Question about accuracy 1911 vs Revolver?

This is a discussion on Question about accuracy 1911 vs Revolver? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am buying a range gun, I am looking at 1911's a Kimber, Springfield or Colt 5" barrel, or a 4" revolver in 357 mag ...

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Thread: Question about accuracy 1911 vs Revolver?

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    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    Question about accuracy 1911 vs Revolver?

    I am buying a range gun, I am looking at 1911's a Kimber, Springfield or Colt 5" barrel, or a 4" revolver in 357 mag either a Ruger GP-100 or S&W 686.

    I have had revolvers before so I kind of know what to expect, but I have never owned a 1911, so some of you that own both I would like your views on which has the edge on accuracy.

    If you could only own one which one and why?
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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    If I were to venture a guess I would think the revolver would be more mechanically accurate because it has a fixed barrel as opposed to a moving barrel like the 1911. When I say mechanically accurate I mean the inherent accuracy of the gun if you take the human factor out of the equation such as using a ransom rest. I would think both guns would have very close to the same practical accuracy (a human shooting the gun off hand or from a bench rest) when shooting if you were shooting the revolver in single action. The 1911 wins out in practical accuracy when shooting the revolver double action. If I could only own one in that you mean I could only own one RANGE gun then it would be the 1911 because it's just plain fun and easy to shoot well. If you mean I could only own one to cover all my bases it would be the 686 because I don't like safetys or light triggers on my home defense and carry guns.
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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    If you could only own one which one and why?
    Thankfully, you don't have to pick only one. I'm going out today and getting a new addition to the arsenal (details later), as there's a sale at my local GS.

    Go get that 1911. And get that 686, too.

    Answering your question is tough because it does sort of depend on which specific guns you are comparing.
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    Here is a perfect example of how slow and inaccurate revolvers can be... YouTube - ‪JERRY MICULIK FAStest REVOLVER SHOOTER IN THE WORLD IPSC‬‏

    Those darn SLOW revolvers, always holding you back.

    To the OP...
    Semi or revolver, it makes no difference IMHO.
    It's a personal choice, how you train, what you learn to use, and of course...some personal talent!

    Me personally, I like both my Glock and my SP101, but if I had to grab just one...Mr. Glock would come along.
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    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    Accuracy is in the hand of the holder.... Pick what you like and what feels most natural to you. I agree with Rollo, though, 1911s just seem to be fun to shoot.
    Chose a weapon that goes bang EVERY time!

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    For "practical" accuracy, I don't think the gun matters as much as the shooter and his familiarity with it. I have both S&W revolvers and a Kimber 5" 1911. For SD situations, I carry the Kimber. I have a S&W 642 I carry as a backup, and on occasion as a primary. That being said, in the past I shot long range metallic sihloutte with a variety of handguns, including both .22 and big bore revolver classes. I spent a considerable amount of time determining which 5 of the 6 cylinders in each of my revolvers "shot the best". Believe me, there is a tiny variation from cylinder to cylinder in revolvers, and since we were shooting 5 shot strings, I wanted to use the best 5 cylinders. It doesn't matter from a practical shooting stand point, but it does when going for extreme accuracy at longer distances--100 yards max for .22 class and 200 meters for big bore (where I used a S&W 29, .44mag, with 8 3/8" barrel).
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    Member Array crabbys44's Avatar
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    They are all good choices.

    If there is a possibility of the 1911 becoming a home defense or carry gun, get some quality instruction and religiously practice engaging the safety every time you are off target, and of course disengaging it when you are pointing in at your target.

    IMHO the 686 has a smoother trigger out of the box and competent gunsmiths who know S&W are a lot more common than those that work on Rugers. OTOH Rugers are hard to beat for a rock solid action and the ability to handle hotter loads than the S&W. Not really an issue unless you are shooting high performance ammo. Try them both as they have a different feel and trigger. YMMV

    FWIW The 1911's will boil down to feel and aesthetics. Each brand has its rabid supporters and detractors, choose what you like.

    As to choosing ONLY one, I would go with the 686. .38 is cheaper than .45 or .357. .357 has plenty of power for self defense. I'm no Jerry M but I am able to keep all my rounds in the 10 ring out to 25 yards in competition (fast double action, various positions). I can do the same with my .45. Play with all of them and get what feels best in your hand. Buy the other next year.
    Last edited by crabbys44; May 21st, 2011 at 01:17 PM.
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    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
    If I were to venture a guess I would think the revolver would be more mechanically accurate because it has a fixed barrel as opposed to a moving barrel like the 1911. When I say mechanically accurate I mean the inherent accuracy of the gun if you take the human factor out of the equation such as using a ransom rest. I would think both guns would have very close to the same practical accuracy (a human shooting the gun off hand or from a bench rest) when shooting if you were shooting the revolver in single action. The 1911 wins out in practical accuracy when shooting the revolver double action. If I could only own one in that you mean I could only own one RANGE gun then it would be the 1911 because it's just plain fun and easy to shoot well. If you mean I could only own one to cover all my bases it would be the 686 because I don't like safetys or light triggers on my home defense and carry guns.
    Agreed on all points. I would say get a 4" 686 and take some time to find the perfect 1911 for you. I have a Dan Wesson 1911 that will easily group less than 1.5 inches at 50 feet (offhand).

    The 4" 686 pretty much aims itself. I don't see how you can go wrong with that or a good 1911.

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    At the end of the day I'd stick with the revolver for best accuracy. Especially if it is a Smith & Wesson Model 14 K-38 Masterpiece or a Colt Officers Model Match.

    On the other hand a 1911 type pistol can be very accurate. This Colt Series 70 Gold Cup will stack 'em in there far better than my capabilities will allow. Still, it can make even me look halfway decent on occasion.
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    Retsup - just as an aside, using Jerry as an "example" of revolver use is like saying Michael Jordan is just your average, every day, back yard basketball player, and we should all expect to be able to do what he does... Using the extreme as an example of the average doesn't really do much to show us what "average" might actually be. For those of us who can't hit 360 spinning slam dunks, or run a revolver like Jerry, it would help to talk about the advantages and disadvantages for us mere mortals. :)
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    Distinguished Member Array Knightrider's Avatar
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    Just for a range gun only, I would pick a wheel gun over a 1911.
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    If I didn't have the kids to bend over hunting for brass from my 1911's, I'd go with the revolver. I wouldn't be without both types, but the auto is more fun. Watch out when the help tries to sell the brass back to you.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Either will be enjoyable. Pick the one that appeals the most to you. The 686 will probably give you more versatility, and better accuracy, although very few people will actually be able to realize the mechanical accuracy of either.
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    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    When testing my handloaded ammo for accuracy, I normally benchrest at 15 yards. If the load won't group at 15 yards it isn't going to group at a farther distance.
    My S&W 625, model 1988. 4 inch, 45 ACP revolver and my Kimber match .45 ACP auto will both shoot under 1 inch at 15 yards, with the proper loads.

    Both of them are more accurate then I am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Retsup - just as an aside, using Jerry as an "example" of revolver use is like saying Michael Jordan is just your average, every day, back yard basketball player, and we should all expect to be able to do what he does... Using the extreme as an example of the average doesn't really do much to show us what "average" might actually be. For those of us who can't hit 360 spinning slam dunks, or run a revolver like Jerry, it would help to talk about the advantages and disadvantages for us mere mortals. :)
    I know...what was I thinking, but I just had to throw it in there.
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