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Wringin' Out the 'Rinco

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 1911Tuner, Sep 16, 2004.

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  1. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Ran down to the ol' shootin' place yesterday to give the New-To-Me Norinco a go. I've decided to tear the gun down after every range session to inspect for peening, battering, premature wear, or impending parts failure. So far, none has been noted. Total round count since taking possession of the gun...approximately 900-925 rounds without cleaning.

    As is my habit, I install a King's Drop-in wide grip safety before a long range session...300 rounds or more...to protect the web of my delicate
    little mitt...so I won't be able to evaluate any wear or damage to the stock
    grip safety at theis point. Future range tests will allow for that whenever I take it along (in stock form) with another pistol and split the round count.
    Yesterday, however, was a pure "Rinco" day.

    600 rounds went downrange. The ammo was a mixture of handloaded/reloaded, mostly thrice-reloaded brass of various headstamps...mostly PMC...with a hundred or so rounds of once-fired
    Winchester from Wally World.

    Bullets varied from mostly 230-grain cast lead RN, with about 75 rounds of
    200-grain SWC that was contributed by a friend who loads nothing other than that bullet over 5 grains of Red Dot for an accurate 870 fps load.
    The balance was 230-grain jacketed ball...Winchester manufacture...over
    the standard "Hardball Equivalent" charge of Unique.

    There gun wasn't punished as brutally as the GI Springfield...but it wasn't handled with kid gloves either. There were no failures to feed/extract/eject until near the end of the session, when I got two failures to return to battery with the 200-grain SWC ammo during a reload on a full magazine. One required a brisk bump to put into battery, while the other only a light push with my thumb. May have been due to fouling...May have been ammo related. No other problems were noted for the balance of the ammo...which I saved for last to test for function with a less-than-optimum bullet shape when the gun was good and dirty...and it was.

    I never allowed the pistol to get too hot to hold, but it did get rather warm on a couple of occasions...just to the point of discomfort, but not to an "OWEE" level. The session started with the gun in the condition that it was in from the first session...about 300 rounds of jacketed hardball..but with a drop of FP-10 in the rails, locking lugs, and on the link. No further lubrication was used.

    The accuracy wasn't anything approaching "Match Grade", but was entirely adequate for the gun's intended purpose...as are most ordnance-spec 1911s. It was, however, fully as accurate as my Colt
    XSE Commander..and that one was pretty impressive for an out-of-box
    production 1911, even before the bushing upgrade. 10-inch discs on the
    falling plate machine were duck soup if I was reasonably careful and didn't
    try to emulate Mickey Fowler or Rob Leatham in their machine-gun style on the exercise.

    At 25 yards, the game was a little tougher, mainly due to the fact that the gun shoots a bit low, and I was hitting the frame of the machine until I adjusted my hold for the POI, but the gun was accurate enough to knock'em down as long as I did my part. The 200-grain SWCs seemed to be the most accurate of the day, but I didn't put any groups on paper in order to prove it, so it may have been just my impression or me settling down and shooting better at that point. Sometimes it takes a while for the effects of the Turbo Coffee to wear off...and I drank 3 big mugfuls before I hit the road.

    Rapid-fire drills, including shooting from the leather with controlled doubles on steel, scaled-down B-27 shaped plates at 25 feet turned into a boring
    exercise, as the quick hits were easy, with misses generally attributable to
    a fouled draw.

    I did get a chance to take the original sear by tolet my bud put it to the Rockwell test...he called me with the results late last night. The sear hit 52 on the C Scale...which is 2 points higher than maximum ordnance spec...
    and 9 points above minimum. Since I've noticed that whenever a steel part fails prematurely, I usually find that it's a little harder than it should be...
    I decided to do a truly scientific stress-test on the sear. I laid it on an anvil and hit it with a hammer in several places. Backside down with curve facing up...three medium healthy whacks with a 6-ounce ball-peen hammer didn't break it. Two whacks on the sear laying sideways with the bias of the force directed at the legs produced a slight bend on one leg...but nothing broke. The third whack bent the leg further, and the fourth cracked it very slightly. A control stress-test on a Colt MIM sear produced about the same results, but the OEM Springfield sear cracked the leg on the second hit. MIM sears are pretty tough!

    Stand by for another 'Rinco Sress Test. It might be several days, since Ivan is probably gonna rain on my parade for the next few...The final test will start with a clean, oiled pistol, and I'll go through 2500 rounds without cleaning, with only a drop of oi prior to the session in the rails, lugs, and on the disconnector/cocking rail...in the interest of not wearing things too badly. The final phase will be evenly divided into 500 round sessions,
    hopefully over not more than two weeks.

    Detail-stripped, cleaned, and oiled..It's ready to go as soon as weather permits.
     
  2. wildehond

    wildehond Member

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    You destructive person! To take a hammer to pistol parts when you can not break them the proper way. :D

    Well if the Norico's can last, then the other forged slide-frame pistols should be OK.

    wildehond
     
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Correct Destruction

    Wildehond said:

    You destructive person! To take a hammer to pistol parts when you can not break them the proper way.
    _______________________

    Well...Where there's a will, there's a way.

    My pappy always said that I could bust steel ball bearings in a sandbox with a rubber mallet...:D

    Got a feelin' that this Peking Pistol's gonna be a mite tougher ta break than a lotta people suspect.
     
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    As I mentioned, I have one with about 8.5k through it with zero failures of any kind, and another with about 2k+, also with zero failures. IMHO, those are well made and tough guns!

    The first one is sitting in the desk drawer as I type, and I don't keep HD pistols around that don't work. To carry a comment over from another thread, it is loaded, I know it is loaded, and I don't need to do a press check to see if it is loaded.

    Jim
     
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    'Rincos

    Jim said:

    IMHO, those are well made and tough guns!
    ________________

    Absolutely true. IMO, they're probably more durable than our beloved GI pistols, if they are a bit rough around the edges in most examples. I can
    live with it, and attention to minor detail is an easy rainy Saturday afternoon exercise. They usually need a litle dehorning in the radius
    just below the frame tangs, and most can use a little cleaning up on the triggers...but that's about it.

    I've had the opportunity to examine about 50 Norincos...and I can almost believe that the ban came about due to the Big Three 1911 makers buying a few to look at...calling an emergency meeting of the board of directors, and the conversation probably went somethin' like:

    "Boys...We gotta get this thing stopped, or we're all gonna be flippin' burgers at Mickey Dee's in a year!" ...and then lobbied Washington for a ban on Norinco 1911 imports. Wouldn't s'prise me in the least.
     
  6. November

    November Member

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    Keep these reports comin'. My Norinco is my only 1911 and it's great.
     
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    >> "Boys...We gotta get this thing stopped, or we're all gonna be flippin' burgers at Mickey Dee's in a year!" ...and then lobbied Washington for a ban on Norinco 1911 imports. Wouldn't s'prise me in the least. <<

    If so, it wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened.

    This, and the results of your informal testing bring up a question. Why can the Chinese build an inexpensive USGI equivalent pistol that works and keeps working, while out domestic manufactures can’t do the same thing? Of course labor costs are part of the answer, but clearly not all of it. This is still another example of the decline in good ol’ American manufacturing ability and degraded quality that is seen in so many different areas. Maybe it’s because our corporations are controlled by folks who’s claim to fame is having an MBA from a prestigious university rather then any real experience with the products the company makes.

    At least you will put to rest a claim made by another member of this forum that these Chinese guns “are junk.â€
     
  8. AirPower

    AirPower Member

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    [​IMG]

    Nice report, makes me feel that I made the right decision. I've gotten 3 Rinco 1911 this year and can't be happier. I've upgraded one and kept the rest stock. As for "normal wear", is it normal for contact points to form where breach end of the barrel hitting the slide?
     
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Normal Wear

    Air Power asked:

    As for "normal wear", is it normal for contact points to form where breach end of the barrel hitting the slide?

    Howdy AirPower,

    I'd have to look at it to see exactly what contact points you mean, and if there's any sign of peening or battering. Could be that there's a tolerance stacking issue, or maybe somethin' out of spec. The only point of contact should be between breechface and barrel hood, and only then if the barrel is tightly fitted in that area. Probably just needs a little relieving at the back of...oops...at the sides of the barrel face. Hard contact shouldn't happen if all is within spec. Could it be barrel contact with the extractor?
    if it's on the right side at about 3 O'Clock, that may be it.
    ________________________


    Fuff...I'm afraid that it won't change anything. Once minds are made up, it's usually hard to change'em.
     
  10. Brian D.

    Brian D. Member

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    Haven't found a way to break any of my Nork 1911s, either. The one I've had the longest is up to somewhere near 20k rounds, believe it or not. (About four or so years ago I decided to shoot this gun some during every trip to the range, along with whatever other blaster went with me, to perform my own version of long-term testing.) Nothing has broken, just change springs as needed, once in a blue moon retune extractor...

    While I understand those who may be turned off by the looks of the 'Rinco--I've seen some of the ugliest machining marks imaginable from this brand, inside and out from gun to gun--the rough spots never seem to fall where they have any affect on reliability. You just have to tell yourself, repeatedly: "Function over form, function over form!"

    Now, all that remains for me is to find one of the rare Commander-size Norincos that got in before the Klintonian ban. Might permannently retire from seeking more 1911s at that point.
     
  11. AirPower

    AirPower Member

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    yeah, breach face and barrel hood, I just didn't know the terminology to describe it. It's penned somewhat on the breachface, but nothing extractor related wear. It shows up on 2 of the 3 Norincos but the one w/o wear is like new so I wont' know for sure. It's not bad by any stretch of imagination but it's there nonetheless.
     
  12. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Contact

    AirPower said:

    yeah, breach face and barrel hood,
    ____________________

    Okay...There will be contact in that area, since the barrel is pushed into battery by the slide hitting the hood for the final bit of travel. If the barrel is tightly fitted there, there will be little or no clearance between the hood and the slide, but it's pretty unusual in a Norinco. Some smiths will fit the barrel to have a sort of "crush" fit as the barrel is pushed the last few thousandths into battery...but most like to leave a little clearance when the gun is in battery and the barrel pushed backward. I'm a subscriber to the clearance line of thought, for purposes of reliability, and I like to be able to put the gun in battery on a "GO" gauge, and feel a little drag
    on a piece of .005 shim stock. Others may differ on this point, but I'm a reliability freak. Tight means that there's no place for dirt to go.
     
  13. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

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    I like Norinco's. I am sure they will do what they are intended to do from the first shot to the last. I just don't settle for less than the best I can do to a 1911. I am going to dig out my 2lb sledge hammer and smash all of that big sack of Norinco Parts and see for myself how tough they are!
     
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    'Rinco under the Hammer

    Dave said:

    I am going to dig out my 2lb sledge hammer and smash all of that big sack of Norinco Parts and see for myself how tough they are!


    :what:

    NOOOO! Cap'n...Send'em to me! make a list of whatcha got and I'll make an offer! I'll pay shippin'! hammers, thumb safeties, grip safeties, mag catches and slidestops!
     
  15. MNine

    MNine Member

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    Speaking of that, was is a good place for surplus Norinco 1911 parts? (provided they have not been smashed of course... :()
     
  16. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Parts

    MNine asked:

    Speaking of that, was is a good place for surplus Norinco 1911 parts?

    John Marstar will do better than that. He'll send new Norinco parts.
    Type in...Marstar...on Yahoo and hit search. Nice guy. Just be sure to specify GENUINE Norinco parts.
     
  17. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. I've had surprisingly good luck with my one Norinco 1911. Did a few minor changes, but the gun has proven reliable and provides decent accuracy.
    Tool marks do abound, but the gun works. Don't have but perhaps 5 to 6K rounds through it yet, but so far, zero problems.

    Best.
     
  18. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

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    OK. I can't find my big hammer so they are safe for now. Good report, Tuner.
     
  19. FEATHERWEIGHT

    FEATHERWEIGHT Member

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    There is just something wrong about a 1911 made in CHINA!!!!
     
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    No, what is wrong is that they can turn out a pistol that's rough as a cob, but still works fine, while what our manufacturers make looks nice ..... but isn't reliable.

    Sometimes the truth hurts .....:banghead:
     
  21. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Chinese Clone

    FEATHERWEIGHT said:

    There is just something wrong about a 1911 made in CHINA!!!!
    ____________________

    Yeah...That's what I thought too...and passed. My loss. When I got my hands on one, I groaned in agony. If I had known then what I know now, I'd have borrowed money and bought a pickup truck full of'em.:cool:

    Welcome to THR!
     
  22. tomkatz

    tomkatz Member

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    I bought one in the 90s for $259.00 brand new. I took it out and it did everything I asked of it, never skipped a beat, but I thought a chinese gun couldn't be worth nuthin and it wasn't pretty so I sold it....I was a fool!!!!
    I just picked up another one, a commander size, and I couldn't be happier with it, really decent guns for the money........tom
     
  23. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

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    Something that seems very hard to understand for some is the reasons that I work the way I do. I have been to China and they know a lot about metal. Norinco has many independent contractors located in small villages all over the country that produce parts for the guns they sell. Many of the big digital mills that I love are made there. I have a problem with the internals that others do not have. I simply am not a metallurgy expert like some of the people on these forums. I do not know whether these parts are soft, medium, or hard except for the way they feel when I file on them. I do not have a Rockwell Machine available to test them and even if I did, I would not waste the time doing it. It is easier for me to replace them with high quality parts that I have been using for years that will allow me to give each gun I build my NO BS Lifetime Warranty. I can tell the frames. slides and barrels are very good steel and can be cleaned up and re-finished. When you fit beavertails like I do, you have to blue the lower end again and so you might as well clean up the slide and match it up in the tanks. I use a NM Barrel Bushing and a new high quality Number 3 Barrel link and pin because it makes them much more accurate and reliable. They are a copy of a GI 1911 From the First World War. I think they did a great job of duplicating that essence, but they are pretty crude inside and out. The folks I do work for do not care for that, so I improve them. I also back them up when I am done with them and so far, I have not had one come back for any warranty work at all. They have not come back, Period. I have not heard much bad about Norinco 45 ACP's and presume that most folks like them just as they are. That is fine with me. I do not have any pictures of them as I did them, but they were very nice 45's with large combat MGW sights, Beavertails, Extended thumb safetys, Checkered slide stops, and Ed Brown Internals. Why anyone would find fault with my doing this is beyond my limited comprehention. You always get what you pay for with me. They had everything you need and nothing you didn't need. One owner turned down a $2500.00 offer for his. As far as I know , he still has it and shoots it a lot in both 45 ACP and 400 Cor-Bon. That is My Story, and I am stuck with it.
     
  24. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    This thread has boosted the fragile ego of my poor (ugly?!) Rinco.
    The only thing I don't like about it - is the name on it.


    [​IMG]
     
  25. Brian D.

    Brian D. Member

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    Dave Sample:

    IMO, the fact that you've actually been to factories in China puts you ahead of most of us here in terms of expertise, knowledge, whatever you wanna call it, about Norinco 1911s. I certainly can't argue with you replacing their unknown internals with parts you have positive experience with, that's just logical.
    I just decided to take a chance some years back and leave one of mine as stock as possible, replacing stuff only as it broke. Turns out that never happened in several thousand rounds, so now "shoot it 'til it pukes" is standard operating procedure for me with 'Rincos. Damned if I know why they hold up so well, but sure ain't carping about it if ya know what I'm sayin'.
    Dave, let me close by saying your head may well be as hard as a Norinco slide, and that's a good thing in my book! :D Don't ever change that "I calls 'em like I sees 'em" philosophy of yours, okay?
     
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