Rifleman Q&A: The Portsider

posted on February 14, 2017

Q: On p. 139 of the 1987 edition of Gun Digest, there is a picture and mention of a Falcon Portsider Left Hand 1911 made by Falcon Firearms of Granada Hills, Calif. What became of Falcon Firearms, and did it ever produce such a gun? Are there other lefty M1911s?

A: Falcon Firearms Mfg. Co. was incorporated in Granada Hills, Calif., on July 10, 1985. The last statement it filed with the state was on July 24, 1989, and it appears to have gone out of business shortly thereafter. According to some sources, in 1986 the firm started producing a left-hand pistol patterned after the Colt Model 1911 that ejected to the left rather than to the right. As far as I can tell, there is no source available that gives the total production of these “Portsider” pistols. They are not commonly seen, but the 2016 Standard Catalog of Firearms gives prices for them as $225 for poor-condition examples up to $700 for those new in the box.

Several firms have made left-hand pistols; perhaps the most well-known was Randall Firearms Mfg. Co., which was incorporated in California in September 1982. That firm was also short-lived, and it is sometimes said that Falcon obtained the Randall tools and leftover parts. Randall made several versions of left-hand pistols. Reportedly its quality was exceptionally good and production quantities were modest, so collectors seem to value Randall pistols highly. The overall market for left-hand pistols does not appear to be adequate to support large-scale production, but there is at least one current manufacturer. Cabot Guns of Sarver, Pa. (cabotgun.com) produces full- and Commander-size left-ejecting pistols, as well as mirror-image, two-gun sets.

—Charles W. Pate


Wheeler F.A.T. Wrench
Wheeler F.A.T. Wrench

Preview: Wheeler F.A.T. Wrench

The F.A.T. (Firearm Accurizing Torque) Wrench from Wheeler allows you to consistently apply the appropriate amount of torque, simply.

Rifleman Q&A: 8 mm Mauser 'Exercise' Cartridges

I would very much appreciate it if you could identify the origin and purpose of the cartridges shown in these photos. The bullets appear to be wooden, and all of the cases are primed.

Review: Rock Island Armory AL22M .22 Mag. Revolver

Armscor offers a magnum rimfire chambering in a mid-sized, double-action revolver with the Czechoslovakian Alfa Proj AL22M chambered in .22 Magnum.

Bond Arms: A Dedicated Maker Of Modern Derringers

Despite facing startup adversity, Texas-based Bond Arms hails as today's largest manufacturer of double-barrel handguns, solving problems by offering concealable and modern-day renditions of the old-school derringer.

New For 2022: Tisas 1911 D10

Known for its line of affordable, traditionally styled M1911 handguns, Tisas USA launched its new D10 pistol chambered in the 10 mm Auto cartridge.

Rifleman Q&A: 1900 Test Luger & Holster

I have a question about a Rock Island Arsenal holster stamped “E.H.S.” that contains a 1900 Eagle Test Luger serial No. 70XX.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.