What makes a 1911 a 1911?


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LJWebster1
January 17, 2006, 07:15 PM
I'm a newbie to the handgun world, and wonder what makes a 1911 a 1911? I can recognize the shape, but what else is there that is specific that sets them apart? Also, why are they so expensive compared to other types of guns in the same caliber?

Thanks for the info.

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TMM
January 17, 2006, 07:19 PM
single stack
.45ACP
single action
external hammer
signature style
5" barrel ("snubby" 1911's are barely 1911's in my eyes)
[99% of the time] no polymer(exception, the kimber, i forget the model)
grip safety and thumb safety

probably somthing i missed...

they're expensive because they're almost always made by a quality manufacturer. if you buy a Llama 1911 it'll probably cost you $200, a low end SA(springfield armory) GI issue will run $500. they're made well and they're reliable, which is somthing you get with the price.

~TMM

TexasRifleman
January 17, 2006, 07:22 PM
Polymer "1911's" don't count. They are "something" other than a 1911, just not sure what :evil:

LJWebster1
January 17, 2006, 07:27 PM
Thanks guys. That's exactly what I was looking for.

Shear_stress
January 17, 2006, 07:33 PM
With all the variations, the exact definition is pretty open. It all depends in how closely you want to adhere to Browning's original (and whether you prefer a 1911 or 1911A1, etc.) Still, don't forget the linked barrel, stirrup trigger, and internal extractor.

Technosavant
January 17, 2006, 08:09 PM
There is wide variety in the 1911 world, and many are those with incredibly restrictive definitions.

Strictly speaking, a M1911A1 is a semiautomatic pistol which follows the design of that military arm. There are smaller versions, polymer versions, aluminum versions, higher capacity versions, etc. I do not believe I would consider Para Ordnance's LDA to be a 1911; although it has the same shape, going double action is a bit much for me.

The annoying thing for me is when one person poo-poohs the features enjoyed by another. I love my gun, but it sure does seem to attract snobs.

Black Majik
January 17, 2006, 08:38 PM
I think nowadays the 1911 is such a broad definition. But pretty much there are a few main points that make this gun a 1911.

- The look. Everyone would recognize a 1911 when they saw one. Even with the weird accessories that come with it nowadays. A 1911 with front cocking serrations still counts as a 1911. etc etc...
- Single Action. LDA's and other DA guns are not 1911's
- Polymer. Sorry Kimber and Wilson, you're abominations don't fall under these categories.
- Single stack
- Exposed hammer


There are obviously a lot of different variations of the modern 1911. But everyone now knows what the basic 1911 model falls under.

wally
January 17, 2006, 08:40 PM
For me the defining feature of the 1911 is the sliding trigger and its great light crisp pull. Once the trigger pivots, to me its not a 1911 style gun.

Guns like the Kimber BP are great 1911s because they have the trigger. No magic to materials. Does anyone really think if JMB were alive today he'd not use polymer to save weight and cost and gain corrosion resistance?

--wally.

1911austin
January 17, 2006, 09:53 PM
Polymer "1911's" don't count. They are "something" other than a 1911, just not sure what :evil:

I agree. The only plastic around a "real" 1911 is my credit card. :D

That One Guy
January 17, 2006, 09:57 PM
Since I'm also new here. What's the difference between a 1911 and a 1991A1? (I just picked this one up Sunday, my first .45acp, $525NIB, WOOT!)

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a379/Mikevolta/1991A1.jpg

IndianaDean
January 17, 2006, 10:31 PM
38 Super 1911s count as official 1911s also. Colt introduced the cartridge.

The Real Hawkeye
January 17, 2006, 11:22 PM
That One Guy, you bought yourself a really nice piece there. The only thing non-standard 1911A1 about your gun is that it has an internal firing pin safety, but that's no big deal. Still a 1911 in my book. Yours was made well too. Good luck with it.

That One Guy
January 17, 2006, 11:37 PM
Thanks! I have to thank my brother in law, (.45acp on this forum) for pointing me towards them. I've always wanted a 1911, but never "Just went for it!" I've been doing a little research on it and from what I read the 1991A1 is mechanically identical to any other series 80 1911, but is parkenized and has rubber instead of the standard wood grips.
Here's a question for the 1911 crowd, I'd like to put on some walnut double diamonds on this, that isn't considered 'bad' is it? (I'm going to do it either way, lol)
I've only put about 80 rounds down the barrel thus far, but I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Technosavant
January 17, 2006, 11:41 PM
That One Guy, put on whatever grips you like. That's the beauty of the 1911.

I consider Hogue Monogrips to be my personal favorite (as heretical as some consider that), but I have Alumagrips as a very close second, and preferred for carry (and so they get the nod to be on my gun).

The Real Hawkeye
January 17, 2006, 11:49 PM
Thanks! I have to thank my brother in law, (.45acp on this forum) for pointing me towards them. I've always wanted a 1911, but never "Just went for it!" I've been doing a little research on it and from what I read the 1991A1 is mechanically identical to any other series 80 1911, but is parkenized and has rubber instead of the standard wood grips.
Here's a question for the 1911 crowd, I'd like to put on some walnut double diamonds on this, that isn't considered 'bad' is it? (I'm going to do it either way, lol)
I've only put about 80 rounds down the barrel thus far, but I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!Definitely put on some double diamonds, but make it cocobolo wood instead of walnut. Trust me. http://www.woodgrips.com/1911%2045%20grips.htm Go there and take a look.

That One Guy
January 17, 2006, 11:58 PM
Ooh! I really like them both! Man, I thought this was gonna be the easy part, lol, I can see myself spending weeks deciding on this one! Does Colt offer a double diamond with either a US or the prancing pony in the center? I've seen Springfields with a DD and US stamp that I really liked but I dunno if Colt had one. I know they'd fit, but I don't want to look at my gun and think "spare parts or mix and match..."

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 12:27 AM
Ooh! I really like them both! Man, I thought this was gonna be the easy part, lol, I can see myself spending weeks deciding on this one! Does Colt offer a double diamond with either a US or the prancing pony in the center? I've seen Springfields with a DD and US stamp that I really liked but I dunno if Colt had one. I know they'd fit, but I don't want to look at my gun and think "spare parts or mix and match..."I believe that most after market grip makers for 1911s will actually install a Colt logo medallion for you on request. Skip the US thing, though. Just my opinion, but it's not a classic look for a 1911. In a year or two you will wish you didn't get them.

brasskeeper
January 18, 2006, 12:34 AM
1911

Single action
External hammer
barrel bushing
Grip Safety
slide serations

Shape, weight, size, and feel of a USG Issue 1911 45acp

It can be chambered in other calibers but in my opinion it would then only look like a 1911.

1911Tuner
January 18, 2006, 12:51 AM
This is a 1911. (1919 production) The one on the table is a 1911A1...specifically a 1945 production Remington Rand.
Yep. Both mine.

1911Tuner
January 18, 2006, 12:57 AM
The Rand. Note the differences between the 1911 and the 1911A1
Click to enlarge. Hold cursor on picture and use the square at the bottom right to enlarge further.

Note the subtle difference between the early slidestop and the A1 design.

tinner man
January 18, 2006, 01:22 AM
Hi

http://www.lcompanyranger.com/usweapons/colt45page1.htm

You might want to check this sight:D
tm

.45Guy
January 18, 2006, 03:13 AM
Geez Mike you still sound giddy as a schoolboy. And to think I literally had to drag yo to the show!:neener:

That One Guy
January 18, 2006, 03:30 AM
LOL, I know! I was sooooooo close to just staying home, I'm really happy I went!

1911 guy
January 18, 2006, 10:06 AM
The 1911 pistol has been known to cause severe dementia, resulting in the owner buying more of them, having no particular want or need of another. It is a compulsion. Be warned and enjoy the insanity. That might be your first 1911, but if you enjoy it at all, it won't be your last.

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 11:46 AM
LOL, I know! I was sooooooo close to just staying home, I'm really happy I went!Not to rain on your parade, but I just remembered that, unless I'm mistaken, your 1911 has a plastic trigger. You should replace it, fast. Cheap and easy to do. You cannot be a true member of the 1911 club if your gun has a plastic trigger. ;) It's in the bylaws somewhere.

Northslope Nimrod
January 18, 2006, 01:03 PM
"What makes a 1911 a 1911?"

Answer: Inspiration from the Almighty!

brickboy240
January 18, 2006, 03:32 PM
A 1911 is any autoloader based on John Browning's design that was accepted into US military service in the year 1911. A single action, tilting barrel autoloader. Usually, with a single stack magazine and in the caliber 45ACP.

Purists, like me, prefer single stack 1911s in 45ACP with 4 1/4 or 5 inch barrels, but many variations are out there with double column magazines and shorter barrels that are still considered 1911s. There has even been some recent deviations in the single action trigger by companies like Para-Ordinance.

There are many sites on the web that go into great detail on the 1911 and its history and development over time and the changes in its make-up. m1911.org is the best I can think of.

Hope this helps.

- brickboy240

That One Guy
January 18, 2006, 04:12 PM
Yeah, I noticed that plastic trigger already. When I checked the colt site, they list them as aluminum on all the 1991 series, but apparently I have the bargin basement version and they cheaped out on the trigger.

I took mine out today for my first real attempt to check the grouping at 25 yards. As always, I put my Mk II up against it for comparison. I don't think it's bad for the very first try in a new caliber and pistol frame, but I can see I need some serious range time once it warms up! In defense of my new 45, I fired it second and was already shivering from the cold (about 10 degrees outside) and I've had my MK II for about 12 years so I've become pretty darn good with it.
(Oh, and John, I actually taped off 25 yards this time for purity, I didn't estima-walk like usual, lol)

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a379/Mikevolta/firstgroup.jpg

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 04:50 PM
Some nice shooting there, especially considering the conditions. Remember, though, that the 1911 is not a target gun. You are certainly scoring "minute of human torso" there. More than good enough.

That One Guy
January 18, 2006, 05:09 PM
Oh yeah, but I always like to put my Mk II side by side so I can see if it's the pistol or me. My second group with the 45 found North and South right on the money, now I've gotta close down my East and West travel. I'm really pleased thus far, my Taurus PT 92 took a ton of shooting and a sight adjustment before I got tight concentrated groupings, this 45 is putting the bullet right were it's supposed to right out of the box, all I have to work on is me. A warm jacket and hat helped the second grouping a ton!

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 05:12 PM
Oh yeah, but I always like to put my Mk II side by side so I can see if it's the pistol or me. My second group with the 45 found North and South right on the money, now I've gotta close down my East and West travel. I'm really pleased thus far, my Taurus PT 92 took a ton of shooting and a sight adjustment before I got tight concentrated groupings, this 45 is putting the bullet right were it's supposed to right out of the box, all I have to work on is me. A warm jacket and hat helped the second grouping a ton!Exactly.

.45Guy
January 18, 2006, 05:41 PM
We'll have to have a little friendly competition next weekend Mike. The cheap knockoff VS. your purebred.

jtward01
January 18, 2006, 07:49 PM
38 Super 1911s count as official 1911s also. Colt introduced the cartridge.

.38 Supers are Colt's Government Models, but they are not "1911s."

The Colt's Government Model, also known as the Model O, received the military designation of "Automatic Pistol, caliber .45, Model of 1911" when the gun was officially accepted as the sidearm of the US Army in 1911. This designation was changed to "Model of 1911A1" in 1928 when several changes were made to the design, most notably the arched mainspring housing was added and cutouts made in the frame to allow easier access to the trigger by persons with small hands.

Only those firearms meeting military specifications are really 1911s or 1911A1s. Others are simply "1911 type," or "1911 style" handguns.

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 07:52 PM
.38 Supers are Colt's Government Models, but they are not "1911s."

The Colt's Government Model, also known as the Model O, received the military designation of "Automatic Pistol, caliber .45, Model of 1911" when the gun was officially accepted as the sidearm of the US Army in 1911. This designation was changed to "Model of 1911A1" in 1928 when several changes were made to the design, most notably the arched mainspring housing was added and cutouts made in the frame to allow easier access to the trigger by persons with small hands.

Only those firearms meeting military specifications are really 1911s or 1911A1s. Others are simply "1911 type," or "1911 style" handguns.I'd say "type" is better than "style." I don't mind calling them all Government Models either, i.e., all the full sized, all steel ones.

1911Tuner
January 19, 2006, 09:24 AM
I've found that "1911 Pattern" works pretty well.:cool:

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