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Old February 24, 2013, 08:04 PM   #1
lonewolf1981
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Are Nighthawk Custon 1911's worth the money?

I'm considering buying a Nighthawk custom TALON 5" 45 but was wondering if someone could tell me from experience if they're worth the $3, 200. Anybody here have experience with nighthawk 1911's?
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Old February 24, 2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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They're worth it if it's worth it to you.

In my opinion, once you go over $1500-1800 in the 1911 world it's not so much about performance it's about what you want. Most 1911s $1500 and up will be very reliable, durable, accurate, hassle-free guns for many many rounds. Above that, it's a question only you can answer.
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Old February 24, 2013, 08:36 PM   #3
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Les Baer, Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, Nighthawk, Cabot...

Is a Rolex, Omega, Bell & Ross, Breitling worth it?

Once you cross the 3 grand line, all of the guns are pretty much the same. It all comes down to personal preference as to which one you like most and if you feel good enough about yourself to get one.

Whichever you pick, you won't be disappointed.

My favorite gun is a 1000 dollar Colt 1991 Commander my wife bought me as an anniversary present. Once you cross the one grand mark, there are very few crappy 1911s.
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:27 AM   #4
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My one and only 1911. Nicest and most accurate gun I own. $2700 when I bought mine. My answer is "yes" they're worth it if you're willing to put that much into one gun!
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:40 AM   #5
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Yes they are worth it.
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:44 AM   #6
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The fit,finish and trigger pull and they look good
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Old February 25, 2013, 02:24 AM   #7
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If you have to ask you can't afford it... i kid i kid.
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Old February 25, 2013, 03:06 AM   #8
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They certainly are something pretty to look at . My next pistol is certainly going to a Talon or GRP. But out of curiosity, do any of you shoot in competitions with your nighthawks?
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Old February 25, 2013, 11:45 AM   #9
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If I were to go to that level, the Nighthawk has caught my eye as well. I do think they are worth it just as the other guy was comparing to watches.

Yes, I just picked up a Casio digital watch. 70.00 watch on big sale so only 39.00.
Now, I really want a nicer watch like a Brietling which is 15 times as much, but they both tell the same time. Actually the Casio has an atomic sensor and checks the time every night with Colorado so it is more accurate than the expensive automatic!

But my inquiry to the OP, is if you do get a 3k gun, just as if you had a 3k watch, would you use it as much, or be afraid to wear it or use it only in very special times like an expensive watch and only wearing it a few times a year to big snazzy events.? Or would it just sit in the safe for 40 years until you pass it on?
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Old February 25, 2013, 03:45 PM   #10
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I don't think the watch comparison is very relevant. Watches are a fashion statement more than they are a tool. Rolex your not only paying for the time it keeps but for the metals its made from along with fit finish.. and most importantly so people can look at you and know you have money. Watches in and of themselves are almost all irrelevant since most of us carry cell phones with clocks on them these days anyways.

A firearm on the other hand.. is a tool that sure can look pretty.. but something like a Nighthawk is performance based as well as craftsmanship like a watch. I do not own a Nighthawk.. I have shot them... however I do own some guns worth over or around $2000 like my recently purchased STI 1911.

Do you need a $2000+ gun to have a reliable one... no... however people that are going to trust the gun in a life/death situation... or in serious competition.. always want the best they can afford.

They are built tough for a reason, they are meant to be ran hard. Chris Costa formally of Magpul Dynamics runs Nighthawks in his classes, and even has a signiture line by them. I don't find myself hesitant to shoot the snot out of my $2000 STI... in fact the whole reason I purchased it was to take to a handgun course and shoot single stack limited 10. If I scratch it up... I can always get it refinished... if something fails or breaks.. I can replace it.
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Old March 29, 2013, 12:28 PM   #11
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Prices have gone up since this old thread ran.
I recently perused on-line auctions and found the Nighthawks are in the $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 range. Comments are that they are reliable and therefore worth the extra money. To accept that notion means the other 1911s in the $1,000.00 or under range are unreliable. I doubt that is true.
Their famous nitride finish is, according to their cautions, very delicate and must be treated gently. Something like a trophy wife. Is the worth it?
Unlike a trophy wife they aren't much, if any, prettier than other brand 1911s. I am unconvinced they are worth the extra money. For their price I can buy three to five guns for the cost of their one.
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Old March 29, 2013, 03:05 PM   #12
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Actually the watch analogy is a good one. I am a watch guy too; and there is a difference in materials, movement, craftsmanship, etc. You do get what you pay for and I find enjoyment wearing my not so cheap watches. And they are tools; they aren't dress watches...

My 1911's are Ed Brown's, and yes, they are worth it; to me. NH, Wilson, Guncrafter Industries, Volkmann, etc are as well. It's not just about performance, it's about getting a pistol how you want it built, parts, craftsmanship, the finish you want, etc.

There isn't a thing wrong with a $600 1911; but the facts are, the higher end pistols will be nicer in regards to fit, finish, options, etc. As with anything else in life, you are the only one that can answer the "is it worth it to me" question.
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Old March 29, 2013, 03:42 PM   #13
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I'm of the same mindset as most, they are worth it if you think they are. I can say this, I can't find a used Nighthawk anywhere but the internet, and I look. I did see a NIB Nighthawk at the LGS for $3400 trade price, figure $3-3200 cash, maybe less. One day a T3 will reside in my duty holster. Or maybe something like that bobtail above!!
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Old March 29, 2013, 05:11 PM   #14
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I get the time off my cell phone. I pack a variety of pistols, some of which accidentally are as accurate and reliable as the high dollar guns; some of which look like they have rode horseback for many years, but still shoot like new target guns. From a Glock 29 to an engraved Colt 1911 to a Sig P210, the money doesn't ALWAYS translate into even steven for apparent quality, but standing, one hand or two, I'd guess that it becomes the man more than the gun if somebody's Nighthawk outshoots my gun "of the day", or whatever is in my holster. I have a well worn Colt .38 Super that just doesn't look like it will shoot as good as it does, being all worn, and still with the tiny sights from 1952, but it has a Bar Sto barrel, and I'm just waiting on the idle challenge at the range someday, to square off against a more expensive and pretty pistol and shooter. Maybe money will be involved. .................................................. [IMG][/IMG]
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Old March 29, 2013, 05:46 PM   #15
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Exactly; you made my point. Some people are fine not even wearing a watch; forget an expensive one. All that means is, it's not important to you, and workmanship in a watch doesn't interest you.

Some people buy cheap knives; some don't.. both cut.

Same with an expensive 1911; or an expensive anything else for that matter. Everyone has to answer the question for themselves.
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Old March 29, 2013, 06:08 PM   #16
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When you get to that price range, it is a luxury item and the value is based on what you believe it to be. You are mostly paying for exclusivity and owning a semi-custom product rather than a run of the mill product.

The watch analogy is a good one, but so the car analogy. I am a BMW guy and I enjoy how my car drives. I'm sure there are Honda guys that laugh to themselves whenever they think about how much better gas milage they get, how much less it costs them to maintain their car, and how reliable their Honda is. For me, Glocks are the Hondas of guns. They are fairly inexpensive, but far from bottom of the barrel. They are highly reliable and can be modified fairly cheaply. Despite that, it is a very common handgun that gets the job done.

Nighthawk Customs are the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of guns. They are much more exclusive due to the limited production and price point. They are going to be much better finished than your mil-spec 1911 and have other bells and whistles. Most high end 1911s are very reliable after the break in periods, unless you fiddle with them too much.

For me, I have other things I would like to (and need to) spend my money on. I really do not care about impressing people with what I own, but I do like high quality products. With that saidm you can get some great 1911s from Les Baer or STI for much less money than Nighthawk Custom, Ed Brown, or Wilson Combat. They will be just as accurate (if not more so) and just as reliable. Now if you have the disposable income, by all means, buy what you like.

I just bought a Les Baer Monolith Heavyweight with the 1.5 inch guarantee. It is an amazing shooting gun and it "only" cost me $2150. The finish is flawless from what I can tell. I would use the extra money towards ammo or maybe even a reloading setup.

One other thing... If you are looking to plunk down that kind of money, consider buying something even more exclusive like a Sig P210 or one of their X5 guns. I won 2 P210s and their legendary reputation are worth it.

Last but not least, think about the marketability if things go to heck and you need to sell your gun. It is much easier to sell the Honda of guns than it is to sell the Ferrari. Besides, I'm sure you will lose a WHOLE LOT LESS!!!
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Old March 29, 2013, 06:54 PM   #17
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Yes, I think Nighthawk makes a good gun....

I think they're in the top 3 mfg's for 1911's....but I'd place them in third behind #1 Wilson Combat and # 2 Ed Brown....based on my personal experience.
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Old March 30, 2013, 05:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Nighthawk Customs are the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of guns. They are much more exclusive due to the limited production and price point. They are going to be much better finished than your mil-spec 1911 and have other bells and whistles.
Kind of off topic but up until recently, a lot of Ferraris were built with performance in mind not so much the luxury like they are today. I remember being in one of the older ones that was insane to drive, but you can see the glue seems on the floor still. The car was purely function, and it did it well.
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Old March 30, 2013, 05:51 PM   #19
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i would lay my hands on the guncrafter industries model 1 in 50 gi,
if you must spend 3k on a 1911
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Old March 30, 2013, 06:00 PM   #20
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I'd say they're not worth it for the average shooter, especially when it comes to direct comparison of performance. You always get diminishing returns after a certain point. But if 1911s are your life and you want the best, you tend to go for it. Good for them.

Especially in this economy, I'm not doing anything extravagant and unnecessary. I think it's better to have no debt and good investments that go to the extremes for luxury items. A guy living in an apartment with a Ferrari, or a $50,000 watch collection or gun collection, would be an example of this.
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Old March 30, 2013, 06:45 PM   #21
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I guess this case in point can be argued all day as to price, reliability and glam. I consider Colt to be the top dog among many 1911s that are not considered CUSTOM. But once you cross that door-way into the PRICEY guns, you are getting personlized hand fitted and highly inspected weopons.

I like the watches analogy and the car thing was good too, so lets throw another into it. I spent the better part of 10 years shooting pool and when I started, the thought of having the best was the most important thing because with the best you become the best. You agree??? NOT! I was young and stupid and I worked myself to the bone spending money on the latest and greatest thing to give me that edge. When it was said and done I had a $500 case, $60 gloves, silk rags to wiped down the stick, different chalk blocks for breaking, bumping and shooting and a $1800 pool stick so to tell you the truth, I became a pretty good shot. Was the things I had worth it? To me it was,,,,,,at the time.

I was in the French Quarter of New Orleans about 23 yrs ago and an older gentleman came in to play some pool. This was a money night and their were some Benjies rolling around the place. He had almost the same set up I had so I was feeling pretty proud at the time. Until some heated discussions lead to a broken wooden bar stool in which case this old man cleaned me up running the table three times with that damn bar stool leg. He never opened the pool case.

Does having the best make you the best? Not without ablility within yourself to be the best. I found out that night that it didn't matter what I had to do the job, the most important thing was getting the job done. I learned a valuable lesson the hard way.

These high end guns do not make you a better shooter, they only enhance what a great shooter you should already be. They are a compliment of your accomplishments and yes, they are a luxury. When it comes right down to it I guess it just depends how much you want to spend. All the guns mentioned here are going to make you very happy and I certainly would not be disappointed with any.
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Old March 30, 2013, 08:22 PM   #22
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You know, it's funny, I'll spend $4,000+ for a shotgun, but refuse to spend 2,000 on a pistol, let alone $3,000.
As far as I concerned, if you like expensive 1911s, I can certainly see why someone might buy one. I've handled a couple Les Baer and Wilson Combat pistols. They are certainly worth what they charge for them.
They make my 1911s look like thrift store guns...lol.
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Old March 31, 2013, 05:44 AM   #23
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Lot of good responses and I thank y'all.
Interesting also.
I am mostly a traditional muzzle loader. I can see the difference in value between a factory made rifle in the $200.00 to $500.00 class and a custom made one in the $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 range. Big difference, IMHO.
However, there are still some custom mades in the $5,000.00 up to $50,000.00 category that I simply cannot see the value in them. Mostly it is the reputation of the builder but the rifle is very little better than a $3,000.00 job.
I think I'll not plan on the Nighthawk for now.
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:02 AM   #24
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Are Nighthawk Custon 1911's worth the money?

As a collector? With money to burn on top of that? Sure.

As a realist? With SD in mind? No.
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Old March 31, 2013, 09:41 AM   #25
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Like with anything the law of deminishing returns kicks in. You will pay double $1500 for a Dan Wesson or $3000 for a Wilson/ higher end Les Baers /Ed Brown/Nighthawk etc... Are you getting double the pistol? IMHO no but that does not mean they are not worth double.

Value like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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