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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I intend this to be a study of a 1911-greenhorn's experience with a new-in-the-box gun, from bring-home through range testing. I used to make my living writing operator's manuals, though that may not be evident here. Comments will be welcome at any time during the process; I ask a question here and there, and hope for answers.

Girsan 1911 S G2 - A Case History
Chapter One. 1 August 2014

Brought new gun home. Gathered cleaning gear, opened case (interesting slide closures). Besides the gun and papers, found brass and fiber bore brushes, a rudimentary plastic cleaning rod , a vial of lubricating oil and a 'test' case. The gun is sufficiently but not excessively protected with oil. The firing pin dent in the test case primer is deep, and obviously but unimportantly off-center.

Field stripped; standard 1911 procedure. Wiped oil from accessible surfaces, ran solvent-soaked swab through the barrel. Some powder residue on patch, presumably from test firing at factory; cleaned it up. Put a drop of gun oil here and there, reassembled gun.

The barrel is chrome plated all over. There are no tool marks inside the gun or out. The finish (dull black) is smooth and even, no voids. A vigorous vertical shake produces an audible click from the gun. There is a slight vertical play (.010"?) in the frame to slide fit. Manual functional operation of the slide, hammer, trigger, safety and slide detent levers are normal. The grip and thumb operated safeties function as intended. Trigger action is somewhat 'gritty'.

The grips - described as Turkish walnut - are attractive, well fitted and varnished. The checkering is blunt-topped, non-aggressive. The sights are "Novak style" and black. My septuagenarian eyesight has been surgically repaired (new lenses), but black-on-black is an unnecessary challenge. I will strategically apply white fingernail polish; it worked for my Walther-Colt .22.

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Wood


Warranty service is provided by Bud's Gun Shop. The warranty period is 1 year parts&labor, 3 years parts.

[EDIT - weeks later] I had purchased another magazine (only one is furnished), a Chip McCormick "Match Grade" 8rd. The packaging states it is "for M1911 government & commander owners". It does not latch in place. After a few misapprehensions I decided that the problem could be that the slot in the magazine - that the latch drops into - doesn't get into the stock far enough. Filed about .02" off the upper side of the slot , and now it latches in place.

I intend to manually ( and non-violently) cycle the slide a few dozen times over the weekend, in preparation for the first range test on Tuesday, weather permitting.
I'll be back.
 

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Good job, I'll be following this thread
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Girsan 1911 S G2 - A Case History
Chapter Two. 5 August 2014. First range test.

Ammo: Armscor USA - 230 grains FMJ. 10" pie plate at ~40'. Standing, no rest.

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The first 8 rounds. The missing hole was just off the plate at 7 o'clock. My trigger control sucks.

Fired 3 magazines empty - 24 rounds. No Failures-To-Function. Operated the thumb safety on and off between each round; smooth, positive function. The trigger is 'military stiff' but not particularly rough/gritty. The slide locked open when each magazine-load emptied.

Recoil was moderate, target reacquisition easy. I didn't attempt double taps, because of my poor trigger control. Have snap caps (Tipton), will work on that. The gun is a pleasure to shoot; it fits my hand wonderfully, and that safety makes cocked & locked carry eminently sensible.

Next time out, I will shoot a mag load of JHP (PMC Gold Starfire, 230 grains SFHP) to check function, and try to A-B my comfort level between this gun and my Tanfoglio (EAA) Witness P .40 S&W. One of them will be my carry gun.

I reloaded ammo back in the late 1970s, and hope to get back into it now. Locating powder is going to be a problem, looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Working on trigger control, using a snap cap. Maybe 150 'snaps' so far, and it's improving. The Girsan's trigger is improving too; much smoother than it was on the range. After taking up the slack, the pull-distance is short and there seems to be no over-travel after hammer drop. If my 'pull rate' is slow enough there is a definite, consistent two-stage effect, i.e. the trigger stops a short, consistent distance from hammer-drop, the next bit of finger pressure causing 'ignition'. Ought to be great for target shooting, won't be noticed, I think, in other situations (that I will practice for but hope never happen).

Looks like I'm not going to get back to the range this month (the range being my nephew's back yard), so will have plenty of time to get some body mechanics worked on. This 'case history' is turning out to be nearly as much about my incompetence as about the gun. Gives the reader some chaff to disregard, but also provides a standard for judging the usefulness of my conclusions about the gun. Hope you can hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dry firing on a snapcap has much improved both my trigger control and the Girsan's trigger. During this process I have also settled into the weight forward version of the "isosceles" two-handed stance, left thumb pressing on top of right thumb, left thumb operating the safety during presentation. We'll see how well this works out when I get back to the range. Need to run rounds through two new magazines as well as JHPs through the factory supplied mag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK! Finally got back to the range, time to finish this case history.

Fired 24 rounds at ~40' - one magazine load in each of the three magazines. The trigger is much improved from my last time out - my aim not so much. Used the Girsan-supplied ACT-MAG magazine first, loaded with PMC Starfire 230gr SFHP. No FTF, all rounds in the target. This is the target (10" plate, the circle is 8") fired using the MEC-GAR magazine from Bud's Guns. the 7th empty case failed to eject. After clearing I fired the 8th round, punching the only hole outside the 8" circle (at 7 O'clock). Emptied the Chip McCormick magazine last; the 8th round failed to load, maybe because the 7th case was tardy leaving(?). Anyway, I shook the round into the chamber and released the slide on it, same as I did for the earlier FTE. The slide came to battery both times. This is useful, and something my Tanfoglio (EAA Witness) .40 will not do - the extractor won't get past the rim.
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I don't know how the failures-to-function can be legitimately blamed on the particular magazines in use, but they were there, so I mentioned them. That's what I've got on my Girsan experience, make of it what you will.

;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Time has passed, rounds have been fired, and I have come to the conclusion that this gun will cycle reliably only with round nose bullets. Sierra 230gr "Power Jacket" JHP are particular jammable, but the bullets in PMC "Starfire" 230gr SFHP won't feed 8-in-a-row either. The 'hollow' in the 'hollow point' is too damn big; its rim is what contacts the feed ramp, not the ogive. I have had the Sierra bullet catch in the space between the frame's feed ramp and the barrel's continuation of it.

I've been looking for a bullet with a smaller diameter hollow - which results in a longer ogive - but no luck so far. Any suggestions?
 

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One thing I missed, and I may have overlooked it, there are NO markings on either side of the slide. I have the same pistol and love it. I've run the gamut from cheap(Llama) to very good(Springfield Loaded-stainless) and my Girsan falls closer to the Springer. I am very well pleased and the slick sides just add to it! Mr. Hillman, you have given the most informative review of this pistol that I have been able to find anywhere. Thank you sir!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, Jim; I've been striving for 'full disclosure'. BTW I have found that hard cast RNFP bullets feed OK too.

Note of possibly general interest: 200 gr bullets loaded to produce ~850 fps velocity will impact the target 3-4 inches low at 30'. Obviously the sights were factory set for 230 gr bullets. I have been informed that I need to slow the 200 gr bullets way down - and probably change to a lighter recoil spring - if I wish to use the lighter bullets. I may play with that formula next spring, but for now I will be using 230 gr bullets.

Note of possibly no interest: My username, hillman, is a generic term for a man who lives in hill country; it is not a surname.
 

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Well I took the leap and purchased one of these. Planning on taking it out soon weather permitting. I appreciate the review and information. The pistol has a nice "feel" in the hand and I think will be a nice addition to my collection. My thoughts were to use this and warehouse my other 1911's and this would become my "wear & tear" weapon as the price affords it to be easily and rather inexpensively replaced should the need arise. I was also impressed with it tolerances and quality for the price.
I will post some range-reports and hopefully soon...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I took the leap and purchased one of these. Planning on taking it out soon weather permitting. I appreciate the review and information. The pistol has a nice "feel" in the hand and I think will be a nice addition to my collection. My thoughts were to use this and warehouse my other 1911's and this would become my "wear & tear" weapon as the price affords it to be easily and rather inexpensively replaced should the need arise. I was also impressed with it tolerances and quality for the price.
I will post some range-reports and hopefully soon...
Looking forward to your range reports. My Girsan is my only 1911, and I don't anticipate getting another (have developed an interest in CZ-75 clones). I expect to do some extensive playing with loads&bullets next summer though; should be fun.
 

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Ok, I took the Girsan out along with my Rock Island 1911 for a side by side comparison. The R.I. has had less than 50 rounds through it so is fairly fresh out of the box.
Both preformed well on all types of ammo. aluminum cased, steel and brass ammo fed properly. I used Wilson mags on both and was pleased. The sight system is much nicer on the R.I. which also has ambidextrous safety's. The Girsan has the standard G.I. style sights but were accurate. After 100 rounds of mixed 230 gr FMJ rounds, the aforementioned R.I. safeties feel off the pistol. I should mention both weapons have new Houge rubberized grips. The Girsan has zero issues. I ran about an 6-8 inch pattern from 35 ft on both weapons and maybe a little tighter on the Girsan. Over all, a very decent 1911 for the price!
 
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