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1911 for the experienced?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by kamagong, Nov 29, 2007.

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  1. kamagong

    kamagong Member

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    I've read several times that 1911s are a platform for dedicated pistoleros, and not for amateurs. Why is that? I've been trying to figure it out for myself, and I've come up with a couple answers. First, the single action makes negligent discharges easier, not something you want with a newbie who hasn't yet learned the four rules. Second, the grip safety requires a proper hold on the pistol for it to fire. Also, a user unfamiliar with the thumb safety may forget to disengage it during a fight, which could obviously prove to be disastrous. Am I missing anything here?
     
  2. applekev

    applekev Member

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    Many a soldier was taught how to handle a 1911, I don't see a problem.
     
  3. possum

    possum Member

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    this is the first thought that came to my mind as well, if it is easy enough for soliders to be able to handle and shoot then there is nothing holding anyone back. most soliders don't own guns most don't like or care to shoot, and there are few that are good with any weapon system.

    this is why that trainning is so important and the whole train as you fight comes into play here. i suggest that you get some formal trainning there are several good places out there and i am sure that there are some local to where you live.
     
  4. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    That is the biggest reason in my mind. It applies to any pistol with a manual safety, not just 1911s.
     
  5. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    I think mainly

    because Cocked & Locked requires more training and practice than point and click DAO's. 1911's tend to have light trigger pulls so any minor infraction of the keep your finger off the trigger rule could result in a ND (not that I think that a DOA shooter should keep his finger on the trigger, but a 6-8 lb trigger is a little more forgiving in this regard than a 3.5-4 lb 1911 trigger). Also 1911's also typically have little to no take up, so when you move the trigger, you are really moving the trigger.

    I also think that 7-8 round mags might need to be changed more than a 15 round mag, thus requiring more practice in mag swaps under pressure.

    the 1911 is a great platform, but like any other requires training and practice, maybe a little more so. I'm sure you can dig up a story or two where a single action user was wounded or killed because they forgot to click off the safety in the heat of the moment.

    Just my thoughts
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Thats different then a Glock, how?


    You want a gun that goes off without a proper hold?


    Swiping off the thumb safety is as automatic as sneezing if you have practiced with one enough to consider getting in a gunfight with one.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  7. AndyC

    AndyC Member

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    Handling any firearm competently & unconsciously requires familiarity through practice - the 1911 is no different.
     
  8. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    rc...

    Exactly. Training and practice. Now I think that everyone should get training and practice on a continual basis, but the reality is that a lot of folks buy a gun and a box of ammo, go home, put it in their sock drawer and it sits there for months or years at a time. These type of folks should, IMHO, get a .38 revolver or a "point and bang" type pistol- ie something that is easy and "foolproof" to use.

    Just my $0.02
     
  9. kamagong

    kamagong Member

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    That's exactly what I was thinking. So why do so many people insist that the 1911 is for serious users only?
     
  10. Silvanus

    Silvanus Member

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    I agree with the above posters. You should train seriously with any gun you might need to defend yourself. Be it a 1911 or a Glock or DA/SA pistol. Train enough to get familiar with whatever type of action you choose.
     
  11. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    Most likely...

    Training and practice are the key for any gun. but lets consider this; the NYPD did a study on the effects of stress on AD's & ND's with some of its officers. They placed them in a simulator that was designed to play out a variety of shoot/ no shoot situations. They rigged the triggers with pressure sensors. Many (actually a very high percentage) put enough pressure on their triggers to cause the guns to fire in the no shoot situations. Not only that, but many had no idea that they put their finger on the trigger in the first place and were shocked when they watched the video footage of the tests.

    And these are folks who carry a gun daily. Who get training. Who have to go through qualifications, etc...

    all I'm saying is that the 1911 requires you to put in a little effort, and that some folks are just not willing or can not afford to (either time or money) to get that training.
     
  12. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Light crisp trigger pull isn't good when your hands are shaking and sweaty while you are quickly assessing whether to shoot or not. Glock trigger pulls are long and (hopefully) heavier.

    I want a gun that goes off when I pull the trigger. I've heard about early 1911 pisteleros who strapped down the grip safety after some incidents that didn't allow them a proper grip (wrestling with a BG) and prevented them from firing.

    True. But training is what makes the difference between experienced versus amateur. Although most everyone here knows it's a bad idea, some people never practice or train, let alone function check it with hundreds of rounds.

    This is true for any gun with those features though. Maybe other reasons would be the fact it's relatively low capacity compared to wondernines and .40s, and may not have the "always work" reliability of plastic guns (although that's debatable and individual gun-specific)

    That said, I'd disagree that it's a pistol for experienced shooters only, but I'd make sure anybody I helped get a gun practiced with it enough that overcoming any of those issues are second nature, regardless of what model they chose.
     
  13. farscott

    farscott Member

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    To me, there are three factors that set the 1911 apart from pistols designed later, such as Glocks and 3rd Generation S&W pistols. The combination of these tends to be the reason why the 1911 is often said to require more dedication than other designs.

    1) It is a much harder pistol to field strip and assemble than the modern designs, especially for novices. There are more parts to clean and maintain. No one needs a bushing wrench or an allen wrench for a Glock.

    2) There are more 1911 manufacturers than manufacturers of all other pistols combined. This leads to issues since not all parts are built to the same prints. In addition, the 1911 has parts not built to original design intent that result in issues, especially extractors. Extractors are probably the weakest part of the 1911 design.

    3) The 1911 is the Harley-Davidson of pistols. It has been customized, tweaked, reworked, and bent in nearly 100 years of production. It has been made with three-inch barrels and seven-inch barrels and most lengths in between. There are three major magazine sizes: Government, Officer's ACP, and Detonics. It has been made with steel, aluminum alloy, and titanium alloy frames. There is a trigger for every finger, a hammer for every thumb nail, grips for every hand, and sights for every eye. It has been made in more calibers than any other gun I can think of, from .22 LR to 50 G.I. Combined with 1) and 2), the result is pistols that do not work and require the user to figure out what went wrong.
     
  14. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Here's the deal. When I was a young lad, I went to MP school and learned the 1911 from two of the Marine Corps' best instructors. Having had previous handgunning experience, I had a few bad habits to unlearn, but soon learned many solid 1911 skills, though it was probably more difficult for me than others with no previous handgun experience.

    On the other hand, there were many among my class, not a few females included, no handgun experience prior to entering the military, who hadn't touched a pistol since boot camp, yet quickly mastered the platform. I think anyone can learn to use the 1911 well, IF one is going to use the platform as his/her primary sidearm ...

    If it's gonna be your primary defensive/carry pistol, as others note, train and practice. If you will only use a 1911 for occasional range sessions, pay attention to what you're doing when handling and shooting it ...

    Perhaps because it is so substantially different than other handgun platforms. The (full-size or Commander size, especially all steel) 1911 tends to be heavier than other pistols, fires a serious caliber, presumes that you have mastered the manual-of-arms (unlike, say, a point-and-shoot Glock or revolver) ... The 1911 tends to be a bit more difficult to field-strip (and then reassemble) for cleaning/maintenance, sometimes a bit more fussy about ammo, definitely more fussy about magazines and simply possesses more quirks than many other modern handguns. It does require a bit more dedication to use competently, and it helps if one understands how the platform operates (especially if one experiences malfunctions).
     
  15. wulfbyte

    wulfbyte Member

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    I think the difference can be viewed if you think about the difference in training to the target and training to the weapon.

    Training to the target involves things that every weapons system needs, like sight alignment, sight picture, breathing, trigger squeeze and so on. You are training to get rounds on the target and you already know how to operate the particular firearm in question. This type of training needs to be ongoing and should be repeated often.

    Training to the weapon however needs a larger initial investment of time and effort and then some shorter recurring training periods to maintain proficiency of operation. Operation of the particular weapons system in question needs to be mastered before you can get serious about training to the target.

    Let's then compare the manual of arms from say a simple DA revolver and a 1911 (or it could just as easily be a BHP or other SA pistol). Here we are talking about just the simple operation of the firearm and not worrying about getting rounds on target.

    Lets pick one thing - reaction to a failure to fire - and see what the different actions are.

    In a DA revolver, squeeze the trigger again, reaction finished.

    In a SA pistol, (assuming that the safety is off, even though that could also cause a failure to fire) ensure the magazine is firmly seated, pull the slide to the rear, watch for a round to be extracted/ejected (if no round is extracted, check the chamber for the presence of one), flip the pistol if need be to get the errant round to clear the ejection port, release the slide, re-acquire your sight picture, reaction finished.
    Now you could compress the SA pistol reaction to failure to fire to tap,rack/flip - but unless you are very familiar with what you need to watch for, that compression won't work to train most individuals.

    I believe it is clear that the level of training required to be proficient at the operation of the SA pistol is considerably higher than for the DA revolver. Again that is OPERATION, not getting rounds on target.

    In getting rounds on the target, all weapons systems require training tailored to the individual using them and you can't really say that how much time it will take to approach mastery. More is always better though.

    In the simple operation of the arms though, it is clear that some systems require less time and effort to master than others, regardless of the individual.

    That is why the generalization is made that the 1911 requires more training and more dedication than other handguns; a simplification of the differences in the training time needed to operate the weapon proficiently under stress.

    It really has nothing to do with getting rounds on target.
     
  16. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    Old Dog

    Ain't that the truth!

    I remember my first time field stripping grandpa's 1911 when I was a youngster. I think it took me the better part of a half hour to find the recoil spring plug after it dented the ceiling...

    Gramps laughed his butt off. Mom was, shall we say, less than impressed at the "renovations" i had made in the living room ceiling.:D
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I see it as a "pay me now or pay me later" type situation. You can put in the work to be sure to operate the 1911's (BHP, P210, etc, etc.) manual safety to get to a relatively light, crisp trigger pull that helps accuracy, or you can put in the work to haul through a DA that requires no setup by safety operation but requires more care in getting the shot off.
    Both ways work, as I see at IDPA matches. Action type has about quit mattering as equipment and technique develop.

    However, the difference is that the manual safety gun is a binary operation. Flip the "switch" and you shoot, don't flip it and you don't. This could be hazardous to your health if you are not practiced enough to hit that safety every time.

    The DA gun operates on a continuum. Stroke the trigger smoothly and you get a good aimed shot; yank it and you get some sort of shot. This is acceptable to many government agencies. Qualify at the minimum or clean the course; you get the same badge.
     
  18. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    So they can brag that they have one, and therefore must be a professional. :D

    Lots of gibberish has been spewed regarding the design. Some harp on the manual safety versus the Glock's lack of same, some have trouble actuating the grip safety and harp on that (in a fight, you may have a lousy hold 'cuz you were shot with a PIAT and lost three fingers). Some think that the safety arrangement is brilliant. Others agree that you're liable to forget to disengage the safety - and, like Fairbairn in the 1930s era, have the safeties pinned, or go with different guns. If you don't have a manual safety, there's one less step in your practice routine - but no less need to practice. You don't need high-end training to learn to disengage the safety. Just practice. Dry-fire practice will do just fine. The 1911 was made as a mass-produced item for soldiers who wouldn't be given too much training in its use, not as a weapon for some special forces group that expend hundreds if not thousands of rounds out of them. You could say, in fact, that the 1911 was expressly built for the most ignorant of gun owners with a higher degree of truth. :neener:
     
  19. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    I think wulfbyte has clarified it best

    I think that this is the best response to the question at hand.

    But, I think that the flip side of that is that keeping rounds off of unintended targets.
     
  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I believe that study showed that they got their fingers on the trigger and applied enough effort to fire ANY usual handgun, not just a 1911. In which case, the only protection against an AD would have been a manual safety, wouldn't it?
     
  21. CWL

    CWL Member

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    This is the biggest load of "crappola" commonly thrown out by people who haven't got a clue about proper pistol operation.

    Has anyone ever "forgotten" to put their finger on the trigger? No? If you can automatically put your finger on the trigger (as well as know when not to), then swiping the thumb safety is as automatic as that.

    Also, LEO-involved accidental shootings are typically done with Glocks...why is that?
     
  22. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Uh, because Glock has about 70% of the market?
     
  23. WAID

    WAID Member

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    Forgetting the thumbs safety has never been a problem for me, I've always instinctively rested my thumb on it to fire. I think a lot of the "expert platform" talk is just part of the reputation the 1911 type pistols have accrued over there many years. The only real thing I can think of is that they tend to be expensive compared to certain brands, although there are some surprisingly functional bargain 1911s.
     
  24. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I have a couple of dents in the ceiling.

    Um, yes, but it's mostly psycological? Think about it this way. For many years, there was no more 'less complicated' choice for autos. If anything, DA/SA autos made them MORE complicated. The 1911 only seems more complicated now because less complicated options have been invented. (Striker/polymers with no manual safety.)

    I tell my friends, go ahead and get a 1911 for your first auto. No problem. BUT, I also train soldiers. For THEM, especially very young ones with no background in firearms, and no inclination to learn anything other than military applications of firearms, (They're never going to touch another pistol after they get discharged,) I say to myself, a Glock would be perfect.

    I will admit, I started carrying a 1911, and went through 'simpler' designs, before I came back full-circle to a 1911. I suppose you could say I felt my experience had 'grown me into it'.
     
  25. littlegator

    littlegator Member

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    Re the OP, maybe the issue is because the 1911 is more about the craft than the use, which appeals to those who have more experience in firearms than newbies. By analogy, when I was younger I played trumpet. The better I got, the more I got to know the instrument's workings. When I got into college and started doing some professional work, I purchased a pretty expensive model that allowed me to change parts out, like the lead pipe and the bell, both for looks as well as for sound. I fine tuned the pistons and made some other modifications. It was fun to change the instrument out to suit my needs, and I knew every piece on it like the back of my hand. Isn't this one of the great things about the 1911? Again, by analogy, think of the AR platform. All the threads about people changing out their uppers, lowers, etc. I wish I knew what the heck they were talking about because it sounds like great fun.
     
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