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  1. #1
    ScottChapin's Avatar
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    To Rail or not to Rail

    I'm looking to get my first 1911 and have had my eyes on the Colt XSE and SIG Nitro, with and without rails. Also with or without getting the grip type lasers. For the money, I was looking at the Remington 1911 R1, but am not sure that is where I want to go, partly because there is no rail option, partly because I'm betting it's too good to be true.

    So...what are the pros and cons? I realize that there is probably the aesthetics crowd that wouldn't have the rails, but I want this to be my go to home defense weapon. From that standpoint, I think the tactical light would be a great advantage, if mounted to the rails. The grip lasers don't float my boat, because they stand to mar the beauty by removing the OEM grips. Yes, I'm vain there.

    Any input to help me come to grips would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    I never put anything on the rails - I just like the added weight that the rails give (a little less recoil). And, I like the look.

    My fav is the full rail operator...


  3. #3
    ScottChapin's Avatar
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    That is the nicest looking railed 1911 I have seen. I didn't even think of the advantage of the added weight's affect on recoil. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Well, that is a Springfield Custom Shop gun, so it was pretty expensive. But, I previously had a Springfield MC Operator. I sold it to pay for 1/2 of a non railed Ed Brown 1911. After I sold it, I missed it because the rail help cut some of the recoil - and that gun only has a 3/4 rail.

  5. #5
    ScottChapin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    it was pretty expensive.
    I figured as much and it does look really nice.

  6. #6
    Frank45's Avatar
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    It's nice too have the rail and a tactical light on it for HD,nothing like seeing what your about to shoot in the dark. Besides what Shipwreck said the added wieght my help with recoil. I have a Sig 1911R and it works well.

  7. #7
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    If it's going to be used as a house gun, the rail is very nice option. A weapon mounted light is a pretty good asset. Unless you go with the full rail, the rail won't add much weight to the gun at all until you hang a light off it. Even if you decide to remove the light and carry the gun, holster selection for a railed 1911 is still pretty broad so you should be able to find something you like.

  8. #8
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    I don't know... The MC Operator is not a full rail, and it made a noticeable difference in recoil between it and my Ed Brown SF.

  9. #9
    ScottChapin's Avatar
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    Thanks all. At least the aversion I hear is aesthetics and not something else. Looked up the S&Ws today and they look fine too!

    Maybe the Springfield Operator is the way to go for me. I. Think too, that the longer rail makes it look less of an after thought.

  10. #10
    Tuefelhunden is offline Member
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    +1 all the above and that is a nice pick Shipwreck. Typically indifferent to rails myself since I don't dangle anything from them but that is a super sweet example. All but two of my handguns have a rail but it is incidental. Light for home defense does make good sense though so I guess it ultimately depends on your needs.

  11. #11
    bmbroker is offline Junior Member
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    Taurus

    Have you considered a Taurus. I just got a stainless 1911 w/rail. Shoots great out of the box and I'm not an avid shooter. The out the door price was a little less than $700.

  12. #12
    ScottChapin's Avatar
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    Yes, I have considered a Tarus. At our church's mens' retreat last October, I fired a PT1911 at six metal targets and hit them all. It felt really nice and I am sort of vacillating as to whether to go that route.

  13. #13
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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  14. #14
    ScottChapin's Avatar
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    Yeah, in the day, Taurus was the poor man's Beretta. Also, I have expensive tastes :-( . When I saw the Remington 1911 R1, I got excited, but I keep going back to Colt, Sringfield, S&W, or SIG Sauer.

    If you want artisan machining, you gotta pay the price. I was shooting my Beretta 92SBC saturday, and I had forgotten how an extremely well made gun feels and handles!

  15. #15
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    I like my Springfields......

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogRanger View Post
    I like my Springfields......
    Why? Inquiring minds want to know.

    I have ruled out the SIG, because it doesn't look "traditional" and the clip extends below the grip. I have ruled out the S&W because it has an external extractor and the clip extends below the grip. None of those reasons are anything other than personal, I'm sure.

    The Springfield shows the cartridge when chambered. That's nice, but does that cut CUPs? Their manaul says not to rack the slide unless chambering the round, as that could damage the breech. What's that about?

    So I'm basically down to Colt or Springfield and the Colt "is" traditional and the railed part of the frame is longer.

    Don't get me wrong, I would be happy as a pig in a poke with any one of the four!

  17. #17
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    On any 1911 - if you drop the slide hard on an empty chamber, it can mess up your nice trigger pull.

    Despite the external extractor - the S&W 1911s are very nice.

  18. #18
    ScottChapin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    On any 1911 - if you drop the slide hard on an empty chamber, it can mess up your nice trigger pull.
    I figured that the other manufacturers are just being silent on the issue, not that I would abuse a gun that way in any event.

    I really do like the visible casing when loaded.

    As I used to be a Civil War re-enactor, I have a soft spot for Springfield and Colt. So now I guess I'm wrestling with the two of them.

  19. #19
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    Don't worry about the magazine sticking out past the frame, that's a mag issue, not a gun issue, you can put any flush fitting mag into the gun of your choice.

    Other makers don't stress dropping the slide on empty it in the manual because unless you have a "fine" trigger job, you're not really going to damage anything.

    Always ease the slide down on an empty chamber, never slam it shut from slide lock. A G.I. rack grade 1911 may do fine when you slam the slide on the empty chamber, but a gun with a tuned trigger and fitted barrel will do better without it. The jarring of the slide slamming down on an empty chamber can cause the hammer to follow and the sear nose to crash into the hammer hooks. Your trigger job will last longer if you ease the slide down. Further, the lower lugs on a match fit barrel take a lot of impact when they contact the slide stop, and without the buffering effect of the round feeding into the chamber, you increase wear on your barrel by slamming the slide on an empty chamber. It's not the end of the world if the slide drops on an empty chamber, but it's not a good habit to develop either. It is the sign of an amateur 1911 handler.

  20. #20
    ScottChapin's Avatar
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    Ah, now I'm thinking of the S&W again...LOL. Its roll marks sure look nice!

    Does the Colt have a longer grip? It holds eight and in their photo of the O1070XSE, the magazine is flush. The photo of the O1070RG is without the magazine.

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