I opened the plastic case and immediately noticed the Ion Bond was different from any other finish I had seen on a firearm. The oil on portions of the slide and frame gave it almost a dark creamy look where the oil concentration was high. Other parts were wet, yet dry looking. The polished slide flats were almost reflective. One mag, manual, 22# and 24# recoil spring and allen wrenches included.
My eyes went immediately to the grip safety, checking for fit. Fusion has gotten alot of bad press due to varying opinions on its grip safety fit. I was pleased to say the least. The transition from black to silver is almost seamless from the sides and blended very well on the underside and flush on the top side. The pistol was dehorned nicely with no sharp edges to be found. I then checked the slide for fit with the frame. I tried to wiggle the slide back and forth over and over and was unable to get it to move…not even a smidgen. It is blended extremely well on the back side with the frame.
I then racked the slide and locked it back, using more strength to do so than I had anticipated. I inspected the barrel throat and frame ramp (non-ramped barrel) and everything looked good. Initial impression: impressed but still anxious to get inside of it and then go shoot it.
One part that will be changed out is the two piece guide rod system. I will be purchasing a regular GI plug in the near future. I’m not a fan of bushing wrenches. I prefer to remove the bushing with my bare hands, but turning this one was a bit more difficult than others. The slide stop was difficult to remove. Very tight fit. Fusion had already cut a channel into the head of the slide stop to help with replacing it without scratching the frame. Barrel lockup in the slide was snug. Only did a field strip at this point, and everything looked good.
I had initially planned to shoot a minimum of 700 rounds. I had my doubts about that many rounds knowing what I had to shoot and knowing how painful this could be. I purchased 100 rounds of Atlanta Arms FMJ (180 grain) from the range, and brought along 200 rounds or PRVI JHP (180 grain, low end velocity), and 250 rounds of Scottsdale HPR TMJ (180 grain, rated at 1275fps). I had planned to use my 45acp mags as I had done with my Kimber Stainless Target II 10mm. Before firing the gun I tried loading 4 different 45 acp mags loaded with 10mm rounds and the gun didn’t want to accept them like the full size did. I decided to scrap the 45acp for this session. This left me 2 mags: Kimber full size and the supplied Officer mag from Fusion.
Started with Atlanta Arms ammo. Near the end of the first 100 rounds I had a failure to feed. The round dove into the bottom of the barrel above the frame ramp. This was the last round in the Kimber full size mag. This same thing happened again on round #155 (now shooting the hotter Scottsdale ammo), same mag, last round in the mag. I reported in my review of the Kimber STII that this same thing happened while firing that particular gun as well. Same mag in both guns. I was down to one mag that was trouble free (my ONLY mag at this point) and was stuck with it to finish the session. I made it through 95 more rounds of Scottsdale with no issues. 250 rounds total. Time to let it cool down.
I changed out the factory recoil spring (IIRC it is 20#) and replaced it with the 22#. I did this out of curiosity and also because my spent casings were flying all over the place with this hotter ammo. 50 more rounds of Scottsdale with no issues.
Time for the PRVI JHP’s. When I say they are weak, I mean it. Going from 1275fps down to ~1000fps is like going from 9mm to 22lr. It was THAT different. Not to mention quite pleasant after the beating I had been taking in the webbing of my hand. There are bruises. This makes some of you happy I am sure.
150 rounds of PRVI and no issues. This is a very, very dirty round, and emits an impressive fireball at the muzzle. The others at the range had to be in awe of my fireballs. I’m up to 450 rounds, and ready to go 50 more Scottsdale rounds and call it a day. I made it through 22 rounds. I was done. Call me a wuss, but that was my limit for the day. It was no longer fun.
I am not as big a fan of 3-dot Novak night sights as I was when I placed the order for this pistol. I don’t see well in low light as it is and these sights make it quite difficult for me. Heine straight-8′s are much better and these will probably replace the Novak rear sight in the near future. The Atlanta Arms rounds fired at 10 yards were slightly off to the left. Scottsdale left and sometimes high by an inch or two. PRVI was dang near hitting where I pointed it. None of these rounds will be carry rounds so I plan to decide on what velocity/brand I want for carry and will test those rounds at a later date. I want to run ~500 more rounds through it using different mags to see how it does before trusting it for carry.
I plan to detail strip it tonight and see if there are any unusual wear marks anywhere and take photos if I see any.
Detail strip went well. No unusual wear marks. Slide stop pin is hitting the barrel legs evenly with no barrel bump markings on the pin or the lug. The lower barrel legs and lug are hitting squarely on the VIS with no unusual contact marks. Hammer and sear are mating perfectly as well. I decided to adjust the extractor tension to see if I could get the other mags to feed normally and cycling the loaded rounds it fed them and extracted them just fine. The range would tell the story.
I made two more trips to the range last Thursday and Friday. Shot 50 rounds of range ammo (Atlanta Arms) to start it off Thursday. Next mag was to be the PRVI I had left in my bag. I figured I would go ahead and finish the last 50 rounds I had left from the case I had purchased some months before. First round fired off just fine and the second round not so good. Double charged round. I felt a blast of hot powder come back all over my face. The recoil was violent to say the least. I immediately sat the gun on the range ledge and checked my hands for cuts, bleeding, fingers missing, etc. All looked to be OK. Felt OK as well. Wiped my face off a bit and looked at the gun. Left side grips split in two. Flipped it over. Right side grips split in two. Not knowing fully what had happened, I first tried to release the magazine and with some effort I was able to remove it. I found that all remaining rounds were at the bottom of the mag…the very bottom. One of the feed lips was bent inward as well. Worst thoughts were that the gun was ruined. I was OK so my attention went to the gun itself.
I then tried to rack the slide but was unable to move it back more than a quarter of an inch. I walked out to a table in the main area of the range and after some working the slide back and forth I could see the rim of the spent case between the barrel hood and the breech face. I was able to create enough space to get a small screwdriver head in and push the round downward towards the mag well. This worked and released the case. I racked the slide and locked it back.
The case was blown out completely across the bottom where the chamber is not supported. Now to the gun itself. I detail stripped it that night and found no damage anywhere. Bright lights and a magnifying glass found no stress cracks or markings of any kind. No barrel bulge. All pins, spring, parts in good shape. BIG relief.
With some apprehension I went back on Friday to see if everything was in good working order. I fired one round of Atlanta Arms ammo and everything felt normal. 100 rounds later she was still shooting just fine. 150 rounds of Scottsdale and everything is still fine. The only issue I had was the denting and gouging of the cases and erratic ejection patters with the more powerful Scottsdale ammo. After speaking to a good friend and accomplished gunsmith I took his advice and replaced the 22# recoil spring with the stock recoil spring, with the belief that the slide wasn’t cycling fast enough to clear the round of the barrel hood before it tried to eject it. I also took his advice and polished the barrel throat and frame feed ramp to a mirror shine. In addition I polished the underside of the barrel hood at the entrance of the chamber to aid in feeding. The extractor was tuned once again with several tests done with the slide off to get the tension exactly right.
Back to the range today. 100 rounds of Atlanta Arms and 50 rounds of Scottsdale. Today was just fun. Flat out fun. I had 30 minutes to go through what I had and I wish I could have spent another hour there shooting. Brass was going where it should and the cases were in great shape when they hit the floor. I checked as many cases as I could get to and they all looked fine.
The next step will be self-defense ammo. I ordered several boxes of Double Tap ammo and should have it next week. As soon as I can get to the range again I will see how she does with a good SD round. I do plan to try other brands but for now it will be the 180 grain DT’s advertised at 1305fps. Montana Gold tips.
I was happy with my purchase before, but I am thrilled with it now. Some may say that I shouldn’t have had to tune anything, but with the 10mm, I have found that each load of ammo used can call for a different setup. I plan to run 180 grain rounds in the 1250-1350fps range from here on out, with the exception of the Atlanta Arms ammo I get from the range.
Tested 180 grain 1305fps Nosler JHP Double Tap ammo Friday and all is well. These rounds feel loaded to claim based on recoil comparison with Scottsdale Ammo. Without a chrono I won’t know for sure, but I can tell by feel these are just right.
After 100 boring rounds I decided to shoot my Colt Government in 45 acp. I laughed. I laughed out loud even. It had been a while since I’d shot 45 acp from a government model. It felt like a light 9mm. I thought maybe I had weak ammo, but it was 230 grain Federal HST ammo and I barely noticed any muzzle flip at all. The muzzle stayed on target with ease. That really opened my eyes to the power of the 10mm.
I now have a new EDC and it feels good to finally have it where it was meant to be.
Range report written and authorized by deadguy over at 1911addicts.