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1911's The Good, Bad & Ugly...

This is a discussion on 1911's The Good, Bad & Ugly... within the Gun Stories forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I'm sure that I'm not the only forum member that is considering buying a 1911 this year. So lets hear the good, the bad and ...


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Old March 22nd, 2013, 07:04 PM   #1
 
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1911's The Good, Bad & Ugly...

I'm sure that I'm not the only forum member that is considering buying a 1911 this year. So lets hear the good, the bad and the ugly about the 1911's that you've owned. Educate us non-1911 owners before we make our decisions on which 1911 to buy or whether to buy one at all.



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Old March 22nd, 2013, 07:42 PM   #2
 
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Nostalgia, beauty, feel, fit, function, trigger, std caliber, pride...most of them

Picky, heavy, work, standard, maintenance, high $...some of them

Me, I love them but be prepared to diagnose a problem if you need to.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 07:47 PM   #3
 
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1911's The Good, Bad & Ugly...

Ok, I'll start. 1st shoot someone's first to make sure the form factor fits you.

Low end 1911's are fine for most things, but trigger pull, accuracy, fit and finish (accuracy plays a roll here- the barrel has a bushing around it at the muzzle and it should have very little play... Also, the fit of the barrel into the slide affects accuracy). Most low end 1911's are as or more accurate (to me- form factor fits me) than any striker fired pistol.

A short list of what I consider low end:

RIA, ATI, Taurus, Armscor, Remington (there are more, these just come to mind)

Medium 1911's

What you get: better trigger, better form/ fit/ function. Feature that you may find to your liking like sights, beaver tails, etc. They are likely to have a ramped barrel/ receiver which will more reliably shoot more types of ammo.

A short list of what I consider medium 1911's:

Ruger, STI Trojan, Para, S&W, new production Kimbers, Springfield.

High End 1911's

What you get: hand fit parts on everything. The best triggers. The best finishes. Actual forged metal parts inside (not Metal Injected Moulding). You will find some of the best options for your preferences- stipling, decorative engraving, etc.

A short list of high end 1911's

Wilson, some Colts, Ed brown, Les Baer, Nighthawk, many more.


One of the reasons 1911's have such variations in price is that they are not a plug and play pistol. You can rarely just buy a part and drop it in. It requires finesse and skill to fit and tune each part. That may sound bad, but it isn't... A well tuned, well fitted 1911 is a work of art, and will out shoot any pistol in its class. They are Ferarris, not F-150 s. they require more work to build and sometimes to maintain, but you get out of them what you put into them.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 08:15 PM   #4
 
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I wasn't sure about getting a 1911, but shot a friends and really liked it. I bought it in December when supplies were already tight. Had I been able to get a Springfield, that is what I would have gone with (Ruger SR1911 is not CA approved).

I ended up with the Rock Island Tactical FS. Since purchasing it I have replaced the grips, main spring housing, firing pin, recoil spring, and a few other small pins and springs. I also picked up 4 CMC magazines.

The good: It shot very accurate and reliably right out of the box. Easily as accurate on round one as I am after 500+ rounds through my P95. They are very configurable. I did not replace all those parts on a whim, I did it after putting 500-600 rounds through. Everything I put in was either Ed Brown or Wilson Combat - in other words higher quality parts than came stock in the RIA. I kept the RIA parts as backup - that was my intent, to have backup parts so I decided to use the better parts.

Some of the things I was drawn to include the reliability, the reputation, the ability to carry cocked and locked, and the interchangeable parts.

The bad: It disassembles and assembles in a unique way. If you don't get the wrench thing to rotate the bushing you may end up chasing your recoil spring plug a few times. Also, from experience, do not do anything to cause the sear spring to get out of place.

45 ACP is more expensive than 9mm. It's a bigger gun then my P95. The recoil is about the same as my much smaller Glock 36 45 ACP. In other words not much bad about them.

The ugly: Like many things in life, it is difficult for many people (such as myself) to buy one, leave it unchanged, and stick with just one. I am already plotting my next 1911 purchase/build.

I will end with this. My friend has a 20+ year Kimber that he loves and claims to have had zero misfeeds or jams. We just shot our guns side by side earlier today. His comment (not mine) is that in terms of shootability, the Rock gave nothing up to the Kimber. The Kimber was a little prettier, even after i put my new VZ grips on. My friend is 62, has been shooting all his life, and has forgot more about guns that I will ever know, so his comments carry some weight with me.

This is the same gun with 2 different sets of grips.


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Old March 23rd, 2013, 04:30 AM   #5
 
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I'm reading these responses with great interest and hope more people will provide their experienced opinions so I can keep reading more Personally, I just bought my first 1911 (Remington R1 Enhanced).

Keep in mind my opinion is pretty horrible at this point (lack of experience), but I don't think I'd lump Remington in with the "low end" 1911s, at least not the Enhanced version. Unless of course that is meant to refer to just the price.

I happened to have it in the office yesterday when a client of mine stopped by. This guy has forgot more about firearms than I'll ever know (he has and has had many 1911s, including some of the "high end" ones listed above). I let him handle my Remington and he said he was actually surprised and said the fit, finish, feel and trigger was on par with his numerous Kimbers). He didn't shoot it (although that would be cool to have a range in my office ). Just sharing his thoughts. Again, mine is the Enhanced one, not the standard R1.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 04:48 AM   #6
 
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The good is they are addictive.
The bad is they are addictive.
The ugly is they are very addictive.

I carried 1911s during my twenty-two years in the military.


My first 1911 - a Dan Wesson Valor with Sarge's Grips.




My second 1911 - An S&W Lew Horton Special with Sarge's Grips.




My third 1911 - A Kimber Super Carry Custom with Sarge's grips.




My fourth 1911 - A Kimber Stainless Target II 10mm with Sarge's grips.




My fifth 1911 - A Colt Series 70 1911 Wiley Clapp Talo edition.


Last edited by LimaCharlie; March 23rd, 2013 at 04:56 AM. Reason: Add pictures
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 06:04 AM   #7
 
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LimaCharlie, that's an impressive collection. I like the last one (Wiley Clapp) the best, though.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 06:23 AM   #8
 
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Coming from the cheap seats, we have a Rock Island 1911 Compact(officers) 3.5 barrel Tactical model. The silde feels like it's on bearings, it's smooth to shoot and compared to our SR40 and P345 it is the most accurate auto loader we have. We've ran Win. whitebox, Remington Sabre Win Ranger and thousands of my reloads and it is nothing but fun to operate.
If on a budget I wouldn't hestate to recommend the Rock Island. Many pd and sheriffs that can carry their own choice recommend them around these parts.
If it's a 1911 what's not to like!? RIA has a wide range of 1911 models and calibers
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 06:49 AM   #9
 
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I have posted my 1911 'family on a recent thread. I have representatives f both ends and the middle of the spectrum as far as cost/quality goes.

I would suggest renting one to test it out for fit and shooting experience, then maybe buy a cheap Turkish or used US made gun. Get to know it ...then consider trading up to a higher quality gun.

Warning- It is easy to get the habit of collecting the 1911 ! I now ha eleven and am having a hard time shedding any of them.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 07:10 AM   #10
 
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My 1911s:
Colt 1991A1 Commander (1993 purchase)
Colt 1991 Gov't (2011)
Colt 1991 Gov't in 38 super (2012)

Good news: Even the 1991A1 has fed hollowpoints without a problem, all shoot where they are aimed. The only mods are Colt rubber grips and a Wilson FLGR ON 2 of them.
(Both personal preference)

Bad news: 1911s are addictive. They do require a little more attention than a Glock or M&P but not as bad as the Glock fanboys say.

Advice: Get a NEW gun; like a mil spec or Colt 1991. Start with a known quantity, no bubba gunsmithing. Shoot it a bunch, then decide on modifications.
GO TO: 1911forum.com there's a sticky on 10 things for the 1st time 1911 buyer.

I like 1911s enough that: Because I can only buy 1 gun this year, I am considering cancelling the .41 mag on layaway and putting it toward a stainless 1991.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 09:14 AM   #11
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The Good: they are a proven firearm and can get the job done.

The Bad: they are heavy to carry all day.

The Ugly: no they aren't they are beautiful.

But I'm only referring to the U.S. Army Model of 1911. Other spinoffs might not be the same.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 09:23 AM   #12
 
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The Good it is a 1911 a Glock owner would not understand the meaning of this

The Bad they are habit forming and the habit needs to be fed on a regular basis

The Ugly well if you want ugly get a Glock

There are many flavors of 1911 but they all share the same basic feel and action you can get them for under $400 to over $4000 it all depends on what you want.

Proud owner of a Colt Combat Commander (1975) and a Springfield Range Officer
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 11:50 AM   #13
 
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If I knew then what I know now, I'd have saved more and bought a mid-to-high end 1911. The Auto Ordinance 1911 I bought 3 yrs back was a genuine disappointment: serious FTF & FTE issues. I spent almost as much to get it shooting reliably as I did to walk out of the LGS with it. It seems OK now. I doubt that I'll own another 1911. Just my experience.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 01:43 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sr40ken View Post
Coming from the cheap seats, we have a Rock Island 1911 Compact(officers) 3.5 barrel Tactical model. The silde feels like it's on bearings, it's smooth to shoot and compared to our SR40 and P345 it is the most accurate auto loader we have. We've ran Win. whitebox, Remington Sabre Win Ranger and thousands of my reloads and it is nothing but fun to operate.
If on a budget I wouldn't hestate to recommend the Rock Island. Many pd and sheriffs that can carry their own choice recommend them around these parts.
If it's a 1911 what's not to like!? RIA has a wide range of 1911 models and calibers
My RIA has had the full frog lube treatment twice. It runs smooth as silk. I have shot ball ammo, Remington Golden Sabers, and Buffalo Bore +P with Speer Gold dot HP bullets. Not a single feeding issue (other than when it was new and I had trouble with some cheap reloads and/or messed up my springs).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmebuildr View Post
The Good it is a 1911 a Glock owner would not understand the meaning of this

The Bad they are habit forming and the habit needs to be fed on a regular basis

The Ugly well if you want ugly get a Glock

There are many flavors of 1911 but they all share the same basic feel and action you can get them for under $400 to over $4000 it all depends on what you want.

Proud owner of a Colt Combat Commander (1975) and a Springfield Range Officer
LOL, I know what you mean but I have both a 1911 and a Glock 36. The Glock is no where near as pretty as the 1911, but the 1911 is nowhere near a small and carryable as the Glock. Different tools for different jobs. Now a Glock 21, that is just plain ugly regardless of how darn reliable it is and that it holds 15 rounds.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 02:18 PM   #15
 
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This is great feedback and think you to all the opinons for a 1911 future owner.

Thanks and looking forward to more insight from others.
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