Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?

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Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by JRG » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:57 pm

I currently EDC with 9mm and .45 Shields and Mod 2 Subcompacts, not all at the same time, one at a time in rotation. I have been toying with the idea of getting a 1911. Some of you guys have many, and some of you EDC with them.

Why do I need/want one? Why do you have one or more?

If I do decide to go ahead and get my first one, which would be a nice first 1911?

Okay, open fire..............


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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by flechero » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:13 pm

Books have been written to adequately cover that question... :lol:

I love my 1911's and do carry them often. Although I don't carry a full size. I like them for a variety of reasons- ergos, trigger, thinness, aesthetics, design, "custimizability." (yes, I kind of made that last one up) I carry them because I shoot them better than any other handgun and they carry easily being a thin single stack.

As for recommendations, there are a bunch to choose from so you'll probably have to make a list of what features you want/like and then start model searching. Start with size and frame material (do you want LW or steel?) and then get into all the specifics from triggers and sights, to beavertails, round butts, etc.

There are lots of great options out there.

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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by 03Lightningrocks » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:59 pm

My 1911's are my favorite of all my weapons. Rifles included. There is just something about the smooth operation of this platform that is hard to describe. It is almost as if it is made for human hands. I am getting goose bumps just thinking about it right now. I am at my best accuracy when shooting the 1911. The strange thing is that they feel as if they have very little recoil which makes shooting hundreds of rounds a pleasurable experience. Now to be fair, it is the only platform I have ever fired the 45 ACP from, other than my auto ordinance Thompson rifle, so it is possible the 45 ACP is just inherently a pleasure to shoot.

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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by Frankie » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:11 pm

Reason, it’s a 1911

Which one, any!

Only a noob has just one 1911 :smilelol5:
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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by jb2012 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:03 pm

1911’s are hands down my absolute favorite handguns. To start off the ergonomics are perfect for me. When I hold my fist in front of my body, my hand is at the perfect angle for a 1911. It allows for the bore to naturally sit level. There are models made out of several different types of metal, but so far I still prefer steel, be it stainless or carbon. An all steel frame really absorbs recoil, and if you are used to the recoil of the shield .45, the recoil in a 1911 will feel drastically less. Being that it is a single stack, it has a thin profile making it easier to carry and even conceal. Many complain about the reliability of a 1911 but typically if it’s a reputable brand, quality magazines, and is taken care of they can be 100% reliable. MP5’s are touted as one of the best sub guns ever made, but do require special care. Quality 1911’s are inherently more accurate than most other handguns. This can be attributed to the design of the firing mechanism (hands down best triggers), and the way that the barrel locks into the slide. Yes glocks lock into the slide in a similar way, however 1911’s are unique to each gun. 1911’s typically have much less barrel slop due to the barrel bushing and locking lugs. Barrels are individually fit to each gun and typically cannot be switched from gun to gun. This handgun was the standard sidearm for the US for 75 years and is still used today by some of our special forces operators. It has seen successful use in theaters of war from the first world war to current times. Disassembly and reassembly can appear difficult at first, but after you do it a few times it is nothing to fear. I can easily field strip and reassemble blindfolded, and I have done it to prove a point to my gf :biggrinjester: . Complete disassembly is really only needed after several several hundred rounds. I try to deep clean every 500 rounds and that may even be overkill.

As for which one you want that is completely personal, and I would suggest you try a few different variations to get a feel for what you like. Original design is a 5” barrel chambered in .45 acp, with a “government” size grip (full size).

As for variations there are:

Series 70 vs Series 80- Series 70 is the original design and what is typically preferred. The series 80 has a firing pin safety that can make the trigger a bit more gritty, but are really nothing to worry about. Sigs are all series 80 and my scorpion has a great trigger. The series 80 was developed to prevent the firearm from going off when dropped due to inertia transferred to the firing pin. However a titanium firing pin solves this problem, because it does not have enough mass to overcome the firing pin spring.

Barrel Length- 5” (standard government), 4.25” (Commander), and there are several variations in the 3 inch range but typically this is where you can run into reliability issues not attributed to brand or care. For a first 1911 I would suggest a full size 5 inch.

Grip Length- There are government (8 round) and officers size (7 round) grip length, and obviously other custom sizes.
The grip length and barrel length can come in many different combinations.

There are standard and extended beavertails, which is more personal than anything. The extended beavertail will allow you to get a higher “purchase” on the gun without the slide contacting your hand i.e. slide bite.

There are models with and without rails which will allow you to attach lasers, flashlights, and other accessories which once again is completely personal.

As for material, as stated earlier I prefer steel, but there are aluminum and alloy frames that reduce weight, but can increase felt recoil.

As far as brand, once again you will have to make that decision for yourself. I personally have not had good experience with armscor/rock island/citadel. Others have had great results and I truly believe they have a good weapon, mine just never really ran right. I think that Sig Sauer, Springfield (As much as I don’t agree with the company), and Ruger make the best production 1911’s for the money. As far as custom and handmade guns go I like Nighthawk, Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, Les Baer, and Dan Wesson. I’ve never owned one of the above hand fit but I have shot and handled most of them.

For magazines I would stick with Chip McCormick and Wilson Combat.

A bit long winded, but I get excited about 1911’s haha
03Lightningrocks wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:59 pm
My 1911's are my favorite of all my weapons. Rifles included. There is just something about the smooth operation of this platform that is hard to describe. It is almost as if it is made for human hands.

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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by AndyC » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:34 pm

JRG wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:57 pm
If I do decide to go ahead and get my first one, which would be a nice first 1911?
An upgraded Colt (decent sights, beavertail, etc) or a Springfield Loaded.
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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by Texas_Blaze » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:51 pm

Because you aren’t serious about guns unless you own the iconic govment model 1911. It’s a beautiful firearm. A mechanical masterpiece.
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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by MP(Ret)95B » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:12 pm

Carried one for 20 years in the US Army as a Military Policeman (just before they brought in the....ugh.....Beretta.....I retired.
Qualified Expert with one every year. Always felt very secure that I had one on my side. Big hunk of steel.
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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by C-dub » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:31 pm

There is no need, only want. In general, you gotta WANT one because you want one. It's as simple as that. Which one depends on your budget.

I didn't want one for a long time and still only have one. Well, kinda two, but one is a 1911-22 made by Walther and imported by Uramex for Colt. It has Colt's name on it and without looking in the barrel could be mistaken for a 9mm or .45. It is very close to the same size as my Colt Gold Cup Trophy. Not as heavy, but dimension wise very close.

Do you want stainless, blued, or black? 9mm or .45ACP? A new one can be found anywhere from $500 or $700 all the way up to thousands. I originally wanted a WWII era model to add to my small collection of WWII era rifles, but those 1911's typically go for $3k and up. I ended up getting that Colt and have been very pleased with my decision. I even carry it now and then in my shoulder rig, which I use mostly underneath a jacket when I ride my motorcycle.
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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by BSHII » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:39 am

I carry a full-size Government 1911 most of the time. When I need to carry something smaller or lighter for whatever reason, I carry a Shield 9mm, though I am strongly considering picking up a lightweight Commander or "CCO" 1911 like a Dan Wesson Valkyrie to fill that role.

Here's why I carry a 1911:

1. Without starting a caliber war by going into the reasons, I far prefer .45 to any other common caliber for any defensive use.
2. I shoot it far better and more confidently than any other .45 handgun (or really anything but a .22). That includes my much-loved Glock 21 I've owned for 20 years. There are some objective and some subjective reasons: objectively the trigger is lighter, the sight radius is longer, the weight absorbs recoil a little better. Subjectively, the grip is smaller and at a more natural angle for me and there seems to be a certain balance to it lacking in the Glock.
3. It is more concealable than any other .45 handgun I've encountered. With a proper holster, I can appendix-carry it under even a t-shirt all day with confidence.
4. Spare magazines are thin and easy to carry.
5. As I mentioned above, I frequently appendix carry. While the theoretical risk of a negligent discharge down there has never bothered me, the manual safety and external hammer give some added safety when reholstering.
6. High-quality, well-maintained 1911s are very reliable. (Note the qualifiers.)
7. There's always the conceit of carrying a proper gentleman's sidearm.

Some downsides:

1. It's very heavy. A 1911 Government empty weighs more than a big honkin' Glock 21 fully loaded with 13+1 rounds. You'd better invest in a good holster and a better belt.
2. Low capacity: 7+1, or 8+1 (though 8 round mags can print a little more when concealed). There are experts who can give some pretty good reasons why you should carry something with more like 15-rounds. Yes, you can carry a spare mag, and I do, but making a combat mag change could be a dicey proposition.
3. Manual and grip safety. If you aren't used to them, you'd better get used to them before carrying a 1911.
4. Disassembling and cleaning 1911s is more of a pain than your typical poly-striker pistol.
5. Quality and reliability vary. While high-quality 1911s are reliable, cheap 1911s often are not. If you want to buy a reliable pistol for $500, you should probably get a Glock, not a 1911.
6. Even decent-quality 1911s can be persnickity with feeding hollow-points. As has often been said, that feed ramp was designed for hardball. That said, I've had some nasty failures to feed 147-grain HSTs in my Shield, so this isn't unique to 1911s.

I have less experience with the variety of 1911s out there than I'm sure many others on this forum have, but I'd say stick with a reputable manufacturer. Certainly don't get a Filipino-, Turkish-, or Brazilian-made 1911 if you are planning to carry it for self-defense, because I just don't think you can trust the reliability. Can't go wrong with a Colt. The cheapest ones I would go for would be the Kimber Custom II or TLE, the Ruger, or the SW E-series. I've heard good things about the general quality of Sig 1911s, but not so great things about the triggers. I personally wouldn't go for the Springfield Mil-Spec or Loaded, but TRPs are supposed to be great. If you want to splurge in the mid-$1,000s range, Dan Wesson/CZ seems to make the best 1911s you can buy outside the "semi-customs" like Wilson Combats or Ed Browns.

One other note: While a Commander or CCO might be good for carry, stay away from 3" barrel Officer models (or "Ultra" in Kimber-speak). They have a long, widely-reported track record of poor reliability.

Just my 2 cents and change.

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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by Flightmare » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:52 am

When I went thru the citizen's police academy in my town, one of the officers mentioned he was a Glock and 1911 armorer. Care to guess what he carries for his service weapon?
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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by AdioSS » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:01 am

On the other hand, you could walk into a gun store, tell them that you are kinda looking for a 1911, & the owner could pull out one he just took in on trade that he offers you a nice deal on. Happened to me last year. I took home a nice RIA for a nice price.

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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by LDB415 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:47 am

Why? What else is there that's well over 100 years old and yet very minimally changed since invented and still better than most other options?

Which one? Whichever one in .38 Super piques your interest.
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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by crazy2medic » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:02 pm

I have both a Paraordnance P14 and P12, the P14 is carried when I'm working (security) and the P12 is my EDC, carrying at work I have the 15rds in the gun and two spare mags 14rds each, the P12 is carried 12+1 and a 14rd mag as my reload, I grew up shooting my father's colt series 80, so choosing anything but a 1911 was out of the question, I have shot Berettas in 9 and 40, they're ok but don't suit me, I have shot glocks and just don't like them! I have had my p14 since 94, bought my p12 two years ago from a buddy of mine for $450, I think I have all the 1911's I'll ever need.
My son carries a P14 since he grew up shooting mine and he's trying to find a P12
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Re: Reasons to get a 1911 and which one?


Post by Soccerdad1995 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:49 pm

Everyone should have at least one 1911. There is just something about the platform that screams "perfection" to me. Also, don't believe the nay sayers. My 1911's have been every bit as reliable as any of my other guns, including my Glocks. And that's with a decent sample size of over 10 guns each that I have owned. 1911's are thinner than they should be, and very easy to conceal. They are also more accurate than any other gun I own.

As for which one, I'll tell you what works for me. I own alot of guns and am constantly buying a hyped up gun to compete for the position of my new EDC. But nothing I have found can beat the Dan Wesson CCO, so that is what I have on my hip most all of the time. The size is perfect for concealing, and the weight is good for me. Not so heavy that it hurts my back, and not so light that it is a problem to shoot. I can wear it in an OWB holster with just an untucked T-shirt and have no concern about concealment.

For your first 1911, it also really depends on budget. Although personally, I don't know that there is any reason to spend more than what a Dan Wesson costs (around $1,300 new). I own 1911's that cost more than that, including Nighthawks, Les Baer, etc., and I prefer the DW. STI is also a great choice. The STI Staccato - C is the latest contender to compete for the coveted EDC role, but that testing is not yet done. I need to get some more free time to get to the range first.
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