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Old January 3, 2013, 08:45 PM   #1
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Which 1911?

My soon to be father in law told my fiancee that he wanted to buy me a new 1911 of my choosing as a wedding gift. I don't want to exceed a rough ceiling of $1500. I own a colt and love it, had a prior problematic springfield and traded it towards a sig, no experience with SW, Dan Wesson. Have shot and liked a friend's Kimber super carry and am leaning towards that or a kimber covert II just to try kimber out. I want a full size model that will be used for home defense and range time. Wanted to put a feeler out and see what suggestions are out there for that price range in a full size model.
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2
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people seem to love or hate their kimbers....which springer gave you trouble? i would check out the higher end springers IMHO they are very nice...S&W makes a quality made in the USA 1911....the DW Valor would be a fine choice IMO....SIG is making excellent 1911's accurate, reliable, great triggers right out of the box....or if you love your colt why leave them, colt is still making excellent 1911's.... cant really go wrong with any of the makers on your list
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:33 PM   #3
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Like k511 said people either love Kimbers or hate them. I happen to have a few Kimber's that have never given me any trouble. I had an Eclipse ( that I think is one of the best looking pistols that Kimber makes) that I sent back to Kimber because brass was hitting me in the face during ejection. When I got it back it did the same thing. As it turns out it was the way I was holding the pistol or my stance, because 7 other people have shot it and never had a problem with brass hitting them. Since I have changed my stance I have never had another problem either. Don't ask me what I was doing wrong because I couldn't tell you . That's the only 1911 I have that did that. I have a Kimber CDP also (4") and it has been 100% out of the box. The two Springfield's I do have have been trouble free. One is the loaded Champion, and the other is the Micro Compact. Of course there are so many good 1911's on the market now days you have a lot to choose from. I would look at Colt and D.W. to. Good Luck
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:34 PM   #4
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First off.... Congratulations on your future marriage!

Uber high dollar 1911 Snobs give us Kimber guys guff all the time...but I LOVE my Kimbers, and wouldn't trade a one of them for a new colt or les bear....might trade one for a wilson combat 5" CQB...but just one

I'd pick a Kimber Tactical Custom HD II (all around anything, HD, CC) or (just for shooting, not carry) a Kimber Gold Match II.

Also....Can I trade you Father in laws? Mine is a complete #### and has been from day one for no reason. I say, Hi! and introduce myself when we met...he said hmmph...*** do you want. Didn't get EITHER of us a wedding gift (not even a, Congratulations kids!)......or walk his first born down the isle just to be an @&& Rant off Get the Kimber...and enjoy having a real father in law.

Last edited by BerdanSS; January 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM.
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:07 PM   #5
Shane Tuttle
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If you already have a Colt, then the next one I'd recommend would have the following if given to you as an important gift such as yours:

Forged frame, slide, barrel. Forged internal parts where it counts. Consistently has high praises of outstanding fit/finish. Consistently has great customer service when needed.

The verdict? A 2012 or newer Dan Wesson. They're packed with Ed Brown parts in several areas which makes other so-called good 1911 variant makers cry.
If it were up to me, the word "got" would be deleted from the English language.

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Old January 3, 2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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Dan Wesson My Kimber was I like my Colts But my DW is the better pistol.
Certified Armed Infidel Colt Defender ,Colt Mustang ,Dan Wesson CBOB, PPK/S, American Classic 1911,Bersa Thunder 380
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:44 AM   #7
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What a great father-in-law! With a $1500 ceiling you could pick up one of several very nice full size STI 1911s. The Trojan, Lawman, and Sentry all fit in your price range. My son has a Trojan and I have a Sentinal (equivalent to the Sentry) and we love them. Great guns, buttery smooth, excellent triggers, and oh so accurate.

Whatever you get make sure you take you new father-in-law along on your first trip to the range.
STI-Eagle(2)/Trojan(2)/Edge/Guardian/VIP/Rogue/Ranger III/Sentinel/Tactical 4.0/Escort; Remington Rand-1911A1; Ruger Redhawk/Blackhawk; Sig P238
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Old January 4, 2013, 03:50 AM   #8
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SIG Sauer, AutoOrd(Kahr), S&W....

I've seen a few decent 1911 series pistols out there. If you can get a NIB .45acp, I'd look at the models from Ruger, SIG Sauer, Auto Ord(Kahr Arms) and S&W.
I like the Para USA line with the LDA(DA only format) but they are hard to find.
SIG's new Nightmare pistols in .357sig caliber are slick. Smith & Wesson has marketed 1911a1 type pistols for about 12 years or so. The CDR size models are impressive.

I liked the limited edition Brown/Ayoob series .45acp but Ed Brown no longer makes it.
I lean towards round butt, Commander size, Novak type night sights with ambi safeties in .45acp or .357sig for a 1911a1 pistol. A 1913/tactical rail & maybe a SFS system; , would be good add-ons.

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Old January 4, 2013, 07:17 AM   #9
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Dan Wesson RZ-10.

or DW Valor V-Bob, if you don't like 10mm.

And congratulations. With a Dad that great, your bride must be a real catch.

Show me the data
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Old January 4, 2013, 07:28 AM   #10
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I would go with a kimber. I think the covert II has an aluminum frame and fixed sights. I dont have any experience with the aluminum frames but my stainless gold match II has been a great pistol. Ther are alot of great choices out there though. Congrats!
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:06 AM   #11
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My next one is going to be a STI! Just got a Sig and it shoots better than I can!
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:10 AM   #12
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I have also had only good experiences with Kimber, but for that price point I'd go for a Dan Wesson - the v-bob specifically. They're still a small enough company that you're not paying anything just for the brand. With either Kimber or Springfield a sizable chunk of their price tag goes towards advertising as apposed to better parts.
If you have a chance to handle a DW I think you'd find it just feels somehow more solid than other similarly priced 1911's.
si vis pacem para bellum
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:23 AM   #13
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STI 2011 frame in whatever configuration floats your boat. It's a double stack .45 - better get that while you still can. Single stack 45's will be obtainable for a long time.
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:48 AM   #14
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You are darn near Les Baer territory in your budget. I'd really seriously be watching the secondary market for a pristine used one. Last time we had a "black rifle" scare, I cherry picked quite a few high end 1911's people were selling off to fund rifles.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:04 AM   #15
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I've been very happy with the Colt 1911's I've bought in recent years.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:11 AM   #16
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Another Dan Wesson fan. I have a CBOB, a Colt, and a Ruger. They're all good guns but the Dan Wesson is by far the best. Great trigger, nice fit on all the parts, shoots flawlessly (though I don't).
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:44 AM   #17
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With a $1500 budget I wouldn't even look anywhere else other than Dan Wesson. They are just in another league compared to other production 1911's. My only other suggestion would be possibly find a used Les Baer inside your budget.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:49 AM   #18
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Get a Colt and use the leftover $400-500 for ammo and accessories.

The pistols coming out of Hartford today are amongst the best Colt has ever made.

Case in point - my new Government XSE. The slide-to-frame fit and barrel bushing fit are as good as any 1911 I've ever handled.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:35 PM   #19
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I'm not a big Kimber fan and I'll leave it at that. For your price range, I would recommend a Dan Wesson stainless Valor or a Les Baer blued Premier II. Both might be slightly more but are worth it. I speak from experience as I own an earlier Valor and other DWs. I also own two Baers including a Premier II.

Dan Wesson had a fire at their production facility about 45 days ago which has made them harder to find than usual. You might be able to locate the stainless Valor for near the price. It is an excellent pistol for all the reasons Shane Tuttle mentioned. Dan Wesson also had a run of the RZ Heritage model before the fire and you may find these for a bit less. It is an excellent pistol, just not finished quite as nice as the Valor (e.g., no checkering on front strap). There's one listing for the stainless Valor at I notice the same seller has a black "blem" for about the same price. The "blems" are usually hard to detect.

The Les Baer Premier II is an old school "hard fit" pistol, meaning lots of hand fitting. They are known for being accurate and reliable. There is one available at

In addition, there are some dealers with good reps who usually provide a discount on Baers off of MSRP. These include:

Jerry Hammond at Hammond's Gun and Tackle at I have purchased from Jerry and he is a stand-up guy. He doesn't carry a large inventory but might have the Premier II on hand as it is probably Baer's flagship pistol.

Crazy John at Don't let the sparse website fool you. He normally has a large stock of Baers on hand. I have not purchased from him but he has an excellent reputation.

George at Gunslingers: Again, I have not purchased from him but he has an excellent reputation. Added: Gunslingers also offers a layaway plan which may or may not be important to others viewing this.

Last edited by KyJim; January 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:37 PM   #20
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^ Excellent post.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:38 PM   #21
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Just a thought ....but in the $ 1,500 might find a used gun ...with some upgrades on it ...maybe an Ed Brown .../ probably not a Wilson Combat....but its certainly worth a good look around at your local shops...

Since you already have a 1911 you like in .45 acp I presume....why not look for something in a 9mm maybe...

Maybe discuss with your father in law...if he would let you consider something else vs duplicating what you have ( not that I'm saying you should only have one 1911 in .45 acp --- I have more than one myself ) ...but just planting the thought...

and congratulations on your pending marriage.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:41 PM   #22
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Wow what an awesome gift.
If your wife is ever available PM me!

I vote for Kimber. Full-sized, definitely. They're smooth and sexy and sturdy.

Congrats on your engagement.
Proverb for Paranoids: The innocence of the Creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master. -T. Pynchon
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:09 PM   #23
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I have a Kimber UCII which has been perfect since new, one of my favorite guns ... I know some folks don't think the quality is consistent, but I think one of their higher-end 1911s would make a great gift ...

and what a great father-in-law .. all mine ever gave me was advice ...
"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." Albert Camus
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:03 PM   #24
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ParaUSA; Black Ops Tactical 14rd & 8rd, Dan Wesson Valor...

After reading the post, I checked around & found a few good choices in that budget range. Para-USA's slick Black-Ops .45acp is single action but has the Ionshield surface & a lot of custom features. They sell a 14 round double stack or a regular 8rd 1911a1 format. A 8rd Para USA is for sale on

The Dan Wesson Valor line is impressive too. I saw a Bobtail(round grip) pistol that is a Valor model. I'd get a .45acp but many like 10mm. The CZ website states that many of the Dan Wesson Valor parts are top quality & hand fit.
Tactics instructor; James Yeager made a point about 1911 type pistols that they need to be handmade with good steel materials to function correctly. Yeager makes a good point. It explains why the QC on many factory produced single action 1911a1s varys so much. His clips are on YouTube.
I'd add that if you want a high quality single action .45acp, you could also look at a SIG Sauer SAO P220R or P220R Carry model. The P220 series is great & very popular with military spec ops, LE & target shooters.

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Old January 4, 2013, 05:56 PM   #25
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Thanks for all the replies, seems like DW is worth a look. I would consider another colt (i have a combat elite) but none of their other models seem to strike me...I love the colt I have but feel that adding another full size would be essentially the same pistol.

The DW's look pretty slick on their website but might be a bit expensive, I'll have to try and handle one in person. I feel like I'm drawn to the Kimber for only an aesthetics perspective, most of them just look good. I just hear mixed reviews online regarding their quality.
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