1911 Gun Brand Quality - Need Advice


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FortyFive70
October 30, 2006, 08:16 PM
I used to own quite a few 1911 handguns but only two brands - Colt, and Springfield Armory. Kids get older, interests wane, and I sold all 1911 guns I used to own. Now I'm intersted in replacing those guns and there are some other 1911 brands on the market now that interest me, but that I have no experience with.

I'm particularly interested in Kimber. They appear to be of excellent quality, and their prices seem very good for the custom features they offer. Any opinions on Kimber?

What about Auto-Ordnance? I know their 1911s used to have a questionable reputation, but what about now? I'd like to also buy a plain-jane parkerized 1911A1 and their's looks good. Any opinions?

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cbsbyte
October 30, 2006, 08:24 PM
I don't know much about 1911s. I just wanted to let you know that Auto-Ordnance is now owned by Kahr which has spent alot of money to retool the company.

orionengnr
October 30, 2006, 08:26 PM
http://www.1911forum.com/forums/index.php?s=

http://forum.m1911.org/index.php?

Here are a couple. Should keep you busy for a while.

Enjoy!

Anna's Dad
October 30, 2006, 08:40 PM
I don't know much about 1911s. I just wanted to let you know that Auto-Ordnance is now owned by Kahr which has spent alot of money to retool the company.

I'm not a 1911 guy either but I bought one of the Auto-Ordnance (post Kahr) and its been just fine. I wouldn't say that its changed my life and I don't have any other 1911's to compare it to but it seems quite well made. Doesn't like JHP ammo, though--actually says so in the manual. Of course I had to try it anyway and it was a jam-o-matic. FMJ has been 100%.

FortyFive70
October 30, 2006, 09:26 PM
thanks for the links. it will keep me busy. But just a quick perusal and it looks like Kimbers are well regarded.

ugaarguy
October 30, 2006, 09:40 PM
What about Auto-Ordnance? I know their 1911s used to have a questionable reputation, but what about now? I'd like to also buy a plain-jane parkerized 1911A1 and their's looks good. Any opinions?

I've no experience with those, but I did buy a used Springfield Armory GI model a few months ago as my first 1911. For a basic 1911 I really like it, and they're well regarded here. If I wanted another plain jane gun I'd be looking at a Rock Island Armory pistol as well based on what I've read.

When I get back from his deployment I'll be picking up a new higher end 1911. I'll let you folks know how it shoots when I get back.

Ron James
October 30, 2006, 09:41 PM
FortyFive40, I brought a Kimber about 7 years ago, I've put a couple of thousand rounds thur it with out a burb . Accurate, it's more accurate than I can hold it, and it's more accurate than my National Match Gold Cup. When I renew my carry permit I get a kick out of the reaction when all 7 rounds go into a two inch circle. Heck at the distance we shoot I think you could throw a rock and get the same group but many of the people there are newbies. Even the instructer throught it was a custom gun.

Eskimo Jim
October 30, 2006, 10:03 PM
Forty,
I went through choosing a 1911 style handgun two years ago. I looked hard at the Kimbers, Smith and Wesson, Sig's GSR, Springfield Armory and Para Ordnance. I opted for the S&W because I felt that it met my criteria at the most competative price.

The S&W is all steel while quite a few of the Kimbers that were available were made of an alloy. For a comparable handgun, I felt that the S&W 1911 offered as much or more features for the cost. So far I have been thrilled with it. It is probably my second most accurate handgun that I 've owned. I wouldn't part with it.

I did like several of the Kimbers and Springfield Armory handguns. They were all very close runners up. The GI model from Springfield Armory tends to be a great base model 1911. The only reason why I didn't buy that model was that I figured that within 6 months I'd want the fancier features and better sights.

Jim

BlackJack
October 30, 2006, 10:22 PM
Take a look at the Taurus PT1911. I picked up one about a month ago and have given it a brief workout. No failures to feed in 300rds. Very nice fit and finish, loaded with options and decent price--mine was $499. Well worth considering.

kentucky_smith
October 30, 2006, 10:29 PM
I love my Kimber, if you're looking for a no-frills 1911, skip the Kahr/AO and get a Rock Island.

BullfrogKen
October 30, 2006, 10:33 PM
I don't like the Series II Kimber safety system. I have a pre-Series II that I thought is fine, but I can't embrace their "new" idea to tackle and "old" problem.

If I were looking for another, I'd spend my money on a Springfield in todays market, either a base gun, or one with more features, depending on what you wanted. Or, frankly, there's nothing wrong with a Colt.


I don't play around in the assembly line 1911 gun market because I get mine made by a pistolsmith now, but if I didn't have that resource available, I'd feel happy with either Colt or Springfield.

Ala Dan
October 30, 2006, 10:37 PM
You will find that most persons learn very early to hate the Schwartz safety
system in the II series Kimbers. Previously owned a 5" Raptor II, and currently
own a Stainless Ultra Carry II; and haven't had a problem with either one.
Traded the Raptor II in towards a Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special 1911; but
I still have the stainless Ultra Carry II.

Mr White
October 30, 2006, 10:43 PM
I hear the Kahr guns are well made and of good quality but they don't publicize the fact that Kahr Arms is owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. I wouldn't knowingly give a cent to any business that puts money in his pockets.

Don't believe me? Google "kahr moon" and read some of the hits.

lycanthrope
October 30, 2006, 10:57 PM
I have a couple Kimbers.

In summary, they rock.....save for the Series II safety if you plan to shoot 5000+ rounds a year. Get a gun without a Series II safety mechanism.

10-Ring
October 30, 2006, 11:54 PM
For an A1, the AO does look like a nice sample. I don't know how quality has changed since Kahr took the reigns, but it might be worth a try.

C-grunt
October 31, 2006, 12:44 AM
My father has one of the Kimber target 1911s....I think its called the Gold Medal. It is very well made and scary accurate. Because it is a target gun, it will have a FTF or two during long (200 plus round) shooting sessions. They are never bad, usually a tap on the end of the slide will chamber the round.

I had a Sprinfield Loaded model that was a good gun. It shot well, was accurate, fed HPs with no problem, and was well put together. It never felt really good in my hand and I could never shoot it really well, so I sold it.

I will get another 1911 some day and it will be either a Kimber or a S&W. Probably a S&W since they seem to fit my hand like a glove.

Slvr Surfr
October 31, 2006, 08:45 AM
I have a Smith and Wesson Scandium frame commander and Loaded Springer. They have both been awesome guns. I carry the smith and love shooting the springer at the range. I have never had any issues with either. A companies customer service is something just as important as the product they sell. Both SW and SA will take care of a problem no questions asked. They also pay for shipping both ways. Last I heard Kimber doesnt. Their CS is also hit and miss.

SW
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e341/helas_9/1911/DSCF0548.jpg
SA
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e341/helas_9/1911/DSCF0704.jpg

Sorry I had to get some gun porn in!!!!

Steelharp
October 31, 2006, 09:01 AM
Regarding the Kimber II safety... can't you bypass that by simply changing out the firing pin? Somebody told me it works on a notch in the pin. No notch, no "problem."

highlander 5
October 31, 2006, 09:34 AM
Sounds like you are due for a fondling session at your local gun shop .I have limited experience with 1911"s
Currently I own 2 a S&W and a Para Ordinance minor break in problems first few hundred rds but now both work flawlessy and are as accurate as I can shoot.
Kah Arms is owned by the son of "Rev" Moon and I know that a lot of people don't think highly of him but if you're looking for a bargain basement 45 and Kahr fits the bill so be it but both Taurus and Rock River Arsenal
have good basic pistols at similar savings

TonyT
October 31, 2006, 10:24 AM
A friend had quite a few problems with his Kimber going full auto. Some people also had a number of quality problems with the Sig 1911.

I have been very impressed with the quality of the Springfield products. S&W and Dan Wesson also produce an excellent product.

Falconeer
October 31, 2006, 10:30 AM
It's my first 1911, but I love my Sig GSR Revolution. Shoots like a laser and runs like a top. Plus you get to be involved in the Series 70 vs Series 80 and Internal vs external extractor arguments! :p

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/gentlemanfalc/GSR/GSR_Close_Small.jpg

Ala Dan
October 31, 2006, 11:00 AM
Also, the best kept secret in the gun trade is how the Smith & Wesson
standard 5" stainless steel model (product code 108282) is catching on.
Currently, these are considered the "best buy" for the money; and I have
'em priced at only $709.88. They come with a beavertail grip, combat
hammer, three hole aluminum trigger, Novak three dot sights, and a
set of rubber grips. Very accurate, and very dependable straight from
the box~!:cool: :D

Just_a_dude_with_a_gun
October 31, 2006, 11:18 AM
As far as mid-priced 1911's are concerned:

Springfield loaded 1911A1 are a nice bang per buck package @ $700 and change. An SA mil-spec is a good WWII era set up, at about $500 and change. Both are made of forged frame/slide/barrel. I wanted a bare bones model, and got a GI, which I love.

Kimbers are made of nice materials and perform well if you have the internal extractor. Others don't care for their Schwartz safety (series 80 style), which is in most, if not all of their guns. They start at $700 and change.

Colts are nice, but pricey, as are Dan Wesson but not as expensive as Colt.. I would really like a DW Bobtail...

Taurus has me very interested in their PT1911. Just because it's forged, well put together, lots of $$ features, reportedly very accurate, and
it's $500.

S&W and SIG Revolution enjoy quite a bit of popularity, and the pricing ranges...

Falconeer
October 31, 2006, 11:29 AM
S&W and SIG Revolution enjoy quite a bit of popularity, and the pricing ranges...
The Sig Revolution XO can be had around $700 or so (the standard Revolutions are $900+). You give up the snazzy grips, Novak night sights, and different finish but the internals are the same as the Revolutions.

That being said, I would HIGHLY recommend anyone going for a GSR stay away from the pre-Revolution pistols unless it's reliability is proven to you. That was when the GSR 'hammer lean' and 'build quality' problems happened. My understanding is current production GSR Revolutions are on par with any of the other premium 1911 manufacturers.

battlecry
October 31, 2006, 11:58 AM
I feel like Rip van Winkle. I went to sleep about 30 years ago and woke up and 1911 have this series 80 thingie. Talked to a gunsmith and he said he would not touch a firearm that had the s80 parts backdated to s70. Too much liability risk.

Which ones would you recommend if you wanted a series 70 type action?

progunner1957
October 31, 2006, 12:13 PM
I don't like the Series II Kimber safety system. I have a pre-Series II that I thought is fine, but I can't embrace their "new" idea to tackle and "old" problem. +1 on that. I had a Kimber TLE II that I traded off for that very reason. I ended up with a Springfield Armory TRP Operator (the non-custom version of the Professional) and it is an outstanding 1911. I would highly recommend it.

Another that I would recommend is the Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special 1911.
It is more costly than the TRP, but it is worth every dollar. I picked up a nice used Thunder Ranch and am extremely pleased with it - 100% reliability, excellent workmanship and it is CRAZY accurate.

Take a look at the Les Baer lineup - he has a few models around $1500. Personally, I'd rather have a no frills Baer than two $700 production line 1911s.

Steelharp
October 31, 2006, 12:16 PM
I don't like the Series II Kimber safety system. I have a pre-Series II that I thought is fine, but I can't embrace their "new" idea to tackle and "old" problem.

Again... Regarding the Kimber II safety... can't you bypass that by simply changing out the firing pin? Somebody told me it works on a notch in the pin. No notch, no "problem." Does anyone know?

KC&97TA
October 31, 2006, 12:34 PM
I started with 1911's with a beat up 70's Colt, didn't have the know how or money to keep the darn thing working right. Sold it and went to a Glock... big mistake. Then I went back to the 1911's and haven't turned to plastic ever since.

I love my Kimber TLE II, it made a trip back to KMI for an IE slide, and since then hasn't had a single hic-up. over 8k rounds. When Kimber was still catching on, I took it back home and my father had one on 10day hold a few hours after fireing mine, a dedicated "Colt Man".

I had a "Cheap WWII" Springfield GI, that thing was beyond amazeing $439, and it was syrgical. Sold it to a buddy that wouldn't leave me alone. Crazy thing was when we put an EGW bushing and tightened the barrel link accuracy went down, it just loved being loose.

Bought a Mil-Spec and build a NRA Hard Ball out of it, it's a laser beam with only $753 invested total.

I carry an older Springfield Mil-Spec Champion, made in 1995, done some work to it, Recoil is horrible, +p rounds aren't recommended, but I shoot them anyway, but it's 100% reliable and very well balanced.

If you're staying away from the Series 80, you have Springfield and the Kimber Warrior. I've never had a problem with the Kimber swarts safety.

As progunner1957 said, Les Baer makes several guns in the $1500 line up, my next 1911 will be a; Les Baer or Rock River Arms. I believe Baer's NRA Hard Ball a traditional 1911 with target sights runs about $1680 but I've found them for as little as $1440. After shooting a few factory custome guns and after customizeing a few 1911's I'm convinced that every 1911 is a $1500-2500 gun after one gets done with it, so why not slap the money down right away and not have to fiddle with anything.

The best Baer for the buck would be the "Concept II" at $1525 retail
http://www.lesbaer.com/images/con2.jpg

ugaarguy
October 31, 2006, 03:16 PM
Which ones would you recommend if you wanted a series 70 type action?

Colt WWI GI Replica, Colt Series 70 Replica, or any STI.

battlecry
October 31, 2006, 03:29 PM
Thanks, Ugaarguy. I'll look into them. Regard, R.

tbtrout
November 1, 2006, 11:57 PM
Kimber Warrior. Made interally like the original, with some custom external features. fine shooting piece and alot of gun for the money.

Phil DeGraves
November 2, 2006, 10:32 AM
Have three Kimbers, two of which are series 2. I have had no problems with any of them and would highly recommend them. I have 4 Colts. Great guns. The newer ones shoot better than the older ones. I have one Springfield. Great shooter but lots of functioning problems. Have sent it back to Springfield twice and it still doesn't work right (and they do NOT pay shipping). They don't charge you for the work on the gun though. Also, the Springfield magazines are junk. I have Colt, Kimber and Springfield mags. Three of the Springfield mags have come apart. The others don't.

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