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Deputy25
Senior Member

USA
935 Posts

Posted - December 17 2013 :  11:24:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My son and I were getting in some range time with some other local LEOs at our hunting and fishing club. Junior is a officer in a small department in a local town. He carries a Glock 21SF on duty, and normally carries a Glock 19 when off-duty. He has been kicking around the idea of carrying his Springfield Armory Milspec stainless 1911 off-duty because he shoots very well with it. Some of the guys we were shooting with carry 1911s off duty, and counseled him against packing the Springer, as they all carry Wilsons/Nighthawks/Ed Browns/etc., and told him that assembly line/mass produced 1911s are nothing but range toys and can't be relied on to operate when needed the most. We were driving home talking about this, and I told him that I had (and still do occasionally) carried the very 1978 model Colt series 70 1911 that we had just been shooting. I carried that pistol daily, year-round, for the better part of 25 years. My Colt has always been reliable, and has seen no more maintenance than an occasional cleaning and a few recoil spring replacements. I gave him the Springfield a couple of years ago, it has probably 2-3K rounds through it, mostly my reloads with 200gr LSWC. I don't believe it has ever choked. I'm perfectly comfortable with him carrying his 1911 off-duty, because he is competent with it, and I feel it is reliable. I was wondering what the opinion of this group is regarding which 1911 pistols are suitable for service or off duty carry.

Before all else, be armed. - Machiavelli

Evan
Administrator

34114 Posts

Posted - December 17 2013 :  11:40:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use the "Glock Rule". How many Glocks could I buy the same amount of money? I've got a Wilson CQB-excellent pistol but it was a gift.

I carried a light weight Colt Commander that was stock except for National Match sights. I had local smith throat it for Super Vel jhp. It was the berries. Unfortunately the Chief caught me wearing at Homicide and I was told to go home RIGHT NOW and get an approved pistol.

My only concern would going from Glock to 1911 and the different manual of arms to get it into play. I would suggest it carry it on and off duty and find a smaller 1911 style gun for a second gun and J frame for a "One foot in the grave gun."

The very expensive 1911's are very accurate and such accuracy comes from a tightening of tolerances and the guns may work fine on the range but will they be reliable when covered in blood, brains, and vomit?

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Uncle Mike
Advanced Member

USA
1603 Posts

Posted - December 17 2013 :  12:51:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Deputy25

My son and I were getting in some range time with some other local. Some of the guys we were shooting with carry 1911s off duty, and counseled him against packing the Springer, as they all carry Wilsons/Nighthawks/Ed Browns/etc., and told him that assembly line/mass produced 1911s are nothing but range toys and can't be relied on to operate when needed the most.


Hi, I'm not a big fan of Springfield,Inc. but I own several and I would not hesitate to carry one. My carry is a Colt Government, Commander or Defender,depending on conditions.I have no problem with any Springfield as long as it's well tested. My motto is shoot what you got. I see no reason to get any high priced custom job unless there is some frame,caliber or other option that is unavailable with the "average" or stock, 1911.I have a Colt Gunsight but never carry it. If you can afford a high priced 1911 great.

Not to criticise but some guys like to mount the hobby horse and ride off in all directions. Regards, Mike
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Arvinator
Advanced Member

USA
5252 Posts

Posted - December 17 2013 :  1:32:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I work with a officer who carries a new Colt rail 1911 on duty, and a lightweight Commander off duty. He has a Springfield compact he is going to sell and he no longer carries any of his Glocks.

I own a Ruger SR 1911 and I like it a lot. I also like my Glock 21SF and a well used S&W Model 645 they are just heavier and hold less ammo than any of my Glocks. I carry a Glock in 9MM or .40 about 95 percent of the time. Just what I grab and dress around.

Be honest, fair, and always prepared...
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Malcolm
Advanced Member

USA
4008 Posts

Posted - December 17 2013 :  3:15:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I purchased my first 1911 Springfield Champion back in the late 1980s, can't remember the exact year but either 87 or 88. She is now an ugly duckling, the parkerizing has worn off in many places, the night sights faded so I painted on high visibility dots and haven't looked back. I've been ridiculed many many times for not having a "custom" 1911, but when I've shot her against those same custom guns, every single person that denigrated my Springfield has offered to buy it right then and there. Funny thing, she's never been for sale. Never had any malfunctions with her, she is ultra reliable with Remington GS 185 jhps, so that's what she feeds on all the time.(have a good supply of those)Have a new larger 1911, no, not a Springfield, ONLY because I can't stand forward cocking serrations on a carry gun. My new 1911 is stellar as well. Guess I've been luckier than many with a 1911. Saving my lunch money up for a Springfield EMP in 9mm, too. I have relied on my MASS PRODUCED Brazilian framed Springfield for more than 25 years now, and she still is ticking along perfectly.While I DO like the "looks" of pretty custom guns, my personal experience always steers me towards mass produced pistols and revolvers that work in the mess of life.Just my personal experience with a mass produced off brand 1911 is all.

"The measure of a man's character, is how he treats someone who can do nothing for him." (unknown)
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Deputy25
Senior Member

USA
935 Posts

Posted - December 17 2013 :  3:52:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have had excellent luck with the reliability of off the shelf 1911s since my grandfather bought his first shortly after WW2. My son learned to shoot with a Ruger 22/45, and has been shooting a 1911 .45 since he was 12. His great grandfather, grandfather, and dad have all carried 1911s, so I'm guessing that's why he feels the need. We both shoot 1911s in IDPA and various club shoots, but carry Glocks at work. We have both found our mass-produced inexpensive (relatively) 1911s to be every bit as reliable as our combat tupperware. While I'm sure there are 1911s out there that won't run, I've never been unfortunate enough to own or fire one. BTW Malcolm, our Springers and Colts are all sans forward cocking serrations. I don't like them either.

Before all else, be armed. - Machiavelli
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5045 Posts

Posted - December 17 2013 :  10:29:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I bought myself a Springfield Champion as a belated retirement gift. Except for early on, it hasn't burped at all, other than when I didn't clean it for a while just to see how long it would take to stop running (about 5-600 rounds, as I recall; and then just a few times where the slide needed to be pushed about 1/8 or 1/4 inch into battery). The 'early on' problem was when it was brand new, and my Scottish ancestors whispered that maybe I should carry Winchester White Box hollow points, since they were/are decent carry loads and cheap[er] than some of the other stuff. The gun just didn't like those bullets, but has worked relentlessly with Golden Saber 230gr. The only 'improvement' on the gun was adding a larger, higher front sight, which brought POA/POI together with the Rems.

When I was working for a living, I carried two different 1911-style pistols as back-up/off duty at different times, a cobbled-together Colt that somebody who knew what they were doing put together, and a (gasp!) AMT Hardballer. Both worked with anything I fed it, and are two guns I dearly wish I had kept.

You gotta look at the word 'cheap' in context. Sometimes it means shoddy and low cost; sometimes it just means it didn't cost as much as the next guy's Wilson or Kimber or whatever. If a $400 pistol puts bullets into a 2" circle the same as a $1,000 dollar pistol, and works every time you pull the trigger, well.....
(Not that I can still shoot into 2", mind you. That was a loooonng time ago.) Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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David Armstrong
Senior Member

USA
778 Posts

Posted - December 18 2013 :  10:52:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Regarding a stock Springfield versus a higher-level semi-custom gun you probably have a better chance of getting a great gun with the top shelf stuff. My experience with Springfield has been 50/50. One of the best 1911s I've ever had was a Springfield. Unfortunately, the absolute worst 1911 I ever had was also a Springfield, one that took multiple trips back to the factory before it would even fire a single full magazine successfully.

"You should plan for your training to reflect reality instead of hoping reality will reflect your training."
http://thinkinggunfighter.blogspot.com/
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FORT CHAFFEE
Advanced Member

USA
1375 Posts

Posted - December 22 2013 :  8:00:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
+1 to Evans post.
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enidpd804
Advanced Member

1758 Posts

Posted - December 22 2013 :  8:47:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are lots of good ones and some great ones. I carry a Springfield TRP on duty and a Smith & Wesson 1911 SC off duty (and sometimes on). They've both been great. The only problem I've had is that the super light LRN reloads I made for the TRP won't work reliably in the SC. As is often the case, the shorter slide pistols need a little more oomph for reliable function. I have a review in the current Police Marksman magazine of the Smith.

I still have my eye on a Wilson, or Nighthawk or a summer home.

Warren
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exfed2002
Advanced Member

1220 Posts

Posted - December 23 2013 :  06:55:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by enidpd804

I have a review in the current Police Marksman magazine of the Smith.



Which issue?

Last I heard from them was the July-August issue.

"The answer is there is no answer."
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enidpd804
Advanced Member

1758 Posts

Posted - December 23 2013 :  10:38:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by exfed2002

quote:
Originally posted by enidpd804

I have a review in the current Police Marksman magazine of the Smith.



Which issue?

Last I heard from them was the July-August issue.



Sept/Oct is up right now. Nov/Dec might be up this week or at least next.

Warren
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9431 Posts

Posted - January 06 2014 :  12:59:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I actually find just the opposite of the "range toy" analogy.... I've spent as much time working on expensive "custom" 1911s as I have on most sold brand name models (I don't include the cheap knockoffs in that though). That is quite a statement when you consider the degree at which the standard factory pistols outnumber the expensive custom ones.

Mind you most of the custom makers will stand behind their work and fix them...but most factories will also.

Any weapon needs to be test fired. If your Son's SA works OK with the ammo he shoots in it then I am fairly confident that it is as accurate as any pistol out there on the market that would find its way into a police holster.

I was in the custom gun building business for 25 years. There are plenty of good pistols out there coming off factory lines today (Colt still produces a fine 1911, but so do SA's, Rugers, Sigs and Dan Wesson and Kimber - at least the ones I have, but I have not purchased a new Kimber in maybe 13 years or so).

There are so many folks making 1911 it is impossible to shoot them all enough to keep track of every one.

Jim

Get the Weaponcraft Journal on Amazon: Print or Kindle!
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JRoxton
Starting Member

USA
7 Posts

Posted - May 13 2014 :  4:46:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
""My son and I were getting in some range time with some other local LEOs at our hunting and fishing club. Junior is a officer in a small department in a local town. He carries a Glock 21SF on duty, and normally carries a Glock 19 when off-duty. He has been kicking around the idea of carrying his Springfield Armory Milspec stainless 1911 off-duty because he shoots very well with it. Some of the guys we were shooting with carry 1911s off duty, and counseled him against packing the Springer, as they all carry Wilsons/Nighthawks/Ed Browns/etc., and told him that assembly line/mass produced 1911s are nothing but range toys and can't be relied on to operate when needed the most.""

Within that I see a statement of your fellow shooters snubbing the "basic" M-1911 your son has been shooting with little problems. Evan's statement -
"The very expensive 1911's are very accurate and such accuracy comes from a tightening of tolerances and the guns may work fine on the range but will they be reliable when covered in blood, brains, and vomit?" kinda says it all, about their guns.

I agree the familiarity of arms would be the biggest concern
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bubbinator
Junior Member

USA
183 Posts

Posted - May 28 2014 :  03:23:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am turned off by Cult Gun Groupies. My SA 1911 Loaded has been 100% since 2000. My State LEO partner, a former SO SWAT member, who just rebuilt his issue SA 19911A, after 50K+ rounds, still hates Kimbers after a total team rearm with Kimbers in 2005 resulted in complete gun failures, total factory warranty failure. They returned ALL Kimbers . They now have new SA 1911A1s and are 100 % happy at every Friday 500 rds per gun.
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Mjolnir
Junior Member

USA
182 Posts

Posted - June 05 2014 :  02:39:24 AM  Show Profile  Send Mjolnir an ICQ Message  Reply with Quote
I'm on my 4th 1911, a Springfield this time. My 2nd one was a Colt Mod. 70, and it was awfully accurate, but it often wouldn't go quite into battery. I traded it off for something else, but I was young and not as smart as I should have been. I suppose many of us have had one (or more) we wish we had back.

But the Springfield I have is a keeper. I had a trigger job on it, but that's all. I have a number of targets with groups 1" or a bit over at 15 yards, and I have one showing a group a bit under 2" at 25 yards. All those were from a rest, of course, and those are the targets I kept. Most aren't that good, my fault probably. Still, it shows the potential of the gun.

I see ads for those higher priced 1911s, and sometimes wish I had the money. But I have a gun that works every time. I don't recall any hiccups, not one. And it feeds everything from LSWC to JHP to ball. I'm thinking a higher priced, more accurate 1911 wouldn't do me any more good than what I have.

"None who have always been free can understand the
terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom
to those who are not free."

Edited by - Mjolnir on June 05 2014 02:42:00 AM
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CW2 Ralph Long
Average Member

USA
364 Posts

Posted - June 20 2014 :  08:48:36 AM  Show Profile  Click to see CW2 Ralph Long's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I have always liked the 1911 type .45 ACP handguns; carried the Government Model as a uniformed officer and supervisor and the Lightweight Commander as an investigator and supervisor. I still own a couple, but I don't now carry one after doing an honest self-assessment.

Long, long ago when I was a young police trainer teaching the department's class on self defense with handguns to local citizens, I came up with the following. You may change the order to fit your own life style and financial situation, but it works pretty well, as is.


Prioritized Rules for Owning Self-Defense Handguns

1. Reliability: Does it work every time you press the trigger?

2. Portability: Will you always carry it where you can reach it, or will weight and size cause you to leave it behind on the worst possible day?

3. Affordability: Like Evan's "Glock Rule." Does it make financial sense to buy the gun, ammo and accessories or is there good economical alternative.

4. Practicality: Will it do what you bought it for? Are there enough rounds of a good defense ammo in the gun to save your life on the worst day of your life?

5. Accuracy: Can you shoot it well enough under pressure to get consistent "center line - CNS" hits to a minimum of 10 yards.

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed;
if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may
come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Winston Churchill

Edited by - CW2 Ralph Long on June 20 2014 09:00:19 AM
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