A Higher Class of Firearm: Black Widow

A Higher Class of Firearm: Black Widow

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Handguns based on the Browning Colt M1911 constructions seem to be everywhere, not surprising considering we’re talking about one of the most famous guns of our time. They come in various types, from simplest mass produced knock offs to exotic models made of titanium. This custom variant is the very pinnacle of high class exotic firearm.

Many factors can affect the price of a pistol, the quality of finish, engraving, materials used in construction… However, a modular metal-polymer frame pistol costing 8,000$? That must be a piece of work, and it is. Hang on to see why is it worth every penny.

Mark Morris really made an effort in designing and making the Black Widow, hit groups at 200 yards do not exceed 8 inches. It has an STI frame and a double stack magazine that can hold up to 24 bullets. It is an excellent “running gun” for Open IPSC category and its design makes it very versatile and useable in a variety of conditions.

Quality construction

Much is required of this gun, and it certainly delivers. Designed as a competition firearm for the open class, Black Widow offers an excellent self-defense and target protection weapon accurate up to 180 yards. This is not a weapon made for an average user, its price tag alone should make that obvious. This is a weapon for a professional, someone who needs an agile and accurate weapon that can be used in tight spaces, like the front seat of a car, as a rapid response to an attack coming from any direction. Another design requirement was the concealed carry capability, and while the weapon is slightly larger than standard it is not cumbersome. The weapon handles beautifully, as per requirements of IPSC shooters.

These requirements have defined and guided the construction of the Black Widow. Barrel length is 5 inches, just like the Classic Colt M1911, flat bullet trajectory at 180 yards has determined the caliber – .38 Super which is popular in the IPSC open. Tight shell of these rounds also allows for the high magazine capacity.

Black Widow was made from highest quality parts. STI frame is long and reaches the front end of the slide (also STI). It also has a Picatinny rail for the flashlight attachment. Slide has deep vertical grooves. It is also just over an inch shorter than standard designed for the 5 inch barrels. Instead of the full length slide, this gun has a two-chamber gas muzzle brake. This, along with the special recoil compensator neatly satisfies the high accuracy and reliability requirements. The barrel was made in the “Storm Lake” factory and is manually fitted into the compensator made from a single piece of steel.

Mark's custom guns are often referred to as "Functional art".
Mark’s custom guns are often referred to as “Functional art”.

Supreme Workmanship

Black widow does not have standard sights, the frame has special mounting for Aim Point M2 sight, modified with an extra battery slot, ensuring greater reliability. The safety at the back of the handle is Ed Brown model, with raised and finely grooved release, allowing the releasing of the safety in just about every grip.

The weapon has a truly excellent finish, matching the high standards of its components. All edges are rounded, making the grip comfortable and preventing incidental cuts. The only marking on this gun is a hand engraved Ying-Yang symbol at the end of the slide, a personal gunsmith mark of Mark Morris.

Despite the price that could place it in the collectibles or artwork section, Black Widow is meant for shooting. It can truly shine in the hands of an expert gunslinger. Hand loaded with Hornady XTP rounds and with muzzle velocity of almost 1300 feet/second this gun offers supreme accuracy, incredible 8 inches hit group at 180 yards drops to 4 inches at 90 yards. Bullet trajectory is never higher than 4 inches above the target line and drop at 180 yards is just 37 inches. It may seem like a lot, but considering the size of the Black Widow, it is an impressive result.

Black Widow is a truly exceptional weapon, whether you’re using it in competitions or as a part of your job. If you have a spare 8,000$, it is a definite recommendation.

Check out Mark’s other works at: http://www.morriscustompistols.com/

May 1, 2013
  1. "Interesting weapon---a second chamber and barrel with a 410 shell would be excellent." A second chamber and barrel, mounted in…

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