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M&P or 1911

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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at getting my first 45. I have $5-600 to spend. I really like the M&P but all I ever see are people shooting 1911s. What do you guys recommend? M&P or something like a mill-spec springfield. Primary use will be target shooting, maybe home defense and would like to get into competition (IDPA are the closest matches to me)





Thanks for the help!
 

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If you want to get into competition shooting, my advice is to go with a 1911, but spend the extra money and get it all tricked out from the factory. Granted, your looking at $1000+ for a ready to go IPSC gun, but it's ready to go....No trips to the pistolsmith to do this or that. You might look at both Kimber and S.A. guns. Check out what you need on the gun before buying, then look for that in a 1911 of your choice. If you decide not to get into competition, either a S&W M&P or a 1911 is fine for what you described. It depends on what feels better to you, degree of accuracy you want, caliber, etc. I am a die-hard 45 acp man. Have shot 1911s for 40 years, but finally bought a M&P45, becasue I wanted a good da only gun. Haven't gotten it yet though...on order. Do alot of research first and you won't be disappointed. There are too many 45s on the market, so it's real easy to make a hasty decision.
 

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I voted for the M&P but it is based on your price range. The 1911 format would be a better full competition gun but would cost quite a bit more than your price range indicates.
 

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Malibu,



You can use the M&P in the production division & the 1911 in the single stack division. Don't pay attention to what others are using but test and find what YOU like.



Both are nice guns and both will get you started but have you considered ammo costs? Expect to pay the most $$ in .45 .



Are the people shooting the 1911 style pistols chambered in .38 super?
 

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The selection of a handgun is a very personal thing. My advice is to go to a pistol range that rents both and try them both. See which one fit's your hand and shooting style best.



Now here's my take on what to expect. The M&P with the small backstrap is going to feel a lot like a 1911 in your hand but it's going to be a lot lighter. 25oz vs 38oz. Some feel the M&P is the softer shooter, but I find that with it's extra weight that the 1911 is a little softer. Both are very controllable and comfortable in the hand.



The biggest difference will be in the stock triggers. My M&P45 came with a ridiculous 9.5lb trigger pull but that dropped to a still high 7.5lbs within the first 200 trigger pulls. The stock M&P45 has a trigger take up of about 1/2" before it breaks very cleanly. It then has a fairly long reset. The 1911, depending on the version/maker/model will have a very short take up of no more than 1/8", and again depending on the manufacturer a trigger pull weight of between 3-1/2 lbs and 5-1/2lbs with most having a crisp break between 4.5 and 5lbs for models intended for self defense, and in some cases as low as 3.5lbs. I feel that while 3.5lbs is really cool for a target pistol, 4.5lbs is in my opinion as low as I would go for a self defense pistol. There is nothing like the trigger of a well tuned 1911, it is simply perfection. That said, we have two smiths on this site that I'm told do an excellent job of tuning M&P triggers to something approaching that level of perfection.



The M&P, like the early fairly loose 1911s was primarily designed as a reliable self defense pistol. Out of the box I would expect the M&P to feed hollow points slightly more reliably than todays tight 1911s. 1911s are more of a crap shoot out of the box. My Kimber has never had a malfunction of any kind, but Kimbers are made very tight for super tack driving accuracy and can be finicky beasts until broken in with 200-500 rounds.



1911s are sensitive to the quality of the magazine but you can pick up excellent Chip McCormick after market magazines for less than $20ea and can therefore afford to keep a bunch laying around. I keep 7 loaded with self defense rounds at all times, and have 5 more set aside for practice. M&P magazines cost almost twice as much so I only keep 3 loaded for self defense and 2 set aside for practice. Everybody and their aunt makes holsters and mag pouches in a truly bewildering verity for the 1911. The M&P has a more limited selection.



The M&P is more affordable at $450-600 depending on where you live. Any 1911 that I would recommend is going to cost you at least $800. The Springfield Loaded, the equivalent Kimber, and the entry level Smith & Wesson SW1911s may all look about the same but they all have a different feel and different trigger pulls and trigger upgrades are all done a bit differently - and must be done by a smith that knows 1911s inside and out. It's not a DYI project!!! Of the three I prefer the SW1911. It sits slightly lower in the hand and I like the trigger and the overall quality the best but you'll pay at least $850-900 for that quality. The Springfield sits the highest in the hand and the Kimber is somewhere in between.



What ever you choose expect to put at least 200 break in rounds plus 100 rounds of your chosen self defense cartridge through the pistol to confirm its reliability. An emergency isn't the time to find out that it doesn't like a particular brand.



Good luck with your selection.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Guys, thanks for all the input. Here is some more info...



I already have a M&P9 and a couple 22s. I am really just looking at getting a 45 to round things out I suppose.



I am left handed so I like the lefty friendly features on the m&p. I am not sure what caliber all the 1911s I see are. Just seems like everyone has one, the "American badass" gun if you will.



I haven't been able to find anywhere that has a mp45 to rent so I have not been able to shoot one yet. I really like the look and feel of it, it fits my price range and seems like an all around kind of gun.



And with the work Dan is doing, it just makes a good looking gun amazing.



I haven't been to any compositions yet, (closest club is about 2 hours away) Just from what I have read about and seen on youtube and tv it looks like a lot of fun. Not sure how into it I would be though. I feel like if I went out and bought a 1k comp 1911 and then didnt like comp that much I would have wasted money.



I guess another question would be everyone who has an M&P45 are you pleased with the purchase or do you feel your money would have been better spent on a different 45.





Thanks
 

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malibu said:
I am looking at getting my first 45. I have $5-600 to spend. I really like the M&P but all I ever see are people shooting 1911s. What do you guys recommend? M&P or something like a mill-spec springfield. Primary use will be target shooting, maybe home defense and would like to get into competition (IDPA are the closest matches to me)





Thanks for the help!


I happen to love a good 1911, but based on your price range, there is no contest. The M&P wins, hands down.



A 1911 can be as reliable a platform as any other, but only after spending a lot more money than you are talking about.



Reliability is key if you are planning to use this as a defensive weapon. For $600, you might luck out and get a good 1911, or you might not. As a general statement, I do not see 1911s in that price range with reliability to match a box stock M&P. Accuracy isn't stunning in most $600 1911s either.
 

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On one hand I say go with the 1911 because you already own a M&P, but on the other hand I say go with the M&P since you already own an M&P and familiarity with the same platform would be a good idea.



For target shooting the 1911 would be the classic choice purely for the trigger alone. Then again, you can get the M&P worked on with the money left over from the purchase.



For home defense, the M&P wins in capacity (going with base 10 rounders for the M&P and 8 for the 1911). There are rumors of extended capacity mags for the M&P which I am looking out for - 14 rounds!!! Of course you can get extended for the 1911 too.



For competition again the 1911 is probably the classic choice, but I am seeing more and more threads and comments about using the M&P, so I wouldn't rule it out. And the 'smiths here on the site put out some great looking custom work.



For the money, the M&P is the winner, especially with the rebate/mag promo going on now.



I found that in a back to back comparison the M&P handles things as good as the 1911 does. Sure, it may not be as 'pretty' or classic looking, but it does the job.
 

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If you're going to get a 1911, you need to spend a little more money for a quality built 1911.

So, if you only have $500-$600 to spend, get the M&P45. If you have a little bit more to sacrifice, get a S&W 1911.



Under the circumstances, it sounds like your only real option is the M&P45.
 

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IMO That's a tough one but in that price range you should go M&P.
 

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Although you only have $500-600 to spend, you dont have to buy a NIB 1911/45. Arf.com EE under Handguns, plenty of good folks there, and plenty of good deals on 1911's! Either one of the 45's wont let you down, tough choice my friend
I would go with a good used 1911 IMHO!!!



malibu said:
I am looking at getting my first 45. I have $5-600 to spend. I really like the M&P but all I ever see are people shooting 1911s. What do you guys recommend? M&P or something like a mill-spec springfield. Primary use will be target shooting, maybe home defense and would like to get into competition (IDPA are the closest matches to me)





Thanks for the help!
 

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I'm a long time 1911 shooter (30+ years) but vote the M&P. It's a much better deal for the cost compared to a low end 1911. 1911's also have many more points of failure and are harder to keep running. My M&P .45's are very accurate, reliable, and quick and easy to clean. 10 rounds instead of 8 doesn't hurt either.
 

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M&P hands down.



People suggesting that a 1911 would be better for IDPA competition weren't paying attention to the results at the 2007 IDPA Nationals, where a Springfield XD, Glock 21SF, and M&P45 won the top three slots in CDP (the standard .45/1911 division).



Is it possible to find a $600 1911 that is as reliable and accurate and durable as an M&P45? Maybe if the stars align just right for you. But you're much more likely to end up with a gun that needs professional attention before you would want to rely on it. And even then, it's still not likely to live up to the reliability you'd see with an M&P45.



I definitely have an anti-1911 bias, but year after year, class after class I see so many more 1911's having problems than modern design guns. People blame the mags, they blame kitchen gunsmiths, they blame global warming ... but the fact is that a 1911 is a gun that requires a lot more mechanical knowledge and skill and dedication to keep running than an M&P45 ever will.
 

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buy either of the two because you've got to buy the other one anyway
 

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I've put issued made in the 40's and 50's 1911's through hell without a problem. I own several Wilson and more than a few Les Baer 1911's that have many thousands of rounds through them without issue. Yet I constantly see people with 1911's with all kinds of problems. Lots of STI's at gun games as well as other makes. I keep mine very clean and very well lubed as 1911's like to be "wet'. I don't know if the issues I see are because people are not keeping them cleaned and lubed (I would bet thats a lot of i), or because of poor workmanship or over customization. A 1911 has quite a few points of failure, lots of parts, and must be taken care of to perform consistently. As much as I like them my $500 M&P .45 can do everything my $2000+ 1911's can do and the same is true of a Sig P220 or Glock 21 SF.
 

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ToddG said:
[quote name='loloy']buy either of the two because you've got to buy the other one anyway


I've never owned a 1911.
[/quote]





soon you wll :wink:
 

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Wait, what? Who is sending ME a 1911 for Christmas? No fair.
 
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