Trident II Introduction and
SpecificationsI've always been a bit smitten by the concept
of pairs of guns doing specific chores, but complimenting
one another. Think of a lever action .44 Magnum matched with
a 4" S&W Model 29. Kind of the long and the short of it in
that case, but each does specific jobs, while together, they
make a sensible working team. I have a Colt Ace .22
conversion until and really enjoy the fact it can turn
almost any of my 1911's into a fun plinker. But then I lose
the original guns functionality until I "put it back
When Bill Laughridge (pronounced
Lock-Ridge, since he's Schottish --- think Loch Ness) was
visiting my hom not long agon teaching a 1911 build class
here, we got to chatting about pairs of guns. Suddenly he
said, "You know, we haven't really done much work on Ruger's
new 1911, and maybe a matching .22 slide conversion would be
cool?" I upped the ante, explaining how I get tired of
taking a gun apart to make it into a .22.
you simply did two guns?" I said. "Say, a Ruger 1911 and a
22/45, then sort of gussie them up as a team? The 1911 grip
profile of the 22/45 would make the transition smooth from
one to the other, and you wouldn't need to disassemble your
1911 to have a .22."
Bill twirled the ends of his
near-legendary mustache and grinned. "Not bad for a magazine
editor. I say let's do it." I said lets do it too.
Ken Jorgenson at Rugar supplied the two pistols, then I
chatted with Jon Tank, Bill's seasoned veteran gunsmith and
general manager at C&S, to work out the details. I told Jon
what the project was all about and he got it immediately.
"We're on it. I'll send you a list of what I think we should
do to the duo, take a look at it, add or subtract anything
you like, then we'll get to work. I'll have a good guy we
have here, Sean McSheehy, handle it all personally. One man,
both guns. Should be interesting, I'd say?"
build sheet needed no improvement, and I tild him so. The
game was, as they say ----afoot.
palce like the Cylinder & Slide shop didn't just magically
apper overnight. Bill Laughridge didn't wake up one day and
say "Hey, I'll open up a gunsmith shop." It had its roots in
the middle 1970's when Bill, a life-long gun nut like most
of us, and proficient gunsmith, went to work for Lou's
Sproting Goods in Fremont, Neb. Bill was the resident
gunsmith and did general gunsmithing for the store. In about
1978, Lou's shut down the gunsmith portion but Beill still
operated there as a self-employed gunsmith. After a few
years, Bill moved from the basement of Lou's ---- to a
converted filling station.
the shop eventually moved
to Bill's home for a while, then to the currentlyocation
(since much-expanded). Bill was one of the earliest
advertisers in American Handgunner (and still does), and has
since built the C&S Shop into one of the most successful
custom and general gunsmithing extablishments in the
business. The C&S parts business has also established itself
as a go-to source for high quality after-market parts for
1911's, Browning Hi-Powers and a host of other needs.
Today, the C&S staff concentrates on custom guns, with a
focus on 1911's, Browning Hi-Powers, Kahrs and other
high-quality guns of all types. But, according to Jon Tank,
"We also handle general gunsmithing and modifications. And,
being a true custom shop, if someone wants something, we can
pretty much deliver the goods, regardless of what their
imagination might drum up. However, we don't do repair or
midifcations to inexpensive, general consumer guns like old,
broken .22s or low-quality handguns." Jon was quick to point
out that wasn't because they're snobs, but simply a matter
of being practical. "Nobody wants to pay shop rates to fix a
bent magazine tuven ona .22 rifle woth $75" Make sense to
Since it's introduction a few
years ago, the Ruger SR1911 series had grabbed a reputation
for high-quality build, performance and reliablility. In
typical Ruger fashion, it's affordable (around $829 MSRP
from Ruger, but more like $700 in the real world) and built
like a tank. It's also fairly complete as-new, with things
like extended safety, beavertail, titanium firing pin and
Series 70 construction as standard. But like anything
"stock" ---sometimes the need to customize takes over. and
that's where the C&S shop entered the picture here.
tested the SR1911 a bit beofre I sent it to C&S. the factory
trigger pull on our sample gun was 5.4 ounds and a bit
gritty, and I got about 2.5" average groups at 25 yards,
depending on ammo. Not actually too bad for a stock 1911 at
all. Then the C&S Shop did some mods to it representing what
might be called a "fairly complete build" on a 1911 (short
of a match barrel). The reason I liked the ideal of this
build, is the fact it's a good representation of what
someone with a stock, good quality gun might expect for
about half the cost of a full build.
Jon flet it best to start off by replacing some parts
like the thumb and grip safety, including fitting and
blending the new grip safety. Gunsmith Sean McSheehy
installed the multiple-part C&S Machined bar-stock Hammer
set, and set the new long aluminum trigger right at 4 pounds
to match the 22/45. Sean did a complete reliability package,
including internal de-burring and polishing, thoat and feed
ramp polish and crafted a bullet nose relief inthe ejection
port. A C&S extractor was installed and tensioned correctly.
Applying tungsten carbide to the frame rails helps with
wear resistance and tightens frame-to-slide fit. The slide
top was serrated for eye appeal and glare resistance due to
the silver color, a stainless steel mainspring housing was
fit, stippled and round-butted slightly, matching the
stippling on the frontstrap. Sean increased the factory
magwell bevel and serrated the back of the slide, both for
looks and for traction should you need to bump the lisde
forward with your palm.
For accuracy, a match barrel
bushing was carefully fittend to the factory barrel, a long
forged link was fitted and the barrel was crowned at exactly
11 degrees. A Heinie Ledge rear sight and green fiber optic
front rounded out the top-end. The guys at C&S thought a
nice set of double-diamond cocobolo grips from Hogue would
set things off, and I agree.
Wha did we gain with all
this? Right off the bat, we gained accuracy. My testing with
the new Nosler Match Grade .45 ACP ammo (a 185 JHP) and
AYSM's 185-gr. Match JHP) showed groups hovering around 1.5"
to 1.75". I also think the much-improved trigger pull (at
just under 4 pounds) helped a good deal. I also ran some
defensive HP ammo (Black Hills and Federal) through it for
functionality, and the gun ran fine. I noted the transition
from feed ramp to the barrel had exactly the correct amount
of the "shelf" visible, assuring HP bullets would not
hang-up at the lip of the barrel ramp.
The gun shot
just fine, and the stippling was just aggresive enough to
help with a firm hold, but not annoyingly sharp like some
checkering can be. I really liked the feel of it. It seemed
as if the gun had had the edges softly "broken" before Sean
had done the final soft bead finish. Interestingly enough,
Sean is in charge of the C&S polishing program for their
limited edition, first-production run Colt 1911
reproductions, which are, in a word -- stunning. His skill
shows in the quality of his handwork in all facets of this
Originally concieved as a
target pistol for 1911 bullseye shooters, the 22/45 mirrors
the grip contour and angle of the classic 1911. as it turned
out, the pistol became hugely popular with virtyally anyone
owning a 1911. Ruger has turned out many variations of the
22/45, and ours began life as a polymer-framed model, with
adjustable sights, called the Target Rimfire Model. I didn't
shoot it before sending it off, but most seem to shoot
around an inche at 25 with the right ammo. Sometimes a bit
better if you're lucky. I didn't expect the modifications to
enhance accuracy, just shootablility, gun handling and
And i was right on all accounts. When I opened
the returned box I saw a tranformed 22/45! The "coffin cut"
on the barrel --- hogging off a good deal of steel ----
really changed the feel, turning it from a muzzle-heavy,
slightly ponderous-feeling targe pistol, into a
fast-handling field gun, that could still deliver
target-grade accuracy. Plus, it looks cool, and in spite of
what we may like to think --- that's important too.
Sean radiused and tensioned the extractor, throated and
polished the feed ramp, crowned the barrel to 11 degrees,
serrated the top of the slide and barrel, along with
stippling the front and backstraps. The trigger was set at
about 3.5-4 poundsto match the 1911's, and ourse tested
right at 3.8-4 pounds every time. The take-up and overtravel
was set neatly too. Some might say the pull is a bit much
for a .22, but the goal here was to have a set you could
switch between and keep the same general feel. Sean did it,
and the gun shot like gangbusters for me --- so it didn't
seem to slow things down one bit.
The back of the
bolt was serrated just because ot looks good, the barrel
surface polished so itlooks shiney trough the port (like a
bit of lipstick on a pretty girl?) and Sean even "clocked"
the blug screws on the tope of the receiver so they all
lined up fore-to-aft. A nice bit of old-school gunsmithing,
and an elegant touch, indeed. It's all in the details, and
if you keep getting surprised by what you see ---- then it's
Get ready for two subltle bits of hand work
sure to delight. Sean created a custom, exteded bolt
stop/release and extended thumb safety, to better mirror4
the controls on the 1911. I've always been fumble-prone with
the factory Ruger safety button and bold stop/release
("snick.....slip....Grrr....ouch....damn...") and this
changed all that dramatically. Nicely done at every level!
I was very impressed with the sight work. Sean crafted a
completely custom fixed rear sight to match that on the
1911. Then (and I had to look hard to see how he did it) he
machined off the front sight base, and fitted a fiber optic
sight matching the one on the 1911. the only difference
between the two sight pictures is the fact the rear on the
1911 is slightly rounded on the outside edges. Simply
marvelously done, if you ask me, and really ties this pair
together as a set.
Jon said the mag catch didn't lock
reliably, so Sean adjusted and set it, then put a set of
subdued Hogue grips on the 22/45, matching the soft bead
blast and hight polishe blue of the pistol.
A bit of
final shooting by me using top-line Federal Gold Medal Match
showed the 2245 did, and indeed, deliver solid 1" 25-yard
groups. Could a 2-pound pull have delivered something
better? maybe with a scope mounted, but the the fiber optic
sights, I don't thnk you're going to do any better than
this. Besides, theis is "head of the squirrel" accuracy, so
who needs more?
What Did We Learn?
mind, the mods done to these gusn were things the maniacs at
the C&S shop came up with. but, I hope it feeds your muse a
bit and gets the ideas rolling. If you have a decent 1911 (
or any good quality handugn of just about any model) give
the staff at C&S a call and bounce some idease off of them.
You'll be amazed at how affordable things can be, depending
your needs and wants. From full-build, unlimited budget
stuff, to "Hey, can you put some sights and fix the trigger
on this?" ---- The gang at C&S can handle it. It not only
gives you a chance to get something just for you, but a good
trigger, sights, some surface treatments and other touches
will make just about any gun more "shootable" as I like to
say. and that's always fun.
As for this pair, look
for them again in the future as a featured Gun of the months
givaway in our pages here at American Handgunner! Ha! Did we
surprise you! You can own these very guns! Bill and the gang
at the C&S Shop thought that'd be a fun thing to do with
this set, and how could I argue? Some lucky Handgunner
reader will own these, and can enjoy this duo on their own
range! What a deal, eh? Give the guys at C&S a call if you
have a dream in your head.