45ACP is a cartridge, like any other. Anyone can design a gun to shoot it and many have. The first was John Browning in about 1911. His design was aimed at meeting requirements set up by the Army (Military) in those times for an issue pistol. The pistol was intially built for the Military by Colt but in times of war many other manufactuers also provided parts and pieces and complete guns. The 1911 with a few alterations along the way was the official pistol of the Military from 1911 until the mid 1980's. The class of guns based on that design are called "1911's". Today some are clones, exact and not so exact copies. A whole industry has opened up in the last 20 or 30 years for making clones and interchangeable internal parts for those guns with the the aim of making the guns work better. Many manufacturers today make clone 1911's and variation that still base their design on John Brownings (Colt) 1911.
Others manufacturers make pistols that shoot 45ACP that don't look or work anything like a 1911. Some are plastic, some steel, some aluminum framed. Some have completely different designs for the fire control systems. They are mostly unique in design but still shoot 45 ACP ammo.
That would explain why not all .45ACP guns look anything like the 1911s....Like the Glocks and the Hi-Points. Thank you.
Next question I have about the 1911 and guns like it. I shot a Springfield XD 9mm and .40S&W. And held a Springfield 1911-A1. These three guns have something on the grip, just below the Beaver tail, that you squeeze. What is that and what is the function of it?
I've seen pictures of other 1911 clones. It appears that they all have that same part.
You are refering to the "grip safety". This part must be pushed in (gripped) before the gun will fire.
This part was added at the US Army's insistance in 1911. The Army was concerned with guns discharging when dropped (a common problem with early autoloaders). The grip safety prevents a dropped gun from firing.
The earliest Luger pistols had a grip safety, as did some early Brownings. Grip safeties fell out of favor in the 1930's and you don't see them much on modern guns.
To understand what is happening today with the 1911, you have to realize that the 1911 guns today are very popular. A common measure of popuarlity is the amount of after market stuff available for any gun. One good example of a popular gun is the Ruger 10/22. You can get anything for it!
I just got a supplemental catalog from Brownell (probably the largest and oldest still operating gunsmith tools and parts supplier). It was 60 pages, about 8"' x 11", of just 1911 parts and tools. That's got to be the biggest collection of parts and pieces for any gun today! With the centennial coming up in three years, the 1911 has to be the longest surviving gun design ever (??). When its good its good and long lasting as well, I guess. God Bless John Browning!
Last edited by LDBennett; 12-12-2007 at 10:47 AM..
The 40 is perhaps a sharper kick and the 45ACP is a bigger push. The 9mm is much sharper in kick than either of the other two.
How much do you want to spend?????
You can get clones in various states of modification from "as original" to full tricked out match guns for professional competitors. You choose. The prices start at about $400 for the Rock Island version to several thousand for the custom match level guns. The most gun (most tricked out with acceptable accuracy, reliability, and durability...it says here) for the least money is the Taurus 1911. Everyone it seems makes 1911's: Colt (still???), Springfiled Armory, Kimber, Sig, Smith and Wesson, to name a few of the big players.
A decent one goes for between $400 and $1200, depending on the level of trickness. You'll just have to go to a dealer and kick a few "tires", so to speak. Pay attention to the features and the tightness of the frame to slide fit, to the tightness of the barrel to slide fit both front and rear, the pull level and crispness of the trigger pull, and the fit and finish of the gun in general. The bottom liners will be less well finished while the very expensive ones will have great finishing touches and be very tightly fitted.
The extra equipment over and above the original is: beaver tail grip safety, commander style hammer, trigger jobs that give crisp pull action, well fitted barrels (hood at the back and fit of bushing at the front to the slide and barrel), extra big safety (even ambidextrious) and slide release, beveled magazine well, enlarged ejection port, curved or flat back strap (you choose which you like...They can be changed after you purchase the gun easily), polished and widened feed ramp at rear of barrel, and fit of the slide to the frame. Length of the trigger is often different. There can be extra checkering on the frame and/or the slide for ease of handling.
As you can see there are no ten words to describe the differrences in the costs. Its all about features, fit, finish, and accuracy. The more you pay the more you get, but.....the new Taurus 1911 has all the features for about $600. Does it have accuracy, reliability, durability? I don't know but those that report here seem to like it. I tricked out a Rock Island and its fine but I have more in it than I would have in a Taurus but I can't buy a Taurus 1911 in California thanks to the Safety Certification program. And nobody will be able to buy 1911's in CA after the end of about 2008 if the manufacturers don't change the design to include a loaded chamber indicators and a magazine safeties.
Difficult to compare kick/recoil/jump by calibre alone. Impossible, I'd say. Weight is a tremendous factor. My P16-40 is heavy and easy on my hands. My Glock M22 is light and significantly bouncier! My 1911s (with a decent load) are in between. With a one of my target load the 45s are a piece of cake.
Recently added a S&W M22 4" to the stable. It is a 45ACP calibre ... in a revolver. NICE! The new ones headspace on the rim in the cylinder so you do not have to use half or full moon clips ... but you can for speed loading. Am working on loads but first blush indicates chosen load will be somewhat below my (full size) 1911 load.
Weight example - extreme I admit - My Python is nothing with the loads I build for my S&W M36 3"! But, the M36 jumps a bit. My 36 with loads I build for the Python is no fun at all.
"Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns!" But, we are moving that direction.
NRA Benefactor, Vet VN '64-'65
Never sell a gun or a car and you can retire right!!
I have pistols of 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP and what I find is the 9mm pushes less but is a sharper, quicker force. The 45ACP is more of a push and less sharp. The 40S&W is closer to feeling like the 45ACP than the 9mm.
The fiece recoiler, in a semi-auto, is the 10mm. It is a little sharper than the 45ACP but in my Colt Delta Elite it twist the gun in your hands. I have no other pistol/cartridge that does that. Its bad enough that I usually download 10mm to about 45ACP specs, but that is exactly what the 40S&W is (actually a 10mm Short).
Perception of recoil by the shooter is the thing, not measured recoil. I am usually unaffected by recoil up to but not including full load 44Mag. I have a successful silohuette competitor friend (air rifle & pistol and 22) that has won many local matches. Recoil and him absolutely don't get along. He once owned a very nice 1911 but I could see a huge flinch out of him every time he fired it that he could not get over. He finally sold it. I, on the other hand, only notice differences in recoil level on the first couple of shots. After that I don't even realize it is different or large or small or respond to it at all. Obviously my perception is much less than my friends. Which camp are you in? You have to try them all to find out and only after some practice with each level of recoil can you determine for sure if it bothers you.