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Hello,

I just joined at this site and am looking for advice on purchasing my first 1911. I’m currently leaning towards the Smith & Wesson Model 1911 in stainless steel with wood grips and adjustable sights. (Model 108284) This particular model seems to have all of the features I’m looking for at a reasonable price.



I do have a number of questions about Smith & Wesson’s version of the 1911 and several questions about 1911’s in general. I have owned revolvers and rifles before but this will be my first semi-automatic handgun so some of my questions may seem rather basic. I would really appreciate any advice!

1. I’m a little concerned about purchasing a SW1911 after reading all of the posts about the “frame burr” and “milling errors on the breech face”. Are both of these still common problems even on new guns? Will these problems cause damage to the gun over time if left alone? Would I see the same type of issues with a different brand, say Kimber or Springfield?

2. How is the fit and finish on the Smith & Wesson model 1911’s? Any areas that will show a lot of wear with normal use?

3. What is a fair price for the above model gun? Best I have found so far is $723.xx from an online dealer.

4. What type of maintenance is necessary? I’m used to revolvers so I’m guessing maintenance for a 1911 style gun would be considerably more.

Thanks for the help!

James
 

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I have an early fixed sight model that I have had no issues with other then the recall for the safety they had when it first came out. S&W paid shipping there and back and it took less then a week. I am VERY happy with the pistol. I also own many other brands and they problems can occur with all of them. I myself have had no real issues, but each brand can put some out with flaws. I'll let the other chime in on some of the issues you stated.


As for Maintenance a good place to state is here:

http://www.m1911.org/full_technic.htm

welcome to the forum.


Stacey
 

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mine has been perfect out of the box, nice fit and finish, good trigger, good accuracy, extremely reliable (stainless steel fixed sight model)

my barrel crown does look a bit rough, but this is purely cosmetic and I do have the ledge on the breechface, the ledge gives the casing a small stamp on the back, but I haven't noticed any problem with reusing those cases, so again purely cosmetic
 

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At this point all my new gun purchases will have adjustable sights. I have never had a gun with Novaks or any other non-adjustable sight that hit right at poi, and that includes many brands. I have always had to spend extra to get the sights moved and in one case had to send a brand new gun back because it shot 5 inchs low and they had to put a lower front sight on it. Make mine adjustable please.
 

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1. Dont think this is problem now.

2. Bought mine in Stainless, that way holster wear just makes it shinier. :)

3. That's real close to what I paid for mine.

4. Any auto will require you to change the recoil springs at certain intervals. Other than that it is roughly the same, you need to keep it clean and lubed.
 

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I bought a stainless with fixed sights several weeks back. With 450 rounds through it at the range it has performed perfectly. There is a ledge on the breech face on the left side, I was told that is pretty common but has not ill effect.

With regard to fixed vs. adjustable sights...I too thought I wanted adjustable sights on all my guns. After nearly wearing out the adjustment screw on my first gun I realized I was chasing my bad habits with the sight adjustment. With every new gun I have always shot low at first, I think it takes a bit of getting used to the grip. With the adjustable sights I was using the sight adjustment to compensate for grip and trigger release problems. The last few guns I have purchased has fixed sights and after getting familiar with the gun and the sight picture they seem to hit right on target.

The S&W stainless model with adjustable sights and wood grips also adds an ambidexterous safety. I didn't want that and decided it was easier and cheaper to replace grips and sights if wanted.

By the way, I paid $699 for the 108282 model at a local shop before sales tax.
 

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1. I’m a little concerned about purchasing a SW1911 after reading all of the posts about the “frame burr” and “milling errors on the breech face”. Are both of these still common problems even on new guns?
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It's possible -- but it's easily seen. If there is a concern of yours, I would suggest buying it from a brick-and-mortar shop where you can inspect the pistol, rather than on-line where you's takes yer chances.
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Will these problems cause damage to the gun over time if left alone?
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Don't know about the frame burr -- neither of mine have it. As far as the breechface ledge, no, no damage...just a cosmetic issue and possible problem if you reload.
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Would I see the same type of issues with a different brand, say Kimber or Springfield?
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I'd suggest you'd probably see even a larger variety of problems; S&W's are one of the few good-out-of-the-box production 1911's out there.
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2. How is the fit and finish on the Smith & Wesson model 1911’s? Any areas that will show a lot of wear with normal use?
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Fit and finish is great...again, one of the best examples out there. Barrel crowns really seem to be the only cosmetic issue that comes up with any regularity, but neither of mine had it, and those who do have it say it rarely affects accuracy. Wear...dunno, never carried mine.
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3. What is a fair price for the above model gun? Best I have found so far is $723.xx from an online dealer.
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$700 - $750, so you're right in the sweet spot. Occassionally you can find them for $675 on a good sale, but that's more the exception than rule.
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4. What type of maintenance is necessary? I’m used to revolvers so I’m guessing maintenance for a 1911 style gun would be considerably more.
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Don't own a revolver, so can't compare...but the maintenance of a 1911 is on par w/ any semi-automatic...maybe another step or two in field-stripping, but that's about it. Easy stuff.

Hope that all helps.
 

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Pctech, I have that exact model S&W. It is a target model. It shoots to point of aim for me. As for cleaning, I do it after shooting. A warm barrel cleans easier than a cold one. As for the other problems you mentioned,S&W has an excelent waranty repair for their products.Only problem I have had is a reload thhat was low on powder. That is my fault, not the guns. It is fun to shoot.
 

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Cleaning is easier than a revo, IMHO. It's difficult or impossible to clean the barrel on a revo from the breech end. You can remove the barrel on the 1911 and clean it from the breech end. You also only have 1 chamber to clean.;)

I find I shoot my pistols much more often than my S&W 686 because the pistols are so much easier to clean.
 

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This past spring I bought an early model Smith that I found used. The gun shot so well that in June I bought the DK model and I've been shooting it in action pistol matches since then. I've got over 5,000 rounds through the DK with no problems what-so-ever.

The "ledge" on the breach face does leave a stamped impression on my brass but have had no ill effects on reloads (in fact I can now tell which of the range brass I pick up is actually mine).

BTW I also own a loaded Springer, an STI Eagle, and a Kimber Ultra Compact. The Smith DK is the best of the lot.
 

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pctech said:
Hello,
. (Model 108284) This particular model seems to have all of the features I’m looking for at a reasonable price.
3. What is a fair price for the above model gun? Best I have found so far is $723.xx from an online dealer.
Like yourself I'm new to the 1911 game. I bought the Model 108284 because I wanted the adjustable sights and loved the way it looked over the plain one. After taxes I paid $723 and some change for mine. I feel I was treated fairly. After reading alot of back post here I did learn something that I feel was good advice. Lube with Mobil 1 before you fire it for the first time and everytime you clean it thereafter. It has turned out to be very true. When you do buy your S+W 1911 you'll only have one concern IMHO.... Having enough ammo on hand. Good Luck.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for the very helpful responses! I've had to put this project on hold for a few weeks but hopefully can get a SW1911 ordered soon.

Thanks,
James
 

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Just my final two cents...I also bought a 108284 a few months ago. It has been one great shooter. I have the same issue with the rough crown, but the gun shoots with one hole accuracy. I love the adjustable sights. If that is what you want, don't be talked out of them. I have both fixed and adjustable sights on 1911s and it is strictly a matter of personal preference. On the full size, all steel sw1911, it is an advantage to adjust sights to get a good zero as the gun is capable of outstanding bulls eye accuracy. The sw1911 is very nicely put together and with the features and warranty a bargain at $700+. Save you bucks and get one. You won't be sorry:rock: .
 

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you won't go wrong with a SW1911

Just to beat a dead horse a little more, I think it would be a smart move to get the SW1911, in any of its flavors. If you peruse the other manufacturer's sites on this forum, you hear about a fair number of complaints and problems. In contrast, the S&W site seems to contain uniformly positive posts. I've got a SW1911PD 4.25" and I'm delighted with it. You won't go wrong with a S&W.
 
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