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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 1999 1:19 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA
Van, JT, Tracy et al: I visited the large gun shop today to look into the many versions of the 1911 available on the market. My experience left me with more questions than answers so I created this thread to gather opinions.

The store had many Colt and Kimber models, and a few Para Ordnance and Springfield models. The bottom end pistols are in the $575 to $600 range, but that is not what I'm looking for. The top model was a Kimber match grade at $1,500 plus, also not what I'm looking for. In between were many, many choices. The store personnel were really helpful and allowed me to handle many pistols.

The Para Ord. comes in at a respectable $799 with a 14 round clip plus a coupon to order two more at $50 each (just like Van said!) However, comments were mostly positive but somewhat mixed. Feed problems in some, accuracy problems in others. One quote "PAs come in two flavors, cherry and lemon, and you do not know what you are getting until you fire it."
Also, the grip needs to accommodate that large, fat clip so it is pretty wide. I can handle it but it might be a problem for others.

The store favors Kimber. The model I liked best was a 'Gold Match' in blue steel with a match barrel, adjustable sights, match trigger and an ambidextrous safety. The safety feature is nice as I practice a bit as a lefty and my son and I are both lefties. This model is in my range at $899.

They had no match Springfields and from what I've heard the Colts are not really good out of the box. I do want to get a pistol that is ready for a match right out of the box.


More advice and guidance please.

Regards, Rich


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 1999 2:30 am 
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Rich,

Any gun you buy for potential defensive use, should be taken to a top gunsmith to check out its function and smoothen kinks regardless of “out of the box” claims!

Once again, what do you want the gun to do! For defensive force continuum scenarios, go for the hi-cap mags; tomorrow may be too late to get them! The limited Para-ordnance model has the ambidextrous safety and is a fine gun,and a fine match piece! My Para works like a Swiss watch after La Rocca modified it!


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 1999 3:13 am 
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Good advice. I am leaning toward the Kimber. However, please tell me about La Rocca.

I intend to use the 1911 in local matches. The Glock 21 will be my main defensive force with the S&W Ti as backup. I do have some interest in a Glock 26 compact 9mm as the #2 weapon. Ten rounds in a really nice package.

Rich


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 1999 3:42 am 
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La Rocca is one of the finest gunsmiths on the east coast both Tracy-sensei and I have used to customize our weapons! He has a shop in Worcester Ma!

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Van Canna


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 1999 4:07 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Rich San:

I defer to the pistoleros on choosing 1911's.

Probably, however, you will end up with a "match" piece and a carry gun at some point, so don't try to "blur" your first choice too much. Really.

Adjustable sights are "de rigeur" for a "range gun", but not, necessarily, for a carry piece, depending on their propensity to foul your clothes.

Colt used to produce their "Gold Cup" .45 which you could sort of rely on out of the box.

VERY Very Pricy.

I have no experience with the Para, and my Fed Ord experience is not positive.

If, however, Van says the Para will do both jobs it either will or can be made to. Having a good smith to hand is critical.

I use the services of a gentleman in Sandwich Mass., but he is not exclusivley a "pistol smith", and I used Fulton to rebuild the M1as.

Springfield offers some services on these lines, at least they did, but I was a. not completely happy with their efforts and b. it was some time ago.

Call the recommended smith, he sounds like a treasure.

Sometimes, however, you have to try the pieces once you have determined generally what you are going to do.

For example I determined I was going to have a Standard, an NM and a Super Match M1a. SA's Standard and NM were OK, but the Super Match had to be rebuilt.

This can happen no matter what you try. sometimes the dog just won't hunt.

Personally, I'd "try" the Kimber and see how it works (its there NOW) and make plans to contact Mr. La Rocca and/or for a Para ORD.

I certainly will be thinking along these lines, although my SIG 220 shoots fine for "general" range stuff and carry, single stack magazine notwithstanding.


Unfortunatley, I end up "carrying" a compromise because of size and I am in and out of the Registries of deeds a lot. The Local guys know me and don't mind putting my Walther (not terribly imposing) in a\the lock box, but, I am not really comfortable carrying same into Boston or Cambridge (Suffolk or Middlesex) because I am not known there and, I am sure the local chief would get a call from the guards. I don't need that.

This stinks, but I have to go along a bit.

Besides, I suppose the metal detectors give me a measure of protection too, but I would prefer to follow my own thoughts and not the State's.

J.T.



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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 1999 1:48 am 
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Another day, another trip to the gun shop. I must say the 1911 that has my attention is the Kimber Gold Match in Stainless. It fits my hand and feels good. It is more expensive than the blue steel version but I expect to keep it a long time. I'll give myself a day or two to think this over before I make it mine. Comments?

My local gunteacher has a source of pre-ban 13 shot Glock mags so I will get a couple of those for my large carry gun. Not quite as good as the Para Ord 14 shot but should fill the bill.

Rich


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 1999 2:33 am 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Rich:

Be sure you can see the sights well (the slide top surface should be or may be matte) in the sun.

JT


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 1999 2:14 pm 
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Location: Marlboro,MA US
Mike LaRocca is moving into the teaching area. He is 'rightsizing' his shop (due to MA laws). Due to his schedule gunsmithing takes awhile if you can get him to agree to take you on...

My first .45 was/is a Springfield gov't model. It was all steel, built like a tank and was to be *converted* into a tactical, competition gun. The thing is a tack driver, never malfunctions, is beautiful to look at and a great carry gun (when I decide to go heavy that is). I would do practice sessions of 5-7 hundred rounds though that pistol. Mike LaRocca is working on this one now.

My second .45 was a colt officier's in stainless. Mike LaRocca built this one for tactical carry.

I just ordered a Para Ord. P-10 in lightweight config. The only thing I will have done to the P-10 is an ambi safety, and stoning of the trigger.

It used to be that when you bough a .45 you brought it to the gunsmith immediately just to get the thing to function reliably. Today , all manufacturers produce quality pieces out of the box.

If you are planning to compete for the fun/sport of it, the .45 is not a bad way to go. If you competing to get more proficient (with your weapon and that weapon under pressure) then compete with the gun you are to carry! I have read of folks competing at the NTI with .38 snubs! It's not about winning the match but getting some real experience.

later


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 1999 7:51 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Rich San:

Not to beat a dead horse; and I defer to Tracy and Van as superior pistoleros, however, if you "like" the Kimber Stainless, and the sight will not interfere with the draw, and it shoots ok, and you get a bunch of extra mags, and the sights don't "disappear" in a bright sun at the range (which they shouldn't if the top of the slide is porperly matted)and it fits your hand, go for it!!!!

Buy a Para later, I'm going to, but I'm keeping the SIG.

The "commonality" of decent single stack magazines in 1911's and the Colts/SA's/Kimbers etc. is a small plus, and you can get them with the "baby buggy bumper" on the bottom, which is again "de riguer" if the mags are going to hit the ground/asphalt/concrete at "the line" a lot.


P.S.

Van and Tracy sans, how do you like the Sig?

I would not recommend it to Rich, except as "carry" (no adjustable sight).

This "non recommendation" ,Rich, is based on what you have described as your needs, and not the SIGS reliability or performance.

Note, I have a small hand, and a single stack magazine fits me better and colors my adviv\ce, althouth the Browning HP and Sig 226 fit fine, not withstanding.

J.

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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 1999 9:16 pm 
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J.T.,
The Sig is a fine weapon but for the decocker which lots of cops forgot to activate when reholstering under stress and shot themselves in the foot!

Funny isn't it! Some police officers under stress even forget they are carrying a backup snubby in an ankle holster! You know, like the "superbly trained" martial artist in an open handed style like ours, then in a fight all they can do is flail at the opponent with a clenched fist a la "primal ape" !

A State trooper friend of mine related to me quite a few such incidents and that was one of the reasons why The department went to Glocks!

But it is a superb pistol!

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Van Canna


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 1999 12:10 am 
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Van, JT, Tracy ...... after much thought, I went with the Kimber Gold Match in blue steel. JT - the top surface of the slide is matte black. The blue version felt better in my hand and was easier on the eye when trying the sights. I'm busy this week but hope to get to the range with it next week.

To help make the decision tougher, the gunshop laid out many Kimber models for me, including a polymer version with a preban 13 round clip!!!! However, it was about $300 more, and I wanted a real 1911.

The Glock .45 is still the choice to carry. It weighs so much less than the Kimber. I'm looking forward to a comparison at the range. And learning how to shoot well with the Kimber should be fun.

As for my thoughts on the AR-15, I will do more research on the various models before I make a decision. Most likely it will be a Bushmaster or Arma-Lite model. But even more so than the various 1911 models, there are soooooo many options.

Thanks, Rich


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 1999 3:23 am 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Sounds like a good choice.

We are fortunate to have so many.

Van-on the decocker, the SIG has a feature which drops the hammer, is this what is giving a problem?

I like to know what to watch for on a carry gun, please tell me more of what the problem is perceived to be.


J.T.


P.S. Has anyone seen or heard from J.D.?



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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 1999 4:55 am 
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J.T.,

If you fire the Sig under stress and forget to decock [drop the hammer], and you keep your finger on the trigger while you try to re-holster in panicky moments following an engagement, you may have an accidental discharge! According to my Trooper friend this was the problem with the cops! Strange how a trained policeman would try to re-holster with his finger still on the trigger, or how he could miss his opponent at a six foot range under the cocktail!


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 1999 12:05 am 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Van:

Thanks for the warning, so to speak. Being somewhat used to "decockers" I had not considered this as much of a problem as, say, the Glock having the safety in the middle of the trigger.

Also, is the 1911 really safe to carry "cocked and locked" if so, do you know why or do you have any advice on how to so carry one?

I had never really felt comfortable carrying one cocked and locked and thus gravitated to the SIG.


JT

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 Post subject: Selecting a 1911 Pistol
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 1999 3:20 am 
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I trained under John Farnam and Mas Ayoob, and they both believe “cocked and locked” is very safe due to the dual safeties of the 1911!
However this is very controversial! And the 1911 requires in depth training, manual of arms and stress handling drills before anyone should even think of “cocked and locked”!
I carried mine “cocked and locked” in “live range” fashion during the “duelatron” FBI style training with Farnam and I felt very safe with it after understanding the proper handling!

Yet in real life I have some fears of that carry mode, hard to describe, and I prefer carrying any semi-auto in “condition three” full magazine but empty chamber, and using the Israeli Method to draw, cock and fire!

But if you are expecting trouble, cocked and locked in a holster behind your hip will get off the fastest reactive shot according to Farnam!

Still, stress is an insidious thing, unbelievable how klutzy a person gets under serious threat in spite of what he thinks and believes his training has done for him, i.e., martial arts and or weapons handling! Manual dexterity goes to hell so much so that some people have problems depressing the thumb safety, or forget the safety is on, or are unable to find and depress the slide release in a tactical reload! Farnam Teaches grasping the slide with a gross motor grip of the left hand, yank it back and release it forward to chamber a fresh round from a reload clip, totally ignoring the slide release!

And the problem still exists with a 1911 when even trained people forget to reengage the thumb safety in the post shooting stupor and wave a fully cocked gun around or shove it in their holster or belt without the safety being engaged!

The only people who are confident in handling their stress well under deadly threat are the ones who have never been up against it, they have only imagined it! Yet it can be done by certain type individuals with the right mindset and equipment! The Glock is the “ equipment” king right now! The best stress-proof weapon around!




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Van Canna


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