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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see many of these modifications showing up more and more often on weapons. Much of the advertising you see these days indicates that a person should not feel comfortable leaving their home without at least some of these. Often a combination of most of them.


I intentionally left accessory rails off of the list as disussion of them probably deserves its own thread.

What are your opinions?
 

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Hello,

I voted no front cocking serrations, I flat don't care for them at all.

Take Care,
The Sockman
 

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Hello Sir,

I voted for the laser. I've tried all kinds I can find. I can't live with any of them, most wouldn't let me use my preferred holster, and most got in the way. The only one that I could tolerate is the one built into a guide rod, but last I knew it had to be switched on manually and is there really time for that?

Ambi safety- if SA, I need this.

Beavertail- I don't want bit.

Match barrel- I almost picked this before I saw the laser.

Adj night sights- again, almost got picked, but I like adj. sights in certain situations (as long as they don't fall off). I therefore picked the laser.

Checkering- done to improve handling. I like skateboard tape but have thought about checkering or stipling my frame, but I do not know if I can do it without going too deep for the adonizing. Only 1/64" IIRC on an Al frame. When I get something with a steel frame I'll see how badly I can beat it up :)

Front cocking serrations- I don't like them but I can think of a few things that they might be good for.

Guide rod- I replaced this in my Taurus. It's a target guide rod w/recoil buff. It's held up very well and is 100% reliable so I use it for carry. I will admit that, if not for the recoil buff, I would have stuck with stock. I'm not sure I see a need for one on anything using the Browning design however.

Josh <><
 

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Unfortunately, they are all really unnecessary alterations that really do nothing to effect the design, reliability or function of what was designed to be purely a combat handgun.

That being said, I am guilty of adding a match barrel/bushing, beavertail safeties, full length guide rod systems, match hammers, match triggers on "brand new" 1911's over the years.

What I should have done, it spent all of that money on more ammunition and time at the range. I think that I made those modifications to "personalize" my firearm as oppose to "functionalizing" it. At one time, I thought the manufacturers should just sell their frames and slides prefit and matched, and let their customer's take over.

The best shooting that I ever scored/timed in a match was with a "lock, stock, and out of the box Colt 1991 Commander".

That being said, wisdom does indeed come with age.

Chris
 

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I say front cocking serations, and full lenght guide rods, and the new pic/weaver rail on the dust covers,,have never like lights mounted on handguns
 

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I voted on the full-length guide rod...never liked them in a 1911 but hey...that's me.

The ambi-safety is needed on some guns...

I like a good beavertail on a 1911... or a HiPower if done right

Match barrel would be my next pick behind the guide rod...

Adj. Night Sights...about 50/50

Lasers...might be ok for beginners or people with not too good eyesight

Checkering....I'd prefer stippling myself....

Front cocking serrations....they have some use...

strider72
 

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Although I voted for front cocking serrations as most useless, maybe I should reconsider: The ones on my latest Springfield are sharp enough to use as an emergency substitute razor.


And in spite of the fact there's no full length guide rods in my 1911s, they too have a use. Combined with a square of cloth and some solvent, you can use the FLGR to help clean the barrel. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello

I was really hoping to see slip on grip adapters and ported barrels on that list, those are the two I see most often. Lasers and porting/comped barrels are prohibited by our policy.

MB
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Folks,

IMHO, at least half the stuff on that list is worthless. Lasers, Front Serrations, match barrels, Adjustable sights are nice, but not needed. You get my drift, I'm sure.

Take the basic pistol from a reputable manufacturer and the basic weapon will be sound. Build on that. Make sure it functions 100%. Than look at optimizing it for you. Forget what is trendy, flashy, or changes the handling characteristics of the weapon(lights and lasers). Consider this your reliability "package".
If you want better sights add them, different style safety, go ahead. Sometimes it is nice to put custom touches on the gun, but make sure they are NOT detrimental to it's use(ie., razor sharp checkering).

Take your weapon and shoot it before modifications. Get to know it, and then make your needed changes. You'll be better off, have more money to spend on accessories, and wind up with a weapon you have absolute confidence in.

Lot's of personal choices here. Take some classes, pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc. Look at the weapons on day 1 and see how they are tricked out. On day 2 and 3 you'll note most of the "cool" stuff is missing. For a very good reason. It's heavy and slows you down.

Case in point. M-16/AR-15 platforms that have dual lights, a laser, bayonet lugs, bi-pods, attached optical sights with pop up sights in case you unit fails. Again, you get the picture.
For extended ops the KISS principle should be in effect.
My favorite AR/M-16? Colt's Light Weight Government Model. Period.
Leave mods off and carry more ammo. It'll be a lot more useful than the items that fatigue you and slow you down when you need speed.
One of the deadliest men I've ever worked with used a box stock Series 70 Colt Government. If he didn't need all the extra's, do I?
TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, and train some more...

Wes

Oh, my. Guess I climbed on my soap box on that one. Hit a sore spot....

Your choices, but make an informed choice.

Wes
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What I should have done, it spent all of that money on more ammunition and time at the range. I think that I made those modifications to "personalize" my firearm as oppose to "functionalizing" it. At one time, I thought the manufacturers should just sell their frames and slides prefit and matched, and let their customer's take over.
Where does the line lie between "personalizing" and "functionalizing"? Example: If you alternate between two 1911s whose only difference is the grip safety (say, M1991 spec vs. funky upswept beavertail) and you consistently do better with the latter, is using a beavertail "personalizing" or "functionalizing"? Or is it, I daresay, both? Should such a person go with the M1911-spec GS because it's purer, or are good hits on targer perhaps the more important thing?

Another example, and this is a personal example: I can alternate between a SIG-or-Glock, and a 1911, and consistently do better with the latter than with the former two -- partially because a single-stack 1911 fits me better. So why shouldn't I choose to use the design with better fit, and which gives me better results, for the same amount of practice? Maybe I could train up to that level with a SIG or a Glock, but wouldn't my time be better spent by getting that much better with a 1911?



Folks,

IMHO, at least half the shit on that list is worthless. Lasers, Front Serrations, match barrels, Adjustable sights are nice, but not needed. You get my drift, I'm sure.
I don't have anything that isn't box-stock, but I disagree. Useless for whom? Let's take FCS and accessory rails as an example. The public wouldn't be snapping them up like crazy, if various .mil and LEO orgs weren't using them. If you want to carp at people for wanting them, you really should start by carping at the units that request them.

They're useless for me but I can't claim they're universally useless, because some uniform-wearing, dirty-job-doing individuals seem to want one or both in a duty sidearm.

LAPD SWAT's Kimbers have the FCS, don't they? On 1911forum.com in the SA section, in the thread on the SA Professional being adopted for the MEU(SOC) FR guys, someone made mention of an article by Pat Rogers in the Dec 03 issue of SWAT. It lists some of the gripes he had with the model that was being considered. One gripe was that it lacked an accessory rail.



TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, and train some more...
Just to add a bit of perspective: There seem to be .mil and LEO boys that "TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, and train some more" -- and still want FCS and/or accessory rails.

Training and mindset make the difference. Getting gewgaws doesn't make us better, but avoiding gewgaws doesn't make us better either.


D.
 

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Hello,

If there would have been an "Or All The Above" button I would have clicked it, Yes guys, thats right, because as far as I'm concerned it doesn't get any better than a Plain Ole GI .45, except for the addition of a Flat Mainspring Housing, Long Trigger & Ring Hamer.

We all have OUR own taste, likes & dislikes, some of us feel exactly the same, some of us feel just the opposite... And some of us need to go back and Reread the Rules of this Site.

Pick the one thing thats on car541's list that you feel is the most unnecessary, politely state your feelings about that modification, and move on...

Sincerely,
The Sockman
 

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Too bad that there is not an "all of the above" category.

Except for ambi safeties for those of the folks who are left handed, they are all about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

I can see some limited use for lasers but I have not truly warmed up to them... I certainly would not want to stake my life on one.

Likewise "match barrels" come in a variety of specifications...I actually have some but I bet they are not as tights as most folks think of match barrels being. If they are too tight to work then what is the point?

I do like (but don't feel it is absolutely necessary) some sort of grip treatment. Checkering is OK when done well but I prefer the systems like Heinie's "scallops" (which may have originated with STI???) or Dane Burn's "Wave" so that it does not shred clothing. Still it is nice to have a non-slip grip on a defense gun.

Press on,
Jim
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Justdavid and all,

You've fallen into the old trap of thinking because the military or Law Enformcement adopts something it's "good".
There are too many down sides to lasers. Your looking for the dot, when you should be indexed and shooting. Your opponent rarely looks at his chest, etc., so the deterent value is questionable. Smoke filled rooms draw a line right back to your position.

Most of this stuff is added because it looks "cool" at the SWAT fashion show. I carried the 1911 for my entire career and never felt undergunned bacause I didn't have all that crap.
Having said that I think a MUST HAVE is a good Tac Light. Mine is a Surefire 6P on my belt and a good knife.

When you start hearing words like "new, improved, technologically advanced" take a look at the claims being made and see if they are true. Case in point is the M9 pistol and new MOLLE gear. Both made great promises, but the Beretta is having problems and the MOLLE gear falls apart. This stuff was "tested"? Why is it then that nearly every time a new item is issued it rarely lives up to expectations?

About the end user/tester. We used our Marines. Keeping in mind that you can lock that Marine in a closed room, naked, with two ball bearings. Withing 15 minutes they've managed to break one and lose the other!

Wes
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wes,

Actually, I haven't fallen into any trap -- the .mil and LEO communities have made mistakes. IMO choosing the Beretta 92 as the M9 was a big one, the services would have been much better off with the SIG. That's assuming that moving from .45 ACP to 9mm was a good idea, and I think that was a mistake too. FBI HRT didn't have all that good a time with its 'smithed Para P14s, the purchase of which I attribute to a case of Shiny Kit Syndrome. The OICW is an amazing piece of technology, but if it actually gets purchased and issued, it'll be a debacle of unusual size for several reasons.

That said, there is a certain level of .mil/LEO unit, that I will by default assume to have reasons for what it does and the equipment/equipment options it chooses, unless and until I hear reasons to believe that it has made a mistake. Even then, I think it's only proper to look at each reputed "mistake" on a case-by-case basis. The local PD (or even the patral division of the bigs ones) or general line companies, no. The SWAT(-type) units of the big PDs and the direct-action SOCOM units, yes.

Not that this drives my own purchases, because none of this stuff does anything for me. The only thing from the list that I own, would be the occasional beavertail. I just don't think that, because I don't need something, that this means that no one needs it. As for the line companies I mentioned, if I had my way they'd still be equipped with the M14,

i didn't mention lasers as something I thought had any particular use, for a reason. Their best use is as a cat/dog toy. (Well, visual-spectrum lasers. I'm not going to gainsay the SOCOM boys their IR lasers and NV gear.) But for such uses, a laser pointer from an office-supply store is cheaper and avoids the chance of accidentally blowing a hole in your pet. If you're using a laser to check for a flinch while dry-firing, you should be balancing a dime on the front sight. That's where you should be focussing anyway.

I totally agree that just about every private citizen is buying this stuff to look cool at the next <s>fashion show</s>range outing, because the Big Boys use (at least some) of it.


When you start hearing words like "new, improved, technologically advanced" take a look at the claims being made and see if they are true.
I work in the IT field and I know this better than most people. For example and I know this is off-topic, a lot of what's done in the realms of online purchasing/banking/et cetera, scares me because I know how unsecure, even the newest and best of these secure systems frequently turn out to be. And mine is only a very basic knowledge of this sort of thing. I'm not sure I could sleep at night, knowing some of what my friends know about this stuff.


About the end user/tester. We used our Marines. Keeping in mind that you can lock that Marine in a closed room, naked, with two ball bearings. Withing 15 minutes they've managed to break one and lose the other!
This is one of the funnier things I've heard in quite a while. :)


D.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Interesting conversation..............

Of the above modifications, I only use a modification to reduce hammer bite, either a beavertail, or partially bobbed spur hammer. In the case of my Sig p210 I just put up with it .

At various times I have experimented with most of the items on the list and have recently removed a few (ambi safties most notably when I realized how uncomfortable they were for me).

Front cocking serratons seem to me to be an unnecessary modification which are a reaction to an unnecessary modification (full length guide rods).

I have always considered adjustable nights sights to be a truly dumb modification as using a set of sights for rough work in the dark (or intending to) but requiring minor adjustability just seems counterintuitive.

I never believed in lasers, but after seeing a suspect react to a laser during a felony traffic stop a couple of weeks ago, I have changed my mind (it was pretty cool, the laser, although useless for aiming did refract off a window of the car and gave an odd disco type glow to the car. It also removed all signs of belligerance from the suspects, who were armed and up to that point somewhat uncooperative). I may get one at some point.
 

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OOPS!

I just got up from my first full night's sleep in two weeks and re-read this. I realised that my previous comment was the direct opposite of what I meant. I meant to say all of the above modifications are un-necessary - at least at one level or another.

The only listed modification I personally would justify would be the ambt safety, and that because more people are learning to shoot with their weak hand. I say that while discounting us lefties of course.

Simple is better most of the time.

It's been really busy lately, and I need to find a way to get more hours sleep, but there are only four of them between 0100 and 0500.
 

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What modifications may, or may not be needed would, it seems to me, depend on the guns primary user and the guns intended purpose.

For me, with my failing eyesight, I have factory 'nite-sights' on my bedroom Kahr. I also have the AO 'Express' sights on my primary carry plastic frame 9X19.

Although I don't like the looks of the forward serration on the 1911 platform, they might be helpful if you have arthritis ( I do ).

Maybe one day I'll put laser grips on my S&W Bodyguard. Right now I like the Birami Hip-Grip and the Melvin Tyler Grip Adapter. The laser just might be intimidating enough so you won't have to go through the aftermath of a shooting.

Full length guide rods seem to be a waste of money, but the FLGR and a reverse recoil spring plug ( along with a little magic from 1911Tuner over on The High Road ) were required to change my Officers Model from an expensive paperweight to a reliable shooter.

I respectfully suggest that each of our needs, or perceived needs, might be considerably different.

The expression 'YMMV' would seem to be appropriate here.

salty.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think the front slide serrations are the most superfluous of the features on the list, but none of them are really high on my short list of must-haves.
 

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There is nothing that needs to be added to this Colt M1911A1.. It worked as "advertised"!!!!!!

I "un-enhanced" the SW1911 which makes it a more reliable handgun. I gotta admit though, I do prefer the external extractor. That is the one factory enhancement that I would endorse. I have had original extractors fail..

I now have over 6,000 rounds through the SW1911 with ZERO malfunctions.



 
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