Friday, January 31, 2014

Schroeder Bauman Maiden Voyage

Here's the lovely Schroeder Bauman... my Commander barrel on the Officers frame;  

The diamond back cut of the serrations is repeated on the front strap and the mainspring housing.
The mainspring housing is also rounded for a much comfier grip;  

On the full sized grips, the finger grooves were too wide and extended forward too far to be a comfortable fit for me. This compact (3") frame has scaled back grooves that are less prominent and closer together, making the fit better for my grip;
Night sights, Novak night sights, how I love thee;  
Most of her first range work was right about 35ft. Ish.   
I ran about 100 rounds of dirty Winchester White Box through...For those of you who like those "dirty pics" ;)

The trigger is so smooth, it's amazing. There's just a hint...barely detectable...of take up (so nearly imperceptible, I don't even want to call it "take up" but can't think of what other word might fit)...then the sweet crisp of the break.
It's truly a clouds parting, heavens opening, doves descending, harp music playing, sunbeam showering moment...  
It's worth the effort and cashola to get those little personalized areas done to your liking (like the rounded grip, the scaled back grooves, etc.)
I'm a fan of the internal extractor, too.
The diamond back design is cut a smidgen deeper on the slide than on the front/back it that extra frictiony feel for slingshot reload.
On a low to high scale of 1-10 where I'd rated my Kimbers at 7s and 8s, and the Sig at a 9... this one gets a 9.9.

I don't know if it's the Holy Grail of 1911, but it's close enough to be my unicorn. 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Schroeder Bauman Tour

Over the last year or so, I've become increasingly curious about the 1911 made in my own back yard.
I had the opportunity to meet the president of the company and ask him a zillion questions. He's a very personable guy, and invited me for a tour of the facility where they are made. How could I turn that down?
The place is a lot smaller than you'd think, and everything from start to finish is done right here.

I saw each of the cutting machines up and running. 

There's a block with exacting measurements to refer back to.  It's also a quick "go/no go" gauge. 

These are mainspring housing blanks;

 This is a mainspring housing that needs to still be tumbled and polished; 
 Here is a finished blued mainspring housing;   

Cutting billet steel gets hot, so water coolant methods are used often...

These raw frames will be deburred, polished and buffed. Then Cerakote will be metabolically bonded to the rails on top.
These slides will get the same treatment, also having the rails Cerakoted. When assembled, the coated surfaces interface, making for super tight fit while still being super smooth with ceramic sliding on ceramic. 

An "assembly line" usually doesn't mean this anymore, but one guy with a frame will come in this room and (one by one) go down this line, taking one part out of each bin and assembling the firearm by hand... taking care that everything is exactly how it should be. The second set of bins on the opposite wall is almost the last step.

The only parts (other than tiny springs and roll pins from Brownells) that aren't hand cut and made right on the Schroeder Bauman facility are Storm Lake barrels, Nowlin triggers, Novak sights, and Pearce grips. Everything else is made right here. Anything that is purchased for these guns has to pass an intensely critical quality check and has to be made in the USA.

These hammers are the design of one of the SBfirearms employees.
At Schroeder Bauman, the employees are an integral part of every single aspect. Ideas and suggestions share equal footing with the ideas of the president of the company. 
Here is a box of thumb safeties, next to a box of thumb safety blanks, from which they started out life; 

The spring plugs here are on their way to being cut down and polished. The checkering on the front is a repetition of their "Diamondback cut" found elsewhere on the gun (front strap, custom cocking serrations...) 
 Before any firearm is packaged up, it goes through a last check for perfection. Not one checkering line can be off, not one piece ill-fitted, not one blemish on the metal... Attention to detail is the name of this game. Any last minute adjustments are made here. 

After the last check, comes the test fire. An alert sounds and all the workers clear the area. A cart with a clamped rest is placed at a pre-marked 25 yards and a full magazine is fired into a bullet trap, backed by railroad ties 12 feet by 12 feet and 3 ties deep. Most of the guns fired make an initial hole, and the subsequent rounds all pass through that same hole. THAT is the exceptional accuracy of hand fitting and a true "Custom" firearm! 

After the test fire, each firearm is field stripped, cleaned & lubed, and placed in a hard case along with some sweet SB swag...a key chain with a flash light and pocket knife, a bushing wrench, and a Schroeder Bauman T-shirt.
Here is the lucky guy working with my personal Schroeder Bauman firearm (pics to follow with range report soon!). Thanks, prez!

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Addition to the Kimber Family

I did indeed love the little blued Ultra and it sure looked sweet with the "taffy" purple grips on it...
But I found a sweet little Ultra that was more of what I wanted.
  • CDP bi-tone
  • Carry melt (dehorned)
  • Night Sights
I traded in the blued Ultra and came away with this gem to add it to the Kimber Herd.
I guess more custom grips are the order of the day...

Friday, November 01, 2013

Colt CCG and a rainy day

I'm really digging the fiber optic front sight on this Colt CCG (Colt Combat Government).
Did a little indoor zombie shooting, ran them out to 30ft, according to the markers on the wall...
 Smoked me a zombie...he never saw it coming. Or at least he won't now!
I heard him yelling, "You'll shoot my eye out, kid!!"

When you run those targets out on that wire overhead, the thing just never stops bouncing.
I finally just stacked my sand bags, got my sight picture, and got familiar with the timing pattern of when the "eye" would bounce back into line with my front post. Just about the time I thought it should arrive...*squeeze*.
It worked!
Didn't think I'd be lucky enough for it to work a second time, though... when it did, my shootin' pal said, "Girly, before you fire one more round, you better take a picture of that!"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

New Spin on Bushing Wrench...LITERALLY.

Finally!! I have been waiting so long to share this nifty tool, it's been killing me! I'm a field tester for and the latest gadget is a helpful bushing wrench that is extremely handy for folks with limited finger strength or mobility. And it's just darn slick! They can be had at! Enjoy the video!