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View Full Version : which way to go on a 1911.


krby
03-02-2007, 6:22 PM
I'm looking for my first 1911. I'm not really set on any one make, not trying to start a religous war. I want basically the Springfield Mil-Spec or a Colt 1991 in stainless. But with two modifications, an ambi-safety and a beavertail.

The other way to go would be to get something like a Kimber or an SA Loaded and get rid of the skeletonized trigger. I'd still be left with the front serations, not a deal breaker, but I'd prefer to not have them. Any thoughts on which way to go?

leelaw
03-02-2007, 6:44 PM
Springfield Armory has (I believe) a proprietary radius on their beavertail. This might be of concern to you if you ever want to replace it with a better one (like the Ed Brown "memory groove" one, which is excellent).

The Colt 1991 has the Series 80 safety in it, which is actuated by the trigger pull. Many think that this interferes with the break of the trigger, or adds a "stage" or gritty feel to it. I don't like that. I much prefer the Schwartz Safety style that Kimber has, which is activated by the grip safety. Optimally I'd prefer one without, but between the two I think the Schwartz is better.

The basic Kimbers (Custom II) are very nice starting 1911s.

HowardW56
03-02-2007, 6:56 PM
Springfield Armory has (I believe) a proprietary radius on their beavertail. This might be of concern to you if you ever want to replace it with a better one (like the Ed Brown "memory groove" one, which is excellent).

The Colt 1991 has the Series 80 safety in it, which is actuated by the trigger pull. Many think that this interferes with the break of the trigger, or adds a "stage" or gritty feel to it. I don't like that. I much prefer the Schwartz Safety style that Kimber has, which is activated by the grip safety. Optimally I'd prefer one without, but between the two I think the Schwartz is better.

The basic Kimbers (Custom II) are very nice starting 1911s.


The Kimber 1911's with the internal extractor are very reliable.... Stay away from any with the external extractors...

I have both types of Kimber 1911….

Internal extractor = No malfunctions

External extractor = Plenty of malfunctions

Teletiger7
03-02-2007, 6:57 PM
The Colt series 80 firing pin safety is very similar to the safety that are in Sig handguns. A lever deactivates the sfaety by pushing up on a button in the slide. My 1991a1 has been flawless and never had any issues with the FPS. The trigger pull is about the same as on a standard 1911. You will only notice the difference if you really like to customize your trigger pull to below 3.lbs. But a trigger job from a good gunsmith can get you i light, crisp pull on a series 80

WINGEDSWORD
03-02-2007, 7:04 PM
I have 4 series 80 Colts and none of them have a "bad" Trigger. I can't tellmuch difference between them and my 1966 Colt Government. Colts have
stood the test of time. I don't see the point of paying the price bosst for a Kimber

11Z50
03-02-2007, 7:08 PM
My .02 worth is for your first 1911, get a 1911. That's right, a plain old 1911A1. You'd be surprised how well a plain-Jane service pistol can shoot. At 7 yards they are plenty accurate, and a plain gun will let you determine what mods you really need. You can always upgrade your plain gun later, but my bet is that you'll keep it just like it is, and maybe buy a Kimber or whatever later.

I used to build up 1911's from bare frames when the Para-Ord craze hit. Most of my Cop buddies went for the Para 14-shot frame so the sold me their old frames for very cheap. I built several different 1911's ranging from stock GI types thru semi-race guns for target shooting. My favorite was a stock 1911A1 that cost me a 12 pack of brewskii, a can of coffee, a BDU field jacket and a case of MREs. I had a bunch of parts at the time and pieced one together that shot great. I still have it and it's one of my favorites.

Try a plain 1911, maybe a Rock Island or Springfield and see how you like it.

capitol
03-02-2007, 7:16 PM
I have shot more then a 1000 rounds through my EXTERNAL extractor Kimber without incident. Mine is very reliable, but internet lore says different.
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i134/cingmore/tlerl.jpg

My pet Springy in 9mm is a honey for sure. It just shoots.
Hollywood picture :D
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i134/cingmore/P1010257.jpg

capitol
03-02-2007, 7:22 PM
Once your in luv with the 1911 platform the hunt for a Colt Delta Elite in 10mm and a Colt 70 series will consume you.
The sickness continues well after your first purchase :)

1911su16b870
03-02-2007, 7:33 PM
I have shot more then a 1000 rounds through my EXTERNAL extractor Kimber without incident. Mine is very reliable...

+1 on the Kimber. I have lost count of the number of rounds put through my TLE RLII without any problems. My Colt Combat Commander only likes hard ball. Haven't owned any other 1911s.

I've run the Kimber 22 conversion with the copper plated mini mags. I've had some light rim strikes with that slide, but what a great opportunity to teach my nephew emergency FTF action drills on the 1911!

xrMike
03-02-2007, 7:50 PM
Springfield Armory has (I believe) a proprietary radius on their beavertail.Yes, the radius on the Springfield GI and mil-spec pistols is .220, whereas the radius on Colts and other models is .250 (I think). A company called Smith & Alexander makes the .220 radius beavertails, and this is the one that most mil-spec owners get, although it is not a true "drop-in" piece, and requires some fitting/filing on the tangs of the frame. I bought an S&A beavertail for my mil-spec. I had a gunsmith do the work.

I've also read on the 1911 forums (don't know first-hand) that this company --- http://www.kingsgunworks.com -- makes a true drop in beavertail for Springfield GI/Milspec pistols. But you have to also install a commander-style hammer, either that or do some relieving on your stock hammer. Part number on the King's btail is #204, and King's hammer is #506.

Kruzr
03-02-2007, 7:54 PM
If the FCS don't bother you that much, keep in mind it's a heck of a lot easier to change a trigger and fit an ambi-safety than it is to fit and blend a beavertail properly.

You also need to consider the differences in sights between a mil-spec or base NRM and a gun with all the features.

HowardW56
03-02-2007, 7:55 PM
+1 on the Kimber. I have lost count of the number of rounds put through my TLE RLII without any problems. My Colt Combat Commander only likes hard ball. Haven't owned any other 1911s.

I've run the Kimber 22 conversion with the copper plated mini mags. I've had some light rim strikes with that slide, but what a great opportunity to teach my nephew emergency FTF action drills on the 1911!


My two Kimber Custom II's (with internal extractors) have seen thousands of reounds with out a failure....

Only my eclipse with an external extractor gives me fits.... Type 3 malfunctions all the time... I have sent it back to Kimber for attention....

krby
03-03-2007, 6:41 AM
If the FCS don't bother you that much, keep in mind it's a heck of a lot easier to change a trigger and fit an ambi-safety than it is to fit and blend a beavertail properly.

You also need to consider the differences in sights between a mil-spec or base NRM and a gun with all the features.

Yes, the radius on the Springfield GI and mil-spec pistols is .220, whereas the radius on Colts and other models is .250 (I think). A company called Smith & Alexander makes the .220 radius beavertails, and this is the one that most mil-spec owners get, although it is not a true "drop-in" piece, and requires some fitting/filing on the tangs of the frame. I bought an S&A beavertail for my mil-spec. I had a gunsmith do the work.

I've also read on the 1911 forums (don't know first-hand) that this company --- http://www.kingsgunworks.com -- makes a true drop in beavertail for Springfield GI/Milspec pistols. But you have to also install a commander-style hammer, either that or do some relieving on your stock hammer. Part number on the King's btail is #204, and King's hammer is #506.

Thanks to both of you for this, that's the exactly the type of information I was looking for, I suspected changing the trigger was easier, but wasn't sure about the beavertail. What about beavertails for Colts? Are those drop-in? I could go with the 1991A1 combat, it's got a beavertail and it's stainless, all I would need to do is fit the ambi-safety. From what I understand the safety is easy to install, I just might need to swap out grips.

-hanko
03-03-2007, 6:53 AM
The Colt 1991 has the Series 80 safety in it, which is actuated by the trigger pull. Many think that this interferes with the break of the trigger, or adds a "stage" or gritty feel to it. I don't like that. I much prefer the Schwartz Safety style that Kimber has, which is activated by the grip safety. Optimally I'd prefer one without, but between the two I think the Schwartz is better.
You can remove the firing pin safety, but a properly adjusted fp safety won't add anything to trigger pull feel. Ed Brown wrote a good piece about the fp safety in 'Handguns' magazine a while back.

I'd start with the Colt.

-hanko

jlbflyboy172
03-04-2007, 7:50 PM
I am suddenly feeling pretty stupid here. I have a Kimber Pro Carry II and I don't know if it's extractor is internal or external. I looked on the Kimber web page and could not find anything that states which is on each model. Also, when you guys talk about malfunctions (or lack thereof) do you mean firing 1000s of rounds without getting any jams or not having some problem with the weapon itself? Thanks in advance for tolerating and helping out a rookie.

JB

leelaw
03-04-2007, 7:54 PM
I am suddenly feeling pretty stupid here. I have a Kimber Pro Carry II and I don't know if it's extractor is internal or external. I looked on the Kimber web page and could not find anything that states which is on each model. Also, when you guys talk about malfunctions (or lack thereof) do you mean firing 1000s of rounds without getting any jams or not having some problem with the weapon itself? Thanks in advance for tolerating and helping out a rookie.

JB

http://www.1911forum.com/images/reviews/dw06.jpg

That is an external extractor. If you can only see a small bit of that claw, and only when the action is open, then it is an internal.

HowardW56
03-05-2007, 6:20 AM
I have shot more then a 1000 rounds through my EXTERNAL extractor Kimber without incident. Mine is very reliable, but internet lore says different.

My pet Springy in 9mm is a honey for sure. It just shoots. Hollywood picture :D


What you are saying isn't uncommon....

Some people swear by them, and they work for them, but there are many who have nothing but trouble with them... Do you remember Kimber's advertising campaign for their "NEW EXTERNAL EXTRACTOR SYSTEM", it just went away and none of their current models have the external extractor...

There must be a reason for the change... They did invest a lot of money in the design change and the advertising…

mike100
03-05-2007, 6:25 AM
Buy an American made 1911. The colt series 80 trigger creep isn't really a big deal unless you want a trigger pull less than 4 lbs.

krby
03-05-2007, 6:34 AM
I've given it some thought over the weekend. As of now, I'm going with the SA loaded and I'll switch the trigger. I'm not looking for a project gun (yet). Any advice on length? I'm used to the 4in barrel in my USP, so the full size looks long to me. should I just stick with the standard full size 1911 or go with something smaller?

jlbflyboy172
03-05-2007, 7:39 AM
I have a Kimber in 4" and it is very accurate. My buddy has the same gun and also has a 3" too. We have compared the 3" & 4" side by side and neither of us could notice any loss of accuracy. What that means really is the guns are more accurate than we are. I too feel like the standard size is long and prefer the 4". My 2 cents worth.

JB

6172crew
03-05-2007, 7:47 AM
I've given it some thought over the weekend. As of now, I'm going with the SA loaded and I'll switch the trigger. I'm not looking for a project gun (yet). Any advice on length? I'm used to the 4in barrel in my USP, so the full size looks long to me. should I just stick with the standard full size 1911 or go with something smaller?

Go with the standard.

mike100
03-05-2007, 8:05 AM
the 5 inch "normal size" 1911 is the best shooter. the shorter ones have different personalities and are for concealment, but aren't as fun and natural to shoot.

The SAI loaded seems like a nice IMBEL, but I'd rather they imported this:
Clicky for Brazilian army 9mm sidearm (http://www.imbel.gov.br/index.php?centro=verproduto&id_produto=101&id_categoria=1&lang=en)

1911whore
03-05-2007, 2:16 PM
The schwartz safety doesnt effect the trigger pull at all. I just completed a trigger job on a series 2 bp ten and it ended up the same as the trigger job I did on my kimber classic custom ser 1. the schwartz safety is activated by the grip safety so as long as you have a proper firing grip it is not an issue. +1 on kimber. they are the most reliable out of the box 1911s I own. and i have one caspian, 2 springfields, and now 2 kimbers. I have had colts both series 70 and 80 as well as other off brand 1911s.

krby
03-23-2007, 7:16 AM
I picked up an Springfield Mil-Spec this week, parkerized. Now, on to the ambi-safety work....

stator
03-23-2007, 11:55 AM
My advice is either one, or which is the best deal. 1911's are like baseball cards. You will find that you cannot stop collecting them.

ns3v3n
03-23-2007, 8:35 PM
The Kimber 1911's with the internal extractor are very reliable.... Stay away from any with the external extractors...

I have both types of Kimber 1911….

Internal extractor = No malfunctions

External extractor = Plenty of malfunctions



yep, just shot mine kimber pro carry yesterday for the first time, it has an internal extractor. perfect, there was a couple of FTF but it was with crappy magazines, with wilson combat, perfect! shot great too. cant go wrong with a kimber.