1911 Advice


The Dutchman
August 7, 2005, 03:38 AM
OK..... I am about to buy a 1911 handgun for the first time....with a preset $800 spending limit for myself. My father has a Springfield GI that I sometimes call my own because I clean it and maintain it :) . The problem is that I'm a student and while I adore the handgun and I can't exactly buy a top of the line $1,200 plus model. I am considering buying a GI like my dad but I have heard it was manufactured in brazil :mad: . I am a red blooded american and for me this seems a little strange buying a 1911 handgun that was manufactured in brazil. I am not judgmental, my dad has not had any troubles with his although it is pretty young, but I am still iffy about their manufacturing process and tolerences. Would any of you recommend this model or would you recommend a kimber, colt or anything else I can get for under $800?

P.S I just want a reliable bare bones 1911 that won't give me a lot of trouble.
Since I am not a particular accurate shot...tack driving accuracy is not a
concern for me.

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August 7, 2005, 04:11 AM
Don't think you can get more american buying a Colt. I think Kimber is made here too and seems to be doing good. Either one will give you decent value for the money spent. Having said that, the newest Springfields seem to be a pretty good pistol too in terms of reliability.
For a good, comfortable range pistol, I would recommend you stay with the full sized models. They seem to exhibit the softest recoil, althought to me that is not a bad thing, even in the short models. It does cause me to bear down on the sights a bit more, but its all fun.

August 7, 2005, 05:02 AM
I say forget about where the weapon is made. It is nearly impossible to find a 100% USA made handgun these days. If not the frame then the internals or whatever might be outsourced. Springfield Armory pistols have been made in Brazil and finished to SA specs in the USA for years.

My vote is for a Springfield Armory GI or Mil-Spec. The GI costs less but has no frills. If you want something a little different than your father's 1911, look at the mil-spec. It comes standard with some nice things like a lowered and flared ejection port and beveled mag well and front slide serrations and only costs about $100 more.

Get a GI or Mil-Spec for $500-$600 and spend your remaining $200 on 1.) Cleaning supplies 2.) Ammo and 3.) 7rnd Wilson Combat mags

August 7, 2005, 05:18 AM
Here ya go, friend.


And, if you want something a bit plainer, check this one out:


This is the 1911 that everyone else is trying to imitate. This is the original, the real deal--and it's 100% American made.

Black Majik
August 7, 2005, 05:19 AM
NRM Colt Government

Better fit, finish and its a Colt. In this case, it doesn't say IMBEL on the frame of the gun :D

You'll look at the bluing on the gun and fork over the money. It'll fit your $800 spending limit.

August 7, 2005, 06:23 AM
Yeah, I would like to get my hand on a SA 1911 Operator :) but any 1911 is a very hard, more likely impossible, to find in Europe :cuss: :banghead:

August 7, 2005, 09:04 AM
I can't speak for the other 1911 makers out their, but my Springfield Loaded Champion (commander length) has been flawless. It got it new for about $700. Its Stainless, comes with checkered wood grips, Novak tritum night sights, and has been 100% reliable. And it comes with a lifetime warranty.


August 7, 2005, 09:28 AM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned that you can get more in depth info on 1911s (and more info than you can read in a year) at


Be sure to let us know what you decide.

August 7, 2005, 11:18 AM
With your 800 budget, may I recommend a Colt. You could choose from several models. With a little shopping, you could find a series 70 in blue, that would fall under your budget. A great 1911 from the custom shop.

August 7, 2005, 11:34 AM
AS stated above, forget where it's manufactured and get the best gun for your money. Springfield has an excellant line of 1911s and S&W also has a great line, I personally will never again own a Kimber series II model FWIW. If you plane to CCW your gun, you may want to consider a lightweight model like Springers Bi Tone or a Smith PD/SC. Recoil is not greater enough to be any problem, and the lighter weight is sure nice after several hours of carry. Good luck.

August 7, 2005, 12:00 PM
I have yet to see a Colt under $800 here. A basic NRM for $819 was the best I've seen and I don't consider it any more or any less of a "good to go" pistol then the SA for a few hundred bucks less.

With your budget, that doesn't leave much for supplies.

True, SA is made in Brazil and finished in the US (with the exception of some GI's and Milspecs which arrive complete), but buying Colt means supporting a union shop whose union has been doing it's best apparently to shut down their own employer for years. :fire:

Art Eatman
August 7, 2005, 12:47 PM
My eternal question about 1911s is, why buy a new one? The worst that one can be is to have a worn-out barrel. Any internal parts are pretty cheap, if those are needed.

An old GI model or a Series 70 doesn't commonly run all that much money, and it takes relatively little to make a very accurate and reliable shooter...

:), Art

August 7, 2005, 01:12 PM
Buy the Colt and take care of it. It will last your lifetime and that of your Grandchildren.
New Kimbers seem to be having extractor troubles. I'd stay with the Colt and leave the copies to others.

August 8, 2005, 09:47 AM
When I purchased my 1911 style pistol I ran into the same issue. I saw this Springfield I really liked but I did not like the big "Made in Brazil" on the frame. I ended up with a Colt model 1991A1 which I really liked. If I ever buy another 1911 it will probably be a Colt again. As someone else here said, I really don't think it gets more American than that.

August 8, 2005, 10:27 AM
SW1911. Street price of around $675. 100% made in the USA.



W Turner
August 8, 2005, 12:54 PM
For the wants/needs and price range you have specified, here is what I would purchase in order

NRM Colt 1991- if they are running over $700 in your area, order them from an online retailer for around $650 + shipping and transfer

Springfield Loaded - Imbel is a very well-respected operation that turns out quality stuff....SA has better customer service than Colt too

Smith and Wesson 1911 - US made, external extractor and additional safety systems have not been as problematic as Kimber's, customer service is the best in the business

Springfield Mil-Spec- I would choose this one over the GI if I was going to customize it. The machine work (lowered/flared ejection port, beveled mag well) and the better sights are enough for me. Add a beavertail, trigger job, and better sights and you have a great fighting pistol.

I just don't care for Kimber's. Lots of flashy, go-fast parts that bump up the price unneccessarily; a crappy implementation of the Schwartz safety; problems with the external extractors; extensive use of MIM parts and their customer service stories just don't inspire confidence for me.


August 8, 2005, 12:58 PM
Kimber, Colt or S&W.

Keep 100% of your money here.

Or I guess you COULD send some of it over to Brazil - but then don't compain when YOUR job is sent overseas.

Father Knows Best
August 8, 2005, 01:21 PM
There are lots of good choices in your price range. Go to a well stocked gun shop and try a bunch out. The major 1911 manufacturers all offer excellent values in "fully loaded" pistols. The brands I like/trust are, in alphabetical order:

Dan Wesson
Para Ordnance
Springfield Armory
Smith & Wesson

The Colt, Kimber and S&W models tend to be a little more expensive than similarly equipped models from DW, PO and SA, so I lean toward the latter group as the best values.

My current favorite is Para Ordnance. The SSP model is an excellent pistol at a great price (street price around $600 the last time I checked). Mine is the most accurate factory stock 1911 I have ever shot, and it has been 100% reliable. I can't get it to choke no matter what ammo I feed it and no matter how dirty or hot it gets.

August 8, 2005, 04:04 PM
SW1911. Street price of around $675. 100% made in the USA.

Buy one if you don't mind supporting Clinton-appeasers.

Zach S
August 8, 2005, 09:00 PM
It comes standard with some nice things like a lowered and flared ejection port and beveled mag well and front slide serrations and only costs about $100 more.
The mil-spec doesn't have front slide serrations.

Father Knows Best
August 8, 2005, 09:18 PM
Buy one if you don't mind supporting Clinton-appeasers.

Um, I'm pretty sure that the people who did the deal with Clinton were the British owners of S&W. They later sold the company. The current Smith & Wesson is not run by the same people.

August 8, 2005, 10:15 PM
My mistake about the Mil-Spec.. thats just what mine is like, I must've lucked out and gotten a Loaded slide.

S&W is still the same name as the company that did that.. i like to hold a grudge. You can find the very same things smith&wesson offers most of the time at about compairable quality.

August 8, 2005, 10:30 PM
if you want a carry piece, you'll probably want the extras like longer trigger, flared and lowered ejection port, extended safety, beavertail, etc. somewhere down the line. if this is the case, i suggest a pistol that comes with those features out of the box. i love my kimber and i've heard good things about sa's loaded series, smiths, colts, paras and all the other reputable companies.

if, on the other hand, you just want a traditional "all american" range gun that reminds one of sandy beaches cloaked in fog or steamy jungles, i suggest the sa gi model or the same from auto ordnance. both excellent guns at fair prices and you can save some money on features you might not want anyway.

August 8, 2005, 11:11 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned that you can get more in depth info on 1911s (and more info than you can read in a year) at


Be sure to let us know what you decide.
Not to mention, here ...


August 9, 2005, 08:27 AM
Not to get too far off thread, but I see a lot of "buy American guns" in all gun threads lately. Quick question. How many of you guys saying don't buy Springfield because it's made in Brazil have a Sony TV or vcr in your house? Anybody drive a VW or Toyota? I could go on but I won't. Buying American is great and I'm not knocking it by any means. But no one buys 100% American made products and I personally will buy the pistol I like best and gives me the best value. If that means a Smith, great. But if it means a Springfield, sorry I'll buy it (actually already did). Just my .02.

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