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1911 virgin

This is a discussion on 1911 virgin within the Autoloaders forums, part of the Armory category; Hi guys and gals. I've been wanting to get my first 1911 for some time and the day is near. My question is this: Full ...


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Old September 11th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #1
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1911 virgin

Hi guys and gals.
I've been wanting to get my first 1911 for some time and the day is near.
My question is this: Full size or a commander size?
What are your experiences with one or the other or both?
I don't anticipate carrying it so the smaller commander doesn't have an upper had to me as far as that goes.
I'd love some opinions from ya'll.
Thanks a ton!!

ps: I don't want to turn this into a brand war. I really just want to know about the size.
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Old September 11th, 2013, 09:28 AM   #2
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For your first one, go with a full size and enjoy. Actually I only own full size .45 as far as 1911's go.
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Old September 11th, 2013, 10:11 AM   #3
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I see no reason to not go full-size.

Anything smaller and you are sacrificing:
1. Capacity, which given your platform is already limited enough
2. Sight Radius
3. Reliability (Or cost of maintenance to maintain reliability)

I had two in .45 ACP. One was junk and I sold it as soon as I had it fixed and looked over by the factory for the third time(Para Ordnance) and had a Springfield Range Officer and loved it. I couldn't afford to shoot it as often as I'd like and while the recoil was manageable, I was still slower than guys I was shooting against firing smaller caliber 1911's.

I know the purists say .45, and for your first one I kind of agree, but since I have that out of my system if I buy another 1911 it will be in 9mm. Based on my experience it will be a Springfield Loaded 9mm.

To each their own.
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Old September 11th, 2013, 11:42 AM   #4
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I think it all depends on what you want a 1911 for. I have been shooting 1911s for a long time and have two 5” guns, a 4” and 3”. I can carry any of them at any time, but each has their own specific uses. My 3” is my EDC. While the 1911 purist in me wants to recommend the 5” gun, if I had to pick just one size to live with, it would be the 4”. Most reputable 1911 manufactures can produce accurate, reliable guns. The 4” gives you the best of all worlds regarding balance and carrying capability without really sacrificing accuracy. Do your research on brands and if you can, try shooting one vs. the other. The felt recoil and timing differences could help steer you one way or the other.
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Old September 11th, 2013, 12:01 PM   #5
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The main reason I want one is, just because I can. :-)
And I think, and as most people say, it should be a part of anyone's gun collection.
Also, I want something I can pass along and a 1911 is about as timeless as it gets.
It will mostly be for my shooting enjoyment and pride of ownership instead of something more "serious".

Keep the opinions coming people. :-)
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Old September 11th, 2013, 12:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneguy47 View Post
I don't anticipate carrying it so the smaller commander doesn't have an upper had to me as far as that goes.
If you don't intend to carry it... There's ZERO advantage to the shorter/smaller guns. Even if on a wild hair, you decide to carry it occasionally, though heavy, the Government size 1911 carries well, since it's pretty "flat". You just have to (like every other carry gun) chose the right holster.

The larger gun will be:
- Typically more accurate (sight radius)
- Softer shooting (weight)
- More reliable (original design, less compromises)

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Old September 11th, 2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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Another vote for full size.
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Old September 11th, 2013, 09:02 PM   #8
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Soft-shooting sweetness with a full-size.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 04:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneguy47 View Post
The main reason I want one is, just because I can. :-)
And I think, and as most people say, it should be a part of anyone's gun collection.
Also, I want something I can pass along and a 1911 is about as timeless as it gets.
It will mostly be for my shooting enjoyment and pride of ownership instead of something more "serious".

Keep the opinions coming people. :-)
Sounds to me like you already answered your own question. The original Browning design 5" is as timeless as it gets. Get the original!
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Old September 12th, 2013, 08:34 AM   #10
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I have owned quite a few 1911's over the years. Based on your original post, I would go with the 5 inch. For my vote, the Springfield Range Officer is the best bang for the buck. I have one and am quite pleased with it. It out shoots both of my older Colts and rivals the accuracy of my Kimber. If the budget is real tight go with a budget gun like the Citadel, etc. If money matters some go with something like the Springfield RO. If money matters a little less that "some", go with Kimber. If money matters quite a bit less than "some", go with Les Bauer. If money does not matter at all, go with Wilson Combat lol! Good luck on your search for a new pistol! If my ramblings have you are confused, here is the order of my reccomendations:

Budget Guns
Springfield Range Officer
Any of the Kimber Guns
Les Bauer
Wilson Combat
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Old September 12th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #11
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I have owned quite a few 1911's over the years. Based on your original post, I would go with the 5 inch. For my vote, the Springfield Range Officer is the best bang for the buck. I have one and am quite pleased with it. It out shoots both of my older Colts and rivals the accuracy of my Kimber. If the budget is real tight go with a budget gun like the Citadel, etc. If money matters some go with something like the Springfield RO. If money matters a little less that "some", go with Kimber. If money matters quite a bit less than "some", go with Les Bauer. If money does not matter at all, go with Wilson Combat lol! Good luck on your search for a new pistol! If my ramblings have you are confused, here is the order of my reccomendations:

Budget Guns
Springfield Range Officer
Any of the Kimber Guns
Les Bauer
Wilson Combat
The RO is a great platform.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 09:38 AM   #12
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I'd stay away from Kimber. Nothing wrong with them, just not worth their prices. Springfield, Colt, or Nighthawk. With Nighthawk obviously being in the premium section.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 02:16 PM   #13
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I have them in three, 3 1/2", four, 4 1/4", and five inch sizes.

A full sized one, as has been suggested, is a good place to start.

That said; a Commander sized one (4 1/4") really gives up nothing to a full sized one; and they seem better "balanced" to me.

Of my seven; an all steel Baer Custom Carry Comanche (4 1/4") is my number one carry pistol, followed by a Colt LW Commander XSE.

I also have a Colt LW Gov't. Model XSE that carries very well.

My IDPA gun is a four inch Wilson Professional in 9mm.

Rounding out the bottom is a three inch Kimber Ultra CDP II (old gift from the wife) that I've reworked a good bit. It's now completely reliable and accurate (I can stay "zero down" with it out through 20 yards), but I only use it when the back's out.

For the money, I don't think you can beat the Colt 1911's being made these days.

Colt is the only production 1911 that I'll still buy.

Good gun huntin, and congrats on your first 1911; whatever it is!

Rick
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Old April 11th, 2014, 02:18 PM   #14
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If you are looking for a range gun, my vote is full size in 9mm. Long sight radius, longer barrel, low recoil and accurate.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 09:57 PM   #15
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Of all the 1911s that Ive owned or worked on, my all time Favorite is My Springfield Operator 5". It has been my daily carry for over 10yrs. The only weapon to have ever replaced it is my M&P FS 9mm. Lighter weight higher round count.. For a FIRST 1911 a full sized pistol by Colt,Kimber,Knighthawk,Springfield,Les Bear, Ed Brown,Ruger,or Para ordnance would be a good deal.. Enjoy it, Fantastic weapon great feel. Timeless
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