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S&W Performance Center 1911 vs. SA Trophy Match.

4768 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  STiDreams
I posted this at the 1911 forum. I might as well ask the gun addicts also.

I have been drooling over the Springfield Trophy Match for many months and I finally broke down and ordered it a few of weeks ago. I was given an ok price on it as it was not available immediately. I can live with that. They gave me a small break for having to wait.

After my range session today, I was talking to the store manager. I was hassling him about when my SA might materialize. He said that he was still not sure about when it would show. He said he could do something for me that might be of interest. They have an S&W Custom Shop SW1911DK and he said that he would sell it to me for a deep discount since his dealers was taking so long to locate the SA. That thing is incredible. The fit on the slide is so tight. There is no play at all. Even being that tight the slide was still butter smooth. The trigger on that thing was so light and smooth. I fell in lust with it immediately. For me, the only problem with it is that it’s .38 super. It’s not that much more expensive to shoot than .45, but it’s still more. It’s not a readily available round that can be found at most local discount retail outlet (Wal-Mart, Big 5’s, …). The only way to get inexpensive ammo would be to order it. I told him had it been in .45 I might have consider it. He said that he could get me a comparable model in .45 and would only mark it up his cost difference between the SA Trophy Match and the S&W Performance Center (Model: SW1911, SKU: 170261). He would be making no extra money between the two guns and he would have it here on Tuesday. It is tempting as it would appear that I would be getting a much better gun at his cost. It is however a considerable sum of money more than what I’ve already paid.

I’ve done a good amount of research on the SA stuff. I know what I’m getting for the extra dough I’m paying for the TM over their regular “Loaded”. I have not done much research on the S&W stuff outside their revolvers.

My questions for the members here are:

1. Am I getting a better gut for the extra dough? I know it’s a silly question. I should be getting a better gun but sometimes paying more is just paying more.

2. Are the frames and slides on the S&W 1911 SS guns forged, cast, or … ?

3. What materials are used for their internal components?

4. What are the differences between the out of the box S&W 1911 vs. their Performance Center stuff?

The thing that adds to this dilemma would be if I do this I will be out of toy budget for the year. I had planed to do an S&W 686 Plus later this year. That would be now out to next year. The other thing is this is getting close to Wilson Combat/Ed Brown territory. Still a handful of C notes away but still pretty close. I suppose I could have worse problems. Your opinion is appreciated.




S&W 686


Performance Center S&W

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A single stack, non-comped 1911 is missing all the benefit of .38super.
and factory .38super isn't hot enough to make a comp work well anyways.

My question is what is the gun for? Range, competition, or pride of ownership?

If you can get the S&W for the price of the Trophy match, do that and then sell it for a profit
I’m not sure about a factory .38 not being hot enough. Not having fired it, I would say the S&W Performance Center SW1911DK looks to be a very nice piece. I certainly would hope it will do the trick for the cake it commands. In any case I’m not interested in the .38 super.

Picture is missing flat speed trigger.

I do not compete otherwise I might of taken him up on the offer on the discount on the SW1911DK in .38 super. The gun will be strictly for range use. It would probably see the range about once or twice a week. The only pride I would have in owning it would be if I were proficient with it. I know both guns can outshoot me every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

I guess I’m just being a little impatient about waiting on the SA TM. The range manager is a pretty stand up guy and always tries to be good with his customers. He’s just making an alternate offer on a gun that he considers to be of comparable/better quality that he could get immediately. The offer on the S&W was not for the same price of the SA. If that were the offer there would be no need for making this thread. It would be a “look what I just bought” thread. The offer is he would sell me the S&W Performance Center piece for the identical markup that he made on the SA TM. I would just have to pay him the difference on his cost between the SA TM and the S&W. He’s not making any more money from me than he would have selling me the SA (an already done deal). It’s a nice gesture on his part and it is a very tempting offer. If I were looking to purchase such a gun it would be a couple of hundred of dollars worth of savings. But it’s only a savings if I were looking to purchase such a gun.

I hate this crap. Buying stuff based on desire is just not rational. Yeah-yeah, I know that buying the SA TM for shits-n-giggles at the range is just a flavor of that same desire. I knew what I wanted. Or at least I thought I knew. I made the deal and I was good with it. Then this comes up.
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I have shot the SW DK .38 Super reace gun many times and it's the bomb, period.
There is a review I wrote of as much at OT from last fall or winter.
The DK is such a sweet so sweet and I'm really liking the .38 Super round but as you noted the cost is just too much to justify and availability os relatively limited aside from online ordering.
BTW the DK now comes with a flat fronted solid trigger not the one as pictured at the website. I like it but the guys at S&W say that most do not and swap it out for a regular speed trigger.

I've also shot the SW Perf. Center 1911 and it too is nice, though IMHO not as nice as the DK. Would I pay a premium for it though over say the SW 1911 PD?
Nope. Side to side I can shoot either one very accurately and out of the box the 1911 PD works very well.

Myself I feel you get what you pay for, to a point.
And then there are diminishing returns beyond that.
Personally I think the SA and SW Perf. 1911 are a wash, I'd go with which ever I could get my hands on as both are well known to be accurate & reliable.
As for forged vs. cast I don't know the answer there although I know I don't really care. When is the last time you heard of a stainless steel gun failing? As for the internals IIRC the SW Perf 1911 has no MIM but you can double check that via their website.

- Janq
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Investment cast frames hold up just as well as forged provided that they have been properly heat treated. Also it is best if the slide and frame are 2 different stainless alloys. This prevents galling on a stainless gun, something the old AMT Harballer 1911s were known to do unless dripping wet with oil.

Personally I would take the S&W for the main fact it has the external extractor....other than that they are equally fine.

I love the 38 Super as well...its one of the next calibers I need to get along with a 10mm
Even not having fired it, I really like the DK. If it were in .45 and with the deal being offered, in a fit of lust, I probably would have shelled out the extra six notes. I can’t do the .38 super. I don’t need a gun I can’t find inexpensive rounds for. Hell, even if I wanted to pay range prices for my ammo, they don’t even carry .38 super.

Thanks for the input on the PC 1911 vs. the SA. It sounds like the cost difference vs. what I would get for that cost difference is not really to my advantage for the standard PC 1911 vs. the TM. It all goes back to it’s only a bargain if you were wanting it to begin with. Yeah I think I’m going to sit tight and stay the course. Waiting is just waiting. It’ll get here eventually. This way I can add the 686 to my collection at the end of the year.

Thank you-all for your inputs.
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STiDreams said:
I’m not sure about a factory .38 not being hot enough.
By that I mean, to make Major for competition. Factory loads won't do it, so basically you have a long case 9mm. And even the gun doesn't make any sense, what good is a single stack .38super? I'm sure it shoots nice and soft, but if that is what someone wants they should get a 9mm ans be able to save on ammo.

I think that you are making the right decision to wait,

another gun to look at is the STI edge in .40SW, get gun, accurate soft shooting, cheap ammo and good for USPSA if you ever want to compete.

I got in from my 30+ hour of hell trying to get back into the country from my vacation and there was a message on my cell phone waiting for me. While I was out my TM arrived. So after a few hours of sleep and some breakfast and a little coffee I headed to the range where I purchased the gut to start the paperwork. Unfortunately for me I emptied out my wallet before leaving on vacation. My CA hand gun safety card was at home on the nightstand. That makes it a no go on the paperwork. The attendant said that there’s no reason I shouldn't shoot it though.

So I asked for a couple of boxes of ball ammo and went out on the range. For my introduction to my new toy I stared off at seven yards. I don’t own or regularly shoot a large caliber gun so I didn’t really expect to do well with it immediately but I was shooting poorly. I couldn’t tell if it was the lack of sleep or caffeine that was doing me in. It was probably both. In any case everything was going low and right. That’s my natural tendency but this was way out and sloppy. I steadied my hand and got a decent group. Sure enough the rounds were going about one to two and a half low and just as far to the right. I have not tools with me and the range’s last set of screw drivers took a hike the last time they loaned it out. I tried a box at ten meters also just for the hell of it. Yup, adding distance makes you sloppier. No paper work and no adjustment. At least I got to shoot it.

Today I went back to start the paper work and my ten day wait. I bring my Mark III and by shooting bag along for a range session. Since I have my range bag I have tools. So I ask to shoot it again. A couple of clicks with the screwdriver and I’m in business. Now the gun is shooting straight but I’m still a little sloppy with it. Some of the groups are respectable and some of them are just awful. I’m still trying to find my hands for this thing so I’m expecting a little bit of slop until I settle on my hands. Nothing a few thousand of rounds and a little of range time can’t fix.

My first impressions of this thing is that it is tight. There is no slop in the slide to frame fit. Even being tight, cocking the gun does not take any more effort than most of the 1911’s I’ve shot. The slide to frame movement is precise and smooth. There is no grit or bind in that part of the action. The trigger is smooth but not light. It’s feels like it’s sitting at about four pounds. I know that’s light for 1911s but I’m used to/spoiled by the Volquartsen trigger on my Mark III (~2 lbs). Two hundred rounds so far and it’s just about perfect out of the box. The only failure was a fail to feed was when I slow racked it. Instead of pulling the slide back and letting it go or pushing it forward I paces it just to feel for smoothness/binds in machinery. I’ll chalk that one up to operator error. A little push forward and it went to battery. I was a little apprehensive about my first 1911 purchase turning out to be a dog. It’s probably due to taking in too much negative info from the 1911Forum. In any case it looks like I have a keeper. I just have to wait ten days to get to keep it.
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