Barrel lock-up in our evaluation gun was so tight and precise that it took two hands to lift the barrel straight up out of the slide lugs in order to remove it. Bushing and bottom-lug fit were equally precise, and slide-to-frame fit was as good as it gets, with zero movement in any axis with the slide in battery. The Heinie Long-Slide 10mm uses a short recoil-spring guide and a long, relatively stiff recoil spring, and getting everything back together requires precise alignment, a good bushing wrench (supplied) and a couple of strong thumbs. This is not your grandfather’s World War II surplus 1911.
Further evidence of that fact comes in the form of rest of the gun’s components. Nighthawk uses only parts they have developed themselves, all of which (except for the aluminum trigger and custom wood grips) are fully machined from solid billet steel, including the trigger components, skeletonized hammer, raised-pad/extended-beavertail grip safety, left-side mounted thumb safety (ambidextrous safeties available, $120 upgrade), tactical magazine release and slide stop. Not surprisingly, all of these little parts and pieces are flawlessly fitted.
The trigger is a work of art in itself. The trigger stroke consists of 1/64th inch of intentionally designed take-up at a pull weight of 8 oz.—just enough movement to let you know you’re “on the sear”—followed by zero additional movement before the break. With three pounds of additional pressure, the hammer drops, for an average pull weight 3 lbs. 8 oz., which didn’t vary by more than an ounce in ten successive tests. Very sweet indeed.
The frame is cut high under the trigger guard for a no-questions-asked, 3-finger grip, even for fat-fingered shooters wearing gloves. Every edge on the pistol is subtly rounded—actually, more like “softened”—and the front and back straps are hand checkered at 25 l.p.i. Standard finish is black nitride, but Nighthawk offers a number of finish options. The pistol measures 9.65” L x 5.40” H x 1.40: W, and weighs 39.7 oz. empty, without magazine. A loaded magazine weighs 7.2 oz., bringing the loaded weight up to 46.9 oz.—just shy of three pounds. It comes with two 8-round stainless steel magazines and a padded pistol case.
For carry, we chose a Kydex OWB Tactical holster with protective leather lining from Gameface Holsters ($94.99; www.gamefaceholsters.com). This holster adds only 1/4” to the width of the gun, so it tucks in tight against your side like no wheel gun ever could. Gameface also provided one of their new Kydex belt-slide, single mag/flashlight carriers (pricing not yet available). Despite countless draws and reholsterings, the leather-lined OWB Tactical never even scuffed the pistol’s finish.
Thanks to the Long-Slide’s loaded weight and stout recoil spring, perceived recoil during testing was unremarkable. Firing the 180-gr. Federal Trophy Bonded loads felt about like a 1911 firing 230-gr. .45 ACP, which even an FBI agent should be able to handle. Balance and pointability were excellent, with no perception of muzzle heaviness attributable to the longer barrel and slide.
Functioning was 100% with all brands of ammo, and accuracy testing from the bench at 25 yards revealed a very precise and consistent pistol. While all groups printed under 2.75 inches, the best group measured 1.25” center to center with the Doubletap DT Hunter 200-gr. Hardcast lead. The Federal 180-gr. Vital Shok Trophy Bonded JSP came in second with a best 5-shot group measuring 2.04”, with every other group printing at or under 2.20”. No failures of any type were encountered during testing. See it at your Nighthawk retailer, or more information contact Nighthawk Custom, Dept. OT;
Tel.: (877) 268-4867;
Glock G40 Gen4 MOS
I’m very fond of the 10mm Glock G20 standard model with night sights I carry as a backup gun when hunting. I installed a 3.5-pound trigger connector and replaced the factory recoil spring/guide rod with a Sprinco Recoil Reducer to tame the perceived recoil and muzzle rise when shooting DoubleTap’s 200-gr. hard cast lead loads—the only ammo I ever feed it. I carry my G20 whenever I hunt or fish, and have full confidence that the 12,000 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy on tap with its 16 rounds will be more than enough to deal with any black bear, moose or other dangerous game I encounter this side of Alaska.