Ed Brown Executive Elite Review and First Range Report

Discussion in 'Range Reports & Reviews' started by pdogkilr, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. pdogkilr

    pdogkilr Can't afford Therapy

    Jan 7, 2012
    I will apologize in advance - I have posted this review on another forum. I wanted to post here as well, assumption is that not everyone frequents the same board(s) that I do.

    Late in December of 2011 I ordered an Ed Brown Executive Elite from 1911 Heaven. CJ had it in my hands two days later.

    The pistol arrived with an Ed Brown Pistol Case, two fired .45 ACP cases, a bottle of Ed Brown Gun Oil, one seven round magazine, and an Allen wrench for the grip screws.

    Initial inspection showed a soft matte stainless steel finish. The finish was so smooth it almost appeared to be coated. There were no tool marks visible, and all edges had been softened. It was not a “Carry Melt” – just no sharp edges.



    The grips are a dark brown Cocobolo (I believe) – not the reddish brown I expected. They are sharply checkered in a double diamond pattern. Attractive and “grippy”.


    Slide to Frame fitment was what you would expect from a custom pistolsmith. Tolerances are very close. The pistol came with a 16.5 pound recoil spring and there was no hesitation in slide movement when hand-cycling. I believed that a “standard” mainspring was installed and the average of ten trigger pulls on a digital scale was four pounds fourteen point one ounces. There was zero creep and no over-travel. The break was very clean and crisp. A second shooter had a couple of unexpected double-taps due to the lack of take-up on the trigger. It was just something he was not used to.

    The Executive Elite comes with a white outlined set of Trijicon Night Sights. The rear sight has a set screw to hold it in position. The front sight has an Allen screw that goes into a threaded hole in the dovetail slot to hold it in position. This hole is drilled all the way through the top of the slide.


    The front strap and mainspring housing are both checkered at 25 lines per inch. Not as abrasive as 20 LPI, but a little more so than the 30 LPI offerings from other vendors. After about 200 rounds, I put on a pair of Ten-Zero gloves. Gloved or not, proper indexing on the draw stroke was critical – the pistol does not move in your hand.



    The pistol disassembled easily with a nylon bushing wrench. Slide rails and frame rails were smooth with no visible tool marks. All machining and internal cuts were well executed. I wiped and re-oiled the rails, barrel hood and bushing. I ran a bore-snake through the bore to remove any oil that may have been left by the manufacturer.

    I began the break-in over two range sessions one day apart. I did not clean the pistol between range trips. The first was at an indoor range, the second outdoor. Every fifty rounds I locked the slide open and put a drop of oil down the rear of each rail, and on the bushing end of the barrel. Then hand-cycled a few strokes to work the oil. Every 150 rounds I wiped and re-oiled the barrel hood.

    Magazines that were used during the break-in:
    30 McCormick 8-Round Power Mags
    2 McCormick 8-Round Shooting Stars
    2 Wilson Combat 8-Round
    4 Pachmayr 7-Round
    1 Ed Brown 7-Round (Supplied with the pistol)
    2 GI 7-Round (circa 1960 with original followers and springs)

    Ammunition used:
    350 Rounds – 200 Grain Lead SWC Handloads 5.6 grains W231
    100 Rounds – 230 Grain Hornady FMC Handloads 5.5 grains W231
    186 Rounds – 230 Grain FMC TulAmmo Factory hardball

    I pre-loaded all the magazines with the lead SWC reloads. I would run two magazines, then rest the barrel a couple of minutes. I repeated this cycle through all magazines. After running all the magazines once - with no MALF's, I used Power Mags to finish the ammunition.

    I had zero malfunctions during either session. I keep targets for record, and the one shown below is the first target used on the indoor range. It is the first 160 rounds of lead reloads. I ran 20 Power Mags and then pulled the target. The target was set at 15 yards and all firing was done offhand. The eyes will be 65 in the spring, so forgive the group size. I am certain the pistol is capable of much better accuracy. At the outdoor range we set the target at 25 yards, and it kept all rounds on an 8 inch “Shoot-n-See” stick-on target. Again, all firing was done offhand.


    After the range sessions, the EE was detail stripped and cleaned. My reloads tend to be on the dirty side. A careful inspection of the slide and frame showed no high spots. These would have been evidenced by shiny spots polished into the mating surfaces during firing. I know it was fired less than 700 rounds, but all mating surfaces looked “unfired”. I think this speaks well of the final fitting.

    I ordered a five-pack of Ed Brown’s “competition” mainsprings per the recommendation on their web site. I expected a slight reduction in pull weight after I installed one. I was mistaken. The average of ten pulls on the digital scale once again was 4 lb. 14.1 oz. The only thing I can think of – the EE had a competition spring in it from the factory. Oh well, now I have spares "in stock".

    In my opinion, the fit, finish, and overall appearance of the Ed Brown Executive Elite is exceptional. I also believe the accuracy potential is excellent. Function so far has been flawless. After another 400 rounds (or so) I will move this pistol into the carry rotation.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Fitz152 likes this.
  2. Quack

    Quack it's mmm, mmm good... Staff Member Admin

    Aug 15, 2011
    Good stuff!!!

  3. pdogkilr

    pdogkilr Can't afford Therapy

    Jan 7, 2012
  4. Kruzr

    Kruzr Hangin' In Supporting Addict

    Sep 7, 2011
    Nice gun and nice write-up.

    (I'm finding it difficult to read threads in the other place where you posted the review. The bromance between the pastor and greyson is making it hard to keep my lunch down.)
  5. pdogkilr

    pdogkilr Can't afford Therapy

    Jan 7, 2012
    Understood - that's why I "shop around" for forums. A lot of sites have "issues" - some more than others, some a little strange. I try very hard to be a "high-speed / low-drag" member of forums.

    All I want to do is learn, and contribute when appropriate.

    Thanks Kruzr - much appreciated.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  6. duketbrd88

    duketbrd88 Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2011
    Very nice Ed Brown, congrats to you. Looked like a fun day at the range.
  7. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    Great report and nice pictures!
  8. dtshd

    dtshd Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    That is great looking 1911. The first photo looks really good.
  9. deadguy

    deadguy Eddie Van Halen Supporting Addict

    Sep 7, 2011
    good stuff there. Beautiful gat and great shootin'.
  10. GM*

    GM* ~

    Oct 15, 2011
    Beautiful firearm! Thank you for sharing.
  11. TSiWRX

    TSiWRX Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    Oh boy....that makes me *really* want one..... Wow!
  12. DAT85

    DAT85 BIG OL' BALD HAID ! Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011

    :animlol: "bromance" :laugh:

    Priceless,KRUZR,priceless ! :thumb:

  13. DAT85

    DAT85 BIG OL' BALD HAID ! Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    Great gun and great write up! :thumb:

  14. joerockhead

    joerockhead "BOURBON" It's not just for Breakfast anymore ! Supporting Addict

    Oct 12, 2011
    Beautiful Gun...
    Great stuff

  15. Sir Guy

    Sir Guy Sharpening Ockham's Razor Supporting Addict

    Aug 20, 2011
    Nice writeup and photos! Thanks for sharing. How's the wear on the slide stop axle? Glad to hear it's running well with various magazines and loads. :thumb:

  16. jblackfish

    jblackfish Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Nice gun, nice report - thanks for taking the time to do it all...and with pictures! Congrats on your new EB.
  17. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan Bass Fishing Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Great write up Jerry. :thumb: Gorgeous gun, love the EE, great pics as well.
  18. ajstrider

    ajstrider Active Member

    Sep 15, 2011
    One thing I always comment on when I see an Ed Brown is the finish, they are all so perfectly finished.
  19. pdogkilr

    pdogkilr Can't afford Therapy

    Jan 7, 2012
    Andy, still less than 700 rounds down the pipe, but not even much of a shiny spot so far.
  20. Spokes

    Spokes Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Sep 18, 2011
    WOW! That is one beautiful pistol...

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