Most reliable new American-made 1911?


September 30, 2005, 08:03 AM
I'd like to hear opinions on which new 5" American-made 1911 is likely to be most reliable out of the box. Oh, and it has to be around a grand or less, no $2k+ custom guns.

Or should I just forget about new and for the same money buy a used Colt and a trip to the gunsmith?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

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September 30, 2005, 08:24 AM
I'd go with a Colt NRM.

September 30, 2005, 08:39 AM
NRM Colt's are a fine production gun. Mine runs flawlessly right out of the box.
Para's LTC and SSP are really nice.
Always been partial to Kimber's though internet rumor has the S2 guns as less desirable, no first hand experience since mine are all series 1.


September 30, 2005, 10:05 AM
Gotta be a KIMBER

September 30, 2005, 10:18 AM
i think 1911tuner has the right idea , get an original GI issue 1911a1 and leave it at that ...

September 30, 2005, 10:25 AM
I don't have experience with a lot of different brand 1911's, but, I can tell you that my Springfield Armory Champion G.I. has been flawless right out of the box, going on 1,000 rds, with all kinds of ammo, and all kinds of mags. It keeps getting smoother and smoother too, the action now is like glass compared to when I first started breaking it in.

September 30, 2005, 10:35 AM
Properly maintained and tuned 1911s using good quality ammo and magazines are very reliable; a SW1911 like mine is one example. There are certain guys I know that have trouble with most of the guns they own. I know another guy where every gun he owns runs like a swiss watch. The difference is how the guns are maintained, and the quality of the ammo you are using.

September 30, 2005, 11:19 AM
Dan Wesson/CZ 1911, Series 70-type pistol. Not the cheapest, but the best "bang for the buck" in all respects. :cool:



September 30, 2005, 11:21 AM
f4t9r, he said reliable.

September 30, 2005, 11:26 AM
Colt NRM or SW1911.

September 30, 2005, 11:49 AM
Do the Springfield Armory USGI 1911's count? I think they were built with parts from Imbel. Mine had some problems going fully into battery a few times through the first box of ammo but it smoothed out. Hasn't been shot much since.

My Colt NRM 1991A1 Government Model worked 100% out of the box. The only problem I had was one of the white dots on the rear sight came off. Ended up repainting it with a Birchwood Casey sight pen.

I got my USGI for about $399, the Colt came out to $700 after taxes.

Sharps Shooter
September 30, 2005, 12:07 PM
Nearly 1000 rounds through my Kimber - no failures so far. But it's my first 1911, American made or otherwise, so I can't really even guess if Kimbers are the most reliable, out of the box 1911s or not.

Black Majik
September 30, 2005, 12:34 PM
NRM Colt

September 30, 2005, 01:43 PM
Here's the thing I've found with series II Kimbers. If they work right out of the box, you have a good one. If they don't work right away, they never will run 100%. Personally, I'll never own another series II Kimber, but that's just my opinion. I've had gfreatr luck with Springfield Armory and wouldn't hesitate to reccomend them.

September 30, 2005, 01:49 PM
No question at all...the S&W SW1911.

Only 1911 that is satisfiactory to my demands for a carry gun as it comes from the box.... others all take a fair pile of money to bring up to the standard of the S&W out of the box.



September 30, 2005, 02:08 PM
i've had good luck with my springfield mil-spec and my father's kimber custom II was one of the lucky ones that is 100% reliable.

September 30, 2005, 02:23 PM
New Colts & SW1911 ... with a growing edge to the SW1911's.

The only thing I really dislike about the new XSE I bought is the increased number of non-Colt produced, vendor-supplied parts. The pistol is very accurate & reliable so far, although I replaced the ambidextrous thumb safety (which broke apart) and a standard guide rod & plug & 18.5 lb recoil spring are going to be installed. I may, or may not, eventually replace the older style extended 'duckbill' grip safety, since it doesn't really interefere with my personal grip and presentation techniques, although it's not as well shaped or rounded (meaning sharp edges) around the frame as some other upswept parts. Just depends on my mood someday.

The SW1911's I've handled and fired have all performed fine, and I'm ordering a SW1911Sc of my own. My partner really likes his, and he's always been a hard-line Colt fan, having also bought new blue & stainless Government Models in recent months (although he'll admit to owning a very early production Kimber which has exhibited fine function). I know a few other folks that really like their SW1911's, as well.

I think S&W is really going to do well with this line, especially now that they're investing in the ability to produce more of the parts in-house. I don't know about their choice in magazines, though, since they've gone through a couple of vendors, so far. Perhaps the ACT magazines will turn out to be better than the Wilson mags. Time will tell ... In the meantime I'll be ordering more Metalform/Wolff, and will continue to T&E the Tripp Cobramags.

September 30, 2005, 03:14 PM
i think 1911tuner has the right idea , get an original GI issue 1911a1 and leave it at that ...

I'd love one of these but they're not easy to find... sigh. How much do they tend to cost for a fairly clean one?

Of new manufacture, Colt gets my vote, btw. :)


September 30, 2005, 03:54 PM
I'm with gunfan on this one.

The most reliable out of the box 1911 I own is my Dan Wesson RZ-10 series 70 in stainless.

Mine has well over 5000 rounds through it and it has been totally reliable after the usual first 250 or so. Finding a round that works is as big a piece of the puzzle as the weapon itself.

September 30, 2005, 09:07 PM
Have had all kinds of 1911 45 autos over the years
colts (4) , springfield (2), S&w, Dan wesson,Kimber (2)
Most have been good , Better with some work
Kimber was the most impressive right out of the box !!!!
and yes reliable

October 1, 2005, 12:09 AM
I picked up a couple Colt NRM commanders back in early summer. One has about 400 rounds through it and flawless function. The other has about 2500 through it and it too was flawless.

The NRM Colt is as well made as any production gun, and runs well. If I had a grand to spend on a new 1911 I would go with a Colt, probably an XSE.

October 1, 2005, 05:03 AM
Without a doubt the NRM Colts. The S&W 1911's intrigue me. Kimbers, I have experience with 3 different ones. All suffered from reliability problems. Springfield GI and Mil-Spec are made in Brazil, so don't meet the original thread starters American Made requirement.

October 1, 2005, 07:29 AM
Thanks for the replies so far.

What's a Colt NRM? What does the NRM stand for? I don't see anything on their website like that.

October 1, 2005, 08:54 AM
What's a Colt NRM? What does the NRM stand for? I don't see anything on their website like that.

NRM - New Roll Mark

October 1, 2005, 11:06 AM
i think you must decide if you want a gi grip and thumb safety or a high grip beavertail and extended thumb safety. there is a cost to change from gi to high grip and guns that are standard with the high grip will likely be more expensive compared to a gun of equal quality.

for beavertail and ext safety, SA "loaded" and S&W1911 are great choices and a good value. SA loadeds have better fit and finish than the SA gi models. i have many and all have been excellent out of the box. same with S&W which i got when they came out with the blue model as it does not have front cocking serrations.

October 1, 2005, 11:14 AM
Colt NRM or Para Ordnance are my choice.

October 1, 2005, 01:37 PM
Nrm Colt

October 2, 2005, 06:27 PM
My first one was a DCM gun my folks bought from the original purchaser for $25 bucks and gave to me for Christmas, 1962. Have had a few more since then.

Sprung for an SA stainless mil-spec a year or so ago; now have about 850 rounds of my RNL handloads through it and it has been a good gun. Reliable, decent trigger, accurate. Anything can break but right now this one looks like a winner.

In contrast I recently sent a polymer-framed .45 ACP that allegedly never acts up back to the mfr. After 1200 plus rounds and one trip in for factory voodoo it still averaged 32 rds between malfunctions. The factory will destroy it and replace it with a new one--which I intend to sell NIB and try to forget.

I too miss the old GI pistols, but without a time machine with heavy lifting capability those days are gone. The SA has met my stringent expectations thus far.

Ala Dan
October 2, 2005, 06:33 PM
Recent experience has me leaning towards series II Kimber's; especially
the Raptor~! Go figure- :D

October 2, 2005, 06:40 PM
Gotta go with the Kimber. Most bang for the buck.

October 2, 2005, 07:50 PM
Don't fry me guys but if you could get one - NIB Norinco! BEst bang for your buck -now have four and have yet to have a FTF of any kind. 2A1's, Commander and a 9MM 1911. Otherwise my Para SSP had never had a hic up in almost 1,000 rounds - all reloads, mine.

October 2, 2005, 08:24 PM
I vote Colt, I like 'em, they work for me. I noticed several posters mention Springfield Armory 1911s. Are they not made in Brazil? I believe Gannet was asking opinions about American made 1911s.

October 2, 2005, 09:24 PM
Thanks again for the replies.

I ended up buying a Kimber Warrior. It's like a Series 1, internal extractor, no firing pin safety. I put over 300 rounds through it, mostly FMJ but also 25 rounds of Speer GoldDots. No problems whatsoever. :D

October 2, 2005, 10:45 PM
Here's the thing I've found with series II Kimbers. If they work right out of the box, you have a good one.
I've found that about a number of things (and people.)
My theory is that sometimes the standard deviations cancel each other out; the result being an average gun or whatever. Sometimes they all pull in the right direction and what you have is rare and wonderful. These are the keepers. Then there's the third category and all you can do is sell, divorce or leave it at the side of the road. Perhaps with SII Kimbers, the external extractor makes this accumulation of deviations that much more critical.
When I got my Target II, I was lucky in that the dealer had two new ones to choose from. Both guns were still in the Fedex shipping container. I was the first one outside of the factory personnel to cycle and dryfire each of them. The trigger pulls seemed identical to me, but the action on one was clearly smoother; it even racked better. Naturally, that's the one I took home and as I've posted previously, I am very satisfied. I've had the gun since last Christmas, have carried it every day after verifying its reliability and have run approximately 1,000 rds. per month through it. This morning's 250 (Blazer Brass & Winchester WB, was typical: reliable & accurate.)

October 4, 2005, 08:07 PM
NRM Colt runs great

October 4, 2005, 08:23 PM
Gannet, congrats on your new Kimber 1911, enjoy! :)

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