Gun Review: Dakota Meyer Medal Of Honor Recipient Special Edition 1911 in 45ACP

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The Dakota Meyer 1911 is a hand built special edition pistol to honor Meyer and his teams actions on 8 September 2009 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. For then Marine Corporal Meyers actions on that date he was awarded the congressional Medal of Honor. Written Citation of Meyers heroism can be read here

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Akai Arms, who specialize in custom guns, created this pistol with input from now retired Marine Sergeant Meyer. This limited edition 1911 will be made in a small number and after these are sold there will be no more. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Meyer’s favorite charities. When TFB was approached by Akai to review this 1911 I was honored to do so.

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My buddy Scott called to let me know the pistol had arrived and I went right over to pick it up. What I found was very nice indeed. The DM1911 comes packed in an SKB case which is waterproof, lockable, TSA approved and has an automatic ambient pressure equalization valve (MIL-STD-648C).The interior is filled with thick foam with cutouts for the 1911, a Wilson Combat ETM magazine and a Dakota Meyer challenge coin.

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After getting home I took the pistol out and gave it a good once over. The first thing I always check and an indicator of things to come is the barrel fit. The barrel fit was very good. The bushing fit the barrel snugly but without the need for a bushing wrench. The muzzle of the barrel has an 11-degree crown. The barrel hood was also well fit with no play. The slide to frame fit was well done. It wasn’t overly tight and moved smoothly. The beavertail was fitted with close even tolerances as well as being adjusted to release at the proper point for those who hold a 1911 with the thumb resting on top of the safety. As you can see in the photos, the frame has a built in magwell rather than the magwell being a separate part. The night sights are of the straight eight type with the front dot resting on top of the single rear dot. The trigger is crisp with very little takeup and measured at 3.2 pounds. I can say for a carry pistol I would prefer a trigger pull closer to four pounds, but this is a minor point.

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Gun Parts:

• Frame – The frame is a Tactical Rail frame and it has an integrated magwell. You can attach a light, such as a SureFire to the rail and the magwell allows for faster reloads. It has been checkered, aggressively at 22.5 lines per inch.

• Slide – The slide is engraved, has deep serrations, sight lines on the flat top portion and tri-topped between the sights. The slide is easy to grab, it is lighter, faster cycling and provides for softer recoil.

• Barrel – The barrel is a KART National Match bullseye barrel with a custom bushing. It is the same barrel that wins matches year after year. It is made from 4150 milspec steel, the same metal that the M16 barrels are made out of.

• Trigger Group – The trigger group is wire EDM cut, set at 3lbs (I measured 3.2 lbs), crisp.

• Safeties – The safeties are machined, ambidextrous, and hand blended to the high beaver tail.

• Sights – The gun comes with night sights in a figure eight.

• Finish – The finish is IonBond Diamond Like Carbon, one of the toughest finishes out there. It is a very expensive process.

• Case – The gun comes in an SKB case. It is lockable, airline approved and very tough.

• Challenge Coin – Every gun will come with a Limited Edition Dakota Meyer Challenge Coin.

• Magazine – The gun will come with one Wilsons ETM magazine.

The slide engraving on the right side says “ For Those Who Gave All” while the left side is engraved “ Dakota Meyer Medal Of Honor Recipient”

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The Ion Bond coating is a very durable. The only minor problem I found was the slide release had just a bit too much coating keeping it from operating. With the permission of the company I used some 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper to remove a very small amount of the Ion Bond from the post, which allowed the slide release to function perfectly. In fact I did not break through the finish with the release still fully coated.

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After going over the pistol I took it out to the range. I used a variety of ammunition from SIG Elite Performance 200 grn. JHP, Hornady Critical Duty, PMC 230 grn. ball and Federal 230grn. ball.

In two range sessions I had no malfunctions of any kind. I really liked how the flat-topped slide helped with the sight picture in cutting down any glare. Accuracy was very good as you would expect from a custom pistol. Firing was from 7 yards out to 25 yards firing from a sandbag rest. The groups fired from the 25 yard line averaged out at just over 2 inches.

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Gun Features:

Custom Gun Quality – This is a true custom gun, hand fit, hand blended and assembled one by one.
Best of the best parts – The gun has the best of the best parts that we could find, from a National Match KART barrel, to EGW internal parts.

Machined Parts – All parts are machined, no castings or Metal Injection Molding parts.
Precise Barrel Fit – The barrel fit is done by hand in order to extract maximum accuracy, reliability and soft shooting.

Custom Gun Cuts – All the cuts are functional, designed based on our vast experience from the competitive shooting world.

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Conclusion:

The workmanship is top notch with the only glitch being the slide release function because of a bit too much finish applied.

As mentioned unless a prospective owner intends to use the pistol for competition the trigger pull should be closer to 4 pounds. That’s my preference and of course I know those who would prefer a carry pistol to have a 3.2 pound trigger pull.

The front strap strippling is uniform in thickness and alignment. The G-10 grips provide the shooter with a firm grip while the cutout on the left side allows for easier operation of the magazine release.

Accuracy is as good as anyone could ask for and would serve well in competition or defense as long as the shooter does their part.

The MSRP is $3500.00 direct from Akai.

The Dakota Meyer book can be purchased at Amazon.com

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Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • ein volk ein reich ein fuhrer

    Is Afghanistan going down as a W or a L?

    • Zachary marrs

      Yes

      ~us chief of staff

      • ein volk ein reich ein fuhrer

        Put the MIC down in the W column also.

  • SD3

    “MSRP is $3500.00”. “A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Meyer’s favorite charities.”
    How big a portion?

    • Phil Hsueh

      AT $3,500 I’d hope a decent portion, at least $1,000 – $1,500.

      • Phil I doubt it would be that much. From previous experience with guns that have had a portion of the proceeds donated to charity 25% is the max I’ve seen.

    • The dollar amount is seldom talked about. I imagine it depends on the charity. I don’t have a set percentage.

      • SD3

        “The dollar amount is seldom talked about…”
        It’s talked about on the price tag.

  • Azril @ Alex Vostox

    Mr. Phil, you’re got yourself an awesome moment there. Kinda good to think how the gunmaker himself giving a nod to you to improve the his pistol by grinding (Grind? Is that a correct word for it ?) his own masterpiece.

    I’ve a little question actually. What is the specification for the TSA-approved gun case and what is the gun case ‘automatic ambient pressure equalization valve’?

  • whodywei

    For $3500, I would expect it comes with a real Kiku knife.

  • iksnilol

    Aaand it is a single-stack, AKA not so much interest from me.

    Though it does look nice, not my style but I am sure the 1911 afficionados appreciate that style. I prefer a chrome/nickel finish, walnut grips and as little as possible on the slide (rear serrations are enough for me).

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Love the slide serrations. LOVE THEM. Am a little surprised that they did not include an undercut trigger guard. Other than that, love it.

  • Phil Hsueh

    FYI, you forgot to include any pictures of the back of the pistol so that we can see what the sights look like, I only mention this because in your article you mentioned that in the pics we can see what the sights look like but there are no pics showing the back of the sights and I was curious to see what they looked like.

  • USMC03Vet

    What a war dog. I wish him all the best.

    Does it come with any documentation and how large the actual product number is?

    • No there wasn’t any paperwork included.That’s not really unusual for a T&E gun. I asked about how many would be made but I don’t think they’ve locked a number in yet.

      • USMC03Vet

        Yeah I checked the product page and couldn’t find anything. Talking with the man himself? Incoming medal of honor gun collection article perhaps?

  • William M Butler, MSG USA ret

    Nice firearm! Please try to remember that htere is no such animal as the “congressional” Medal of Honor. It is simply, the Medal of Honor. Thanks,