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1911 - Alloy or Steel?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Northslope Nimrod, Sep 22, 2006.

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  1. Northslope Nimrod

    Northslope Nimrod Member

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    I will soon purchase a 1911 in 9mm. Many people prefer the all steel 1911's on the hopes of longevity. I was hoping to pick up an all steel 1911 in 9mm, but most have alloy frames (Taurus, Kimber).

    Given that it is a 9mm, not a .45, is my concern unjustified? Should I just go with an alloy? I shoot about 1K rounds per year. But that may increase after I get a 1911. :)

    I want it to last a loonngg looonnngg time.

    PS - Does anyone have the new Taurus in 9mm yet?
     
  2. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Both! I started with two steel 1911s, a Sistema and a Kimber. Both are great. But I admit finding the S&W 1911PD I've added extremely appealing. The weight makes a considerable difference. I love the balance and pointability. I'm looking at this pistol as a carry weapon (eventually, I live in L.A.)--carry a lot, shoot little.
     
  3. shadco

    shadco Member

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    Steel

    STI, probably Trojan, I'm quite pleased with my Duty One but I think the Trojan is a better value.
     
  4. eastwood44mag

    eastwood44mag Member

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    Taurus stands by their product forever, IIRC.

    Generally speaking, I don't think you can wear out your frame. Barrel yes, but I think the frame lasts--just keep it properly lubed.
     
  5. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    You'll be fine. It will outlast you at that round count. I have a Colt LW Commander with barrrels for both 9mm and 9x23. If it wouldn't last, Jim wouldn't have made it for me, and the 1/2 dozen others I've seen he's made for friends.

    Alloy is sooooo much easier to pack than steel. I'm done with 'em. I'd still want a Colt. You can always get a current 38 Super Colt Commander and have a 9mm barrel fitted to it. In fact, I'd highly recommend it. If I had to do it over again, I'd do that. Colt didn't market those when I had Jim convert mine.


    LW 38 Super Commander
     
  6. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    I think you will find that the general concensus here will try too steer you
    towards the all steel 1911; and I own several myself. But, my daily CCW
    piece is a Kimber Stainless Ultra Carry II with the aluminum alloy frame.
    This great gun has never even wobbled or bobbled during a firing cycle;
    and never had a malfunction of any sort~!:scrutiny:

    I vote for the 5" all steel 1911's for shooting; but I like the 3" alloy Kimbers
    for CCW.:cool: :D
     
  7. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    Primarily, I like steel...all I've bought, traded for or have eyes on are steel. But, if your intention is for a carry gun, the weight advantage might make a difference...the other but...you're in LA? City or County? How do you plan on getting your permit? Enquiring minds want to know! ;)
     
  8. robctwo

    robctwo Member

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    My steel 5" SA 1911 Loaded is much more comfortable at the range for 200-500 rounds. My SW 1911 PD with alloy frame is much more comfortable to carry, and just as accurate. It also has the Crimson Trace grips for night duty. I will routinely shoot 80 to 160 through it at a range session, but that's about all I want to shoot at one time with it.

    Also have the Sig 220 Stainless with rubber Houges, can shoot it all day. Arms get tired from the weight after a few hours.
     
  9. Astute

    Astute Member

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    It depends on whether it's going to be a "Shooter" or a "Carrier"
     
  10. Northslope Nimrod

    Northslope Nimrod Member

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    It will primarily be a shooter, but I will carry it at times.

    Anyone know what a 9mm barrel will run me to put in a Colt? Any other mods needed?
     
  11. Azrael256

    Azrael256 Member

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    Enough to buy a new 9mm gun. The modifications are extensive and not reversible (in a practical sense).

    Buy an alloy gun if that's what you like. Shoot it, carry it, hang it on the wall, whatever. Just don't drive nails with it. I've seen a whopping two guns ever that were so worn out they wouldn't function. I've seen plenty of guns that died from lack of care, and the occasional manufacturing defect occurs that will destroy a weapon, but an actual worn out gun is a rarity.

    Just be careful about ammo/magazine selection in an alloy gun without a fully ramped barrel (not an issue for 9mm).
     
  12. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    That's not entirely true. Going from a .45 to 9mm, yeah. 38 Super to 9mm, no, not at all. Cost is fitting a new barrel, and the price for parts. Visit Brownell's for an estimate on part cost. I replied to you on how to go about doing it.
     
  13. 2TransAms

    2TransAms Member

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    If you're concerned about aluminum frames for a 9mm,that frame will last forever.
     
  14. warmrain

    warmrain Member

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    I really think it comes down to carry or range/training/comp. If the primary purpose is carry then I'd consider an alloy frame. Otherwise I prefer steel. I've got two Kimber 3" Ultras. One in alloy for a carry and the other in stainless for training and range use. I have cracked an alloy frame in light use (1200 rounds) but I'm told that is unusual and of course Kimber replaced the frame with out question.

    Here's something to be aware of if you get an alloy frame, watch out for certain magazine followers:
    http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=15281
     
  15. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Keep in mind that Springfield Armory and Colt both used forged aluminum frames. Kimber casts them, as does Caspian now. SA and Colt are the only 2 I'm aware of still forging alloy frames. Many hold the opinion these result in stronger frames.


    I've seen a Kimber crack at the mainspring housing pin. Someone was overaggressive in the use of the hammer and punch.


    If you were competing, I'd think about a steel frame. If you were getting a 45 ACP, then I might consider it, too. But, in 9mm, that's gonna last forever, and it will be plenty gentle on you so as not to beat you up. Getting a steel 1911 for 9mm isn't necessary if you're concerned about how its gonna feel shooting.

    For the flexibility, I'd get alloy. It will be much more comfortable to carry.
     
  16. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    My plan? MOVE. :)
     
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