Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Damn. Just when I was thinking I was through buying handguns for a while, guess what comes in at the gun shop where I work?
A 1911-style .22LR pistol that's not a piece of junk. It's the new GSG M1911 with wood grips, one of three models made in Germany by GSG and imported by ATI of Rochester, NY.
It's got ambi-safeties, a big plus for lefties like me, plus a genuine grip safety, dovetailed sights front and rear and an adjustable trigger. You might say those are pretty standard features for any 1911-style .22LR pistol, but they ain't.
Let's take a look at the previous first entrant in the field, the Chiappa Model 1911-22. It's made in Italy and imported by Chiappa USA and has a rudimentary dovetailed rear sight, fixed front sight, no grip safety, no ambi thumb safety and a fixed trigger.
So if you want to adjust the sights, and according to all reviews I've read, it consistently shoots high, you have to file down the front sight. Not good.
The GSG 1911-22 not only has dovetailed sights front and rear, they give you two extra front sights in the box to adjust up-down for point of aim.
And I've handled both and I gotta say, the Chiappa just feels cheap and the GSG feels very nice in the hand. Both have alloy slides and frames, but the Chiappa is made of something they call "Chippalloy" which looks like pot metal to me. Every new one I've seen came out of the box with at least one blemish in the finish, which is available in black, tan or OD green. The GSG has a nice black finish with no blems outa the box.
The "cheap" Chiappa is selling for $269, the GSG 1911 with wood grips is selling for $330. Looks like $61 well spent to me. I've already got a .22LR slide for my Sig P220 SAO .45 ACP pistol, but I may not be able to resist one of these really nice GSG 1911 .22 pistols for long. It's true you get what you pay for. And in comparing these two 1911 .22 pistols, I think you get far more than $61 extra value with the GSG.