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  1. #1
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    1911 For Self Defense

    I love shooting the 1911. I have owned them for many years. I now have a Kimber Eclipse Pro II that I love to shoot. Many of us really love a precision, hand-crafted 1911, and some invest in Wilson's, Baers and other custom makers. They are certainly worth the money. However, since I spent the money on the Kimber, I have been asking myself if one really needs such an exacting pistol for self defense? My answer a resounding NO!

    I have an older, solid, loose Springfield Arms 1911 that could be perfect for self defense with just two upgrades. The key is that we do not have to spend in excess of a thousand dollars, or much more, to have a near ideal home defense-field-open carry pistol. All we need is something solid and well made, with the additional of night sights and a crisp trigger. I believe that almost all well made 1911's have polished feed ramps now. But that could be a third item if necessary.

    Someone who cannot, or will not spring for an expensive 1911, can add those two (three) upgrades to a "lesser" gun and have an outstanding and reliable defense weapon. I think the biggest difference in the standard and custom 1911's is that the expensive ones are more precise; plus they have some bells and whistles that do not matter to an armed citizen for self defense. They never mattered to the military who used the gun as a close combat weapon.

    The military 1911's were not precision. They were designed to function under all conditions. They would not shoot 1" groups at 50 yards, but that is not a requisite for self defense pistol. They were more than accurate enough for the close work that one does with such weapons.

    I am actively considering having night sites and a superior trigger added to my older Springfield 1911 and using it for home defense. If I were someone looking to buy a 1911 now I would strongly consider a solid, basic model with those upgrades as my prize 1911! What do you think?

  2. #2
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    I'm still shopping for a tack-driver 1911 for a range gun... Likely a Springfield Limited Target Stainless... if I can ever find one!

    But for defense??? I'll never carry the 1911 over my XD (insert Glock/M&P/Quality Striker Fired Black-Box-Pistol etc here)

    JW

  3. #3
    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is offline Senior Member
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    I have carried a plain jane 1911 for over 30 years. I have a 3 lb. trigger, standard sites, change out springs when needed. I have tried others, but none compare to me.

  4. #4
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Col. Cooper was right, as usual. For defense, all a 1911 needs is: sights you can see, a trigger you can use, and a dehorning job. Reliability works is done as needed.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  5. #5
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    Your sure don't have to put a $1,000 into a 1911 styled pistol to have a good life saver. I have two that have come out of the box and never have failed yet. Most everything at the gun show today was under a grand no matter who's name was on it. Couple of the Kimbers were over that but that's the only ones I can think of.

  6. #6
    Smokeless is offline Junior Member
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    Teuthis, If your Springfield is reliable and goes BANG everytime you pull the trigger do the simple upgrades. Bad Guys dont care how much a firearm costs. I carried a Springfield Loaded lightweight for a couple of years. My go to piece. It did come with nitesights. Other wise it was stock. Gave it to a so in law.for carry cause I trusted it. I now use a Colt Commander for everything. Three ins. or less at 20 yds. Good enough for me. When I want extreme accuracy at the range I use my LB P2. I only wish I could shoot it to its potential. Good/Safe Shooting. Dave

  7. #7
    submoa is offline Member
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    FWIW, I'd take the old SA 1911 to a gunsmith and have him give it a once over and thorough strip, cleaning & lube. You might have to replace springs. Nothing wrong with an old gun that works. Reliability should be the top priority for an SD gun.

    Depending on the age of the Springfield, I'd do a throat and ramp polish if needed. This work will make the gun feed hollowpoints more reliably.

    Nightsights might be good if it makes you more comfortable with shooting at night.

    A triggerjob may be a waste of money if, as you say, the gun is already loose. All the folks who shoot Glocks are happy with their mushy trigger, and a bad triggerjob can make your gun useless.

    If you have old ammo, use only at the range when the gun is cold.

    Loose is reliable. Tight is accurate. SD guns are better loose, range guns are better tight.

  8. #8
    OMSBH44 is offline Member
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    Question

    Another consideration which none have mentioned is this: If you do have
    to use your prize 1911 for self defense, the first thing the investigating
    cops will do is confiscate your gun.

    Then one of them will scratch his or her initials onto the frame.
    Then your gun will be thrown into a pile of other guns in a property room somewhere.

    You may never see it again.

    Do you really want to loose a $2k gun that way?
    Last edited by OMSBH44; 05-22-2008 at 03:34 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OMSBH44 View Post
    Do you really want to loose a $2k gun that way?
    If it was the most reliable gun I shot the best, absolutely. What's a paltry $2K compared to your life, if you're in a position to buy such a gun?
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  10. #10
    mdreb's Avatar
    mdreb is offline Junior Member
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    I had a Colt series 70 worked over by Yost-Bonitz (may they rest in peace)
    perfect 1911, no flash but all go!

  11. #11
    OMSBH44 is offline Member
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    Yupp, knew it

    As soon as I hit "Submit Reply," I realized someone would respond as Mike just did. I should have clarified what I meant. I should have added the words: ...if you have a less costly alternative available, you might think about using it instead.

    When I first read this thread it reminded me of a thread I read on the Walther collectors forum. Someone was writing about how he was going to keep his WWII collector's P-38 on the night stand and use if for self-defense. Then someone else wrote about how if he did use it to shoot an intruder, the police would take if from him and probably defile it. He wrote back that he would use a different weapon for defensive purposes.

    Anyway, the most important quality a carry weapon can have is reliability. If you feel your $2k gun is sufficiently reliable and you are aware what might happen to it if you use it for self defense, I say: go for it!

  12. #12
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    OMSB I think my original post follows your idea, only I had not considered the police response to my pistol; i.e. taking it and possibly damaging it. All the armed citizen needs for home defense is something reliable and trusted. A mil spec 45 is my idea of an excellent weapon. If one can shoot it, and many of us can, it is more than accurate enough for close range defense.

    Since I made that post I have looked around though, and the basic 1911's seem to be somewhat rare beside the rising plethora of high-end models and brands. Not that I have given up obtaining a Wilson 1911 some day. But I think you are right. The pistol in the nightstand should probably be "old reliable" and not some treasured masterpiece. Such a shame!

  13. #13
    Richard's Avatar
    Richard is offline Member
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    Does one really needs such an exacting pistol for self defense?

    Yes, look below at my Springer MilSpec and you will see all the "Dodads" one needs on a self defense pistol. Regards, Richard



  14. #14
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    That looks a lot like mine, only I believe mine is older. I like it! They are reliable and shoot very well, but I would still love some night sights on mine. When I get it back here to Arizona I think I'm going to do that.

  15. #15
    xXxplosive is offline Junior Member
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    Colt Gov't Model 1911 .................the greatest defensive pistol ever produced. The basis for all others.

    "It's not a .45 unless it has a horse on it"

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