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What makes a 1911 a 1911?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by LJWebster1, Jan 17, 2006.

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  1. LJWebster1

    LJWebster1 Member

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    I'm a newbie to the handgun world, and wonder what makes a 1911 a 1911? I can recognize the shape, but what else is there that is specific that sets them apart? Also, why are they so expensive compared to other types of guns in the same caliber?

    Thanks for the info.
     
  2. TMM

    TMM Member

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    single stack
    .45ACP
    single action
    external hammer
    signature style
    5" barrel ("snubby" 1911's are barely 1911's in my eyes)
    [99% of the time] no polymer(exception, the kimber, i forget the model)
    grip safety and thumb safety

    probably somthing i missed...

    they're expensive because they're almost always made by a quality manufacturer. if you buy a Llama 1911 it'll probably cost you $200, a low end SA(springfield armory) GI issue will run $500. they're made well and they're reliable, which is somthing you get with the price.

    ~TMM
     
  3. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Polymer "1911's" don't count. They are "something" other than a 1911, just not sure what :evil:
     
  4. LJWebster1

    LJWebster1 Member

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    Thanks guys. That's exactly what I was looking for.
     
  5. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    With all the variations, the exact definition is pretty open. It all depends in how closely you want to adhere to Browning's original (and whether you prefer a 1911 or 1911A1, etc.) Still, don't forget the linked barrel, stirrup trigger, and internal extractor.
     
  6. Technosavant

    Technosavant Member

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    There is wide variety in the 1911 world, and many are those with incredibly restrictive definitions.

    Strictly speaking, a M1911A1 is a semiautomatic pistol which follows the design of that military arm. There are smaller versions, polymer versions, aluminum versions, higher capacity versions, etc. I do not believe I would consider Para Ordnance's LDA to be a 1911; although it has the same shape, going double action is a bit much for me.

    The annoying thing for me is when one person poo-poohs the features enjoyed by another. I love my gun, but it sure does seem to attract snobs.
     
  7. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    I think nowadays the 1911 is such a broad definition. But pretty much there are a few main points that make this gun a 1911.

    - The look. Everyone would recognize a 1911 when they saw one. Even with the weird accessories that come with it nowadays. A 1911 with front cocking serrations still counts as a 1911. etc etc...
    - Single Action. LDA's and other DA guns are not 1911's
    - Polymer. Sorry Kimber and Wilson, you're abominations don't fall under these categories.
    - Single stack
    - Exposed hammer


    There are obviously a lot of different variations of the modern 1911. But everyone now knows what the basic 1911 model falls under.
     
  8. wally

    wally Member

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    For me the defining feature of the 1911 is the sliding trigger and its great light crisp pull. Once the trigger pivots, to me its not a 1911 style gun.

    Guns like the Kimber BP are great 1911s because they have the trigger. No magic to materials. Does anyone really think if JMB were alive today he'd not use polymer to save weight and cost and gain corrosion resistance?

    --wally.
     
  9. 1911austin

    1911austin Member

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    I agree. The only plastic around a "real" 1911 is my credit card. :D
     
  10. That One Guy

    That One Guy Member

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    Since I'm also new here. What's the difference between a 1911 and a 1991A1? (I just picked this one up Sunday, my first .45acp, $525NIB, WOOT!)

    [​IMG]
     
  11. IndianaDean

    IndianaDean Member

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    38 Super 1911s count as official 1911s also. Colt introduced the cartridge.
     
  12. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    That One Guy, you bought yourself a really nice piece there. The only thing non-standard 1911A1 about your gun is that it has an internal firing pin safety, but that's no big deal. Still a 1911 in my book. Yours was made well too. Good luck with it.
     
  13. That One Guy

    That One Guy Member

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    Thanks! I have to thank my brother in law, (.45acp on this forum) for pointing me towards them. I've always wanted a 1911, but never "Just went for it!" I've been doing a little research on it and from what I read the 1991A1 is mechanically identical to any other series 80 1911, but is parkenized and has rubber instead of the standard wood grips.
    Here's a question for the 1911 crowd, I'd like to put on some walnut double diamonds on this, that isn't considered 'bad' is it? (I'm going to do it either way, lol)
    I've only put about 80 rounds down the barrel thus far, but I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
     
  14. Technosavant

    Technosavant Member

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    That One Guy, put on whatever grips you like. That's the beauty of the 1911.

    I consider Hogue Monogrips to be my personal favorite (as heretical as some consider that), but I have Alumagrips as a very close second, and preferred for carry (and so they get the nod to be on my gun).
     
  15. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    Definitely put on some double diamonds, but make it cocobolo wood instead of walnut. Trust me. http://www.woodgrips.com/1911 45 grips.htm Go there and take a look.
     
  16. That One Guy

    That One Guy Member

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    Ooh! I really like them both! Man, I thought this was gonna be the easy part, lol, I can see myself spending weeks deciding on this one! Does Colt offer a double diamond with either a US or the prancing pony in the center? I've seen Springfields with a DD and US stamp that I really liked but I dunno if Colt had one. I know they'd fit, but I don't want to look at my gun and think "spare parts or mix and match..."
     
  17. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    I believe that most after market grip makers for 1911s will actually install a Colt logo medallion for you on request. Skip the US thing, though. Just my opinion, but it's not a classic look for a 1911. In a year or two you will wish you didn't get them.
     
  18. brasskeeper

    brasskeeper Member

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    1911

    Single action
    External hammer
    barrel bushing
    Grip Safety
    slide serations

    Shape, weight, size, and feel of a USG Issue 1911 45acp

    It can be chambered in other calibers but in my opinion it would then only look like a 1911.
     
  19. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    1911

    This is a 1911. (1919 production) The one on the table is a 1911A1...specifically a 1945 production Remington Rand.
    Yep. Both mine.
     

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  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Rand Picture

    The Rand. Note the differences between the 1911 and the 1911A1
    Click to enlarge. Hold cursor on picture and use the square at the bottom right to enlarge further.

    Note the subtle difference between the early slidestop and the A1 design.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2006
  21. tinner man

    tinner man Member

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  22. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    Geez Mike you still sound giddy as a schoolboy. And to think I literally had to drag yo to the show!:neener:
     
  23. That One Guy

    That One Guy Member

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    LOL, I know! I was sooooooo close to just staying home, I'm really happy I went!
     
  24. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    !WARNING!

    The 1911 pistol has been known to cause severe dementia, resulting in the owner buying more of them, having no particular want or need of another. It is a compulsion. Be warned and enjoy the insanity. That might be your first 1911, but if you enjoy it at all, it won't be your last.
     
  25. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    Not to rain on your parade, but I just remembered that, unless I'm mistaken, your 1911 has a plastic trigger. You should replace it, fast. Cheap and easy to do. You cannot be a true member of the 1911 club if your gun has a plastic trigger. ;) It's in the bylaws somewhere.
     
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