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100 Years of the 1911, 100 imitators, 100 mods... What'd they get so right?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Arkarayne, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Arkarayne

    Arkarayne Medford, OR Member

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    I haven't owned one, but knowing enough people who at least own a clone of it, it seems to have stood the test of time, design-wise.

    What did they do 100 years ago that 100 years later, no one's really changed it?

    ..Also, what clones/knockoffs/mods should you/should you not buy?
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I once saw a program on TV where they talked about the perfect machine or tool and they rated the Colt 1911 on the same level as a Carpenters claw hammer. basically prefect in its design and completely suited to do it's intended job with no real improvement possible. One reason why the claw hammer and the 1911 have basically not changed since they were originally designed.

    I agree You can make the head a little different shape you can put meat hammer checkering on the face straight or curved claws fiberglass wood steel CF handle but it's all a Claw Hammer. Same with the 1911. You can change this and that polish this or that but it is still a 1911.
     
  3. andreys21

    andreys21 Milwaukie, OR Active Member

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    I actually just recently purchased my first 1911. I have done a lot of research prior to my purchase and I gotta tell you, not much has changed in the 1911 since the original design. There are a lot of different materials, and parts out there but they do not change the gun into anything else. Some changes have come into play which are controversial, such as the introduction of external extractors and full-length guide rods. You will hear the pros and cons for each of those on both sides. I bought the Springfield Armory Loaded MC Operator, which keeps it's loyalty to Browning's original design with the internal extractor and G.I style rod and plug while adding many modern features such as extended ambidextrous safety lever, novak style night sights, skeletonized trigger and hammer. Couldnt be happier with it.
     
  4. Dell_dude

    Dell_dude Vancouver, WA Member

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    I have several Springfield Armory 1911s, and when I began my search, I made sure that I looked for a brand who followed JMBs original design.

    This year I intend to purchase an old school (1944 or earlier) Colt 1911 in commemoration.
     
  5. Wallygator

    Wallygator Albany, OR Active Member

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    The 1911 has some of the best features of any handgun. The Grip angle makes it point naturally for the human body. Is stock form, a 1911 can be completely taken apart without any tools. The only improvements that I use are an extended thumb safety, a beavertail grip safety with a commander hammer.


    wg
     
  6. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    This I agree with. The basic 1911 design is hard to improve upon. Beavertail grip safeties, extended thumb safeties, polished and improved feed ramps, external extractors, and lowered and improved ejection ports, were all natural evolutions of the design, but the basic 1911 as designed by JMB is a timeless classic. The grip angle feels like pistol belongs in my hand. This is why I didn't like the one Glock I owned. Nothing at all wrong with the pistol, but it just didn't feel right in my hand.
     
  7. andy*

    andy* Everson Wa Member

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    I love my series 70 Colt. It was the first handgun I ever shot. The fit and finish are excellent. The only change I have done was to add a higher rear sight.
    I got the pistol from my Dad. Many memories of him and I shooting together with this gun. That being said I would rather have Dad back and no pistol...
    Andy
     
  8. spider

    spider Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    They added a light rail to it, that's pretty much what I like about it, also with a good swing you can knock someone's jaw around their head.
     
  9. Spad

    Spad Kennewick,WA, the desert side Active Member

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    John Brownings design is kinda like the wheel, don't change it, works all the time. The pistol has one of the finest triggers in a regular pistol, it is a well thought out pistol, simple to operate, simple to field strip, simple to replace parts in. My Colt Combat Commander is 36 years old and still works like a charm. Bought it new. Notice it is still in production, and many clones, that should tell us something. I have 3, 1911's. Spad.
     
  10. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    I hope the makers come out with a special run to celebrate 100 years. Anyone seen any yet?

    jj
     
  11. Arkarayne

    Arkarayne Medford, OR Member

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    It seems like if I were to venture into the .45 caliber, if not a ruger (just to stick to the company i've been buying... no off topics on brand choices) it would be a 1911 i'd most likely buy, though it's a little out of my typical price range.
    The next dangerous question... what type/brand of 1911 to buy? or, like the hammer, unless you need something specific, they all work?
     
  12. olyshoots

    olyshoots Vancouver USA Member

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    Brown, Wilson, Bear, Kimber.... and others. A search in any web search engine will net you plenty of results. Probably more will come out too.
     
  13. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    I would buy an older 1911 without MIM parts. I like Colts in the series 70 if you remove the finger bushing.

    jj
     
  14. lesscubes

    lesscubes Burien Member

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    I had a High-Standard (Armscor) M1911. It had an off brand mag in it and I only ran about 200 rounds through it before some financial difficulties forced me to sell it, but it was a NICE gun.

    There aren't a lot of guns I can pick up and instantly be comfortable with, but
    I pick up a 1911 and it just fits. It points naturally, the frame angle and width is perfect. The two main problems I have with the GI style gun as issued would be the tiny sights and the hammer bite. easy, just trim the damn hammer and put taller sights in.

    I don't REALLY think the grip safety is necessary, the BHP doesn't have one and it's fine.
     
  15. NK777

    NK777 West of Portland Member

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    The trigger! The Rugged design! The grip angle! The effectiveness of 45 ACP! The ease of firing an accurate shot down range! The bulk soaks up the recoil nicely! I own a few and I'm buying another one very soon.
     
  16. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    :thumbup:

    What I wouldn't give to have mine back for even just a little while Andy,,, the best friend I ever had. ;)

    To the OP,, there many clones that are very good units. The new Taurus PT 1911 is one to look at for the price and lifetime guarantee, it's as least as good as many of the others and better than most. Kimber also, but the price is well,,, up there. There are many different choices out there, possibly go to an indoor range where you can rent and shoot many different types. I use a Colt commander lightweight as my daily carry and trust it with my life, if you know what I mean.
     
  17. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've owned 4 Colts, one Para Ordnance and one Dan Wesson. While some may dis on the Para, mine was a very good gun. Officer's size and it would eat everything I fed it, including cast bullet reloads my National Match and Dan Wesson won't chamber.
    The CBOB is the gun I carry most of the time and these days shoot the most. I trust it completely as I would the Colt.

    I have to echo the sentiments of others here. The way it fits my hand, the simplicity of the action, the ease of maintenance, and the thump of the .45 ACP. I can see why it's been around and is as popular as it is. That's without getting into the romanticism of it's history. Or the movies!
    GranTorino.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  18. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    1911s are pleasing asthetic to shooters...the feel, grip angle and accuracy of a 1911 cannot be underestimated. There is also a lot of history with the 1911...I'm sure there are some Germans, Phillipenos, Koreans and Japanese soldiers that would still be alive if it weren't for the 1911...or the 45 ACP for that matter.
     
  19. Spad

    Spad Kennewick,WA, the desert side Active Member

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    I have an Armscor 1911 clone, Rock Island tactical .45ACP, that shoots as well as my Colts,one heck of a pistol for a real cheap price, but well made. They have them in 9mm now, might try one. Spad
     
  20. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The only significant change to Mr. Brownings original design was the relief cut into the housing by the trigger, thus making the 1911A1. I had the fortune to get to know this machine as a Gunner's Mate in the USCG. At one time I had 15 Singers in my care, and worked one into a weapon that rivaled the Gold Cups we had on the District pistol team. I own one 1911A1 (wish I had a REAL 1911) which I built up from parts into a very workable sidearm. With a match barrel and lug and a tuned slide, and a little trigger work I performed, it can usually get in the vicinity of the target. :thumbup: