December 18, 2017

American Classic II

Posted on July 26, 2012 by in Man Cave, Sittin' At The Gun Shop

American Classic II

Last week at the gun shop I saw a pair of 1911’s in the case and I was immediately drawn to them by their price.  They both were less than $600.00 each.  They weren’t Colts or Smith and Wesson’s, but they did appear to have all of the bells and whistles that the aftermarket could supply for a 1911 pistol.    One was all black and the other was duo-toned, with a black frame and a chrome slide. They were both full sized Government models; 5″ barrels, and had Novak style white dot rear sights, a dovetailed white dot front sight, flared ejection port, extended slide stop, beavertail grip safety, combat hammer, skeletonized combat trigger, front and rear slide skeletonized combat trigger, front and rear slide serration, and an extended thumb safety.  These are some of the usual aftermarket extras that come on a vastly more expensive 1911 style pistol.

I quickly checked the serial numbers on both guns, hoping they were sequential so I’d have an excuse to add to my gun bill, but alas they were not.  I started checking them for quality, and saw that they both needed to have the feed ramp polished as there were visible machining marks. Now this isn’t really a bad thing because anyone that has knowledge that buys a 1911 pistol usually has a polish and throat job done to insure reliability.  I checked and saw that the hammer had intricate cobweb machining inside of the commander style hammer.  This doesn’t add to anything but appearance, but it’s a nice touch for a low end pistol. After asking permission I made sure it was unloaded and cocked the chromed pistol so I could dry fire it.  There was about 3/16″ travel before the trigger broke, but it only took about five pounds of pressure, and it had no over travel.  Not too bad as far as unaltered factory triggers go.  You can get used to this trigger break with practice, or pay a gunsmith to improve it.

I looked down the sights and saw they were the three white dot variety, which suits me just fine because it’s what I’m used to looking through.  Some people like the all black sight picture, but three white dots are easy for me to pick up.  I also noted that the front sight is dovetailed into the frame, so it’s easily changeable for aftermarket night sights, etc.  I looked at the frame under the gun shops magnifying glass and couldn’t find any rough tool marks on it.

These two AMERICAN CLASSIC II pistols were both .45acp caliber, but when I checked the (Metro Arms Corporation) website  I learned that they are also offered in .40 caliber.  Both the slide and frame are made of 4140 steel with an overall length of 8.375 inches.  This is a full size Government model and its empty weight of 37.28 ounces helps reduce felt recoil.  I tend to like the Commander sized .45’s (4.5″ barrel length) and Metro Arms Corporations also offers 1911 pistols in this size.

 The stocks (grips) on these two pistols were light colored hardwood, and close inspection showed some imperfections in the diamond cut checkering, but consider the purchase price before dismissing this as a bad thing.  It’s easy to change the stocks to something that might appeal to you. When I handled the pistols I noticed that all of the controls appeared to be in the right place so your muscle memory manipulation of the controls shouldn’t be affected.

I have several Colt “O” model 1911’s, but if I were a young officer working for a progressive department that allowed 1911 auto pistol carry, I’d sure think about stuffing a AMERICAN CLASSIC II into my duty holster.

Remember; always buy what works, not just a name brand.  For either a cost conscious customer, or a true aficionado of the 1911 pistol, these two American Class II pistols really deserve a second look.

Till next time shoot straight in both thought and deed, practice your gun craft often, and always support your gun rights by joining and supporting the NRA.

Juniors Boy

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WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, Rossi Ranch Hand Lever Action Pistol

Posted on October 11, 2011 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

“The Mare’s Leg” It’s 1866 and Civil War veteran and bounty hunter Josh Randall strolls across the town square with purpose. He stops at the public bulletin board just outside of the town Marshall’s office and glares at a newly posted wanted poster. The poster depicts a murderer that’s WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE. Josh Randall carries a shortened Winchester Model 1892 carbine, called the “Mare’s Leg,” in a holster patterned after the “gunslinger” rigs of the day. The mare’s leg he carried was caliber 44-40, a common pistol caliber round of the day. Steve Mc Queen portrayed bounty hunter Josh Randall and all the men of my generation know that Steve Mc Queen was considered the essence of cool in his time.

Well now you too can purchase and shoot a Mare’s leg lever action pistol. Manufactured by Rossi Firearms of Brazil, the current Mare’s leg can be had in several pistol calibers: .38/.357 mag, .44 magnum, and .45 long colt. The Rossi model 92 hybrid, dubbed the “Ranch Hand”, is a “24 inch lever action pistol that features an adjustable buck horn rear sight, a milled brass bead front sight and an oversize loop lever that allows positive manipulation with gloved hands”. The receiver is cast steel and is richly blued. The shortened butt stock and fore stock are made of rich grained Brazilian hardwood.

The Ranch Hand weighs a hefty four (4) pounds, has an advertised trigger pull of 5 pounds 7 ounces, (about the same as the double action trigger pull on a good revolver). On the left side of the receiver there is a saddle ring (keeping with the style of the original Winchester Model 1892) it comes with a leather string included. The Ranch Hand’s 12″ barrel complies with federal regulations as it’s classified as a pistol. The Rossi Ranch Hand has two manual safeties, one on top of the receiver that’s marked with a green (S) for safe, and a red (F) for fire. The other safety is that with the rifle on half cock the trigger is blocked and cannot be activated. (It must be said that Rossi does NOT consider the half cock as a viable safety, and does NOT recommend anything other than the manual safety on top of the receiver near the rear buck horn sight as a viable safety mechanism.)

The Rossi Ranch Hand also features a key lock safety that is located just behind the hammer, and this feature allows the owner to lock up the weapon to prevent unauthorized usage. The m.s.r.p. for the Rossi Ranch hand is listed at $536.00, but actual retail prices will vary. At the time of this article Shooter’s Corner had a Rossi Ranch Hand in their display case for sale. Well as anyone knows, the accuracy of a firearm is the bench mark from which it will be judged. I’ve researched this information and from one new Ranch Hand owner I got this response. “I couldn’t be happier with my .45 long colt caliber Ranch hand. With a little adjustment of the sights, I was dead on target at 25 yards, and held within 1.5” at 50 yards.”

Remember folks this is a pistol caliber weapon, and that’s great accuracy for a pistol. Josh Randall usually fired his Mare’s Leg by placing the butt stock on his right hip, holding the fore stock with his left hand, and operating the loop lever with his right. I suspect that many of the new Mare’s Leg owners will do the same. I believe that walking a tin can (shooting it repeatedly to make it move and fly) will be the method that many rounds are fired from this unique firearm.

I’ve not seen any holsters advertised for the Rossi Ranch Hand “Mare’s leg” at the time of this article, but I suspect that Tex Shoemaker will custom make any holster you request at the right price. You too can have a belt rig like Wanted: Dead or Alive star Josh Randall that will increase your fun factor with the Ranch Hand. I hope you have enjoyed the review of this new pistol and will consider it when deciding your next firearm purchase. Mine will probably be of the .44 magnum caliber and I will wait for the stainless steel version that Rossi is sure to release soon. It will be a great companion to my .44 magnum Colt Anaconda for hog hunting. Till next time, shoot safely, practise often, and be sure to join and support the NRA to protect your gun rights.

Juniors Boy

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