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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about doing some IDPA or IPSC competition and would like to get a 1911. I'm also a retired police officer, so I would be carrying the gun as a concealed weapon in a outside the pant holster. Just wondering what would be recommended for a 1911 to use for both? A full-size for competition and it would work for concealed carry, or a compact size for concealed and it will work fine for competition? I may end up getting both eventially, but what to start with is what I need to know right now as I can't really afford two guns.
Thanks for the info folks,
Dan'o :}
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My duty weapon was a S&W 4006. I have a Ruger P89 now that I carry off duty in a fanny pack, but don't really know if it would be a competitive gun, and I've always liked the 1911. The 4006, I believe is a compact model, but other than that I'm not all that familiar with something to use for both competition and concealed carry. I'm in California, so I guess there's a lot I can't purchase.
Dan'o :}
 

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You can do plenty with your P89 in USPSA/IPSC, such as shoot Production or Limited-10 Division, or use your 15-round mags in Limited Division.

As far as a 1911 goes, if you go full-size or compact, and shoot USPSA/IPSC, you can shoot in Limited-10 with 10-rounders, or shoot in 1911 Single-Stack Division with 8-rounders (considering if you're going to be shooting .45, as opposed to a 9mm or .40 in 1911).

Potential competitors often ask about covering two sides of the same fence, but I always advise to go with a gun that will function with the least amount of problems when starting competition shooting. You'll find a greater amount of reliability with a full-size 5" Government model, strictly speaking of 1911s, that is, as opposed to a Commanche/Commander-sized or smaller compact 1911. (As a personal preference, I wouldn't go any smaller than a Commanche/Commander for competition.) Now that's not to say that all 1911s under 5" are unreliable or problematic. I'm simply saying that you'll want your pistol to run well consistently and as often as possible under competition circumstances so that you don't get frustrated with the sport when first starting out. The more you stay in the game, the more you'll learn along the way as to what you'll like.

If you're used to carrying your Ruger P89 off-duty, then a full-size 1911 won't be any worse to conceal. Some of the more knowledgeable IDPA competitors here will have to chime in as I'm not as familiar with the requirements of IDPA, other than what's printed in the rulebook.

Good luck on your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The P89 I carry in the fanny pack, and it's a big fanny pack, so I can carry a 1911 in it, but I want to start carrying in a high ride comcealment type holster too, so that's why I was curious about a full size as compared to a compact. It sounds like I'm better off getting a full size and if it doesn't work for concealment then look for a smaller one later.

Other than shooting and gun safety, I don't know that much about pistols other than what I've read in the magazines in the last few weeks. If you grab the slide on the P89, it moves all over the frame. That may be good enough for competition, but I have no idea. Only thing I know about the Ruger is that it's a nice, inexpensive gun, so not sure what to use (P89, 1911, M&P, etc). Until two weeks a go I'd never heard of Kimber, only ones I really knew of were S&W (didn't know they made a 1911), Colt (only knew of the military and Gold Cup and hadn't heard they'ed stopped making pistols), Springfield Armory, Glock, and a few others, so I'm really a rookie when it comes to guns for competition, or other than duty carry. I definitely was shocked at all the 1911 manufactures and some of the prices of the really nice guns!

So, any and all advice greatly appreciated.
Dan'o :}
 

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Either gun you currently own would be fine in an IDPA match, things get trickier with ipsc.
I've seen L.E.O.'s use their compact S.W.'s in IDPA matches and do quite well.

I have a dvd of an IDPA match with an L.E.O. using a S&W auto that looked like a 4006.

I think the 4006 would be the choice until you invest in a 1911, a lot of people use Glocks too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Unfortunately, I don't have the 4006 as it was the Dept's gun and I had to turn it in when I retired. From what I understand, I can't have a 4006 in Calif. since it's not authorized as a Cali gun. I'm looking at several 1911's, but have no idea where to start, but I do know that I can't afford one of the $2000+ guns. I'm a little panicked at the $1000+ guns.
Dan'o :}
 

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HIPCHIP said:
I do know that I can't afford one of the $2000+ guns. I'm a little panicked at the $1000+ guns.Dan'o :}
Full size, all steel gun for bertter accuracy, sight radius and reliability.

Either the Kimber Custom II in blue or stainless ($750) or the STI Spartan ($625). Both are full size steel frame 1911's and will serve you quite well. Put something on the front strap (friction tape or skateboard tape) and perhaps a magwell. You will need 6 mags, minimum. Wilson's are great but Metalform and McCormick mags are a close second.

Gun, 6 mags, good straight drop belt holster and 2 double mag pouches should be less than $1000 and will last as long as you shoot. If you don't already reload... start. You will cut costs in half.

In fact, you might want to look at a 9mm 1911. I have yet to see a shooter who doesn't shoot a 9mm better than a 45 in the same platform. Kimber 9mm Target or STI Trojan 9mm are about the same price ($950 or so) with the Trojan being my choice for it's features and deadly accuracy.
 

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Take your P89 and find out what is going on before you sink money into a dedicated match gun or some sort of carry - compete compromise.

You do need to buy a holster, strong side, straight draw. Fanny packs are not allowed in IDPA and I doubt in IPSC. You will need two belt magazine carriers for IDPA, probably four for IPSC.
 

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good thinking

Suggestions only:

1) 5" S&W 1911 made of steel

2) Under-$30 plastic holster (at first) from BlateTech or Fobus or Galco or Uncle Mikes

3) ditto magazine pouches (although it's hard to argue with me about what-I-consider-superior-but-more-$ Safariland 079 'cause they're carry-capable, too)

4) a high quality 1.5" leather gun belt from Hellweg or Hume or Sparks or Beltman or Rafter or (insert endless list here)

5) Wilson 47D 8-rd mags; need minimum seven mags for USPSA

6) cheap ammo that is:
a) reliable in function
b) controllably accurate
c) cheap; did I mention cheap?

7) a bright fiber-optic style front sight and a widened-to-minimum-.140"-rear sight notch if your eyes are like mine (and many of us gently aging shooters)

This advice is NOT lightly given; it is carefully considered opinion based on extensive actual usage and/or observation.

After all, we ain't made o' money......

I have participated in both disciplines; I prefer USPSA.
IDPA seems more "execute these tactics", while USPSA seems more "shoot these targets".
Both are fun.

A33102
 

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Take your P89 and whatever mags you have, a holster and mag pouch to the next match in your area. Go early. Tell the Match Director that you are a new shooter. IDPA or USPSA makes no difference, I'm certain you will get lots of help with deciding what gear is appropriate and where to get it cheap. Don't worry about being ready to shoot your first match. Despite all preparations, most new shooters have a problem ot two. That's why we train our Range Officers to high standards. Go for it, that's my advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks for all the info, it definitely helps a bunch. That's the biggest problem, I don't know anybody yet who shoots so I can ask. There was a IDPA match last weekend, and an IPSC match this Sunday, but I've been fighting a stinking cold for a few weeks, so will have to wait another month to see anybody. I'll definitely check out the suggestions, and any other suggestions are still greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for all the help, folks. This is a great group.
Dan'o :)

I did have one other question, the 4006 I used on the job is double action on the first shot, then single action on every shot thereafter. My Dept liked that because of the safety of not have to run around cocked and locked. Since I'm used to that, are there any 1911's out there that are set up DA/SA? The only ones I can find are H&K, Sig, and Ruger, and most aren't really 1911's in the truest sense, and at least the Sig isn't allowed in Cali.

Also, are DA/SA guns allowed in IDPA or IPSC shooting?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
"Gun, 6 mags, good straight drop belt holster and 2 double mag pouches should be less than $1000 and will last as long as you shoot. If you don't already reload... start. You will cut costs in half."



I was talking to my dad, who's a gun collector, about reloading and he stated that with some of the ammo out there it's almost as cheap to just buy it (I think he mentioned Chinese made). Was wondering about reloading as compared to buying. Is it mearly an accuracy point?
Dan'o :}
 

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Reload. After 6 months you will be money ahead.

And, go with a full size 1911.
 

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You can still reload lead 45's for under $100/1000 and jacketed aound the $130 range. If you shoot much you will want Dillon's or Enos' phone #.

Shoot what you have and learn more about the games first. When you first start, I think your gun (assuming it is reliable) will be less important than you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I should be heading to my local gun shops this next week to see what they carry. I'll definitely look for a full size 1911 and I'll see what they have for reloading equipment. That's going to be completely new to me also. Only reloading I've ever seen was my father in law, and he only reloaded shotgun shells. He passed away a couple of years a go so I can't get any info from him. Any info on that would be helpful too.

This is weird! I'm 51, been shooting since I was a little kid. Was the weapons officer in my office, and yet I am a complete beginner when it comes to all this stuff! At least it sounds like a lot of fun and I'm getting excited about it!
Dan'o :}
 

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Personally, I would hold off on the reloading decision until after you settle into shooting. After a good amount of time shooting different matches, you'll get a feel for what caliber you may end up sticking with, or how high a volume you'll be committed to shooting each month, or deciding to shoot Minor power factor or Major power factor - these and many other factors can have an influence in your decision making when it comes to getting into reloading.

When you go to shoot matches and squad up with various members, the folks of IDPA, USPSA/IPSC, steel shooting, PPC, DCM, Bullseye, and all others in the shooting sports world will have match participants that are knowledgeable and willing to answer the many questions related to reloading. You'd be hard pressed to find a high-volume shooter that does not reload, and many of these folks will be all too happy to share their knowledge and experience about their reloading equipment, their materials, their suppliers, and load results. It's a world of its own that has many rewards. But like guns, it's not entirely cheap to start out. What is cheap/inexpensive is the experience and advice garnered from those that have a great affection for shooting & reloading.
 
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