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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of becoming a LEO, and am considering purchasing a 1911 - style pistol for my duty sidearm. Which brand would be a good choice for a first - time purchase? Do single action pistols lead to a higher liability exposure? Any advice received would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Stringer,,,
Welcome to the forum sir.

I have been an officer in Texas for more years than TCLEOSE has been around. I was "Grandfathered" in 1968 and I have carried a 1911 for most of those years, as I do today. I can tell you that the new Colts are just great. Colt has resolved any issues that they had several years ago and they are making a very fine 1911 handgun. If you want just the basic 1911 which is really the way to go for a duty gun then the Colt is my choice.

I dont know how soon you will be on the road as an officer, but take the time to read this forum. You will find a lot of comments on all brands of 1911's. Some of the comments are good, and there are some that are not as glowing, about all the brands out there today. But all in all I really think the Colt is still the best bang for the buck. More of their parts are machined than cast like the other makers, that is a fact that I do like. If I had to do it all over again I would go with the Colt. The Colt board here has more positive posts than negative ones, that says a lot to me. Good Luck, no matter which one you choose.

and remember this>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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No man is above the law and no man is below it. Nor do we ask any mans permission when we require him to obey it.
 

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I too have been in law enforcement for longer then I care to remember. Started carrying a Colt 1911 in the 70's. Tried other guns, S&W, Glock, Ruger, and other Colts. Finally went back to the 1911. I guess age does make you smarter. The 1911 is the best weapon I have found for law enforcement.

As far as manufacturer, Colt makes a good product. Unfortunately you are limited, if you want to buy new, to a 1991 A-1. This is an excellent gun, but I would replace the trigger, (It has a plastic one) and put better sights on it. If you are worried about liability the Colt has an additional safety device that the 1911's do not have. This prevents the hammer from engaging the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. I feel that this is not a feature that is really needed since 1911's are very safe as is.

Other manufacturers make good products also. Springfield and Kimber make good full size 5" 1911's which are excellent guns and can come with most of the options you want for law enforcement. My first choice for a law enforcement weapon would be a Les Baer "Thunder Ranch Special". Excellent weapon, but about twice the cost of the others.

Bottom line is, it's your choice. I have carried a Colt, a Springfield, and a Kimber. I still have them, and all of them are great. Spent a little more money on the Colt fixing up the way I wanted it. That was my choice, it does not have to be yours. I bought the Thunder Ranch Special and that will be my primary duty weapon from now on.

I you have a department in mind that you want to join, ask them and make sure they will let you carry a single action 1911. Some do not, primarly because of the image it presents. (cocked and locked)

The one thing I can tell you is there is not a better weapon out there for law enforcement than the 1911.

[This message has been edited by JMG (edited 05-30-2001).]

[This message has been edited by JMG (edited 05-30-2001).]
 

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The first thing you have to do is get your head examined. Do not get into law enforcement. I too have spent many years in this job and I can tell you that it is not fit for human consumption. Since I already know that you will not pay any attention to what I have just told you, and knowing that in about 15 years you will understand, then at least you should have the proper tools to help you survive to that 15 year mark. This way I will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are angry with yourself for not listening to me.

Any quality .45 auto will do. I presently carry a Para Ordinance 14-45 LDA. My department will not allow cocked and locked. I have carried .45’s off duty for my entire career and shoot competitively on a frequent basis with a Colt.

Just remember that you get what you pay for. Once you know that then you have to decide just how much your life is worth.

Insist on reliability first, good sights second, and anything else is just gravy.
 

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i agree with pat, on reliablity is first and foremost.

i have been in law enforcment since 1996, my fist weapon was a ruger 9mm. that was traded for a glock 40 cal. then a glock 45 cal. now for a little over a year i have been carrying a colt 1991A1. for service this gun is great. i put night sights on mine, and some pretty wood grips. there are kimbers and springfields out there, and they are good guns. i just went with the most basic, and it has turned into a wise investment for me. and don't let everyone tell you how this or that needs to be done to the gun toi make it work. put a couple hundred rounds through it and then decide for yourself. you may be like me and wind up with just night sights for duty, and wood grips just because. but its your gun. i myself do not like full length guide rods, but you may find that you need an extended saftey or slide lock. these are things you can change yourself and buy for very little money.
you don't have to spend 800.00 on a 1911 for duty, how much you want to spend, or what gun you like is up to you, and how YOU perform with that gun

good luck
russel the cop

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CHANCE FAVORS THE PREPARED MIND....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice. I have been reading this forum for several days before registering, and I knew that I could count on solid opinions based on experience. Patrick, much to my family's chagrin and amazement, I have passed two psych. exams (one before entering the academy, and one before accepting the position I'm starting soon). They tend to agree with your assessment LOL!
Thanks again,
Stringer
 

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On the off-hand, and I may be way off-base here, but as far as LAPD goes, isn't it only S.W.A.T. and S.I.S. that can carry a .45? Or did they upgrade that to patrol as well, as long as you take a class?

I may have answered my own question.
 

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I have no idea what LAPD will allow as far as a handgun is concerned. But taking a class is a good idea, no matter what you carry.
 

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I've got to say that Law Enforcement has been my life since the late 60's and I am damn proud of it. I sure as hell hope I dont have to pass a psyche test today, or tomorrow I'm not sure what would show up. Hell, I'm not sure I would show up either. This has been one heck of a ride, I have done things and seen things that most folks only see in the movies. You will never have another job that has the variety and the BullStuff that LE does. I would not trade a day of it for anything. I wish you the very best of luck.

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No man is above the law and no man is below it. Nor do we ask any mans permission when we require him to obey it.

[This message has been edited by Ken Neal (edited 06-01-2001).]
 
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Get a quality 1911 Springfield TRP, Wilson CQB, Baer Thunder Ranch are all great. Then before going on street put about 1000 rounds through it because reliability is #1 not accuracy. It must work everytime if your life depends on it. Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch can tell you the night mares of some 1911's from his classes. PS Get Wilson mags they are the best. It does no good to buy a $1500.00 pistol and use magazines that cost $7.00 at the gun show.. Good luck. I am 47 and if I had to do it over again would probably chose something else for a second career. Too much BS.
 
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