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Posted: 3/29/2009 9:40:03 PM EDT
I saw a few of these in the EE. Anyone with experience with this brand have good or bad input? Any help would be freatly appreciated!!
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 10:12:15 PM EDT
Norinco 1911.

My dad had one. His was reliable after the first 20 break-in rounds or so. The fit and finish are inferior to Colt or Springfield but the steels used in the Norinco slide and frame are supposedly quite good. It was a not to uncommon practice in the 1990's to buy a stock Norinco 1911 and use it as a base gun for a custom 1911.

If I were to buy A Norinco 1911 today I would probably eventually replace the trigger, extractor, sights, grips, grip safety with higher quality units. With the exception of the extractor all of the modifications that I would make are just for comfort and aesthitics not pistol function.

All said they were something of a sleeper. Too bad Bubba Klinton banned their future import into the U.S. The models in the U.S. are perfectly legal to own but they are going up in price every year. I understand that the pistol shooters in Canada have access to new Norinco 1911's but they cannot import them into the U.S.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 11:57:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2009 12:06:36 AM EDT by Oro]
I bought one new in 1992 or 1993 before the ban. Good gun. Very reliable, good forged steel, most owners report great reliability out of the box. Frankly, if you can find one unmolested/messed with, I'd leave it that way and treat it as a "US GI" type. I wish I had not modified mine (typical mods - adjustable trigger, flat MSH, beavertail, hammer, etc.). I should have left it stock. It's a very accurate copy of the 1911a1 except for having taller, "combat" three-dot sights, which work fine. I see clean un-molested ones run $400 to $450, which to me looks like a great deal compared to a RIA or Springfield GI. There is no need to replace any parts unless you just want to spend money or change the style of something - it is a good gun out of the box after you lube it and give it a few rounds to break in. They shipped dry so lots of people just opened up the boxes and put hollowpoints in it and it would nosedive or stovepipe. If you stripped and lubed it, then it ran fine. If you are so lucky as to find a true "NIB" example, then detail strip it and lube it before shooting it. Reliability is excellent, accuracy is about equal to a Series 70 or 80 Colt - better than a typical GI but nothing to get all excited about.

FYI, there are four points at which it diverges from a "1911a1" Colt GI:

1) The sights are tall combat three-dot
2) the grip bushing-to-frame threadings are metric (not the grips screw threading). If you go to put in slim bushings, it's a bit of a project.
3) The front sight is silver-soldered in. Problem if you go to dovetail in a new front sight. It will eat up carbide cutters. But it doesn't shoot loose like GI sights.
4) The barrel is chrome-lined.

All in all, it is a good package. Over the years, I have heard or saw very few complaints on them. It is one of the few guns many top custom gunsmiths would build project guns on - it was solid and in-spec to start with, unlike many other makes. There was a Nickeled one in the EE last week for $450 - I would have snapped that up if it had not been a FTF only deal on the other coast. The nickel ones were pretty rare, but they sold some that way, too.

Link Posted: 3/30/2009 1:25:19 AM EDT
I have one still in original condition with the exception of installing wood grips.
Made from steel so hard most gunsmiths won't fuck with it because it damages their equipment working on it.

Very reliable shooter and accurate too. Just don't expect it to win any beauty contests.

Link Posted: 3/30/2009 1:53:40 AM EDT
Made from steel so hard most gunsmiths won't fuck with it because it damages their equipment working on it.


Uh, not quite. I've altered frames on Norinco and they just aren't any different than a good forging from elsewhere. The germ of the myth, as i mentioned in my post above, is the extensive silver-soldering in the front sight. When you go to cut a dovetail, you will hit some localized hardness that will burn cutters. But that's only the front sight.

Still, I agree the steel is good. The finish (bluing) is thin, too. But it wears ok, just not "Colt" quality. But it's half the price, back then, and still today.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 7:25:36 AM EDT
Oro, how hard is it to simply remove the existing front sight on Norinco's to replace with a different front sight using the standard (narrow) tenon style front sight?
I've quite a bit of experience working on Uncle Sam's 1911's, but relatively new to the Norincos.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 10:04:56 AM EDT
Thanks for the great info, this will definatly help out.
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