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Old 07-30-2018, 07:53 PM
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I don't see too much discussion about the 1911's and/or the E series. At a gun auction this past weekend one was going way too cheap (to my thinking) so I bid in and bought it. It is in excellent + condition in the box with spare mag etc. I don't ever recall hearing anything negative about them, and the 1911 platform is legendary. ( I already have 4 other 1911's, Colt, Springfield Armory, Rock Island Armory (2). I would tend to think the S&W would be a well made example.

Picked up this morning: Up close it's even better than I thought. Mfg date on box 11/7/17, Shows evidence of maybe a half box or full box having been shot through it. Action very still but trigger crisp. I may try a 17 lb recoil spring and a 19 lb hammer spring. I'm pretty sure it has a 20+ lb recoil and a 24? lb hammer spring. Very heavy. I'm going to shoot it a little to see what I think. The gun is basically brand new. Auction price I paid was about 40% of retail.

Now Range Report: See the picture of target, first 7 rounds from this 1911. Not great, not bad, probably about 3" spread. Distance was 12 yards. Shot it with my target loads, my cast lead major load, and Win White Box 230. Pretty much destroyed the middle of the target, it does drift a little left, (most likely me as that is common for me). Did not lock back with target loads, and once with 230 white box. The recoil spring is really stiff, I did try the factory mags, some Wilson mags, and some 10 rd Chip McCormick mags. Fed and functioned well with all, but had two instances of first rd miss-feed. When I got home, after I cleaned it, I swapped a 18 lb recoil spring, and installed a 19 lb competition main spring (hammer). I did not do any trigger work, as it felt nice and crisp, it just needs about 500 rounds to break in. I did polish the feed ramp. The trigger now breaks at a consistent 4.75 lbs, just right for me.







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Old 07-30-2018, 08:16 PM
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It's a solid pistol in it's class. S&W marketed the E-Series as if it were a tremendous improvement over the current model they had been making but I don't believe anyone with hands-on experience with both would necessarily agree. Most would be happy that the E-Series doesn't use a firing pin lock as the previous model did, but otherwise... I believe the SW1911 is likely a better, tighter and smoother pistol than is the E-Series.

Compared to a Ruger SR-1911, Kimber Custom II, Springfield MilSpec, Rock Island or a Remington R1 -- the Smith & Wesson E-Series is a fine handgun backed with good service.

However, if you try to compare it to a Dan Wesson or Brown, Baer or Wilson, or even a Springfield Range Officer, the S&W will act more like what it is... a solid 1911 for money well under a thousand. But it has a long way to go to be near the upscale 1911 builders.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:53 PM
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That's just what I thought. Thanks for the confirmation. I can't pick it up until tomorrow, then to the range to test out.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:34 PM
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I have one and like it. As stated, good solid 1911.

I’ve had Colt (series 80), SA loaded and RO, and currently own a SIG Nightmare, and DW Specialist. I rate my E series above all but the DW; some by a big degree, some by a very small degree (probably just preference).

Shoot it & Enjoy it. My only gripe is the unique sight dovetails. I replaced my front sight with a Dawson FO-works great, but not a whole lot of other options out there.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:57 PM
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I have a couple of them. Good, solid guns, and probably more accurate than most in the price range. Very underrated in my humble opinion.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:01 AM
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I have one, get good magazines and you should be set.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:25 AM
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My "E" Series Commander is by far one of my favorites of all of my guns, definitely one of the prettiest factory guns made.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:22 PM
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I had an E series for a while. Loved the gun and thought it was a great value. Foolishly traded it off in a downsizing attempt some 5=6 years ago.
I'll likely buy another. Now if they just came in 9mm I'd have my excuse.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:26 PM
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I also have an E series, I have shot and/or owned everything else in its price range and completely agree with the above posts that it’s the SECOND best in its class for under a grand. The best, if you can find one, is the CZ 1911 made a couple of years ago. They’re made by Dan Wesson and were selling at $800 or so. I picked one up new for a song, being that it didn’t have the name, and just LOVE it. I still think you got yourself a great pistol.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:53 PM
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Always diggin' them fish scales.
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:31 AM
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My Smith 1911's have been 100%. On a good day I can make a single ragged hole with either one at 20 feet with my loads. Not a great distance but I'm not a competition shooter. You'll like it.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:40 PM
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Compared to what you all have talked about, other than the DWs, the S&W e series are expensive for what they are.
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDog48 View Post
Compared to what you all have talked about, other than the DWs, the S&W e series are expensive for what they are.
It depends on what features you want in a 1911. I wanted out the box since it's not like my Glock where I tap a pin out and tap it back in and i'm done. I was down to the E and a Kimber and the Kimber had some crazy take down with an allen tool in the guide rod and regular sights for the same price range. It took me accidentally knocking the plastic Glock sight off to make me want to push a sight.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDog48 View Post
Compared to what you all have talked about, other than the DWs, the S&W e series are expensive for what they are.
Considering what goes into making this gun and the detail level, I personally think it's one of the most under valued guns out there. You'd have to spend 2k and up to get all the features this gun comes with from the factory with a custom build.
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:22 PM
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I purchased my 1911 in 2003. At first I had a few FTF but it wasn't broken in yet. When I cleaned it I polished the ramp as well as the barrel. Another few hundred rounds were required to break it in. After that I did a competition trigger job and I really like the lighter and smoother pull. It's a great gun but not as smooth as I would like it. Still, I have put thousands of rounds through it and it still keeps on going. I am replacing the springs when they get here.

The worst part is that S&W chose to make the dovetails proprietary (their words) and you can't fit nothing to it. Dawson makes some sights that fit but they are the only ones. I would love to have some nice adjustable sights like S&W put on their other 1911s but those won't fit mine. It was a huge mistake in my opinion (worth nothing) for S&W to do this.

As a BTW, Wilson made the magazines (info from S&W).

Last edited by DisVietVet; 08-07-2018 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Adding a BTW
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:35 PM
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I had one several years ago, and it was a really nice gun...fit and finish were excellent, and it was a sweet shooter. I think a lot of people knock it because of the external extractor, because the "real" 1911s don't have one. S&W and SIG make it work, though, and the great majority of pistols have external extractors.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:33 AM
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I had purchased a new E series back in 2014 or so and foolishly sold it off to a friend who fell in love with it. I've somewhat missed it since despite having no shortage of other 1911's to shoot. These are just beautiful 1911's IMHO!
Funny thing, I just stumbled on and purchased a super clean used one yesterday. It will replace a early model "Billboard" model that I've borrowed the frame from for a Marvel 22 conversion.
It went right to the range. Very pleased with it with the exception of the sights. ( The flyer was my fault.) This one is staying and will be getting Dawson Fiber Optics ASAP to help my ageing eyes.
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:08 AM
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My sw1911 is also just as sweet but I seldom take her out since I picked up my Colt Series 70’s and my Heinie longslide

Last edited by 3rdgeargrndrr; 08-08-2018 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisVietVet View Post
As a BTW, Wilson made the magazines (info from S&W).
...according to that particular phone jockey on the day that you happened to call. We call this the S&W phone lottery, you never know what you'll hear when you try.

Could very well be that Wilson made some magazines that S&W shipped for some time, I can't possibly refute that. However, I have a handful of Smith & Wesson marked 1911 magazines and they are 100% definitely made by ACT-Mag in Italy. Same goes for the Novak marked 1911 mags, made by ACT-Mag in Italy. These magazines came from a pre-E-Series SW1911 and they are blued/black while their twins in a bright/stainless finish and marked in exactly the same way came with my E-Series.

Smith & Wesson used some Wilson rear sights on early PC Limited 5 and 6-inch pistols also... until they quit using them and went to a Bomar.

Smith & Wesson is not unlike the Government... offering contracts for parts and items from a bidder. Wilson was merely one bidder in an endless sea of them.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:38 PM
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I had one and it had some issues with putting a ding in the case sides and putting a dimple on the shell casing bottom, pretty hard hits on the side and significant 'smile' dent on the bottom. Sent it back to S&W and it was corrected.



Super great value and awesome looker! It was nice to get a gun with front grip checkering at the price and the slide scale cuts are a nice touch as is the grip cuts!
Unfortunately I struggle with grip safeties so I sold it but it got a new 'safe queen' home from a friend so I was good with that

I'd buy another.....……….and maybe I will!
My trigger was nice but I live close to Andy Horvath so I had him tweak it.
Sweet!
Karl
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:50 PM
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It's a solid performer, and a beautiful pistol...one of my favorites. Try Check Mate mags. They run great in mine.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:09 PM
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I have a couple of their cousins from the Perf Center and they are lovely pistols for the money. Yes, they will pass the extractor test where you fire them without the mag in the pistol and get good extraction/ejection.

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Old 08-11-2018, 05:51 PM
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I personally do not get the adversity to the external extractor aside from a "that's not how they used to be" viewpoint. I own three S&W 1911s and am about to purchase another one and much prefer the external extractor to the internal ones my former 1911s had.

The internal ones seemed to need occasional "tuning" (read: bending) so the empty cases would fly out of the gun and into my catch net. By comparison, the only time one of my S&W 1911s didn't do that without any "tuning" was when I loaded some shells too light and they went all over and even stovepiped a few times.

But each to their own, I guess.

Ed
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:37 PM
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I went over to Brownell's last week to check out their inventory and got a chance to handle one of these in person, and I was impressed! Really a lot of gun for the money.
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