Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Best 1911.

This is practically a meme on what is left of the gunblogosphere.

And now I can pretend to be an expert and make a fool of myself spouting opinions, 10% from personal experience, 20% from learning for a gunsmith, and 70% osmosis from his experience.  So... add that all up and my opinion is worth...  6.77%?

Anyway.  New guns

Colt: 80% Crap.  Maybe the steel is better than some others, but they've been coasting on that metallurgical reputation for sometime.  The more you pay the more disappointed you will be.  Only Wilson owners in the basic armorers course were more disappointed.

Springfield:  50/50 chance it is crap.  Maybe 55/45?  Flip a coin on your lucky day.

Wilson:  Worst gun and most expensive gun in the survey class.  Every time.  Often arrive unsafe.  As in it fails the safety checks.  Their parts are either crap or the best, but no way to predict what you'll get.  Like an extractor I bought was rounded over junk, but the fancy ambi thumb safety was a piece of art. 

S&W:  50/50.  If the extractor works.  If you have extractor troubles trade it in.  Those with extraction trouble are 100% crap.  It will never be right.

Taurus:  No

Kimber:  A more expensive-than-Taurus 'No'.  For similar reasons.  It's reasons just don't have a Portuguese accent.

Para:  Dunno, really.  Never seen one in the Basic Armorer class.  Or anywhere else for that matter.  I know of a sketchy reputation, but other than that I can say nothing one way or another.

RIA/Armscor:  Not half bad actually.  72/25 or better?  You have a better chance that BOTH hammer hooks engage the sear with this than any of the other choices above.  Out of the box.  The metallurgy is a little softer, but so?  And if you ruin it you are only out $500.  So very good gun to take to a rebuild class.  If I ever buy a 1911 again it will be $500 for an Armscor slag 1911 or $3500 for a custom.

That analysis was free and worth every penny.  Why are you listening to a 'New' Jovian Thunderbolt?  Look for the Wise Jovian Thunderbolt or the Half-Competent Jovian Thunderbolt.  Not-a-Fool Thunderbolt.

1911 factories don't have the skilled work force that is cheap enough to turn out a new 1911 for less than a kilobuck or two.  I worry that the $2000 1911 guns come in two qualities.  Dreck for people that don't know the difference but undoubtedly filled with some higher end parts, and Decent enough if the guy that knows what he is doing lucked out or had time to make Decent.

Also, today's parts... you have to get cost savings to compete on price.  So labor AND materials.  Lots of exciting and innovative news ways to make gun parts.   But maybe apply those to new models.

Little story.  The first 1911 I bought was a Springfield Loaded.  9 years ago.  I didn't know any better then, despite my research, or I might have caught this.  The barrel hood where it contact the breach face was an angle.  Like a blunt chisel.  It's peened an indentation into the breach face now.  So the barrel and slide are junk.  I use that frame as the base for a .22 conversion kit.  The second Springfield I got was a Stainless GI.  Or was it Range Officer?  No matter.  It was ok.  Enough meat to the slide rails it became my rebuild gun.  The ejector didn't come with a hole to a pin the ejector in.  Boo.  But it bears out.  50/50 with Springfields! 


Old 1811 said...

Interesting. And it kinda bears out my main objection to 1911s, which is: When you buy a 1911, you're buying a "pattern." If you buy a Glock, or a Sig, or a Honda, or a Maytag, you know who made it, and the manufacturer will stand behind it, because it has a name to protect. And the current model is different from the original, because the manufacturer has continually made improvements. When you buy a 1911, you're buying a piece of technology that was set in stone before the Titanic sank, that contains twice as many parts as a Glock (every one of which can break), and that requires precise machining that usually isn't available today. To paraphrase a Lucky Gunner post about revolvers, 1911s were designed when technology was expensive and labor was cheap, and today the opposite is true. So you won't get the workmanship that a Taft-era design demands.
The only 1911s I ever owned were four Colts and one Detonics, and I never had any problems with any of them other than stovepipes in the Detonics caused by bad six-round magazines. But I didn't shoot them a lot, either.
What's the point of living in the third millennium if you won't take advantage of it?

Jonathan H said...

I have only owned one 1911, a Para, and I couldn't hit my target with it.

I agree with you - the 1911 design is old, and was designed to be custom fitted and checked out by someone who REALLY knew what he was doing.

I use more modern designs, for example the Glock 21, Hi Power, or my Taurus 92 (and yes, the Hi Power isn't much newer, but it has been improved over time, as has the 92). I am not wedded to a single design and am willing to change when it doesn't work for me.

Unknown said...

I've owned a P-13 since the mid-90s and it shot fairly well with FMJ ammo (Fiocchi). A few FTFs when it got very dirty, but otherwise dependable. A few years after owning it, I sent it to the Springfield Custom shop and Dave Williams installed a Caspian longslide and fitted a match barrel. It was returned to me as a tack driver, so much so that it was more accurate than I was capable of shooting it. It rarely FsTF now and is my house gun. Because it is, to put it mildly, very heavy.

Projectilist said...

Any thoughts on the current Dan Wessons?

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Never messed with a Dan Wesson. The rule of thumb was, if you paid $2000 for factory custom, something will disappoint you about it and make you wish it was $1000 or less.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Yes, your factory 1911 still sucks. Even that one.