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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting "into guns" here in my older years (planning to retire in 2009), I sure have a lot to learn. And I appreciate what I've gleaned from various gun sites where I've read and pondered various aspects of gun ownership and enjoyment.

One thing I've been thinking about lately concerns the 1911 design. I've seen numerous enthusiasts here and there say glowing things about these guns. Granted that I don't own one and have never even shot one, but I have held and "hefted" a few of them in gun shops and at shows. When I compare the tactile experiences that I've had with these 1911-design pistols as compared to my new P345, I much prefer the 345. Feel free to help me understand the mystique of 1911. Thanks!

Amistad
'packing and loving my 2007 model!'
 

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It is a preference thing along with Status. The 1911 crowd is like the Glock crowd and probably the Ruger crowd. There is nothing as good a theirs. That being said all three are good and all are different and thats why different people like the different ones. I personally like the Rugers or I wouldn't be here. As far as which one is best, they all do what they were designed to do.
 

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The 1911 is a SA (Single Action) only pistol. It's design provides the ability to be carried cocked, with the safety on, hence, the term "cocked and locked". This makes it the fastest design, from holstered to firing, because it's already cocked.

The draw back is that the safety has to be "flicked" off before it fires. So, using a Ruger decocker, gives it a run for the money, in the fact, that there is no safety to "flick" off.

In addition, every trigger pull is SA, which aids in accuracy.

My 2 cents...
 

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The 1911a1 is kind of like the 57 chey of the gun world---all steel and a classic.

The design has a long history with our military and leo's. They liked it becuse it was tough as nails and carried a superior caliber for stopping power with fmj ammo.
Up until s&w entered the market with their mdl 39/59, i don't think there was much in the way of domestic produced choices for leo. A whole industy in its own came into being with gunsmiths specializing in the 1911 for accuracy and enhancments.

When the military dropped the 1911, that seemed to suddenly open the floodgates to the American public as far as choices and the high cap line of thinkin' as well as the consideration of the 9mm.
A lot of folks and departments figure if it is good enough for our military it is good enough for them.

By today's standards, the 1911 (by some folks) is considered obsolete, under-capacity, heavy, and over-complicated in design.

To others, it represents the best, most accurate, dependable single action platform available to operate with as they will not compromise on a different trigger system such as da/sa, glock safe action, etc.
 

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Amistad, 1911s were one of my specialties when I owned my gunsmith shop. I built several hundred of them and worked on hundreds more. 1911s are by far the favorite gun for competition shooters to include bullseye, tactical, and all other pistol shooting sports.

Since the patent ran out, just about every gun manufacturer (except Ruger) has jumped on the 1911 band wagon. I couldn't begin to list all the companies that have made 1911s. Of course the most desired is still the Colt, but you can find S&W, Tarus, AMT, Wilson, SVI, STI, Les Baer, Chas Daily, Norinco, etc etc.

The most desirable feature of a 1911 is the robust design. No other gun in history has as many aftermarket custom parts available. You can buy long triggers, short triggers, match grade barrels, extended slide locks and safeties, all sorts of grip safeties, hammers, sights, grips, and any other part in the gun. This allows the shooter to configure the gun for the intended application. Weather you choose it for a carry gun or serious competition, there are almost an infinite number of possible configurations.

The 1911 started with the 45 ACP and 38 Super. It was also made in 22 LR, 9mm, 40 S&W, 10mm Auto, 38 Special, 357 Mag, and even a 50 cal. No other pistol in history has been made in as many different calibers with the ability to convert from one caliber to another by swapping a few parts.

In a normal 45 ACP configuration, the 1911 can be "adjusted" for all sorts of different bullet weights and power levels by changing recoil springs. You can shoot "flea fart" loads for bullseye up to serious +P defense loads.

1911's started with a standard 5" barrel, the 4.25" Commander length barrel was added later as was the 3 5/8" Officer ACP barrel. 1911s have also been made in "long slide" versions with barrels as long as 10".

Magazine capacity for a standard 1911 is 7 or 8 rounds however, "wide body" frames are available with up to 12 round capacity. The 9mm and 38 Supers are 10 rounds with up to 18 rounds in a wide body frame.

As for function, when a 1911 is set up properly, the trigger pull is second to none. My 1911s are all set at a very crisp 3.5 lbs (can be as low as 2 lbs). Trigger travel and over travel is adjustable so I have mine set at 1/16" on my target guns and 1/8" on my carry guns. The trigger is "single action" with an identical pull from the first shot to the last. There are a host of different trigger lengths to match hand/finger sizes.

Depending on which barrel and bushing you select, accuracy can be quite outstanding. My Les Baer will shoot sub-inch groups at 50 yards from a bench rest. My Colt Commander will shoot an inch group at 25 yards. As for malfunction, I can't remember the last time one of my 1911s failed to feed or extract. They are very reliable but only if you take time to adjust the extractor and smooth up the breach face.

Ruger makes some decent P-guns and are primarily designed for carry. Accuracy is decent and reliability is quite good. The biggest issue with Rugers is there is hardly any aftermarket support except grips and sights. If you have a polymer frame, you can't even change the grips. Like any DA/SA pistol, Ruger's trigger leaves a lot to be desired. I don't like all the excess travel and I seriously dislike the first shot in DA. You are restricted to one barrel length, one caliber, one configuration. This is OK if the gun fits you and meets the needs for your intended use.
 

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Do I get the impression you kind of like 1911s Iowegan? :D Seriously that was a great post...lots of good information! I can never remember the barrel lengths on the Commander and Officer's models. Guess my Springfield is kind of a hybrid. It has the Officer's model butt with a 4" barrel. Doesn't quite match up with any of the Colt models.
 

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rman, Yes, you might say I like 1911s. I got a safe full of them (mostly Colts). As for barrel lengths, many of the clone companies come up with their own lengths. Colt only made the 5", 4 1/4", and 3 5/8" barrel lengths. Colt also made two different grip lengths ... the standard for Gov Mods and Commanders, and the short grip frame for the Officer ACP.
 

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I have a few 1911's in my collection. I like them a lot. But, heck, I like all kinds of guns. Pitols, rifles & shotguns. They way I use guns, every one has it's own job. So, that's why everybody needs so many firearms. So that you can do different things with them! When you play golf, you don't just have one club in your bag, do you?
 

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quote:Originally posted by kansas45

I have a few 1911's in my collection. I like them a lot. But, heck, I like all kinds of guns. Pitols, rifles & shotguns. They way I use guns, every one has it's own job. So, that's why everybody needs so many firearms. So that you can do different things with them! When you play golf, you don't just have one club in your bag, do you?
Years ago when i had t/c contenders, that was my justification for a lot of barrels/calibers! Be it real or imaginary needs!
 

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Amistad, I dare you to go to the range, rent a 1911 or Combat Commander(all-steel model), put 50 rounds through it, and come back and tell us how you feel...I think that'll answer your question better than all the words in the world...
 

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It's a real OBG...Oldie but Goodie...we mature gentlemen understand the value...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I appreciate all of the responses that have been provided to my query. Iowegan, you rock! (That's a verb, not a noun.) :D

I have a much better understanding of the 1911 architecture now, and if I have an opportunity to rent one to fire a box through, I'll try one out. Thanks again, one and all, for the great value that is found here on this forum. I'm glad that I asked the question.

Amistad
'learning as I go!'
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
quote:Originally posted by sheepdog

It could be a noun[}:)]
Indeed it could, amigo. That's precisely why I was careful to ensure that he knew my meaning. :)

Amistad
'enunciating carefully in Texas'
 

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In my case, I think "rocks" defines where I spend a lot of time (rocking chair). That's what happens when you get to be an old fart.
 

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A G.I. spec Springfield 1911A1 is the first centerfire pistol I ever shot. For me it was the way it fit the hand and the recoil characteristics that won me over. It just feels right, like no other pistol does for me. The slender shape also carries well, and they are just plain great looking as well.

That said they rarely come perfect from the box. They are old-school and need several parts fitted/assembled carefully. The only one I've purchased is a Colt 1991A1 and it needed the extractor properly tensioned and a tighter fitting firing pin retainer installed to stop said extractor from rotating as much to make it 100% reliable. It wasn't very accurate out of the box, either, and I eventually fixed that as well with a fitted match barrel and bushing, a slide-stop with an oversized pin, and a proper length barrel link. The trigger was gritty, sloppy, and stiff...and well, you get the picture. Once I had as I wanted it, it became as perfect as a pistol can be.

There are companies like Kimber that make excellent pistols but at a price, then there are clones like Taurus that work almost as well but for much less money.
 

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Now I got to be an old fart and didn't get my rocking chair issued...but I loved my Mom's old wicker when I was young...gotta go get me one...Amisted, don't take me seriously...I just love to stir up stuff...:D
 
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