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Old versus New

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by 38 Super Fan, Dec 25, 2010.


  1. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan
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    I’ve had the notion to do a comparison thread for a while now, personally I’ve always liked any type of comparison between 1911s, there’s some extra perspective there which you don’t get as much in a write up of only one gun. That said, I wanted to do something a little different with this comparison. Instead of commenting upon a couple modern guns, I’m putting my old Colt National Match Model Gold Cup, one of the best 1911s of it’s day, up against my Les Baer Premier II, one of the finest 1911s available today. So if you’re still with me on this crazy concept, lets get started.

    First Impressions-

    The Colt NM Model was certainly a very different 1911 when it was introduced in 1957. I believe it was the first production 1911 to offer features such as a lowered and flared ejection port, a flat topped and serrated slide, and a wide target trigger. Colt’s high polish blue from this era is very good, in fact, probably better than most blue you’ll find today. Colt’s roll markings on this model were nice and small, and offered a very clean look, the “Gold Cup” name was totally absent on these first models. This was in my opinion, one of the most aesthetically pleasing 1911s ever made. :cool:

    In handling this gun, the first thing I noticed was the slide to frame fit, it’s tight with very little play. That’s right, I said tight and Colt in the same sentence. :shocked: It’s not at all like the other Colt’s I own, or have handled in the past. The bushing doesn’t require the use of a wrench, but my old Colt has been shot quite a bit, so it may have been a little tighter way back in 1962. The trigger is also excellent, smooth with no creep and breaks at what I’d estimate to be around 4.5 pounds. Mine came with the older Accro sights, as opposed the more common Elliason’s which came around a year or two after my gun was made. I find the sights to be good, but not great by today’s standard.

    Les Baer’s Premier II is one of Baers most popular entry models, and one of the most popular semi customs available today, and it’s not difficult to why. Mine is your average PII and comes with the standard blued finish, FCS, and standard slide markings. Of course, nowadays there are options abound, hard chrome, naked slides, ambi safes, even optional 1.5” at 50 yard accuracy guarantees which would have likely been unfathomable back in the 60s. This is one area where the 1911 world has made considerable strides in the past few decades.

    The Premier II is very well made, with absolutely no frame to slide play. Up front, the bushing is also very tight, you’ll certainly need the plastic bushing wrench supplied within that legendary cardboard box. Overall it’s the tightest gun in my collection, and possibly the tightest gun I’ve ever handled. The front strap is hand checkered and provides a firm grip in conjunction with the fully checkered cocobolo grips. The Bomar sights are outstanding, and easily adjustable. The bluing is good, but not great, the slide stop is a bit plum on mine.
     
    At the range-
     
    First off, let me say I’m no championship marksman, not even close. :embarassed: But weathering on, I can say that both of these guns are quite accurate, more so than myself. Baer’s 3” guarantee at 50 yards speaks for itself, and the Colt is no slouch. The biggest factor for me is the sights. The sights on the Baer are appreciably better, which I feel were the biggest factor in the smaller groups I shot with the PII.

    The triggers on both guns are great, a little heavier on the NM, but still smooth and very conducive to good shooting. Both guns eject brass strait out the side during firing, which surprised me a little with the Colt since the others I’ve shot occasionally would spit a piece at me. I like the lack of a radius cut under the trigger guard on the Baer, gives just a little bit better feel than the traditionally radiused Colt. Checkering on the Baer is also a nice feature, whereas the Colt has a serrated front strap, which looks nice but doesn’t offer the extra grip of checkering.

    Both guns cycle smoothly, and neither have had a malfunction in the few hundred rounds I’ve put through them. The controls function smoothly and positively on both pistols, I did find the PIIs oversize safety to be easier to manipulate.

    Conclusion-

    I know what you’re saying “38, how can you possibly compare a production 1911 from 1962 to a modern semi custom Les Baer?” And you’re right it’s a strange comparison. My goal was to point out how far we’ve come in the past decades, and also to illustrate that as much as things change, in many aspects in which they’ve remained the same. Although the National Match Model Colt isn’t quite on par with the PII, I feel it’s definitely comparable with some of the better production 1911s available today.

    For anyone who made it through all that, thanks for reading and Merry Christmas. :wavey:
    -Cody

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  2. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan
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    [​IMG]

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    Couple more pics for you. :supergrin:
     

  3. deadite

    deadite
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    Groovy.

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    Great read! Two fantastic 1911s, too!

    Deadite
     
  4. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed
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    JAFO

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    Nice job Cody. :thumbsup:
     
  5. bac1023

    bac1023
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    Cody, thanks for the great write-up. :)
     
  6. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan
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    Thanks guys, I had a lot fun writing this up and taking these two out to the range. :cool:
     
  7. bac1023

    bac1023
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    Reviews are very fun. :wavey:



    ...well, at least they're fun at first. They tend become work further down the road. ;)

    Test your RRA LM against something when you get a chance. :supergrin:
     
  8. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan
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    I thought about a comparison involving my LM, but there's really nothing in my collection quite on par with it....yet. :supergrin: I'm seriously considering a TGO-1 for next year, which would make an awesome pairing for a comparison. But frankly, a comparison between two 1911s that good may be beyond my skill level. :embarassed:
     
  9. bac1023

    bac1023
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    Don't worry about your skill level, Cody. I'm no top marksman myself. Comparisons are all about your opinion on the guns in question.

    Now that you said that, I also agree with you that none of your current models would match up well with the LM. That's certainly no knock on your fine collection, but rather a attestment to how good the Limited Match really is.

    By the way, the SA TGO1 would be a great match for it. I hope you get one. They have been in production a good 10 years or more and less than 200 have been built. :cool:



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    #9 bac1023, Dec 26, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  10. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan
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    Actually my marksmanship would probably less of a factor than my overall knowledge of what makes a great 1911. I guess what I meant is, I can see the difference in quality between my LM and my PII, but I don't know if I understand the subtle little nuances that would separate two top of the line semi customs.

    Never the less, I'd really love a TGO1, Springfields custom shop sounds outstanding from what I've read. And having a 1911 that is so good, and so rare, is really intriguing for me.
     
  11. bac1023

    bac1023
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    I hear you, but you need to give yourself more credit. I'm not sure you'll figure out which is better, but you could determine the differences between them. :)
     
  12. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan
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    Well, you may be right bac. If I do pick up a TGO1, I don't think I could resist a TGO1 v.s. LM thread now that I've done a comparison thread. I really did have fun with this one. :supergrin:
     
  13. bac1023

    bac1023
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    :thumbsup: