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American Handgunner Jul/Aug 2010 - Page 36

WINNINGEDGE Dave Anderson SOLID ADVICE TO KEEP YOU AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION Signature d Brown Products is a company well known for high-grade boltaction rifles and 1911 autopistols. Recently Ed Brown announced the Massad Ayoob Signature Model. Massad Ayoob hardly needs an introduction to Handgunner regulars. Ayoob is an internationally known firearms authority, instructor, competitive shooter, handgun hunter, reserve police officer, and much sought-after expert witness. At the SHOT Show recently I had a chance to talk with both Mas and Ed about the pistol. This Signature Model is based on the very popular Executive Carry Model, with a few custom features recommended by Ayoob — actually not many, as the Executive Carry is very Ayoob E 1911 Based on the Ed Brown Executive Carry Model, the Massad Ayoob Signature Edition is extremely well made, accurate and reliable. Pistol has a “Commander length” slide with 4.25" barrel. Features include: Checkered frontstrap (25 lpi), “Bobcat” grip, night sights, Brown grip and thumb safety, an ambidextrous thumb safety and minimum 4.5 pound trigger pull. well equipped. Ayoob feels the shorter 4.25" barrel length of the Carry Model improves handling, especially from an inside-waistband holster, while retaining the reliability of the full-length gun. The most obvious external feature is the ambidextrous thumb safety, a custom option available on most Ed Brown models. Ayoob likes the option of having full control of the pistol with either hand. Also, as an instructor, on occasion he has to lend a pistol to left-handed students. The standard trigger pull of Brown 1911s is in the 3.5-4.5 pound range. Ayoob specified a minimum 4.5 pound pull, to avoid allegations of a “hair trigger”causing an unintentional discharge. In fact his personal Signature Model has a fivepound pull. He also specified an extraheavy firing pin spring as added assurance against discharge should the pistol be dropped on a hard surface. 2" Average T Final Thoughts he Signature Model I’ve had on loan for the past few weeks is a superb pistol. It has been 100-percent reliable through the firing of some 500 rounds, from 230 gr. ball, 200 gr. lead SWC to JHPs of different weights from 185 to 230 gr. from Black Hills, Federal and Winchester. Twenty tries with the Lyman electronic trigger gauge gave an average of 4 lbs. 9.9 ounces, with a variation of no more than two ounces either way. This is heavier than what I personally prefer, but weight is just one quality of a trigger, and not the most important one. The pull is clean, crisp, free of creep and “steps.” Overall: a very good pull. Five shot groups at 25 yards from a sandbag rest averaged right around 2", the best just over 1" (with Black Hills FMJ-roundnose ammunition). Such accuracy is hardly essential on a defensive pistol but is an indicator of the overall quality you’re paying for in a high-grade pistol such as this. The fixed sights (with tritium night sight inserts) couldn’t have been sighted better for me. With the 230 gr. JHP loads I prefer, the pistol shot dead center at 25 yards. This by no means happens all the time, and I appreciate it when it does. A fter I had enough rounds through the pistol to be confident of its reliability, I wore it as my CCW for a few weeks — mostly in my well-worn Sparks Summer Special IWB holster. It’s a bit heavier than the Springfield EMP I usually carry, but still comfortable. The popular Ed Brown “Bobtail” grip helped to prevent “printing” through the covering garment. Overall quality is outstanding. Fit and finish is excellent, and all operating controls (thumb safety, magazine release, grip safety, trigger) functioned crisply and positively. The Signature Edition package includes a copy of The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry by Massad Ayoob. It’s full of information on choosing equipment (firearms, holsters, ammunition, accessories), carry techniques, state laws and regulations, firearm safety, and defensive tactics. The pistol comes with one 7-round magazine. For $5, at the time of ordering, you can get a Brown 8-shot magazine, tested in the pistol, and I certainly recommend you do. An autopistol should have at least two magazines, and I’m happier with three or more. I generally carry just one spare, but like to have several when shooting at the range. MSRP on the pistol is $2,750. * For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/ productindex for contact info, and also click on Web Blast for video interviews of Mas and Ed Brown. WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JULY/AUGUST2010 36

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