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  1. #1
    kyroguy's Avatar
    kyroguy is offline Junior Member
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    Question for those that carry 1911's

    So I have been doing some research on the 1911. Many of you have suggested it as a good carry gun. It seems to be a gun that takes many forms. I have seen it chambered for several calibers. I have seen it in several different sizes. So just what is a 1911 exactly?

    This video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQtT8DEakuc) describes the 1911 by definition as a "single stack, single action" pistol. Hmmm. That narrows it down. *rolls eyes* So I guess the first question is, is this the true definition?

    Secondly, a single action pistol, seems would make an interesting carry weapon. I know some suggest carrying with one in the chamber. This would mean that the hammer would be back all day long, right? I realize there are other safety mechanisms in place, such as a grip safety and a thumb safety. Still seems strange to carry a gun with the hammer pulled back. Am I missing something here?

    Lastly, what calibers are available (popularly) in a 1911? What do you guys carry (brand, model, caliber) in a 1911? I was at a friends house tonight and he showed me his compact .45 1911. He is offering a good deal on it too. Just not sure I am ready to make a decision yet...

  2. #2
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    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    Most of your 1911 questions can be answered by a little Googling, but basically, most people, when they say 1911, are talking about a pistol based on the original John Moses Browning government model, that the military used as their main sidearm for several decades. They were made by a variety of manufacturers, but the parts were all interchangeable. That is also true of many of the 'improved' clones of the 1911 design, that are also manufactured by a variety of gun makers.

    I, personally, like Springfields, because they are well made and the parts are interchangeable with the government model, making them easier to obtain, and maybe cheaper. Mine is a 'Commander' sized (Colt nomenclature), which simply means full size, but with a 4" barrel, instead of the standard 5." There is also an 'Officers Model' size (again, Colt nomenclature), made by various manufacturers, that is even smaller...probably what your friend is offering.

    When buying a compact sized 1911 clone, be aware that the reduced length of the slide is a departure from the original design, and is less reliable, generally speaking. The shorter springs have to be just right or they can have feed problems. I'm not saying that they don't work...just that their design is less forgiving than the full sized models.

    Of the off-the-shelf 1911's, Springfield, Colt, and Kimber are probably the most popular, although there are many other good ones.

  3. #3
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is offline Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyroguy View Post
    So I have been doing some research on the 1911. Many of you have suggested it as a good carry gun. It seems to be a gun that takes many forms. I have seen it chambered for several calibers. I have seen it in several different sizes. So just what is a 1911 exactly?

    This video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQtT8DEakuc) describes the 1911 by definition as a "single stack, single action" pistol. Hmmm. That narrows it down. *rolls eyes* So I guess the first question is, is this the true definition?
    That vid is pretty brief, but does cover the characteristics of the 1911, or what I usually refer to as a 1911 "pattern" pistol.

    I suppose to summarize, "a 1911" is any pistol based on the original design as patented on Feb 14th 1911 that still incorporates the same safeties (As well as later incorporated Series 80 and Swartz style safeties) and trigger mechanism as the original. Guns with variations in slide length and grip length are still considered 1911s. Pending on who you talk to, the double stack models are or are not 1911s. I would say that they still are as they incorporate the same basic design characteristics of the original. I would not consider a double action only Para or Colt to be a 1911 due to the different trigger system.

    Secondly, a single action pistol, seems would make an interesting carry weapon. I know some suggest carrying with one in the chamber. This would mean that the hammer would be back all day long, right? I realize there are other safety mechanisms in place, such as a grip safety and a thumb safety. Still seems strange to carry a gun with the hammer pulled back. Am I missing something here?
    Nope, hammer stays back all day long unless you want to carry it in another condition which is generally not recommended. People have been carrying the 1911 in condition 1 for almost 100 years. Strange? Perhaps but still the best means of carrying a 1911 pattern pistol.

    Lastly, what calibers are available (popularly) in a 1911? What do you guys carry (brand, model, caliber) in a 1911? I was at a friends house tonight and he showed me his compact .45 1911. He is offering a good deal on it too. Just not sure I am ready to make a decision yet...
    The 1911 is available in many different calibers, mainly 9mm, .38Super, .40S&W, 10mm, and .45ACP. There's some other oddballs out there in 460Rowland, .50GI, 400 Corbon, 9X23 etc. But I would say the majority are .45ACP.

    Regarding you're buddies 1911, there are over a dozen different makers of 1911s and price/quality can vary from maker to maker. If you don't know what you're buying, study first.

    I carry a Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special in .45ACP which is a 5" "Government" model my Wife (who's video you linked) carries a Wilson Combat Professional .45ACP which is Commanderish in size. I've also carried a Springfield Loaded 5", a Colt Government XSE, a Colt Combat Commander, a couple of different Paras, both single and double stack and a Kimber or three.

    I've carried guns in all four size classes and while the length of the 5" gun doesn't bother me, many people prefer the Commander sized guns for carry, or the smaller framed CCO or Officers/Ultra/Defender models. Personally I don't like the sub-4" slide models, I just don't like the way they handle during shooting and try to stick with a true 4.25" model complete with barrel bushing or 5" model with bushing. The bull barrels offer some benefit, but I don't like some of the added steps that come into play with the full length guide rods (FLGRS) and reverse plugs etc.

    Most of my 1911s have been in .45ACP, we've had three in .40 but I've found that I prefer the gun in it's original chambering.

    If you want to beef up on the 1911 in general, there's a link in my signature to a long article that covers most 1911 terminology.

  4. #4
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Personally I find the 1911 series a tad too heavy for constant carry. I did for 3 years...first with a 4" barreled SA Champion and then later with a full sized SA and finally Kimbers...but they are still NOT light in any means.

    The weight is why I sought a smaller MUCH lighter weapon...hence the MP9c. At 24 ounces its kinds tough to get much lighter than that.

    If I had ONE and ONLY one weapon..most probably it would be a 1911 but my S&S #66 would be close in the running. Both fit my hand so thats part of the battle.

  5. #5
    kyroguy's Avatar
    kyroguy is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    ... a Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special in .45ACP which is a 5" "Government" model my Wife (who's video you linked) carries a Wilson Combat Professional .45ACP which is Commanderish in size.
    That is your wife? Your shop must be relatively near me then. Let me know where you're at and maybe I can stop in.

  6. #6
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyroguy View Post
    That is your wife? Your shop must be relatively near me then. Let me know where you're at and maybe I can stop in.
    That was back when we lived in PA, before the move to VA, and way before the move to IA. She no longer works in a gun shop and is currently a stay at home mom until this fall when she will be going to basic training to enter the USMC reserves. God help our son, we're going to have him ready to serve by the time he's four.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    God help our son, we're going to have him ready to serve by the time he's four.
    lmao, he'll certainly be out shooting half the corp and wondering why they use those puny m9's as opposed to the 1911

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