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Old 01-21-2012, 07:36   #1
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Before you buy a 1911

I found this article on Military Times last night. After reading the article, I do not know what to think about it.

Read this before you buy your first 1911 | Military Times GearScout

On one hand there has to be a reason why the 1911 was used through 2 major wars and various conflicts. If the 1911 was really that difficult to work with, why is it so popular?

On the other hand, we have a combat veteran saying that the 1911 is not one of the better choices.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:37   #2
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I've always liked the 1911 pistol...but liking 1911's and owning properly functional 1911 pistols one are two different things. This being pointed out in the artical above.

My personal experience with the 1911 pattern pistols I've owned has been mixed. I will say that I've never owned a genuine Colt 1911. The guns I have owned and guns I still own...only one has really been what I would say 'functionaly perfect'. Even brand-new American made name brand guns I've found lacking in one manner or other...at least one new US made 1911 I owned was just a horrible poorly made POS!..

I own lots of handguns, many well used milsurp and police trade ins. A fellow's odds of buying a well used S&W auto..Glock..Walther..Sig..or other brand surplus semi-auto that works perfectly is better than buying a new 1911 that works perfectly in my experiences.

I still like the 1911 pistols..and own three 'good ones' now. But seriously..I've owned some 1911 pistols that were severe disappointments. My luck with the model being decidedly mediocre... Other folks have a lot better luck with them than I do...but you shouldn't have to spend two or three thousand bucks to get a perfect one..

Still..the 1911 is a cool pistol..and a comfortable handgun to hold and shoot. Good ones are fantastic guns.

I'll jump off my soap-box now
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:32   #3
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Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
I found this article on Military Times last night. After reading the article, I do not know what to think about it.

Read this before you buy your first 1911 | Military Times GearScout

On one hand there has to be a reason why the 1911 was used through 2 major wars and various conflicts. If the 1911 was really that difficult to work with, why is it so popular?

On the other hand, we have a combat veteran saying that the 1911 is not one of the better choices.

Yeah, well, my take away is that the 1911 takes training, not customizing, to master. The stock pistol is reliable and easily learned, as evidenced by thousands of trainees who have completed armor BCT. I have carried the Colt 1911 in combat. I own one today and it sits ready to defend my loved ones and property as required.

I saw a video of a ATF guy shooting himself in the foot with a Glock in a classroom the other day. I guess even the "better choices" require sensible operation.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:46   #4
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A full-size, carbon steel, unmolested 1911-A1 from Colt, Springfield Armory, etc., is more accurate than most shooters, and more reliable than most other semiautos.
The internet's "famous" unreliability of the platform comes from two major sources (besides the basic rumor-mongering of the internet): short guns and 1911s that have been modified by those who do not understand how the 1911 actually works (including many "gunsmiths").
At one time or another, I've owned nearly a dozen 1911s. With the exception of a Taurus, all have been Colt or Springfield Armory. All are/were relatively basic guns, having only good sights, a lowered ejection port (pretty standard these days), and a decent trigger.
All are/were reliable, until a moron who did not understand the design (me) started adding stuff to "improve" the gun. Eventually, all the "high speed, low drag" stuff came back off the guns, whereupon they returned to being reliable guns.

Whenever anyone says the 1911 is a poor or unreliable design, I end up re-posting this (I am not the author, nor do I know who it is, but I like it):

The Book of Armaments
also called the Book of John Moses (Browning)

Chapter One
In the beginning was the 1911, and the 1911 was the pistol, and it was good. For John Moses of the tribe of Browning went up into the mountain, even unto the top of the mountain. And there he prayed and fasted for a time, making himself ready to receive the Designs of the Lord. And John Moses received from the Lord many designs, and he received also the 1911, yea, and the design thereof, and rendered it into steel. And the Lord saw that the 1911 was good, and blessed it, and said "Let it be made in .45ACP, that you may smite thine enemies a mighty blow, for the .45ACP shall cleave unto the 1911 as a man shall cleave unto his wife, and likewise the 1911 shall cleave also unto the .45ACP, just as the HiPower shall cleave unto the 9mm Parabellum, for these unions are holy in My sight, and thou shalt not stray from them." So the 1911 in .45ACP came to pass, and it was good, and the righteous therefore smote the minions of evil, as the Lord had intended.

And behold the Lord said, "Thou shalt not muck about with the 1911 of the prophet John Moses, for it is good and it worketh. For John Moses made the 1911, and lo all of his weapons, from the designs which I, the Lord, have given him upon the mountain. And shouldst thou muck with it and hang all manner of foul implements upon it, and profane its internal parts, thou shalt surely have malfunctions, and in the midst of battle thou shalt surely come to harm".

And as the ages passed men became proud, and they did forget the word of the Lord and began to profane the 1911. The tribe of the Gamesmen did place recoil spring guides and extended slide releases upon the 1911 and their artisans didst tighten the tolerances and alter parts to their liking, their clearness of mind being clouded by avarice. And lo, they did install adjustable sights, which are an abomination unto the Lord, for they break and lose their zero when true aim is needed.

And man in his foolishness heeded not the Word of the Lord, but the falsehoods of the gunwriter whores, who wrote that man must have these things, lest evil overcome him. So the artisans and metalsmiths did hang all manner of foul implements upon the 1911 and did so alter it that it became only for the wealthy, for they demanded many shekels for these their abominations, and the workers of the field toiled in vain, for they could not render this price. And so were the people separated from the Lord, for they had not His 1911. And yet the profaning of the internal parts didst verily render the 1911 unworkable when the dust of the land fell upon it and sensitive even unto the ammunition it was fed.

And so it came to pass that fearful malfunctions came upon these, the abominations of the artisans and metalsmiths who had set themselves up upon a high place, that man would worship their works, and the Evil One did see these things also. Seeing the malfunctions and the confusion of men, and planning that he might further ensnare man, Satan did bring forth pistols made of plastic, whose form was such that they looked and felt like a brick, and being a deceitful spirit the lord of the underworld did create these plastic pistols in such a way that the artisans of man were unable to muck about with the design, and lo, therefore, did these pistols function.

And Satan did also make these pistols hold many rounds and so man forsook the rites of accurate pistolcraft, saying it required much effort, that he might instead spray many bullets and hope to strike his foe. And Satan made these plastic abominations in 9mm Parabellum, so that man would believe that, as the round is holy, so also must the plastic pistol be holy. So therefore were the eyes of man clouded, even the workers in the field, and they were consumed by the plastic pistol and did buy vast quantities of them.

And the Evil One also brought forth pistols in which the trigger did both cock and fire them and which require a dingus to make them appear safe. But men, being stupid, did not understand these new pistols and did shoot themselves with the plastic pistol, and with the trigger cocking pistol, for lo their manual of arms required great intelligence, which man had long since forsaken. Yet man continued to sing the praises of these new pistols, and forsook the 1911, for they knew it now only in the form of an abomination. And Satan did also cause them to forsake the .45ACP, which God had given them, for it fit not into the plastic guns, and man desired now many bullets to spray at his foe.

And the lord of the underworld did cause mankind to believe, therefore, that they should have a new cartridge for the new plastic pistol. And he did cause them to believe they could create of their own will a cartridge better than the .45ACP and 9mm Parabellum, that the Lord had given them. So it came to pass that man brought forth yet another abomination, and he called it the .40 S&W. And in his pride, man cried, "It shall smite our enemies a blow as mighty as the holy .45ACP, yet we shall have also many more of them in our plastic pistols, and so shall we attain the Kingdom of Heaven". But the .40 S&W, being an abomination of Satan, did bring evil upon the heads of man. And so a plague of terrible Ka-BOOM did descend upon man and the plastic pistols, and thus did this Nemesis deliver retribution upon the pride of men. And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land, and confusion amongst those who were yet blinded by Satan.

But the righteous saw the sinfulness of the plastic pistol, and of those with a dingus, and also the abomination that was the .40S&W, and they forsook all these evil things and rent their garments and purified themselves. Then did they behold again the Word of the Lord, and sought again the 1911 in its holy form. And seeing that the eyes of man were opened, and that man was truly sorrowful for his sinful misdeeds, the Lord did send his messengers in the form of artisans who did hear and obey the teachings of the prophet and who restored the profaned 1911s to their proper configuration, and lo, to the amazement of men they worked as the prophet had designed and the Lord had intended. And there was great rejoicing.

And so the men of the land drove out the charlatans and profaners from the land, and there was joy and peace in the land. And the evil men who would prey on the men and women of the land were therefore sent to the place of eternal damnation by the followers of the Lord.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:05   #5
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The article sounds like a gassing off of the notorious page filler. He was paid to say it so he said it.
I have not a shade of doubt if I pick up my RIA Novak Tactical it will go boom at the appropriate time .
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Old 01-22-2012, 20:26   #6
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Originally Posted by PigBat View Post
A full-size, carbon steel, unmolested 1911-A1 from Colt, Springfield Armory, etc., is more accurate than most shooters, and more reliable than most other semiautos.
The internet's "famous" unreliability of the platform comes from two major sources (besides the basic rumor-mongering of the internet): short guns and 1911s that have been modified by those who do not understand how the 1911 actually works (including many "gunsmiths").
At one time or another, I've owned nearly a dozen 1911s. With the exception of a Taurus, all have been Colt or Springfield Armory. All are/were relatively basic guns, having only good sights, a lowered ejection port (pretty standard these days), and a decent trigger.
All are/were reliable, until a moron who did not understand the design (me) started adding stuff to "improve" the gun. Eventually, all the "high speed, low drag" stuff came back off the guns, whereupon they returned to being reliable guns.

Whenever anyone says the 1911 is a poor or unreliable design, I end up re-posting this (I am not the author, nor do I know who it is, but I like it):

The Book of Armaments
also called the Book of John Moses (Browning)

Chapter One
In the beginning was the 1911, and the 1911 was the pistol, and it was good. For John Moses of the tribe of Browning went up into the mountain, even unto the top of the mountain. And there he prayed and fasted for a time, making himself ready to receive the Designs of the Lord. And John Moses received from the Lord many designs, and he received also the 1911, yea, and the design thereof, and rendered it into steel. And the Lord saw that the 1911 was good, and blessed it, and said "Let it be made in .45ACP, that you may smite thine enemies a mighty blow, for the .45ACP shall cleave unto the 1911 as a man shall cleave unto his wife, and likewise the 1911 shall cleave also unto the .45ACP, just as the HiPower shall cleave unto the 9mm Parabellum, for these unions are holy in My sight, and thou shalt not stray from them." So the 1911 in .45ACP came to pass, and it was good, and the righteous therefore smote the minions of evil, as the Lord had intended.

And behold the Lord said, "Thou shalt not muck about with the 1911 of the prophet John Moses, for it is good and it worketh. For John Moses made the 1911, and lo all of his weapons, from the designs which I, the Lord, have given him upon the mountain. And shouldst thou muck with it and hang all manner of foul implements upon it, and profane its internal parts, thou shalt surely have malfunctions, and in the midst of battle thou shalt surely come to harm".

And as the ages passed men became proud, and they did forget the word of the Lord and began to profane the 1911. The tribe of the Gamesmen did place recoil spring guides and extended slide releases upon the 1911 and their artisans didst tighten the tolerances and alter parts to their liking, their clearness of mind being clouded by avarice. And lo, they did install adjustable sights, which are an abomination unto the Lord, for they break and lose their zero when true aim is needed.

And man in his foolishness heeded not the Word of the Lord, but the falsehoods of the gunwriter whores, who wrote that man must have these things, lest evil overcome him. So the artisans and metalsmiths did hang all manner of foul implements upon the 1911 and did so alter it that it became only for the wealthy, for they demanded many shekels for these their abominations, and the workers of the field toiled in vain, for they could not render this price. And so were the people separated from the Lord, for they had not His 1911. And yet the profaning of the internal parts didst verily render the 1911 unworkable when the dust of the land fell upon it and sensitive even unto the ammunition it was fed.

And so it came to pass that fearful malfunctions came upon these, the abominations of the artisans and metalsmiths who had set themselves up upon a high place, that man would worship their works, and the Evil One did see these things also. Seeing the malfunctions and the confusion of men, and planning that he might further ensnare man, Satan did bring forth pistols made of plastic, whose form was such that they looked and felt like a brick, and being a deceitful spirit the lord of the underworld did create these plastic pistols in such a way that the artisans of man were unable to muck about with the design, and lo, therefore, did these pistols function.

And Satan did also make these pistols hold many rounds and so man forsook the rites of accurate pistolcraft, saying it required much effort, that he might instead spray many bullets and hope to strike his foe. And Satan made these plastic abominations in 9mm Parabellum, so that man would believe that, as the round is holy, so also must the plastic pistol be holy. So therefore were the eyes of man clouded, even the workers in the field, and they were consumed by the plastic pistol and did buy vast quantities of them.

And the Evil One also brought forth pistols in which the trigger did both cock and fire them and which require a dingus to make them appear safe. But men, being stupid, did not understand these new pistols and did shoot themselves with the plastic pistol, and with the trigger cocking pistol, for lo their manual of arms required great intelligence, which man had long since forsaken. Yet man continued to sing the praises of these new pistols, and forsook the 1911, for they knew it now only in the form of an abomination. And Satan did also cause them to forsake the .45ACP, which God had given them, for it fit not into the plastic guns, and man desired now many bullets to spray at his foe.

And the lord of the underworld did cause mankind to believe, therefore, that they should have a new cartridge for the new plastic pistol. And he did cause them to believe they could create of their own will a cartridge better than the .45ACP and 9mm Parabellum, that the Lord had given them. So it came to pass that man brought forth yet another abomination, and he called it the .40 S&W. And in his pride, man cried, "It shall smite our enemies a blow as mighty as the holy .45ACP, yet we shall have also many more of them in our plastic pistols, and so shall we attain the Kingdom of Heaven". But the .40 S&W, being an abomination of Satan, did bring evil upon the heads of man. And so a plague of terrible Ka-BOOM did descend upon man and the plastic pistols, and thus did this Nemesis deliver retribution upon the pride of men. And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land, and confusion amongst those who were yet blinded by Satan.

But the righteous saw the sinfulness of the plastic pistol, and of those with a dingus, and also the abomination that was the .40S&W, and they forsook all these evil things and rent their garments and purified themselves. Then did they behold again the Word of the Lord, and sought again the 1911 in its holy form. And seeing that the eyes of man were opened, and that man was truly sorrowful for his sinful misdeeds, the Lord did send his messengers in the form of artisans who did hear and obey the teachings of the prophet and who restored the profaned 1911s to their proper configuration, and lo, to the amazement of men they worked as the prophet had designed and the Lord had intended. And there was great rejoicing.

And so the men of the land drove out the charlatans and profaners from the land, and there was joy and peace in the land. And the evil men who would prey on the men and women of the land were therefore sent to the place of eternal damnation by the followers of the Lord.
where did that come from? You wanna go bowlin sometime I like you dude...
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Old 01-26-2012, 19:20   #7
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The 1911 is a good pistol. It served this country well. If you buy one and it fails, it can be fixed by you or if you cant, take it to some one that can, then you will have the finest hand gun made. There is only a few things that can go wrong with them. The market has made such a high demand for them and the talerances have become so tight that is why you can buy one that dosent function right now. the old military ones were called rattle battles for a reason, they were loose and reliable.
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Old 02-16-2012, 17:41   #8
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Glock first bought R Lee Ermey and now Larry Vickers, I'm OK with it because I believe in capitalism I'm smart enough to judge my firearms on their own merit without being swayed by paid cheer leaders

The 1911 may not be for everyone but it's for this someone.

Vicker's claiming it takes $1000.00 plus more money in gunsmithing to have a reliable 1911 is pure BS ! A blatant scare tactic to steer you into plastic, nothing wrong with Glock just be fair. A Springfield Loaded goes for about $750.00, has everything you'd need for a nice carry gun and a lifetime warranty (transferable to used buyers as well). Should you have an issue with a Springfield they ship both ways and fix it free or replace.... How would this equate to thousands of dollars?

A Glock goes for $575.00 Springfield Loaded $750.00, shoot both and tell me the more accurate, better feeling grip, better trigger and looks aren't worth the extra cash.

I ask you this Mr. Vicker's and Lee Eremy, Why is it even today that most full sized semi auto's are compared to the 1911?
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:34   #9
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i agree its sad when high profile people push a product because they get paid to not because it really works. i will never own a glock i dont care how many experts say they are great.
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Old 02-17-2012, 20:07   #10
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I love my 1911's but it is dated and single action.
If I were going into combat, I'd want a Double Action pistol with a Decocker etc.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:58   #11
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I have 3 Gov'ts, a Delta, a 1991A1 and the real deal 1917mfg. 1911 U.S. warhorse. If the original was handed to me as my only handgun I would want better sights and an ambi safety. (left handed) It's hard to even find a 1911 with the tiny sights unless it's made retro and I fit the ambi safetys on my other 2 myself for less than 100 bucks. A grand worth of mods? For what?
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:17   #12
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The BS factor in that article is very high......at first. Larry Vickers is a retired spec ops type who went into gunsmithing and is nown for putting 1911s together for those with no face that go to dark places. He made a very good living building the 1911 and, yes, he was very expensive. And as someone has noted, he was bought.

I have a few 1911s. I bought a National Maatch around 1982 and shot it in IPSC for 6-7 years. That smooth 1911 is used for Wild Bunch now. After 30 years,the only thing I have fixed on it was when the pin holding the rear adjustable sight broke. I put a cold rolled pin in around 1983 and it still runs without trouble digesting wadcutters and hollow points with a hunger.

My EDC is a Colt lw Commander. A gunsmith by the name of Ben Amonette tuned the handgun.He works for Alliant Powder these days. I shoot nothing but hardball in the carry gun. With hardball, you have complete confidence in the functionality of the 1911.
I bought the Commander used in 1974 and have carried it ever since.

Keep it cleaned and lubed and you are 85% there. Knowing function and can disassemble and reassemble is 10% (cleaning).Magazines will take the last 5%. I have a G34 that requires the same thing. Or the old Smith 39......and the 59 and....................
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Old 02-20-2012, 14:48   #13
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I have a Taurus PT1911. Bought it used for $450 I believe. The only problem I've had with it is the dovetail safety's tolerances became too lose, so it wasn't working like a safety should.

Apart from ammo, the only cost associated with my gun so far has been the dovetail safety, which I had the gunsmith do for me. Total cost? $90.

Other than that, I keep my 1911 clean, and lubed. It hasn't failed me yet.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:57   #14
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Originally Posted by karlsgunbunker View Post
I love my 1911's but it is dated and single action.
If I were going into combat, I'd want a Double Action pistol with a Decocker etc.
I'm dated and single action. I'll always prefer a 1911, although I sometimes shoot others. Vickers should write an article on which dishwashing product he recomends for the tupperware guns.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:40   #15
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I do not buy any handgun, with the idea that I'm going to spend a penny more, 'slicking it up'. Why? I'm a senior citizen with bad legs. Do you actually think I'm gonna go out and run around all these IDPA courses? I buy a handgun for the initial reason it was designed. Period. I may -practice- at the local range, sure. I do not have the same criteria as half these damn fool gun writers in the magazines, comparing handguns as if they were comparing a French chef knife to a Japanese Santoku knife. Handguns are for personal protection, civilian or military, period. I own John Browning's 'other greatest design', yet, for a 1911, stop the damn 'Tim Taylor'-ing, and get your brain wrapped around it real good! A 240 grainer from a 1911 will do as advertised, as long as the marriage of handgun and human was successful! "Aftermarket parts" are what comes for the JC Whitney catalog. The G.I. in Vietnam did not have "aftermarket parts", and neither did the 'Tunnel Rats"! The 1911 is a world-class machine, as it comes from the factory. It is its own class, period, or why would they make other pistols chambered in .45 ACP? John Moses Browning made the best in the 1911, and made the world's best 9mm in the Hi Power.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:40   #16
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Every 1911 I have was bought with the features I wanted and kept in that configuration, other than changing grips. Being right handed, I don't see much use in an ambi safety or most of the other "improvements" made to the design John Browning built. I'm content just trying to improve my skills, to level the 1911 can achieve.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:11   #17
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If the 1911 was "really" that bad of a pistol, why was in service for so long?

What other pistol has seen 100 years of military and civilian service?
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:40   #18
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Originally Posted by karlsgunbunker View Post
I love my 1911's but it is dated and single action.
If I were going into combat, I'd want a Double Action pistol with a Decocker etc.
Why? A cocked and locked 1911 is every bit as safe as a decocked DA, in my opinion. It also gives you the advantage of only having one trigger pull to train with, as well as a better trigger pull to boot.

My Kimber had 2 failures to feed while it was breaking in. I dropped in a GI guide rod, and never looked back. I wouldn't hesitate to trust my life to that gun!
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Old 04-23-2012, 13:52   #19
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Originally Posted by Custom II View Post
It also gives you the advantage of only having one trigger pull to train with, as well as a better trigger pull to boot.
The trigger pull on a lot of double actions stink.

My beretta 92f feels like it has a mile of trigger pull. My remington 1911 R1 on the other hand has a nice crisp trigger.

I find a single action like the 1911 is a lot easier to shoot then having to deal with a double action.
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Old 04-23-2012, 17:01   #20
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This Vickers fella

I was watching some gun show on some sports channel, and voila! here's this Vickers fella, looking all tough, and in your face, shoving this damn 3rd generation M16-aint-gonna-shoot-one-a-'em-again-rifles, in my face. He had an episode the next time, all 1911 until he looked like he would burst, touting it da best t'ing in da woild!

Now, he tells me that 1911's are a piece of crap from the factory, megabucks-outta-my-pocket-later, thankyouverymuch, and that HE has come down from da mountain, all shiny-faced, and LO! Knows what he needs to 'set'em right'!

Vickers, you da snake-oil-salesman, better than da President!

PS, ol' Larry, I qual'd on a 1911 frame chambered in .38 Super, as a Junior NRA shooter, 1965. I shot that bythegods-awful squirrel gun for 3 YEARS in Southeast Asia. Ya's can't sells me one, larry-boy!

Of course, I stopped watching. Now, who were those advertisers of the show? Time to write them letters, too.
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Old 04-23-2012, 21:18   #21
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Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
The trigger pull on a lot of double actions stink.

My beretta 92f feels like it has a mile of trigger pull. My remington 1911 R1 on the other hand has a nice crisp trigger.

I find a single action like the 1911 is a lot easier to shoot then having to deal with a double action.
amen, brother! I sold my Sig 229 for that very reason. The Kimber was definitely an upgrade overall
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:21   #22
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Originally Posted by Custom II View Post
amen, brother! I sold my Sig 229 for that very reason. The Kimber was definitely an upgrade overall
Even though I like double action pistols, I absolutely hate the excessive slack.

some double actions are better then others, I will admit that, but how many double action triggers can compare to a single like the 1911?
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:55   #23
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Sounds like he went for more money to blast the 1911. Hopefully no one will offer him more to say nice things about the 1911 again. Don't understand why he has so much favor in the world.
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Old 05-02-2012, 16:54   #24
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Shilling will almost always come back to bite the person doing the shilling. Vickers can shill for whoever pays the most but what happens when a competitor comes along and offers him more? How does he solve this dilemma? He ignores his past shilling and commences to shill for the company de jour with deeper pockets, of course. . .

I own a Colt 70 series MKIV Government Model .45 and it is always ready to rock should necessity demand; sans 1K outlay in aftermarket.

Last edited by JGibson; 05-02-2012 at 20:21. Reason: coherence
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Old 05-02-2012, 23:07   #25
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I stll have the first 1911A1 I ever bought, back in 1965. I think I paid about $150 for it, it's a Colt, fully GI with no "tuning" done to it, and I'll stack it up against any plastic gun out there.

I also own an Ithaca WWII 1911A1, a Colt 1911 (born on date Dec 1912), a Remington Rand WWII 1911A1 rebuilt at the Augusta Arsenal, a Norinco 1911, and last fall I bought one of the new Remington Talo pistols. The only thing I've changed out in any of these pistols is the recoil springs in a couple, and I did replace the stainless barrel bushing in the Talo to a pakerized bushing. I just couldn't stand that bright end.

Point of this is, they are excellent guns just as JMB designed them, and don't need a lot of tuning to be accurate. I think the military 1911 pistols are far more accurate than most of the new pistols being pushed today. They won't generally shoot a quarter inch group at 50 yards, but neither will I these days.
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