Rifleman Q&A: The Portsider

by
posted on February 14, 2017
port.jpg

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

Latest

Springfield Armory Sa35 Rifleman Review 4
Springfield Armory Sa35 Rifleman Review 4

Rifleman Review: Springfield Armory SA-35

In 2021, Springfield Armory brought out its SA-35, a rendition of the classic Browning Hi Power, one of the iconic handguns of the 20th century.

New For 2024: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport III

In a crowded AR-15 market, consumers are looking for the best bang for their buck. Most look no further than the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport, and the company has an updated generation out for 2024.

Handloads: A 10 mm Auto Loaded For Bear

The fear of a bear attack has likely sold more 10 mm Auto handguns than all firearm advertising combined. The 10 mm does deliver some impressive ballistics for a cartridge chambered in semi-automatic handguns.

The Rifleman Report: Creative Minds At Work

As all of us who experience this “mortal coil” eventually learn, the days seem more fleeting with each passing year. For those of us who make a living observing and reporting about the firearm industry, they eventually result in a somewhat disorganized pile of memories about companies, products and the people who create them.

Smith & Wesson Issues Safety Alert For Response Carbines

Smith & Wesson has identified a condition in which an out-of-battery discharge can occur when certain Response bolts fail to fully close before the trigger is pulled.

Review: GForce LVR410

With a long and storied history in the United States, lever-action carbines continue to be favorites among modern American shooting sports enthusiasts. This evaluation takes a closer look at the 24"-barreled LVR410, which is being imported by GForce Arms, Inc. of Reno, Nev.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.