The latest pistol off my bench is a very interesting amalgam of my past and present. India is the ninth build in my current alphaphonetic call sign series. You can read about the others in the series on the 1911 Page of the website. This pistol started with a Chip McCormick Corporation (CMC) frame that I had languishing in the safe from another project. Back around 2000-2002 or so, CMC sold slide and frame kits. The frames were awesome, and made great platforms for builds. They unfortunately were discontinued after only a couple years of production. I had squirreled away a few of them, and this one had originally been filled out with some spare parts to run a Kimber Series II external extractor slide. Needless to say, that experiment was short and ended in rather miserable failure. The frame then sat unused and partially completed in my safe before I pulled it out last year for setting up a .22 conversion kit training gun. I topped the frame with a Marvel Unit 2 conversion kit and completed the work on the frame to create a near duplicate to my Echo 1911. The Marvel kit failed to meet my expectations for reliability and accuracy, and ended up being put aside. After I recently sold Echo, I dug out the frame, updated it yet again, and topped it off with a .45 caliber top end.
Here’s the build list:
- CMC forged chrome moly frame, circa 2001, checkered 20lpi.
- CMC thumb safety and disconnector, also circa 2001, now discontinued. These were good parts and I wish I still had more of them.
- CMC grip safety and bobbed spur hammer. These were installed and blended a number of years ago, and are remnants of an older period of my work. This was one of the very early setups where I started with what is now the standard look on 10-8 builds. Note that the grip safety is blended in the “out” position, something I moved away from. This manner of blending leaves minor mismatches when the grip safety is depressed in the firing position, and can abrade the hand during extended firing sessions.
- 10-8 mag well. This mag well setup replaces the bottom of the frame and mainspring housing, and is attached via a proprietary CNC interface that is used under license from Briley and Pistol Dynamics. It is only available on 10-8 builds, and India is currently one of only four pistols to have this feature.
- 10-8 flat trigger, mag catch, grip screws, Gen 2 slide stop, spring plug, .140” U notch Low Mount rear sight and .100” wide fiber optic front sight. These are all current production components, many left over on the bench from other current projects, and replaced some of the older parts left on the gun.
- 10-8 scoop grips, 5lpi checkered, Ghost G10. The Ghost color is really cool, but are unfortunately discontinued as the material is no longer available in this color.
- 10-8 “Echo Series” slide. The slide serrations on this gun are the ones debuted on the Echo build, and feature a wider pattern that is abbreviated at the bottom on the rear set of serrations. This feature keeps the serrations from abrading the shooter’s thumb during extended firing. Proper 1911 firing technique dictates that your shooting thumb rides the thumb safety, which puts it next to the slide serrations, potentially causing irritation during long range sessions.
- 10-8 stainless barrel. One of the early 10-8 marked match barrels. Production versions are now available.
- Aftec extractor. This gun uses an Aftec extractor, which is a rigid unit that is powered with two small coil springs retained with a small cover. The Aftec dropped right in, and is paired with a scrap firing pin stop from my parts box. The advantages of the Aftec include a very simple install that is typically a drop in process, constant tension provided by coil springs rather than bending the extractor, and no requirement for a fitted firing pin stop. With the Aftec, the firing pin stop just holds in all the parts, and unlike a traditional extractor where function is optimized by fitting to prevent extractor rotation and play, the Aftec actually needs to move freely on the firing pin stop to pivot correctly. The downside is that it has the two springs and a cover, which make it harder to install and leaves you with small parts to lose. We’ll examine the merits of the Aftec after India gets some rounds downrange.
- Checkered trigger guard. The underside of the trigger guard has been hand checkered at 50lpi. I had a gun back in the 90's that had 50lpi checkering under the trigger guard, and had always liked it. For some reason, any gun that I've checkered to date has used 40lpi under the trigger guard, and it was just a little more than I needed. This is the first gun that I did in 50lpi, and it provides just enough traction without eating the side of my finger.