1911 Question - Steel vs Aluminum

1911 Question - Steel vs Aluminum

This is a discussion on 1911 Question - Steel vs Aluminum within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have been looking to buy a nice 1911 and after looking at a lot of them, I really like the Kimber Tactical II. It ...

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Thread: 1911 Question - Steel vs Aluminum

  1. #1
    Member Array Sonic Misfit's Avatar
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    1911 Question - Steel vs Aluminum

    I have been looking to buy a nice 1911 and after looking at a lot of them, I really like the Kimber Tactical II. It fits my hand well and the overall heft seems to be very balanced. One concern I have it that it is made of aluminum.

    I was wondering if anyone has much experience with one of these and can tell me if it is worth the extra money to get an aluminum 1911 versus the steel.

    I have also heard that these pistols have extractor problems and was wondering if anyone has had a problem with them.

    Thanks.


  2. #2
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    I have had no problems with my SA alum frame champ. The weight savings helps for all day carry. Not sure on the Kimbers specifically, but they have a good rep. The external extractor on the Kimber does not though.
    I considered a Kimber, but found the SA offered a Lifetime warranty, and had all the features I wanted right out of the box.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    JD
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    If the Kimber has an internal extractor your good to go, as far as the aluminium goes, it's all right, I have a 5" all steel Springfield and the recoil of my 4" aluminuim Kimber isn't much worse.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Steel for range, aluminum for carry

    My philosophy of 1911 selection is to always get steel guns in 5 inch barrel length for range or home defense roles, and aluminum framed guns in 3 to 4.25 inch barrel length for carry.

    The weight difference between steel and aluminum frames is significant. A steel 1911 with 5 inch barrel weighs 38 ounces empty, while an aluminum frame 1911 with 4 inch barrel weighs 28 ounces empty. That extra weight is good for shooting, as it lessens felt recoil, but not so good for carry all day long.

    The ideal situation is to have two 1911s, one steel and one aluminum, and let the steel gun take the brunt of range work, while the aluminum is shot less but carried more.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Since you will carry this gun more than you will shoot it, go with aluminum.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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    I'm not an expert but if you expect to put 20 or 30K or more rounds through the gun, I'd think more toward steel. But for CCW and occasional shooting, the aluminum should be fine. My carry gun is an older Kimber Compact Aluminum.

    Ken

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    Member Array yellowv's Avatar
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    As said earlier if it is for carry aluminum is the way to go. My Ultra CDP weighs 25ozs unloaded. I previously had an Ultra Eclipse which has a steel frame that weighed 34ozs unloaded. Believe me when your carrying it for a long period of time that 9ozs is very apparant. As for the wear don't worry about it. My buddy has an aluminum framed Ultra carry with several thousand rounds down the pipe and the only wear the frame shows is from the Kimber mags which he still uses for some odd reason. My CDP is now over 1000 rds with no wear at all to the frame other than the normal tiny but of anodizing that comes off the frame rails after the first range trip.

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    Array Stephen A. Camp's Avatar
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    Hello. If interested, here are some observations on the aluminum vs. steel-framed 1911's:

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/L...ht%201911s.htm

    Best.

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    I have an aluminum Ultra Carry with about 3000 rounds through it. Other than the MIM extractor breaking at around 1500 rounds, it has no issues and shows no frame wear. Kimber says they've tested them to over 10,000 rounds with no problems, and I believe that mine indicates this to be reasonable.

    My full size Custom Target is steel. Although I have holsters for both pistols, I rarely ever carry the full size because of the extra weight (39 oz vs. 25 oz empty). I checked out some all-steel carry M1911s, and the additional weight seems pretty dramatic. Even small differences in weight make a big difference when carrying all day.
    "To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them"
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    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    Not to hijack this thread, but what about those Scandium-framed S&W 1911s?

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    Ex Member Array BigEd63's Avatar
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    I'd go steel in a 1911.

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    I carry a 5" steel Mil-Spec regularly. I intend to get a LW Commander sometime in the near future. The steel guns are definitely "carry worthy" but lightweight gun will be easier to tote for long hours on end.
    Jack

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    Member Array MJZZZ's Avatar
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    Aluminum for carry, steel for practice

    I own an aluminum framed 3" Kimber Ultra CDP and have put 1250 rounds through it, and it shows no wear at all. I just bought a steel framed Rock Island Armory 5" 1911 to practice with and tinker on for the long haul. My next purchase will be a 4" 1911 and I have not decided which brand but it will be aluminum framed for carry weight. If the new 4" proved dependable, it will be my new carry gun and the Ultra CDP will be history due to loss of confidence in it's reliability. I love shooting the 1911 guns and will always own both a steel and aluminum framed pistol, but I don't plan to carry the 5". Mike Z
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.'' Warren vs District of Columbia

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    I have a few AL-U-Min-E-Um (Aluminum) guns.. Colt Defender, Kimber Ulter and Pro CDP guns, as well as a Colt Lightweight Commander..............they all work well, with no problems..and they're all lightweight, which make a big difference at the end of the day
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    I prefer a steel gun. I shoot them a bit faster and I do not mind the weight.

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