Advise on 1st 1911

Advise on 1st 1911

This is a discussion on Advise on 1st 1911 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; New to the forum but impressed with what I've been reading! I've loved weapons since I was knee high to a grasshopper! Spent 21 years ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Advise on 1st 1911

    New to the forum but impressed with what I've been reading! I've loved weapons since I was knee high to a grasshopper! Spent 21 years in the Air Force, now I serve the Lord as a Pastor but It's a small country church so I work full time in a purchasing position. I'm waiting for a Kahr P9 with blackened slide to come in and it'll be my primary carry for now, but while I've been researching, I started looking at .45's in 1911's. They're just one of the best looking guns I've ever seen! Now the challenge is that I have small hands. I've held a Springfield Armory Micro and simply loved it, but it's $900+. I saw some pictures some of you posted of the SA GI and I absolutely love the way it looks. Now I just don't understand the sizes but I know that smaller frames have a smaller grip (like the SA micro compact) verses the full size. I've held a full size SA 1911 and it was a little big in the grip area. Are the SA GI's full size? I hear everyone talking about commander and officer sizes. I think the officer size is smaller, right? Anyway, it'll mainly be a range gun and maybe I'll carry it occassionaly in the winter, that or it'll be for home defense. Sorry for the long post and rambling but would the SA GI be a good starting place? I think you can get them for just over $400, right? Again, the small grip is important which is why I'm getting the Kahr, so if you know of a gun that has a grip the size of a SA micro or Kimber ultra carry, or you know how the GI comprares, I could sure use some advise!

    Thanks everyone!
    Gideon


  2. #2
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    Gideon, welcome to the forum.

    As to your question, all 1911 have the same grip size, the smaller guns have a shorter grip frame than the full size ones but the diameter around the grip is the same. You can purchase ultra thin grips which will make the grip smaller in your hand. but other than that with a 1911 you are basically stuck with the size of the frame.

    I too have small hands but I have no problems with either of my 1911's.

    I hope this answers some of your questions.
    Heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it has to be done, regardless of the consequences

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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Thanks! that does clarify the grip issue...

  4. #4
    1952 - 2006
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    I forgot to add gideon that you can have a competent gunsmith install a short trigger. That will also make the grip a little smaller. I have one on both of my 1911's
    Heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it has to be done, regardless of the consequences

    "I like when the enemy shoots at me; then I know where the ******** are and can kill them."
    ~George Patton

    DE OPPRESSO LIBER

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Gideon, sometimes when you're so deep into something you lose a bit of the overall picture. You'll find the 1911 has a rich and deserved following here.

    But for me, the 1911 is fascinating from the perspective that it runs completely counter intuitive to how I think a pistol should work, yet so many people prefer it over anything else.

    It carries cocked and locked and I don't like that. It separates the ammunition from the firing platform and I don't like that. It fires expensive ammunition. But how can that many military men and LEOs and shooting enthusiasts be wrong?

    I say that to give you perspective; if I were to purchase a 1911 it would be to see what the big deal is and to see once and for all if I thought it was truly better or worse than what I've experienced so far. I would not buy a very expensive one regardless of how much I had to spend, but I wouldn't buy the cheapest one either. They can keep those Charles Daly .45s are far as I am concerned, and Phoenix Arms need not apply either.

    I have decided if I ever purchase one, I'll get a Springfield Mil-Spec. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it's a good piece at a reasonable price. It's a good enough gun to start an addiction, and I've been informed that if one were to become a serious 1911 enthusiast this gun could be tweaked to a high enough level of performance that would make it useful as a spare or a "user". The GI would be my second choice. Actually, if not for the sights on the thing I think I'd like it more. There's a thread here somewhere that I think Clipse posted that shows some changes you can make to really get it up and running.

    As a non-1911 owner who has investigated the possibility, I have been told my interest in even the inexpensive Springfield models is well founded and shows some degree of promise. I don't think it's a bad idea at all to buy the GI and just see if it's your bag or not. I have entertained doing that very thing myself.

    I personally like this site a lot:

    http://www.m1911.org/m1911dt.htm

    It seems written for someone who is not a virgin to firearms but who's not so sure about whether the 1911 might be for them or not. If nothing else, it's a manual of arms I wish I knew better because it's a timeless tool that's never going to go away even if I don't like it.

  6. #6
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    Gideon, I equipped my wife's 1911 with a Gunsite low thumb safety and slim line Aluma grips which made all the diference to her. She absolutely loves this pistol now. This package worked so well for her that I ordered her a custom 1911 in this very same configuration.

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  7. #7
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    If the grip on a 1911 feel a bit much for you, I would recommend getting some of the new slim grips on the market. My new 1911 has AlumaGrips and it makes a big difference in the grip, as acparmed has said above. The Springfield Armory 1911's are good solid guns. I would shy away from anything with less than a 4" barrel because of some of the problems owners of the short barreled 1911's have had (not me personally). I would also opt for a model with an internal extractor and without the firing pin block. Stay as close to the original design as you can. And, as Euclidean said, stay away from the Charles Daly models.
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  8. #8
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    And, welcome to the forum, Gideon! We have several preachers here that carry and we are glad now to have another.
    Bumper
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  9. #9
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    The standard 1911's have a single stack magazine, but there are some high capacity variants out there that use a staggered magazine, which would obviously have a larger grip. The single stack works pretty well for my small hands. So well, in fact, that it seems that the pistol was designed for me.

    Standard advice would be to find a range that rents guns and try as many as you can. I did that and found that while I like lots of different pistols and dislike others, I really really really like the 1911.

    As far as the sizes, the "government model" is the largest, and is what most people think of when they hear the term "Colt .45." The Commander is the same height, but with a slightly shorter overall length, and the Officers model is shorter in both length and height.

    The 1911 forum is off the air at the moment, but it's a pretty good source of info regarding the breed.

    Thank you for your past and present service, and welcome to the forum.

    SSKC

  10. #10
    Member Array scratchy wilson's Avatar
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    And to add more confusion, I think it's Springfield Armory that is rumored to be rolling out a slightly smaller version-seems to be regarded as a "7/8ths" model-which might be what you're looking for.

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up Gideon

    WElcome Gideon!
    You sure can handle a full size 1911. I would go almost full size if you intend to mostly use it as a range gun.
    Sounds to me like your perfect handgun would be:
    A Colt Combat Commander fitted with Thin Grips ~ A short trigger ~ & A flat mainspring housing.
    Do yourself a huge favor & don't buy anything until you try holding A Combat Commander set up that way. It will feel like a whole new 1911 to you.
    If I had it to do all over again...my very first 1911 pattern pistol would have been a Combat Commander.
    It actually has a more perfect balance than a full length Government model & is ideal for both range and concealed carry.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  12. #12
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    QK I agree with you, completely
    Heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it has to be done, regardless of the consequences

    "I like when the enemy shoots at me; then I know where the ******** are and can kill them."
    ~George Patton

    DE OPPRESSO LIBER

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    To add one more even though i kind of think what the heck for ... Sprinpfield is offering a 1911 in 45 gap now so it will have a small grip all the way around that the 45 acp might also be something you might be intersted in if you dont mind using a Ego Round

  14. #14
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    Bud

    Oh that's right...we should soon be seeing even more firearms hitting the gun shops chambered for the .45 GAP.
    That should bring the front to rear grip size down quite a bit while still keeping a .45 punch.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Not to highjack the poor guy's thread, but what do you 1911 afficionados think of that .45 GAP caliber? The gun rags love it, but it seems shooters are less than impressed. I've seen a number of ".45 GAP is NOT .45 ACP!" threads going around.

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