New Thoughts On the 1911 (Atleast for Me)


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mordechaianiliewicz
October 5, 2009, 03:19 AM
I've been in the market for a .45 acp handgun. I'd looked into a Sig P220, a Ruger P90 or P345. And though I had dismissed the 1911, I found a High Standard which was much lower in price than the Sig, and about a $100 less than the Ruger. So, I shot one just as I'd tested the other two finalists.

Now, I've never liked 1911s very much. Always thought they were overrated. And, I've always had problems with the slide release and getting bit. This 1911 had a beavertail and an extended slide release. Shot it better than any other .45 I've gotten my hands on.It was reliable (with 100 rounds of range ammo, admitedly not much of a test).

I'm kind of wondering if all this time, what I needed was a 1911 with the mods of a beavertail and extended slide release and better sights than stock GI?

I can say, although I think I'll still take a Glock over it for carry, and fun.... this 1911 thing might get to be a new addiction.

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spyderdude
October 5, 2009, 06:43 AM
I've had bad experiences with GI style 1911s, especially the ones from Springfield Armory. I could not get through one box of ammo without the web of my right hand bleeding because the grip safety would dig into my hand. I vowed never to buy another Mil-Spec/GI style 1911 and set out to buy a Loaded model from Springfield. It took me 3 years to do it, but my patience (and buying other guns in between) paid off. I wound up with a lightly used Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded in stainless and the beaver tail safety makes a world of difference for me. I probably could have just put a beaver tail on the Mil-Spec I had, but sold the gun instead.

smartshooter.45
October 5, 2009, 09:53 AM
i havent shot a SA Loaded but ive always heard good things. for the bargain 1911 shopper id recommend:

Rock Island Arms Tactical 5" in .45. got mine for less than 400 NIB.
http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/gcobbs420/1911/DSC00464.jpg

if you want hand tuning, custom parts, forever quality id recommend a Dan Wesson. I enjoy the Classic Bobtail (the one in the middle):
http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/gcobbs420/1911/DSC00471.jpg

walker944
October 5, 2009, 11:36 AM
Yes, 1911s can be addicting. About 2 yrs ago I didn't own a single one. Now I have seven. I started with a Para Ordnance P12-45. Then picked up another one. Shortly after that I got a Para P14-45 (very sweet shooter). I then stole a Charles Daily (Armscor) 1911. Last winter I picked up a Springfiled Loaded 1911, and about 6 months ago I got a pair of Colt 1911s (70 blued, 80 stainless).

I really enjoy shooting all of them. Each fills a niche in my shooting routine & desires. The only issue I have had with any of them was with the Charles Daily. It would FTF/FTE until I picked up a new magazine for it....end of problem!

Billy Shears
October 5, 2009, 12:04 PM
Now, I've never liked 1911s very much. Always thought they were overrated.
They are, and they aren't.

I say that because to this day, no one has designed a handgun that better rewards the time spent acquiring a high degree of skill. If you are willing to put the time in, the 1911's unmatched single action trigger, low bore axis, and superb ergonomics will enable you to achieve accurate hits more rapidly than any other pistol, as well as a faster first shot out of the holster than any other gun except possibly the SAA. This leads many 1911 afficionado's to declare it the ne plus ultra of all combat handguns -- and for them it is. But most people never acquire this high degree of skill, and for most shooters, other pistols will serve just as well or better.

FMJMIKE
October 5, 2009, 09:26 PM
My American Classic II doesn't bite and only cost me $400 plus shipping and transfer fee.
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/mbmphoto/ac19112.jpg

bluetopper
October 5, 2009, 10:24 PM
Now, you need to shoot a few mags full out of a high end 1911. One that's hand fitted with close tolerances.

I did........now polymers are a distant memory for me. There just wasn't any "pride of ownership" for me with polymers.

The Lone Haranguer
October 5, 2009, 10:29 PM
I've owned or shot 1911s with and without the beavertails, and there is a marked difference in shooting comfort.. I can take a higher hold on the b-tail gun, and the standard grip safeties dig into my hand and sometimes pinch the web between my thumb and trigger finger, whereas I can shoot all day with a b-tail with no discomfort. The downside is that the necessarily shortened hammer is more difficult to manipulate.

gbran
October 5, 2009, 11:15 PM
For a factory rig, my Colt Series 80 is smooth and has had no fuction problems. It's just a fun shooter. can't believe the quality for a $800 gun.

mljdeckard
October 5, 2009, 11:21 PM
I agree. For the price range you were looking at for the P220, you can get a really good 1911. I'm a guy who snorts at high-end custom guns (although when I'm rich I might change my mind one day,) and I think you can go a bit higher than you are looking at right now and still pay less than you had planned.

I dropped my Glock for a 1911 and I haven't looked back.

rondog
October 5, 2009, 11:39 PM
I could not get through one box of ammo without the web of my right hand bleeding because the grip safety would dig into my hand.

I'd betcha dollars to doughnuts that the hammer was pinching your flesh between it and the grip safety spur. That's what mine do to me. When the slide slams back and drives the hammer down, it'll bite me with great vigor. Three of my 1911's do that, all the GI style ones. The two with b/tails don't.

Chomp chomp chomp.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1400.jpg

maskedman504
October 6, 2009, 12:34 AM
I bet with enough practice you could develop a reasonable callus. :o

loop
October 6, 2009, 08:07 AM
Hammer bite is the main problem with GI type guns. It is why the extended beavertail was invented.

It is also ubiquitous among big guys shoot High-Powers.

Frequently a good pair of grips can cure the issue as well...

Remember, it is a system. The grips, mainspring housing, trigger length, et al, highly influence your results.

Ed Ames
October 6, 2009, 09:05 PM
My biggest problem with the 1911 is that nice ones tend to have features I dislike - like beaver tail grip safeties. I don't have the smallest hands around but I've never had an issue with hammer bite, but the people who build up nice 1911s always put those fugly protrusions on the back as though of course everyone would want that. Sight.

The stainless Springfield G.I. is close to what I consider ideal. Flat profile, low snag sights (might wish for tritium)...all you need is a decent holster (or even a belt clip) and you are well dressed for any situation.

Billy Shears
October 6, 2009, 09:32 PM
I don't have the smallest hands around but I've never had an issue with hammer bite, but the people who build up nice 1911s always put those fugly protrusions on the back as though of course everyone would want that. Sight.
Then you're not taking a very high grip on the gun. If you grip as high up on the frame as you can -- which is a good thing to do, because it reduces muzzle-flip, and makes for faster follow up shots -- you are virtually guaranteed to get hammer bite. I am an average sized guy, at 5'9" and 160lbs. I certainly don't have large, fleshy hands either, and I also didn't used to have a problem with hammer bite. But when I started to grip higher up on the gun, I did. And with the recommended two hand grip -- high up on the gun, and with both thumbs pointing forward along the side of the frame -- a GI style 1911 will bite me every time. To shoot my Colt 1911 reproduction, or even any A1 style in GI configuration, I have to lower my shooting hand thumb on the frame to keep the web of my hand from being nipped, and I can't take my preferred two-hand grip.

The reason most 1911s these days have the beavertail is because most buyers do want them, and they want them because they serve a very practical purpose.

The Lone Haranguer
October 6, 2009, 09:53 PM
If you grip as high up on the frame as you can -- which is a good thing to do, because it reduces muzzle-flip, and makes for faster follow up shots -- you are virtually guaranteed to get hammer bite.
I naturally gravitate to a high grip on all my pistols, actually pressing the "tang" into the web of my hand. This causes problems with narrow, downturned, sharp-edged grip safeties, rubbing my hand raw with a Colt and, with a Para-Ordnance, biting and gouging it in a manner similar to rondog's photos, but my beavertailed SIG caused no discomfort. I do dislike the really high grip wherein you rest your shooting hand thumb atop the thumb safety; this beats painfully on my thumb joint.

Ed Ames
October 6, 2009, 10:39 PM
Then you're not taking a very high grip on the gun.

Fascinating... wrong (my usual 1911 grip is pushed up hard as high as it'll go) but right is probably not important anymore.

I think it has to do with the shape or proportion of a person's hands. Or perhaps fleshiness. I don't have slender hands but they don't have rolls of fat or drapes of loose skin to catch either. Whatever it has to do with, it isn't universal -- I've done a reasonable amount of shooting with a "classic" 1911 and have never been caught by the hammer. I'm not saying other people don't have that problem, and I'm certainly not saying people who have the problem are showing poor technique, but I'd bet more people have beavertail safeties than have ever been bitten by a 1911.

Billy Shears
October 6, 2009, 10:42 PM
I naturally gravitate to a high grip on all my pistols, actually pressing the "tang" into the web of my hand. This causes problems with narrow, downturned, sharp-edged grip safeties, rubbing my hand raw with a Colt and, with a Para-Ordnance, biting and gouging it in a manner similar to rondog's photos, but my beavertailed SIG caused no discomfort. I do dislike the really high grip wherein you rest your shooting hand thumb atop the thumb safety; this beats painfully on my thumb joint.
This is exactly the same as my grip. I used to put my thumb over the safety, but I stopped after I shot one day while wearing gloves, and the gloved thumb dragged the slide, causing shooter induced malfunctions. I changed after that, since I don't want to use a method I will have to consciously depart from if I ever shoot with gloves on again. Could be deadly under stress.

Billy Shears
October 6, 2009, 10:54 PM
Fascinating... wrong (my usual 1911 grip is pushed up hard as high as it'll go) but right is probably not important anymore.

If you have hands that are not notably slender, but are not notably fleshy either -- in other words, pretty average -- and I also have have hands that are not notably slender, but are not notably fleshy either (which I do) -- also pretty average -- and I get bitten where you don't, then you are not holding the gun as high as I do. You simply can't be. My hands are not especially slender, but they are definitely closer to slender than fleshy -- I am a pretty thin guy, and so are my hands -- and I grip high enough that the tang of a GI style 45 presses deeply into the web of my shooting hand, and the skin almost folds over the tip of it. My shooting hand thumb touches the underside of the safety, and points straight forward along the side of the frame. When I shoot a GI style gun, this causes it to bite me, which causes me in turn to lower the thumb of my shooting hand when firing these guns so that it touches my middle finger. But my normal grip, even with my relatively slender hands, will get me bitten, and while hands do vary in size and shape, they only vary so much.

In any event, even if you have unusually thin hands, with little meat in the web, most people are not made this way, leading the majority of shooters to need a beavertail with a high grip, and makers of 1911s these days make most of them that way to cater to this demand.

Ed Ames
October 6, 2009, 10:59 PM
Silly argument. My hand can't go higher up, the tang pushes deeply, the skin almost folds over ... I don't know how else you would grip a 1911 unless you want your pinkie wrapped around under the magazine well ... but the hammer doesn't bite me.

If it does you, then you are one of those that should probably fit a beavertail safety. For me the things are ugly and useless. That doesn't make them bad, or wrong for you.

exdetsgt
October 7, 2009, 01:29 AM
Yeah, throw aesthetics out the window and get an extended beaver tail safety. Shooting a 1911 shouldn't be a painful experience. On the contrary, it ought to be fun.

mordechaianiliewicz
October 7, 2009, 02:02 AM
Well, I'll be getting one pretty soon now instead of a Sig or Ruger. And, in fact, inexpensive ones can be had brand new in my neck of the woods for about $400 (Rock Island, High Standard, and a brand names Metro Arms).... though I'll probably go with the High Standard because it's what I shot so well with.

I have big hands myself. Big meaty paw, and long, skinny fingers, and a virtual web between my thumb and forefinger. Always played havoc. But, at the 25 meter mark I was getting a 4" group except for a floater using American Eagle.

This should work out for me it looks like.... seems to me like those mods should have been the military standard, but hey.... it's academic now.

DougDubya
October 7, 2009, 02:37 AM
My biggest problem with the 1911 is that nice ones tend to have features I dislike - like beaver tail grip safeties. I don't have the smallest hands around but I've never had an issue with hammer bite, but the people who build up nice 1911s always put those fugly protrusions on the back as though of course everyone would want that. Sight.

Well, they do sell standard grip safeties.

Pop out the beavertail and put in a standard one - like here:
http://www.galatiinternational.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=GIO&Product_Code=BW4535

loop
October 7, 2009, 05:50 AM
If you need a standard grip safety I have a boxful of them. I'll sell you one really cheap!

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