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New Nighthawk Custom Heinie Tactical Carry Pistol - Pictures & Review

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by awpk03s, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. awpk03s

    awpk03s

    1,472
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    Apr 1, 2007
    Ohio
    My obsession and infatuation with 1911 pistols has been ever fueled in the past couple of years by my increasingly excellent shooting performance with them, and the ease of carry in a single stack 45ACP platform with the best trigger and action crafted thus far in a handgun. To that end, I've made the decisions to own and carry what I feel and expect to be some of the best practical 1911s being made today.

    I already have a pistol being custom built right now at Nighthawk Custom - a 5" Enforcer Recon model with Diamond Black finish and ambi safety. In the meantime, I have been searching for another similar quality 1911 that I could dedicate to carry and use on the range, as the Enforcer Recon would be suited for primary home defense with a Surefire X300, as well as range use. I originally wanted a T3 from Nighthawk, but opted to not have one built at the same time as the Enforcer. After deciding I was going to buy another pistol, I began scouring the shops and online sites for a pistol already available that would suit my needs. I shopped Les Baers, Ed Browns, Wilsons, and Nighthawks. All are excellent guns, of that I am sure - but the Nighthawk pistols overall do it for me much more than the others for a variety of reasons. I am not a fan of any of the polymer coatings employed on firearms today, so I was looking for a Diamond Black, Hard Chrome, or stainless model. The next catch is it must have an already fitted/installed ambi safety since I am left-handed.

    The end result is the pistol I am going to review here. I found it and mulled over it for some time before finally buying it, and wow I am glad I did.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The pistol is Nighthawk's Heinie Tactical Carry pistol. Details about the pistol can be found here on NHC's website: http://www.nighthawkcustom.com/Heinie_Tactical_Carry_Pistol.aspx however I will try to sum them up individually here as well.

    For starters, here's what came in the bag. A nice Bulldog gun case, filled with the usual paperwork, SIX (6) stainless 8 round NHC magazines (like the one pictured here), a spare tuned extractor serrated to match the rear of the slide, a tube of lubricant, and the pistol.
    [​IMG]
    I was under the impression that most NHC guns are built by several gunsmiths through out the process, but mine was done entirely by Jeff Phillips according to the certificate and test target.
    [​IMG]

    On to the pistol itself, I don't know who is doing the hard chrome for Nighthawk, but it's an excellent finish on this pistol. It's just beautiful and in my opinion - perfectly done. The gun has 40lpi serrations on the top of the flattened slide, as well as on the rear of the slide. Heinie straight 8 night sights are mounted on top as well and are very fast to acquire and target with. This gun has Heinie's mag well which is very nicely done, and because it employs a shorter frame, doesn't add to the length of the pistol which is beneficial for a carry gun. The butt of the pistol and MSH is rounded slightly, and the MSH is checkered, I believe 25lpi, as well as the front strap. The checkering is very fine and sharply cut and allows for a very secure grip on the pistol.
    The trigger is another Heinie part, and it's very light. Easily the lightest trigger I've shot, and I have to say I really prefer it this way, just well done.
    The slide stop pin is flush cut and the hole is chamfered. The barrel is very nicely and tightly fit to the gun with a very nicely polished ramp and throat, and held in place by an extra thick Heinie bushing, where the barrel is flush cut and crowned. I was pleased to find the bushing tight, but able to be hand-turned for disassembly.
    The slide to frame fit is very very tight - but yet the slide feels like it's riding on ball bearings. Again, very impressed with the action of this gun.
    The grip safety is fit very nicely as well. I was surprised to see the ambi safety NOT be one of the Ed Brown/Wilson variety with the shoe extending under the grip, but rather I think it's a hammer pin variety either a King or Kimber type design. The thumb safety is fitted very tight, and has a definite positive snick on/off action, that requires just enough pressure.
    The gun is finished off with black Alumagrips with the Heinie logo on them. The grips are checkered, but in all honesty, they're pretty smooth. The front strap/MSH makes for a very secure grip already though, so that's okay. I think they look good on the pistol and are a nice contrast to the hard chrome finish. I'm not sure if I'll keep them on there or go another route with grips (I like wood and the VZ G10 grips, plus don't care for another "H" logo on the gun, but whatever), but for now I like them and they'll stay.
     
  2. awpk03s

    awpk03s

    1,472
    0
    Apr 1, 2007
    Ohio
    Here's some more pictures:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Shooting Impressions:
    After taking possession from my FFL, I took it immediately to the range and put a little bit of FP10 oil on the rails and went to work with 250 rounds of Federal 230gr FMJ, Winchester 230gr Ranger JHP, Speer 230gr Gold Dot JHP.

    I shot at 10 yards at an indoor range, just to break in (start at least) and get familiar with the gun. My first magazine left a hole honestly not much bigger than that of the test target. It's really that accurate - I was amazed, I've never shot anything this accurate before. It's so effortless to rip out the center of the target again and again. I had no issues whatsoever in 250 rounds with all 6 NHC mags, plus I used 3 Wilson 47DC mags that were flawless as well. Interestingly enough, the manual states that NHC doesn't guarantee the gun's reliability with Speer ammunition (in addition to aluminum case ammo and wadcutters). I'm not sure why that is, but I shot 25 rounds of Gold Dots just fine in this first session.

    I'm not sure what else to say at this point, but I truly believe this is a fantastic pistol, and I'm very impressed with the craftsmanship exhibited in this model and proved through the performance.
     


  3. bac1023

    bac1023

    102,314
    2,689
    Sep 26, 2004
    PA
    Yeah, they look great and very close in appearance the Heinie's custom builds.

    Congrats on an outstanding Nighthawk. :thumbsup:
     
  4. steve1911

    steve1911

    6,149
    271
    Jul 12, 2004
    oregon
    Outstanding pistol, Congrats!


    1911club#410
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  5. looks pretty :) congrats!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  6. drc767

    drc767 Navy CSAR

    2,050
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    Dec 30, 2007
    Tennessee
    Nice pistol!! To the best of my knowledge, Metaloy is doing Nighthawk's Hardchrome. Chris does a fantastic job and is right up the road from NH.
     
  7. bac1023

    bac1023

    102,314
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    Sep 26, 2004
    PA
    I believe he does.

    Nighthawk's hard chrome has always been some of the best, in my opinion.
     
  8. drc767

    drc767 Navy CSAR

    2,050
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    Dec 30, 2007
    Tennessee
    Chris has one of my "prized" 1911's right now....I cannot wait to see what it looks like when I get it back. His work is definately top shelf!
     
  9. bac1023

    bac1023

    102,314
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    Sep 26, 2004
    PA
    No doubt Dave :)
     
  10. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock

    1,245
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    Feb 18, 2010
    Texas
    NIghthawk is my favorite builder. My Predator was built by Travis.
     
  11. bac1023

    bac1023

    102,314
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    Sep 26, 2004
    PA
    Some say their quality control is lacking or has lacked in the past.

    I've had no problems with either or mine and love both of them.
     
  12. MADBMW

    MADBMW

    308
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    Dec 10, 2006
    Central, CA.
    The Heinie TCP is by far my favorite NHC gun. I would love to pick one up one of thes days, in either two tone or full HC. Congrats on a beautiful gun.
     
  13. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    18,888
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    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    That gun is absolutely stunning. Very nice.
     
  14. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    18,888
    13
    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    He's gonna have one of my "prized" 1911's pretty soon. Actually two, because I'm gonna have the Legacy hardchromed as well. :supergrin: Can't wait.
     
  15. bac1023

    bac1023

    102,314
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    Sep 26, 2004
    PA
    The Enforcer is my favorite, but I like the Heinie models also. :)
     
  16. Russ424

    Russ424

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Lehigh Valley, PA.
    I like the magwell! That magwell is just awesome. I love the fact that they shorten the frame up a bit then insatll the magwell for the same overall length. BTW the hardcrome looks perfect.
     
  17. bac1023

    bac1023

    102,314
    2,689
    Sep 26, 2004
    PA
    I'm looking forward to seeing your No Name and Legacy.

    You have two awesome 1911s on the way. :)