Comments on the "Shooting Times" comparison of autoloaders?


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J-Bar
December 6, 2013, 07:33 PM
OK, I am a wheelgun guy. You don't see me here often, and I think this may be my first post in this forum. You will see me in the Blackpowder and Revolver forums so I hope you will be kind to a newbie.

I received the latest issue of Shooting Times magazine yesterday, (very welcome, since we are snowed in by winter storm Cleon), and it has a "1911 Shootout" as a featured article. I am curious how the author's rankings will be received by you folks who participate in this forum. The only autoloader I own is a an old Ruger Mark I. I feel a bit guilty about not owning some kind of 1911, but have never taken the plunge. Your comments may push me over the edge to purchase a centerfire autoloader instead of only using wheelguns.

Mr. Paul Scarletta wrote the article. He ranks the following 1911s in this order:

1. Para 1911 Expert Stainless
2. Ruger SR1911
3. Magnum Research Desert Eagle 1911G
4. Springfield 1911-A1 Mil Spec
5. Auto-Ordnance Thompson Custom 1911
6. Taurus PT-1911
7. ATI FX45

Not necessarily trying to start arguments, although they can be great fun when the weather is bad.

How say you all?

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Jolly Rogers
December 6, 2013, 08:02 PM
No way I'd rank a Para over a Springer.
Joe

browningguy
December 6, 2013, 08:04 PM
Well, firstly I haven't read the article, but if that's the only 7 he tested then he is doing the world a great disservice unless he specifically stated he had failed to include many of the most popular or well known brands. Was this limited to some imaginary price point?

For instance he included an Auto Ordnance, and a Magnum Research? I didn't even know MR made a 1911 clone.

Why wouldn't he have included Sig, S&W, or perhaps even Colt?

The Lone Haranguer
December 6, 2013, 08:05 PM
How does one assign a ranking to such similar guns?

J-Bar
December 6, 2013, 08:12 PM
How does one assign a ranking to such similar guns?
The attributes compared were:

Reliablility
Accuracy
Ergonomics
Recoil Control
Trigger
Sights.

He really liked the fiber optic sight on the Para.

Queen_of_Thunder
December 6, 2013, 08:20 PM
Wow! Guess my Sigs and HK's are nothing but trash.

rcmodel
December 6, 2013, 08:21 PM
He really liked the fiber optic sight on the Para. And I REALLY DISLIKE fiber optic sights on any handgun I want to shoot very accurately.

So, all that proves is, I'm an old 'black sight' NRA Bullseye shooter that went to all-army, and inter-service Olympic trials once.

And he isn't & probably hasn't.

One of us is obviously wrong.
But which one??

BTW: I would put the Springfield 1911-A1 Mil Spec right up there near the top.

rc

Hokkmike
December 6, 2013, 08:41 PM
Their first mission is to sell magazines. A little controversy goes a long way to doing that. But lack of credibility would hurt also. A clever blend is required.

tarosean
December 6, 2013, 08:55 PM
Which company had the most ads in the rag?

private snowball
December 6, 2013, 09:51 PM
Michael Kassner did a hell of job when he put together the specs for the Desert Eagle 1911. He had a great looking gun about to go to market. When MR got their paws on it and put that disgusting billboard on the slide, it made my stomach turn.

eldon519
December 6, 2013, 10:51 PM
That lineup is probably akin to a car test of a Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Hyundai, Kia, etc. They didn't really hit the BMWs, Audis, Mercedes and got nothing close to the Bentley, Aston Martin, etc.

Regardless, if you are just looking to branch out to autos, I think the question you should be trying to answer is "which semi-auto?" not "which 1911?" unless you already have tried a bunch of models and know the 1911 is the best for you.

TimboKhan
December 7, 2013, 01:52 AM
I've not read this article, but it seems obvious he is ranking less expensive guns as opposed to comparing Para to Ed Brown or something.

If that is the case I still wouldn't put Para on top. In addition to generally liking Springfield guns, I heart my Ruger and I thought my early model Taurus was OK. I am not painting with a broad brush, but the one Para I shot was... not so good.

critter
December 7, 2013, 07:05 AM
Just a note. I just got a Ruger (commander length) and really like it a lot. VERY accurate and 100% reliable. Nicely done gun for the price.

hentown
December 7, 2013, 09:40 AM
I always figured that gunrag-writers would be doing something else for a living, if they really knew how to write. ;) I'd assign no creditbility at all to the Shooting Times article!

wford
December 7, 2013, 09:55 AM
Kind of a bad article in my opinion. If you only have one autoloader, what made you want a 1911 versus other types?

J-Bar
December 7, 2013, 08:39 PM
Kind of a bad article in my opinion. If you only have one autoloader, what made you want a 1911 versus other types?
I thought it was un-American to not own a 1911???

wally
December 7, 2013, 09:36 PM
I didn't think much of the article or the scoring criterion. But two of them having parts breakage makes me wonder. I've never seen an ejector break, I had a Colt that was stovepipe city until I replaced the ejector, but I've never seen one break, extractors I've broke several -- easy to fix.

Infant mortality is a fact of life with modern manufacturing methods and the 2-3% "acceptable" failure rates due to the cost savings from not doing any serious QA/QC.

Should have included an RIA Tactical in the line-up best bang/buck going.

huntershooter
December 8, 2013, 07:31 PM
"Them's that can do, them's that can't are gun rag writers" (with precious few exceptions).
I would give zero credibility to anything I read in "Shooting Times".

Rinspeed
December 8, 2013, 07:35 PM
Guess my Sigs and HK's are nothing but trash.


Didn't know HK was building a 1911. :confused:

Walt Sherrill
December 8, 2013, 07:41 PM
The article wasn't that bad.

The writer addressed a handful of 1911s in the the low to middle price range ($500 - $800); it seemed fairly balanced. The writer gave clear explanations WHY he down-rated or up-rated specific models, so if you ignored the ranking and read the article, you got a good sense of what the guns were like.

Most of the guns got essentially the same score except for things like sights (for which the MILITARY models were down-rated), or other quirks: one had a terrible trigger; one had an ejector failure. He said, time and again, "except for that, this gun might have been in the top 2 or 3." They generally showed up well.

I found the article more balanced and sensible that many of the gun reviews I read, and think I could make some decisions based on the articles -- or at least know what to expect with the guns evaluated.

Wil Terry
December 9, 2013, 01:28 PM
I thought it was un-American to not own a 1911???
J-BAR, tell the guys the criteria he used to pick those pistols !!!

Mat, not doormat
December 9, 2013, 02:55 PM
No Colt? No Kimber? No Dan Wesson? No STI? No RIA, for Pete's sake?

And a Para won it? I think this article has a few flaws, to say the least.

TimboKhan
December 9, 2013, 03:00 PM
Comparing the average Dan Wesson to the guns on that list would be like comparing a great apple to a bunch of other, less tasty apples.

Walt Sherrill
December 9, 2013, 03:08 PM
Kind of a bad article in my opinion. If you only have one autoloader, what made you want a 1911 versus other types?

I don't know what it is, but 1911s continue to get more coverage and have a greater presence in gun magazines than their presence at gun ranges, gun competitions, or gun shops seems to justify.

Mat, not doormat
December 9, 2013, 04:05 PM
I don't know what it is, but 1911s continue to get more coverage and have a greater presence in gun magazines than their presence at gun ranges, gun competitions, or gun shops seems to justify.
As for why they're featured in magazines a lot, that's easy. They make more interesting copy than most other guns. Because there are so many makers, purposes, and flavors of 1911, there's always some suspense in a 1911 article. The reader wants to know who made it, how it was built, what it looks like, how it shoots, and if it even works. The competing guns are much more homogenous, and therefore much less interestng to write about or read about. Think how those questions apply to a Glock, for example. You already know the answer to most of them. It was made by Glock, using stock Glock parts, it's probably black, moderately accurate and quite reliable. What's left to talk about?

As for presence at ranges, I don't know. When I go to a range, I usually have a few of mine along, and they usually get attention, so maybe they are a little uncommon there. Most gun stores I've been to, though, have their pistol cases split in three, one section of 1911s, one of revolvers, and one of everything else. At matches, they rule the 45 segment of bullseye, USPSA and IDPA both have divisions built around them, and if you count their descendant, the 2011 as a 1911, they rule Open and Limited, as well.

Walt Sherrill
December 9, 2013, 05:08 PM
Sort of like all the articles about italian sports cars in car magazines? Most of us will never own one of those exotics.

That said, some of the top-drawer (i.e., more expensive) SIGs, H&K, CZ/Tanfoglio guns are both exotic and interesting, and I'd really like to read more about them. How about some articles about a Sphinx or the newly reincarted Daewoo/Lionheart?

How about some comparisons for the various service pistols: M&Ps vs. Glocks vs. SIGs, etc.? I'd certainly read those articles, and might even benefit from them.

Articles about how Ghost or Apex parts IMPROVE the performance of any of these guns would be welcomed too -- but we never see those sort of articles.

I wonder if this focus on 1911 is due to a sort of snobbishness of gun mag staff members; they are hooked on 1911s and just can't see much else. (Look at it as being a bit like the complaints about LIBERAL BIAS in the mainstream media -- suggesting that the folks who are biased don't even notice the bias.)

The gun shops where I visit generally have a section for 1911s, but not much in the way of variety or different models. They generally have more Glocks or Rugers. At the recent IDPA Nationals, I think the 1911s made up a relatively small part of the guns that competed -- I've mislayed that copy, so can be sure. Lots of Glocks, though.

Bullseye might be where 1911s really rule -- and variants of the venues where race gun traits really matter. But, truly, those guns are a relatively small part of the shooting universe.

tark
December 9, 2013, 08:22 PM
Gun writers know how to write interesting articles that, combined with lots of pretty pictures, sell magazines. They don't always know what they are talking about. Some years back, at the shot show, I had a chance to ask a table full of the industry's best a simple question. They were all there, From Ayoob to Venturino, Clint, Sheriff Jim... the whole bunch, Charlie Petty even waddled over. I asked them which rifle cartridge was the first to exceed 3000 FPS.
They all said the same thing and they all got it wrong (it was the 280 Ross in 1907 )

Saleen322
December 9, 2013, 09:26 PM
I read the article before I came across this thread. It didn't dawn on me that it would be controversial. The article was about entry level 1911s so that is why there were no Glocks, etc. As it was about entry level, a MSRP price limit was set at under $900. While the article did not name names, they did say they contacted all common and most of the lesser known makers and got 7 responses that met the criteria so that is what they reviewed. Again, while it did not necessarily cover all of the things I would have liked it to, I don't see any major issues with how they did it. What am I missing?

Walt Sherrill
December 9, 2013, 10:30 PM
They were all there, From Ayoob to Venturino, Clint, Sheriff Jim... the whole bunch, Charlie Petty even waddled over. I asked them which rifle cartridge was the first to exceed 3000 FPS.They all said the same thing and they all got it wrong (it was the 280 Ross in 1907 )

I don't understand why you'd REALLY expect all gunwriters to be familiar with obscure rifle ammunition, particularly something that's over 100 years old?

A number of the guys you mentioned specialize a bit... and the guys who write about handguns seldom deal with long guns; folks who write about shotguns don't write about rifles or pistols... The guys interested in AR/military rifles are more focused, too.

I've been pretty impressed with the knowledge of some gun writers; Gary James who writes for Guns & Ammo, and Paul Scarlatta, who lives in NC and writes for a number of magazines, both write some pretty interesting articles on guns -- and sometimes cross the line, addressing both handguns and long guns.

(I've got one of Scarlatta's books on C&R rifles -- "Collecting Classic Bolt-action Military Rifles" which is pretty good and seems well researched. One of the guns I owned back then, a 1917 Eddystone Enfield, is featured in one of the sections of that book. It was my rifle shown in the illustrations for that model.)

Mas Ayoob, on the other hand, specializes in matters relating to handguns and self defense -- he works as an expert witness and self-defense guru, and I can't imagine why anyone would expect HIM to be familiar with rifle ammunition.

There are a lot of BS-specialists in the gun magazine business, but they're not all bad -- and they're not all experts in all matters relating to firearms.

,

eldon519
December 9, 2013, 10:31 PM
Gun magazines just run out of things to talk about so sometimes they have to make up something to talk about, even if it is just a rehash.

tark
December 10, 2013, 12:43 PM
Walt, the point I was attempting to make was that sometimes , no matter how sure we are about something, we are wrong. All of the Gentlemen I mentioned were absolutely sure they knew the right answer. And they didnt. I might also mention That the writers I mentioned are among the best, men who have actually been there and done that. When I first started in the firearms industry working for Les Baer, I was shocked to discover how many writers actually knew very little about the guns they were writing about. Most of their knowledge was gained be reading OTHER writers articles. I won't mention names, but most writers of that type don't last long. They are published in obscure Magazines that don't last long either. Oh well.

Walt Sherrill
December 10, 2013, 02:20 PM
Your original question for the gun writers was OBSCURE, particularly for guys like Jim Wilson or Mas Ayoob. Especially obscure for someone who wasn't professionally focused on long guns. On the other hand, I agree with your more general comments about gun writers in general; I suspect we could agree on some of the bad ones. How does anyone get a job writing for a gun mag? I suspect they just apply, or have a friend who knows someone. There's no apprentice program, and most of them probably aren't even trained as journalists or writers. Seems like a variation of the old cliche: those who can do, those who can't write about it....

There's one writing in the latest Dillon Catalog, again. He seems to use every one of his articles as an excuse to brag about his personal skills. If he just stuck to the gist of the topic he was supposedly writing about, his articles could sometimes be a source of useful information. As it is, I find it increasingly difficult to get past the first few paragraphs. It seems that Dillon is sometimes hurting for content.

oneounceload
December 10, 2013, 03:57 PM
How does one assign a ranking to such similar guns?

By the amount of advertising dollars each company spends..... ;)

Jim K
December 10, 2013, 11:30 PM
That article served its purpose, it filled magazine pages and made money for the writer.

Not only did he not include "exotic" guns (equivalent to that Bentley) but he didn't include the original - the Colt!

Jim

tark
December 12, 2013, 08:09 PM
Walt, I once read an article about military pistols written by someone who was hell bent on proving the utter superiority of todays modern hi-cap autoloaders over the older designs (1911s) . He ended his article with a solemn and somber tone, remarking how unfortunate it was that any soldiers had to go to war with such inferior weapons, I laughed for an hour. He was the perfect example of the writer who probably got his information from reading others and actually had little experience in the real world. The writers mentioned, I will say again, were men who had gained their knowledge from actual experience, especially Charlie Petty. Charlie has been to our shop twice and he has probably forgotten more about 1911s than the rest of us put together will ever know, I know not if Charlie is even still with us but if he is somebody tell him I found that Remington model 14 1/2 in 38-40 that he wants.

TimboKhan
December 12, 2013, 09:28 PM
Okey dokey. I am going to close this because it is drifting slowly but steadily into a topic that just doesn't work well on THR. Talking about writers isn't really the point of this forum, nor of this thread.

Additionally, it seems that the point of this article, which I have since read, has escaped some folks. The article focused on mid range 1911's.

Saleen322
December 13, 2013, 07:15 PM
Additionally, it seems that the point of this article, which I have since read, has escaped some folks. The article focused on mid range 1911's.

Exactly. I read the article before seeing this thread and thought it was fine. I was very curious about what out-of-the-box accuracy was for these pistols and that alone was worth the time to read it. The magazine contacted all major firearms manufacturers (plus some minor ones) and all but 7 blew them off and did not send a pistol in to be tested. That is a failure of the makers not the magazine article writer. The article was about 1911s below the $900 MSRP price break yet if you read some of the posts you can see that went over their heads. It is like writing an article about pocket pistols and someone complaining the Desert Eagle wasn't included. :rolleyes:

Jaymo
December 14, 2013, 02:30 AM
My dyed-in-the-wool Glock fanboy buddy bought a Springfield and hasn't carried his G23 since.
It used to be Glock this, Glock that, blah, blah, blah, BS, BS, BS, Glock, Glock, Glock.


Not any more.



Another friend of mine has several 1911s and his two favorites are the Taurus PT1911 and the Springfield.

I currently only have one 1911, a Commander sized ATI.
Except for the soft ejector it had from the factory, I love the thing.
It goes bang every time and it hits where I aim it, if I do my part.

JRWhit
December 14, 2013, 06:54 AM
I don't know what it is, but 1911s continue to get more coverage and have a greater presence in gun magazines than their presence at gun ranges, gun competitions, or gun shops seems to justify.
It's because they are like an older muscle car. They draw attention and can still be made up to perform. Glock is a Honda civic with a Turbo, A 1911 is a 69' Camaro sporting a big block and a stack blower. The Honda is more widely used, but every one stops and says,"Whoa!". When they see the Camaro.


I do think it odd that RIA was not included in an entry level list of 1911s.

DM~
December 14, 2013, 10:23 AM
I read the article before I came across this thread. It didn't dawn on me that it would be controversial. The article was about entry level 1911s so that is why there were no Glocks, etc. As it was about entry level, a MSRP price limit was set at under $900. While the article did not name names, they did say they contacted all common and most of the lesser known makers and got 7 responses that met the criteria so that is what they reviewed. Again, while it did not necessarily cover all of the things I would have liked it to, I don't see any major issues with how they did it. What am I missing?

You are missing nothing!!

Lots of opinions here, i'm thinkling MOST that answered didn't even read the article, on top of that, i'm wondering if the OP even read ALL OF THE TEST???

In the article, as you pointed out, it "clearly" stated why they tested the guns they tested. There was no attempt to "pad the atricle" or cater to one brand or another. I thought the test was clear on where they was going and was a decent read.

The folks here should read the article BEFORE whineing, ya never know, you may find it better than you thought it would be.

DM

peacebutready
December 14, 2013, 10:43 AM
Keep in mind the manufacturers send a guns they carefully go over first.

J-Bar
December 14, 2013, 08:17 PM
i'm wondering if the OP even read ALL OF THE TEST???

Oh, sure! And I know that the Colt Gold Cups and Kimbers and Ed Browns etc. are much more expensive and higher quality guns than those compared in the article.

My question was no more than I stated in my initial post... I was simply curious about the relative ranking of those pistols that were listed in the article; would most of you put the Para on top, based on your experiences?

I have found the comments interesting. Thanks for your insights.

chaser_2332
December 15, 2013, 04:32 PM
i put very little faith in any gun magazine test or shootout.

TimboKhan
December 15, 2013, 09:04 PM
Hmm. I put very little stock in closing threads from my phone when all I have is 4G, apparently. Now this is closed, for sure.

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