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If ever there was a common question I’ve been asked over the years, it’s “What do you recommend for a carbine which shares the cartridge (and mag, if possible) with my 1911 Govt?”
The answer has always been, the Marlin Camp 45 Carbine, which, because Marlin discontinued its production years ago, now commands a premium price—and I have to say, unjustifiably so, because as much as I love the little Camp carbine, it’s by no means perfect. It’s just the only one.
Well, now there’s another option: the Mech-Tech CCU conversion kit. Basically, it’s a drop-on barrel/slide assembly which can be fitted onto any standard 1911 receiver. Here’s a pic of the part itself:
Here’s one which has been added to a 1911 receiver:
Note: the bolt-operating charging lever is on the left-hand side of the CCU, which makes enormous sense.
And here’s one with the optional stock panels added (and the silly muzzle brake removed, which is what I’d do):
I dunno about a normal scope—that little Aimpoint-type red dot system in the second pic would work just fine for me. Or, if I wanted to go low-tech, a normal iron sight system (which is available).
So, if you want to do it from scratch, here’s what you’re in for:
1. a secondhand 1911—nothing fancy, a Rock Island or Charles Daly receiver would probably work just fine—cost, about $350
2. the CCU itself—about $270 for the most basic 1911 .45 ACP version
3. some kind of sighting system—the iron sights are $70, AimPoint / EO systems about $200.
Best of all: because it’s not a gun (as defined by the ATF), you can buy the CCU upper online and have it shipped right to your door. Here’s one place you can get the CCU, or you can go and pester Freddie FFL.
Yeah, it’s a little expensive to build one from scratch—more than the Camp 45—but I like the flexibility of the thing; and if you want to forego getting a 1911 receiver, and just modify your existing Govt. model, then it’s very affordable. And, of course, if you have a 1911 chambered for 9mm, 10mm, .40 S&W, or .38 Super, you can get a CCU to match. Yummy—I bet the .38 Super would just scream out of that puppy (yup, 1,850fps—now that’ll leave a mark). Even the sedate 230gr. .45 ACP starts chugging along at over 1,000fps, thanks to the longer 16” barrel.
And if you’re a Macho Man and get the .460 Rowland version (and why not?), note that all sorts of hunting opportunities open up for you. (Oh, and in that caliber, I’d keep the muzzle brake.)
I have to tell you all, I like this idea. I’ve refrained from talking about it for a while, because I wanted to see if there was any negative feedback associated with the Mech-Tech CCU. So far, there hasn’t been a peep, either online or at the various gun stores I’ve been known to frequent.
So, as soon as finances permit, I’m going to get one. Range report will follow, but don’t hold your breath.
Oh, and there’s also a Glock version, but I don’t care about that.
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