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Discussion Starter #1
First, let me start by saying that I realize there are going to be many different opinions offered to the following. I appreciate all that are offered but please keep your opinions within the parameters established.

I am contemplating purchasing another 1911 in .45ACP (I currently own a SA full-size but choose not to consider it in this role for various reasons). I have narrowed it down to the following three, 1) S&W 1911, 2) Kimber Pro-Carry (stainless with aluminum frame) or 3) Kimber Pro-Carry HD (stainless with stainless frame). The primary use will be for occassional (very limited) carry in the course of duty.

Although I have not shot the S&W 1911, I imagine that it is really close to my SA. I have rented Kimbers but neither were the Pro-Carry. One was a smaller and the other a full-size. I have decided that I do not want anything smaller than the full-size grip, but can't decide on barrel length or manufacturer. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Either of these would be replacing a G30 (which has had 0 problems either before or after the "frame upgrade"). I just find the 1911 format more natural, and definitly less "blocky".

That being said, I am looking for quality concerns, reliability, etc.

Again, I thank everyone responding as I have grown to appreciate most of the opinions expressed on this forum.
 

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IMHO, I think you should go with one of the Kimbers, probably the all-steel one. Why? Here's my thoughts:

1)Reliability. Kimber's build quality for 1911's is well known. Granted, every major manufacturer will have some lemons here and there, but in my conversations with numerous law enforcement officers, the general idea seems to be "S&W should stick to revolvers." YMMV.

2)Size. I don't know what your physical dimensions are, and that is what determines what you can and cannot conceal upon your body. The smaller gun should be easier to conceal. However, if you are going to be carrying openly whenever you carry this sidearm, then go with a full-size.

3)Weight & Durability. If the assumption is that you're going to be carrying concealed, and that you were going with the shorter barrel, then an aluminum frame may be easier to carry, since it is lighter. I cannot say whether or not the lifespan of an aluminum frame is the same as steel (as in the number of rounds it can fire), but if weight is not a consideration, why take the chance?
 

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I have tried most of these Mid-range 1911's and here is my opinion. If reliability is a life risking must, by all means stay with the Glock. If you can hold out a little longer the Sig GSR has some good possibilities, but it's unproven thus far. From personal experience combined with reading other peoples posts, I wouldn't be comfortable betting my life on any of those pistols.

Now I'm gonna run for cover before I start receiving heavy fire.
 

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Here's my 2 cents...

I understand that the G30 is a rather "blocky" pistol. If the thickness of it (and it DOES have thickness) I would suggest moving down to the G23. I know that this is a 1911 site and, gasp!, recommend a GLOCK?!? My main reasons for this is:

1. Reliability. I have a G23, G19, G27 & G35. All have never malfunctioned and I have not even so much as added or modified them in ANY way. Straight from the box they perform. Period.

2. The .40 s&w cartridge has been proven. Why have so many law enforcement and government agency's switched from 9 milly to the .40? Simple enough, it works. Capacity is not an issue and the grip on a .40 is thin and comfortable.

3. Lightweight and durable. I don't have to elaborate.

4. The G23 has a medium sized grip that even with large hands, it is easy to manipulate.

5. Cost effective. Now here's why I ultimately carry a G27 or G23 on a daily basis. Here's a for instance: You go about your daily routine, whether it be rigorous or not. On you way home from work you stop at a gas station and some unsavory character approaches you. You take this situation and evaluate that deadly force is the only way out. He attacks you and you shoot him dead. If you are lawfully carrying your pistol and the shooting is justifiable, the law still requires that your pistol to be confiscated (even with a trial and everything, it could be 6 months to a year before you see that pistol again, or at all; this depends on your local laws). If you had used your $900 SW1911 (not including the Wilson mag $30, the action worked on by a gunsmith $100 and whatever other thing you may have to do to it to insure reliability and function). Whereas, a $400 Glock will not hurt so much on the wallet and as to whether or not it will sit on a shelf in the forensics department for an unknown length of time. Just because the Glock's are cost efficient, doesn't mean that they don't work.

I own several 1911's ranging from a SA Mil-Spec Operator to my "Pride and Joy" a Les Baer Premier II. Every one of these pistols had to have something done to them in order to operate and reliably function. I wouldn't give any of them up for the world. I don't make a million dollars a year, hell, far from it, so I don't want to lose a $2000 Les Baer in a shooting that would be later decided as justifiable.

I would suggest trading the G30 in for a G23 and you'll have peace of mind and money left over to shoot more...

Save the 1911 for the fun stuff!
 

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They are all good choices. It sounds like the decision is not SW vs. Kimber as it is a choice between 5", 4", steel or aluminum. I wouldn't let people worry you with reliability concerns. If the gun performs flawless for the first couple hundered rounds there is nothing to worry about.

If you're carrying the pistol you will probably appreciate the lighter weight of the aluminum frame. But I'd shy away from it if you plan on putting 10's of thousands of rounds through the gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hansgraf said:
... It sounds like the decision is not SW vs. Kimber as it is a choice between 5", 4", steel or aluminum...

That pretty much nailed it on the head. I have just narrowed it down to these models as they are comparable in price, and the local shop has plenty of both in stock.

My main concern is the aluminum frame, as I have read on other posts about cracking of the aluminum in weaker areas (slide release hole, etc).

Unfortunately, like suggested by CQBvoodoo, I can't go with a .40SW no matter the maker. Again, this is a duty weapon, but will see very limited carry due to the nature of the duty. I am bound by the caliber currently in use by the PD agency, which is .45ACP. While most of the LEO's carry a "cocked and locked" 1911 in some format (SA TRP, Para-Ordinance, Colt GM & Officers, etc), I have my choice of either a G30, G21, or a 1911. To me the 1911 just feels more natural. I just want something that is durable, realiable, and that I don't have to sink a whole lot of money into.

Thanks, and keep the opinions coming.
 

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Is the G21 too large a frame for you? Are you in uniform or is the firearm to be concealed? I often carry a Colt Lightweight Commander (Series 80) concealed. Carry often, shoot a lot less often. I tend to shoot a steel series 80 commander a lot and carry little. I have a G21 and find the frame a little too large and am considering having Robar do a grip reduction. I like the idea of 10 rounds of .45 in the G30 and and 13 rounds in the G21.
Stay safe out there.
Ken
 
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