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  1. #1
    Medic is offline Junior Member
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    Should I just buy a 1911?

    I cant carry in my state, its going to be my first handgun. 1911's always felt great in my hand (I have small hands) but I never thought of buying it as my first handgun. I handled 20 or so handguns over the weekend and the H&K P30 felt the best in my hand. I figure if im going to spend that much on a handgun and can't even carry the damn thing I might as well buy myself a pretty 5" 1911. Opinions?

  2. #2
    dosborn's Avatar
    dosborn is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    A 1911 may not be the best 1st gun, but everyone (if you are not a crazy or a felon) should own one eventually.

  3. #3
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is offline Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by dosborn View Post
    A 1911 may not be the best 1st gun, but everyone (if you are not a crazy or a felon) should own one eventually.
    There's differing schools of thought on that. I will say that if one decides to get a 1911 as a first handgun, that they should make every effort to shoot it often and do lots of dry practice to ensure that the safety is removed when needed.

    Medic,

    While I have a couple of 1911s the P30 is on my list. Mags are restricted to 10 rounds in NJ, correct? If so the added capacity of the 9mm is a non-issue as you're looking at 2 extra rounds, not really a big deal. The 9mm is still the softer shooting cartridge and is cheaper, but as you're looking at HK or a higher end 1911, I don't think you're worried about cost.

    The P30 is very ergonomic, probably the most ergonomic of any service pistol out there, but as you've stated, the 1911 has a feel all it's own and while most 1911 options are in .45, you can get one in 9mm and still have the lower cost of ammo.

    The 1911 trigger is much better in my opinion, but when the P30S model comes out, I'll probably buy one. If you haven't shot either yet, I would suggest doing so. What area of NJ are you from and where in PA have you been shopping? There are several excellent gun ranges near Philly that rent guns pending on where you're at, I can probably recommend one or two places to go and try some models out. Most will have 1911s in the rental case, you should probably call ahead and see if any have a HK P30 for rent as it's not that common a gun to stock.

    As it stands right now the P30 has no manual safeties, but does have a decocker while the 1911 has a thumb safety and grip safety but has no decocker. How do you feel about these features?

    While the P30 is a soft shooter, a full size steel 1911 isn't that bad to shoot, some people make it out to be a cannon, it isn't. That being said a 9mm is generally easier to learn on than a .40 or .45.

    If you want the P30, you''re limited to HK (DUH) but there are many, many, makers of 1911s to choose from and many sizes, finishes, frame materials, etc. to choose from.

    If you really don't know what you want in a 1911, but want a handgun now, I'd probably suggest getting the HK as there is less research involved and get a 1911 after you figure out what you want. On the opposite side of that coin, if you know what you want in a 1911, sure go get one.

  4. #4
    VietVet68 is offline Member
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    Cool

    Every handgun owner will, eventually, will own a 1911. In my opinion it's much like golf, in that you are always trying to improve your ability to hit the ball futher and straighter so towards that goal you start looking for the "best" driver or the "best" putter. It's the same when it comes to hand guns because you are always working to improve your accuracy and to that end you start to buy more accurate guns, then you might add lasers to them and so on.
    The downside of starting with a 1911 is that nothing else , in my opinion,will compare.

  5. #5
    gmaske's Avatar
    gmaske is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VietVet68 View Post
    The downside of starting with a 1911 is that nothing else , in my opinion,will compare.
    I'll second that!

    Medic,
    If you are comfortable on how one works I'd say go for it. I was happy with revolvers and a lesser smiauto until I shot my first 1911. Well I sold that other auto I had and bought me one. It is the best so why mess around with the rest.

  6. #6
    swmp9jrm's Avatar
    swmp9jrm is offline Junior Member
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    I think it depends a lot on what you want to do with the gun. IMHO, a 1911 might not be the BEST first gun, but if you start buying handguns you will eventually get to the point that many of us have - EVERYONE needs at least one 1911!! I actually like my P-220 better for carry, but my 1911 is such a dream to shoot that I would have a tough time picking between the two if I could only have one. If you only plan to ever buy one handgun (yeah, right), something other than a 1911 might be a better choice. There are a LOT of nice .45ACP guns out there.

  7. #7
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    A 1911 it a really tecnical weapon to start off with........have you ever taken one appart? you know when you were little and ur dad bought you a pocket knife he didnt go out and buy you a swiss made out the front switch blade, mine got me a simple single bladed folding knife.......what im tryin to say is start simple but dont cheap out go glock possibly a 19 or a 23. they are very easy to use and simple to take down and clean. get to know the basics of how guns work and how to be safe with them, thenmove on up to somthing like a rock island arms 1911 and so on and so on

    just my thoughts
    knox c

  8. #8
    Q-Tip-81 is offline Junior Member
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    Well.....a 1911 is the first handgun under my name, but I've handled and been around firearms most my life.

    IMO, if you only plan on buying one gun, make it a 1911. Yes, they're a bit more technical and difficult to disassemble/clean and reassemble.....but if you do your homework and practice enough you'll be just fine. Everyone needs to own a 1911. It's quite an experience feeling the history in your hands. And on average, a good 1911 trigger is on an entirely different level.

  9. #9
    dondavis3's Avatar
    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    I own and have carried a .45 as a duty gun.

    I like them, but do not believe they are my first choice as a 1st gun for a new shooter.

    Having to carry them cocked and locked bothers some people.

    They are unbelievably accurate.


  10. #10
    Medic is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondavis3 View Post
    I own and have carried a .45 as a duty gun.

    I like them, but do not believe they are my first choice as a 1st gun for a new shooter.

    Having to carry them cocked and locked bothers some people.

    They are unbelievably accurate.

    Well since I can't carry in NJ it would only be cocked and locked in my safe. One of the things I liked about them was the accuracy for sure. From quite a distance the very first time I ever shot a handgun I hit a soda can with my friends dads springfield 1911 on the second round. I see that a lot of 1911's are different, and some have more/less parts than others and are harder/easier to fieldstrip and clean. As of now (might as well say it) I would be leaning towards a 5" stainless mil-spec springfield. I watched a few videos on youtube on field stripping and it doesn't seem too difficult to do.

  11. #11
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    A full-size, .45 ACP M1911 (or a clone thereof) is just about the easiest semi-auto to learn to shoot well.
    Because it's heavy, and because it fires a slow-moving bullet, its recoil is very easy to control. Recovery from recoil is easy too. All it takes is a very firm grip.
    It is my experience that any ordinary child over the age of 10 can be taught to shoot the M1911 well. The same is true of any woman, including my wife, Jean, who weighs 100 pounds fully dressed and soaking wet.
    A well-set-up M1911 is about as reliable as a gun can get. Most, however, need at least $100.00-worth of work done to them by a really good gunsmith, consisting solely of a trigger job in most cases.
    The M1911 is, I think, the perfect beginner's gun. It's also a very fine, practical carry pistol, if you can stand its weight and if you provide yourself with a holster which immobilizes its safety lever.
    I used to carry mine a lot. I never had any problems with it.

  12. #12
    dondavis3's Avatar
    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    Smile

    Steve M1911A1

    "fully dressed and soaking wet" - LOL

    Your a great poster on this forum - I'm glad your here.

  13. #13
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    Because everyone says I should... some day I'll buy a 1911.

    I shoot competitively about 9-10 days per month... (with an M&P Pro Series) and I get to see lots of gun issues. Every gun will eventually fail to fire when you're hosing 100-120 rounds per night/day, 10 days per month, for a year. My M&P has/does/will fail. Glocks fail. XDs fail. $3000 Brazos Custom hand-built and STI/SVI race guns fail. 1911s simply choke the MOST. Of all the guns on the line... 60-80% of the jams, breakages, and malfunctions are in the 1911 platform guns. NO... it's not because they are modified to hell. ALL the guns are tweaked, including the Glocks, M&Ps, XDs... The 1911's just choke 5 to 10 times more than any other platform.

    Why? They're pretty, they're romantic, they're timeless... but the design is 100 years old. Revolutionary? Yes. Innovative? Yes... 100 years ago. Bets fighting handgun of all time??? Hell no. If it were, how come NOBODY seriously equips their fighting forces with them. (Yeah I know... SIS... What are there, 30 of them???)

    Buy one for nostalgia. Buy one as a collector's piece. Buy one as a cool range toy.

    First gun? I wouldn't, but its all about what you want it for.

    Jeff

  14. #14
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWard View Post
    ...The 1911's just choke 5 to 10 times more than any other platform...
    That will be true of most "competition tweaked," accurized guns, 1911s included.
    However, a well-set-up, as-issued-but-polished 1911 is pretty reliable.
    I have two, both ex-competition guns, neither of which have been either tightened or accurized. I can honestly say that neither of them has ever "choked," or failed to fire in any way, except that was the fault of an old magazine with weakened or slightly bent feed lips. In each and every case, it was the magazine's fault.
    Moral of the story: Use older magazines only for practice. Use already-test-fired, new magazines for self-protection or competition. When a magazine causes failures, throw it away without regret, because it cannot be repaired.

  15. #15
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    yea get one
    if it feels good in the hand and you have fired one
    cost: from Para GI Expert to Wilson's Specials - the cost is a very wide spread
    Kimber sells more 1911's than anybody else
    just don't get a Taurus........

  16. #16
    Medic is offline Junior Member
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    AHHH I'm so on the fence on the HK P30 for a 1911 around the same price range. I'll have to sleep on it a little more to finalize my decision.

    People have also mentioned that the P30 doesn't have safety and that should be a concern for a first time gun owner? Even tho it does have
    the DA/SA trigger combo with decocker

  17. #17
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    It's much more difficult to learn to use a DA/SA trigger well than it is to learn to use either a DAO or SA trigger.
    You need a consistent trigger to do good work, not one which changes from one pull to another in mid-fight.

  18. #18
    ZENFLY is offline Junior Member
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    Warning!!! There is no cure for this 1911 disease...Take your money and run,,and don't look back..

  19. #19
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic View Post
    AHHH I'm so on the fence on the HK P30 for a 1911 around the same price range. I'll have to sleep on it a little more to finalize my decision.

    People have also mentioned that the P30 doesn't have safety and that should be a concern for a first time gun owner? Even tho it does have
    the DA/SA trigger combo with decocker
    Horse pucky. There are many, many cases of first time buyers buying guns that don't have an external safety that have not shot themselves, TV's, pets, ceilings, jet liners, tug boats, ironing boards or anything else for that matter.

    BUT if YOU are hung up on that issue, the HK P30 is supposed to be available sometime this year with a thumb safety in two versions, the P30S and the P30LS.

    If you want to read some good stuff on the P30 check out "P30 Thursday" at PistolTraining.com 75,000 rounds and counting.
    Last edited by VAMarine; 01-14-2010 at 12:55 PM.

  20. #20
    Medic is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Horse pucky. There are many, many cases of first time buyers buying guns that don't have an external safety that have not shot themselves, TV's, pets, ceilings, jet liners, tug boats, ironing boards or anything else for that matter.

    BUT if YOU are hung up on that issue, the HK P30 is supposed to be available sometime this year with a thumb safety in two versions, the P30S and the P30LS.

    If you want to read some good stuff on the P30 check out "P30 Thursday" at PistolTraining.com 75,000 rounds and counting.

    Yea I heard in OCT 2010 they are coming nout with the P30s. Since this is my first handgun with no other exp I think the no safety wont be an issue for me at all.

    Also, after reading through that pistoltraining site I think I am pretty sold on the P30...

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