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Which brand would you get?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
They're pretty simple questions. I have never owned or used a 1911 pistol before, the people at the gun shop were kind enough to help me work the slide and everything (I'm more of a single action revoler kind of person), and I have a few questions that I can't seem to find answers for on the internet. Some personal feedback on the 1911 I'm getting would also be nice.

First off, the one I'm looking at is the Kimber Custom CDP II (the 5" barreled one), and I'm thinking of modifying it with other parts. Is it possible to replace the mainspring housing with a Wilson mainspring housing, and could/would it affect the overall preformance of the gun in a negative/neutral/positive way?

Second, I have read quite a few reviews that the Kimber supplied magazines are pretty bad, and that people only use Wilson's magazines. Are the Kimber mags bad, or are just the supplied ones bad because they send an inferior clip with the gun.

Third, what brand would you recomend for a .22 long rifle conversion kit, Kimber, Wilson, anyone that I haven't been able to find?

Fourth, I'm willing to pay up to about $1,500 for a 1911, not including modifications. If you have had better experiences with a different brand or model, please let me know, and what about the gun you prefered. I'm pretty set on getting the Kimber, but I can always change my mind if I find one I like more.
Any info is helpfull and greatly appreciated. Sorry if my spelling is bad, I'm not the best writer.
 

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Eurowolf;

Welcome to the forum. I personally think your choice of 1911 to begin with is excellent although I voted Springfield Armory.
I am curious why you would want to or feel a need to replace the housing on the Kimber as it is as good as it gets as is.
As far a magazines are concerned, many get the blame for the fault of a myriad of problems as well as their own. I would not replace or buy new Wilsons unless you actually experienced problems with the factory mags.
I use Wilson mags exclusively but it is only after experiencing a problem that I am certain is the fault of the original magazines.
Only then do I clearly mark the problem mag and send it to my shooting bag to be used for "practice only".
I suspect the original magazines will give you plenty of months of trouble free use before having to retire them.

The gun you are or have chosen is a quality firearm and it comes with all the bells and whistles if I am not mistaken. I know we all "personalize" our guns when we get them, but your gun will have the ambi safeties, excellent grip safety, night sights etc. so again, what are you planning to replace in order to personalize yours.

The factory 22 kits are normally the best but I have used the Seiner conversion on my Colt as well and had very good performance with it for many years. Colt made a very good one but I am not sure they are still in production and if so, if they will work on the Kimber if you can find one.

If I were to have the same gun as you have chosen I believe the only change I would make immediately is to replace the long guide rod with a standard guide rod, spring and plug. I did it with mine and would as I say, do it again.

These are personal opinions only and bear no special significance I suppose other then I have used the 1911 pistols for my shooting activities and for carry and self defense since 1968. I have owned more than a few and have tried many of the new ones as they have become available. Such as the Paras and Wilsons including one of the very first double stack, polymer Wilsons ever issued. I had an early model of the Kimber when they were in the $500 range.
I still go back to my Colt lightweight Commander until just a few short years ago. I had physical problems that caused me to have to reduce recoil so I bult a lightweight commander in 9MM.
Everything is exactly identical to my Colt.

Good luck and I am certain many others will chime in for this before long.

UncleFudd
www.caswewlls.com
 

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Depends on whether you want it as a personal defense pistol, a plinker, or a bullseye competition gun.

For defense, pinpoint accuracy is not a consideration.... as long as you can hit center of mass (more or less) on a man-sized target at 5 yards.

Most of the modifications normally made in the name of accuracy on competition pistols will have the side effect of making the pistol a little more finicky.... not a good thing if the primary purpose is defense.

The mid-grade Springfield Armory, the mid-grade Kimber, or (one of my favorites) an old but well cared for Colt Gold Cup strike a very good compromise..... not an out-and-out race gun, but better than a GI model in terms of accuracy without getting too finicky about ammo, magazine, and cleanliness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses and info. It's great to have since I don't really know the difference in quality in 1911's between any brand.

As for what the gun would be for, I guess I should have added that. The gun would be mainly for personal defence, and I do know accuracy can be sacrificed for personal defence because you only need to hit something that would be an absolute maximum of 15 yards away.

But, I am also looking for a handgun that I could use for a little bit of friendly competition between friends and family when we go plinking up at a quary or range.

As for plinking, I would buy a .22 LR conversion kit to use for plinking, because at $20 for a box of .45 ACP VS. $1.50 for a box of .22 LR, I'll use the .22 for plinking, AFTER I've broken in the gun with .45.

I knew that 1911s are one of the best defensive guns, that's why I decieded to get one. I know nothing about quality between brands, or which brand would be best to get. I know my single action revolvers, nothing else.

I decided on the CDP because I had read that it was a really reliable handgun by numerous posts online, but I had not read much beyond that in terms of reliability with different mags, different pieces, and different ammo.
 

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Re: re: New 1911 buyer questions

EuroWolf said:
.......I knew that 1911s are one of the best defensive guns, that's why I decieded to get one. I know nothing about quality between brands, or which brand would be best to get. I know my single action revolvers, nothing else.......
There was once a fine fellow named Elmer Keith who figured a single-action wheelgun was all anybody needed..... as long as the caliber started with a "4". A quote frequently attributed to him (don't know if it's true or not) is, "If you can't do it with 5 shots, you're better off runnin' instead of fightin'."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know many quotes, none of them gun related, but I do know what I have researched and what I have taught myself.

My understanding is that the single action revoler, usually has a 6 round cylinder. There are usually only 5 shots loaded into because of the design of the firing pin, which is located on the hammer. If the gun is dropped, the hammer moves forward and the firing pin strikes whatever is in the cylinder at the time. The reason only 5 out of 6 rounds were ever loaded is to make sure this could not happen. HOWEVER, with the inovative transfer saftey bar, inventer by Ruger, all 6 rounds could be loaded without worry that dropping it would cause it to go off. The reason is is because the bar itself prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin, located in the frame, instead of on the hammer.
Back in the old west, the single action was the only hand gun style available. It was rugged, reliable, and NEVER jams because it has no complex mechanisms that can be jamed easily like the auto loading firearms we have now. The single action is the pinical of firearm technology because the design allows for more powerful ammunition to be loaded and fired safely through it. The restrictions are that if you try to create something that holds more rounds, the cylinder has to be bigger, along with an enlarged frame to house the cylinder. The advantage over most other guns is the fact that it needs to be manualy cocked every time, better than if the gun goes off by accident and reloads another shell into the chamer like auto loaders, and better than the double where if you are scared while holding it, it will go off, even if you don't cock the hammer. The single action will not go off if you don't cock it, or drop it.
The main advantage of the single action revoler is the fact that they tend to hold powerful magnum cartriges. True man stoppers are the .357 magnum, the .44 magnum, the .45 colt, the .454 casull (be insane to use that one), the .50 AE (again, insane). and the .500 S&W (break your wrist after one shot). These not only stop the guy, they send a message after one shot that you aren't playing around, and if you hit him, he has a nice hole to remember the event with.
More than 1 shot to stop someone with anything above the .357 is a waste of ammo. Most people will go down after one good shoot to the chest or the abdomial area. However, more shots may be used if the person is intoxicated, inebriated, or one tough SOB. The only other reason to use more than one shot on anything living is if you are going up against something that is big an mean, such as a grizzly.

I could put more about the history that I know, the innovations that have come into play, and the different types of single action that are offered from different periods.

I'm not looking for something that has a wrist breaking cartridge, I'm looking for something that I can fire without having to put ice on my piano players wrists. I can't handle the heavy kicking rounds in handguns very well. The most powerful cartridge I have used in a handgun is the .44 mag out of a 4" barreled Redhawk Ruger. Don't like the recoil, don't like the cost of the ammo, but I prefer that it is a double action revolver. When I say I'm getting a 1911 for personal defence, I'm saying I'm getting a gun that I can handle the recoil on, I like the caliber, and I can afford to shoot it more than just when I need to.

The main purpose of this handgun is to stop anything that suprises me while hunting. There are wolves, coyotes, and small critters that I don't feel like wasting a 30-06 shell on that I have for deer or larger dangerous animals. The only reason I would use it on something bigger is if I had a bear or deer pop out of the brush about 10-20 feet away and my Weatherby is on by back.

I am sorry if this sounds like an attack. I am not attacking what you are saying, but I already know what you are trying to say, no offence. I have a single action that I can use anytime I want for self defence. I don't want to because it's bulky. I want something easier to conceal than a revoler, and trust me, I have a slim build and anything that sticks out more than 1.5" is going to look funny on me under a shirt or jacket.

1911s are one of the best defensive hand guns. I put that without my reasons as to why I would say that. The 1911 is the closest we have gotten to making a revolver with a clip. It is rugged, simple, reliable, fits the hand nicely, and is readily available for purchase. All you need to stop someone is 1 bullet out of any gun, so long as you hit the person in the right spot. A 1911 can stop someone just as well as a single action revolver, but in the event that the first bullet doesn't stop them, the 1911 is a faster follow up shot. That's all I want in the gun, a fast, easy, follow up shot.

By the way, I'm only 16. Turning 17 in August.
 

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Ewolf;
There are more than a few inconsistencies with your responses to begin with and I am confused a little by whether you actually want help here from very knowledgeable and experienced people or a chance to impress with your knowledge.

Just one to ponder is your last comment having to do with how much faster the auto is than the revolver on "follow-up" shots.
The current fastest gun in shooting 6 rounds, hitting the target with every shot, reloading and firing the last is held by a revolver shooter.
Also, I am unaware of how a DA revolver is scary or dangerous as a result of the person holding said revolver being "scared". I have been in some very, very bad situations and read or studied the circumstances of dozens of others who also have seen the elephant and I have never read or heard of a 10 to 12 # DA trigger being overcome by fear. BUT, I am always learning and may yet become aware of a situation such as this.

But rather than fuss I would make a suggestion as you seem to be willing to ask questions at least.

Please see my thread on this forum re books to read concerning firearms and self defense along with a plethora of other very important, even critical topics.
If you are truly interested in self defense and really wish to learn and until you become old enough to own and carry or use firearms for any purpose you will gain a tremendous amount of knowledge from these tomes of wisdom.
If you want a very good understanding of why we react the way we do in deadly force situations, you might read Bruce Siddles book Sharpening the Warriors Edge.
Also try although dated, Ayoobs book In the Gravest Extreme.
In fact if you are truly interested in learning and putting your time to best use, read all of the books down to the the first one I recommended by Fairbayrn and Sykes. I honestly believe you will have a better understanding of several of the topics and ideas on which you touched.

I do not mean one syllable of this reply to be caustic or as a slam or to in any way put you down, I don't do things like that. I mean only to try to give you food for thought and a recommendation that I would pass on to my own son under like circumstances.

Stay safe, always.

UncleFudd
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you put a big enough gun in anyones face, they will get scared. I have said I know nothing, and I am taking into consideration everything that is being said, but I have one of those mind sets that 'some of it tends to go in one ear and out the other.'
I probably seem like a jerk in my responces. Sorry to anyone who is getting that impression.
Also, when you get scared, your hands tend to clentch in fear, and if the gun was in your hand when you were scared, or shocked is a better way of putting it, you might accidently pull the trigger.
I don't usually put full responces when I reply to questions, and I have a bad habbit of answering questions that aren't asked, and adding more questions to answer questions. It's all of my bad habits showing up in one thread.
Still, I'm just a kid. I'm always learning new things. I'm really stubborn in my mind set. I have always been told by everyone that I'm smart, talented, and just gifted in every way. I think it just made me start to think that other people opinions were inferior to my own, but I always keep in mind that no matter how old and experienced I get, there will always be someone who is more experiences and older than I am that will know better than me.
I do take into consideration what has been posted. I have a bad tenancy to keep some information about what I am really looking for to myself because people seem to be able to lead me to exactly what I'm looking for without even trying.
Your responce to my original post. It was all very informative.
Someone asked me if the gun would be for defence, plinking, or competition. The real answer is all of the above. I know what I need for all of them, and I have a good idea of costs, but I know nothing about guns. Mechanics, physics, mathematics, those are what I know about guns. I can have a gun dissassembled without instructions and put it back together the way it was.
I'm starting to ramble again. Bad habbit, sorry.
As for my faster follow up comment, I have a habbit of letting the recoil of revolvers take over to allow me to throw my thumb in front of the hammer, so it takes me a little longer to realign my shot than if I use a pistol or DA revolver because I'm more over used to auto loaders. With those, I refuse to let my wrists and arms move and I, personally, have faster follow up shots with the DA revolvers and pistols.
The help I more over want is what a good brand is and what to look for in a quality fire arm. I didn't really make that clear or even seem to mention it in my original post. I'm also wondering if anything should be replaced, like you have said the guide rod which I think is a must, and that is really what I wanted to know when I mentioned modifications.

There is one other thing I will be getting. I found out that I can get an under the barrel Picatinny Rail mount for 1911 pistols. I was considering getting a new frame that hat a 1913 style picatinny, but when I found out that I could get one for about $60 instead of paying for a new frame, I decided to consider weither it would be worth it. I do want to get a tactical flashlight, and that is one of the things that influenced my decision, along with the fact that Kimbers seemed to be pretty good (and a price I was willing to pay, I'm a pretty big cheap skate when it comes to some things). Would this attachment be a good idea?

Also, I'm moreover looking for answers that don't just slam Kimber, or any gun company, because I don't think or feel that those people have ever given the company they slam any chance. I have a thing against glock. I used one once, didn't like the feel, and judged my opinin based solely on that one experience. I don't slam the company, they make an increadible handgun, I just don't like 'em.

I am also getting some of my information from a personal sorce that I have about handguns. My friends dad is pretty knowledgable about handguns, and has told me that Colt 1911's have reliablility issues (All gun companies do if you don't try to fix the problem), and he sujested that I go with Springfield Armory or Kimber for a 1911. I did make up my mind of what handgun I want to get, but if I can find one mentioned that has all the bells and whiltles as the Kimber I'm looking at, or can have them added on and not exceed what I would pay for the Kimber, then I would most likely get the later, but I can't think of a gun that does.

Best reguards (and sorry if anyone thought I was slamming their post)

EuroWolf
 

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Just my .02.
I voted Springfield. I own one as well as a Colt Gold Cup. The Colt is my Bullseye competition gun. It was tuned by the late great George Madore and has always been remarkably reliable.
For a stock gun, though, the Springfield is a good buy, especially if one plans to do anything in the aftermarket accurizing arena. As far as the Kimber goes...I have a shooting buddy who owns one. he does well with it but I don't see that it shoots any better than my Springfield. It does not shoot as tightly as my Gold Cup but the Kimber has not been accurized (other than by the factory). I realize that the last comments are extremely subjective.
My feeling is that, if you plan on having the gun accurized, spending $1500 on the basic gun may not be needed. Your choice, of course. I recently read that the USAMU buys Rock River 1911s; then their armorers turn them into the very accurate pistols that their shooters need.
Magazines - I use mostly Colt and Meggar magazines, even a couple of GI mags. I have never had a problem that was magazine related with any of them over the last 50K or 60K rounds. I own a single Wilson mag.; it works just fine too.
.22 Conversion kits - I own a Ceiner and use it on the Springfield frame. It functions properly. Accuracy is OK. It will not fit on to a frame that has been accurized by having the rails modified.
Pete
 

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I've got a Kimber TLE that I've used in IDPA competition for a few years now. Reliable and is capable of more accuracy than I can muster. I also have a Ceiner conversion kit. I would have preferred a Kimber, but I am eligible for a LE discount with Brownells and the price difference made the decision easy.

I've never owned a Springfield, but have been scared off by warranty issues a couple of club members have had with theirs. Probably just bad luck, but because of it, almost nobody I shoot with owns one.

BTW, when you get up around $1500, there are a few others that you can start to look at; seems like there's a model or two of Les Baer, Nighthawk, and Wilson Combat that are pretty close in there. The Les Baer's are especially popular with the "Expert" class shooters in the club.
 

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I voted Wilson simply because it is a custom, mega-buck work of art. It really is in a different category than the other makes listed. That said, I have only one 1911 at the moment, and it's a Kimber Custom series 1. I paid around $700 for it maybe eight years ago. It's been 100% reliable and one-ragged hole accurate since day one. However, I can't comment on current-run Kimbers or any other brand because I lack the experience with them.

If you do go to a mega-buck custom gun, another manufacturer I'd suggest looking at is Les Baer. I own a Les Baer AR-15 in 6.5 Grendel, and it is absolutely phenomenal. Of course, for the money, it had better be.
 
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