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Thinking of picking up a 1911

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Loudcherokee, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Loudcherokee

    Loudcherokee SouthPawGlocker

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    So, lately, after shooting someones 1911 at the range, I'm kind of getting the itch. I already own 2 glocks, an HK, and a Ruger revolver. I'm pretty sure I want to add a 1911 to the mix.

    I'm used to my plastic pistols, but I'm new to the 1911, and I have a few questions.

    Officer, Commander, and Government models. I'm getting that this has something to do with the size or length, but what is the size of each, and where does the Taurus PT1911 fall in this grouping?

    How easy are they to take down and clean? Again, I'm used to my Glocks, and even the HK is a breeze to strip blindfolded. Is there more cleaning involved with a 1911?

    SA/DA only? From what I've been told, you can have either SA or DA in a 1911, but not both, like my HK USP-C for example. Is cocked and locked the only way to carry a 1911? And if the hammer were to fall for some unknown reason, would the grip safety still keep the gun from discharging?

    What options are available for customizing, to make my 1911 MINE? I know the grips are changeable, but what about the other hardware on the gun? Triggers, hammers, safeties, etc? Also, can the mag release be made ambi? I am a lefty. It's easy enough to manipulate with my trigger finger, but the option of an ambi mag release would be nice. Where's a good place for parts, and can the work be done by myself, or would I have to pay a smith?

    Is there a break in procedure, and if so, how is it done?

    Lastly, I'll throw in the 1911 that I'm considering, although I might get flamed. It's the Taurus PT1911 duotone. I understand from reading posts already that the PT1911 has a love/hate kind of appeal to it. But, if you think about it, so do Glocks. I still would like to hear opinions though, good or bad, and pics if ya got em. I've yet to see a good pic of the duotone from different angles than the side view. I can't tell if the top of the slide is stainless like the sides, or if it's a matte black finish.

    LC
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  2. CanIhaveGasCash

    CanIhaveGasCash

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    1911's are not difficult to strip or clean, not as easy as a glock, but easy none the less.

    You can purchase a 1911 with an ambi safety or have an ambi safety installed.

    Most 1911's are single action only, I believe there are some double action.

    If you are looking into personalizing your gun you are better off purchasing a Mil Spec or GI springfield, or something similar instead of the Taurus. You can change any part in a 1911. Some parts will have to be fitted by a gun smith, others you can change out yourself. If you purchase an entry level 1911 from springfield you can send it back to them to have them change/upgrade whatever you want.

    Personally I think you would be better served saving a little more money and buying a used Springfield TRP or MC Operator.

    That said, everyone and their mom is buying Taurus PT1911's
     

  3. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    Long Slide = 6"
    Government = 5"
    Commander (Kimber Pro or Springfield Champion) = 4" - 4.25"
    Officer (Kimber Ultra or Springfield Micro) = 3" - 3.5"

    cleaning is easy, yet a little more involved when you detail strip it.

    most 1911's are SA, Para does have an LDA model

    the 1911 is the Harley of guns, you can change everything/anything on it.

    many different thoughts on break-in. i personally use a slurry of JB Bore paste on the slide/frame.

    Taurus is at the bottom of the list. i don't have experience with them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  4. ambluemax

    ambluemax

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    Sizes: government is the orignial size w/ 5" barrel, commander is the same frame as a government but with a 4.25" barrel (some makes just round to an even 4"), officer is reduced frame and reduced barrel but I don't know the specs off hand because the small guns don't interest me. These sizes are pretty commonly refered to in conversation about 1911's, but different makes attach different names to their models (Springfield calls their 4"ers "champions" for example).

    Field striping is only hard if you don't know what your are doing (as with taking anything appart really) its pretty straight forward though and is explained in detail in the manual (or on youtube if you buy used w/o manual). Once you've done it a couple times you won't think anything of it. Clean it just like anyother gun: scrub the barrel wipe it down and apply oil to the key contact points (rails, barrel, and such).

    1911's are pretty much single action only. Para makes a DAO, but that's pretty much their exclusive. Cocked and locked is the safest way to carry them. You can carry them hammer down on a loaded chamber but its more dangerous because a) if the hammer slips while you are lowing the hammer you will have an ND and a broken thumb and b) if the hammer is down on a loaded chamber and give a swift strike to the hammer (If you dropped it hammer first from a high place for example) it will also ND. Drawing and firing from cocked anf locked is also light years form practical than drawing, cocking the hammer and transitioning to a shooting grip in a real world scenario. If the hammer were to fall for some reason the HALF-COCK would catch the hammer (theoretically ) just like pretty much any other rifle or pistol with an exposed hammer. The hammer does not just fall though for the same reason that glocks don't just magically go bang either....3 things have to simultaniously happen for a properly functioning 1911 to fire: thumb safety off, grip safety depressed, trigger pulled, these things don't happen on their own, never mind all 3 unintentionally at the same time. Glocks are by far and away less forgiving in ND resistance in IMO. But cocked and locked freaks some people out. If that isn't how you are going to carry it, carry something else. When you first get one, put it cocked and locked while UNLOADED in your holster and wear it around your house for awhile...count how many times the safety magically gets flicked off or you find the hammer down...you will quickly find these cocked and locked myths are non-issues.

    No pistol is more customizable than the 1911. It has its own brownells catalog after all, I think the AR15 is the only other weapon with that distinction...but I could be wrong, anyway sky is the limit- go crazy. Most parts you will want to have a smith install, but it depends.

    Yes: Load magazine, insert into pistol, chamber round, shoot until empty, and repeat (just like any other gun). What break in time really is in essence is time that you should not sweat common malfunctions. If you have a FTF within the first 500rds don't come here complaining about how big of a POS the 1911 is...we will tell you the same thing that CS at whatever company you buy it from will tell you- shoot it some more. Most 1911's hit the ground running 100%, but bobble while they are new. All they need is proper cleaning/lube and trigger time. Just start shooting it and if you have a pattern of malf after 500 rounds, then start the diagnostic process.

    You don't get flamed about a PT1911 until you actually buy one because there is still hope for you. You don't want one!! They are just dressed up with sub-par part to look good in the store and sell, they are not of the same quality that their peers are made too. There is a reason that they cost less than comperably equipted 1911's from other makers. PT1911's are just well marketed junk especially if you want a base to build on. If you want to customize, colts and springfields are the commonly accepted options, higher value going to the SA's because you pay extra for the colt name. Many 'smiths will only accepts colts or SA's as base guns. There are many many many options in the world of 1911, the PT1911 is not considered a value by most who actually know what a quality 1911 is. The only people who buy them are people who don't know any better.

    Specifically which 1911 to recomend instead depends upon your budget and intended use for the pistol. Anything you like from Springfield, Colt, Kimber, Smith and Wesson, Para or Sig will be a lot better buy for you.
     
  5. Loudcherokee

    Loudcherokee SouthPawGlocker

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    One of my main reasons for considering the Taurus is the number of features that are already on the gun, primarily the ambi safety since I'm a lefty, and the duotone finish. Since reading your post, I've been looking at the springfield G.I. , and actually found a stainless one for LESS than the Taurus, but it is a base model. I have some questions.

    Is there a difference between a G.I. And a milspec? I read an article where it said these don't come with a firing pin block, but the article was older, and buds lists the gun as having one. Which is true?

    How much would it cost to add an ambi safety, polish the feed ramp, skeloton trigger, match grade trigger, etc. Basically the feature list the taurus comes with, again, primarily the ambi safety.

    I can always duracoate the frame to get the duotone finish.

    Lc
     
  6. ambluemax

    ambluemax

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    That's just the thing though, the Taurus is a cheap gun with cheap custom looking parts on it so that it looks like a value in the store and the first couple times you take it to the range, but it doesn't take long for the short cuts they make to surface. Case and point, I have a friend who has had one for about a year now and regularly shoots IDPA with it. It has been anything but reliable for him and that the last match it double fed on him 4 times, so now he has to send it into a gun smith to get fixed. For his initial investment + what he's going to have to pay a gunsmith, he could have bought an SA Loaded model and had a higher quality firearm and a much more positive shooting expirence. I've seen and shot a lot of 1911's and IMHO, the PT1911 is in no way a value even though it appears to be so.

    The GI is about as plain jane as you can get, the milspec is a GI with higher profile sights, a lowered/flared ejection port, different cocking serations, and some extra machining and polishing on the internals that the GI's don't get. The only real reason to buy a GI is if you want a WWII replica 1911 (that's why I bought mine), otherwise the upgrades of the milspec are well worth the extra ~$150. The SA milspec is pretty much the most popular base for build/entry level 1911. You also get a lifetime warrenty with SA wich you won't get with any other comperably priced 1911 in the sub $1K price range.

    Gunsmithing prices vary depending upon who you take it too and how good they are. I took one to the local gander mtn smith for an ambi install (i'm lefty too) and he didn't even charge me...but he also didn't do a very good job IMO. Send it back to the springfield custom shop they will charge $100 + the part. Most of the big custom shops like springfield or wilson combat post price lists on their websites. I believe the acutal trigger itself is a drop in part, but anything to do with the sear/trigger pull needs to be done by a gs. Extra feed ramp polishing is not really needed on a quality built 1911, use will give it all the polishing it needs unless you are having a specific problem.

    The Springfield loaded model comes equipted straight out of the box with all the features the PT1911 so horribly mimicks, including an ambi safety, and they are all actually decent quality parts on a well built solid 1911 with the best customer service/warrenty in the industry standing behind it. More expensive, yes, but also much higher value.
     
  7. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    WW2 (GI) Model: Pistol closely replicates the basic 1911A1 as used by the US military for seven decades. Features:
    high wall ("narrow") ejection port
    low profile GI sights
    lanyard loop on mainspring housing
    vertical cocking serrations on slide

    Mil-Spec: Pre-dated the G.I. model, adds some popular features/upgrades
    stainless barrel and bushing
    loaded chamber indicator
    lowered and flared ejection port
    high profile 3-dot sights
    beveled magazine well
    loss of the lanyard loop on mainspring housing
    forward-raked cocking serrations on slide

    Loaded: An upgrade from the Mil-Spec with even more of the most popular features/upgrades
    beavertail grip safety
    Novak sights
    ambidextrious thumb safety
    long 3 hole trigger
    full length guide rod (2-piece)
    front cocking serrations
    flat mainspring housing
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  8. Loudcherokee

    Loudcherokee SouthPawGlocker

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    Ok. I'm getting a little confused. In my search for the Springfield "Loaded" in stainless, I'm unable to find anything at www.budsgunshop.com. There's service, tactical, target, trophy, milspec, GI, operator, champ, etc. I'm not finding anything called "loaded". Can you help me out with a link?

    I did call some local shops, and got a quote for the Taurus at $650, which would actually be close to Buds after shipping and the transfer fee, and not considering the cash discount price of $597.

    I asked about the springfield stainless loaded, and he told me $790!!! :wow: If that's true, then I'll DEFINITELY pick up the springfield! But, I think maybe I was misquoted, because that's the price I'm coming across for some milspecs.

    LC
     
  9. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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  10. Loudcherokee

    Loudcherokee SouthPawGlocker

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    Ahhhhhhh! Thank you! I wasn't sure which model number corresponded with what I'm looking for. $789? That is NOT bad. Even if the local shop was right at $790 (they quoted the Taurus at $650 when buds has it for $597), I might still go through buds, instead of paying $55 in sales tax locally, plus the transfer fee.

    Hmmmm.....now to research refinishing prices to get that duotone look I like. This gun made me start considering a 1911, based on looks alone. This is not my gun, and I do not take credit for the pic, as it was taken from another board. It is sexy though! Not sure what the little add ons are for or if they serve any kind of function.

    [​IMG]


    LC
     
  11. ambluemax

    ambluemax

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  12. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    PX9152LP is the Target sights
    [​IMG]

    PX9154LP is the Novaks
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Loudcherokee

    Loudcherokee SouthPawGlocker

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    Thanks guys! I'm liking the looks of both of those, except the Target model is running $973. The Novak sites model is $770, but doesn't have the Ambi safety. Hrmmmmm.


    LC
     
  14. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    an ambi-safety will be about $50 if you do it yourself.

    if it's something you want, i would either save up instead of buying something to buy.
     
  15. Loudcherokee

    Loudcherokee SouthPawGlocker

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    Yeah, it's just figuring out which one I want to go with. I like the finish better on the serrations on the Target model, and it comes with an ambi safety, but I don't like the sights, and it's over $900. I'd prefer the Novak sights, or even a night sight of some sort, since this will be a carry piece. Not real crazy about the target sites.

    So, if I were to go with the second one, an ambi safety will only be $50 more dollars, which keeps me under the $900 mark. What about the slide serrations? Is there a way to finish those to be stainless on the edges like on the target model? I'd also eventually consider getting the frame umm, blackened? coated? Not sure what the term is.

    ARGH! Decisions, decisions!

    LC
     
  16. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    that pic is a little funky

    this is more like the one's ive seen
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    $50 is just a ballpark number, depending on the safety you buy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  17. Loudcherokee

    Loudcherokee SouthPawGlocker

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    What is that thing on the bottom of the grip on the target model? It looks different. The standard one has a flat bottom.

    I would probably opt for the extended safety lever. Hey, do they make a right side only safety lever? They obviously make a left side only, but what about the other?

    Is there a way to make the mag release ambi? on ANY 1911? Most I've seen have the distinct cutout shape on the right side of the frame, and just a circle on the left.


    LC
     
  18. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    the target has a magwell. prices for those start at about $70.
    [​IMG]

    no, the only single side safety is the left side.


    S&A makes an ambi mag release. it's $100
    Left side______________Right side
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  19. bac1023

    bac1023

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    I like the Kimber Custom II and Smith SW1911 better than the Loaded.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

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    I agree. They actually look like 1911s, especially the Smith, without the front slide serrations. As you know, that model Kimber was the first 1911 I shot, and is what got me into 1911-world. :)

    That Taurus looks like the result of a bad LSD trip. :rofl:



    BTW, the Pony came home today, is cleaned up, and ready for a photoshoot. :supergrin:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010