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American Handgunner Sept/Oct 2012 Digital Edition - Page 63
arSenal’S af2011-a1 nope, you’re not hungover, those really are doublebarrel 1911s! WHat? Stefan Perey Handgunner’S euroPean CorreSPondent HuH? recently attended the IWA 2012 Show in Nuremberg, Germany — the biggest gun show in Europe for the past 40 years. Think of it as the American SHOT Show, only with beer, wine, hunting dogs and people with funny accents. Oh, and Lederhosen too. You meet a lot of old friends from all over the world, talk about guns and the gun world, celebrate this wonderful industry we are in — and maybe have one beer too many at dinner! So, after a hard evening “consulting” with beer steins, the next morning I stumbled into the booth of a young Italian company called Arsenal Firearms. My first impression was maybe I was suffering from double vision and really needed to be more careful with that beer. There, right in front of me, sat a 1911 with two barrels in one slide! I rubbed my eyes, looked again, and it was still there. I had to learn more. I a double 1911? one slide, two barrels, two guide rods, and trust us when we say there’s lots more involved! 16 Rounds The Arsenal Firearms AF2011-A1 (in .45 ACP or .38 Super) is the first production 1911 double-barreled pistol in the world. This beast weighs 65.2 ounces unloaded, and the 1-piece frame and slide are machined out of solid blocks of 39NiCrMo steel. The frame actually has two separate magazine wells and two single-stack magazines, for a total of 16 rounds of .45 ACP — both paired with a single-floor plate. The handling characteristics of the fat AF2011-A1 are, shall we say — unusual. But it is possible to control the gun when firing, according to Arsenal staffers. They also have a video on their website showing it firing. two 230-gr. bullets (460 grains) down range. When you use the AF2011-A1 in condition one, cocked and locked, with 16 rounds in the magazines and the chambers loaded, you can theoretically deliver 18 rounds, or over 4,100 grains of bullet weight to the target. That’s about 9.5 ounces, ladies and gentlemen, or more than a half-pound of lead into a target in a few seconds. According to representatives of the company, the two bullets fired in one trigger pull will impact the target 1" to 2" apart at typical distances of 15 to 25 yards. The AF2011-A1 will be available Get your good glasses on and with a deep blue finish or a nitrite sit down and think about this. coating, delivered in a dedicated alloy trust me, your brain will hurt. presentation case with security lock. Besides the single frame for two mags The extraordinary pistol also can be and single slide for two 5" barrels, there ordered with special engraving, gold are other specialized parts. The single- inlays , initials and mo no gr ams spur, double hammer; single-body, according to whatever you wish. double mainspring housing and wide Do we need this gun? Um, maybe I grip safety (all with extra-wide dimen- do? But even if you don’t need one, it is sions) are unique to this gun. a remarkable engineering feat. And like When you disassemble the AF2011 sports or racing cars, maybe some of the you’ll notice the special barrel bush- technology used to create the AF2011 ings as well as the slide catch lever and will eventually turn up in other designs. thumb safety with extra long pins. On the other hand, the Italian double fea- For more info: www.americanhandgunner. tures pretty standard 1911 parts like the com/arsenal-inc or (708) 643-2220 recoil spring rods and recoil springs, twin mags share one firing pins and firing pin plates, leaf baseplate, keeping them springs with three arms and the sears of aligned for insertion the trigger system. Also the grip scales, into the double screws, bushings and sights — mounted mag wells! between the barrels on the top of the slide — are regular components, so you can use every aftermarket part you wish. Performance It will be an amazing experience to pull the trigger one time and send 63 63 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM