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Why are there not more modern SAO autos?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by John Wayne, Nov 29, 2009.

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  1. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    Given the popularity of the 1911, why are there not more SAO options available?

    I realize the 1911 is a design regarded by many as perfect, but I can't think of any advantage of the 1911 platform that can't be attributed to the crisp single action trigger, slim profile because of single stack magazine, and .45 ACP caliber.

    Why not a single-stack, single-action only pistol with a linkless barrel, no bushings, fixed ejector, external extractor and simpler field-stripping (ala Glock, SIG, etc.)?


    SIG makes the 226 X5, but it's a half-pound heavier than a full-size Gov't Model 1911! There are also a few DA/SA autos that can be carried cocked and locked, but the SA pull has a lot of play out of necessity of the DA feature.
     
  2. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Good idea.

    I'd just like to have a 1911 that field strips in a "modern" way like a Browning Hi-Power. You know, lock the slide with the thumb safety, pull out slide release, disengage safety and remove slide. Can you imagine how many 1911's could be spared the shame of an "idiot" scratch.
     
  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    The SAO version of the SIG P220 fills all these. Why other manufacturers don't produce similar guns, I don't know. My guess is that they feel the existing 1911 design fills this market niche and see no need to produce a new gun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  4. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    CZ also makes SAO versions of the CZ75.
     
  5. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Why so few SAOs? I dunno. Not a clue.


    "SIG makes the 226 X5, but it's a half-pound heavier than a full-size Gov't Model 1911"

    The X-5 Tactical has an alloy frame and only weights 35.5 ounces including the magazine. The 4.5# SAO trigger is a work of art.

    The stainless-framed ones are 47.2 ounces. They're so nice I still might get an L1, but for right now I'm very happy with just the Tac model.

    Last Friday my father suggested I order an X-6 9mm instead of an X-5. We'll see Friday if he wants to go halves on it or something (he's lives in assisted living and gave me all of his guns a couple of years ago, but he's still interested.) Hey, maybe he'll want to buy it. He really liked it that much. After lunch every week we sit at his desk in his room and look at stuff on his laptop. He'll be 88 in January. Maybe the insurance reimbursement for his electric scooter will turn up before Christmas - that $2300 would cover it. :)

    I'm telling you, nearly 3 years of seeing the money go out every month for his care and for my mother's full nursing care for end-stage Alzheimer's has given us a new appreciation of money. Spend some of it while you can enjoy it.

    John
     
  6. GUNDOC454

    GUNDOC454 Member

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    More sa 1911's

    Many company's have thrown their hat into the sa 1911 market like the ones that have been mentioned in the above replys. One of the latest is from smith & wesson but the same problem exists with all these entries...... The 1911 has a commanding market share and the others don't sell enough to warrant the expense to offer a new model that has a few features that some want over the time tested and proven classic of the 1911. Its all about money.......pick from whats out there or wait till some company is willing to spend the time and money getting the exact product that your looking for to market......good luck.
     
  7. legion3

    legion3 Member

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    SAO is old school these days, only small units are willing to carry them but most units requiring training of large groups of people prefer a simpler, easy to train on platform.

    Many police forces don't even authorize SAO guns. Some might be fearful of the liability of SAO.

    The world seems to be a polymer, simple to operate, low level of training type place. Seems like most offical people no longer care to do the required training for cocked and locked carry. Most younger shooters, most new soldiers or cops did not really live in the 1911, single action era. Most are used to more modern DA/SA or striker fired weapons.

    The Brits still issue the BHP but most other European forces have moved to more modern designs.

    1911's are popular with some civilian shooters in the US and few other places but are not favored by most military or police units or policy makers.

    Most gunmakers want to have the opportunity to try to land that big government contract, can't do that these days with SAO guns.
     
  8. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    Would people who want those attributes give up the 1911 for this new gun?
     
  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    You got it.

    It's kind of like asking why almost all modern bicycles look like bicycles looked around 1900 -- it's because the design is "mature." Not much you can do to improve that design, other than apply modern manufacturing techniques and materials.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That right there is the main reason.

    If there is no police or military market or demand, and there isn't, they cannot justify the expense of doing it for only limited civilian sales.

    rc
     
  11. OcelotZ3

    OcelotZ3 Member

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    The EAA Witness is SAO...
     
  12. the_doctor

    the_doctor Member

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    Most modern bicycles do not resemble bicycles from the year of 1900.

    bill
     
  13. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    seat handel bars ,frame, 2 wheels with tires, pedals, and chain to rear wheel Looks pretty close to me
    Our younger shooters and police have been dumbed down to believe plastic is good, hicap mags good, and DA auto is good . We can only hope they wise up
     
  14. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    ...and suspension, brake levers, disc brakes, 21 speeds, clip-in pedals, pneumatic tires, reflectors...

    Polymer gun parts and high-capacity magazines DO have undeniable advantages.

    So as of right now, there's the EAA Witness, CZ75, Sig P220 and P226 that offer single action variants...the fact that most don't know these models exist says something for their popularity, I guess. Still nothing designed from the ground-up as SAO?
     
  15. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I guess that's the politically correct way of saying many people aren't smart enough to use a safety these days.
     
  16. Matrix187

    Matrix187 Member

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    ^ :D I'll have to agree 100%.
     
  17. atomd

    atomd Member

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    It takes a shooter to appreciate a nice single action trigger. The majority of people who buy guns aren't really shooters.
     
  18. Drail

    Drail Member

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    +1 for atomd. The majority of people who buy guns don't know much about shooting or guns. Once they learn they usually gravitate toward SA autos like the 1911. JohnWayne, what are some "undeniable advantages" of polymer parts and high capacity magazines?
     
  19. rellascout

    rellascout member

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  20. legion3

    legion3 Member

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    While I'm not John Wayne but I have seen many of his films :D

    Polymer parts = cheaper to make, rust proof, cheaper to have spares on hand, lighter weight and like it or not it is the future. At some point steel and wood will disappear from gunmaking. Almost all major companies have a polymer choice and now even polymer revolvers :eek:

    High Capacity mags= more bullets ;) (only the shooter can decide if thats important)
     
  21. legion3

    legion3 Member

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    I'm not sure about that, I see plenty of shooters gravitate away from all steel and move toward polymer on the issue of carry weight and simplicity.

    If this were true the OP's point would be more valid but SAO's are not being produced by most gunmakers for a reason, lack of popularity, poor sales, LEO's not buying them in mass quantitiy, who knows? But the SAO is not desired by the gun buying public except in the 1911 platform. And 1911zealots are as serious about it as Glock, HK and any other supporter of their brand of guns are.

    Thus there is a market for 1911's but not so much for the SAO style of guns.
     
  22. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    DAO and striker fired are more en vogue.
     
  23. wally

    wally Member

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    Only the Elite Match series, the standard Witness is like the CZ75 SA/DA lacking a decocker.

    If the first shot has got to count, make mine SA!

    --wally.
     
  24. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    legion3 covered most of these, but here's my list:

    -polymer parts come out of the mold made to exacting tolerances, without the machining required of comparable metal parts

    -they are the same color all the way through, and do not show wear as much

    -there is no protective bluing, parkerizing, or other coating required; thus they never need re-coating

    -polymer parts never rust or get bent

    -they do not transmit heat as well as metal, a big plus for keeping heat away from your hand or grabbing a cold gun in freezing temps

    -they are often lighter and stronger than comparably sized metal parts

    In some cases, polymer is just cheaper. In others, it's cheaper and better--take the trigger guards on 10/22s for example: the old ones were aluminum, and showed wear with regular use. Also, if the rifle was bumped or dropped hard enough on the trigger guard, it could crack, or worse, bend and block the trigger. Polymer trigger guards are a lot more resilient and don't show wear like painted metal parts.

    As for hi-cap mags, like legion3 said, you get more bullets :D
    The only downside to this is that shooters who start out shooting hi-cap guns often do not have as much appreciation for accuracy since there are plenty more rounds on tap if you miss a shot. There is no reason, however, why you can't be just as precise with a 14+1 1911 as a 6 shot .45 ACP revolver.

    I completely agree with the assessment that most gun owners aren't "shooters." I can't tell you how many people I've encountered, from security guards, CWP holders, and even cops, who can't even tell you what they're carrying. One or two boxes of ammo through the gun per year is a gracious plenty to them, and landing all shots inside a full-sized silhouette target at 10 yards is condisered adequate.

    It also makes sense that gun manufacturers are looking for LEO and Military contracts, but I don't see why these respective institutions wouldn't want a SAO pistol. Maybe they would even less incidents with Single Action pistols, as that cocked hammer tends to grab your attention and demand respect (all guns should do this, but in practice, I feel shooters tend to pay more attention to a cocked hammer). Then again, DEA agents might go blaming the gun when they shoot themselves in the foot :D

    The Springfield XDM is very close to a single-action-only striker fired pistol, with a simplicity of construction and reliability similar to that of Glocks, yet it ships from the factory with a 5-7 lb trigger with a lot of take up, IMO negating much of its potential.

    I have a hard time understanding the success of the 1911, in comparison to the relatively lackluster sales of other SAO guns. The BHP is another "Saint John" design, but it's nowhere near as popular. Maybe Americans are just more familiar with the 1911, having been the standard issue sidearm for nearly a century?
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    None of which really change the basic design. Bikes in 1900 had brake levers, clip-in pedals, pneumatic tires (pneumatic tires were invented by Dunlop specifically for bicycles.) Multi-speed bikes were made well before 1900.

    The bush-roller chain and the ball-bearing were also invented specifically for bicycles.
     
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