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Decision! Colt M1911A1 or USP .45??

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by lionken07, Feb 28, 2003.

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  1. lionken07

    lionken07 Member

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    both in ACP as my first gun to keep at home.

    which one is easier to maintain?

    or better yet which one is a better gun over all?
     
  2. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    I have owned both & you'll probably find fans of equal number proclaiming the vertues of both. IMHO, the HK USP 45 is the way to go. 10 round mags come standard, DA/SA capable as well as cocked & locked for fans of condition 1 carry, 100% reliable, dependable & very accurate out of box. Both are eually easy to maintain, so that shouldn't be an issue. Try finding a place you can rent both & buy the one that works & fits best for you!
     
  3. larryw

    larryw Member

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    Agree with 10-Ring. By the time you tweak a 1911 to be as reliable and accurate as an out of the box USP 45, you're out a bunch more money. 10 round mags, DA/SA, cocked and locked, etc.

    Downside of the USP is its grip isn't for everyone: medium to large hands need only apply. But that's what the USP 45C is for. ;)
     
  4. lionken07

    lionken07 Member

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    thanks for the replies.

    Is there a way to find out if my hands are big enough without trying the gun? I'm only 5'8" if that helps any.:confused:
     
  5. synoptic

    synoptic Member

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    I have fired both, and have a colt 2 feet away right now, but I would recommend the USP. They are great guns, and the 10 round mags are nice. The colt uses 7 round mags. They're both great guns, you won't regret either one.
     
  6. synoptic

    synoptic Member

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    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Is there a way to find out if my hands are big enough without trying the gun? I'm only 5'8" if that helps any.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    there is no way to tell without actually holding the gun, but it's real easy to go to a gun show or gun shop and fondle them. The best thing I have heard about testing grip size is to see if you can easily reach the mag release without having to twist and contort the gun in all directions. It seems reasonable enough to me, but I'd be interested to know what everyone thinks about it.
     
  7. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    I love the M1991A1.

    I'd recommend the one with the fewest cast (MIM, whatever you want to call them) parts.... :rolleyes:
     
  8. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    larryw,

    Will someone explain to me how shortening the grip makes it better for smaller hands? The diameter's the same, the trigger reach is the same...
     
  9. Boats

    Boats member

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    Certain parts of this thread are amusing.

    Read what the man wrote:

    "First gun to keep at home. Easiest to maintain."

    That folks, is not the HK USP.

    Add to the fact that this gentleman might not be a good candidate for the one size fits all polymer frame of the USP, and the HK might be bad advice.

    A 1911 can use seven, eight, or ten round mags, (the 10 rounders stick out, but for a home gun are just fine). They are all readily available and one could buy two or three for the price of a third HK mag.

    Some people on this thread are indulging in a myth. If you do a decent inspection of the 1911 you are thinking of purchasing, (bring a snap cap or five to check feeding, ejection, how the extractor holds a round against the breechface), you will need no reliability work. The 1911 does not still rule the roost of .45 popularity because everyone buys one that doesn't work out of the box.:rolleyes: IF the 1911 was such junk, it would have long ago fallen by the wayside 20+ years ago.

    After some time with the pistol, most owners can detail strip a 1911. I do not yet know of a shooter in my personal experience who does this with a USP.

    A 1911 grip is modifiable. One can buy flat or arched backstraps, a short reach trigger, or thinner grips, to customize the pistol to their hand. With an HK you are stuck. If you'd still rather have a polymer pistol, you might be best advised to go with a Walther P99 in 9mm or .40S&W, or an SW99 in .45ACP, all of which have changeable backstraps to accomodate more hand variations.

    Buy whatever you want. I have no stake in you being another 1911 shooter, but please do not make your decision on the basis of "HK is infaliable" baloney. In my experience, there is nothing a USP can do that many other serious autopistols cannot do. Maybe if the HK could serve me a pilsner after I am done shooting. . . .
     
  10. Tecolote

    Tecolote Member

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    Boats,

    Well said.
     
  11. KMKeller

    KMKeller Member

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    In spite of what Boats said, which by the way is solid advice, out of the box, an HK has the edge on reliability, where the 1911 has the edge on configurability. Both are equally easy to maintain.

    The reason I give the edge to the HK on reliability, is that it seems that 1911's are hit or miss when it comes to reliability out of the box and depending on what type of ammo you want to shoot out of it. HKs are generally more reliable out of the box more consistently than 1911s and require no modification to make them so.

    Also, nobody has mentioned triggers. HK triggers are notoriously pretty sour, while 1911 triggers are pretty consistently quite nice.

    Frankly, it all boils down to which you are most comfortable shooting. I've had both and prefer the HK. I'm also looking to buy a spendy 1911 to fulfill that craving. If I can find one that is as reliable as everyone elses seem to be, then I'll probably carry that instead. For now, the HK fits the bill for me.
     
  12. lionken07

    lionken07 Member

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    good info guys!


    keep 'em coming:D
     
  13. Handy

    Handy Guest

    A USP is like a Toyota Land Cruiser. Big, tough, refined and durable. Complex enough that you don't want to mess with the internals, but reliable enough that you shouldn't ever need to.

    A 1911 is like an old Corvette StingRay. Classy, simple, old fashioned and far from perfect, copy to copy. If you want something to baby, easy to take apart and mess with, but may not run perfect out of the box, it's the ticket. Steel construction certainly appeals as well.

    For the USP, I would go full size. The placement of all the controls makes it easy for smaller hands to use it (my hands aren't so big, but the mag release can be reached with the index finger). With the Full size you also get HK's excellent recoil reducing system, the USPc doesn't have it.

    For a 1911, I haven't heard many complaints about the internals of the Springfields-they would be my starting point.


    PS If this is just a home defense gun only, find something cheaper than either gun. The 1911 and USP were made for shooting, not sitting around.
     
  14. Boats

    Boats member

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    A Corvette? The 1911A1 has seen more "police actions" let alone Wars, than any HK has, a testament to its ruggedness.

    At least give us the original GI Jeep. Simple, user friendly, go anywhere-do anything, no plastic bodywork, limited capacity, tougher than snot, used by millions with complete satisfaction, and could be tempermental.:D

    Which would make the Land Cruiser akin to an HK. A foreign copy that adds nothing except flattery and bells and whistles that do not make it a better combat or off-road rig.
     
  15. Onslaught

    Onslaught Member

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    Ah, but they're NOT! (Woulda thought you knew that already). The USP Compact series has a slimmer grip than the Full size, and a slightly shorter trigger reach as well.

    Boats obviously knows his 1911's, but his very own statement:
    "If you do a decent inspection of the 1911 you are thinking of purchasing, (bring a snap cap or five to check feeding, ejection, how the extractor holds a round against the breechface), you will need no reliability work."
    shows that you have to know more about the 1911 out of the gate than you do the USP. All you have to do with the USP is check to see if it fits your hand, and if you can live with the DA trigger. Period. End of story. No "detailed inspection" (of NIB pistol) no careful scrutiny of the angle of the shell to the breechface, etc... you just buy it!

    Sure, everything breaks, and lemons happen, but if it does, you just stick it in a box and send it to HK and they fix it. And of course, you want to know all you can about your pistol, but you're not going to NEED to learn the tricks and tweaks just to make/keep it running.

    I bought a USP45 many years ago with very little knowledge of them, other than HK's reputation. I have never had a malf of any kind with it. I learned about it over time, with experience, because I wanted to. I can completely detail strip my USP, but I never HAD to. (except to switch the safety to "left-handed")

    Had I gone out and purchased a 1911 instead with the "newbie" experience level, who KNOWS what I would have gotten! I have seen guys at the range, sitting at the bench with their tools, working on their 1911's because they had a malfunction. I doubt there's a 1911 owner out there who doesn't carry tools with them on every range trip, "just in case".

    The 1911 is a great pistol, and the most customizeable pistol in existence... But that doesn't make it the "easiest, simplest to maintain" pistol out there. It may be for you, but that's because you have a lot of experience doing so.

    For routine maintenance, the USP is an easier pistol to deal with for someone who doesn't know either pistol.
     
  16. Longbow

    Longbow Member

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    I'm a 1911 fan but I'll also vote for the USP. I have owned a dozen 1911's(Colt, STI poly's, Kimber, Para-ord...) over the years and non feeds HP ammo reliably out of the box w/o some work. Unless you wanna stick to round nose only, I'de say 1911 is okay, otherwise get a USP (or Glock :D).
    For easy maintenance and simplicity of operation (great if your significant other is not into guns), I'll vote for a revolver it doesn't need field stripping to clean and not picky w/ ammo.


    P.S.
    If you get a USP, invest on snap caps if you plan on dry firing it alot. I've heard of some firing pin breakage due to dry firing. :(
     
  17. Handy

    Handy Guest

    Yeah, I'd buy into the Jeep brand vs. Toyota Brand comparison.

    You ever notice what UN inspectors, safari guides, scientific inspections and foreign armies world wide use in rough areas?

    Well, not Jeeps, anyway.

    So we can stick with Jeep = 1911. I think that's fair.
     
  18. care-less

    care-less member

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    Ditto what Boats said. 1911 is a fine pistol for 100 year old technology, but I'd bet John Browning would have come up with something like the USP full or compact if he had lived past the 1920's. If you are willing to learn the 1911, and are a good amateur pistolsmith, buy it. Old war stories get inflated over time. The Germans, Swiss, and Austrians make the best autos in the modern world. Sorry John Browning.
     
  19. j.wise

    j.wise Member

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    Listen to this advice, it is some of the most unbiased discussion regarding 1911 vs. HK I have ever heard, err... read.

    I've got both. I have a Kimber Pro CDP on my hip right now (1911), but when I go to work this afternoon, I'll be wearing an HK USP45F on my duty rig.

    I guess I just couldn't decide, so I bought both! By the way, I spent more on the Kimber ($850) to get the same performance as I get from my HK ($650).

    Oh, and one other thing: the HK field strips MUCH easier for the novice than a 1911A1. But neither would be considered "difficult" to field strip.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2003
  20. Boats

    Boats member

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    Though I wouldn't have to pay $200.00 more for a 1911A1 trigger on a pistol, I would if I had to.

    I agree with those who say that a USP trigger cannot compare to the tunability of a 1911 trigger.

    If you buy your 1911 from a reputable maker and it goes lemon on you, it will be made right. (Springfield, Kimber, Dan Wesson, S&W, and all of the semi-custom makers). Only Colt right now is a crap shoot among the name brand 1911s.

    Europeans make wonderful pistols. I have had some in the past, and am currently acquiring a CZ 85B. That said, none of them are a quantum leap ahead of the 1911, if they are an improvement at all.

    All of the "improvements" that have allegedly been made to pistols in the past century are made manifest in 1911 pattern pistols.

    Polymer? Yes.
    Hi-Capacity? Yes.
    Multiple sizes? Yes.
    Multiple calibers? Yes.
    Gas system? Yes.
    External extractor? Yes.
    Lights? Yes.
    Lasers? Yes.
    Night sights? Yes.
    Tough finishes? Yes.
    Double Action?:rolleyes: Yes.
    A striker? Ho-hum, rather have an honest to God hammer. So apparently would most HK fans.:evil:

    The 1911 can still offer even the discriminating "modern" shooter something.

    "Those that carry, carry polymer. Those that shoot carry a 1911."

    And dat's da fact, Jack!:D
     
  21. Morgan

    Morgan Member

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    A full size USP is the only gun I would ever take out of the box, clean, load, and carry with complete confidence. Yes, they're that good.

    I own and love the 1911, too, but I carry a USP45. The extra capacity is nice (I'm an anointed one, so I get 12 rds), but its the complete reliability without having to screw with it that makes the difference.

    If you wear a men's large or bigger glove, you won't have problems with the grip. You may not anyway - a woman I know with small hands loves the USP45, and shoots it well. The 9mm and .40 have a slightly smaller gripframe (and full-capacity mags are available for citizens, though pricey).

    If you choose the Colt, be happy, but test it well before trusting it.
     
  22. Kahr carrier

    Kahr carrier Member

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    I like them both myself but if you have smaller hands the 1911 might be the way to go.You can customize the 1911 many different ways the skies the limit and your wallet .Sometimes the mods you have done can cost more than the pistol itself. On the other hand the HK USP is a great gun out of the box and Armourer can even change your Varient to a differerent varient with just a few parts.If you have the monet buyem both.:D
     
  23. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Boats,

    I don't care for USP's at all; wouldn't own one if someone gave it to me (well, I'd keep it long enough to trade it out for a SIG or maybe a Glock and a case of ammo), and I own four 1911's, but it would be just flat wrong to say that an off-the-rack 1911 has as much chance of running reliably with JHPs as an off-the-rack USP.

    The 1911 is beating the USP by twelve votes to one in this thread, however... ;) :p
     
  24. Boats

    Boats member

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    Tamara,

    I would not turn down a USP if it came to me for about $500+/-10%, what it is really worth given its trigger (more to come).:scrutiny: I could never see clear to paying more for a plastik HK than for a Glock or a Walther.:uhoh:

    I also have little doubt that given 10 NIB USPs versus 10 NIB 1911s of name brand manufacture, the odds are higher that the 10 USPs would operate flawlessly. That said, the unreliability, such as imagined often here and on other non-1911 sites, is tremendously overblown because the odds that the 10 NIB 1911s would contain among them, a serious malf problem, are also exceedingly remote.

    I just do not want to see someone dismiss a choice on the basis of uberpistole hot air. I own/owned five 1911s, three are flawless unless I am monkeying with recoil spring weights and Triton ammo, two of which operated very well as long as I didn't use Blazer. I have trusted my life to all five. I have also had four Berettas that never failed, A Walther P99 I didn't like the trigger of, a brief affair with, ohmygawd, an HK USP45c, on which the trigger felt copied right off an old cap gun, and a BHP that bit me until I got rid of it. That is twelve autopistols since I began legally owning them in the mid-80s. Not a dog among them reliability-wise. I must have burned all of my lottery mojo on handguns.:D

    My father owns about a dozen 1911s, only one of which, a Kimber Series II, was a lemon NIB, and now he doesn't have one with a Schwarz system grip safety at all.:scrutiny:

    Like I said, I do not care if lionken buys a 1911 or not, there are plenty of us out there that shoot the pistol already. However, we must all be dupes or rubes for not choosing the European .45ACP pistol _________? How could I have been so blind to the fact that we 1911A1 shooters are using lumps of iron that will fail the very moment we must call upon them to perform? How could I have dumped all of my modern eurotrash in favor of obsolesence?:p

    My bad. Twelve to one on the errornet is the final word after all.;) My official position remains shoot what you want.:neener:

    It is a good thing that the Hi-Point 9mm is not the favorite autoloader in America or else we would all be reading about how great/crappy they are.:evil:
     
  25. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Waxed a little hyperbolic after those first two paragraphs, there, didn't you? ;)
     
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