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Why I came to 1911's

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Xringfighter, Mar 10, 2008.

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  1. Xringfighter

    Xringfighter Member

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    I was hanging around the range on an uncharacteristically slow day. I’d just put 250 rounds through a rental Glock 34 because I was thinking about purchasing one. My rationale was that 9mm ammo is cheaper to shoot than my 1911’s .45ACP.

    As I looked at the pistols the staff were carrying I noticed that the older guys carry 1911’s and the younger guy’s carry Glocks. I mentioned this observation to one of the “older” guys. Patrick is a lifelong 1911 guy. As he puts it, he’s competed with every pistol there is; but the 1911 is what feels like home. That struck a chord.

    I am fortunate enough to have a dad who is a gun guy. My first firearm was a Winchester Model 16, bolt action .22. Dad gave it to me at seven and taught me firearms safety, breathing and trigger control. For my eighth birthday I got a High Standard pistol. That was what made me fall in love with pistols. We competed in the local league ( in South Texas and Matamoros, Mexico) and I did very well. I shot “Yaqui” style and the “brand new” IPSC back then.

    By the time I was twelve, I knew who Bill Jordan, Jeff Cooper and Chuck Taylor were; I devoured everything they wrote. I knew who Jack Weaver was and why I used his “modified” stance in two handed competition. That was the year I got my first 1911.

    It was a Colt Series 70 in .38 Super. I’ll never forget the day I got it. It was the Royal Blue that only Colt could do. Dad had Millett sights and Pachmyr grips installed. The Pachmyr grips ended up being too big for my hands so he had a cabinet maker mill down a set of wood grips for me. It was gorgeous.

    About that time, PPC (Police Pistol Combat) came into vogue on the American side. By this time the Mexican shooting clubs were almost non-existent. I competed in the Yaqui and club matches but everyone seemed to embrace the PPC competitions. The competition in Mexico became smaller and smaller. By the end of the season, it was only the old 1911 hold-outs that were left. On my thirteenth birthday, Dad gave me a S&W Model 66 with a 4” barrel. I shot well but I missed the 1911. The long trigger stroke seemed counter-intuitive to me. The reloading drills were hellacious until the advent of the Safariland Comp II Speed Loader. We went through all kinds of pistols up to CZ-75’s

    Years passed and I stopped competing. I became a Reserve Deputy Constable. My first duty pistol was a stock 4” model 66. Dad was of the opinion back then that service pistols should remain stock. I craved a 1911 but was not allowed to carry a single action automatic. Time passed. I became a full time deputy. The county specified 9mm as the only acceptable auto caliber. I was conditionally allowed to carry a Hi-Power until I was able to purchase a DA/SA, 9mm pistol. Dad had a S&W Model 59 but I didn’t care for it.

    My first duty pistol purchase was a Sig-Sauer P-226 with a nickel slide. I had a love-hate relationship with that pistol. I shot well with it but never really liked it. I missed my 1911. At that time the 1911 was considered “unsafe” by the powers that be. I was hired by the Sheriff’s Office and carried the Sig for years. The county finally made enough revenue (i.e. squeezed the taxpayers) to purchase pistols for all fully sworn deputy sheriffs. They decided the Beretta 96. I left to the military and ended up with the Beretta for the next five years. That whole Beretta period of my life is kind of a blank.

    I returned to the Sheriff’s Department and by this time they were issuing the Glock 22. I was the most anti-Glock guy on the face of the earth. My train of thought was that a plastic pistol was worthless. It was butt-ugly it was very rudimentary; It felt like a box in the hand. The thing is; the more I shot it the more I came to respect it. I shot incredibly well with it, it was light, reliable, accurate and durable.

    I advanced in my career and moved to the state. The state's issue pistol was the Sig P220. I loved that pistol in single action. That is by far the best shooting DA/SA pistol I have ever encountered. I advanced further in my career and went to the Feds. We were issued hand-me-down Sig 229’s in .357 Sig. I shot that pistol more than I’ve ever shot a duty pistol outside of competition. I developed carpal-tunnel syndrome from shooting it so much. I became very impressed by Sigs over the years and have come to respect them a great deal.

    I own Glocks and Sigs but the 1911 is home.

    Being a child of the 70’s, there is a quote that I think applies to the 1911 vs. the rest of these pistols. Obi-Wan Kenobi was talking about the Light Saber; “An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”

    That is the 1911.
     
  2. bdjansen

    bdjansen Member

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    Well said.
     
  3. Rob G

    Rob G Member

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    That's actually pretty moving. I think all of us "1911 guys" out there would agree with you.
     
  4. hanno

    hanno Member

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    There is just something about the 1911...
     
  5. Viking6

    Viking6 Member

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    articulated very well
     
  6. DougDubya

    DougDubya Member

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    Location:
    The People's Republic of Cook County.
    Natural pointing - check.
    Ease of trigger - check.
    Fit to hand - check.
    Satisfying boomy sound when trigger pulled - CHECK!
    Evocative of countless literary, movie and TV heroes - check.
    Adaptability to user preference with grips, grip safeties, mainspring housings and safety catches - CHECKEROONIE!

    1911 - I'd resisted a long time, but it's hard to get much better.
     
  7. 1911NM

    1911NM Member

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    'nuff said.
     
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    M1911 -- because hundreds of thousands of dead Moros, Mexican bandits, Germans, Japanese, VC and other enemies of the US can't be wrong.
     
  9. easyg

    easyg Member

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    The 1911 is an American classic, and a pure joy to shoot. :)



    But it's also heavy in weight, and has a rather limited magazine capacity. :(
     
  10. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    With a good 8-round magazine and one up the spout, you have 50% more rounds on tap than a revolver. And you can reload it faster.
     
  11. Mac45

    Mac45 Member

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    Bought my first pistol better than 30 years ago.
    Nickel plated Series 70, in .45 ACP.
    Got that one because it felt right in my hand.
    30+ years later, it's my every day carry gun, and still feels right.
     
  12. riceboy72

    riceboy72 Member

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    Really nice read, xringfighter. I read it twice because it was so enjoyable. It sounds like you have some awesome memories not only with the 1911, but of having dad teach you about the fundamentals of shooting and then some. Priceless, I say.

    Are you going to get another one? I think it'd be a nice reunion with a pistol you've held dear for so long. There's a reason they have the following they do, and your story illustrates it perfectly.

    I'm going to read it one more time, and smile the whole way through it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  13. Hunter0924

    Hunter0924 Member

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    I am in agreement.
     
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