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Old September 8, 2013, 07:46 AM   #22
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Join Date: June 30, 2010
Location: NC
Posts: 4,931
1911s are expensive, it's not because they're 1911s and that makes them "magical" but rather they can be either made on the loose end and not as accurate, or hand finished to be tight and accurate. Proper trigger feel, bushing/barrel fit, slide/frame fit, a tight chamber that doesn't result in misfeeds... that all takes time and costs money. If you don't want a fragile gun made of MIM parts, that will also run you more money.

It's not a 1911, any gun that would require this amount of manufacturing and finishing would cost this much to run right and last long. It's just that there's a market for high end 1911s.

People wander into a gun store, buy a 600 dollar RIA or an 800 dollar Ruger (or worse yet a Sig or Taurus) then cry all over forums about how 1911s are unreliable and finicky with ammo and if they really want to get something reliable, they need the Glock--which has a chamber so loose you could probably chamber a cartridge one caliber above and still have it fit. Worse yet, they turn amateur gunsmith and go to town with a dremel tool and try to polish and fit the parts themselves and leave a trail of Jethro-d guns in pawn stores that work sporadically at best.
I could not disagree with this more. 1911s were designed and originally produced at a time when machine work/fitting/tooling cost more than human labor so the pistol was manufactured in a way that needed more hand fitting after machines produced the basic parts. Many have successfully adopted modern machine manufacturing techniques to build the small parts to spec making them as close to drop in as possible. The first to really make this leap successfully was Kimber. The orginal Kimbers were full of MIM but were great out of the box production guns that hand many of the custom features people wanted. Too bad they sort went down hill from there.

MIM filled 1911s are made to hit a price point. The Ruger is a great example. They wanted to sell that gun at $700 MSRP street of around $550 to $600 but they could not keep up with production and had some teething issues. As a result they have bumped the price about $100 which makes it more viable. They have all the features people are looking for in a semi-custom or custom gun at a fraction of the price. For many shooters this is all they want and all they need. This does not make these guns the same as a hand fitted Wilson or even a wartime Colt but if you go in knowing what you are buying with eyes wide open then you are fine. I personally prefer MIM free guns but that does not mean there is not a place for budget shooters like the RIA and Ruger.

The vast majority of guns that come from any manufacturer run right out the box. They never malfunction due to a factory defect and serve their users well. Everyone produces a lemon even guys like Wilson and Baer. I am not a Taurus fan. I am not a huge fan of the Ruger. I don't like the external extractor of the Sig but that is a personal preference. That does not make these bad choices for other shooters if they understand what they are getting.

Also 99% of the time accuracy is all about the Indian not the arrow. Most shooters here are or on any gun board or at any range are the weak link in the chain when it comes to accuracy. Very few of us are really outshooting the mechanical accuracy of our handguns.

There are good 1911s from $450 to $5000+ you just need to understand the limitations and the trade offs of any given price point. Both the RIA and the Nork the OP is considering are fine examples of 1911s within their price points. There was a time if you wanted a custom gun built by Wilson the base gun had to be a Colt or a Nork.... I think that speaks to the quality of the foundation you get with the Nork which is one of the reasons I recommend it over the RIA. YMMV

Shade tree gun smiths destroying 1911 is a topic for another thread.
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Last edited by WVsig; September 8, 2013 at 07:51 AM.
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