Any Bad Experiences w/ Sig or S&W 1911s?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Welding Rod, Jun 10, 2013.

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  1. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    Thinking about a 1911. I can never find a Colt locally, and my Kimbers left me thoroughly unimpressed with both their QC and customer service.

    So, I am thinking about a Sig or maybe S&W.

    Any problems with either?
     
  2. GI_Jared

    GI_Jared Member

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    Go with Smith and Wesson hands down. Sig's quality control sucks these days and their customer service is even worse. I personally dropped $1000 on a Sig 229 Elite Dark only to have lots of jamming issues because of a new long extractor design that wasn't yet perfected. This was never admitted by Sig officially but a Sig custom shop figured out the problem after they spoke with some of the engineers that they knew who work for Sig. You can google tons of horror stories of new Sig owners with QC issues in recent years.
     
  3. Baldy

    Baldy Member

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    I known nothing about the Sig but I have two S&W's. Ones all stainless (government), and ones a scandium framed (commander). Both have been very dependable. Ones a competition gun and one is for defense. I highly recommend S&W's. I can't count the rounds that I have put through them without any problems. Many, many thousands. Good luck..:)
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I have no experience with Sig 1911's. My 226 is a fine gun however. I currently own 2 S&W 1911's and consider them the most underrated of the 1911's in their price range. They are a better gun than the Kimber and Colt I own, and there is nothing wrong with either of them.

    Some don't care for the looks of the external extractor. Although not traditional, it works, at least as well as the internal extractors on traditional guns.

    I do find it a little odd that many guys are using extended or ambi controls, beavertail grip safeties, modern combat sights, rails, 8 round magazines, aftermarket triggers, full length guide rods, lasers, etc., and complain that an external extractor is not traditional :confused:

    It is just one of many small improvements to a 100+ year old design.
     
  5. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    I have SIG P- pistols with short extractors or internal extractors, both "recent years" and old. None are problematic.

    Those issues are not associated with their 1911s.
     
  6. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    My brother's SW1911 has been nothing but trouble. It's nicely finished and accurate, and has a decent trigger feel, but it has experienced failures to return to battery from day one (at least one or two every 50 rounds). Two trips back to S&W, a number of replaced parts, and some 5000 rounds later, and it's still problematic.

    Be patient and hold out for that Colt.

    My Colt Government XSE has been perfectly reliable straight out of the box, regardless of the ammo type. Slide-to-frame fit is dang near perfect and lockup is tight. These days, Colt is making some of their best 1911s ever.

    DSC_0217.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  7. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    The Sig and SW 1911s are series 80 and have external safeties. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you're a 1911 purist and you want the closest representation to JMB's legendary creation, better choices are out there.

    The other thing about those two modifications is that they make the slide considerably more complex to take down all the way. With a traditional series 70 gun, you can EASILY detail strip the slide and clean out the firing pin channel and extractor hole.

    Also, there are some that notice a difference in trigger feel between a series 80 and 70.
     
  8. MudMarine

    MudMarine Member

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    Sig 1911 is good to go.

    For every duffer that tells you, sig is crap, i can show you 5 that say they are good to go. The current production Sig 1911's are excellent choices at the sub $1000 price point.

    The long external extractor just flat out works. Definately an improvement over the perpetually tuned extractor of colt fame or infamy.....

    The series 80 trigger can be shimmed into a 70 style configuration if you desire.

    Does not have a full length guide rod which has zero benefit for you unless you are using tungste or other weight up front.

    The sig slide profile is different.... But then so are the scale serrations on th SW. To each his own.

    I own a nonrailed XO model and its been 100% which is more than i can say about my first gen kimber i bought in the mid 90's.
     
  9. MudMarine

    MudMarine Member

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    If your a jmb purist, your lowered and flared ejection port is out. So is you beaver tail grip, and your fancy combat sights. Better get rid of anything over 7 rnds, and swap out your snickety safety withe the jmb nub he intended.

    Don't be a hippocrit.
     
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    If those were the only two brand I had to choose between, I'd go with something from the S&W Performance Center.

    I've owned a regular production S&W 1911Sc and was very happy with it. I sold it to a friend who really wanted it and he is still just amazed by it.

    I an also very familiar with SIG pistols...from their Classic P-series through their 1911 offering to their polymer pistols. Most of my SIGs are the German made foded slide models, but I also have a couple of domestic ST models. I remember when 1911 smiths wouldn't even touch the SIG 1911 GSR because the parts were so far out of spec...but I've heard that they have worked out most of the bugs with their current offerings.

    But why take a chance?

    I've never heard anyone say anything negative about how the S&W Performance Center 1911s function...they really are a cut above and are a pretty good value at their price point
     
  11. buckhorn_cortez

    buckhorn_cortez Member

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    I'm not sure I understand this comment. All 1911's have external safeties - a grip safety and a thumb safety. The Series 80 1911's are no different in this respect. A Series 80 has an additional INTERNAL firing pin safety.

    The internal firing pin safety has to be pushed out of the way for the firing pin to travel forward. This is interlocked with the grip safety and trigger through two additional parts in the trigger mechanism - the trigger bar lever and the plunger lever.

    Not really, once you remove the firing pin stop, you simply push down on the firing pin plunger and remove the firing pin + spring. The extractor comes out just like any other 1911. You just have to make sure you don't lose the firing pin plunger and its spring - so you remove those after you take out the firing pin.

    It actually make disassembling / reassembling the pistol easier as the firing pin plunger will hold the firing pin in place making removal or installation of the firing pin stop simpler as you don't have to deal with the firing pin spring pressure against the firing pin stop and you can't inadvertently launch the firing pin across the room.

    I haven't found that to be true. The SIG RCS that I have came from the factory with nicely adjusted 4lb trigger with no creep and very little takeup. There is a very slight amount of additional pressure needed to depress the firing pin plunger against its spring - but that is very small compared to the remainder of the spring pressures.

    The real difference with the SIG is the profile of the slide that is more square than a standard 1911 making finding a holster a bit harder - but, you can reshape a standard 1911 holster with a little effort to make it fit the profile.

    I carry my SIG RCS every day, and it has never had a problem in 1.000 rounds of FMJ and hollow point bullets. I own only one SIG 1911 - but it has been totally reliable. The fit and external finish are very good. When you look at the internal finishing it certainly has more tool marks and is generally not as finely finished as Wilson, Baer, Dan Wesson, or Colt - but, to date it has worked just fine. For the price - $859 - that's a fair trade off.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  12. gpjoe

    gpjoe Member

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  13. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Personally, I think Sig has one of the best 1911s for the money right now. My brother had a Scorpion with a suppressor and a C3 and I've been really impressed with them.
     
  14. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I have a S&W E series full size stainless, no rail 1911. I was experiencing the above problem also when I first got the gun and was dissapointed. However, I did a little research and fixed the problem. I read on the S&W Forum that they were putting 16.5 lb. springs into the new guns. The writter claimed that he had confirmed this with S&W. From what I understand, these lighter springs are meant for competitions. Not sure why. does it lessen the recoil force on the slide return and help you stay on target better?? It seems silly if the gun won't cycle properly. Maybe someone else can shed a little light on this as I am not a competitor.

    So I decided to experiment. I got a 17 lb Wolf spring, and tossed her in. I also bought some Wilson ETM magazines. Since adding both items, and the break in period is now past, the gun is cycling properly and reliable. Easy fix with the spring. The mags were damn expenssive, but I do really like them. I don't know if current production S&W 1911's are still coming with the light springs or not, so you may want to ask S&W about it before spending money on anything.

    I would definately recomend the E series gun, but you may have a few minor part changes to deal with. I have never owned a Sig 1911.

    He meant to say external extractors.
     
  15. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I'll assume your reference of "series 80" is to indicate the pistols have a firing pin safety. While the SIG 1911 does come with a Colt Series 80 style firing pin safety, the current E-Series S&W 1911's do not have a firing pin safety. In addition, the S&W 1911's with a firing pin safety don't use Colt's Series 80 design, but a Mochak designed firing pin safety that is activated/deactivated by the grip safety (not the trigger as is the case with the Series 80) much like the Swartz system (also developed by Colt) used by Kimber.

    Mochak firing pin block http://www.google.com/patents/US6374526
     
  16. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    A 17% chance of getting a lemon isn't exactly a positive assessment.
     
  17. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    So not only can I not organize my thoughts correctly (I said "external safety" instead of "external extractor"), I don't even have my facts straight.

    Well, that's why I'm here! I'm here to learn!
     
  18. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    I had a S&W Gunsite SC Commander that had two premature MIM parts failures. The mag catch snapped and shot into orbit. Some 200-400 rounds later (I can't remember which), the plunger tube sheared off its legs. All in all, a pathetic pistol that never could have made it through a course at the academy after which it was named.

    My SIG was a 2010 Carry Stainless model that only had 2 MIM parts. Unlike the S&W, none of the parts suffered a premature death, but the chamber was very tight and was very sensitive to OAL; those same loads worked just fine in other 1911s.

    Of the two, I'd go with the SIG. If opened up to other options, a Colt XSE would be the one I'd buy.
     
  19. AWCherry

    AWCherry Member

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    If the two are at the same price point, I don't think you could go wrong with either. That being said, it's been pretty consistent in my area that the S&W 1911 runs about $200-$300 more than the Sig. For that reason, I bought a Sig 1911 XO model, and never looked back.

    The gun has been flawless, with the only hiccup being a failure to lock the slide back after the last round on two occasions. However, this has not happened since using the KimPro Tac-Mags.

    (Side note - I know that the Sig 1911 slide profile is different than a traditional 1911, but I can't describe exactly what it is. Can someone put into layman's terms what exactly those differences are? Thanks!)
     
  20. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Add Dan Wesson to your list... the Heritage is a lot of gun for the money. Customer Service is excellent.
     
  21. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    I personally can't stand that S&W has to billboard out their slides and that they have to put the "lawyer talk" on the side of the frame. Tasteless in my opinion, but that's purely aesthetic. Here's some photos of my brothers' Sigs.

    P2230171_zpse2122982.jpg

    P2230173_zpsc2008be7.jpg

    HP1.jpg
     
  22. m2steven

    m2steven Member

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    I have a standard 799.99 S&W 1911 I purchased about 6 years ago. It is a wonderful handgun regardless of it's blueprint vs that of the original 1911. It is very accurate and has never misfired after 4 or 5 thousand rounds. My favorite sport is shooting concrete blocks with it.

    I met a man at my range one day with a beautiful SIG 1911. We traded for a bit and were both very impressed with the pistols. The SIG appeared to be a tad less accurate than the S&W, but it has a SLIGHTLY better trigger. It felt smaller in the hand as well. It was beautifully manufactured. (the SIG owner thought my S&W was slightly more accurate as well BTW and the S&W trigger was very nice but it required an ever so slight additional pull to get the hammer to drop). If either triggers required less pull, they would be a bit dangerous IMO.

    If you can get a used SIG from someone trustworthy and they've had no trouble - get a SIG. I think they are having some QC problems at the current time with their new stuff.

    The Smith is just a wonderful all round pistol.
     
  23. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    I like my Sig 1911 Railed, its a very accurate gun.
    It took me a while to find a good reliable load for the gun, I reload for it and its the pickier than the two colt 1911's I own due to its tighter chamber.

    It has a really tight chamber. Tighter than I'd want for a combat pistol. It wants sized bullets and a heavy crimp to reliably chamber, something my other 1911's couldn't care less about.
     
  24. cuervo

    cuervo Member

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    Here is some information for you:
    http://www.1911addicts.com/showthread.php?511-Buyer-s-guide-for-all-you-1911-addicts...&

    When I was looking at a Sig, I tried to find everything I could on them. I read that they had problems with their earlier 1911s but the newer ones were okay. The ones to avoid were the ones with the "manhole cover" on the side of the slide.

    In one review of a Sig, I don't remember if it was old or new, the reviewer stated that the take-up was too short and he needed to rework the hammer hooks (I think) to make it safe.

    Someone else beat me to the one I was looking at, but I probably would have purchased it. It was a new-version Revolution Carry.
     
  25. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    You're going to get every possible choice of opinions with a question like that, on an internet forum. :) That's what makes our country great.

    I own many S&Ws, but no S&W 1911. Of my 1911s, one of them is a Sig - it's a "Carry Fastback", which is the all steel, nitron coated, .45ACP, 4", bobbed butt, pistol.

    It has rapidly become a carry favorite. It's dead reliable, it's tight and it has gotten even smoother after a few hundred rounds. The factory trigger is better than the one in my new Springfield TRP, which is disturbing to me, as the TRP "should" be better in all respects.

    Regarding customer service - right after getting the pistol, the slide was failing to lock back on an empty magazine sometimes. I called Sig. Talked to an actual human within a very short time, they sent me a new slide lock and the CS rep gave me his personal email address as a follow-up. He wanted to make sure it solved the problem. It did. Even though the slide didn't lock back, the pistol never failed to function. Now it's perfect, and their customer service was excellent. My two cents!

    Edit: oh... and the price... the Sig was LESS than competing 1911s of that type, and it has front strap checkering, mainspring checkering, bobbed frame and it came with a gorgeous set of rosewood grips. No complaints about this Sig at all, and I've never been a Sig guy. This is in fact the only Sig I own.
     
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