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Old February 3, 2013, 08:44 PM   #1
PipeSmokeMcGee
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Looking for my first 1911...

Howdy folks, I'm looking for my first 1911. I shot one a few weeks ago and I believe I've caught the bug. However, I don't want to take the big plunge quite yet and want to get a "value" gun that will still be reliable and fun to shoot. I've been reading some of the forums and this has been a great resource.

I've been looking at some of the Armscor guns, mainly Rock Island and Citadel...hoping I could get what I wanted for <$500 or so.

I was wanting a decent set of sights (or some that might be able to be upgraded with already dovetailed sights), ambi safety, and beavertail. So, the RIA and Citadel seemed like good options.

However, my wife, who also loves to shoot, said she'd like one in a stainless or nickel finish. I've seen these finishes on the Armscor/Legacy websites, but have never seen pictures of these guns in stainless.

Do they exist, or does anyone else have any other recommendations?

Thanks so much!
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Old February 3, 2013, 08:59 PM   #2
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Don't think RIA has a ss yet but they have polished and satin nickel. Cant beat a RIA for the money. Both sights on the RI tactical are dovetailed and have Novak styled sights but Novak sights won't fit the dove tails without work. Dawson sells sights that will fit them.
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:09 PM   #3
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I have a RI 1911 it's been flawless since day 1
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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Ruger has two very nice stainless 1911's, one is the new commander.
IF you can find one, prices are a little more than your goal...But, deals may be found!
(Maybe)
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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Metro Arms American Classic II and Trophy Models some in hard chrome. However, they will sell for a bit over $600. You can get the blued models for <$500. I have the Government Model which has proven to be a very reliable, well built gun

http://www.metroarms.com/
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:32 PM   #6
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RIA isn't a terrible choice for a "starter" 1911 but for just a bit more you could get an STI spartan which is a very well-respected gun.

1911's aren't like other pistols. It's a bit hard to describe other than to say that you really get what you pay for, which is why most of your respected 1911's are well over $1k and some can get over $2k for a gun that is supposed to be carried and shot rather than a collectible/commemorative so tread lightly around "budget" 1911's. There are a few good ones though.
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Old February 4, 2013, 12:49 AM   #7
bosscott
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I got a Remington in ss a while back. It's my first 1911. I am happy with it. 400 rounds with 0 issues. I used it to qualify for my ccl and scored 248. I am sure much nicer 1911's exist, but I paid just over $700 so I am happy. I think the none ss remington 1911's can be found for under $600 now.
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Old February 4, 2013, 12:54 AM   #8
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1911s can be addicting. They are a tried and true design and just a whole lot of fun to shoot. I have 45 and 9mm. I don't have a .40. . .yet!
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Old February 4, 2013, 12:58 AM   #9
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Armscor and Metro Arms 1911s are good deals, you should be happy with either. For stainless you might have to take a step up in price, but there is nothing wrong with blued or parkerized.
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Old February 4, 2013, 01:01 AM   #10
TheDoubleDeuce
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I'm in the same boat. One other I have been looking at was a base model Tisas 1911 made in Turkey. It's $399 new at Bud's with great reviews from everyone, including the staff there. It's not as established as something like the RIA but who knows - i don't think the guys at Bud's would intentionally steer us awry.

Last edited by TheDoubleDeuce; February 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM.
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Old February 4, 2013, 02:57 AM   #11
MB21
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I got a Smith&Wesson 1911 E-Series for about $800. Awesome pistol, no problems with over 500 rounds through.
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Old February 4, 2013, 08:20 AM   #12
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^^^^^^^^What he said.

I have one of those and it is a pretty fine shooter and better build quality than the SR1911.
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Old February 4, 2013, 09:42 AM   #13
MrAcheson
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Quote:
RIA isn't a terrible choice for a "starter" 1911 but for just a bit more you could get an STI spartan which is a very well-respected gun.
Unless business relationships have changed, the Spartan is made by Armscor just like the RIA. It's an RIA Match with slightly more work and QC performed by STI.

I have an RIA pistol as my starter 1911. It's good for that. It shoot fine out of the box, but I've had to do minor tweaks to improve accuracy and reliability (new barrel bushing, new sights, new firing pin stop to stop a clocking extractor). I've had a lot of fun with it and don't have any complaints.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:59 AM   #14
PipeSmokeMcGee
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Thanks for the feedback. Good stuff from everyone. I wish I could swing one of those S&W or nicer Springfields or Ruger, but I know there's no deals to be had right now. Still open to suggestions though, haha.
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Old February 4, 2013, 01:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Unless business relationships have changed, the Spartan is made by Armscor just like the RIA. It's an RIA Match with slightly more work and QC performed by STI.
Armscor makes the large parts like the barrel, frame and slide but the small parts are all STI and of better quality. I'd rather have a Spartan but all the RIA I've look at have been pretty solidly made guns, especially for the money. If you want to spend $500 or less then you are pretty much limited to a RIA Tactical or a variant of its clones.
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Old February 4, 2013, 02:01 PM   #16
Gun Guy Greg
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Just thought I'd throw my input in here, that my RIA 1911A1 has been great, I'd take it over a couple of my buddies Kimbers that I've shot. Although that might be saying more about Kimber than about RIA, I don't know. I've heard Springfield armory also makes a pretty good lower end 1911.
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Old February 4, 2013, 05:00 PM   #17
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The Taurus PT1911 is pretty good. Should be able to get one for around $650. A couple of my friends have them and I've shot them, they're pretty good for a lower end 1911. I believe the frame is forged which isn't too common for low cost 1911's.


It's just a shame Springfield won't put out their WWII GI 1911's for $550 out the door anymore. Those sold like hotcakes and were of relatively good quality. I wonder why Springfield quit with those?
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Old February 4, 2013, 05:37 PM   #18
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I'd stay away from RIA. I personally haven't seen one that works flawlessly yet. A Springfield GI can be had for $600 or less and while they don't come with some of your extras that you want it is easy to find them online and can be had for fairly cheap. They also have a great customer service if you ever had to use them but all that I have seen work fine.
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Old February 4, 2013, 05:47 PM   #19
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Para GI Expert Stainless 45acp at Bud's for $600, I know it is one hundred over your budget but your wife likes stainless. You know the old saying, Happy Wife, happy life. http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...tainless+45acp
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Old February 4, 2013, 06:39 PM   #20
MB21
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Here is a link to the page for my pistol. MSRP is $919, but I got mine brand new in Montana for $800. You might be able to get a used one for a good deal. http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...layErrorView_Y
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Old February 17, 2013, 02:50 AM   #21
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I caught the 1911 bug years ago...and I don't regret it! As I have been posting on TFL all night, I now own and have been switching over to almost all 1911's. I have 2 Dan Wessons, 2 Les Baers, a Night Hawk an Ed Brown a Springfield Lightweight and...a Rock Island Armoury Commander! And I would not hesitate for a second to recommend the Rock Island Armoury to anyone! Its a little heavy, the sights need changing, but it is a solid performer and I would trust my life to it, I have run all kinds of ammo through it and it hasn't missed a pop! It is my hiking (even though it is on the heavy side) and my camping pistol. They have a Tactical model that has better sights, ambi safety and some other stuff...costs about $100 more than their Base, but worth it in my opinion.
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:29 PM   #22
TheDoubleDeuce
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Re: Looking for my first 1911...

Well I don't know if the OP has made a purchase yet, but I have some more info about the PT1911 vs Springfield Mil Spec.

My buddy and I went back out for round two today (the first time his slide locked up after six rounds). We both fired another 150. Here's what we noticed:

The trigger on my springfield is lighter, with a crisper break. As such it was easier for both of us to shoot the Springfield accurately and quickly.

The factory Taurus mags caused multiple FTE on the last round. But these were nasty jams. The cases got smashed and jammed between the mag and the slide, just partially ejected. Couldn't drop the mag and couldn't rack the slide. We had to really wrench on the case to get it out.

Both pistols fired 200 and 230gr Speer and Independence FMJ with no FTF.

I get the feeling the PT1911 will be fine from here on out if he gets some better mags. But there is something to be said about the Springfield that has been flawless since day one. I'm not so sure it makes a difference, but in the interest of completion, the Springfield is NM serialized.

Another friend has a RIA tactical 9mm coming in soon, so I will be able to post some first hand experience with that too.
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:48 PM   #23
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You could pick up a Ruger SR1911 for about $650, at least that's what they were before the crazyness set in. They are stainless and nice guns to shoot. I started out with a $500 budget for my first 1911, but ended up spending $750 to get exactly what I wanted (Springfield Range Officer). Spending a few extra dollars up front when purchasing a gun can pay off big in the long run. I've never regretted buying a higher quality gun than I wanted to begin with. I have regretted buying a gun that ended up being too cheap. But hey, that's just me...
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:00 PM   #24
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Have both the full size and the commander size Ruger SR1911s and they are excellent guns - especially for the money. The fit is nice, they're nicely finished, nice grips, and importantly made in America. And Ruger has excellent customer service.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:36 PM   #25
k511
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+1 RIA is a great starter 1911
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