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S&W 1911, SS or Scandium?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by sigbear, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. sigbear

    sigbear Well-Known Member

    I am considering a new S&W 1911, SS, 5" barrel, however, my buddy bought a S&W new 1911 scandium 4 1/4" barrel that he had a lot of FTF's with and sent it back to S&W twice and finally traded it in for a "new" same gun which also went back to S&W once.

    My buddy is on his second S&W 1911 in less than 4 years, however this second one seems OK since he got it back 6 mos. ago.

    My question is, "should" the S&W SS, 39 oz. 1911 perform reliably better or worse than the 28 oz. scandium model.

    I like the SS model because of the added weight and 5" barrel for range use and HD, I would never carry, have others for that.

    Never owned a 1911.

  2. magnumman44

    magnumman44 Well-Known Member

    My friend has shot his model 108282 S&W 1911 over 2000 times with no issues. I loved it so much I bought one, but now I am selling it with some accessories in the trading post...check it out, NIB!!! That is the 5" stainless model.
  3. wheel

    wheel Active Member

    Your reasoning is correct - the SS model is better if you don't intend on carrying it. The extra weight makes it a pleasure to shoot even +P loads.

    As far as reliability of SS vs. scandium, I don't think there's any difference. Occasionally the factory turns out a lemon, but that can happen with any model or manufacturer. The vast majority of S&W1911's are flawless right out of the box. I wouldn't worry about it - just buy the one that you feel best meets your needs.

  4. rellascout

    rellascout member

    I have a question... if the S&Ws you have come into contact with have all had issues why are you still looking at an S&W?

    Personally I would skip the S&W and get a Colt or a Dan Wesson.
  5. bugs100

    bugs100 Well-Known Member

    I have 3 of them. I got the 108282 first about 4 years ago and it has been flawless in it's performance.

    Then a guy swapped me a brand new 108284 for a Model 27-3 and it's also been flawless in it's performance.

    A gun shop owner I know real good, offered me a real good deal [$750] on a 1911 scandium 4 1/4" barrel and I couldn't pass it up.

    Every single one of them works great, no matter what I put in them. The 4 1/4 is a great pistol and when it comes to accuracy there really is much of a difference between it and a 5 inch. But I perfer the 5 inch for target shooting.

    I also have 2 Colts and 3 hand built custom 1911's that cost a lot of money.

    The 2, 5 inch S&W's out shoot the Colts and are almost as good as the Custom ones.
  6. rellascout

    rellascout member

    I am not agruing that the S&Ws are decent guns. I am simply asking why he is only looking at S&Ws.

    Personally I would never carry a S&W 1911 for defense purposes. I am anti- schwartz.
  7. sigbear

    sigbear Well-Known Member


    The reason I am looking at the S&W 1911 is because I live in "MASSACHUSETTS" and as far as I know, we are limited to "New" S&W and Para 1911's.

    I have never shot a Para but based on these 2 choices I would choose the S&W. My reluctance comes from my buddies 2 scandium models.

  8. rellascout

    rellascout member

  9. tlen

    tlen Well-Known Member

    I've never heard of any widespread reliability problems with the commander size SW1911PD. The SW1911 line is know for reliability and function at a reasonable cost. That said, take a look at the #108284 for range and HD. You won't have any regrets.
  10. rellascout

    rellascout member

    For a home defense gun I do not like the S&W line. The schwartz safety system could get you killed. I know it is only a slim chance but there are reports of higher round count S&Ws failing on the owner. If the schwartz L shaped safety fails the gun will not fire.
  11. wheel

    wheel Active Member

    You're correct that in Mass. the only new .45's you can purchase from a retailer are S&W and Para I believe.

    But you can buy any gun privately from a Mass. resident. The only problem is finding someone who's selling what you want. If you check the classifieds here you'll often find it:


    Also, I wouldn't worry about the Schwartz firing pin safety in the S&W's. If you've ever disassembled one you'd see that it's very simple, and if it works it works. It's preferable IMHO to the Colt system because it's not linked to the trigger, hence it doesn't impact the quality of the trigger pull.
  12. KyJim

    KyJim Well-Known Member

    For your intended use, I would definitely go with the stainless 5 inch model for several reasons:

    1. Heavier gun means less felt recoil and less muzzle flip.

    2. Theoretically, the frame will last longer though I doubt you'll ever wear out the frame of either gun.

    3. Longer sight radius of the 5 inch barrel.
  13. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

    It's a Swartz firing pin safety originally used by Colt between WW I and WW II, but dropped before our entry into WW II. Kimber uses a Swartz firing pin safety on their Series II pistols.

    S&W uses a similar system developed by Richard Mochak. Not exactly a Swartz system, though it is also deactivated by the grip safety like the Swartz.

    "May the Schwartz be with you."
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    i've had a S&W 1911SC for a couple of years and it's been running very well.

    i got mine during a clearance sale when S&W were switching over from their "billboard" slide markings...anytime you can get one for under dealer cost is a good day (i think i paid about $500 for it)

    i saw it as a excellent way of gaining experience with scandium, the S&W extractor and their firing pin safety. my feeling is that the Sc should hold up as well as Al has (after all, it's only a .45 ACP), the FPS needs to be properly fitted (mine is) and the extractor is holding up...but i wish i had gone with a Performance Center model (but it would have been 4-5x the price)
  15. rellascout

    rellascout member

    Same difference. LOL If it that L shaped rod fails the gun will not shoot. It happens. I have seen it happen at matches on high round count pistols. Personally I prefer 70 series guns like the Dan Wesson because it has neither lawyer feature.

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