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1911: Rail or Not?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Panzerschwein, Apr 6, 2016.

?

Should a 1911 have a rail? Or should you use flashlight in support hand?

Poll closed May 6, 2016.
  1. Gimme that rail

    17 vote(s)
    16.0%
  2. No rail yo

    89 vote(s)
    84.0%
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  1. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    For the 1911 pistol, I see some have rails now. They look cool, and useful for the mounting of a flashlight.

    But, I've heard some say the rails are stupid. The rails are fat, don't allow so much of the different holsters, changes the balance of the pistol, are ugly (and stupid), and you are better off with NO RAIL on your Colt's semi-automatic belt pistol of army caliber. Instead, you are supposed to hold the flashlight in your support hand and do a crossed arms thing that looks pretty rad.

    So, what gives yall?
     
  2. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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  3. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    My 1911's are range guns with relatively lite triggers. I do not use them for self defense.

    I wouldn't have a problem with a 1911 with a rail. I might experiment with a laser or a rail mount red dot at the range. I have never missed having a rail on a 1911.
     
  4. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    The Gospel According To John (Moses Browning)
    As translated from the original ancient manuscripts by Fr. Frog.
    © copyright 2002 by John C. Schaefer


    1. In the beginning was the 1911, and the 1911 was THE pistol, and it was good. And behold the Lord said, "Thou shalt not muck with my disciple John's design for it is good and it workith. For John made the 1911, and lo all of his weapons, from the designs which I, the Lord, gave him upon the mountain."

    2. "And shouldst thou muck with it, and hang all manner of foul implements upon it, and profane its internal parts, thou shalt surely have malfunctions, and in the midst of battle thou shalt surely come to harm."

    3. And as the ages passed men in their ignorance and arrogance didst forget the word of the Lord and began to profane the 1911. The tribe of the gamesman did place recoil spring guides and extended slide releases upon the 1911 and their metal smiths didst tighten the tolerances and alter parts to their liking, their clearness of mind being clouded by lust.

    4. Their artisans did hang all manner of foul implements upon the 1911 and did so alter it that it became impractical to purchase. For lo, the artisans didst charge a great tax upon the purchasers of the 1911 so that the lowly field worker could not afford one. And the profaning of the internal parts didst render it unworkable when the dust of the land fell upon it, and these profaners didst try and fit more rounds of ammunition into the magazines than the holy number of seven, appointed for the .45.

    5. And lo, they didst install adjustable sights, which are an abomination unto the Lord. For they doth break and lose their zero when thou dost need true aim. And those who have done so will be slain in great numbers by their enemies in the great battle.

    6. And it came to pass that the Lord didst see the abomination wrought by man and didst cause, as he had warned, fearful malfunctions to come upon the abominations and upon the artisans who thought they could do no wrong.

    7. Seeing the malfunctions and the confusion of men, the lord of the underworld did see an opportunity to further ensnare man and didst bring forth pistols made of plastic, whose form was such that they looked and felt like a brick, yet the eyes of man being clouded, they were consumed by the plastic pistol and did buy vast quantities of them.

    8. And being a deceitful spirit, the lord of the underworld did make these plastic pistols unamenable to the artisans of earth and they were unable to muck much with the design, and lo these pistols did appear to function.

    9. And the evil one also brought forth pistols in which the trigger didst both cock and fire them and which require a "dingus" to make them appear safe.

    10. But man being stupid did not understand these new pistols and didst proceed to shoot themselves with the plastic pistol and with the trigger cocking pistols for lo their manual of arms required great intelligence which man had long since forsaken. Yet man continue to gloat over these new pistols blaming evil forces for the negligent discharges which they themselves had committed.

    11. And when man had been totally ensnared with the plastic pistol, the lord of the underworld didst cause a plague of the terrible Ka-Boom to descend upon man and the plastic pistols delivered their retribution upon men. And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land.

    12. Then seeing that the eyes of man were slowly being opened and that man was truly sorrowful for his sinful misdeeds, the Lord did send his messengers in the form of artisans who did hear and obey the teachings of the prophet and who didst restore the profaned 1911s to their proper configuration, and lo, to the amazement of men they didst begin to work as the prophet had intended.

    13. And the men of the land didst drive out the charlatans and profaners from the land, and there was joy and peace in the land, except for the evil sprits which tried occasionally to prey on the men and women of the land and who were sent to the place of eternal damnation by the followers of John.
     
  5. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    I dont particularly care for rails on any gun. However, my next 1911 will be railed and in 40SW.. JMB will roll a few times.. :evil:
     
  6. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    I have an Ed Brown and a Kimber with a rail along with two more Ed Browns, two Dan Wessons and another Kimber without rails. The rail has a function and if you want/need the additional functionality then it's a no brainer.

    eb_sf_lr_03.jpg

    eb_sf_lr_02.jpg
     
  7. The Exile

    The Exile Member

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    I don't see why you wouldn't want it, maybe some day you need to put a light on it or something so why not be prepared? I'd get if it's not a factor in your buying decision but I wouldn't seek one out specifically without it.
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    This sentence presupposes a number of things

    1. That it is an either/or situation. If I had to choose between having only one light that could either be mounted on a rail or held in my support hand, I wouldn't have it mounted on the rail...it is just too much of a compromise.

    While I do have a rail on my most often used pistols, I have found that it does compromise the balance and handling of the 1911 quite a bit. I guess if you always left it one the gun and trained that way with it, it might be less of a factor.

    2. Does anyone still teach the Harries' flashlight technique?

    Most folks I've seen who have tried yo use it are just crossing their wrist (incorrect technique) as opposed to putting opposing pressure between the backs of their hands.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    None of my handguns handgun's have rails.

    Past, present or very likely in the future.

    To the degree they are used for personal protection, they are intended to be fast reaction tools. I have enough issues doing this without adding a flashlight.

    Or anything else. :banghead:
     
  10. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    If you need a flashlight on a gun, a rail is a pretty handy way to mount one.
    If you need a flashlight and a gun, it's nice to have the flashlight in your free hand so you don't have to point a gun at everything you want to see,
    If you don't need a flashlight, no rail.
    I have both, the railed gun has a flashlight mounted to it for home defense, the only situation a rail makes sense to me...no holster needed, if you are in my home I have no worries of a brandishing/threatening charge.
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have a couple of non-1911 pistols that have rails; didn't require it on there when I bought the guns, it's just that they came that way. Have since added a laser/light module to one of them (P229R), for home defense but I'm really not interested in having a rail on a 1911.
     
  12. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Slow. Clap. You, sir, are my hero for the day. My hat is off to you.
     
  13. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    A couple of data points...

    Tom Givens of Rangemaster https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/weapon-mounted-lights-for-private-citizens/

    Tucker Gun Leather

    http://www.tuckergunleather.com/faq/
     
  14. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I'm NEVER going to put a light on a handgun, so it's nothing but a waste and an esthetic defect for me.
     
  15. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Queit had a very funny post! :)

    I don't care for rails, but if I wanted a 1911 with a light on it, my first step would be to buy one with a rail.
     
  16. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    The rail allows mounting a light or laser. Lasers have been available for a long time which don't need to be rail mounted, therefore the main use is for a light mount.

    Tactics with lights often require pointing the light at something, when in reality you may not want to point a gun there. Goes to the Rules of Safety, therefore a lot of light users don't rail mount. It's a separate device.

    The advantage of a separate light is that you can cheaply upgrade it every two years as LED power doubles while the cost is cut in half. Mounted weapons lights are even more expensive and usually behind the development curve, therefore the cost/benefit ratio is worse.

    Running a light on the weapon means DOUBLE the training to do right. "Right" is defined as practicing until you don't do it wrong. Operating a light correctly means intermittently using it, not leaving it on to broadcast exactly where you are. It means you flash it on and off, which requires using a finger, and not confusing that operation with pulling the trigger when under stress. Soldiers and LEO's who do use lights on their firearms practice - a lot - on the clock and after work. They practice until they can't do it wrong, which includes no negligent shootings of innocent civilians or team mates working thru close quarters.

    Again, it takes double the amount of training time to learn how to use a light effectively and safely. How many light owners actually train going thru close quarters at all? Most civilian owners don't, and adding a light to the gun isn't going to suddenly elevate them to operator status.

    For much of the commercial market lights and guns with rails are just an accessory to make a statement that the owner has arrived to the level of thinking they are professional. Those that actually train know better. If you don't have hundreds of hours learning close quarters clearing without and then with lights, they are just dress up for show - image making.

    No rails please. I don't want to be identified as the only one professional enough to use them. I can barely get around to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Some perp blundering around in the dark has his work cut out to even make it back there.

    First rule of Home Defense is Don't Open The Door. Second rule is Have A Gun On You. Lights are much further down the list of priority items, if at all. Don't buy into the hype over them - they cost a lot of money and require special new holsters and a lot more training than most even attempt.

    Get a nice 100+ lumen single LED from Lowe's or Home Depot and call it good.
     
  17. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    For lights and HD, it is better to have the light in your hand so you are not sweeping friendlies during target identification. For lasers, they are quicker when they are integrated into the grip. Rails necessitate "custom" holsters, especially in Kydex, which limits your options somewhat. For a strictly target gun, range gun, or competition gun, I would insist that a rail would be advantageous, giving more options for mounting a scope rail without the sight being subjected to recoil impulse by being mounted on the slide. If you insisted on having the sight mounted on the slide, then I would revert back to my opinion that a rail is more of a hinderance than an advantage.
     
  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    If you are going to use it for HD, and need room for a light or laser, then a rail is a good thing.

    If it's a carry gun, or a range gun, I don't feel the need to have one on a 1911. I own one 1911 and it doesn't have a rail. I do occasionally open carry it, but that is only on the trail in daylight hours where I will easily be able to see my target and sights.
     
  19. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    Another benefit of a rail on a pistol is the option to add a laser when shooting suppressed. I have a SIG P220 Combat with a rail that I shoot almost exclusively with an AAC TiRANT 45 suppressor attached. I like the iron sights as they are and don't want to add taller sights to see over the suppressor. The laser allows pinpoint accuracy when the suppressor is attached and unbeatable low light performance regardless of what's on the end of the barrel. That pistol is by the bed at night with the suppressor and laser attached.
     
  20. rskent

    rskent Member

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    I have thought about getting a rail mounted light several times. I never have.
    I guess I don't like the idea of pointing a loaded weapon at whatever I want to see.
    I just carry a flashlight most of the time.
     
  21. Mr.357Sig

    Mr.357Sig Member

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    Amen [emoji1317]
     
  22. Lou_the_welder

    Lou_the_welder Member

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    I would say if you ask me? not

    Not because. And not because i wouldnt think they're aren't necessary. I think, if you had to, RAIL.... preferably double stack. And not a 45. And not on a 2011 either. That would be more blasphemy! All my 1911s are range guns so my POU is different.

    So. I've had to use my rail gun- at night, with its night sights, double stack mags, light and all. POU. And it isnt a 1911. Its a 9mm. 5f4c108d882609166243d7e4389819e7.jpg
     
  23. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    for me it is wrong Ive handled one and the balance was off horribly not for me IMHO
     
  24. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Very good question. As far as holsters, yes, it can be hard to find one that will take a railed 1911. Sometimes the best bet is to go through a custom kydex maker and have one (or 2) done up, or DIY. Also, holsters are meant for a given pistol with a specific model of light, generally speaking. So maybe you need 2 holsters. As far as rails, notice that most all modern handguns made nowadays have rails, if not standard as a buyer's option. When I was in the mil, we were issued several different holsters for different missions, plus more for different missions with light attached. As far as using the flashlight in the weak hand, this works, to a point. The first thing to note is the fact that you have just run out of hands. Try to hold your pistol in one hand, your light in the other, and do the following: reload, clear a malfunction, open a door, throw a punch, check someone's pulse, use a phone or radio, or any of the dozens of other things you may be required to do in an "emergency situation" in the dark where having a pistol in your hand is required. One option with varying degrees of success is to put a tether on the light and loop it around your weak hand, so that when you need your weak hand for something else, you still retain the light. Another "semi-modular" option is the add-on rails for older 1911s that incorporate a set of polymer grips with a rail going below the dust cover. I never used one but I heard they are pretty decent. Of course, the holster challenges would still remain for when the rail and/or light are attached. But they are a viable option for someone who may want a light rail on their old springfield milspec or similar 1911.
     
  25. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    FWIW, during my mil days it was standard practice to carry handheld lights IN ADDITION to our weapon lights. Why? because its not always appropriate to point a gun on something you just need illuminated, just like its not always appropriate to illuminate what you may want to shoot. I normally carried: surefire scout with IR flip cover on M4, Surefire x300 or insight M6 on pistol, surefire 6P on belt, surefire helmet light on helmet (only used to check maps and the like in vehicle, or searching for "evidence" inside cleared buildings), blue LED photon squeeze light in medical blowout pouch. and a backup surefire executive in pocket. So, 6 lights. Not including signal devices like strobes and chem lights.
     
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