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Old April 29, 2008, 07:53 PM   #1
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Looking for a cheap 1911 for the range

I've decided that I want to pick up another 1911. It will only be used for the range. I have a Kimber Compact Custom that does CC duty. Since this is only going to be a range gun (& possible nightstand gun occasionally), I don't want to go above $700. Right now, I'm looking at:

Kimber Custom II
Para Ordnance P14 (the high cap .45)
S&W SW1911

If I can save some money, that would be great. The above guns can all be found for $700. It's possible that I'll go over that but I don't see the need for it.

I am NOT interested in the Taurus PT1911. I had one and was not impressed compared to the other options in a similar price range. I will definitely not be adding another one to my collection. I'm also not very interested in a Springfield at this time.

From what I see, the Kimber is a toss-up. Most likely it will be a great gun but there is the poss. of a lemon that needs work.
The Para is an unknown. I like the idea of a high-cap 1911 for the range but how's the quality, fit, & finish compared to one of the others.
S&W seems to be high quality and with their rebate, it's tempting but for some reason, I honestly don't like the looks as much.
Sig seems to have their bugs worked out. The $600 GSRs are now gone from Buds but I've found some more Sigs for $700. Apparently the only issue is the trigger. A few seem to be gritty with most seem to be great.

Anybody else have something I should keep in mind? Anything to add on the others (primarily the Para but the Kimber is the only one that I'm truly familiar with).

*edit* I forgot to add that I'm open to used guns so if there's something that's EASY TO FIND used in this price range that is worth a look, let me know about that as well.

*edit again* I also forgot about the RIA. I'm actually considering picking up a RIA Tactical based upon some good reviews (plus the difference would make for a lot of range ammo.
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Old April 29, 2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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I'd stick with the Kimber or a Springfield.
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Old April 29, 2008, 08:23 PM   #3
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Old April 29, 2008, 09:11 PM   #4
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I would check out springfields line. Fairly inexpensive and reliable.
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Old April 29, 2008, 09:14 PM   #5
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From your list I'd say Sig GSR, Para Ord, SW in that order. Good luck.
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Old April 29, 2008, 09:19 PM   #6
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the thing with the Springfields is just that with the few examples I've looked at in this range (i.e. Loadeds), it seems that they have a bit more slop in the slide/frame & bushing fitting. I'm also wary of the glued on ejector.
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Old April 29, 2008, 09:21 PM   #7
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I'd do EHF's list, only in reverse order.
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Old April 29, 2008, 09:33 PM   #8
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Well, given your criteria and with the addition of the RIA...

Choice #1: RIA Tactical. By far the least expensive. But then, with the others you've listed, you would get what you pay for.
Choice #2: Sig or S&W (tie). Both good guns. I'd lean S&W myself, but if you prefer the looks of the Sig, so be it.

The Kimber and Para would be tied for third. Not that they aren't good, but for just range work and plinking, you don't need an end-all be-all 1911.
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Old April 29, 2008, 09:37 PM   #9
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The RIA would be my choice. If you didn't like it, you wouldn't be out much to trade or sell it. Also, it would be one that I wouldn't have a cow over if I scratch it up or gets a little bit of OJT on upgrades...if that's in the back of your mind.
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Old April 29, 2008, 09:53 PM   #10
Shadi Khalil
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Ever heard of these? I hadn't until today....
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Old April 29, 2008, 09:58 PM   #11
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If I'm not mistaken, the High Standards are made in the same factory as the RIAs.
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Old April 29, 2008, 10:06 PM   #12
tony pasley
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I have a plain jane RIA and it has been a solid shooter and 1 son got one and so did 1 daughter all work great for $400.00 each.
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Old April 29, 2008, 10:50 PM   #13
Frank Ettin
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I'd choose a S&W. I have an SC, and it's a very good gun. And from what I hear RIAs would be worth looking at.
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Old April 29, 2008, 11:26 PM   #14
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I would consider a real Colt. I have had 1911s for 15 to 20 years, from Norinco to very high end custom-built Caspians. Last Dec. I bought a clean, unmodified Series 70 Colt off an auction for around $525 delivered. The only negative was some blue wear from oily fingers on the front grip strap, a bonus was the faux ivory Colt grips. This was a great price, but other good deals are possible under your limit. It has seriously become my second favorite 1911 (next to one very high end Caspian). Very high quality, very reliable (100% so far). I see good ones on GB and AA from 600 to 700 frequently.

There is something to be said for the real-deal Colt. The only negative is the mil-spec sights, but I wanted it stock. Another good deal is a Norinco. I bought one NIB in like 93 or so and it's going no where. I saw a very nice boxed one for like $400 in the classifieds here or at THR. They are very reliable, great steel quality, have high-profile sights instead of mil-spec, and are good platforms if in the future you want to build a custom.

Another good strategy is to check auctions and see if you can find a custom built Caspian by a good gunmaker. Caspian components are second to none - mated to a good barrel from Bar-Sto or Clark or similar built by good hands and you have a piece of art.

Here's some eye candy to tempt you into the Colt.

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Old April 30, 2008, 12:09 AM   #15
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Can't beat the S&W SW1911 #108284 for a range gun. If you hurry you can get in on the $100 rebate......
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