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Old 11-04-2012, 12:08 AM
Kodadek Kodadek is online now
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Shooters Arms Manufacturing Elite




Just picked one up from Mills Fleet Farm today in Fergus Falls MN, 429 on sale (459 original price).

I will have pics either tomorrow night or Monday. I came up to visit my folks and forgot my camera...either it's on my desk at home or in my toolbox in the gunsmithing lab at school. My cellphone takes terrible pics so I won't ruin the unveiling with them. Really, I would buy a smart phone but it cuts into my gun budget.

Initial impressions: The gun is nicely finished and tight for a sub-500 dollar gun. Removing the bushing left me with some sore digits but it left me happy.

I've only dry fired it thus far but there's a bit of creep in the trigger and I'd guess the pull is right over five pounds but it does have a nice reset. A trigger job is absolutely in this gun's future, if not likely a new trigger altogether.

The build quality is impressive. Fewer tool marks than I expected after stripping it and wiping it down. The front strap is nicely contoured as is the beavertail...I was impressed, the fit and sculpting on the beavertail while not superb is better than on my RIA Tactical.

The gun is heavy. This is due to the raised and flattend topstrap which I like for no other reason than pure aesthetics. Everything fits together as it should and as I said it is fit snugly though not absurdly tight. Better than I expected.

The bluing is nice and dark, almost black and it seems to drink up all the surrounding light. The thumb safety is strong side only, extended and serrated and engages and disengages with an authoritative "Snick", the slide stop is also is extended and serrated. I have not warmed up to it however I will give it a chance before changing it out for a normal slide stop.

It has a standard GI guide rod and plug, as I said the bushing is pretty darned tight. The rifling in the barrel is nice and the barrel is blued save for the hood which is left in the white. The slide marks are minimal with the simple proclaimation "Elite" on the side. I like smaller roll marks as most of us do and the lines of the pistol are smooth and clean.

The front and rear sight are dovetailed with a nice square notch and a plain black front sight with a small divot drilled into it just begging for some paint or I might tap it and install a brass shotgun bead just to try it out. No idea about the actual sight dimensions but the wide rear sight makes the front sight very easy to pick up.

The grips are plain black plastic, checkered, with the SAM logo. I have a set of Pachs on order though I plan on using this gun as a learning tool for FS checkering. After that I'm thinking of some VZs.

I just realized my father has a rather nice camera and I will bug him in the morning about letting me use it so I can upload photos before I head back home. By then we should have taken her out for a trial run alongside the RIA Tactical.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:47 PM
Siscowet985 Siscowet985 is offline
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Congratulations look forward to the pictures.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:18 AM
Kodadek Kodadek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siscowet985 View Post
Congratulations look forward to the pictures.
I was busy helping dad move equipment in the morning and when I got home after a three hour drive I realized I did indeed leave my camera in the lab. I'll get pics tomorrow, otherwise my new gun didn't happen...I'm a stickler for the rules these days.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:46 PM
jbubbs jbubbs is offline
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Congrats! I wondered if you ever pulled the trigger on one. I seem to be having some trouble with the thumb safety, it locks up at random. I'm think the plunger is stopping it, of course it worked fine til I decided to try and fit a new hammer. Anywho, get those pics up!
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:35 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is online now
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I'm having one of those weeks. Went to visit my folks and forgot my camera but remember the USB/power cord...today I get my camera out and realize I somehow left the cord at my mom and dad's! I'd cry if I wasn't laughing so damn hard! To top that off the Kareen Hi-Power I ordered? Seems there was a foul up in their system and they were out of stock when I ordered it...they still had FEG HPs so I wiped my nose and ordered one of those instead. I figure when I head to radioshack to get a new cord tomorrow morning I'll get smacked by a bus!

On the plus side I did get the last gun I needed for bolt action lab started and I'll have that finished tomorrow...then it's all smooth sailing from there.

Edit: Jbubs, how is the trigger on yours? Mine had a fair amount of creep at first but it's lessened and smoothed out after putting a hundred rounds of SWC through the gun (also is yours like mine? It will eat anything) and it seems the trigger has lightened some after some shooting as well. Still thinking of a new trigger a C&S hammer, sear, and mainspring kit. I really like the look of the gun the longer I have it too.
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

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Last edited by Kodadek; 11-06-2012 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:21 PM
jbubbs jbubbs is offline
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To be honest I didn't notice anything wrong with the trigger. I have a new hammer/stru/pin on order so hopefully I'll get to shoot more this weekend. I only got to put 41 rounds thru it but they were 3 different brands including 9 rounds of steel cased. Hoping the sticky safety works itself out. Did you have any problems with the extended slide stop hitting your thumb?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:37 PM
ellocojorge ellocojorge is online now
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Can't wait for pictures either
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:58 AM
Kodadek Kodadek is online now
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Still need to detail strip it...the gun is coated in grease. Doing that tomorrow. I did a basic wipe down and function test and ran the SWC and 50 rounds of 185 Grain XTPs through it as well. Even crudded up it ran like a top.











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Old 11-07-2012, 03:16 PM
jbubbs jbubbs is offline
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Lookin good! Got any plans for it yet?
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:47 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is online now
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Well, I have a set of Pachmayr's in the mail, should be in tomorrow with my Hi-Power mags and some CMC P-Mags for the Elite as well. Thinking of trying to adapt a shotgun bead for the hole in the front sight, and I am absolutely replacing the extended slide stop with a boring old checkered GI style one. My big old meathooks keep preventing it from locking the slide back on the final round shooting thumbs high. In all fairness I gave it a shot. Really, I like how the gun looks enough that now that I have it shooting straight (the 185 grain swcs were light target loads)

Here's some pictures of it in a Galco Summer Special with my Emerson Karambit in one of them...just because.





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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

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Old 11-07-2012, 06:52 PM
Siscowet985 Siscowet985 is offline
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Simple straightforward and no BS. Nice!
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:13 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siscowet985 View Post
Simple straightforward and no BS. Nice!
I like her...except for the extended slide stop but I might just order a new one tonight. Otherwise, outside of the front sight and the Pachmayr's (coming tomorrow) I don't want to change anything else on the gun. It's a very straightforward affair, simple and elegant. I especially like the BVTGS, the actual shape is graceful and appealing, I also like that it uses an actual Commander style hammer as I am not a fan of skeletonized units. Don't know why, but there's something about that hammer.

Also despite my worst fears it fits quite nicely in the Galco Summer Special I bought for it and we'll see how the finish wears as I plan to carry it after I get my permit renewed and another couple of hundred rounds down it...Thanksgiving is always a shooting holiday for me and my dad so I'll break her in the rest of the way then.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:43 AM
jbubbs jbubbs is offline
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I went in a little different direction, parts showed up yesterday and everything checks fine. Hopefully hit the range tomorrow
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45c.jpg  
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:40 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is online now
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Just got my Pachmayr's not an hour ago in the mail from Cheaper! Thought I'd show it off with one of my Emersons. Really, love my Pachs.

Jbubs, nice looking setup. Really thinking of doing some triggerwork and leaving this old girl be. There's just something very workmanlike about her.
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

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Last edited by Kodadek; 11-09-2012 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:19 PM
jbubbs jbubbs is offline
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I know what you mean on the trigger, mine has a slight take up and then breaks clean. But my main shooter is a Glock so it's pretty tough for me to notice, time will tell. Hopefully the weather holds off tomorrow so I can hit the range!
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:59 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is online now
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I've been dry firing mine each every day and the trigger seems to be smoothing out and the take up is less and less noticeable. Still, I think a new trigger, maybe the C&S 4.5 pound kit should be just what the doctor ordered. Take her to school and get the small bits blued and make sure they work in the gun. I was going to use this as a project gun but I've decided to do a Caspian build for that. It'll cost more but that way I'm building from the ground up.
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:30 AM
Chiton guy Chiton guy is offline
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I've heard a lot of dry firing can cause damage. Might want to put in an empty or a snap cap.

About the slide release, if you have normal thumbs and can reach the regular slide release without changing your grip too much(or with your supporting thumb), you don't need it. My thumbs are a little short so the extended releases help me quite a bit.

BTW Is there a trick to posting pics so the show on the first page, instead of just a link?
MIKE
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:19 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is online now
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Just an update...over three hundred rounds, no malfunctions, the trigger has lightened and smoothed out and with some white paint the front sight is easy to pick up.

On a whim while examining the rear sight (very robust and I'm quite taken with it) I got out a few snap caps and tried feeding rounds through the gun one handed using the rear sight to cock the Elite. It work like a charm and I was able to cycle the weapon one handed without issue. I also cleaned the veritable ton of brown sludge from inside the gun (it was seeping out) and after some light lubrication and a wipe down she cycles smooth as silk. I've run 230 grain Winchester PDX1s, Hydroshocks, and some American Eagle Ball ammo I had lying around that needed shot up now that I reload on top of 185 gran XTP and SWC ammunition and the Elite seems to like them all. Though my best group is with the XTP and SWC reloads and she prints a few inches low. I will take pictures next time but I had five shots going into a sub 2" group offhand at 15 yards and that's not too shabby (it also counts as a really good range day for me since I usually get a 3" or so group at that range).
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