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Mister Roman

About the M1911A1 Pistol in Miami Vice

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Mister Roman

According to

www.imfdb.org/wiki/Miami_Vice_-_Season_2#1911A1

the pistol is used by villains, Colombian villains, and assassins. As a Colombian, a 1911 fan, and for the sake of enjoyment, I would like to share some of what I know about this weapon, from having enjoyed it at the shooting range countless times as a kid, reading about it, listening to people who know what they are talking about, and last but not least owning one for a few years.  

Now, I know where the 1911 forums are at, and so this is an effort towards avoiding "yet-another-post-praising-the-1911" while adhering to the context of this forum and remaining objective. 

Background

"In more than 30 years of experience, I’ve met more competent, serious gunmen who carry 1911’s than those who pack any other handgun." 
- Clint Smith

-Terms used to describe it by many professional shooters are "reactive", "instinctive pointing", and "intuitive". I can confirm this from personal experience. 

-Pistol designed around cartridge, original power requirements which were based on actual combat experience came from Gen. John T.
Thompson, and were fulfilled by John M. Browning, a firearms design genius. 

-Went into service in the year 1911, and was the weapon which ended the western era, as it was intended for cavalry yet it first saw
action in the age of machine guns: WW I.

-Time tested in both design and caliber: WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and by many civilians on street over the last century or
so. Clyde and Dillinger were known to use it.  

-28 nations use it, including Colombia's Military. This goes back to the Korean war.

-The LAPD SWAT/SIS, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, the FBI regional SWAT teams, and Delta Force use it.

-US Marines love it too, placed a $22.5 Million order for 12,000 of them in 2012.

1. Ergonomic

-74 degree grip angle - angle most people punch in.

-Slim grip due to single stack magazine. 

-Slide stop/release, magazine release button, thumb safety all well located, so much so that they require no additional training. A slide action shotgun ("pump action") requires more training than a 1911. 

-Trigger within short reach

I can confirm this from personal experience. 

2. Accurate

-Single action: provides light trigger with a short reset.

-Moderate recoil: short recoil system (the barrel decelerating type of short recoil - barrel is decelerated by stopping movement
through unlocking the bolt from the breech) and .45 ACP being a low breech pressure cartridge.

-5 inch barrel, long for a sidearm, intrinsically lends greater accuracy.

I can confirm this from personal experience.

3. Reliable

-48 parts, moving parts loosely coupled, jams from dirt/sand/mud much less often, in comparison to weapons chambered for higher pressure cartridges, such as the 9mm Parabellum.

-.45 ACP's low breech pressure inflicts less wear on parts - parts break much less often, in comparison to weapons chambered for higher pressure cartridges, such as the 9mm Parabellum.

-This has been tested in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Somalia.

I can confirm this from personal experience.

4. Safe

The weapon includes multiple safety features:

-Manual safety
-Half cock position (hammer is not on firing pin)
-Sear disconnect
-Slide stop
-Grip safety

I can confirm the weapon is safe from personal experience. Never did drop my Series 70 though. 

5. Powerful

The cartridge 

-The .45 ACP cartridge was designed (and tested) for its ability to quickly incapacitate humans in combat situations by inflicting
substantial wounds. The 1911 was designed around the cartridge.

-In the standard FMJ presentation (ballpoint ammunition, not even using modern hollowpoints which are a lot more powerful) the .45
ACP is a solid half ounce piece of metal that punches through 2 solid feet of flesh at a speed of 7 football fields per second,
leaving a permanent wound channel half an inch wide - with entrance and quite likely exit wounds due to its penetration. This causes
massive bleeding and thereby lowers blood pressure to the point of incapacitation very fast, assuming the brain, heart, or spinal
cord do not take a direct hit. 

-This has been tested in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Somalia.

-Design delivers the most power-per-pressure production cartridge in existence.

-Observations by one first hand observer, paraphrasing here: 

"I've been in the CA Corrections System for several years, and have seen a lot of 9mm scars - but no .45 scars."

- CA State Corrections Officer

-The kinetic energy behind a .45 ACP round is equivalent to that which would be required to launch an apple 150 stories in the air.

The Firing Rate

-While a point not well quantified, many shooters agree that the short reset trigger lends itself for rapid firing. For professionals
rapid fire means "double taps" which is 2 rounds fired in very close succession. As in fire twice instead of once every time.  

I cannot confirm the cartridge power from personal experience, I have never shot any living being with a .45 ACP. I did observe a
large hog slaughtered with a .45 one time, and the effects of one ballpoint round were devastating. As for the firing rate, I myself
can fire 8 rounds of .45 through a 1911 decidedly faster than 6 rounds of .38 Special in a double action revolver.

6. Versatile

The 1911 design lends itself to customization: 

-The thumb safety, magazine release button, and slide stop/release can be easily replaced. Many opt for larger and more ergonomic
versions of these controls. 

-The grips, can also be easily replaced. Most opt for more ergonomic grips (based on preferences such as material and texture) and
many opt for the sheer aesthetic possibilities. A person so inclined, could easily obtain the measurements, basic hand wood carving
tools plus some wood, and produce 100% working grips. Anything you want as far as grips you can have. 

-Has been successfully chambered in other cartridges even with completely different ballistics (such as the .38 Super) and it is
comparatively easy to convert to other calibers. You can take a working 1911 in .45 and with an inexpensive kit turn it into a 100%
working .22 LR caliber pistol in a matter of minutes. 

-The customization capabilities have been illustrated by the USPSA, IDPA, IPSC, and Bullseye competition communities. Their weapons
are mostly .38 Super caliber and customized to an extreme degree. Referred to by many as "race guns", all based on the 1911 design.

I can confirm this from personal experience, save for a racegun, never have fired one, nor carved 1911 grips by hand. Have seen them
replaced, and seen a few handmade ones for sale at gunshows. A 1911 firing .22 LR is great fun at the range however, almost like a
pellet pistol, though I have not even seen an air/spring gun since age 12 :)

7. Practical

-Can be field stripped without any tools at all.

-If model does not come with lanyard loop, easy to install one. A lanyard, enables user to conveniently secure weapon to person, very
handy for many common situations, even non confrontational situations, such as while out hunting/hiking and crossing a footbridge,
climbing, running, riding on horse/atv/bike etc. 

-Can be converted to other calibers easily. A popular choice is .22 LR which is great for target practicing, and to teach beginner
shooters.

-Short-recoil design less complex to manufacture.

-Comfortable carry: compare to a revolver of equal caliber and 5 inch barrel, or even other pistols in .45 ACP. The single stack
magazine allows for a slim, compact weapon.

I can confirm this from personal experience, save for manufacture and carry.

In Sum

I have kept opinion to a minimum here, as I like facts and actual experience. I can share that the 1911 like other quality technologies is the subject of much heated debate. The fact that a shooter's experience is not readily quantifiable in many aspects, makes the debate challenging. 

Many of the subjective descriptions used by shooters over time do illustrate a solid consensus. I can vouch for many of the points
from personal experience. It is the kind of weapon that once you have practiced with it sufficiently, you look at something, mind
says fire and you just hit it! 

Some people want modern sights on it, I say not needed under 20 yards.

If I were expecting trouble, I would have a semi auto 12 Gauge shotgun loaded with OO Buck or a Mini-14. Point is it is a sidearm, an
excellent one yet just a sidearm.

But you can mix a small MARTINI in a .45 hollowpoint round pal! :)

Mine was one of these:

 

s 70.jpg

s 70.jpg

Edited by Mister Roman
wanted to try to format it better, but the system just publishes the same, I am also getting double images.
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Kavinsky

also in relation to miami vice, the famed Elmer Keith thought the Model 39 in .45 ACP would be the ideal replacement for the m1911 in his 1950's book sixguns, and he died a year before that became a reality with Sonny Crockett's Smith and wesson 645 in 1984, a series of guns that was in production all the way up until 2002 with LEO contract 4506's, the third gen variant.

and the 645 also has a rounded mainspring housing at the bottom, a now custom feature on the M1911 and a much more rounted tang that doesnt bite into your hand under recoil and features a simplified take down that doesnt feature a removable bushing and plunger that will shoot off if your not paying attention or taking it down for the first time. however just like the M1911 you need to pay attention to how you take the slide stop out as not to scratch the frame. IE pull straight out with very little wiggling towards the frame and the slide.

and Jeff Cooper thought the ideal replacement would have been the CZ 75 in said caliber, and in shooting both guns, their dead on in their respective ways, point of aim perfect at 25 yards without modification, stock sights and without a custom grip safety to better fit the web of the hand. one being in 9mm and the other .45 ACP, as for the grip angle I dont know if it lines up with it.

and neither feature a colt gold cup roller pin that keeps coming out under recoil lol to say the least there is a reason why everyone goes bomar now with those.

 

however its still a classic through and through, but there are things that can and do get done better now with those modern features that the 645, and model 39 had before that became a thing, and never use pins to mount a sight, always screws.

 

Edited by Kavinsky
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Mister Roman

Ah, if a picture says a 1,000 words, a modern video has a million. The following video is special, in that a high profile manufacturer built a special unit for the video. I didn't think it was possible, talk about 21st century mechanical engineering and computer edited video.

While completely safe for all audiences, some of us refer to this as gun porn and I have to agree with that as a gun enthusiast ;-)

 

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Mister Roman

1918-1993 

41 Medals of Honor awarded to men who fought with the 1911:

- 20 Actions in WWII

- 12 Actions in Korea

- 7 Actions in Vietnam

- 2 Actions in Somalia

 

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Gary1911A1

For me the 1911 pistol stands out in two episodes. One is with the Argentina when he draws a 1911 and fires it center mass into a police officer I assume when the offer makes the mistake of looking for a second at the two victims who had just been killed. The other episode features a custom Heinie comp 1911 in .45ACP I believe.

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Mister Roman
On 4/18/2016 at 1:29 PM, Gary1911A1 said:

For me the 1911 pistol stands out in two episodes. One is with the Argentina when he draws a 1911 and fires it center mass into a police officer I assume when the offer makes the mistake of looking for a second at the two victims who had just been killed. The other episode features a custom Heinie comp 1911 in .45ACP I believe.

Gary1911A1 - I take it you appreciate Old Ugly? ;-)

Not sure which episodes you are referring to, but then again I have to confess that in the show, I look at the duds more than the rods! 

I have been seriously impressed though, can't recall the episode right now, but Zito and Switek went on a raid with the SWAT team, and both had BULLPUP rifles. And as we know this was mid 80's when those were very uncommon, the design had not been widely accepted unlike nowadays, even down here I see bullpup rifles. I actually stopped the playback and said "MY GOODNESS!" - something I tend to do with the show. 

 

 

 

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Kavinsky
On 5/1/2016 at 1:29 PM, Mister Roman said:

Gary1911A1 - I take it you appreciate Old Ugly? ;-)

Not sure which episodes you are referring to, but then again I have to confess that in the show, I look at the duds more than the rods! 

I have been seriously impressed though, can't recall the episode right now, but Zito and Switek went on a raid with the SWAT team, and both had BULLPUP rifles. And as we know this was mid 80's when those were very uncommon, the design had not been widely accepted unlike nowadays, even down here I see bullpup rifles. I actually stopped the playback and said "MY GOODNESS!" - something I tend to do with the show. 

 

 

 

Shotguns actually, Crockett had the rifle, Styer AUG and some Franchi thing I think

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Mister Roman

Right, Kavinsky. Bullpup shotguns. Not rifles, you are right. 

Glad my point stands even after correction!

"Free Verse" was the episode. 

 

 

 

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84eternal

Crockett's back-up gun was a Detonics Combat-Master which was a 1911 derivative. He uses it most notably in Prodigal Son in the bar and in Viking Bikers From Hell when he draws it from his ankle holster and kills Reb.

image.png

image.jpeg

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Mister Roman

84eternal:

That one is pretty! Thank you for sharing. 

I have seen a Detonics in the past, never fired one, though the one compact .45 I have fired (a Star) I did not like - excessive recoil, at least in my opinion. 

I only like the full size (5 inch barrel) Gov models basically.

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Kavinsky

that is the one gun I regret not going for, as I had the chance to have one for 500 bucks, brand new old stock with its triple recoil spring system. and he had blued and stainless but wanted to keep the stainless for himself.

and I stupidly went for a beretta 85 over it and a Sig Sauer P232, something I've just recently rectified really. and that is one of two regrets I have firearms wise, that and not going for a python over my first M1911 before the prices went crazy, as I had the chance to go for one for about 700 bucks.

and it could have been a diamond back but I'm not sure, now their upwards of 3 grand, hopefully I can manage to change that soon by going for a colt detective special mark 3, which has the diamondback trigger in it if it has wood grips.

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Lifeguard

Used the M1911A1 in the service, and my father has one from when he was in the service.  But I prefer my 645-early and 645-INT tho.  DA/SA seems like it is marginally safer, tho I would take a SA-only over a striker fire any day.  I like the reliability of the integrated barrel and feeding ramp, I have yet to experience a misfeed but I've had several on 1911s (may have been condition tho).  And the 645 and series 80 firing pin lock is nice.  But the 1911 is still with us and is almost as customizable as an AR-15.

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Gary1911A1

Sorry for the late response. This is one of the episodes I was referring to were the 1911 was used.

 

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