1911 recommendations for newbies

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1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by armouredbear on 1/24/2012, 7:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

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 BE Mike on 1/29/2012, 10:52 am

If you want an iron sights bullseye gun, I'd suggest having a Bomar Rib installed. This makes it shoot well (extra weight) and can be removed and a Clark Mount mounted to the slide, using the same holes, for a scope later, if you change your mind. The slide mounted scope is the most popular way to mount a scope, but the frame mount has its proponents. Shooters with meaty webs usually prefer a beavertail grip safety to prevent hammer bite. The b/t grip safety necessitates a "commander type hammer" (round with a hole). Most folks like Kart barrels. They shoot well, are readily available and reasonably priced. The trigger let-off (roll or crisp) is a personal preference. Many top shooters like a roll trigger let-off. You have to try them to see which one you prefer. Whether or not you want a long trigger or short trigger depends on the size of your hands and fingers. It also might depend on whether or not you want to use plain grips or anatomical grips. I'd suggest starting out with just checkered slab-sided grips. The front strap needs something to make it rough. For a permanent solution, it needs to be checkered or stippled. Checkering looks very nice and is highly effective, but will add a couple of hundred dollars to the cost of the work. Stippling is very functional and costs quite a bit less. You can also just apply something like skate board tape for something less permanent. Basically, if you decide to buy a custom built gun, you need to discuss the options with him. If possible, you need to try out different gun options to see which ones suit you the best. One size doesn't fit all.
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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by armouredbear on 1/29/2012, 12:32 pm

does the length of the barrel matter at all? i had thought that 6" would be better for bullseye, but most people seem to prefer the 5". why is that?
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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Rob Kovach on 1/29/2012, 1:31 pm

5" barrels are more common. Since the 5" are plenty accurate, there isn't a significant advantage to the 6". The distance from the front sight to the rear sight may have been an advantage when everyone still shot irons, but today, most of us switch back and forth.

My whole pitch on this whole thread is about progression. The whole sales pitch on the RO is that it is "accurized" at the factory for competition. It comes with adjustable irons, and the 4 that I have personnally fired, all of them are capable. If you happen to get one that isn't accurate to your specs, send it in like Keith did with his GI.

Now you have a 1911 to learn on. Stick some grip tape on the front strap to see if you like having more grip there. Enjoy shooting it for awhile. Learn the trigger. As you shoot it more and more, and you meet more bullseye shooters, compare your trigger to theirs. That will help you learn more about what roll feels like and how much roll you might want.

The guys are right. To shoot master, you need good stuff. But as you have pointed out, you don't even know what your preferences are yet. For a new shooter that doesn't reload, starting with a perfect bullseye 1911 that already has hundreds of $ of accurization on it is just bad advice. The RO, however is a good candidate for adding each of the items that the masters are recommending--each in their own time.

My advice is: Start with the RO and over the counter ammo---because that is what you have access to.

Progress to reloaded target ammo--whether reloaded by you or someone you know. You will need to learn about the combination of ammo to recoil spring.

Add a scope mount. See our other posts about how to install it in away that you don't have to take your irons on and off. A different recoil spring is needed for a slide mounted rail/scope. That's ok...they are less than $10 each.

By the time you have gotten this far, you have fired it enough to know what to do next. You can sell it--usually for close to what you have invested, or send it off for customization. Maybe a trigger job, maybe an upgraded barrel and bushing, slide fitting etc.

Other lessons you would learn while working through that progression: how to care for your 1911 without damaging it. You will learn to ride a slide home on an empty chamber because damage to the barrel lugs can result. You will learn what you prefer in your 1911. I just don't see learning those lessons after buying a $1300-$2000 gun that might not suit your preferences at all, then leads you to all of the same modifications to get the gun the way YOU want it.
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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by DavidR on 1/30/2012, 11:03 am

I talked to Rock River and they think way more of their guns today than they did when they built them before, todays price to a dealer is 2500.00 for a wad or ball gun. If your looking for a open sight 1911, the range officer is the best bet to get started.
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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Paper-Puncher on 1/31/2012, 8:19 pm

Armourded Bear

I am by no means am trying to influence your decission. I got a Range officer and since I'm kinda handy I did a few things to it myself ...I hand fitted a EGW barrel bushing which removed about .004-.005 of lets call it slop and with the imput of a gun smith I changed out the slide stop pin and installed a .200 pin which worked out well for me ...I also added a rail and dot sight and I did my own trigger ..I added skate board tape to the front strap and with the advice of the guys here got a nice handload.....Ive seen my gun shoot 1'' at 25yds and if I do my part I can hold the 9ring on a 25yd slow fire target off hand....did I get lucky maybe ..I believe the gun was good to begin with and the 2 things I did just improved it some.....my slide to frame could be a tad tighter...and I am sure a hand fitted kart barrel would perform better than the stock one ....the gun shoots better than I do now and should perform well for quite some time ...but in time the slide will be snugged up and it will get a kart barrel ...booth of which I will most likely do....But I like to tinker and I like haveing a part in how my guns perform ....If I would have had a bigger wallet I would have still got the RO ...but I would have had it tuned up by a smith....If you get a RO and shoot it open sights you may find that it will shoot better than you can hold it ..but at least you will get to enjoy it abit before you send it off ...One thing to keep in mind factory guns can very , yours could shoot 1'' @ 25 right from the box and then again it may be losser.....The RO's are built to a tighter standard at the factory but it doesnt make them Bullseye guns from the box ..but I would think unless your a master level shooter you probably wont be able to see the difference....If you can afford a custom by all means go for it ...I would..but since I couldnt Ive gone the best route that I could go and if I had to do it again Id do it the same way....have fun

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by SMBeyer on 1/31/2012, 9:38 pm

You guys might be getting tired of hearing Range Officer stories but here is mine anyway:

I bought mine with the sole intention of using it to go distinguished so some things had to be changed. Payed $820(maybe a little too much but I got it locally and intend to have it for a while so I was glad to get it). In order to make it CMP legal I had to change the grip safety, thumb safety, and hammer. Even if I wasn't making it a ball gun I would have had to change the thumb safety because I am left handed and that extended safety is just painful. I'm a carpenter not a gunsmith so it went to a local gunsmith that did a trigger job on my Gold Cup that is fabulous. I gave it to him and told him what I wanted to do. I believe he put all standard Colt parts on it because he wanted the colors to match and the gun looks like it should be that way not a gun that had a bunch of parts changed. First thing he did was a trigger job which had to be done because of the hammer and safety swap. He also replaced the hammer strut and pin because he said it was a little sloppy and didn't like it. They come with a good trigger but heavy and a trigger job is a must in my opinion. Next I had him mill the rear sight opening to .140. I don't like that tight of rear sight gap that it came with and this was also a must for me. Next was to replace the bushing. I wanted to fit a bushing first and see how it shot and then decide if it needed a Kart barrel. Since I am only going to shoot 230gr ball ammo that is what he Ransom Rested it with. I gave him some Winchester Target for Wal-Mart and some Federal Match. He said it didn't particularly like the Winchester, 3-3.5 inches at 50yds. but... the Federal best group was 1.6" and averaged right at 2" with ball ammo Very Happy and stock Springfield barrel. Slow fire is my strong point and I want everything I can get at the long line but I see no reason at all to put a Kart barrel in it. He told me that from his time he spent with AMU gunsmiths that slide to frame fit accounted for only 2% of loss of accuracy as long is it is within reason. Consistent lockup to the same point was more important than a tight fit. Oh and a "checkered" front strap from wilson for $10. I also put the grips from my Bear wad gun on it because the stock grips aren't really grippy but that is also just personal preferance.

So $820 base price gun (saw them at the gunshow for $795) did $280 worth of changes to it (probably half or more not necessary if you are not using it for EIC matches) for a total of $1,100 for a gun that will shoot ball ammo 2" and under with a great trigger and a sight that suits me. Really the only thing I can say bad about the gun is the stock magazines seem kind of poor. You have to push the follower back in order for it to go down on the first round. I am very impressed with the Range Officer. Just my $.02 Scott
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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by StephenL on 2/5/2012, 3:10 pm

I highly recommend a pistol from Travis Frerking.

FCWGUNS@inebraska.com

I picked up a hardball 45 from him at Camp Perry this year. I couldn't be happier. Everyone that has shot it is very impressed.

Nicely priced too!

No affiliation. Just a happy customer.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Bigbones on 2/6/2012, 8:33 pm

I am a newbie also and read this post with great interest. Based on the opinions expressed here and elsewhere, today I purchased a Springfield Range Officer. I have many handguns but I have never owned or even shot a 1911. I want to learn about the world of Bullseye and this seemed a logical choice to begin the journey.

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45 Wad Gun

Post by AllAces on 2/10/2012, 9:52 am

Take a look at Clark Custom Guns. It will take a year to get one of their wad guns if you order it now. However, if you send them a gun, or buy a new gun from Clark's retail store, and have it modified for BE shooting, including a red dot mount, the wait is 2 - 4 months. Check out their website and call, ask to speak to Clay and tell him you are shooting bullseye.
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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Bigbones on 2/11/2012, 9:21 am

Clark's Custom Guns looks like a good way to go. I need to spend some time with my RO and put some ammo through it before I move on to customizing this one or purchasing another though. At this point, I don't know enough to intelligently pick the right options for me.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Ghillieman on 2/14/2012, 11:11 pm

I would highly suggest finding a Clark Custom 1911 in good shape and jumping all over that thing!!! Check around at BE matches, clubs, and online. Try a google search.
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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by DRNurse1 on 3/1/2012, 9:30 pm

Dr Nick has lots of useful information at www.mountaincompetitionpistols.com. His builds are pricey, but the information is helpful no matter who builds the gun. BTW, Brian Zins manufactures his BE ammo upstairs from Dr Nick's shop. Neat partnership.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by DavidR on 3/2/2012, 9:53 am

Zins did promote those guns but now promotes a different brand. Before buying one do some research, not so good feedback. I can from my own experience say Dr. Nick is not a stellar business man, on purchases i made he ignored repeated emails and voice messages, still to this day never got a return call.
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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Carl Taylor on 3/4/2012, 10:05 pm

Springfield makes a national match hardball pistol for about $1600 model number is pc9502 they also make a wad gun model number pc9302 no idea what the current wait time is though. I have a pdf of the custom catalog if you want me to send it to you. You may find it somewhere online. I can't remember where I got my copy.

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by armouredbear on 3/15/2012, 4:50 pm

has anybody shot the sig 1911 and/or have any opinions on them?
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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

Post by Bryan Coyle on 3/15/2012, 5:16 pm

The link for Travis several posts up should have been http://fcwguns.com/
I handled one of his last fall and was definitely impressed ... a few Clark modded guns I dealt with recently, not so much.
/B

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Re: 1911 recommendations for newbies

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