Friday, May 20, 2005

The Ultimate 1911

So, in last weeks installment I asked what is the SECOND best .45 auto, because as we all should know by now, the best of all time is the John Browning 1911 and it's variants.

Well now I want to talk about your IDEAL carry 1911 (race guns and show pieces I'll leave for another day).

NOTE: The reason I don't call it a Colt 1911, is because the 1911 isn't and never was colt exclusive product. Hell Colt hasn't made a real 1911 in more than a decade (almost two in fact), and never made most of them anyway, it always irritates me when people call it a colt .45 when it could be from any one of dozens of manufacturers; most of whom actually LIKE the fact that civilians own their guns.

I've gone through what my carry 1911 is before, in the post on my champion, a Yost Customized Springfield Champion.

Let me tell you, I LOVE this gun, BUT it's not the "ideal" 1911.

Now everyones ideal 1911 is different. Some people like a governmentlength barrel and slide (5" barrel), some like a longslide (add an inch or more), some like the officers ACP sized (3.5" barrel, shortened frame)... Me, I'm a commander guy (4" barrel full frame), but length is only a small part of the equations.

Just to simplify, lets break down what my ideal 1911 would be

1. Titanium alloy frame with integral speed mag well (smooth flare)
2. Stainless steel slide
3. Commander configuration
4. Cone bull barrel with a fully ramped and fully supported chamber
5. External extractor and extended ejector
6. Thinned extended gas pedal style ambidextrous safety
7. Thinned extended slide stop release
8. Slightly enlarged mag release
9. Checkered wedge mainspring housing
10. Deep cut, but low profile/low snag speed bump grip safety
10. Yost ignition system firing group
11. Ultrashort ultralight adjustable trigger
12. Triplex captured recoil spring setup with guide rod (set for .45 super)
13. Ultra light hammer spring, and mainspring set (Wolff makes a very reliable one that is still ultralight)
14. Novak low mount tritium night combat sights with a bigdot style front sight and v notch rear
15. Bead blasted
16. Walter Birdsongs black-t finish over the whole gun
17. NP3 internal coating
18. Thinner, but just as grippy and textured Hogue finger groove grips (I love some of the sculpted wood ones, but this is my ideal CARRY piece, not a show piece)
19. Hex head grip screws, and guide rod head - torx head are less likely to strip, but harder to find in the field

That's quite a list eh? Funny thing is, it aint done yet. I'm saving the best for lest, because I know this one is going to be controversial.

20. Stagger stack frame (like the USP compact) with a 10rd capacity.

I love the feel of my original frame, but as Yost and others have shown (Detonics for example) you CAN thin a 1911 design significantly without a problem. Conversely it would be pretty easy to move the 1911 into a 10rd stagger stack frame size without increasinggrip circumference TOO much; the only problem would be getting magazines from anyone but ParaOrdnance (and man would I love an LDA).

But we aren't talking about practical, we're talking about ideal. I would like that extra couple of rounds without having a mag sticking out the bottom too far, remember this IS a carry gun.

As to why the choices, I think all of them are pretty self evident... (I am gonna get soooo much shit for that statement)

Now heres the fun part: except for the 10rd frame, and some of the little details, S&W already makes a performance center SW1911 SC that is almost exactly what I described (down to including lots of Wilson parts).

Yeah, I damn sure DO want one.

So, whats YOUR ideal 1911?

UPDATE: The heartless libertarian notes that his Ideal 1911 has two differences from mine.

One, it isn't double stack. Well, neither is mine really. The stagger necessary to go to 10rds instead of 8 isnt really all that much. it's not like going to the thickness of a p14.45 (a true double stack).

Two, he wants his in 10mm.

Ok, so do I actually; I just wanted to be fair and consistent with last weeks article because I limited THAT to .45 ACP as well.

Given the choice of any plausible caliber that doesn't require a resize of the basic platform, I would also choose 10mm; but at least with a properly prepared .45, I get the .45 super option.