The venerable 1911 has been in production for over 100 years, and with companies all over the United States and even abroad producing them, the design seems more popular than ever.
A company called “Republic Forge” located in the panhandle of my home state of Texas is now focusing on custom made 1911 pistols to suit the needs of a smattering of different users. Phil contacted me saying that he needed someone to do a quick review on one of these custom 1911s born here in the Lone Star State, and of course I obliged.
The gun I received is a “Predator” model, a longslide version chambered in the mighty 10mm: The handgun caliber with perhaps the greatest cult following of them all. I had previously shot a Colt Delta Elite 10mm 1911, so I knew what I was getting myself into!
I purchased two boxes of factory 10mm ammunition from the only local shop that had it in stock for a jaw dropping $40 per box, but I wanted to get this review done quick so I was willing to pay the wallet-slaying price (I was also eager as hell to shoot this gun!).
On a nice, hot Texas day my friend Patrick and I headed to the range to test this bad boy out. We set up an IDPA target at about 10 yards and got to work.
I loaded up a nine round magazine and prepared to shoot at a target 10-15 yards away:
So yeah, the gun jammed on the first shot. Here is my “wait, wut?” expression:
No matter. I racked the slide and got back to work:
Now the second shot was beautiful. The 1911 shot great and I could see the round shred the zero ring on the target. Again I lined up for a third shot, and then… well… this:
So yeah. I racked the gun again and it did eat the rest of the magazine, which produced an impressive group all in the 0-ring:
I was impressed with the accuracy, but I generally do this well with most 1911s in .45. However the snappy recoil of 10mm does make you anticipate the recoil a bit more.
It was now time to try and get the best group possible. I really focused and got in the zone to try and take my time while driving lead down range:
This yielded an even better group that I was quite happy with.
That said it was time to get down to business and see how I could do using a rest. Prone, with range bag as a support, I tried yet another accuracy test:
This yielded an even better group that I was happy with at 15 yards!
As for the jamming, Phil White wanted to investigate so he had the pistol shipped to him and experienced some of the same troubles that I did. He said he had rounds nose-diving into the feed ramp just like what happened to me. He rounded up a Colt 10mm magazine and it performed flawlessly! He ran 200 rounds of mixed ammunition through the pistol, including some of the old Norma 10mm ammunition from the 80s that is absurdly powerful. Nonetheless, the pistol gobbled it all up.
As for my thoughts on the pistol:
Custom 1911s are being made all over the place these days. People, myself included, drop some serious coin on them to get exactly what they want. This model, a longslide 10mm would be a hunter’s dream. Many people use 10mm handguns to hunt various game animals because the round really does have some spectacular capabilities when you look at the high end of the reloading data.
As for my final thoughts:
- Excellent looking firearm
- Chambered in the mighty 10mm cartridge
- Excellent trigger
- Pricey magazines that can be finicky
- Grip feels very rough on my hands
- Jammed with supplied magazines / incorrect magazine supplied
- $3,395.00 is a lot of coin for a 1911 from a manufacturer without much brand awareness
- The front sight does not glow, but the rear sights are tritium night sights
All in all I would like to visit the guys and Republic forge and see their operation. Perhaps this test gun was a new venture into the world of 10mm, but I look forward to seeing this operation grow.