Custom Duty Auto? Robar’s .40 1911
Partnering America’s Favorite Pistol With LE’s Favorite Caliber.
There’s no shortage of companies making production 1911s, custom models, doing custom gunsmithing and selling aftermarket parts and accessories. Recently, John Browning’s creation passed its 100th birthday, and the design is as sound now as it was a century ago. American law enforcement has a long and rich history of using the 1911 for duty use, but for the past two decades the .40 caliber has been the cartridge of choice for the majority of police agencies across the country. So how can America’s favorite pistol partner with law enforcement’s most popular caliber?
There are several companies making quality production 1911s in .40 caliber, while others have had problems getting their guns to run with this cartridge. The .40 is a high-pressure round generating a fast recoil impulse, while the .45 is a low-pressure cartridge generating a slow recoil impulse. Without getting too technical here, this is why many shooters say the .40 is snappy or kicks more than the .45. That high-recoil impulse can also wreak havoc on guns not designed for it. Many companies have learned this the hard way when they tried chambering their existing 9mms to .40 calibers.
Since a police officer’s handgun is his first line of defense, I wanted to see what a custom gunmaker could come up with when dealing with the 1911. I met with Robbie Barrkman, the owner of Robar, and we discussed the idea of a custom 1911 in .40 caliber for law enforcement use.
Any cop proficient with a 1911 — key word there is proficient — can’t go wrong carrying it. However, there are many agencies only allowing the .40 caliber for duty use. There are also many people who like the .40 caliber, but want to shoot it in a 1911. It was natural to blend the two ideas.
As a duty handgun, there were a few things I felt the gun had to have. It had to be utterly reliable, and it had to have an extremely durable finish to withstand the rigors of police work. It also not only had to be as accurate as possible, I wanted it to have a rail frame to accept a light. Robbie agreed with me on all points and we were off and running.
I reached out to Larry Weeks at Brownells for custom parts. Brownells advertises themselves as the World’s Largest Supplier of Firearms Accessories and Gunsmithing Tools. After buying from them for over two decades I can attest to this. As the old saying goes, if they don’t have it you probably don’t need it! After a short discussion, Larry knew exactly what we needed to build our dream gun and a package was on the way consisting of parts from Caspian, STI, Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, Kart and Wolff.
By John Russo
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