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Old September 6, 2013, 05:30 PM   #1
Juancts
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New to 1911 world.

Hi !! I'm ready to join the 1911 world, just don't know where to start. There are so many options that it has become confusing...
Since it's not for CCW, I want a Government or commander size. Budget around $800.00.
I'd like to know your opinions on which are my best options. Everybody at my local club says: "Colt", "Colt" and "Colt". I know there should be more options around, since there are plenty 1911 on the market.
What are the good 1911 guns for my budget ?????
Which ones should I avoid ????
Thanks !!!!
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Old September 6, 2013, 05:38 PM   #2
Vireye
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Hello!

There are actually quite a few options in that price range...

Caveat to everything that follows: I'm VERY new to 1911's. My father has owned one for quite a while, and I've done a fair bit of research, but I only recently bought my own (a Smith & Wesson).

Under $800 new, you can find a Rock Island Armory, and RIA's come in a wide variety of flavors. You should also be able to find some Springfield Armory 1911's in that price range. I got very lucky and got my Smith for $650 barely used (guy I bought it from got it in '07, put <500 rds through it, cleaned it, and put it in a safe until I bought it a month ago). BUT, I don't think it'd be unheard of to find one in that price range.

I love my Smith, although some 1911 purists will look down on it because of the external extractor...

Are you looking for one closer to the original design, or one with alot of the 'modern' bells & whistles? (Beavertail safety, lowered ejection port, etc)
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Old September 6, 2013, 06:05 PM   #3
Andrewh
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features, where it is made and warranty support are the 3 things that might make a difference to you.

RIA as mentioned is made overseas in the PI.
they make 3 levels of 1911's.
GI for around 400
tactical for around 450-500
match grade for around 600

GI is the plain no beaver tail, no adjustible sights, looks like a WWII 1911.

Tactical is one step up. better sights, beavertail and flat msh.

Match grade is the fiber optic front sight, adjustible rear, and match grade barrel.

This price range and feature set is mimicked by Citidal, built by the same people I believe, and the match is the same as the STI spartan. a little more expensive around 650 to 700 but backed by STI as well.

all 3 if you can find them plus the spartan can be had in 9mm as well.

All of them as far as I know use bull barrels vs bushing barrels for the commander length.

RIA and STI are known for outstanding warranty service is something should happen.

Springfield armory is the next level up in price, but not necessarily in features.

they don't make the GI model any more, they make a mil-spec
Those start around 600.
the next up would be the range officer, probably can be had around 700 to 750.
then the loaded, which used would fall under your price point. about the same as a new range officer.

also known for great customer service.

there are a few newer 1911 makers now as well that normally fall under your price range.
Ruger just started but they are mostly sold out everywhere, and when you do find them, they are priced way over msrp. the few I have seen were asking over 800. but they should be under 700 as I understand it.

Remmington also started, but as I understand it people are not happy with the workmanship, so I would steer away.

kimber and para ordenance (sp) are 2 older makers of 1911's, both with offerings in your range, however their hit and miss QC and customer service makes people steer away from them as well.

and then of course colt.
it would still be a GI type gun for your price range.
used 70 series and 80 series should easilly be under 800.
you might catch a deal on a new one but again, you are getting their lowest featured gun.

probably forgetting a bunch of others.
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Old September 6, 2013, 06:41 PM   #4
DaleA
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One of the most comprehensive guides for the 1911 is this one:
http://www.1911addicts.com/showthrea...u-1911-addicts

My personal recommendation as long as you are not going to be using it as your concealed carry gun is the Springfield Range Officer. It is a quality gun with the options like adjustable sights that I want but it doesn't go overboard on the bells and whistles.

http://www.springfield-armory.com/armory.php?model=27
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Old September 6, 2013, 07:14 PM   #5
Juancts
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New to 1911 world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vireye View Post
Hello!

There are actually quite a few options in that price range...

Caveat to everything that follows: I'm VERY new to 1911's. My father has owned one for quite a while, and I've done a fair bit of research, but I only recently bought my own (a Smith & Wesson).

Under $800 new, you can find a Rock Island Armory, and RIA's come in a wide variety of flavors. You should also be able to find some Springfield Armory 1911's in that price range. I got very lucky and got my Smith for $650 barely used (guy I bought it from got it in '07, put <500 rds through it, cleaned it, and put it in a safe until I bought it a month ago). BUT, I don't think it'd be unheard of to find one in that price range.

I love my Smith, although some 1911 purists will look down on it because of the external extractor...

Are you looking for one closer to the original design, or one with alot of the 'modern' bells & whistles? (Beavertail safety, lowered ejection port, etc)
Thanks !! I like more the classic old school 1911, but I can live with the external extractors.
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Old September 6, 2013, 07:18 PM   #6
Aguila Blanca
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Good:

Colt
Rock Island Armory (Armscor)
Metro Arms (American Classic)
Ruger
Shooters Arms Manufacturing (S.A.M., imported by ATI)
STI


Avoid:

Taurus
Kimber
SIG Arms (just the 1911s. Sig's SIGs are good, their 1911s ... aren't)
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Old September 6, 2013, 07:37 PM   #7
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We all have our bias and our preferences. Listen to and read all you can in your research, but don't believe most of it unless someone can give you specifics.

I own two 1911's. The first is a Colt M1911 manufactured for Uncle Sam in 1918. The second is a Remington R1, and I like mine. Every once in awhile I hear a negative comment like I read above about the R1. I then request details of the problem or issues. Never have I received a specific example of a problem or an example of poor workmanship. Most responses are "well I heard poor workmanship or its a cheese grater". I call both comments false and unfounded and almost always made by a person who has not owned one. Remington's warranty is second to none, but I have not had to use it. Remington request you send it back within the first year for their inspection and cleaning free of charge. They pay the shipping and had the pistol back in my hands in under seven days.

Don't buy a pistol you do not like or had a chance to at least handle and inspect. It is best if you can shoot it. Remember, you don't have to restrict yourself to ever owning just one.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:27 PM   #8
Babychief
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IVER JOHNSON EAGLE 1911 $575 new

Look at my IVER JOHNSON 1911 thread, $575 new, better than my colts and kimber!
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:28 PM   #9
Vireye
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I keep hearing negative things about the Sig 1911's, not really sure why...my father's is a 1911 (Fastback Nightmare) and it's a joy to shoot. Crisp trigger, and very accurate. Never had a jam, FTF, or anything of the sort (after some issues with crappy mags from Chip McCormick...the base plate flew right off!)

The ONLY reason I bought a SW1911 instead of a sig "Traditional" 1911 is because I wanted one that was American made...nothing against Sig, I love my P228, but I just felt that the 1911 is such a quintessential "American" pistol that I didn't want one made by a German company.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:34 PM   #10
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in the under $800 the Ruger SR1911 is hard to beat. Well made, and made in America. Ruger service, should you happen to need it, is excellent. I own the full size and the commander size Ruger and both have been excellent.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:38 PM   #11
Juancts
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New to 1911 world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarw View Post
We all have our bias and our preferences. Listen to and read all you can in your research, but don't believe most of it unless someone can give you specifics.

I own two 1911's. The first is a Colt M1911 manufactured for Uncle Sam in 1918. The second is a Remington R1, and I like mine. Every once in awhile I hear a negative comment like I read above about the R1. I then request details of the problem or issues. Never have I received a specific example of a problem or an example of poor workmanship. Most responses are "well I heard poor workmanship or its a cheese grater". I call both comments false and unfounded and almost always made by a person who has not owned one. Remington's warranty is second to none, but I have not had to use it. Remington request you send it back within the first year for their inspection and cleaning free of charge. They pay the shipping and had the pistol back in my hands in under seven days.

Don't buy a pistol you do not like or had a chance to at least handle and inspect. It is best if you can shoot it. Remember, you don't have to restrict yourself to ever owning just one.
Thanks. The problem is that I've seen some 1911s that I like how they look and feel, but when I do research on them, it turns that some of'em are crap (according to reviews).
For example, the other day my local gun shop salesman tried to sell me an "American Classic" 1911. According to him it was an awesome 1911. When I did the research, every forum and review said they were having many serious problems. The same guy also tried to sell me a Ruger, but now I don't trust him.
Another gun shop offered me a Magnum Research 1911 and Sig. Another gun shop offered me Colts and Kimbers.
I know that every gun shop want to sell what they have in their inventory (even if it's crap). Since I'm aware of that, I want to buy a good 1911, not the one that salesmen want me to buy because they have it on their display.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:40 PM   #12
Vireye
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Kimber's aren't all bad...I've shot quite a few with no issues.

One major gripe is with the "II" series Kimbers with the Schwartz safety. Even a few Kimber haters will say if you can find a Kimber in your price range without the "II" designator, jump on it.
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Old September 6, 2013, 09:24 PM   #13
k511
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For 800 my choice would be a Springfield RO, they are reliable, very accurate with adjustable sights, good quality for the price point... my second choice would be a Ruger SR1911 followed by the Remington R1....I own each of these pistols, each has over 1k rounds without failure or any modifications other than ambi safetys...
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Old September 6, 2013, 10:11 PM   #14
Babychief
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Amigo american classic

The AMIGO while it looks nice, has serious spring issues you need to use cut colt springs to make them run and the amigos arent that cheap and are phillipino made.
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Old September 6, 2013, 11:47 PM   #15
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You're going to get a lot of responses on this post, so I'll make my point quick:

They're two possible directions you probably want to take. . .

1) Get a decent unit (like a Rock Island) that you plan on getting tricked out.

2) Get a nice unit that you plan on leaving basically stock (like a Springfield or Kimber).

Once you decide which fork in the road you're going to take, the decision on specifically which unit gets a lot easier.
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Old September 6, 2013, 11:54 PM   #16
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juancts
For example, the other day my local gun shop salesman tried to sell me an "American Classic" 1911. According to him it was an awesome 1911. When I did the research, every forum and review said they were having many serious problems. The same guy also tried to sell me a Ruger, but now I don't trust him.
The American Classic is made by Metro Arms in the Philippines. I knew the guy who reviewed a Metro Arms pistol for M1911.ORG. He was (he has since passed away) a true-blue Colt man, and he was impressed by the Metro Arms pistol. Where did you find all these references to "serious" problems? I'm a 1911 guy and I lurk on 1911-oriented forums. I haven't seen ANY reports of serious problems with them.

Here's what my late friend had to say about the Metro Arms pistol he tested (they were called "Firestorm" at the time, not "American Classic." Same guns.):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Clark
The Firestorm Government DLX Model of the 1911 is the best Philippine-manufactured pistol I've ever fired! Through well over 700 rounds of various types of ammunition, several different magazines, and a variety of shooting tests, the DLX has never failed to function reliably and accurately. The gun looked as nice at the end of the tests as it did in the beginning, which speaks volumes about the quality control that takes place at MetroArms before the pistols are exported to this country.

For a pistol which falls into the budget category, the Firestorm DLX showed no unsightly tool marks or machine "chatter" on any internal surfaces.

While there are certain features of the weapon I don't care for (front cocking serrations, as an example), these items fall into the category of personal preference, and should not detract from the overall view of the gun. I am not usually a proponent of extended controls on government model pistols, but the lengthened slide stop and thumb safety levers worked very well on this gun.

The pistol comes from the distributor in a cardboard box, with owners' manual, a fired cartridge casing, and a trigger lock.

As previously stated, this pistol represents a great product at an even greater price. I highly recommend it, and consider this gun to represent a "Best Buy" for anyone considering the purchase of an economically priced 1911.
As for Ruger -- when Ruger decided to jump into the 1911 pond, they did their homework. Their 1911s are excellent pistols, and a very good buy for the price.

One consideration that applies today that wasn't so much a concern a couple of years ago: availability. You have a valid point about shops trying to sell what they have in stock, but these days what they have in stck may be the only game in town (unless you want to buy sight unseen from a place like Bud's Guns on-line). A couple of years ago my local gun shop could and would order any gun a customer wanted, and he didn't charge a huge mark-up for special orders. Today? He can call a distributor, and they tell him to put his name on the list, and not to hold his breath waiting for a call. It isn't just ammo that's in short supply. The biggest gun shop in my state is filling his shelves with scopes and used guns because he can't get new guns. The smaller shops are at the bottom of the food chain in this market. The distributors (unfortunately, but understandably) cater first to their larger customers. That leaves the small shops out in the cold.

In this market, my advice is: if you see a gun you like, buy it now, because it may not be there when you come back tomorrow or next week.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; September 7, 2013 at 12:12 AM.
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Old September 7, 2013, 12:14 PM   #17
thedudeabides
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For 800 bucks the best you can get is haggle for a Springer Range Officer, also try the STI Spartan.

Everything else in the price range will disappoint you.

Ruger has QC issues, Remington uses mostly MIM garbage. RIA guns are REALLY poorly finished and about half of them work right out of the box. Sig doesn't know how to make a proper 1911 and their QC has been terrible as of late.

You might get a Colt for 900 bucks, if you're willing to spend more that'd be the best option. Also a Springer Loaded, but that will also run you more $$$.

Aside from the STI Spartan, the Philippine guns are heavy, poorly finished trash and avoid anything like American Tactical Imports, Armscor, RIA, Citadel...

A 1911 isn't a "cheap" gun and honestly 1500 dollars is the starting point for something that you will enjoy and keep for a lifetime.
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Old September 7, 2013, 12:32 PM   #18
Babychief
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Iver johnson

What do you want to spend on a 1911 and are you going to e.d.c. With it?
Compete?

My opinion is the IVER JOHNSON since its made by S.A.M. And then the SPARTAN, then an older all steel ROCK RIVER 1911, (not rock island)

$575 new!! IVER JOHNSON EAGLE OR HAWK under $600

Here are three of my personal "budget/cheaper" 1911s



$800-1000 USED COLT MKIVs



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Old September 7, 2013, 05:47 PM   #19
Juancts
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New to 1911 world.

It's for home defense, some practice @ my local range, sometimes I may have it in my car and just because i like how 1911 look and feel.
Not for competition or CCW. I estimate I'll be shooting around 500 rounds a year with it.
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Old September 7, 2013, 11:15 PM   #20
Juancts
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New to 1911 world.

After doing some research on various forums and reviews I've found some finalists that fit my budget:

1. Ruger SR1911.
2. Desert Eagle 1911
3. STI Spartan

Appreciate your opinions...
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Old September 8, 2013, 09:36 AM   #21
rodfac
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I've owned a dozen Colts over the last 50 years, and still have 6, plus two Ruger SR1911's (the 5" full size, and its mate, the CMD).

Out of the box, the Rugers are hands down the best .45's I've owned. Good features, with no mall ninja crap, great accuracy, decent triggers and solid customer service to back them up.

Both have been 100% reliable right out of the box, with no, "you gotta shoot 200 rounds to break it in, 'cause we fit them so tightly", BS. Rugers are the best value for the money of any current 1911 on the market, and you can find them for $650 to $700...

The first pic's of the first magazine through my then new SR1911 CMD. It's a keeper for sure. The 2nd's of the full size 5" model on day one...both have only improved since then...great pistols...you can't do better in my opinion.

Rod



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Old September 8, 2013, 10:09 AM   #22
whip1
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babychief,
Do you like the Iver Johnson? You've mentioned it twice in this thread alone, so I wasn't sure how you felt about it.
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Old September 8, 2013, 06:34 PM   #23
Juancts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodfac View Post
I've owned a dozen Colts over the last 50 years, and still have 6, plus two Ruger SR1911's (the 5" full size, and its mate, the CMD).

Out of the box, the Rugers are hands down the best .45's I've owned. Good features, with no mall ninja crap, great accuracy, decent triggers and solid customer service to back them up.

Both have been 100% reliable right out of the box, with no, "you gotta shoot 200 rounds to break it in, 'cause we fit them so tightly", BS. Rugers are the best value for the money of any current 1911 on the market, and you can find them for $650 to $700...

The first pic's of the first magazine through my then new SR1911 CMD. It's a keeper for sure. The 2nd's of the full size 5" model on day one...both have only improved since then...great pistols...you can't do better in my opinion.

Rod




I'm very inclined to buy the Ruger SR1911. My local gun store has one available and the reviews on that gun are excellent.

Last edited by Juancts; September 8, 2013 at 09:02 PM.
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Old September 8, 2013, 11:47 PM   #24
Crazy88Fingers
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When I was shopping around for a 1911 I had it narrowed down to Colt and S&W. I couldn't find a S&W without fish scales on it, so I grabbed a base model Colt. It shot well for a while, and is now back at the factory (completely on their dime). I spied one at the gun show last weekend for $875.

If Ruger made a blued 1911, I definitely would have grabbed one of those instead.
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Old September 9, 2013, 07:44 AM   #25
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Another vote here for the Ruger SR 1911. I just got one and have nade 1 trip to the range so far. Very impressed with it, a pleasure to shoot, more accurate than I'm capable of. I paid $650 for mine. The most "bang for the buck" in new 1911's in my opinion.
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