1911 must haves?


March 27, 2006, 08:39 PM
As I posted a couple weeks ago, I recently ordered a SA Mil-spec. It should be in this wednesday, with my first opportunity to shoot it in about two weeks when i get home for easter break.

I plan on shooting it stock for a good long while, but some platforms really need a little help.

i have very meaty / large frame hands, should i be concerned with hammer bite? what are some things i should keep in mind to avoid hammer bite?

this is really my only concern. seems to me like it wont take to many blood blisters to ruin a day of shooting. any and all opinions are appreciated.

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March 27, 2006, 08:59 PM
You're definitely going to have some "souvenirs" from your trip to the range. If you want to keep shooting your 1911, you'll want to install a beavertail grip safety and either bob your hammer or install a new one. It's pretty easy to do or you can get a gunsmith to do it pretty easily.

I don't know how you'll like them, but I also replaced the GI-style sights on my RIA 1911. While I like the classic look of the sights, they weren't very practical for me A set of 3-dot sights made a big difference in how much fun it was to shoot.

I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions, but I'd recommend taking your new prize to the range and seeing how it feels to you. If you're careful you might be able to avoid the hammer bite....but it will be tough. Don't let that dampen your enthusiasm, though!

Good luck!


March 27, 2006, 09:02 PM
I had a major problem with hammer bite on an Officer's model. On the flip side, I can shoot my friends SA GI all day long without the slightest hint of hammer bite.

Must haves for the first time out:
1. Clean and lube kit, be sure to lube well before first shooting.
2. Tons of ammo
3. More ammo
4. Did I mention ammo?

Like you mentioned, shoot it first for a while to see what YOU want. You may be perfectly happy with the way it is out of the box. I like two kinds of 1911's. One with all the bells and whistles and the second to be plain jane GI or Mil-spec.

March 27, 2006, 10:59 PM
hammer bite ,,,,?????? lil help here please:o

March 27, 2006, 11:15 PM
hammer bite ,,,,?????? lil help here please

On standard design 1911's without a beavertail grip safety, there's a tendency for the fleshy part of your hand between the thumb and the forefinger (just about in the "V"-notch where the bones come together) to get pinched between the hammer and the grip safety. It will leave a painful "bite mark". You can avoid if if you get your hand positioned properly under the grip safety (or if you don't have chubby hands!). A beavertail safety with the pronounced curve and a bobbed hammer will protect your hand from the bite.

It's sort of a right of passage with 1911 owners!



Ala Dan
March 27, 2006, 11:58 PM
Checkering of the grip is a BIG +~!:D

March 28, 2006, 12:19 AM
May I suggest doing a search under own Stephen A. Camp, and reading his website ( link in user profile) , 1911Tuner, Old Fuff, and Jim Keenan before doing, or considering anything...

Personally, I prefer Older bone stock Gov't of 1911 style.

In regard to hammer bite, a competent - qualified gunsmith can take a wee bit off to assist.

I have used skateboard tape on the frontstrap - I sometimes still do. Usually on a newer gun with a beaver tail , not for my hand to stay put, as an "marker" for "index" or my grip. Same reason on new shooters and kids, a felt tab so they know where to put finger when not shooting "finger out of trigger guard" - index to instill memory for safety , finger straight and touching that index.

The original design, is well thought out in all respects. A tool unto itself.

Checkering concerned me in regard to cleaning, then chewing hands...when this became popular as the "new must have" of the week. I observed this with other shooters. None of mine have it - or will they. I kept shooting bone stock guns and watching all the new stuff of the week being done by others...

Old JMB had a reason for not checkering , or putting skateboard tape on the frontstrap, heard the "whys" of this design when I first shot one at age 6. Kept hearing all these whys on other things too...

I may need to change my grip, even with wet bloody hands to do some drills to stay in the fight...smooth frontstrap allows me to better do this. Say for instance I get shot on strong side and need to trasition to weak hand...

Blood is slippery...then gets sticky. My Mentors & Elders poured deer blood on my hands and guns while doing drills...interesting, them folks shared some interesting tidbits...:)

Black Majik
March 28, 2006, 12:35 AM
For me, I feel a 1911 has a few MUST HAVE options/modifications. Of course, I started out on a bone stock Colt as my first gun, and after buying a few more 1911s down the road I learned and figured out for myself what I would like on a 1911. I know what I like, not what the company tells me what I should like.

My requirements are:
- Useable sights, Novaks or flat plane adj. sights. Depending on what type of shooting I'm doing. Combat sights dont really work well for me, since its too small to quickly acquire.
- Ext. thumb safety. Usually I don't really like "extended" tactical stuff, but I feel this is a requirement since I shoot high hold on the 1911 with my thumb on the safety
- Beavertail, Due to slide bite
- Dehorn, absolutely necessary since many of the production 1911s come with really sharp edges.
- Front strap checkering 30lpi. I like the traction, its a personal preference but I've grown to like it and require it.

Things that are nice but not necessary.
- Night sights.
- Extended Magazine well
- round skeleton/commander hammer so that it doesn't poke your sides when carried
- Front cocking serrations. Hear me out. I USED to HATE these things. I thought they detracted away from the look. But, it really does help press-checking the chamber. The slippery front of the slide is noticeable once you try a gun with FCS. Now only FCS I like are the REALLY thin ones such as ones on the Les Baer. Those are perfect, and to me very fuctional.

So there ya go. Those are my requirements for my 1911s. :)

March 28, 2006, 11:57 AM
Still think getting a old Gov't Model and ammo FREE are the bestest 'must haves'.



Black Majik
March 28, 2006, 01:25 PM
Still think getting a old Gov't Model and ammo FREE are the bestest 'must haves'.




free ammo is ALWAYS a good thing :D

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