Coonan Classic 357

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 8strings8rounds, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. 8strings8rounds

    8strings8rounds Member

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    Yes. This part is interchangeable should it need to be.
    Dain, the grittiness might just be the cast surfaces rubbing, and could easily be remedied with a rolled up piece of fine sand paper. I've done it with other pistols. Nice looking grips, btw.
     
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  2. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    Can you shoot .38spl in a .357mag Coonan pistol?
     
  3. entropy

    entropy Member

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    No.

    I met Dan many years ago at a local gun show, (He's from St. Paul, MN) and examined the guns he had with; they are excellent, both in design and execution. What killed the company is a combination of two things; People wouldn't believe it unless they saw it, and price. At the time, they were about the cost of two or three 1911s. I finally got to shoot one later, and I liked it well enough, though the elongated grip took some getting used to.
     
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  4. 8strings8rounds

    8strings8rounds Member

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    Yes, with a spring change. It prefers +P, however.
    I don't believe the compact will cycle 38spl, though.
     
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  5. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    ^^^This^^^

    I might also add based on what Dan told me through the years these statements about this:

    1.) On the original model B like mine you must use a spacer in the orig B magazines (I can also use a modern "Classic" magazine if it fits in the frame) and change recoil spring to 10 - 12 lbs depending on load. It's also the same spring I use for my compensator.

    2.) On the new Classic Coonan like 8strings8rounds has, you need only change the recoil spring to a 10 lbs and use the stock magazine. I understood for a time the factory was supplying the extra spring with new guns, but not sure how long they did that. It might also be mentioned in the users manual, but not sure.

    Lastly, I'm fortunate to have had a good friendship with "Old Kur", or "Kurmudgen Smith" his 'call names' on numerous other forums back in the day, who was the lead gunsmith back when Coonan (St. Paul, MN) first started in the 80's. He was working on the prototype new mags before the new Coonan company (Blaine, MN) opened/started up, and I was fortunate enough to receive 2-3 (have to find them) of them for testing function with both .357 Mag and .38 Spec. out of my model B and another older Coonan I had at the time. I understand these mags were the basis for the newer 'Classic" mags that replaced the older model B ones. Most should be somewhat interchangeable if they fit inside the magazine opening in the frame. The older B frames can vary by .005-.008" and cause interference for mag insertion.

    I'll try to dig them out and take a couple pics...


    "
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
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  6. Ohen Cepel
    • Contributing Member

    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    My new one came with a .38 spring.

    It was one that I couldn't afford the first time they were made and it always bothered me as I'm a .357 fan. So, when they came back around I did not hesitate. Also, bought spare mags, grips and springs (think normal 1911's will work). I enjoy it and it gets stares at the range. I do feel like a fool at times though having to chase .357 brass which seems odd as a revolver guy.
     
  7. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    As I was digging around my computer for any old data, I also found this video in my 'favorites' of an old Shot Show interview with Dan where he describes pretty much what I wrote a couple posts up about shooting .38 Spec, spring change, etc..



    "
     
  8. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    So here are 3 (of over a dozen) hand made prototype magazines for the new Coonan Inc. (Blaine, MN-10 years ago), made by the original Coonan Arms (St. Paul, MN - 1983-94) lead gunsmith, who did not work directly for the new Coonan Inc. If any of that makes sense? Anyway, he gave them to me as a favor/gift, and asked if I would test them in my original model B pistols, one built in St. Paul, and one in Maplewood, MN (1994-98) second location/restart to see how they fit and functioned, as there were no new pistol prototypes made yet. If you look at the pics you'll notice different angles on the followers as he was looking to see which one if any worked better with not only .357 mag ammo, but also .38 spcl. He made other modifications to aid in feeding but I honestly don't remember what he told me back then. The key (as Dan Coonan mentions in the video previously posted) was to make a magazine that functioned reliably with both .357 and .38 cartridges. The original Coonan Arms pistols (models A and B) had to have a thin metal spacer put in the full length inside back of the magazine body and follower to work/feed .38 spcl reliably.

    As this was not to be a torture test but more an early trials, I tested all 3 mags in both my pistols with about 150 rounds of .357 mag and 100 rounds of .38 spcl, using MagTech ammo. Aside from one of the mag's fitting too tight in both pistols (fed ammo fine, but had to be manually pulled out on release) they fed all ammo perfectly and held the slide open when empty. He and Dan were also testing the other mags, and with the exception of more crude prototypes he'd made first, I understood they also functioned quite well save for fitment issues caused by model B frame mag compartment size inconsistencies. So, he was happy to hear they all worked well, and I was more than thrilled to have these hand made fully functioning in my original model B (yeah I sold my other remaining pisol just after that) mags that feed both .357 mag and .38 spcl. They are crudely made and not very pretty, and also not made for extensive use, but I'm really glad to have them and only have used them a couple times since then for firing .38 special only.


    Dug them out of the safe and took some pics...

    Coonan Proto Mags646.jpg

    Quite a gunsmith and metal worker to hand make functional semi auto magazines for a revolver cartridge!
    Coonan Proto Mags648.jpg

    Coonan Proto Mags650.jpg

    Coonan Proto Mags652.jpg

    Coonan Proto Mags654.jpg


    Prototype mag partially inserted. My original stock factory mag is far right.
    Coonan Proto Mags656.jpg

    Coonan Proto Mags658.jpg


    Activates slide stop/catch and holds slide open.
    Coonan Proto Mags660.jpg

    Coonan Proto Mags662.jpg

    "
     
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  9. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Member

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    Sarge's Grips was one of the few places that did Coonan grips. I asked him for some green burl, because I thought it would look great with the stainless steel. He didn't have any; most of his blanks were cut short for 1911's. I kept bugging him and he finally came through and kept a longer blank when the wood came in.

    I didn't keep my emails, but I'm pretty sure the wood is Maple burl.

    They look awesome. The green comes out pretty dark in the photograph. It looks better in person.

    Unfortunately, I was looking for a link and it seems that Sarge went out of business or retired earlier this year.
     
  10. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Member

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    Here is the right hand side.

    Coonan RHS2.jpg
     
  11. 8strings8rounds

    8strings8rounds Member

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    Viper, those are really cool. Nice to have a part of the development history for these pistols. Can't say I've ever seen any such prototypes around before. Though in the grand scheme, I'm very new to these pistols comparatively.
     
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  12. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    I emailed them after they re-emerged and seemed to be going gangbusters, introducing the .45 version (which I never understood), and urged them to do something out-of-the-box and chamber the pistol in 10mm Magnum. They replied that it was an interesting idea, but I think they really missed the boat-10mm fans would have gone nuts for it.
     
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  13. MTNSTRYDER

    MTNSTRYDER Member

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    Just happened to be carrying mine today image.jpg
     
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  14. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    Participating in this thread made me realize my gun's recoil springs are the originals since it was new back in the 90's. Now granted I haven't shot it a lot so I doubt they're worn out, but it wouldn't hurt to have some spares so I bought 3 different versions from WC to have on hand as I plan to start shooting it again. My particular gun requires 3 different recoil springs depending on stock config .357 mag, compensated .357 mag, and .38 Special.


    New Coonan Sprgs552.jpg
     
  15. Bert W.

    Bert W. Member

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    I had one of the early ones in the 1990s and let it get away from me. I have a newer model, bought a couple of years ago. It's all black factory Cerakote. Great shooter and draws alot of attention at the range. I would like to have one in .45 auto also.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  16. kmc1911357

    kmc1911357 Member

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  17. kmc1911357

    kmc1911357 Member

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    Never know when the Phoenix will rise up out of the ashes:cool:
     
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  18. kmc1911357

    kmc1911357 Member

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  19. kmc1911357

    kmc1911357 Member

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    I also have Buck Eye Burl on one of my .357's and they were from Sarge also. He retired to a beautiful Island to do the diving he so dearly loved.. I miss him!
     
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  20. 8strings8rounds

    8strings8rounds Member

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    Viper,
    Couple questions for you; first, does the name Joe N** ring a bell?
    Second, were you ever on a Coonan forum called Fireside Chat?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  21. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    Sent you a PM/conversation....
     
  22. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    I would love to have one of those. I still have the gun magazine that pictured a Coonan on the front cover when they first came out.
     
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  23. Whiskeyhotel2020

    Whiskeyhotel2020 Member

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    I've wanted a Coonan for a long time. Couldn't find one and when they were brought back I could afford one. Well, that changed back in June. I happened to be looking for a spare magazine for a pistol I had bought the week before and the final shop I talked my wife into stopping at had one. As I was checking out the the store i saw a used Coonan in the display case and was instantly filled with that dreaded if only I knew I wouldn't have bought feeling. I pointed it out to my wife and declared that next year when we get taxes back and if it was still there I was going to own one. She knows that a) I'm a huge fan of the 1911 and b) she loves me very much ( had already brought home $2000 worth of rifle and a kimber tle 10mm). The next morning when I woke up her and I took a drive back to the shop stopping at her bank on the way. She handed me the cash to buy the Coonan. When I walked in to buy the used one the guy behind the counter informed me that he has two in the back that are unfired for a little more. I walked out that morning with this...
     

    Attached Files:

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  24. Whiskeyhotel2020

    Whiskeyhotel2020 Member

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    I've put a about 200 rounds though mine and absolutely love it.
     
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  25. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    My experience with Coonan is meh, I could’ve owned one or several, but they don’t shoot that well and that is of utmost importance to me. The look, feel, sound and fireball is pretty cool.

    I put about 300 rounds through two at a rented range session in 2015. Honestly I was embarrassed by group sizes and I was pulling every trick to get the guns to shoot. About a half dozen different types of ammo. But for $900 I knew there were way better options for an accurate 357. My Dad, brother and son couldn’t do much with the Coonan, either. Between all 4 of us, I think we spent $200 in 357 ammo just on the Coonan. Disappointing to say the least.

    Several range operators said my Coonan shooting was the best they had seen. Seemed honest feedback at the time, but maybe they say that to everyone.

    I was shooting IDPA at the time, and both my custom Kimber and Tanfoglio in 45ACP shot circles around the Coonan. That was the same year I shot the entire summer league head shots only so accuracy was more important than speed that year.

    The only way I would own a Coonan today is if I won it, as a trophy. Me and my gun against you and your gun, winner walks away with both guns. But there isn’t a Coonan owner out there that will make that bet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
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