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  1. #21
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    One reason the Gov't Model seems to recoil more is its grip shape; square. If you are accustomed to a revolver, the 45 Auto grip is quite different. (practice-practice-practice)

    I had a series of 45 Auto exotic wood custom grips made to the dimensions of my hand but today I have a modestly priced set of Hogue semi-soft rubber grips on the pistol. The Hogue grip is probably about $22 today and worth a try. Non-slippery and smooths some of the sharp edges. Comfortable palm swells. I recommend trying the Hogue.

    A semi-auto pistol compensator vents gas upward. It reduces muzzle flip. A compensator for the .45 auto might be $500 installed today. (??) A complicated installation because of unlatching barrel and recoiling slide.

    There are a number of firms that port (compensate) revolvers. This is relatively simple; a series of ports cut in the top of the revolver barrel usually by an industrial laser. On my 7-1/2" Ruger Super Blackhawk single-action .44 magnum "hog" revolver, the porting reduces muzzle flip considerably.

    Be careful with that Colt. It is SO EASY to remove the magazine and forget there is a round in the chamber. The Colt fires just the same with or without the magazine in the grip so you have to be VERY CAREFUL to eject that residual round from the chamber.

    The Colt 1911 is an old (but excellent) design. Most contemporary semi-auto pistols have magazine safeties which prevent the hammer from being cocked or hammer falling when the magazine is removed. (Many shooters dislike this contemporary additional safety.)

    I keep my Colt in my desk next to the bed. Next to Colt I keep a loaded ten round magazine full of 230 grain FMJ.
    Several firms produce ten round mags. They are finicky. I bought three brands, tested three and returned two. The first issue, though, is reliability. Will the pistol go BANG every time the trigger is pulled?? A Colt 1911 needs to be fired 500 cycles before it ceases to jam during expected wear in period. Keep it lubricated.

    I learned to shoot the .45 Gov't Model in 1966 when in the Navy, overseas, assigned to the shore riot squad. The Bos'un First Class PO taught we E-2's and E-3's the pistol and 1897 Winchester Pump 12-gauge in alternate classes. Why the Navy still had those old rattling Winchesters might be an interesting story.....but they worked fine.
    Last edited by jeff9366; 09-01-2012 at 11:38 PM.

  2. #22
    Epic Contributor k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    One other thing about compensator for a .45ACP.. I had one and shot it in competition for many years, However, here is the thing, a .45acp gas velocity and volume is not ideal, or near as effective for a comp as say a .38super. especially with 230 grain bullets. To gain some effectiveness you need light for caliber bullets to increase velocity and volume of gas vented thru the comp. I used 155 grain bullets, purpose made for just this reason. As you know 155 grain bullets are very light for caliber bullets in a .45. Although a comp can and does reduce muzzle flip on a .45, it is MUCH more effective on something like a .38 Super, or 9x23 or 38 Super-Comp or any number of rounds you have never heard of. The .38 super was resurrected from the grave for just the purpose of shooting IPSC/USPSA competition. A compensated .45 would require a new barrel, with a cone bearing surface mated to your slide, and removal of your present barrel bushing and a lot of hand fitting to achieve the mating of the surfaces, and the fitting of the locking lugs etc. Trust me this is not something you want to do or explore. The return for investment is very poor. Now a .38 super with say 115 to 125 grain bullets loaded with a powder that will increase gas volume in a proper 4 port comp is VERY effective in reducing muzzle rise. To the point if you overdo it it can actually dip the muzzle instead of rise with each shot. This doesn't happen very often, but it has happened.

    James K0UA
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  3. #23
    Elite Member dodge man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    I'd leave the pistols as is, if you decide you really like a 45, you can buy something like a Kimber or other high end 45 and have less money in it than modifiying grandpa's 45.
    Dave,
    BX2350

  4. #24
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    Thanks guys. Tons of great info. I think that grips and sights will be the only mods I'll make at this time. Easy enough to put it back to original condition if I want to. Hope to shoot it some more this afternoon and tomorrow.
    George
    South Carolina

    "What is truth?" Pontius Pilate

  5. #25
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    Quote Originally Posted by N80 View Post
    Okay, so maybe I overstated the case. Let me be a little more accurate: Cock it. Point it at the door through which the intruder is coming. Pull trigger.

    And not to brag on Dad, but his real world experience was extensive. He was ATF back when most people around here and in Mississippi called him a 'revenuer'. They would spend days staking out stills, miles from nowhere, wait until dark and rush the still. Just him and his partner. Day after day, week after week. He described that aspect of his job as fun. Most of the confrontations involved fists, wrestling and a lot of running...rarely any shooting. When moonshine dried up it was mostly gun and explosive enforcement. He hated that. He consider moonshiners to at least be rational people that he often liked and respected. The illegal gun trafficers and bomb nuts where a whole other breed of crazy. It was dealing with those crazies that both of his partners were shot (one in Mississippi, one in Florida, neither killed but one injured very badly...and again, he was stationed elsewhere.) He only carried a pistol because they made him and it was a snub nosed .38. At any other time he had a shotgun in his hand.

    But when I envision myself in a bad situation (which are better avoided in virtually every circumstance....i.e., wisdom is more powerful than a gun), if I am honest with myself, I can see me messing things up with a pistol, possibly hurting myself with it and in the better circumstance not even hitting what I'm shooting at. It happens ALL THE TIME, even with trained law enforcement. I see myself much more likely to be able to cock-point-pull trigger of a small shotgun when I'm in one of those pee in your pants situations. Others will see it differently and I'm not knocking pistols for self defense. You can't really tote a shotgun everywhere you can tote a pistol. And maybe each person has to know himself when choosing a weapon and maybe I just don't see myself as being competent with dealing with the intricacies of a pistol when things go south.

    Anyway, I'm going to spend some time with the 1911. It is fun to shoot. And once I get used to it, it will probably be a perfectly serviceable self defense weapon to stick in the truck when I'm heading down to my cabin.
    As I said in my original post, no disrespect was intended to your dad, he sounds like a heck of man and you have every reason to proud and brag. I just couldn't sign onto the original description, but can to this one.

    Agreed, we must pick what works best for us. My son use to do individual assessments starting out with a table full of every type gun around, shooters' skills/fit and visit to the home to develop a plan if requested. Oftentimes people would find their initial preference was just not for them in spite of all the advice they had been given by well meaning friends.
    "An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it." - Jef Mallett

  6. #26
    Veteran Member Tollster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    Quote Originally Posted by dodge man View Post
    I'd leave the pistols as is, if you decide you really like a 45, you can buy something like a Kimber or other high end 45 and have less money in it than modifiying grandpa's 45.
    +1 Thats what I would recommend. But keep in mind, even some of the cheaper 45's exceed expectations nowdays do to redesign and manufacturing technology, such as the Springfield XD-S, for 520.00, unless you shoot comp, they are all deadly in the right hands.
    Kubota BX-23, BH, FEL, MMM, Various Bro-tek attachments, Exmark Lazermark.
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  7. #27
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    If that ammo is old GI stuff, stop shooting it since it might be worth something. I had some once, I shot it up and I regret it. Even if the ammo is not worth much, the stuff I had was historical. I think I would leave the 1911 alone because of its family history.

    The 870's I shoot don't have a large shoot pattern at 15 yards/45 feet. Maybe a six inch pattern from an unchocked barrel. Seems like you have to get back to 25 yards to get a 36" pattern. I think the longest shot I have in my house would be 50ish feet. In our old city house I doubt the longest shot was 30ish feet.

    Later,
    Dan

  8. #28
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    A six inch pattern is huge in the context of shooting it out with someone in a small room. Six inches with a pistol could be the difference between a lethal shot and not hitting the target at all. Plus, a barely legal sawed off 20 gauge single shot is probably a bit wider than 6 inches. Anyway, the real point of a shotgun is not necessarily the pattern, its the simplicity first, and the ease of aiming second, pattern third, smoke, fire and noise come in a close fourth....a shotgun will get your attention.

    I'm sure you've seen the video of the cop and a perp shooting it out at about 15 feet apart behind a Chevy suburban, guns blazing and emptied at one another....neither one of them gets a scratch. In a bad situation I'd be the one spraying pistol bullets everywhere but into the bad guy. But I'm pretty handy with an 870.

    Like I said, there isn't a great deal of history with the 1911. So I'm going to shoot it, carry it and play with it. But the only mods will be new sights and the Hogue grips someone mentioned above. My B-I-L who is an avid shooter and gun-aholic recommends Trijicon sights. However, neither of us could figure out the front sight. As best we can tell it is milled into the slide. There definitely is no dovetail. Not sure how it can be replaced or modified.

    But while we're talking about 1911, let me tell you about the good one that my Dad had. My younger brother wanted it and I was happy for him to have it. It was made in 1913. It was issued to a West Point graduate in 1914 and carried in WWI and WWII. It's owner was in WWII with my grandfather and when the owner died his wife gave the gun to my grandfather. The owner graduated from West Point with Omar Bradley and Ike. He was friends with Bradley and Ike and my grandfather knew Bradley as well. Shortly after the war Bradley was in the area and came to my grandfather's house (which I now live in) for dinner with my grandfather and the gun's owner. We have a picture of my Dad as a child along with his friends in homemade Army uniforms and a homemade 'jeep' that Bradley signed. Anyway, the pistol is beautiful. Just the right amount of wear and patina along with the leather should holster. It has the built in lanyard ring on the grip and the clip. I have no idea what it is worth but it will be kept in the family.

    This ammo, two boxes worth, is probably from the 1970s. Non-corrosive primers. Can't imagine it is worth anything or why it would be, but I'll certainly hang on to it.
    George
    South Carolina

    "What is truth?" Pontius Pilate

  9. #29
    Epic Contributor k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    However, neither of us could figure out the front sight. As best we can tell it is milled into the slide. There definitely is no dovetail. Not sure how it can be replaced or modified.

    The front sight is staked in. The process is called staking. there is just a tiny slot milled into the slide, and the front sight is dropped straight down into the slot, and the front sight is "staked" with a staking tool. Smashed/mashed... distorted metal so that it cannot be easily removed. It can be removed by lightly grinding the bottom of the sight inside the slide and punching it out with a right angle tool.. NOT easy. Most people have a dovetail milled into the slide and then you can put what ever front sight you want into the slide. The rear sight, can be drifted out, but the dovetail is not correct for many of the proper aftermarket sights, and you need to have the rear sight "melted" into the slide for good looks, as it looks stupid to have a fully adjustable sight fitted into the original dovetail slot as it sits way too high and does not look "finished". All of this kind of work costs money.. The more I think about it, I am not sure I would do any of this work to your family pistol either.. just enjoy it as it is, and if you want a more finished 1911, then get a Kimber or any number of other modern 1911's that will have these features I have mentioned. My 1911 started life as a 1991 Springfield Armory, and had no particular sentimental value, so made a good platform to customize. At the time there was no great way to get these features without paying a gunsmith to do the work. However now you can buy a 1911 out of the box that have most or all of the things I have mentioned, and actually feed and function out of the box. Not something that could be said for previous generations of pistols. Happy shooting.

    James K0UA
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  10. #30
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Got a Colt 45 1911. Now what.

    Thanks for the info. Didn't expect that it would be that much trouble to replace the rear. But, with that being the case, I agree, I'll leave it alone and just enjoy it as an untouched original.

    Edit: I just re-read your post and saw that you mentioned the difficulty installing a fully adjustable rear. What I'm really looking for is just something easier to see. I wonder if there is just a basic rear that would slide right into the existing dovetail that is just a little easier to see and line up in a hurry.
    George
    South Carolina

    "What is truth?" Pontius Pilate

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