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Old November 12, 2012, 02:48 PM   #1
JazzDoc
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Advice/Opinions Regarding .45 1911

About to buy a full size 1911 .45ACP. I'm down to three choices - please offer your candid opinion, pros and cons, regarding these options, and thanks in advance:

1) Ed Brown Special Forces, 5 inch

2) Kimber Gold Match II

3) Colt Gold Cup National Match


Thanks.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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What is the intended use? Those all seem like range guns.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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If money is no option get the Ed Brown but really you have 3 levels of 1911s and they are not really comparable IMHO.

The Ed Brown is a very nice Semi-custom that has some of the best overal fit and finish in its class. It is pricey but many consider it worth the extra cash. At this level you are getting premium parts and premium fit and finish. They are as much a work of art and a functioning tool.

The Colt is a high end production pistol. It represents some of the best that Colt can do before you get to their custom shop but it is still a production pistol and will not have the same amount of hand fitting and care that goes into a Ed Brown. You get a solid foundation in terms of parts. Mainly forged with a few MIM parts here and there.

The Kimber is nothing but a pretty production pistol made to look like the other 2. This guns will have 12+ MIM parts and their forgings do not meet the same quality level as Colt or Brown. They will look nice but they are a distant 3rd behind the other two. IMHO they are not even on the lead lap with the other 2.
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Old November 12, 2012, 04:01 PM   #4
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You have 3 extremes....in your list....

The Ed Brown in your list is about a $2,500 gun ...and I have no doubt its a fine gun for the money.

Colt is doing a better job these days....and that gun's around $1,500...but its nowhere near what an Ed Brown would be.

The Kimber you've selected ...is a mid grade Kimber listing at $ 1,359 ...and I'm not excited about their guns in that price range - but its probably comparable to the Colt you're looking at.

If you wanted to compare a Kimber to an Ed Brown...then look at Kimber custom shop...Gold Combat II models, etc at around $ 2,250 / and while I have a Kimber Gold Combat II Stainless its nowhere near the gun my Ed Brown Kobra Carry is ( both 5" guns in .45 acp).

But if you're really shopping in the $2,500 - $3,500 market ...then at least check out Wilson Combat. In my opinion Wilson and Ed Brown are #1 and #2 in very nice 1911's. I have a pair of Wilson's 5" guns - one in .45 acp (CQB model ) and one in 9mm ( Protector model)...and they're 2 of the finest guns in my safe. Both of them are better than my Brown - in fit, finish, durabilty, etc...and accuracy - and both Wilson's ran 100% right out of the box ...and the Brown sure did not do that ...nor did the the Kimber Gold Combat Stainless II ...
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Old November 12, 2012, 04:44 PM   #5
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Thanks, all for your valued input. The pistol would be for both range and personal home defense, but is not intended as a carry gun.

Constantine, not certain the Ed Brown is strictly a range gun, I could be wrong.

I do appreciate your responses very much. I will also check out the Wilson Combat line as BigJimP suggested.
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Old November 12, 2012, 04:56 PM   #6
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I wouldn't ignore Smith&Wesson's and SIG's fine line of relatively affordable 1911 pistols, external extractors and all. I think they represent the best bang for the buck in today's highly competitive 1911 pistol market.
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Old November 12, 2012, 05:07 PM   #7
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The best bang for the buck these days is still Dan Wesson IMHO. They are the best production 1911 on the market today. Their top of the line Valor in stainless for about $1600 and one in duty coat black for about $1800. You can get a great gun like Heritage for under $1200.

They are 90% to 95% of the way to the semi-custom gun makers like Wilson and Brown but are less $$$. The law of diminishing returns really starts to kick in around the $1600 mark IMHO.

I would also throw Les Baer into the mix. You can get guns like the TRS/UTC for $2000. They are not as pretty as a Brown but are built with a different philosophy behind them which some people prefer.
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Old November 12, 2012, 05:35 PM   #8
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I would conisder the Ed Brown special forces..5" gun ...a carry gun....

But then so is their Kobra series ....and the Wilson Combat CQB or Protector models in 5" ...as well, in my opinion.

We can debate this ....but in my opinion...The top 2 mfg's of semi-custom 1911's are Wilson Combat and Ed Brown....3rd is probably Nighthawk and 4th Les Baer....#5 - # 10 ....is where I'd put Kimber, Sig, Colt etc.....
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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I own Ed Browns and a Colt Gold Cup Trophy (and other Colts). I formerly owned a Kimber. I'm not a big Kimber fan and will leave it at that. The Colt Gold Cup is a solid gun. The trigger on mine is a bit heavy for a target pistol but that can be remedied. It is reasonably accurate and, so far, has been reliable (still relatively new). The modern Colts are good guns.

However, my Browns are head and shoulders above the Colt as they are semi-custom with more hand fitting and a better finish. In my hands they are more accurate and the slide feels like it's on ball bearings. Whether it is worth the extra money is an individual decision.

WVSig mentioned Wilson. They are excellent handguns. I bought one very gently used at a reasonable price. The differences become them and Brown are subtle and subjective. New, they cost more than Browns but it is hard for me to justify the additional cost. That is just personal preference.
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:23 PM   #10
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You guys are really terrific. Loads of food for thought before I empty my wallet. Thanks for the insights, my friends.
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Old November 14, 2012, 02:33 PM   #11
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I think Ed Brown be my choice I owned a Kimber ONCE !! I have several Colts

But I will 2nd on the Dan Wesson I have a 2007 and its by far the best 1911 I have. In my limited collection
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:12 PM   #12
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Thanks again for the fantastic input.

I ended up buying a Dan Wesson Valor .45APC in black. Can't wait!
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:26 PM   #13
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Wow, quick decision.....

Congratulations .....give us a range report on the gun after you've put 10 - 20 boxes thru it please....
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
If money is no option get the Ed Brown but really you have 3 levels of 1911s and they are not really comparable IMHO.

The Ed Brown is a very nice Semi-custom that has some of the best overal fit and finish in its class. It is pricey but many consider it worth the extra cash. At this level you are getting premium parts and premium fit and finish. They are as much a work of art and a functioning tool.

The Colt is a high end production pistol. It represents some of the best that Colt can do before you get to their custom shop but it is still a production pistol and will not have the same amount of hand fitting and care that goes into a Ed Brown. You get a solid foundation in terms of parts. Mainly forged with a few MIM parts here and there.

The Kimber is nothing but a pretty production pistol made to look like the other 2. This guns will have 12+ MIM parts and their forgings do not meet the same quality level as Colt or Brown. They will look nice but they are a distant 3rd behind the other two. IMHO they are not even on the lead lap with the other 2.
NAILED IT.
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:35 PM   #15
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Will do, fellas! Can't wait to try it out at the range.
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:45 PM   #16
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good call on the valor. if i was still buying guns, a valor would definitely be next.
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Old November 14, 2012, 04:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzDoc View Post
Thanks again for the fantastic input.

I ended up buying a Dan Wesson Valor .45APC in black. Can't wait!
Wow. Best possible scenario. Nice!! Pics when you get it.
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Old November 14, 2012, 04:05 PM   #18
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I have had several hi $$ custom IPSC Limited guns. I got to say my Kimber Grand Raptor 2 is as accurate, feeds every thing and is smooth as glass. I paid twice or three times as much and I am not sure my customs are any better in any category like fit and finish, accuracy, etc....
I can confidently say the Colt Gunsite model I was thinking of buying as a great deal became available couldnt touch the quality of the Kimber. It was such a good deal, but it needed gunsmithing work to bring it up to EDC duty. It had a GI grade accuracy with sloppy fit and finish and was ammo picky. I passed on the gun. My GR2 is too pretty to beat up so I dont carry my GR2 all the time and if I did, I would get a more durable finish.

I think the Ceramic Coating on the DW Valor is a good choice for EDC and should hold up well to sweat and abuse.


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Old November 14, 2012, 04:22 PM   #19
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funny. i had a grand raptor 2 that misfed all the time, and had a worse grouping than my sling shot.
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Thanks again for the fantastic input.

I ended up buying a Dan Wesson Valor .45APC in black. Can't wait!
Solid choice... I think someone mentioned them somewhere in this thread.... LOL

Can't wait to hear a range report.
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Old November 14, 2012, 11:47 PM   #21
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Yep, Dan Wesson makes some fine 1911s. Enjoy!
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Old November 15, 2012, 12:47 AM   #22
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The Dan Wesson Valor is an outstanding 1911, perhaps the best in its price range. Good choice.
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