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Old February 5, 2010, 01:37 PM   #1
tdmoparguy
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1917 S&W vs 1911

I am about to purchase my first handgun and am torn between an 1917 S&W model 22 and a 1911. What should I go with?
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Old February 5, 2010, 01:47 PM   #2
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First handgun? How about a 22?

Gotta have a 45? The 1917. Easier to learn on.

Get the 1911 later.
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Old February 5, 2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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Dude this is to go along with my M1 Garand. I've been shooting my dad's .22 and .357 revolvers since I was 4. I'm not some little city kid whose only gun experience is on video games. And yes I have narrowed it down to those 2 in .45ACP.
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Old February 5, 2010, 01:54 PM   #4
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I see no factor as far as learning how to operate. Being an old timer, I have a soft spot for either choice. But to go with an M1 then the 1911 seems the best choice.

The good news is there is no bad choice between the two.

Added: As far as concealed carry, then the 1911 is probably easier to conceal.
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Old February 5, 2010, 02:43 PM   #5
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I haven't fired the 22, but I own a .45 ACP Smith & Wesson revolver (625JM). I also own a 1911. It's tough to choose between the two. The 1911 was, obviously, made for the .45 ACP and it is the quintessential semiauto. Mine (also, a S & W) is incredibly accurate and a lot of fun to shoot. My 625 is also a fantastic gun, very very accurate and just an all round blast. Interestingly, the perceived recoil of the .45 ACP round is greater with the revolver than with the 1911 even though 625 outweighs the 1911 by nearly 1/2 pound. Obviously, that's because the 1911 slide absorbs so much of the recoil.

Either way you won't go wrong. One caution. You may already realize this, but the S & W Model 22 is a fixed sight revolver. It's almost certainly zeroed for 230 gr. fmj bullets. That's fine and I expect that it will be very accurate with that round at distances up to 25 yards. But, other rounds will hit at different points of impact from the 230 gr. rounds. In particular, some of the lighter weight loads may travel significantly faster than the 230 grainers. That would normally translate to a lower point of impact (generally faster = lower) and you would not be able to adjust your sights to compensate. Thus, for a first revolver you might want to take a look at the adjustable sight 625.
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Old February 5, 2010, 03:48 PM   #6
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There's few things more fun to shoot than a 1911.

The question is what 1911. It will have to be a pretty high quality one to equal the quality of the S&W 1917.

So if you're looking at low end 1911's then go for the revolver. If you're looking at high quality 1911's go that way.
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Old February 5, 2010, 04:08 PM   #7
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If this is to go with a M1 garand, then my guess is that you would want a more mil-spec 1911. That narrows the field down quite a bit. My suggestion would be (if you can afford it) to look at Colt. They have a new limited edition offering through Talo that's basically a copy of the WWII era 1911A1:



The S&W 1917 "Classic" is also a fine gun. I intend to pick one up one day as I already have a Springfield G.I. 1911. These are regular production guns now, so there isn't really any hurry in trying to get one. It doesn't look like they will be going anywhere for the time being.
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Old February 5, 2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
First handgun? How about a 22?

Gotta have a 45? The 1917. Easier to learn on.

Get the 1911 later.
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The above quote because of your post count




Quote:
Dude this is to go along with my M1 Garand. I've been shooting my dad's .22 and .357 revolvers since I was 4. I'm not some little city kid whose only gun experience is on video games
Why ask us if the above quote is true? You may want to leave the attitude off the key board.
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Old February 5, 2010, 04:32 PM   #9
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I think it would be a good thing if EVERYone were to leave the attitude off the keyboard...
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Old February 5, 2010, 06:23 PM   #10
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If it's to go with your M1, I'm guessing that you're trying to build a historical collection. That being the case, the 1911 would be more period-correct for a WWII collection as much fewer 1917's saw service in that particular conflict. Now, if you needed a gun to go with a 1903 Springfield or P17 Enfield, the 1917 might be a more period-correct choice since there are so few WWI spec 1911's available.
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Old February 5, 2010, 10:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
If this is to go with a M1 garand, then my guess is that you would want a more mil-spec 1911. That narrows the field down quite a bit. My suggestion would be (if you can afford it) to look at Colt. They have a new limited edition offering through Talo that's basically a copy of the WWII era 1911A1:
Don't get me wrong, that Talo/Colt is a fine looking pistol. But with those grips and that finish (looks a touch too shiny to be parked) how could that be termed a pistol that replicates one from WWII? Shouldn't that be transition model full checked walnut grips or brown plastic Coltrock or Coltwood? And the finish would be parkerized

fantastic looking pistol and I'd love to own own but what I see isn't replicating a "WWII" pistol very well. maybe the photo is showing an oiled-up parkerized finish; parkerization will hold an oil sheen

I'd have to guess that the Talo/Colt pistol go for a fair bit, being less than 1,000 made, etc

At that point, why get a 'replica' at all? Get a real WWII production Remington-Rand or similar. It wouldn't be terribly more expensive and at the end of the day you have the real thing
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Old February 6, 2010, 07:57 AM   #12
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1917 S&W vs 1911

I own both a 1917 (my GF's WWI sidearm) and several 1911's. The 1917 is a very good piece, but VERY large and cumbersome. My choice would be the 1911 just for the fact that it's a much better handling gun and there's no need to bother with the moon clips or trying to find 45 auto rim ammo.
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Old February 6, 2010, 09:03 AM   #13
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About moon clips:
While I don't have a 1911, I do have a 1917. After using the moon clips, I've come to the decision that they are the best thing since sliced bread. I wish my .38s had moon clips. It's like having six round magazines.

About the M1917:
Absolutely friggin' fantastic! It's a great shooter and a great HD or range gun.

But, if you do want a WWII flavor, go with the 1911. Personally, I'd get myself an actual military-issue piece rather than something made to mimick one. Those G.I. '45s are going up in price and seem to be a good investment, also.
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Old February 6, 2010, 11:35 AM   #14
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Lower point of impact...

Quote:
That would normally translate to a lower point of impact (generally faster = lower) and you would not be able to adjust your sights to compensate.
You can always use a file on the front sight to raise the point of impact with your preferred load. I've done this several times so it must be easy to do. If you're careful you can maintain the sight's contour. Just follow up with some cold blue.

My brother-in-law has an M22 and several 1911s. He actually likes the M22 better as a range gun. Using moon clips eliminates the case track down time.

But either way, it a no-lose choice.
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Old February 6, 2010, 02:00 PM   #15
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The very first handgun I ever fired was a 1911-a1. Don't recall the manufacturer. It was love at first sight.

Too bad it was just a quick familiarization and I didn't get to fire but a few rounds. I also had several NCO's hanging around who seemed to be in a perpetual bad mood about everything.

2 years later after I turned 21 and was home on leave I bought a Combat Commander which I carried for many years. It now rests in the safe and my son thinks it's his because it was the first he ever shot at age 9.

I also love the big frame Smiths. I'd probably get a headache trying to decide which one to get.
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Old February 7, 2010, 01:58 PM   #16
B.N.Real
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Go to a range and rent both guns.

I personally like revolvers and am currently thinking of buying a 45 caliber revolver.

You might like the 1911 better but be forewarned,there are a ton of 1911's out there.

Choosing one to buy will be a tough call indeed.
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