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1911. Practical for CCW?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by coondogger, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    I think it really isn't very useful to talk about "the 1911" as if they all are a monolithic group with respect to reliability. The same is true for ARs and for the same reason. There are lots of manufactures who produce everything from really well made guns to junk.

    I think it is fair to say that as a class striker fired polymer guns like Glocks and M&Ps are more reliable than all 1911s as a class. When we talk about individual guns the assement may be different.

    It makes me think of Travis Haley's comments on the Magpul Dynamics handgun DVD. He basically says something to the effect that if there were two guns on a table, a glock/M&P/etc and a 1911 and he had to pick one up and go fight with it, he would for sure grab the former. Now if it was his 1911 he would grab that. He also states they see less issues with the poly striker fired guns than others.

    Larry Vickers also has some good thoughts on the matter. Basically a 1911 isn't for everyone and the types of people who it is for know it because they know and understand the gun.

    I wouldn't say a 1911 per se cannot be a very reliable gun. I wouldn't fault someone for carrying something else, most of the time I do. However, there are plenty of 1911s I would carry and there are some pretty serious gun guys that take them into much more serious and dangerous situations than what most of us face in our day to day routines.
  2. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    You misunderstand. That's why I also brought up crafted, not mass produced, 1911s. There IS a difference. If I'm carrying a gun that is based on a 100 year old design, I want quality craftsmanship, not assembly line speed built 1911.

    Like Glocks, I think too much ego is invested in the 1911. I own (sadly) only one at the moment. Others I've had weren't great, the one I have is fairly new, so I can't comment on its record.

    I watch Larry. He has very good info. But, he contradicts himself there. If one must "understand" the gun under stress, thinking more about the gun than the fight, your family is going to have to sell that 1911 to help pay for your funeral.

    I agree, there are many who carry them. I'm not one, and decidedly won't probably ever. I stand by my statement, and I'll leave it alone afterwards so as not to seem outright bashing, but there's better choices.
  3. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    this is just silly
    -you can adjust the tension on the safety in a number of ways
    -the gun has a grip safety anyway
    -the hammer is not prone to falling without a trigger pull and the GS deactivated
    -don't you use a holster?
  4. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    Right, that's why my P.I.-made sub-$700 compact Armscor guns run reliably with almost any ammo I stuff in them. They must be "high-end custom guns"
    Well, one was made to my specifications out of the spare-parts bin at ArmscorUSA in Nevada, I guess that one is "custom", in that it was made from a demo officer frame and a 4" upper that was laying around.

    Just because you saw a lemon once doesn't make an entire design unreliable,
  5. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    As I said, too much ego invested. No sarcasm.
  6. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    Or perhaps you misunderstand his point. I've not seen or read everything Mr. Vickers has said, there is quite a lot of it. Nor have I been in every single class he teaches I've never understood his instruction concerning the 1911 to include anything that would require thinking more about the gun than the fight. I'm not sure what specific comments you are interpreting to mean that or what you've seen/heard in one of his classes that you take to mean that.

    Well before you can ever say better or worse you have to outline criteria. To say better without first defining the measure of better or parameters is to simply make an empty, and more or less worthless statement.

    Even though I don't carry a 1911 most of the time, I find it absurd to suggest that there are not 1911s that are reliable and durable enough for concealed carry. Not all of that class is per se real high end custom stuff either. As stated there are some pretty serious shooters, guys that put 10s of thousands of rounds a year down range, and see hundred if not thousands of shooters put even more down range, who would agree other guns have few problems as a class than "1911s." However they would probably laugh at the proposition that no 1911 is up to being carried for very serious use let alone as a civilian CCW gun or that in every single case there is some gun that is per se "better."

    There are actually some really good pieces and discussion out there by knowledgeable folks. Discussion that goes much above simply stating that A is better than B, or assuming that folks that pick this or that do so based on ego, status, ignorance, etc.

    I wouldn't try to push everyone, or necessarily anyone to a 1911. However, I'd be careful what I said about their suitability for carry or what those who used them are basing their choices on. You are going to run up against some shooters that I promise you are VASTLY more experienced than you are, have shot many times as many rounds through their guns, have spent many more hours training than you, have been exposed to a much larger sample size of guns under adverse conditions, and likely have more experience in a gun fight than. You look silly making absolute statements calling out the equipment chosen by such shooters IMHO and I'd try to avoid doing so.

    For example, how many training courses have you run your go to gun through? How many rounds have you put through it in a year? How many classes do you imagine Chris Costa (just to pick a random guy who I know at least at times uses a 1911) has used his Night Hawk in? How many rounds do you think it has seen. How many guns do you see run really hard in a year? How many do you think he sees run? Are you going to tell him his 1911 is ill advised or he shouldn't rely on it?
  7. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    As stated, again, I won't carry one. Seen too many, owned too many, that were unreliable.

    Chris Costa runs a Night Hawk? You don't say...that makes sense. So, knowing that, why would I tell him his Night Hawk is ill advised?

    Question for you: Would I try to talk Costa out of his Night Hawk, a 1911 that I would consider "crafted", not mass produced under the specification I DID give previously, for say a Ruger 1911? Just an example; that particular model is one I've only experienced to have a mediocre success rate in reliability. That isn't hearsay, that's my personal observation with several hundred rounds through each of 3 guns. Two of which choke a bit with both fmj and HPs. We are talking 33.3%... over three pistols of same make. One that some are very convinced is the cats meow. Just an example.

    Being that I gave an example of what I wouldn't carry, and what Costa MIGHT, I think that Costa has the right idea. Since he shoots more than us, I imagine he's probably (not decidedly) opinionated as to whether a "crafted" gun trumps a mass produced 1911. I only speculate, but as for me, I'd rather have the NH or Wilson than a Ruger or RIA or even S&W; not because of elitism (I can't afford crafted guns like those at the moment) but because of tolerance stacking.

    Edit to add: I reread my posts and let me respicify: If I could get a Wilson or a Nighthawk, I'd probably feel better about carrying one. I do not regard the whole design as uncarryable, so I apologize if I seem bashing. I'm not, just opinionated.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  8. JLeòdhas

    JLeòdhas Active Member

    I carried my 1911 for a couple of years when I first started CCW. I have now switched over to a G30.
  9. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    The thing about a night hawk or the like is you really up the odds of it being put together right. That doesn't mean no there are. You can have tolerance staking or you can have them run like a top. I have for example a cheap norinco that has who knows how many rounds through it. I'd trust that gun more than a nib (unproven)night hawk and honestly as much as my 3-4k 1911. Now if I were going to grab either an unknown norc or an unknown nighthawk I'd grab the latter. I'd totally concur that all 1911s are not equal and some are not guns I'd carry. I more took exception with comments I read to suggest the design isn't viable. If it weren't it wouldn't still be so popular. I think we probably agree that most folks would be better served and get a better value with another design. But that is a different question that whether it is practical to carry any 1911.
  10. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    And I apologize for that. I never meant that the platform wasn't viable.

    There are a FEW I'd carry. Night Hawk would be one for sure. So, I guess maybe I would carry a 1911. It just depends on whom.

    Is it practical to carry a 1911? Depends.

    Not a Ruger, Smith, RIA, Para, or Kimber.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  11. coondogger

    coondogger Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have any experience with the Theis holster? How does it compare to the Crossbreed or Galco King Tuk. These are the three that I am now considering.
  12. docnyt

    docnyt Well-Known Member

    Theis is very similar to Crossbreed Supertuck. I've only work King Tuk a few times so I can't comment on long term comfort. They're all well made holsters.
  13. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    Some people, like me, are slow readers and sometime miss the true meaning of what someone is writing.

    I'd say that if a particular Ruger, Smith, RIA, etc worked well it would be no less viable than a Nighthawk. High end 1911s are not magic. And not even all high end guns are built to maximize reliability or to be particularly suitable as a carry gun. I'd add that often much of what you are paying for over a certain point has very little to do with reliability. Now if you pulled 1000 of each off the line how many would work well out of the box? That may be a different issue. So would a discussion of how they would hold up to 10K rounds of shooting.
  14. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

    That's why I am currently carrying my V-Bob. The pistol has proven to be as accurate (well almost) and as reliable (for sure) as the high end 1911's that I have had, including customs from Matt McLearn, Benny Hill, and Bob Londrigan. The DW may not have the fit and finish of a Baer, Wilson, Nighthawk, or Ed Brown, but my particular specimen is darn accurate and nuts reliable.

    As far as shooting quickly and accurately, I seem to do a bit better than most of the shooters that I encounter on the square range. What more could a person ask for? Capacity maybe? I quess...in that case I could opt for a S_I or a Wilson Spec Ops (my next purchase).

    As far as carry, mine rides in a Mitch Rosen holster OWB held up by either a 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 wide five stitch belt depending on the size of my belt loops.

    FWIW, I have spent a lot of time behind a Glock, CZ, and a couple of Smiths. They are all great guns. I just prefer the 1911.
  15. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    I give examples I know, which cover a decent spectrum. I will not carry them.

    I've had Sigmas that were 100%, and have range buddies that would carry a wooden spoon over it. Not me. If a gun is reliable, to me, then its riding in my holster or truck. It's a $300 gun, but I'd carry it, and over the very few listed 1911s I've shot above. You, nor I, can fire 1000 each of said brands making that point moot: the lightning strike chances of a reliable 1911 dropped in mud, or sopped in rain, or beat up from hitting the pavement for ANY reason is exemplified by a quality made gun. I work in a machine shop, its my living, and the tolerance stacking of mass made guns breeds failure. I'm not willing to be that 1 in a 1000 that dies due to a 1911 malfunction. I'll carry a G21.

    Edit to Add: Would you carry a P11 or a G26, if you could only afford one?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    The only Nighthawk I ever shot jammed.
  17. asia331

    asia331 Well-Known Member

    I've never understood why so many folks think the 1911 is too large for CC. Honestly I find my 1911's to be the most easily concealed full size sidearms in my inventory riding flat and tight against my hip. Combined with quality leather (holster & belt), weight isn't even close to being an issue for me and I'm 5' 9" and 165lbs.
  18. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    Don't tell Chris Costa that.
  19. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    The thing to remember is that if one's experience with any given make and model is only one or two guns then it is actually statistically pretty meaningless. Even if one had a sample of five or even ten of the same make and model it would be a pretty meaningless sample size. You'd need to have hundreds of randomly selected guns, 250 would be a good start and 400 or so would be much better. I'm going to guess you've not, handled let alone used extensively, hundreds of any given make, let alone model. Am I wrong? I know I haven't. This is a big part of why I'm most concerned with the actual gun in hand

    Don't get me wrong I've seen particular guns that have really rattled my confidence in a model or maker, but its important to keep perspective. The same can be said to those that tout a model based on the relatively minute sample sizes most of us see. This is why I put a little more weight in the opinions of those that get to see hundreds and hundreds of guns run hard in substantially similar circumstances.
  20. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    Even that doesn't mean anything unless you deduced the cause. Was it a mag issue, an ammo issue, an operator issue or a gun issue. The first couple are the most common causes. If a gun issue what type of failure was it and what was the cause? Was it the result of a worn spring (all guns will fail if the recoil spring is spent), improper maintenance, say very high round count with no lube or the like. Even if it was a gun issue, and not one that was a result of easily avoided neglect , see the above comments about sample size.

    I know your Costa comment was tongue in cheek, but it goes back to the point of the gun one has is what matters. I'm sure Costa isn't going to forsake his well prove Nighthawk because someone somewhere experienced a failure with a gun from the same maker (assuming of course it was a gun issue) any more than he is going to dump his M&P from reports in this thread of an M&P failing, or any more than you'd dump your carry gun if someone told you they had used one (and probably one time) and it jammed. Perspective.

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