Might get into the 1911 market, some options


January 1, 2003, 09:46 PM
I used to not like 1911s, but am now considering going into the 1911 market. This is probably a point of no return, but I am willing. I have $650 saved up, could have up to 8-900 by this summer, depends on how hard I work. I don't really want to spend all of this. Can anyone give me some options in the quality, not super expensive, 1911 market.


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January 1, 2003, 10:36 PM
A good way to get a great gun at a good price is to buy a good base gun, then send it to a master 1911 gunsmith for some tuning.

For example, my Springfield Mil-Spec is a great gun for the money. You should be able to find one on the Internet for 400 to 420 or so. Everyone that has one just loves how much gun they got for the money.

Once you have the gun, make an appointment with a master gunsmith to have it tuned. You may end up waiting a year or so before the smith can work on it. During this time, just shoot it and get used to it. Getting a feel for the gun before it goes out is the best way to evaluate and appreciate the worksmanship when you get it back.

Talk to the smith and figure out what you want done. At a minimum, you'll want a trigger job and to have the slide fitted to the frame. That alone will probably be 200 bucks, but you'll end up with a gun that has a much better trigger than a $650 gun, and probably have tighter groups as well.

Ed Masaki is one such gunsmith. There are others as well.


January 1, 2003, 10:58 PM
I'd vote for the Springfield MilSpec also. I have one and it has proven to be an excellent shooter. They are reasonably priced and a lot of gun for the money.

I'd suggest you get it and shoot it as is for a while, then decide what you want to upgrade, if anything. Only modifications I found necessary were:

Lighter mainspring.
Heavier recoil spring.
Some nice wood grips.
Quality magazines - CMC Power mags.

On a personal note, I just like the "look" of the MilSpec over the tricked-out models that have an extended this, tactical that, etc., etc., etc. The MilSpec looks business-like, military and manly. Just my .02

Good luck, and good shooting!

January 1, 2003, 11:06 PM
Check into Para Ordanance.

My next purchase will be a version of the LDA.

I've been quite impressed with my P12-45. Right out of the box.

Their manf. specs are extremely tight.

January 1, 2003, 11:19 PM
Colt...get a Colt!

January 1, 2003, 11:29 PM
Your best option (IMHO):

Get a base Kimber, either the Custom Classic or Custom Stainless.

I've got the Custom Stainless, & one of their Custom Shop guns, an Ultra CDP. Both have been good weapons & I highly recommend the brand.

January 2, 2003, 01:06 AM
I've owned & handled a few. On the top of my list sits Colt & Caspian.

January 2, 2003, 04:47 AM
Colt Govt. model. Period.

The springfield mil-spec is ok, but I reeeeally do not care for the parkerized finish at ALL. Looks really bad, IMO. Functionally, they're pretty good, just ugly.

BTW: Pics of the Spring are misleading; the finish DOES look worse in real life than in pictures. See for yourself.

That said, it seems like ALL the "problems with my 1911" threads I've read for the last several months were regarding Kimbers.

Colt or Spring, and you won't go wrong...of course handle 'em both and get what YOU want...

January 2, 2003, 07:00 AM
Base Colt or Kimber.

January 2, 2003, 07:35 AM
Colt, Kimber or Springfield for a base model gun. I suggest you shop around and handle as many as you can. Decide which looks the best, feels the best and has the features you want. Both Kimber and Springfield have upgrade models that have match barrels, nice triggers and adjustable sights. You must decide which features are important to you.

January 2, 2003, 08:07 AM
When it comes to 45 Auto, I recommend Colt. You can pick up a used but like new Gold Cup for around $650 - 700. For this you get the tuned action, adjustable sights, pretty much all the bells and whistles people pay extra for when they modify a base model.

The idea of building your own target pistol was a necessity back a couple decades ago. Thousands of shooters got inexpensive GI 1911A1s and modified them into bullseye pistols as there was not the plethora of choices in the market. That is no longer the case today where the old GI pistol is worth more unmodified as a collectors item.

Even the base models today have dispensed with the tiny sights of the original GI M1911A1, so you have a more serviceable shooter with the base model than the original piece. JMHO

January 2, 2003, 08:26 AM
I'm in the market for a 1911 too. Gunshop has Kimbers, Springfields & Colts. Trigger feels better on the Kimber, I like the Colt too but something about the plastic trigger bothers me. Is it reason for concern?

January 2, 2003, 08:33 AM
My Colt !991a1 has a plastic trigger, and I have not had any problems with it. The new rollmark 1991a1's come with aluminum triggers.

January 2, 2003, 09:35 AM
No need to spend $8-900 if you don't want to!
If you want an extended beavertail, safety and better sights then you should be able to pick up a Springfield "Loaded" or Kimber "Custom" for $6-650 or maybe a bit less.
I believe for that price you could look at a Dan Wesson. I have not seen a Dan Wesson, but read good things about them!
If you don't want those "extras" then a Springfield mil-spec or Colt goverment model should do just fine.
Whatever feels better to you. All the better if you can shoot different models, but I know that can be difficult in many cases.
Generally, it will cost you more to add these "extras" to a base model than buy a model that already has them.
For your first 1911, I would buy the "Loaded' or "Custom" type models and just shoot it a lot.
Just my opinion of course.
Have fun!!

Sean Smith
January 2, 2003, 10:06 AM


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