Must Have Features
I have read many of your posts, and decided a 1911 is a must have to the collection. I am very very limited in my knowledge of pistols. I see many of you have add-ons. While I dont need all the bells and whistles, I would like to know what the must have features are. I have heard terms like dove tail, or beaver tail and to be honest. I am clueless as to the meaning of it. So please, what do you consider, a must have addition on your 1911.
Good sights, and a decent trigger.
The rest could be considered as "bells and whistles".
I put a beaver tail on those I shoot often. That is a reshaped grip safety. To me, it helps a little with the "felt" recoil, but I have never been "bitten" by the 1911a1 hammer like others.
You are gonna get a hundred different answers on this one L
Bottom line is do some reading and handle a few at the local store with different features and judge for yourself.
Number one is get a great quality gun to start with, reliability is the name of the game.
Look at it from the big picture standpont, custom items are always (read usually ;)) cheaper to get on the gun at purchase. So if you look at the cost of replacement items, the biggest cost within reason will be sight replacement to gain functionality in a basic pistol.
If you stay away from the GI or "government 1911" basic models, you will get about everything you need at purchase. Skaters tape can take care of a lack of front serrations or front strap checkering, grips can be replaced by you and gotten fairly cheap if you know what you want and shop around.
My list of "must haves" on a 1911 is prolly different than anyone elses on here. And none of theirs will be the same either. Let us know what you get though, look forward to seeing her.
I think the 1911 is a must have. :)
As far as "must have" options - I think that like Hillbilly has indicated, everyone is going to have a completely different list.
One thing I look at on a 1911 is the slide to frame fit. I hold the weapon in one hand, wrap my hand over the top of the slide, and check the left to right ( lateral ) fit. If it rattles or is "loose" feeling, that is a problem for me. I like a tighter tolerance on my pistols, but this is personal.
Some people will tell you that a loose tolerance will allow the weapon to run if it's dirty or has been dropped in the mud.
While I can see their point, having a loose tolerance also allows for dirt and debris to get in there in the first place.
Another thing I look for is how sharp are the edges on the weapon? Are there any significant edges that could snag or catch on clothing, or worse, my flesh. :eek:
I got a buddy who bought a carry 1911, Commander style, that was built up by a local gunsmith for a friend. My buddy happened along at the right time and got this gun for a steal, NGIB stylez. The gun runs like a swiss watch, and it shoots like a dream. Rounds on target all day long. But that damn thing is like trying to handle a rabid porcupine on crack! I can't hardly look at that damn thing without getting a new scratch or cut.
Obviously this would be a feature you would want to avoid. :rolleyes:
Like most of the people who have come from the cave and into the light of the genius of JMB, I think you will just "know" it when you feel it.
You probably should shoot a couple before you decide. Try a couple of different models, a couple of different sizes and configurations. Once you find one you like, then shop around for what options are available on that model and see if they would be beneficial to you.
Good luck and keep us posted!!
Much of the time the term government refers to the size, not the model type. GI on the other hand does class thew weapon with the standard GI sights for the most part. So if you get a Springfield and don't want those horrible sights you will lean to the Mil-Spec and not the GI. But both are government framed models. The Government models have the full size frame and standard 5" barrel.
The Beaver tail is a term to describe the type of grip safety. The Beaver tail allows for a little better grip. The standard grip safety sometimes causes a shooter to have some discomfort after shooting for an extended period of time. I have heard about slide bite or hammer bite with the standard safety but I have not really had that problem and I'm not all that sure how to get that bite unless one is holding the weapon pretty wrong.
Dove tail is a reference to how the sights are mounted on a 1911. A dovetail mount allows one to be able to replace the sights a little easier. Usually in a dovetail mounted sight the rear of the slide is reshaped to allow for better sights to be mounted. This also will allow for ease in the front sight change being the tenon mount that is standard on many GI and mil specs is not as easy to change for the not so savvy person trying to replace the part(s)
For the most part a Mil Spec 1911 is set up in a way that will allow the shooter to use it well.. They wont have the ambi thumb safety that really only lends importance to a left hand shooter. But if a sight change is in the weapons future and you want to put a higher end sight on it then looking for one with sights mounted in a dovetail mount would be a smart choice. A mil spec will most always have the three dot sights on them or whatever the gun makers proprietary design might be.
here are my two Colts:
Beavertail Grip safety
Aftermarket sear,hammer and springs,guiderod
match barrel and bushing, etc.
The Kimber Custom Target II in this pic comes out ofthe box with all the bells and whistles. I paid around $800
my preferences are either 3 dot sights or colt's new trench site or dot over dot sights. i dont like nite sights. a good trigger with no creep is paramount other than that i ike the way the springfield 1911-A1 comes.
im not a fan of beavertails nite sights serrations other than the standard ones near the hammer area. i also dont care for exrtended safeties or ambi safeties rails or other tati cool stuff.
Lupo if you're interested I have a Like New 1911 for sale that I have only fired a little less than 50 rounds through and will PM the details but your PM inbox is full and you need to make room so I can .
It has almost all the extra features you can get from the factory and is a Charles Daly made by Armscor who make the RIA'S .
If you do some reading on 1911.org and many other websites you will see this is considered a quality manufacture of 1911's .
Here is a Picture of it .
Easiest way is to spend more than you anticipated, unless you are looking at around $1K or more fore initial expenditure.
I love the Kimbers because even their low end comes with all the really handy features.
Pro Carry - MSRP=$888
Or you can go with night sights
Pro Carry TLE with night sights - $1100
Or going quite a bit higher
Pro CDP - $1300
Or the real gem
Pro Super Carry - $1500
You will note that I stayed with the "Pro" series (4" barrel) just for comparison.
If you try to just "get by", you will spend much more money that getting a good one to start with. You will experience far less frustration if you get a good one to start with.
Kimber is not the only manufacturer that produces a good 1911. I've had (past tense) three different brands and I find Kimber to be the one - I - like best. :D
Oops! The Pro Carry at $888 is about a hundred more by just adding the night sights (a feature I like). :D
Canebrake's 1911 "Must Have" in a dependable 1911 firearm.
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