Nighthawk Custom Talon II, 18# recoil spring, NHC Gator grips, EB Bobtail.
Butter. Seriously. I tugged and pushed/pulled the slide in every direction possible and you would think the slide to frame fit was almost too tight- not so. I fired it along side my XD (this time) for comparison, and was very pleased with how smooth the action is. It feels like the slide is attached to the frame via roller bearings. With such a tight fit I wondered how the wear would be but after dis-assembly it showed very little signs of metal on metal- I do not know how many rounds have been through the gun prior to my first session, but it looked almost new. A note- I was able to field strip the pistol completely by hand without any issue.
The finish on the gun is very attractive and appears to be very durable. I purchased this gun used and it shows minimal wear around the ejection port. Stripping the pistol shows the level of finish is consistent inside and out (not just where it shows...) After my mini range session (only had time for 60 rounds today) the gun wiped clean with little more than a microfiber rag. I also like the matte look of the finish. I like my pistols to be subtle, just my taste, and this gun fits the bill well.
The sights are Novak night sights and I found them to be quite clear both out in the snow enhanced sunshine and in my dimly lit basement. The front sight is thinner than all of my other pistols which actually allows a nice view of the target "through" the sight.
I do not have years of 1911 use to go by but gripping the Talon in the high position, the center line of the barrel was barely above the web of my hand, which seemed to speed recovery time and I did not have to concentrate quite as much on fighting the urge to force the muzzle back down. Both my XD and P226 sit much higher above my grip. (The Talon actually sits low enough in my grip that I cut the first knuckle of my thumb up with the bottom of the slide during recoil)
I think I am going to run with the NHC proprietary gator grips for a while. I am sweaty handed by nature and these grips gave a good purchase on the gun while not being uncomfortable on the hand after holding the gun for an extended time. They washed up nicely with a toothbrush.
So...uh... howz it shoot?:
Some subtleties that were not unnoticed- the mag release is outstanding. Quick, easy mag changes were no problem and required nary more than a firm tap with the thumb. The gun is very well balanced in the hand- Fully loaded, it does not feel nose heavy or like all the mass is in the grip.
I was able to steal enough time to run 6 mags through it today. I have some work to do on my grip/trigger as the 1911 definitely fits my hand differently then any of my other pistols. (better or just different is yet to be determined... ;D)
First target at 25 yards, 3mags-1 slow fire, one medium rate with shot fired as soon as I had a good sight pic again and last one rapid fire. I followed with 8r through the XD (which I dry fire practice daily) to compare grouping as well as make sure I was not just having a shooting left kind of day.
I know 25 yds is a bit silly for a carry gun but with so few rounds to fire and being first time out with the new gun I thought it would make for a good judge of accuracy as well as my ability to manhandle a pistol likely capable of 1.5" groups at that distance.
Second target 3 mags- 1 slow, one rapid and 1 double taps. 25yds
Ammo was all Winchester white box 230g. As expected no issues, but that is not many rounds. I hope to get a couple hours Friday to put a few more boxes through it, including some Cor Bon +P.
I really love this gun. I love the way it feels in my hand, I love the way it looks and so far I love the way it shoots. It does not seem to be as forgiving as the XD but that is to be expected with a precision tool. I look foreword to my next practice session.