Fratelli Tanfoglio S.N.C., the well-respected manufacturer of sporting, defense and service-grade pistols headquartered in the northern Italian town of Gardone Val Trompia, is globally known for offering what is probably the world's best quality-to-price ratio for a consumer-grade pistol. And yet, Tanfoglio also is an acknowledged global leader in sporting pistols, as their IPSC-grade competition handguns offer such a high level of out-of-the-box performance that they quickly became the tools of choice for Eric Grauffel, the young French shooter that astonished the world by earning five IPSC world championships in a row.
And, as a true champion, Eric Grauffel took it upon himself to lead Tanfoglio in the quest to bring its already high IPSC pistols' quality levels to the next level. That basically sums up the genesis of the Tanfoglio Xtreme line of pistols, composed of five models, all sporting an astonishingly high degree of manufacturing quality, features and out-of-the-box performances, even for Tanfoglio. We at ALL4SHOOTERS.COM were invited esclusively to witness Mr. Grauffel "warming up" with the first production-grade "Xtreme" pistols as the IPSC EHC 2013 gets closer; there, in Portugal, the Tanfoglio "Xtreme" line pistols will finally debut after some quick appearences at the 2013 editions of the SHOT Show, IWA and EXA trade shows.
Grauffel personally conceived some of the parts that make the "Xtreme" line pistols truly unique: triggers, hammers, strikers and recoil spring guides, magazine pads and grip panels, safety and hold-open/slide stop catches, magazine release buttons − all engineered after Grauffel's own suggestions, based upon his personal experiences in years of IPSC competitions, and all to be offered as factory features whereas they would otherwise be aftermarket add-ons on other pistols. Tuning and geometries on Tanfoglio's "Xtreme" line pistols were conceived at the end of a lengthy research and development procedure, aimed to reach as close as possible to perfection.
Each model is crafted at the Tanfoglio factory by extremely skilled workers, with top notch equipments and materials; so to speak, all "Xtreme" line pistols will employ heavy-profile, semi-polygon rifled Lothar Walther barrels, as well as all steel slides, machined from a solid billet, and lightweight frames manufactured through high-technology MIM procedures. The smallest components, and all the parts conceived by Grauffel himself, are partially manufactured through metal injection molding, but mostly machined out of solid billets, but the true nature of the steel used in their construction is a Tanfoglio's well-kept industrial secret.
Even more astonishnigly, Tanfoglio decided to apply a nano-ceramic finish on the entire "Xtreme" line of pistols: as of today, nano-ceramics were mostly used in defensive, service and (mostly) military issue firearms, due to their high costs and the general perception through the industry that the degree of protection provided by nano-ceramics would be "overkill" for civilian-grade firearms. Nano-ceramics are utterly superior to all other protective treatments commonly used on firearms, and other than just offering four times the resistance to scratches, dust, rust, moisture, chemical aggressives and most other adverse factors, they will also improve the mobility degree for all moving parts, acting as a sort of permanent lubrication.
As stated above, Tanfoglio's "Xtreme" line of pistols comprises five handguns, covering the needs of medium and high-level shooters in four different IPSC categories, and available in four different calibers. The mainstay of the "Xtreme" line, conceived for IPSC Open competitions, is the beautiful Gold Custom Xtreme. Offering a single-action only operation with a great flat-type trigger, a muzzle compensator and an optics mount, the "Gold Custom Xtreme" will be available in 9mm and .38 Super Auto calibers, and will be sold at an MSRP of 5,166.00€ − roughly 6,850.00US$.
On the other hand, the single-action only, .40 caliber Limited Custom Xtreme was conceived for IPSC Standard competitions and features a frontally-lightened slide, otherwise sporting a typical profile for similar IPSC-type pistols, including high-visibility, adjustable sights or fiber-optic sights. MSRP is 2,655.00€, about 3,520.00US$.
The Stock II Xtreme and Stock III Xtreme pistols were instrad conceived as "extreme" versions of the already existing Tanfoglio "Stock" models, conceived for IPSC Production shooting. Both available as 9mm, double action pistols, they feature frontal slide serrations, but they differ as it concerns the finishes, with the "Stock III Xtreme" variant coming with a built-in tactical rail under the frame. MSRP is respectively 2,163.00€ and 1,614.00€ − about 2,871.00US$ and 2,142,00US$ − for these two pistols.
Last, but not least, the single-action-only, 9mm caliber Gold Match Xtreme model features a lengthened barrel and proportionally lenghtened, lightened slide, plus a Flat-type trigger. Coming with aluminium grip panels, the "Gold Match Xtreme" pistol will be sold at an MSRP of 2,715.00€, that being about 2,600.00US$.
The "Xtreme" line pistols from Tanfoglio have been conceived as extremely versatile. The above-mentioned components − triggers, strikers, recoil spring rods, hammers, and much more − can be replaced by the user himself/herself to adapt his/her own gun to his/her personal needs; all the "Xtreme" line peculiar components (23 parts overall) can be ordered directly to Tanfoglio through the company's own On-Line Shop.
Prices are also important. The above-mentioned MSRPs may seem steep − especially for a notoriously low-price brand as Tanfoglio − but as any IPSC shooter knows, customizing a pistol for high-level competition shooting can be even more expensive than that, while the "Xtreme" line pistols are competition-ready right out of the box, and have been conceived by such a great shooter as Eric Grauffel to provide the best in performance, and by Tanfoglio as the first new products of a "new wave" in marketing for the most demanding international customers. Skeptics will only have to wait until September, when the new Tanfoglio "Xtreme" line will debut on the field in Portugal, to see if what we say is true.