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View Poll Results: Which 1911 for a noob to 1911's?
High end brands (Sig, Desert Eagle, etc)? 13 14.77%
Mid-price (Springfield, Kimber) 51 57.95%
Low price (ATI, Armscor/RIA, Chiappa?). 13 14.77%
Play it safe and stay away from 'em altogether? 11 12.50%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 27, 2013, 06:55 PM   #1
ccwnut
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Wanting a 1911, which brand is best?

I have been wanting a 1911 lately, but I honestly don't know which is best. I have absolutely zero experience with them. I have handled both a Springfield and a Kimber, the Springfield feels better in my hand. What's the best move for me?
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Old June 27, 2013, 07:01 PM   #2
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If cost is no issue the sky is the limit. What price range are you finding yourself in?

You can sped as much as 3g's+ on a nighthawk custom. or get a real decent 1911.
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Old June 27, 2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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I might add that I like the historical aspect of the platform. That finds me leaning heavily towards Springfield, Colt, and Remington.
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Old June 27, 2013, 07:10 PM   #4
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I think if you gave us your ideal price range it would help us better determine your options.

You could spend $500 on a RIA or you could spend thousands on a custom built 1911.

What sort of 1911 do you want? They range from basic GI versions to elaborate tactical versions with rails and night sights. There are also variations in barrel length to consider whether you want a full size or a shorter version.

Your also leaving out a number of companies that produce 1911's you would be very happy with. Colt being one of them, no other company has a longer history of making the 1911. Ruger being another option if you don't mind it being stainless.

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Old June 27, 2013, 07:19 PM   #5
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Wanting a 1911, which brand is best?

Early Kimber before the II. Some of the newer Philippine guns are cheap enough to buy and upgrade. Sig or Smith or Taurus.

Last edited by atlantadad; June 27, 2013 at 08:12 PM.
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Old June 27, 2013, 07:20 PM   #6
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My opinion is that you look at those closest to the actual 1911A1 model, and not 1911-like pistols.

Frankly that means not looking at any 1911 "featuring" an external extractor or other "improvements" like full length guide rods, that complicate the design or make it look worse for its use.
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Old June 27, 2013, 07:44 PM   #7
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Springfield makes entry level to high end 1911s and have a great history of making excellent guns.

They also have some of the best customer service in industry so if you have a problem, they will take care of it.
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Old June 27, 2013, 07:50 PM   #8
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I voted "high end" but I paid less for my Sig Sauer Nightmare than I could get any Kimber for..

If you like how a Springfield fits your hand, go for it. There is nothing wrong with getting a "lower end" pistol that works for you as opposed to a more expensive one that doesn't. Not that Springfields are necessarily the bottom of the bucket.. their Fully Loaded models are very nice.
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Old June 27, 2013, 09:30 PM   #9
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Ccwnut: I do want to point out that from the history perspective only Colt really makes sense. Remington just started making 1911's (though I suppose they did make them before for the army) and Springfield armory is just a name used by the modern company, it has no association with the government run Springfield armory.

I say get a Colt!
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Old June 27, 2013, 09:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Springfield makes entry level to high end 1911s and have a great history of making excellent guns.

They also have some of the best customer service in industry so if you have a problem, they will take care of it.
This^^^

Also, your high end list has some issues IMO. I dislike the SIG 1911s...I have friend with SIGS and they are picky about ammo. I also don't like the external extractor on SIGs.

An honest opinion would include a RUGER SR 1911 which runs 100% out of the box and in much less expensive than a SIG, ED BROWN, WILSON..etc...

Probably the best bang for the buck IMO.

Check out Hickok45s video on the Ruger.

Never buy a cheap 1911. Not worth spending money tuning one up.
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:01 PM   #11
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None of those "high-end brands" listed are high-end brands for 1911s.

That said, I think $1000 is the sweet spot for a mass-produced 1911, and the sweetest of those is a Colt.
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Old June 27, 2013, 11:26 PM   #12
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yeah your brand selection isn't really correct. besides that around 1k is the sweet spot.
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Old June 27, 2013, 11:33 PM   #13
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I would probably go with a Colt.

http://www.coltsmfg.com/Catalog/ColtPistols.aspx
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Old June 28, 2013, 05:26 AM   #14
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Your poll is partially right.

Low end: RIA makes "decent" entry level 1911s, but their quality has fallen off recently. Citadel/Lecacy/Armscor is also a name they fall under. With that said, yours will probably work. For RIA prices, you can get an STI Spartan which is an excellent gun. Remington and Ruger are also good "entry level" guns. Stay away from Para-USA, Taurus, ATI. DE makes cheap entry level 1911s that will probably work from what I've heard on the forums (really don't care to go looking for another rough around the edges 1911). I don't know anything about Ciappa.

Of your "mid-level" guns, Springfield is much better than Kimber. Operator and TRP are one of the better mid-ranges. Springfield also makes low to mid range guns like the Range Officer and Loaded and some GI repros. I'd also add Colt to the mid level family and the STIs made in the USA. I don't like Kimber, I think they have bad warranties and average at best CS policies.

Low to mid range also includes Sig (I almost fell out of my chair when you called them high end) and Smith and Wesson. If you want a Series 80 1911 with an external extractor, and in the Sig's case an idiotic blocky slide, then you have your gun here. Sigs have had problems with tight barrels, FTRB, chipping Cerakote and other issues lately. Check the 1911 forums.

If you don't know what a high end 1911 is, you probably don't need one yet. The usual suspects are Ed Brown, Nighthawk, Les Baer, Wilson Combat. You also have less known builders like Volkmann, Guncrafter Industries, Cabot. Throw in frame makers like Caspian and the fact that some custom shops actually do full series 70 customs from mystery parts and you have a good way of burning through cash.

Cheapest Baers run at less than 2k. Hi-end guns run on average 2.5-4k, but the sky is really the limit as there are some out there that will send you back over 5k.

With a 1911 it's a lot of variables. But as you go up in price you get "theoretically" better accuracy, better fit, better trigger, better parts and better finish (and once again likely much better longevity), better reliability... Of guns that can still be around 50 years later (assuming they won't be illegal by then), that's always a consideration. I regularly shoot a Colt from the 60s that is all original except for the springs.
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Old June 28, 2013, 05:33 AM   #15
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I just picked up an Auto-Ordnance 1911a1 for $570. Made in the US, I like it a lot.
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Old June 28, 2013, 06:37 AM   #16
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springfield is the only brand of 1911 that you listed that i would go anywhere near. your "high end" list i would put at low-middle grade.

for a new 1911 shooter, i recommend getting an sti spartan v. cheap, reliable, and accurate. they can be had in 9mm, 40, and 45.

if you want to spend a little more money, colt is awesome. a little more money and dan wesson enters the picture. a lot more money and nighthawk, les baer, and wilson combat enter the picture.

here is my spartan v in 9mm.



in the colt range, i like the gold cup trophy. i used to own one, but traded it for an AR and some cash. it's second from the top.

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Old June 28, 2013, 06:55 AM   #17
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I like Colt. Their 1911's in recent years have been excellent. I have a Springer that is fine, but the Colts are just a bit better.
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Old June 28, 2013, 07:20 AM   #18
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Old June 28, 2013, 07:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Ccwnut: I do want to point out that from the history perspective only Colt really makes sense. Remington just started making 1911's (though I suppose they did make them before for the army) and Springfield armory is just a name used by the modern company, it has no association with the government run Springfield armory.

I say get a Colt!
^^^What he said.^^^
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Old June 28, 2013, 07:51 AM   #20
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Wanting a 1911, which brand is best?

The question is like asking which flavor of ice cream is best? Colt is like vanilla ,Kimber /chocolate and Sig strawberry. Although like the market there's baskin and Robbins with its 31 flavored and everyone has the favorite. Usually the one or one(s) they own. But in the end it all comes back to and starts with the vanilla Colt.
Personally I like Neapolitan !
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Old June 28, 2013, 08:13 AM   #21
Olympus
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Re: Wanting a 1911, which brand is best?

There is no such thing as "best 1911". Everything is relative. Buy the one that YOU like and don't worry about what anyone else days or thinks.
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Old June 28, 2013, 08:20 AM   #22
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Wanting a 1911, which brand is best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccwnut View Post
I might add that I like the historical aspect of the platform. That finds me leaning heavily towards Springfield, Colt, and Remington.
I've a Springfield Loaded Target (PI9132LP) that is a fantastic gun. Had it about three years now and never a problem. Got it for about $800 brand new.

I'd recommend the Springfield 1911s.
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Old June 28, 2013, 08:28 AM   #23
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There are almost too many 1911s to choose from. What is 'best' is strictly personal opinon. Most are very nice, some nicer than others. I like the Ruger SR1911 models in the modest price range. Made in the USA. Mine have been good solid shooters and flawless. Certainly worth a look before you buy IMO.
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Old June 28, 2013, 08:32 AM   #24
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What does "RIA" mean?
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Old June 28, 2013, 08:41 AM   #25
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rock island armory
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