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

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jon_in_wv, Feb 11, 2011.

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  1. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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.
     
  2. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Trigun

    Trigun Member

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    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
     
  4. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    Rellascout that looks just like it!!
     
  5. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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?
     
  7. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    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.
     
  8. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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.
     
  9. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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.
     
  10. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  11. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    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.
     
  12. Old Shooter

    Old Shooter Member

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    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?
     
  13. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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.
     
  14. yeti

    yeti Member

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    Just courious, did you order standard length guide rod and plug or Commander length rod & plug?
     
  15. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    Commander length.
     
  16. yeti

    yeti Member

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

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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.
     
  18. Toforo

    Toforo Member

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    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.

    :)
     
  19. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    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.
     
  20. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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.
     
  21. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    Here are the pics. I just got done giving it a good cleaning. There was quite a bit of packing grease inside the frame.
     

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  22. Toforo

    Toforo Member

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    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
     
  23. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    Yes it has the hard chromed barrel with the M P stamp. Thanks for the link. I'll take a look at it.
     
  24. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    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.
     
  25. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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

    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."
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
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