Range Report: Nighthawk Custom Talon II
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:40 AM   #1
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Default Range Report: Nighthawk Custom Talon II

Nighthawk Custom Talon II, 18# recoil spring, NHC Gator grips, EB Bobtail.

PART 1

First Impressions:

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)

Brain Drippings:


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.

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Old 03-04-2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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Sweet review Slawth - Sounds like you got yourself a keeper there. I take it since you have the 18# spring in there, you also got the Nighthawk mags, were you shooting them and did you experience any issues?

I have yet to have an issue with the ones that I have purchased with my weapons and was merely wondering if the quality was the same over the past couple of years.

I can't see your targets on the work computer, but I will be checking them out when I get home.

Sounds like your overall impressions were another positive and satisified customer. You hear that MATT???

JD

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Old 03-04-2009, 01:51 PM   #3
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Outstanding RR and well worth waiting for!

Keep us in the loop.

1911 for the win!

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Old 03-04-2009, 05:21 PM   #4
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Is there, or could there be a range report sticky? I did some searching to see the format most guys on here use and had to do some digging to find them. only a couple of the guys thought to title their thread "range report" so they would come up in a search. Most of what comes up in the search is JD asking for a range report...

I fired a mix of mags. I did get the 6 for $99 deal for a total of 9 (It came with one NHC mag and I bought 2 Wilson's as well, as they were out of stock for NHC magazines. The NHC mags are top quality and functioned flawlessly (as well as being easy to load). I also shot a Wilson low profile and standard stainless with no problems and the gun did not experience any angst from direct contact with a competitors mags. All fit tight, fed well and ejected well.

Another note I forgot to mention above. This thing ejects casings as accurately as it shoots, lol. It throws them at about 95* (rather than over my shoulder and on top of my noggin) and after each 3 mag shoot the casings were within a 3'radius of each other about 8ft away. This could be really fun trying to land a few in your buddies drink for extra points.

I did not shoot it with the 16# spring but the gun fires soooooo smooth with the 18# that I would have to say that is the correct spring for this gun- I would certainly think so for a Government model. Recoil was mild for a .45 and It did not feel like the slide was slamming back into battery in any way. Maybe it is best to break it in with the 16# and then move up? JD- You said you changed them out right from the start in yours. Was this at the recommendation from one of the smiths at NHC or just knowing you would be putting hot loads through them on a regular basis?

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Old 03-04-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
Sweet review Slawth - Sounds like you got yourself a keeper there. I take it since you have the 18# spring in there, you also got the Nighthawk mags, were you shooting them and did you experience any issues?

I have yet to have an issue with the ones that I have purchased with my weapons and was merely wondering if the quality was the same over the past couple of years.

I can't see your targets on the work computer, but I will be checking them out when I get home.

Sounds like your overall impressions were another positive and satisified customer. You hear that MATT???

JD
A pair of them are on the shopping list. I have other things to buy before the Nighthawks, do solely to looming bans at both state and federal levels.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slawth View Post
Is there, or could there be a range report sticky?
We have talked about a Range Report section, it's on the To Do list.

Quote:
Most of what comes up in the search is JD asking for a range report...
Guilty. But most of the time it's because someone either asked me for advice or asked me for help with a build. And by Odin's Hand I will have my range report when I contribute to a project!!

Quote:
JD- You said you changed them out right from the start in yours. Was this at the recommendation from one of the smiths at NHC or just knowing you would be putting hot loads through them on a regular basis?
When I bought my first one, I called to register it and get the magazine deal, now this was a few years ago, but when they entered my serial number the gal said "Hey Joe, this guy has one of your pistol's" and Joe got on the line with me and talked about my GRP as if he was selling it to me. He asked me about my background and asked about it's purpose and he recommended if I was going to shot +P for protection, but also a lot of range ammo, the upgraded spring was the way to go. So, I took his word for it. I'm cooky that way.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:25 PM   #7
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I'm just envious that yall have the money to buy those semi-custom pistols out of box. The only I can afford them is to go the ol home made way and start from scratch. That way the wife just sees "another big order of those gun parts you're always ordering", and don't raise too many questions until she sees the bank balance-by then it's TOO LATE and she usually starts speaking to me in 2-4 days afterward. I promise her I'll be a good boy all the while scheming to place another order all the while. Occasionally I have to sell 1 of these ol home made pistols even before I build it-that means stooping down to build whatever parts/style/type/level the mean ol buyer wants, it's the only way I've found to support my serious habit. Sounds like you have a GREAT pistol and am interested in seeing some slow fire targets, just to see what it'll do.

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Old 03-05-2009, 04:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by stalkingbear View Post
I'm just envious that yall have the money to buy those semi-custom pistols out of box. The only I can afford them is to go the ol home made way and start from scratch. That way the wife just sees "another big order of those gun parts you're always ordering", and don't raise too many questions until she sees the bank balance-by then it's TOO LATE and she usually starts speaking to me in 2-4 days afterward. I promise her I'll be a good boy all the while scheming to place another order all the while. Occasionally I have to sell 1 of these ol home made pistols even before I build it-that means stooping down to build whatever parts/style/type/level the mean ol buyer wants, it's the only way I've found to support my serious habit. Sounds like you have a GREAT pistol and am interested in seeing some slow fire targets, just to see what it'll do.
This is where the "secret paypal credit card account" comes into play. Set it up to receive statement online only and she's none the wiser until it's too late. I put heat in the garage this year so my marital storm shelter was more comfortable over the winter months.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:16 PM   #9
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This is where the "secret paypal credit card account" comes into play. Set it up to receive statement online only and she's none the wiser until it's too late. I put heat in the garage this year so my marital storm shelter was more comfortable over the winter months.

MAN CAVE for the WIN!!

JD
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:34 AM   #10
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Follow up report on what I am finding to be the finest hunk of steel I have ever owned.

I have now had 2 more range sessions as well as a couple weeks of dry fire practice with the Talon II and the only regret I have is that I can't afford a 5" model right now.

I put 350 rounds of assorted ammo through it a couple weeks ago to test out the work I had been doing on my grip with my dry fire training. I intentionally picked up 2 of the ammunitions NHC lists as un-guaranteed reliability- Mag Tech, and aluminum cased Blazer as well as an assortment of Cor Bon 165g +P, Pow'R Ball 165g +p, Remington 230g golden Saber, and Winchester 230g JHPs. I fired several mags of mixed ammo with zero malfunctions and then dedicated mags of each to try and glean differences in function/ performance. The Talon ate it all. My groups were better with the best 2 being the Cor Bon 165 +p and the Winchester JHP. Still nothing to write home about as the dry fire practice paid off in my grip and better groups but I was still shooting left of POA by 2" on average. I decided to do the unspeakable and adjust my rear sight with a hammer and a drift. I cut 3" off the end of a 1/4" wood dowel I had in the garage and did the deed... no harm done to my beautiful new pistol and after a few more rounds and a re-adjustment I was putting rounds dead center. 5 rounds Cor Bon 165 +p after final sight adjustment, 25 yards, steady rate of fire- tired and not all that focused, but best target of the day:


Today I had a couple hours to myself so I decided to shake out a recent impulse acquisition (range report pending) and after 60 rounds of ridiculously fun to shoot 380acp I felt calm and relaxed so I decided to pull out the Nighthawk for a few shots and to hopefully see some results from another couple rounds of dryfire practice before calling it a day. I had a box of el cheapo Blazer aluminum 230g in the bag so I filled a magazine, set a new target at 25yds and entered the zone.

stalkingbear- you were interested in what this gun was capable of in true slowfire at 25yds:

8 rounds about 10 seconds apart. Had to lower my arms after the 5th (one high shot) as I began sailing on choppy seas and needed to shake it out before finishing the magazine.



I couldn't believe it. It felt that good but my eyesight isn't as good as it used to be and outside of the high shot in the black I was not sure I didn't have one or two more renegades. I wiped the gun down, put it back in the bag, packed my junk up, grabbed the target and me and my **** eating grin called it a day.

This is an amazing gun. I would encourage anyone who can drop the coin for a semi-custom pistol to strongly consider a Nighthawk. I am not particularly a brand loyalist- a good piece is a good piece no matter who makes it, but I can say in all honesty this is the best firearm I have ever purchased and well worth the money. A month ago I would have told you that I would never get rid of my XD as it serves it's purpose. Today I was trying to decide whether it was going to be the XD or the P226 that was going to be sacrificed in order to help fund a 5" Nighthawk. Gawd damn.

I am starting to see why so many "discover" this platform (1911) and forsake all others.

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