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View Full Version : Good entry 1911, carry size


Shadow9
September 26, 2011, 09:15 PM
Been considering (alongside P239/instead of) a good carry 1911. The EMP's look decent, but if I'm going 1911, I might as well go .45.

That said, part of owning (and pampering/adopting) a 1911, is it's transition to becoming a unique pistol, representative of it's owner.

I would LOVE to "build my own", from kit or what have you, but upon reading into it, unless I'm willing to drop serious $$ on the various specialized tools to just build one, it almost seems better to start with a solid "base", and upgrade the slide/hammer/trigger/barrel/etc etc as I own it

So, I bid thee all advice - what's the best "starter" 1911 base? I'm looking for about 3.5-4" barrel, Commander-style grip (mid-compact, not the full-small and not full-size...new to 1911's can you tell? :P), and around $500-600 range. Decent reliability, accuracy is negligible (I gotta learn to shoot 1911's, so having a match-barrel is gonna do nothing for me), and dark-colors. Single action preferred, unless DA/SA systems offer sub 8lb trigger pull in DA mode.

Being new to this - do the Sig 1911's have compatibility with other 1911 series accessories/parts? I'm willing to factor in "Fitting" said parts to that question...Are the Sig 1911's decent? I've heard mixed reports.

Aguila Blanca
September 26, 2011, 09:37 PM
I would LOVE to "build my own", from kit or what have you, but upon reading into it, unless I'm willing to drop serious $$ on the various specialized tools to just build one, it almost seems better to start with a solid "base", and upgrade the slide/hammer/trigger/barrel/etc etc as I own it
I built my first two 1911s using no tools other than assorted wrenches and screwdrivers accumulated from a lifetime of being my own carpenter, plumber, and auto mechanic. Since then I have added a couple of mission-specific tools like a trigger track stone and a "bench block" from Brownells, but they are not 100 percent necessary.

So, I bid thee all advice - what's the best "starter" 1911 base? I'm looking for about 3.5-4" barrel, Commander-style grip (mid-compact, not the full-small and not full-size...new to 1911's can you tell?
I don't have ANY idea what you're asking. Full-size and Commander pistols share the same grip size. Officers and Defenders (3-1/2" and 3" barrels, respectively) share the same shorter grip frame. 4" 1911s to me are best avoided. I know many companies offer them, but a true Commander has a 4-1/4" barrel with a bushing.

and around $500-600 range. Decent reliability, accuracy is negligible (I gotta learn to shoot 1911's, so having a match-barrel is gonna do nothing for me), and dark-colors.
You're looking for one of the Philippine pistols. Rock Island, MetroArms, or ATI (Shooters Arms). The latter makes a true Commander-size model.

Single action preferred, unless DA/SA systems offer sub 8lb trigger pull in DA mode.
All 1911s are single action. Period.

Being new to this - do the Sig 1911's have compatibility with other 1911 series accessories/parts? I'm willing to factor in "Fitting" said parts to that question...Are the Sig 1911's decent? I've heard mixed reports.
SIG has reinvented their 1911 production two or three times since they entered the market. IMHO they do NOT know how to build a reliable 1911, and their guns are ugly and over-priced on top of that. Do not buy a SIG 1911 unless you are a dedicated SIG lover and cannot tolerate a brand that might actually function out of the box.

Madcap_Magician
September 26, 2011, 09:47 PM
I would LOVE to "build my own", from kit or what have you, but upon reading into it, unless I'm willing to drop serious $$ on the various specialized tools to just build one, it almost seems better to start with a solid "base", and upgrade the slide/hammer/trigger/barrel/etc etc as I own it

Building your first 1911 is not very practical... in part because of the experience needed to do it right, and in part because if you've never had one before, how do you know what features you actually want and like?

So, I bid thee all advice - what's the best "starter" 1911 base? I'm looking for about 3.5-4" barrel, Commander-style grip (mid-compact, not the full-small and not full-size...new to 1911's can you tell? :P), and around $500-600 range. Decent reliability, accuracy is negligible (I gotta learn to shoot 1911's, so having a match-barrel is gonna do nothing for me), and dark-colors. Single action preferred, unless DA/SA systems offer sub 8lb trigger pull in DA mode.

The best starter 1911, IMHO, is the Rock Island Tactical, the Springfield Mil-Spec, or the Colt 1991 series. These guns are not exactly full of features, but they all have three-dot sights, and the RI Tactical has a modern upswept grip safety. All three are near-stock 1911A1 guns other than that... which is good, because you need to figure out what you like on a 1911 through experience. Also, 5" guns are the most reliable.

There are only two grip sizes for 1911s, the full-size grip used on the Government and Commander models and the compact grip used on the Officer's and Defender models.

All 1911s except for a few Para-Ordnance models and a couple of difficult-to-find Colt models are single action only.

Being new to this - do the Sig 1911's have compatibility with other 1911 series accessories/parts? I'm willing to factor in "Fitting" said parts to that question...Are the Sig 1911's decent? I've heard mixed reports.

Sig 1911 slides are shaped slightly differently than other 1911s. This creates holster compatibility issues, as most 1911 holsters are meant for guns that more closely approximate the original Colt Government slide design. I believe all internal parts should be compatible.

KyJim
September 26, 2011, 10:56 PM
Sig also uses external extractors which is not the "norm," though SW uses them as well. I think Sig 1911s are solid guns.

michael t
September 26, 2011, 11:55 PM
A colt Commander 4 1/4 is a great carry . I find the 5" barrell pushing up when I sit. That 3/4 inch makes a difference. Thats a good start Then you can move on as the addiction increases to the Officer and the Defender sizes .
I would leave the Para alone mine was not good and many others share the same experiance.

I think a Light weight Commander is the perfect carry I have 2 of those.