Firestorm and American Classic II Government Deluxe Model 1911 .45 ACP Auto Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

October 5th, 2008




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Blessed as we are today in the United States with a plethora of good 1911 style auto pistols from which to choose, we now have another. The Firestorm 1911 is the newest on the scene, and it also just might be the lowest-priced 1911 on the market today. Firestorm offers two versions; a mil-spec that is pretty much as the name implies, and the Deluxe reviewed here, which is currently priced only fifty dollars higher than the mil-spec. For my money, the features on the Deluxe version are well worth the fifty bucks. While, except for the sights and magazine, the standard version is pretty much GI, the Deluxe features a skeletonized Commander-style hammer, a lightened trigger with overtravel stop screw, a beavertail grip safety, and an extended slide release and thumb safety. The Deluxe also has dovetailed front and rear three-dot sights and a throated barrel, along with double-diamond checkered wood grip panels and slide serrations front and rear. The trigger pull on the sample pistol released at five and one-quarter pounds, and released crisply, with no gritty or mushy feel at all. The gun sits comfortably in the hand, and the beavertail grip safety helps to distribute the recoil. The Firestorm weighs 39.4 ounces with an empty magazine, and the heft also makes the weapon easy to shoot.

The Firestorm comes with one eight-round magazine, and any 1911 full-sized magazine will work in the pistol. The thumb safety and slide release are easy to use by a right-handed shooter, and the slide release is easy to use by a left-handed shooter’s trigger finger, as is the magazine release. The grips are a really good-looking checkered wood, and offer a secure hold on the pistol. The finish is a deep blue-black, and no flaws in the finish were noted. The slide to frame and barrel to slide fit was near perfect, with no discernable play between the parts. The sights are very easy to see, and are of the three-white-dot pattern. They are dovetailed into the slide, and are adjustable for windage correction.

Accuracy and velocity testing was done on a beautiful day with temperatures in the seventy-five degree Fahrenheit range and low humidity. Velocities were checked using a Chrony Master Beta chronograph set at a distance of twelve feet from the muzzle. Velocities from the Firestorm’s five inch barrel (actually 5.065 inches on the test gun) are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Accuracy is listed in inches and fractions thereof, and are the result of firing five-shot groups at a distance of twenty-five yards, with the pistol clamped into a Ransom Master Rest, to eliminate all human error. JHP is jacketed hollowpoint ammunition. AF is a specialty bullet load sold by Extreme Shock Ammunition. DPX is a homogenous copper hollowpoint Barnes XPB bullet as loaded by Cor-Bon. PB is PowRBall, a specialty hollowpoint bullet with a nylon ball in the hollow nose. LWSC is a lead semi-wadcutter bullet of the Hensley & Gibbs Number 68 style. Ball is a military-style jacketed roundnose bullet.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity Group Size
Cor-Bon JHP 165 1239 3.125
Cor-Bon JHP 200 1095 1.25
Cor-Bon DPX 185 1082 2.75
Cor-Bon PB 165 1263 2.875
WCC Ball 230 823.8 2.125
Extreme Shock AF 125 1487 2.375
Handload LSWC 200 876.6 1.875

Accuracy was excellent with a couple of the loads tested, and very good with most others, depending upon the job at hand. With a couple of the loads, accuracy was good enough for hunting and competition, and all the other loads tested displayed good combat accuracy, and would work well to resolve most social conflicts. The 200 grain Cor-Bon JHP has exhibited superb accuracy in a few of my 1911 pistols, and was the winner in this Firestorm as well, clustering five shots into only one and one-quarter inches at twenty-five yards, and it did this repeatedly. Running out of this five inch gun at almost 1100 fps is also impressive performance. With that kind of velocity and match-grade accuracy, that load would be my choice in this pistol for deer hunting, and is an excellent combat choice as well.

Functioning of the Firestorm was flawless during all testing of the weapon. There were no failures or malfunctions of any kind. It fed, fired, and ejected everything fed it, from high performance hollowpoints to lead target semi-wadcutters to military ball, the Firestorm functioned perfectly. Not bad at all for a low-priced 1911, or a high-dollar 1911 for that matter. I remember the days when a brand new Colt 1911 had to be tweaked by a gunsmith to feed hollowpoint ammo, and it was not unusual for a shooter to spend as much making the gun work than he spent to purchase the pistol. Those days are gone, and pistol makers these days know that a 1911 should run right as delivered, and this new Firestorm is set up correctly from the factory. The pistol is all steel, except for the wood grips. It is built in The Philippines by Metro Arms Corporation, and imported by RSA in New Jersey. The Firestorm name has always meant a quality pistol for a low price, and this 1911 does nothing to harm that reputation. In fact, this new pistol just might be the best Firestorm yet. It certainly is most likely the best buy in 1911 pistols on the market, selling for much less than even the Taurus, which is also a good value. The Firestorm has the Series 70 style internals, with no firing pin safeties or other contraptions. It sells for less than half the price of some comparable pistols, but has added features like the beavertail, hammer, trigger, throated barrel, lowered ejection port, extended safety, and better sights. This is probably the best value anywhere today on a quality 1911 full-size pistol. The Firestorm is a dandy 1911, at an excellent price, and I highly recommend it.

This pistol is imported and sold under both the Firestorm and the American Classic brand names. They are the same gun. The American Classic line can be ordered through any Lipsey’s dealer. For the location of a Lipsey’s dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the Firestorm or American Classic online, go to

For a list of Firestorm dealers in the US, go to

Jeff Quinn


For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to: To buy this gun online, go to:


Gun easily strips for cleaning & maintenance without tools.



Wood grips are checkered in the classic double-diamond pattern.





The Firestorm / American Classic 1911 is capable of match-grade accuracy.



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The Firestorm / American Classic 1911 Deluxe holds eight rounds in the magazine, plus one in the chamber.



Magazine release.



Lightweight trigger has an overtravel stop.



Sights are drift-adjustable for windage, and are of a highly-visible three-dot pattern.



Slide features front and rear serrations.



Extended slide release and thumb safety.



Skeletonized Commander-style hammer with fancy insert.



Internal extractor.



Beavertail grip safety.



Barrel is throated for reliability.



Eight-shot magazine with bumper pad.