Best PRK-legal 1911 for the money?


September 24, 2004, 12:46 AM
Hi, i have a female friend who is a new shooter. We're going to the range next weekend to let her rent a bunch of guns to see which she likes the most.
We went to traders to let her get a feel for some of them to rule out any that would immediately be too big for her hand. She took a liking to the glock and 1911 design.
I like 1911's, but more from a theoretical than practical standpoint these days. Two years ago, I realized it would take more money to tune up my beat up GI 1911A1, than it would to buy an out-of-the-box glock or XD which would do everything I needed and more. So there ends my knowledge of them.
I know there are a lot of fantastic 1911's out there (Les Baer, Wilson Combat, Valtro, Limcat, etc), however all are really out of the price range she is concentrated on 400 to 1000 dollars. That price range leaves some springfields, some kimbers, maybe the Sig GSR, the SW1911, rock rivers, am I missing any? Which of these brands offer the best bang for the buck as well as being PRK legal. I warned her about MIM parts on the kimber, was that a bad idea?


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September 24, 2004, 01:08 AM
You mentioned Sig so I'm assuming that's an option.

If she's a novice a 1911 style might not be as good an idea. Rookies might have a hard time with condition one carry.

The Sig 220 however, is an exceptional piece. Ergonomics can't be beat. Accuracy is outstanding. Simple too. Simply chamber a round, drop the hammer with the hammer drop, and it's ready to go.

Plus it's light. Aluminum frame and all.

So why don't I own one? I sold my Sigs in a moment of sheer stupidity. In fact, I can only explain every gun sale I ever made as stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

September 24, 2004, 03:30 AM
I'm giving her gun site, thunder ranch, front sight, Boston T. Party advice, stick to a platform that has a consistent trigger pull. Glocks, XD's, 1911's, BHP's, CZ's (that can be carried C&L), H&K LEM, etc. etc. She's a big girl, with proper safety instruction ANYONE (except maybe people who shouldn't own guns period) can carry a gun safely in condition one. I have nothing personal against sigs, H&K's, beretta's, etc. but the DA/SA design is to quote Jeff Cooper "is a brilliant solution to a nonexistent problem."


September 24, 2004, 09:40 AM
I'd suggest a version 1 model HK USP 45 Compact. "Version 1" is cocked and locked, like a 1911. The ergonomics are identical to the 1911, though the gun is a little 'boxy'. Recoil is surprisingly light for the abbreviated barrel length. Used, they can be found in the $600 range.

When you said " We went to traders....", by 'traders', if you meant Trader's in San Leandro, do us all a favor and frequent any other gun store. Old West on the Albany/El Cerrito line is one that comes to mind, but there are plenty to choose from. Bob will make his profit, but at least you won't get steered, roped, and gouged by a used car salesman. Unless Trader's has changed ownership, they are the most unscrupulous gun dealers in the state. They've been known to bait and switch, their advice on gun choice vs. situation is 'nonexistant'--they'll steer towards the highest priced or slowest selling inventory. (I personally saw them counsel a neophyte grandmother and her daughter into a snub-nosed 44mag for home defense. :rolleyes: :fire: ) They made their money during the Mitchell Brothers' drug war in East Oakland with plenty of straw sales, there's no reason for you to contribute more. It's too bad Oakland ran Siegle's out; at least they were on the up and up; Trader's on the other hand, deserves to be burned to the ground.

September 24, 2004, 04:09 PM
Hah, buy from trader's you must be kidding. There prices are always at least 100 dollars over east county guns, forget that! I go into Old West to buy stuff when I need it 'now', Bob is pretty chrotchety. He has kind of a "I don't need your business" 'tude that doesn't resonate well with some customers.


September 24, 2004, 05:38 PM
I'd get either a Springfield Mil-Spec or Colt 1991A1 and shoot a couple hundred rounds through it. If still not 100% reliable then send it to a respected gunsmith and just get a reliablity job (these usually run less than a $100 even from the top smiths). She can add any other niceties (better sights, beavertail, etc...), if she wants them.

September 24, 2004, 05:44 PM
have both and will highly reccomend both to anyone looking for a GOOD pistol.

Black Majik
September 24, 2004, 07:10 PM
For a first gun you sure the .45 ACP round is ok with her? I'm not saying its gonna be a lot to handle, a lot of the girls I know love shooting my 1911's, but they do have to warm up to it.

Since you're taking her to the shooting range first to rent a few pistols, start off small and work your way up. Get down to the basics with a .22lr pisto such as the Ruger MK II's to teach her the fundamentals of proper form, safety and technique. Then warm her up to the 9mm and then .45 ACP etc etc...

IME it takes a few range trips (around 2 or 3) for them to warm up comfortably to the .45 ACP round to the point that they can shoot it competently and safely.

The .45 ACP round is great, the recoil is not harsh or snappy. Its a nice push, but it is loud.

Make sure she has proper hearing protection. I usually recommend new shooters to put in ear plugs AND ear muffs. Flinching is usually caused by part anticipation of recoil, and anticipation of the *bang!*

Now for 1911 recommendations. You should know what I'm gonna recommend. You forgot to mention the Colt NRM Government!! ;)

For around $600ish here in California, it is a nice step up from the SA milspecs. Fit and finish is a lot better, it is "prettier" to their eyes.

The SA Loaded is another viable option as are the Kimbers. All it comes down to is taking her to a gunshop also and checking out the selection to see if anything catches her eye. Show her the features, the bells and whistles. See if she likes or prefers a gun with the ext. thumb safety, beavertail, etc. Figure out and be patient, find out what extra mods work for her, and which doesn't.

But for a starter 1911, the Colt is a great option.

Good luck in your search. Patience is key. But I'm sure she's gonna love the whole shooting and buying experience. Good job in getting another shooter into the sport.

Two thumbs up!

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