Dear GI fan,
I would like to take the time to tell you about the HOSS pistol and the rationale behind the “over-engineering”.
The pictures shown on the HOSS page speaks volumes but I would like to give a detailed explanation to go along with each part we improved.
Roy Huntington of American Handgunner wrote an excellent article about the HOSS and quoted me on several issues.
In return, I have borrowed a little here and there from his article, the man is eloquent!
First of all, the 1911 pistol in its standard configuration, is a very tough firearm. It has stood the test of time and is still the handgun against which all others are measured.
That said, even the 1911 pistol can be improved upon.
Being a 1911 user, gunsmith and engineer my universe has revolved around JMB’s masterpiece for more than 35 years and I have vast pool of experience to pull from when it comes to making meaningful improvements to the 1911 pistol.
I applied three principles when choosing what parts to improve:
1. Identify the parts that are under the most stress and/or are the most likely to fail.
2. Decide in which way same parts can be made stronger and better.
3. Whatever improvements are made, the affected parts should still operate and look like standard 1911 parts, and not change the weight or function of the pistol.
After careful consideration I chose to concentrate on the following parts:
The slide stop.
The plunger tube.
The barrel link.
The barrel bushing.
When extractors fail it is normally the hook that shears off or the extractor itself that simply loses tension due to fatigue.
A standard extractor is .150 wide, we increased that dimension to .200, that’s a 33% increase.
In addition we use 4340 Chrome Moly steel, a VERY tough material that when hardened and drawn to 46 R/C is superior for 1911 extractors.
Not only does that make the hook and shaft stronger, it also makes the extractor “stiffer” which in turn means that the extractor has to flex less in order to exert the right amount of tension on the cartridge(case).
An extractor is basically a leaf spring so the less it has to flex, the longer the service life.
This part is under a lot of stress, it takes the full brunt of the barrel unlocking and the full impact of the slide closing.
To put this into perspective, a 1911 slide opens at about 45 MPH and closes at about 20 MPH, that’s moving right along when you consider that a 1911 slide weighs 3/4 lbs and it all takes place in a few thousandths of a second!
A standard slide stop shaft has a diameter of .200, we increased that to .250 diameter, a 33% increase.
Engineering principles tell us that when you increase the diameter by 33% you increase the strength by 77%.
Machined from bar stock, this 1/4″ thick slide stop is virtually unbreakable!
We also designed the interior lug to have maximum engagement with the slide follower and to have proper clearance when shooting hollow point loads and not cause feeding malfunctions or give false slide-lock back, this is an important area of 1911 reliability.
An often overlooked part, but certainly not a part you want to fail.
If it comes loose or if the tube is dented it can trap the thumb safety in either the “safe” or “fire” position or sometimes in the in-between position, all bad!
A standard plunger tube is secured with only two post and is rather thin-walled.
This plunger tube is extremely thick-walled and is secured with four posts, it will NEVER come lose.
And, it is made of 4130 Chrome Moly steel, it is the best!
I have to give credit to my good friend and Master Gunsmith Ned Christiansen for this improved plunger tube, great idea.
The ejector is under a lot of stress, being impacted by ejected cases at high velocity many tens of thousands of times………..
The worst thing that can happen with an ejector is that it shears off, leaving the broken post in the frame, instant showstopper.
The logical fix was to simply increase the post so that it will never break. We made it more than twice the size of a standard post and increased the radius in the corner where the shaft meets the body (to prevent cracks from developing), problem solved.
With the forces at play, especially during unlocking the barrel, the barrel link is another hard working part under a lot of stress.
Most link failures happens due to faulty installation (wrong length) or simply from wear and tear with tens of thousands of rounds being fired.
We increased the width of the link by 22% and we used a stronger type of steel than normally used for this purpose, it is VERY strong.
And, we use a hardened link cross pin, leaving nothing to chance.
The most important part of any firearm, and – when it comes to safety, first in line to protect the shooter from any harm due to unsafe ammunition.
We increased the chamber and barrel wall thickness by a whopping 56%, this barrel is massive!
This gives the shooter an unprecedented safety margin, should something go wrong.
An extra benefit of the bigger diameter barrel is that we get an increased surface area where the barrel locking lugs engage the slide locking lugs, ensuring that your finely fitted barrel will stay tight and not develop excessive endshake over many tens of thousands of rounds fired.
Another area we improved is the lower lugs (barrel feet).
After many thousands of rounds the barrel feet can shear off.
We beefed up the barrel feet by 65% to greatly reduce this possibility and in conjunction with the stronger slide stop and barrel link this high-stress area has been fortified to the umpteenth degree!
We needed a bigger bushing to work with the bigger barrel so we took the opportunity to beef up this part as well.
The barrel bushing gets a lot of its strength from the flange.
A standard 1911 barrel bushing flange is about .090 thick, we increased the thickness to .140, a 56% increase.
The thicker flange obviously ads strength, it also offers more protection to the muzzle of the barrel and it looks darn good!
With all the individual improvements explained, I would like to make my case as to why.
In the current over-flooded 1911 market where just about every manufacturer has their own 1911 versions it is time for some meaningful updates, not just new lipstick on an old pig.
Real innovations are few and far between, when we came out with the 50 GI it was a significant contribution to the world of 1911 pistols.
All of the HOSS improvements make individual parts of the 1911 stronger and by doing so it increases not only the longevity but also the overall reliability of the pistol.
Consider this, a chain is no stronger that its weakest link and we have made the weakest links (parts) MUCH stronger.
Where a standard 1911 might have a parts failure after X number of rounds we have now decreased the likelihood of any failure exponentionally, in fact with “normal” use it might never happen.
In military terms what we are talking about is the MTBF, Mean Time Between Failures – and every gain in this respect is significant.
When a handgun is called into use, where potentially lives are at stake, you want to minimize the risk of failure, it MUST work when you need it.
With the introduction of the HOSS we are once again showing that a small company can do big things, turning our knowledge and experience into strength and reliability, the HOSS is a 1911 ready to meet the 21st century head on!
And, let me round this up by saying that the old cliche “this is not your grandpa’s 1911” really hits the spot. In time you will be “grandpa” handing down the HOSS to the next generation!