Norica N.A.C 1911
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- Last updated: 22/06/2022
Airgun shooting can be very rewarding, and the sheer variety of guns available makes the scene one of the most vibrant sectors of the shooting fraternity right now. Spanish makers, Norica cover most sectors of the market, and on test here is one of their CO2- powered pistols- the N.A.C. 1911.
Designed to visually resemble the famous 1911A1 Colt .45 Government model pistol, arguably the most popular battle side-arm ever produced, this Norica gets enormous appeal by association, from the off. That distinctive profile is very authentic, right down to the dummy slide catch, plastic grip plates and grip safety.
Quality of finish is pleasing indeed, and that’s largely due to precision moulded components, whilst overall feel benefits from a sufficiently high metal content, mainly in the top half. The result is a pistol, that not only seriously looks the part, but sits beautifully in the hand. Tipping the scales at a healthy 1.8lbs helps the cause, but there’s also a rifled barrel, multi-shot system, a positive manual safety catch sitting rear left side, and tools supplied.
I don’t mind admitting I’m no fan of BBs, considering them rather dangerous and fairly inaccurate, so more good news comes with the fact that this pistol is designed for normal, waisted lead pellets only, and also comes fitted with a Germanmade rifled barrel! First job is to load up a fresh 12-gram capsule and then fill the magazine. Gaining access to this assembly is done by pressing the release catch, seen on the left side, just behind the trigger. Holding the pistol in the right hand, press the button and it should drop from the base of the grip housing. If it doesn’t just pull clear using the lip of the base.
Two tools as mentioned, come with the 1911- a chunky Allen key and a long bar to clear the barrel. The latter is a great idea, and shows attention to detail, since a blockage in the barrel is highly likely with CO2, given how the pressure can just nose dive near the end of the charge. It’s nothing to worry about and having a tool to clear the pellet makes it even less of a concern.
And so, to the preparation. First, take that sizeable Allen key and slacken off the large bolt in the base of the mag; just enough until a fresh 12-gram can be dropped into the loading side of the chamber. Gently tighten up the bolt just until you hear the capsule pierce and the system pressurise. You may well hear a hiss at this point and be quick to prevent excessive loss of gas. On the other hand, you may well hear nothing. Either is fine. Now we can fill the mag. The revolving clip has twin 6-shot rotary drums at each end and these can either be filled in situ, twisting each end round to expose the apertures in turn, or the clip can be twisted and pulled down against the spring-loaded catch, and pulled clear. Inserting pellets may now be a little easier. Replace the clip, rotate it to vertical, and finally insert the entire mag assembly back into the pistol body. At this stage, you’ll be rewarded with satisfying clicks, and all will be locked in place.
With the 1911 outstretched, it’s easy to feel confident, as the comfort of the shooting position just feels natural. The moulded, chequered grips play their part, and with a good sight picture afforded by the metal open sights, it’s time to relax and concentrate in equal measure. With no adjustment on the sights, you’ll find you need to allow and slightly aim off to hit the target, but with 10 yards or there abouts, the probable target distance, it’s no hardship. The trigger here is double action, meaning you have to pull right through the full movement, and whilst it is a little creepy, in use, the shot cycle feels subtle and pleasant. I would always recommend wearing safety glasses of some sort with any, CO2-powered hardware, given the propensity for ricochets as velocity drops through the power band. So, why chance your eyes?
Blat away and fire six shots just as fast as that trigger can be pulled, then release the mag from the base of the grip, quickly twist round the double 6-shot holder to the next full one, slap the magazine back in the base, and we’re good to go for six more! Timed shooting comps are definitely on the cards with the 1911, and there’s plenty of accuracy to reward the shooter too.
So, what of performance? Well in terms of accuracy, I reckon groups of around 1.5” are representative over 10yards, and that means some serious plinking sessions are possible. As for shot count, I was astounded at the efficiency of this pistol, as its apparent frugal use of gas equated to 144-shots before velocity sounded like it was about to die. Consider many CO2 guns are lucky to muster 40 from a 12-gram cartridge, so, the 1911 scores highly here. A point to remember when nearing the end of the charge, if releasing any residual unspent gas with the Allen key, just remember that this substance can be ice cold, so be careful with excessive contact with the skin. A guide figure for velocity on offer is 300fps at the peak, but emphasis is on the fun element here, and it’s foolish to lose sight of that.
Made in Taiwan to a high standard, the N.A.C. 1911 really is a nice piece of kit, and I massively enjoyed setting it up and spending time on the range. It’s well made, nicely finished, and currently available for £120, which is something of a steal if you ask me. Nice one Norica.
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