A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Gold Cup Shootout

Yesterday at the range, after shooting, I spotted a Gold Cup National Match pistol resting in the used gun display case. I need another Gold Cup like a hole in the head. This one was modified with some bits not meeting my approval, but was otherwise in good shape. After a night of reflection I decided to let this one pass.
That did not stop me from showing up this morning to rent the pistol and doing a shoot out with my own Gold Cup National Match though!

The Champion

My Colt Gold Cup National Match is one of my favorite pistols. It was modified at the Gunsite smithy years back, and given a hard chrome finish at Tripp's Research. Modifications include accurizing and trigger work, an Ed Brown grip safety, an Ed Brown full length guide rod, Ed Brown ambi thumb safety, forward slide serations, and a Wilson match bushing. I later installed a Smith & Alexander Magwell, and cocobolo double diamond grips. This pistol retains the Colt NM barrel. I paid $850 for it.

The Challenger

The Challenger was spotted on the used gun rack at the range. It sports smooth cocobolo grips, and a Mueschke ambi safety. All else appeared original except for the grip screws and the Chip McCormick magazine. This Gold Cup National Match was virtually identical to what mine had been before the modifications. The blue finish was flawless, lusterous and deep. The trigger was excellent. The sear depressor was still present. The biggest difference in feel was the grip safety. This pistol was original in that regard. The asking price was $799.


I brought along 4 value packs of Winchester White Box 230 grain hardball. That was 400 rounds, 200 for each pistol. As usual when testing pistols, I began by warming up with my Ruger MKII. Once I was hitting precisely where I wanted, I swapped over to my Gold Cup for 50 rounds. I settled into it after a couple of magazines and began shooting tight groups with occasional cloverleafs. I transitioned from one target to the next with ease, but lost some precision doing so. I was shooting at 30 feet.

Then, after 50 rounds through my pistol, I went to the rental Gold Cup. It shot accurately, giving me slightly larger groups. The big difference was the feel of the pistol though. I knew the Ed Brown grip safety gave me a higher hold, but I failed to realize the significance until now. I could not transition between targets as effectively, and my follow up shots required more sight alignment to return to target. My Gold Cup seemed to push back into my hand on recoil. The rental Gold Cup had greater leverage to raise the muzzle simply because my hand was not as close to the bore axis. It was noticeable, and it affected my shooting.

I shot my Gold Cup again, and then went back to the rental to confirm what I was experiencing. It was no fluke. When shooting single shots at targets, the pistols exhibited similar accuracy. When shooting multiple shots at multiple targets, my Gold Cup beat the rental handily, everytime. That was the clincher for me. After 150 rounds through the rental, I was done. The desire to shoot it evaporated, and so did any desire to own it. $799 might be fair to some folks for this pistol, but I'm no longer interested.

I got it out of my system. I shot another Gold Cup, and reaffirmed why I like mine so much. I never would have taken a Gold Cup and cut into it for a beavertail like I do other 1911s. The Gold Cup is just a little to precious to me to do that. Hard chroming one would make me shudder. Fortunately, I found a custom Gold Cup with this work already done. When I bought my Gold Cup, I still had a hankering for a Kimber once in a while. My custom Gold Cup effectively killed any desire to own a 1911 that was not a Colt. It's kind of ironic that it killed the desire to purchase another Gold Cup as well.

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Anonymous MarkF said...

I am SHOCKED! After seeing your pile of 1911's, I am amazed you passed on this.
By the way, that squib didn't happen to you, I hope.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Pawpaw said...

The berm at Gunsite is littered with full-length guide rods.

11:26 AM  

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