Saturday, December 05, 2009

1911's: I've had enough.

I went to an IDPA Classifier match today, intending to get classified with my 1911 in the CDP division. I had my bro Jay ship it out to me (there wasn't enough room in the truck to bring everything here, so it was staying in his safe for a while) for the purpose of competing with it.

I attempted to compete with it today, and shot well with it. The problem is that the dang thing wouldn't run consistently. I had at least four failures to go into battery, and all those malfunctions caused me to take too much time to classify.

Chances are it needs new springs, and perhaps some new magazines. But that's the problem with a hundred year old design. Get a Glock and shoot the recoil spring to death in it, and it'll still run. That'll be true of several new gun designs: they're just engineered from the ground up to have fewer parts and to run with minimal maintenance. That's definitely not the 1911.

The 1911 still has some characteristics that are outstanding: they're typically very accurate guns that are easy to shoot well. A tuned single action trigger in one is an amazing thing. They're only an inch wide, so they're easy to conceal...although a steel 1911 is a heavy beast by the end of the day.

They have other downsides, too: they're magazine finicky, and as Ken Hackathorn has stated, they're "the king of feedway stoppages". Add to that their limited magazine capacity, and I think I'm pretty much done with the 1911. The upside isn't outweighing the downside. I'm beginning the process of considering what to do with the gun. It may end up traded or sold for an MnP .45 or perhaps a Glock 21 or 30. I miss my old 30.


DirtCrashr said...

Heh - that should get you some blog hits! :-)
Mine needs new sights. I figured out the right magazines.

trajectory said...

Despite the 100 year old design and too many parts I haven't had problems with my 4. Then again I'm not into shooting competitions.

Unfortunately those of us with small hands are stuck with old designed pistols. On a 1911 I have to drop in a short trigger and install thin grips before they fit. With the Hi-Power I have to remove the magazine disconnect and block back the trigger.

So far the only modern design that I can shoot one handed is the Kahr.

Haji said...

My friend Matt E., who's a tremendous shooter and has been mentioned elsewhere on this blog, had his Wilson CQB at the range yesterday. His guns have generally been very reliable for 1911's, but take a guess at what didn't work yesterday? Same problem mine have been plagued with lately: didn't want to return to battery. That's probably a magazine issue. Oddly, neither my MnP or my Glock exhibited that trait.

My hands are pretty large, so I guess I don't realize how hard it is to find guns for small hands. I have the opposite problem: finding a gun big enough to be able to manipulate it while not being too big to carry. Get your hands on a new Gen 4 Glock next year and see if that works for you. Like many newer designs, they'll have interchangeable back straps.

trajectory said...

Any of the interchangable back strap designs that I've seen to date don't really address the problem I have. When gripped correctly, I still can't reach the trigger. They change the angle and palm swell, but not the trigger reach.

I own a Kahr PM9 that I just barely reach. Thin, single stack with a shorter trigger reach than most.

All others that I've handled I can't get my finger in front of the trigger unless I cheat the grip significantly. I can fire them, but 2 handed only.

BTW, the 1911 modifications mentioned just barely get me there.

Haji said...

So YOU'RE the guy from the Burger King commercials!

ASM826 said...

I shoot USPSA with a 1911. I even use cast lead bullets in my reloads. I have had 1 jam in the last year.

You need a 1911 gunsmith, but if you're committed to going back to the Glock, ummm, whaddya want for that 1911?


Haji said...

I want $2500 each. I'm not gonna get rid of either of them.