1911 frames: Steel vs. Aluminum
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Thread: 1911 frames: Steel vs. Aluminum

  1. #1
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    Default 1911 frames: Steel vs. Aluminum

    Any opinions to share regarding one type of frame over another?

    I've heard that the steel frames tend to dampen the recoil a bit (which I think is manageable as is) and that they also keep muzzle rise to a minimum due to their weight. This *sounds* like it would make sense, but is this correct? If so, I would lean towards a steel frame for the sake of getting shots on target quicker.
    Thanks,
    Poot
    For My Fallen Brothers:
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  2. #2
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    My personal opinion is steel. To me it makes for a more balanced gun. When target shooting or doing drills I use shooting gloves.(getting old I guess). So muzzle rise is a non issue. For carry, a comander sized alloy frame 1911 is a lot lighter than a 5" steel 1911. I own both, like both but I just like the balance of the steel better.
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  3. #3
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    Depends on your purpose for owning. I like shooting 1911s but don't carry one (too big), so I prefer traditional full size steel-frame guns. For relatively high volume shooting, the steel will last longer. For carry, I have tried out a Lightweight Commander and it's sweet, just not my style. Also, with high volume shooting, I would worry about wear on the frame.

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  5. #4
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    My favorite is a highly customized circa 1950 Colt Lightweight Commander in 38 Super. Light, handy, and as big and heavy a pistol as I'd ever want to carry. But it doesn't have just muzzle rise - it has muzzle flip. OK when you get used to it - very accurate - but if it didn't have an almost new Barsto barrel I'd get it ported.
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  6. #5
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    I am a Steel and Walnut man myself. Years ago when I was in the National Guard one NCO brought his Colt Commander out, I had my Combat Commande-both .45ACP. Everybody who fired them said they liked mine better. AFAIK Bullseye shooters stick to steel frames. But it really is a matter of personal preference.

  7. #6

    Default One Of Each: Aluminum and Steel Framed--and why...

    http://i478.photobucket.com/albums/r...2008/002-1.jpg
    http://i478.photobucket.com/albums/r...2008/001-1.jpg

    One's a Kimber Ultra Raptor II with aluminum alloy frame and the other is the solid WWI Colt Reproduction 1911 of 1911 made to the original specs.

    The steel frame is well balanced and shoots wonderfully. It feels like steel and walnut and that's the way a gun should feel in my mind. It is the typical .45 1911 we all have come to know and shoot and own I suppose.
    The Ultra Raptor is chopped and light but very tight and reliable. It is, amazingly, very accurate despite its short barrel--but the sights are very nice being large and having Nite Sites of some brand that glow with tritium.

    For range shooting and plinking the all steel gun seems to make more sense. For concealed carry I'd go with the Ultra Raptor II over any other steel framed auto because it's COMPACT FLAT LIGHT! And yet it shoots 7 out the magazine right where you are pointing the sights.

    I asked a few about the "wear and tear" on the alloy versus the steel frames. Kimber says (or some other authority) that one can expect about half the maximum life of a full steel frame with an alloy frame--which amounts to more rounds than most of us would have time to fire downrange anyway--unless we are burning 100s a day for many many moons.

    So, in short, nothing beats the "feel" and "bump and bang" of the full size all steel 1911--but nothing beats the carry capability of the chopped light frame 1911. So get both!

  8. #7
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    Thanks guys-
    Personally, I like my Glock 30 for concealed/off-duty/back-up carry. I like the fact that it doesn't have any edges that will snag on clothing, equipment, etc., has good capacity (10+1), and stands up well to things like 'lint issues.'

    As it turns out, I ordered an all steel frame Taurus 1911 because they are such a great deal and I've heard nothing but positive if not glowing reports of them. Thanks for sharing all of your experience and obviously well informed opinions.
    Poot
    For My Fallen Brothers:
    WW 2001
    WS 2004
    MD 2009
    JH 2009
    ER 2009
    DS 2009
    DN 2009
    WB 2014

    Never Forgotten.

    I'm looking for pre-war Yugoslav Mauser bolt number 36455. If you have it, let me know! I'll pay a finder's fee on top of the selling price.

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