The Marushin Combat Commander kit:
The Combat Commander is a "HW" modelgun kit, ("HW" of course meaning that it is cast out of an ABS/powdered Zinc mix) and features the center fire system that means that it has a firing pin which strikes the "primer" forcing the "primer" into the cap instead of the older "side fire" system which struck the cartridge by the extractor channelure which then drove the cartridge into the detonator in the barrel.
I found this kit to be very enjoyable to assemble, as it only gave me very minor problems while putting it together.
I did find that this Marushin modelgun to be a little lighter than I was expecting, being that it is a "HW" As I have two HW MGC Combat Commanders that weigh considerably more than this example. It needs more weight.
The kit consists of the basic frame, slide, barrel, cartridges, instructions (in Japanese of course) and small parts in plastic bags.
The instructions, being written in Japanese are at first seemingly troublesome, but the illustrations are clear and concise and they have some extremely accurate parts comparison line drawings that you can use to identify the small pins and springs (this is very important as you will see) And although, this is a very good depiction of the actual gun, the parts placement is a little different.
All of the parts are in bags and are grouped in various assemblies containing springs and small parts etc.
The firing pin and spring are previously installed into the slide which is a little interesting as I believe that Marushin doesn't want the firing pin modified so they pre-installed the assembly, the firing pin appears to be either nylon or ABS I don't know how long that it will last though.
This is not a "glue it together" type of model kit like the old LS gun model kits that where at one time imported into the U.S. The LS gun models where all glue together "true modelgun kits" you had to assemble the (usually) two piece slide, barrel, frame, magazine etc.
These model kits where almost always disasters, because what 13year old kid wants to wait 3-4 hours for a part to dry before he could play with the model!
The barrel is made out of ABS, in fact, it appears (at first glance) to be the only ABS part in this kit, it looks fairly strong and the Marushin barrels seem to be fairly long lasting.
It's worthy of note, that Marushin made the muzzle slightly protrude from the barrel bushing just like the real Colt. Also, an Aluminum sticker is supplied to place on the barrel chamber "hood" this gives the model a slightly more realistic look.
The Government model barrel could of course, be installed into the Commander but, it would protrude out the gun's front. Of course, a suppressor or a compensator could be installed on this........
The detonator is held in the barrel by slip fit and the travel is limited by a C-clip attached to the detonator by a groove machined in it's outer diameter.
The detonator appears to a different length than the older "Side fire" type Marushin kits, due of course, to the overall cartridge length difference and the piston type.
Detonator length, shape, diameter, hardness, finish and point type is of course, determined by the cartridge, piston and cap diameter.
The point on the HW detonator is shaped somewhat like a MGC HW detonator with "a flat point" this seems odd, because the piston still has a hole through it which might lead to gas losses if the cap develops a hole in it in this high pressure area...
Marushin surprised me with this item, -the extractor- is made of machined steel! somewhat like the real Colt, but with far less tension.
The earlier Marushin kit (and possibly, the factory-assembled versions) M1911A1 and Commanders featured stamped steel extractors they where good, but seemed to be fairly weak.
The stocks (grips):
The stocks are of course, plastic. Although, I am not sure what type of plastic they are made of, they are a somewhat plain brown plastic, looking much like the old military M1911A1 stocks save for having Colt medallions inserted in them.
The stocks look to be the same size as my real Commanders if I had spare Colt stocks, I would replace the original Marushin supplied stocks.
The medallions are either Zinc or aluminum and they are very good, they look just like the real stock medallions.
As I cannot read Japanese, I guessed on what type of glue Marushin suggests to use on the medallion. I ended up using "super glue" (cyanoacrylate) that seemed to work quite nicely. (as the medallions have yet to fall out!)
The stocks are hollow on their back side, so they can accept the supplied blued steel "weight plates" these allow a little more weight to be added to the model.
The magazine is made of blued steel, and is a fairly good copy of the original 7 round Colt magazine, except for having a spot welded seam on the back of the magazine, as opposed to a fusion welded seam that Colt employs.
Also, the magazine base plate strangely lacks the Colt logo, which is unusual. And I am not sure why this is so, as Marushin and the other modelgun manufacturers usually go to great lengths to increase the realism by the use of the trade marks .
My magazine is either slightly out of dimension or the magazine well is slightly smaller in dimension, because the magazine fit's fairly tightly in the gun, causing me to have pull it out with my fingers, as it won't "spring out" of the magazine well when the magazine button is depressed.
The slide is cast out of a heavier type of Heavy Weight ABS resin than the rest of the model, and the breach-block along with the firing pin and spring are pre-installed.
The Colt trademarks are very nicely reproduced on both sides of the slide, however, MFG. MARUSHIN also appears near the ejection port (slightly) ruining the overall effect that the trademarks add.
No casting seams are visible on the slide's center or sides although, there is a slight "wrinkling" type of casting flaw, just by the Colt "pony" logo that doesn't really look bad, it's just that it is noticeable.
The receiver (frame):
The receiver is cast of a somewhat flexible type of HW resin. This I believe, is due to Marushin' s "inner frame" design, the inner frame is placed into the receiver, by slightly spreading the receiver enough to accept the inner frame.
The fact that this must be done, prevents Marushin from using a higher density of the HW resin, as the receiver would crack as the receiver was spread for insertion of the inner frame .
The inner frame is interesting due to it's being cast out of ABS, which is really too bad, as it should have been cast out of Zinc, as this part features the loading ramp as part of the design and if it where cast out of Zinc alloy the model would weigh considerably more.
The fact that Marushin made this out of ABS, causes problems because the ABS resin can be slightly soft, so the cartridge nose has to be free of burrs and as smooth as possible (polished?), to prevent erosion of the loading ramp and later- feeding problems.
The receiver casting has some prominent casting lines (mold separation lines) these of course, need to be sanded down and polished for better feel.
Shooting the Commander:
After checking for function and putting grease on the slide rails, I prepared the 15 Marushin HW center fire type cartridges that I had on hand and (5 are included with the model) I used grease on the O-rings to help them to slide inside the cartridge better which helps, as the gas pressure falls off fast! and friction costs performance.
The first three shots ejected rather weakly and they went forward and somewhat off to the left.
At first, I was puzzled, but I realized that perhaps something had happened to my ejector. So, when I removed the slide, I noticed that the ejector insert was missing!
After a quick search, I found the piece where it had fallen into the carpet unseen by me.
The ejector insert is held in place by two pins, one hole is accessible, the other is hidden by the receiver slide rail, so the inner frame has to be spread open to access the rearward hole for the ejector.........of course, the model has to be disassembled completely to remove the inner frame!
After the delay, I tried again, this time I fired 8 shots but the slide wasn't held open after the last shot.
Also, the trigger was giving me some trouble as it would "hang up" preventing a quick follow-up shot. (I think that the trigger stamped steel "bow" has either burrs or the "bow" distorts when the trigger is pulled it then rubs on the sides of the frame,- causing friction- allowing the trigger to stick) I will have to work on this problem later and see if I can correct it to my satisfaction.
The third time, I tried putting in a spare Marushin magazine after firing the first, but it didn't work very well due to jamming but, it did hold the slide open at the last shot.
The fourth time, I had better luck, I fired 8 rounds but again, the hold open feature failed!
This model was fun to assemble and worth buying for my modelgun collection plus, I like the real Colt Combat Commanders!
CLICK HERE: for the Marushin Colt Combat Commander video.
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