Gun Test: Nighthawk Custom Thunder Ranch Combat Special

Gun Test: Nighthawk Custom Thunder Ranch Combat Special


Clint Smith is one of my favorite people. His background includes service in the military and also in law enforcement. He is one of the best-known instructors in the defensive-shooting field, and Thunder Ranch remains one of the most popular venues for serious defensive shooters. And, anyone who has taken his classes or seen his videos knows he also could have been a stand-up comedian. His humor underscores the serious, no-nonsense training for which the man is known. Over the years, I have enjoyed his friendship and the numerous classes that I have taken at Thunder Ranch.

While I occasionally do consulting work for Nighthawk Custom, I was not involved in its recent project with Smith. Needless to say, however, I was pleased to have the opportunity to field test the result of that collaboration, the Thunder Ranch Combat Special from Nighthawk Custom.

To begin with, this Thunder Ranch is a full-size 1911 with a 5-inch barrel, made entirely of steel, and weighing in at a solid 41.3 ounces. It is available in 9 mm or .45 ACP, with the .45 received for testing. The finish on the frame and slide is smoked nitride, which gives the pistol

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