1911 recommendations for newbies

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1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by armouredbear on Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:25 pm

So i am ready to get my next pistol for BE, and i'm told that i should be getting a .45, and i'd like to get a good BE-dedicated 1911 to last me, but i don't know anything about them. i'm willing to save my pennies for a custom job, but wouldn't mind paying less than a mint. i know this is a huge question but what do you folks recommend?

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Steve B on Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:40 pm

How much do you have to spend?

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Paper-Puncher on Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:17 pm

More than I few guys start out with a springfield armory base gun and build on it....or of cousre you can go with a full blown custom build from a BE gunsmith....just depends on your pockets....I went with a springfield armory Range Officer and am doing work to it as I shoot it...Ive got it shooting well now ...but in time I will do more to it...but for now it shoots better than I can hold ...you can find used guns from other shooters that are alrady set up ...Ive seen some here on this forum....I dont know what a full blown custom cost but Clarks Customs will tune a gun up for $400.00 bucks and I could be wrong but I believe they say 2'' @ 50 yds is what they garantee or maybe its 2.5'' ...

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by armouredbear on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:03 pm

you know, i'm not even sure what i should expect to pay out for something like this. i guess my range would be between $1-2k (i think i can squirrel away that much).

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by SMBeyer on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:22 pm

I have a Les Baer wad gun and am very pleased with it.

Scott

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by armouredbear on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:03 am

thanks for that. the les baer pistols look great. i had looked at bob marvel's website, and he says that "all prices are for builds on the customer's frame." Does that mean that you have to supply an existing pistol? i like what i see on his site, but not having any experience, i'm not sure that it would be worth another $1000. that said, i guess if i spent that much, i'd never need to buy another wad gun ever (that doesn't mean i wouldn't, just that i wouldn't need to).

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by SMBeyer on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:50 am

Some people look down on the Les Baer but I have had no problems with mine. When it was brand new the trigger was horrible so I called and they said to just shoot it and after 500 rounds it would be fine and 3 1/2 #'s and they were right. I have now shot it about 5000 times all with my reloads and have had that I can remember 3 malfunctions.

And yes that means that you have to send them a pistol to start with.

If you are just starting out you probably wont be able to tell the difference between a 1.5" capable wad gun and a 4" but you cant go wrong with good equipment.

Scott

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Rob Kovach on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:07 am

Springfield Range officer. <$800 for a gun that is competitive right out of the box and is a good platform for future build up. I know of 4 RO's that were match ready from the factory. Everyone I know that has one has been happy with it.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Paper-Puncher on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:31 am

In my opion you have a couple of options...actually 5

1. Buy a factory gun like a Springfield Armory- Trophy match ,Range officer, Loaded target model have springfield custom shop work it up $500.00 or work it up yourself alittle at a time as I did . or shoot it as is, the U.S built springfield's are pretty good .I did 2 minor changes to mine(RAnge Officer) and mine will shoot better than I can hold.( but factory guns can very mine was good from the start and I added to it)

2. Buy a factory gun send it off and have it done $400.00 to ?? and wait up to 4-6 months

3. Buy a used wad gun

4. Buy a custom wad gun like a les bear for $2200 ready to shoot and gaurentee for 2.5 @ 50yds right out of the box with a dot rail or pay extra and get the 1.5 @ 50 promise

I just got into the .45 last fall so I faced the same things your considering now.....if my pockets would have been deeper . I may have gone the les bear or similar route but I dont mind tinkering and couldnt afford it ...their is one more option(5) ...get a fitted caspian frame and slide and start building it yourself. Brownells has all the parts, you can have a smith fit anything you cant ...but this option depends on how handy you are...and remember mistakes cost money.........The reson I mentioned Springfield armory is I have 2 of them ...its a great base gun and they really have great customer service...and service work...My loaded combat model will shoot less than 2 @ 25yds with defensive +p ammo..................and my range Officer(wad gun) 1'' @ 25 ..........good luck and have fun.

1 word of caution I tryed Kimber ....wasnt happy with the gun or their service ....the gun I had wouldnt group better than 3'' @ 50ft...maybe I just had a lemon ...the series 1 pistol ( no longer made) were nice ..the 2's accuracy is a gamble

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Chris_D on Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:59 am

Assuming you belong to a club or league (or there is one in your area), talk to the shooters there. Ask if anyone is selling their B.E. 45s, perhaps there is a good gun already tricked out and ready to compete.

More importantly, ask if you can shoot some 45s. Nearly all of the 1911s feel the same in a general sense. However, the checkering or stipling on the front strap or main spring housing can give a VERY different feel - which is important. Scopes are a big issues if you plan to have one, each brand is a bit different even though they all have a red dot. Try before you buy if at all possible.

Unless you are a very good shooter, feeling triggers isn't something you will appreciate too much. However, you still need to be comfortable with the pull.

I got lucky and was able to borrow my 1911 from someone to shoot a match with. I shot a few hundred rounds through it and I knew I loved the gun so I pursuaded the owner to sell it to me. When buying a new gun, you are not afforded the opportunity to try before you buy.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by jakuda on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:28 am

SMBeyer wrote:Some people look down on the Les Baer but I have had no problems with mine. When it was brand new the trigger was horrible so I called and they said to just shoot it and after 500 rounds it would be fine and 3 1/2 #'s and they were right..........

That right there is a reason why Les Baer may not be the best choice. If one is paying $1700+ for a bullseye gun, one shouldn't need to "break it in" to get the trigger to feel right. A proper trigger job is perfect, once it's in your hands. But if it works for you *shrug* Keep shooting!

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by SMBeyer on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:45 am

I never said it was the best choice and I agree that the trigger should be good when you get it. My best score with it outdoors was 857 with most of my points being droppped at the short line and that isn't the guns fault. I would buy another one if need be. Scott

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by DavidR on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:17 pm

Best out of box custom now that rock river has stopped building them is a Les Baer, ive owned many, Cheaper and really only by a little if you do it right is the SA range officer, 800.00 plus a rail, and a kart match barrel & bushing, stipple or checker front of frame and add checkered main spring, and trigger work, this done by a smith would bring you to or above the cost of a Les Baer. Best alternative is find a good used one from someone exiting the sport or selling off a extra.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Rob Kovach on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:24 pm

I don't want the new shooters to think that they must spend hundreds of dollars to customize these stock Springfields to get into our sport. It diminishes the growth of our sport to emphasize it that way. The stock Springfield RO's I've seen are all sub 3" guns at 50yards. Mine shoots sub2" at that distance--stock barrel, bushing and slide stop pin.

If a new shooter starts out with an $800 gun, shooting over the counter ammo, with the stock iron sights, he can learn about light ammo and reloading. He can learn about a lighter recoil spring. He can add the sight rail and red dot. You want the new shooter to learn all about 1911's on a $1800 custom and blow the barrel lugs off of the thing with Hardballs from the store because he didn't know any better?

The point that's missing above all others is that if that new shooter buys that $800 gun, learns all of those lessons, even gets some of that work done on it---scope rail, etc, and he's ready to move up to the next level, THAT GUN IS STILL WORTH WHAT HE HAS INVESTED! If he wants to move up to a really nice custom, he can sell that entry level stocker--Better yet, to that next "new shooter"

New shooters, go buy that 1911 that you like, and shoot it. Shoot it alot. And when you have questions, come back and ask us. Don't let all of the differences of opinion discourage you.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Founder on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:38 pm

Rock River is building 1911's again Smile

Just give them a call. That is the route I would take if I had less than $3k to spend. Number one choice would be Joe Chambers without a question one of the best 1911 builders in the country. And a heck of a nice guy and advocate for our sport.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Founder on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:40 pm

I should mention that the Springfield Target Loaded that I started with took me to the upper fringes of expert class and I had about $1200 total in that gun including the purchase.

Rob how are you liking that gun now? Your slow fire targets looked pretty good last night! Smile

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Rob Kovach on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:44 pm

I love it! It Shoots way better than I do. The holes appear right where I call them. Unfortunately I'm not holding dead center when I do that.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by DavidR on Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:14 am

Rob Kovach wrote:I don't want the new shooters to think that they must spend hundreds of dollars to customize these stock Springfields to get into our sport. It diminishes the growth of our sport to emphasize it that way. The stock Springfield RO's I've seen are all sub 3" guns at 50yards. Mine shoots sub2" at that distance--stock barrel, bushing and slide stop pin.

If a new shooter starts out with an $800 gun, shooting over the counter ammo, with the stock iron sights, he can learn about light ammo and reloading. He can learn about a lighter recoil spring. He can add the sight rail and red dot. You want the new shooter to learn all about 1911's on a $1800 custom and blow the barrel lugs off of the thing with Hardballs from the store because he didn't know any better?

The point that's missing above all others is that if that new shooter buys that $800 gun, learns all of those lessons, even gets some of that work done on it---scope rail, etc, and he's ready to move up to the next level, THAT GUN IS STILL WORTH WHAT HE HAS INVESTED! If he wants to move up to a really nice custom, he can sell that entry level stocker--Better yet, to that next "new shooter"

New shooters, go buy that 1911 that you like, and shoot it. Shoot it alot. And when you have questions, come back and ask us. Don't let all of the differences of opinion discourage you.

Good advise, but a new shooter should know up front, this is not a cheap sport if he or she wants to pass the rank of marksman. You need accurate guns, and accurate ammo and a host of other essential equipment. a stock gun of the shelf and cheap factory ammo will only tend to frustrate the person who is truly interested in advancing. The best advise from many masters of the sport give is to buy the best you can afford and practice.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Rob Kovach on Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:23 pm

David, If the gun shoots <2" groups at 50 yards, what does it matter what it costs?

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by DavidR on Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:David, If the gun shoots <2" groups at 50 yards, what does it matter what it costs?

Thats true but Ive ransomed many 1911's and To find a stock springfield barrel that shoots those numbers is not the norm. and people should not expect to get one when they buy one. Its like playing the lottery, you might get a sub 2'' one but its just good luck if you do. The RO is the best starter gun on the market for our sport right now but i would not expect most of them to average better than 4''+ 50 yd groups out of the box.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Paper-Puncher on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:29 pm

With my RO shooting 1'' @ 25yds ...I would assume it should be under 3'' @ 50yds...I would think....but I did do a tighter barrel bushing and insatlled a .200 slide stop pin which snugged up my lower leg lock up nicely. I myself would love a custum gun but I just cant really swing that kinda cost ..I would guess I have about $1100.00 in my RO with the stuff I did and the dot and rail....I would think it should shoot 2.5 - 3.0 @ 50yds now ...did I get lucky? maybe .

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by armouredbear on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:07 am

wow, thanks for all the information. the captain of my pistol team recommended the Springfield Trophy Match or getting a Gold Cup and having it accurized. My dad and grandfather used to run their own shop in Little Rock and worked with Clark Custom regularly and i noticed that Clark's Bullseye model is only about $400 more than the Springfield. does anyone here have any experience with the newer Clarks? also, why wouldn't the 6" longslide be preferable to the 5" government length?

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Paper-Puncher on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:45 am

I could be wrong here....as far as the trophy match goes....I think you would be better off with a carbon steel frame rather than a stainless....reason being Ive read that the slide to frame can be held tighter on a carbon steel gun (.001) where as on a stainless gun they hold them @ .002 for reason of gulling......As far as clark goes ..I called them and they said for $400.00 they would accurize my RO....but theres a 6 month wait ....

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by BE Mike on Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:43 am

armouredbear wrote:wow, thanks for all the information. the captain of my pistol team recommended the Springfield Trophy Match or getting a Gold Cup and having it accurized. My dad and grandfather used to run their own shop in Little Rock and worked with Clark Custom regularly and i noticed that Clark's Bullseye model is only about $400 more than the Springfield. does anyone here have any experience with the newer Clarks? also, why wouldn't the 6" longslide be preferable to the 5" government length?
First of all, I'm amazed that you can live in Brooklyn and be involved in target pistol shooting. I started out with a Colt Gold Cup. I wouldn't go that route again. They are way too expensive for what they are. You would be much better off getting a basic Springfield Armory 1911 and have it accurized. There are some lesser known pistolsmiths who have a pretty quick turn around and charge much less than the big names. I have purchased a couple of used accurized bullseye 1911's and have been very happy, but I know what to look for and I know the names of some of the past great pistolsmiths. If Rock River is making bullseye pistols again, I would definitely consider buying one. I've never seen a RR that I didn't like. You have a lot of good options. You can pay a lot (over $3,000) or pay a little (under $1,300) and get a decent pistol. One thing though, is when you buy a basic pistol and send it off to have it accurized, you can specify if you want a long or short trigger, beavertail or standard grip safety, crisp or roll trigger, brand of barrel, slide or frame mount or iron sights, checkering or stippling of the front strap, etc.

To sum it up, if I were in a hurry, I'd buy a Rock River or send a Springfield to a lesser known bullseye pistol smith with a very good reputation amongst bullseye pistol shooters. These bullseye pistolsmiths come to mind: Dave Salyer, Greg Derr, Jerry Keefer, KC Crawford, and Dave Santurri. I'm certain that I've left out a bunch more.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by armouredbear on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:33 pm

BE Mike wrote:First of all, I'm amazed that you can live in Brooklyn and be involved in target pistol shooting.

yeah, it's actually really great. i thought it would be near-impossible, but other than a lot of paperwork, it's not that difficult. my club, the Metropolitan Rod and Gun Club, has been around since 1934. it is suffering from the same kind of age attrition that a lot of bullseye groups are facing these days, but we're still going. we just don't meet often enough in numbers for me to pick everybody's brains. it's not really a common passtime, but i'm trying to get more people my age into it here.

BE Mike wrote:One thing though, is when you buy a basic pistol and send it off to have it accurized, you can specify if you want a long or short trigger, beavertail or standard grip safety, crisp or roll trigger, brand of barrel, slide or frame mount or iron sights, checkering or stippling of the front strap, etc.

so if you don't mind me belaboring the issue, i've been wondering about all these things. out of sheer stubbornness i want an iron sights pistol, but i really don't know what the differences are in these other options. my first, only, and current pistol is a 5-screw Smith & Wesson 17-2 (not exactly a bullseye pistol, i know, but my grandfather made master shooting a k38), so i don't know anything about 1911s or semi-auto pistols at all. i've shot them a few times, but that's about it. would you guys mind walking me through some of these options and variations?

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

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