View Full Version : 1911 S&W or Para?
March 31, 2006, 22:48
I'm in the market for another 1911, which would you say? I am leaning towards the Para. They have several really cool finish options, and some interesting choices, although I am basically looking for a single stack 1911 (no high cap), with a standard single action. Smiths are nice, and the one I've fired was a dream, just can't seem to WANT a Smith auto. I know it's a 1911, but come on, you don't turn to Glock for high quality revolvers, and so I am a bit prejudiced against the Smiths.
March 31, 2006, 23:47
S & W was making frames for other folks at one time I think. The .45 1911 S & W I have works like a charm & shoots like a dream. Tolerances seem a bit looser than my Kimber. Haven't seen that it bothers anything and either one shoots better than I can. Both 5" barrel pistols.
April 01, 2006, 00:57
I have two of the S&W 1911's, one of the first 200 made and one of the adjustable sight models made a year later. Both have run 100% so far. Finish is impecable.
I carry a Colt 1911 at work daily and have used it for serious. I have more than a dozen 1911's in several chamberings and by several makers. I built a Para-Ordnance while they were offering frame kits but not yet full pistols. I would rather carry a 1911 than any handgun made. I love 1911's.
The early first generation S&W autos (M-39 and M-59) may have not set the world on fire but the subsequent S&W second generation pistols (3 digit model numbers like M-669 or M-645) and third generation pistols (4 digit model numbers like M-5906 or M-4506) are extremely reliable and have very good trigger pulls, even if they may lack ergonomics in many shooters' hands. I think this shows that S&W has their metalurgy and machining and fitting skills well in hand. The guns don't seem to generate rabid fans, but they sure do work well.
Combine the quality of their machining and the quality of their forged frames and slides with the genious of John Browning's great pistol design, and I believe we have a real winner.
I would gladly carry a S&W 1911 if my department regs permitted it. As it is, the SW1911 is second only to the Colts, especially the pre-Series 80 Colts, in my heart. I don't know anyone who hads gotten a truly bad one yet. The first batch was recalled for a minor bug way back when, but S&W paid shipping both ways and mine was back home in a week.
The lifetime warranty is a great comfort, too.
I have seen too many minor bugs and bad fitting in P-O guns made in the last few years, too many friends have had to return theirs for work. I don't think their production is as high a quality as it was 5 or 8 years ago. Plus, their frames and slides are cast, not forged, and they aren't the best castings I have seen, nowhere as blemish free as, say, Ruger's castings. Their designs are good (except for their new "power extractor," which seems to be crap), but their execution is lacking.
Right now, unless I wanted a double stack 1911, I'd pick the S&W.
April 01, 2006, 07:27
I carry a SW1911 every day at work, based a good bit on what BUFF told me beforehand.;) I couldnt be much happier with mine, I've got the standad fixed sight, stainless 5 incher. I've got at the very least 6-7,000 rounds through mine flawlessly and it shoots better than I do. Mine was in the first 1500 made and had to go back to S&W for the recall BUFF mentioned (firing pin safety plunger replacement, no biggie) and while they had it they did a trigger job on it..wasn't bad at all before either, but verrrrry nice now. Best part was I had it back in less than a week. Couple other guys at work liked mine so well they ended up with them as well. BTW, it was Kimber that S&W made parts (slides I think) for.
April 01, 2006, 11:47
Okay I'll be different, go with a Colt or Springfield.
Both have forged frames and slides. And both use a minimum of MIM parts unlike the Kimbers.
The late model Colts have a fit and finish that they have been lacking in earlier years. And as for accuracy, they're more accurate than most people can shoot.
Plus with the recent modifications they're reliable out of the box finally.
It's also a pride thing, like the cowboy shooters you can say, "yes it's a COLT".
April 01, 2006, 14:11
IMO, spend a little more and get a Wilson. Used is fine since they retain the warranty as long as they have not been messed with.
I'm presently trying very hard to end up with a nice Colt. My first one (a stainless Gunsite model) was replaced due to leaning hammer syndrome. They replaced it at my request with a new Series 70 and even sent it to the Custom Shop for all the bells and whistles on their nickle. The replacement pistol is absolutely beautiful, shoots anything, but has to go back for a new frame due to...leaning hammer syndrome... (the hammer pin holes are not perpendicular to the frame). Maybe next time....
Edit to add a pic of the Colt and to mention that for the money the Springers are the best bang for the buck in production guns, IMO. I have one with >50k rounds through it, but it's had lots of custom work and after market parts added. My carry gun is a Wilson CQB, because I absolutely trust it.
April 01, 2006, 16:10
Springfield & Wilson make great double stack 1911's.
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