GUN WMD: Guide me to the "right" 1911.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by amill94, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. amill94

    amill94 OT Supporter

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    Alright guys. I'm new to 1911's and apparently made a mistake when I bought my first one last year. I bought a Kimber Grand Raptor II. I haven't had a single problem with it, but the swartz safety doesn't make it a true functioning 1911 according to purists. I like the gun, but am craving something new and more of a "pure" 1911. I've also been hearing nothing but negative things regarding Kimber, so was thinking about ditching it. When I bought it I knew nothing about 1911's and went on what people at the local range recommended. Anyway, on with the questions.

    I want to sell it to finance another 1911. However, I have no idea what these are going for used. I've seen some new ones on gunbroker but have no idea what to price this at. The gun will be sold with what it comes with when new...all my extra mags I'm going to keep. The gun is in flawless shape and has easily less than 1000 rounds through it.

    What 1911 would you guys recommend me looking into. I don't want to spend alot of money...but what can I get for around $1500 or so. There was a Springfield 1911 I saw a guy post on here with a 1913 rail that was really nice...but what brands models should I look for?

    Thanks

    Here is a pic to somewhat show the condition of the gun.[​IMG]
     
  2. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Do it for yourself, don't do it for other people will always be my advise over all.

    I hate just giving someone a simple brand and having them run to it, rather how about a few of us chime in on "what to look for" then you can decide on your own on what meets those critieria's "for you". Because you can find melons on just about any brand, you have to be very diligent on chosing the rite one. Anything but Glocks, and I'm looking that thing over with a fine comb.

    Let me wrap up a few things and check back in in just a sec.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2008
  3. amill94

    amill94 OT Supporter

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    YEah, I'm looking for what you guys recommend. Everytime there is a 1911 thread people bring up shit I have no idea about and brands I've not really heard about. I'm looking for some recommendations and then I'll research what you guys recommend.
     
  4. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Okay, it's not like I'm a book of encyclopedia, but here are a few things I personally look for, I'll add more as I remember them.

    Pure 1911's, no one really likes besides real purists, because a "pure 1911" has absolutely "no frills" and are admittingly "ugly" to most. So I'm assuming you don't mean the 1911 pre A1 design.

    Accessories/Gun parts are important and should be outlined dependant on the intent for the gun. CCW, Range/Plinking gun, Competition or lastly "safe queen" something you'll shadow box and/or hand down to your generations.

    And everyone will have different views of "their" perfect pistol. Here are "mine" per my requirements. I shoot pistols competitively, so these will not be ideal for CCW, or maybe even Self defense (because of legality reasons), so keep that in mind.

    I prefer 70 series frames, because for me I'm looking for the ultimate trigger. And although I have seen some 80's with good triggers, they just don't stack up when stacked against a 70 series with an equally good trigger job. Also, to me, less parts are less parts that'll fail. To check for either, lock open the slide, turn it upside down and look for a "button" on the slide. Sorry, wish I had a pic.

    Consider the Steel the pistol is made of and the practices the manufacture performs to the metals. What I prefer is the Stainless Steel or Forged Stainless steel frames and slide. Again, I shoot competition so going light weight is not a concern for me. Alloy is a "hell no" for me, I just don't believe they should be used with 1911's. I've seen too many crack and fit and finish from what I've seen are generally poor. Maybe okay for a carry gun you don't shoot often, but who the hell buys a gun not to shoot often?

    Parts/accessories are important, but even more importantly are how they were "fitted" to the gun and the attention to detail. But the quality of the parts are equally as important I look for quality made parts from Wilson, Ed Brown, etc. First things I look at are the safeties, this is most important to do a "safety function check" on the pistol. Engagement should be "crisp" and "definitive" and should offer "no slop". If you don't know how to perform a "safety check" google it.

    Check the fitting of the grip safety, it should be completely smooth to the frame and have tight gaps that are perfectly symetrical through out. Run the web of your hand through it and it should not snag and feel "seemless". It shoudl also not have slop in it at all, except for how it was intended to engage. This is the most obvious and amongst the first things I check, if I see unacceptable fitting on this most obvious of fittings of safety, I stop rite there. Because I don't expect any better on the internals.

    I then check the engagement of the safety by "holding the trigger down without gripping the safety and feel for the engagement by engaging the grip safety" this is very hard thing to explain and you have to get a "feel" for it.

    I do something similar to the thumb safety. I actually pop them out and look at the fitting of safetys internals and where it engages the trigger components. It's hard to explain without having pics (im at work) but all safeties are "fitted" and ground down and polished on the end inner lobe. Any signs of "gouging" are bad, this means it was not fitted properly. Any signs of "slop/play" means they ground down too much. You should not see any tooling marks and it should be polished and relaitvely smooth.

    caveat: Be sure you ask permission to take a gun apart at the store. Just plain ettiquette. I know some of the guys around here and they are cool with me doing it. They just don't want just anyone taking things apart and possibly scratching or ruining/losing the parts.

    After the initial safety check, I check the barrel to bushing and then slide to frame fit and finish. These should be completely tight, but equally as "smooth". Cycle it and feel for any "grittyness". If they dont' allow me to pop the slide of I usually won't buy it, but if you can't and don't want to have that "hard nose" attitude, lock it back open and inspect the "inside" rails. Check all of the contact areas on the frame point of contacts to the inside of the slide. It shouldnt have any "pitts" and should be all "crisp". Look for signs of pitting, and "gouges" they should be completely smooth with no tooling. Same with the bushing to to barrel, there should be no uneven contact and should be tight.

    If there's a full length guide rod, check for scratches and gouges as well "length wise".

    The extractor should also fit "flush" with the slide, as well as the "ejector". They should also have fairly tight tolerances to the slide and should come all the way out and flush with the slide. This is not a "deal breaker" and shouldn't hurt performace too much, but you are looking for perfection.

    Inside of the slide should also be "tool less". as well. Lock it open and look for smooth interiors.

    Then I check the edges of the slide, they should all be "polished around the edges and should not have many sharp uneven edges around the bottom of the slide and where the safetys engage.

    okay, I feel scatter brained, and I'm sure I missed a few, give me a second and I'm sure there's more.

    No matter how nice it is, expect to send it to a smith, as you may not always catch everything. I value the word of my smith and his word is gold. Even if all they do is breath on it, it's enough for me. It's as prudent as having your lawyer present when being questioned or signing legal/real estate docs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2008
  5. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    If you wanted an awesome performing 1911, it won't be one that a majority of "range rats" will even know about, and it will require some time with the smith.

    In that price range I'd have you look at the STI Trojan and then most importantly send it to a quality smith.

    Get an entirely new trigger group: trigger, sear, disconnector, hammer, sear spring, mainspring, Ti mainspring cap, Ti strut. A magwell of your choice, I'd recommend a S&A magwell, Ed brown or Tech well (I went with a S&A)

    And sights of your choice. I'd recommned Bomar Rears that are melted to the slide, and a Fiber optic front sight from Dawson.

    Then get a sample of mags to test which will work for it well.

    If you want to go all out, you can probably build a skinny for also around that price range and have a "true" custom from the frame up and not just a "semi". Here are who I'd recommend to build a performance tuned 1911.

    Venry at Radical Precision, Dan Bedell, Benny Hill and Rich at Canyon Creek.

    You will truly seperate yourself from all the "semi" owners and won't look like just another "insert major name brand here" bandwagoner.
     
  6. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Here are some recommendations for those that have not worked with a quality smith before.

    1. Expect to wait a while, if he says 3 weeks, don't exect to have it back for at least 5. These guys are great smiths, they aren't the best at managing their time. Your paying for quality.

    1. Don't call every other day asking the status of your gun. You want them to take their time, so don't be impatient. It's the same as sending food back to a chef. You don't do that.
     
  7. FusionZ06

    FusionZ06 /\__/\__/\__0>

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    Look at Springfield - I really like their 1911's.
     
  8. MTech

    MTech New Member

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    You've never had a problem with the gun..it's like their flagship model..... and you wanna get rid of it cause some people have said negative things...which you've experienced none of... just like many other people. :hsugh:
     
  9. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    Get Springfield Loaded Parked
    Get Smith and Alexander mag guide/mainspring housing
    Get Ed Brown GI recoil guide/plug
    Cylinder and Slide Tactical drop in trigger kit
    Dawson Precision rail
    Heinie Straight 8 race cut sights
    Grips of your choice
    Done
     
  10. amill94

    amill94 OT Supporter

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    Thanks for all the info AB13. I'll check out that STI, and use those guidelines when checking out some guns at the shops.

    I really don't know what I'm looking for to be honest. It'll only be used occasionally at the range...thats about it. I want to get something nicer since it won't be used that often, but it won't be a safe queen.


    That's not really the reason I'm getting rid of it. I've been thinking of it for awhile. I liked the gun when I played around with it at the shop a few times, but when I bought, I dunno I just didn't enjoy shooting it. It's hard to explain. I just want something new and hopefully something I'll want to shoot more often.
     
  11. Ford4Life

    Ford4Life Guest

    Add about a hundred bucks to the budget and you can get a blued Les Baer TRS.
     
  12. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    Shen, where did you buy your Baer from?
     
  13. reman

    reman New Member

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    Ed Brown > * right?
     
  14. 8BaLL

    8BaLL New Member

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    I want a Springfield GI :drool:
     
  15. DaJMan

    DaJMan When i was young, i dreamed of being a baseball

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    fuck me! i wish i could shoot that at 10yards :hs:
     
  16. phoenixTX

    phoenixTX New Member

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    I have a Springfield GI and absolutely love it. Best gun I've ever had and wonderful to shoot. I can only imagine how much better it would be if I had a 'smith give it a little workover.
     
  17. MTech

    MTech New Member

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    Ok so wait... explain to me why it's not if anything better to have more accuracy with a defense gun? I can see it's actually needed with a match gun, but when it's life or death ti's nice to know the bullet is going as close to if not right where you point it as possible am right?
     
  18. Formula-95

    Formula-95 2:32 PM 5-13-09 Never Forget, Hamburglar OT Supporter

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    swartz safety? someone clue me in
     
  19. MTech

    MTech New Member

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    It's to prevent you from getting twisted..

    [​IMG]
     

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