Another beautiful custom from the hands of Ted Yost. Read more about it at Louder Than Words: http://www.louderthanwords.us/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7115.
This Vic Tibbets built 10mm is owned by agtman.
Go to the website. Agtman did an excellent job documenting the history of this build.
This photo was posted on Glock Talk several years back. It was this photo that started my love affair with the 10mm. This one is owned by a guy out in California and was worked over by John Jardine, another pistolsmith in the ELITE of 1911 pistolsmiths. I tried talking the owner out of it but he wouldn’t sell 😦
Ted Yost along with his partners make some of the most beautiful 1911s extant. Yost falls into THE elite group of 1911 pistolsmiths. He gained his name starting as the pistolsmith at Jeff Cooper’s Gun Site and his skills with 1911s continued and still continue to evolve.
Pictured above is a 10mm based on a Caspian frame and slide. To truly appreciate this pistol, you need to see the full size photos here.
When these came out years ago, these Chinese made 1911s were perceived to be cheap foreign unreliable imitations of the real thing. However, Bill Wilson of Wilson Combat made a statement which gave the Norinco a big boost in credibility. If memory serves correctly he said the Norinco slides and frames were of good (very good?) quality and his shop put out customized Norincos. In addition other gunsmiths also used the Norinco as a basis for customized 1911s, further boosting credibility. I bought several because they were so inexpensive compared to what was available. If memory serves, they were around the $200 mark at introduction. Several years after its introduction, some event occurred and import of Chinese weapons to the US ceased.
I had bought a few to hold in storage and then sold them off. Others I took and used to develop skills to customize 1911s. Being low cost, I could afford to make mistakes on them. The last Norinco I had I ended up do the full custom job to my ability including tighten slide frame fit, custom fit match barrel and bushing, install C&S ignition parts, install Videcki trigger, checker front strap at 30 lpi, serrate slide rear, install Wilson front and rear sight, flatten mainspring and checker, and bevel magazine well.
All the Norincos shot like champs. I never did shoot so many rounds through any particular one to determine the reliability but I never did have a misfeed or malfunction. Stock triggers were mushy but tolerable. The stock sights made shooting for accuracy a concentrated affair.
Looking back it was a valuable lesson and I enjoyed it but ultimately I didn’t have the innate ability to make a career of it. I eventually sold all the specialized 1911 tools.
Alas all the Norincos are now out of my hands. Foolish youth again…
Doesn’t it strike you odd that a big name operation like Ciener would have staff unfamiliar with their own products? Years ago, I had called and asked if their Commander/Officer 22LR conversion would fit a Kimber Ultra Carry. The man on the other end of the phone had to scramble for answers and never did provide any. I decided I knew enough and bought a unit.
The slide is made from 7075-T6 aluminum. The barrel is steel with a welded lug. The muzzle is free floating, supported only by incidental contact with the slide. The rear sight is drift adjustable for windage and the front sight staked or machined in place.
The unit out of the box did not fully seat in the Kimber. I had to draw file the Kimber ejector down a few strokes. Once done, installation was truly a snap and as advertised, the unit could be installed in 10 seconds with much practice and crisp movement.
After assembly, I racked and released the slide a few times. The slide was “sticky”. The slide lacked oomph to snap back in place and the slide visibly decelerated as it neared the battery position, always falling a minimum of 1/8 in. or so from going into full battery. Not a good omen.
With Remington Golden Bullet high velocity 22LR, the slide too often failed to go into full battery. It took many rounds and many sessions for me to discover that the slide would not go back into battery if I kept the trigger in the depressed position after firing. This trigger position was almost the equivalent of engaging the slide stop.
I tried some Federal high velocity hollowpoints. The hollowpoints had noticeably more recoil than the Remingtons. The higher velocity resulted in the slide snapping back and forward with more authority. Using the Federals, reliability was better. Although Ciener doesn’t recommend hypervelocity rounds, it might be the path to go.
After 800 plus rounds, the slide was operating more reliably and appeared to be “breaking in.” It was functioning smoother and wear on the anodization showed. I can’t say for certain that tight tolerances on either the Ciener or the Kimber was the the reason although that may have been a contributor to the problemes. It is supposed to be a drop-in unit.
How does it compare to other conversion units? I’ve had experiences with a Colt and Marvel conversions. Both worked fine out of the box. Colt conversions are no longer made and in limited availability. The Marvel is expensive.
If you are using the gun strictly as a means to practice for heavier loads and if you can stand the breaking in period, then the Ciener is something you may want to use. The malfunctions may help you with malfunction drills. If your purpose is to use the conversion as a self defense gun and you wish to use it immediately without a break-in period, continuing looking for something else.
Based upon my experience, I can’t recommend the Ciener conversion and I got rid of mine.