Buy, Build or Tinker

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by pilot939, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. pilot939

    pilot939 New Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    Seattle washington
    I just got an unexpected bounus at work and was looking to get a 1911 for IPSC. I am curantly using a Glock 23 and getting out shot every week (does that suprise you?). I would like to hear your input on my choices.

    I have $1200.

    One thought is to purchase a brand new top model 1911 and have very little work left to do.

    Second thought is to buy in the middle of the road new or used and start switching parts out.

    My final idea is to start with a frame and work from there. I have not put a 1911 together before.

    I have always liked to modify and work on my projects so i am leaning towards a $500 gun that I could put sights, a new triger/sear/spring combo, and barrel into. Any suggestions would be great.

  2. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    May 5, 2003
    WOW! [grin]

    Hard to say. I'd lean towards starting with a decent model and start tweaking. You can get a pretty nice 1911 for well under $1000 if you look carefully. Even if you spend the initial $1200 on as nice a gun as you can afford, there's nothing saying you can't start tweaking THAT later on down the road!

    Tough decision! Wish it was mine to make!
  3. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Just wondering, why are you going with the 1911 platform?
  4. pilot939

    pilot939 New Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    Seattle washington
    pickenup, what would be your choice for competition platform?
  5. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    It really depends on which division you want to shoot in. If I were to shoot in “open” division, I would go with an STI or similar. I would not carry an STI with a hollow-sight daily, that is why I don’t shoot with one? I like to shoot in “production” and I use SIG’s. A 220 for major, and 226 when I want to shoot minor. No one that I know, questions the quality of a SIG, they just work, and work, and work. While (some?) 1911’s need to be “tweeked” to get them to run well???

    Quality aside, two of the reasons I went with the SIG over the 1911 was the grip safety and the slide lock. I’m not saying there is anything “wrong” with 1911’s, this is just personal opinion (observation) and it’s worth what you are paying for it.

    Quite a few of the shooters that I know, have either taped the grip safety, or disabled it internally. With the run and gun style of IPSC, shooting from MANY different positions and angles, they would have the grip safety out of position, causing them to re-adjust their grip in the middle of a stage, to make it work. Tic tock, tic tock.

    As for the slide lock, yes I understand you can “get used to it” but in combat conditions (which is what you are really practicing for) I don’t want to have to “get used to” anything. I want to be able to pull it out, and pull the trigger to have it work, nothing more. I have watched many experienced shooters, when the buzzer goes off, there was a “delay” before they started shooting. Upon completion of the stage, I would ask them what took so long to get started? They would tell me that they “forgot” to take the slide lock safety off. Some of these guys have been shooting this same gun for years. The SIG has neither of these drawbacks, which “can” cost time, and potentially your life.

    What division do you shoot in?

    This is a caveat for those that have been so kind as to inform me that “ANY practice of ANY kind” is TOTALLY USELESS. That a newbie to firearms can pick up a handgun, and shoot as well as I can, the first time out. I do remember the lesson. No need to repeat it here.
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    I dunno, P, the "grip safety" argument is kind of weak, I've NEVER heard of the "reposition the grip" problem, and I never had to either, even with mine "disconnected" but swinging free, not pinned. And I'm going to replace it soon, I have never had a problem with one that WORKS either (it was just the rage back then, sounds like it still is?) Maybe the "reposition" issue is just the Glockies trying a REAL gun for the first time???;) :D

    And while I LOVE the SIG, and someday one will probably be the ONLY .45 I own that is NOT a 1911...I'm not sure for "tweaking" (face it, if you shoot and compete with it ENOUGH you ARE going to "tweak it..." if only to try different sights and bells and whistles and styles) you simply cannot beat the 1911 for the selection, and availability of aftermarket parts!

    The .45 I built was DEFINITELY not the gun it was when I had 10000 rds through it, and in the process, it went from a 5" with Bomar adjustibles, to a 6" compensated "pin gun,",then 6" weighted only, NRA Action Pistol with optics, and now BACK to a 5" "carry gun" with fixed combat sights....all on the SAME frame and trigger pull. (OK, in the process I gave it THREE trigger jobs, but the point is GENERALLY the same...;) )....which I think is a pretty good thing for a competitor rather than switching guns....

    I'm not sure you could do that with ONE Sig.....

    And the "slide lock????" I guess I don't know what you mean, you mean the SAFETY? (maybe it's a post series-70 thing?) (Hey, I built it and did most of my shooting in the 80s, give me a break!;) )

    Anyone that has trouble sweeping off the safety on a 1911 during the draw better spend a little more time drawing and dry-firing in the living room while watching "Survivor" or whatever...:cool: :eek: ;)
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2006
  7. hugemidget

    hugemidget New Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Springfield Armory TRP. It will cost you right at 1200.00- mine was 1180.00- but you wont have to do any work to it
  8. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    Kimber Custom Target for around $800 and have money left over for a holster,gunbelt and spare Wilson Combat mags.

    All you need for ISPC. Accurate and reliable.

    Attached Files:

  9. ironsight65

    ironsight65 New Member

    Apr 15, 2003
    CDNN has the Springfield Loaded Trophy Match for
    1089.00. I am thinking about getting one. Seems
    like a lot of features for the price.
  10. Sprinfield makes some good 1911 I really like the GI
  11. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    I'm with Shooter45.....and between us we have about 100+ years' experience with 1911's.

    The Kimber Custom Target will shoot as small groups as you can hold in IPSC.

    "Building your own" is fun.....but by the time you get done, you'll have spent more than the Kimber costs and will probably be no more accurate (in he "real world" of IPSC), than the Custom Target.
  12. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Xracer makes a lot of sense, he says "a lot of fun", when he really means " a lot of work", in building and tuning a pistol, but the bottom line is the same: few of us have the skills, and the tools, to compete with the likes of Kimber, and others, in the practice of building consistantly accurate pistols, and the cost of tooling, alone, would price the result well above the price of a midrange, finished and warranted product, today!
    We're truly 'living in the promised land', today, with 'store bought' high quality pistols more affordable than they have ever been, and of higher quality, as well!
  13. i like the kimber line, a little more expensive but to me they are well worth it.
    super match II
    grand raptor II [​IMG]
    team match II [​IMG]
  14. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Yeah, if I was starting over, I would probably take Shooter or X's advice...I built my 1911 in the early 80s for about $300, BUT I started with some "horsetrading" and started way ahead of the game, it would have cost me BACK THEN between $500-$600 from "scratch"...and if you are doing it for the FIRST time, you also have to figure in a "fudge factor" for all the parts (plus overnight shipping and handling!:p ) you will have to reorder because you buggered up the FIRST one figuring out the "technique...." Safeties, slide locks, bushings are not much, but screw up the BARREL lugs and you are talking $$$$.

    One of the BEST lessons I learned building mine is to go SLOW "removing any metal," in fact use one LESSER grit or harder stone wherever's a HELLUVA lot easier to REMOVE metal than PUT IT BACK!!!:eek: :) And POLISHING does NOT mean grab a FILE....;)

    Of course, back then we had LTTLE choice...everybody basically STARTED with a new or used Colt Series 70 for anywhere from $275 to $400 and "built it to taste from there," or sent it off for tweaking.... In 1985 my "A" Class buddy bought a mint USED Series 70 for $375 (I brokered the deal!), sent it off to Steve Nastoff to turn it into a 6" comp gun, and it cost him an ADDITIONAL $2000 (in 1985 dollars!) and 6 months before he got it BACK...(I helped him out by buying his 5" barrel for $50...:cool: ..and if I remember right, that barrel is the one in mine NOW...:) )

    And I figure even with inflation, I'm LUCKY if my "PolishCustom":p .45 is worth as much as that Kimber, and the Kimber would outshoot it, at least today, although a FAIR test would be 50-100k rounds from NOW....:p

    About the MAIN thing you get with DIY besides the curious warm feeling of satisfaction that it's YOURS, warts and all, is that you more fully understand how the darn thing WORKS and know EVERY screw, bushing, pin, spring, plunger, etc.,...INTIMATELY. It gets easy to troubleshoot when YOU did the hamfisted filing and stoning instead of somebody ELSE....:p

    Plus when you DO decide to try some other style safety, grip safety, spring rate or weight, bushing, or whatever, you can with CONFIDENCE replace it, and TRY it, and go back if you don't like it, for nothing but the price of the part!
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2006
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