Pistols I Have Known...and Still Own

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    1. #1
      Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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      Pistols I Have Known...and Still Own

      These are all but one of the pistols I write about most often.

      The two silver-color (hard chromed) 1911s are essentially identical, and were used in practical-shooting competition from 1978 through 1999. One of them now has a shorter trigger, for Jean's use. Their trigger pulls are both about 3.5 lbs. Their grips are buffalo horn. Chuck Ries did the pistolsmithing.
      The "Officers' Model" is an Essex frame and a cut-down Colt's Commander slide, and was made in about 1978, also by Chuck Ries. Its grips were made by new gunsmith James Reid from counter-top acrylic (and they match our kitchen).
      The vertical pistol is the Semmerling LM-4 I "inherited" from my mentor, Mike Harries. It's a manually operated .45, not a semi-auto. Its barrel is a replacement (but I have the original, too).


      This is the other one. It's resting on one of our kitchen's counter-tops.


      It's an AMT .45 Backup, the smallest .45 ACP semi-auto ever made. It's my daily pocket-carry piece.
      It has a stiff DA-only trigger, which I smoothed up quite a lot. It carries five in the magazine and one in the chamber, and I normally pocket one reload for it. It has a gutter down the top of its slide, rather than sights, but it's quite accurate at short ranges (for me, that's 20 yards, maximum).
      New gunsmith James Reid made its silver-black Dymondwood grips.

    2. #2
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      DJ Niner's Avatar
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      A fine collection. No question where your cartridge loyalties lie, eh?

      I always thought the Semmerlings were a neat concept. Sure makes for a compact package. If I ever blunder across one of those for a reasonable price, it WILL be mine, just for the novelty of the action, if nothing else. Was the other barrel shot-out, or was there another reason you needed to replace it?

    3. #3
      Senior Member Baldy's Avatar
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      Good looking group you have there Steve.

    4. #4
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      Very nice. Thanks for sharing and I especially like your personalized grips.

    5. #5
      Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by DJ Niner View Post
      A fine collection. No question where your cartridge loyalties lie, eh?

      I always thought the Semmerlings were a neat concept. Sure makes for a compact package. If I ever blunder across one of those for a reasonable price, it WILL be mine, just for the novelty of the action, if nothing else. Was the other barrel shot-out, or was there another reason you needed to replace it?
      The Semmerling LM-4 is a very delicate pistol which tolerates neither dirt nor tolerance stacking.
      Mine's original barrel was just made a touch off to one side. As it was used, the barrel's slide tracks must've worn unevenly (due to the way it feeds), which finally cause it to hit primers too far off center to give consistent ignition. Its new barrel is dead on center.
      Because the firing pin is powered and retracted by a very delicately-balanced pair of springs, an off-center hit was never enough to reliably fire a shot. Further, pocket lint that migrated into the firing-pin channel destructively interfered with ignition because of that delicate spring balance, so the damn' thing had to be detail-stripped daily. After about the third iteration, this is not fun.
      Inside the gun, the parts are like those of a Swiss watch: tiny and spring-loaded. Disassembly is best done within a large plastic bag, because springs are going to fly. (I made that mistake early on, and spent the better part of an hour on my hands and knees, looking through the unswept dirt on my shop's floor.)
      The good news is that the American Derringer Corp. has all the Semmerling tooling, and can make you a brand new one. The bad news is that it'll cost about $5,000.00.

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