1911Forum
Forum   Reviews   Rules   Legal   Site Supporters & Donations   Advertise


Go Back   1911Forum > 1911 Manufacturers > Smith & Wesson


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-13-2007, 08:09 PM
olav olav is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 29
Thinking of putting a light rail on my 1911.






What are the opinions on this?

It can be removed and plug screws put into the dustcover when not needed.

I'll be using it for defensive courses and tactical training.

I don't want to get another gun with a rail built in really.






.
__________________
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. - Proverbs 18:2

Gun Spot - Find any gun store or FFL transfer agent with this iPhone app.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-13-2007, 11:01 PM
LSCurrier LSCurrier is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Age: 50
Posts: 989
I don't get the whole rail thing!!

Except for very limited circumstances - I cannot understand why most people would want a rail on their handgun.

I believe that rails are another marketing scheme made up by manufacturers to sell more guns and expensive flashlights by providing a solution that most people don't need. Kind of like .45GAP in my opinion - .45ACP works just fine.

Luke
__________________
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16

COTEP# CBOB0012
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-14-2007, 12:26 AM
olav olav is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 29
Well, I think I mentioned my particular circumstances.

Anyway, anyone with experience with this please chime in.

Thanks.






.
__________________
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. - Proverbs 18:2

Gun Spot - Find any gun store or FFL transfer agent with this iPhone app.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-14-2007, 05:10 AM
Chieftain Chieftain is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Free State of Arizona
Age: 66
Posts: 650
when asked why a light rail on a service pistol, I refer most of my friends to this article.

Hilton Yam, if you are not aware is both a noted 1911 gunsmith, and a serving LEO in South Florida. He does not use a 1911 on duty per department regulations. He carries a Glock.

For your Consideration. This has a lot of other stuff, in it but you may find it interesting. I had to shorten the article because of forum restrictions as to length.

I carry my Warrior's (I have two) witn SureFire X200B for Home defense. They are carried in a Sidearmor OTW holster with the light attached.

For Yam's current stuff use: http://www.10-8consulting.com/index.php

Fred

Quote:
Choosing a 1911 for Duty use

By Hilton Yam

Updated 2/26/2006

My feeling is that a duty 1911 absolutely needs a light rail interface. There are a host of choices, all which feature some variation of a Picatinny rail. As long as you use a common light such as the Surefire X200, you will have duty holster choices. The ubiquitous Safariland 6004/6280 family is available for most of the common rail guns in conjunction with the Surefire X200 and Insight M3/M6 lights.

My recommendations, which follow below, are not meant to be a comprehensive examination of all the industry offerings, but rather my particular thoughts on certain 1911s based on my experience.

The Kimber Warrior is a leading option here, with a street price of around $1100. It is a straight up Browning 1911 design - internal extractor and no added firing pin safeties. The gun is set up for duty use without much in the way of major modifications, and many samples are ready to go right out of the box. The Warrior is configured such that it is improved dramatically with only a tune up of the existing factory components, no drastic parts replacement is immediately needed. With its smooth front strap, it would also be a viable choice for a more extensive rework where custom front strap texturing is desired.

If you want to bridge the gap between a full blown custom and a production 1911, the Springfield Professional is a good bet. I've seen a lot of these guns and have a few myself. Statistically, there are more of the Professional Models out in real street service than any other factory custom 1911, so the quirks are pretty well worked out. They have consistently improved since the original run of guns, and overall are very nicely done. They offer cleanly executed checkering (some of the best on a production type gun), a nice beavertail fit, a blended S&A mag well, premium grade components, real Novak sights with Trijicon inserts, and excellent accuracy from the match fit Nowlin barrel. These guns tend to work pretty well out of the box, but can still benefit from a little bit of gunsmith massaging to improve function and extend the service cycle. I feel that this is a better value than similar "semi-custom" or "production custom" contenders in the same price range. It is available in a standard dust cover format (PC9111) and with the shortened Operator light rail frame (PC9111LR).

If you must have a Colt, your options include the new production 1991A1, Series 70 reproduction, XSE Government, and Colt Gunsite Pistols (CGP). The CGP seems to be out of production, but you'll still find them floating around. The first three are available in both stainless and blue. If policy dictates that you need a firing pin safety, then choose a 1991A1 or XSE. The Colts have great small parts quality, but their main issues include ridiculously sharp edges and poor assembly. Note that the Colts do not feature an integral light rail, and your most viable options for an attached light are the addition of a Dawson Rail Adapter or the use of a Surefire MR07 light mount.

The Springfield MC Operator, which is the "Loaded" grade gun with a green and black paint job, is an acceptable option. However, a combination of small parts quality variances and minimized hand fitting means that these guns will need more work up front before being ready to go. The TRP Operator, which features a cone barrel, full length guide rod, and full dust cover rail, is not to be considered an ideal option for duty use. You'll pay for a lot of stuff you'll either need to correct or replace. The parkerized Loaded model is also an acceptable duty gun in a normal dust cover format, with the same caveats above. Note that all of the fixed sight Springfield Loaded guns tend to shoot anywhere from 6-12" low at 25 yds with the factory sights, necessitating the immediate replacement of the rear Novak sight with a taller unit (the Novak Officer's rear sight is the most immediate solution).


Light Rail resource.

For duty use, the 1911 really needs a dedicated weaponlight. It is an area that I've been diligently researching since the inception of the rail framed 1911s, and I think I some useful insight to offer here. The most commonly overlooked points to consider in picking light rail 1911s are light compatibility and holster availability, so that's where we'll begin.

First, let's examine the types of mounting rails:

Picatinny (aka 1913): The milspec rail, most commonly found on the integral light rail 1911s. Though the dimensions are supposed to be standardized, you will find wide variances between manufacturers.

Glock (aka Universal): More or less a Weaver spec rail, it has only one cross slot that is narrower than that of the 1913 rails. This has become a second industry standard for rail dimensions, but is relatively uncommon on current production 1911s.

Dawson: A proprietary add on adapter, it is smaller than the 1913 and Universal rails, but is only compatible with lights fitted with the Dawson adapter.

Next, one must consider the various lights:
ITI M3, M3x, M6, M6x: This family of 6 volt incandescent lights feature a fixed rail width, but are available with interchangeable cross bars to accommodate 1913 and Universal cross slots. With bodies molded entirely of polymer, the ITI lights are lightweight and available at competitive prices. Unfortunately, the downside is that these lights have not proven to be as rugged as we'd like to see. The nominal 60 lumen M3 has historically been known to last only about 1000 rounds before failure of some sort, typically a lamp breakage. The primary advantage of the line is their light weight and lower price point. The M3x features a larger bezel and nominal 120 lumen output. The M6 and M6x integrate a nominal 120 lumen white light and a visible laser. It is worthwhile to note that the M6x requires removal from the weapon for battery changes, and the laser does not return to zero upon reinstallation. All ITI lights share a common style of shuttle switch for momentary and constant on illumination. A tape switch for activation with the middle finger of the shooting hand is available, but it removes the shuttle switch. The tape switch is quite fatiguing to use for long searches, so you may consider staying with the shuttle switch. The brighter, redesigned, and ruggedized "X" series lights are the better choice if you decide to purchase an ITI light.

Surefire X200 A/B: This light features a machined aluminum body with a polymer switchplate. The three watt Luxeon LED of the X200A provides a focused narrow beam output of approximately 60 lumens with two DL123 lithium batteries. The 5 watt LED X200B model provides a more diffuse beam and wider light pattern. Adjustable rails and interchangeable locking pieces allow for compatibility with different rail dimensions as well as both Universal and Picatinny rails. The X200 will fit into holsters where the ITI M3 is indicated, but will be loose since it is smaller. Choose the dedicated X200 holster where possible, or plan on using a heat gun to modify for fit. Weapon-specific slimline tape switches are available for the Springfield/Caspian/Kimber rail frame. The DG switch will soon be available for the same platforms. A slimline switch is also available for the MR07 mounted X200. The Surefire tape switches preserve the shuttle switch, providing a variety of momentary and constant on options.
__________________
Mindset-Skillset-Toolset -- Col. John Boyd (of OODA fame)
"Training errors are recorded on paper. Tactical errors are recorded on stone." - Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” - Ayn Rand
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-14-2007, 10:03 AM
olav olav is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 29
Chieftain thanks for the great info...



I'm sure I'd like to get a light rail because I need it for my tactical training courses when clearing urban dwellings in low light/no light situations.



What I'd like some opinions on is:

A) Should I get the Novak Tactical Light Rail retrofitted to my existing 1911.
http://www.novaksights.com/novak%201...ht%20rail.html

or

B) Get another 1911 with an integrated Tactical Light Rail which would be somehow better.



Based on the two answers:

Luke says and I paraphrase: "What the hell do you need a marketing gizo like that, it's just a ploy to sell more guns."

Which means: Go ahead and add the Novak system to your existing 1911 because you can take it off when you don't need it since it's only used in specific circumstances.


Fred says: Tactical Light rails are good! Doesn't matter how the rail gets on the gun.



O.K. So, I'm leaning to go to the gunsmith and get the Novak Rail System installed. I can't see that adding a rail will add any extra stress to the dust cover of a steel framed 1911.



Olav


.
__________________
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. - Proverbs 18:2

Gun Spot - Find any gun store or FFL transfer agent with this iPhone app.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-17-2007, 07:04 PM
strick909 strick909 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 618
Here is mine:

here it is fresh out of the box from Robar.










Here are a few from before:






I used a Caspian Stainless Steel Picatinny rail and had it welded to the frame. The screws are too short to really secure the rail against any possibility of pulling out.

All of my pistols have rails except my STI Edge (IPSC gun) and my Kahr PM9 and my Colt CCO.
Lights and lasers are awesome tools. Why do I carry lights and lasers on my pistols? In the words of Clint Smith : "Because I can."
__________________
Nature runs a restaurant called Karma. It's a place where there is no need to place any order. You are automatically served what you deserve.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-17-2007, 08:16 PM
R.Moran R.Moran is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Aiken, SC
Age: 46
Posts: 1,472
Look at the Dawson Precision rail. It uses a proprietary adapter for SureFire X200 lights, which is fine by me, as I don't see being confined to SureFire as a bad thing.

Its also lower profile, and lighter, so it won't change the feel of the gun to much when the light isn't mounted.

Many shooters have been able to stretch their leather holsters for standard dustcover 1911, to fit the Dawson equipped ones. I just bought a Kramer molded for it, ans was done with it.

The SureFire MR07 mount is also pretty good, required no gunsmithing, and can be completly removed, when not needed. The included modified slide lock, is of good quality also. Its another option to look at, especially if you have limited use for a mounted light.

If you use the X200 with the SureFire mount, or the Dawson/SureFire combo, both will work in a Safarliland 6004 designed for a integral railed 1911, using the ITI/Streamlight M3 light. You need to get that holster, as its cut for teh larger light, so it gives you enough room for the add on mount with asmaller light(the X200). I also beleive there are some dedicated holsters for that combo.There's a thread on 10-8 regarding holster fir for light's.

W/O getting into another argument, I'll just say, there are plenty of real deal operators who use weapon mounted lights, just because you don't use them or have a need for the, doesn't make them useless or a marketing gimmick.

Bob
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-18-2007, 01:25 PM
jam-man jam-man is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 16
A couple of night matches

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSCurrier
I don't get the whole rail thing!!

Except for very limited circumstances - I cannot understand why most people would want a rail on their handgun.

I believe that rails are another marketing scheme made up by manufacturers to sell more guns and expensive flashlights by providing a solution that most people don't need. Kind of like .45GAP in my opinion - .45ACP works just fine.

Luke
A couple of night matches changed my opinion very quickly concerning weapon mounted lights. They work and work well. Coupled with the fact that there is a high perctange chance you will you need your firearm in low light situaiton and not in a day light situation.

Just my 2 cent no disrespect meant toward anyone.

I am also condisiring adding a rail or purchasing a S&W with the rail already. The only down side I can see is it is a little harder to find a holster.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-18-2007, 01:47 PM
Chieftain Chieftain is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Free State of Arizona
Age: 66
Posts: 650
Strongly recommend a pistol with a built in light rail.

Get one that was designed to carry a light.

No different than getting a weapon in the caliber it was designed for.

If you do add a rail, I would strongly recommend the Dawson rail. As Hilton Yam and the others are recommending. It has a lot of successful history.

Good luck

Fred
__________________
Mindset-Skillset-Toolset -- Col. John Boyd (of OODA fame)
"Training errors are recorded on paper. Tactical errors are recorded on stone." - Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” - Ayn Rand
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-20-2007, 09:16 PM
Hilton Yam Hilton Yam is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 49
Fred - thanks for the post and links to my articles. I have updated the referenced articles, as there have been some changes in the industry since the earlier version you'd posted. By way of correction, I carry a 1911 at work and have for many years.

To address the original question, just about any add on light rail - properly installed - will do the job. However, the critical consideration is how you are going to carry it. Holster availability for the gun alone as well as the gun/light combination should factor heavily into the decision making process. If you're looking to retrofit an existing gun, the Dawson rail is an excellent choice and has the most quantifiable track record of the add on rails. There are also a plethora of holster choices available for the gun with and without an attached light.

Light rails are not just a marketing gimmick. The weapon mounted light is an essential tool that allows the user to perform tasks that would be difficult or impossible if using a separate handheld light. If it's not for you, then don't buy it.
__________________
www.10-8Performance.com
Check out the new blog at http://www.modernserviceweapons.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/108Performance
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-21-2007, 05:04 AM
Chieftain Chieftain is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Free State of Arizona
Age: 66
Posts: 650
Mr Yam thank you for the updates.

I carry my Warriors in a SideArmor OWB holster by the way.

Did 10 years in the Corps, and a couple of tours with the 3rd Marine Division in Nam. Many moons ago I worked for the Brevard County Sheriff, up by the Cape. I am originally from Melbourne. Now I just play for fun.

Welcome aboard and very proud to have you here. I enjoy your 10-8Forum too. Just am not qualified to register as I understand it.

Thank you , and stay safe.

Fred
__________________
Mindset-Skillset-Toolset -- Col. John Boyd (of OODA fame)
"Training errors are recorded on paper. Tactical errors are recorded on stone." - Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” - Ayn Rand

Last edited by Chieftain; 10-21-2007 at 05:07 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-21-2007, 10:21 PM
strick909 strick909 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 618
I run two different holsters with my converted SW1911.

One is a Bladetech. I specified the fit for a Kimber Warrior. Because the Caspian rail is a true Picatinny rail, any holster that fits a Kimber Warrior or an SA Operator will work. I also use a Safariland 568. They call it a "custom fit" but it is more of a universal fit. The one I have fits every full size pistol I own.

For what it is worth, I would not talk you out of a Dawson rail. The only reaon I insisted on a Caspian rail for my build is I did not want to be stuck with Surefire as my only light option. With the Picatinny sized rail, I can use Surefire, Insight, Streamlight, Blackhawk, Beamshot, Laser Max, ect, ect.
__________________
Nature runs a restaurant called Karma. It's a place where there is no need to place any order. You are automatically served what you deserve.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:38 AM.


NOTICE TO USERS OF THIS SITE: By continuing to use this site, you certify that you have read and agree to abide by the Legal Terms of Use. All information, data, text or other materials ("Content") posted to this site by any users are the sole responsibility of those users. 1911Forum does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of such Content.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2011 1911Forum.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved