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Do you trust the 1911 for combat?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Dr. Loomis, Aug 2, 2009.

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  1. Dr. Loomis

    Dr. Loomis Member

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    I just got out of the army infantry a few months back and am about to start a career (hopefully) as a cop. I really like the Kimber Custom ii 1911 and was thinking about getting one as an off-duty carry weapon. My question is does the lower capacity worry any users of the 1911? I know for regular civilians it may be adequate but I've heard of off-duty shootings involving cops being attacked by multiple gang members who have a grudge. Having been in the army I haven't had a lot of experience with 1911's so I know a lot of my doubt comes from my lack of training which would increase my accuracy with the weapon but I was wondering about getting an HK USP .45 instead. Please let me know you gentlemen think. I regard your opinions highly and appreciate anything you can tell me.
     
  2. Clifford

    Clifford Member

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    Just my two cents.... Any gun you are familar with is a good gun, provided it is realiable. That said I have handled 1911's all my life so they work great for me. An M9 may be a better gun for you if that is what you are comfortable with (I assume it was a weapon you dealt with in the miliary).
     
  3. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    They do make high cap. 1911's if thats your concern. As far as combat durability I would think it would be ok. It was after all designed for that use and has been around with a strong following for 100 years give or take a couple.
     
  4. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    In a word yes. I have carried a Kimber Custom II for several years now, after carrying a variety of different guns, and I don't see myself changing. If I were allowed to, I would carry it to war tomorrow. Seriously, if I thought my command would look the other way when I got deployed, I would have my Kimber shipped to me in pieces, with 500 or so rounds of WWB, even if it means I will have to dispose of it there because I can't bring it back into the country. I would leave it, buy a new one, and call it insurance money well spent. I conceal it, take it to the range, open carry it in an M-12 holster out in the woods/desert on the ATV, if I had the time and money to compete, I would use it for that too. I have a .22 conversion kit that lets me shoot it pretty much as much as I want to. Ken Hammond had one at Trolley Square.

    As for the capacity question, I used to worry about it. But over time, a little bit of studying and training showed (me, at least,) that in the real world, it is HIGHLY unlikely that you will ever need to fire more than five or so rounds without a chance to reload. And even if you DO have say, a higher capacity gun, and you fire several rounds, you should reload if you get a break ANYWAY. Ken Hammond did NOT have a spare magazine. Having a spare magazine is really about being able to clear a stoppage, not about increasing capacity.

    Also, you may have noticed if you qualified with the M-9, the qual table is run with magazines loaded with no more than seven rounds. (At least it hadn't changed since the last time my unit qualified with them.) They never set up a new table for higher capacity magazines when they switched guns.

    The USP is a great gun, but like I say, I've used a lot of different guns in different DA/SA setups, and I will not voluntarily switch again. I have decided that there is no real need for a DA/SA gun other than to relieve the willies of someone other than the guy who has to actually use the gun.

    There are a lot of Kimber haters in here, but I say, go to Impact in Ogden, and rent their Baer and their Nighthawk under the rental glass, and then shoot a Kimber and decide for yourself if they are worth three times as much money. (I did just that, and decided that while they are very nice indeed, they aren't so good as to make me want to upgrade.) Remember that Kimber sells MANY more 1911s than their competitors, and that complaints are magnified on the internet, and a higher NUMBER of complaints does not at all equal a higher RATE of problems with these guns.
     
  5. Chindo18Z

    Chindo18Z Member

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    In .45 ACP you'd be well armed with a full sized 1911, a SIG 220, or HK USP.

    All three are bomb proof designs but with significantly different controls.

    I don't really consider magazine capacity to be an issue for any of the above, but if that is an overiding concern of yours, the USP mag holds 12 rounds. On the other hand, the USP is a big honking pistol for off-duty carry. More realistically, the 8-round magazine of the still large USP Compact .45 ACP would be easier to carry (and offers the same capacity as the equally large SIG 220).

    The 1911 can be carried with a quality 8-rd magazine plus one in the chamber for a total of 9 rds. Add to this the fact that the 1911 is arguably the very easiest of large bore pistols to carry concealed. It's big, but it's slim. The 1911 is easier to carry concealed than the M9 you are probably already familiar with. It is definitely easier to conceal than the 220 or the USP.

    I carried a 1911A1 on both of my last tours to Iraq and never felt underarmed due to magazine capacity. Just practice speed reloads until they become second nature. Carry two extra magazines in a double belt pouch.

    If you want something compact, there are a lot of other options out there:
    Commander and Officer sized 1911s, Rugers, Kahrs, etc.

    I'm not a huge fan of Kimber (although the Series II models look pretty and I used to own one of the original Custom versions). For a factory off-duty carry 1911, I'd personally go Colt (Lightweight Commander).

    Just my .02
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  6. DougDubya

    DougDubya Member

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    Pick the firearm that you like the trigger best on, that fits your hand the best, and works the most right for you.

    The 1911 is a bit flatter and a lot more comfy around the grip than an M9 (which I like).

    One thought - since you're familiar with the Beretta manual of arms, try out the Px4 in .45 ACP. Same safety lever manipulation, an adaptable grip frame, but in the caliber you want.
     
  7. GodGuns&Guitars

    GodGuns&Guitars Member

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    The 1911 was carried for many years before you and I even saw service. We weren't even in diapers yet. I carried a 1911 in the Army. I trusted one then and trust them with my life today. All the other semi auto pistols in use today weren't around one hundred years ago. No matter which brand or the outcome of your decission is, I would stay with at least a .45 caliber. 1911 or not. I lean towards the 1911 design but I'm an old retired fart.
     
  8. Oro

    Oro Member

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    Curious - were you Force Recon, or how did you get to carry a 1911? I thought non-issue firearms were verboten. Or do other units still use them, too? Not doubting you, just wandering what the practice is nowadays.
     
  9. Dimis

    Dimis Member

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    train train train train and train....
    the 1911 is probably one of the best weapon choices out there but only if you know 100% without a shadow of a doubt how to use it

    if jerry micilek can blast off tons of rounds in matters of seconds so can we (well maybe not that fast but still pretty quickly)

    learn to do magazine changes and practice alot

    the 100 year old (well almost) design is still a butt kicker thats why specops high level police swat etc... still use them

    alot of people say high cap this and polymer that but if we learn to care for our weapons and hit what were aiming at there will be no worries

    as for the gangs that seek revenge thats what the remington 870 and the AR-15 in the squad car are for and even if they pursue after 7-8 rounds you should have backup at minimum on the way
     
  10. Noxx

    Noxx Member

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    You'll hear this a lot, but I'll say it anyway. The 1911 is probably the most "proven" handgun in the world. It will do it's job, provided you do yours.

    As a carry gun, if you train with a weapon that's comfortable and familiar to you, that's your best carry weapon. The "Neo Gee Whiz 2000 .50 cal" is just a chunk of metal if you can't present and fire it quickly, and with effect.

    Practice with what fits you, and carry what you practice with.
     
  11. Deckard

    Deckard Member

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    Considering that millions of GIs trusted it to do its job in combat across four wars and several continents I wouldn't be quick to question whether its up to the task today.
     
  12. THE DARK KNIGHT

    THE DARK KNIGHT Member

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    +1

    The 1911 is more than adequate for any civillian SD or LEO situation
     
  13. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Just a little personal experience. I'm probably in the minority here, but I've had a firing pin block safety in a 1911 break and tie up the gun. I'll not own another 1911 with a firing pin block because of it. I know the chances of having another firing pin block breaking are minute, but I believe in minimizing failure points. The firing pin block was also not in the original design, and is strictly a civilian feature.

    The II suffix on any Kimber denotes that it has the Schwarz type firing pin block. Springfield Armory and Dan Wesson do not use firing blocks. Two very notable Kimber model lines also do not use firing pin blocks at the request of the organizations which specified them: The Warrior / Desert Warrior (civilian versions of the pistols Marine Force Recon spec'd - along with the SA MC Operator - as COTS replacements to their worn out M1911A1s) and the SIS line (spec'd by LAPD's Special Investigative Service). To be fair LAPD SWAT issues the Kimber TLE II, and several other US law enforcement agencies issue II series Kimbers.

    I'm a bit of a 1911 fan, and have owned a good number of them. Based on what I've shot, and looking at the fit and finish of what I've seen at the gunshop where I do IT work, Dan Wesson is offering the nicest production 1911 currently on the market. Kimber (even with FP safety), higher end Springfields, and higher end Colts (also even with FP safety) are all excellent guns. There's a particular DW I'd really like, but we haven't been able to get it yet. Currently I own two Kimbers. The base Kimber Custom II is, in my observation, much more refined than base Springfield "Loaded" models. I'd slot the Colt XSE series between those two. The higher end Kimbers and Springfields are right up there with DW in production 1911s. I certainly appreciate the semi-custom Baers, Wilsons, and Fusions for what they are. However, like mljdeckard, I'm also not convinced that they're worth half again to double the price of a Kimber (or DW, or higher end SA) for a carry / self defence 1911.

    Unlike Chindo18Z, I am not a real deal US Army Special Forces Senior Sergeant. Also unlike you, Chindo18Z, mljdeckard, and others here; I've not carried a pistol into a combat zone. I'm just a USAF veteran (did serve two TDYs in Iraq, and was armed with an M16A2 at times) who's now an armed citizen. Take my commentary above within that context.

    I think that's good advice as well. You might consider all the training and familiarity you have with the M9, and weigh that against training and familiarizing yourself with another pistol. I also understand if you don't care for the M9 / 92FS.
     
  14. jmtgsx

    jmtgsx Member

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    I do not trust the 1911, I trust MY 1911s.
     
  15. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    I have never worried about mag capacity in my Kimber Custom Defender II. However, I am not a LEO nor do I play one on TV. Maybe you should talk to some LEO's and get their opinions. I would be more inclined to trust their opinions and experiences than a bunch of cyder-cops and gunshop commandos.
     
  16. mm6mm6

    mm6mm6 Member

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    My department mandates that we carry Sigs. While I can't carry a 1911, I do carry a Sig .45 P220. It has 8 round mags. I just carry four of them in a mag holder made to hold four. It's never concerned me. I can perform a mag change pretty quickly.
     
  17. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    We also had non-issued weapons on my last tour to Iraq, but I didn't carry them personally. It happens.

    It happened in the 82nd, and you can bet it happened in his job, which is in his screen name I bet.
     
  18. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I've trusted the M1911 off and on for a good 30 years.

    As far as "gang members" go, I've never seen or heard of "gang members" more dangerous than a squad of properly trained German infantrymen. The M1911 got the job done for Alvin York.

    I regularly carry a full sized Norinco M1911.
     
  19. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    Ironically, the pistols carried by the SIS in L.A. are Series II with the Swartz safety. They aren't issued to them by the department (like the TLEs are to the SWAT teams), the members of SIS have to buy their own. So to pass muster with the CA DOJ list, they had to have the FP block. The rest of the country though can buy the ones without the Swartz safety. Crazy, huh?
     
  20. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    Well, to be fair, he did also have that P-1917 Enfield. ;)
     
  21. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    Very few police forces issue 1911's. I carried one for a while as a deputy sheriff, but that was a small rural outfit where it was strictly buy-yer-own-gun. The sheriff still had to approve it, but he carried a 1911 himself. In the majority of departments, you will be required to use the department issue pistol which, these days, means most likely a 9mm or .40 autoloader along the lines of a Glock, M&P, or similar. 1911's are typically restricted to SWAT if in use at all.
    Basically, police agencies are similar to the military in discouraging personal weapons use.
     
  22. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    For combat? No. I want a rifle for that. If a rifle is unavailable and the 1911 is all I
    ve got...I guess I have to. I trust the 1911 as much as anything else, and more than most.

    For personal defense in an emergency? Yessir. The 1911 is the gun that I carry 98% of the time. Around the homestead, I'm good with a single-action revolver. Away from home...I want it to be a 1911.
     
  23. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    After testing it according to my personal rigorous standards, sure. As I would a lot of other guns.
     
  24. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Which 1911's are we talking about here? The ones issued and carried by our military are not the guns we see today in the civilian world, nor are they the guns we saw back when 1911 meant Colt.




    Thats the way I feel. I carried one for years, almost exclusively Colt's, simply because they were the ones they worked reliably.


    If the gun you have is reliable and hasnt given you troubles and your comfortable with it and shoot it well, then your probably good to go. The only downside to that these days is, you wont know that until you buy it, and take it out and prove it, which usually takes your time and more of your money.

    Not to sway you from the 1911 and the .45, but then again, to do exactly that, especially since capacity seems to be a concern. Have you looked at the 357SIG and any of the guns that carry it? I believe it offers a better round than the .45 in terms of power and penetration, and it usually comes in a gun that carries a high capacity mag. Depending on how you load up, my SIG's carry 12-13 rounds, and my Glock 15-16 rounds, in a gun about the size of a Colt Commander. The SIG's also offer a caliber change to .40, with a simple barrel change.

    The 357SIG offers 125 grain 357MAG performance, and with ammo like Double Tap, its true 357MAG performance. Out of a 4.5" barrel, like the Glock 31, it drives that 125 grain bullet at around 1525 fps, and out of a 4" barrel, around 1450 fps. Its a round that has been gaining popularity in a number of police and federal agencies.

    Before you make a decision, I highly suggest you get out and try to shoot one and see what you think.
     
  25. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Let me add that I trust mine. Good point by a couple other responders. I don't trust any gun that hasn't proven itself...including revolvers.

    I trust the 1911 not because I feel that it's so very superior to others...though it decidedly is for some...but because it's the platform that I've used the most. At something over 3/4 million rounds over the last 45 years...when I pick one up, it's a lot like shakin' hands with an old friend. If my platform of choice had been anything else...then I'd feel most at home that that.
     
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