Shot a 1911 for the first time: some observations


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NoirFan
August 4, 2008, 12:52 PM
Hello,

A courteous Englishman shooting a couple lanes down from me let me try out his Para Ordnance 1911 on Saturday. I have read a lot about the 1911 pattern on these forums and I was excited to see if it lived up to all that has been typed about it.

1) Recoil: Very pleasant. The only other .45's I have shot were plastic framed guns from Beretta and Taurus, which led me to anticipate a lot of muzzle jump from the 1911. Not so. You can tell there is power in the shot but the feel of the recoil is very smooth and does not seem to move the gun off target very much. It is nothing like the sharp blast of the .357 magnum I am used to.

2) Trigger: Not bad. I was a little disappointed after having read glowing accolades of the 1911 trigger on this and other forums. I found it to be pretty good, but not a vast improvement over the SA on a Sig 220, for example.

3) Accuracy: Very good. I shot touching holes at 10 yards with no prior practice and I am sure this gun could have shot accurately longer distances with no problems.

4) Pointability: Mediocre. I do not find the 1911 to be a natural pointer, forum opinions aside. I kept pointing it into the ground and then having to adjust upward before firing. More trigger time might improve this.

5) Reliability: Can't really speak to this, as I shot only a few rounds out it. It did not jam during the 5 minutes I was shooting it, which is pretty good right? :)

6) Overall feel: Not bad. The pistol sits comfortably in my hand; the only gripe I have is the beavertail, which I am not used to. I kept feeling like I was holding the gun too low on the grip.

Based on my experience the 1911 is a very fun gun to shoot. Would I buy one? Not at this time, but I can now see why the pistol has such a large following.

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Jolly Rogers
August 4, 2008, 02:01 PM
Which Para was it if you noticed?
Joe

Storm
August 4, 2008, 02:43 PM
2) Trigger: Not bad. I was a little disappointed after having read glowing accolades of the 1911 trigger on this and other forums. I found it to be pretty good, but not a vast improvement over the SA on a Sig 220, for example.

A good 1911 trigger should be much, much better than a SIG 220 SA trigger. Don't get me wrong, I very much like the SIG DA/SA pull, especially on the 220, but a good 1911 should be more like a fine revolver SA trigger.

Eric F
August 4, 2008, 03:13 PM
2) Trigger: Not bad.
wait until you get hold of a sub 2 pound trigger! Total adiction!

Black Majik
August 4, 2008, 04:00 PM
Para Ordnance

wait until you try something other than Para Ordnance. Total addiction! ;)

JesseL
August 4, 2008, 05:27 PM
4) Pointability: Mediocre. I do not find the 1911 to be a natural pointer, forum opinions aside. I kept pointing it into the ground and then having to adjust upward before firing. More trigger time might improve this.


Did you happen to notice if the pistol had a flat or arched mainspring housing?

The Army noticed the same problem you did on the M1911 (which had a flat mainspring housing) and the arched housing of the M1911A1 was created to correct this.

Rustynuts
August 4, 2008, 08:01 PM
Depending on the Para, it may not have been a "true" 1911. Could have been double stack mag or have the LDA trigger. Try a US make 1911, Para is Canadian. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

combatantr2
August 4, 2008, 09:54 PM
[Try a US make 1911, Para is Canadian. Not that there's anything wrong with that!] :rolleyes:

MICHAEL T
August 4, 2008, 11:49 PM
Try a real 1911 Para isn't a 1911 except in looks

JesseL
August 5, 2008, 12:27 AM
Try a real 1911 Para isn't a 1911 except in looks

Para-Ordnance does make single-stack, single-action 1911 style pistols that are just as much a 'real' 1911 as any Kimber, Wilson, Taurus, SIG, commercial Colt, etc.

If you want to be really picky/snobbish/precise/pedantic; if it's not a US Government marked, pre-1924 pistol; it's not a real M1911.

Eric F
August 5, 2008, 12:40 AM
If you want to be really picky/snobbish/precise/pedantic; if it's not a US Government marked, pre-1924 pistol; it's not a real M1911.

Not a comment to you but rather any one with this mentality, If it says 1911 any where on the gun or in printed material by the manufacturer then its a 1911. Companies can call it what ever they want.

ARGG! I hate word games! So what if I have one made in 1912 and it was not marked US Government then what is it? What about the origional 38 automatics/ 38 supers what are they then?..........early phasers?

JesseL
August 5, 2008, 01:01 AM
ARGG! I hate word games! So what if I have one made in 1912 and it was not marked US Government then what is it? What about the origional 38 automatics/ 38 supers what are they then?..........early phasers?

I believe that pistol would be properly called a "Colt Government Model Automatic .38 Super".

I love word games, but I appreciate them for the silly games they usually are. Pointless pedantry is my personal pet perversion :evil:. I try to resist inflicting it on others.

To this day AFAIK, the only pistol that Colt has called a 1911 in their own nomenclature is their WWI Reproduction (http://www.coltsmfg.com/cmci/1911WWI.asp).

Eightball
August 5, 2008, 01:45 AM
2) Trigger: Not bad. I was a little disappointed after having read glowing accolades of the 1911 trigger on this and other forums. I found it to be pretty good, but not a vast improvement over the SA on a Sig 220, for example.Wait till you mess with one that's a major brand name (i.e. not P.O.), and/or one that's been to a smith for the trigger. It's day and night.

4) Pointability: Mediocre. I do not find the 1911 to be a natural pointer, forum opinions aside. I kept pointing it into the ground and then having to adjust upward before firing. More trigger time might improve this.It is nothing like the . . . .357 magnum I am used to.There's the culprit. If you're primarily used to a .357 grip, depending on what make/model, what grip points "straight" on that revolver could well make a 1911 point "down."

Increase trigger time behind it, you'll love 'em.

mtngunr
August 5, 2008, 02:19 AM
English is English, definitions are definitions, and they exist to prevent confusion....a ParaOrd might be a 1911-inspired gun, but (especially if hi-cap), the connection is fading...even more so the LDA....just because it looks like a 1911A1, doesn't make it one...even less so a 1911-period....

NoirFan
August 5, 2008, 03:18 AM
Hello,

It was most definitely a single-action, single-stack pistol. After looking at Para Ordnance's website I am sure it was not an LDA. However I don't know the specific model.

I'm sorry, I don't know what a mainspring housing is, much less whether it was flat or arched!

I think the next step is to rent out a Springfield G.I. and see how it compares.

Beagle-zebub
August 5, 2008, 07:10 AM
I'm sorry, I don't know what a mainspring housing is, much less whether it was flat or arched!


In this picture, if you look as the rear end of the pistol's grip, you will see that below where the beaver-tail is, sits that checkered hump, which makes up the rest of the grip's rear face.

http://www.fototime.com/9147338A04B5C77/standard.jpg

That's the arched version of the 1911 mainspring housing. The flat version is just, well, flat.

NGIB
August 5, 2008, 09:00 AM
IMHO, my Para LTC (Commander-sized) is as much of a "1911" as my Springer Loaded. They point and shoot exactly the same and the triggers are very comparable.

On the other hand my P16 double-stack with LDA trigger looks like a 1911 but certainly isn't...

NoirFan
August 5, 2008, 11:37 AM
Ah, so mainspring housing = backstrap! As I remember it was flat, but I can't be sure.

Fozzy_Bear
August 5, 2008, 03:54 PM
yeah.

the 1911 has a channel where the backstrap would be and in that notch the Main Spring housing is mounted. they are either flat (sitting flush with the rest of the grip/frame, or Arched, as in the pic above)

You can probably imagine that the arched design would push the bottom of the grip away from your hand, thus tipping the end of the barrel up (since the top of the grip would not move in relation to your hand.)

rduckwor
August 5, 2008, 04:06 PM
I have a SIG P226 and much prefer the trigger in my SA SIG GSR 1911. The SA trigger take-up distance on my 226 drives me nuts (Yes I know I could have it worked on.) while the 1911 trigger has absolutely no slack in it. It breaks like the proverbial "glass rod". Never shot a Para, but that does not sound like the typical 1911 trigger.

RMD

Mongrel
August 5, 2008, 10:17 PM
Re: Para Ordnance triggers...

Anyone who has shot a "working man's" 1911 (under $800 or so) has commented on how good the trigger on my Para is. Now, mine is a 1992 model so maybe something's changed but it needed to be said none the less.

Let's keep it in perspective: Paras at that price level ($600-$700) are not meant to compete with $1200 to $1500 hand tuned guns.

The Lone Haranguer
August 5, 2008, 11:19 PM
1) Recoil: Very pleasant.
Agreed. Even in lighter guns the .45 has a "push" recoil rather than a "snap," (think .40 S&W), which I find more pleasant to shoot.

2) Trigger: Not bad. I was a little disappointed after having read glowing accolades of the 1911 trigger on this and other forums. I found it to be pretty good, but not a vast improvement over the SA on a Sig 220, for example.

Triggers on 1911s can be variable. Perhaps another specimen might do better. I do think that if it doesn't have a reasonably crisp and light trigger pull, it has little advantage over the "short stroke" DAO.

3) Accuracy: Very good. I shot touching holes at 10 yards with no prior practice and I am sure this gun could have shot accurately longer distances with no problems.

Although this partly contradicts the statements above, the trigger has quite a bit to do with this. If the one you shot was a full-size five-inch barrel, the sight radius is a little longer.

4) Pointability: Mediocre. I do not find the 1911 to be a natural pointer, forum opinions aside. I kept pointing it into the ground and then having to adjust upward before firing. More trigger time might improve this.
This is very subjective. Most newer 1911s come with a flat mainspring housing (which forms the grip backstrap) and a long trigger. One set up in the 1911A1 configuration (arched housing and short trigger) might point better for you. I find the flat/long to be very natural pointing, myself.

5) Reliability: Can't really speak to this, as I shot only a few rounds out it. It did not jam during the 5 minutes I was shooting it, which is pretty good right?

That is better than the 1911s I've had. :rolleyes: ;)

6) Overall feel: Not bad. The pistol sits comfortably in my hand; the only gripe I have is the beavertail, which I am not used to. I kept feeling like I was holding the gun too low on the grip.
The idea of the beavertail is to hold it higher, as well as reduce the abrasion, gouging and/or hammer bite that often plagues the standard grip safety.

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