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  #1  
Old 09-16-2007, 09:24 AM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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Olympic Arms color case hardened 1911's




Found a website showing them, absolutely beautiful, but then I've always liked color case. Does anyone know about these? The one I like is about $1100, the "Trail Boss" with long slide. Really nice looking gun. Does color case hardening rust easier than blue? Is this true CCH with high rockwell C? If it is it should wear forever. One couldn't change anything though as it would be hard to machine the cased skin. I guess it would be no different than hard chrome in that regard but without the corrosion resistance.
http://www.olyarms.com/index.php?pag...mart&Itemid=37
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2007, 08:57 PM
Robsauto Robsauto is offline
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I handled the "Westerner" at a gun show and I thought that it was beautiful. But, then, I like weird things. I don;t know much about CCH except that the two shotguns that I have (Savage 311 and 24) with it don't look like it has worn very well. And these guns were not much shot much in their lifetimes, it just faded I guess.

Rob
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2007, 12:54 AM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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Thanks Rob. I sent a website showing one to my 'smith as to wisdom of CCH finish, no answer back yet. I also sent a query to a dealer who also didn't reply.
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2007, 12:04 AM
exexpat93 exexpat93 is offline
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Seen and held

I live about 4 miles from Olympic Arms and accidently walked into their showroom thinking it was another business I was looking for at the time.

I got a free tour of the factory and before leaving placed an order for a Cohort 1911. The staff were friendly and top notch.

I asked about the Case Hardened Westerner Series as I considered placing one of those on order at the time (I still might after I receive my Cohort).

I was told that the Case Hardening on the Westerner Series was not really true Case Hardening. It was a coating that looks like Case Hardening and was about the same or just slightly less durable than standard bluing to maintain.

As a note, Olympic is back ordered 3 months so you have to place an order in advance to get one of these hand fitted 1911's.

I was very impressed with all of Olympic's Sample pieces on display. They were all super tight and sharp to the eye.

I have always had a soft spot for Case Hardening as I love the antique look.

As soon as I pick up my Cohort I'll give a range report and my impressions.
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2007, 03:18 PM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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Well now, ExexPat93, that is very interesting about it not being true CCH. The second Sweeny book tested one and he said that he tried to file the CCH in an unobstrusive area and the file glanced off. He said it was true CCH. Now I don't know what to believe. Regardless, I have a soft spot for gorgeous guns and may buy one from that standpoint. Sweeny also said the finish would "shrug off rust".

It wouldn't be my first safe queen, I've got a Mauser P08 for looks also. Safe queens are a responsibility, they are safe queens because one expects them to look the same 50 years from now, and a spot of rust would truly be disgusting on a CCH gun.
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2007, 08:41 PM
Tomcatt Tomcatt is offline
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I bought a longslide Oly Arms pistol about 3 years ago for $670 new. It's the two tone model they call 'The Big Deuce'. I got the rounded trigger guard & straight front strap as I don't really care for the Safari type frames. It is one fine shooter. 100% reliable with any ammo I've tried. It has a very tight slide to frame fit and is very pleasing to the eye. I would buy another Oly if I could find one. My dealer says he can't get anymore. The last one he had in stock was a 'Black Tac'. I should have bought it.
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2007, 09:40 PM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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That's another problem I keep hearing about, no supply. I've emailed three dealers and the only response I got was "Try Olympic Arms" from someone who was supposed to be their dealer.
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2007, 10:25 PM
exexpat93 exexpat93 is offline
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Just what the factory salesman said ...

Double post ... whoops!

Last edited by exexpat93; 09-21-2007 at 10:30 PM. Reason: double post
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2007, 10:26 PM
exexpat93 exexpat93 is offline
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Just what the factory salesman said ...

The very nice gent that was assisting me insisted it was not real case hardening. I was interested in case hardening not only for the look but rust resistance. The salesman said that the finish if abused would eventually rub off.

I'll probably be getting one of the Westerner line after I break in my Cohort.

If you were told or saw a magazine picture of a case hardened 1911 you might think it a strange look but ... seeing one up close - it looks sharp.

Olympic is selling every 1911 it has months in advance to law enforcement, troops, pros, and collectors.

They are selling by word of mouth and no one is going to see any NEW ones on gunshow tables anytime soon.

There is a wait and from what I've seen so far the wait will be worth it.
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2007, 10:50 PM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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For what it's worth, this is from a dealers web ad, I'm hoping it's correct but that word from the floor of the place makes me wonder; http://www.ar15.biz/page3.html

Coated from top to bottom with a true case-colored hardening, these Olympic Arms pistols are more than just pretty, they are tough! As fine a 1911 as your money can buy, with the standard features all of the Safari / Olympic Arms pistols, you'll never regret owning a piece of history that combines Old West styling, with a modern day 1911's speed, reliability, accuracy and 45 ACP firepower. But not just that, it's better! Case coloring on most modern firearms is nothing more than a cosmetic coating. The Westerner is manufactured with a true case-color hardening. You see, this process of case hardening has been around for centuries. It has been used to make metals harder, in order to enhance it's performance. The coloring is a by-product of that hardening process. When done properly, the residual coloring by-product of this process can be manipulated to provide a greater esthetic appearance. Bur remeber, the coloring is just the by-product. The real benefit is in the hardening which provides greater strength, and longer life to the material itself. The normal Rockwell hardness for a standard carbon or stainless steel slide is about 38c. Once case hardening process has been done on the same piece of metal, it will Rockwell in the high 50's to low 60's range on the same c scale (the actual hardness will vary from part to part, as the process is controllable. Hardness will also vary depending on the type of metal that is being treated as well). The ability to control hardness is in fact critical with most firearms parts. In other words, you cannot heat treat a slide stop to the same depth of a slide or frame. If you do, the slide stop becomes brittle and can break more easily, rather than become stronger and more reliable and durable. You can see the depth of the case hardening of the parts on these pistols.
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  #11  
Old 09-22-2007, 11:30 AM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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Called Beavercreek Armory in Hillsboro Oregon. Dave said it takes 6 to 9 MONTHS to get one. Said they are one off made and the guy who makes them is a perfectionist. I'm thinking a down payment and feed the bill until it's paid off, but what if I die of old age before it's done? Maybe I'll try other dealers nationwide and try to find one. Oh, BTW, he said that being hard to get he often gets way more than the MSRP for them. It sounds like a sleeper collectable.
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  #12  
Old 09-22-2007, 05:04 PM
Greyson Greyson is offline
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If you get one, please post a review of how it runs and shoots. This is a pistol that gets some chatter from time to time on this board but never has anyone bought one.


Regards,
Greyson
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2007, 09:18 PM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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I talked with the handgun shop at Olympic today, asked if I could get one with two changes, no front slide serrations and a steel mainspring housing to replace the aluminum one, no problem, add $85. I'm excited even if I do have to wait 8 months. Now I need to get the wife to part with the $$. What a lovely gun.
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2008, 10:59 AM
hagana hagana is offline
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Does anyone happen to know the final word on Olympic's case-coloring process? Is it the real deal? And, are there any refinishers out there who are offering a similar finish? I have not stumbled across any, but thought perhaps others had.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2008, 12:01 PM
dodgeit dodgeit is offline
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If this is the same Oly Arms that produces Ar-15s, and has made attempts to produce other rifles. I would do allot of research before plunking down any money for anything made by them. Quality products and customer service were not high on their priorities list, if they have changed their ways good for them if not bad for Us.

Please don't take this the wrong way, do your own research on other firearms forums mainly dealing with rifles to see what I am talking about. Oh and try to pick the forums that do not have paid advertisement by vendors as any negative threads are usually yanked quickly.

Tim
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2008, 04:22 PM
hagana hagana is offline
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dodgeit,
Trust me, I've don't plenty of reading over the years of headaches caused by out of spec Oly ARs, but the case-colored hardening interests me yet. I'll probably just end-up giving them a call for more information, but would like to hear of others' experiences with their case-colored 1911s.
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  #17  
Old 03-08-2008, 11:20 PM
mattryanmusic mattryanmusic is offline
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I have one of their "Enforcer" 1911's. I love it. It wasn't to expensive, fit and finish is nice. It shoots nice. I also have the good fortune to live a few miles from the factory and have taken it in once for some problems it was having extracting every so often. They were very good there and and fixed it while I BS'ed with one of the employees. It's run 100% for about 1000 rounds since. I don't think I would have bought it if the factory wasn't around the corner. Also, I'd recommend ordering it with the round trigger guard. It was kinda a pain finding a nice IWB holster for it.
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  #18  
Old 03-11-2008, 05:17 PM
chinrest chinrest is offline
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Oly arms color case hardened 1911's

Just another two cents for the candy machine ... until just recently I owned a Constable, which is the commander sized CCH oly 1911. Nice gun; I let it go because my conversation with one of the two pistolsmiths who I know pretty well, made it clear that if it was to be a duty gun it would show holster wear pretty quickly and there was no known remedy. I don't own anything I don't shoot, and mostly carry, so rather than screw up a beautiful piece of gun craft, I sent it on to a home where it's cosmetic frailties wouldn't be a problem. I had considered having it Cerahyde clear coated ( a nano ceramic finish ) but figured that would also diminish it's value to a purist.

If anyone's interested, the shop where I bought the Constable, Mary's Pistols in Tacoma, Wa., has the five inch Westerner ( one only; and that only because they have a friendship with the folks at the factory ) in the display case for sale. This line of guns is pretty much notgetium these days as Oly Arms is fully engaged with military production.

Good luck. Nice piece if you have the self discipline to handle with care.
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  #19  
Old 03-13-2008, 08:13 PM
volky volky is offline
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I've owned a Matchmaster 5 for the last 8 years and I must say it has been totally reliable and a good shooter if I keep it clean and lubed. Accuracy is almost as good as my S&W PC945. I find the finger groove thingy aids with accuracy.

I have heard, but not tried changing parts. Stock 1911 parts need some modification to fit. Go ahead and get one. They do only provide a 1 year warranty and you pay the freight both ways, I believe.

Hey, not everyone can be like S&W.
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2008, 04:40 PM
RDColt RDColt is offline
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I own a Westerner

I was lucky enough to pick up a Westerner at a show here in FLA. about 7 months ago. Got it for $650 with only about 50 rounds out of it. Beautiful piece and definitely a keeper. I shot it over Xmas and it shoots better than me and eats ammo like a kid at fat camp. I spoke with the guys at Oly Arms and it was made in Dec. 05. According to them there are only about 25 to 30 of these things made a year and the waiting list is extensive. I have already had a few offers of over $1,400 to buy it (it only retails at about $1050) but I just cant bring myself to part with it knowing what I do now.
I have had problems in the past with Oly Arms and was skeptical about this one, but I have to say that it is impressive to say the least and they have somewhat redeemed themselves with this masterpiece.
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  #21  
Old 04-24-2008, 10:40 AM
Lunatic Lunatic is offline
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Oly Arms

Oly Amrs plant was completely destroyed by a fire a few years back, since then they have gotten new and updated machines, so their products are better than ever.

When you call Oly Arms ask for "SKIP", he works the front counter. A former Army Vietnam vet who will set you straight, you can also buy direct form Oly Arms, just have it shipped to your FFL to make the transfer.

I own a few of their AR's and they are great; as with any AR's just keep it clean; also I have used their 1911 frames, barrels and other small parts for custom build pistols at a lower cost with remarkable results.

Their pistol smith is Richard, former Detonics pistol smith, so you know their pistol will be outstanding.

Lunatic
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  #22  
Old 04-25-2008, 08:30 PM
Bandit45 Bandit45 is offline
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I just hit 10 months waiting for my Constable, hope its out of the oven soon! Y'all will hear a big whooop when it comes in.
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  #23  
Old 09-16-2008, 10:18 AM
steel609 steel609 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hagana View Post
Does anyone happen to know the final word on Olympic's case-coloring process? Is it the real deal? And, are there any refinishers out there who are offering a similar finish? I have not stumbled across any, but thought perhaps others had.
After purchasing my Olympic Arms Westerner, I sent an email to Tom Spithaler, the Sales Director for Olympic Arms. Here's what he said about the case coloring - His response is in blue.......

2. Technical question - How deep is the finish on the Westerner? Is it possible to have front strap checkering done without damaging the finish beyond repair? Does Olympic Arms perform this service? Is there a price list of services that can be performed on the 1911's by Olympic Arms gunsmiths?
The actual coloring is a by product of the hardening process. Cutting checkering into the frame after it has been case color hardened is not an option. The hardening process makes the steel so hard, cutting the checkering now is nearly impossible. We do not do this in house, but it is done by the old-fashion method and uses the same methods as they did in the late 1800ís. Back then this was done to harden the steel, and the coloring was superfluous. Now we do it for the coloring alone, and the hardening is the byproduct. We do not offer this as an after-market option.

I guess that answers the question of hardness vs. appearance only. If you handle one, you can just "feel" the difference in the finish. I love mine.
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  #24  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:05 PM
sousana sousana is offline
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I own 3 Safari Arms GI Models, 4 Matchmasters, 3 Black Widows, and 2 Cohorts and I have to say, I'm a firm lover of Safari Arms. When I find one at a gunshow, I buy it. Period. Never once have I had a malf, or any issue at all, and I love the extra weight in the frame.
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  #25  
Old 09-19-2008, 08:40 AM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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Well, you guys have me thinking about this again. If I were younger,,,well, I'm not getting any younger.

But right now I'm so upset about osama obama that my money is going into the fight against him and his ilk, I did not serve in the military, money is a minor sacrifice by comparison.
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