A 6-caliber 1911 Platform – Yes, Really

TUSSEY-4

Terry Tussey of Tussey Custom, who is known for his impressive custom work, has apparently come up with an interesting new handgun: a 1911 capable of six calibers. The project took years from start to finish, and in the end Tussey decided to go with .22LR, .38 Special, 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and .45 ACP as the calibers of choice. He’d originally considered including 10mm but decided to stop at six, which is more than enough, to say the least. So how is this possible?

TUSSEY-8

Tussey had to create the barrels and slides necessary for each caliber capable of fitting the same 1911 frame, a process that proved to be a challenge. One other angle that proved challenging was the recoil springs, so Tussey includes extra springs so they can be changed out as needed depending not only on the caliber but on the ammunition being fired. It’s an intensive, extensive complete set, and one worth taking a look at if for no other reason than its innovation.

All these calibers do not come cheap, though. Apparently the price of a complete build on a Caspian frame is currently estimated at $4999 for the first caliber with an additional $500 for each caliber that fits that initial slide. Slide and barrel sets for the initial frame would be an extra $1200.

Roy Huntington over at American Handgunner was able to test the entire six-caliber set and wrote up a review, which you can read at: http://americanhandgunner.com/six-calibers-in-one-tussey-multi-caliber/

Visit Tussey’s website at: www.tusseycustom.com/



katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


Advertisement

  • Riot

    Needing additional slides kills it. Just buy 2 or 3 individual 1911s in the calibers you are most likely to shoot.

  • 48conkli

    I would assume its 38 super rather than special. Also the one caliber that I would be interested in besides 45 is the 10 mm. I think that is a miss. It would not have been that hard. Plus for the price, no thank you. Could buy many separate 1911s for the initial 4999. Caspian smaspian.

    • Anonymous

      I’d prefer .38 Special, honestly.

    • dan citizen

      Colt produced a .38 special 1911, it only fires wadcutters.

      • gliney

        Smith and Wesson did it. The model 52.

      • LarryEArnold

        One .38 SPL will fit in a standard .45ACP magazine. The rim can make it a b**** to get back out.
        Don’t ask how I know.

    • Ken

      The .38 Special 1911’s used to be popular for National Match. The Army also developed .38 AMU, which is rimless.

    • Don Ward

      The AH article says .38 Super. Sadly the correction font needs to be opened.

    • raz-0

      the original article says .38 super, and that makes more sense.

  • Joshua

    …and click bait brought to you by Katie A, as usual

    • Vitsaus

      Not sure how this constitutes click bait. I never heard of this gun until I saw this.

      • It’s not he’s just being rude and insulting. I didn’t know about it either and I had a conversation with Terry 3 weeks ago.
        Joshua I deleted your comment for the reasons above. Be civil or don’t bother to post at all.

  • mike

    Whats the big deal here. There is really no reason you cant use the same frame for multiple calibers if you are going to change every other part. Make is so all it needs is a barrel, magazine and spring change then you will have something.

    • Mystick

      The ramp needs to be just right… I know my AMT hates hollow-points, but does just fine with FMJ. And that’s only in .45… I was told by multiple sources that it’s a ramp issue. I can only imagine the problems associated with having rounds of disparate geometries and scales. Not $5000 worth of engineering to solve those problems, though.

      Personally, I would have a spring guide and recoil spring for each individual slide since it’s not necessary to disturb those parts to remove the slide and exchange it with another one also with those parts in it. You pull out the slide stop and that’s pretty much it.

      For $500 per caliber slide(or $1200?), I would expect those parts to be included. Maybe with a gold plating and a widescreen TV thrown in to sweeten the deal.

  • Paul White

    I honestly don’t get the fascination with multicaliber guns. Particularly at this price. I could buy 4-5 fairly nice handguns for the price

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      The fascination lies with us over here in Europe, where an additional barrel and slide does not count as a gun, but as a part. That way, the gun is usable in a wider array of competitions atc. You see, many of us are limited in the amount of guns you can own.

      See the Sig Sauer X-series as a prime example. That gun sells boatloads in Europe, despite the price tag.

      • BB

        I’ve done the same thing with a Para-Ordnance P14-45 and bought additional slides. Nice competition gun for me.

        But $4999 is a bit much for a concealed carry piece.

  • gunslinger

    if the OAC was cheaper than buying 6 1911s, then sure. but the problem is that usually it’s a huge up front investment. base investment 5k. and assuming you can get 2 more barrels in the slide, that’s 6k. stop right there.

    shouldn’t you be able to get 6 1911s for that cost? the upside is that you have a nice storage unit for the barrels/slides/springs! downside is..well you need to the space for 6 handguns

  • Anonymoose

    What? No .460 Rowland?

  • Joe

    Haters gotta hate.

    Who cares if the math makes sense? Why not just appreciate what it is, a beautiful gun?

  • David Lowrey

    So I can buy a complete 1911 for each of those calibures and still spend less then 5k. That’s 5k for the frame and one calibure plus 500 for each new cal. That’s 7,500 for all of it. This gun is nice for people who have money to burn lol.

  • Mystick

    5 grand? Does it fire golden bullets or something?

    • No but Terry is one of the best gunsmiths and builders on the planet. His pistols are something special.

      • Some of the metal work was lacking. The beavertail fit was fairly gappy, and the slide wasn’t properly blended to the rear of the frame. I wasn’t terribly keen on the MIM extended slide stop either.

  • Zebra Dun

    I have a .45 acp Gov model series 70 and an adapter kit that converts it to .22 lr. that is about as far as I want to go switching calibers and slides/magazines.
    While it would be fun to shoot it is way too expensive for the average fun shooter.
    Accuracy has to suffer somewhere along the way it does with the .22 lr adapter.

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    As a European shooter, based on comments on TFB I can only conclude that Americans are cheapskates and do not appreciate hand made quality and fit. You can keep your multiple polymer sub-400 polymer pistols, but I´ll take a single custom handgun, like a X-Six Supermatch or an SVI. Also, just because you can´t afford it, does not mean it is not better than your 400$ Glawk.

    • Ken

      We like our 1911’s to rattle a little bit.

      • G0rdon_Fr33man

        I understand that having 1911s at different price points is a good thing, so more people can afford to buy and shoot guns. But please don´t fight tooth and nail to defend your awesome 300$ RIA.

        • Ken

          I don’t own an RIA. I only own Colt commercial models. I understand the benefits of fitting a 1911 tight for accuracy, but it makes me nervous when the slides do not rattle slightly, for a carry/general shooting gun.

    • Comrade

      You guys are the idiots who spend 100,000.00 on a skeet gun.

      • G0rdon_Fr33man

        If that gun took 2000 hours to make, like a Purdey or H&H, you are purchasing a piece of art. If you have the cash, I say go for it. By not understanding that, you prove my point.

    • Vitsaus

      You must be new to the blog. The cheapskate nature of the American shooting public is ridiculed relentlessly here. There are routinely articles posted about limited production WWII rifles being reproduced or nearly handmade guns where various readers complain that they do not cost the same as a Century WASR even though the arms in question require 10x the time and expense to produce. That and how everything should take Glock magazines.

      • G0rdon_Fr33man

        I just read about the Sig Sauer P-210 who might be made in the US in the future. They talked about how they were gonna make it a 21st century pistol. Now I half-way expect it to have picatinny top to bottom, tritium sights and duracoated. You know, to completely f*vk up a classic design.

        • Vitsaus

          More likely they’ll release it in 7 colors, including FDE and rainbow, then make 7 grip variations with queen of hearts card print, or something related to spartans. Duracoat is also so 2012, it’ll be ceracoat now.

    • barry

      I think generally Americans appreciate utility over art in regards to firearms. This is because most consider it a tool and value reliability/function over form. Also, consider that they aren’t limited by the number of firearms they can possess. If I had one pistol permit and could only acquire one pistol, I would spend a lot and get the best I could afford. However, if I was limited in that capacity, I would surely buy a Glock, Sig, Beretta, Ruger, HK, and S&W with that same amount of money instead.

      • YS

        I appreciate art in firearms, but clearly when we talk about multi-caliber platform, it is purely about function. I suppose you can argue about technical beauty, but caliber conversion in itself isn’t amazing technology.

    • fullyautomaticgerman

      Well. Americans tend to carry their guns a lot. I can understand carrying a Glock over carrying an X-Six. It costs $500, its super reliable, and you won’t be sad when its damaged or confiscated.

      • Spidouz

        Nonetheless, due to restrictive gun laws, Europeans are often limited in number of firearms (such handguns and semi-auto rifles) they can legally own, regardless how rich they could be. Therefor, they tend to put more cash in the few guns they have. In the other hand, Americans are free to own as many guns they want, and therefor can own and collect a lot more guns.

    • raz-0

      Eh we aren’t all cheap. I have had custom guns done that aren’t cheap, but you don’t need to spend $5k for a hand fit 1911 that runs very nicely, is very accurate, and looks pretty.

      This doesn’t look like particularly good value IMO, and if one is going to go with the luxury/best you can buy angle, the base price should be two bottom ends and three top ends regardless of the price tag being high as if you are actually shooting them, the bottoms would wear out quicker than the tops.

    • AR-PRO

      I wouldn’t call Americans “cheapskates”, I would say we prefer to own multiple platform pistols because we can… I can’t rationalize spending 3k on a pistol that I’m going to carry and expose to the elements and the constant abuse of holster wear and being banged against seat belts, counter tops, desks and whatever else I happen to lean against. It’s a tool, not a match quality show piece that I have to constantly worry about damaging. Besides, my “Glawk” hits everything I aim at.

  • Ken

    I think the more remarkable part is that it uses the same ejector for all calibers.

    • You could accomplish that easily with the Commander, Officers ACP, and Defender slides as they share the same ejector profile across all calibers as the non-.45 ACP Government models. So Tussey either had the .45 Government slide cut for a Commander ejector, or he adopted a hybrid profile ejector that covered the width of both the Government and Commander ejectors and then milled all of the slides to match.

  • Marc

    Big deal, the Peter’s Stahl multicaliber came in just about any caliber which fits a 1911 magwell (including 10 mm) and did so with a single slide because it had two flexible extractor claws facing each other.

  • Jeff Thompson

    Just buy a eaa witness. It’s a great firearm that you can get multiple caliber uppers and magazines in all of the ones here and 10 mm

    • M

      Did they solve the frame cracking issue yet?

      • M

        I mean, the slide cracking issue

  • Don Ward

    Oh. Hey! A 1911 in six calibers!

    And none of them are .38 Super.

    *Price Is Right loser trombone sounds*

    • Don Ward

      Oops. It looks like we need a correction. American Handgunner says it IS chambered in .38 Super. Someone gets the cone of shame!

  • Fruitbat44

    When I saw the headline my first thought was, “Finally! Someone has made a .46!”

  • M

    Or you can have a standard 1911 frame milled for a ramped barrel and just drop in the barrels you want to convert it into

    • That still doesn’t solve the issue of proper breechface and extractor dimensions. You might get away with a 10mm barrel in a .45 ACP breechface slide, or a 9x19mm barrel in a 10mm breechface slide. However, a 9x19mm barrel in a .45 ACP breechface slide is probably pushing your luck.

      • M

        I’m well aware of that

        The point I’m trying to make is that people have been DIY’ing this themselves for years, and that it was nothing new. (kinda the reason I tried to point out he used ramped barrels, and you can mill the ramp yourself and get the slide/barrel conversion)

        • You don’t necessarily need the ramped barrel. Guns & Ammo ran an article on a multi-barrel conversion back in the early 1980s. If I remember correctly, the author had one assembled with .22 LR, 9x19mm, .38 Super. .38/45, and .45 ACP.

    • FWIW: Tussey used ramped barrels in this pistol.

  • Alucard

    I was hoping by 6 caliber they meant, .60 caliber 1911,that is something I would like to see.
    Especially cause one day I was bored and made some blueprints for a 20mm 1911,it would use a 400 grain bullet,the cartridge dimensions would be 20x42mm. It would launch the 400 grain bullet at 650-750 FPS.

    One day I plan on showing my blueprints to the my friend who is a machinist and have him make it for me,I could make the bullets on my own,the problem though is if I do end up having it made is that it will have to be registered as a Destructive Device with the ATF.

    • Many years ago, Mark White of Sound Technologies was playing with a couple of prototype “pistol” cartridges that he called the .58 White. The idea was that if you are going to use a subsonic cartridge, it might as well use the largest diameter projectile possible. Obviously, the large caliber runs afoul of Destructive Device regulations, but he was already a Class 2 Manufacturer that specialized in sound suppressors.

      http://iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2657

  • For the curious, here is the patent for the Tatum ambidextrous safety used by Tussey:

    https://www.google.com/patents/US8677667

  • nom

    The title led me to believe it was an oversized 1911 that shot a 6 caliber bullet. A little disappointed.

    • nom

      as in 6 inches across

  • DIR911911 .

    personally I’d rather spend that money on six different guns and still have enough left over for an AR . . . and change.

  • MrEllis

    That is a good looking gun.

  • Aint So

    5K for the first caliber? Looks like I may have to hang on to my P250 collection for just a while longer.

  • Adam

    Im an old fart in my mid 40’s… but Peter Stahl in Germany has been doing this for close to 30 odd years.. And each of his handguns are a work of art.. Seriously he was making 16 shot double stack 45 1911s while America thought 8 shot shooting star mags were the ducks nuts..