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Frostbite
07-21-2009, 9:46 AM
Went to the range over the weekend to shoot my new M&P9c and my G27. Ran 100 rounds through each and decided I wasn't done so I decided to see if there was anything I wanted to rent. My range doesn't have a huge selection but they do have sort of the standard fare available: Glock, XD, M&P, etc. Then I see a Kimber Custom II.

Now, I've only been shooting regularly for about a year but I've drooled over many a 1911 during that time so I figured I'd give it a shot. Granted, it's a range rental so my expectations weren't too high. Man, that thing shot like a dream. I was putting shot after shot through the same small group of holes. Definitely one of the most accurate guns I've shot and it's a range gun. :eek:

So, I really wanted to like it but I'm still not sold on the idea. For starters, I hated the grip safety. It just wasn't comfortable and it kinda pinched the web of my hand a bit. Putting a new magazine in seemed very unforgiving as well. If I didn't have the mag perfectly lined up with the mag well, it wasn't going in. Also, I couldn't operate the slide release one-handed. It was so far down the frame that my small hands just couldn't reach it.

So, my question is, are these complaints unique to the Kimber I shot? Could I find a different brand/model where these things wouldn't be an issue or is there enough modification that can be done that I could overcome them? My birthday's coming up soon and I was thinking of spending a little more than normal on a nice gift to myself and a 1911 was on the list of things I was considering, so...sell me a 1911.

SCMA-1
07-21-2009, 9:53 AM
There's no reason to sell you on anything; either it works for you or it doesn't. You should stick to guns that fit well, are comfortable, and you can shoot accurately. Everyone is different.;)

SCMA-1

Snapping Twig
07-21-2009, 10:07 AM
If it was Kimber, it would have had a beavertail grip safety. This being the case, how it pinched your hand's web is a mystery to me.

Different and thinner grip panels are available to suit all sizes of hands.

Magazine insertion on a 1911 is different. Holding the magazine in your left hand, verify that your index finger is on the round side of the magazine next to the projectile end of the bullets. Using the flat side of the magazine which should be facing you, mate the flat side of the magazine to the flat side of the magazine well at a slight angle so as to touch inside the back of the magazine well - not the front. The two flat surfaces now joined, drive the magazine up into the magazine well, don't be gentle.

Easier than it sounds, so try it and you'll have it down in no time.

ojisan
07-21-2009, 10:09 AM
All issues you mention can be addressed with grips, extended controls, mag chutes, whatever you want or need to make it "your gun" that works the way you want it to.
The availability of so many different parts and the ability to customize it anyway you want is one of the big attractions of a 1911, and is also why there are so many variations.
(Sales pitch over). :)

Greg-Dawg
07-21-2009, 10:19 AM
You being used to "plastic" is a hard transition to go to an all metal pistol. It just take some getting used to. Which range did you go that had a Kimber for rent?

Army GI
07-21-2009, 10:26 AM
All issues you mention can be addressed with grips, extended controls, mag chutes,[/etc]

Or just technique. While customizing the 1911 is one of the joys of owning the gun, you don't really need any of it.

I own a USGI M1911 and I, too, used to get hammer bite. I'm a bodybuilder so my hands are a little fleshy. If I grip the weapon too hard the muscle in between my thumb and index finger curls over the back of the grip safety just enough to get bit. What I do is I loosen my grip just a bit so my skin doesn't roll over the grip safety, yet I maintain my wrist strength so I don't end up "limp-wristing" every time I take a shot.

As for the magazine, yes if you're used to modern polymer guns with generous mag bevels then the 1911 magazine well might seem archaic. My 1911 is the military style so it has NO magazine well bevel whatsoever. Some of the more modern ones have a slight bevel that help feeding. Then you can get an attachment that pretty much gives you that "funnel effect" so you can rapidly jam that flat magazine into the well without thinking about it. But, like the grip, it just takes practice to know how to do right. As someone posted earlier, I just use my fingers to guide the magazine into the well. After a while you get a feel for it.

Lastly, the slide release. This too may be the product of modern pistols having the slide release conveniently right within reach of the thumb. I usually get a chuckle when I introduce a new shooter to the 1911. They desperately try to activate the magazine release from the same grip they use when they're firing. Unless you have the hands of a basketball player, you won't reach it. While, as already mentioned, there are extended slide releases you can buy (once again $$$) just simply twist the gun in your palm laterally so that you can reach the magazine release. Or use your other hand.

Now to sell you the 1911:

The Springfield GI is an excellent handgun with a lot of history behind it. It has served for eight decades and has seen the hands of thousands of American troops. It has a legendary reputation for reliability and stopping power.

Lots of guys are going to say that you need this or that modification or that the sights are too small. Bells and whistles are nice, but you don't really need it. Unless you just like suping up your guns. But I see the stock 1911 the same way I see the Glock, good to go out of the box.

When I turned 21, that was the very first handgun I bought and I couldn't have been more proud of it. To me, the sights are not too small at all but that's because I'm still young so I can actually see them.

The best thing about buying the basic model is that you can modify it as you see fit. If you get a fancy 1911 you will pay for stuff you don't even want or need.

Sure there is some stuff out there that can improve the pistol.

My advice is: Shoot the pistol. A lot. Once you have 500-1000 rounds down range you'll know what you need to have done to it.

As for me, I haven't done anything to my 1911A1. I like it just the way as it was carried in the holsters of GI's through WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

It doesn't have to be a Springfield either. Kimber makes an excellent baseline model called the Custom II. So does Rock Island Armory.

Rekrab
07-21-2009, 10:44 AM
Just a thought, on all the 1911s I've shot(all 2 of them!) I never used the slide release. I always slingshotted the slide because that's what felt most comfortable.

I noticed you're in Anaheim, if you don't have something against the range you should go up and check out OC Indoor Range in Brea. They have a few Springfield Armories, S&W and I think a Kimber 1911.

locosway
07-21-2009, 1:08 PM
I grew up on a 1911 so it's second nature to me. I also have large hands so the gun feels smaller than say my full sized HK .45.

To me the 1911 always seemed to shoot more true than my HK. Perhaps it was just my impression since I grew up with it. I've since bought a G20 as a replacement to my 1911 since it's more of a collectors item. I haven't shot the Glock yet but hopefully I like it.

Frostbite
07-21-2009, 1:57 PM
I grew up on a 1911 so it's second nature to me. I also have large hands so the gun feels smaller than say my full sized HK .45.

To me the 1911 always seemed to shoot more true than my HK. Perhaps it was just my impression since I grew up with it. I've since bought a G20 as a replacement to my 1911 since it's more of a collectors item. I haven't shot the Glock yet but hopefully I like it.

You will like it. I got a G20SF about 2 months ago and it's great.

sholling
07-21-2009, 2:12 PM
Magazine insertion on a 1911 is different. Holding the magazine in your left hand, verify that your index finger is on the round side of the magazine next to the projectile end of the bullets. Using the flat side of the magazine which should be facing you, mate the flat side of the magazine to the flat side of the magazine well at a slight angle so as to touch inside the back of the magazine well - not the front. The two flat surfaces now joined, drive the magazine up into the magazine well, don't be gentle.
This is exactly right. When drawing your spare magazine draw it with your index finger as described above, it works naturally when drawing from a mag pouch. Then seat the magazine forcefully and continue the upward motion of your left hand and use it to drop the slide.

The the grips can be changed to thin grip to accommodate small hands and the trigger replaced with a short trigger to accommodate short fingers.

den888
07-21-2009, 2:17 PM
My first experiences (back in 1982) on shooting a 1911 were also different from other guns I have shot.

I've always loved 1911's and now own 3 ! As others have said, you can modify them to your liking and individual tastes.

locosway
07-21-2009, 2:18 PM
The beauty of the 1911 is customization. You can do anything you want to it and usually for a fair price. Its the AR of pistols.

Too Slow
07-21-2009, 3:02 PM
Bought my first 1911 a month ago. I really enjoy shooting it. This comes out of the box with wood grips. I didn't like the grips and replaced with Hougue and I now I love it. 1911's can get a bit $$, but the SA is about $6xx. If I had it to do again, I'd have probably tried to get the mil spec version with the larger ejection port as occasionally the casings come straight back fairly hard. One got stuck in my safety glasses and actually burned my eyebrow.

xxdabroxx
07-21-2009, 3:05 PM
This is exactly right. When drawing your spare magazine draw it with your index finger as described above, it works naturally when drawing from a mag pouch. Then seat the magazine forcefully and continue the upward motion of your left hand and use it to drop the slide.

The the grips can be changed to thin grip to accommodate small hands and the trigger replaced with a short trigger to accommodate short fingers.

THIS^^^, and its a slide stop, i dont care who tells you what. Just sling shot it. If you are changing mags, you already only have one hand on the pistol. Unless you have three arms...

frank828
07-21-2009, 3:19 PM
I noticed you're in Anaheim, if you don't have something against the range you should go up and check out OC Indoor Range in Brea. They have a few Springfield Armories, S&W and I think a Kimber 1911.

brea has a rental SA 9mm 1911

i love that thing

Frostbite
07-21-2009, 3:36 PM
THIS^^^, and its a slide stop, i dont care who tells you what. Just sling shot it. If you are changing mags, you already only have one hand on the pistol. Unless you have three arms...

That's actually what I ended up doing. Even completely changing my grip on the gun, I still couldn't reach it, so I ultimately just gave up trying.

I own a USGI M1911 and I, too, used to get hammer bite. I'm a bodybuilder so my hands are a little fleshy. If I grip the weapon too hard the muscle in between my thumb and index finger curls over the back of the grip safety just enough to get bit. What I do is I loosen my grip just a bit so my skin doesn't roll over the grip safety, yet I maintain my wrist strength so I don't end up "limp-wristing" every time I take a shot.

I guess this is more of what I was talking about. The grip safety just felt kinda chunky against the fleshy part of my hand. If this could be adjusted or flattened out a bit with a different part, I'd probably be fine with it. As for the magazines, I guess I'd want a beveled mag well and work on retraining my brain.

So, like I said, I really want to like the 1911 and if my complaints about it could be ironed out with different models/modifications, I think I'm going to be in the market for one soon. Are there any models that come out of the box with those modifications already made? I'm looking at spending in the $1200-1500 range.

And thanks to everyone who's already replied!

xxdabroxx
07-21-2009, 3:39 PM
At the 1200 range you should be able to find one you like. Look around, i am very happy with my springfield, and their customer service is top notch if you ever do need it, very much no questions asked, here is a shipping label.

Rekrab
07-21-2009, 3:47 PM
brea has a rental SA 9mm 1911

i love that thing

That was actually the first handgun I ever shot. I hated it >.>

Later I discovered it was just the 9MM I didn't like.

Also, can't you remove the safety entirely? I seem to recall the original design of the 1911(Browning's original design, not what went into production for the Army) having no safety

Rob360
07-21-2009, 4:17 PM
I just bought my first 1911, a 9mm Kimber. Can't wait.

sholling
07-21-2009, 5:03 PM
I guess this is more of what I was talking about. The grip safety just felt kinda chunky against the fleshy part of my hand. If this could be adjusted or flattened out a bit with a different part, I'd probably be fine with it. As for the magazines, I guess I'd want a beveled mag well and work on retraining my brain.
There are different styles of grip safety. Some have a bump to assure that it's fully engaged and some are smooth. I like both but I've been shooting 1911s forever.

So, like I said, I really want to like the 1911 and if my complaints about it could be ironed out with different models/modifications, I think I'm going to be in the market for one soon. Are there any models that come out of the box with those modifications already made? I'm looking at spending in the $1200-1500 range.
You have lots of great choices. In the $800-1000 range my favorite is Smith & Wesson's line of SW1911s. My second choice would be Springfield Armory's "Loaded". In the $1300 range I like the Springfield's TRP. And the budget buster is S&W Performance Center PC1911 (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/11750), hand fitted target shooting bliss but that's outside of the budget. review (http://www.gunsandammomag.com/cs/Satellite/IMO_GA/Story_C/The+Peak+of+Performance)

Midian
07-21-2009, 6:03 PM
Once you drink the 1911 Kool Aid, you will become one of us

Black Majik
07-21-2009, 6:10 PM
Once you drink the 1911 Kool Aid, you will become one of us

Well said. Great thing is, there are many different flavors of Kool Aid too. There's Colt flavor, Springfield flavor, Kimber flavor, Les Baer flavor, Wilson flavor, Ed Brown flavor, Nighthawk flavor, Smith Wesson flavor, and Dan Wesson flavor.


Mmm.... Koolaid. :)

Rob360
07-21-2009, 6:24 PM
Once you drink the 1911 Kool Aid, you will become one of us

Resistance is futile. :eek:

andrewj
07-21-2009, 7:04 PM
I guess this is more of what I was talking about. The grip safety just felt kinda chunky against the fleshy part of my hand. If this could be adjusted or flattened out a bit with a different part, I'd probably be fine with it.

Get Wayne Novak to make you one of 'em one piece backstraps. I kinda like the idea but dont care enough to have something like that done.

http://www.novaksights.com/images/GUNS/2007%20shot%20show/novak%20next/nextonepiecebackstrap2w.jpg

eccvets
07-22-2009, 5:08 AM
There's no reason to sell you on anything; either it works for you or it doesn't. You should stick to guns that fit well, are comfortable, and you can shoot accurately. Everyone is different.;)

SCMA-1


so true!

that being said I love 1911's, some of the most accurate guns I have ever shot.

ck867
07-22-2009, 9:42 AM
I find 1911's to be so comftorable in my hand due to the beaver tail and single stack magazines. I have smaller hands and thinner grips do make it more comfy. As for the slide release, I find it difficult to reach to so I sling shot it. I prefer that method more anyways.

SCMA-1
07-22-2009, 10:09 AM
so true!

that being said I love 1911's, some of the most accurate guns I have ever shot.

Agreed. And there is NOTHING easier to shoot than a nicely equipped 1911 with a good trigger job. People who shoot my custom built 1911's are always amazed at how easy and accurate they are to shoot even for first timers.;)

SCMA-1

Butter
07-22-2009, 1:04 PM
It's true. I didn't start out even wanting to like the 1911. Had a Colt 1991 A1 years ago and sold it.

Then after lots of plastic and then shooting a few 1911s I ended up with several instead of just one. Not to get into the snobbery part, each person and platform is different and what you can shoot well is what you should be shooting, but a well fitted and finished 1911 shoots better than any other gun that I have tried. But beware, as mentioned, if you catch the bug your wallet will suffer...but you will smile a lot on the range.

KrazyKevy
07-22-2009, 2:49 PM
So, I really wanted to like it but I'm still not sold on the idea. For starters, I hated the grip safety. It just wasn't comfortable and it kinda pinched the web of my hand a bit. Putting a new magazine in seemed very unforgiving as well. If I didn't have the mag perfectly lined up with the mag well, it wasn't going in. Also, I couldn't operate the slide release one-handed. It was so far down the frame that my small hands just couldn't reach it.

So, my question is, are these complaints unique to the Kimber I shot? Could I find a different brand/model where these things wouldn't be an issue or is there enough modification that can be done that I could overcome them? My birthday's coming up soon and I was thinking of spending a little more than normal on a nice gift to myself and a 1911 was on the list of things I was considering, so...sell me a 1911.

Not sure how you are getting pinched in the web when nearly all Kimbers come with Beaver tails. Can you elaborate more?

1) Get a Magwell to resolve your magazine insertion issues. Smith and Alexander make the Kimber Magwells...so they will fit and match color perfectly.

2) Get a extended slide STOP. Some people refer to them as "Slide Release" but originally they are slide stops...plus the proper method to charge a slide is to sling shot it, not press down on a slide stop. Eitherway, people still use it both ways...too each his own.

Frostbite
07-22-2009, 3:04 PM
Not sure how you are getting pinched in the web when nearly all Kimbers come with Beaver tails. Can you elaborate more?

1) Get a Magwell to resolve your magazine insertion issues. Smith and Alexander make the Kimber Magwells...so they will fit and match color perfectly.

2) Get a extended slide STOP. Some people refer to them as "Slide Release" but originally they are slide stops...plus the proper method to charge a slide is to sling shot it, not press down on a slide stop. Eitherway, people still use it both ways...too each his own.

I wasn't getting slide bite. It was more like the meaty part of my hand where it pushed against the grip safety didn't feel comfortable. Not so much of a pinch as just not feeling right in my hand. Hard to explain, I guess.

snypz
07-22-2009, 3:13 PM
my first 1911 shot was through a trophy match springfield shot a group of 5 in a 1 inch radius. insta-boner to proud owner.

although i couldnt afford the trophy match at the time. I ended up with the SA GI. which still puts them in a good grouping with my novice hands.

surfinguru
07-22-2009, 8:32 PM
Yep, got to shoot my first 1911 over the Forth. Brother-in-law let me shoot his Ed Brown Kobra Carry. All I can say is I've alway been drawn to the 1911 platform despite never having shot one before, and now? Well, it's on the "must have" list. Damn him and his custom 1911!!!!