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Norinco 1911s - is their steel really that good?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Min, Sep 5, 2008.

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  1. Min

    Min Member

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    Or is this one those internet gun forum myths that's flying around?
     
  2. VHinch

    VHinch Member

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    Yes, Norincos are great to build on. Unfortunately, the secret got out, and they aren't around at the good prices they were a couple of years ago.
     
  3. Evenflo76

    Evenflo76 Member

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    The story I got is that the Chinese used a stronger forging/alloy than Browning or Colt/US ever had in mind. This was apparently an accident... but who benefits? :evil:

    Some 1911 frames are forged, and some are cast.
     
  4. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    I'm not smart enough about such matters to make a statement, however, my smith will make milling cuts on Norincos only if you buy him the cutter head.

    They do clean up real nice and the hammer, sear and disconnector are as durable as anything called 'bullet proof' or 'hard core' from current manufacturers.

    Here's one that I just got back from a smith.

    [​IMG]

    After firing a couple of hundred reloads, it looks like the trigger pull is going to settle down at about 3 3/4 pounds. When I sent if off, it was very inaccurate. I told the smith to replace the barrel if necessary. Instead, he hand fitted a national match bushing and really tightened up groups.

    The only problem that I have ever heard of was poorly fit barrels that had to be replaced. Fit is fine, finish leaves a lot to be desired.
     
  5. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    Min,

    Yes it is. This has been discussed quite a bit, do a search for "Norinco" and read for yourself. The Chinese used 5100 series chromoly steel in the Norinco's, whereas pretty much everyone else used 4100 series.

    Plus the Norinco's are forged. If you look at Norinco's up close, you will typically notice some of the machining is rough. This is usually evident in the slide serrations. 5100 series steel means shorter life for cutters and milling bits, but results in probably the strongest 1911 ever built.

    I love my Norinco, it's a keeper. This is my mildly customized Norc.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Tuner says they're good guns...Enough for me...I keep looking for one at the gun shows, scarce....:(
     
  7. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    I've got one. Great find for $299.
     
  8. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    I just put money down on a nice Norinco. It was 350 bucks and in decent shape. I can't wait to shoot it.
     
  9. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    jon,

    The market has gone up on Norks in the past several years. $350 is a steal for one in decent condition.
     
  10. Realbigo

    Realbigo Member

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    I missed my chance on a Norc 1911 and have kicked myself ever since. I keep hearing how great the Norc M14's are as well. I only have a NHM-91, and a knock off Win '98 myself, but I have to wonder, If things ever go really bad w/ the chinese and they do invade, will their troops be shocked as they catch lead from Norc rifles and pistols?? :)
     
  11. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Not as shocked as they'd be at all the Bulgarian surplus ammo coming at them from old Russian Mosins!
     
  12. loop

    loop Member

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    Steel is better, specs are better. If it weren't for Norinco I'd have to buy an expensive gun to build one up.

    This is my summer project. I have about $800 in it now. The only Norinco parts are the frame, slide, barrel, link and pin, plunger tube, sear, disconnector and ejector.

    If you have a Norinco the most important words I have for you are: "Call EGW and order a custom barrel bushing for 25 bucks."

    I guess that applies to almost all 1911s.

    Norinco is the best non-custom platform to build up a 1911 I know of. I just want more of them for the old $300 price.

    Here's my summer project.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    Jaysouth. I know :) that is why I HAD to get it. I wanted a good GI style 1911. I don't think I would have done better for 350 bucks.
     
  14. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    That implies the steel in Norinco's is better than Colt/Kimber/Springfield.

    Define "better". Last longer, doesn't crack? How would anyone know that?
     
  15. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Loop, that is one fine looking pistol...Good job....
    I don't think it was used in that context....It's good steel. It reminds me of all the "myths" that surrounded the Argentina Sistemas saying it was inferior steel, made from the sunken "Graf Spree", etc....It was a myth....
     
  16. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I bought mine used from a friend who got it from his brother who needed money.

    It took a little work to get it 100% reliable, but I trust it now. When I first got it, I stripped it and discovered that the leaf spring was 100% bare metal, and BRIGHT red with rust. I replaced it with a GI part. In the end, I think I replaced all of the trigger mechanism parts. I bought it with my $300 first time Bush rebate check. I maybe put not quite $100 more in replacement parts and gunsmithing into it. Well worth the money.

    The first time I cleaned the gun, I used Gun Scrubber or Shooter's Choice spray cleaner to flush debris out of the grip frame. I went to put the grip frame down to clean something else... and COULDN'T! It was stuck to my hand! I don't know what the factory grips were made of, but it acted like polystyrene. I peeled the gun off of my hand and replaced the grips with a set I had lying around in a drawer. I eventually bought a set of Ajax fake ivory grips that look very good on it. They fit right the first time too.

    I bought this gun as an inexpensive CCW piece.
     
  17. farscott

    farscott Member

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    I noticed that the Norinco that I once owned had very hard steel; however, the specs were, shall we say, not so good. I had one of the guns where the barrel locking lugs were peened by the slide due to a poor barrel fit. I could have fixed it with a new barrel and some work; however, I was not inclined to do so. It was a used gun I bought in a local FTF and the seller refunded me my money.
     
  18. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    Ask anyone who have ever put a novak style sight cut into a Norinco how strong the steel is.

    The steel they use is 5100. It has superior hardness characteristics Vs 4100 used by many other manufactures.

    It is simply metallurgy.
     
  19. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    That's good.

    And, that means what for the Norinco?

    Lasts longer, won't crack...what?

    And, how do you know?
     
  20. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Off topic, but I think that they would be much more surprised that they made it across the ocean at all.

    ~G. Fink
     
  21. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    It would be easier on them to just invade Alaska, and use it as a staging point for points further south. They avoid a long ocean voyage if they do that.
     
  22. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    It is harder out of the box and will last longer. It is also harder to work with. It wears down tooling and cutting equipment faster than softer steel.

    It not a point worth arguing.
     
  23. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    It is harder out of the box and will last longer. It is also harder to work with. It wears down tooling and cutting equipment faster than softer steel.

    It not a point worth arguing.

    As for how do i know I have owned a Norinco. I have also shot several that were worked on by Wilson Combat. Used to be they only worked on Colts and Norincos back when Springers were less than stellar.
     
  24. razorblade31

    razorblade31 Member

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    well, 5100 alloys are commonly used in knifemaking for applications requiring an especially tough blade. The only use 4100 alloys see in knifemaking is that some hammers are made out of them. so assuming proper heat treat, 5100 alloys are superior in toughness, abrasion resistance, and hardness.
     
  25. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    Okay, sounds like the Norinco does use better steel than the 1911s we buy here.

    That's good!
     
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