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Old 03-26-2011, 04:32 PM   #11
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OK guys, I'm starting to shop for my first 1911. Yes, I'm dead set on a 1911, please I don't want to here about Glocks, or XDs, etc. It will be my primary CCW but weight/size isn't the biggest issue because I'll be installing a lock box in my vehicles, and switching out to a LCP at work which is the only time I'm worried about my ability to conceal a larger pistol.

I've been making a list of the features I'm looking for, and have some questions about them also. No 'Desired Features' are set in stone, so please feel free to change my mind on any of them, and please point out other features/aspects that I should be looking at. I'm totally new to the 1911 world, so any comments about them are welcomed.



My Desired Features...
  1. .45 acp
  2. Stainless Frame and Slide (might consider an aluminum frame if it dropped the price enough)
  3. Full length guide rod
  4. w/bushing (I like the looks better, but would go bushing-less if someone told me what the advantage is.)
  5. ambidextrous safety (not sure if I really need this...IF I have to shoot it off hand, I've got bigger problems than learning to manipulate the safety with my index finger, not to mention I'll probably have to draw it with my right hand regardless, but they do look better with the ambidextrous )
  6. front and rear slide serrations (or just rear if I have to settle )
  7. Not sure what you call it, but I want the entire mag. to fit in the mag well, not protrude out of the grip.
  8. adjustable trigger
I also like the idea of the rounded edges that Kimber has on one line of their 1911s (can't remember which line right now)

What is the deal with the Recoil Spring measurements. Is this how much force it takes to rack the slide? What's the advantage/disadvantage to lighter or stiffer recoil springs?

Thanks for the knowledge that's about to come my way.
1. steel frame is more durable. it soaks up recoil making follow up shots quicker and easier.
2. you only need a full length guide rod if your using a springweight in the 20# plus rang to keep the spring from binding. standard strength springs you dont need one. they just get in the way on standard weights and dont add anything but they look cool. they typically arent found on fullsize 1911's
3. my preference is for a bushing as it opens up options for aftermarket or replacemt barrels or conversion kits.
4. i find the ambi safety just gets in the way. not a fan of them personally
5. 1911's dont have adjustable by weight of pull triggers. they can be in some models adjustable for take up which is different.

i would recomend either Colt XSE (my preference is colts)

Colt XSE Series

or springfield armory loaded

Springfield Armory
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:46 PM   #12
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THANKS for all the great advise guys!

I can see I definitely have MUCH more research to do. The $2,000 budget was an 'absolute max or I just won't own one' number, but I would really like to be A LOT closer to the $1,100 range. If I can find everything I'm looking for for less then great. I've given up on the idea of having the features I want without MIM parts, so I didn't even mention that.

So far, from what y'all have told me, I've modified my list...

  1. .45 acp
  2. Stainless Frame and Slide (might consider an aluminum frame if it dropped the price enough)
  3. w/bushing
  4. front and rear slide serrations
  5. Not sure what you call it, but I want the entire mag. to fit in the mag well, not protrude out of the grip. Is this standard unless you put a base pad on the mags?
  6. Hoping for 8+1 but I guess I could settle for 7+1
  7. 5" barrel
What other considerations are there before purchasing a 1911?

Thanks! I'm going to start checking out all the wonderful links as soon as I get some chores done.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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Oh yeah, what about the Recoil Spring weight? I see Kimbers range around 16 - 22 lbs. What does that mean to me?

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Old 03-26-2011, 05:51 PM   #14
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Most 1911 mags are flush fitting and only the pase bad protrudes from the magwell, but the base pad makes reloading easier and protects the mag in drop and reload drills (as NGIB stated).

A standard spring weight is 16 lbs, but I use Wolff springs that are 18.5 lbs just to accommodate +P rounds a little better and to increase frame life.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse17 View Post
THANKS for all the great advise guys!

I can see I definitely have MUCH more research to do. The $2,000 budget was an 'absolute max or I just won't own one' number, but I would really like to be A LOT closer to the $1,100 range. If I can find everything I'm looking for for less then great. I've given up on the idea of having the features I want without MIM parts, so I didn't even mention that.

So far, from what y'all have told me, I've modified my list...
  1. .45 acp
  2. Stainless Frame and Slide (might consider an aluminum frame if it dropped the price enough)
  3. w/bushing
  4. front and rear slide serrations
  5. Not sure what you call it, but I want the entire mag. to fit in the mag well, not protrude out of the grip. Is this standard unless you put a base pad on the mags?
  6. Hoping for 8+1 but I guess I could settle for 7+1
  7. 5" barrel
What other considerations are there before purchasing a 1911?

Thanks! I'm going to start checking out all the wonderful links as soon as I get some chores done.
8+1 is standard for aftermarket quality mags. numrich has 50 round drums now and then for the 1911...

mags generally fit flush.

colts and springers with the features your wanting run around 1k$ range. with the xse there is no mim in parts that matter. colts have the least amount in the 1k range. but mim is not an issue in guns like the colts and springers. they make it correctly so its just as good as the machined parts.

to get 0 mim from the get go your gonna spend a lot more than 1k. cheaper to buy a decent one and replace the mim if thats your inclination.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:18 AM   #16
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Springfield Loaded Stainless - 877.99 at Impactguns.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:09 PM   #17
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I personally prefer springers or Colts. The Springer Loaded are a fantastic value. Springers are often used as the foundation for builds which says alot. Colts are solid and generally very tight fitting. The XSE Colts will get you most of the features you are looking for but run a little more money than the Springfield loaded models. Since both are in your price range, I might lean more towards the Colt,...but that could just be my sellers remorse kicking in for parting with mine!! Good luck with your decision and please post pics when you get it!!

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Old 04-01-2011, 02:36 AM   #18
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Congrats on picking the best pistol design in the world for your next carry piece.


Looking at your list, looks like you have been doing lots of research, but some items aren't really necessary. Adjustable trigger, ambi safety, and FLGR are the most obvious.

Many of the 1911s in the $1000 range will do the job. Colt, Springfield, Kimber. I prefer lightweight frames for carry, but I do carry my Govt model occasionally.

I think a very important thing to think about if you're gonna carry a 1911 is the holster, and more important is the belt. There are many good holsters out there, but a good, double thick, well made belt will make all the difference when carrying a heavy, full size pistol.

I've known more than one person who gave up on carrying the 1911 because it pulled down their pants, or dug into a hip, or many other reasons, when a good belt and holster would have made all the difference.

IMHO, if you're going to spend all that money on a pistol, invest in a GOOD carry rig.

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Old 04-01-2011, 03:07 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone for all the great info. I've eliminated the FLGR, ambi safety, and adjustable trigger. I've added 8+1 or more to the list, and am not sure about the front serrations.

I'm really leaning toward a Colt right now but am at the point where I need to hold some before making a decision. I'm not in a big rush, I've got some other big bills coming up soon. So I'm hoping to get it purchases by the end of the year.

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Old 04-08-2011, 01:14 AM   #20
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I want to thank everyone for all the advice on which 1911 to get. I have to admit I'm kind of embarrassed now. After stating my $1,000 - $1,500+ budget and listening to your advice, I've gone and picked out a $450-ish American Classic II.

I know, I know...It's chalked full of MIM parts, be even Kimber has MIM in them now, so in my price range MIM is just something I'm going to have to deal with. Besides at $450 I could just get two, in case one breaks

No seriously, the only negative thing I've seen anyone who owns one say is that it doesn't like to feed the 1st rd. if you you load all 8 in the mag. I saw one person say they polished the feed ramp (was partially polished from factory, but not far enough down) with a dremel and it feeds ANYTHING now. A couple other guys said they used different mags and that fixed the problem, and others yet said they tried different mags and still have the problem.

I figure I'll put 500-1,000 rds through it and see if it still has that problem or not. If it does I'll have the feed ramp polished. Worst case scenario, I will have spent $450 on my first 1911 to see just which features I actually care about before buying my next 1911 (look at me, haven't even got my 1st 1911, and already making plans for the 2nd)

If anyone has got any comments about these guns, post them up ASAP so I can see them tonight before I purchase tomorrow.

Thanks again guys, I'm picking it up tomorrow after work, if the gun guy is working at Ace tomorrow.

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