Calling all soon-to-be competitors...
Getting in on the circuit is more than just signing up - you'll need a reliable, well-fit pistol to ensure your competition game is on target.
Keep the following in mind when you're venturing out to pick up your trusty 1911 competition pistol.
Know Your League
First things first - the organization in which you'll choose to compete, as well as the divisions of competition in which you'll participate, will partially dictate your potential 1911 options. For example, if you opt into the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) or the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) events, you'll need a pistol whose caliber is at least 9mm. Do your research on your desired organization, and pick out a pistol that is most prized among its judges and competitors - scoring might be a little different depending on this selection (as well as the general performance of said calibers).
Find the Perfect Fit
You're going to be toting this thing around the range for a while. And often. And drawing quickly. So, in that case, fit matters. If you don't make an ergonomic choice, you may grow to resent your go-to 1911 competition pistol. A lot of this will depend on your hand size and your grip style. Head to the local gun shop and get your hands on a wide variety of pistols in your desired style and caliber. A 1911 is kind of made for an uncommonly ergonomic grip, so opting for one for the competition circuit is a solid place to start.
Maximize Your Capacity
While your division and organization will stipulate just how much you can do so, maximizing your capacity is a good rule of thumb when planning out your competition pistol purchase. You can always scale back to a less boisterous capacity if need be, but start big. This way you can vary up your match choices down the road - some will allow a higher-capacity pistol. (Plus, the more you have to reload, in many cases, the less impressive your final time will be.)
Optimize Your Materials
What's your ideal 1911 made of? The materials comprising your 1911 competition pistol matter. Namely, if you plan to compete for the long-term, you need something that's durable and resilient for contest after contest. (Part of this is keeping your piece clean, so don't skimp on that aspect either.) Remember that you have options when it comes to 1911 styles. Rock Island Armory 1911s, for example, are made out of highly durable 4140 Ordinance steel - you'll need something with a steely resolve for maximum long-time use.