View Full Version : Do as I say, not as I do

September 6, 2007, 06:30 PM
Well, I just read the thread about how expensive 1911's can get. I had to get this off my chest. After months of research, I thought that instead of shelling out $1000 for a "loaded" 1911, I could buy a SA GI 1911 and shoot it out-of-the -box for a while and build it to my taste. Well, I must say that what I have built is basically just a parkerized SA Loaded 1911! I've probably spent more on my GI than just buying a Loaded! I still have some things left to do, so I'll probably just sell my GI to an Army buddy and buy a LW Operator or TRP. If I can donate enough plasma I might get a Wilson base model.

I'm not saying its a "bad" idea to build one yourself, but if you want a carry pistol or want to spend more time shooting than gunsmithing, I would strongly advise toward saving up the $$ and buying a "Loaded" or otherwise "factory-custom" job. In the end, you'll probably save money and definitely save time and heartache. Resist the urge to be an "amateur gunsmith" and just bite the bullet. With the money you save on buying an Operator vs. building it yourself (gunsmiths don't come cheap if you can't do it yourself), you could buy lots of ammo or a great holster for when the zombies come over the hill.

I would say the straw that broke the camel's back on my project was trying to find replacement sights, and the only option is to have the slide milled for $70 (Scheels), buy sights for $120, then pay whatever it costs to have it zeroed, then probably $75 for a trigger job, $50 for the beavertail itself, more $$ to have it fitted and installed. OR I could have just bought an Operator for $1200 and had it all built into the gun from the factory.

But such is the life of a gun nut. Anyone else ever done this sort of thing before? I would also like suggestions for 1911's in the $800-1200 range. I'm liking the Operator, but would be open to hi-cap models too.

September 6, 2007, 06:50 PM
I agree with you - although I've never taken your approach of building a gun up to where I wanted it.

I think often you are better off saving your money - then buying what you truly want vs something you didn't want. My 1st Wilson Combat came from a shop as a consignment gun - unfired and still in the box - one of the earlier models of the CQB in .45 ACP. I think it was about $1250 10 years ago - and it's still worth every penny I paid for it. It took a long time to find out - when it popped up, I jumped on it. Since then I've ordered other guns from Wilson - and gotten exactly what I wanted as far as finish, sights, stocks, etc. And when you can afford that - I'd recommend them highly.

I've bought other 1911's - Colt, Springfield, Kimber etc. - and for the most part it was a waste of money. They're all decent guns - some more than others - but saving the money to get what I really wanted was a much better idea.

In the $1200 range - there isn't much in my opinion - maybe one of the Kimbers or Sig's - or watch your local shops, make sure the owners know you're a serious buyer, not a tire kicker - and wait for a good used Wilson to show up. Searching for it is at least half the fun too .....