There is something elegant about plain black. Unadorned cars and cocktail dresses come immediately to mind; and yes, pistols. The 10 mm No Name 1911 from Guncrafter Industries that I’ve been shooting for a couple of months fits the definition. With its satin black Melonite finish, and blatantly unadorned slide, the GI No Name 1911 is both elegant and business like.
Even though I live in the Allegheny Mountains, the 10 mm No Name 1911 had its genesis in Idaho; Salmon to be exact. I have always carried a .44 Mag. revolver while in the backcountry of the West and often in the Eastern wilds as well. While visiting my buddy Ken Hackathorn in June of 2014, we again discussed backcountry handguns and Ken mentioned he’d been carrying his Glock G20 when rambling about the wilds of Idaho. Hackathorn said that, at this point in his life, it was considerably easier to put shots on target with the 10 mm semi-auto than with a magnum revolver. After some testing on his range, I had to agree. Shortly there after, I contacted John May at Guncrafters Industries and planned the 10mm No Name 1911 that is the subject of this article.
Guncrafters Industries builds premium 1911 pistols. Slides and receivers are forgings, while barrels are hand-fit the old fashioned way. All the small parts (which are hand fitted) are machined from forgings or bar stock; no MIM parts are used in Guncrafter guns. Even the magazines are hand-tuned and each pistol is inspected by head honcho Alex Zimmerman before being shipped. GI pistols are as near perfect as can be made by human hands and modern machining. Each pistol is covered by Guncrafter’s Lifetime Satisfaction Assurance.
Those travelling the backcountry have long looked to magnum revolvers for protection from bruins and other varmints. Although the merits of this are debatable, many of us continue to tote large caliber handguns afield for the comfort factor if nothing else. And, in the unlikely event of an attack, the handgun is better than a sharp stick or rock any day.
The GI 10mm 1911 is indeed easier to shoot than the Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolvers I’ve historically carried. Power-wise the 10 mm isn’t quite a magnum, but it’s close. I went down to the range and set up a couple of simple tests. First I set up a modified Bill Drill. Two FBI Q targets were put up and three six-shot strings were fired at each using a 5-inch S&W Model 29 in .44 Mag. and the GI 10 mm 1911. The distance was 10 yards and the goal was all center hits as quickly as possible. Time was measured on a Competition Electronics shot timer with any shot out of the Q adding 5 seconds to the time. Average of the three strings fired with the Model 29 firing my 240-grain cast lead handload was 10.54 seconds. Average of the three strings fired with the 10 mm Guncrafter 1911 using a Federal 190-grain JHP load was 5.79 seconds.
Next I set up a simulated charging bear drill that Ken uses. Two poppers are set up at 12 and 10 yards and an IDPA target at 5 yards. From the low ready, the targets are engaged far to near with the par time being 3.5 seconds. The poppers must be knocked down and the IDPA target requires a head shot. Average time with the .44 Mag. Model 29 ran over par by quite a bit. Three runs with the GI 10 mm 1911 averaged 3.68 seconds; just a hair over the par time. Some of the revolver runs were, quite frankly, pretty ugly. The 10mm 1911 proved to be much more manageable during these tests.
The GI 10 mm 1911 has been in our possession for over three months and we have fired nearly 350 rounds of assorted ammunition through the pistol. The only problem we encountered was a case of false slide-lock with some of the ammunition tested. This was due to the length of the inner lug of the slide stop which was contacting the bullet of the round being fed from the magazine. This was only a problem with some of the ammo tested and was it was remedied by taking a few file strokes of material off of the slide stop lug. While I was augering on it, I also put a light dimple in the back face of the slide stop to engage the plunger tube detent making it just a tad harder to move it upward.
The10 mm Guncrafter No Name Government Model is an eminently shootable pistol. The trigger pull is crisp and consistent at 4 pounds, 5 ounces with just the right amount of take-up and no discernable overtravel. The wide notch rear sight and gold bead front offer a bold and quickly acquired sight picture. The high cut at the root of the trigger guard and the carefully blended beavertail grip safety help mitigate the recoil of the 10 mm cartridge. The 15 lpi frontstrap checkering combined with the 20 lpi checkering on the flat mainspring housing and G10 grips makes for a secure grip on the weapon. The grips, by the way, may be the ugliest I’ve seen on a 1911 pistol; functional but ugly. Lastly, the whole pistol is smooth with no sharp edges. The satin black Melonite finish should prove to be quite wear and weather resistant and the lubricity of this finish is also an advantage.
It’s quite possible that I’ve found a new backcountry companion. Riding centered on my chest, the Guncrafter No Name 1911 pistol seems right at home in the new Galco Great Alaskan chest holster. With a spare magazine of 9 rounds in the mag pouch on the holster’s suspension, the 10mm No Name 1911 is a reliable tool that I can count on, should the need arise, while rambling about the wilds of both the East and West. Its simple elegance is just a bonus.