Tag Archives: 1911

Colt M45 vs Apple Power Mac


Apple Mac Destruction with Colt M45 1911 Pistol, and a SIG 1911 TACOPS. Both .45 Auto pistols. Both just as accurate, both just as powerful, and both just as reliable.
The Colt though is quite expensive. The SIG is a bargain in comparison. Between the two though… which would I buy?
A Glock 21.  For myself.  But between these two guns, I’d buy the SIG 1911 TACOPS.   If given the choice between these two guns, say as a gift, and I could pick one… I’d still pick the SIG.  Reason being is that I like the checkering and the mag well funnel.  Sure these could be added to the Colt, but the SIG doesn’t come with the pretension and attitude.  It just works.  And it does it without the drama and fanfare.

The finish on the Colt is an odd color.  It’s too damn yellow.  I don’t know what color that is supposed to be, but it’s yellow.  And while the finish is applied just fine, you can see a lot of tool marks under the coating, especially around the frame rail.  I’d think a pistol of this legacy should have a better exterior finish.  I have not yet examined the interior though.
The slide pull is nice and slick.  It’s very smooth.  As is the trigger.  Which is, well, flat out amazing.  However the SIG’s was almost as good.  One thing to note – Both of these pistols had yet to be fired until these first shots recorded.  Both guns were smooth and accurate, to the point that I couldn’t determine if either one had an advantage.

Notes on this computer… I have to admit that I very much love the Architecture of these machines. As a former computer tech, working on these is awesome. So easy to drop the side open and everything is laid out and accessible. Exactly in the way that Dell, HP, and Gateways are not. No one had a better case design.
At one point I had ever ram slot filled and it had two hard drives. It was a great computer. But it wouldn’t take OSX and after awhile all the software just became so far out of date that it rendered this machine useless. It was quite sad for me to retire it, because I loved it. The second HD with crucial data was pulled, as was the RAM, to be used in another machine.
Before I pulled this machine off line to give it this Going Away Party, I did make sure that it was running. I could have thrown Linux on it… Yeah, I know that. But I’ll get more use out of this video than I will a Mac based Linux box.

The SIG GSR 1911 C3:

The SIG GSR 1911 C3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can I say? I had to have it when I first saw it and I’ve been working on getting one for a long time… today was the day it came home with me. Sexy little minx, the C3. The C3 is SIG’s answer to the CCW question. Colt used to make a pistol called the CCO, a gun that I have always wanted since I first saw it. Then Colt dropped it because Colt is run by a pack of useless idiots with balls slightly smaller than your average sun-dried raisins. Well, SIG, being smarter than the average bear, is making their own flavor of the CCO concept. Commander length barrel on top of an Officers sized frame. This is, and I am not saying this lightly – the PERFECT concealed carry combination.

You know how I’ve said that Kimber makes “one of the best” production 1911’s out there? Yeah, well SIG is the other part of that equation and they do make The Best production 1911 out there. I’d like to see some top gunsmiths make some top end customs based on the SIG GSR’s. In the photos, take a close look at the frame to slide fit. No, scratch that… Go to a stocking SIG dealer and look for yourself with your own eyes. To get better than that, you are going to have to buy a full house custom built gun for at least double the money… and even then I really don’t think you can get better than that. Not when you are talking Stainless and Aluminum… now if you were doing a solid steel gun with the same steel on the frame and the slide – maybe it might look tighter, but you can’t actually make it any tighter. There is ZERO play in this C3’s frame to slide fit. There is no play in the barrel.

Kimber still makes some great handguns, don’t get me wrong. I’m still a huge fan of Kimber’s Tactical series. But SIG’s GSR’s? They’ve taken it up a notch. The reason I got the C3 was that I wanted a good compact 1911, but I wasn’t quite sold on the Ultras… It’s the Bushingless Bull Barrel that turned me off. The C3 has a Bushing. It has a GI type follower… no full length guide rods… no paper clips required to take it down… no gimicks or bullshit… just a solid 1911 the way John Moses Browning would have approved of. Say hello to my new daily carry gun. To get better than this – I’d have to buy a Wilson Combat or a Nighthawk Custom.

Shooting the C3, I couldn’t be happier. It’s A+ on the Accuracy Score. Even out to 50 yards, it was precise. Reliability is exactly what you come to expect with SIG, meaning it was flawless. Yeah, you can say I’m a hard core SIG fanboy now. So what do I think is better, the SIG or the Kimber? Read this post again. The SIG’s don’t use plastic mainspring houses, let’s just leave it at that.


Way back in 1911…

The old man closed his eyes and tilted his head back, remembering. “Back when I was a young man we used to shoot guns made out of metal.”

The 1911 platform remains a top selling gun design to this day. The entire gun industry has a 1911 sub-culture. Complete with it’s own language and economy and border security. I mean, if you want to join the 1911 Culture, you got to know your way around. You got to know who the big names are, know those families, know where to go for certain things. Most of the big families can build you a fine 1911, but if you just want certain things… Magazines… Wilson Combat. High Cap bodies… STI. And everyone has rabid family loyalties that remind me of Middle Age Europe. “We fight for House NIGHTHAWK!!!!” *clattering of armor and swords amid the shouts*

The one thing that I shake my head at is the continued push by these great houses to sell these Sub-Compact (in the 1911 world we call them ‘Ultra’) 1911 guns with 3″ barrels. It’s extremely rare that any of these guns fire reliably. If you have one, good for you. But I’ve never seen one that could finish an IDPA Match or a Shooting Class. And most Trainers that I’ve talked to about it haven’t either. I think Rob Pincus was The First Heretic to speak out against these, much to the shock and horror of everyone who heard him.  But he was right.  He’s the Martin Luther of Defensive Pistols.   These pistols just don’t work as a whole.  And it’s the very rare Ultra that does… so rare in fact… that the owners must spend much time petting their Unicorns and playing shuffle board with Big Feet… because I don’t think they are spending as much time on the range with those Ultra’s as they say they do.   If sitting on your couch playing Xbox is “Range Time”, then we’re done conversating.   Ultra’s just suck.  The only one’s I found to shoot reliably are the original Detonics Combat Masters, and even then, that was a less common encounter.  And by Original I mean from within the first 3 factories to wear a variation of the Detonics name.

It has occurred to me thought that this rise of the Ultra is not a push by the gun companies… but by the demand of the Consumer.  The Peoples Republic of Shooters are shaking the gates of the Great Houses demanding wine, cake, and cheeses, and more varieties of Ultra Compact 1911’s.  They don’t want the full sized 5″ 1911 for concealed carry anymore.    They want something smaller and lighter and less effective… because they have forgotten, or in fact never learned, why it is we carry a gun in the first place.   I don’t understand many things in life.  Such as why some people don’t like Bacon.  Why pop culture calls that girl, Justin something, an artist.  Or why someone preparing for a fight will prepare around ineffective or unreliable weapons.  (ineffective such as .32 and smaller calibers.  .380 Auto is the minimum, but it’s better than harsh language)

Then it occurred to me that they are not making ready for a fight.  Not just any fight, mind you. But a fight for their lives and the lives of their loved ones.  Packing a “cool gun” is just for that’s own sake alone and not for the sake of lives.  It’s for the sake of Cool.   A 1400 dollar custom Ultra… I’m not going to say any names…

KIMBER

Might be expensive… and might be as beautiful as Hellen of Troy… But it was made to be only that.  Beautiful and Expensive.  This reminds me of a song from “A Funny Think Happened On The Way To The Forum” which considering the name of the show, I find humorously ironic.   “You’re Lovely, all you are is Lovely.”   This is a gun that is not made for saving your life.  It’s made to be Lovely, and nothing more.   Like a trophy Wife or Girlfriend or Personal Assistant… it’s something to show off and make you look good.   And that’s fine if you are showing off cars or girls… but in my mind, showing off something like a Kimber Ultra Duper Cool Carry, you spent a ton of cash for shows that me that you have a lot of money to waste on something superficial and useless.

If you want a 1911, DON’T get one with less than a 4″ barrel.  Just don’t.  You can have and enjoy a 1911… that’s fine.  But going below a 4″ barrel you are taking risks and forgetting the actual purpose of having a gun on you in the first place.     Of the current production 1911 builders, I’m down to 2 choices.  SIG and SPRINGFIELD ARMORY.  Going above that into the Semi Custom or Custom category, I’ll take an STI or NIGHTHAWK.   Those are my choices.  You can choose what you want.  I’ve forged my opinions at the foundry of Range Time.  On Live Fire Ranges where I have taken classes and have taught classes and have seen every example of 1911’s common in North America.  I’ve seen all of them fail at some point.  But some are more failure prone than others.  These names I’ve mentioned… these Great Houses of 1911’ness… have failed the least that I’ve seen.

I was most pleased that in my last Defensive Pistol class that I taught, in West Virginia it was… there was not a single 1911 of any stripe at the range.  SIG’s, Glocks, M&P’s.  And you know what the problem child gun of the day was?  SIG.  A 229.  Interesting that.  Could it be that the SIG is the latest Metal Gun to show it’s age?  No, not hardly.  But I’m just putting it out there that the 1911 is getting long in the tooth and coming around full circle.

What do I mean by that?

Back in the day, it was just known that 1911’s, brand new out of the box, wouldn’t run right.  Kimber actually, with the Kimber Custom model broke that mold… as they were putting out 1911’s that worked quite well as far as 1911’s go, right out of the box.  This causes a stir because you could buy a new 1911 from Kimber, and actually go shoot it instead of sending it straight to a gunsmith for them to rebuild so it will work.  (The Age of COLT was at an end at that time)
And now it’s seemingly perfectly acceptable to sell 1911’s again that don’t function well out of the box.  I’m not talking about a mere “break in” period.  I’m talking about guns that just don’t want to be reliable.  If these 1911’s were teenagers, they would have nose rings and ear gauges.

New Carry Gun for December.

December’s Carry Gun is a SIG 1911 Scorpion in .45.  I was lent it the other day and have enjoyed it so far.

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I like the subdued earth tones of the Scorpion series.  I don’t know if it is Flat Dark Earth or if it’s Coyote Tan, or if it’s Cream of Wheat.  I don’t know the difference in Hues.  But I do know that I’ve never seen any earth this color other than sand.  Most dirt is Flat-Darker.  But I guess Potting Soil isn’t a color OPERATORS would want on their guns.  But SAND looks better for a serious shooter.  Even if they live in the Pacific Northwest where Desert Colors just don’t happen all that much compared to Woodland or Jungle.  But Jungle has gone out of Style… everything is Shitty Desert now.  Anyways, the colors do work well in my area of Utah, which is Desert south of me and High Desert north of me.

SIG’s quality control in these 1911’s is fantastic.  They’ve been the best sellers for the store for a few years now, and I don’t remember having any of them giving us a problem.  I only remember sending 1 SIG 1911 back to the factory for a guy that was having problem with the slide not locking back… because it couldn’t possibly have been his thumb hitting the slide stop during recoil.  Even if that SIG did have a problem mechanically that wasn’t Magazine or User Related – This represents the best track record of any brand for the 1911 Industry.  Absolutely smokes the hell out of Kimber and Smith & Wesson.  When SIG’s compact gun can out-shoot my full sized Kimber, that is saying something.  And what it is saying is not complementary of Kimber.

The Scorpion has a nice set of Micarta scales with a matching Mag-Well.  I like that.  Packing it, well, a full sized grip with a Mag Well does make it rather long.  While I am not sure if it’s longer than the Beretta 92’s, it feels longer.   I don’t have a very good holster for packing this railed commander… I’ve never carried a Railed Commander before.  Huh.
The nightsights on this Scorpion are very bright and clear.
The trigger is excellent.
I’m not sure if I’m liking the DK style trigger… straight, no curve to it.  Compared to my Springer GI’s short trigger… I do prefer the GI’s.  But does the Short or the DK trigger help me put rounds into the target better.  I don’t know.  I’ve only fired relatively few rounds through the Scorpion so far.  And the Scorpion is indeed one seriously accurate pistol.

More about this gun as I get to know it.

 

 

Enough Politics, Let’s talk Guns!

As mentioned before, I had a little range time this morning.  All the Gun Counter Guys met at the range at the Crack of Dawn.   Sunrise just coming up, it was a beautiful day at the Buckskin Hills Range.  We did a little shooting with the Springfield Armory Rep.

Shot an XDM, the XDS, the MC Operator, and the EMP 9mm… I had little interest in the other pistols.  The XDM’s are what they are, just fine pistols and I like them for what they are but they are just not for me.  The M I tried is a variant with a fiber optic front sight and an open topped slide.  It shot very well, as I expected, just like all the other M’s. And regular XD’s I’ve owned.  No failures.  The accuracy was very good.

The XDS, Springfield’s new subcompact, single stack .45, is an interesting pistol.  It also shot very well, was accurate and while snappy, was controllable.  It is a great little defensive tool.  I wanted to like it, but I just didn’t.  Here’s why – and why I’m not hot on all of the XDM’s… it’s the Texture.  They feel slippery in my hand.  I could probably buy an M, the 3.8 Compact, as that remains my favorite of the group… but I would have to rework the grip.  So I guess my hangup is one that is rather easily fixed.  If you have an M, you certainly have a fine sidearm.  If you are looking for a pistol, absolutely take a look at the XDM’s.  The S, isn’t for everyone.  It’s for guys that want that subcompact .45… but don’t trust a Sub-Compact 1911.  It’s one of the very few sub-compact .45’s that I would have any confidence in.  I’d have to work the grip of course, but as good as it shoots, it’s certainly a good for it’s intended purpose of CCW.

Here’s one that surprised me though… the EMP 9mm.  I shot one before, in .40 and I was “Meh” about it.  But the 9mm version is somehow different.  It blew me away.  It shot exceptionally well.  Very accurate.  It did give me one tiny hang up… a failure to go into battery.  A quick smack on the back of the slide did the job and the gun fired and cycled just fine and it never gave me a hang up after that.  What this gun needed was to be cleaned and oiled.  It was bone dry and filthy from the Basin Sports Factory Range Day last week.  Some Slipstream Styx would make it run like a sewing machine.  The recoil was… not even there.  Impressive little gun, and a great CCW option.

My favorite Springfield handgun though… the one I kept coming back to… The 1911 MC Operator.  As you guys know, I’ve said that the top Production 1911’s are SIG’s, Springfields, and Dan Wessons.  I would put STI in there as well, but those are more Semi-Custom like Wilson, Nighthawk, and Les Baer.  And I admit I need to get to know STI better, I’ve only fired a grand total of 3 STI pistols, and each one was a custom gun from them, Larry Correia’s Cheater Heater, and two full blown race guns.  Wait.  Where was I?  Ah… the MC Operator.  I hate to say this… but I liked it better than my TRP.  Yeah, I said that.  The TRP is Springfield’s Flagship Badass 1911.  But I just like the MC Operator more.  It feels better in the hand since it doesn’t have the aggressive “Wood Chipper” checkering for one thing.  It’s also just a more humble, Get it Done and Let’s Go Home vibe to it.  Reliability was great… not a single hiccup of any sort.  Accuracy was the best out of all the handguns… Let me clarify that.   My ability to be accurate with this pistol far surpassed the other handguns I fired today.  The EMP was accurate, but I had to concentrate more with it.  With the MC Operator, accuracy was effortless from the very first round I fired.  And it felt GOOD in the hand.  Not just holding it, but it felt good firing it.  Not all handguns feel good during the firing cycle… This one does.  It’s the Winner of the Day for the Pistols.

Rifles.  Well, you guys know Springfield has only one line of Rifles and those are the M1A’s.  Springfield just has a few variants of that platform.  I love the classic standard wood stocked M1A for it’s look and feel.  What a great gun.  Shooting that thing gives me a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.  Everything about the M1A… it’s awesome.  It’s a part of Americana, like a Ford Mustang, Classic Rock, and a Coke. Metal and Wood.  It’s beautiful.  You can’t Not love it.  If you don’t love it, just go away…. I don’t even want to know you… You would have to be like one of those guys that don’t like Dogs or Bacon or Firefly.

The one that made me grin like a 14 year old who just found a Playboy…. The SOCOM 16.  See, I shot the SOCOM II before and yeah, it’s cool.  But it’s like Cool that’s Trying Too Hard.  It’s the one with all the Rails and the extra six pounds of heft and discomfort.  The SOCOM 16 is more unassuming.  Oh, don’t get me wrong… it’s a Thug.  It’s the Snubnosed, lightweight, easy to handle M1A.  Where as the standard M1A’s are full length Battle Rifles, the Sweet 16 is chopped down stealthy street fighter.  I like them before compared to the II’s when looking at them in the store.  But I had expected them to kick a lot more being so much lighter.  They don’t.  It’s surprisingly soft shooting.  Something about it is… addicting.  I really like it.  This is the .308 for a Door Kicker.  It’s very cool how short it is, while still being perfectly legal.  It feels like a Sawed Off, and it kicks less than the full sized.  If I got one of these Sweet 16’s, I’d have Gundoc (Joe at Crusader Weaponry) work his M14 Magic on it… because he’s a wizard with the M14/M1A’s.   I’d have him slick it up, trigger job, and Cerakote all the exterior metal a nice Dark Grey… that would contrast nicely with the black stocks.  That’s it.  That’s all I’d do.  I’d just keep it simple.  Slick, Sexy, Simple.    Man… I want that now.

I have some Video I’ll post up this weekend.

Another happy moment

Check this out guys.  In the last pistol class, we had a young lady attend who trained as hard as she could running a Walther that didn’t want to run.  She did her everloving best and got through the course.  Today, Dad got her a nice present… a new SIG.  Niki was so excited she was giggling constantly and doing that “Pee-Pee Dance”.  The genuine delight was wonderful, radiant, and infectious… she had other customers grinning too.

When she comes back for the next pistol class... She'll be ready!

Nothing better than a New Gun!  That’s some awesome Pro-Level parenting, Dad.  Good job!

Still Love 1911’s

Still love the 1911.  In fact, this one particular handgun is probably my favorite pistol in the world. I brings joy and comfort to me when I just look at it… Warm fuzzies when I hold it… Bliss when I shoot it. As is… no modifications.  Just Use and Care and a bit of some Slipstream.  It runs very well when I use good magazines and shoot Ball ammo.

As much as I am fond of this gun… I do not consider it to be one of my Fighting Guns.  One of the guns that would be used should there be an unwanted/unexpected bump in the night.  I was issued a gun exactly like this one… it said Colt on it though.  But the feel, the weight, the wear marks… Fond memories of a time when I was lighter, faster, and younger.    But I’m wiser, and better looking now.  I still respect the 1911 and it’s History.  It still has a place in my heart, and it always will.  When I was on the ground and someone was aiming a weapon at me… it was a 1911 in my hand that stopped what could have come next.

While the 1911 was an epoch moment in handgunning, my chosen handgun is the second epoch… The Glock.  It’s an evolutionary leap, as was the 1911 when it was adopted by the US Army.  I very much look forward to the next leap forward.

Colts and 1911’s

I spend a good portion of the day cleaning up a bunch of handguns at the gun store. Some Smiths and such… And a couple of Colts. I’ve come to appreciate the Colts more. The way they are designed and built is very clever and well done. From an old Police Positive to a Python, they are impressive machines. What I didn’t like about them was the very rough machining in hidden non-critical areas. These had some of the worst tool marks and hacked finishes I’ve seen on this side of a Mosin Nagant… But then in the working areas and exterior finishes it’s the best I’ve ever seen. I really liked the little Colt Cobra. Light weight, small, what a gem.
About the 1911’s. I am growing to like them less and less… As serious use guns. Don’t get me wrong… I love them for what they are, and cherish the one 1911 that I have that reminds me of my darkened and probably best forgotten past… But it does still give me the warm fuzzies. But if I hear a bump in the night it isn’t a gun I would grab. I’m becoming more and more of a Glock Guy. By that I don’t mean just Glocks specifically, but all of the newer polymer double stacked striker fired pistols for the purpose of dedicated fighting guns. For serious use, would take one over any 1911 any day.

Kimber Sucks

I’m going to throw down some hate on a gun company favored by many.  Kimber.  They freaking suck.  Kimber is backlogged so deep, ordering anything from them is freaking useless.  The little Solo pistol they put out is virtually vaporware as we’ve had some on order since last summer and still haven’t seen any.  We could have sold a hundred of them if we had them.  The institutionalized corporate arrogance is astonishing.  Last year we ordered a simple 9mm 1911 at the beginning of the year.  It was a Christmas Present from a mother to her son and she knew Kimber was slow.  We had estimated dates from Kimber and it looked to be fine.  He didn’t get the gun till late January.

Kimber’s attitude is worse than their guns.
1400 dollar pistol and they put in plastic mainspring housings?  Really?  Come on.
We had some pistols that had waves inside the barrels.  Kimber’s response was flippant.  “Oh, that wont effect accuracy.”  The hell it doesn’t.
Brand new Tac Custom II’s… With Slide Release and Safety Levers that look like they went through a Rock Chipper.  They didn’t want to send us new parts so we just sent the guns back to them and we had to pay for the shipping.  Nice.  And to top it all off – they only include 1 magazine.  WTF?  How useless can these people be?  Come on.  But people put up with all that BS because Kimbers have one thing going for them… They are Pretty.  People will happily pay for arrogant, tacky, high maintenance shit if they are pretty.

Yes, I just compared Kimber to Paris Hilton. My apologies to Paris Hilton Fans.

What people are going for when they ask to look at a Kimber is a good quality 1911… If that is what you want – Get a SIG 1911.  Seriously.  In many cases, you will even pay less money for the SIG which is a much better built gun. Feature for feature you are about 200 bucks less for a better made SIG than for the similar gun made by Kimber.  And you are going to get a more accurate gun as well.  My SIG C3 spanked the hell out of my Kimber Tac Custom II and Custom II, and Warrior, and Raptor, and CDP Pro II.  Look, if you have a Kimber that you like, that’s fine.  Enjoy it and be happy.  If you are looking to buy a Kimber… Buy a SIG.  You will get a much better gun and it even comes with a spare magazine. How novel is that?