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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have about a million questions, but I'll just ask a few of them. I've applied for a CCW permit. I've decided that I want a .45 ACP of some description, and have narrowed it down to a few possible choices. Sig? Nice, but very expensive...and it feels "fat" to me. Glock? I like the safety and reliability, but the only "concealable" one is the Model 30...and with my very large hands it just doesn't feel right. Ruger P97? Great price, should be very reliable from what I've read...but the thing seems HUGE!!!

I've been looking at the Springfield "Custom Loaded" Champion model. The full length grip feels PERFECT in my hand, and the 4" barrel helps concealed-carry issues.

1. Which Kimber model would best approximate the "Custom Loaded" Champion: "Pro Carry" or "CDP Pro"?

2. What makes Kimber a better choice? I'm willing to spend a little more money for a real improvement in quality, but I'm not made of money...and I wouldn't spend it just for a name even if I were.

3. Carrying a "1911" .45: Cocked and locked, or empty chamber? I've been told that the 1911 is designed to be carried cocked and locked, and not to be concerned by the scary looking cocked hammer. I've also been told that's totally insane and I'll shoot my foot off. Who is right?

Of all the .45s I've hefted I liked the Champion the best. It felt "just right." I've just about convinced myself that a 1911 of some kind is the right gun, but which 1911 is another matter entirely.

-mickey
 

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I had similiar questions, take a look at the springfield vs. kimber thread in both the springfield and kimber forums.

The champion is a 4in barrel with a full side grip IIRC. The kimber equivalent is either the Pro Carry Eclipse or the Stainless Pro Carry. If you don't care if you have a steel frame, then any of the Pro Carries are equivalent.

-Chad
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oops! You lost me. "IIRC"?

It sounds like you're telling me that the Kimber has an aluminum frame and the Springfield is steel. Hmmm...big difference, in terms of longevity? I really don't care what the thing weighs. I want it to last FOREVER...or as close to it as possible. (That's why I picked an old Mercedes over a new Hyundai when I went car shopping.)

-mickey
 

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IIRC = if i recall correctly. The Pro Carries have an aluminum frame except for the Pro Eclipse and the Pro Carry HD. I said "Stainless Pro Carry" last post, which was incorrect.

You have the same choices with Sprinfield:

"Crafted with either a steel or light weight frame" - Springfield website.

Best way to choose your gun is to shoot both and decide which feels right. You test drove that mercedes didn't you?


<b>Kimber vs. Springfield thread</b> http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum17/HTML/001159.html http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum19/HTML/000721.html
 

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Originally posted by mickey:
...I've applied for a CCW permit...

1. Which Kimber model would best approximate the "Custom Loaded" Champion: "Pro Carry" or "CDP Pro"?
The Pro Carry will have everything the Springer will have except for Night Sights. The CDP Pro will add those, an ambi thumb safety, a carry melt treatment and front-strap checkering.


2. What makes Kimber a better choice? I'm willing to spend a little more money for a real improvement in quality, but I'm not made of money...and I wouldn't spend it just for a name even if I were.


I'd say read this forum for Kimber and Springfield and see if you can find a difference in the posts. I can. It is clear to me that Kimber seems to be of a higher level of quality gun based on peoples' "bitch" level.


3. Carrying a "1911" .45: Cocked and locked, or empty chamber? I've been told that the 1911 is designed to be carried cocked and locked, and not to be concerned by the scary looking cocked hammer. I've also been told that's totally insane and I'll shoot my foot off. Who is right?


I have carried cocked and locked with a Colt Defender in a Thunderwear setup with a .45 pointed at my groin for about 4 years now. I am still able to have children and the thumb safety has never snapped off. I have heard nothing about people with a negligent discharge of a 1911, but you hear a lot about cops and Glocks and putting holes in their feet. I would never carry a Glock in Thunderwear if I ever wanted to have children or some resemblance of a sex life...


Of all the .45s I've hefted I liked the Champion the best. It felt "just right." I've just about convinced myself that a 1911 of some kind is the right gun, but which 1911 is another matter entirely.
I would certainly look at 3" barreled "Ultra Carry" models with aluminum "officer-type" frames. Chances are you will be carrying this much more than you will be shooting it. You will enjoy the comfort level much more and therefore carry concealed much more because of it. Today's aluminum frames (for the past 20 years) on guns manufactured by a reputible company should give you a lifetime of service.
 

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Mickey

Before you buy anything I suggest that you do the following.

First look in your local area for a gun store with an indoor range. Most will offer gun rentals, so you can try before you buy. Renting different pistols, and revolvers, before you buy will be the best firearms money you will ever spend. Since, once you buy a firearm it is yours, you can not return it for a refund, and if you trade it you will lose half of what you paid.

Second, look for a local insructor that offers a hand gun selection class. These classes are usually offered at stores with indoor ranges to provide you with instruction and objective information about all the variations that you should consider. Plus, this is another opportunity to try several styles and calibers for one easy price.

In my opinion the three most important things to consider are:

1. FIT: It must fit your hand well. This goes together with your statement that a certain pistol just felt right.

2. FUNCTION: You must be able to make everything function properly with one hand.

3. Caliber: The largest caliber that you can safely and comfortably control today.

After you have done this, you will have some experience to base a decision. If you decide on a 1911. For a first 1911 I suggest a full size, steel pistol like the Kimber Classic Custom. The full size generally works the best and they are the easiest to learn with. Plus the Kimber Classic, or the Springfield Loaded, is the best value in 1911's on the market. Dont spend much more until you have more experience. A full size 1911 is not much more difficult to conceal than a shorter model and it is much easier to conceal than other guns.

Concering your question about carrying a 1911. The 1911 was designed to be carried cocked and locked by Calvary soldiers that did not have a third grade education. The only other way that is safe to carry a 1911 is with an empty chamber, though this really defeats the purpose of carrying any pistol.

Now having said this, you need to recognize that carrying ANY semi-automatic pistol requires a significant amount dedication and practice, in addition to training to do so safely. And the 1911 requires the most of almost any pistol because it was designed for combat, meaning it is very unforgiving of mistakes in operation. The other pistol I can think of that can be very unforgiving of mistakes is the Glock.

So when you make your decision, get some training, or more training, and practice a lot. Oh, going shooting is a good idea too, since 90% of practice for carry purposes does not involve shooting.


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Str8_Shot

The best handgun for self defense, is the one you have with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, I'll practice!

I plan to buy some of those "dummy" rounds so I can practice loading and unloading, over and over and over, while watching TV. I want it to be completely automatic. I want to be able to practice drawing the weapon and acquiring the target quickly and safely...finger outside the trigger guard! (Gotta keep the "grab the trigger" habit from developing.) I want to practice it right handed and left handed. (I'll be getting an ambidextrous safety.)

I've also read some good advice that says shooting at a range just teaches you to shoot targets at a range. It's better to go outdoors and set up multiple targets in a semicircle around you at very close range (to simulate the typical assailant situation) and practice drilling one round into each in succession, while backing away defensively. Find a big rock and practice firing from cover. Use both hands together, and each one singly. Both aiming AND "point and shoot."

And, above all, do it a LOT! That's why I'm going to buy thousands of rounds of relatively cheap FMJ to practice with. Sure, they won't necessarily "feel" or shoot the same as the good stuff I'll use for carrying, but to me the most important thing is the handling of the gun. Actual defensive shooting will probably happen at point blank range.

I recognize that a 1911 isn't the wisest choice for a relative novice (I've played with a lot of rifles, but few handguns), but I prefer to practice and train with the 1911 to begin with. If that is going to be my weapon of choice in the long run I think it's preferable to train with it right from the beginning.

As far as carrying, I won't carry it "locked and cocked" until I am comfortable and proficient with it. Better an empty chamber than no gun at all, and I'll feel safer that way for a few months until I have a lot more practice, compared to having that hammer back all the time!

Thanks for the advice. I hadn't really considered a full size 1911, but I will certainly try out a few concealment options with one before I make a final decision. The Springfields are a bit cheaper, but if I have to fuss with the thing to bring it up to Kimber level it could end up costing more.

-mickey
 

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Mickey-

FWIW, I have about 30 years experience with .45's, as a former LEO, currently in NRA and IDPA competition, and in the last year for CCW. I shoot a 1911 for IDPA but carry a Glock 30 or 36, depending on the situation.

For IDPA I interchange an accurized Colt 1911, a Kimber Custom, and my favorite, a Wilson CQB. For CCW, I prefer the Glocks. In a proper holster that covers the trigger you can carry them with one in the pipe in complete safety, yet have a gun that is instantly available.

In my opinion, if you need to carry a handgun, you need to carry it ready to fire. Otherwise you can do better legally and otherwise by carrying OC spray.

Just MYHO,

Tim
 

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Mickey

If you are willing to put in the time necessary to practice, and it sounds like you are, choosing a 1911 is not unwise. Though your description of how you plan to practice by setting your targets up in a semi-circle sounds like a good plan for disaster.

You really need to get proper training from a certified instructor. This way you will receive guidance on the variations of the proper techniques. Get some local training and later treat yourself to classes at someplace like Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, or Mid-South. There several good training centers around the country and they all will get you where you want to go safely.



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Str8_Shot

The best handgun for self defense, is the one you have with you.
 

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Originally posted by mickey:
Glock? I like the safety and reliability, but the only "concealable" one is the Model 30...and with my very large hands it just doesn't feel right.
Glock safety? Please explain? IMHO, that is a myth reported by police agencies to taxpayers. Beware of what you read. The Glock is the ultimate "offensive" handgun. No safety. Just pull the trigger and bang everytime.

A 1911 requires 3 movements to fire.
1. Depress Grip Safety with proper grip.
2. Lower manual safety with thumb.
3. Pull trigger.
Plus these can be done as fast or faster than the one Glock movement.

Ruger P97? Great price, should be very reliable from what I've read...but the thing seems HUGE!!!
Avoid cheap guns!


I've been looking at the Springfield "Custom Loaded" Champion model. The full length grip feels PERFECT in my hand, and the 4" barrel helps concealed-carry issues.

1. Which Kimber model would best approximate the "Custom Loaded" Champion: "Pro Carry" or "CDP Pro"?
The Pro Carry Compact seems nice and is comparable.


2. What makes Kimber a better choice? I'm willing to spend a little more money for a real improvement in quality, but I'm not made of money...and I wouldn't spend it just for a name even if I were.
Not much. The frame is steel or aluminum on the Kimber, but I think SA is only aluminum.


3. Carrying a "1911" .45: Cocked and locked, or empty chamber? I've been told that the 1911 is designed to be carried cocked and locked, and not to be concerned by the scary looking cocked hammer. I've also been told that's totally insane and I'll shoot my foot off. Who is right?
BTW the Glock is cocked and unlocked with a 5.5lb trigger. The 1911 is cocked and double locked with a 4 - 5lb trigger....Hmmm? I'll let you decide.
Ask the person who said that you'll shoot your foot off what they carry or would carry. The 1911 is the only gun with two active safeties that I'm aware of. Any others? Also, most have a passive firing pin lock or drop deterent(heavy spring/light pin) of some kind.
Glocks have three passive safties. Anything that pulls the trigger fires the gun. Period.

Good luck in your decision! That is the fun part. Next is training, but that is fun too!
 

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BTW, pick one of us and email us your million questions. Sorry, I don't own a Kimber, yet!
 

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I thought the SA Loaded would be a nice alternative to a Kimber Custom. WRONG!!! First off my SA shoots 3" low at 7 meters. Easy enough to fix. Send SA the gun and wait 3-4 weeks for them to replace the front sight and test fire it. Now the SA will not go into battery every time. Yesterday the slide would hang up about .125" from closing once or twice every mag.

Oh ya I forgot to mention that when I took the grips off the frame is stamped "Imbel Brazil".

So to make a long story short I just took a beating on my SA and traded it for a Kimber Custom. I could have saved a few hundred bucks if I would have done that in the first place.
 
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