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From Glock To 1911 Change

John K

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I have been shooting a G17 for a few years now in IDPA and at the local steel match. I recently got a Kimber 1911, and boy is it different.

What tips are there for making the jump to the 1911. The 2 guns are so different. I have noticed that when shooting on the move, the glock was more stable. Witht the 1911 I see the front sight dip more when moving. Triggers are like night and day. I know exactly where the reset point is on my G 17. The 1911 trigger is so different.

If anyone can offer some tips to help along the way it would be appreiciated.

happy New Year!


Edited by John K
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Obviously, lots of practice will reorient you to the new heater. Dryfire drills will help you reindex your sights without a lot of rounds fired. Steve Anderson authors a dryfire drills book that's wonderful.

Don't disable the thumb safety until the muzzle is downrange. I see a lot of 1911 shooters disable the safety when the muzzle is still clearing leather, there's plenty of time between the holster and target to thumb-off the safety.

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Just to add to the safety issue; the thumb safety is an excellent END point for the grip. Speed and consistency comes from hitting the grip properly with the palm and the middle-ring fingers. They take it out of the holster, the little finger gets on board, then the weak hand. For my money, the thumb coming down and establishing itself last is both the most logical and safest way to get a grip on any gun, including Glocks. Invariably if my thumb gets involved first, it twists the gun around and my grip is shot from the get-go.

As for getting used to it, you've just gone from three pounds of staging pressure to less than a pound. Try the trick of dryfiring, pinning the trigger, then working the slide with your weak hand. Release the trigger, and feel the reset happen. It won't take long to get used to. The different grip angle, however . . .


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If you really want to get better with the 1911, stick the glock in the back of the safe and don't touch it for a long while. Only shoot the new gun, if you grab the glock again you'll instantly revert to that grip angle & such.

Lots of dryfire and ammo is the best cure. B)

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Comparing the Glock to the 1911 is a little like comparing gravel and oranges... or something. Everyone knows how much I love the 1911, and I agree with Merlin on the lighter spring. I've done it to mine. Yes, just put the Glock in the deep recesses of the attic/basement/river bottom and don't look back. :)

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I'm coming to the conclusion that *if* you've put enough time in behind a Glock to achieve a certain amount of proficiency, you've taken a lot of the joy out of owning and shooting other pistols.

I'm wrestling with what you're going through. Because I'm mentally weak, and I like shiny things, I've decided to quit shooting my G35 and instead shoot Limited with a 2011-based pistol (when it ever gets built <sigh>), and SS in the meantime with a 1911. Oh, and Production with a CZ.

So I've spent almost 2 months only with the 1911, and it's frustating because I've taken a very big step backwards in my shooting, which wasn't that great to begin with, but I *would* like to break out of B into A...

Specifics I've noticed:

1) Mag changes: I can reach the release on the G35 without shifting my grip. I can't as easily on a 1911, and usually shift slightly. Goes without saying, too, the magazines are a lot skinnier with a single-stack, and all that entails.

2) Grip -- a bit different, but I have to be especially careful with my weak hand thumb. On the Glock I let it ride gently against the slide, but on a 1911 it's easy to get it too high and slow the slide, as there isn't as much frame width. In fact, there are a number of gotcha's if you're not comfortable with the SS: for example, I've let my index finger on the strong hand bump the protruding end of the slide-lock lever. That'll ruin a stage.

3) General reliability. I don't quite have 2 years in the game, but for a fact *most* of those I see with gun problems are struggling with a 1911. (Not counting Open shooters who quickly rack, and move on). I've never bent the feed lips on a Glock magazine.

4) Timing -- it's just different, but a lot of that is the .45acp vs. .40S&W, for me. I'm trying to do lots of 'Bill Drills' to adjust.

All that said, I love the 1911 trigger. Really do, and I can't wait to see what it will be like in my Limited gun. I also love the accuracy that seems inherent in most good 1911's. My G35 is very accurate, but not around 1" accurate. And of course there's the intangible factor of "just feels good." It's like playing with a Snap-on socket driver, or a Leica rangefinder camera or something. There's just a click, and snap, of precisely-tooled metal parts interacting, and heft, and...something.

Oh, and what Matt said is 100%. Picked up my Glock yesterday, out of curiosity. It immediately pointed high. But only for 3 draws, and I found myself thinking -- do I *really* want to shoot something different in a 7 weeks at the next big match?

I think Merlin said, "pick one and don't look back," in an older post, and he's right, IMO.

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I started with the 1911. Ran it for a couple of years and switched to Glocks.

Biggest problems switching back to the 1911 are point of aim, manual

safety, and the fact that the 1911 doesn't push the trigger forward toward


Takes me a few draws to get the safety/trigger issues taken care of. Maybe

50 rds live fire to get the point of aim handled.

Anybody want a platform switching challenge? In September there are 2 matches in

Albany Oregon on the SAME weekend. Saturday is the 11th annual Oregon Single

Stack Championship. On Sunday is the 3rd annual Oregon Glock Championship.

Saturday I'll shoot a 1911 in the Provisional Single Stack Division.

Sunday I'll shoot a G17 in Open division.


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I switched from a G-24 to a 2011 for limited last summer. I think people make too much of the grip angle. It only took a couple of weeks of dry fire and practice to get that squared away. I had trouble with trigger freeze and getting the trigger reset going from the glock to the 2011. I shot 06-03 qualifier the first match after the switch and it was a total disaster. I went and shot a GSSF match after getting used to the 2011 and it didn't seem to be a problem going back to the glock. I even won some $$$ (a first for me). I seem to be able to shoot either now if I do a little dry fire before the match, although I do shoot the 2011 better (when it runs).

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