Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ed Brown Kobra Carry 1911 .45 ACP

One of the last trades I made prior to leaving Boise was at Cabela’s for an Ed Brown Kobra Carry. This was an expensive trade and cost me five handguns for my trouble. Was it worth it? Well, that’s a matter of opinion. I have always wanted a hand built custom “Commander” length 1911 and have longed for this particular model because of its distinctive Bobtail grip. The grip reminds me of the Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless grip frame, a pistol for which I am a big fan, owning one Model 1903 in .32 ACP and two Model 1908s in .380 ACP.

Now, when one thinks of a custom built 1911 Wilson Combat Technologies or perhaps Les Baer might first come to mind. However, Ed Brown is quite an innovator and many of his parts are showing up on other pistols. For instance quite a few custom handguns use the Ed Brown memory groove beavertail grip safety and the US Marines specified it by name when procuring the .45 ACP Model 1911’s for their special operations teams. The Bobtail grip is showing up on both production and custom handguns alike. Dan Wesson (owned by CZ) is putting them on their “Commander Classic” and the Bobtail is an option now offered by both Wilson and Nighthawk Industries.

Along with the Bobtail grip the Kobra Carry also has the following features (copied from the Ed Brown website):

*Exclusive Ed Brown forged frame and slide, handfitted with precision for long lasting wear. Frame and slide are hand-polished to remove tool marks.
*4.25" Commander model slide, single stack commander BobtailTM frame. The John Browning traditional design innovatively modified for concealed carry, without significantly detracting from reliability or accuracy.
*Weight: approximately 35 ounces with an unloaded magazine inserted.
*All Ed Brown premium Hardcore® components are hand-fitted to the exclusive Ed Brown frame and slide.
*Exclusive SNAKESKIN treatment on forestrap, BobtailTM housing. A beautiful, unique, and snag free gripping surface.
*Matte finished slide for low glare, with SNAKESKIN on rear of slide only.
*All sharp edges are gently and tastefully dehorned.
*Ejection port is lowered and flared for improved ejection.
*Polished feedramp, hand-fit extractor and ejector ensure feeding with high quality ammunition.
*Ed Brown premium match grade barrel and solid steel bushing for the highest accuracy.
*Ed Brown memory groove beavertail grip safety for a higher and deeper grip than any other on the market, reducing felt recoil and improves natural pointing ability, leading to better accuracy.
*Ed Brown extended (single side) tactical thumb safety, ambidextrous tactical thumb safety optional. The most ergonomic design available!
*Trigger guard is undercut to allow the knuckle to fully contact the bottom of the trigger guard as a definite stopping point, allowing a more consistent grip and thus better practical accuracy.
*Fixed Novak low mount dovetail 3-dot night sights.
*"Commander style" slotted and chamfered hammer mated precisely with Ed Brown Perfection sear and Perfection disconnector. We are the only makers who fully machine each of these critical parts from the highest quality alloy bar stock steel, making for a light trigger pull and crisp break which will last for thousands of rounds.
*Classic "Three hole style" long aluminum trigger.
*Mag catch with Oversize 40 LPI checkered button.
*Ed Brown seven round magazine with reliable steel follower. Extra magazines tested with gun optional.
*Beveled magazine well for smooth magazine changes.
*Exotic checkered Cocobolo wood grips with traditional double diamond pattern.
*Firearm is rigorously test fired for function and accuracy.
*Ed Brown Products branded deluxe Cordura pistol rug with internal magazine pockets, and external zippered accessory pocket.
*Ed Brown Products 1911 Owner's Manual, cable lock, and all necessary wrenches.
The handfitting on this pistol is most obvious in the way the barrel fits into the slide. It is very, very tight and sometimes requiring a little finesse to separate the two.
Along with the above mentioned grocery list of features there are also a couple of things you do not get. Specifically, there is no full length guide rod and no forward cocking serrations. I am fine with the omission of both of these. I have long felt that the forward cocking serrations spoil the look of the slide and their intended purpose does not warrant the disfigurement of the slide (call me a traditionalist). As for the full length guide rod I have never seen any comprehensive test proving that the length of the rod has any positive effect on either accuracy or reliability (call me a traditionalist again).

Shooting the Kobra Carry

I had a few outings with the Kobra Carry at Impact Guns in Boise prior to the relocation to Minnesota and everyone there thought that the Bobtail grip made the pistol very comfortable to hold. I am in complete agreement with their feelings.

Now that we are 95% settled in our new surroundings it was time to take Ed Brown’s product to the range for a complete workout. The Dakotah Firing Range which is a part of the Mystic Lake Indian Casino has become my new range hang-out (guns and gambling--gee, and I thought Boise was the Wild West). It is a much smaller facility than the Boise Impact Guns range having only 6 firing positions in the 50 foot range. The good news is that I have never had to wait for an open shooting position and the range is well constructed for sound dampening.

The two targets below were both placed at 25 feet and fired at from a standing position with seven round each of Winchester 230 FMJ ammunition.

So, getting back to the original question; was the five gun trade worth it to get the Kobra Carry? Well…that’s a matter of opinion and in my opinion, it was.