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Old January 19, 2013, 07:43 AM   #1
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In the Market for a 1911?

I want to pick up a 1911 45acp for carry. I know Kimber is up there as far as quality but I can not afford the price tag that comes with them.
So what other companies make a good carry or compact 1911 that I should take into consideration? I looked last night at 2 different stores but I was overwhelmed with all the choices and the people selling them didnt really have much to say about the brands.
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Old January 19, 2013, 07:46 AM   #2
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I have been happy with my S&W E series. Other then the grip safety being a little loose it's been a solid firearm and very accurate.
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Old January 19, 2013, 07:52 AM   #3
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I will also consider a nice looking 45acp non 1911. I am mostly in the market for a 45 since I have all the other calibers. I just like the 1911 look.
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Old January 19, 2013, 07:59 AM   #4
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I agree the E series Smith and Wesson is a nice gun. So is the Ruger SR1911 if you can find one. The E series has a better feel to it. You might also consider the Sig series of 1911 pistols. I have one that has never had a malfunction.

If you are thinking polymer, take a good look at a Springfield XDM4.5 or a Glock 21 for a full size or G30 for a small .45.

The G30 is a great gun and it comes with 10 rounds of attitude adjustment.

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Old January 19, 2013, 08:17 AM   #5
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I have some experience with economy 1911s, having worked on a couple for friends. Hands down, I would say that the most reliable that I have handled is the Rock Island Armory line. The tend to be a little on the loose side like the government issue Colts of the pre-M9 era, so they won't be the ultimate in accuracy, but they go bang every time you pull the trigger on a hardball cartridge. They are extremely close to "spec", so if you decide to customize it, most aftermarket accessories will fit with no problem. They are not pretty, but they work.

The Taurus line is mighty attractive in that it has the common customizing features that many 1911 shooters want. My limited experience with them (two guns - a 45ACP and a 38 Super) tells me that they want to be broken in with around 250 rounds, and even then may take a little tweaking to become reliable enough for self defense. The weakest spot seems to be the magazine, but that can be solved with aftermarket units. The other symptom I found was that the feed ramp gap between the frame and the barrel throat is too small (in the 45) or non-existant (in the 38 Super). Once I removed enough metal and recontoured the chamber throat, both guns ran fine.

The least expensive 1911 I own is a Norinco, which was purchased for $299 about 20 years ago. You will pay that much just for a Norinco frame these days. If I were building a gun for myself, I might consider an RIA frame from Sarco, and fit it with components of my choosing. I might consider the Taurus in 9mm or 38 Super, just to play around with.

An alternative 45ACP, if you want a steel pistol is the EAA Witness. This platform is based on the venerable CZ75 design. They tend to be durable and reliable and have a double stack magazine. EAA sells several configurations across a broad price range. I picked up a used Witness Full Size without a rail in a pawn shop last year for $300. It has been a lot of fun for about 1000 rounds with no problems other than having to drift the rear sight to get it to line up on target.
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Old January 19, 2013, 08:23 AM   #6
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Two other guns to look at would be the Metro Arms American Classic II (9MM will be introduced this year) and the STI Spartan.

Both companies make excellent guns.
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Old January 19, 2013, 10:33 AM   #7
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If a non-1911 is indeed an option for you, look at the SA XDs.
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Old January 19, 2013, 10:37 AM   #8
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the most reliable that I have handled is the Rock Island Armory line. The tend to be a little on the loose side like the government issue Colts of the pre-M9 era, so they won't be the ultimate in accuracy, but they go bang every time you pull the trigger on a hardball cartridge.
Mine is pretty tight and goes bang no matter what you feed it. Hardball, HP's, cast SWC's, it doesn't care.
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Old January 19, 2013, 10:48 AM   #9
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I can't imagine that a S&W would cost any less than a Kimber. To get a decent pistol below the Kimber level, look at the three Philippine manufacturers (Armscor - imported as Rock Island; Metro Arms - imported by Eagle Imports; and SAM/Shooters Arms manufacturing - imported by ATI), Para USA (the GI Expert series), the STI Spartan (which is made by Armscor), Iver Johnson (made by one of the "big three" Philippine makers), and Ruger.

Also look for a used Colt (but right about now I wouldn't expect to find one).
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:13 AM   #10
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I'm not sure how they compare in price to Kimber, but I have two 4" 1911s from STI that I use for carry and both are offered in .45 ACP. The Guardian is my primary and I have a Ranger that I also use occasionally. Both are excellent, dependable, and accurate. They run around $1000-$1100. If you've not handled an STI you will be impressed.
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:18 AM   #11
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I recently handled a Para USA GI Expert 1911 45acp
very basic, but very nice IMO I would get it, but
being a lefty the 1911 thing is a handicap for me..
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Old January 19, 2013, 01:56 PM   #12
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Well after a long wait in line and checking out everything from kimbers to Glock 45. 1911 and non 1911 I ended up loving and buying the Bersa Thunder 45 uc. Great gun for a great price.
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Old September 3, 2013, 04:59 PM   #13
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IVER JOHNSON EAGLE 1911 best value !!!!!

I compete in USCA twogun and my occupation as a P.S.C. Has allowed me to fire almost every manufacturer in numerous calibers.

I own many COLT 1911s, my edc is a MKIVA SERIES 80 officer. However recently i picked up an IVER JOHNSON since they are based out of Florida where i live and it is the most cost effective 1911 with better fit and finish than my kimber/colts. Im not a fan of R.I.A. Philipino 1911s so i was skeptical about the IVER JOHNSON EAGLE but at $500(standard)-600(w rail)-$800(zombie edition),i chose the iver johnson eagle shortly after i compared it to my other 1911s costing more than double.
Ive had NO ISSUES with FTF nor FTE, i had bought one with a case that a piece of the plastic case hinge had a small issue and IVER JOHNSON replaced it entirely FREE of charge FREE shipping! I cannot say that about other companies ive dealt with in the higher end 1911market.

Here are the stats on the IVER JOHNSON EAGLE i bought for $550
Government size deluxe model, 5" bbl;* Matte blue finish;* Millett, white outline, fully adjustable rear sight and dovetail front sight;* Beveled magwell;* Thin cut angled serrations on front and*rear of slide;* Barrel is black and then polished in the port section;* Lowered & flared ejection port;* 3 hole skeleton smooth trigger w/ finger relief cut in frame;* Skeleton hammer;* Beavertail grip safety with memory cut;* Extended slide stop and thumb safety;* Flat, serrated steel back strap;* Iver Johnson exotic walnut large diamond grips w/ fine line checkering & owl head logo.*

Anyone in my area of volusia county FL,can contact me and if your close to my private range i will let you compare my IVER JOHNSON to another 1911.
Im so happy with it hence the reason i took the time to write about it.
I compare the performance and features to my OLD ROCK RIVER all steel 1911 which was $1500used. For $550 in my professional opinion you just cant buy a better 1911. The magazines are also quality BTW, ive had issues with all my split foot COLT mags when used in conjunction with aftermarket (wilson combat) extended slide catch, however the IVER JOHNSON EAGLE performed flawlessly.

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Old September 3, 2013, 06:01 PM   #14
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I was in the same boat a few weeks ago. Done with the Kimber so I traded in and got a Colt Combat Elite. Impulse buy kind of, as I really wanted something in Series 70, but that would have taken up a much larger chunk of my budget once I got done making the Series 70 look how I want (replace trigger/sights/grips/and a few other things), when I could just get the Combat Elite and be done with it.
Besides, I was happy with the thought of a 80 when I started thinking about a Colt, it was the advice of a buddy who swayed my thinking to the 70.

As with the ARs, I believe the working mans best option is to save up another month or two for something with quality, like a Colt AR or in this case a 1911.

Will the buyer be happy with anything else? Sure, no doubt about it. I might enjoy the off brand of sodas you find at Walmart or Fred Meyers. But I prefer to get the real thing.
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Old September 3, 2013, 06:32 PM   #15
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I'm really liking the Sig 1911's myself. Especially in the ss finish.

If you want to knock another 300 off the Sig then my next choice is the Remington 1911 R1.
597 VTR, because there's so many cans and so little time!
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Old September 3, 2013, 06:52 PM   #16
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Good luck finding extra mags that work. It's a gamble with 1911's...
Always best to have and not need than to need and not have.
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Old September 3, 2013, 07:10 PM   #17
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Personally, I think the best deal to be had in a 1911 is the Ruger SR-1911. For carry have a look at the SR 1911 commander. You wont find anyone saying anything bad about them. Infact, MSRP just went up a little and prices increased but you can still find them for $700 to $750 ish which is still a deal for the SR. I have the SR-1911 5" and wow...I just love everything about the gun. So far, approaching 400 rounds with 3 different magazines and a variety of ammo and I haven't seen a single failure of any kind and it's very accurate.
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Old September 3, 2013, 07:40 PM   #18
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Dragger 34 mags

Ive found that non split foot "MECGAR" and "chip mccormick" mags have been the most reliable in my Colts.
I see your also in FL dragger34 if your ever in central florida and want to check out the best private range in central Florida, im a member of Volusia gun/hunt Club. PM me if your ever down in daytona/port orange area with your 1911s
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Old September 5, 2013, 01:55 PM   #19
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Well, check this one out. I think this gentleman got it for a great price, <$600.

Myself, I carry a Kimber UCDP. I thought it an awful price at $950 all those years ago, but it was at a time when it was the entire package I wanted. They're even more expensive now. I'd look to Colt for their newer offerings, if the STI pictured above doesn't strike your fancy like it does me.
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Old September 5, 2013, 02:18 PM   #20
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Ruger SR1911

Rock Island Armory (Armscor)

Remington R1 (or R1 Enhanced)

All three budget guns but NOT budget quality.

And don't overlook the

Colt 1991 Government
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Old September 5, 2013, 02:27 PM   #21
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The S&W M&P 45c gets lots of positive reviews. In terms of comparing it to other .45's it is supposedly a soft shooter as well.

I myself am a big fan of the M&P platform though my personal favorite flavor is 9mm.
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Old September 5, 2013, 06:57 PM   #22
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SIG makes some nice, well-made 1911 pistols that are reliable and accurate and are a good bang for the buck.
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Old September 6, 2013, 12:53 AM   #23
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I know Kimber is up there as far as quality but I can not afford the price tag that comes with them.
Save your money. I wouldn't call Kimber a quality gun any day. They used to be great, but their QC has declined. 2 of the 3 Kimbers I've owned had issues right out of the box. The coolest looking gun that I've ever owned, the Kimber Ultra Raptor, continuously failed to return to battery. I tried everything that I could to get it to run right, I sent it back to Kimber, and the issue never went away. It would happen 2-3 times per mag. I hated to get rid of that gun, because I really liked it a lot, but it was terrible.

Anyways, maybe check out a Ruger 1911. They are pretty decent for the money. Sig is nice as well. Springfields are great.

For a non 1911 .45 carry gun, check out the Springfield XDs. It is a great gun as well.
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Old September 6, 2013, 06:17 AM   #24
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Hopefully, the OP has found his gun since he asked about it 8 months ago.
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Old September 6, 2013, 01:38 PM   #25
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Iver johnson eagle 1911

I own COLTS,kimbers, custom COLTS but i bought an IVER JOHNSON EAGLE 1911 $500 and it is better quality than my Colt/kimber.

Another great find is a ROCK RIVER (NOT R.I.A.) older all steel model before they were into ARs. Word was guys who left les baer were in on the old ROCK RIVER ALL STEEL 1911s. They are rare but a great value, the new poly ones are MEEHHHH.

S.T.I. Spartan is a phillipino S.A.M. 1911 but a nice firearm as well.

CNC'd, adj rear sight,front serrations,skeletonized trigger etc etc..again $500
4) or save and buy an older COLT MKIV series 70/80

My IVER JOHNSON EAGLE IN MATTE BLACK finish STI (rear sight,MILLET comes factory)
$500-550 new with all the features you could want (they come with rail for $50more)

COLT MKIV you can find used reasonable gunbroker $600-900
Custom work

Factory stock
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