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1911s, Revolvers, and Glocks: does design and capacity affect shooting?

Discussion in 'General Glocking' started by thalo, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. thalo

    thalo

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    There are REASONS that 1911s have held up all these years and that people still consider them the finest semi-autos on the planet. Some of them are emotional, some of them aren't. A lot of people forget those non-emotional reasons because it's human nature to try and fault-find with the accepted classics. Hey, I do the same thing with Glocks. Their very popularity makes them targets of criticism. Personally, I think Glocks are WAY over-rated. I can't stand polymer, plus I believe there's a stigma of Glock shooters in popular culture, where they're seen as poorer shooters too heavily dependent on high capacity and spraying bullets--like gangbangers--than they are shot-placers. I didn't invent that stereotype, but I certainly get a chuckle out of the grain of truth in it. Especially when I see it reinforced in a place like GlockTalk.

    In the quest for the best, or to understand the industry and where it's going... we sit here like armchair quarterbacks and analyze why a certain model got to the top, and question whether it deserves it. It's a guy thing. I do it all the time, and I'm not ashamed of the fact. There's nothing wrong with putting forward opinions and criticism. That's basically how things improve.

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that 1911s deserve their place in history. So don't Glocks. Revolvers too. But 1911s and revolvers have much more of the weight of history behind them. And I think the issue that is missing from this discussion--and those that have been routinely closed on account of passion, lol-- is the mechanical simplicity of a SINGLE ACTION semi-auto (or the single action pull on a revolver). The trigger does one thing, and one thing alone: drop the hammer. There's a kind of unsullied mechanical purity of the trigger break, resulting in increased shooter accuracy. You can argue that 1911s are no more accurate than Glocks, and you'd be wrong.

    Are there drawbacks? Abso-friggin'-lutely. It seems to me, a 1911 and a Glock are a good comparison/contrast because they both have multiple safety mechanisms. Glock says they have 3, a 1911 has two. They are just deployed differently. On a 1911, you have a grip safety, which more or less does the same thing a Glock trigger safety does. The difference is where it is and what you have to do to disengage it.

    The Glock's safeties always struck me as a lot like a 1911's grip safety, easily defeated. A trigger-pull is enough of a safety on a revolver, why even bother with a little hinged tab on a trigger? The safety is defeated by anything whatsoever getting in the trigger guard and touching it, not just a finger. There is some doubt as to whether all the Accidental Discharges with Glocks are a result of their huge popularity, or their weak trigger safety. Likewise, a 1911's grip safety is disengaged by anything pressing on it... it doesn't have to be a combat grip. If that's all there was for safety on a 1911, I think there'd be tons of ADs too. Both guns have passive safeties that are a little bit of extra mechanical nonsense that functions, but isn't foolproof.

    Then there's the thumb safety on a 1911. MUCH more foolproof. Much more of a real unabashed "safety" and harder to casually defeat. It takes a very specific blow right on the switch to disengage it. And it also takes a conscious user action to disengage it. Meaning one more thing you have to worry about in a fight. That's its biggest drawback. And so the benefit of the mechanical simplicity of the single action trigger and hammer is balanced by the need for a more robust mechanical safety.

    But when it comes to safeties off and time to shoot? It's about weight, balance, and trigger pull. And there, the 1911 kind of soundly kicks the crap out of most other semi-autos in one key area: accuracy. It just shoots better. It's easier to shoot well. And I think that's all about it being single action. You can LEARN to pull a double action trigger correctly and increase accuracy, but a crisp 1911 trigger pull is one of those undeniably superior things that doesn't take all that much to master. I'm not saying you don't PAY for that, with the extra safety... but if shot placement is what it's all about, that's where the 1911 design hasn't really been surpassed.

    The same goes for shooting a revolver in single-action mode. Cocking the hammer takes time. As much time as it takes to disengage a mechanical safety switch. It could be the waste of a precious second. But a single-action trigger pull is going to give you a better shot. You pay for it, but there's not much that can beat it, if what you're trying to do is make the most accurate shot possible.

    The prevailing wisdom however, which I'm not sure I agree with, is that CAPACITY beats it. As in, you don't have to worry about accuracy, if you put twice as many bullets into the air. If you tend to jerk the trigger badly and shoot poorly, you cover that up by shooting MORE, faster, with less control... but increasing your chances of a "lucky" shot by virtue of taking a greater number of shots.

    The only problem with that, is that in a civilian self defense situation, you're responsible for where every bullet ends up. Sometimes I wonder if carrying less capacity, as in a revolver, or a 1911, or a compact semi-auto is good because it forces the shooter to think about delivering every shot in control. It seems to me it's easier to be "lazy" with a Glock, and simply over-rely on greater capacity. I wonder if Glocks aren't the shot-wastingest pistols on the planet. They are in the middle east! When it comes time to celebrate by shooting off weapons into the friggin' AIR like a retard, it's always higher capacity small arms that you see. But I hate to break the news, handguns aren't firecrackers. That mentality where greater numbers of rounds equals it being OK to "throw away" shots is not doing anybody any good.

    So people come on GlockTalk and get into these pissing contests over which guns are better. It's like rooting for your favorite baseball team. Guys get all lit up and upset if you badmouth their team. If I say Glocks suck, Glockers come out of the woodwork to defend them. 1911 guys and wheelies roll their eyes at plastic guns, and the types of people who seem to prefer them. And yet underneath all the posturing and poking fun at each other, there's a pretty interesting issue: better, more accurate shooting with fewer rounds... delivered more carefully; or less accurate shooting with more rounds, delivered in a way that sacrifices accuracy for quantity, and gives up more to chance.

    The really fascinating question is whether the type of gun has anything to do with the likelihood that the individual shooter will be all one way or the other based on the way it functions. Does the greater capacity and poorer balance and trigger of a Glock mean that shooters are more likely to live up to the worst-case stereotype... and does the crisper trigger pull and lower capacity of a 1911 (or revolver) mean that everyone who owns one of those is suddenly going to be a champion shot-placer with icewater in their veins during combat?

    My personal view is, human nature is pretty predictable. If you make it EASY to waste shots by design, people will. If you get it through people's heads that they have only six, and they're precious: they realize that they HAVE to be better, less wasteful shooters.
     
  2. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    I've always thought that the M1911 is a historical design, rather like a Ford Model T. I appreciate it for what it is but it doesn't tickle my fancy.

    However, I do notice that when I shoot the wheelies, I tend to focus more on my marksmanship than when I use the bottomfeeders JUST because of the magazine capacity issue.
     

  3. Tangle

    Tangle

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    After a remark like that, we're supposed to take you seriously? I'm jsut kiddn' ya.

    I find it interesting that the attack on hi cap guns and owners, tend to come from 1911 and revolver owners. A natural response to the issue that 1911s and revolvers don't hold enough rounds.

    But, if accuracy were truly linked capacity, then we could limit guys with hi cap mags to a total of 6 rounds in their gun and they would be better shots. To carry the logic further, if we limited everyone to just two shots we'd be even better shots.

    I own, shoot, carry, and like 1911s, Sigs, Glocks, Berettas, H&Ks, XDs and a few others, including revolvers. I actually shoot the hi cap guns better than the 1911s and revolvers.

    Spray and pray is often a way to down play the importance of capacity and implies one can't spray and pray with six rounds.

    In the 2003 IDPA nationals, Ernst Langdon used a Sig 220 ST DA/SA against Rob Leatham's high dollar, highly customized 1911. Ernst won.

    You don't quite understand the Glock safeties. The trigger safety is widely misunderstood. The trigger safety, that "...little hinged tab on a trigger..." as you called it is obviously not to keep something from pulling the trigger; it is to prevent the trigger from being pulled by inertia in a drop situation.

    Since pulling the Glock tigger automatically disengages the other two safeties, it is paramount that the trigger NOT be allowed to move rearward if dropped. If it could, it would do just what it was designed to do, de-activate the other two safeties.

    Plus you left out two important issues with 1911s. Many 1911s can drop fire with the hammer cocked and locked! Unless they have the third safety in the form of a trigger de-activated or grip safety de-activated, or a heavier firing pin spring and lighter firing pin, the firing pin can be inertially driven into the primer by a drop. How many 1911s can do this? Bunches.

    Second, the grip safety commonly causes trigger blocks because of the shooter's grip and hand characteristics. I tend to have them. I know of others that tend to have them. It especially prone to happen with a high grip on the gun. The web of the hand between the thumb and index finger actually puts upward pressure on the beavertail and prevents it from releasing the trigger. That's why you hear about guys "pinning" the grip safety; they actually disable it to prevent the problem.

    Again, I think Ernst Langdon pretty much put this myth to rest when he won the 2003 IDPA championship with a Sig DA/SA against all the very special SA 1911's that he competed against.

    That's not prevailing wisdom - it's a myth. I know of absolutely NO training institute that teaches such nonsense. All I have heard of and been to, and that's a lot, teach basically the same thing. Get hits. Maybe Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch says it best, "If you're missing, don't shoot faster [or more] shoot better."

    Again you are arguing something that isn't true. Lazy? How would one be lazier with one gun than another? I shoot, and I'm sure I speak for many as well, my hi cap Glocks the very same way I shoot my 1911s. Why wouldn't I? The goal is to get good hits, not recklessly fire shots. I'd like to know who's doing all this reckless shooting.

    Again a false assumption. It is not supported that higher capacity is the reason people miss. People miss because they're not trained. The only thing a hi cap does is allow a person that can't shoot, miss more for longer.

    I don't see this going on in the streets; I don't see it going on in LEO gunfights; I don't see it in competition, so where is all this wild shooting going on?

    The last I heard, in the majority, certainly not all, but in the majority of civilian gunfights, the average number of shots fired is between two and three. In reports I read in the American Rifleman in the Armed Citizen, I have never read of a civilian gunfight where they fired wildly or over a dozen shots.

    The stats simply don't support your views. Maybe you could enlighten us as to what you base your claims on.
     
  4. thalo

    thalo

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    Actually, I felt SORT of the same way, except the 1911 is like a model T that nobody could surpass designwise. Everything that came later is basically a variation on basic themes.

    Then Sigarms came along with the GSR Revolution. At first I thought it was going to be more marketing suck... because I saw the tactical rails on the early release (rails are another thing I can't friggin' stand): but I liked the attempt to rethink some of the slide design and bring the 1911 into our century, by a maker known for steel and robustness.

    The first new 1911 I got excited about enough to buy was the no-rail Nitron Revolution. It's really a beautiful, functional pistol. I have maybe one design issue with it, but it's minor. Shoots great. I mean way, way better than any 1911 I've ever shot that wasn't three times the price. It respects the HISTORY of the 1911, but updates and improves... and does it in a way that's solid and substantial and not over-the-top like the super expensive custom jobs. It basically pokes a hole in that whole custom industry, showing that it's not that HARD to do what they do, and create quality and accuracy for a more realistic pricetag.

    Not that revolvers and 1911s are all created equally, but I think I shoot certain large-frame all-steel revolvers and full size 1911s better than I do pretty much everything else. Maybe better marksmanship has something to do with having fewer shots to burn, that's what we're here to discuss... but I also think it's largely about balance, weight and mass. Heavier shoots better, I think that's undeniable.

    If I really sit and think about it, it may be that WHERE a gun is heaviest affects how much felt recoil is minimized. In a revolver, there's a lot of mass at the cylinder, and that's kind of right at the center of gravity. But a long, heavy barrel keeps the shot flat, and if the frame and grips help balance that front-heaviness, the gun points more naturally.

    Anyway, when I DO choose higher capacity, I generally go for a weapon with better balance and a bit more weight. Not top heavy with a feather-light frame, but a good solid slide sitting balanced on top of the hand, and having that mass offset by some weight in the handle. Semi-autos with really light frames seem to benefit by being front-heavy, because they're already topheavy. So a long-slide Glock might be the only way to get real accuracy out of that design. I have to think more about that.

    And when I chose a gun for carry, it was one that was quite heavy-feeling for its size. People poo-poo that, but I'd argue it's probably a highly desirable characteristic. Something that fits in the palm of your hand, but is so heavy you wouldn't be embarrased to crack somebody in the jaw with it if you ran out of ammo :)

    I think for concealed carry, we'd all be better off with small and heavy, even if capacity was lower. I think the Kahr K9 is the best choice for a semi-auto. But I wouldn't TOUCH the polymer equivalent.

    If you really want a lighter frame pistol or revolver, you've got to go for BALANCE. But that takes a lot of searching. The Beretta Cougar is a finely balanced pistol with an alloy frame. I think it would be even better if the frame was steel, but I am obviously not in charge of Beretta. If I was, not only would they not have discontinued this model in favor of crappy overdesigned plastic spaceguns, but they would have stayed on course with more minimal and ergonomic functional pistols, and not let the marketeers dictate design.

    One of their big sellers has always been the Tomcat: a .32 auto pocket gun. Very no-nonsense, tough little pistol. But what makes it great is that it's HEAVY and small, not just small. It's a brick. The mass plus lower caliber is why it shoots well and is so easy to control.
     
  5. Backfire

    Backfire

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    Go ahead, Thalo...tell 'em to shoot for the eye socket with that .32 or better still, a .22 because, as you said in another thread, the "wiseguys" use 'em.

    A responsible, careful and disciplined shooter will not become "lazy" or be at all hampered just because he has a high capacity weapon. Your arguments against polymer simply do not hold up in reality. I no longer carry my much appreciated 1911's (not target models) because the Glocks that I have (G21 and G19) are more accurate (yes, they are and I prove it over and over at the range), easier to clean and maintain, and seem immune to wear, both mechanically and cosmetically.

    For your information, a 1911, to maintain reliability, belongs in the hands of someone who knows this gun and can watch out for and correct the many things that can go wrong with it. It is not for just anybody when you're talking carry/defense.

    It's better to have more rounds than not enough. I know of some dead cops that you could ask.
     
  6. givo08

    givo08

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    I'm a huge fan of all 3 types of guns (kind of unique cus most people are in one camp and hate the others) and see myself owning lots of different examples of all 3 types of guns.

    I think am more accurate with a 1911 or revolver than I am with a glock, but not by much. I can knock down silhouette plates at 25 and 50 yards with all of them reliably. I can shoot groups that are about the same size in a piece of paper at 7 yards (while the .45 rips a single hole a lot easier than 9mm can, the actual diameter of my groupings are about the same). Basically the guns are more accurate than I am. However, single action is much easier to shoot than double action because of a shorter and lighter trigger pull. I cannot shoot a heavy trigger double action revolver as well as a glock, and a very light 3-3.5 lb trigger glock will compare to the light SA of the 1911 for accuracy.

    I think some 1911's and revolvers are gorgeous. I think glocks are ugly. I love the simplicity and ruggedness of the glock design...34 parts, few external controls, tennifer coated metal parts for extremely high resistance to rust (not legal to manufacture in the US), relatively little lubrication needed compared to a 1911. I love the history of 1911's and revolvers...what red blooded American doesn't?

    I am pretty open minded to any design out there though, and am just a gun nut in general ;). If it goes bang then I am interested in how it works :p. I still don't think anyone can say what is better without getting emotional about it because I don't think any design has enough significant advantages over the others.
     
  7. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I'm a gun guy so I like most quality firearms & the Glock, USP & some other "plastic" guns fall into that catagory. I prefer my 1911s though, nothing I shoot handles better for me. My Glock is a very close 2nd but I had to work harder because the trigger & gip angle are so diff. than my other pistols. I would choose either for a serious encounter (or my USP for that matter). Both work flawlessly w/ good ammo & mags. My box stock Colt OM has never failed to feed/fire w/ good ammo. I carry the OM & trust it completely.
     
  8. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    All three have their merits.

    Can design affect shooting?
    Certainly,but practice will yield familiarity and thus, skill.
    Capacity affects nothing in regards to the ability of the weapon;all three are more than capable of putting five shots into 3 or less inches at 25yrds..more than adequate for a defensive handgun.
    I use all three...well,a Steyr, instead of glock,plus the 1911 and revolvers.Eack is very capable of quick,accurate,sustained fire despite whatever quibbles one may detract from each design.
    I feel practice is the far most important factor in a weapon's effectiveness.:)
     
  9. thalo

    thalo

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    I think that sounds like an interesting challenge! It certainly makes one think, doesn't it? I think you also bring up a good point that just because somebody has LOWER capacity, that it doesn't necessarily means they'll never "spray and pray." And yet, I think if you're talking about what TYPE of gun is EASIER to "spray and pray" with, that would have to be higher capacity semi-autos.

    Listen, I know every time I use stigmas and stereotypes in my rhetoric to bring a certain issue to light, it is fairly easy to dismiss. If I paint all Glockers as shot wasting gang-bangers or cracker spray-n-prayers, it's pretty simple for somebody to step up and say: well, I'M not that way! But the bad image comes from somewhere. And that somewhere is pop culture and widespread popularity. It's not the first time pop culture has been wrong, but it's not always 100% and totally wrong. Stigmas and profiles grow up out of half-truths.

    I know, isn't that great? It fits perfectly with my ALL STEEL theory of better shooting. And it's one of the reasons Sig is top gun now. I keep saying they're the manufacturer to beat these days. They have a lot going for them right now. Not only with their line of 1911s (which I think blow out of the water some of the top end 1911s), but their other semi-autos as well. The DAK trigger, for instance, is wonderful. The 220 ST (with its all steel frame) is an amazingly accurate .45. I've had the pleasure of shooting one. Very massive feel, and therefore it tames the recoil like nobody's business. If it came in a no-rail version, and in black, I'd get one. Unfortunately if you get the Nitron version, it's an alloy frame... and all the models have the stupid rails. But the 220 is one firearm that I'm watching closely... it's making the list of thalo's top picks.

    To get on my list, a weapon (be it semi-auto or revolver) needs to be made of all steel, be heavy for its size, and have no froo-froo gimmick or logo or idiotic marketing hook. It needs to come in basic black (or blued steel), and have no tactical rails or superfluous interface. It needs mechanical simplicity and super reliability and durability. It's got to be all about toolness. That is, being a good tool. It needs clean design lines, great ergonomics, where form equals function. The grips can be made of anything, as long as they're functional and comfortable. I have a soft spot for checkered wood, rubber, and black plastic in that order. I usually disqualify any weapon from my list that has polymer in the frame, or has a tactical rail of any kind... but in the case of the 220ST, it shoots so well, that I have overlooked my personal preferences a bit... I won't BUY one, but it inspires me to complain to Sig to offer a no-rail black all steel version. Older Sig grips... the checkered ones, were much more attractive to me.

    Nah man, you misunderstood me. Believe me, I have read everything there is to read about the Glock safeties. I know about how drop safe they are. And yet the safety is easily defeated in a drop situation. Kahrs are some of the most drop safe pistols out there. They do the same thing with no trigger-tab. So could Glock. I don't think Glock needed the double trigger to do EXACTLY what it does internally now. The trigger action itself could have been the safety.

    Check out the Sig Revolution. One of the things I love about the grip safety is the speed bump. As far as grip safeties go (and trust me, I don't REALLY believe in them in anything but single action semi-autos) it's one of the best. And the Sig is also rendered drop safe, with a firing pin safety and hammer intercept notch. You really should take a look at it. You guys know how critical I am, it's the first 1911 I ever paid my own hard earned money for. I was always a 1911 appreciator. Going on 25 years. I've been around them, shot them, they're in my family... but nothing excited me enough to really want to own one. To go out and buy a new one. Until the Sig Revolution. Gets my seal of approval. And very, very few guns do.

    Look, I know of no training institute that teaches such nonsense either. I don't teach that. And my instructors don't teach that to me. I teach that practice makes perfect. I say start shooting like a slow fire bullseye competitor to gain fundamentals, then move to accuracy drills with speed, so you get to a point where you are an instinctually accurate shooter. Do mozambiques until you are sick of them. Until you can place your shots and control your smooth trigger pull with a high degree of accuracy without really thinking. Just on muscle memory and instinct. Then move to action drills with stress, to try and culitvate that "icewater in the veins" aspect. Just focus and concentration at times when your heart is beating, you're nervous, and there is an assault of stimuli to parse.

    But I don't think it hurts to EXAMINE the myth. I think that myth is a logical end result of bad habits taking root as a result of the false sense of security that may or may not be a result of excessive reliance on higher capacity.

    I don't understand why you're so threatened by that argument. Just by me wondering if its possible that the trend toward higher capacity has made shooters lazy and neglect fundamentals. You can say it's not true all you want, but I spend a lot of time at the range and I see it. Popular culture has glamorized the criminal element, the group of people (thankfully for us) with the WORST fundamentals. And I notice a LOT of younger shooters, when they're having the most "fun" are sort of reenacting what they must be seeing in movies and on TV. It's tough programming to break. But it's there. And that's the hold of pop culture. Glocks merely happen to be a pop culture icon.

    I realize we haven't established that higher capacity is the REASON people miss. Which is why I always buttress that point with things like weight, mass, balance, and design of the weapon.

    I do see it going on in the streets. For the very reason you cite. Lack of training. I simply take the position that people with the least training will gravitate to the most popular handgun of the 1990s, that being Glock. It's not a false assumption. It's just a stance you find insulting, because as I examine the issue, you worry I'm lumping you in with all the wild shooters, seduced by popular culture. I'm really not, brother, I'm just using that rhetoric to help us get at the meat of the real issue. The human nature stuff that's either helping us to become BETTER shooters, and make better choices of weapon... or those things that are obstacles to making better choices: all the marketing crap, deceptive nonsense, image and stigma and so forth.

    I absolutely 100% agree with that. I've stated as much in many of my posts. And so it's all the more surprising that a cross-section of Glock owners ON THIS BOARD carry such high capacity, and proudly and repeatedly state it.

    I make the point all the time that a low capacity, small caliber weapon can be just as deadly in the ranges that most of us will ever have to fight in. A guy like brother Backfire may be insulted by that, or the way I tried to communicate it... but I obviously got through to him with my graphic illustration of shot placement, lol. I think because it's true. There's a whole class of perfectly viable, highly concealable self-defense firearms that are now totally scorned for not having enough "stopping power" or "capacity"... but I think that's all because of marketing brainwashing. I hope you brothers will give so called "mouse guns" a serious look for carry. There are some excellent, excellent carry weapons that Glockers won't ever touch because of the real myths of capacity and stopping power.

    I'd love the industry to be encouraged in the direction of subcompact steel carry weapons with minimal design and interface. Either a small caliber revolver or small caliber sub-compact semi auto like the Tomcat or walther PPK. The smallest I'd go with a 9mm is something like the Kahr MK9. Too bad it doesn't come in blackened stainless. All good pocket gun size.

    You look where this industry and its marketeers are taking us... down which garden path, and you see that it's this amped up over tacticalized higher capacity nonsense, where they can get off giving us cheaper weapons. Hey, it's THEY that are losing sight of the fundamentals. Not just us that needs to go back to basics, but the industry. The second Sig concentrated on toolness, and steel they rose to the top. Before that, Glock had minimalism of design: that rocketed them to the top. Unfortunately, they combined it with cost-cutting plastic construction. Kahr had both in the K-9, but couldn't sustain it. So they jumped the shark.

    For revolvers, Smith & Wesson is on the cusp of going retro and returning to their traditional legacy greatness. I'm glad it's happening in my lifetime. Sooner or later one company (probably Sig) is going to put all the elements that make a GREAT handgun design together. The DAK trigger is a really important development. Could be revolutionary.

    Do I think other makers have potential? Sure. Beretta has the longest history, a tradition of excellent design, they just need to fire their marketing guys too. They need to start designing pistols again, instead of running shoes that fire bullets. Go back to THEIR legacy, and for god's sake, dump polymer, even dump alloy and start working in steel. If I could go back in time and take charge of their development right after the Cougar, I'd tell them take that same rotating barrel design, but go slimmer and more compact, all steel, and with a new innovative trigger system (like Sig's DAK)... they'd be competing right now. They might have gotten the homeland contracts.

    Walther has similar problems to Beretta. They totally turned their back on a long history of excellent german design and went the goofy over-tactical spacegun route too. I'd like the see them take something like the bee-yoootiful sexy design of the PPK and run with that, bring it into the 21st century, the way Sig did with the 1911. Actually remember, Sig did it with the Walther too. Their 232's design owes as much to the PPK as it does to the 38H.

    Actually, if Sig came out with a 232 with a DAK trigger, I bet that would be my next purchase.
     
  10. 10mm4ever

    10mm4ever 10mm Pusher

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    I'm not exactly sure why anyone would liken the 1911 to a model T?? People aren't still driving model T's, and they could in no way compete with todays cars. The 1911 is still the choice of professionals by and large. Have there been some type of radical advancements since the 1911 that I'm not aware of?
     
  11. Tangle

    Tangle

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    thalo,

    This is no more than another attempt to exalt the 1911 and unjustly critisize plastic guns. Another thing that is obvious and prevalent in today's society is to blame the machine. Don't blame the driver, blame the car, don't blame the shooter's bad habits, blame the capacity of the gun. Don't blame the murderer, blame the gun.

    I have built 5 1911's from scratch. Caspian frames and Wilson Combat internals. Nothing was a kit, nothing was pre-fitted. I did it all. I took my first one to Thunder Ranch for a week long class it didn't have a single problem. I took my second to Gunsite for a week long class the 499 class. I never had a single problem.

    I took my G-21 to Blackwater and fired 2500 rounds in a week without one problem and out shot every 1911 there. I shot both faster and more accurate. I had 13 rounds in my G-21 and they only had 8; so by your theory the 1911 guys should have out shot me because they have fewer rounds. Of course I would have just down loaded my mags to fewer rounds so I could shoot better.

    If I were you I wouldn't get too excited about Ernst winning with an all steel gun. It didn't have a SA trigger. He also wins with Berettas which have aluminum alloy frames. And now he's with Smith and Wesson and guess what he's winning with now? A revolver? Nope! S&Ws 1911? Nope! He's winning with their hi capacity, polymer M&P! And he's doing it without a SA trigger - could it be that it's not the gun, it's the shooter?

    BTW, practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. If you practice/train wrong, you'll shoot wrong.
     
  12. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    If you were to spend $100,000 on a Model T, I'm sure that some hotrodder will make it competitive.

    As far as radical advancements since the 1911 that you haven't been aware of, let me name a few: Hi-Power, HK P9S, HK USP, SIG P2XX-series, Glocks.

    Take your typical honest-to-God M1911 designed per the original specs and compare to these guns and see how well the M1911 fares in accuracy and reliability.

    The 1911 had its place in history and it was a revolutionary design combining quite a few advancements, especially in the ergonomics, for a combat handguns. It inspired many a newcomers but its time had passed.

    Now, does it still work? Sure it does. 99% of the owners of these guns aren't going to crawl through mud and sludge and fight off the Huns hordes, so it works for them at the range and the possibility of fight off a robber or two. In that context, it works just fine. The same thing with a revolver.

    If I were to equip an army that has to go anywhere and everywhere with a combat handgun, you can be sure that it won't be the M1911 and the revolver. But if I were to equip a police force or a typical household, then I wouldn't hesistate to equip them with a 1911 or a revolver at all.
     
  13. thalo

    thalo

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    You forgot "and revolvers" after "exalt the 1911." :supergrin:

    But it's not ALL 1911s I exalt. Sure, I give the brilliant design its due... but there is just as much marketing brainwashing going on in the high end 1911 market. There's just as much superabundance and gimmicky crap there as in the plastic/tactical market.

    Actually, my rhetoric is designed to incite based on a slightly different dynamic, just as insidious: identify so STRONGLY with the machine, thanks to its marketing, that you lose all perspective on quality and design. I don't blame the machine, I blame rubes for being DUPED by marketeers to the point where ownership of the machine is so completely emotionalized, that any criticism of the machine is tantamount to child abuse or kitten killing. e.g. criticize Glocks, and Glock fans go ballistic.

    There needs to be some room for criticism that helps create BETTER machines. That's very different that BLAMING machines for the foibles and quirks and human nature of their owners. I don't blame guns for violence and crime, I blame people. I don't blame the design of firearms for the way that they have become embraced by popular culture as having an underworld mystique (in the case of Glock), or some über-tactical vibe (in the case of almost every other semi-auto nowadays), or something else which leads to crappy shooting fundamentals or skewed attitudes instead of responsible civilian gun ownership, I blame people. And maybe "blame" is the wrong word. I simply UNDERSTAND that people are weak and gullible. I watch the way that gullibility is expressed at the gunshop counter, and at the range. We all see it, it's just that some of you are too close to it emotionally to see what's really going on. Meanwhile I recognize that corporate marketeers do nothing to change these images and perceptions, and in fact encourage them, because they frequently translate into dollars. When do you see anyone market shooting fundamentals or safety or responsibility? If makers did that, they'd be soundly laughed at for being too PC.

    I think what's happened is the gun-grabbers have brow-beaten gun owners into this psycho head space where the macho mystique of firearms gets taken over the top, and that sets them up to be sold a bill of goods by marketeers who have their fingers on the pulse of you. Who understand what makes you tick. Now people buy weapons based on how much crap you can hang off of them, and how much the design EVOKES the mental image of you as an elite special forces commando. Trouble is, you stop demanding good design and high quality materials, and accuracy, because you're too busy with the razzle dazzle and dreaming about all the gizmos and charmed by the useless extra interface.

    So to me, the logical BACKLASH position I take is, screw those guys, let's go back to basics. Take all that crap and 86 it. You REALLY want macho? Pick up a revolver. Go for a 1911. Or demand that the industry cut the crap in its designs and give you blue steel and sex appeal. Simplicity. Form and function.

    That's why I "unjustly" criticize plastic guns. That's my agenda, and I've never made a secret of it. That's what I come to a place like this to talk about. I simply use the rhetorical tricks of the con-artists that have us all duped, as a way to help us recognize what they're up to. There's no better way to show how EMOTIONALIZED gun ownership has become, than to criticize the design or functionality of a weapon. To many guys here, it's like insulting their mother. There's product loyalty, then there's product loyalty that gets so clouded with FEELINGS, that it's like being a member of a cult. And you completely lose sight of reason, and turn completely reactive to any criticism of the design or pop-culture imagery that has grown up around the cult.

    I know the 220ST doesn't have a SA trigger. I am excited about the design of Berettas that have alloy frames too (the Cougar is one of the best designed pistols out there, in my opinion... I tell people to go out there and buy them up while you still can).

    It's disappointing to me that Ernst went for the M&P, but what do you want? Smith & Wesson is spending a friggin' FORTUNE on marketing this pistol, and they need a name with chops. That's always the way they've done business. Go to the site and look at how marketed up they are going. That gun is pretty much the antithesis of my position. Everything that's wrong with the industry. Trying to make polymer look cool, when we all know it's about improving their profit margin. It perpetuates the dysfunction instead of encouraging fundamentals (right down to the name: sell to civilians by making them think of MILITARY or POLICE.) I'm sure that tactical rail comes in handy for Ernst in a competition, huh?

    I find it utterly hilarious that Smith puts this whole STEEL chassis system in this gun, right at the center of gravity... to buttress the shortcomings of the polymer material. Read about it. Listen to the narration, and it's like vindication for everything I say about polymer that always gets you guys upset. "Torque, flex, and felt recoil..."

    Hey, I have an idea... I know a frame material you can choose that would have eliminated the need for that chassis system! lol. But small steel shims are cheaper to produce than milling a frame out of barstock. Don't be duped. Demand better than plastic toys. Realize when a corporation is serving you up a big steaming pile. Never, ever let marketeers design firearms.

    To me, the M&P is just another expression of the same cheap plastic BS trend. Smith & Wesson is just the latest major maker to cave. Even Sig caved. It's just proof that the marketing of polymer worked. It doesn't mean polymer is a better material, unless you are talking about better at making these corporations money.

    I hope you brothers will wake up to the big scam, and stop being manipulated. The way to do that is encourage makers to go back to some of the basics, like all-steel, operational simplicity, etc. Just simple, straightforward guns. If nobody delivers those, then choose revolvers, 1911s, or steel framed semi-autos without rails. Demand quality construction and materials, and be suspicious of tactical nonsense.
     
  14. Tangle

    Tangle

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    It has yet to be proven that steel is superior in durability or reliability to polymer. Your comments have all the "wrappings" of the "steel is real" mentality.

    We need to be sure we have correctly identified the problem. If people are "spraying and praying", is it because they are shooting a plastic gun instead of a steel gun, is it because it's a DA instead of a SA, is it because people can't manage the transistion from DA to SA on DA/SA guns, is it because of gun flex, grip angle, is it magazine capacity, or is it improper or insufficient training, bad shooting habits, and mindset?

    If we've been trained correctly and sufficiently and have the proper mindset, capacity isn't going to matter because we will be determined for the first and every shot to be a good hit.

    If we haven't been trained properly or sufficiently, we're likely going to shoot poorly. And we will continue to shoot poorly until our slide locks back regardless of capacity.

    You may believe that the insufficiency lies in the gun, I believe it lies in the shooter.
     
  15. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Steel framed guns have survived for more than a century (Colt SAA, SW Model 3, Remington wheelie, etc.). Aluminum framed guns have survived more than 50-years. What's the oldest plastic framed gun? The HK VP70 dated back to what, maybe 25-years? Time will tell.

    Plastics aren't better. BTW, it's plastic and not polymer. Guns are made out of "steel" and not "iron" - at least modern guns anyway, so the combat tupperware frames are made out of "plastic" and not "polymer". Steel to iron is plastic (or elastomer) to polymer.

    But I digress. Plastic were introduced because it was cheaper to make. Cheaper raw material and cheaper construction method. That's it. They work well enough for non-critical parts. But what do I know? I'm only a mere chemical engineer.
     
  16. Tangle

    Tangle

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    Length of time a design has been around doesn't make it "more" than a design that hasn't been around as long. Granted, 1911s are popular guns, they are with me too, I think their fine, but to claim shooting problems are due to magazine capacity, suggesting a person can't shoot well because he has too many rounds in his gun is unrealistic.

    When I took my six-shot 686 to Gunsite for the Advanced Tactial Pistol course, I shot a lot worse than I do with a 1911, Sig, Glock, H&K USP, Beretta, or XDs.

    There's an old saying that goes something like, "Don't fear the bow, fear the archer."
     
  17. thalo

    thalo

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    No, I don't believe insufficiency lies with the gun. You're not paying attention. But the shortcomings of gun DESIGN lie with CUSTOMERS, i.e. shooters. A gullible customer, who is charmed by all the marketing BS, is I argue less likely to demand quality. This leads to a dumbing down of the industry, who ends up providing crap to crap-settlers, easy marks.

    You are trying to turn it into a chicken and egg discussion, like which came first, bad shooters or bad guns? I'm doing something different. I'm saying bad gun designs are SYMPTOMATIC of following marketing trends, rather than striving for unsurpassed quality and functionality. Design and quality suffers when the customer base is a pack of rubes. When they are easily led by marketing, instead of being driven by the serious needs of being responsibly armed.

    I'm blaming shooters for making certain types of guns popular, and I'm blaming marketing for doing its job and making cheap plastic tactical-looking guns all the rage with consumers. This has not led to you and me getting better guns. It's simply been a means by which gun corporations have been able to sell more guns at a higher profit margin, by choosing materials and designs that appeal to the lowest common denominator: tactical posers and people who equate military and law enforcement or criminal adventure with what it means to be an armed citizen.

    To look at a Glock and say that its design encourages poor shooting isn't going way out on a limb, it's merely recognizing that why Glocks sell has little to do with them being constructed out of the best materials with the best properties for accurate shooting. Good marketing is about capturing the imagination. Downplaying shortcomings, or finding a way to turn those shortcomings into advantages. Glock was brilliant at that. The con of polymer has worked. As much as I shake my little fists against it, it has been utterly effective. People believe the BS now. They honest-to-god recite polymer party line, like "it's stronger than steel!" "it's light and light is great!" They don't realize that the only reason polymer became a gun material was to make frames easier and cheaper to manufacture. A cost cutting, corner cutting strategy to improve the bottom line.

    I don't blame polymer guns. I blame the people that bought them. And those same people, whose imaginations are so easily captured, I assert are more likely to display a lack of basic shooting fundamentals. Because if they fell for marketing, they can fall for pop culture imagery that tells them spraying and praying and high capacity is cooler and homey-er, and more Xtreme, etc. than shot placing with grandpa's gun.

    I agree going out and getting training is the key. You'll never catch me minimizing the importance of training in good shooting. But holy crap check out the way even training academies take advantage of the state of affairs of firearm marketing. It's trouble when your shooting academy ends up playing shill for your products, as is the case with Sigarms. Some of the tactical crap creeps into even the civilian courses. You have to be smart enough to understand where the con ends and the real training begins, because the lines are definitely blurred. The courses are terrific, but don't let down your guard... part of the reason there is even an academy is to move product. And part of the way products are made attractive is the same capturing of the imagination that can lead to poor design choices.

    Notice that almost every Sig weapon has a tactical rail now. Almost every semi-auto of modern manufacture does now. And yet the real functional reasons for hanging anything off a tactical rail are exceedingly rare and so utterly specific to such a tiny number of shooters, that it's crazy. There is almost no real-world anchor in that design choice when you are talking civilian carry. It's all marketing.

    And I say it's time for a reality check. It's time we all asked what guns really are, what they are for, what's the BEST design for them in what situations... and what they should be made out of to maximize things like quality, functionality, durability, and accuracy.

    There should be nothing simpler or more serious than a handgun. And yet all this effort is made to bollox up the interface and slather all manner of happy horse***** onto basic designs that couldn't be clearer or simpler. Most semi-autos are just tweaked 1911s anyway, so it pays to go back to the source to look. Every now and then we have to take a hard look at things, and make sure we're not being yanked. There come times when it's in our best interests to strip away all the BS and see who really has the chops.
     
  18. Tangle

    Tangle

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    Sigarms and H&K were the winners in the ICE trials. The Sig has an alloy frame and the H&K a polymer frame. The steel framed guns just didn't measure up.

    There were no market trends, gullible shooters to blame, they all shot the same trials and an alloy frame and a poly frame gave the best performance.

    I disagree whole-heartedly about rails. Rails on a handgun are an excellent feature on a home defense gun. That's not from gullible buyers, etc. that's my opinion after much FOF training, and a personal experience in my home in the middle of the night. The WMLs (Weapon Mounted Lights) are great for home defense and let me save us both some time, I've already heard all the arguments about pointing guns at innocents because your light is on the gun. I have the option; I don't have to use the WML, I can use the handheld backup light. But, in my home, if all "mine" are accounted for, my WML is going on the threat/threat area, gun and all with no apologies and I'm glad to have a hand free.

    You seem to be changing your message from hi caps promote bad shooting to steel is better. I still see no evidence that steel is better. In fact, there used to be a head to head competion where guns were shot until they had a malfunction. It was a classic confrontation of Glocks and 1911s. The Glocks won.

    If you look at competitive shooting, Glocks are competitive with 1911s. I don't know that they win, but they are competitive. Glocks work! They're reliable; they're accurate and they're durable. Chuck Taylors Glock 17 has got what, 250,000 rounds through it now and about all he's done is replace recoil springs and a few other normal wear items.

    You see Glock as a deficient to shooting where I see it as an asset. I have 7 1911s, one that I built with a rail, and five Glocks. I can draw and fire and get a good hit on the target faster with a Glock and the follow-up shots are faster as well. From much experience I can say that the felt recoil of a G-21 is less than a 1911 even though the G-21 is much lighter. I get just as good hits, if not better, with the G-21, and dare I mention again, in 2500 rounds at Blackwater, not one problem.

    What's not to like?
     
  19. kengps

    kengps

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    I think the Belief that "more ammo causes one to spray bullets"...is akin to the liberal idea that "guns cause people to kill each other".
    In both cases, it is the trigger finger (and the Dumba** attached)that causes such actions.
     
  20. kengps

    kengps

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    As for the arguments of lighter vs. heavier....Have you ever considered that a "light weapon with a light" which weighs the same as a "heavy" weapon, is going to have higher polar-inertia? May actually shoot better for you Thalo, as you shoot better with a heavy weapon. If you don't like lights, then you could build a form fitting, rail-attached weight of some sort. Don't competition shooters add weight to the end of the barrel to achieve the same affect?