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Old July 15, 2013, 11:05 AM   #1
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1911’s in .40S&W

I'm getting the 1911/Commander itch again, but with a twist. I've never been a fan of the .45ACP (nothing wrong with the cartridge...just personal preference). I'm leaning toward the .40S&W based on ammo availability and prior experience shooting others' USPSA Open & Limited guns. I liked how those guns handled, but I'm not in the market for a race gun...just a good shooter & occasional CCW.

To those who own a 1911 in .40S&W: What are your experiences with it in terms of reliability and handling? Do the Commander & Officer length guns function reliably? And what brands do you prefer?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
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Old July 15, 2013, 11:17 AM   #2
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My only experience with a 1911 in .40 S&W is based on the STI Trojan. It has been totally reliable and carries the same as its .45 cousins. As far as accuracy goes, my Youtube video shows what an unmodified .40 STI Trojan can do with cheap range ammo.

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Old July 15, 2013, 12:48 PM   #3
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I have a Springfield EMP in 40 and it's beautiful, accurate and easy to shoot/carry, but!...mine at least was ammo picky (tight gun, didn't like the cheap stuff all the time) when I 1st got it (it's gotten better over time).

The other thing is they're a little pricey these days (for a "non-custom" 1911); got mine as a special several years back, not sure I'd pay what they're asking for one now (but that's just me)...
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Old July 15, 2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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If you just want something different then the 40 1911 is unusual. I like unusual but if you are looking for a good shooter with less expensive ammo the 9mm has a bunch of options. They shoot about the same, the main difference is the price of ammo.

BTW I do shoot a commander 1911 in both 45, a Dan Wesson and 9mm, a RIA and they shoot almost identically except the DW is a better gun.

Nothing against RIAs, they just aren't on the same level with DW but the 9mm is much cheaper to shoot.

One other thing to consider is if you get a 45 1911 you can get a 22 conversion and practice cheap with your carry holster, trigger etc. You can't convert a 40 or 9mm w/o removing the ejector.
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Old July 15, 2013, 03:05 PM   #5
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I had considered a 9mm 1911 before. But, with the current ammo situation, I don't see a lot of 9mm or .22lr on the in NO 9mm or .22lr. What I do see is a lot of .40S&W at prices cheaper than .45ACP. That...and that .40S&W in a steel 1911 platform is a pussycat to shoot.
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Old July 15, 2013, 03:16 PM   #6
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@Bubba excellent group, shooting much bulls eye?
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Old July 15, 2013, 03:30 PM   #7
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My only interaction with a Commander in 40S&W is my Double Eagle, it shoots great and is handy with 9+1 ready to go from my Wilson Combat mags. I havent had any probles with it but I bought it used so I dont know how many rounds are through it.
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Old July 15, 2013, 04:09 PM   #8
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I don't have a 40, but i do have a 10mm 1911, which is quite similar, just higher powered. My buddy has a Ruger SR1911 in 45. We take them both out regularly and shoot them both. I was leary of getting a non-standard chambering (non 45acp) in the 1911, but after owning it for a while, i have no regrets at all. The only thing i would throw out there is when you stray from 45acp to 40/10, you can get +1 round in the magazine, but also magazines are harder to come by and more expensive. Also if you get the shorter pistols in 40/10, they tend to wear out the recoil springs faster. The recoil is quite a bit 'snappier' than the 45.

I like the 10mm a lot, but someday i will get a standard 45 too. There is no way i will be able to hold out forever on getting the old classic...
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Old July 15, 2013, 08:16 PM   #9
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Like DealHunter I have a Springfield EMP in 40. It is a bit picky on ammo when new but smooths out after a few hundred rounds. Or just polish the feed ramp. Anyway, it's a nice shooter and very nice carry gun.
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Old July 15, 2013, 11:51 PM   #10
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I'm an STI junkie and they offer several commander size pistols in .40 S&W. You might want to check out the Ranger or the Tactical 4.0. Both are commander size with 4.25" barrels. I have the Ranger in .45 and the double stack version of the Tactical in .40 and both have been excellent. While I shoot mostly Atlanta Arms and Freedom Munitions ammo, I've not had issues with either gun accepting ammunition. For both I use Hornady Critical Duty for personal defense ammo because it feeds very reliably.
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Old July 16, 2013, 08:03 PM   #11
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Here are a cpl of my 1911's. As you can see, I value diversity, especially in my pistols. The Colt makes use of easy to find .40 S&W, while the Ruger shoots most everything but .40 Smith!

The first pic is of a Colt Gold Cup Elite in .40 S&W...apparently one of the few Colt made up back in the days of the Series 80. I have the original bbl and bushing, but it currently sports a Wilson bbl. and bushing. It's an honest 2" grouping gun at 25 yds, thoroughly reliable, and a bit different from the usual Colt chamberings.

The 2nd pic is of my current project, a Ruger SR1911 CMD in .45 ACP originally. I've since tried, and was successful in using my 9mm Colt Combat Commander slide and bbl, as well as another Colt slide and barrel in .38 Super. The .22 lr slide and barrel are a Marvel offering but in the full 5" barrel length. Son #2 has my Ciener .22 conversion unit with the Commander (4-1/4") barrel length, but I have no doubt that it too will fit and function perfectly.

Both guns are interesting in their own right, but that Commander would most probably be the last pistol I'd give up. It's that good. Since trying the 9mm and .38 Super slide/bbl's., they've given me just about 100% reliability after the first 100 rounds. The 9 and .38 Super barrels are not as accurate as the .45, but will hold their own at a bit less than 3" gps at 25 yds; and that without any load tweaking on my part. The .45 and .22 lr tubes are about equal, consistently shooting sub-2" gps from rest at 25.

HTH"s Rod

Colt factory original Gold Cup Elite in .40 S&W.

My new Ruger SR1911, originally in .45 ACP, but shown with its auxiliary 9mm, .38 Super, and .22 lr conversion slide and barrel units.
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Old July 16, 2013, 08:09 PM   #12
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1911's in 40S&W????
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Old July 17, 2013, 09:32 PM   #13
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For years I carried a Kimber 1911 Stainless Pro Carry (4"). The gun is 100% reliable and it is my EDC. Several years ago I bought a new gun at auction...never heard of the brand but it was a .380 for less than $100. Turned out to be the worst investment I ever made. Anyway, somewhere along the way I hooked up with a guy that trades guns and I traded that gun and some cash for an identical Kimber 1911 Stainless Pro Carry like mine chambered in .40 S&W. It too is flawless in performance and if were not for subtle internal differences, one could not tell one gun from the other. I now shoot the .40 at nearly every range outing because it is so much fun to shoot. I am a 1911 fan and after blowing several hundred rounds of .45 downrange, it's fun to have the familiar 1911 feel in my hand but with a bit snappier round. BTW, if one properly grips the 1911, there should not be any more muzzle rise in the .40 compared to the .45 or vice versa.
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Old July 18, 2013, 07:36 PM   #14
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I don't have any experience with a commander size 1911 in 40S&W, however I have considered building one.

I do have a COLT MKIV in 40S&W in my gun safe, I believe there was 500 of them made.
I've shot the gun some and had no problems with it.

I have a Kahr Arms 40S&W that I won in one of the first big pin matches I competed in back in 97.
It's about like a commander size and it's been flawless with everything I've shot thru it.
It's the reason I've never felt the need to build a commander size 1911 in 40S&W.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
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Old July 18, 2013, 07:51 PM   #15
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I'm getting the 1911/Commander itch again, but with a twist
TO be honest I would love to have a 1911 in 40.

Like the idea of having a little more ammo in a 1911 frame and a little more umpf than a 9mm.

Good thread.

Nice guns guys
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