The Nighthawk Custom
Agent 2

Save The Planet... And Look Good Doing It!
30

Fifteen years ago, Mark Stone bumped into a couple of guys at church who built 1911 pistols. They were firearms artisans struggling to find their niche and Mark was a banker with a knack for business. Together they started a small company building custom 1911s working out of a storage unit complex.

Today, Nighthawk Custom offers the finest combat handguns humanity can produce. Those few guys in a storage unit grew to become 60 people working out of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to produce legit mechanical perfection. Their Agent 2 is equal parts combat tool and heirloom.

The wholly unique Nighthawk Custom Agent 2.

Malevolent space aliens are all the rage at the local Cineplex. And unnaturally muscular folk clad in spandex perennially save the planet from a bewildering array of extraterrestrial creepy-crawlies. But did you ever imagine how it might play out for real? What if there really was a shadowy agency tasked with defending all of humanity against a space-faring menace. What sort of weapons might they tote?

Well, cost is obviously no object — we’ll not be cutting corners when the fate of the world hangs in the balance (as this is likely a government agency, it’s not like it’s real money anyway). Additionally, the gun would obviously be some variation on John Moses Browning’s peerless hand howitzer. I can fathom no better contrivance for expeditiously transforming invading extraterrestrials into malodorous purple goo.

This hypothetical counter-alien smokepole also needs to look at least as cool as a BlasTech E-11 Star Wars blaster, because you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

At the end of the day, a powerful argument could be made that the perfect sidearm for real-world Men in Black would be the Nighthawk Custom Agent 2.

Extreme Extraterrestrial Duty?

Malevolent space aliens are all the rage at the local Cineplex. And unnaturally muscular folk clad in spandex perennially save the planet from a bewildering array of extraterrestrial creepy-crawlies. But did you ever imagine how it might play out for real? What if there really was a shadowy agency tasked with defending all of humanity against a space-faring menace. What sort of weapons might they tote?

Well, cost is obviously no object — we’ll not be cutting corners when the fate of the world hangs in the balance (as this is likely a government agency, it’s not like it’s real money anyway). Additionally, the gun would obviously be some variation on John Moses Browning’s peerless hand howitzer. I can fathom no better contrivance for expeditiously transforming invading extraterrestrials into malodorous purple goo.

This hypothetical counter-alien smokepole also needs to look at least as cool as a BlasTech E-11 Star Wars blaster, because you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

At the end of the day, a powerful argument could be made that the perfect sidearm for real-world Men in Black would be the Nighthawk Custom Agent 2.

The user controls operate like a fine swiss watch, while the Heinie Ledge
rear sight ensures all the artisanship hits the mark.

A Masterpiece Evolves

There was once a Nighthawk Custom Agent 1. Mark built 50 of these remarkable pistols and then had 1,800 people line up to buy them. He had to sell them off via lottery and it led to the Agent 2 — a truly rarefied piece of firepower.

The slide cuts are proprietary to Agency Arms and produced under royalty. With this as a starting point, the artisans at Nighthawk got down to business. Mark told me the resulting evolutionary process both cost a fortune and grayed his hair.

Once they had the slide design in the bag there obviously had to be a unique frame to complement it. The sundry aspects of the frame were optimized leading to a distinctive thumb safety and slide stop, both of which were designed from scratch. Once those details were codified they designed a new grip safety and custom magazine release. That led to a unique barrel bushing and a dedicated barrel wrench to support it. Before they realized it, every significant piece of the gun had been reimagined to support this singular seminal theme. The end result is frankly breathtaking.

The Nighthawk Custom mantra is one gun, one gunsmith. Each pistol is a handcrafted work of tactical art. Each part of the Agent 2 is fully machined — not cast or molded. Nighthawk employs six members of the Pistolsmith Guild, more than any other comparable manufacturer. When one of these artists finishes a gun, he stamps his initials inside it.

A wide — but not crazy-big — magwell ensures quick reloads. Will says br> the gun is “equal parts combat tool and heirloom.”

Pure Visceral Appeal

Have you ever found yourself in the presence of something that left you just a little bit tingly? Such was certainly the case back when I was 16 and met the woman who would eventually become my bride. You get a little of that same buzz when first you heft the Agent 2 from Nighthawk Custom. The experience is a bit like running your hand across the Rosetta Stone or taking a big whiff of the U.S. Constitution. You can just tell in an instant this is something extraordinary.

For starters, it’s a legitimate combat tool. Everything about the Agent 2 is optimized for close-quarters battle. The greased glass action, the crystalline trigger, and the melted edges all speak to its ultimate mission of moving quickly and reliably delivering rounds accurately on target. At the same time, however, the Agent 2 also exudes an oddly sensual mechanical vibe.

The faceted slide sports rakish cocking serrations both front and rear along with side windows, exposing the distinctive titanium nitride gold-tint barrel. The top of this radical slide is cut for an electronic optic and features a Nighthawk fiber optic front sight along with a solid black Heinie ledge rear. RailScales’ G10 grips perfectly complement the look.

There is a one-way scaly texture to the frontstrap, mainspring housing, and grip safety that tends to push your hand up higher and firmer. The mainspring housing is a one-piece unit incorporating a funneled magazine well. The magazine catch seems a small thing, but this one is, of course, unique. It has a cool oblong geometry and a uniquely pleasing texture.

The forged full-sized Government Model frame includes a lightened recon rail for accessories. The crowned flush-cut barrel includes flutes in the external chamber hood and interfaces seamlessly with the barrel bushing. This bushing has a distinctive faceted architecture and demands a unique barrel wrench. The frontstrap has an ultra-high cut for maximum grip and minimum flip.

The bottom of the front aspect of the slide also cut into facets nicely complementing the rakish geometry on the sides of the frame. Every single bit of the gun is vaguely melted. There are no sharp edges to be found any place. The fit, finish, and workmanship are all flawless. It’s as though the Agent 2 was hand-built one gun at a time, by a single artist/pistolsmith (which in point of fact, it was).

The flat-faced trigger has an unusually pleasing personality. There is a scant ledge at the bottom to keep your finger properly oriented. The trigger break is delightfully brittle following a predictable take-up with no discernible creep. The slide release and thumb safety are akin to Goldilocks’ porridge. They’re not too big and not too small, but rather just right.

The Agent 2 is available in both 9mm and .45 ACP. The overall synergy is lithe, attractive and functional. The gun looks like a sci-fi blaster and runs like a politician towards money.

Faceted cocking serrations ensure a perfect grip, yet aren’t sharp, and complement the
overall angled geometry. The muzzle is simply eye-catching.

Every surface of the Nighthawk Agent is complex, a nightmare for
those with a geometry phobia. Fit and finish are beyond flawless.

Trigger Time

I’ve squeezed my share of triggers. A 1911 pistol falls into my hand like an old friend. But Nighthawk’s Custom Agent 2 really is exceptional. Everything about the gun sort of magnetically pulls your digits to where they should be for optimal control. The grip circumference is small without being skimpy, and the controls are the chemical formula for perfection. The meticulous tight fit and inimitable design conspire to make the gun shoot unnaturally straight.

On the range, the limiting factor was my tired eyes — the Agent 2 shoots way better than I do. The gun is mechanically capable of sub one-1″ groups at 25 meters, and with great ammo I came close to achieving such things off a simple rest.

Should you choose to run the gun fast, all of its mechanical attributes ally themselves to support the noble mission. The gun’s salient mechanical features enhance control, while the many-splendored, optimized details perfectly interface flesh with steel. The end result is the ultimate iteration of John Moses Browning’s incomparable masterpiece.

Nighthawk says of the Agent 2 — “the resulting pistol speaks for itself.”
With the unique yellow flourishes, certainly it does!

All control surfaces, like the textured mainspring housing and grip safety,
are cut with precision yet remain comfortable due to fine finishing work.

What’s It Good For?

The Agent 2 will set you back about what a reliable beater of a used car might. However, the gun’s practical features make it literally peerless in the realm of close combat. For those of us willing to pack a full-sized carry gun, the Agent 2 is unsurpassed. The addition of the dust cover rail makes it a great host for lights or lasers as well.

The Agent 2 shoots straight enough for competition yet sports the combat features you need in a serious CQB tool. It’s tough to capture in prose just how nice this gun feels on the range. Suffice it to say you get what you pay for.

At risk of sounding shallow, there is also an intrinsic pride of ownership coming from possessing such a rarefied weapon as this. I was most smitten with the dissonance of the gold barrel juxtaposed alongside —and within — the Terminator-themed slide. To put it another way, the gun just plain looks cool.

Not For Everyone

It’s been often opined those who might disparage owning a quarter-million dollar automobile have themselves likely never driven a quarter-million dollar automobile. A similar dynamic is at work with the Agent 2. The gun is undeniably spendy but it also has an unimpeachable level of quality. You can feel it the moment you heft the thing.

Mark Stone knows how to build a gun company. In 15 years he’s never had to advertise for employees. With his compulsion for quality and reputation, the right folks just showed up. Sporting collaborations with the likes of AAC, Knight’s Armament and Silencerco, Nighthawk Custom represents the culmination of a lifelong vision.
Nighthawk earned its reputation the old-fashioned way — Mark and crew resolved simply to do it right from the outset. The tactical art flowing forth from Nighthawk Custom isn’t cheap, but the end result is indeed adequate to protect your world.

www.nighthawkcustom.com

www.nighthawkcustom.com

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