January 2006

1911 Hotrods: .400 Cor-Bon, .460 Rowland, and the .50 GI

A handcrafted $2900 .50 GI pistol built by Guncrafter Industries did it all for us. The .400 Cor-Bon and .460 Rowland upgrades dropped in, but we thought they were nasty by comparison.

Anyone who has a 1911 .45 ACP might well feel he has the ultimate self-defense handgun, and there is much evidence he may be right. But some will not be satisfied with that power level, never mind that it does the job most of the time.

For those shooters, more power is readily available. For instance, there are drop-in barrels that can turn your 1911 .45 into a hot .40 (.400 Cor-Bon), or a hotter .45 (.460 Rowland). How good are these? We didn’t know, so we acquired some drop-in barrels from Storm Lake in .400 Cor-Bon ($130) and from Clark Custom Guns in .460 Rowland ($275).

Also, there is at least one complete gun that offers a purported step up in ballistics, the Guncrafter Industries .50 GI ($2895) Model No. 1 pistol, which is a 1911 dedicated to a .50-caliber cartridge with a rebated rim. The ammunition for all three test calibers was proprietary but easily obtained, as we discovered. Here are our findings.

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