Roberts Defense Supergrade 1911 Review Update

Roberts Defense Supergrade 1911 rear sight issue (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

As you can see, I’ve had something of a rear sight issue with the Roberts Defense Supergrade 1911. After fifty rounds of FMJ, the sight moved left. Before the 1911’s next outing I took an allen wrench and screwed the sight back down. (As it’s not my gun I passed on a Loctite solution.) Twenty rounds later the sight worked its way loose again. So I called the company’s customer service number this morning. Vice President Jon Paul picked up the phone and admitted RD’s had some issues with the Kensights they’d been using for the early guns . . .

“We’ve found that they sights aren’t all manufactured to the same dimensions,” Paul told TTAG. “They have a couple of thousands of an inch variance . . . We’ve started using Heinie Sights instead. They’re better quality and more consistent in terms of their dimensions.”

So the gun’s going back to Roberts Defense for a retro-fit.

Although Roberts is picking-up the tab for shipping, it’s a bit of a PITA. Since UPS branch stores can be a bit hinky about shipping firearms, I have to schlep the gun to one of the main hubs. As a jobbing journo who didn’t have to lay out $1400 for the Supergrade, I’m OK with that. And the delay. If I’d paid for it, well . . .

Full review to follow. Eventually.


  1. avatar Charles5 says:

    For what its worth, UPS Store locations are franchisees and that’s why you get different shipping options there then at the hubs.

  2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    I would think you could just mail them the slide and keep the rest of the gun.

    1. avatar Nigil says:

      Perhaps, but then they couldn’t test it…?
      Not that it should matter.

  3. avatar A-Rod says:

    See, if you had just bought a Glock you would not have had this problem.

    (A-Rod runs and ducks for cover. Many tomatos and rotten fruit thrown his way)

    1. avatar emfourty gasmask says:

      or a CZ. /fanboy

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I was thinking along those lines. You by an antique replica to hang on the wall as a conversation piece. I mean, lots of people have replica Model T Fords, but they don’t drive them to work.

    3. avatar Arod529 says:

      No, those fancy pants Glocks wont be having no sliding sights; they prefer to snap off instead if actually put through their paces.

      1. avatar Steve Truffer says:

        Never seen that before. Sources? Were they stock? Aftermarket?

  4. avatar Shane says:

    Dang, I bet the people at Kensights are hot right now.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      So long as that heat comes from them blushing in shame…

      1. “Blushing in shame?” …We manufacture, and stand behind our Kensight sights. We did not install this sight, or cut the dovetail. No shame here. Dont blame the sight, if installed properly they will serve you for years.

  5. So at this point it is the Not-So-Supergrade 1911

  6. avatar Anon in CT says:

    I had a similar issue with the adjustable reat sight on my Springfield Range Officer. I just shipped them the slide by normal UPS – that’s just a hunk of metal, not a firearm.

  7. avatar Parnell says:

    At the UPS store I’ve used I just told them “sporting goods” when they asked what I was shipping. That’s how I returned my Caracal C (Sorry, Robert ).

  8. avatar David Duarte says:

    did you try using some blue loctite/threadlocker?

    1. avatar A-Rod says:

      psst… he said “As it’s not my gun I passed on a Loctite solution.”

  9. avatar scurvy dog says:

    Oh, another expensive 1911 that doesn’t walk the talk. Nap time.

  10. avatar OLD HOG says:

    I have several 1911’s (14) Cheap Rock Islands to Hi-Dollar Ed Browns……..I have been shooting 1911″s for 40 years, all I can say is each 1911, is only as good as the sum of its parts…as for the glock comments…wellllll ok, I have (1) one……it works, but so does my artificial hip…..

  11. avatar Crunkleross says:

    Very crappy to blame it on the sight. It’s supposed to be fitted by a trained gunsmith. A few thousands difference in the sights? If they cut the slides themselves I doubt they hold any closer tolerances than the Kensight, maybe they do like a lot of semi custom shops and order the slides pre cut for the sights. Either way they should be hand fit and the blame is on whoever didn’t fit the sight to the slide properly.

  12. avatar Shane Napper says:

    Well, First off the sight in the picture is not a Kensight. You can always tell the Kensights by the distinctive grasping serrations on the sides of the sight. Next, Kensights are Wire-edm machined out of 414 steel and not CNC machined like the Heinie Sights. We also heat treat to hardness of HRc 38-40 then temper to HRc 28-32. To the average Joe, this means nothing. However, from a machinest standpoint we all know that tolerances are a lot tighter and more consistant on a Wire-edm part. Dimensional tolerances are as close as +/- 0.001″.

    Now, with that said we manufacture sights for a huge segment of the 1911 industry. Every manufacture has different tolerances when it comes to the depth of the dovetail. We oversize our dovetail so it can be used in many different manufacture builds, and our dovetail will accomodate most all depth tolerances. This is good because it fits a “larger” variety of OEM builds and custom applications. However, it is not so good for the production style 1911, because it requires hand fitting and it is more “time consuming” to install. If the sight is “properly” installed in the dovetail, it will never “fall out” or have issues under any circumstances.

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