Looking for a good 1911, but want to keep the price down


January 6, 2003, 01:51 AM
I'd like to buy a nice 1911 model, but I want to keep the price down under $800. I don't necessarily need a new gun, either. I want a nice, reliable gun. Can anyone point me in a good direction?


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January 6, 2003, 02:04 AM
The new Springfeild Armory "Champion" line is a whole lotta goodness in a decent price range. I know prices will vary around the nation but my buddy just picked up a brand new Champion for $599. I got to shoot it yesterday and wouldnt give it another thought if I was after another 1911.


The prices on their sight seem high check with you local dealers. These pistols come in full size as well (I dont know why the site dosent list the fullsize, I know first hand they make em) They include all kinds of good features, beavertail grip safeties, novak night sights, ambidextrous thumb safeties, lightweight triggers and more. Im a Colt owner and I was impressed with this pistol.

You can also shop around on great sites like www.gunsamerica.com

January 6, 2003, 03:37 AM
Kimber Classic usually is the most suggested piece. A lot of 1911 for not a lot of money.

Kahr carrier
January 6, 2003, 05:25 AM
The Springfield Loaded line is pretty Budget minded around $600.00-&$700.00.:)

January 6, 2003, 08:43 AM
I can reccomend the kimber custom too. Mine is about 5 years old and it still runs like a top.

January 6, 2003, 08:49 AM
Kimber or Colt.

January 6, 2003, 05:16 PM
Kimber customs run around 600.00 in ths neck of the woods.I love mine........

Sean Smith
January 6, 2003, 07:45 PM
SA milspec, around $450
Colt GM, around $570
Kimber Custom II, around $600

Go cheaper than a SA Milspec in a 1911 and you will probably regret it.

January 7, 2003, 08:22 PM
Colt or Dan Wesson. In addition to the new Colt GM, maybe one of the new 70 Series. Dan Wesson has many products to consider including their new Panther series with no front serrations. The Patriot series has many high end components and can be found in the $700+ range with the Novak sights. For around the $1000 range a good bet might be the STI Trojan. Considering the range report on the 1911 Forum concerning the DW Patriot, it may give the Trojan a run for its money at a cheaper price.

January 7, 2003, 09:45 PM
Get a brand new springfield loaded and don't look back! Comes loaded with features and with two sturdy mags.

January 7, 2003, 09:51 PM
You should write down the features you want and then get the pistol already set up that way. If you would be satisfied with a plain jane military style 1911 then get one. If you want, for instance, adjustable sights, it will cost you much more to buy the gun, then upgrade.

Kimber makes some attract guns at decent prices. They are by no means cheap, but, for the features you get, they are a good buy.

You might also look at Charles Daly. Every one that I've seen was under $450 (most under $400) and they had some good features. I wonder about durability, though. You might check out www.1911forum.com - they have a manufacturers section that can be very useful. Before you buy strictly on low price, make sure you've thoroughly researched your choice.

I've only bought Colts and a single Para-Ordnance. All were pretty good and all were purchased before Kimber became available.

January 7, 2003, 10:32 PM
Look at the Llama's. Pretty cheap, and old slab sides is pretty easy to copy in it's mil-spec mode.

January 8, 2003, 12:20 AM
I've had great luck w/ Colt & Springfield. Probably can't go wrong w/ big 3...Colt, Springfield or Kimber :cool:

January 8, 2003, 01:50 AM
Charles Daly or RIA. Mine (CD) is holding up pretty good. 8K+ rounds to date and still going strong. The CD offers lots of standard features that costs about $200 to install by a gunsmith. I use this gun primarilly in IPSC competition. They are made in the same factory I believe, just different importer. I paid $350 out the door two years ago. I won't hesitate to buy another one. Good luck on whatever you decide to get!

January 8, 2003, 10:50 AM
Dan Wesson or a used Kimber. Maybe Springfield, no personal experience.
Any budget-minded shooter should pass on Colt.

January 8, 2003, 06:56 PM
If you'd like to build your own, try to find a Norinco in the private market. I've owned four and some of those have been gifted because I liked them so well. The only one I've sold went to a dealer who wanted to build a race-gun on the Nork frame. The steel is excellent and the Red Chinese used 1911A1 dimensions to build their knockoff so that every single part will swap out. I had a buddy finish the slide of one of my Norks in matte nickle so that it would be a little more resistant to summer-carry conditions. Has worked out well...and the pistol will give consistent 2" groups off-hand at 25 yards if I do my part.

I see them occasionally at local gun shows and they are super bargains in my area at typical asking prices; the last one was offered ANIB for $325...a real steal considering the inherent quality.

All that said, the only Norinco 1911A1 I've ever bought new from a dealer was in response to the First Sociopath's opinon that I shouldn't be allowed to own one...

January 8, 2003, 07:59 PM
I think it's funny you asked for a reliable 1911 and people suggest new Colts! Historically, Colts quality control is like a carnival ride. Wager your money elsewhere.

Anyway, I've heard a decent thing or two about the refinished 1927 Systema Colts imported the last couple years. At $300 you could screw around with it alot. Otherwise, Kimber and Springfield seem to make enemies at a slower rate than most other brands.

January 8, 2003, 10:23 PM
By all means, get a Norinco or Argentine 1927 Systema 1911 A1 clone if you can find one...both of excellent steel, fully parts compatible with the original Colts, both highly reliable as is and suitable for rebuild into a top quality match pistol. You may be able to find one for under $350. Try gun shows...

Sean Smith
January 9, 2003, 09:15 AM
Handy's comments clearly show he has no idea what he is talking about regarding new Colts.

Have you got any first-hand experience with the gun in question, Handy? That at least would count for SOMETHING. A lemon ten years ago doesn't count, even if that makes you think you have universal knowledge of all past, present & future Colts. :rolleyes:

Brian Williams
January 9, 2003, 10:58 AM
I just walked out of a gun shop the happy owner of a Systema colt after paying $355 total.

The only thing I'm going to do to it is get true a1 sights someday.

and a few more mags.

It is a nice matt blue and checkered thin wood grips with only a few scratches but it is going to be a shooter not a safe queen.

Kentucky Rifle
January 9, 2003, 11:24 AM
There's a gun shop less than a mile and a half from my house that sells them for ~$660.00. (Can't remember the exact figure, but I know it's less than $700.00.)
The Dan Wessons look really nice to me. Tight, no rattles, and the slide to frame fit is excellent.


Master Blaster
January 9, 2003, 11:48 AM
Springfiled Milspec full size the Classic 1911. $400-500 has traditional grip safety and slide with reliability enchancements and better sights.

or a Kimber custom classic which has the high rise grip safety and forward slide serations and the long match trigger. $600-$700

Both are excellent and all you will need is a set of nice wood grips, and lots of ammo for practice.

Either gun can be sent out for customization, either at the manufacturer or a pistolsmith.

Basic Colt is good too, in new production.

January 9, 2003, 12:37 PM
I really like my Springfield Armory 1911A1 Mil-Spec. It cost less than $500 and it looks sharp w/ the aged ivory stocks (the only modification). It has been 100% reliable with over 1,000 rounds through it (I've stopped counting). Others have made really good suggestions, though. Pay attention, there are some smart folks on this forum. I learn from them every day.


January 9, 2003, 12:52 PM

I remember the last time Colt "turned things around" and everyone said their quality was much better, blah, blah, blah. These reports seem to indeed come in every ten years or so. Yet I never see anyone going back and recommending Colts from any particular period in the past (except WWII).

Until shown otherwise, I don't think it's ridiculous to assume the new rumors of Hartford quality as unfounded as all those in the past. If you're right, in 2012 we'll all be recommending Colts made in the last ten years. But right now it appears a little to early to tell if all the guns are good, or if this is another brief spurt of quality or if they stopped cutting corners. But why recommend an unproven product? Let someone else be the guinee pig.

Why not tell him to buy a used 1991A1? Everyone loved those things, back in 1991.

January 9, 2003, 03:01 PM
I like my Champion except that the edges are Shaaaaaarp!
Have several family members that have Colts and they have all had considerable work to get them to about where several Kimbers I've owned were out the factory door.

I have a stock (except the grips) Norinco I gave 250 for NIB and I would not trade it for anything. I have no idea haw many rounds have been through it but thousands. I have more expensve 1911s but I just like and trust the commie gun to go bang and hit exactly where I point it.


January 9, 2003, 04:46 PM
I'll throw in as one other already has on the Charles Daly. I have 2 and have had much success with them. They are reliable and accurate.

January 11, 2003, 02:29 PM
I find it amusing all of this Colt bashing. Obviously these guys are stuck in a time warp, or buy down at the local shop where they cram Kimbers down you throat because they think Colt went out of business years ago. But hey, thats what makes the world go around. Probaby makes sense, these guys are also the ones buying all of the gun rags with Kimbers, Springfields, etc. on the front cover.:)

January 11, 2003, 06:48 PM
One of my dealers specifically told me to avoid Kimbers. He said if you want a good 1911, get a Springfield. He had a Custom II and an Eclipse II in his collection and said he had lots of trouble with jams. Others I've talked to said their Kimbers were fine. Most agree that Kimber factory mags are crap. I have 3 Colts. One is mid-80s vintage Government. The second and third are mid-90s vintage Commander 1991A1 and stainless Officer's ACP. I have over 8000 rounds through the Government and the only problem I have ever had was with one box of really crappy Hanson ammunition (quite probably the worst ammunition company to ever exist). The other 2 have not be shot as much, but they have never malfunctioned. Accuracy is exceptional with the Government model and very good with the other 2. I have run limited amounts of CCI Lawman (the famous flying ashtray) ammo through all three with no malfunctions.

January 12, 2003, 08:57 AM
i saw a good ol 45 listed in the for sale/trade column for sale.colt 1991`a1 and customized at that.that would be the way to go with one already tricked up with features you might like.:D

January 12, 2003, 09:43 AM
In that case, I would recommend looking hard at the USED guns at your local dealers.

There are many more 45 Autos sold than used. I have bought quite a few like new that came with its original box of cartridges, less a few. Avoid any guns that have been worked on with extra bells and whistles unless you are knowledgeable. All of those aftermarket parts cost money and do not show up in the resale value so why did the guy sell it?

For a shooter you cannot do much better than a Series 80 Enhanced Government Model or Gold Cup (if you want adjustable sights). I have not had any lemons despite bleatings I've read from time to time on the Errornet.

Inspect the gun carefully and then shoot to your heart's content.

Use only factory magazines, I recommend Colt. By far the most malfunctions are caused by bargain basement magazines, some with prominent logos on them.

HTH :)

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