his craftsmanship, and I believe him.

Don Gwinn
January 19, 2003, 09:02 PM
WildAlaska, a few things.

1. Gale McMillan is dead now, which has somewhat cramped his style, but when he was alive he was one of the best around. His treatise on barrel break-in is still at TFL if you'd like to read it. I'm not a rifle expert so I find it hard to have an opinion one way or the other regarding barrel break-in, but I trusted Gale McMillan. When I do get around to getting my very own accurate rifle to play with, I won't be going through a long break-in process.
(I consider my K31 to be sufficiently broken-in. It was issued in 1933. :) )

2. No offense, but I can imagine a lot of machine uses where MIM parts would be just as serviceable as forged parts. Forging is not magic. It has its advantages for many uses, but often its properties are not the most useful for the task at hand. If they were, a 302 V8 would have a forged block, not cast iron. And quite frankly, there's nothing wrong with saving money if it can be done without hurting performance. To suggest that MIM is bad just because it costs less (10 cents per?) is to fall into the same trap as the old-timers who warned that Glocks would break all the time with their "cheap plastic" frames.
I probably know less about firearms than many here, but I flatter myself that I have some slight understanding of metallurgy and forging.

3. I have never understood why on earth a slide should not be closed on an empty chamber. I know a lot of knowledgeable people say so, but it doesn't make sense to me. If I fire a magazine from a 1911, the slide will retract and slam shut under full power eight times in rapid succession. Why can't I slam it shut under precisely the same power without a shell in the chamber?
I've heard some say it's because the round takes up some of the shock and cushions it, but that doesn't make sense to me. On my Glock, I can drop a round into the chamber and gravity will slide it right in without resistance. Not much cushion effect there.

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