samedi 10 décembre 2011

NON FIRING REPLICA (Metal) : RMI Colt 1911 A1 45 acp

In the early eighties, I started to collect, weapons replicas. At that time
the best replicas were coming from japan, I still own some of these replicas, I sold most of them 10 years ago...
Apparently there are still some enthusiasts of these heavy zamac replicas (Mainly in countries were gun control is "drastic"). Of course today the nice blow-back airsoft guns are more attractive, You can have the look and the pleasure to shoot inside, without any inconvenient, but I though that it could be fun to mention this "era" of the replicas, just before the triumph of modern airsofts.
The name zamak is an acronym of the German names for the metals of which the alloys are composed: zink (zinc), aluminium, magnesium and kupfer (copper).
Zamak can be electroplated, wet painted, and chromate conversion coated well.
One of my main concerns about these replicas was the black finish, and the very irregular surface treatments.
These models can be handled and dismantled quite like the original. There was also some models firing dummy cartridges using caps, the "blow back effect" was therefore functional.
But the mechanism use to get dirty very quickly and it starts to jam soon...
I have just found that some models are still produced and the quality seems to have been really improved and according to the videos the blow back effect today is working very well...
Watch here : http://www.modelguns-worldwide.com/modelgun_videos.htm
The slide can move and load a dummy cartridge in the chamber. Of course the gun barrel is "blocked" and can not be modified to shoot real amunitions.
The main parts, like the frame and the slide have been weakened to guarantee the destruction of the gun using blank or real cartridges.
You can see here the irregular surface treatment... I remember that I use to customize some models, by polishing them completely, the result was cool, but zamac gets oxided very quickly, I had to polish them frequently, to keep a realistic shine, and not a silver gray that looks like nothing real...
Moving the slide was fun (at that time) and the sound it makes was quite realistic.
I think that some of these replicas were used in theater and movie industry when no real shooting was necesary, I remember an episode of Columbo (of the 70's...) where you can see a room with some props, and a lot of RMI boxes...
Some people exhibit their collection of replica as a decorative element in their house.
Some spanish factories still produce zamac replicas but nothing to do with the japanese "quality".
Here is the view of a 1911 A1 partially disassembled. For the ones who know the original, you can see that it was "interesting" for a young "noob" like me to handle something that looks like a real 1911 without any danger or paperwork...
























The magazines (in steel) had a very nice finish, sometime better than the originals...
But of course the dimensions were slightly different, to avoid mixing parts with a real pistol.
The brass dummies look like hollow points (why not?) the proportions were OK...
There was a more luxurious version, with a nickel finish, the surfaces were better polished, cover with copper and then nickel (using an electrolytic process), the effect is mirror, with a light yellow tint (not gold, but not chrome... I would say in between).
This one was... IS, still very realistic


I remember that I have learned how to use resin polymer casting, to duplicate some "ivory" style grips, this one is one of my copies of an eagle engraved grip. I filled the engrave areas with enamel black, the result is still very nice 20 years after...
It was fun to remember this collection, I will try to post more about "Non Firing replicas", I think I still have a few models, 3 1911A1, 1 Colt SAA, 1 P38, 1 S&W 357 K frame 6 inches, 1 P08 Luger (to be fixed), 1 Winchester 1897 trench gun, 1 Ar 15 commando (XM177 Vietnam). Maybe more... I'll check...

Other non firing replica : Winchester M 1897
Other non firing replica : MGC Colt XM 177 - AR15 Commando

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