Hey there, Jay Grazio with Shooting Illustrated and we’re here on the range with a special holiday episode of “I Carry.” It’s Independence Day Weekend, so today we’re bringing you a super patriotic assortment of guns and gear. Let’s take a closer look at an “I Carry” setup that’s as American as apple pie, baseball, the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang and the Harley Davidson motorcycle.
When it comes to classic American firearms, there’s little that comes to mind faster than the 1911. Specifically, the Colt 1911. And, since we’re celebrating the day we won our independence from Great Britain and established America as the ultimate in “nothing exceeds like excess,” why not feature the top-of-the-line Colt 1911, the Gold Cup National Match? With an adjustable wide trigger, National Match barrel and target sights, this version of John Moses Browning’s famous pistol excels on the range in addition to looking great in a holster.
While, yes, there are versions of the 1911 that are more suitable for daily carry, consider the Gold Cup National Match a “barbeque gun,” one that you might carry to a formal occasion – like a Fourth of July cookout. For those who normally carry a 1911-style handgun, having a more-ornate version for these occasions is smart thinking, as the similar operation means greater familiarity should events require. Plus, it really does look good.
The sharp eye will note that this is not a current-model Gold Cup. It’s a Series 80, rather than a 70, which means it has a trigger-activated firing pin safety where the series 70 does not. Many 1911 fans prefer the Series 70, as the trigger pull is smoother, and Colt offers the current Gold Cup as a Series 70.
Sure, a classic 1911 should probably be carried in a custom leather holster, but Vedder Holster’s LightDraw outside the waistband rig offers either a straight drop or 10-degree cant, a plethora of attachment options in both clip type and belt size, and makes provisions for threaded barrels and optics. There’s also a wide variety of finishes available, including the American Flag.
The Magdraw offers adjustable tension and cant, and is available in finishes to match the holster. A simple paddle keeps the Magdraw in place and fits belts up to 1.75 inches wide. The custom finish does incur a slight premium over standard colors.
One of the great things about the Colt 1911 is that with the turn of two pairs of screws, you can customize your pistol with any stocks you want. Altamont Company offers a wide variety of custom grips for many pistols, including these American-flag themed NRA grips. Yeah, we’re a little biased, of course, but the grips do include checkered rosewood with bonded ivory American flag inserts. You can add some flair to your barbeque pistol and help support the Second Amendment at the same time!
Buck’s Blue Line Spitfire 722 features an etched American flag logo with the “Thin Blue Line” accent in honor of law enforcement. A version with a red accent line is also available to honor and support fire fighters. The Spitfire 722 offers a three and a quarter inch long, 420HC steel drop-point blade that opens via a thumbhole opening and held open with a standard lockback mechanism. Aluminum scales help keep weight to a light 3.2 ounces. One last neat touch: For a minimal fee two lines of engraving can be added to the Spitfire, so it can be personalized for anyone.
Our last piece of American gear is something essential for a Fourth of July celebration: a Zippo Patriotic lighter. Whether you’re enjoying a fine cigar or setting off some (perfectly legal, of course) fireworks, the wind-resistant Zippo is an American icon always up to the task. In addition, all Zippo lighters come with a lifetime guarantee and are, of course, made in the USA. Using liquid fuel and replaceable flints, these are great to keep on hand in emergencies for fire-starting purposes under harsh conditions. Or, just snap one open to set off some freedom.