1911 Hunting: Gun Show


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g_one
February 25, 2013, 07:17 PM
So I've been slowly counting down the seconds until tax season for about 5 months now, drooling after various guns but always coming back to the good 'ol 1911. I like to think that I know a fair amount about firearms (safety, operation, function, calibers) but I'm not very knowledgeable about their value.

Tax money is due in the next day or two, and wouldn't you know it one of the Milwaukee area's rare gun shows will be this weekend. The last time I was at a gun show was probably 10 years ago (I was 16) so I don't know what to expect. Is it still true that the best deals can be found at gun shows?

Since I'm hunting for an all-steel 1911 are there any specific, easy-to-spot things that I should avoid for when buying one? Is there an easy way to tell if it's all steel vs aluminum or alloy?

Hoping to come away with something, but if all else fails there are two LGS in the area I wouldn't mind giving my business to.

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tuj
February 25, 2013, 07:43 PM
Look for a Colt National Match or any bullseye gun. Lots of those guns are being 'retired' now and are still incredibly accurate.

BYJO4
February 25, 2013, 08:31 PM
A small magnet will let you know if its steel or not. Wish you luck in your search.

JTQ
February 25, 2013, 08:43 PM
I would not buy a used 1911 unless you really know what you are doing. There are very few guns that get "tinkered" on more than a 1911 especially these days. The number of perfectly good 1911's that have been rendered practically useless by kitchen table gunsmiths is probably pretty large. My guess is you'll find a lot of those at a gun show.

With all the guys that have grown up in the Glock/AR era of "plug and play" modifications it's really an eye opener for some of these guys when they get a 1911. On a Glock or AR, virtually every after market part fits. If you can find an after market 1911 part that drops right into your 1911 you should probably buy a lottery ticket. If you spend some time here, and especially on 1911 specific forums, it is really fascinating to read the modifications being attempted by guys that barely know how to field strip their 1911's, let alone "gunsmith" them.

The two key points I'd recommend you pay attention to are the grip safety and the sights. If you can live with a GI grip safety that is fine, but if you can't and you get one, it will cost some money and some grinding on your frame to put on a beavertail. Make sure it comes with the sights you like. There are a lot of different sight cuts, and not all sights will fit without a gunsmith doing some more grinding. Especially pay attention to the sight cuts on adjustable sight models. They are very different.

g_one
February 25, 2013, 08:47 PM
I forgot about the magnet trick - I'll see if can find a small one to bring.
JTQ: Good points all around, thanks. I think I'm going to keep my eyes open first for a NIB/LNIB Rock Island before I start looking at used. There are some other brands I may research between now and then like Tisas, Citadel, etc.

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