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mel1956
10th April 2005, 09:58
Thought I'd post some pictures of my griffon. It's probably the best looking of all the 1911s I have. I will be replacing the grips on it one of these days. I don't like the rubber wrap around grips. I prefer a nice set of checkered wood grips instead. Oh yeah, I'm thinking of putting on a nice Chip McCormick black aluminum short trigger on it too. I have small hands and a short trigger just works better for me.

http://home.comcast.net/~mel1956/griffon1.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~mel1956/griffon2.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~mel1956/griffon3.jpg

Hope you all enjoy :D

Thanks,

Mel

James Lee
13th May 2005, 16:54
You are right that is a very attractive pistol! Where could I find information on how to purchase one? I sure would like to know more about them. Here is a photo of my most attractive 1911. It's a Safari Arms Matchmaster and it shoots as nice as it looks! Thanks for any info you can provide. Jim

http://www.watkinsflying.com/cow/mm1.jpg

John
14th May 2005, 01:00
What's the black thing on top of the slide?

1911Tuner
14th May 2005, 08:12
I got the opportunity to examine a Griffon last year, thanks to member Ken Grant. The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that there were no castings or MIM in the gun...Even the ducktail grip safety was machined barstock. Other things began to crop up that make me believe that the
South African-produced pistol is made up of parts manufactured by Norinco.
The machining is better, and the overall fit and finish is superior to the average Nork marketed by North China Industries...but I'm willin' to bet dollars to dimes that the guns are made by the same people.

Aside from that, the gun appeared to be solid and well-made...and all-steel
is a plus. Ken reports that it's reliable and accurate. I'd have to call this one a winner. As with all Norincos, keep an eye on the barrel lugs for signs of
bad linkdown timing and/or lug setback.

James Lee
14th May 2005, 08:24
Man it doesn't take long to get your favorite gun picked apart around here does it? My first post and I get such a nice welcome, makes me feel like I'm back at the other 1911 boards, guess they are all the same. This one is.

1911Tuner
14th May 2005, 08:53
Hey James! Sorry man...I saw the topic and made a comment on the Griffons.
Scrolled down too fast to notice the Safari Arms pics that you put up. I don't see many of those old pistols any more.

I remember that the first one that I saw...and Enforcer... back in the mid-80s had the very first upswept grip safety that I'd ever seen. I was like...What The Hello???...until I shot one, and found out that it completely solved the problem of hammer bite and safety tang blister at the web. Neat! Didn't much care for the built-in finger groove on the frontstrap, but that's subjective. Some do.

I was workin' as a part-time smith for a shop that was run by some friends
of mine, and had the opportunity to get one in from time to time. They were nice-lookin' pistols that ran hot and cold. The good ones were quite good, and the bad ones were horrid. They were actually kit guns that were assembled from parts supplied by various contractors, and that was what led to some of'em bein' badly out of spec. Harder to control tolerances and specs
when parts come from all over the place. They eventually got it worked out, and started producing some pretty decent pistols at a good price. It just came too late to keep the company out of financial trouble.

The slides and frames appear to have come from Essex Arms, and are investment castings. Essex did some pretty good casting in those days,
as far as the material quality went...but had some problems with keeping everything in-spec consistently...which accounts for many of the problems that Safari Arms had early on. I have a friend who shoots one in competition that is nearly identical to yours...with some minor upgrades...and he likes the gun a lot. It's accurate and reliable and never fails to function. Hard to give a better endorsement than that.

Welcome aboard! John was just pickin' atcha a little. I get ribbed to death
most of the time myself...Just part of the program. :cool:

John
14th May 2005, 10:36
Man it doesn't take long to get your favorite gun picked apart around here does it? My first post and I get such a nice welcome, makes me feel like I'm back at the other 1911 boards, guess they are all the same. This one is.
I am sorry I got misunderstood, I wasn't refering to your gun, I was refering to the original poster's gun. The way the picture is, the holes on the slide, look something like a plastic add-on. I had to save the picture on my computer and lighten it up a bit, before I figure out it was holes.

Next time I'll be more careful.

Rgds

1911Tuner
14th May 2005, 10:54
Howdy John,

Nope...They're real holes. I've seen a couple of Griffons that had'em and a couple that didn't. The barrels aren't ported, so they don't have any function, other than to lighten the slide. I have to assume that it's done in case the buyer plans on adding a ported barrel at some point...and the slide
machining is already taken care of.

I'd like to get an opportunity to have an up-close and personal look at a few more Griffons...but I can't find any around here. Ken's is the only one that I've been able to open up and peek at...so I'm puttin' out the call. Any
owners of Griffon 1911 clones who are within' driving distance are invited to
bring the pistols for examination in exchange a free detail-strip, cleaning, and re-oiling. I should be solidly settled in to the new digs by early July and ready to get back to the pistols.

James Lee
14th May 2005, 12:39
Gotcha! My bad, Guess I was wrong, this just might be a great place to hang out after all! Just a little "Gun shy" I guess after the beating everybody seems to dish out at the other 1911 forums if you dont own a $2,500.00 pistol with combat sights or a one off custom. I had looked in on this one as it seems so complete and well laid out. Hope I can hang out with you guys for a while. Sorry for being so thin skinned, Jim

Here is some more Griffon info...It's all I could find so far. I have searched Gunbroker, GunsAmerica, and Auction Arms with no results.

http://www.pagunsmith.com/griffon1.html

Griffon USA Inc

IMPORTER OF THE FINE GRIFFON PISTOLS IN .45 CALIBER. COMES WITH A BEAVERTRAIL GRIP SAFELTY. COMMANDER HAMMER, FULL-LENGTH RECOIL GUIDE ROD, TRITIUM NIGHT SIGHTS, BLACK TEFLON FINISH, AND TWO MAGAZINES. ACCESSORIES SUCH AS AMBI-SAFETIES, EXTENDED MAGAZINE BUTTONS, EXTENDED SLIDE STOPS, EXTENDED MANUAL SAFETIES, AND OTHER DROP-IN PARTS ARE ASLO AVAILABLE



City Fort Worth , TX
Country USA
Toll Free Phone (800) 334-3573
Phone (817) 284-XXXX ( the number listed was not correct...nice guy though)
Fax (817) 284-7528
Web www.griffongun.com Does not work

1911Tuner
14th May 2005, 16:27
Understood James...I've seen some heavy snobbery at work myself. You've come to the right place here though. I'd druther have a stock Remington Rand that's been to ****'n'back than a 4,000 dollar custom that's never seen the inside of a leather holster. I've salvaged and rebuilt a number of those old
warhorses, and on all but a couple, I've even left the finish alone...complete with bumps, dings and bruises. Character marks, I say! :cool:

Welcome aboard!

James Lee
15th May 2005, 11:45
I found more Griffon info, I don't know how current it is but I'll make some calls on Monday and update here.

FIRST DEFENSE INTERNATIONAL announce the unveiling and arrival of a brand new range of "GRIFFON" pistols to the world. Engineered in South Africa which is already renowned for its arms manufacturing capabilities, once again demonstrates the power of the Griffon. Hard work, unparalleled service and the most competitive pricing in the business today has made the Griffon near perfect and the professionals choice.
Griffon pistols are not just another firearm, they are pieces of fine South African manufactured art engineered with proven technology.

First Defense International
1050 Calle Amanecer, Suite A
San Clemente California 92673 USA
Tel: (714) 366-6444
Fax: (714) 366-8444

http://www.firstdefense.com/html/arms_griffon.htm

mel1956
15th May 2005, 20:50
James,

When I bought the griffon pictured here, it was one of the last ones that were imported. I bought it from the outfit in Fort Worth, TX that imported them and they were done to the last ones when I got it. I bought it at the Dallas Market Hall gun show in Dallas, TX at least 4 or 5 years ago. The guy told me that they were no longer manufacturing them and that no more would be imported. I guess that the best you can do to get one is to find one used somewhere. I know mine not gonna be sold :)

Mel

James Lee
15th May 2005, 21:02
Thanks Mel, that's too bad but on the bright side you never know what will turn up if you keep your eyes peeled! I got lucky just today in fact when I literally stumbled upon this little beauty!

http://www.watkinsflying.com/cow/tommy1.jpg

I found it a local Shotgun Club! I'm sure a Griffon will turn up somewhere on the net sooner or later.............Jim

John
16th May 2005, 04:49
Thanks Mel, that's too bad but on the bright side you never know what will turn up if you keep your eyes peeled! I got lucky just today in fact when I literally stumbled upon this little beauty!

http://www.watkinsflying.com/cow/tommy1.jpg

I found it a local Shotgun Club! I'm sure a Griffon will turn up somewhere on the net sooner or later.............Jim
Jim,

I have billed you with the cost of another keyboard. Drooling and electronic devices do not go well together.

ME WANTS ONE OF THESE!!!!

Me loved Sgt. Saunders in "Combat!". He was carrying one of these and a 1911. However, if memory serves me right, his Thompson had ribs on the barrel, above the front handguard, square rear sight, the cocking lever on the top, and a flash-hider at the muzzle end. LoL, child's memory !

Hacker
11th June 2005, 13:52
I found more Griffon info, I don't know how current it is but I'll make some calls on Monday and update here.

Any more information about First Defense International based off your telephone call??

James Lee
11th June 2005, 23:32
They were not a viable source. It looks like Griffon is not imported to the US any longer. Jim