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1911 Questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by KJS, Sep 20, 2009.

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  1. KJS

    KJS Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm a passionate supporter of freedom, including gun rights, but a novice to actual hands-on gun use.

    I know that many consider the 1911 to be the best semi-auto handgun (perhaps best handgun period) ever made. I'll have to rent the Springfield 1911 they have in the rental collection at a local gun shop to see what all the fuss is about, but would like to hear from those who love or hate 1911s to see what they have to say.

    -What makes a 1911 better than other .45 Autos?

    -If you don't like 1911s, then what gun would you feel is a better alternative?

    -Do 1911s allow you to cock the hammer to fire the first shot SA or are you forced to use DA on the first round?

    Thanks for any imput.
  2. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Upper East Tennessee
    I'm only gonna answer question #3...because 1911's ARE the best.

    All true 1911's are single action only...meaning if it ain't cocked, it won't fire. The hammer has to be cocked to fire the weapon.
  3. AZ_Rebel

    AZ_Rebel Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    AJ, AZ
    As Ridgerunner said... the first 2 questions are irrelevant.
    Third Question - the 1911 is carried with a round in the chamber, the hammer cocked and the thumb safety applied. Called Condition 1 Carry.
    To fire the gun the grip safety is depressed by taking a firing grip on the gun, the thumb safety is disengaged and the trigger is pressed - in that order. Simple and safe.
  4. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    In order:

    Ergonomics. Many people find that a 1911 just fits them well. A few don't. Rent one, see how it points for you (try to get a little instruction from someone who actually uses a 1911). If it fits, great. If not, move on to something that does. You can learn to use any handgun, but you'll reduce the curve by learning to use a pistol that fits you.

    Well, I do happen to like the 1911. So well that I own exactly um.. ah... lots of them. Lets just say more 1911's than most folks have mags.
    If I were to recommend another pistol, though, I'd start with the XD. Similar grip angle, not hardly thicker and very similar overall size. I don't cre for the trigger, but that's because I'm used to smooth single actions. DA shooter have told me that it's wonderful. From there I'd move to the Sig offerings. I can't think of a single bad pistol model Sig has made.

    Thirdly, all 1911's are single action. They cannot fire unless the hammer is to the rear (cocked). I'm not counting those pieces of junk made by Para Ordnance. They slightly resemble a 1911 on the exterior.

    The magazine is inserted into the grip and locked. The slide is pulled sharply to the rear and released. Upon going home into battery, the slide strips a round from the mag and chambers it. The hammer remains to the rear. The safety should be applied and the handgun holstered if not used immediately.
  5. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

    Jun 8, 2005
    The genious of JMB....Many 1911 variants in attempt to be slightly different and corner their own parts inventory face a fine-line in a reliable tool. They sure look pretty, but do they stand-up?:uhoh:
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Dec 27, 2002
    northern california
    1911 guy pretty much sumed up my thoughts too...it's the ergos. i like the 1911 a lot, but i don't overlook it's limitations either and i wouldn't recommend one for a beginner.

    the only gun i've handled with comparable ergos is the HK45...but the trigger leaves me cold

    if you want to start with a .45...i'd recommend a 9mm...i'd also recommend the XD45 as an inexpensive way to start out, then you could move to the Sig 220.

    if my life depended on my choice, both the XD and Sig would come before a 1911
  7. KyJim

    KyJim Member

    Jan 20, 2007
    If you want to try a 1911, go right ahead. However, if you are interested in learning how to shoot a handgun, I would recommend starting with a .22, perhaps a Ruger Mark II or Mark III.

    While the recoil with a 1911 in .45 acp is not really that harsh, an inexperienced shooter may develop bad habits with it -- like flinching.
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    You are doing it right. Get to a shop, rent the Springfield, rent the Kimber and the expensive custom one too. Rent a LOT of different guns.

    What you will likely find is, the 1911 trigger is the best. It's simply the easiest to shoot. The only serious competitors who shoot something besides SA 1911s are people who have sponsorship from companies who don't make them.

    I recently picked up a Beretta for the first time in 18 years, and I'm spoiled. I hate it after carrying a 1911 for so long.
  9. jfh

    jfh Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maple Plain, MN
    I've fired tens-of-thousands of rounds through various semiautomatic handguns--1911s, CZ-75 types, Glocks (in two calibers), S&W generation 1 & 2 (41 and 52), and S&W generation 3 (1066), and CZ-75 clones in three calibers.

    I simply have found the ergonomics of the 1911 to be the best I have ever found, period. Arguably, the CZ-75 design is as good on the ergonomics level, if you have a larger hand to fit the doublestack grip. And, the S&W gen 3 guns are excellent in their own way, and at least the bigger frames are as or more durable than the 1911 design. However, because of the ass-backward ergonomics in (comparison to the 1911) I sold my S&W 3-gen pistols.

    These days, you can buy a fully-enhanced 1911 for less bucks than you can ever build one. At the various price points--call it $500, $800, and $1000 plus--you can get a 1911 of varying durability, but with the same general characteristics--and even get sub-sized 1911 designs for 9mm and (maybe)40.

    Other than the personal factor of the fit of a 1911 to your hand--and that can be tweaked for most hands--learning a 1911 as a primary semiauto is an excellent way to get into semiauto pistols.

    The .45ACP is an excellent cartridge for any number of purposes, and handloading for it is relatively easy. If you can throw money at a 1911, .22LR top ends are readily available. (The CZ-75 design does allow for cheaper switchtops for all calibers, however.)

    You can also buy a good firearm cheaper, if you like polymer guns--and eventually, those kind of guns, at their various quality / price points will dominate certain market segments, as the 1911 design is labor / cost intensive/ It was designed to different / older / more labor-intensive manufacturing standards, so its costs, as labor costs go up can only go up. I imagine that, someday, for that issue alone, 1911s will be considered 'obsolete.'

    But, overall, IMO 1911s are still at the pinnacle of handgun design.

    Jim H.
  10. Jeffm223

    Jeffm223 Member

    Jul 24, 2009
    I wouldn't dare to dis on a 1911 :). But, you really should give some thought to intended use. As good as a 1911 is, I can think of better learner target guns, better CCW guns, etc. What is your interest? That might be a better place to start.
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