As gun makers continue to scramble to cash in on this decade’s frenzied firearms market, we have seen many different approaches taken to distinguish one’s brand against the others. Often that approach is gimmicky, sometimes it looks like corner gas station price wars, and often – to the great benefit of us gun folk – it takes the form of innovation. Fierce competition in a retail gun market that at times looks like a scene from a stock exchange frenzy, has resulted (in my opinion) in some of the greatest innovations to guns in a century. And what is most significant, is that these innovations have occurred in response to civilian demand, rather than the traditional driver of military need. Yes indeed, even though the insane demand has kept prices steep, it is a good time to be a gun buyer. And to emphasize that point – I present to you the Accuracy X Multi-Sight 1911 pistol.
The Multi-Sight System
The name Multi-Sight, as it suggests, means that these pistols are ready to accept a variety of different types of sights with very little effort. The top rear of the slide has been milled out to accept a number of available drop-in tops. At its simplest, the top contains a fairly standard looking rear sight – like a modernized Government model rear sight. The next step up is to add a top equipped with a good quality adjustable target sight. The sample provided to us had a Kensight rear – one I know and like. And for those wanting a bit more (yes, my hand is raised too), Accuracy X has taken the “mill the slide to accept a red dot” trend to a new – and I believe better level. You can drop in a slide top that is equipped with 1913 Picatinny rail. Made of matching stainless steel and milled to high quality, this pic rail is as beautiful as it is functional. I think this was a smart move on the part of Accuracy X, as opposed to trying to mill a generic cutout and provide adapter plates and templates to fit a variety of different brands. Nearly every brand has a unique mounting configuration, and even a small difference requires a new part to accept it. With Picatinny rail, the Accuracy X 1911 pistol can take all of them, because they all provide the ability to mount to 1913 rail. It also eliminates a part – the adapter plate itself, which can become loose, or bent, or lost, etc.
The Accuracy Pistol
The Multi-Sight system would be interesting and worth discussing on its own, but with an MSRP of around $3,300, I doubt too many buyers would accept a so-so pistol just because it has an innovative sight system. My immediate thinking was of this also, and I wanted to examine this 1911 and find out for myself. Because I have had the great fortune to learn more about the 1911 design than the average guy (having built a fine specimen of my own with Bob Marvel), I have learned that even a very expensive gun might not be all it is cracked up to be. While each custom or “top-of-the-line” pistolsmith may have individual opinions and practices for building their guns, there are some details that are carved in stone. For example, slide to frame fit and barrel hood to breach face fit are not up for interpretation – you either got it right or you didn’t. Why that’s important is a conversation for another day – but the point to be made here is that the closer I inspected the Accuracy X pistol, the more impressed I became with its construction. This is a semi-custom 1911 handgun built by people who know quality – for people who demand it. The Accuracy X Multi-Sight is about as fine a pistol as I’ve had the pleasure of shooting.
It all starts with parts and components. Accuracy X uses the best of the best to build their guns, starting with a finely milled and excellently finished frame and slide of solid stainless steel. The stainless is finished to a matte that reduces glare while preserving the color and smoothness that stainless lovers want. Inside the slide is a hand-fitted Kart barrel and bushing. I know first-hand that Kart makes what many consider the very best barrels. The fitting of this barrel to the bushing, and the barrel legs to the slide stop pin was done by expert hands. A Series-70 design was chosen, which helps keep the trigger smooth and crisp. The feed ramp and barrel throat are nicely polished, the full-length guide rod is heavy stainless steel, the hammer is incredibly light but easily manipulated, and the oversized manual safety is not only easy to operate but makes a great shelf for the shooter’s thumb. Checkering on the front and back of the handle are 25-lpi and the very interesting grips have a texture like 80-grit sandpaper meets Scotch-Brite. This makes the gun stick to your hand like the grasp of an insurance salesman.
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Any discussion of a 1911 eventually settles around the trigger. The John Browning classic has set the bar on what can be done to take a trigger to perfection, and any maker that falls short of what can be achieved has failed in a way that no number of extra bells or whistles can make up for. Ever heard a conversation end with, “yeah, but the trigger sucks”? What makes a trigger perfect is a subjective matter, but we can usually all agree on certain criteria that qualify one as very good or even excellent. The trigger in the Accuracy X pistol is light alloy and skeletonized. The vertical grooves are just right for holding your finger exactly where you want it – wherever that might be for you. It includes an adjustment screw to remove over-travel, which was set perfectly on our copy of the gun, as there is none to be perceived. My Lyman digital gauge measured the trigger break occurring at just a fraction over 4 lbs. – again making it just about perfection for a production pistol. The take-up on the trigger is very short – maybe 1/32” from rested to the wall of resistance. From there, it breaks like a strand of raw spaghetti. As mentioned, there is no over-travel – something very important to precision shooting. The fit of the trigger is also excellent, with no side-to-side or vertical wiggle that can direct trigger press energy away from its intended direction of straight back.
The Accuracy X Multi-Sight system was sent to us well equipped for testing and evaluation. Each type of sight option was provided, along with nice optics to use with the pistol. However, the buyer must choose the desired configuration when ordering the pistol. In other words, it does not come standard with all the sight variations provided – they are more of an ala carte menu. Here a quick breakdown of what each costs:
- Picatinny Multi-Sight Module: $97.95
- Adjustable Metallic Multi-Sight Module: $149.95
- Fixed Multi-Sight Module: $74.95
In addition to selling the entire pistol, the Multi-Sight system can also be purchased as a slide-only product, available in both GI spec and gunsmith-fit options. Something to consider as an upgrade or “extra slide” for a favorite pistol. The prices start at $429.95 for the slides.
I love the feel of a nice 1911 in my hand. For me, Browning got the grip angle right for intuitive and natural pointing. So, it follows that shooting most 1911s is a pleasant experience unless the gun takes away from it. And some do. This one didn’t. I fed hundreds of rounds of all types and brands through this gun without a single malfunction of any kind. I used the two magazines provided with the gun, and several other personal favorites and all worked well. Feeding was smooth and clean, and ejection was very consistent. The serrations in the slide are well cut, with nice sharp edges that give even a couple of fingers a sure enough grip to rack the slide. This is even more important on a gun that has an electronic optic mounted where you would normally perform an overhand slide rack. Having to reach under the optic and use the pinch/slingshot method you need some no-fooling serrations. Those found on the front of the slide are just as good, and provide an optional grip point.
The sight picture with the Kensight adjustable rear sight and tall front blade is good, and one that is easy to acquire and hold on target. Black post inside black notch is starting to make a comeback. Who knew – black is the new black! Whether shooting with open sights or the provided Trijicon red-dot optic, the Accuracy X Multi-Sight pistol was very accurate – more accurate than I am capable of demonstrating. Shooting offhand at 10 yards, I was easily able to just eat a ragged hole in the center of the target with slow fire. From 25 yards and a rest (but not a vise) it was easy to see that this gun is capable of match winning groups. Groups were very good with all the ammo brands you might expect, but also very impressive with the bargain bin stuff. Perfecta ammo – that less-than-$10/box-at-Walmart stuff did as well as any, and even produced the best 3-shot group of the day.
Just My Opinion
When it comes to the high-end 1911 market, there are a lot of choices. As the gun buyer continues to get more sophisticated and has better information available to her, the expectations continue to grow. We expect better than average quality and match accuracy from guns costing under $1,000 – because it can be delivered. So when we look at the pistols commanding prices in the range of $3k – 4k, we expect perfection. To deliver that level of quality consistently requires enormous skill and world-class processes on the part of the manufacturer. From what I see with the Accuracy X Multi-Sight pistol, I’d say these folks are spot on.
For serious competitors, collectors, sportsmen, or just someone that wants to finally buy that “top shelf 1911 pistol” – I think you absolutely have to look at the Accuracy X very closely. A target is provided with the pistol that shows its machine-rested performance before being shipped out. The group is quite impressive. The obvious advantage is the Multi-Sight system for those who need those options. But make no mistake; this is not a gimmick gun. When you examine this pistol, and especially when you shoot it – you realize that great care was taken to produce the finest quality shooter’s gun you can buy.
For more information, visit http://accuracyx.com/.
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