Want a 1911 I think.

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by MichSteve, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. MichSteve

    MichSteve New Member

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    Hi to all I am new to this forum, I wanted to get some information on 1911's to help with purchase and deciding if it is for me.

    I have shot a couple of Kimbers and the thing I notice when I pick up a 1911 most of the time I fail to engage the grip safety. My question is this just a training issue or do some people just don't fit the platform?

    I like to buy quality, that being said I know a lot of a buying decision is personal preference. Price I would like to stay under $1,000. Kimbers have had a lot of issues on other places I have read, my thoughts are to go with a Colt in a 4" barrel.

    I would use for a range gun and some CCW, accuracy and reliability would be important.

    I reload so I am sure I will for the 45acp, and I do shoot once per month or more so a gun that will last a lifetime is important.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    howdy steve. welcome and God bless you! i've owned several 1911's. i dont own one currently though but i can offer you a few suggestions.

    first the safety thing is just a training curve. it will come natural to you after a while. most avid 1911'ers keep their thumb on top of the safety all the time. they only flip it off when needed however. it's easy to master.

    also. if you plan to carry the 1911 i suggest do not get an ambi safety. unless you're left handed of course. the reason is that when you're carrying the gun, maybe getting in the car or whatever, the off side safety is way too easy to flip off. most others dont suggest this but i do because i see a legitimate safety issue. perhaps it doesnt happen all that often, but when i get in a car i wallow around like a pig in a mud hole.

    as for which gun my suggestions would either be a colt or a springfield armory. barrel length is your choice, the commander size is a fine gun. i carried one iwb for a while before i got hard up and sold it.

    i know some, many actually, will suggest a ria or other brands. but take it from me first. you will not stay satisfied with it when you get deeper into guns/1911's. they are entry level. taurus is hit or miss on quality. with a cold or springfield you're going to have a solid gun that will hold its value and continue to be good shooter for many many years. you wont have to replace the guts in 4 years either.

    i suggest specifically a springfield armory milspec 5" the 5" will conceal good with an iwb holster. the longer barrel length will also keep the barrel from pinching your butt when you lean against the kitchen counter too

    let us know what you decide though and get some pics for us when you get it. we love pics and range reports round here. have fun and be safe.

    ~john
  3. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Welcome to TFF. I have personally never failed to activate the grip safety on any 1911, but I think it has to do with the high grip I use. Try it and see if that cures the problem for you.

    As far as the Kimber problems, I have heard them also but have never had any of them. I own a Custom Target with well over 300,000 rounds and have never had a problem with it or any of my other Kimbers. Any Kimber will do well with the uses you describe.

    My everyday carry 1911 is a Colt Combat Commander so I also like Colt.


    The best bang for the buck on todays 1911 market is the STI Spartan. You may want to check them out also.

    http://www.stiguns.com/guns/Spartan/Spartan.php




    Good luck in your search and be sure to let us know what you decide. :)
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    John, he said the GRIP SAFETY, not the thumb safety. Now me, I'm with Shooter. I've never failed to activate the grip safety. Can't really see how you can. I do know, however, that that used to be a big worry for folks. They were taping it off or tying it off, and there's even a fix where you drill a hole in each side of the frame and run a pin through it, so the pin has it off. All totally unnecessary, to my mind.

    I've got one Kimber, two Springfields and several Colts. My Kimber is the most accurate, but I like one of my Springfields the most. I've never had a problem with any of my 1911s. Keep hearing about people with problems, but ain't never had any myownself.
  5. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    Well first of all, the 1911 is a great platform, but like any gun, it may not be for everybody.

    If you want something that has generally good reliability, accuracy, while still being able to carry, go for something 4" to 4 1/2". There are a variety of options. I know Springfield Armory makes a 4" 1911 called the Champion. I thought Kimber offered a 4" model as well. And I know Colt has the Commander which is a 4 1/2".

    I'd say that size will have the best compromise of accuracy and reliability while being easy to carry.

    The smaller 1911s aren't as reliable or as accurate as the larger ones. But they are easier to conceal.

    The one thing you definitely want if you are planning to reload is the lowered & flared ejection port. Without it, your spent casings get dinged up and smashed.

    Try out a Rock Island Armory or a Citadel also, if you are looking for something a little less expensive and don't mind if it isn't name brand. I owned a RIA and I can say they are a good gun. Maybe not as well built as Colt or Springfield, but they are reliable.

    Springfield is a good gun. They have a very reputable customer service, although I don't think you'll ever need it.

    In you position, I would go for the Loaded Champion model. I'm sure you can find one in your price range.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  6. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Active Member Supporting Member

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  7. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/tech/reliability_secrets.htm

    I'd also think a longer barreled 1911 would be more reliable because with a smaller gun, you have to make the ramp steeper, make the barrel conical so that everything clears when the gun cycles.
  8. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Active Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I really dont need to read the given above link to know that 1911's, long and short, are reliable. As often as you like to post how reliable they are, I was just taken aback that you may not think that now. I have always felt that I could trust my life on my 1911's no matter how long or short the barrel. Thats the long and short of it.;)
  9. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

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    Don't rule out Sig Sauer. They will cost you about $1k but they are really nice shooters. Down side with them is the slide is patterned off of their P series and will not fit a regular 1911 holster. I have a 2 toned GSR TTT model and it is my favorite 1911 style pistol.

    I also love my Colt XSE Commander. Cost for the stainless model is probably around $850. The 4 /14" barrel is nice for concealed carry but the grip is full sized so you have 8 + 1 capacity.

    The one I have found myself carrying the most is my Citadel Compact Tactical model. Cost will be about 5 c-notes. It has a 3 1/2" barrel and is a 7 + 1 capacity weapon. I carry a couple of 8 round mags with it.

    As far as reliability there has not been any problem from any of the pistols I listed here. The 3 1/2" barrel has been as reliable as my 5" barreled 1911.

    The one I have my eye on now is the Kimber Super Carry models. The main spring housing is rounded off to reduce printing. I think they are better looking than a bob tail.

    Good luck on whatever you choose. 1911 models are great.
  10. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I have a 3 inch Kimber, a 3 1/2 inch Citadel, two 5 inch RIA's (one being 9mm), and a 5 inch Taurus. They were all well under $1K (except the Kimber) and all are completely reliable. I might not shoot the shorter two as well as the Taurus but are are accurate enough for me to hit what I am aiming at.

    I have never owned a Springfield 1911 but I wouldn't hesitate in buying one of them. I also really like the looks of the Sig GSR.
  11. pickenup

    pickenup New Member

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    Welcome to The Firearms Forum.

    Lot of considerations for a carry gun. Quality, dependability, accuracy, # of rounds, do the ergonomics fit you, placement of mag release, etc.

    I thought I would try out the 1911 in matches for a year. Had the same concern over the grip safety, as sometimes I have a fairly light grip. Like Alpo, I saw a few people taping them off etc. but decided to try it without any modifications. Never had any problem with the grip safety, or the firearm. Did fairly well with it too.

    Decided to go back to the HK because it "fits" me better, the mag release position, and higher round count.

    Still carry a SIG 220 sometimes.

    I am looking to tryout a Springfield, now that they have the "M" model in .45. ;)
  12. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i see that alpo. somehow i missed that detail. i dont see how a person could not actuate the safety when gripping the gun.
  13. Road America

    Road America Member

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    I think if you grip a 1911 as though you were really going to shoot it, the grip safety would engage without you even realizing it. The trouble I always had was getting the part of my hand between the thumb and first finger getting pinched by the hammer. I replaced the grip safety with the extended type, and also put the earlier type mainspring housing and trigger on mine.
    Jim S.
  14. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    i think it's pretty hard to grip a 1911 and not disengage the grip safety.
  15. wyoredot

    wyoredot New Member

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    Agreed, I was always taught to grip any pistol like you mean it. Grip safety or not.
  16. Teejay9

    Teejay9 New Member

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    I'm having trouble with this statement, John. Are you saying that's where you put your thumb, on TOP of the safety while firing? :eek::eek: I do believe you would injure yourself if that's what you mean. When shooting a 1911, I always grip the gun naturally, BELOW the safety.
    Also, I don't know why some people experience "hammer bite." I've never had hammer bite. Are their hands so fleshy that they puff over the spur on the grip safety? Please elaborate. TJ
  17. fleetwood_captain

    fleetwood_captain New Member

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    Can't say I've ever had a problem activating a beavertail safety on a 1911. Unless of course I was making the mistake of trying to decock it one-handed. :p

    The 1911 is a great platform, but remember that a "mil-spec" 1911 it is a hundred years old and is designed to be used in a specific way.

    First, it has a fixed extractor and should only loaded from the magazine. Racking the slide and inserting a round directly into the chamber will force the extractor to contort and bend around the round casing rather than slide in seamlessly between the shell and the recessed extracting rim. This will cause the weapon to wear out prematurely.

    Second, it is a traditional single-action without a firing pin safety. This means it should be not be decocked as if it were a modern Sig 220 or a double-action revolver. The 1911 was designed with a trigger/hammer block so it can be carried "cocked and locked" safely so that its "ready to rock" when needed. Lowering the hammer gently on a live round will prevent the trigger from firing a round when squeezed, but the gun could theoretically generate enough firing pin inertia to fire the round should the hammer be struck with significant force (like if the gun is dropped).

    Double-action pistols and double-action revolvers have safety mechanisms built in to prevent the gun from firing with the hammer lowered on a live round unless the trigger is completely depressed. The 1911 has no such features, as John Moses Browning designed it to be carried either unloaded or cocked and locked. Although the colt series-80 firing system does include a firing-pin safety that prevents the firing pin from striking the round unless the trigger is pulled, these are uncommon and are generally shunned by 1911 aficionados as the series-80 system is said to detract from the performance of the crisp traditional trigger group.

    If you want an old-fashioned "man's gun", then a 1911 is a very good way to go. Colt is the original US manufacturer, and is generally considered to be "the real thing". Most would say Kimber is the next best, if not better, American Equivelent.

    Systema, Springfield, and Taurus make nice South American clones. Asian clones like Armscor and Rock Island Arms are considered fine by some. Canada’s Para-Ordinance clone is considered either brilliant or terrible depending who you ask. And when money is no object, firms like Les Baer and Wilson make guns that shoot better than most people can aim.

    Considering you have the money to spend on a Quality 1911, I'd point you toward a Colt as they generally have the best resale values.
  18. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Teejay, I know people that advocate just what John said. 'Course, I also know people that advocate resting the thumb on the recoil shield when firing a double action revolver. But hey, whatever works for them. Like you, I keep my thumb down.

    As for hammer bite, I guess it might be "fleshy hands". My Systema bit me, until I took a file to the back of the hammer spur. But my Gold Cup and my 1918 re-issue, both of which also have traditional "non-beavertail" safeties, don't bite. My Hi-Power bites me. Hell, my wife used to be bit my my 1903 Pocket 32. Concealed hammer, but it still bit her. Best I could figger out, she would hold the gun a little high, so that the fleshy part of the web actually would go into the space between the grip safety and the frame, at the top. Then after firing she'd relax her hand and the safety would spring back and pinch her.
  19. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    Since the thread has already drifted a bit...I was fairly recently taught a new grip for me by my LEO CCW instructor and I love it. Left (weak) hand thumb straight up resting lightly against slide, right thumb over first knuckle of left thumb. This grip gives you a higher center of gravity and with a little practice a much better feel. Before you say that there is a risk of causing malfunctions by impeding the slide, I challenge you to press as hard as you can with thumb against slide and TRY to make it malfunction..it ain't happening.
  20. dragman

    dragman New Member

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    I have a few 1911's and I like them all for different reasons. look at all your needs and work from there. I only have a few suggestions for you: if you want resale value buy a colt!!! best priced 5" colt IMO is the Combat Elite two tone at $959 Best 4" would be an of the commanders and a 3" would be a defender or New Agent. All those guns are just under $1000 and will always be worth close to it.
    If you want the best quality "cheaper" 1911 I would and have bought RIA's I have one that has a trigger just as nice as any of my colts or kimbers.

    Just my .02
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