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Thinking of getting a 1911...

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by hfdg26, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. hfdg26

    hfdg26

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    Apr 11, 2010
    As the title says I'm strongly considering getting a 1911. I have little to no experience with the 1911. I shot 8 rounds through a Taurus 1911, that's it. That's my experience. I have a buddy that is selling his Colt Defender and I got bit by the bug. But I want to do my research before I jump in and buy something. His Defender was purchased in '02. And from what I read online is that Colt's don't like 230gr JHP. Which I'd what I want for personal defense. I read you have to run 185gr. FMJ. Is this true? Does the commander have the same issues? This is a MAJOR sticking point with me and getting a colt. Would a newer gun be better in this case? Do Springfields and Kimbers have the same problems? I know I'm asking a lot of questions, but I'm just trying to start out in the right direction. Thanks.
     
  2. MajorD

    MajorD

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    Aug 16, 2010
    there are lots of personal opinions on 1911's probably more than anything and I'll give you some of mine after the following statement which is often repeated by many top tier 1911 gunsmiths:
    every time you shorten the slide of a 1911 from the original 5 inch barrel length it creates the potential for more functioning problems due to geometry mass working pressures etc.
    ANY short 1911 regardless of brand is more likely to have functional issue than the full length 1911.

    Your first 1911 should be a full length gun. It will more likely be reliable and accurate and easier to hit with to build your handgunning confidence.

    All 1911's except maybe the high end custom makers will have various likes or dislikes in reliability/accuracy with different ammo. the same could be said for all guns.

    don't get hung up on one bullet weight - theres no reason not to carry a well designed 185 or 200 grain hp if that is what the gun runs best.

    I like my 1911's to be American- so that leaves out Springfield Taurus armscor "american classic" ria etc.

    I have only Colts and Les Baers and have been quite happy.

    I would if looking to buy new (I almost never buy new) I'd consider Ruger STI and smith and wesson.

    Kimbers are way to hit and miss to suggest them

    if price isn't an issue you could get a les baer right out of the gate.

    Consider used but have a knowledgeable 1911 guy go shopping with you.

    (in my area my usual shop has about 30 used 1911 in stock and literally hundreds of new ones.
     

  3. HotRoderX

    HotRoderX Gen4 BETATester

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    I gotta agree for a first 1911 I try for something full size. I am not a expert on 1911's by no means I shot 2 of them. I own a RIA 1911 Tactical and love it one of my favorites. Me personally I buy new for my first 1911 that way I know the history of it. I think 1911's are one of the most customizable pistols out there. I heard horror stores of someone butchering the internals trying to work on them then selling them off when they run like crap.

    As far as bullet weight goes its over hyped maybe back in the day it mattered. Today's technology and computers bullet design is going to be a much bigger consideration then bullet weight.
     
  4. bac1023

    bac1023

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    I wouldn't buy a Defender as a first 1911. Get something full size.
     
  5. rahrah12

    rahrah12

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    Did you ask your friend what if any problems the gun had?
     
  6. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock

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    I personally did not have any problems running 230gr gold dots in my Defender when I had it. His gun may not like them, but you could probably get it running fine with them. I agree that I would not make that my first 1911.
     
  7. hfdg26

    hfdg26

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    Apr 11, 2010
    Thank you for all your input. What attracted me to the Defender is its concealment. I did ask him if he had any failures and he answered "I can't remember, it was soon long ago" Yes, big red flag went up. He would let me try it out before buying, but I think he's asking too much. That and he is asking $900. I can get a new one for $950. So his is out of the question.

    With the info I'm getting, I am shying away from the 3" and leaning more to the 4" possibly 5". I want it for carry also. and I don't know if the 5" is manageable for carry.

    There's a lot to process, I may have to really consider my philosophy of use.
     
  8. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Senior Member

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Right behind you...
    How tall are you, what is your build, and how much do you weigh?
     
  9. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

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    You forgot "what's your astrological sign?"

    :tongueout:
     
  10. Z28ricer

    Z28ricer

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    I have a Kimber Ultra 3"

    Bought it as my first 1911

    Fed it 230gr ball

    Fed it 230gr JHP's

    It hasnt had a problem feeding either.

    Fullsizes are way too big for some, for concealment.

    If shorter slides/barrels were such an issue, we wouldnt have them from plenty of production manufacturers.

    Sure, when they were first being introduced, and before people actually put effort into making them work, they may have been an issue, but plenty of people now have plenty of great working compacts.

    Dont let silly people regurgitating old information, repetitively, sway you from what you want.

    Oh, and for the thing about "easier to build your handgunning exp".....

    I guess everyone looking to switch to a 1911, now has never fired a compact, or subcompact weapon, and must start with a 5" gun ?

    Oh heck, lets just skip that and go straight for one of those 6" guns, it'll make it lots easier to hit the target.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  11. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Senior Member

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    Right behind you...
    SHH, thats for the face to face meeting:rofl:
     
  12. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

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    :animlol:
     
  13. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Senior Member

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    Right behind you...
    I am 6'2", 185lbs, and normal build. I can carry a Fullsize 1911 all day everyday with out a problem.
     
  14. hfdg26

    hfdg26

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    Apr 11, 2010
    I'm 5' 10.5" weigh about 195. Waist actual is 32" but I wear 34"

    Could the smart carry be an option?

    J/k. :eek:)
     
  15. hfdg26

    hfdg26

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    Apr 11, 2010

    What holster do you use?
     
  16. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Senior Member

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    Right behind you...
    Go to the Local Gun Shop ask them to hold a fullsize and ask to put it in a holster and wear it. Mine let me do it. See if you like it, bring a good belt.
     
  17. hfdg26

    hfdg26

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    Apr 11, 2010
    Goin' tonight after my 36 hour stay at the station. Looking forward to some group therapy as well.
     
  18. dnuggett

    dnuggett PRO 2A

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    I am assuming your comments about 3" 1911s and the above quoted comment are meant to go together. So, are you calling Hilton Yam and Larry Vickers silly people? Go read what they say about the smaller 1911s, it's not all wives tales and fiction.

    That said, I do think they are getting better in some respects. The Springfield EMP would be an example (not a true 1911) To get to great reliability on the smaller 1911s the manufacturer usually has to stray away from the true design and make modifications other than scaling parts down. If you understand that, you are good to go OP.
     
  19. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock

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    I do not know that it is so much a reliability issue as it is a shoot-ability issue. IMO the 3 in. does not conceal so much better as a commander or full size that the loss in shooting control and accuracy is worth it.
     
  20. SigFTW

    SigFTW

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    My first 1911 is a Kimber Stainless II. I shot my first IDPA with LSWC and did not have one issue.
    It shoots LSWC, LRN and JHP, all reloads.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011