Making The Transition

I’ve been shooting 1911s in .45 ACP for pretty much all my adult life.

While there have been many forays into revolvers (Colt Pythons, various S&Ws etc.) it can truthfully be said that my bread, butter and jam has been the above gun.

Which is no longer mine, having been given to the Son&Heir for his birthday.  Along with every single round of .45 ACP out of Ye Olde Ammo Locquere.  (“FFS, Dad:  I’ll never have to buy ammo ever again.” )  Okay, I did find a small stash of another hundred or so rounds later (everybody here knows how that can happen), but the S&H is coming over tomorrow for dinner so I’ll give him those too.

Yep, not only did I make a clean break from the 1911, I also made it difficult to go back should I be tempted to do so.

Which is all very well, except that I have a serious shortage of 9mm, never having done much Europelleting in the past.  In fact, as I discovered when preparing for a range visit a couple days back, I did indeed have a couple hundred rounds of premium self-defense 9mm (don’t ask me why), but not a single box of standard 115gr. practice stuff.  So I had to buy a couple boxes at full retail price (!!!), which made it almost as expensive a proposition as .45 ACP.  Fortunately, I had a small cash windfall (as described yesterday), so I could buy that hundred rounds of practice ammo with only a small amount of chagrin.

Nevertheless, as I hadn’t shot the High Power in earnest for well over five years, I had to put in the practice considering that the BHP is now my everyday carry piece.

Aaargh.  I couldn’t shoot it for shit — I mean, compared to the results I’ve been getting from the 1911 in, well, forever — and I found the trigger not just different, but horribly different.  The 1911’s trigger had been seriously worked on, and fired over 30,000 times — use your imagination.  The High Power hasn’t been touched, other than the substitution of the original spur hammer for a bobbed one, as in the pic.

I’m not happy.

Bear in mind that the paper results were not that bad, considering, but nothing close to what I’m used to, and the “unpleasant” trigger made my first proper outing with the BHP no fun at all.  And I’m not familiar with coming away from a range session feeling bad about my shooting;  I’ve worked too hard and practiced too much to have to put up with this.

So I’m grappling with the thought that carry duties, which I’d planned on giving to the BHP exclusively, may be shared with the S&W 65 (my bedside piece).

Not that this would be a hardship, mind you:  I took the 65 to the range along with the BHP, and shot both .38 Spec+P and .357 Mag through it, with excellent results.

In fact, I had so much fun with the revolver that I might well use it as a carry piece instead of the High Power.  (I also have what may be described as an “adequate sufficiency” of both .38 and .357 ammo on hand, so no hardship there, and therefore would require no building up a supply from scratch as would be the case with 9mm Europellets.)

I wish I still had my 1911.


  1. if you can accurately shoot the 65 stoked with .357, why did you give up on your 1911?

      1. I shot ONE CYLINDER of .357 Mag, just to remind myself why I don’t shoot .357 Mag all the time.

  2. I think it’s the gun, not the ammo. I’ve got .45s I can shoot well and others that shoot like shit. Ditto for 9mm.

  3. There is a source for 9mm that is inexpensive BUT it will be a while to receive the order.
    Try Mountain City Supply.
    Their 124 gr 9mm was selling for 22 cents per round with free shipping.
    Expect to wait 30 days to take delivery. My order took closer to 40 days.
    They mention that orders might take 3 weeks but all reviews debunk that statement.
    That being said range results with the ammo have been very positive.
    Clean burning, no squibs, reloadable brass cases.

    You have been warned

  4. There’s some complexity to the trigger assembly in the HiPower that makes the problems you are describing. One is the magazine disconnect. If you have that removed and the trigger worked on, it will perform much better.

    The other thing to consider is a new 1911 chambered in 9mm. Springfield Armory makes their Loaded Target 1911 in 9mm, for example.

    1. +1 on the trigger. The magazine disconnect drags on the front face of the magazine during the trigger pull. While I was at it, I installed a wide trigger. Also installed a set of Hogue rubber finger grove grips. I should note that mine is an FEG-PJK clone. Back in another life when I had my FFL, my cost was $199.

      Ammo. Obviously, monitor Brownell’s and Midway for offers of free shipping.

  5. Some guns are ammo sensitive.

    You will see sometimes where guns jam on certain ammo but other brands run fine.

    You will see where some brands of ammo are accurate in some guns and not others. And it could be same grain / weight but different brand and they are different accuracy wise in different guns.

    115 ball ammo in 9MM in some guns isn’t as good as 124 or 147 weight in some guns. Other guns it runs fine

    I know ammo is pricey, but if you can, pick up a half a dozen or if money permits a dozen different weights / brands of ammo. Try some of each in the high power. See what is most accurate.

    Once you find an ammo that works, stash at least a few boxes of that for protection.

    Also if you don’t have one, buy a cheap sandbag pistol rest. Even a 30 dollar one from Walmart works. I’ve been surprised that my hands were always as steady as I thought sometimes and the sandbag rest helped me to stabilize and see how accurate I could get with a pistol.

    Good luck. Hopefully this transition to a new pistol gets easier and more enjoyable.

    I am a 9MM fan. It’s a great round overall. Paired with your 357 revolver you have the perfect pair to do whatever you need.

  6. Also – I know money is tight. However you have to have a gun that works for you.

    You loved your 1911. You just didn’t want 45 anymore due to recoil.

    Have you thought about getting a 1911 9MM? Ruger makes some damn good ones

    A small size one. A commander and a full size target.

    The commander size would be right up your alley.

    Would be all the same controls and trigger you are used to. Just in a 9MM

    Save some scratch. Or run a fundraiser maybe. Or both.

  7. Never say never. It’s too long a time, even in our advancing years.

    So, you’ve passed on your legendary 1911 to someone who will give it the same loving care as you did, and you’ve made sure he has ample reason to shoot it often. You’ve moved on to 9mm and magnums.

    BUT!!! Someday soon, if my own experience is any indicator, you’ll be “window shopping” at Ye Olde Gunnery Shoppe and some shinny .45 ACP will catch your eye. Maybe you just stopped by to pick up more .38 Spec+P, but there’s that 1911, gently oiled and tenderly calling out to you “Kim, Good Buddy, remember the fun of going out to the range and burning through a box or two of ammo, just to keep your hand in?”

    The next thing you know, you’re at the check stand, registration form in one hand and plastic in the other, with your new tool in the box on the counter. “Do you need some ammo with that?” the clerk will ask. Your mind begins to race, and your breath quickens as you answer “Yeah, give me four or five… boxes… no, hundred… no, make it six! YES!!! Six hundred rounds of fresh, shiny bullets for my new friend!”

    I’ve been there, friend. It can happen even to the strongest of us.

  8. I’m all for carrying the 65, personally. It’s far more gun than the 5 shot, hammerless, .38 I usually have in my pocket. I figure any gun you can get torso hits as fast as you can pull the trigger at 5 yards, and get a head shot with time at 25 yards, is more than sufficient. Then again, I’m a notorious revolver slut, so I’m a bit biased.

  9. I couldn’t carry a gun I didn’t enjoy shooting.
    I suspect, as someone above mentioned, it’s not the ammo, it’s the gun. I’ve never enjoyed shooting most full-frame pistols, perhaps because of my “men’s cadet” sized hands (not small, but not big either). The Sig 1911 Ultra .45 fits me like a glove and between 0-25 yards, I am MOM (Measure of Melon). And, because I am a Sig whore, when the 365XL came out, I got one of those too. I didn’t think any gun could displace my CZ RAMI 75BD, but 9/10 times I will holster up with one of the Sigs, usually the 365XL.

    I didn’t love the ROMEO ZERO site at first and was about to dump it when a friend showed me how to properly set it up. Now I’m spoiled with it.

  10. A Detective Special was my ccw forever, until the recent Mostly Peaceful Rioting® persuaded me to transition to a Taurus G3C, with 13 rounds in the weapon & another 15 in my pocket (don’t judge – Taurus has come a long way. It’s not just a “good gun for the money.” It’s a good gun, KDT’s disdain for the ammo notwithstanding).

    The .38 was retired to permanent bedside duty. Or so I thought, until I happened across a great deal on a GP100. Too bulky for ccw, but an awesome bedside cannon. And mucho fun to shoot.

  11. Get yourself to a gun range which has rental guns and try various 9mm pistols to find one you like. If you are not going to carry it, I am a big fan of the CZ 75B, with a trigger job to smooth things up a bit. I also like the CZ P07 and the CZ P10C, notice a trend here? I have friends who swear by Glock, but I am not a fan. Sig, Ruger, FN, S&W, and others are making good products. Or maybe try some of the HP clones. I also still have my S&W 66 2.5 in., which I will leave to my S&H. I still own my 1911, but the 9’s are much more pleasant to shoot. Old age is a bitch at times.

  12. I would agree that trigger condition makes such a difference on how one shoots a gun. If the High Power isn’t good to shoot, there are quite a few carry options that are reasonably priced. I personally carry a Bersa TPR9C. It’s small enough to almost fit the IDPA “BUG” box (Back Up Gun box), except that the lid won’t quite shut (supposedly, I’ve only tested dimensions, not actually seen an official box). However, the grips, etc., are almost identical to the TPR9, which is the “combat gun” sized big brother. Supposedly both have the same trigger Bersa used to put in their “tricked out” Thunder Pro.

    There’s also the Taurus TH9 and TH9C if you want hammers, or the G3 family if you want striker fired guns. I almost took Milady’s G2C as my backup gun, but I don’t like the way the grip feels. Lots of options at reasonable prices.

    And let’s not go into the small barrel ultra-hot 9mm hollow-points out there now…

  13. Turkish-made 1911’s in 9mm can be had for as little as $429 – – why not try one of those? You can view it as a long-term review/evaluation if you’re embarrassed at not being able to easily afford something better.

  14. Big hands here.
    For decades, I carried a Para Ordnance P-14 primary with a P-12 as my secondary.
    Either handed, they spring from their holsters as if made for me.
    Those fine fellows are retired, relaxing under the bed.
    From a Mexican police-chief in an exquisite presentation case, i received a first-week serial-number Kimber Classic.
    It only comes out to do my final duty as a dog owner.
    I turn 71 in a few weeks.
    Aching constantly, my hands and wrists prefer an AR pistol.
    Facing the potential of bear cougar hog around the farm, .300bo serves us better than a .45/10mm pistol.
    An aside:
    How am I supposed to ‘comply’ with the latest federal ‘rule’ about AR braces?
    Where is my moral and ethical obligation:
    * to my family, cow-orkers, neighbors, and our livelihood, or
    * to some nameless faceless bureaucrat deep in the bowels of some bureaucracy?

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