Norinco 1911 Compact info wanted.......


PDA






jon_in_wv
February 11, 2011, 10:11 PM
A while back I was at a local pawn shop and I noticed he had a Norinco 1911 Compact on the shelf. It was obviously a Commander sized 1911 Norinco but I had no idea they ever imported anything other than the plain Govt style Norc. I had been pining lately over a Government 1911 Norinco I had sold a while back and I decided to stop in and take another look at it. Man it is in nice shape. The bluing is pretty nice and the sides of the slide are nicely polished. With the advent of the RIA 1911s and the good results folks were having with them I was going to get one but this Norinco was really calling to me. from the look of the feed ramp you would think it had never been fired but the other internals did show a little use. Lock up was nice and tight. There was very little slide wiggle or barrel movement. It had all the factory parts with the exception of a set of Hogue wrap around grips, an aftermarket trigger, and a FLGR. I'll be scrapping the guide rod. I decided it was time to give the old 1911 another shot and I plunked down a payment and I'll pick it up later in the week.
My question is this, I didn't we ever imported a compact 1911 from Norinco. A little reading online seemed to indicate the numbers in the US might actually be pretty small but if anyone knows better than that I'd love to hear it. Secondly, what do you guys think? I thought it would be a good little project and a solid pistol to build upon if it doesn't shoot as straight as I like. have you guys heard of any issues with these guns?

And for you self righteous types, I KNOW Google is my friend. I've looked up a little already and I'm trying for DISCUSSION as well. Google doesn't supply that thank you.

If you enjoyed reading about "Norinco 1911 Compact info wanted......." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rellascout
February 11, 2011, 10:27 PM
Solid base 1911s like the full sized Govt. It is rare to see one unmolested. The last 3 I saw were not stock and the mods were not done by a professional so I passed. There were a fair amount imported but not as many as the Govt sized guns. I cannot speak actual number but I see govt Norks 10 to 1 vs the compacts. They of course still make them and sell them in Canada.

http://www.marstar.ca/gf-norinco/images/M-1911A1C-450px.jpg

Trigun
February 11, 2011, 10:29 PM
Congrats on the Norinco, we have those commander selling here in Canada from time to time. they are nice and solid gun, you can buy after market parts to make it look even better.

Edmond

jon_in_wv
February 11, 2011, 11:35 PM
Rellascout that looks just like it!!

jon_in_wv
February 12, 2011, 07:10 AM
Congrats on the Norinco, we have those commander selling here in Canada from time to time. they are nice and solid gun, you can buy after market parts to make it look even better.

Oh stop bragging, you only wish you had OUR gun laws. The Chinese imports are the one place you have us beat. I'm just messing with you, but really I'll probably leave my Norc stock for the time being with the exception of a nice set of Cocobolo grips. Maybe later I'll give it the full treatment and turn it into a custom. I told my wife I should send it off to get nickel plated and throw on a set of pearl grips like Dean's Colt on Supernatural.

http://i53.tinypic.com/muuagz.jpg

jon_in_wv
February 14, 2011, 06:47 PM
I noticed this Norc and the other one I had both had kinda rough looking machining on the locking grooves on the slide. Is this normal? Are there any problems associated with this?

rellascout
February 14, 2011, 06:55 PM
I noticed this Norc and the other one I had both had kinda rough looking machining on the locking grooves on the slide. Is this normal? Are there any problems associated with this?

100% normal for a Nork... they are not really refined guns internally. The beauty is in hardness of the Steel and the trueness to the a1 pattern.

jon_in_wv
February 14, 2011, 07:29 PM
As long as it goes bang when I want it to and doesn't when I DON"T I'll be alright. The grooves looked a little rough but the lugs on the barrel looked really good. I don't think this gun was shot very much though.

jon_in_wv
February 22, 2011, 12:03 PM
I picked up my Norinco today. I swapped out the recoil spring and firing pin spring for new Wolff springs and I'm off to the range to see how she shoots. The finish on it is actually pretty good. I already have a set of cocobolo checkered grips on the way. I did notice the locking grooves in the slide were a bit rough. A few minutes with a file cleaned them up nicely. I'll post a review on the forum and when the weather clears up a little range time on Youtube. Thanks for your input all.

jon_in_wv
February 24, 2011, 04:27 PM
My God, my 1911 curse continues. I shot 100 rounds without incident two days ago from my new Norinco. The trigger is a little heavy but it shoots great when I do my part. Today I took it out for another 100 rounds and first shot the slide locks back. A closer look and I realize the barrel bushing has broken and the recoil spring plug and spring have gone down range. I stopped by a local gunsmith next door to see if he had a spare barrel bushing and he just nagged and nagged about how Norincos are junk, the metal is soft, the heat treating is bad, the frames crack, they never work right, the specs are way off, put a barrel bushing in it and sell it QUICK. Whatever.

Greg528iT
February 24, 2011, 05:00 PM
put a barrel bushing in it and sell it QUICK. Whatever
Call me, I'll give you the phone number of a local FFL to transfer it to me. ;)

Sounds like he's biased. Just like ummm here.. it's crap throw it away or it's great you got a real shooter.

Mostly I've read that Norcs were, solid frames and slides. Looks like you got a bad part. replace it with a quality one. Look into some quality other parts, ejector, extractor, hammer , sear combo etc. Shoot the hell out of it.

Old Shooter
February 24, 2011, 05:11 PM
You bought a used gun, sometimes things break.The parts you need are cheap and readily available, won't require a gunsimith to repair it. I suspect your Norinco will be just fine once you get it back up and running again. I wouldn't say a barrel bushing failure is necessarily an indication of poor quality in a firearm, especially a used, new to you gun. A cracked frame or slide, now that might be a different story.

By the way, did that gunsmith you talked to have something else better in his case he wanted to sell you?

jon_in_wv
February 24, 2011, 05:52 PM
I've already ordered a replacement part, a standard guide rod and plug to replace the FLGR, and a set of Cocobolo grips. I plan on MAKING this one work. If its not a good shooter now it will be when I'm done with it.

yeti
February 24, 2011, 07:10 PM
Just courious, did you order standard length guide rod and plug or Commander length rod & plug?

jon_in_wv
February 24, 2011, 08:58 PM
Commander length.

yeti
February 24, 2011, 09:22 PM
Commander length.

I figured you were meaning standard rod and plug in Commander length, but it never hurts to ask.

jon_in_wv
February 24, 2011, 10:11 PM
No it came with a FLGR (Full length guide rod) and I'm going back to the proper configuration. I've never had any use for the FLGRs.

Toforo
February 25, 2011, 10:04 AM
GOOD FIND FOR YOU ! ! !

The "Commander" models of the Norinco are extremely EXTREMELY rare in the U.S. because they had just started being imported into the country in 1993 when Clinton banned them from being imported.

What's the first three digits of the serial number? In the 600xxx series?

Here's a few things I've learned about Norcs....
If you know this stuff - disregard, lol.
a) they are NOT made of "old chinese railroad rails" (an urban legend) - but they ARE made of a higher grade steel than most other weapons, i.e. MOST other weapons are made of 4140 Ordnance grade tool steel, where the Norinco is made of 5100 tool steel (their own alloy)
An EXPERIENCED smith/machinist normally won't touch/mill a Norinco unless he has set aside specific tools'n'bits as the Norinco 5100 tool steel will break their standard tools and bits.

b) when shopping for one check, DOUBLE-CHECK, and TRIPLE check for barrel fitting issues around the barrel lugs. Undue wear here indicates a slight problem Norinco had back in the early 1990's (the early 400xxx series)

c) Norinco barrels are HARD CHROMED and have "markings" on the side of the barrel up near the barrel lugs. It SHOULD have an "M P" stamped on the right side. SOME barrels have the last 4 digits of the gun's serial# stamped in very small letters on the opposite/left side of the barrel. I have been UNABLE to determine when they started that and when they may have stopped that.
Mine has the "M P" on one side, and the serial# suffix on the other.

d) VERY few have original grips - the cheap plastic grips Norinco used (and still uses) are probably the single largest detriment to the gun. They break too easy. IF you find one with the original grips, take them off (for safe keeping) and put your OWN grips on there.

But from what I've seen.......... the Norincos that you DO occasionally find out on the market are like mine - beat up but taken care of.
This gun is a shooter, not a collector-piece

Additionally, BUYER BEWARE - even though Canada had and has the distribution rights, there ARE some "Turkish" clones - but they are VERY easy to distinguish.... the "finish" in the turkish norincos is so poor that you can scrape it off with your thumbnail!

Best of luck with the COMMANDER sized Norc - hang on to it, I know LOTS of people (including me) that have been looking for one for YEARS, lol.

:)

EMC45
February 25, 2011, 10:52 AM
Buddy of mine has 2 Govt. Norincos in the box. Also 2 Commanders. They are nice- the Commanders. I had a Govt mod years back. It would hang out there with the best of them.

jon_in_wv
February 25, 2011, 11:57 AM
My serial number is in the 200***. I doubt it has been shot much if at all. The finish is about as good as you can get from Norinco. The locking grooves are a little rough looking but I cleaned them up a little with a file and they look pretty good now. The locking lugs on the barrel are perfect looking. I have it apart right now but I'll post a pic in a little bit.

jon_in_wv
February 25, 2011, 12:51 PM
Here are the pics. I just got done giving it a good cleaning. There was quite a bit of packing grease inside the frame.

Toforo
February 25, 2011, 02:04 PM
Does it have the hard-chromed norinco barrel?
(M P stamped on the right side)

Is it marked as an original barrel?
(the last ###'s of the gun's serial number on the opposite side of the M P stamp)

I don't know if the Commander models used the same serial number series - if it did, you're model is from the late 1980's

There are two threads over on the 1911forum under "Other 1911's" (Norinco Research and Norinco Ban Politics) that are dedicated to the norincos and their info - a few people have been trying to piece together their U.S. "history" (serial#'s, mods, changes, etc)

If you haven't looked over there - you may find some additional info on your new piece

If you haven't shot it yet - you'll LOVE it - the weapon is supposedly duplicated from stolen colt engineering specs

jon_in_wv
February 25, 2011, 02:12 PM
Yes it has the hard chromed barrel with the M P stamp. Thanks for the link. I'll take a look at it.

jon_in_wv
February 26, 2011, 09:59 AM
By the way, did that gunsmith you talked to have something else better in his case he wanted to sell you?

OH yeah, he would sell me a RIA for $500 buck or so. I told him I got the Norinco for a base pistol and he said the RIA would have been a much better buy. I won't knock the RIAs because I hear nothing but positive things about them but I think he was full of crap about the Norincos. I think this one will be a great shooter and custom project. At least its a cheap way to scratch my 1911 itch. Besides this one is in great shape and I didn't want to pass it up.

Girodin
February 26, 2011, 12:23 PM
The Chinese imports are the one place you have us beat.

That and short barreled shotguns (in some respects at least).

Norincos are junk, the metal is soft . . .

I occasionally hear people spout that. Its nice when they do because I know they don't know what they are talking about and I can ignore them. There are a number of smiths that won't work on them because the steel is so much harder on their tooling. Soft steel??? Yeah, right.

I think Norcs are probably the best value in 1911s. They are a much better base than a RIA. That is not to say the RIA is a bad gun. A Norc has a stronger forged frame and slide. The RIA uses a cast frame and slide. A Norc can be converted to a 460 Rowland, the RIA cannot, if that tells you something about relative strength. The norc has no MIM parts. Bill Wilson used them as base guns back in the day. The only draw back to a proper Norc as a base gun is that some smiths prefer not to work on them for reasons noted above. If I found a nice Norinco commander I'd buy it. $500 is a rip for a RIA, even a tactical.

When a gun store employee calls something junk, the vast majority of the time that simply means: "I don't carry that product, but I do have a different similar product I want you to buy."

jon_in_wv
February 26, 2011, 12:41 PM
I used to have a Norinco Goverment Model and I beveled the mag well on it. When I started grinding I noticed a lot of metal was flying off. Then I realized it wasn't metal it was my bit flying apart. I've used the same bits on several pistols but that Norinco ate 4 bits beveling that mag well. The steel on that frame was HARD. I also did some searching online and the only breakages I could find of the Norincos was another guy with a broken barrel bushing (so OF COURSE mine would break too) and a guy with a cracked frame. The cracked frame Norc had over 45,000 rounds through it and it was still going strong. I'm pretty confident my Norc will do just fine. I just need to do something about that trigger pull.

KingTiger
February 28, 2011, 10:24 AM
I had to dig mine out of the safe after reading this thread. Some good info. here. I bought it new & it probably has less than 100 rounds thru it. Mine is in the 200xxx serial number range. It has the MP & it looks like the last 3 numbers of the serial number scratched on the barrel too. The lugs look OK, the barrel bushing can be a PIA to remove, it definitely needs to be broken in. I also have its full size brother. Neither have been modified.

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x119/KingTiger_photo/Norinco002.jpg

jon_in_wv
February 28, 2011, 05:25 PM
barrel bushing can be a PIA to remove,

That might explain something. I was inspecting the barrel bushing yesterday and it looks like someone took a grinding wheel to it. Not very artistically either I might add. Without the barrel in the slide the bushing fit REALLY loosely. I suspect the previous owner thought it was too tight and ground it down a bit. It looks like he was pretty aggressive too so not only did he make it a sloppy fit but the probably overheated it and screwed up the heat treating too. Dang I wish people would at least do a little reading before they start grinding away on a perfectly good weapon.

BTW, I see yours has the newer style safety while mine has the old style. I wonder why the difference?

rellascout
February 28, 2011, 05:33 PM
I occasionally hear people spout that. Its nice when they do because I know they don't know what they are talking about and I can ignore them. There are a number of smiths that won't work on them because the steel is so much harder on their tooling. Soft steel??? Yeah, right.

When they are stating that they are talking about the internals not the slide and frame. Those parts in fact are pretty soft. So that person or you might just be applying a correct statement to the wrong parts.

People do not like to mill the slides or bevel the mag wells for the reasons stated. Wilson is one of those companies. They used to take Norks but they were too hard on their tooling so they stopped. This was also right around the time SA milspecs hit the scene and took over that solid base gun position.

jon_in_wv
February 28, 2011, 07:22 PM
According to the Smith I was referring to ALL the steel in the Norincos is substandard and NONE of it is heat treated and all of the parts on non-milspec so nothing will fit it right. I don't know about the hardness of the internals but they are definitely on the rough side. I don't plan on replacing anything if its not breaking for the time being. I told the wife I wouldn't spend any real money on it until I've had it for a year. I don't want to do a bunch of upgrades just to trade it off in a few months.

jon_in_wv
March 17, 2011, 10:43 PM
Today I shot another 100 rounds through my Norinco with its new Colt barrel bushing with NO problems. The colt bushing is still a little loose in the slide but it fits the barrel perfectly. I may have to order a bigger bushing so I can fit it to the slide better and get rid of the slop. Overall it shoots pretty well though. I still shoot my M&P much better.

jon_in_wv
May 4, 2011, 07:49 AM
I took the time to properly fit the barrel bushing to my Norinco. I also installed a Ed Brown sear spring and the trigger pull is greatly improved. Its actually a pretty good shooter now. Also, I figured out what the problem was with the recoil spring. After I shot my gun with the standard recoil plug I noticed the back of the plug was peened by the barrel. Then I compared the spring that was in the weapon to some other springs I had and its pretty clear the spring in the gun is a Government model spring not a commander spring. I switched it back to the FLGR and a new Wolff recoil spring and the thing shoots like a champ now. I fired a bout 300 rounds and it feeds, fires, and shoots pretty great. BUT, I put an American Classic on layaway yesterday so the Norinco is on the chopping block. If anyone is interested in it let me know. It is posted in the for sale section.

slow55
May 4, 2011, 08:07 AM
This chinese piece of junk is not for sale ;)


http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL2006/12980809/23588588/393566454.jpg

Zach S
May 4, 2011, 10:08 AM
I stopped by a local gunsmith next door to see if he had a spare barrel bushing and he just nagged and nagged about how Norincos are junk, the metal is soft, the heat treating is bad, the frames crack, they never work right, the specs are way off, put a barrel bushing in it and sell it QUICK. Whatever.
I hate to say it, but that's one way I'll decide if if I'll use a 'smith - I ask about norcs...

If I get a reply along the same lines as what that 'smith told you, I go elsewhere.

The last one I asked about Norcs said he hated working on them because they were too hard on his tooling and would probably charge me more than he usually does to mill a low mount dovetail as a result. When I asked if there was anything else I should thing about he suggested a triggerjob - and suggested I "leave everything else alone - Norinco did it right."

I've been dealing with him for years.

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
May 4, 2011, 12:46 PM
BUT, I put an American Classic on layaway yesterday so the Norinco is on the chopping block. If anyone is interested in it let me know. It is posted in the for sale section.

The American Classic looks good....but has a cast frame and machined bar stock slide from regular ordnance 4140 steel. Don't know about the barrel. Small parts are by generic manufacturers.

If you're happy with that, fine.

I'd rather keep the Norkie Commander and save up to buy the American Classic.

1911Tuner
May 4, 2011, 08:35 PM
Quotes:

>I swapped out the recoil spring...I took it out for another 100 rounds and first shot the slide locks back. A closer look and I realize the barrel bushing has broken and the recoil spring plug and spring have gone down range.<

Uh...When you swapped out the recoil spring...did you check for coil bind before you fired it? 'Cause, if you didn't, and the spring stacked solid before the slide hit the impact abutment...that'll bust a bushing like right now.

About 10 years ago, a friend and neighbor ordered up a Wilson 20-pound spring from Brownells for a Colt Combat Commander and installed it without consulting yours ever-so-truly. Not only did the bushing let go, but the slide also cracked in the bushing lug's raceway. Nothing wrong with the gun. It was the spring. When I checked it in two of my Commanders, it stacked solid a full 16th inch before the slide hit the frame in both guns. The package stated clearly..."Colt Commander and Combat Commander."

So! Didja check for coil bind? No? Better check it or you'll bust the new one.

EDIT TO ADD:

Lookin' back, I see you discovered that the spring was intended for a 5-inch gun. The barrel didn't peen the spring plug. That's another part that suffers when coil bind is present.

Never assume. If you're not sure...Ask. If you don't know who to ask...research.

Here endeth the lesson.

HisSoldier
May 4, 2011, 09:25 PM
I just bought a 5" model Nork, waiting for it to get here. I hope it's a good one.

People do not like to mill the slides or bevel the mag wells for the reasons stated. Wilson is one of those companies. They used to take Norks but they were too hard on their tooling so they stopped.

This may sound simplistic, but typically when I machine a harder material I just slow down the spindle speed and use a cutting fluid with HP additives, typically MolyDee. If they are using a CNC they may not want to change the program.(?)

1911Tuner
May 4, 2011, 11:18 PM
It's not that they're harder. They're just tough as a chunk of pig iron.

Start with a sharp end mill. Flood coolant. Lots of it.

If you enjoyed reading about "Norinco 1911 Compact info wanted......." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!