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Old 12-13-2009, 08:18 PM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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S&W 1911 Compact ES




Hello all. This is my first post on the forum. I'm glad to find this forum and hope you can provide some input. I went to a store this weekend to check out the Springfield XD. There are a lot of good reviews about it on the net and a coworker recommended it to me. I am currently without a handgun and am looking to get both myself and my wife handguns for personal protection, home defense, camping and target shooting (this is a given since everyone should be familiar and practiced with their firearms). Anyway, while talking to the clerk in the store he pointed me away from the XD and toward one of two guns he would recommend. Those being a Sig Sauer and a 1911. I didn't like the feel of the Sig in my hands. Didn't fit.

So, he whipped out a S&W 1911 that I think was the Compact ES 108310 based on S&W's website photo, but may have been the 5" 108284 which is much heavier. If it helps, it was the same size as the used "Commander" he referred to. I think that would make it the Compact ES. When I picked that puppy up I fell in love with it compared to all the firearms I've picked up, with the XD coming in second. the front and rear grips felt aggressive, but he said that's a good thing. I've scoured the internet but haven't found much information on this particular firearm. I'm wondering if others have experience with it and if it has any known issues/problems/gripes. In essence, ...is this a good quality firearm? Also, I'm wondering if it would be suitable to carry concealed (at least in the winter if not all year) when desired. I used to have a carry permit but let it expire inadvertently. My wife and I will be getting permits in the near future however. I want her protected when I'm not around.

I've read so many flaming posts on the net about carrying 1911's concealed that I'm confused. An employee at a sporting goods store that sells firearms was shocked that the employee of the firearms store I was at (a very reputable dealer and well respected) told me a 1911 could be carried concealed because it is way too heavy for a CCW. But, tonight I compared the weight of this S&W 1911 to the XD Compact and it is almost identical, with the XD actually being a tad heavier. The subcompact is just barely lighter than the 1911. So, that weight comparison blows his comment away if I understand and am comparing apples to apples here regarding similar dimensions, etc.

I fell in love with the looks, trigger pull and narrow width of the 1911 I picked up and would love to bring it home. I just want to be sure that wouldn't be a mistake since the 1911 is a more significant investment. The shop had another 1911 S&W that I think was a Commander and was used. I liked the grips on that one better but the trigger and look of the new ES better. It's my understanding that there is a world of options available for 1911s so changing grips would be easy should I decide to do so.

I've never owned a 1911. Only a Walther PPK/S .380 and a Glock 36 .45. I couldn't get comfortable carrying the Glock with a round chambered so I sold it. It wasn't that comfortable to shoot anyway and was butt ugly IMO. I like the idea of a manual safety and training/practicing to make flipping a safety habitual and integral with the draw for a real life situation.

Well, I hope my questions are understandable and you guys can help.

Last edited by tt0511; 12-13-2009 at 08:35 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2009, 10:31 PM
Shad Roe Shad Roe is offline
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Kudos to the salesperson for guiding you to a S&W1911 Compact ES. IMHO this is a perfect-size concealed carry weapon. It is "CCO"-size in the language of Colt's/45.25" bbl. w/compact /officer's-size frame.

I can't imagine where you read any "flaming"(negative?)posts about carrying a 1911 concealed. You must have misunderstood what you were reading(?) It is the easiest pistol(large caliber) to conceal on the planet.

Al S&W1911 pistols are top-quality production guns. I have two of them. I also have Kimbers and Colts.

To me XDs are every bit as ugly as Glocks. I don't think you will regret the purchase of a S&W 1911.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2009, 06:41 AM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Thanks for the reply! I didn't read the negative posts about carrying a 1911 on this forum, but on many, many others as well as individual's websites with write-ups.

I really like the smaller 3" 1911's as well and may like one of those if any are reliable (I read that the Para LDA is a very good piece for carry and is comfortable). But, I'd like to give the 4 1/4" a try first. It's a beautiful firearm as well. Serious eye candy, ..unlike glocks, and yes the XD as well is ugly when compared to 1911's.

Would IWB strong side be the ideal carry method for this size 1911?
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:05 AM
SW1911 ES SW1911 ES is offline
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As you might have guessed ..... I have a Smith & Wesson 1911 ES. It is the perfect size and weight for a CCW 1911, other than the baby 3" 1911's. The tolerance levels and quality of this pistol are outstanding.
I had planned on purchasing a Kimber when I was informed by my gunsmith, that the S&W is a much better quality 1911, mainly due to the precision of the internal parts. Nothing against Kimber.
He was correct .... as this is one great pistol, and I beleive S&W did their homework on 1911's ......

Many pistols are concealable .... I just prefer one that will knock them down (and out) with a single shot !

Last edited by SW1911 ES; 12-14-2009 at 10:11 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:44 PM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Does anyone know if this 1911 has any kind of firing pin safety measure to prevent discharge in the event it was dropped or impacted? A friend at work is wanting me to check out the Para Ordinance DAO Carry before purchasing the S&W because a good friend of his, he says, carried "cocked and locked" and fell while going up a flight of stairs one day. The lever was struck somehow, discharging the firearm sending a .45 round through both legs and messing him up awefully bad. That has him very skiddish of carring a 1911 cocked and locked. Aside from that, he says he is extremely impressed with the Para and it has become his favorite firearm. Supposedly very accurate and fun to shoot.

I don't have a lot of handgun experience, so I'm wondering if the 1911 is the right platform for me considering this. Yes, cocked and locked looks and sounds scary, but there are two other safeties between the grip and the manual safety. I'm not sure how this coworker's friend fell and hit the lever causing the 1911 to discharge unless the safety was off (but there is still the grip safety that should prevent discharge) or the impact caused the firing pin to trigger the round. Some on forums claim they have taken their 1911's from it's holster to find the safety off on numerous occasions. Yet others say they've carried 1911's for 20-30 years and never had such a thing happen.

I tell ya, ...this is one confusing process trying to determine the appropriate firearm! I don't mind practicing with the firearm I choose but I don't want any freak accidental discharges in my lifetime either. The 1911 sure feels natural to the hands though. More than anything else I've picked up. Encouragement or advice is appreciated. I apologize if this isn't the proper thread for such a discussion. It's all kinda running together with the firearm choice here.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2009, 06:23 AM
Shad Roe Shad Roe is offline
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Yep,it has a firing pin safety.

1911 was my very first pistol. They are safe as you are;and,safer than most pistols,IMHO.
Get to know it well(as with any weapon);and,it will serve you well.
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Last edited by Shad Roe; 12-15-2009 at 06:25 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2009, 09:22 AM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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whoo hoo then! S&W responded to my email confirming that the ES does indeed have a firing pin safety making it "drop safe". Though one friend at work is trying to steer me toward Kimber or Para, I love the look and feel of the ES and the positive reviews of this model is overwhelmingly positive. Two other friends have said "you can't go wrong with S&W in .45" and said it will retain it's value better than most brands. I'm going to take the plunge and pick this S&W up tonight (assuming it is still in the shop and hasn't been sold!). Will post pics later. Thank you for helping a newb. I look forward to my first 1911!
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2009, 01:34 PM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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These pistols are a little hard to find around my area. I called four gun shops, and no one had it except the shop I saw it at. Luckily they still had that one and were kind enough to put it on hold for me till I get there.

Though I have to requalify and apply for my carry permit since it expired a while back, I'm already wanting to find a good comfortable holster that won't knock the safety off as I've read some holsters can do. Can you recommend a good holster for concealed carry either IWB or OWB strong side, or behind back IWB? I'll want to spend some time at home practicing and getting familiar with my new partner before re-permitting and carrying live outside the house.

Last edited by tt0511; 12-15-2009 at 01:42 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2009, 01:41 PM
SW1911 ES SW1911 ES is offline
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I have a Galco leather holster, strong side OWB for my 1911 ES and it fits perfectly. It's best to try a holster when you have your pistol on you, making sure it has the feel and fit you prefer.
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2009, 03:32 PM
45Gunner 45Gunner is offline
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Gotta throw my 2 pennies worth into this mix: The S&W 1911 is an excellent gun. At last count, I own 18 different 1911's and I have carried each and everyone of them at one time or another.

You will love your first 1911 and it would be a good guess that this will not be your last 1911. Welcome to what may well be a long term love affair/addiction.
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2009, 06:10 PM
Shad Roe Shad Roe is offline
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tt,go ahead and order a Milt Sparks VM2 (in horse) for $112;and, get a belt ordered form Sparks also. Just go on-line and pick one out you like using the sizing chart.

Get a good "in-the-mean-time" holster like a Crossbreed Super Tuck;and,get a Beltman belt.

Those two moves will get you waay down the road/saving you time,money and frustration for EVER.

Amen.

I'm trying to narrow down my next Sparks order to two holsters,another belt and a magazine pouch. I know I want a 5",1911, VM2 horse;and trying to decide between 3 other OWB holsters for 5" 1911.(55BN/horse,Axiom,and/or I-BAK).

I already have VM2 horse for my 3", 1911s and an Axiom for my 4.25" 1911,and a Sparks belt.
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2009, 07:31 PM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Yeehaw! Here she is fellas! Can't wait to try some rounds through her soon!
Attached Thumbnails
Smith and Wesson 002.jpg   Smith and Wesson 003.JPG   Smith and Wesson 004.jpg  

Last edited by tt0511; 02-07-2010 at 07:11 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2009, 07:34 PM
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Zilmo Zilmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tt0511 View Post
Yeehaw! Here she is fellas! Can't wait to try some rounds through her soon!
That thing is simply beautiful!!
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:37 PM
RetLawman590 RetLawman590 is offline
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Originally Posted by tt0511 View Post
Yeehaw! Here she is fellas! Can't wait to try some rounds through her soon!
Very Nice, congratulations. What do you think of the standard sights? Also, are those front cocking serrations sharp? Let us know how she performs.

Last edited by RetLawman590; 12-15-2009 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:53 PM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Originally Posted by michael cameron View Post
tt,go ahead and order a Milt Sparks VM2 (in horse) for $112;and, get a belt ordered form Sparks also. Just go on-line and pick one out you like using the sizing chart.

Get a good "in-the-mean-time" holster like a Crossbreed Super Tuck;and,get a Beltman belt.

Those two moves will get you waay down the road/saving you time,money and frustration for EVER.

Amen.

I'm trying to narrow down my next Sparks order to two holsters,another belt and a magazine pouch. I know I want a 5",1911, VM2 horse;and trying to decide between 3 other OWB holsters for 5" 1911.(55BN/horse,Axiom,and/or I-BAK).

I already have VM2 horse for my 3", 1911s and an Axiom for my 4.25" 1911,and a Sparks belt.
Thanks! I was looking at those today. I will order in the near future but want to see what my local shop has first to try out different styles and see if I want IWB or OWB before shelling out those clams.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:02 PM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Very Nice, congratulations. What do you think of the standard sights? Also, are those front cocking serrations sharp? Let us know how she performs.
Well, this is my third handgun so I wouldn't consider myself a great source of review information yet. I'd consider myself a newb. But, ...nevertheless:

I'm sitting in a very dimly lit room and the sights are very visible to my eyes. I can't imagine not being able to see them in a decently lit parking lot at night. However, I'm sure it's advisable to get night sights for any CCW. I think these are likely comparable to a standard glock set of sights regarding visibility, but I don't have anything to compare the sights against.

You know, ...I think the serrations on the front and back of the grip I remembered being so sharp and aggressive (kinda painful) must have been on the larger brother of this ES because I can't find a sharp edge anywhere on this thing. Except now that you've said something, and I examined it thoroughly, the front sight is a bit sharp on the top edges but that is probably par for the course on most handguns. I don't have another handgun to compare it with. In dry firing and messing around with it, so far I've not had any sharp object catch my attention in the slightest.

If you are referring to the serrations on the slide, ...no, there is nothing sharp about them in my opinion. Not slippery, not sharp. Seem just right to me.

Last edited by tt0511; 12-15-2009 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:58 PM
Shad Roe Shad Roe is offline
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Good on ya!

tt,all I can say is that there are some envious 1911 fans (me being one of them). If I had the coinage I would own one too!

I do hope to get this model after my reloading expenses are paid up.

Very nice for your first 1911! Very nice.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:43 AM
SW1911 ES SW1911 ES is offline
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Hey ... tt0511 .. where did you get pics of my S&W ..

Nice choice !
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:12 AM
RetLawman590 RetLawman590 is offline
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Originally Posted by tt0511 View Post
Well, this is my third handgun so I wouldn't consider myself a great source of review information yet. I'd consider myself a newb. But, ...nevertheless:

I'm sitting in a very dimly lit room and the sights are very visible to my eyes. I can't imagine not being able to see them in a decently lit parking lot at night. However, I'm sure it's advisable to get night sights for any CCW. I think these are likely comparable to a standard glock set of sights regarding visibility, but I don't have anything to compare the sights against.

You know, ...I think the serrations on the front and back of the grip I remembered being so sharp and aggressive (kinda painful) must have been on the larger brother of this ES because I can't find a sharp edge anywhere on this thing. Except now that you've said something, and I examined it thoroughly, the front sight is a bit sharp on the top edges but that is probably par for the course on most handguns. I don't have another handgun to compare it with. In dry firing and messing around with it, so far I've not had any sharp object catch my attention in the slightest.

If you are referring to the serrations on the slide, ...no, there is nothing sharp about them in my opinion. Not slippery, not sharp. Seem just right to me.
Great!! All good news. Two more things. Is there any trigger play and does the thumb safety feel nice and solid with positive clicks? I've read SW 1911 have a "spongy" thumb safety.

Last edited by RetLawman590; 12-16-2009 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:18 AM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Thanks guys. I really love this ES. Like it was made just for me.

It was a big coin to drop purchasing the 1911. I went in with a budget of $500-600, but except the XD, nothing felt good to me and the XD was much larger than I had expected, especially in thickness. When the wife saw me get so excited over the ES she was actually positively reinforcing me getting it. It took me several days of research to feel comfortable with the idea of carrying C&L'd and being sure this was a good 1911. I'm so glad I found this forum where some own it and speak great things about it. That helped me take the plunge. The bottom line is that 1911's are just dead sexy!

I am thankful for the replies to my questions here. It's great to have such a community to turn to for input and to share with!

Now I just have to get the dough for a nice holster and belt, ...then a gun safe. The wife is anxious to get her a nice piece as well. The guy at the shop last night was pushing the Firestorm .380 on her and said that's what he carries. It's a nice gun, but I'm hoping to start her out at 9mm or .45. I'm going to take her to the range and rent a .380 and 9mm and bring along the ES and see her reaction to the different calibers as well as how they fit her hands. The way she dresses for work though, it'd be hard for her to CCW a .45 regularly. Also, she's a teacher and it's forbidden on campus as you know. When not at school, she's all about blue jeans so no worries there. Any recommendations?

Last edited by tt0511; 12-16-2009 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:31 AM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Originally Posted by RetLawman590 View Post
Great!! All good news. One more thing. Is there any trigger play?
There is trigger play as far as "out of plane" with the frame (perpendicular to the slide). It jiggles a tad. The gun shop said it wasn't a worry. Having read about that on this forum, I specifically asked that question. What say you? It doesn't bother me personally unless it's a defect. I don't see any reason to be concerned about the bit of looseness it does have.

Last edited by tt0511; 12-16-2009 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:33 AM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Originally Posted by SW1911 ES View Post
Hey ... tt0511 .. where did you get pics of my S&W ..

Nice choice !
Now, ...I just can't imagine what you mean.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:09 AM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Very Nice, congratulations. What do you think of the standard sights? Also, are those front cocking serrations sharp? Let us know how she performs.
What are recommendations for good night sights on this ES?
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:47 AM
RetLawman590 RetLawman590 is offline
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Originally Posted by tt0511 View Post
There is trigger play as far as "out of plane" with the frame (perpendicular to the slide). It jiggles a tad. The gun shop said it wasn't a worry. Having read about that on this forum, I specifically asked that question. What say you? It doesn't bother me personally unless it's a defect. I don't see any reason to be concerned about the bit of looseness it does have.
From what I have read this is normal on SW1911s. Most people don't touch it. It doesn't effect performance. A few guys looking for perfection have replaced the triggers.

How about the thumb safety? Does it have that positive feel to it? Thanks
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:39 AM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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From what I have read this is normal on SW1911s. Most people don't touch it. It doesn't effect performance. A few guys looking for perfection have replaced the triggers.

How about the thumb safety? Does it have that positive feel to it? Thanks
I read somewhere that someone had a thumb safety on this model that didn't "click" into place like their Kimber and other 1911 and it bothered them. They may have sent it in to S&W but I can't remember. I checked mine last night and it had a definite positive feel and click to it IMO. I didn't feel like it rested anywhere along the sweep as if it would creep out of position to an "off" position. I'm sure if it did, I could sent it to S&W and they would fix it but I don't think it needs any fixing. It doesn't click like a very snappy safety on a shotgun. Not quite that crisp, but it also has to move a farther distance. Just flicking it with the thumb it felt good and safe to me. I don't have any concerns with the safety.
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