Glock Talk banner

Glock fanboy wants to be open minded and purchase a 1911

3143 Views 44 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  tattooo
I'm new to 1911's, and spent way to much on Glocks, S&W's and so on. So looking for a quality 1911 that doesn't cost a arm and leg! I think I settled on Springfield Amory. My question is ( I'm a leftie ) either I get an ambie safety or is it possible to buy parts to switch side of safety. And, if so, how difficult is it to do yourself? If I have to buy parts and pay gunsmiths' fees...well, I may as well buy a already ambidextrous pistol. Though I don't like having a safety lever on my exposed side to "accidentally" get caught on something.
Thanks for any advice.
1 - 20 of 45 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
I'm new to 1911's, and spent way to much on Glocks, S&W's and so on. So looking for a quality 1911 that doesn't cost a arm and leg! I think I settled on Springfield Amory. My question is ( I'm a leftie ) either I get an ambie safety or is it possible to buy parts to switch side of safety. And, if so, how difficult is it to do yourself? If I have to buy parts and pay gunsmiths' fees...well, I may as well buy a already ambidextrous pistol. Though I don't like having a safety lever on my exposed side to "accidentally" get caught on something.
Thanks for any advice.
I'm a lefty that bought a Springfield Range Officer Compact. Love the pistol. There are several different styles of ambi safeties and I had a gunsmith fit one I'd picked out. It's not a drop in part and I didn't feel comfortable trying to fit it. You can't switch the side of the safety that I'm aware of.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,563 Posts
Not a lefty, but I have carried my Springfield lightweight Loaded champion which has the ambi safety with no issue. I'm pretty sure that most thumb safeties are drop in, meaning no gunsmithing should be required. If I am mistaken someone please correct me.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,563 Posts
I'm a lefty that bought a Springfield Range Officer Compact. Love the pistol. There are several different styles of ambi safeties and I had a gunsmith fit one I'd picked out. It's not a drop in part and I didn't feel comfortable trying to fit it. You can't switch the side of the safety that I'm aware of.
I thought Wilson or ed brown made a drop in safety?
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
22,879 Posts
Not a lefty, but I have carried my Springfield lightweight Loaded champion which has the ambi safety with no issue. I'm pretty sure that most thumb safeties are drop in, meaning no gunsmithing should be required. If I am mistaken someone please correct me.
I'd be very skeptical of a drop in safety. Too many variances between frames, sears, and such. I took a safety out of one 1911 and put it in another, just to see how it felt. You could pull the trigger and drop the hammer with it in the up position.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
I'm new to 1911's, and spent way to much on Glocks, S&W's and so on. So looking for a quality 1911 that doesn't cost a arm and leg! I think I settled on Springfield Amory. My question is ( I'm a leftie ) either I get an ambie safety or is it possible to buy parts to switch side of safety. And, if so, how difficult is it to do yourself? If I have to buy parts and pay gunsmiths' fees...well, I may as well buy a already ambidextrous pistol. Though I don't like having a safety lever on my exposed side to "accidentally" get caught on something.
Thanks for any advice.
I am in my mid fifties, never thought much of 1911s until a few years ago. I finally picked one up to check it out, loved the feel of it.

I almost bought one a few months ago, but I cannot get over the:
1. Limited capacity (compared to a Glock 21)
2. The (reported) lack of dependability from day one (ALL my Glocks have NEVER failed me).
3. The need to break the 1911 in (I have read this, and I assume it to be true).
4. The complexity of the firearm in general (compared to the Glock).

And all of this, and I AM still interested in it, I think, because of the history, and the feel (ergonomics) of it. Maybe one day.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
22,879 Posts
I am in my mid fifties, never thought much of 1911s until a few years ago. I finally picked one up to check it out, loved the feel of it.

I almost bought one a few months ago, but I cannot get over the:
1. Limited capacity (compared to a Glock 21)
2. The (reported) lack of dependability from day one (ALL my Glocks have NEVER failed me).
3. The need to break the 1911 in (I have read this, and I assume it to be true).
4. The complexity of the firearm in general (compared to the Glock).

And all of this, and I AM still interested in it, I think, because of the history, and the feel (ergonomics) of it. Maybe one day.
Some counter points for your consideration.

1. Thinner gun = less capacity. Many on this board have asked for a single stack 21, for just that reason. On the flip side, they do make double stack 1911s.

2. Depends on the gun. My 1911s will feed ammo that will choke my 21, but not the other way around.

3. Break ins are for high end 1911s, or Kimbers. The break ins I've done have been uneventful.

4. A basic 1911 is pretty simple, though some parts may need fitting. The top end is actually simpler that the GLOCK.

Not saying one is better, just good to have both. :winkie:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
My mil spec 1911 feeds everything, and that is with a mil spec barrel with no custom work. It has never failed, and is 2 inch accurate at 25 yards, to point of aim. I have never felt the need for high capacity, but that is what the glock comes with. I carry a G37 at times and it only has a 10 round mag, I feel confident that is enough, it has been for our local PD. I mostly carry the G22 for the penetration if I should ever encounter a bear. Before buying the G22 I carried a SA 44 magnum, with a 38 spl DA for backup/social work.

IMO if you want reliability stay away from the high end ultra tight 1911's. The affordable models are the reliable ones most times like the RIA. Our vet has a kimber that she never carries because it will not feed reliably, though I told her it would loosen up over time and get better. But who should have to shoot 5K rounds to break in their gun.

JMB designed the 1911 to both function, and be accurate, don't believe the inaccuracy claims. 1911's all of them lock up with two locking lugs, Glocks lock up against the breechface. 1911s also lock the barrel at the slide stop, as well as the bushing. It does not need the slide to have a death grip for accuracy. The way the bushing is designed is the spring puts pressure on the bottom of the bushing, slightly canting it, locking it in the slide, and on the barrel. The barrel returns to the exact same position every single time, unlike a Glock.

I have bought literally dozens of surplus 1911's over the years, and resold them. Every single one was able to shoot nothing larger than a 3 inch group at 25 yards rest. I currently have a Star Super A that shoots one inch groups, and it is a rattle gun. Everything rattles except the barrel. These old guns were built loose, but if the shooter was capable they were capable of great accuracy.

If you intend on shooting hot rod loads, then make sure the gun you buy has a forged frame instead of a cast frame. Mine is a cast and has lasted decades, but I don't use +P ammo. Yes thumb safeties are drop in unless you buy one oversize. Yes on almost all 1911's the hammer will drop if the safety is too far up, which can only be done with the slide off. Function tests should be done with the gun assembled.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
22,879 Posts
BuckyP- out of curiosity, what ammo will your 1911s feed that your Glock 21 won't?
LSWC and LSWC Hollow Points. Of course, one shouldn't shoot these out of a GLOCK, but I wanted to try a few.

That's not to suggest that the GLOCK is unreliable in any respect. GLOCKs are very reliable when using the proper ammo. However, it does point out that if a 1911 will feed any ammo a GLOCK will feed, and then some, that suggests that the 1911 can be reliable as well. Of course the issue when comparing a 1911 to a GLOCK is, the GLOCK is a particular gun made by a single company. The 1911 is a "type" of gun (for lack of a better term) made by dozens of different companies. So is it a GLOCK vs a Taurus 1911, or a GLOCK vs a Gun Crafter / Wilson / Ed Brown / Etc?

Again, I like and own both.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,159 Posts
Generally, I won't recommend to anybody to get a 1911, but if someone has decided that's what they want then OK.
They can get expensive; be frustrating; parts break; some parts need to be fit to a gun; and can require more maintenance. With that said, there are plenty of reasons to own, use, or carry a 1911. For the right person, they can be very rewarding.

Springfield-Armory is a good brand. Its top model being the "Professional" with or without a light-rail.
For a left-handed person, an ambidextrous safety is nice to have.
Do look at/consider the "TRP" and "Loaded Operator" (the last one, aka "MC Operator" ) models. I believe these come with ambi-safeties.

Ambi-safeties can break. Inside, the shafts are usually held together with a small dovetail joint which is prone to breakage.

I've heard the best ambi-safety on the market is now a specific model from WilsonCombat.com:
http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Bullet-Proof-Parts/products/223/

The WilsonCombat "Bullet Proof" safeties seem to use a design which seems to double-up on the dovetails.

The retail prices of these safeties go from $143 to $165 for the parts alone. Someone will have to fit the safety to each specific gun by filing certain areas just right. Too much filing in the wrong place will mandate buying new parts or "welding-up" the error and filing even more.
This YouTube video makes it look easy and perhaps it is for somebody who does it often:

With all that said, many folks probably never use their guns enough to get to the point of parts breakage.

For an idea of maintenance, here's a reference to read, even if one doesn't exactly the intervals:
http://www.10-8performance.com/pages/Reliability,-Round-Counts,-and-Longevity-in-1911s.html
 

· Banned
Joined
·
63,200 Posts
To reiterate what others have said, you can't switch the safety lever from one side to another. The left side is where it's designed to be. Ambidextrous safety works off the left side safety.

I've seen lefties that draw the gun, thumb off the safety lever with their thumbs and shoot just as fast as righties. I've tried to do it myself a few times as part of practicing for losing the use of one's strong arm, and it's not that bad.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
771 Posts
Although I love them and that is what I carry I would get a cheaper one to play with and see how you like it. The RIAs are not bad for what they cost. Slightly up from there is Ruger. Sometimes thumb safeties drop in and sometimes they need fitting. It is what you are familiar with. The first time I tore a striker assembly down in a Glock it took me some time.

I actually carry a Colt Commander which cost me $740 new back in 2007. The only thing I have changed on it are the grips. I put on some hard rubber grips as grips take a hit on a carry pistol and it came with checkered wood double diamonds. It has gone bang all the time from round 1 to the tune of over 5K bangs now. The only bad thing I have wacked with it was a rabid skunk at about 45 yards.

 

· Gospel Carrier
Joined
·
532 Posts
I'm new to 1911's, and spent way to much on Glocks, S&W's and so on. So looking for a quality 1911 that doesn't cost a arm and leg! I think I settled on Springfield Amory. My question is ( I'm a leftie ) either I get an ambie safety or is it possible to buy parts to switch side of safety. And, if so, how difficult is it to do yourself? If I have to buy parts and pay gunsmiths' fees...well, I may as well buy a already ambidextrous pistol. Though I don't like having a safety lever on my exposed side to "accidentally" get caught on something.
Thanks for any advice.
Over forty years, I owned ten 1911s, and used them in the military, when nothing else was available. Then, Glock came into my life. I'll never go back, as the even the best 1911, is not nearly the weapon's system that the Glock is... I guess everybody has to have a hobby, but that one, buying a 1911, just plain baffles me... Sorta like collecting the carcasses of roadkill... Do have fun, and your are helping to keep the new "antique" industry going...
 

· INFRINGED
Joined
·
41,924 Posts
If you want a 1911 with an ambi safety, look at the Loaded or Loaded Target models. They should be in the mid 700, low 800 price range.

A Loaded model will come with the ambi safety, beavertail, and Novak night sights. It can be had in stainless or park.

You cannot reverse the safety, nor can your drop one in. You may get lucky and have one drop in and work, but more than likely not. The safety will have to be fit the sear.

People now days live to whine and ***** about the 1911. It served the country with distinction and is still one of the most popular guns made today.

I have only had one in my life that was a stinker. The rest have all been reliable and accurate. I never had many that needed the break in period.

Nearly every handgun on the market owes it's being to the good old Browning designed 1911. Many still use some type of Browning lock work.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Lots of great advice here already, so not much to add. I currently own eight 1911's, everything from a Remington Rand manufactured in Apr 1944 to a Nighthawk Talon II. Here are some basic buying tips for your first 1911 to minimize issues.

1. Stick with .45 ACP

2. Stick with 5" to no shorter than 4™ barrel length

3. Get one that already comes with the ambi-safety pre-installed

4. For additional magazines buy the same brand magazines that came with your gun. This can be a biggie and make newbies crazy in a hurry. 1911's can be very persnickety about magazines.

Good luck and welcome to the addiction!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
I'm left handed, and have carried a number of different firearms over the years (K-frames, Hi-Power, 1911, G27...) The Hi-Power and 1911 are probably my favorite auto-loaders. My main issue with my 1911's is that they came with a single sided safety (ok to work as a lefty with practice). I recently installed a bullet proof ambi-safety from Wilson on one of them. It did require some minor fitting, but I must say it makes a world of difference. I will probably be carrying the 1911 more frequently. If you are not good with fitting small parts, I would find a pistol with an ambi safety, just be careful, as 1911's can be addictive.

RSD
 

· Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks ALOT for all the good advice, most helpful. I think I decided on the Springfield Amory ss loaded. From your advice and some helpful internet browsing, for a mid range cost it offers decent...well...everything and bad or great nothing! After all, I still carry my g26, play with my g17, g19 am on a waiting list for a g43, and when I'm feeling my age I get out my tried and true S&W 642. So, for heritages sake, I'm getting a 1911, sure to be fun and a novelty for my grandson when I finally eat to much bacon or drink to much bourbon. (but not in sight of guns)
Thanks again!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Excellent choice! I've got a Springfield Trophy Match and its been 100% reliable and very very accurate since day one. But don't judge yours for at least 300 to 500 rounds. 500 round break in periods are very common for 1911's that will then run perfectly. And just as often they run perfectly straight out of the box!
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top