View Full Version : Thinking about 1911

September 9, 2007, 10:07 PM
I am looking at various handguns and hear good things about 1911s, particularly Smith & Wesson models. Anyone with 191s want to share details about their experiences with these guns? Thanks. :)

September 9, 2007, 10:56 PM
I'd read alot of good things about the taurus pt1911 and I was going to get one untill I went to the shop and found the colt 1991 that I ended up taking home. glad I did too. the taurus has all the nice features but the colt is a colt. plus I can always add what I want to it later.

September 9, 2007, 11:28 PM
I used to own a 5" S&W 1911PD. I sold it and started carrying commander-sized 1911s instead. If I had to do it again, I would get a 4.25" 1911SC and send it to Gemini customs for a bobtail. Perfect lightweight carry 1911 (and economical too).

September 10, 2007, 07:26 AM
The only 1911 in my possession right now is a Springfield Armory Mil-Spec, and I love it, except the grip safety tends to dig into the web of my right hand when I shoot it. I used to own the GI model, but I didn't care for the sights, so I ended up selling it. If you're looking for a basic, no frills 1911, the Mil-Spec is a great choice IMO. I plan to get a Loaded model eventually.

September 10, 2007, 07:30 AM
IMO, they are the gold standard of pistols. All other pistols envy them, and want to be them.

If you can tell i'm a little biased.

September 10, 2007, 07:49 AM
Do much homework before you do any purchasing.

The Taurus PT1911 for example is less expensive because its internals are mostly metal injection molded parts. Not what I want to bet my life on.

Next, used 1911's that have been "hotrodded" can be bought for much less, but you need a gunsmith you trust to look it over and make sure it isn't a Lemon with a little sugar on it.

You really get what you pay for in the regard that we're speaking of. Save your money, start with the model from the maker that you want... have it customized after you've gotten familiar with it.

Probably can't go wrong with the S&W, but for the same money I'd come home with the SiG GSR 1911, or a different style of pistol all together (SiG, Glock, Walther, Hk..etc)

September 10, 2007, 08:27 AM
My comments are on this thread (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=227226&page=2) at post #42

September 10, 2007, 09:18 AM
Two things wrong with both a Colt and a S&W. I think you pay a lot more than they are worth just because of the name on them. I know many people that are quite happy with their Norincos and RRI's and Taurus 1911's. I never purchase a gun figuring what the resale value is, as I never plan to sell them. Unless they are total and complete dogs. This has only happened once to me so far, and my brother was quite happy when I presented it to him as a present, because he is mechanically inclined and figured out what was wrong with it.
That said my favorite 1911, though it is a 10mm and not a .45, is a Dan Wesson Razorback. My .45 is covered by a SA 1911A1 GI, which turned into a wonderful shooter when I dropped a Wilson Combat Match grade barrel with fitted bushing in it.

September 10, 2007, 10:07 AM
particularly Smith & Wesson models

I bought mine for $660 about 4 years ago. Current street price is up to $730 --> $750. Still a solid value on a great gun.


Those pictures were taken after 3 years and 15k rounds. It's now another year older and still looks and shoots like new. One of the best gun buys I've ever made.

Good Luck...


September 10, 2007, 10:50 AM
STI SPARTAN best entry level 45, for around 600.00 you will have a 45 as reliable as my Ed Brown, Wilson, Baer. I could go on about 1911 parts, models, etc but where do you stop.

September 10, 2007, 11:50 AM
I own two 1911s and would love a third. For a full sized 1911 you'll do very well with any of the major brands pretty much right out of the box. S&W, Sig, Kimber, Springfield Armory or Colt. Those, especially the first three, would be my first choices in the sub-mega bucks range. Of course like any other weapon you'll want to take them to the range and give them a through 250-300rd break in/trying out. The less well known 1911s like Taurus, Charles Daly etc are fine choices for the budget minded and of course the same caveat applies - take it to the range and put a couple of hundred rounds through it, including at least 100rds of your carry cartridges.

I have a full sized 5" 1911 and a 3" Kimber Ultra Carry. Unless you are huge the full sized Government model won't conceal well but it will be the most fun to shoot. The 3" disappears in medium clothing but gives up some bullet velocity due to the shorter barrel. When I finally get around to buying a third it will be a 4" with the shorter more easily concealable officers sized alloy frame. That's the sweet spot in my opinion.

If you do decide to go with a 3" 1911 then by all means stick to the big players like Colt, Kimber or Para Ordnance. The timing on the shorties is super critical so this just isn't a place to go cheap.

When you get to the store ask to dry fire the actual pistols you would be buying. Side by side if possible. The heart and soul of any 1911 is its fine single action trigger. Spend time comparing the triggers. Different brands or models within a brand may have different trigger pulls. Even different batches of the same pistol may have slightly different trigger pulls. I like a smooth 3.5-4lb trigger with minimal take up.

Finally the Achilles’ heel of any 1911 is the quality of the magazines. Don't skimp with cheap gun show magazines. Especially if you go short. Chip McCormick makes excellent, extremely reliable and very affordable magazines, and of course Wilson makes Cadillacs. Regardless of the brand test your magazines before relying on them.

September 10, 2007, 12:36 PM
I just got rid of my Taurus PT1911 due to it continually FTF. I traded it in on a Kimber Custom TLE II. I just went out this weekend and shot my new Kimber. It had zero problems and shot very well.

September 10, 2007, 01:39 PM
I agree the STI Spartan is worth a look.

September 10, 2007, 03:21 PM
dwatts47 wrote:
Do much homework before you do any purchasing.

The Taurus PT1911 for example is less expensive because its internals are mostly metal injection molded parts. Not what I want to bet my life on.

I think they are all using MIM parts nowadays. Except for custom shops.

September 10, 2007, 03:25 PM
If you plan on putting a lot of rounds through it stay away from a gun with MIM parts. Yes you will spend a bit more but you'll most likely get a much longer lasting firearm. I own a few "deMIMed" kimbers which are great and were not too expensive.