Looking for an accurate 1911

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by jkunig, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. jkunig

    jkunig New Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    I'm planning on buying my first 1911 soon. Which stock models are the most accurate? What features should I be looking for? Beauty is secondary. I know that a lot of the accuracy also depends on the guy pulling the trigger. The only pistol I own is a ruger blackhawk 357 revolver 6" barrel stainless. I would say I'm a fair shooter with it. Most of my shooting experience is with garands, springfields and 22's.
    I would appreciate any info and comments.
  2. johnston3407

    johnston3407 New Member

    Colt Gold Cup Nat'l Match!

  3. 722.222

    722.222 New Member

    Jan 11, 2004
    NE Kansas
    CZ's Dan Wessons are a great buy for the buck and shoot tight in my experience.
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Several things make 1911 super accurate.

    Top of the list is good sights. The standard used to be Bomar but good target sights leave just the littlest seapage of light around the square front post in the square notched adjustable rear sight blade. All the new bright sights and wierd ball in a "v" just do not match a good set of match target sights. Optical Red Dot sights are better yet but require a bit of modifcation to the gun to get them to be attached to the frame.

    The slide should be tight to the frame. That is you should not be able to rock the slide on the frame. But you can almost get away with a little looseness here if you install a fitted barrel bushing and a group gripper (spring loaded device that is part of the spring guide that forces the barrel up into the locking lugs of the slide the exact same with every round).

    It certainly doesn't hurt to re-crown the barrel. Done correctly it can make a difference especially if there are any inconsistencies in the existing crown.

    A good trigger job is a must along with a better lighter spring set. The pull level should be no more than 3.5 lbs with no pre-pull (takeup), no creep, no over travel with a clean break. All kinds of drop in parts are available but most need fitting and tweaking to get a best it can be trigger.

    You can pay a lot of money (and will!) for a custom with all these features. If done right they are significantly more accurate than a production gun. The bottom line is you have to pay for accuracy. You can pay a little and add drop-in parts tweaked slightly or pay the man up front for one all done right (assuming the gunsmith knows as much as he says he knows about 1911's and accuracy).

    I did the above to a bottom of the line Rock Island 45 and it shoots as well as some of the custom guns seen in articles in magazines. And it did not cost an arm and a leg but I did the work. I had to redo some of it. It took several range trips to get the bugs out. It was a project as I really did not need another 45 as I have a Sig, a Witness, and a CZ already as well as a real Colt in 10mm (Delta Elite that had the same work done to it---being Colt does not make a 1911 accurate).

    That's my take on 1911 accuracy. There's a lot more you can do to a 1911 for a lot more money but what I mentioned above is a basic accuracy job.

  5. Sandhills Writer

    Sandhills Writer New Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    :) If money is no object, get a Wilson:D
  6. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    +1 on a series 70 Colt Gold Cup. These guns ruled the target ranges in the 1970's and 1980's.
  7. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    I own Kimber and Nighthawk 1911's - both shoot great if I do my part. Nighthawk came with a 1" guarantee, and it lives up to it with decent ammo and if I do my part. (seeing a trend?) The Kimber, a 3" gun, shoots into the bottom of a coke can at 25 yds all day - if I do my part.
  8. jkunig

    jkunig New Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Hmmmmm...... Sound good.......Maybe I should buy all of them.

  9. johnston3407

    johnston3407 New Member

    That's the ticket! If I had all the money you have I'd have at least one of each.
  10. So what caliber are you going to get? :D
  11. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Brownells has a couple of books (a gross understatement!) on the 1911, and derivitives, that you might like to read, before plunking down a lot of cash on a gun!
    A 1911 gets it's accuracy, first, from the quality of the barrel, but that only will be an issue, if the pistol locks up, consistantly, with the slide/ barrel in consistant relationship, as the sights are on the (moving) slide!
    If you can push on the top of the chamber, pistol locked, and feel any movement, at all, it will need work, fairly expensive work, if you cannot do it, yourself.
    At the muzzle, put your finger on the muzzle, and attempt to move it, left-right-up- down; if any motion there, same consequences!
    I've shot a few 1911's, and will say that a crisp, light, trigger does a world of good, for a pistol that is tight, but only makes misses easier, for one that locks up sloppily.
    Conversely, while 'more work' to shoot well, a tight gun, with a heavy trigger, will out shoot the other kind, every time!
    The ramps, on either side of the 'unlocking link', are what, running over the slde stop pin, are supposed to put the barrel into the slide, at the rear; slide fit, to frame, and ramp dimensions, make it so, or don't.
    On the other end, the fit of the barrel, to the bushing, and the bushing, to the slide,are the issues, and, if it moves, fix it.
    Understand, I have worked as a tool and die maker, machinist, mechanic, or gunsmith, most of my adult life; It is no challenge to feel, and note, relative motion, between parts, on the level of .001-.003", with my fingers, and accurately.
    Based on that ability, I have, in the above, given you a thirty second appraisal routine for any 1911 pattern pistol, those that cut the mustard, MAY shoot well, those that don't, certainly will not shoot well!
    JMB's patent drawings, for the 1911, and other designs, interestingly, to me, showed no 'Tolerances', for dimensions. That tells me, he 'worked close'
    The closer a gun comes to these numbers, the more reliable and accurate it will be, iherently, and a good trigger , etc make for 'practical' acuracy, as well!
    My thoughts on the subject.
  12. jkunig

    jkunig New Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Most likely a 45 cal.

    Thanks for all the great info.

    I went out to the range on wednesday evening. Met a guy who had an older
    springfield. He said it was similar to today's loaded model, 5" stainless. He said he had for about 10-12 years. I let him shoot my garand, he let me shoot the 45. GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!. Got 18 out of 21 in the black at 25 yds. That was fun!!

    There are 3 gunshows in the area the next 3 weekends. Looks like I'm going to be busy digesting all the info and asking tons of questions.
  13. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

    Good Luck!

    I think I have about nine of'em now. Not really sure. Gonna have to dig them all out one of these days and count'em.
  14. oldtimer

    oldtimer New Member

    May 3, 2007
    NE US
    Try to find one manufactured by Union Switch and Signal that hasn't been shot 10,000 times. A good one will cost but they are easy to tun up. A 1911 A1 45 is like a 57 chevy...lots of things you can do to it.
  15. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Jkunig, do yourself a favor. and research what it is you want, chapter and verse, and recent pricing, before you go 'shopping'
    I'm told that the worst time to shop for groceries, is when you are hungry; this I believe.
    The worst time to shop for a car, when you (desperately) need one. Also agree.
    The worst time to shop for a gun, daytime, because the banks are open, and the ATM's relatively safe.
    Trying to put myself in your moccasins, I would advise, always take too much cash, and take it in Hundred Dollar bills; this seems to ease the negotiating, a lot! But, five of them, close to 'pack up and leave' time, at a slow show, laid on the table, will buy a lot of $625 priced guns, as the dealer/owner must cover his expenses, too!
    I am not 'looking' for anything; I have too many guns, too few safes, already; still, I walk the gunshows, and peruse the internet auctions, for a 'too cheap' gun; I ask lots of questions, and make a few offers, if we are anywhere close, on condition vs price; still, there are bargains out there!
    I bought a Swenson Accurised (Armand Swenson, 'Swenson's .45 Shop'), Seecamp Double Action Conversion, FN Hi-Power, in 9mm, at a local gun show, a couple of years ago. Armand was a contemporary, of mine, and a friend, a good one, as well; Louis Seecamp needs no introduction, for his engineering! Bought the pistol, from the son of the late Tom Feruson, a local gunwriter, for what I would have given, or less, for an un-molested FN.
    Bought a 'Swenson' Bullseye gun, apparently unfired, from a retired cop, off the net, via a question from a friend, who questioned it's authenticity, and waffled, even after my assurance it was 'right', and told me if I wanted it, 'go for it'; I did. Swenson, for those who do not know his work, did, for the most part, very accurate, and, in his day, very compact, accurate, and totally reliable 'combat pistols'; his target pistols were less than 50, total!
    To the point, in both cases, I gave the seller exactly what he asked, after questioning if the price was indeed, correct.
    Again, to the point; I recognised the FN, by the barrel bushing, work I have seen before, at Armand's shop, where I worked, for a while; the Seecamp touch, I had never seen, but knew, existed! Subject knowledge is a plus; I bought this pistol at about 10% of what it would bring, at auction, assuming knowledgeable bidders.
    The Bullseye gun, I paid almost 20% of what I am told it is worth, but this was a 'nostalgia thing', for me, at the time; I may well have torn down that pistol, cleaned and stripped the parts, before the work was done, and the gun refinished; it was done in 1972.
    Point I am trying to make, is know the market, for the gun you are looking for, and absolutely intimately!
    Knowledge is power, and knowing what you are looking at, when the owner himself does not, approaches the ultimate power!
    Before you go 'cruising' the local gun shows, you should be conversant with market values, within ten dollars, of every gun you desire, and the oddities,etc, that affect the price. Finally, buy when the price is right, not when your libido is energised; you'll do much beter, this way!
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