A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, October 20, 2008

Clark Meltdown, E-Nickel and Time

Clark Custom, the Princeton Louisiana purveyor of fine firearms, offers a carry gun modification that is unique. It's a radical dehorning called the Clark Meltdown. Some have likened pistols with this treatment to a worn down bar of soap, others describe it as the revenge of the belt sander.

Although the Meltdown is primarily applied to 1911 pistols, one of the slickest braces of handguns I have ever seen was two Smith & Wesson 629 revolvers that had been through the process.

A couple of years ago I purchased a Colt Commander that I am considering taking to Clarks for a Meltdown and a refinish in electoless nickel. Click to enlargeI looked over the pistol again tonight, and I'm still ambivalent about it. I may simply have a new coating of e-nickel or hard chrome applied.

I like the idea of e-nickel on the gun. I know that hard chrome wears harder, but the original finish was e-nickel, and the warmth of the tone appeals to me. I has been two years since I purchased this gun and began to modify it to my tastes. It is stone reliable with a great trigger. An original Combat Commander with a lightened slide, but without a firing pin safety. I figure it's about time it is a finished gun.



Blogger be603 said...

me too. Electroless Ni just has a warm old timey feeling. Classy but not cheesy.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Brent crude said...

Belt-sander my a***!

Radiused corners as even as those take some serious time and skill to get right.

That kind of work isn't done by bubba with his dremmel.

With nickel, if it ever gets scabby, you can have it stripped without hurting the underlying metal, touch up any scabs and re apply.

I'd go for it Xav!


4:09 AM  
Anonymous tjm said...

I had never heard of a meltdown before I started reading you blog, but since then I have fallen in love with the idea. I think it just makes a gun extra special and since you have other 1911s in your collection it is not like you are loosing your only example of the original style. In fact you are adding to the spectrum of examples you have. If it is something you really want I would go for it. You never know it might become your next favorite carry gun.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Cossack in a Kilt said...

Your gun, your call: that's always been my motto, and my belief. I suppose that's implicitly amended by "unless it's something really stupid."

This is only my take, and I could be wrong, and even if I'm right I'm only right about what would be right for me, with my particular kinks and quirks and preferences and tastes.


With all that tortuous language out of the way, I would simply have the pistol "re-e-nickeled" after, perhaps, taking a file to the current bushing.

Any Joe Schmoe (or any discerning Joe Schmoe!) can send his pistol off to Clark's for a Meltdown. That is not a bad thing! (That's a perfect example of why I think America kicks ass.) But any . . . discerning . . . Joe Schmoe can have Clark's build him a fine custom pistol.

As it is now, it is not Clarked but "Xavierified". There is not another pistol out there exactly like yours. If you like it, if it rocks, then maintain its individuality. A e-nickel refinish would leave you with something along the lines of an old school Pachmayr Combat Special.

I've got a 1911 like that---there was a pimped-out Colt Series 70 I turned into a rescue project. Chrome frame, new National Match slide, Kart barrel, AMU "hard fit" and NOS Colt ambi thumb safeties. It turned out to be a superb pistol, and what's more, it evokes for me the late 1970s when IPSC was still "combat shooting" and Ross Seyfried was the world champ-een.

With that said, a Clark Meltdown wouldn't be half bad, either.

10:14 AM  

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