Customer Riptide-C Review:
Here's the skinny on Fusion's new Freedom Series 1911's. There was a time when only the wealthy could afford to drive a Mercedes. When you saw a Mercedes go down the road, you knew that you were beholding something special. But, not anymore. They now make cheaper and less expensive models so that just about anyone can get into one of their entry models. But, they are cheaper and less expensive. You shouldn't expect the same quality and workmanship in a $30,000 car that you might find in a $100,000 car. 1911's ... luckily I've had the fortune to own some of the best guns on the planet. The least expensive 1911 I own is also my daily carry gun, a Dan Wesson Guardian 9mm which retails a little over $1600. This goes to show that I don't think that a gun has to be the most expensive to be the best... for a purpose.
Fusion Firearms makes some of the best and most beautiful 1911s that money can buy as well as parts that you can buy to build your own. I've never owned one and about the time that I start to consider a Fusion, they come out with a less expensive model series that is under $1,000 that is 100% hand-fitted. OK, so I'll bite! I ordered a Freedom Series Riptide-C in 9mm, which is a bob-tailed Commander, as another possible carry weapon. It arrived right on time but still a full week before I could actually pick it up. It was a REALLY loooong week.
It came in a Fusion Firearms bag instead of a plastic case. "OK, nice start" I thought. This is in line with what you would expect from a builder of this repute. The bag was really nice and different than other gun bags in the way that it secures the weapon. It did come with one magazine and it did not take a detailed inspection to know that the magazine had been used quite a bit. The pistol was in a plastic bag and dripping with oil. After wiping the oil off, I began the takedown and inspection. Takedown was easy, even for a one arm fella.
I can't take down a Les Baer because they are too tight. I did notice a couple of tool marks but none that would cause any problems. There was a very teeny-weeny burr at the corner of the slide stop notch but that also was no big deal. Using the slide release a few times will take care of that. What did bother me was that the gun was pretty dirty on the inside, except the barrel which had been run through. All the photos were before I fired it.
The gun came with the customary 2 spent casings but this gun looked like it had been fired more than 2 rounds. "Oh well" I thought, "If a gun should last 100,000 rounds, what's a few extra?" I wiped it down, gave it some oil, and put it back together and headed to the range.
I took a mix of Federal and Freedom Munition reloads, as well as some Hornaday and DRT +Ps. I thought it funny that I was shooting Freedom Munitions from my Freedom Series gun. I like these rounds and trust them. I think that I usually pay $260-$275 per 1000 rounds. I also took out my DW Guardian, which is a Commander 9mm as well, but it has an aluminum frame and the Riptide-C has a steel frame. I could really tell the difference in weight when I picked up the Guardian, and then the Riptide-C. When I fired the first shot, I remember saying "ahhh, there you are!" The trigger was a little heavy. I'm guessing 5 lbs.-5.5 lbs. but it breaks very very smoothly and crisply. The gun felt amazing. It shot a little to the right but I can adjust the rear sight later. I shot one magazine at the small target on the right and then the small target on the left. Took photos and then went to town.
The recoil was surprisingly low. It felt like the gun just sat there, which allowed me to get back on target quickly. The U-shaped rear sight with the fiber optic front sight was easy to work with. I think the only other U-shaped rear sight I have is on a Wilson. I liked the sights! After a few mags, I encountered a stove-pipe. I don't have a left arm so obviously I shoot one-handed. Stove-pipe failures are usually shooting technique, so I firmed up my grip and the gun worked like a sewing machine for the rest of the 300 or so rounds.
I liked it so much that I'm thinking of ordering another one. If you can get a hand-fitted pistol of this caliber for under a grand, well... that's a no-brainer! I can't think of another gun that gives you frame, slide and barrel precision CNC machined from Bar-Stock, as well as all of the other fantastic cuts and work for a price anywhere near this one.
It might be!"