Ask The Experts
January 03, 2011
Model 1911 With Adjustable Sights & Accessory Rail? Barrel For Takedown Savage?
Springfield TRP Light Rail Armory Kote
Model 1911 With Adjustable Sights & Accessory Rail?
Q. I am looking for a Model 1911 handgun in one of the larger calibers with screw-adjustable sights and an accessory rail below the barrel so that I can mount a light and a laser sight. I will likely use this gun for hunting feral hogs at night. I am prepared to pay in the $1,500 range if possible. Would it be better to buy a gun with adjustable sights and have the rail mounted or buy a gun with the rail and have the sights mounted?Marvin W. Reavis
A. As you well know, feral hogs are a skyrocketing national problem. A .45 ACP with the right loads will do everything you need. Personally, I prefer the 10mm with its power being equivalent to the .41 Magnum, but no current factory 1911 10mm is offered with a rail. For hunting I also like a 6-inch barrel, but there are presently no longslide 10mm 1911s being made, and the longslide .45 ACPs available do not have rails.
The closest standard-production pistol I have found that meets your criteria costs about $300 more than your quoted limit of $1,500. It is the .45 ACP Springfield TRP Light Rail Armory Kote model, and it features adjustable sights and an integral frame rail. But in order to stay within your budget, you probably will have to either buy a gun with adjustable sights and have the rail mounted or buy a gun with the rail and have the sights mounted.
The standard Model 1911's frame dustcover is relatively thin, and when you tack an aftermarket rail on it, you add weight and stress it's not designed to handle. It would be better to get a gun with an integral rail, which gives the frame added strength and weight to begin with, and then install the sights you want.
The range of available aftermarket sights is huge, and you'll find it easier to find exactly what you want as opposed to the relatively limited selection of adjustable sights that are offered on ready-made 1911s. The sight picture on an evening/night hog pistol is more important than whether it's click-adjustable for windage/elevation. Most integral-rail 1911s come with excellent fixed tactical-style sights in conventional three-dot, three-dot night sight (tritium), or even fiber-optic versions. The best ones are dovetailed (front and rear) and can be readily adjusted for any windage compensation necessary for your chosen load at hog-shooting range. Different-height dovetailed front blades can be easily swapped to resolve any elevation problem.
I find night sights to be basically worthless; they're not bright enough to be a real help, especially if you're aiming at a target that's illuminated by a flashlight or tactical light. On the other hand, fiber-optic sights work really well; they glow in dim light and really stand out against an illuminated target.
As of this instant, I think I'd say the best route within your price range would be to get an integral-rail Model 1911 .45 ACP, live with its sights for a while, and then consider other sight options if necessary.Dick Metcalf
Executive Technical Editor
Barrel For Takedown Savage?
Q. I have a takedown Savage in .22 High Power and was wondering if anyone makes replacement barrels for the takedowns. I would love to get my hands on a .25-35 so I can use my rifle to hunt deer in my home state of Washington — even better if I could get it in the Tomcat. I've looked high and low, and I've called a lot of folks to no avail. Any advice you may have would be welcome.Morgan Irwin
A. I am not aware of any individual or company that is currently offering replacement takedown barrels for older Savage Model 99s. However, any knowledgeable gunsmith that does barrel work should be able to make up a suitable replacement barrel for you using currently available barrel blanks from companies such as Shilen or Douglas. One gunsmith I know that does excellent barrel work is John Treakle of Hi-Caliber Gunsmithing, 2720 E. Hwy. 101, Port Angeles, WA 98362; 360-417-6847. If you give Mr. Treakle a call, I'm sure he would be delighted to talk with you about your project.Reid Coffield