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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

We were discussing this over on one of the 1911 forums in regards to using the 45Super for defense/carry. Seriously, if you look at the 45Super, 10mm,etc. for the extra pounding you get there's really no real improvement in incapacitation over standard-pressure 45ACPs with JHPs. Not even the heavy magnums are substantially better, even with modern light-bullet technology.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Some years ago, after some serious consideration, I ruled out the .45 Super as fitting for any of my needs. In regards to defense, I can to precisely the same conclusion as you; it doesn't really do anything the ACP doesn't do, so why beat up your gun, and tolerate greater noise, muzzle flash, and recoil?

As for a field cartridge, I came to the conclusion that all around, the 10mm wins over the .45 Super. Where "magnum" semi-auto cartridges are concerned, 10mm is THE cartridge in my book. As for a 10mm platform, the old S&W 1006 series was excellent, as is the Witness line.

The .45 Super was mildly sufficient in the days before the 10mm, but the second the 10mm came around, the .45 Super (and most other iterations of the same concept), was obsolete.
 

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We were discussing this over on one of the 1911 forums in regards to using the 45Super for defense/carry. Seriously, if you look at the 45Super, 10mm,etc. for the extra pounding you get there's really no real improvement in incapacitation over standard-pressure 45ACPs with JHPs. Not even the heavy magnums are substantially better, even with modern light-bullet technology.
A couple of days ago I was looking through a file of old articles and came across one I did on the .45 Super in 1997. I completely agree that it is too much for a defensive pistol... so I'm sure there are some who would consider it a minimum, but I must disagree with Kevin when comparing it to the 10mm for hunting.

I was able to develop and pressure test loads for it that gave velocities of >1300 fps for 185s, >1200 for 200s and >1100 for 230s. They weren't fun to shoot but sure tore up a block of jello
 

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That was one of the points made Charlie, follow-up shots would be a real Bi###-kittey! Way too much flash and recoil.
 

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While I agree that on paper energy wise, .45 Super and 10mm are essentially equals, I give the edge to the 10mm based on a flatter trajectory and more importantly, better sectional density, which I consider important in a hunting cartridge. At shots over 50 yards, I feel the 10mm delivers more killing power. But as I’ve said before; we’re splitting hairs and I’m the one guilty of it now.
 

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I have a friend who picked up my no longer needed early S&W 4506 in a trade, because he wanted to have it "converted" to .45 Super. His reason was that he wanted an autoloader he could carry while hunting in which he would duplicate the ballistics of his favorite .45 Colt load. I don't recall his specs but it involves a 250 gr. bullet around 950 fps.

Now that he's retired from law enforcement, he occasionally works private security details and will sometimes carry this gun, loaded with commercial .45 ACP rounds. Thus, he argues, the conversion expanded the roles for which he can use a single autoloading pistol.
 

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The 4500 and 10000 series S&W's really were THE platforms for things like the 10mm and .45 Super; those guns were built like a tank, and I've never encountered one that didn't run like a Singer sewing machine. Really great pistols, it's just that they were really big and heavy.
 

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I agree.

When I was working on the FBI 1076 I shot a bunch of the hot Norma ammo through one. It wasn't fun for me, but the gun didn't care.
 

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Before the 1076 I just didn’t like S&W auto’s. The 39 felt great in the hands, but they always seemed (for me at least) to be just shy of 100% reliable. The 59 series to me were an abomination and S&W just didn’t seem to have the knack where semi-auto’s were concerned. I’m sure everyone here remembers the old saying back in the day, “if you want a revolver, you buy a S&W, if you want an auto, you buy a Colt.”

When the 1076 came out, I was just so impressed. Now by today’s standard, I’m sure people would wonder why I was so impressed. But the 1076 made so much sense in so many ways (at least it did in the ‘80’s). Aluminum frames, for the most part, hadn’t been working out real well in the post WW II world. Yeah, they were great for carry, but metallurgically, they just were never quite “there.” Most aluminum frame semi autos made before say 1975-1980ish tended to have a reputation for cracking the frames if you shot them a lot. And with the exception of the CZ 75 (which was unavailable in the US for a long time), the vast majority of post WW II designs incorporated an aluminum frame, and I found it frustrating back then that the only steel frame auto’s truly available were the 1911 and Hi Power**

All this changed with the 1076 and for a few years, it set a trend of a return to steel frames in auto pistols for many manufacturers, which was very welcome in my mind. The 1076 had great ergonomics and the different shape grip panels was a stroke of genius I thought. Factor Novak sights was a coup in my book and I was overjoyed to see a departure from slide mounted controls and moving things back down on the frame. The bobbed hammer and frame mounted decocker just made me giddy that someone saw eye to eye with me.

When I finally got the chance to shoot one, I was just in love and had to have one. But there was so much hype (legitimate in my book) about the gun that you just couldn’t get your hands on one. It took until around 1991 before I finally got one and I loved it. After a while, I determined that since I was a civilian and could carry a 1911, the 1076 was just inferior to the LW Commander as a daily concealed carry gun. But if I were an LE officer who carried externally, I thought the 1076 was a great gun. Eventually I parted with mine and have regretted it ever since; especially since mine was one of the rare ones with the CZ 75 shaped grips (I’ve only encountered two since with those grips).

Shortly afterward S&W brought out the 3913 which is another 3rd gen S&W auto I fell in love with and still love to this day.


** Then as now, I really don’t think you much need anything else…but hey, I like to experiment just as much as the next guy.
 

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Before the 1076 I just didn't like S&W auto's. The 39 felt great in the hands, but they always seemed (for me at least) to be just shy of 100% reliable. The 59 series to me were an abomination and S&W just didn't seem to have the knack where semi-auto's were concerned. I'm sure everyone here remembers the old saying back in the day, "if you want a revolver, you buy a S&W, if you want an auto, you buy a Colt."
Topic drift? Perhaps a new thread on aluminum- versus steel-frame pistols? I've got some comments on S&W 6906/3913 but this does not seem to be the place to make them.
 

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Kevin Gibson said:
The 4500 and 10000 series S&W's really were THE platforms for things like the 10mm and .45 Super; those guns were built like a tank, and I've never encountered one that didn't run like a Singer sewing machine. Really great pistols, it's just that they were really big and heavy.
Charlie Petty said:
I agree.

When I was working on the FBI 1076 I shot a bunch of the hot Norma ammo through one. It wasn't fun for me, but the gun didn't care.
Kevin Gibson said:
Before the 1076 I just didn't like S&W auto's. The 39 felt great in the hands, but they always seemed (for me at least) to be just shy of 100% reliable. The 59 series to me were an abomination and S&W just didn't seem to have the knack where semi-auto's were concerned. I'm sure everyone here remembers the old saying back in the day, "if you want a revolver, you buy a S&W, if you want an auto, you buy a Colt."

When the 1076 came out, I was just so impressed. Now by today's standard, I'm sure people would wonder why I was so impressed. But the 1076 made so much sense in so many ways (at least it did in the '80's). Aluminum frames, for the most part, hadn't been working out real well in the post WW II world. Yeah, they were great for carry, but metallurgically, they just were never quite "there." Most aluminum frame semi autos made before say 1975-1980ish tended to have a reputation for cracking the frames if you shot them a lot. And with the exception of the CZ 75 (which was unavailable in the US for a long time), the vast majority of post WW II designs incorporated an aluminum frame, and I found it frustrating back then that the only steel frame auto's truly available were the 1911 and Hi Power**

All this changed with the 1076 and for a few years, it set a trend of a return to steel frames in auto pistols for many manufacturers, which was very welcome in my mind. The 1076 had great ergonomics and the different shape grip panels was a stroke of genius I thought. Factor Novak sights was a coup in my book and I was overjoyed to see a departure from slide mounted controls and moving things back down on the frame. The bobbed hammer and frame mounted decocker just made me giddy that someone saw eye to eye with me.

When I finally got the chance to shoot one, I was just in love and had to have one. But there was so much hype (legitimate in my book) about the gun that you just couldn't get your hands on one. It took until around 1991 before I finally got one and I loved it. After a while, I determined that since I was a civilian and could carry a 1911, the 1076 was just inferior to the LW Commander as a daily concealed carry gun. But if I were an LE officer who carried externally, I thought the 1076 was a great gun. Eventually I parted with mine and have regretted it ever since; especially since mine was one of the rare ones with the CZ 75 shaped grips (I've only encountered two since with those grips).

Shortly afterward S&W brought out the 3913 which is another 3rd gen S&W auto I fell in love with and still love to this day.

** Then as now, I really don't think you much need anything else…but hey, I like to experiment just as much as the next guy.
Only have a moment but when I saw the remarks about the 10mm S&W's, I figured that I'd stick my two cents in.

Twenty years ago, I had to the opportunity to test fire one of the X-numbered guns that S&W had built up to test out the 10mm concept. They were pretty much standard 4506's without the later 1076-type heavier slides but with different barrels to accommodate the caliber and (I assume but I don't know for sure) different springs to better tolerate the zestier round.

I shot it at some full size steel silhouettes about 35-40 yards away with some of the older (and much hotter) Norma ammo they had gotten a hold of (and that Charlie mentioned in his remark above), and the bullets flew downrange and rang that metal like you were standing next to it and were hitting it with a ball peen hammer. The shots grouped amazingly well and out of the 5" gun (even with the light slide), the recoil wasn't too bad but the slide would cycle so fast (maybe smacking into the frame at its most rearward point), you knew that issue would have to be addressed for you could feel its operation in a less-than-desirable way each time the trigger was pulled.

Comparing it to both the 9mm and the .45acp that I also had with me that day, the rounds seemed to get there faster than the 9mm and hit a LOT harder on that steel than the .45. It was quite an eye opener to say the least. As such, I always found it sad that neither the gun nor the cartridge ever seemed to reach the level of acceptance within the marketplace that they probably should have. Mr. Gibson is quite right in his "…if you want a revolver, you buy a S&W, if you want an auto, you buy a Colt." remark. Even though the Model 39 had done well in some parts of the country, people just didn't look to Smith for fighting pistols. And because of all the false starts regarding the cartridge and the guns that chambered it, I don't think most folks either understood or appreciated what it could do (or, over time, had the potential to do) as that Norma round originally scared people away and the later downloaded FBI ammo made them laugh out loud. Neither should have been the case but they were.

Today, the people who own shooter grade Smith 10's of either barrel length seem to really like them. And the cartridge (in revolvers) seems to have found something of a home in the hearts of certain white tail deer hunters. But it's a shame that the concept never made the inroads as a service pistol (duty gun) that had things been different, it could have.

(And Mr. Gibson, if you want to read something neat about the 3913, go to the "Aluminum- versus Steel-Frame Pistols" thread in that Handguns section of the site that Charley mentions here in another posting of his and read the note of mine there.)
 
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