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Birdy, once again, outstanding pictures. The finish work looks outstanding. I was wondering how you compare it to one of your newer Wilsons? To my eye it doesn't look quite as "clean" and "polished" as the Supergrade you detail stripped with similar posted pictures, but perhaps you find it comparable or superior to a non-Supergrade Wilson?

Also, do you need a tool to remove the guide rod and recoil spring?
 

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Birdy, I suppose those gentlemen could do the same thing! :) HAHA!! I even have Wilson's that have "Wilson Combat" on the slide, but I bought them used so they are not spec'd exactly how I would have if I were putting together an order. Still, I love them. This may sound a little weird as well, but in the case of Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, or Les Baer; those are the names of the company. The Bob Marvel model is a Nighthawk Custom with his name on it. For some reason I am alright having the company labeled on my gun even if it's someone's name, but wouldn't really like having "Bob Marvel" or "Costa" or "Heinie" on my Nighthawk. I dunno I guess this sounds pretty picky, but that is why we have so many options so we can pick what we like!!

Live2Ride, I agree the rear sight looks great, but I also prefer flat black. It helps me focus on the top of the front sight better.
 

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Ya know what forget it I'm going naked slide from here on out!!
 

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I find it hard to stop looking at this gun. From the beveled nose to the stippling to....well just the overall looks of the entire piece it just screams quality. Your awesome pictures don't hurt either. ;)
 

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Birdy,

Beautiful pictures and gun.

Thank you very much for posting.

Is the flat wire spring a standard weight?

Regards,

Craig
 

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Having shot one of these, I can pretty much echo everyone's experience. It's the best shooting 4.25" barrel gun I have ever shot...at any price.

A lot of the secret is in the flat wire spring, I believe. You are really missing the boat if you don't at least try one in your 1911. The recoil impulse is much more consistent through the cycle. The spring doesn't seem to "stack tension" in the same manner a round spring does. i.e. It has a more consistent pressure from extension to full compression. You will feel the difference when you pull back your slide the very first time in comparison to your standard style springs.

The gun ejects brass in a consistent pattern just like a properly tuned 5" gun. I once thought it was impossible to do that, but now I'm a believer.

Fantastic gun. I would just like to see one without the texture, french border, and front cocking serrations at a reduced price.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Again, thanks...

...Is the flat wire spring a standard weight?
Do you mean 17-20#?
No specs for it. How to find out? :scratch:

Birdy, once again, outstanding pictures. The finish work looks outstanding. I was wondering how you compare it to one of your newer Wilsons? To my eye it doesn't look quite as "clean" and "polished" as the Supergrade you detail stripped with similar posted pictures, but perhaps you find it comparable or superior to a non-Supergrade Wilson?

Also, do you need a tool to remove the guide rod and recoil spring?
It's amazing how kind, polite and diplomatic you guys are! :eek:
I was wondering why nobody's asking this.

Tool markings on the sear, disconnector, extractor and the back of slide behind the firing pin stop are a fact. The latter are deep.
A black nitride treatment will hide some of them, stainless steel is merciless.

My Wilson(s) CQBE and Classic have less tool marks than any semi-custom I own (including the other brands). The Supergrade small parts are more polished than the CQB small parts.
I never seen a semi-custom with zero tool marks (please really understand that I use a macro lens).

I noticed that the execution standards of Wilsons are more consistent.
The (cosmetic) finish quality of NH seems to be more "weather" dependent (just being sarcastic).

Of course nothing that will compromise the functionality of the gun and I still like it very much (it is what it is).

I have some take down pins, but meanwhile I use this tool. I never found a really bullet proof method to do it without any tools.
 

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Again, thanks...


Do you mean 17-20#?
No specs for it. How to find out? :scratch:



It's amazing how kind, polite and diplomatic you guys are! :eek:
I was wondering why nobody's asking this.

Tool markings on the sear, disconnector, extractor and the back of slide behind the firing pin stop are a fact. The latter are deep.
A black nitride treatment will hide some of them, stainless steel is merciless.

My Wilson(s) CQBE and Classic have less tool marks than any semi-custom I own (including the other brands). The Supergrade small parts are more polished than the CQB small parts.
I never seen a semi-custom with zero tool marks (please really understand that I use a macro lens).

I noticed that the execution standards of Wilsons are more consistent.
The (cosmetic) finish quality of NH seems to be more "weather" dependent (just being sarcastic).

Of course nothing that will compromise the functionality of the gun and I still like it very much (it is what it is).

I have some take down pins, but meanwhile I use this tool. I never found a really bullet proof method to do it without any tools.
Birdy, thank you for the response and clarifications. The only "fit" issue I see with your Marvel is the right rail gap that is visible from the rear of the slide. It seems wider than the left. I suspect it has no functional adverse effect. Also, when I personally inspected a Marvel at the local gun/crack house, I didn't like that the white outlines around the rear sight were wider and more pronounced than the white outline around the front sight. If anything I would want that reversed. Your pictures seem to verify my observation. BTW, none of these "issues" would keep me from buying or recommending one. To the contrary, I would be pleased to own one, although I'm not presently in the market. So...congrats on your purchase and happy shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
About the white rear sight dots: I would also prefer a solid black or a Heine Straight Eight.
Maybe with a solvent... :grumble:
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
... but that is why we have so many options so we can pick what we like!!
The option list for this gun is very short: stainless steel.
And if Mr. Marvel says he wants his gun back, my answer will be: μολὼν λαβέ!
 

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Once again, exceptional photos that provide the reader a great level of detail on his pistols. It helps me decide on some of the finer aesthetic details I would like on my own guns especially since subcustoms from the Wilson, Brown, Baer, and Nighthawk are quite rare in my neck of the woods.

I share the admiration for the Challis grips. I agree that Brian is an artist who goes to great lengths to make a beautiful set of grips.

On the aesthetics and functionality of the pistol (note my comments reflect personal preferences and tastes):

I echo what Live2ride mentioned regarding the finish. I've seen pics of the pistol in Black Melonite and I much prefer the stainless finish. It makes it really look like I totally different pistol.

I have a preference for fixed sights rather than adjustables. And I really don't like them on a commander length slide. That said, I think these rear sights are more acceptable to me because they have been recessed into the slide. If I would put adjustables on my pistol, I would want it recessed rather than hanging at the end of the slide. I think that is a nice touch which combined with the nice dehorning and the angular cuts on the rearmost sides of the rear sight probably has some benefit should you choose to carry the pistol. I too prefer that the rear sight be in plain black (no dots).

I am a fan of bull barrels. I just love the way they sit in the slide and the look when the slide is retracted to expose the barrel. The proprietary Marvel design has me wondering on its utility however. I read somewhere that the sleeve is supposed to aid in accuracy. I am not sure how that works to achieve that claim. It would be interesting to see comments as to why that would be the case. I would assume that the soft shooting feel would be more a function primarily of the recoil spring system then perhaps aided by the fit of the bull barrel. I don't know if the barrel sleeve has any contribution to this factor.

I actually like the French borders but prefer it done on a pistol with a clean slide (No FCS). I understand the utility of the FCS but I just do not like them aesthetically more so on a commander slide. Like I said these comments reflect my preferences.

The stippling on the top of the slide also is not my cup of tea in general. I understand they are supposed to reduce glare. But in this case, I think aesthetically it seems to contrast too much with the French border. I would have preferred serrations if at all but that might make it look too busy especially since there is a shortened top surface on the slide since the rear sight takes up some of that space.

I absolutely love that the bottom front of the slide along with the recoil spring plug has been rendered to slope or curve away slightly from the top of the slide. I really like this touch it gives the pistol a nice little unique twist to differentiate it from other commanders out there.

I noticed that the slide stop has been finished sans any serrations. I think aesthetically it helps align it with the rest of the pistol especially the French border. Then given that the slide has a unique kind of front and rear serrations, keeping the slide stop smooth seems to me like a good balance to the aesthetics. I just wonder how it holds up in use when one's hands have turned sweaty from shooting. Does the surface (pics make it look quite smooth and the shelf doesn't seem all that wide) provide adequate purchase to prevent the fingers from sliding off should you choose to return the pistol back into battery rather than use the slingshot method?

I do like the way Nighthawk renders their one-piece magwell. In particular I like the way they render the heel or rearmost portion of the magwell. It is again a unique and nice aesthetic rendering that almost makes it seem like a round butt but not quite. That is a nice touch as well.

Lastly, I guess the pics with the challis grips were taken on separate occasions as I noticed two different types of grip screws on the pics. I prefer the turbo screws rather than the DPL (if I have that right). I realize I've seen comments in other posts about the wisdom and practicality of using screws that require an allen wrench to dismantle. But hey, when one bothers to put on formal attire for the grips then it is a must to take the extra step.

I actually have a couple of nighthawks I am waiting on that are supposed to arrive in the next month (or so my dealer tells me). This just helps keep me drooling and dreaming what it would be like to have my pistols in hand.

Once again thanks Birdy for the fantastic pics and level of detail. I appreciate threads like these and any exchanges on the design, rendering and functioning of these pistols as it helps me learn. So let's keep the responses and insights coming!
 

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Bob Marvel nighthawk is a fine piece.And BIRDY"S pics displays it so well. Speaking of the flatwire spring,i have one in my wilson professional and you are right it is very smooth.I installed a full lenth one from wilson in my p14 para and it won't reset the trigger. Hammer comes back allmost all the way but i have to pull the hammer on back for the trigger to reset.When i go back to the other spring 18 lb.it works fine.Any thoughts!Don't know what the flatwire is rated for.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
... especially since subcustoms from the Wilson, Brown, Baer, and Nighthawk are quite rare in my neck of the woods.
Not only there...:(

... So let's keep the responses and insights coming!
Thanks!

You correctly noticed the different screws. Three different sets. It took me several days to take the pics and between the photo sessions I also went at the range.
So I had to full-disassemble/clean/reassemble the pistol many times changing the grips/screws setup.
I also change the grips every time I go to the range. Now you know why I prefer torx screws.

The smooth slide stop is a no-brainer for me (I never have sweaty hands). But I can understand the potential issue.
I use both methods to release the slide. But I don't feel any tactile difference between this slide stop and the standard Nighthawk slide stop (one groove).
Starting with two or more grooves (or checkering), I feel a difference.
 

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Again, thanks...


Do you mean 17-20#?
No specs for it. How to find out? :scratch:
Birdy,

I am still trying to figure out flat wire springs.

I see occasional flat wire recoil springs with coils cut to optimize performance. I wondered if the Marvel spring was a standard spring which was easily available or if the spring had coils removed, which might require some experimenting to replace at a later date.

Regards,

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Birdy,

I am still trying to figure out flat wire springs.

I see occasional flat wire recoil springs with coils cut to optimize performance. I wondered if the Marvel spring was a standard spring which was easily available or if the spring had coils removed, which might require some experimenting to replace at a later date.
This one is 5.066" with 30 coils.
The Wilson full-size flat-wire recoil spring is 5.685" with 37 coils.

(everything +/- 1%)
 
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