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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When Kimber first burst on the scene, they shook up the entire 1911 marketplace. The idea of getting all those custom features right out of the box was virtualy unheard of by the majority of shooters. And without a Series 80 safety to boot!! A generally traditional gun, with only high-speed parts added, no "we know what's best for you" bull**** (i.e. series 80, ILS, external extractor, Series II).
Springfield armory followed suit with their loaded models, Colt saw the writing on the wall, and now Dan Wesson is making a dent in the market.
But, with the addition of the Kimber Series II safety and external extractor, the Springfield ILS, the fact that to get a Colt in the proper configuration it starts at $1k, and now the rumor that Dan Wesson will be going to all external extractors, where does that leave the rest of us? Sig has left us high and dry with both an internal safety AND external extractor (maybe they crossed their words in a memo and they're kicking themselves now for getting it backwards).

This is what I believe that the gun most of us would buy if offered. Since nobody is actuall a FAN of the added safety features, and the external extractor camp seems pretty small, and there also seems to be a pretty good backlash against front cocking serations and full-length guide rods....

It would seem to me that what would sell the best is as follows
-No internal safeties, ILS, or otherwise
-No front cocking serations
-Internal extractor
-Standard GI guide rod
-Beavertail grip safety
-Commander hammer (to match the beavertail)
-Trigger pull between 4 and 5 lbs

Offer it in stainless and blued, ambi or single thumbsafety, and fixed (novak) or adjustable (bomar) sights with dovetailed fronts for both. A very simple lineup, sights that are pretty much the standard cuts (for the customer to add night sights if wanted), and that's it.

The Colt Gunsite model comes damn close, but it starts at $1.3k if you're lucky and goes up from there. There's no reason that gun has to be that much if it didn't say Colt & Gunsite on the side of it. A startup like Kimber once was could easily produce that gun in the $700 range, with the changes listed above.

So, who's going to stand up and take care of us?
 

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I agree with you, put I have no idea who that will be. I think more and more 1911 guys will go the custom route (why pay $1300+ for a Colt when you can get a Les Baer for that price), or just have their own gunsmiths build them a gun.

I think the Kimber TLE comes damn close to being perfect, the only thing that kills it for me is the firing pin safety, and I don't really care about the guide rod, either way works for me. Kimber is also going to go to all external extractors, so that will hurt the gun more. The new SIG would also come close if it weren't for the external extractor and firing pin safety.

When it comes down to it give me a Les Baer Premier with fixed sights, or let me have Gundoc do some work to an SA milspec.
 

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My prediction is that the 1911 market will gravitate toward Colt basic pistols and a lot of custom guns being built. Kimber will continue to pick up sales from tactical service pistol converts , Springfield will still rake in sales from customers that want to spend less than $800 on a 1911 and still get a defeatable, non-standard safety system, and a standard extractor, but I believe that dollars will be moving toward custom pistols exponentially. The Sig GSR is the variable that is, as yet, unsolved for. I anticipate an interesting year in terms of the 1911 market. This should be fun.

Damian
 

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I'm kinda digging the SW1911. I'm still very new to the world of the 1911, but the SW1911 will be my next purchase. Why don't ya like the external extractor.
 

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Nothing will change until people stop buying.
If the market goes back to everyone buying $1000+ guns to get the features the way they want them, the big makers will take notice. Otherwise, we'll be up to our ears in firing pin blocks, etc.

Personally, I like external extractors and front cocking serrations. Which is indicative of part of the problem, that the market is so fragmented that there's no such thing as "what 'we' want", because 'we' all want different stuff.
 

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Why don't ya like the external extractor.
Well "Beer Me", the old codgers (like me) mostly have never had any serious problems with the good ol' integral spring internal extractor. The external seems to be going a bit backwards in some ways. (as many as 5 extra parts to do the job of what was once one)

The external extractor is more difficult to tune (need to buy parts instead of "tweaking" it.

The external is far more difficult to dissassemble and reassemble (ie Kimber Custom II external and BP Ten) you ain't a-gonna take her apart in the twilight and slam 'er back together without a light, a couple of buddies to supply extra hands and a lot a luck.

It has NOT proven itself better than the internal. No one can present data that will definitively prove the external extractor works better or lasts longer than a properly tuned internal extractor.

I don't really need a cute little red thingy on the extractor to tell me if there is a round in the chamber (I know how to pull the slide back a tad without dropping the gun on my foot)

I don't see any reason to fix what ain't broke.

Most 1911 folks I shoot with are not aware there are even that many 1911's available with external extractors. Most of them have been shooting their same ol' 1911s for decades and thousands of rounds without a hitch and don't feel the need to purchase a new gun. Tell you anything??

It's like taking the Corvette and making it front wheel drive and saying "it's safer!!!" Yah Sheur it is! Ya wash the front end out in a mild corner! But who would want the dang thing????????:rolleyes:
 

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Kimber simply came along at just the right time. I remember 1996 well, a year when I traveled overseas for the first time ever and was just about bored out of my mind regarding new 1911's. Colt had their ugly M1991A1 and even uglier "Enhanced" line of pistols, and QC was getting worse with every lot I looked at. Springfield had just started shaping their frames to approximate the contour of a cinder block, and of course the only other major player was Para Ordinance with their fat gun. All the other 1911s were garbage, unless you could get your hands on one of the remaining NIB Norincos still in the pipeline after Clinton's import ban.

Then of course there was this company that everybody thought was long dead, that used to make a really nice bolt-action .22 rifle until they fell off the radar screen. Suddenly I heard they were back in business and now making a 1911, and when I looked at one out of curiosity at a local gun shop I suddenly had to have it. I still kick myself for later selling that one, too. It was one of the very first Calackamas-marked Kimbers, although at the time they were ALL marked Calackamas.

The fact is, today the 1911 market is far more glutted. I can easily think of a dozen active 1911 makers right off the top of my head. They may have all gotten off track for the moment, but there really isn't anything left to shake the market with. Unfortunately we are seeing MORE safety devices on handguns these days, not less. I predict the next thing we will soon see will be 1911s modified to incorporate a magazine safety of some sort. Then the old Series II Kimbers and ILS-laden Springfields will suddenly become hot items on the used market! :eek:
 

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I predict the next thing we will soon see will be 1911s modified to incorporate a magazine safety of some sort.
This will come sooner than you wish in CA. How this will affect 1911's in other markets is anybody's guess; although I'm sure Colt, Springfield and Kimber are running the numbers to see if CA is worth such a drastic design mod. I may need to buy a couple more Colts to help supply the used market ;)
 

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I predict that a HK USP-teen-11 would be the next big thing, except for one thing: it will unDOUBTedly have a $1100+ price point.
 

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Dubb-1 made some excellent points. For my part Springfield makes excellent no frills pistols. The ILS MSH and all the non standard mainspring parts cost very little to replace.
 

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I'm not sure one company will dominate the 1911 market as in years past, which is a good thing. There will be the largest seller, but, hopefully, second and third place will not be too far behind.

Improved quality, more competition, different extractors, firing pin safeties, etc might appeal to different consumers spreading the "wealth" so to speak. Even "looks" seem to seperate consumers, i.e. front serrations, classic, mil-spec, Loaded, polished blued, parkerized, etc. One company doesn't seem to be able to offer all the different looks, so people will choose between companies.

I think it's particulary good news that companies with high quality reputations like Sig enter the 1911 market. Hopefully, more will enter and keep the "traditional producers on their toes", which if history is any indication, they sorely need.
 

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I'm thinking that the one company that has it's finger on the pulse of what most Government or Commander size 1911 buyers want is Springfield. Heck, I didn't buy a loaded model, because I would have no excuse to do anything to it! :biglaugh:

I have only heard three real objections.......Blocky frames, which has been corrected, two piece barrels, and manufacturing in Brazil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
XavierBreath said:
I'm thinking that the one company that has it's finger on the pulse of what most Government or Commander size 1911 buyers want is Springfield. Heck, I didn't buy a loaded model, because I would have no excuse to do anything to it! :biglaugh:

I have only heard three real objections.......Blocky frames, which has been corrected, two piece barrels, and manufacturing in Brazil.
I have two main objections, the ILS, and the fact that they STILL don't have the fit & finish of Kimber. I fingered a new Springfield the other day at a gunshop because I was really hoping they had improved in the 3 years since I was selling guns. Unfortunatley not one bit. The damn ILS is so much easier to get rid of than the Series II, I REALLY wanted it to be a good gun, it just wasn't.
 

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Great thread, good food for thought. (that or else we are all like-minded here...;))

I have two main objections, the ILS, and the fact that they STILL don't have the fit & finish of Kimber.
I agree they are somewhat spotty in terms of fit and finish at SA.

Some examples are excellent, most are pretty good, while a very few others look like they were bought from a backstreet smithy in Peshawar.

However, in my opinion, based on what I have handled, they are improving. Many examples are first rate.

Kimber's fit and finish (but not function or parts) is often better, however the price points are higher, and IMHO, though slightly off topic, I would point out that Kimber has nothing to touch what SA's Custom Shop is capable of producing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Archer said:
Kimber has nothing to touch what SA's Custom Shop is capable of producing.
True, but at every price point that the SA "custom shop" hits, there's something else I'd rather have. TRP at $1500? yikes! I'll take a RRA for that money. And nevermind the $2.5k Operator, I can think of LOTS of other places to spend my cash.
And really, if I was shopping at the Springfield price-point (and I guess I am...) I'd probably pick up a Dan Wesson Pruitt model before I grabbed up the Springy.
Not to get off topic though, as my intention here is not to discuss the merits of one brand over another. Springfield is just a company that doesn't produce a single thing I want; handguns OR rifles. That's just me.

Ultimately I find myself shopping around now for someone to give $1500 of my hard-earned dollars to, to build what I consider to be a very basic pistol. The problem is that to my mind once you're going to have a 'smith breathe on it, you may as well have him really do some work. Why spend the cash to have a mil-spec modified and not have an action job and barrel bushing done? And by the time you do all that, he may as well just start with an unmarked Caspian slide/frame set and give me EXACTLY what I want.
 

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I bought my first Springer handgun a few day's ago, a W.W.II Mil-Spec. Personally, I'm very impressed with it's fit & finish, outstanding really, for a weapon selling for under $400. The Integral Locking System is a non-issue for me, I replaced the ILS mainspring cap with one from a Colt and it's mainspring cap pin. Gone are the cheesy hammer and thumb safety replaced with USGI parts. The serrated trigger was replaced with a checkered GI model also. The titanium firing pin will most likely be dumped in favor of steel. They would make a hell of a base gun for less than $400, if a fella was so inclined.
 

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Ain't Capitalism great? Only the strong survive, and once the "pretenders" realize their niche is not with the 1911 they will quietly make their exit. Leaving once again the real 1911 manufacturers. And we all know who those are.

And further more. Why doesn't Ed Brown pump out the numbers like the other top three? Simple. To do so means he has to spend more to ramp up production. And, if he were to do that he would thene be no different than the other three big boys.

Basically if their is a market for something, then in a capitalist system somebody will come along to fill that need.
 

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I think Dan Wesson had the opportunity to do exactly what you're asking for, but they missed the mark by producing a confusing product line and not marketing correctly.
 

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and now the rumor that Dan Wesson will be going to all external extractors,
There was some discussion about this on the Dan Wesson Forum and we were advised that this rumor was untrue.
Some models will continue to have the internal extractors.

Art
 
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