Late in December of 2011 I ordered an Ed Brown Executive Elite from 1911 Heaven. CJ had it in my hands two days later.
The pistol arrived with an Ed Brown Pistol Case, two fired .45 ACP cases, a bottle of Ed Brown Gun Oil, one seven round magazine, and an Allen wrench for the grip screws.
Initial inspection showed a soft matte stainless steel finish. The finish was so smooth it almost appeared to be coated. There were no tool marks visible, and all edges had been softened. It was not a “Carry Melt” – just no sharp edges.
The grips are a dark brown Cocobolo (I believe) – not the reddish brown I expected. They are sharply checkered in a double diamond pattern. Attractive and “grippy”.
Slide to Frame fitment was what you would expect from a custom pistolsmith. Tolerances are very close. The pistol came with a 16.5 pound recoil spring and there was no hesitation in slide movement when hand-cycling. I believed that a “standard” mainspring was installed and the average of ten trigger pulls on a digital scale was four pounds fourteen point one ounces. There was zero creep and no over-travel. The break was very clean and crisp. A second shooter had a couple of unexpected double-taps due to the lack of take-up on the trigger. It was just something he was not used to.
The Executive Elite comes with a white outlined set of Trijicon Night Sights. The rear sight has a set screw to hold it in position. The front sight has an Allen screw that goes into a threaded hole in the dovetail slot to hold it in position. This hole is drilled all the way through the top of the slide.
The front strap and mainspring housing are both checkered at 25 lines per inch. Not as abrasive as 20 LPI, but a little more so than the 30 LPI offerings from other vendors. After about 200 rounds, I put on a pair of Ten-Zero gloves. Gloved or not, proper indexing on the draw stroke was critical – the pistol does not move in your hand.
The pistol disassembled easily with a nylon bushing wrench. Slide rails and frame rails were smooth with no visible tool marks. All machining and internal cuts were well executed. I wiped and re-oiled the rails, barrel hood and bushing. I ran a bore-snake through the bore to remove any oil that may have been left by the manufacturer.
I began the break-in over two range sessions one day apart. I did not clean the pistol between range trips. The first was at an indoor range, the second outdoor. Every fifty rounds I locked the slide open and put a drop of oil down the rear of each rail, and on the bushing end of the barrel. Then hand-cycled a few strokes to work the oil. Every 150 rounds I wiped and re-oiled the barrel hood.
Magazines that were used during the break-in:
30 McCormick 8-Round Power Mags
2 McCormick 8-Round Shooting Stars
2 Wilson Combat 8-Round
4 Pachmayr 7-Round
1 Ed Brown 7-Round (Supplied with the pistol)
2 GI 7-Round (circa 1960 with original followers and springs)
350 Rounds – 200 Grain Lead SWC Handloads 5.6 grains W231
100 Rounds – 230 Grain Hornady FMC Handloads 5.5 grains W231
186 Rounds – 230 Grain FMC TulAmmo Factory hardball
I pre-loaded all the magazines with the lead SWC reloads. I would run two magazines, then rest the barrel a couple of minutes. I repeated this cycle through all magazines. After running all the magazines once – with no MALF’s, I used Power Mags to finish the ammunition.
I had zero malfunctions during either session. I keep targets for record, and the one shown below is the first target used on the indoor range. It is the first 160 rounds of lead reloads. I ran 20 Power Mags and then pulled the target. The target was set at 15 yards and all firing was done offhand. The eyes will be 65 in the spring, so forgive the group size. I am certain the pistol is capable of much better accuracy. At the outdoor range we set the target at 25 yards, and it kept all rounds on an 8 inch “Shoot-n-See” stick-on target. Again, all firing was done offhand.
After the range sessions, the EE was detail stripped and cleaned. My reloads tend to be on the dirty side. A careful inspection of the slide and frame showed no high spots. These would have been evidenced by shiny spots polished into the mating surfaces during firing. I know it was fired less than 700 rounds, but all mating surfaces looked “unfired”. I think this speaks well of the final fitting.
I ordered a five-pack of Ed Brown’s “competition” mainsprings per the recommendation on their web site. I expected a slight reduction in pull weight after I installed one. I was mistaken. The average of ten pulls on the digital scale once again was 4 lb. 14.1 oz. The only thing I can think of – the EE had a competition spring in it from the factory. Oh well, now I have spares “in stock”.
In my opinion, the fit, finish, and overall appearance of the Ed Brown Executive Elite is exceptional. I also believe the accuracy potential is excellent. Function so far has been flawless. After another 400 rounds (or so) I will move this pistol into the carry rotation.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Written and Authorized by pdogkilr over at 1911addicts