Picking a 1911?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by radioflyer, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. radioflyer

    radioflyer Active Member

    Mar 21, 2009
    Given there are countless models, sizes and variants yet they're all based on the same general design, how would you go about picking a 1911 style gun?

  2. riggergreg

    riggergreg Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm looking for a compact 1911. I've been doing a lot of shopping around, Checking out specs and reviews for every make and model in my budget range.

    Figure out what your budget range is, check out everything you can find out about every one in that range, and be patient.

    So far, I've got it narrowed down to 2-3 models. Now I'm just looking for the best prices.
  3. Bullseye Shooter

    Bullseye Shooter Active Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Texas Panhandle
    Your decision will primarily depend on what your plans are for it. What I would pick as a Bullseye gun will be vastly different from what someone would pick as a carry gun. You might want to spend some time quizzing guys you know who have some sort of 1911A1 or spending some time in a gun store that has a pretty knowledgeable staff. Once you decide it's purpose, choosing will be a little easier.
  4. DCortez

    DCortez TGT Addict

    Jan 28, 2009
    Houston, Cy-Fair
    Where are you located, Radio?
  5. radioflyer

    radioflyer Active Member

    Mar 21, 2009
    primarily a carry gun. I'd like to be able to keep a 3" grouping at ~7 yards....assuming i can shoot that well ;)
  6. jsimmons

    jsimmons Active Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    San Antonio
    I recently went through this process. I wanted a 1911, but I didn't see any reason to spend a lot of money on it. I decided on a Springfield 1911-A1 G.I. (the absolute low end model from Springfield) for $489 at GunBroker.com. It shot well enough (certainly met your 3-inch group at seven yards criteria), but I wanted it to be more accurate, so I sent if off to the Springfield Custom shop for some improvements. Essentially, this resulted in a custom gun on the inside. Here's the stuff I had done:

    0) The Defense Package - they deburr the insides, tune the trigger to 4.5 pounds, tune the extractor/ejector, re-throat the barrel, polish the feed ramp, install a heavy-duty recoil spring and buffer, check the headspace, and inspect the barrel bushing fit on the barrel.

    1) Novak 3-Dot Sights (with front dovetail sight)

    2) Match barrel busing fit to frame and barrel

    3) Lower/flare the ejection port and install an extended ejector (and completely re-parkerized the slide)

    4) Remove the lanyard loop

    The whole thing cost $510 (not including shipping to/from Springfield), and they had it back in my hands two weeks after they got it. So, the pistol is now worth $1000, but IMHO is better than any off-the-shelf Springfield you can buy in the same price range.

    If you want to save some cash ($120), you can have them install the 3-Dot sights they put on the MilSpecs, but the Novaks are (I think) better because then you can replace those later with night sights if that's what blows up your skirt.

    All in all, I'm very happy with my low-end custom pistol. I qualified for my CHL with it, and every shot was inside the 8 ring at 15 yards, even during the rapid-fire portion (fire five rounds in less than 5 seconds) of the shooting part of the class. All shots seven yards and closer were in the 9/10 rings.

    Of course, if you want to be able to say you spent a lot of money on a Les Bear or Wilson Combat, go ahead and spend $1500-$3000 on a pistol, but for me, that didn't make a whole lotta sense.

    BTW, I've found that a full-size 1911 isn't exactly the best concealed carry weapon. It's heavy when fully loaded, and kinda - well - huge. I'm thinking about getting a Taurus PT745 for carry, and leaving the 1911 either in the car, or on the nightstand.
  7. Army 1911

    Army 1911 Well-Known

    Mar 17, 2008
    Dallas Texas or so
    Start with the Mil-spec as it has the lowered flared ejection port already and the 3 dot sights.

    What you need to do is decide what your budget is, what features you like in a carry pistol, go to ranges that rent and try some out. Almost any 1911 will deliver 4 inch groups at 25 yards right out of the box. So 3 inch at 7 is not a problem.

    If you are located near DFW, we have a monthly shoot on the 25th. Come out and try some of mine. Just pm me with what size you think you want, cause I got em all from 3.5 to 5 inch with various stops inbetween.
  8. navyguy

    navyguy TGT Addict

    Oct 22, 2008
    DFW Keller
    I know first hand that Army knows his 1911's. And he is correct. With a little practice, 3" at 7 yards with just about any1911 is very doable. I'm an old dude, and a pretty crappy shot and I can do that.
  9. Stumpy

    Stumpy Well-Known

    Aug 4, 2009
    Midland, TX
    just gotta put in my .

    THIS is the 1911 I want.
  10. radioflyer

    radioflyer Active Member

    Mar 21, 2009
    Being a 1911 newb, i'm not sure what the "mil spec" model is....i'm not even sure what the "original" model is to compare all the changes since it's creation.



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