The reanimated Iver Johnson has made a statement with its recent introduction of the Eagle LR Zombie, a new .45-caliber Model 1911A1 rail gun with a plethora of custom enhancements. Based on the company’s black Eagle LR, this light-rail-equipped sample arrived as a zombie-themed handgun wearing a green hydro-dipped illustration of the undead on its slide and a pair of Hogue green pearlized polymer custom grips.
Specs and dimensions for this 1911 are the same as other current Iver Johnson five-inch-barreled Government models. This pistol comes with one eight-round magazine, a skeletonized hammer, as well as front and rear slide serrations. Magazines are made by ACT-MAG, and spares are available for $25 apiece. Keep in mind, we found that this pistol will feed from most aftermarket magazines.
The carbon-steel frame is cast, then CNC-machined, and carries a Picatinny rail that will accept anything from a pistol-mounted light to one of LaserLyte’s bayonets. It’s given a matte-black Cerakote finish designed to resist the corrosive effects of zombie blood and weather. Don’t get your hopes up that Iver Johnson will introduce this model with a stainless steel frame, as these pistols are built in the Philippines by Shooters Arms Manufacturing. Stainless is a difficult material to come by in that country, and attempting to procure enough of it would steeply affect the U.S. market price.
Iver Johnson currently has seven different 1911 models available, many sharing similar features. You can celebrate the fact that all are based on the Model 1911A1 with Series 70 safety system. The backstrap is complete with a flat, serrated steel mainspring housing and beavertail grip safety.
Controls are easy to reach with an extended slide stop and thumb safety. Combined with the beavertail grip safety and triggerguard relief cut, when you handle this pistol and throw your thumb up on the safety, its contours almost demand a high grip.
All models utilize metal-injection-molded (MIM) parts, and the slide and frame are hand-fitted for a smooth and tight fit. There’s no discernable wiggle with the slide-in battery, not in the slide rails or at the barrel bushing. This accounted for this pistol’s solid performance during our evaluation.
Though the Eagle LR Zombie falls in the price point of the working class, it includes a lengthy list of features more common on custom guns: beveled mag well for those inevitable reloads, thin-cut angled serrations for positive slide manipulation, lowered and flared ejection port for spent brass to cleanly escape and a three-hole match trigger.
Iver Johnson uses Millett’s white-outline, fully adjustable rear sight and dovetail front sight. This is a classic combination in the world of 1911s designed to extract the most accuracy from your go-to zombie pistol.
What appears as a novelty to traditionalists is actually a great value and impressive performer at the range. Posting a variety of Darkotic splattering-zombie targets downrange at 25 yards, it was fairly easy to average two-inch groups from a bench. Our staff’s best five-shot group using 185-grain Hornady Z-MAX measured a write-home-to-mother 1.39 inches, and these fun targets made it worth posting them on the fridge.
The interesting finish on the slide doesn’t impede performance or handling, hasn’t worn as we thought it would have and, if anything, we’ve found the clearcoat actually aids in wiping powder residue from the muzzle after each range session.
Our conclusion is simple: It’s the last sidearm you’ll ever need.
Zombie Nation is the premier publication for surviving the zombie apocalypse. From firearms to tips and tactics, zombie hunters will be kept up to speed on how to avoid becoming zed-bait. Be sure to pick up the 2013 issue of Zombie Nation, available now.