Another 1911 delema


January 3, 2003, 12:48 PM
This is somewhat of a repeat of a couple of other threads going;

First time 1911 buyer with somewhat limited funds.
Went to my favorite shop this morning and got some prices.

Springfield Loaded $675
Kimber II, stainless $725 (down from $795) Could get a blued model for the same price as the Springfield.
Colt series 80, no frills $575
Used Charles Daily $395 - not really interested.

Like the sights on the Kimber & Springfield better than the GI issue type on the Colt.

Springfield grips were thicker than the rest, didn't feel that good in my hand. Could buy thinner grips but then there's more $$$$

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January 3, 2003, 01:29 PM
Of those you listed, Springfield Loaded or the Colt with drop in rear sight from McCormick or other.

If it's for carry, consider a standard Colt Commander-length with a sight upgrade. Beavertails can make concealed carry harder; I don't need or prefer them.

January 3, 2003, 01:50 PM
No carry in KS, so that's not an issue.
Are there good aftermarket 'drop in' sights for the Colt? Compairing the Colt slide to the Kimber & Springfield it looks like it would take some machining to fit a Novak or similar style.
Thinking about changing the grips on the Springfield, I'd probably end up putting different ones on the Kimber too, something showier (is that a word? :confused: ) than the factory rubber.

January 3, 2003, 01:55 PM
I'd avoid the Kimber II...only had two of the "latest and greatest" Kimbers through the shop so far, but both of them didn't go "bang" every time. That new firing pin block is horrible, IMO.

Of the pistols listed, I'd take the Springfield, hands down.

Sights? Why... should be able to help you out if you decide to go Colt, or for grips should you want something different. 1911's were just made for accessories and modifications to suit individual taste.


January 3, 2003, 01:55 PM
I would say go for the Kimber SS.

I think the Kimbers are fitted a little better than the Colts although individual examples vary enough.

I would try and take someone who really knows 1911s and how they should be fitted and look at each individual gun.

Too bad they probably will not let you take them apart or anything :P

Honestly though - if you are looking at the mid 700 range, I would try and pony up a little more and get an STI Trojan - much better gun than all those mentioned.

January 3, 2003, 01:59 PM
"Too bad they probably will not let you take them apart or anything"
That wouldn't be a problem at this shop. Phone numbers on my cell speed dial, have behind the counter privileges. :D

January 3, 2003, 02:11 PM
Is this planned as a long term keeper and development platform, or are you planning someday to "move up" on 45?
If just a step along the way, of a sample to see if you like, go on at the lower end, and use 230 FMJ ammo. See if the action is for you, and if you like the gun. And pratice pratice and pratice. The 45 in a 1911 is a transferable skill between different makes and quality levels, but the control of the firing system requires a touch of disipline and pratice.
Then consider the other guns on the list. Try before investing heavy. Just a suggestion.....

January 3, 2003, 03:19 PM
I have a Kimber Custom II Target and its been great! No problems what so ever. I would look into a Kimber or one of the Colts with the newer roll mark.

Shoot them before you plop the money on them.

Jason Demond
January 3, 2003, 05:41 PM
I would go with the Springfield.:scrutiny:

January 3, 2003, 06:22 PM
Sisco don`t lose sleep deciding which gun is better. You can`t go wrong with a Colt, Kimber or Springfield at those prices. Every brand has its pros and cons. I`ve seen Kimbers that worked great out of the box and I`ve had ones that I had to work on to get them to function.The same with Colts and Springfields. If cost is your main concern buy the Colt and don`t look back.

January 3, 2003, 07:30 PM
Add a Springfield Milsspec to your list.

Check out new model with Colt style contour on frontstrap and dust cover. Very accurate, pretty good sights, and very reliable. NIB should be out the door for under $500. There are a couple for sale on

January 3, 2003, 07:36 PM
Sisco, go with the question about it. I had a Springfield and parted with it. I don't feel bad about that.

I now have a Colt S80 and love her to death. The best part about it is that the one you're looking at is at a good price, but is lower than everything else that you might hear is comparable.

What I saw is that you will want to change parts out to make the gun more "yours". This is a fact of life and you've already made a comment about "showier" grips. That's an indication of tinkeritis.

With the stock Colt, you can change out the milspec parts for the specific aftermarket tack that YOU want. Not some designer's idea of what you might want like you get on the Springfield and Kimbers. Don't like Novaks? Get MMC. Don't live Wilson Beavertails? Get Ed Brown. Don't like rosewood grips? Get any of the million others out there. You can make the gun exactly what you want without worrying about losing something valuable that you've paid for in the purchase price.

I wish I had started with a box-stock Colt and I seriously encourage you to learn from my mistakes. I hope you have a thousand years of happiness with the JMB design.

January 3, 2003, 11:07 PM
Leaning towards the Colt.
VaughnT has me pegged, I do have a bad case of "tinkeritis". I do not own a gun I haven't done something or other to.
Might be fun to shoot it bone stock a while then if I decide I'm a 1911 kinda guy go ahead and start tweaking.
Tried to check Colt's website, apparently it's not working.

Kahr carrier
January 4, 2003, 04:12 AM
The Colts are nice but the Series 80 has the firing pin lock. But you can fix them up pretty nice with the right parts and a good Gunsmith.:)

January 4, 2003, 04:28 AM
I'd go with one of the new roll marked Colts, but I may be prejudice. Add a little more to the kitty and look for one of the new model 70 series. I believe thats what Dane Burns is using on a lot of his build ups now. He does state its Colts best pistol he has seen.

January 4, 2003, 04:45 AM
Colt, Colt and more Colt..

"if it aint got the dancin horse on it it aint a gun"

January 4, 2003, 05:31 AM
Got mine in late yesterday, Carbon steel blued, external extractor, great fit and finish, incredibly well constructed. Many think it's the best value for a 1911 with match target barrels and sights. 'Proofed' target enclosed in pistol case. Series 70 design with no firing pin block safety. Built like the way Kimbers were when first introduced in 1997. My pistol has a very low serial number. Incredibly priced to be very competitive. Good luck.

January 4, 2003, 05:40 AM
I was just reading Stephen A. Camps review of the Patriot at 1911 forums
Sounds impressive. What would one expect to spend on one?
Was also checking the Springfield Gov. model.
Seems the closer I get to having my mind made up the more confused I get! :scrutiny:

January 4, 2003, 04:35 PM
I've got a dozen 1911's including Colts, Kimbers, and Springfields. While all of them make some nice 1911's, the Kimber Series II is out - don't want that funky system, the Springfields just don't look or feel quite right to my taste, and I'd pick the Colt anyway! That basic Series 80 Government is gorgeous, feels like a dream in the hand, and is most likely to be trouble free right out of the box. Colt's new "dimpled" barrel throat design feeds all bullet profiles including "flying ashtrays" like a dream. And it's a bargain. Plus, if you ever decided to change any of it's features, it's an awesome base gun for a custom project. Don't worry about the Series 80 system, it's tried and true and very reliable. Of course if you want a Colt with no Series 80 system, there are the Government Series 70 re-issue guns, though they will run about $800. I hear that Colt is likely to issue a stainless version of the Series 70 in the next few months too! Colt lovers can rejoice! :D

Sean Smith
January 4, 2003, 06:06 PM
The new Colt Goverment Models are excellent guns. They are real step up over the old 1991A1... nice blue finish, aluminum triggers, rosewood grips, accurate and reliable guns all around. Don't confuse "frills" like different grip safties and sights with actual quality.

January 4, 2003, 06:14 PM
Just when I thought the matter was settled, I discovered the Springfield MilSpec compact!
The Colt Mil Spec at the dealer is all matte finished, aren't the new issues supposed to be polished on the sides?

Sean Smith
January 4, 2003, 06:17 PM
A new Colt Goverment Model Series 80 looks like this:

January 4, 2003, 06:22 PM
And my new Colt Series 70 Government looks like this (I put in a different trigger & grips... that's all).

This gun is magnificent. :cool:

January 4, 2003, 06:22 PM
I keep seeing refrences to "old" & "new" rollmarks.
Looking at Mr. Smiths photo and if memory serves me correctly, the one I'm looking at is an "old" rollmark. I'll have to check it agian.

January 4, 2003, 06:29 PM
The new Colt rollmarks look like the Series 70 pic I just posted above and the Series 80 above that. The old rollmarks were much larger and blockier and I think all the blue ones had a matte finish... people seem to greatly prefer the combination of the new rollmarks with the polished slides.... an awesome look in my view!

January 4, 2003, 07:39 PM
Don't be afraid of the ser.II kimbers, if you have problems that are ser.II related they are easy to fix, and you said you like to tinker.( I have and have fixed them myself )



January 4, 2003, 07:52 PM
The current Colts are an excellent value. They have fewer MIM parts than Kimber, and their quality in terms of fit and finish is typically very good (although a few lemons make it out). Colts tend to retain their resale value very well.

My first 1911 was a Springfield "Loaded". After owning it for a while, I found that I did not particularly like all of the "extras", so I traded it for a new rollmarked Series-80 Colt. The Colt was put together better in terms of barrel fit, the finish was nicer, and it flet better in my hand. My Springfield also required a trip back to the factory to replace the front sight (it was shooting terribly low), which took two months. The Colt is also a bit more accurate. Springfields are also made in Brazil, which I found shocking and distressing. Colts and Kimbers are both made in the U.S.

As for the Series 80 firing pin safety, there are four extra parts which can affect the feel of the trigger to a degree. This is fairly easy to remedy, even without experience, by polishing the engagement surfaces of the parts to reduce friction.

For your first 1911, try the basic design first. Shoot it a lot. Then decide if you really need all the extra gadgets.

Just my take. You will enjoy whatever you end up with. You will end up with more anyway, so don't worry about it too much. Good Luck.


Sean Smith
January 4, 2003, 09:31 PM
This is the older 1991A1:


1. Slide is marked "COLT 1991A1" in block letters instead of the newer, more attractive "Colt's Government Model .45 Automatic Caliber" with the pony logo.

2. Both old and new guns came in blued or stainless, but new guns have brush-polished slide & frame flats instead of the coarse matte finish all over the old guns.

3. Old gun has pastic trigger and plastic grips, new gun has aluminum trigger and rosewood grips.

4. New guns have a unique re-designed barrel throat that improves feed reliability over other 1911s.

5. The general consensus is that the new guns are better fitted, nicer finished, more accurate, more reliable and have better triggers. The price on the street (around $550-570) is actually LOWER than the old 1991A1 was a few years ago, which I'd seen for $650+(!).

January 5, 2003, 06:55 AM
Colt or Kimber.

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