February 23rd, 2005 12:23 PM
I'd call it an expert gun of sorts.
I've actually considered the .45 ACP caliber on multiple occassions, but the truth is I have no use for a 1911 style pistol beyond using it as a training aid. I would like to have one some day for the same reason I'd like to have a single action revolver some day: to be able to learn the format.
I've even debated if I should "switch" to the 1911, and I have decided it just would not be a good idea. If I'm going to own an automatic pistol that will be used for a serious purpose, it won't have an external safety. I've figured that out.
Plus I see no difference between calling a cocked and locked pistol safe, and me taking my revolver, cocking it, and putting a pin between the hammer and the frame and calling that safe. The idea of a cocked hammer resting on a loaded chamber is just completely foreign to me.
But to be honest, the 1911 format is just the complete opposite of how I think a handgun should work. Between the fact that its design purposefully separates the ammunition from the launching platform, it has an external safety, and it rests a cocked hammer on a loaded chamber, it's not something I want to explore as a carry gun without a lot more experience first.
From that perspective I consider it an "expert" gun because it takes expertise to use it.
I've also often thought that if I ever actually acquired a 1911 and started playing with it, I might discover I actually like it... but money is tight, and I'll go with what I know.
February 23rd, 2005 12:43 PM
Euclideam-the appearance of cocked and locked will sometime make people uneasy about carrying it in that fashion. In reality there must be 7 internal conditions met for a 1911 style gun to fire. Yes, I wish I could name them and find the reference for that statement but it is indeed true. So cocked and locked is safe and secure providing a garage style gunsmith has not operated on the firearm. Like many things appearance is everything and people get nervious about that in a 1911 carried properly.
As you slide down the banister of life,
May the splinters never point the wrong way.
NRA Life Member
February 23rd, 2005 02:13 PM
Well...ahem...I am an EXPERT. Why? Because I own a .45! So there!
Seriously, I think the .45 being an "expert only" gun is the equivalent of an urban legend. Having heard it myself numerous times, I finally screwed up my courage and rented one at the range. After the man briefed me on how the safeties worked, etc., I went to my assigned lane and somewhat nervously prepared to shoot. I put the sights on the target, slowly squeezed the trigger, and waited for the explosion which would surely knock me on my rear if it didn't break every bone in my body.
Bang. Not "BANG!," just an ordinary "bang." Pretty tame recoil, too, as I was still standing and still healthy. "That's not so bad," I thought. I looked at the target five yards away. One hole, centered on the X. "Ha! Beginner's luck!" Back on target, another easy squeeze, another normal bang. Still just one hole in the target, slightly larger. "Hmmm..." Once again, same result. Needless to say, by the time I was through my 50 rounds of ammo I was sold. I only had two questions: which one do I buy, and how did John Browning design a gun specifically for my hand over fifty years before I was born?
By the way, I also have heard the "expert's gun" thing about a certain 9mm, the H&K P7M8. Know what? That's not true either. What IS true is that neither the P7M8 nor the 1911 are "point and shoot" guns, you need to know how to work them (it's not that tough) and practice until you can operate them without conscious effort. But that's no different from any other defensive weapon, right?
Now, just between us girls, let's keep this "Expert's gun" thing going, so that every one who see's us with a .45 will know that we are "experts," okay?
February 23rd, 2005 02:55 PM
I suppose it's like anything else. I've known many who are extremely nervous about keeping the chamber in the cylinder upon which the hammer rests loaded. I've had some very good and experienced shooters tell me I shouldn't carry a revolver with one in the cylinder chamber the hammer rests on.
I personally can't remember a time when it ever made me nervous to have a round in the chamber the hammer was resting on because I've learned to trust my format. Tell the truth I'm not even really nervous about an uncocked revolver firing if it's dropped and lands on its hammer.
Then again I've been firing them for longer than anything else.
I've noticed most of the people who are nervous about having an uncocked revolver hammer rest on a loaded chamber favored some kind of semi-automatic.
I'm also noting the irony that I am nervous about a cocked hammer on a 1911 resting on a loaded chamber.
However, an uncocked hammer is one thing and a cocked hammer is something else, and a mechanical safety is never a substitute for using your own brains. I still can't get over it.
Could there be some quasi-Zen like state of "Being one with the gun"?
Now could I pick up a 1911 and fire 1000 practice rounds and start to get some decent groups with it? Of course. I'm making progress with a J Frame snubby and lots of people tell me that's an "Experts Only" gun.
At any rate I won't be happy until I actually have a 1911 so I can figure it all out for myself.
February 23rd, 2005 04:16 PM
"You know what opinions are like, and everybody's got one."
Well here's mine! I hate the word expert...it is sorta like "maximum" both are unquantifiable. Can somebody tell me how many times you have to shoot, take apart, put back together (blindfolded and not blindfolded), sleep with, eat with, #@$%# with..... a .45 1911 before you can labeled an "expert"? No you can't because it can't be defined. Most everybody has hit on the different elements needed for anyone to be "safe" with any firearm, including the .45......Dommy Dommy, Gobby Gobby.....I heretofore declare all of you "Experts"
February 23rd, 2005 05:46 PM
I believe that the idea that it takes an "expert" to shoot a 1911 well comes from the military.
Some of the older heavily used 1911's were by no means "target pistols"...broad side of a barn comes to mind. Yes, it's a great pistol, great design, I own one and shoot it very well...but mine is NOT a general issue run-of-the-mill-take-whatever-gets-handed-to-you pistol. Most of you have probably never shot the likes of these outside of the military...very sloppy, mixed parts, absolutely no thought of "accurizing". If it goes bang and cycles you're good to go!
I've always been an excellent shot, (routinely shot high expert in the Marines)but I've had more then one 1911 GI pistol that was just slightly better than throwing rocks.
One of the things I liked about the 92f when we switched was the fact that we started out with all new pistols....they were far more accurate than the 1911's that we usually had to work with. Hits count!
If you ain't the lead dog, the view never changes.
February 24th, 2005 06:37 AM
The .45 must be for experts, otherwise HK wouldn't be trying to capitalize on it.
While the perception of felt recoil varys depending on the individual, I find that the .45 has a gentle rearward push compared to the vigorous snap of the .40 S&W and the .357Sig.
If it takes an expert to manage that gentle rearward push, then I guess I'm an expert.
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