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  #1  
Old 07-30-2011, 03:54 PM
terrapin88 terrapin88 is offline
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Mitchell Arms Gold Series '95




I picked up a stainless LNIB Mitchell Arms Gold Series '95 from a gun shop north of Boston http://www.collectorsguns.com/index.html about a month ago. Before I went to look at it, I'd read what little info online I could find about them and most of it was negative but vague. I did read a few posts of happy owners too so I decided to check it out. The shop wanted $600 for it, but after some discussion with the shop owner (great guy) we agreed on $550 and a 14 day money back return policy. If you live in MA you know decent 1911's are hard to come by for that price, but the 14 day return policy sold me. I figured why not?

It came with one Mitchell mag, the original box and owners manual. The pistol is heavy and feels well made. The exterior finish is good, but there are sharp edges here and there. You can see machine marks on the internals, but no more than I see in my S&W 1911 or Systema. Tight slide fit and a good trigger. It comes stock with an extended slide stop and extended safety. The barrel is ramped and tapered and it does not use a bushing. The is no play or movement with the barrel to slide fit. It's very tight. It uses a FLGR. The sights are Bomar cut from what I've read, and the rear is drift adjustable for windage. The rear sight uses an allen screw to secure it to the slide. The fit of the rear sight to the slide leaves something to be desired, but it works as long as the allen is tight and loctited. From what I've read I believe Caspian made the frames and slides for Mitchell Arms in the mid '90's. I believe Mitchell made the Glod Series '95's for 2 years, then he went bankrupt IIRC. I've read the left over slides and frames Caspian produced for Mitchell ended up being sold as kits on Sarco.

You know how some guns just feel right and good in your hand? This is one of them. It came with black rubber wrap around grips, but I've removed them for a 2 piece set instead. I don't think I'd carry this one. It seems more suited for the range or the home. It's heavy, a little blocky and does have some sharp edges. It's by no means uncomfortable to shoot or grip, but it may be uncomfortable to carry. I haven't tried.

So, I stripped and cleaned it, not that it needed anything but fresh oil. The only crud I could in it was the old dried up lube. Lubed it up and headed off to the range with a 50 blazer 230 fmj's 100 round box of walmart winchester 230gr fmj's. I had nothing but failure to feeds with the blazer. I was lucky to get thru an 8 rnd mag without having to clear it twice. The winchesters were better, but I still had feeding failures. I packed it in and went home to pull it apart and see if I could find the problem.

This time I stripped it down to the frame. I cleaned everything and looked for burs or anything obvious. I went back to the range with what was left of my winchesters and about 100 of my 230gr LRN reloads. I still had some feed failures, but not as many. I tried S&W mags, wilson mags and some old USGI mags. No real difference mag to mag. By the time I had fired off the last of my ammo things were getting better. Less and less failures, and the pistol seemed very accurate from 25 yards.

200 or so rounds thru it later and there are no failures of any kind. I have grown to love this pistol and it's accuracy, and so far reliability. I think this pistol had little if any use before me, and it needed a few hundred rounds through it to break in.

I don't know why these older Mitchell Arms 1911's had a bad wrap in the posts I've read online. Maybe only the people with issues bothered to posted to complain? Maybe I just got lucky, I don't know. I can tell you this one is a great shooter and definitely a keeper as far as I'm concerned.

Chris
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2011, 03:56 PM
terrapin88 terrapin88 is offline
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few more pics.......

thanks for looking

Chris-
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2011, 04:41 PM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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You should go to the casino. You are a lucky person. No I'm not a dissatisfied Mitchell Gold Series owner. I am a satisfied owner, but it was a long road getting happy with mine. I had failures to feed, failures to eject, inconsistent ejection. But I turned a sow's ear into a silk purse. I had to have the barrel hard fit by a COMPETENT gunsmith, to correct the feeding issues, and to reshape the dust cover from that square monster to standard configuration. just to find a holster that would fit it. The dust cover is designed for mounting an optics scope base for mounting optics. Ala USPSA unlimited class. I had to replace the extractor and fit an oversize fps to correct the extraction issues. The good news is you can still get parts though Mitchell Mauser's, they have even started making them again, although the new versions are much more expensive and have a bushing. Since you showed yours I'll show you mine. As you can see it's been modified somewhat, and function well and cycles like it's on ball bearings.

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Mitchell Gold Series '95.jpg   Mitchell Gold Series Left side.jpg  
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D&D Bren Ten M&P 45 acp, Mitchell Gold Series '95, S/A Champion SS Loaded, Sig P228, S&W 657 41 Magnum.
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  #4  
Old 07-30-2011, 06:48 PM
terrapin88 terrapin88 is offline
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guysmith, nice looking 1911 you got there. I like those grips. I can see you've done some great mods to it. Sorry to hear you had so much trouble getting yours reliable. Glad you got it running right but I'd hate to know what it cost you. Looks like i got lucky and mine wasn't built on a friday by a one eyed drunk.

I see you changed out the sights. Are they in fact a bomar style cut?
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2011, 11:55 PM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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It is now, with a Bomar adjustable rear sight with green F/O inserts. As far as how much it took to turn that sow's ear into a silk purse, it was at least 1/2 of what I paid for the pistol new, then there was the cost of the custom modifications. But I'm a hard headed of German descent and refuse to let a mechanical device get the better of me. It was all worth it though, as one day I loaned it to someone shooting an IDPA classifier with shooting a high dollar custom built pistol that gave up the ghost. When he had finished he complimented me on how smooth it functioned and shot. It made all the headaches worth it just for that.

Oh yeah forgot to comment on Blazer ammo. I'm not surprised you had issues, IF you were using the aluminum cased Blazer ammo. I have found it to feed and extractor UNreliably in any of my 3-1911s. Now the brass cased Blazer has been good to go, so far I have fired about 300 rounds or so in my Mitchell and my S/A Champion Loaded w/o issues that can be traced to the ammo.
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D&D Bren Ten M&P 45 acp, Mitchell Gold Series '95, S/A Champion SS Loaded, Sig P228, S&W 657 41 Magnum.

Last edited by guysmith; 07-31-2011 at 12:21 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2011, 09:36 AM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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I shot a few boxes of aluminum cased Blazer and had no problems with it in my 1911's. Mixed bag there.

terrapin, you may have be correct about the Caspian production. Years back I bought a Foster frame and slide set and it looks like yours. Same finger reliefs in the frame, dust cover profile (which I like because of the weight) and slide rib and overall appearance. I built is and it remains one of my very favorite and best performing guns. Everything in it was spot on. I have heard the same thing about the Mitchell Series and I took it to be fitting issues as discussed in the previous posts. I recall Sarco selling slide/frame and slide/frame/barrel kits for those gun a few years back. I was tempted but didn't buy a set.

Here's pics of my build.
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Last edited by Magnumite; 06-16-2012 at 11:25 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2011, 10:37 AM
terrapin88 terrapin88 is offline
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The blazer ammo was in a box that said American something. It wasnt American Eagle. Cant remember now. I hadn't heard of it before so I figured I'd try it as the box said "made in the USA". When I got to the range and pulled the ammo out of the box, the headstamps said blazer on them. They were brass cased. Not the first time I've been lied to, but I won't be trying them again.

guysmith, Have you fired any SWC or hollow points thru it successfully? I've been making 230 gr round nose for years. I figured it's time to branch out.

Magnumite, thanks for the info and pics. Looks great. Frame and slide look identical to the Mitchells. I see your slide is cut for a bushing. Mine is too. I like the heavy dustcover too. I like the added weight. What kind of sights did you install? Foster is the brand I remember reading came from Caspian.
Thanks

Chris
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2011, 12:46 PM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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Don't recall having any issues with swc of JHP. When Otto Mytaska of OttO Comp, fixes a pistol it's fixed. My only issue after getting it back from Otto was it was too tight, but he told me it would be. So I had to go though the break in process again. But that was a good thing. By the way I think I may have forgot to say what the grips were on mine, they are Excaliber Ultima Grip panels. I think they can still be purchased from Grips4Guns.com. I do know they are getting harder to find. My source for them was Altamount Grips in Altamount IL., they show up at some of the larger Gun Show here in the St. Louis Area, but they haven't had them for a few years and no longer show them on their website. That's a bad thing, for me, cause those are the only grips I like on a 1911.
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D&D Bren Ten M&P 45 acp, Mitchell Gold Series '95, S/A Champion SS Loaded, Sig P228, S&W 657 41 Magnum.
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2011, 01:27 PM
terrapin88 terrapin88 is offline
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I like the grips but I figured they were something custom you had made. I'm trying hard to be an adult and not put those "zombie response team" grips I like that I see on ebay.
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2011, 02:14 PM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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The rear sight Is a Millett and the front is BoMar small tenon. A local smiff machined the slide for the rear sights.
I knew Foster is Caspian, but if I would have known the Mitchell components were made by Foster i would have bought a couple. Live and learn.
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Last edited by Magnumite; 07-31-2011 at 03:03 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2011, 03:06 PM
terrapin88 terrapin88 is offline
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I wouldn't bet my life on it, but from the online reading I've done, survey says Caspian made them for Mitchell. When Mitchell went belly up, Caspian sold the left overs from the Mitchell order to whom ever (Sarco I read) and branded them Foster, which from what I understand is a name used by Caspian.

Yeah live and learn for sure. I just hope I live long enough to learn what is worth knowing.
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2011, 08:35 AM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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One other thing, if you shoot IDPA. The Mitchell Gold Series is NOT IDPA legal. the 5" bull barrel is not allowed, 4.25" or less barrels are just not 5", and it is over the weight limit. IDPA reasoning was that the added weight of the bull barrel gives us an advantage over a standard barrel and bushing set up. I shoot mine in local monthly non sanctioned matches, but have to shoot my
Champion in Sanctioned matches. Personally I don't their thinking is sound, but the rules are the rules. If I was looking for an advantage from weight why would I have reshaped the dust cover, removing excess weight from the front of the pistol. I don't think a bull barrel weights any more than a standard barrel and bushing with a ramped and supported chamber, but then I don't know, as I don't have a standard barrel and bushing to weigh to to compare. If someone has a Standard barrel and bushing with a Nowlin/Wilson ramped and supported chamber I would like to know what it weighs. If it's not the same weight it can't be more than a few grams difference.
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D&D Bren Ten M&P 45 acp, Mitchell Gold Series '95, S/A Champion SS Loaded, Sig P228, S&W 657 41 Magnum.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:00 AM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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I have shot a heavy barrel upper on the same pistol I use a standard barrel upper. I haven't weighed the difference, but shooting the pistol there is a difference. It tracks better and holds differently, if you like the weight just in front of your support hand knuckles. With heavy loads it is a good.

as noted, this isn't IDPA legal, but in a pin match or USPSA type shooting it can help. Depends on what you like. I have used the heavy barrel in steel shooting, but have gone to the standard barrel since it cycles quicker with the light loads.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:10 PM
Tidewater Tarheel Tidewater Tarheel is offline
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My Mitchell 1911A1

I have two 1911's, One a Mitchell Gold Series 95 and an Itaca US Army . Both work very well, the Ithaca since the day my father in law gave it to me, ( It was his service pistol , he was a physician in the field) and the Gold Series, well my gunsmith sold it to me a after he had tuned it, and it has fed and fired ball and JHP loads flawlessly ever since I retained ownership.. Thanks to Bill's Custom Guns in Greensboro, NC. I am here to learn and first, I'm looking for a reliable defensive load for the Mitchell. I will be shooting the service pistol very little. I'm here to learn from everyone here. Thanks for what seems to be a great forum ! Anyone can email me if you like with suggested information !

Tidewater !
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  #15  
Old 11-23-2011, 09:58 PM
ACP Shooter ACP Shooter is offline
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A Mitchell was the second 1911 I ever owned and the dealer had to finally take it back - it just would not feed, even after three trips back to the factory. I can't remember ever getting through a single mag without an ftf. Either the intregal feed ramp was too short or the mag catch was too low because rounds kept getting hung up on the bottom edge of the ramp. It was too bad because when you could get a round in the chamber, that thing was a tackdriver.
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  #16  
Old 11-28-2011, 01:22 PM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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Mitchell didn't know how to properly fit a ramped and supported barrel. Mine was the same way, a jam-o-matic, until I found a GOOD 1911 smith that knew how to fit the barrel properly. Mitchell has since gone back to a standard non-ramped and supported barrel on the Gold Series 1911. Make sure you are sitting down when you check the prices for a new production Gold Series 1911, they are 4X more expensive than what I paid for mine back in 95.
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D&D Bren Ten M&P 45 acp, Mitchell Gold Series '95, S/A Champion SS Loaded, Sig P228, S&W 657 41 Magnum.
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