Beauty Shot: Nighthawk VIP Black

Beauty Shot: Nighthawk VIP Black

One of the most handsome and fully functional Government models to come into my studio of late is the Nighthawk VIP Black. For the deep-pocketed aficionado of fine handguns, this pistol might be your cup of tea.

So what justifies the $8,000 price tag? For one, the gun is virtually hand-built, with most parts made right there in Nighthawk’s Berryville, Arkansas, facility.

Deep hand-engraving executed by master engraver Bertram Edmonston is found on the slide, frame, slide-lock lever, thumb safety lever and even around the magazine release. Overall, I would consider it quarter coverage.

The metal is then given a black DLC (diamond-like coating) finish for both good looks and durability. The finish extends to all the moving parts. The five-inch barrel is crowned.


The VIP’s lines are clean, and all the edges are sharp but burnished or “melted.” The rear sight assembly is a Heinie Black Slant Pro, adjustable for windage only. Twin Allen screws allow this assembly to move left and right within the dovetail. The back of the blade, and the area of the slide just below it, are hand-serrated to eliminate glare. At the muzzle end you’ll find a Patridge- type blade complete with a 14k solid gold bead.


Both the slide-lock lever and single-side thumb safety have been enlarged and extended outward for better control. The slide-lock lever is bowl-shaped for a better grip when releasing the slide, while the safety lever is serrated and oversize for a better purchase. As I mentioned, both parts feature hand- engraving.


The magazine release has been checkered and surrounded by a small amount of engraving, and pressing the button ejects mgs without hesitation. And these aren’t just any magazines. The two provided eight-rounders are jeweled.

The frontstrap features vertical grooves, as does the mainspring housing. The magazine well is beveled for easy loading. The beavertail safety is blued and finished flawlessly and fits the contour of my hand like it was made just for me. The hammer is skeletonized and serrated, while the trigger is your typical Government model profile but serrated and adjustable for overtravel.

To finish off this masterpiece, the gun is equipped with a set of giraffe bone grips, and Nighthawk wisely left off any logos that would detract from these good-looking grips. They’re perfectly fitted to the frame and polished. The gun comes with a custom walnut hardwood presentation case.



Recommended for You

Compact

10 Cheap Guns Under $250

Evan Brune - September 24, 2015

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo...

Industry

Kahr 25th Anniversary K9

J. Scott Rupp - July 19, 2019

Kahr's K9 9mm pistol is a quarter-century old, and to commemorate the milestone the company is...

1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About Handgun Ammo

Rich and Jim get into the nitty gritty of the FBI ammo protocol, firing into various barriers to illustrate what can happen to a bullet.

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

Compact

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 Review

James Tarr - November 06, 2018

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer...

2nd Amendment

Judge Postpones Oral Arguments to Stop California Microstamping Law

Handguns Online Staff - May 07, 2014

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit...

See More Stories

More 1911

1911

Review: Browning Black Label Medallion Pro Compact

Eve Flanigan - January 30, 2019

The Browning Black Label Medallion Pro Compact is pleasing to look at, pleasing to operate and...

1911

Review: Nighthawk Chairman 9mm

Ed Head - January 31, 2019

Ed Head reviews the Nighthawk Chairman 9mm.

1911

Review: Rock River Arms Basic Limited

Jeff Chudwin - August 16, 2018

Rock River's Basic Limited 1911 is a finely crafted gun that's also a solid shooter.

See More 1911

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×