1911 Point of Diminishing Returns?

Discussion in 'Competition 1911's' started by PilotPhill, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. PilotPhill

    PilotPhill New Member

    22
    Jun 9, 2018
    Hi All
    I own a Springfield Loaded 1911 which I enjoy greatly. I am not necessarily planning on buying another 1911 anytime soon (though it is super tempting) but I am curious what you guys think regarding the various tiers of 1911s out there.
    • How much better for example is a Springfield Custom Shop National Match Hardball than my Loaded model?
    • How do Colts Gold Cup Trophy and their Custom Competition SS model fit in to the game?
    • What about a Sig 210? Reversed rail system, is that better?
    Basically, I want to know what additional benefits a 2-3k 1911 has over a 1k 1911?
    From what I can tell, custom fitting of parts is the differentiating factor here, but in an era of CNC milled parts, is that really all that helpful? Even if a custom made 1911 is fit significantly tighter, how long (given reasonable maintenance & cleaning) will this tightness hold up for before parts wear so much that it is no more accurate than a 1k 1911?
    Thanks, Phillip
     
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  2. Dave Jessee

    Dave Jessee Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    825
    Dec 31, 2014
    I don't own a 2-3k 1911 but have handled and shot a few. I do own a couple of 1K 1911's. My take on this is that the fit and finish of the 2-3K 1911's is far better than that of a 1K. As far as accuracy goes I think the 1K 1911's shoot better than I can but the 2-3K 1911's shoot better than the 1K's.

    One of my 1K 1911's has over 15K through it and the accuracy hasn't dropped off. The other 1K 1911 has over 27K through it and the accuracy hasn't dropped off. 1911's are pretty tough guns.
     

  3. Shocker2000

    Shocker2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2016
    If you look at the old test targets from Swiss and German made P210s, some have nearly single hole accuracy at 50 meters. I doubt it's just the inside rail design, but more the hand fitting of parts. The same holds true for custom 1911s from smiths who are masters at their trade - accuracy, reliability, custom features a customer wants, quality parts, fit, and finish.

    If you're happy with your Springfield Loaded - no need to change. Sometimes the pursuit of the ultimate 1911 leads you astray from what you love about your Springfield, other times it leads you to a truly fantastic 1911.

    By the way - a used Dan Wesson Valor in the $1300-$1500 range will typically give you a $2k-$3K 1911 experience in fit, finish, trigger, reliability, quality parts, etc.
     
  4. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    This is a very interesting subject, in that it is a very subjective subject, with many things being left to personal preferences, and also opinion.. I am along for the ride on this but, let me just say that on most days unless your a professional shooter, or competitive shooter, or maybe just another Hitchcock. Then, more often than not a $1,000.00-$2,000.00 gun will be capable of much better accuracy then many of us will every experience, but as Shocker said, really the fun actually for most is found in the quest.. The quest for the perfect fit for them individually. I think it is this desire that sets apart a 1911 addict, junkie, what ever you want to call it from an average collector, or gun enthusiast... Is the quest for the unicorn... the one gun that just has everything right. And tbh, that gun doesn't exist, or else it wouldn't be a unicorn anymore, and many a gunsmith would be out of a vocation lol...
     
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  5. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    The bigger challenge for me anywhere in the $800-$3000 range is finding one outfitted like I want. My tastes are pretty simple, but I've discovered that what I want and what is readily available is not always the same thing
     
  6. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    It's just not fit and finish the accuracy difference can be startling IMHO

    I own the big 3, WC, NH and Ed Brown and they all shot better than any $1,000-1,5000 gun IMHO
     
  7. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    I've got a couple DW's that are lights out accurate that out shoot my Ed Brown hands down.. But, I haven't had the privilege of shooting a NH yet. The one wilson I shot was a sight issue for me, but couldn't hit the broads side of a barn with it. DW's for the price range are extremely accurate and with a fit bushing 3x as much from factory. i'm sure however a full fit custom barrel in a nice gun like NH would be extremely accurate for sure. Hoping to get my hands on one by years end for sure.
     
  8. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    I have cheap 1911s that shoot just as well as $2500 models. They just rattle and the finish isn’t that great. For me the point of diminishing returns lands somewhere in the Dan Wesson or Baer territory. My custom shoots better but it was some $$. If you need a gun and don’t have a ton of money, look for a used DW or Baer. Best bang for the buck IMO.
     
    switchback, Rizzo, Dub and 17 others like this.
  9. PilotPhill

    PilotPhill New Member

    22
    Jun 9, 2018
    Alrighty, it seems that the consensus is that more expensive guns shoot more accurately. Is there a general rule of thumb that can be expected in regards to how much more accuritely custom fit guns will group than factory guns? Ex, 1k 1911s should shoot 3" groups at 25m, 2k 1911s 2" groups, and 3k+ 1911s should be able to shoot near 1" groups? Will this very much from one manufacturer to another? Seems like DW is a bit of a favorite here. Would you say they are better than a Colt GCT given they are in about the same price range?
     
    boatdoc likes this.
  10. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    It varies. Most manufacturers don’t give a guarantee on accuracy. Baer offers it. Any well made gun will shoot 2-3” at 50 yards. Most people can’t shoot that well anyway. An entry level gun vs a higher end model will produce different groups with a good shooter. Again, most people won’t know the difference.
     
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  11. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Well @PilotPhill, that does seem to be the consensus, but not many people shoot well enough to notice the difference in two well built guns. Now granted a factory slapped together assembly line gun is or can have issues, but it also can be a very accurate gun depending on what tolerances happened to be on all parts installed. It's not theory but, proven fact that a hand fit barrel, masterfully installed by a master gun or pistol smith, along with a fit bushing etc.. is going to shoot dramatically better than a Rock Island armory. But, when it comes to the more well built guns, if you get one with a very good lock up and and well fit barrel the accuracy difference in it an another gun that is also well fit will most likely only be noticeable from the bench/ransom rest. Granted other things come into play, noticeable recoil, grip etc.. for the individual shooter, but again those are mostly personal preferences. The majority of your accuracy comes from a properly fit barrel that returns to the same lock up position every time it is fired. And after all these years there are several manufactures and great gunsmiths that have this down to a near science.
     
  12. Wheels No More

    Wheels No More Long gone

    May 12, 2015
    Dan Wesson is the sweet spot as far as price to quality in the 1911 platform.
    Of course this is just one man's opinion.
     
  13. Dave Jessee

    Dave Jessee Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    825
    Dec 31, 2014
    If accuracy is the carrot to be chased it would be Baer for me. Fit and finish would be a 2-3k gun. Reliability is a strong point for me also.
     
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  14. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    That's the money quote right there.

    I'm a slow, but persistent competitive shooter. I don't shoot my 1911's off a bench. It's a hand gun. So, aside from bragging rights off a bench...

    You're above average shooter can't outshoot the gun. I SO'd a squad at a match with 75 shooters today. One of the best shooters and friend of mine was shooting a custom tuned Colt Government, but the fastest young guys were shooting $600 plastic guns as I recall. And out of all 75 shooters, only four of us were shooting 1911's.

    If you want to pay for an incrementally more accurate pistol for bragging rights, I understand that. I've owned a few fast cars and get it, but for practical shooting, get what looks good to you, reliable, what shoots well for you, etc, etc ...

    Buy what you "want".
     
  15. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    I can group very well with a Glock 21. It’s cheap and common. Sometimes it’s the Indian and not the arrow. Good guns are a luxury item. A standard Colt Government model will shoot pretty darn well.
     
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  16. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Exactly right Field grade even an above average shooter most generally cannot realize the full potential of an extremely accurate pistol. It's a total different animal then bench resting a rifle and shooting 1/2 mile lol.
     
    Dub, esmith1721 and fieldgrade like this.
  17. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    The perfect 1911 is to me 1.) Reliable 2.) accurate 3.) Quality fit and finish... in that order. A reliable gun can be made more accurate and even more attractive (but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder) but an unreliable gun often times is going to cost way more than it's worth or can be the biggest headache to chase the problems.
     
  18. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    Indeed. The quickest thing to make a gun vanish from my humble inventory is unreliability.
     
  19. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    I shoot my Colt Wiley Clapp just as well as my Ed Brown. One of them is built better and looks better. It’s probably more accurate in the hands of an expert. I’m no expert so I can hit pretty well with both.
     
  20. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    When I finish a range session at my favorite outdoor range I have to walk by the rifle range on the way to my truck. I always unload a couple of mags on the steel targets at 100 yards, and usually get a couple of hits with my $800 1911's. I've never seen anyone bubba enough with a high end 1911 try it, so I don't know if they'd do mo better. :D
     

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