Probably a Stupid Question Regarding 1911s, But...


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OregonJohnny
April 15, 2008, 01:17 PM
OK, I've had a S&W 1911 Stainless for a couple of years now. It's not perfect, but it is a great gun and it has solidified a love for the 1911 in me. I would eventually like to move up to a slightly "higher-end" 1911 like a Kimber. Here is my question:

My S&W came with two 8-round magazines. I have also installed a Wilson Combat beveled magazine well and am now using Wilson 8-round mags to fit, since the S&W mags don't fit any longer now that the gun has the beveled mag well. So when a company like Kimber advertises one of their 1911 models as having 8-round capacity and another model with 7-round capacity, and both models are the same size, why the difference? Is it simply the magazine used? Can an 8-round mag fit any full-size 1911? Further, if a full-size 1911 can fit 8-round mags and function perfectly, why would they come with 7-round mags? Especially the "combat" or "tactical" versions which seem like they would benefit from an extra round if used for professional work. Please clear this up for me. Thanks.

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Black Majik
April 15, 2008, 01:28 PM
It's just the magazine that the gun came with, assuming all 1911s are of equal size (i.e. fullsize 5" Government length). So a fullsize Kimber can swap magazines with a fullsize S&W, regardless of capacity. A Chip McCormick Powermag 8 rounder will fit in both a Kimber fullsize and S&W fullsize, even if the gun came with 7 rounders originally.

Mad Magyar
April 15, 2008, 01:31 PM
1911 models as having 8-round capacity
Some mfgr's sometimes are referring to 7 +1 in the tube for 8. In the case of 1911's, yes the 8 rd mag is slightly extended & will fit.
As far as why 8 isn't std has more to do with a reliability question with the mag spring tension since the orginal mag's were 7.

Wiskey_33
April 15, 2008, 01:33 PM
First of all, there are plenty of "higher-end" 1911's that beat the pants off a Kimber, in my opinion. Check out Dan Wesson. Great pistols, great customer service, and they make 'em in 10mm. Dan Wesson doesn't have a nasty looking roll mark claiming "custom" unless it was a custom built pistol.

anyhow, check out DW,Springfield, Colt, Sig for some more ideas.

As far as the mags go, I always keep 7 in the mag and one in the tube. I've had issues with mags filled with 8 not wanting to stay in, or the first round jamming up.

Bacchus
April 15, 2008, 01:38 PM
For more info than you ever wanted to know about 1911s (and a subforum on mags), check out

www.1911forum.com

SRT1
April 15, 2008, 01:59 PM
Bachus beat me to it. Great source of information on the 1911 right there. Also has sub forums on different brands of 1911 makers as well, so you can "talk" to people who own the different makers/models you are interested in.
Good luck!
SRT

1911Tuner
April 15, 2008, 05:00 PM
Up until just recently, all the 8-round magazines were of the same dimensions as the 7-rounders...and that's caused some problems due to trying to stuff 4 inches into a space designed for three-point-five.

Virgil Tripp has stropped Occam's Razor and solved the problem by extending the length of the Cobra magazine by almost a half-inch, and added a slam pad to cover the extra material...making it good match for the pistols with add-on mag wells.

He was kind enough to send me a half-dozen for testing and evaluation, and thus far, they've been flawless with nearly every type of ammo I've used in over 20 test pistols. I've beat'em like a borrowed mule, and they've taken it in stride.

Pricey...but an excellent value if you intend to put your pistols and magazines to hard use.

rcmodel
April 15, 2008, 05:06 PM
Mr. Browning's original mag held 7 rounds, and left enough room for the spring without over-compressing it.

You could have loaded one up in WWI and it would still work properly in Iraq!

Most of the 8-round mags made now squish the spring a 1/2" further then Mr. Browning would have liked.

And I really doubt the ones left loaded will still be going strong 91 years from now!

rcmodel

Jim K
April 15, 2008, 05:09 PM
The makers got that extra round in in the same space by cutting down the tail of the follower, then reducing either the turns or the diameter of the magazine spring. As Tuner says, there were some problems.

Jim

dirtdog
April 15, 2008, 05:15 PM
Kimber isn't high end anymore

QC has sunk to new lows

JMO

M47 Dragon
April 15, 2008, 05:20 PM
Not to disrespect Kimber too much, but I would consider your S&W 1911 more "higher end" than a Kimber.

Wiskey_33
April 15, 2008, 06:39 PM
x77 on not buying a Kimber. I've owned 2, and realized that with the money I puked up for them :barf:, I could have had myself a real custom made 1911.

schmeky
April 15, 2008, 06:49 PM
I love my Kimber Classic Custom. Everyone, including Kimber, has had QC/QA issues.

Just playing the devil's advocate. . . .don't be hatin'.

Snowdog
April 16, 2008, 12:05 AM
I love my Kimber Classic Custom (Series I) as well, though I understand there have been some real dogs that Kimber pumped out later on (all seemingly appearing in Series IIs).

highrider
April 16, 2008, 12:32 PM
Not to disrespect Kimber too much, but I would consider your S&W 1911 more "higher end" than a Kimber.

+ 1 on that.

wtfd661
April 16, 2008, 12:59 PM
My Kimber has been fantastic.

Ske1etor
April 16, 2008, 01:30 PM
Yes, my Kimber is junk...

The best shooting and most reliable piece of junk I have ever purchased for under a grand.

jmr40
April 16, 2008, 02:30 PM
My Kimber has been fine, never a problem. With that said I would consider the Smith to be a small step up over my Kimber.

WinchesterAA
April 16, 2008, 03:52 PM
also note that you can put a fullsize mag in an officer frame, only deal is the floorplate will stick out a little bit.

It really doesn't matter.

FEG
April 16, 2008, 04:19 PM
Not to disrespect Kimber too much, but I would consider your S&W 1911 more "higher end" than a Kimber.

Yup. I would have to rate Dan Wesson and Smith & Wesson above Kimber. Kimbers just cost more. That's all.

You won't see a major jump in quality without going to a true custom or semi-custom like a Les Baer.

I am very fond of the current DW offerings in that they have virtually no markings. I'm not sure why, but that has really grown on me. (It may be the ultimate irony after coveting the "Prancing Pony.") I have a new DW Pointman 7 that I received in trade for a used New Series 70 Colt with a few tweaks, and I definitely made out like a bandit. It would have required spending another $300 or so on that Colt to bring it up to the level of a bone stock PM-7.

hanno
April 16, 2008, 04:26 PM
I love my Kimber Classic Custom (Series I) as well, though I understand there have been some real dogs that Kimber pumped out later on (all seemingly appearing in Series IIs).

+1
My early model Kimber has been a joy to own and shoot but I'm not sure I'd buy a Series II.
I did buy a Dan Wesson PM7 and it is a superb choice for a 1911.

mr.trooper
April 16, 2008, 05:01 PM
I love my Springfield....But even after handling dozens of Kimbers, and taking PPC classes with people shooting them, I fail to see how they are worth almost 3 times the price.

If I had my choice of ANY 1911, i would choose a Dan Wesson Bobtail. Someday maybe I can have one. :)

asiparks
April 16, 2008, 05:12 PM
Oregon Johnny- I have a couple of Kimbers, a Dan Wesson, a Rock River Arms, a Valtro, a Colt GCNM, probably something else I'm forgetting, that your welcome to try next time you go shooting. They're all very fine guns (which is why I have 'em), but I doubt you'll find much different or advantageous over your S&W. If you are set on buying another 1911, I'd strongly recommend a DW, like other makers, they are not without the occassional duff example, but the overall quality of components and fitting make them a very compelling choice.

kamagong
April 16, 2008, 06:06 PM
I have a couple of Kimbers, a Dan Wesson, a Rock River Arms, a Valtro...
You have a Valtro? Color me jealous, I wish I could find one.

OregonJohnny
April 16, 2008, 06:36 PM
Well I didn't mean for this thread to turn into a manufacturer debate, but I am sort of glad it did. After reading the responses and doing some thinking, it sounds like Kimber isn't necessarily better than S&W just because their guns cost more. I've heard good and bad things about Kimber. I've also heard that some parts on a S&W are made by Kimber, or vice-versa, I can't remember. Seems like the only major difference between a S&W and a Kimber is the external extractor on the S&W.

I think I'll hang on to my S&W 1911 for a while, maybe do some more minor mods. It's been a great gun, very reliable and accurate. I think I'd like to get some different grips. What are some minor (no major smithing required) mods I can do to increase accuracy? Is a barrel bushing a good choice? Or should I just leave well enough alone and save up for a Dan Wesson or Wilson Combat down the road?

asiparks
April 16, 2008, 08:06 PM
Quote:I have a couple of Kimbers, a Dan Wesson, a Rock River Arms, a Valtro...

You have a Valtro? Color me jealous, I wish I could find one.

I used to work next to and shoot at the Bullseye range in San Rafael. One day the guy in there said try my 1911. I did and I liked it and they happened to have another one for sale.....:D

It cost me $1199 about the same as a Kimber Gold match, a Wilson CQB was about $1700 and a railed Springfield TRP was $1450 or so...I think I got a bit of a bargain...

http://homepage.mac.com/asiparks/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2006-03-23%2020.13.57%20-0800/Image-861C303FBAEC11DA.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/asiparks/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2006-03-23%2020.13.57%20-0800/Image-861C0860BAEC11DA.jpg

:D

steelyblue
April 16, 2008, 08:21 PM
It's good to see that another poor, innocent victim has been saved from the horrible fate of owning a Kimber. Good job guys!!!




BTW, I'm one of those bitter, smalltown folk clinging to their guns and religion. I think I need Obama to make my decisions for me. I'm too stuuuuuupid:neener:

ForneyRider
April 16, 2008, 10:45 PM
I think S&W and Kimber are quality guns but I like the Springfield Loaded better.

S&W custom shop has lots of upgrades that make the gun really perform and stand out.

Most of the parts on these guns interchange.

I really like my Wilson Combat 47D mags. I have 3, which is enough to heat the barrel up.

Novak sights are common for all three brands. I think the S&W comes with Wilson Combat mags.

David Detmer
April 16, 2008, 11:43 PM
I've owned Kimbers, both series I and II and the I is a much better one. Its my wife's carry gun and she loves it. I much prefer my STI's as they are more accurate and don't need a lot of tweaking from the factory.

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