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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 5/11/2003 10:46:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2003 8:20:27 PM EDT by DavidC]
While wandering around one of my favorite gunshops last week I came upon a used SW1911 that had been traded in by the original owner. It was 99%+ in the box with all the accesories and paperwork (including the two 8-roiund Wilson mags), and the asking price was $150 less than a new one at all of the local gunshops.

I had been looking for another fullsize 1911 and had been considering the S&W, but the price was off-putting because at that dollar level I was just considering getting a well-optioned Springfield or a similarly equipped Kimber (I know, S&W is making the frames and slides for Kimber now). But the discounted price was the decision maker, so I bought the SW1911.

It's an early gun (within the first 100 shipped) and the original owner (a well-known local 90 year old competition shooter) had done some smithing on the gun, stoning the trigger (a good job) and staking the frame to tighten the slide to frame fit (seemed to be a good job).

When I took the gun out to the range it was apparent that the slide to frame fit was a bit too tight. When cycled by hand, it was fine, but under recoil, the metal to metal fit was galling and causing FTF / FTE problems.

Serious lubrication got rid of some of the problem, but it ended up taking 150 rounds of hardball to smooth out the fit. The next 50 rounds went through the gun with absolutely no problems, fired rapid fire, as fast as I could switch mags, in order to get the gun to heat up and expand to see if the slide fit became a problem. Well no problems, and the 50 rounds went into the 9 ring of a B-27 target at 25 yards with little effort.

I've ordered an S&A magwell and ebony grip panels (something I do with all my 1911's) and should have them from Brownells on Tuesday. After that stuff is installed I'll take the pistol back to the range for some serious accuracy testing and a workout with my carry ammo (230gr Hyra-Shok).



Got the parts in from Brownell's and installed them today. Took aboiut 20 minutes with a few needle files to clean up the casting flash on the magwell and reshape the top of it to work correctly with the existing grip safety. The original mainspring housing is aluminium, not plastic as some have stated. Anyway, here's the pistol after my minor mods. Subtle changes, but I like it this way



Link Posted: 5/11/2003 11:02:56 AM EDT
nice piece I have heard alot of good about them.

I also have a S and A magwell, there nice.

I am going to recomend against hydroshok just because I have seen it fail to expand in my tests.

go with golden sabers or ranger talons.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 11:26:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mike45acp:

I am going to recomend against hydroshok just because I have seen it fail to expand in my tests.

go with golden sabers or ranger talons.



I've been carrying a 1911 for about 25 years and tested lots of different ammo. The only bullet I ever tried that expanded every time was the old CCI Lawman loaded with the 200gr "Flying Ashtray" I wish you could still get it.

I don't worry a whole lot about a 230 gr round not being enough bullet, whether it expands or not.

Link Posted: 5/11/2003 11:33:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DavidC:

Originally Posted By mike45acp:

I am going to recomend against hydroshok just because I have seen it fail to expand in my tests.

go with golden sabers or ranger talons.



I've been carrying a 1911 for about 25 years and tested lots of different ammo. The only bullet I ever tried that expanded every time was the old CCI Lawman loaded with the 200gr "Flying Ashtray" I wish you could still get it.

I don't worry a whole lot about a 230 gr round not being enough bullet, whether it expands or not.




well I agree that was a bitchin load, it had that huge opening a real scary round.

Anyway 230gr FMJ has taken quite a few, I still would recomend the golden saber the hydroshok is prone to clogging the older one I really liked but then they changed the design. I think they did that to make em feed better??
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 11:38:36 AM EDT
My favorite Hydra-Shok load was the original 45 ACP 185gr truncated cone hollowpoint +P. Unfortunately, it was like the CCI 200 gr HP load; it wouldn't feed reliably in a box-stock 1911 of the time. So it went the way of the dodo.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 1:35:15 PM EDT
I have to say looks like you got a nice pistol.
I shot a factory demo yesterday and was well impressed. lots of quality features and good job of combining high grip front strap and beavertail.
Now if I could afford to buy a new 625-8 ....
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 1:51:31 PM EDT
I hope that wasn't at Tanner's. I was there yesterday afternoon and they had a couple of nice looking used 1911s. If I had seen a S&W 1911 I would have jumped on it also. I've been drooling over them since they came out. I know I will eventually get one but finding a used (cheaper) one would be great.

I wish you luck with it.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 3:12:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Princeton:
I hope that wasn't at Tanner's. I was there yesterday afternoon and they had a couple of nice looking used 1911s. If I had seen a S&W 1911 I would have jumped on it also. I've been drooling over them since they came out. I know I will eventually get one but finding a used (cheaper) one would be great.

I wish you luck with it.



Bought it Thursday at Tanner's

I was in Tanner's yesterday afternoon too, around 2:00. I was on my way home from picking up my Form 4 at Dimmig's. Off to get everything signed and fingerprinted tomorrow.

Link Posted: 5/11/2003 9:54:16 PM EDT
Allow me to throw a turd in the punch bowl.

Since this gun has only recently came out, it would seem to be a red flag that it's for sale used, so quick.

Since you seem to have feeding/operating problems seems to show that this one is less than perfect.

OTOH, you got a gun that you wanted for a bit less than NIB price, I guess.

While I wanted one of these 1911s, I was SO disappointed in its flat mainspring housing! Aaargh!!!!

Link Posted: 5/11/2003 10:37:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BobCole:
Allow me to throw a turd in the punch bowl.

Since this gun has only recently came out, it would seem to be a red flag that it's for sale used, so quick.

Since you seem to have feeding/operating problems seems to show that this one is less than perfect.

OTOH, you got a gun that you wanted for a bit less than NIB price, I guess.

While I wanted one of these 1911s, I was SO disappointed in its flat mainspring housing! Aaargh!!!!




Perhaps you should have read my post before throwing your excrement around. The problems with the gun were directly related to the home gunsmithing done by the previous owner. The problems were dealt with in half an hour and the gun has run perfectly ever since.

I also know why he sold it, but didn't think it was germane; he just moved in with his daughter, and had to get rid of a couple of safes worth of firearms due to a lack of space. Being in his 90's, he kept the guns that he enjoyed the most, his beloved rifles. He let go of most of his handguns.

And frankly, arched mainspring housings really suck, so I'm glad this has a flat housing, though I'll be attempting to trade it out for a different flat housing when the S&A magwell (which replaces the housing) arrives on Tuesday.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 11:25:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/12/2003 12:18:14 PM EDT by RAMBOSKY]

Originally Posted By mike45acp:

I am going to recomend against hydroshok just because I have seen it fail to expand in my tests.

go with golden sabers or ranger talons.



What tests did you do?

I carry the Fed Hydroshok 230 gr JHP by recomendation of others. First I've heard of them not expanding.

I'm open to other peoples expeirence and insight. Thanks.

Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:48:34 AM EDT
Congrats on the new .45! I checked one out at the store the other day...Sweet!

In regards to the mainspring housing, I'd change it out with a steel one; I just didn't like the feel of the plastic one. But, I agree with you on the arched mainspring housing, they suck.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 7:42:51 AM EDT
Strangely enough for a S&W auto, I am hearing consistently good things about it in the shop I visit. Prior to the SW1911, in this shop inquiries about the S&W autos seemed to have been generally responded to according to the rule "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all."

But I am hearing some actual enthusiasm over the 1911.

Regarding BobCole's comment, I don't worry about potential problems on used guns (unless they are known POS's to begin with, ala Colt Double Eagle). I have gotten too many good deals to let my imagination run away with me. If a gun has been f*cked with too badly it will generally show it in the pre-purchase inspection. Anything more subtle can usually be fixed pretty easily.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 8:10:31 AM EDT
All of you 1911 gurus do know that S&W supplies the frames for Kimber, as well as Wilson Combat...Don't you?
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 8:34:50 AM EDT
There's a whole lot more to a decent 1911 than a solid frame.

Colt makes a good frame too but there is a widespread perception that the finished product needs a lot of work.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 8:47:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ken_mays:

Colt makes a good frame too but there is a widespread perception that the finished product needs a lot of work.



Roger that, I have 2 Colts and you could use the slides as boxcutters. I don't think the edges of the slide EVER saw a buffer or grinder...too bad. I finally 'melted' the edges myself.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 11:08:34 AM EDT
I don't know what type of tests the other guy did but from what I have seen at firearms tactical the Federal Hydroshock is a good round when shot into bare gel but constantly fails to expand when clothing is encountered.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 11:34:57 AM EDT
What are these S&W 1911's running for new ?Just wondering.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 11:35:32 AM EDT
I think about 650?
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 12:20:36 PM EDT
1911greg,

Thanks for the info. I think I'll switch to Rem 230 gr Golden Sabre JHP.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 12:29:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/12/2003 12:39:27 PM EDT by Sukebe]

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
I don't know what type of tests the other guy did but from what I have seen at firearms tactical the Federal Hydroshock is a good round when shot into bare gel but constantly fails to expand when clothing is encountered.



We have been using the 230 Grn. Federal Hydra-Shok since 89. Since that time we have had several shootings. It has never failed to stop a man in two rounds or less. Tests are tests. I have seen the results of several real world applications. The Federal Hydra-Shok in 230 Grn .45 ACP is an excellent man stopper.

I'll break it down;
7 shootings involving death or injury to a human.
5 one shot kills
1 two shot kill
1 one shot stop
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 12:33:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RAMBOSKY:

Originally Posted By mike45acp:

I am going to recomend against hydroshok just because I have seen it fail to expand in my tests.

go with golden sabers or ranger talons.



What tests did you do?





The test I did was the highly scientific milk carton test you line up a bunch of milk cartons fill them with water then I used 4 layers of denim in front. Hydroshok Plugged and failed to expand with just milk cartons it did expand.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 4:40:50 PM EDT
There are a hundred things you can do to totally screw up a 1911. From what I've seen in the local stores and what I've read in the gun rags, S&W managed not to run afoul of any of those hundred things. I also like the external extractor, which John Browning designed for his 1935 hi-power after seeing that the internal extractor on the 1911 was problematic. S&W has balls to modernize the 1911 just that little bit even though they know that snooty 1911 fans with their $1500 Les Baers will look down on them for it.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:24:08 PM EDT
I didn't like the grip safety on the one I saw. You had to be concentrating on holding it in for the gun to fire. How was yours?
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:58:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RobarSR60:
All of you 1911 gurus do know that S&W supplies the frames for Kimber, as well as Wilson Combat...Don't you?


No I didnt, I thought Jericho still made them in Oregon.
GG
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 11:07:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
I don't know what type of tests the other guy did but from what I have seen at firearms tactical the Federal Hydroshock is a good round when shot into bare gel but constantly fails to expand when clothing is encountered.



We have been using the 230 Grn. Federal Hydra-Shok since 89. Since that time we have had several shootings. It has never failed to stop a man in two rounds or less. Tests are tests. I have seen the results of several real world applications. The Federal Hydra-Shok in 230 Grn .45 ACP is an excellent man stopper.

I'll break it down;
7 shootings involving death or injury to a human.
5 one shot kills
1 two shot kill
1 one shot stop



.45 has been doing a good job at putting down the badguys for along time without expansion so the results don't really suprise me.
Over at Ammolab there was some research done on 45 ball shootings with 2 shots or less and ball stopped em most of the time.

The real test would be in the above shootings did the hydroshok expand and what kind of clothing did the badguys wear?
Link Posted: 5/13/2003 3:37:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2003 3:40:32 AM EDT by Sukebe]

Originally Posted By 1911greg:

.45 has been doing a good job at putting down the badguys for along time without expansion so the results don't really suprise me.
Over at Ammolab there was some research done on 45 ball shootings with 2 shots or less and ball stopped em most of the time.



So in other words any .45 will do as well as another?


The real test would be in the above shootings did the hydroshok expand and what kind of clothing did the badguys wear?


No, "tests" are done in labs. Unless they are shooting people, it's just an experiment. Practical application is done in the real world. Base your preference on "tests". I'll base my preference on real world performance. Performance that I have personally witnessed.
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 3:55:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2003 3:56:07 AM EDT by ikor]
The .45 is a damn good defensive handgun cartridge and has been ever since it was standardized with the 230gr. bullet around 1910/1911. It is not a death ray, but you simply do not see the wide range of variation in results where it was used in actual shootings that you see with 9mm / .38 spl rounds. While I don't necessarily believe that any .45 load will do as well as any other, I do believe that even .45 ball will usually get the job done just fine. I am aware of an agency nearby that used 230gr. ball in their issue S&W 645's for several years and had several shootings with results almost identical to those posted by Sukebe. They also had one in which a round penetrated a BG and struck an officer who was moving up behind him and whom the shooter did not know was there...flesh wound. LAPD SWAT used only ball for many years in their .45's and also had excellent results. The list is much longer than this.

Am I recommending hardball? No. Just stating documentable facts.

Nice pistol DavidC!
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 11:04:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

We have been using the 230 Grn. Federal Hydra-Shok since 89. Since that time we have had several shootings. It has never failed to stop a man in two rounds or less. Tests are tests. I have seen the results of several real world applications. The Federal Hydra-Shok in 230 Grn .45 ACP is an excellent man stopper.

I'll break it down;
7 shootings involving death or injury to a human.
5 one shot kills
1 two shot kill
1 one shot stop




However, YMMV. We also used the 230 gr. HydraShok for a number of years as our issued ammo in .45 ACP. We only had two shooting where that bullet was used. In both cases the bullet performance was less than confidence inspiring.



Does this mean the .45 ACP isn't a good cartridge? Or that the 230 gr. HydraShok isn't a good choice? No, not at all. It just means that anecdotal evidence is just that. Based on FBI test results, we've now switched to the Speer Gold Dot in .45 ACP.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 11:28:30 PM EDT
Has anyone read the stats on the new Taurus copper .45? When tested thru several layers of clothing it expanded even thru several layers of denim. The round is over 99% pure copper.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 1:36:19 AM EDT
The Federal Hydra-Shok design has now been around a long time. While it was revolutionary in it's time, there are better bullets out there today. In the gel tests I have witnessed, it seems that the 230 gr Hydra-Shok opens nicely about 50% of the time when fired from a 5" barrel. The other 50% of the time it barely expands at all or acts as an FMJ. Add to this the fact that the Hydra-Shok really suffers expansion problems when having to penetrate heavy clothing. While an FMJ or non-expanding HP .45 ACP bullet can and most certainly will kill, that doesn't mean it's the best choice out there.

IMHO, the Winchester Ranger 230 gr standard and +P loads, as well as the Speer Gold Dot are much better choices. These still expand well after penetrating through clothing and will expand when fired from pistols with barrel lengths less than 5". After these I would probably pick the Golden Saber, although there have been a few instances when it hasn't faired well with clothing and sometimes suffers core jacket seperations. It still seems to fair better than the Hydra-Shok though.

While some folks discount gel tests, I find them to be a good way of determining what a bullet will do. Gel wasn't designed in order to get the best medium that would make bullets expand. It was designed to replicate human tissue and represent the damage bullets caused in that tissue. So the way I see it, if a bullet fails the gel test, then how in the world could anyone expect it to expand in people?

What I do when choosing carry ammo is look at several things. First and foremost is penetration. Whether you are using a .22 or a .45, hardball or HP, if the bullet isn't capable of penetrating deep enough to reach the vitals from a shot at any angle, then I don't use it. Next, I look for expansion. As long as I can consistently (consistently is the key word here) get expansion at or above .60" from a handgun bullet, that's good enough for me. And most of the top loads from 9mm, .40 or .45 will do this. Next, it must expand well after passing through clothing. Since I'm not likely to be engaging a naked attacker, the bullet has to perform in clothing. And last, the round must be available without hassle and feed reliably in my weapons. With all of this in mind, my top load in every caliber from 9mm to .45 is the Speer Gold Dot. It meets the demands of all of my requirements and meets them quite nicely. The Winchester Ranger loads are also very, very good performers. But they are harder to find. They also don't have the bonded bullet like the Gold Dot, therefore the Gold Dot is superior when it comes to barrier penetration and weight retention.

Again, just because the Hydra-Shok doesn't perform as well as some of the newer bullets doesn't mean it won't kill. Anything that's .45" in diameter starting out that pierces a hole through your body can kill you. But I feel there are better rounds and therefore use them. They may not increase my chances all that much, but this is a life or death issue here and if I can get an additional tenth of a percent in performance in my corner, then I will welcome it.

Weapon reliability, shooter ability and ammo performance all must work in conjunction. Even the best bullet there is can't make up for poor accuracy. Or the best bullet is of little use if it doesn't feed in your weapon. That's why we must work hard to ensure our guns work, our ammo works and that we can hit the target. So ammo choice, while an important part, is only about a third of what I like to call the big picture.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 4:14:23 AM EDT
Cost is $699.99 (I hate it when they do that, just frigging make it cost $700!) at http://www.impactguns.com/store/smith_1911.html

(link not hot on purpose)

Doggonit
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 5:49:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By 1911greg:

.45 has been doing a good job at putting down the badguys for along time without expansion so the results don't really suprise me.
Over at Ammolab there was some research done on 45 ball shootings with 2 shots or less and ball stopped em most of the time.



So in other words any .45 will do as well as another?


The real test would be in the above shootings did the hydroshok expand and what kind of clothing did the badguys wear?


No, "tests" are done in labs. Unless they are shooting people, it's just an experiment. Practical application is done in the real world. Base your preference on "tests". I'll base my preference on real world performance. Performance that I have personally witnessed.



The test with .45 FMJ was taken from actual shootings where 2 rounds were fired.


What I was trying to say is .45 ball is a pretty decent round.

but a JHP is going to do more damage as long as that JHP expands and many do not, whether they are just a bad design or whether other factors like clogging occur.
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