View Full Version : 1911 - Is it the best design for U ?

October 16, 1998, 04:37 PM
Compare the 1911 to ANY other brand and you will find a staggering amount of frame/ slide variations. High cap., steel /alloy and polymer variations. Short, medium and long triggers.Calibres from .22 to .400 Corbon, .45 Super and .50 A/E (in the Coonan). High cap. frames and frame kits with the ability to hold 16 + 1 rnds of .40 S&W. Now there still isn't another gun on the market that can offer as many after market parts that are available for the 1911and its clones. So if you have small or large hands, CCW in mind, want to shoot competitions or just have plain FUN. : Is it the best design for U ?....HS

[This message has been edited by HS (edited 10-17-98).]

October 16, 1998, 04:52 PM
HS: For me? The 1911 is just a tad too big, the Browning HP is a better fit, but since they are both the same basic design I have to agree.

October 17, 1998, 10:23 PM
For me, it is a Colt Commander, 32oz loaded with 8 Speer 230gr Gold Dots. The gun carries great in a Sparks IWB holster. It shoots soft with my practice load of 200 gr lead at 900fps. Thats a power factor of 180,000. A 9MM 115gr at 1250fps has a power factor of 143,750. I also shoot several other 1911 pattern guns in both .45 and .38 super. John Brownings designs work! GLV

October 22, 1998, 01:59 AM
Howdy HS,
I just love Mr Browning's design and as a matter of fact, I'm having some light "custom" work done on my coveted stainless officer's model right now. I think with a bull match ramp bbl and a full length guide rod I'll be drivin tacks in no time. This is my prefered carry piece and being without it has me in withdralls! Do you know a remidy? Own two, right? I'm workin on it! The 1911 is definately for me!

October 22, 1998, 04:43 AM
Why stop at two ? grin http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif....HS

October 22, 1998, 10:04 AM
I would take a "tuned" 1911 pattern gun anyday over any other design. Not because newer designs are inferior, but because it's the gun I am most familiar with and shoot most often. I have read in several gunzines that the 1911 pattern pistols tend to be the gun of choice for the so called "martial artists". The other designs are built to accomodate the less experienced shooters, LEOs, and lawyers. Comments, flames?

Rob Pincus
October 22, 1998, 10:41 AM
NAD, I think you managed to make an argument for 1911s and "other designs" as well.

This is not a flame, I love 1911s, but let me propose this theory:

We use Windows because we have no other choice anymore...No wait, that's not what I meant to say. We use Windows because it is simpler than DOS. While DOS may be better in some ways or may (have been?) more familar to some of us, the fact is that Windows is simpler and faster. I see that like the difference between a 1911 and a DA Auto. No denying the greatness of the 1911/DOS system, they put you in touch with the process of firing the weapon or running the computer. BUt, they both take a lot more training and are less intuitive than the Windows/Glock system, which just comes more naturally and is easier to execute.

What is easier to drive, a stick or an automatic? Again, when I get into a corvette I want a stick, BUT an auto is easier to drive. Modern, high performance automatics are quicker than the human being when it comes to makeing a shift, you give up some control (ie- the manual safety on a 1911), but you don' have to concentrate on the mechanics of the vehicle. you can just concentrate on staying on the road (or the target)

I just made those anologies up, so feel free to show me where they are weak (so I can improve them)...

October 22, 1998, 11:46 AM
The Nissan 300ZX came in two flavors - stick or Auto ( as my Dad says Sissy Stick ). It was proven by pro drivers on a closed circut course that the AUTO was faster than the stick. Due to the fact it shifted acording to power and output levels, where as the human shifted car shifted after the power level has dropped off. 2 second difference in the quarter mile. This was shocking to sports car guys - where it was the general knowledge that you could drive a stick faster.

What does this have to do with guns you ask?
Well, when you compare the Beretta 92 to the Chevy Beretta.... Ah, my train of thought just got Derailed... I have to go get some Dr Pepper now.

October 22, 1998, 11:58 AM
I have to say, I shot a 1911 for many years.
It was my first pistol. But I never felt good about carrying it. (not just because it is huge) I had carried it a few times and one night I came home and took it off, and found that the safty had somehow been moved to the FIRE position. So from then on I didnt carry a 1911. I still wont, unless in the woods or something like that. For CCW I carry a double action.

But for shooting pleasure.........
the 1911 is close to the top of my list.
With all the accessories and things you can do to them, its almost like having a classic car, that you drive when its sunny out and you want to go have fun, and a reguler car for every day.

No doubt that the 1911 is a proven performer in combat, and still is. If I was in a war, I would feel confident carring a 1911, and would be hard pressed to carry anything else.

October 22, 1998, 01:33 PM
Rob - I bet I could train a chimp to click off the thumb safety and fire a 1911 and click a mouse button to start a Windows program, but I doubt I could get him to type in the DOS command line something that would make sense. Your analogy needs work. Just how difficult is it to use a 1911?

ShadedDude - Is there any difference carrying a "cocked and locked" 1911 with the thumb safety off and a Glock with a round in the chamber? There is - A 1911 has a grip safety.

October 22, 1998, 01:50 PM
The 1911 is a fantastic design. The USP was heavily infuenced by it - as are most handguns. Browning, a very religious man, was probably inspired by God in making this pistol. He later came up with the Hi Power, another great pistol... from these two guns, most other pistols have some design relation. You guys (and gals) need to remember there is more to the 1911 than just its A1 form - there is the DOUBLE EAGLE pistol, in which Colt made an honest try at making it double action. It has a very loyal following. A little more work and it would have been much more popular. Trigger was a bit far for easy reach... And now Para-Ordinance is going to be making a Crunchenticker version. I still call these 1911 variants.
One thing 1911s are good at - riding in a IWB holster. regardless of barrel length, they are much more comfortable than other (NO I did not say LESSER!) guns.

October 22, 1998, 04:32 PM
I know it has a grip safty but I still didnt feel secure, but for that matter I dont with Glock either, I carry a HK, decocked, safty on. So for it to go off got to knock the safty off, then go throu a long trigger pull.

The 1911 has been tested and proven to be a very safe gun. Its just a personal quirk. =)

October 23, 1998, 10:58 AM
I've shot just about anything that's been manufactured at one time or another, the basic 1911 design is still the one I can handle more rapidly, comfortably and accurately than any other.

My personal favorite is the combat commander, though I am dying to try the Fanthom Fighter series by Fred Craig. It's basically a 1911 design that is about the size of an Officer but shorter slide and frame, available in 15 rd .38 super or 13 rd .40 S&W.

If you want to see it, I think it was in the March issue of American Handgunner. Don't recall for sure.

October 23, 1998, 11:38 AM
Was thinking about my 1911 away and lonely in the shop again last night, and about the posts we exchanged concerning owning more than one. Its a difficult sell in my house, to say the least. Missus 'Paw will come home with a new pair of shoes without saying a word, but when I come home with a new gun you'd think she busted a gasket. Now, you might say that a gun is a much larger purchase than a pair of shoes, but not when she's got more shes than Imelda Marcos. At any rate, She has never fired my Officer's model, although she's held it and said it was nice( isnt that sweet of her?) I was thumbing through my wilson's catalog and she was making comments on some of the weapons and I say; "We should get you a 1911...." subtle hint? I dont think so. She comes back with;" why do I need a 1911, I'll just use yours" AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!! I guess the old proverb about wives is true; whats theirs is theirs and whats yours is theirs! Not to worry! I will not be so easily defeated! Just gonna take longer than I thought...............

October 24, 1998, 03:12 AM
O1paw, tell the missus she can have a P-14. And it holds TWICE as many bullets as yours ! If one upmanship is alive and well, it may swing her to your liking...HS

October 24, 1998, 11:28 AM
Hmmm. You do have a point there...........

October 25, 1998, 10:51 PM
The 1911 in its current configuration that includes the firing pin safety, is one of the safest guns made. Even w/o the firing pin safety, if the springs were up to snuff, the gun was very safe. This is the one design, that even small hands can use. The length of pull can be as short as needed. Frame can be reduced. Grips can be thinned. Mainspring housings can be flat. It is an easy gun to teach, and can be a real confidence builder for the males and females with small hands, that are having problems with K frame sized guns or the J frame guns that while small, are hard to shoot well. A Combat, or a lightweight Commander will both work well. Arthritis in my strong hand index finger first joint is no problem with Commander.GLV

October 30, 1998, 05:27 PM
I believe that the 1911 is the best design for me. I have owned an BHP, USP, USPC and finally a 1911. I found that the 1911 fits my hands better than any of the other guns. Well maybe not the BHP, but it did not come in 45. I love the SA. No difference in trigger pull from shot to shot makes for more consistent shooting, at least for me. As for safety, I feel that my Kimber is safer than most other guns out there. To fire it you must move the safety, grip the frame and pull the trigger. For those ultra safe Glocks and Sigs all that needs to happen is to move the trigger and BANG. As for the safety cominf off safe. I have never had it happen even with the extended safety on mine. I have never carried it anything other than a quality holster specifically made for the gun (Sparks, Blade Tech, Galco...). Even if it did come off for some strange reason, you would still have to squeeze the grip safety and pull the trigger to fire it. Unless you have some sort of catastrophic material failure you are just as safe with a Cond 1 1911 as you are with a Cond 1 Glock/Sig/SW...

August 19, 2005, 06:47 PM
I am considering either a Kimber TLE/RL II, or a Springfield Armory MC Operator.

August 19, 2005, 07:22 PM
I began shooting handguns in 1978. I shot a lot of different handguns. I tried Berettas, HKs, Sigs, and yes, even Glocks. I shot some that I really can't remember what they were, and others I'm ashamed I did. I liked the high tech tactical whizbang stuff, and would openly declare 1911s were obsolete guns for grumpy old men.

About 5 years ago on a whim, I shot a 1911. I bought my first 1911 within an hour of that. I sure wasted a lot of years shooting other stuff and making dumb remarks.

Next, I tried a S&W wheelgun...........same result.

Next, my son called me a grumpy old man. The circle is complete. :D

August 19, 2005, 07:31 PM
For me, absolutely nothing points as well as the 1911 design. I've not found anything even near being as comfortable to hold, point, or shoot.

I carry a chopped 1911 (the Kimber UC STS II) with me everyday. 100% reliable, and I'm more accurate with it than any non-1911 gun by a mile.

August 19, 2005, 07:33 PM
Tried the rest. Came back to the Best. 1911's that is
Les Baer Premier
Les Baer 5" Master

After that, I that Ruger .44's. .357's.

August 19, 2005, 08:15 PM
Nope. All 1911s are ergonomicly poor for me. The slide and mag release start out too far, and just get farther as the mag gets bigger. The bore is a bit high and the trigger no better than other quality SAs.

August 19, 2005, 09:14 PM
as far as ergonomics go CZ and Berettas fit me (a lot) better :) but I like the way look though...also I prefer DA to SA.

August 19, 2005, 09:22 PM
Probably the best, but I'm partial to K and N frame S&W revolvers, too.

August 19, 2005, 10:14 PM
The "best" design for me?


Not a bad gun, but I don't see it as being an overall better design than my Beretta or my Sig or my FM HP. It's better some areas and worse in others. Heck, I prefer the ergonomics of an SAA over a 1911... the SAA just doesn't conceal as well. ;)

August 19, 2005, 10:14 PM
You'll like both. I'd look at the Kimber TLE or, I have been looking really closely at the Kimber Warrior as well, looks to be a sweet gun. Just my $.02

August 20, 2005, 12:07 AM
It's pretty doggone close, but then I guess I'm fortunate because also so are Sig, Glock, CZ and HK designs the right ones for me. I just like them all, and have probably missed a few that I have not handled/fired. I really have a passion for good revolvers too.
PS. This is by far the oldest thread I have seen dredged up. Original post Clinton -era 1998.

Larry C.
August 20, 2005, 12:06 PM

I tried. I read books and articles. I bought a quality Springfield Armory 1911 and fired it. I WANTED to like this gun and become proficient with it. It's the most storied and even best LOOKING pistol made. But it's not for me. I wish it were.
I couldn't get comfortable with take-down-compared to more modern pistols I've owned-Sig, Ruger and recently the impressive Beretta 92 FS! Ammo was expensive (although that's not John Browing's fault!) and I just didn't shoot it well. For me, take down was a CHORE owing to that stubborn slide-stop. I mean STUBBORN to remove! I laughed out loud at Bill Wilson's video: "Simply push it from behind with one finger, while gently pulling on the other side and.." yeah RIGHT! FWIW, two 1911 enthusiasts told me my SA was "tight".

After acquiring a Beretta 92FS, I'm a convert! It's soft-recoiling, which improves my accuracy. Go ahead, call me a wuss about recoil. I'm 6'1 and lift weights twice a week and STILL don't care for the 1911, despite it's popularity. To those who use it well, I'm happy that you're happy. FWIW, my SA never had a FTF or FTE over the course of a mere 1,200 rounds. My Beretta 92FS has some 1,600 rounds of nearly every different weight and manufacture also with no failures, and I'm more accurate with it.
The only drawback to the Beretta 92FS is that "crunchenticker" trigger, I admit. Also it fires the 9mm, which doesn't have as good a reputation as the .45 ACP.
I'll take my chances with good, modern 147 gr. HP ammo. I DO, weekly with my CWL. I hope I never have to USE my Beretta 92FS to shoot anything more threatening than steel plates.

Larry C.
PS: Oh, earlier this year I DID have to use my Beretta 92FS on a feral dog who, with another canine partner was menacing our family picnic. I sent the one nearest my car ( approx 45 lbs. +) away howling and running with a limp with the first shot (DA). His accomplice was nowhere to be seen after I turned around to take aim on him. FWIW, I took no pleasure in this, but wife was glad I brought the Beretta!

Mike Irwin
August 20, 2005, 03:42 PM
For me?


No it's not.

August 24, 2005, 03:37 PM
the best for me

August 24, 2005, 06:23 PM
This is a great series of posts that clearly show that a gun is a highly personal thing.

I have shot 1911s for a long time.

A few years ago, I bought a Beretta 92FS Inox because my sons were getting interested in shooting and were a bit intimidated by .45s. The Beretta was a beautiful, finely-made gun... that I couldn't shoot worth spit, no matter how hard I tried. The Beretta went bye-bye.

One day I tried a Sig range rental gun and it was great - a modern DA/SA gun that felt good in my hand and I could actually shoot it well (for me). I now have two Sigs, a P228 and a P226ST, both of which are incredibly well made, absolutely reliable, and easy to shoot.

A couple of weeks ago at the range, the guy in the next lane asked to try my Sig P226ST. I handed him the gun and watched with pleasure as he obviously enjoyed shooting it. He returned the favor by letting me shoot his Nighthawk 1911. I promptly put 5 shots in one ragged hole at 50 feet, which was better than I had previously done that day with my Sig.

So, yes, the 1911 is the best design for me. It feels right in my hand and points naturally. And the big old .45 rounds are very comforting.

August 24, 2005, 07:12 PM
Is the 1911 the best design for me?



Tried everthing else, keep coming back home.

August 24, 2005, 10:21 PM
A citizen noted the hammer back on the 1911 carried in the waist band by Charlie Miller, Texas Ranger. The Citizen asks, "Isn't That Dangerous?" Charley replied, " I wouldn't carry the son of a bitch if it wasn't dangerous."

August 24, 2005, 10:59 PM
I figure by now I am nearly on my fourth trip around the block. I have owned or tried just about every major centerfire duty handgun design at one time or another.

It's all been boiled down for me until something better comes along, which I highly suspect ain't gonna happen. I only own four types of handguns as of this month.

.45ACP=1911A1 to me, preferably a Commander style as I like the balance better than the GM or the smaller framed ones.

.40S&W=Someone would have to sponsor me to own or shoot one of these.

9mm=CZ-All of the strengths of the BHP with better ergonomics. Shares a C&L manual of arms with my favorite warhorse.

DA revolvers=Ruger or Colt. Smith need not apply as I cannot stand their implementation of the cylinder catch as a left hander. Others of course disagree vehemently.

Reduced to one, I take my carry Springer Champion, or an NP3'd Ed Brown Kobra with my dream budget.