Make: Nighthawk Custom
Serial Number: NHC04757
Year of Manufacture: 2008 (As indicated on the test target)
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic, Removable Magazine Fed Pistol
Markings: The left side of the slide has a hawk swooping in for the kill next to “NIGHTHAWK CUSTOM”, the right side is marked “T3”. The barrel, visible through the ejection port, is marked “NIGHTHAWK / MATCH 45 ACP”, the right side of the frame is marked “NIGHTHAWK CUSTOM / BERRYVILLE, AR USA / NHC 04757”. The rear sight is marked “HEINE / Trijico” with a date of “08”, the front sight is Trijicon as well, marked with “08”. The included soft case is marked “BULLDOG / NIGHTHAWK /CUSTOM” with the company logo. Two magazines, in Nighthawk factory bags with marketing inserts, are marked 2 thorugh 8 with 7 witness holes and “NIGHTHAWK / CUSTOM”. Another included magazine is marked from 2 to 7 with 6 witness holes; the base plate is marked “NIGHTHAWK”. The included test target reflects the serial number and model of this pistol with a test date in 2008.
Barrel Length: 4 ¼”, Crowned, Match Grade
Sights / Optics: The pistol has a two-dot Trijicon Tritium insert configuration. The front sight is a black Patridge blade with a single Trijicon element. The rear sight is a Heine brand base with one Trijicon element. The inserts glow in the dark but have faded; the sights are from 2008. The two dot structure provides quick reference in low / no light situations.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are gray, highly textured composite panels with oblique and horizontal serrations, creating deep grooves that provide exceptional traction. The left panel has small marks near the screw holes. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Black Perma-Kote (http://clindustries.com/product-spotlight-permakote/)
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is persistent lead fowling in the bore that should be remedied with a thorough cleaning.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. There are small marks scattered on the slide and frame. The metal beneath the finish shows areas of scuffing and rounded edges are present on the trigger guard. The leading edges of the frame have thinning, please see our photographs. The barrel has scuffs from normal operation. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The pistol has a match grade 4 ¼”, crowned barrel and a SOLID slide to frame fit. The front strap is checkered, the back is serrated horizontally, the back of the slide and rear sight are serrated for glare reduction, the thumb safety is extended, the grip safety is beavertailed and all components actuate with a positive “CLICK”. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included are two Nighthawk Custom factory magazines in their original bags with marketing inserts; a third magazine has a 7 round capacity with a Nighthawk base plate; they display light scuffs from use. The factory owner’s manual, test target, test cartridge, Allen wrench and marketing inserts are provided as well as a Bulldog brand, Nighthawk embroidered green soft case with exterior pockets, internal magazine pouches and strong zippers. All accessories rate in Fine to Excellent condition.
Our Assessment: From Nighthawk’s website: “When it comes time to choose your everyday carry gun there is a lot to consider. You need something that is reliable, accurate, and easy to wear all day. You need something that you can enjoy shooting a lot, because there is no substitute for practice. That’s where the T3 comes in. We designed this pistol to be pleasing to the eye, but also to be a workhorse that can stand up to thousands and thousands of rounds. The T3 has the best features for any gun its size. The frame is based on the Officer model, but for those with large hands, it features an extended magazine well that gives you the length you need to get all your fingers on the grip. The extension also serves another function. The hand-cut geometric angles really add to the looks as well. The slide is a 4.25″ Commander length that affords a better sight radius. Another consideration is weight. The T3 actually weighs one ounce lighter than most officer size 1911s. This makes the T3 the first choice for an all-day carry pistol. Heinie Slant-Pro Straight Eights Night Sights are standard. The mainspring housing, as well as the rear of the slide, are horizontally serrated to match. This feature also helps prevent snags on silk lined jackets and coats that checkering often causes. The top of the slide is also serrated to reduce glare. A Nighthawk Custom lightweight aluminum trigger that has been blacked-out using Cerakote™ breaks between 3.5 and 4 lbs with no creep. When you put all of these features in one package, you come up with the finest carry gun you can own. All you add is practice. This T3 has a Perma-Kote finish for heavy duty use, about 96% of the finish remains with the balance attributed to small marks and scratches; the barrel has light wear from normal operation with bright, sharp rifling. The bore has persistent lead fowling that we could not readily remove but the barrel should clean up nicely with a proper fowling kit. These pistols are rarely seen at auction, now is your chance to own a rock solid Nighthawk. Included is a Nighthawk soft case, 3 magazines, owner’s manual, test target, test cartridge, Allen wrench and factory marketing inserts. The test target has an approximate .26″ group at an unknown distance, tested by Kevin Hillhouse and Jeff Phillips, giving testament to this pistol’s legendary construction. Please see our pictures and good luck.