I just wanted to say that I do not claim to be an expert on 1911s. I didn’t even own one until about 2 years ago. I always thought that it didn’t make sense to buy a pistol that requires hundreds or thousands of dollars in gunsmithing to work properly. I want a weapon that is reasonably accurate and reliable without a lot of work. Hearing how fickle 1911s were with ammo and reliability, I put off buying one for quite a long time.
I am not nearly the pistol expert that Tam (who knows more about guns and is a better shooter than I will ever be) is, but I have my own opinions on what works for me, and that is what I base my opinions on. Having only started buying 1911s less than 3 years ago, my opinion stands: you don’t and shouldn’t need to spend gobs of money for a reliable, reasonably accurate pistol.
Pistols, at least the ones you carry, need only be accurate to a point. I do not see myself needing to take 50 yard headshots with a handgun. To me, the requirements for a carry handgun are simple:
1 It must be reliable above all else. A gun that jams every 50 rounds, or even every 500 rounds is just not going to cut it when my life depends on that weapon’s proper function.
2 I must be comfortable shooting it AND carrying it. A gun that is uncomfortable to shoot or carry will likely be left at home, and a gun at home does not help you much when you need it away from home. This is a good reason for NOT carrying a Desert Eagle.
3 I must be able to rapidly score multiple hits in a short amount of time, using that particular handgun. Not every gun is best for every shooter. For example, my wife HATES everything but Glock. As far as I am concerned, I think Glock makes a fine handgun, but I just don’t shoot as well with them as I do others. The wife and I both despise the Taurus Millennium, with the trigger that feels like you are dragging an iron plate across a gravel parking lot. Others like that handgun. To each his own.
4 It must be in a caliber that will be an effective defense round. I have decided that a primary defense gun should be 9mm or larger for autos, and .38 Spl or larger for revolvers.
5 With that being said, I have tried out a lot of pistols. I have owned, or do own the following: Glock 26, 27, 19, 17; S&W 59, 5906, 4506, 4566, 637; Beretta 3032, 92; Ruger P85; Taurus PT92, PT945, PT-111, Sig 220, 226, 229 (in 9mm and .357 Sig). Colt 70 Combat Commander, Kimber Pro Carry, Eclipse Custom, Pro Carry, Ultra Carry. ( I am not including non-defense pistols in this list, such as .22’s or even backup guns)
6 I carry each gun as situations dictate. There are times when I can carry a full sized gun, and times when I will not. I do not trust the Colt, it is a jam-o-matic. I don’t carry a revolver much, but that is my personal preference. My mom carries a .38 revolver. I don’t prefer the Glocks, but my wife does.
My preferences are:
For a compact SA pistol, my favorite is the Kimber Ultra carry. It is small, powerful, and reliable. Mine is fitted with Crimson Trace laser grips.
For a full sized SA, my preference goes to the Kimber Eclipse Custom. Due to its size, I rarely carry a full sized pistol. This one has TruGlo tritium fiber optic sights. I may put a set of them on the Pro carry, and carry that one as a mid sized SA. I don’t know- maybe some XS Ashley sights. I haven’t decided.
For DA pistols, I prefer the Sig 229 in .357 Sig. That pistol just seems to seek out the target every time. I have even shot a few IDPA matches with it, and it has won me a few trophies.
I like guns that shoot, and shoot well. I don’t need to tinker with them, I don’t need to spend gobs of money fixing them up. What I need os for them to go ‘bang’ every time I pull the trigger, and I need them to make the bullet go where I was pointing the gun. That’s it.