By Virgil Caldwell
This is the second Guncrafter Industries 1911 I’ve owned. While there are comparable handguns from Wilson Combat, Nighthawk and Les Baer, and others, the Guncrafter ‘gun with no name’ style — their base model — is very attractive, if simple
Having owned and shot a lot of John Moses Browning’s designs, I’ve found that Guncrafter is certainly one of the best of the best two or three 1911 handguns. That’s a subjective statement. “Best” may refer to the handgun that suits your needs and your style the best.
Quality isn’t as subjective, but some have a more difficult time recognizing quality. I try to be objective concerning new types and models of firearms, but I know exactly what I prefer in a handgun.
I like a firearm that compliments my skills. One which is both accurate and completely reliable.
I appreciate the timeless design of the 1911. I have no place in the safe for sub-standard 1911 handguns made to sell cheaply. After all, a good 1911 can be so much more.
The 1911 was the finest combat handgun in the world when introduced and remains so when properly manufactured and fitted. My handguns aren’t safe queens put away and pampered. I fire them often and carry the best examples on a daily basis.
Guncrafter’s No Name CCO is among the most appealing of their handguns for concealed carry. The CCO sports a commander-length slide with 4.25 inch barrel and an officer’s model grip frame.
The gun’s finish is basic black Melonite. It’s a simple, uncluttered design that may seem bare bones until you look more closely at the details that went into the pistol.
The front grip strap is nicely and precisely checkered, as is the mainspring housing. The checkering is 15 LPI (lines per inch) rather than the usual 20 to 30 LPI. In my experience, this is the best combination of comfort and grip-ability.
The slide lock safety is sensibly extended. It isn’t the unnecessarily large “gas pedal” type some models feature, but still offers excellent leverage. The safety is crisp and very well fitted.
The beavertail grip safety is upswept in the modern fashion. This beavertail helps comfortably funnel the hand into the No Name CCO’s grip. Some who adopt the thumbs forward grip will allow the palm to form a cup. I’ve seen that lift the shooter’s hand off the grip safety, deactivating the trigger on some pistols. That isn’t a problem with the Guncrafter’s beavertail grip safety.
Trigger compression is characteristically consistent and crisp. This is a 1911, after all. The No Name CCO’s trigger breaks at an ideal 3.7 pounds.
The barrel bushing is tight, very tight. The top of the slide is milled and grooved in an artful longitudinal treatment. The hammer is a skeletonized unit. There’s no MIM or plastic in this handgun.
Guncrafter uses excellent Heinie Ledge sights on the No Name CCO. The rear sight is designed to allow racking the slide one-handed on a belt or flat surface if needed. The dovetailed rear sight is machined from solid bar stock, so it isn’t going anywhere.
This one features a tritium vial and squared notch (a U-shaped notch is also available). The front sight is available with either tritium or a fiber optic tube (I went with tritium). These excellent night sights give the pistol 24 hour effectiveness.
The Heinie Ledge sights allow precision fire to at least 50 yards and a good shot will have a good chance at 100 yards.
When hefting the pistol in the hand the checkered grips offer a good balance of adhesion and abrasion. The forged steel slide rolls smoothly over the locking lugs without chatter. The barrel has a tight three-point fit in the classic sense.
The muzzle is beautifully crowned. The feed ramp surfaces feature the requisite 1/32nd inch gap between the halves of the feed ramp that ensures feed reliability. The barrel is properly fitted with a good tight fit in the locking lugs.
This type of precise hand-fitting makes for a consistent return to battery with every shot. With a precision fit such as that on the Guncrafter No Name CCO, eccentric wear is practically eliminated, resulting in much longer life for the moving parts.
A gun priced at the level of the No Name CCO (or Guncrafter’s other 1911 pistols) isn’t for everyone. It represents a considerable outlay of cash (or credit). But the greater investment will be in the time spent to master this piece. If you don’t take the time to do that, the cash outlay is wasted in my humble opinion.
The CCO is a very controllable and easily concealed handgun. The sights, trigger, and grips add up to a great-handling 1911. While the grip is shorter than a standard commander-sized 1911, recoil isn’t noticeably greater than a steel frame commander.
I’ve put over 1600 rounds of ammunition through the No Name CCO during the past few months. The results have been very good. The pistol is nearly as easy to use well as the Guncrafter Commander I also own. And that is very good.
There have been no failures to feed, chamber, fire or eject. The pistol has digested standard 230 grain hardball, 185, 200 and 230 grain hollow points, and 185 grain +P.
Like all quality firearms the Guncrafter No Name CCO prefers some loads over others, but the overall level of accuracy is very high. Firing from a solid braced standing barricade I have fired several 1.5 inch groups at 25 yards. That is very good accuracy.
I find nothing wrong with 230 grain full metal jacketed (hardball) loads for personal defense and general outdoors use. This is a proven performer with good penetration.
That said, we should take every advantage of modern hollow points and deploy a load with a good balance of expansion and penetration. The answer for me in this gun is the Black Hills Ammunition 230 grain JHP. It’s a fine choice with excellent accuracy in every 1911 I have tested it in.
I have also fired the Black Hills Ammunition 185 grain TAC +P. At 1000 fps this load offers good expansion and some will prefer the lighter recoil of the 185 grain loading.
Few guns conceal as well as a 1911, particularly one of the size
The No Name CCO is designed for concealed carry and that demands a credible holster. I looked to Swordslinger Custom Holsters for an inside the waistband rig. This type of holster conceals the slide of the handgun inside the trousers, allowing the wearing of a larger handgun than in the case of a standard belt holster.
The Guncrafter No Name CCO isn’t a handgun for everyone. Not at this price. But if it’s within your price range, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better made, more accurate or reliable concealed carry pistol.
Specifications: Guncrafter Industries No Name CCO 1911 Pistol
Capacity: 7 + 1
Magazines: Two stainless steel included
Barrel: 4¼ in. match stainless
Sights: tritium night sights
Frame: Forged stainless or aluminum, black Melonite or matte stainless finish
Slide: Forged stainless, black Melonite or matte stainless finish
Overall Length: 7 7/8 in.
Height: 5 in. w/o magazine
Weight: 33 oz.
MSRP: $2,939 (about $2600 retail)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit and finish: * * * * *
It just doesn’t get any better than this. All the details are well conceived and beautifully executed, as you’d expect in a handgun at this price.
Reliability: * * * * *
No break-in malfunctions despite the Guncrafter No Name CCO’s tight fit and tolerances. In fact, no problems at all.
Accuracy: * * * * *
No question here, the most accurate commander length barrel I have fired.
Overall: * * * * *
The Guncrafter No Name CCO is a simple thing of beauty. Not a lot of frills or flourishes, just a beautiful, almost minimalist gun that’s been executed flawlessly. Price may be its only drawback, but this kind of quality costs.
A $3000 pistol that holds 8, better be nice.
I’ll take half the mechanical accuracy, twice the trigger pull weight, twice the ammo and 1/10 the price. But that’s just me, a damn poor.
He did say this gun is not for everyone….only four or five times.
I like the clean lines and styling, but the mag base sticking out of the well adds to its overall “plastic knockoff” look.
Agree on the mag. Looks junky.
A nice flared magwell add on would be a nice addition and hide that.
So…buy flush mount magazines? Is that really a good reason to write off a gun?
A customer doesn’t need to give any reason to accept or reject anything. Purely personal preference is good enough. This is exactly why companies spend tons of money on marketing…to appeal to customers who wouldn’t otherwise buy their product. And I wouldn’t buy this one unless the price was very inexpensive to balance out the fact that I simply don’t like the way it looks.
Same premise for voting…nobody needs to give any reason why they will or will not vote for anything. They simply have the right to vote as they please. So a customer has the right to buy or not buy as they please.
I have spoken.
OR, install a beveled mag well, for $2600, it’s the very least they could do…
That mag does look tacky, I will stay with my Colt Gold Cup!
Nice piece – I particularly like the uncluttered look, the checkered grip-straps, and the tritium night-sights. I presume that as a custom-made handgun, the customer gets a choice on the thumbsafety – one side or two-sided. I note this pistol has only a one-sided safety. My preference is for double-sided. And the .45 ACP chambering is a good one – it’s a caliber that will make bad guys stop doing whatever it is against you so you can walk away. But the price on this pistol is a deal-breaker for me – for me, it’s just too much for a EDC pistol that may be confiscated after use in a defensive situation. I have a .45 1911 Compact that cost about $500 and with a little tuning (night sights, trigger job) was still well under $1K. The author obviously has financial means at hand to afford this handgun (actually, more than one of them), so I can’t dispute his choice, but it’s not for me.
Beautiful gun, and if its something a gun buyer wants and is willing to pay for, then I can’t say it’s not worth the price tag. Myself, I’d rather pick up five or six (or more) nice used guns if I had the 3 grand to spare.
if you like guncrafter’s craft look at the 50gi caliber @ 285grn, 300grn, and i have used a 325 grain. use a glock in 10mm or 45 caliber. purchase the upper form guncrafter, and replace their upper with your upper. use their mag and purchase rounds(50gi). you can reload yur own if you like. knock down is the issue.
Im very happy being poor and making do with my RIA CCO at 1/8th the price. It shoots better then I do at any price. As also does my 35 year old Springfield Commander.
Might as well buy a 1911 made out of a comet for $1,000,000. heh.
I do hope the author realizes that the 1911 as designed by Mr. Browning had loose tolerances designed into it like an AK so that sand, grit and powder residue wouldn’t impede it’s operation. This is why so many Kimbers are no better than expensive paperweights.
Also there are certain handguns that just don’t do good when cleaning is neglected. Even with ‘loose’ models after 200-300 rounds they become jammomatics. I enjoy tempting failure by failing to clean regularly.
1911s, CZ75s and clones fail to go into battery after a couple hundred rounds due to gunpowder residue buildup.
HKVP9 and Glocks I have yet to hit a fail ceiling with either. Some pistols have well north of 1k rounds with zero cleaning.
Don’t believe me though…test if yourself 🙂
And I have! My Kimber Elite Pro went well over 500 rounds/day without cleaning over the course of several multi-day training courses. After a few thousand rounds I had to replace the recoil spring, but the pistol kept chugging along without any failures until then.
I cannot imagine where you got your information——–
After three books on the 1911 I pretty well know what they are capable of– the Springfield Operator went well over 20,000 rounds in FBI testing with minimal lubrication– perhaps a tight 1911 might tie up after a few hundred dirty rounds if not lubricated— a personal 1911 LW Springfield went well over 20,000 rounds and was a test bed for many projects, went neglected but was run wet if not cleaned- and it was not cleaned for over 1,000 rounds very often– European military testing proved the CZ 75 is among the most reliable of handguns— the original was loose because in that day it had to be. The locking lugs were tight enough for fairly good accuracy— the modern 1911 built on CNC machinery limits eccentric wear due to less slop. And while some such as the Les Baer demand a break in the reliability of these modern 1911s actually surpasses that of the original.
My CZ, shooting suppressed will keep running until you can’t tell it used to be FDE. Modern guns need very little maintenance.
Sounds like you get all your information online and don’t have any real world experience. I have a kimber as a daily carry that I’ve put thousands of rounds through with different kinds of mags and ammo and have never, not once had a hiccup. Can’t say that for any striker fired wunder 9 Ive ever had. Every single striker fired I ever owned jammed occasionally.
I have both a Kimber and a Sig 1911. They’re made with clearances so tight the moment you put the slide back on to 1/8 engagement with the rails, it’ll just hang there if you hold it level. There’s not enough play for the slide to tip itself back off. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned either of them. And by cleaned I mean field stripped and wiped down with oiled patched; I’ve actually never done a full teardown on either. I’ve bought cases of .45 more times than I can count since I last cleaned them though, and they’re my only .45s which take standard ammo (I have a West German P220S which IS a jam factory unless you feed it match ammo. No joke. Never seen a gun so picky about ammo before or since.) The last time either of the 1911s malfunctioned on me was exactly a year ago, when I visited a friend’s farm and left them in my trunk in below zero weather. They were basically manual actions for the first mag, then resumed normal function when they warmed up.
That said I don’t really recommend anything from Sig or Kimber these days. All three of those guns are pre Ron Cohen and their quality just can’t be compared to what those brands go on these days. But the point is that even an incredibly tight fitting 1911 can be incredibly reliable without special cleaning policies (or, indeed, with unusually lax ones — I can’t treat any of my other guns that way and expect them to run.) Although you do run into smaller operating temperature ranges as a matter of course. Why Sako doesn’t just make some rifles for the Seed Vault guards that specifically only work at around 30 below I don’t know, but that’s another topic altogether.
Crazy expensive 1911’s are a thing for:
1. Rich people with loads of loose cash.
2. Regular guys who save up for years or load up the credit card.
Have never understood designing a handgun so the magazine pokes out well below the grip. You save nothing on grip length or concealability. As the magazine protrudes so much it may as well be a full grip.
But then I prefer an eight round mag and a five inch barrel in my 1911 anyway and for a small fraction of the price.
I have to agree with most of what the other posters said – NICE gun – if you can afford one – which most of us cannot. For reference, I checked and my Sig Nightmare has pretty much all of the no name features – minus the precise hand fitting. But since it cost me about 1/4th the cost, I’ll ‘settle’ for that difference and use the extra cash for ammo. Suits my needs quite well.
The SIG Carry Nightmare is among the finest 1911s ever made and a great all around defensive handgun. You are giving up very little. But you have a much better handgun than the cheaper 1911s
why not make it $5,000.00?
You guys must never have lusted after a hot rod, Corvette, or superb reel to reel system. They are not inexpensive and many working stiffs buy them– just saying– this is the ultimate handgunners dream— unless that dream is a Nighthawk or Wilson Combat– and it is a great piece of American engineering. As for the Wilson Combat seven round magazine get a six round flush fit. If you want a mag well order it with the gun. An ambi safety is an option I did not need.
“… faster horses, younger women, Older whiskey, and more money”
Yup, got al the lusting stuff down. Some lusting you have to set aside to afford the more important lusting. Since the “more money” part hasn’t been mine, I pass on the really expensive guns and the really expensive cars and 4×4’s.
I still lust after them, but my 1911 is a PARA USA Expert in stainless bought at a Sportsmans Warehouse Black Friday sale a few years back for $299. It’s a real good shooter and at the price I bought up a bunch of different .45ACP in the same Black Friday deal, and other sales since. Have to say it, right out of the case the gun has fed, fired and ejected every brand and type of .45ACP cartridge I have given it from the usual ball ammo to all sorts of hollow points.
So I don’t get much out of the lusting for a hot rod pistol but I do get to do a bunch more shoot’n 🙂
A few years ago my son wanted a nice Commander .45. He is a hard worker with a young family— I sent him my Kimber two tone and he did not like it. I was very surprised. So, I sent him the Para Expert Commander I liked but had not shot much. He still carries it as his day to day 1911 and he shoots a lot. Miss Para.
I have a No Name full size Government Model in .45, saving up for a couple years. While I understand that it is expensive, I did want something nice. And trust me, it qualifies! No need to justify purchases, just buy what you want and practice!
I would suggest adding another category to the Ratings section: Value, i.e. price vs. performance/quality.
Nice lookin’ 1911, but for $2600+, you’d think that at the very least, they’d put a beveled mag well in/on…
My SiG 1911 RCS is everything this 1911 is PLUS it has a beveled mag well, 2 upgrades, and I’m still into it for less than $1100…
Is it just me or does this author sound like he’s 114 years old?
This is simply because of an awesome wellspring of hard won experience and scholarship.
You asked for that.
Thanks for reading.
No one writes much worth reading before you are 50.
Perfect truck gun! Only 2600.00 and when the cops confiscate it for themselves, you can feel like a baller!
That’s a mighty fine looking handgunm, if I had the money and it had different slide serrations I would buy it.
This is a beautiful piece of machinery, mechanically, but I would like to be able to see
the front sight as bright as the pretty white dots on the rear sight. Also, the trigger is
unnecessary long. It is ugly also. It should be skeletonized. I would like for people
to be able to tell that the pistol is expensive when they first see it. I have a Series 70
Colt Commander that has a blue finish, but the slide is very smooth and the frame
is a satin finish blue. Looks sharp. This gun is great, but doesn’t look it.
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