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Old February 12, 2012, 09:32 PM   #1
Avalanche43
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1911 .45 ACP - What to buy?

Good evening everyone. I was hoping for a little advice and opinions from my fellow gun owners.

I am looking to buy myself a 1911 .45 ACP and was trying to decide what the better strategy would be...

Buy my "dream gun" brand new from the factory with all the "bells and whistles" I desire in a 1911, or buy perhaps a cheaper model (ex: Taurus or Para GI) frame and then modify the existing frame to the specifications I am seeking.

Basically I want a full 5'' barrel, military sights, match barrel, machined out trigger and hammer (3.5 - 4lb trigger pull), preferably stainless steel (the humidity in the south doesn't affect stainless nearly as bad). I just want a reliable carry weapon for a reasonable price. The absolute top of the budget would be $1,300.

If you say buy new, my question is what brand and model?

Thanks for your opinions and help everyone!
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Old February 12, 2012, 09:46 PM   #2
IDAHO83501
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Buy smart

A Springfield, Kimber, or other upper level pistol loaded with all you can afford is better than a Taurus with accessories,,,hands down!!!!!!!!
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Old February 12, 2012, 10:15 PM   #3
gizmo688
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You can always keep an eye out on gunbroker.com. I got my Loaded SA 1911 from there. Lightly used and has all the right parts for me.
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Old February 12, 2012, 10:20 PM   #4
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My son bought a lightly used kimber tactical custom II for $800 , damn sweet gun I must say!
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Old February 12, 2012, 10:25 PM   #5
loose_holster_dan
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you want to carry a fullsize?
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Old February 12, 2012, 10:29 PM   #6
Avalanche43
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Yes, a full size is the only way to go with a .45...
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Old February 12, 2012, 10:34 PM   #7
loose_holster_dan
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i have to disagree. the commander bobtail frames and cco frames have come a long way. even my little colt defender is very impressive. just shot some wilson combats in a commander size frame. extremely reliable and disgustingly accurate.
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Old February 12, 2012, 10:36 PM   #8
Avalanche43
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I've shot full frame and compact alike and I've always preferred the feel of a full frame. I've got fairly large hands and most compacts just aren't comfortable for me unfortunately.
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Old February 12, 2012, 11:25 PM   #9
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Let's first talk about what you want. Labeling something a "match" barrel is just a way to increase the price. Accuracy is based on consistent lock-up through the lugs and, to a lesser extent, a well fit barrel and bushing. Second, by "military" sights, are you talking about the original GI-style sights like on the original Colts or Springfield GI? They are tiny. Or do you mean something a little more like what is on the Colt XSE or Springfield Mil-Spec?

Here is my reproduction Colt with the the original, tiny sights.


Here is the slightly larger (and better) fixed sights (3-dot) on my 1980s Combat Elite. It's the same that is used on the current XSEs.


The problem is that any gun with a "match" barrel and a 3.5 to 4 pound trigger pull will not have true "military sights." I think your best bet may be to get a Dan Wesson RZ-45 Heritage and make a couple of modifications. The barrel/accuracy of the DW is quite good and internal parts are top notch. You'll have to do two modifications, a new trigger and new rear sights. The DWs use a Novak rear cut. You could get a Harrison Extreme Service rear sight which sorta' looks like "military" sights. http://shop.harrisoncustom.com/categ...style-cut.aspx or 10-8 low-mount sight: http://www.10-8performance.com/produ...ear-Sight.html
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Old February 12, 2012, 11:31 PM   #10
Mosin44az
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It's almost always cheaper to get something that HAS what you want than to add it later.

Also avoid Taurus in 1911. Mine had to have the thumb safety and hammer replaced after only 300 rounds, because the cheap factory parts broke.

Springfield Loaded, Smith & Wesson, Ruger SR 1911 (if you can find one), STI Spartan would all be good, fairly priced choices with all the features I would want, and maybe they would do that for you too.
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Old February 13, 2012, 12:14 AM   #11
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Ruger SR1911 is very nice for the price, but hard to find. Mine is accurate, has been trouble free, and seems well made for what it cost.
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Old February 13, 2012, 01:01 AM   #12
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Something like the Springfield Armory Mil-Spec, with its 3-Dot sights, lowered and flared ejection port and other desirable features can often be found for less than $600. They are very accurate and reliable pistols.
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Old February 13, 2012, 01:52 AM   #13
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Kimber has several models in stainless that could be purchased new in the OP's price range. If you want to push the $1300 limit, look closely at the Dan Wesson Valor 1911.
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Old February 13, 2012, 08:26 AM   #14
loose_holster_dan
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i was also thinking of the cbob valor. i would stay away from kimber if i were you. from my personal experience, they are trash. you are paying for looks and nothing else.

as to your hands being too big, obviously it's for you to decide what is too small for your hands, but i doubt your hands are any bigger than mine. i'm 6'6" 285. i have catcher's mitts for hands.
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Old February 13, 2012, 08:35 AM   #15
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COLT......Dan Wesson
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Old February 13, 2012, 03:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Yes, a full size is the only way to go with a .45...
Damn! How will I ever explain this to my Colt Officer's model .45?

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Old February 13, 2012, 03:30 PM   #17
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$1300 has a lot covered. Springfield or Colt would be my starting point.
I like Springfields for the simple fact that they have something for nearly everyone, they are typically good quality and they have a lifetime warranty.
However, if you can find a Dan Wesson that you like at your price, get it. IMHO, they are about as good as it gets in an "off the rack" 1911.
Full disclosure: I own: 1 colt, 1 SA & 2 DWs.
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Old February 13, 2012, 03:59 PM   #18
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Yeah,

If you can get a Dan Wesson, do it. As was just said, they are in lots of people's opinions the best production 1911 you can buy. After that you are into Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, Nighthawk Custom, and the like.

The SR 1911 can be found barely used but you WILL overpay for it if the current owner has any clue about the current firearms market.

I don't think I could buy one because of the novel written on the dust cover but if you can handle that obscenity on your 1911, more power to you.
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Old February 13, 2012, 06:31 PM   #19
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I've only had good experiences with Kimbers. I've owned two Ultra CDPs (3") and a Pro Raptor (4"). All fired flawlessly with hundreds to thousands of rounds through the different guns. I am aware that others have had (and expressed) less than acceptable reliability from their Kimber(s). Like with all guns, you get what you pay for. My son and I took his new Dan Wesson 5" Valor to the range yesterday for some break-in target practice. It was very very accurate, however, even it had a few hiccups with feeding the first round when hitting the slide release....perhaps due to a dirty ramp after going through a couple hundred rounds?

You might want to try renting a few different brands/models at a range and see what works for you, although if you buy new there is still no guarantee that that gun will operate 100% right out of the box.

Good Luck
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Old February 13, 2012, 07:24 PM   #20
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Don't discount SIG. It's one of (if not the) best production 1911's available right now.
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Old February 14, 2012, 12:13 PM   #21
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Are you experienced in gunsmithing? A 1911 isn't a Glock: parts require fitting in the 1911.

You can change out the firing controls [trigger/hammer/sear/disconnector/sear spring] with a $150 C&S 'drop-in' kit, but it may still need fitting [mine did].

Changing the grip safety out will cost you the $35+ for the part, and up to $100 labor for a gunsmith to do it right. If you aren't skilled, I wouldn't try cutting the frame to fit the grip safety on a truly nice frame until you've done it a time or two already on other frames.

Fitting a match-quality barrel properly is also not cheap, and you can botch things up on your own. For a carry gun you probably just need to fit a match-quality bushing for your accuracy.

Changing sights out from GI to others requires you to either get a high post stake-in front sight or have the slide milled to fit a Heinie/STI or Novak cut. That adds to the cost.


So, unless you REALLY like the idea that YOU made your 1911 just the way you wanted it, I'd buy one with the features you want up front. You will save money in the long run and you will not void any warranty, as that is the way it came from the factory.

Technically, if you install any of the above parts the firearm maker may choose to claim the warranty is void. If you shoot it in 'stock' configuration they can't weasel out of it.

If carry is your concern, I'd recommend serious thought to a CCO 1911: a 4 or 4.25" barrel on an Officers grip frame. If you want the full GI grip frame [either 5" GI or 4.25" Commander] but want concealed carry, then think about a bobbed grip frame and MSH. I'd still recommend the 4 or 4.25" barrel though. If you can carry in an OWB holster and it doesn't have to be hidden, then a full-sized 1911 is fine.

I have 2 full-sized 1911s and 1 CCO [Kimber Compact II]. I feel a hint more recoil on the Kimber due to less slide/frame weight, but it isn't bad or annoying. I am just as accurate with any of the 3. The Kimber holds 7 rounds instead of 8, but it is more 'concealable' also.
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Old February 14, 2012, 02:07 PM   #22
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Most people will be happier if they just buy the 1911 that's set up the way they want to start with. Colt, SA, S&W, SIG, Ruger, etc. are all good options.
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Old February 14, 2012, 02:08 PM   #23
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Dan Wesson all the way. if you want cheaper go springfield or ruger.
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Old February 14, 2012, 03:29 PM   #24
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With your budget that gets you into Dan Wesson territory which is what I would recommend. The Dan Wesson Herritage fits what you are looking for. http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/...z-45-heritage/ You are not going to find a better made gun at this price range then this gun right here. All forged internals and everything is hand fit, and yes there is a difference.

Out of the "production" grade 1911's I recommend Springfield and perhaps Sig but both may need some work out of the box. These guns are not hand fit and it shows. They also do not have all forged internals like the Dan Wesson. For a little bit more in cost you would get a much better gun with the Dan Wesson.
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Old February 14, 2012, 05:11 PM   #25
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I'd start by looking at the Springfield TRP. It might be hair higher than $1,300, but it is one hell of gun.

If that is too much, I looked at the Loaded model.

Of course you also can't go wrong with a Colt or a S&W.
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