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God's Gun: Official 1911 Picture Thread

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  • Jakashh

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    <>

    Since on this topic, I haven’t done much 1911 shooting since exiting the Army & free ammo in 1977 or ‘78.

    My last Colt was a series 70 Gold Cup.

    The Kimber is not anywhere near their league.

    Is there any real advantage of a Wilson, Baer, etc. over the Colts ?

    Thanks for replies,

    leVieux

    <>


    I have particularly bad luck with 1911’s. Here’s an overly long drawn out write up on my limited experience with various brands.

    From my personal experience owning 2 Springfield 1911’s at the $600-800 price point, they jammed a whole lot regardless of what ammo or mags I used. One of them had the trigger sieze up after shooting 300 rounds in one range session, where the gun got particularly hot. People rave about Springfield’s exceptional customer service. I’ve had to use it on every handgun I’ve owned from them, and they never got the guns working perfectly despite multiple trips back. Good customer service, yes, but that doesn’t mean I want to have to use it all the time. I swore Springfield off after my third handgun from them, an SA35, came with a crooked hammer and had multiple failures to extract per magazine after about 600 rounds. That wasn’t a unique experience as many people were reporting the same issues.

    My only experience with Colt was through a $1300 wiley clapp govt was that it actually worked far more reliably that my previous springfields and fed ball ammo with no issues using proper mags (unlike the SA’s). It would choke on hollow points until my gunsmith properly throated the dimpled barrel and elevated the mag catch, at which point it was 99.999% reliable with every type of ammo. Running 350 rounds of ball and mixed hollow points in the heat didn’t phase it at all. The gun rattled like a kids toy and had sharp edges all around that cut into my firing hand thumb and left a groove / skin flap where it was making contact with the bottom of the slide. It would also chew up my holster when inserting the gun and build up leather gunk on the front of the slide’s sharp edges.

    My experience with my Wilson has been the best so far. The gun has been perfectly reliable with 0 failures so far. They cut no corners with it during machining. Every surface is smooth, and interfaces precisely with no excessive gaps. The slide to frame fit is tight front to back, but not so tight that I can’t break it open from battery. Some guns I’ve owned or handled are fit tight at the rear of the slide, but have some play in the front. The Wilson was solid and has no play whatsoever it feels like a solid block of metal when I hold it and shake it around to see if anything’s rattling. All edges and corners of the gun have been broken in a subtle manner, and it doesn’t cut you or feel sharp or rough in any part of the gun. It fed every type of ammo I’ve ran through it reliably so far, though they do provide you with a list of what defensive ammo works better than others.

    My experience with Baer ownership started yesterday. I bought the gun used with allegedly 600 rounds fired through it, which just about gets it past Baer’s recommended 500 round break in. It retails new for over $1000 more than the Colt, about $1800 more than the Springfield, but about $1000 less than the Wilson. I paid under retail for the Wilson and Baer.
    I haven’t shot the Baer yet, but I can give an overview of what I’ve seen so far after detail stripping it to swap the trigger shoe back to stock.

    The machining on the Baer is much more crude than the Wilson and even the Colt. Where Wilson machines everything to close tolerances, the Baer is hard fit by hand and let’s you do the rest during break in. I can see some chatter marks here and there in non critical areas inside parts the frame, and certain parts of the gun look more roughly fit and assembled. The previous owner who bought it new said it was tight before he did the break in, but now it’s rather easy to work the slide. It doesn’t require any extra effort unlike other Baer’s that I’ve handled, which seemingly had a tighter fit lockup. The slide is tightly fit to the frame on the rear, but has a diminutive amount of movement in the front.

    The extra $1000 that Wilson asks for its CQB over the Baer goes towards its far better machining and fit and assumed higher QC process. Unlike the Colt & Springfield, I don’t ever expect to have to drop it off with an experienced gunsmith to make it run properly. It just runs out the box and feels far more refined than all the other brands of 1911 I’ve owned. It’s on another league compared to the colt, SA, and even the Baer. The Baer, despite its crude machining, is on a higher league from the mainline Colt & SA. Like i said, I haven’t shot this one yet, but I’ve shot other Baers that were so dirty you could feel the crud build up slowing the slide down, yet it still ran like a top.

    Many people have had perfect reliability through their Colts and SA’s out of the box, and I’m sure some have had issues with their Wilsons. This is just what I’ve personally seen and I’m a small sample size of one.
     
    Last edited:

    zackmars

    Likes to wax poetic about .30-06
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    Yeah, I'm not real familiar with Baer...but Wilson I definitely know by reputation. And I know how QC at Colt has degraded over the decades.
    I still have the 3 bushing wrenches that my baer killed. I also have a mallet that has a chunk missing from where i had to beat the bushing in and out.

    I think colt 1911's are definitely overpriced, but are otherwise decent "duty" 1911's. But they aren't custom guns
     

    Jakashh

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    I still have the 3 bushing wrenches that my baer killed. I also have a mallet that has a chunk missing from where i had to beat the bushing in and out.

    I think colt 1911's are definitely overpriced, but are otherwise decent "duty" 1911's. But they aren't custom guns

    On my Wilson and Baer, I pull the assembled slide off all at once.

    I pull the slide back and remove the slide stop, then let the slide forward and remove it from the frame while grasping the bottom to keep the recoil spring and guide rod from flying out. Once the spring and guide rod are removed, I just push the barrel forward where it’s a thinner profile and use the bushing wrench to turn it far easier than if it were in battery, at the widest point of the barrel diameter.

    Wilson bushing is fit right, but the Baer is fit tightest. Ironically the Wilson is guaranteed to 1” at 25 yards whereas the Baer is only guaranteed to 3” at 50, meaning 1.5” @ 25 yards. My Baer doesn’t have the 1.5” at 50 yards guarantee.
     

    General Zod

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    The only surefire way to have a good experience with a revolver is to buy one made before 1989

    Don't be so sure...


    Clerke First .32.jpg
     

    Jakashh

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    The only surefire way to have a good experience with a revolver is to buy one made before 1989

    Unless it’s a Ruger lol. My Redhawk was perfection.

    Only problem with older Smith & Wessons is wear from use, poor maintenance, and bubbas. I always vigorously inspect the cylinder lockup for wear and side plate screw to see if anyone tampered with them. Worst case scenario, Smith & Wesson can rebuild the action for you with new old stock parts like they did with my 29-2 which was bubba’d to failure. It’s perfect now. Looks mint and shoots great.
     

    Txdweeb

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    Sep 23, 2022
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    <>

    Since on this topic, I haven’t done much 1911 shooting since exiting the Army & free ammo in 1977 or ‘78.

    My last Colt was a series 70 Gold Cup.

    The Kimber is not anywhere near their league.

    Is there any real advantage of a Wilson, Baer, etc. over the Colts ?

    Thanks for replies,

    leVieux

    <>
    Big time there’s a huge advantage beyond just the quality an craftsmanship it’s an heirloom gun.

    Any production 1911 besides a DW it’s like ikea furniture, mass assembled an typically good quality but feels cheap after shooting a custom shop gun.

    The custom shop guns are like Amish made hardwood furniture with skilled craftsman an years of experience that’ll last several lifetimes.

    That being said my Springfield trp has been boring reliable and a wonderful shooter but it’s for sale to get a WC cqb.
     

    Texasgordo

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    Unless it’s a Ruger lol. My Redhawk was perfection.

    Only problem with older Smith & Wessons is wear from use, poor maintenance, and bubbas. I always vigorously inspect the cylinder lockup for wear and side plate screw to see if anyone tampered with them. Worst case scenario, Smith & Wesson can rebuild the action for you with new old stock parts like they did with my 29-2 which was bubba’d to failure. It’s perfect now. Looks mint and shoots great.
    I thought you had a new production .357 S&W that gave you trouble a few years back.



    Or maybe I am confusing you with someone else.
     

    Jakashh

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    I thought you had a new production .357 S&W that gave you trouble a few years back.



    Or maybe I am confusing you with someone else.

    That was me indeed. 586-8, it’s a modern bring back of the 586 but with a lock. It would shave rounds off the forcing cone and spit them back at my face somehow. After I sent it back to Smith & Wesson warranty to address that, it came back even worse and spit back a chunk large enough to make me bleed from my cheek lol. Felt a trickle running down after I shot a round off.

    Shame. They did a great job warranty re-bluing it. I had issues with the finish condition from the factory before I learned of its other problems, and they’d refinished it for me. Came back looking permanently wet. Was one of the best bluing jobs I’ve seen.


     

    leVieux

    TSRA/NRA Life Member
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    Mar 28, 2013
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    Saint Martinville, LA
    I have particularly bad luck with 1911’s. Here’s an overly long drawn out write up on my limited experience with various brands.

    From my personal experience owning 2 Springfield 1911’s at the $600-800 price point, they jammed a whole lot regardless of what ammo or mags I used. One of them had the trigger sieze up after shooting 300 rounds in one range session, where the gun got particularly hot. People rave about Springfield’s exceptional customer service. I’ve had to use it on every handgun I’ve owned from them, and they never got the guns working perfectly despite multiple trips back. Good customer service, yes, but that doesn’t mean I want to have to use it all the time. I swore Springfield off after my third handgun from them, an SA35, came with a crooked hammer and had multiple failures to extract per magazine after about 600 rounds. That wasn’t a unique experience as many people were reporting the same issues.

    My only experience with Colt was through a $1300 wiley clapp govt was that it actually worked far more reliably that my previous springfields and fed ball ammo with no issues using proper mags (unlike the SA’s). It would choke on hollow points until my gunsmith properly throated the dimpled barrel and elevated the mag catch, at which point it was 99.999% reliable with every type of ammo. Running 350 rounds of ball and mixed hollow points in the heat didn’t phase it at all. The gun rattled like a kids toy and had sharp edges all around that cut into my firing hand thumb and left a groove / skin flap where it was making contact with the bottom of the slide. It would also chew up my holster when inserting the gun and build up leather gunk on the front of the slide’s sharp edges.

    My experience with my Wilson has been the best so far. The gun has been perfectly reliable with 0 failures so far. They cut no corners with it during machining. Every surface is smooth, and interfaces precisely with no excessive gaps. The slide to frame fit is tight front to back, but not so tight that I can’t break it open from battery. Some guns I’ve owned or handled are fit tight at the rear of the slide, but have some play in the front. The Wilson was solid and has no play whatsoever it feels like a solid block of metal when I hold it and shake it around to see if anything’s rattling. All edges and corners of the gun have been broken in a subtle manner, and the gun doesn’t cut you or feel sharp or rough in any part of the gun. It fed every type of ammo I’ve ran through it reliably so far, though they do provide you with a list of what defensive ammo works better than others.

    My experience with Baer ownership started yesterday. I bought the gun used with allegedly 600 rounds fired through it, which just about gets it past Baer’s recommended 500 round break in. It retails new for over $1000 more than the Colt, about $1800 more than the Springfield, but about $1000 less than the Wilson. I paid under for the Wilson and Baer.
    I haven’t shot the Baer yet, but I can give an overview of what I’ve seen so far after detail stripping it to swap the trigger shoe back to stock.

    The machining on the Baer is much more crude than the Wilson and even the Colt. Where Wilson machines everything to close tolerances, the Baer is hard fit by hand and let’s you do the rest during break in. I can see some chatter marks here and there in non critical areas inside parts the frame, and certain parts of the gun look more roughly fit and assembled. The previous owner who bought it new said it was right before he did the break in, but now it’s rather easy to work the slide. It doesn’t require any extra effort unlike other Baer’s that I’ve handled, which seemingly had a tighter fit lockup. The slide is tightly fit to the frame on the rear, but has a diminutive amount of movement in the front.

    The extra $1000 that Wilson asks for its CQB over the Baer goes towards its far better machining and fit and assumed higher QC process. Unlike the Colt & Springfield, I don’t ever expect to have to drop it off with an experienced gunsmith to make it run properly. It just runs out the box and feels far more refined than all the other brands of 1911 I’ve owned. It’s on another league compared to the colt, SA, and even the Baer. The Baer, despite its crude machining, is on a higher league from the mainline Colt & SA. Like i said, I haven’t shot this one yet, but I’ve shot other Baers that were so dirty you could feel the crud build up slowing the slide down, yet it still ran like a top.

    Many people have had perfect reliability through their Colts and SA’s out of the box, and I’m sure some have had issues with their Wilsons. This is just what I’ve personally seen and I’m a small sample size of one.
    <>

    Great, detailed reply from a “Voice of Experience”; many Thanks !

    leVieux

    <>
     

    Army 1911

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    Regardless of the model Colt, they are made to essentially the Army specifications on fit and finish. All the parts are swappable and will work. That's why the rattle. The other guns have tighter fitting of parts, frame to slide, hammer to sear, barrel to bushing to slide, etc. The tighter tolerances require hand fitting. Hand fitting requires more time and costs more money. Some people are willing to spend more than others.

    Most of my 1911s are Colt. I also have Springfields, Dan Wessons, Kimbers, Remington Rand, and have owned Wilsons and Baers. In my hand (and that is what counts) the Dan Wessons are the most accurate I have owned. Your mileage may vary.
     

    zackmars

    Likes to wax poetic about .30-06
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    Nov 4, 2015
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    Unless it’s a Ruger lol. My Redhawk was perfection.

    Only problem with older Smith & Wessons is wear from use, poor maintenance, and bubbas. I always vigorously inspect the cylinder lockup for wear and side plate screw to see if anyone tampered with them. Worst case scenario, Smith & Wesson can rebuild the action for you with new old stock parts like they did with my 29-2 which was bubba’d to failure. It’s perfect now. Looks mint and shoots great.
    My gp100 match champion had the rear sight screw fall out of the box, and the cylinder face was uneven and rubbed the forcing cone at one point. The pin for the rear sight was walking out as well.

    When i got it back, the cylinder was fixed, but the gun had the heaviest DA pull I've ever felt, and it was clear they had hit the rear sight pin with a hammer and dinged up the finish. I wasn't too concerned about that though, the match champion already looks like a bag of smashed assholes.

    I got into some pre lock combat magnums and am much happier
     
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