Webster defines synergy as “the interaction between two or more forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.” In the case of Cylinder & Slide’s Trident 1911, the total pistol far exceeds the sum of the parts. This is not at all by accident but rather, is the result of years of experience by two extraordinary men. The first is Bill Laughridge, founder and owner of Cylinder & Slide. Bill founded C&S some 30 plus years ago and has a better understanding of the 1911 pistol than anyone else I have ever met. The second person involved in the Trident project must remain nameless due to their past and continued service in our country’s defense. However, to make this easier to read, I will call him “Bob.” Bob had a very distinguished career with US Navy Special Warfare units and continues to serve our country after his “retirement” from the Navy.
Several years ago, Bob took one of Bill’s East Coast 1911 courses so he could maintain his own 1911s in far away places. During that course, Bob shared his experiences with the fine sand, known as “moon dust” that plagues equipment in Iraq, Afghanistan and other unnamed locations. Those discussions sent both Bill and Bob on a search to find a suitable finish for the 1911 that would not attract sand, dirt, or other crud. The discussions also led to a set of specifications for a 1911 that would be reliable in harsh environments with minimum maintenance. To honor NSW warriors, Bill named the pistol the Trident after the three-pronged spear carried by Poseidon, the Greek sea god.
The Trident is not earth shattering and none of the features are new or revolutionary. However, the execution of the Trident is different. What you’ll notice immediately is that the Trident has none of the high speed, low drag, bells and whistles that the urban “tacti-cool” crowd or armchair commandos insist on having. The Trident lacks an extended magazine well, trick sights, 8-round magazines, sexy hex screws, or a bayonet lug. Instead, each modification and component has been carefully evaluated with regard to maximum reliability in the world’s harshest environments. It is this philosophy, supported by real world experience that sets the Trident apart from many other 1911s. The result is a solid and reliable fighting platform that can be trusted.
The base gun for the Trident is a Springfield Armory GI 1911 A-1 SKU PW9108LP. Bill is quick to point out that the Springfield GI is the best base pistol on the market for both quality and price. C&S takes the bone stock GI gun and completely rebuilds it into the Trident. The choice speaks volumes about the quality of Springfield products and Bill’s confidence in them. When the GI mode is received, each part is inspected and many are replaced. The result is a hand-built 1911 that is far superior to those that just have a bunch of plug-and-go parts. The simplest manner to explain this transformation is to explain the process one step at a time.