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Posts Tagged ‘Cylinder and Slide’

Cylinder & Slide 1911 Trident II

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

The Trident II from Cylinder & Slide is an upgrade to the original Trident model introduced in 2010. The pistol is still the brainchild of SOCS Dave Hall (USN, Ret) and manufactured by Bill Laughridge at Cylinder & Slide. Each pistol is hand built one at a time by a single pistolsmith. I’m going to tell you up front that this isn’t a street gun. This pistol was designed for every day carry. Every day carry in a combat zone.


The biggest difference is that the Trident II is no longer based on a Springfield GI frame. Instead, they use a Caspian frame and slide built especially for use with this model. Additionally, internal parts are CNC machined billet steel or made from forgings and heat treated throughout and every part is rigorously inspected and checked on a Rockwell testing machine to be sure that it meets Cylinder & Slide’s specifications including proper heat treatment.


The Trident II is offered in 3 different platforms. The Trident II-A1 is a 5” government model with a tactical integral magazine well and an integral Picatinny equipment rail on the bottom of the dust cover. The Trident II-A2 is also a 5” government model with a tactical integral magazine well. The Trident II-A3 is a 4 3/4” Commander model without the magazine well or equipment rail and is designed for concealed carry so anything that adds size has been deleted. You can also see the external features of the pistol including the front cocking serrations and Picatinny rail in this photo.


This is a good view of the Red and White safety dots that have been incorporated into this design. So many other types of pistols now feature these indicators that Dave thought it would be a good idea to add them after seeing them on the Vickers Nighthawk 1911. Dave told me he thinks LAV’s concept of bringing such modern features to a century old gun makes a lot of sense. It’s one of those extras that makes this 1911 variant a cut above. You can also see the Trident Beavertail Grip Safety with Palm Swell as well as Ambi safety since you never know which hand you might have to use.


The gun as well as magazines are nickel boron coated and here you can see the integral mag well. Additionally, the Trident II incorporates an integral lanyard loop.


The grip features a Machine Stippled Front Strap and Mainspring Housing in addition to G-10 Rhinohide Grips in Green or Black with slotted screws for field stripping.


The cup on the Beavertail has been radically opened up. They did this so that mud or other debris would not prevent the hammer from traveling. The C&S hammer and trigger also feature a 4.5 lbs pull. The Smooth Face Trigger itself is made from Aluminum, Medium Length with Blind Overtravel Stop. Additionally there is a .45 Firing Pin Hole in the slide and the Slide Stop was designed for use while wearing gloves.


Internally, the Trident II has a few differences from a stock .45 as well. You may notice the crimp in the Recoil Spring Plug. This will keep it from flying off of the spring. The barrel bushing is finger tight and they’ve also included a match barrel which, along with the frame, have been throated for reliable feeding. The Ejection Port is lowered with Bullet Nose Relief combined with a “Tuned” Extractor and Extended Ejector. Finally, the Plunger Tube is recessed in the Frame for added support.


The Trident II is topped off with a carry bevel. Add to all of this a sight combination consisting of a Heinie “Ledge” Rear Sight and a C&S Strong Front Sight with Trijicon Tritium Green Dot and White Ring and you get one hell of a 1911.

Select parts used on the Trident II are available for use with your current 1911. Contact C&S for details.


Cylinder and Slide – Takes Virginia Beach

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Each Spring 1911 specialists Cylinder and Slide comes to the Virginia Beach area to offer several training courses but these are classes unlike any others out there. This year Pistolsmith Bill Laughridge offered two days of match oversized 1911 barrel fitting, followed by a full day of 1911 maintenance including the history of the pistol. After a one-day break the course culminates with a week-long, full custom .45 build course where students get a frame and a box of parts and learn to fit each part. Bill describes the process as “putting ten pounds in a five pound sack,” due to the sensory overload experienced by day five. Bill went on to explain that the hardcore students will attend their first course and immediately start working on their next build. Invariably, they’ll run into a new challenge. Cylinder and Slide is prepared for that and all former students have to do is pick up the phone and ask for some advice. Additionally, graduates are supported from then on with dealer pricing. Many come back for a second course and say that they pick up those little extras that really make the gun during that second experience.


For example, Tracey, the lady in the photo receiving instruction from Bill Laughridge is a recreational shooter who is finishing her second class. She reiterated that she has picked up quite a few new tricks on her second go around. Tracey is incorporating some different options in this latest build including an ambidextrous safety. Earlier this year, she began to shoot southpaw and has seen an increase in accuracy. Below is one of the guns Tracey built alongside a build by her husband Dave, a retired Navy SEAL friend of mine.


One of things I really enjoy about this course is that Bill teaches students how to do everything with hand tools. You don’t need a machine shop to work on a .45. Instead, students learn to use dremel tools and drills in some interesting ways. Naturally, students also become intimately familiar with files. There is lots of marking and filing, marking and filing until everything fits. At the end of the week, the students take their new creations to a local range and test fire them. For some, this will mean a few more passes with the file but for all, a rewarding experience, crafting a new firearm. Jim Tolbert Sr is seen below working on his new 1911.


If you are a 1911 aficionado this is a great course, regardless of where you take this training.