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Shooting expensive 1911's

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by matt_lowry123, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. matt_lowry123


    Nov 23, 2008
    owensboro KY
    I was just wondering if the guys here with expensive 1911's could tell the difference in shooting high end 1911's. I'm not really that good of a shot so I don't buy expensive 1911's. The best ones I have are 2 valors and a trp. The rest of them are kimbers and a few Springfield loaded models. So my question is can you all tell if you're shooting a Wilson, Baer, browns, or a nighthawk? Once I pay off debt I'd like to buy a few semi customs just to have them but can you all tell the difference in shooting the high end 1911's?
  2. PhoneCop

    PhoneCop TeleDetective

    Jan 6, 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    I can feel the difference in trigger and slide to frame fit.

  3. AZ Husker

    AZ Husker

    Mar 25, 2003
    They all outshoot me, but my Brown Kobra Carry just feels more natural in my hand. It lends confidence to my shooting. That said, I shoot better with my customized Colt S70, but that's the gun I practice with the most, plus it cost more than my EB!
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  4. matt_lowry123


    Nov 23, 2008
    owensboro KY
    Thanks for the replies!!! I've never shot anything better than a valor but I just wanted to know how much better the more expensive guns were. If you got a trigger job done on a cheaper 1911 could you still tell a difference?
  5. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

    Jan 7, 2002
    NE Ohio
    the difference is in the fit. the tighter the tolerance makes the gun return to the same mechanical position shot after shot. The trigger is only one part of the equation, the rest is how well the barrel is fit/locks up, then slide tightness.

    The Valor is a nice gun. i shoot my DW Guardian as well as my semi-customs, so the limiting factor is me. Now my Springfield Loaded 9mm is a good example of how a looser fit gun shoots. i can't shoot it as accurately as my more expensive guns. what is the difference? the barrel, and slide fit is looser than the expensive guns. It did shoot better after i swapped out the barrel bushing to a drop-in Brown bushing which made it tighter. The trigger in it is a C&S Super Match. all my guns are setup the similarly, so i'm confident that the difference is in the fit.
  6. skipsan


    Apr 24, 2010
    I believe that a well-done trigger job on a sub-$1000 1911 will go a long way to erase performance differences between it and its more expensive relatives. Throw in an accurizing job (fitted barrel, bushing, etc) and you're there for the majority of 1911 shooters. I'm not ready to dump the more expensives 1911s in the safe in favor of a tuned Mil-Spec or whatever, but if performance/$$ was all I was looking for, the tuned Mil-Spec or equivalent would be the way I'd go--for less than $1000.
  7. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Yes, there certainly is a distinct difference that's already been outlined by some of our fine members here.
  8. samuse


    Jul 30, 2008
    South TX
    This is my preferred 45ACP launcher. Not really high-end, just a P-II with a Harrison trigger, and the rear sight notch opened up to .140". It shoots well and has been 100% reliable. It is just shy of 10K rounds, mostly WWB. I replaced the extractor at about 6K (it never failed but ejection got kinda erratic), dressed down some slight peening on the ejector, all springs have been replaced at reasonable intervals and good mags are always used. This gun was well worth the money.

  9. matt_lowry123


    Nov 23, 2008
    owensboro KY
    Thanks everybody for their input!! Maybe one of these days I'll be able to afford a semi custom!!
  10. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    Like any other mechanical device, there is a point of diminishing returns. Is a $1000 1911 going to be twice as good as a $500 1911? Yes, if you buy wisely. Is a $2000 1911 going to be twice as good as a $1000 1911? To me yes, but it will depend what you're looking for in a pistol.

    I have a full custom by Ted Yost that would cost about $7000 to replicate. It is the nicest pistol I've ever owned, but the expense is in details and personalization that some people wouldn't notice or care about. I have $2000-$3000 1911's that are just as accurate and reliable. When you're really ready to start shopping, you need to define your needs and draw a list of priorities. Sometimes it's worth it to buy the best, and other times it's just throwing money into the wind. Only you can decide where that line falls for you.
  11. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004

    Well said, PG.
  12. ambluemax


    Feb 6, 2007
    Yes I can feel the difference between a high end production 1911 like the SA TRP or Valor and a semi custom, but the difference is slight and your ability to appreciate the difference (enough for it to be value added for you)depends upon how much you shoot. If you are just a recreational user...shooting for funzies (technical term)- its just a conversation piece (waste of money IMO). If you practice (ie dry fire and mag changes) and shoot a lot as in serious competitor or professional gun-toter (LEO/MIL) its definatly value added because the gun is in your hands all the time. I think the difference is more in the dynamic handling characteristics than the actual on paper hits. Personally I could care less if one pistol can shoot 1/4" tigher groups out of a ransom rest than the other. I see smooth action, no rough edges, and precision fit parts and controls that help me run the pistol better, and feel more comfortable in my hand as more important that minute differences in accuracy. In action pistol comp, a 3" group is scored the same as an oblong hole, but being able to hit the -0/A zone faster yeilds an advantage. Semi custom pistols can give you that advantage if that is a serious personal goal of yours.

    Personally if I already had 2 valors and a TRP in addition to a handfull of quality production 1911's...I'd have a hard timejustifing the money for a semi custom. I have a TRP and a CBOB and its a tough sell to myself. Go out and shoot what you have IMO
  13. matt_lowry123


    Nov 23, 2008
    owensboro KY
    Thanks for the input everybody!!! I really like everybodys answers!! I'm the kind of person that just shoots for fun. Maybe 100 rounds a month on average.

    Once again thanks for the answers!!! I've
    Never shot an expensive gun and was just wondering if there was much of a differance. Apparently there is!!! Thanks to everybody that filled me in!!
  14. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    I can't tell any practical difference when it comes to hitting the target accurately, quickly and reliably. I have a bone stock Colt 1991-A1 Commander, a lightly customized (long trigger/sights) 1990's Norinco 1911-A1 and a Wilson Professional. Other than pretty detail work, extended thingies, appearance and durability of the finish and how tight they are fitted... they all work just fine. The Norinco gets shot most often and the Colt gets carried most often. I'll probably sell the Wilson and keep the money.
  15. MD357


    Jul 13, 2008

    Honestly, I wouldn't mess with custom guns then, unless you want something pretty to sit in the safe. If you're not shooting that much, or aren't going to carry them, I dunno if you're going to appreciate the difference.
  16. rsxr22


    Feb 25, 2009
    Youngstown, OH
    like many have said. The difference in price is significantly in fit. I have shot many semi customs and havent seen a difference in accuracy, but there is a large jump in fit.
  17. mes228


    Dec 23, 2006
    There is a difference. The precision and feel is different. Most probably the reliability and accuracy will be greater (not 100% of the time). Between Custom/Semi-Custom the semi-customs give you "the most bang for your buck" in comparison to "full customs". I think out of the box function and accuracy is also superior to mass produced pistols (generally speaking). I have 2 semi-custom 1911's and a true "Custom" and have several thousand rounds though them collectively and not one 'burp" of any kind. All three are capable of hitting a squirrel in the head at 25 yards if YOU are capable of doing it. With most custom-semi custom pistols , you will be the weak link. I've had many pistols that I shot better than they did. This is not the case with those that I keep. Also, as I grow older I find I like aesthetics, quality, workmanship, ergo's, and function more and more. Half the fun of owning something is simply the enjoyment of the workmanship and care that went into it. Nothing against stock pistols though, I carry a cheap Glock 23 and like it too.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  18. Spiffums

    Spiffums I.C.P.

    Sep 30, 2006
    I always wondered if the guy on the receiving end could tell the difference in a custom and production 45.......... does a production just knock you down but a custom knocks you back and through the wall before it knocks you down?

    I kid I kid
  19. matt_lowry123


    Nov 23, 2008
    owensboro KY

    Hahahahaha!!! That's super funny!!!
  20. .45Super-Man


    May 4, 2007
    When you see holes consistantly appearing in the exact place you meant to put them, there's going to be a difference on both ends. At both ends of the spectrum, I've shot a few 1911's that I wouldnt trust to hit a man size target at 50ft. and one custom that I'd trust to hit within 1/4 inch or so of POA at the same distance. There's something very reassuring with such a precision crafted instrument.