Good "starter" 1911?


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TFin04
November 3, 2006, 09:10 PM
While I don't find them to be the best platform for me as a carry piece, I have always, always loved the 1911 pistols.

I remember being about 12 years old with my plastic pistols I used to play with. I wouldn't accept one that wasn't a 1911 style gun. While I didn't know they even were 1911's then, I sure loved them!

I'm looking for a nice 1911 to make my range gun, but my fund situation can't quite afford a Kimber just yet. On the same note, I don't want a piece of junk either.

What would be a good option in 1911 for say...500-600 bucks? Buying used is fine.

Pictures always welcome, of course. :D

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kansas45
November 3, 2006, 09:17 PM
If you can find one, the Taurus PT1911 is a great firearm. Look around for a used Springfield Armory Mil-Spec or something on that order. Actually a new Mil-spec isn't too much over $600.

TFin04
November 3, 2006, 09:22 PM
Also, with this being strictly a range gun I would prefer 9mm for cost and comfort of shooting all day long.

Thanks, I'm looking into both of those now.

MatthewVanitas
November 3, 2006, 10:06 PM
9mm + 1911ish + cheap = Star B or Star BM

Here's a writeup: http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg79-e.htm

Here in TX, I see them under $200, and I've personally bought them as low as $119 w/ shipping, but that was about four years ago.

Run a THR Search on these for more info, they're pretty cool little things. Spare parts are a bit difficult though, as the main part supplier is MarStar in Canada.

Overall though, it seems exactly what you're looking for. -MV

TFin04
November 3, 2006, 11:07 PM
They seem almost too cheap.

How has yours been for you? Reliable?

spooney
November 3, 2006, 11:09 PM
I had a good friend who is also a member here who had a Star BM. It was a great shooter. Very reliable with any kind of ammo you could run through it.

Shipwreck
November 3, 2006, 11:11 PM
Springfield Milspec. At gun shows, U can get a stainless one for under $600. Parkerized one even less.

marklbucla
November 3, 2006, 11:18 PM
You ought to be able to get yourself some kind of used Kimber in your price range. I remember that Kimber Custom IIs would go for $659 on sale.

For a 9mm 1911 since you mentioned it, I'd recommend a Springfield. I have a custom Loaded and like it alot. A new one could be had for around $700 or less. A used one should be around $600. It did have to go back to Springfield to correct problems right out of the box. I also picked up a used Mil-Spec model just a little while ago, though they're really hard to find. Great guns.

Going with a 9mm would be a good idea to save on money. I had a couple of .45s, but I decided to just sell them since the ammo's almost twice as expensive. I would also strongly suggest that you get yourself a Marvel conversion unit also to cut costs even further and let you shoot .22LR. They run about $300 or so, but they're worth the cost in the long run (or short run depending on how much you'll be shooting).

MatthewVanitas
November 3, 2006, 11:48 PM
They seem almost too cheap.



Just the same as the gorgeous Swiss K31 rifles were going for $79 back last year, and Moisin Nagant USSR rifles are still under $100. When an importer gets truckloads of surplus in stock at pennies on the dollar, they're happy to unload them by the sackfull for a reasonable price.

That's literally what happened with myself and some buddies: we all ordered Star Bs (@ $119 each) in the same order to save shipping. When we walked into the FFL dealer, he said "Oh, it's you guys" and hauls out a grocery sack full of Stars.


How has yours been for you? Reliable?

Had no problems with them. Ours were rather beat surplus, but ran well. One guy got one with a worn extractor, so the importer sent him a free extractor to replace it.

I bought a Star BM recently ($185 in original Guardia Civil box), and it seems in much better shape than the Bs we bought.

You can't go too wrong: they're 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the other .45s you're considering, and the ammo costs half as much. Looking at GunBroker and AuctionArms, some have sold (actually sold, Reserve Met or No Reserve) for $135-175 in the last couple months.

These guys make nice grips for cheap: http://www.gungripguys.com/Star/Index.htm

-MV

SpookyPistolero
November 4, 2006, 12:00 AM
I would advise against the Star BM. I had one growing up. I twice experienced what I thought were negligent discharges. I very much so believed my finger was nowhere near the trigger, but the weapon discharged when the slide was being dropped. Later I found it was the worn sear on the weapon that caused the problem. I've heard of others with similar problems.

I'd suggest the Springfield GI or more Mil-spec, if you can swing it.

BigO01
November 4, 2006, 12:00 AM
For $500-600 I would do exactly what I DID do buy a new Charles Daly EFS
They come with a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser and are made by Armscor if you found a problem and Daly didn't fix it to your satisfaction I have no doubt that Armscor will because the VP in charge of sales in the U.S. and the President of Armscor have said so on another gun forum .

They are very much a customer service orientated company .Go here and read some of the posts by Ivan and thepresAPI/RIA .
http://forum.m1911.org/forumdisplay.php?f=17

I own two Dalys one is a EFS full size and a mid sized EMS

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g200/BigO01/100_1003_00.jpg

You can get a new EFS on www.gunbroker.com for a tad under $400 at ,
http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=59460922

There is also one with fully adjustable sight for $100 more
http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=59753055 .

I would buy one of these and replace the factory recoil spring with a new one made by Wolf of 16 lbs because the factory ones seem a little light , take it out and put a couple of hundred rounds of ball through it and then clean it up and lube it and try some hollow points .

Mine often do "Nightstand" duty and if they weren't reliable they would stay in the safe .

ChefJeff1
November 4, 2006, 12:13 AM
I just saw a para ordnance for 599 on gunbroker.com. It is by seller redstradingpost.

XavierBreath
November 4, 2006, 01:28 AM
The Star Model B and BM are adequate Mil-Surp pistols, and they are 9mm. They resemble 1911s but they are not 1911s. No parts interchange. I own one of each, and shoot them both. They are durable Mil-Surps. If you want a 1911 though, strike the Star off your list.

Springfield, unfortunately, does not make the Mil-Spec or GI45 in 9mm. They do make the Loaded in 9mm. You might find one on the used market for $500-650. I paid $650 for my used 9mm Colt Commander (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/05/free-colt-1911_06.html).

Having a 1911 in 9mm is nice.

possum
November 4, 2006, 03:36 AM
welcome to THR, i too have always wanted a 1911.
i have to agree with kansas45, i think the taurus pt1911 would be a great 1911 not only as a starter but as a great 1911 in general, and they do come in 9mm, and they aren't that much in the funds department. they make them with light rails and without, as well as in the full size and commander size, in blued or ss, so there are a wealth of options to choose from. i am thinking hard about one in .40 full size and ss, well that is the way i am leaning today, i want one i know that and in .40s&w but the size and finish changes day to day, i think i will pick one up when i sell my glock 19.

forgot to mention that the taurus pt1911 comes with henine sights as well another plus over some of the other makers especially in the price range.

marklbucla
November 4, 2006, 03:44 AM
Where did you see that The Taurus came in anything but .45? I only saw that caliber listed on their site?

I hope you're right, but my bank accounts surely don't!

symr00
November 4, 2006, 10:46 AM
If you want a 1911, get a REAL one chambered in .45ACP. They're not that expensive to shoot. They are very easy to reload with a cheap Lee reloader should you go that route. You can find Norinco 1911's for about $400-$500 used or I would suggest the Springfield milspec which is about $500-$600. if you go the 9mm route, you need to buy special magazines and 9mm 1911's usually cost more for a reliable one.

Il Duca
November 4, 2006, 12:13 PM
Don't overlook the High Standard GI 1911 either. Probably one of the most reasonably priced quality 1911s out there.

Zach S
November 4, 2006, 01:41 PM
Shop around, a used Kimber should be in your price range, three of mine were.

brownie0486
November 4, 2006, 02:35 PM
The one Taurus 1911 we sold at the shop, came back the next day as non functional and was sent back to Taurus to fix it.

I'd suggest holding off on the Taurus 1911 until they have get some sort of track record of reliability going. I learned long ago, not to buy a new model/design anything for a few years until any bugs were worked out of the design.

Brownie

Black Majik
November 4, 2006, 02:44 PM
Since you're willing to go used, there are a few options you can look into.

Firstly, you'll have to decide whether you want a plain jane 1911 or a gun with some bells and whistles.

Plain jane:
For brand new, you can get a plain jane Springfield Armory Milspec. Good quality parts, and a gun that is great for just fun at the range.

For used, you can try and see if you can pick up an old Colt Government. If you find a good deal, you might even be able to find a NRM Government.


Bells and whistles:
Both would have to be bought used, but you can get a Springfield Armory Loaded or Kimber Custom II if you do some looking. They both have the usual upgrades, fixed sights, beavertail, front cocking serrations and extended thumb safety. These would be very nice range guns too.

Anyways, look to find what features you want on your range gun and go from there. The four pistols I listed all have great potential as a range gun.

.357 magnum
November 4, 2006, 02:52 PM
I am going this route for a 1911. They have a 8rd mag. Very reasonable price[ I would bet you can get one for 500] Lifetime repair policy, not bad.


http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=59&category=Pistol

10-Ring
November 4, 2006, 03:33 PM
I didn't much understand the idea of a "starter" gun until I got involved w/ the 1911. There are just so many variations you can go through and there are so many shooters out there w/ so many diff't likes & dislikes that you can make your 1911 just the way you want it to do whatever you may need it to do. So, I usually recommend get something basic like a SA Mil Surp gun, shoot it & start modifying as necessary ;)
Enjoy your quest

BigO01
November 4, 2006, 06:17 PM
Don't overlook the High Standard GI 1911 either. Probably one of the most reasonably priced quality 1911s out there.

Il Duca and everyone else , just so you know the basic High Standard 1911 is being produced by Armscor , the same folks who make the RIA's , Charles Daly's and yes of course those marked Armscor .

The High Standard Commander legth weapons though are suppose to be made in Texas , at least this is what I was told when I called High Standard this past spring .

candr44
November 4, 2006, 06:29 PM
I was looking for a starter 1911 also until today. I found a almost unused Norinco for $350 out the door. They are suppose to be good guns to build on.

They also had a new Taurus 1911 for $500 that I was looking at but I was thinking like Brownie0486 and passed because they have no track record yet.

Ala Dan
November 4, 2006, 07:25 PM
Another vote for Springfield Armory's .45 cal 1911 MIL SPEC~!:cool:

Furncliff
November 4, 2006, 07:56 PM
$360 at classic arms.com

I am not affiliated.

..............http://www.classicarms.us/MVC-045S.JPG

gc70
November 4, 2006, 08:44 PM
For 1911s in .45, the newest Rock Islands are surprisingly good quality for $300-350 and NIB Colt 1991s with the old "billboard" rollmarks are listed on GunBroker from $450.

True new 1911s are pricey in 9mm ($750+), but the Star B and BM models are great substitutes considering their rock-bottom prices. Another Star model, the more recent M-43 Firestar is a compact, 1911-derived design.

White Horseradish
November 5, 2006, 01:17 AM
My Star BM has not ever worked right. It consistently locks back the slide with two or three rounds in the mag. Maybe my gunsmithing will improve to the point of fixing it someday, but for know it's a paperweight.

My RIA works great, though.

orionengnr
November 5, 2006, 10:48 AM
BTW, that is

www.classicarms.us

not .com

The park'ed RIAs are $319 and the chromed-slide versions are $359.

FWIW, the park'ed ones were $289 about 90 days ago. I was thinking of buying one then--should have. They aren't getting any cheaper.

gc70
November 5, 2006, 11:57 AM
My Star BM has not ever worked right. It consistently locks back the slide with two or three rounds in the mag. Maybe my gunsmithing will improve to the point of fixing it someday, but for know it's a paperweight.What's the going price for a paperweight? :D

boldkharma
November 5, 2006, 12:05 PM
TFin04,
I just recently picked this up for 650, not far from what your looking to spend. It is LNIB and had new night sights(only mod I could find) If you look around you can find a great deal. A Colt is a fantastic starter 1911 and then some!!(.45 isn't too expensive) And you can save up for a .22 conversion kit and shoot way cheaper than 9mm or anything else.
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f102/Boldkharma/DSC02044.jpg

tegemu
November 5, 2006, 05:19 PM
Unquestionably, I think that the Taurus PT1911 is the best value in 1911's on the market today. Mine is one super SWEET 1911 in every respect.

Shootcraps
November 5, 2006, 05:21 PM
+1911 on the Taurus. Great gun!

Shifty
November 5, 2006, 05:50 PM
rock island

White Horseradish
November 6, 2006, 12:59 AM
What's the going price for a paperweight? Nah. I'll just bury it in the desert and then pop into every thread about Star BMs and say that I did it. :neener:

Steelcore
November 6, 2006, 02:59 PM
Take a look at Les Baer.Starting at $1500 and up.You won't have any problems with them.All of your gunpals will drool. 8-) I love the TRS.

ugaarguy
November 6, 2006, 03:36 PM
The park'ed RIAs are $319 and the chromed-slide versions are $359.

FWIW, the park'ed ones were $289 about 90 days ago. I was thinking of buying one then--should have. They aren't getting any cheaper.

Remember, the RIA's went from a cast to machined slide earlier this year as well, and their cost went up. Frames are still cast. Very likely that classic arms sold all their inventory on hand then the price jump came when they brought in the new machined slide models. So, yes, the price went up $30, but now you've got a slide that can be tightened back to the frame once the round count gets very high and it starts to loosen up. I think $30 is a pretty fair trade for the higher quality raw material and extra work it requires. Th pistols are made by Armscor in the Phillipine Islands. Those are RIAs are a heck of a bargain, and their customer service adds value. THR member ArmscorBA is Armscor/RIA US Rep Ivan Walcott. Ivan has offered his services on a pistol that was having problems here on THR, and has done so many times at http://forums.m1911.org as well. Hard to argue with real customer service.

RIA's chief competition in the base model price/feature segment is the Springfield Armory GI model. The SA's cost a little bit more and offer a forged frame and slide. They're made in Brazil by Imbel.

Ether pistol would be a great no fills 1911. Look at the features and prices and see what you think.

Anna's Dad
November 6, 2006, 04:13 PM
I bought an Auto Ordnance 1911A1 WWII (Parkerized), new in the box for $395. These are now made by Kahr and are supposedly much, much better than they used to be.

It's certainly nothing spectacular, but I wanted to just "try out" a 1911-style gun before I spent any big bucks and have been pleased with it.

I believe I bought mine from thegunsource.com but they're price has apparently gone up a little as it now shows $434.43.

I don't believe AO makes a 9mm version, but I could be wrong.

Phil DeGraves
November 6, 2006, 04:51 PM
You can get a good used Colt for the price you suggested. That is what I would recommend. Or a used Kimber Custom.

yodar
November 6, 2006, 05:27 PM
Nobody has mentioned ARMSCOR and several of the companies discussed have a ,er,relationship of origin

Armscor has a advertisement in SGN offering frames, slides and barrels and I scrounged up a lotta 1911 parts over a few years and I assembled an excellent generic 1911 for less than $300

It's merely an indoor ranger paper puncher, it treats me well and is all I want. I DO agree about The Daly Product and their product support, and when my ship comes in am going to get a BUL M-5

yodar

Manedwolf
November 6, 2006, 05:32 PM
+1 on the Taurus, too. The thing is loaded with racegun features for five bills. Comes with a straight-eight, lightened trigger, all the goodies. Very solidly made, too. ALSO, unlike some high-priced brands that shall not be named but begin with a k, people say they shoot perfectly right out of the box.

The Real Hawkeye
November 6, 2006, 06:44 PM
For your price range, it might be hit and miss. If you want reliability out of the box, go with a Smith and Wesson. More money, but worth it if reliability is important to you. Mine is a couple of years old, and it's never malfunctioned in any way after thousands of rounds. Then again, if you want to spend less, go with a Springfield Armory Mil Spec and you might luck out and get a reliable one out of the box. If not, you can send it back until it's made reliable. They are pretty good at that if you send it back enough times.

Shootcraps
November 6, 2006, 09:16 PM
I'm looking for a nice 1911 to make my range gun, but my fund situation can't quite afford a Kimber just yet. On the same note, I don't want a piece of junk either.

What would be a good option in 1911 for say...500-600 bucks?



Take a look at Les Baer.Starting at $1500 and up.


Boy, the New Math is a real killer, ain't it?? :scrutiny:

Phil DeGraves
November 7, 2006, 09:29 AM
"ALSO, unlike some high-priced brands that shall not be named but begin with a k, people say they shoot perfectly right out of the box."

My three Kimbers all shot great right out of the box. It's a poor sport who blames the equipment when observers will conclude the blame lies elsewhere.

Manedwolf
November 7, 2006, 09:56 AM
My three Kimbers all shot great right out of the box. It's a poor sport who blames the equipment when observers will conclude the blame lies elsewhere.

Who is blaming? You can throw a rock and hit a dozen posts on dozens of boards along the lines "My new Kimber is great! It only had some FTFs and stovepipes till I put (number x 100) rounds through it, took it home, polished the feedramp and sent it off to a smith to be tuned!"

For the price, I just don't get that.

Just_a_dude_with_a_gun
November 7, 2006, 10:25 AM
1) Springfield GI/ Milspec/ or a used 1911-a1 'Loaded' model should be in your price range.

2) You might find a S&W 1911 in your range, new or used.

3) I must be alone in this, but I've heard great things about the Taurus...

4) Stay away from Kimber II series with the External extractor, internal however, is probably fine.

5)used, you have a wide choice in the $5-700 range, including Colts, Para,
Sig revolution, S&W's, Kimber, Dan Wesson, Springfield, detonics,

pat86323
November 7, 2006, 10:27 AM
im going to say that you should get the rock island armory pistol. I have one and it has given me very minimal "break in" type problems. For the money they are without a doubt the best value on the market. Before you guys start jumping my case for reccomending "garbage" hear me out. From what i understand armscor has changed owners and the QC has steadily been getting better. If you dont believe me have a look at any 1911 forum and i guarantee youll read more happy posts then unhappy ones. The little rock island pistols have something that $2000+ guns only dream of. They have the best damned customer service around. I surf a 1911 forum (which i wont name because i dont want to step on thr's toes) and on that forum they have their customer service manager as well and the president of the whole company answering questions and giving suggestions. And if you do by chance get a lemon out of the box just give armscor precision in pahrump nevada a call and they will take the gun back fix it and pay to have it shipped back to you. It seems almost impossible to void the warrenty unless you actually try to do it. Do some looking and i can almost guarantee that you will not find a better 1911 for the money anywhere, no....i dare you to find a better un for the money. Just my 2 cents.

Shootcraps
November 7, 2006, 04:55 PM
Pat is absolutely right. If I had only $350 to spend on a gun, I'd buy another Rock Island in a heartbeat. :)

But...if I had $450 I'd buy the Taurus. :evil:

bb21
November 7, 2006, 05:07 PM
Check out Impactguns.com they have 7 or 8 different Springfield Armory 1911's in your price range, and you can also check out the other brands, Para, Taurus, and a few others that may still fit the bill. They should be able to ship one to your FFL for a reasonable price, or find a dealer that will match their pricing. The Springfield 1911's seems to be the most gun for the money. Good luck! http://impactguns.com

.45 AUTO
November 9, 2006, 02:20 AM
The Springfield Armory "GI" 1911-A1 is probably your best bet for as low as $450 new.

The Real Hawkeye
November 9, 2006, 11:31 AM
High Standard offers a great basic 1911 A1 which can be had new for about $360. Reports so far are good for reliability and quality. Read this month's American Handgunner. They say it's every bit as good as, if not a little better than, the Springer GI. Cost savings are had by using cheap foreign skilled labor, not by using inferior parts, steel or equipment. All you need to make it a good carry gun, after break in period proves its worth, is a beavertail grip safety and a Commander style hammer. Some people don't even need that, but I do, because GI style 1911s always give me a bloody hand.

45auto
November 9, 2006, 01:14 PM
That wasn't the best review I've ever read.

Although fair, they both worked, they didn't point out some of the reasons for Springfield's higher cost, namely forged frame and slide. Whether someone believes forged is better or not, the cost is higher and should have been noted. Springfield has a history of durable, competition type 1911's that are used, often, in custom builds, High Standard does not.

While you could still daw the same conclusion, basically the HS was cheaper and worked as well...for the few rounds that were shot, he could have detailed different situations where Springfield would be a better buy or HS would be the better choice.

kansas45
November 9, 2006, 10:55 PM
I've shot over 3500 rounds through my Taurus PT1911 since the middle of August. The thing hasent even thought about giving me any trouble. The factory grips arent very good, so you will want to replace them. Other than that, I haven't been able to find anything else wrong with this pistol. For the money & all of the extras built into the PT, you can't find a better buy on the NIB pistol market.

Dienekes
November 9, 2006, 11:32 PM
My daughter just bought an SA Mil-Spec (blue) for $539 plus 7%(!) tax in CO today. I started shooting 1911s since 1959; picked up a stainless Mil-Spec a few years ago and have been very pleased with it. The barrel was rough and leaded too much with my cast bullets, so sent it in at SA's expense and they replaced it. I also replaced the front sight (dovetailed unit installed) and swapped in a lanyard loop housing. Have had no need to do anything beyond field strip to clean it and have about 1K rounds through it without a bobble. Trigger is very decent and once I put the slightly higher front sight on it it became one of the best shooting pistols I have. Everyone else shoots it well, too.

My daughter has been a Glockaholic since age 13, but a few strings through this 1911 and she had to have one.

Now I have to rummage around for odds and ends to accompany it, and may need to ramp up ammo production to accomodate her...

Considering all the things that young women in their mid-20s can be otherwise up to, I'm downright pleased to see her enthusing about her brand new 1911.

TFin04
November 9, 2006, 11:43 PM
Considering all the things that young women in their mid-20s can be otherwise up to, I'm downright pleased to see her enthusing about her brand new 1911.

Haha, sounds like my story. I'm still about 5 months shy of 21 and have used the phrase "I can go buy crack with the money instead" quite a few times in my upbringing. (Cars, snowmobiles, paintball, motorcycles, guns, etc). That one always worked. :)

Now my mom wants to buy her own snubbie and go shooting with me. My grandfather (her dad) is the biggest firearms enthusiast I've ever met, so she knows her way around a range. She's just been gunless for about 5 years now. I'm thinking about picking up a S&W 442 for me to carry once I get my CCW and her to shoot at the range.

Thanks for the info, I'll have to add on a few of these recommendations to my ever growing want list.

Rotorflyr
November 10, 2006, 06:02 PM
That wasn't the best review I've ever read.

Although fair, they both worked, they didn't point out some of the reasons for Springfield's higher cost, namely forged frame and slide. Whether someone believes forged is better or not, the cost is higher and should have been noted. Springfield has a history of durable, competition type 1911's that are used, often, in custom builds, High Standard does not.

While you could still daw the same conclusion, basically the HS was cheaper and worked as well...for the few rounds that were shot, he could have detailed different situations where Springfield would be a better buy or HS would be the better choice.

While I haven't read the article/review and Im just speculating based on what was posted here I'd say 45auto has some valid point's, However it sounds to me like the idea behind the article was that the "unknown" newbie in town, seemed to be on par with the "known" player and was worth looking at, nothing more nothing less.

And since the OP mentioned he wanted a 1911 body in 9mm, a lot of the recommendations here are kinda pointless :neener:

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