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  1. #1
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    The .45ACP belongs in the 1911?

    I recently went downtown to purchase a Stoeger Cougar in .45ACP (I NEED a .45!). Unfortunately, I was informed that they do not currently make the .45 in the "two tone" finish I wanted. It has been posted elsewhere that they plan to provide that model in the future. I was willing to wait it out until I bought a gun mag celebrating the 100th year of the 1911. That, plus the "Affordable 1911" thread here got me thinking.
    I have only had one 1911, a Springfield Champion, and that was many years ago and I didn't shoot it much due to a "domestic" situation. So, now I find myself suddenly smitten with the urge to buy a new 1911 in the caliber made for it (a REAL .45). THEN, I got to thinking that a 9mm Stoeger with that cool finish could be my kitchen cabinet gun. I live alone, I'm old and partially disabled, so I do indeed stash my weapons so there is always one nearby if I need it. My question to y'all is: Are there any special maintenance requirements, or inherent characteristics that would make a 1911 any different than any other configuration to live with? Yes, I get the cocked and locked SA only concept, and all my other semis are DA/SA. So, a new manual of arms would be needed of course. I know this is a bit vague, but what I am asking is are there good, bad (if any), or "in general" traits I might not expect that come with the 1911 platform. For instance, do all the newer guns have polished feed ramps to prevent FTF? I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter as you are the experts! Go ahead and write your own tribute to the 1911 if you so desire. The awesome weight of my decision rests in your hands!
    Eli

  2. #2
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    There's about two dozen+ makers of 1911s. Some have models with polished this and that and others don't, some makers have polished this and that on some models and not others.

    Some makes/models are harder to disassemble/reassemble than others.

    If a 1911 sees a long service life with high round counts it's going to need more long term maintenance than some other types of firearm. A vast majority of the parts need to be fit correctly to each gun. Given the large number of makers and even larger number of after market parts makers, it's important to have the gun put together right.

    That being said, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to learn the user end maintenance of a 1911 or how to properly employ such a pistol. Do your research (The top link in my signature is a good place to start), also, an polished feed ramp is not the end all be all of improved feeding.

  3. #3
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Thumbs up

    Do your research (The top link in my signature is a good place to start)
    WOW! Awesome info on your link. I greatly appreciate your help!
    Elil

  4. #4
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    With the general run of 1911s, FTF is not the problem, but rather it's failures to feed hollow points. Frequently polishing the feed ramp—and the chamber and barrel hood—solves the problem, and it works often enough to make that your first-line fix.
    The other frequent cause of failures to feed HP bullets is the shape of the magazine's feed lips. I used to tell people to try different magazines until one (or more, of course) was found that worked reliably. Now, however, Brownells has begun to advertise a two-piece "kit" that, used with a bench block and a hammer, will reliably re-shape the feed lips of a 1911's magazine when such is required.
    My talented-gunsmith friend, Chuck Ries, used to have a set of these shaping dies that he had made himself, and I noted, as I watched him use them, that manipulating the feed lips of magazines was an art, not an experimentally-repeatable science. The Brownells kit is supposed to solve that problem, but I have not yet seen it being used.
    In my experience, a 1911 that is not meant for National Match courses can be set-up to be somewhat loose, in that the pistol may be disassembled without resorting to tools (for instance a bushing wrench). One still must pay attention to slide fit and the way that the link positions the barrel, but that's probably enough. Anyway, in a 1911, loose is good because a loose pistol chews up dirt, rather than being jammed by it.

    Does that help?

  5. #5
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    With the general run of 1911s, FTF is not the problem, but rather it's failures to feed hollow points. Frequently polishing the feed ramp—and the chamber and barrel hood—solves the problem, and it works often enough to make that your first-line fix.
    The other frequent cause of failures to feed HP bullets is the shape of the magazine's feed lips. I used to tell people to try different magazines until one (or more, of course) was found that worked reliably. Now, however, Brownells has begun to advertise a two-piece "kit" that, used with a bench block and a hammer, will reliably re-shape the feed lips of a 1911's magazine when such is required.
    My talented-gunsmith friend, Chuck Ries, used to have a set of these shaping dies that he had made himself, and I noted, as I watched him use them, that manipulating the feed lips of magazines was an art, not an experimentally-repeatable science. The Brownells kit is supposed to solve that problem, but I have not yet seen it being used.
    In my experience, a 1911 that is not meant for National Match courses can be set-up to be somewhat loose, in that the pistol may be disassembled without resorting to tools (for instance a bushing wrench). One still must pay attention to slide fit and the way that the link positions the barrel, but that's probably enough. Anyway, in a 1911, loose is good because a loose pistol chews up dirt, rather than being jammed by it.

    Does that help?
    Thanks Steve, your posts are always helpful. I guess I am wondering about the current list of affordable 1911s on the Forum and wondering if that translates into potential problems. Maybe I have always seen the 1911 as a "specialists" gun, and I'm just trying to figure out what I would be getting into. I know that at least two manufacturers are making hollowpoints with a ball (Pow R Ball) that they claim shapes the bullet nose like a FMJ for better feeding. Maybe I should quit beating around the bush and ask this. If Eli gets one of the "affordable" 1911s is the thing likely to be a pain in the arse, or no more so than any other semi in the same price range?
    Regards, Eli

  6. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Why not buy a used 1911?
    I would look for a gently used, Colt's-made Series 70 (or earlier), and not a Series 80. The Series 80 has a Mickey-Mouse, automatic firing-pin safety that interferes with achieving a light, crisp trigger pull.
    Series 70 Colt's guns were well made. Fit and function should be OK. Nevertheless, I would require an inspection-and-test-fire guarantee from the seller, permitting full refund if you're dissatisfied.

    The best deals are almost always in used guns.

  7. #7
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Actual Series 70 guns are demanding a premium these days now that the pre-series 70 guns are starting to dry up and can cost more than a new Series 70 Reproduction.

    As for the Series 80, I'd be willing to bet that 8 out of 10 shooters can't tell the difference. Even when I shot a Colt XSE and my Les Baer side by side I had about the same effect on target. I'm not saying that there isn't a difference, only that it's not as bad as some make it out to be. Cylinder and Slide also has a drop in replacement kit to reduce friction of the firing pin stop parts in the Colt style mechanism.

    Most of the mid tier 1911 makers use the Colt style firing pin stop. Kimber and S&W use a variation of the Swartz firing pi safety that is actuated by the grip safety in order not to detract from the trigger. Of the two the S&W variation appears more robust.

    If I were shopping for a 1911 it would not have either firing pin safety as I just simply don't like messing with the parts. Springfield Armory does not incorporate a mechanical firing pin safety as they use a combination of a lighter firing pin and a heavier spring to make the gun drop safe. Another maker that does not use a mechanical safety is Dan Wesson. Most of the higher tier makers, Ed Brown, Wilson, NHC etc. do not use the mechanical safety as well.

    It should also be noted that S&W and Kimber do have some select models without the firing pin safety. Some of the lower tier makes/models have no firing pin safety and still use the original firing pin and spring so it may not be drop safe.

    Buying a used gun isn't a bad idea, almost all of mine are used, one of the best 1911s I have is an older Springfield Loaded that I bought used, if you know what to look for and are willing to wait and shop for the right deal you can do well. If don't know what you're looking at/for, I would advise doing lots of research prior to buying a used 1911, especially older Colts (or any other make/model for that matter) that may have been victims of the DIY Garage Gunsmith.

  8. #8
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    All good information.

    One can, of course, remove the blasted firing-pin safety and fill the gap with a filed-down washer. I've seen that done.

    Another source of maybe-cheaper, used 1911s is the Argentine M.1927. The first of them were made by Colt's, and the subsequent ones were made by Argentina in a Colt's-set-up factory. (Do not get the Ballester-Molina, though, as that is a different gun that just looks like a Colt's 1911.)

    (There's also the Norwegian M/1914, but they're pretty rare, collectors' items, and also pretty expensive.)

  9. #9
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    [QUOTE=Steve
    One can, of course, remove the blasted firing-pin safety and fill the gap with a filed-down washer. I've seen that done.
    Another source of maybe-cheaper, used 1911s is the Argentine M.1927. The first of them were made by Colt's, and the subsequent ones were made by Argentina in a Colt's-set-up factory. (Do not get the Ballester-Molina, though, as that is a different gun that just looks like a Colt's 1911.)
    (There's also the Norwegian M/1914, but they're pretty rare, collectors' items, and also pretty expensive.)[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the info Steve. Ok, honestly, the only used gun I can remember buying was a Mosin-Nagant 44. Man you should of heard the ranting and raving from Eli whence he proceeded to remove, disassemble, clean and then attempt to REASSEMBLE that multi-piece bolt! I am all thumbs and half blind (reassuring thought for a gun guy), and if that thing had not been built like a freekin' tank, well, I heard some guys are busting their extractors on the new Sig .380 trying to put them back together, and at one point I actually was using a hammer! Anyway, once I learned it, I did it all the time just because I could. But I drift. I really think from all I've read that mayhaps the 1911 may not be for me right now. And that's cool. That said, thanks to y'all for taking the time and effort to semi-educate me. I tend to be an impulsive, instant gratification type. I really wanted that Stoeger .45 in the two tone finish. I think i will wait for the predicted release of the .45 in two tone...or more likely, I WILL GO TO THE STORE AND BRING BACK A BLACK .45...or, a 9mm in the finish I want. Is there a way to start a poll of the "best value new" 1911? There is already a post going with the various makes and models. It would be great for future reference! THANKS AGAIN, GREAT SITE!!!
    El i

  10. #10
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EliWolfe View Post
    Is there a way to start a poll of the "best value new" 1911? There is already a post going with the various makes and models?
    Sure, you can start a new thread on the topic...but before you do, understand that you have to populate the poll options. What you see most commonly is "What is the best 191" etc and people check of whatever they own etc. Vary rarely do you see genuine data to support any claims other than "I haven't had any problems with mine etc."

    So, before you go asking "what's the best new 1911 with the most value" poll, lets talk about what "Value" means to you, as with everything else there really is not "best" of anything, just a collection of opinions on what the member base thinks is best.

    Is it long term value of the gun?

    Is it cost vs. quality? 1911s range in price from $400 - $3,000+ and the subjective quality changes in each price range.

    It is best customer service / warranty?

    Is it the amount of accessories that comes with the gun?

    Is is the reputation (including internet hearsay) of reliability?

    Is it being "American Made", or American in name only?

  11. #11
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Sure, you can start a new thread on the topic...but before you do, understand that you have to populate the poll options. What you see most commonly is "What is the best 191" etc and people check of whatever they own etc. Vary rarely do you see genuine data to support any claims other than "I haven't had any problems with mine etc."

    So, before you go asking "what's the best new 1911 with the most value" poll, lets talk about what "Value" means to you, as with everything else there really is not "best" of anything, just a collection of opinions on what the member base thinks is best.

    Is it long term value of the gun?

    Is it cost vs. quality? 1911s range in price from $400 - $3,000+ and the subjective quality changes in each price range.

    It is best customer service / warranty?

    Is it the amount of accessories that comes with the gun?

    Is is the reputation (including internet hearsay) of reliability?

    Is it being "American Made", or American in name only?
    Hmmm...I see what you mean.

    Is it long term value of the gun? No

    Is it cost vs. quality? 1911s range in price from $400 - $3,000+ and the subjective quality changes in each price range. Yes, I am interested in the best quality in the...lets say $700 or less NIB

    It is best customer service / warranty? No

    Is it the amount of accessories that comes with the gun? No

    Is is the reputation (including internet hearsay) of reliability? Yes, reliability very important though hearsay is abundant, I like to read the online reviews.

    Is it being "American Made", or American in name only? No
    I would prefer Remington, Springfield, Para, Colt name brands with long history of quality firearms,
    but "American Made", or American in name only not a requirement.

    A collection of opinions on what the member base thinks is best. YES, a great place to start from.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. What's next my friend?
    Eli

  12. #12
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Hope you don't mind, but I formatted your above post into something easier to address from my perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by EliWolfe View Post

    I would prefer Remington, Springfield, Para, Colt name brands with long history of quality firearms, but "American Made", or American in name only not a requirement.

    Lets say $700 or less NIB, not worried about warranty, customer service, accessories.

    Reliability is very important though hearsay is abundant; I like to read the online reviews.


    Looking at the list, I'm going to list some models, we still haven't discussed what size 1911 you want so for now I'm going to stick to the 5" Government styles.

    Remington is an easy choice as right now they only have the R1 which is a GI style 1911, there's probably going to be an R2 released at SHOT Show.

    From Springfield I'd recommend either MILSPEC, not the GI, but the MILSPEC as it will have better sights. The new RO is a good choice if you can pay a little more.

    You've almost priced yourself out of a Colt, but if you shop around you should be able to find an XSE LNIB for under $700. I've seen Colt Defender models in your price range, but the 3" 1911 can be the most problematic of them all and I generally don't recommend them unless you're dead set on one.

    From Para, again you're price range leaves you with few options, mainly the "Expert" line of pistols, I'd opt for the stainless steel or the enhanced model. Para isn't the same maker that they used to be. Paras used to be a good buy NIB in the $750 range, now almost all of them are around $8--.00 retail and that's just too much.

    Kimber, I'm not fond of Kimber. I know there are plenty of persons out there with perfectly fine guns but there's a lot of us that got lemons. Three out of four (all "custom shop" guns") needed some level or work. If Kimbers cost a little less, or had a little better QC they'd probably still be a good buy. Back before they were all about cranking out the guns they were good to go and the older pre-series II guns are still pretty good but there's been many reports of issues with newer Kimbers.

    That being said, the odds are in your favor of getting a good gun from them, just make sure you run it hard before carrying it. The Custom II will be close to your price range, but I’d shop elsewhere.

    I will strongly urge you to not get a basic GI style 1911, I was once of the opinion that some of the "upgrades" such as beaver tail grip safeties and elongated thumb safeties were not really all that needed, but I've changed my tune over the last couple of years.

    If you plan on shooting the gun alot, the beavertail is worth it, the elongated thumb safety, maybe not as badly needed but I wouldn't go without it. The thing about GI pistols is that a lot of people end up sinking money in them with upgrades, better sights which often require dovetails to be cut which then leads to refinishing, or the addition of a beavertail which can require cutting of the frame and you guessed it, more refinishing.

    I would also suggest a little more emphasis on the warranty/customer service aspect as every gun maker can have issues, even the $3K ones sometimes need to go back for service.

    What wasn't on your list was Taurus...I'll save that for others to comment on, but I wouldn't buy one.

    In all honesty, if I were you I'd probably go with trying to find a used Springfield Loaded, older Kimber or a used Colt XSE or other model. Some of the older Paras can be good buys, but go stainless steel all of their other applied fnishes don’t hold up well, this goes for the new guns as well. You might be able to find some good used S&W 1911s in that your price range, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Buying used can be scary as you don’t know what you’re getting and most gun shops have an all sales final policy.

    Now with all that being said, there are some guns that you may not be aware of in your price range that are reasonably equipped.

    The Rock Island Tactical…it sucks that RIA doesn’t have a legitimate website but Google “SARCO INC” and you should be able to see some different models…is a reasonably priced gun with some nice features including a beavertail and more user friendly sights. Another is the STI Spartan

    Both of these guns are under your $700 line, but are made in the Philippines, the STI is finished in the US and has STI parts; it’s not a bad buy. They are cast frames instead of forged, for some it’s a deal breaker, but if you want to stick to your budget and have some decent options on the gun our of the box they aren’t bad choices. I would probably opt for a a RIA Tactical in satin nickel, but that’s me.

    There are some other imports such as Citadel, and the American Classic lime. I haven’t done much research on these but they are more Phillipino imports, the American Classic line comes in a couple different sizes, they are imported by Eagle Imports who used to import Bersa and Llama if I’m not mistaken. Word is that the American Classisc line isn’t a bad choice, but I can neither confirm nor deny. I will say that the quality of these pistols are supposed to be better than the Llama/Firestorm 1911s of yesteryear.

    Desert Eagle also has a decently equipped 1911, these frames came from BUL which were originally supposed to go to Charles Daly, one of them might be worth taking a look at, but really, who wants a 1911 with DESERT EAGLE written all over it, that’s just wrong in my opinion. They should be in your stated price range. I will neither promote or detract on the gun. Just letting you know it’s out there as an option. Company wise, Magnum Research has a decent reputation although they were acquired by Kahr which is ran my the “Moonies”…if you don’t know who or what I’m talking about, it’s a non-issue but if you feel like an interesting read you can look them up.

    The one line of guns I haven’t really touched on as they are they are out of the given price range are the Dan Wesson 1911s, before the 2010 model year came out the DW guns were running around the $900-$1K mark NIB but used could be had around $750-$800. For a time, you could find “Factory blemished” Dan Wessons on Gun Broker and Guns America at a good price if you didn’t mind a little scuff here and there. These were probably some of the best deals to be had at the time. I haven’t really been looking lately, but that ship has probably sailed. Prior to the price hike in 2010, I probably would have said that if there was a “best value” 1911 taking into account all the things I listed in the previous post that it would have been Dan Wesson. As the price on the guns has gone up a couple hundred bucks I don’t know if I can still say that, however in the $1K-$1700 range the Dan Wesson is still a good buy. This is where frugal and dedicated searching can come into play. I have a cousin that snagged a Springfield TRP (Then a $1300ish pistol) for $750 used as a clerk had mislabeled the gun.



    This is getting to complicated, just shop around for a well equipped Springfield and call it a day.

  13. #13
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Hope you don't mind, but I formatted your above post into something easier to address from my perspective.





    Looking at the list, I'm going to list some models, we still haven't discussed what size 1911 you want so for now I'm going to stick to the 5" Government styles.

    Remington is an easy choice as right now they only have the R1 which is a GI style 1911, there's probably going to be an R2 released at SHOT Show.

    From Springfield I'd recommend either MILSPEC, not the GI, but the MILSPEC as it will have better sights. The new RO is a good choice if you can pay a little more.

    You've almost priced yourself out of a Colt, but if you shop around you should be able to find an XSE LNIB for under $700. I've seen Colt Defender models in your price range, but the 3" 1911 can be the most problematic of them all and I generally don't recommend them unless you're dead set on one.

    From Para, again you're price range leaves you with few options, mainly the "Expert" line of pistols, I'd opt for the stainless steel or the enhanced model. Para isn't the same maker that they used to be. Paras used to be a good buy NIB in the $750 range, now almost all of them are around $8--.00 retail and that's just too much.

    Kimber, I'm not fond of Kimber. I know there are plenty of persons out there with perfectly fine guns but there's a lot of us that got lemons. Three out of four (all "custom shop" guns") needed some level or work. If Kimbers cost a little less, or had a little better QC they'd probably still be a good buy. Back before they were all about cranking out the guns they were good to go and the older pre-series II guns are still pretty good but there's been many reports of issues with newer Kimbers.

    That being said, the odds are in your favor of getting a good gun from them, just make sure you run it hard before carrying it. The Custom II will be close to your price range, but I’d shop elsewhere.

    I will strongly urge you to not get a basic GI style 1911, I was once of the opinion that some of the "upgrades" such as beaver tail grip safeties and elongated thumb safeties were not really all that needed, but I've changed my tune over the last couple of years.

    If you plan on shooting the gun alot, the beavertail is worth it, the elongated thumb safety, maybe not as badly needed but I wouldn't go without it. The thing about GI pistols is that a lot of people end up sinking money in them with upgrades, better sights which often require dovetails to be cut which then leads to refinishing, or the addition of a beavertail which can require cutting of the frame and you guessed it, more refinishing.

    I would also suggest a little more emphasis on the warranty/customer service aspect as every gun maker can have issues, even the $3K ones sometimes need to go back for service.

    What wasn't on your list was Taurus...I'll save that for others to comment on, but I wouldn't buy one.

    In all honesty, if I were you I'd probably go with trying to find a used Springfield Loaded, older Kimber or a used Colt XSE or other model. Some of the older Paras can be good buys, but go stainless steel all of their other applied fnishes don’t hold up well, this goes for the new guns as well. You might be able to find some good used S&W 1911s in that your price range, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Buying used can be scary as you don’t know what you’re getting and most gun shops have an all sales final policy.

    Now with all that being said, there are some guns that you may not be aware of in your price range that are reasonably equipped.

    The Rock Island Tactical…it sucks that RIA doesn’t have a legitimate website but Google “SARCO INC” and you should be able to see some different models…is a reasonably priced gun with some nice features including a beavertail and more user friendly sights. Another is the STI Spartan

    Both of these guns are under your $700 line, but are made in the Philippines, the STI is finished in the US and has STI parts; it’s not a bad buy. They are cast frames instead of forged, for some it’s a deal breaker, but if you want to stick to your budget and have some decent options on the gun our of the box they aren’t bad choices. I would probably opt for a a RIA Tactical in satin nickel, but that’s me.

    There are some other imports such as Citadel, and the American Classic lime. I haven’t done much research on these but they are more Phillipino imports, the American Classic line comes in a couple different sizes, they are imported by Eagle Imports who used to import Bersa and Llama if I’m not mistaken. Word is that the American Classisc line isn’t a bad choice, but I can neither confirm nor deny. I will say that the quality of these pistols are supposed to be better than the Llama/Firestorm 1911s of yesteryear.

    Desert Eagle also has a decently equipped 1911, these frames came from BUL which were originally supposed to go to Charles Daly, one of them might be worth taking a look at, but really, who wants a 1911 with DESERT EAGLE written all over it, that’s just wrong in my opinion. They should be in your stated price range. I will neither promote or detract on the gun. Just letting you know it’s out there as an option. Company wise, Magnum Research has a decent reputation although they were acquired by Kahr which is ran my the “Moonies”…if you don’t know who or what I’m talking about, it’s a non-issue but if you feel like an interesting read you can look them up.

    The one line of guns I haven’t really touched on as they are they are out of the given price range are the Dan Wesson 1911s, before the 2010 model year came out the DW guns were running around the $900-$1K mark NIB but used could be had around $750-$800. For a time, you could find “Factory blemished” Dan Wessons on Gun Broker and Guns America at a good price if you didn’t mind a little scuff here and there. These were probably some of the best deals to be had at the time. I haven’t really been looking lately, but that ship has probably sailed. Prior to the price hike in 2010, I probably would have said that if there was a “best value” 1911 taking into account all the things I listed in the previous post that it would have been Dan Wesson. As the price on the guns has gone up a couple hundred bucks I don’t know if I can still say that, however in the $1K-$1700 range the Dan Wesson is still a good buy. This is where frugal and dedicated searching can come into play. I have a cousin that snagged a Springfield TRP (Then a $1300ish pistol) for $750 used as a clerk had mislabeled the gun.

    This is getting to complicated, just shop around for a well equipped Springfield and call it a day.
    Thanks for the post! I will take a look at some of the options you mentioned. You have been most helpful and I appreciate it. I am guessing that you prefer a 5" barrel? Glad you talked about the 3" bbl. because that's where I was headed! Regards, Eli

  14. #14
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EliWolfe View Post
    Thanks for the post! I will take a look at some of the options you mentioned. You have been most helpful and I appreciate it. I am guessing that you prefer a 5" barrel? Glad you talked about the 3" bbl. because that's where I was headed! Regards, Eli
    With a 3" barrel your options are even more limited to your original specs posted above.

    Historically speaking, the 3" bbl models are the most problematic and really not all that more easy to conceal if you're carrying IWB. Pending on body type/mode of dress they can be more uncomfortable, If I carry a 3" in an IWB rig, the barrel pokes me right on the top edge of my hip bone and can be bothersome.

    What is most appealing about the 3" models is the compact frame as the grip is genearlly the hardest part to conceal. There is what's referred to as the "CCO" size gun, or what Kimber calls their compact, CCO is "Concealed Carry Officers" this has a Commanderish (4"-4.25" pending on make) barrel and the compact frame of the Officers model. Many think this to be a very good blend of features. However a CCO sized gun is generally $900 and up, there may be a similar size of a Phill. made gun, I'm not sure off the top of my head.

    I do prefer the 5" just because I don't make an effort for a deep concealed 1911, if I did I'd opt for a CCO sized gun. We do own a 3" 1911, a pre-series II Ultra CDP, it doesn't get carried much. My wife has an easier time with 4" guns as with a 5" gun her hand will be in her arm pit before the muzzle is clear of the holster and it makes for a complicated draw stroke for her, so if you're 5'4" or under that may be something to keep in mind.

    To be continued...

  15. #15
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    With a 3" barrel your options are even more limited to your original specs posted above.

    Historically speaking, the 3" bbl models are the most problematic and really not all that more easy to conceal if you're carrying IWB. Pending on body type/mode of dress they can be more uncomfortable, If I carry a 3" in an IWB rig, the barrel pokes me right on the top edge of my hip bone and can be bothersome.

    What is most appealing about the 3" models is the compact frame as the grip is genearlly the hardest part to conceal. There is what's referred to as the "CCO" size gun, or what Kimber calls their compact, CCO is "Concealed Carry Officers" this has a Commanderish (4"-4.25" pending on make) barrel and the compact frame of the Officers model. Many think this to be a very good blend of features. However a CCO sized gun is generally $900 and up, there may be a similar size of a Phill. made gun, I'm not sure off the top of my head.

    I do prefer the 5" just because I don't make an effort for a deep concealed 1911, if I did I'd opt for a CCO sized gun. We do own a 3" 1911, a pre-series II Ultra CDP, it doesn't get carried much. My wife has an easier time with 4" guns as with a 5" gun her hand will be in her arm pit before the muzzle is clear of the holster and it makes for a complicated draw stroke for her, so if you're 5'4" or under that may be something to keep in mind.

    To be continued...
    Wow, I just took a look at the Springfield MilSpec. Stainless with great looking wood grips. Don't know pricing, but looks like a winner to me. I will be off to the gunstore tomorrow and see if they stock one. Thanks!
    Eli

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