A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Best 1911 for You

What is the best 1911?

There is an old shooter who gave the best 1911 recommendation ever voiced. It goes like this......"100% reliability, sights you can see, a trigger you can manage." That fellow was Jeff Cooper, the father of Modern Combat Handgunning. It still holds up today. That is ALL you need, the rest is just convienence. The journey is finding the sights you can see and the trigger you can manage. Realize that this first 1911 will likely not be your last 1911 and take some of the pressure for the "right" gun off your shoulders.

Now, I'll indulge in what I have found is right for me in a carry 1911. This might not be right for you, but it is posted as a seed for thought. 100% reliability. Wilson magazines, low profile base pad. Fixed sights. 2 inch accuracy at 25 feet under stress, handheld. A 3-4 pound trigger. Ed Brown grip safety. Single sided thumb safety, extended. Pearce rubber double diamond grips. No front strap checkering. Flat MSH, either checkered or serated. A decent dehorning. A tough finish. Things I prefer but don't insist on are a high ejection port, and a barrel bushing. Things I refuse to have on my carry gun include ambi safeties, magwells, extended slide stops, FLGR, extended magazine releases, any kind of locking device.

No out of the box guns fit my criteria, so I built my own. As far as recommendations of makers, I like Colts. It's a quality/pony thing for me. I also own Springfields and have found them to be a great value. I have shot the S&W guns, and found them to be good stuff. If I wanted an out of the box CCW/shooter, the S&W 1911PD would be my pick. I realize that I like to modify though, so Colt gets my spending money. As long as a buyer sticks with Colt, S&W, Springfield or Kimber Series 1, there is a high probability that he (or she) will be happy with their first 1911. I'm not listing the higher priced stuff, but they make good guns too, obviously. Over time you will either modify your 1911 to suit you better, or trade it off for one that suits you better. That is the nature of the beast. The thing to do is get into the game with a quality 1911. As you become a seasoned 1911 shooter, you will learn what is right for you.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Rynn fron south Texas said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog. My first auto was a 1911 Norinco. At the time, that was a huge amount of money. I could've had a 9mm, but the .45 was a dream I've had since childhood. I've fallen in love with them. My wife calls it fondling, but I love to work with my pistols. I'm following you on the 1991 Compact. Lost my Officers Series 80 to my daughter when she turned 21. She asked for it when she was 10. Couldn't say no! Replaced it with the Compact. Thanks for the quality blog and good advice. Adios.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Shelia F said...


5:53 AM  
Blogger Will said...

Great advice. Besides those already mentioned Dan Wesson is not a bad way to go for a high quality 1911 for a good price. Just a thought.

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love reading your 1911 posts, I think most people that have been around 1911s intimately for a few years, tend to come to similar opinions.

My only dissagreements are;

1-I still have a hard time keeping it around 2" @ 25yds WITHOUT the "stress factor",..LOL.

2-I preffer a smooth but heavier 4.5-5.5lb. carry trigger due to "stress factor" safety.

3-I don't like extended safeties of anykind, G.I. safeties work great for my carry guns.

4-I'm not sure why you like a "high ejection port", I like them lowered (within reason).

I agree with you 100% on everything else, I too chose Colts to tinker on, as an ex tool & die machinist I can tell you, the bar stock and forgings they have used over the years for major parts like the frame and slide are high quality and superior to most other brands, even if their dimensional specs sometimes do need a little tweeking for better accuracy.


4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1911 is far from the only thing you'll ever need.

If this was so then the U.S. Military would not have retired it as a general issue sidearm for servicemen.

It's hard to argue with people who have a unwavering passion for the 1911 because for them it IS the best pistol and you can't argue with personal preferences.

There's no denying that a finely tuned 1911 (and finely tuned is much different from the old 1911 service pistols) dominates many shooting competitions.

However, for modern military, law enforcement, CCW, and self-defence there are many other choices that are arguably more reliable, more comfortable as a sidearm, and easier to deploy than the 1911.

Not doubt, though, that the 1911 is a classic that has a special place in the history of firearms that cannot be dethroned.

2:26 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home