Buying a Single-Stack 1911, but What Caliber?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Chris Rhines, Feb 26, 2011.

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  1. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    I've decided to go ahead with my plan to purchase an STI Trojan singlestack 1911. This won't be quite my first 1911, but it'll be the first one I plan to put a lot of rounds through.

    Whatever gun I get, I plan to shoot it in USPSA Single Stack division, IDPA ESP or CDP division, Steel Challenge, as well as practice. I'll probably put close to 30,000 rounds through it in the first year. I'm buying the STI because I wasn't getting the accuracy I want out of my previous competition pistol, so I'm looking for 2" @ 25 yard mechanical accuracy as a minimum...

    Where I'm hung up, is in selecting a caliber. I'm torn between getting a Trojan in 9x19, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP.

    Option 1 - 9x19 shooting USPSA SS Minor, IDPA ESP
    Pros: Cheap ammo, cheap reloading components. 9mm 1911s are wonderfully easy to shoot. I'm already set up to load 9mm, dies installed in the press, brass and bullets in the feed hoppers, load data well sorted out.
    Cons: Can be tricky to get to run. In USPSA Single Stack, I'd have to shoot Minor PF (but I get two extra rounds in the magazine...)

    Option 2 - .40 S&W shooting USPSA SS Major, IDPA ESP
    Pros: Still very easy to shoot. My Limited gun is an STI .40, so it's likely that the two guns could share loads. I'm mostly set up to load .40, although I'd have to get a conversion kit for my bullet feeder. Major PF in everything.
    Cons: Can still be tricky to get to run. More expensive ammo, to the tune of ~$950 for 30,000 rounds (over and above 9x19.) I've heard some conflicting reports about inadequate accuracy in the .40 1911s.

    Option 3 - .45 ACP shooting USPSA SS Major, IDPA CDP
    Pros: The most reliable cartridge in the 1911. Probably the most accurate cartridge, too. Major PF in everything.
    Cons: Much more expensive ammo, to the tune of ~$2000 over 30,000 rounds (over and above 9mm.) I find the .45 ACP to be somewhat less shootable that the 9x19 or the .40, although 30,000 practice rounds will probably help with that.

    Option 4 - Get a Glock 34. Seriously.
    Pros: All the pros of the 9x19 STI, plus it's cheap and reliable as a stone axe.
    Cons: No USPSA Single Stack (but I can shoot Production instead, which is fine.) Let's face it, the Glock isn't quite as nice to shoot as the 1911. Accuracy is a big ol' question mark.

    So, I open this one up to the floor. I'm especially interested in accuracy and competition reports from people who already own 9x19 and .40 1911s.

    Thanks all,
    Chris
     
  2. Quack

    Quack Member

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    I'd go with option 1 or 2.

    seeing that you already shoot limited with a .40S&W, i'd lean towards #2

    i'm just an occasional competition shooter, and don't reload yet, so for me i'd go with option 1.
     
  3. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    You should also consider the Dan Wesson PM-9 if you are interested in 9mm. My recently purchased PM-9 will easilly provide 2 inch groups at 25 yards. The chamber is tight and I use the barrel as a case gauge for my reloads (1x reloded cases are fine but my lasty loads in 4x fitred cases require gauging).

    I also shoot an STI Trojan in 40 S&W and Dan Wesson Pointman's in 45 ACP, 40 S&W and 9mm. Above all stay away from the Springfield Armory 9mm Target the best groups I could get were ca 4+ inches at 50 ft after two trips back to the factory.
     
  4. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    You should also consider the Dan Wesson PM-9 if you are interested in 9mm. My recently purchased PM-9 will easilly provide 2 inch groups at 25 yards. The chamber is tight and I use the barrel as a case gauge for my reloads (1x reloded cases are fine but my lasty loads in 4x fitred cases require gauging).

    I also shoot an STI Trojan in 40 S&W and Dan Wesson Pointman's in 45 ACP, 40 S&W and 9mm. Above all stay away from the Springfield Armory 9mm Target the best groups I could get were ca 4+ inches at 50 ft after two trips back to the factory.

    If you are considering a platic framed 9mm then look at the S&W M&P9PRO or 9L. My 9PRO has been totally reliable with better ergonomics and trigger than my Glock 34.
     
  5. Magnumite

    Magnumite Member

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    Last time I checked 45 ACP wasn't over 2x the cost of 40 S&W - more along the line of 25% more cost. I am assuming here you'd be shooting ball ammo.

    As far as 1911's go, I personally prefer the 45 ACP. You can run very fast with it and do many things with it.

    You may want to consider a different caliber than you have now. You can always rebarrel your other 1911 to improve the accuracy you indicate it is lacking now. Then you could shoot the all the catagories you listed between the two guns.

    I had a 9mm 1911. It is very fast on steel (Bianchi power floor of 125) since the slide cycles quicker than a comparably powered and tuned 45 ACP gun. I'm looking at buiding that right now. I should have kept the first one.

    The 40 will give you more major power loads in a mag than a comparably configured 45 ACP gun. I had a 40 hi cap 1911 and didn't detect any advantage over the 45 except capacity. Matter of fact, it recoils harder than major power 45 so I ran slower with it.

    As far as the Glock goes, shot a couple never owned one. Had two other make polymer centerfires, which includes a Wilson KZ 45, and don't like the light frame. That's a personal preference and not a slam on the Tupperware.

    Good luck eith your "search".
     
  6. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    .45 Auto for the best chance of most reliable feeding. The gun was designed around the diameter and especially the length of the cartridge. Cartridges like the 9mm and .40 require adaptations of the magazine. This is not to say one can't be reliable with these cartridges, but spacers in the magazine introduce another variable.
     
  7. HM2PAC

    HM2PAC Member

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    Option 3
    .45ACP

    This would have made a great poll.
     
  8. wally

    wally Member

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    Option 3. .45ACP is the caliber for the 1911 and reloading .45 is IMHO a lot easier and more forgiving that reloading .40S&W.
     
  9. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    1911s have been made in 45ACP for over 100 years.
    I would think that they have all of the bugs worked out :D

    Seriously, it depends on what you want it for.
    But my personal choice would be .45 ACP
     
  10. pikid89

    pikid89 Member

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    why not 38 super?
     
  11. GLShooter

    GLShooter Member

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    Brass life in the Super is pretty good but not like a 45 or a 9 MM. To make major in the Super you need a ramped barrel that cost more $$'s.

    Once fired brass is not easy to find if you want to buy it in bulk like the 9 MM or 40 S&W.

    I would go with a 45 personally. Easy to load for. I like the big bullets. I shot a 9X21 Para race gun now but had shot a 45 Para race gun prior to that. I also shot a Hi Power (comped) for many years.

    I guess I like that big old scoring hole of the 45 also and it is so soft to shoot.

    Greg
     
  12. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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  13. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    "Hear Ye, Hear Ye"

    Option #3 - .45 ACP make it a "TRUE" 1911~! ;) :D
     
  14. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    1911 = 45acp
     
  15. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    .45 ACP.


    Or get the Glock 34 or 35. But don't forget you can do well with a 17 and 22, and those are a bit more practical.
     
  16. NWdude83

    NWdude83 Member

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    Option 3
     
  17. Morgo

    Morgo Member

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    I have a Trojan in .38 Super. Its an excellent shooting handgun and given the choice its the first 1911 I would buy again.
     
  18. The Real Wyatt

    The Real Wyatt Member

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    1911 - .45 ACP

    It's a no-brainer
     
  19. David E

    David E Member

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    For YOU, get it in .40, as it makes the most sense.

    You can also download it for ESP division. Minor .40 kicks so soft, it is almost like cheating.

    The Glock 35 won't point like your STI, so that would be an issue to iron out. (which you would do within those 30,000 rds)

    S&W M&P Pro would be my pick, if I wanted to play Production.
     
  20. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    David E -

    Funny you should mention that. The M&P Pro is the pistol that I have now, and that I can't get acceptable accuracy out of.

    Thanks to all who chimed in so far.

    -C
     
  21. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    You said it............you want accuracy ?

    Option #3............your only option....IMO.
     
  22. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    You're asking all for competitive reasons. I would suggest that some (if not most) of your answers will come from non competitive types. So, .45acp will represent a higher than justified sample.
     
  23. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    1911s come in two calibers .38 super and .45acp. IMO these are the better calibers for the pistol.:neener:
     
  24. David E

    David E Member

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    Mine shoots fine... I'll presume you've tried all the customary things.

    Storm Lake makes an accurate barrel for it and that's cheaper than a new gun.
     
  25. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    .45 ACP both for feeding and competition.;)
     
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