Good CHEAP .45 auto?


January 6, 2003, 09:03 PM
I am looking for a beater .45 to shoot reloads out of. I have all this ammo and right now I don't have a .45!

Here are some of my ideas but let me know if they are bad or there is a better deal out there.

First of all, when I say cheap, I mean $200-300 used but a decent gun.

Star M-45 Firestar

Norinco .45

Llama .45

AMT hardballer

Ruger P97 (maybe if the price is right)

What do ya think? I really want to keep it closer to $200 as it is just going to be a beater.

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January 6, 2003, 09:06 PM
A Norinco if you can find one for your price and don't mind the China/communist origins. Very decent guns, completely reliable in my experience with three or four of them.

CZ-97s can be found used in the under $400 category. Last used one I saw was $339, I believe. Good luck finding one for $200. :D

January 6, 2003, 09:48 PM
How about a Ballester-Molina? Pretty cheap Argentine 1911 lookalikes...they used to be around for ~$200.

January 6, 2003, 09:55 PM

Systema Colt (South American)

but you should really wait for a nice used Springfield MilSpec to pop up.

January 6, 2003, 10:00 PM
If you don't have your heart set on a 1911, check out EAA Witness. Only problem I've ever had with mine is that it won't feed SWC's.

January 6, 2003, 11:13 PM
If it were my money, I'd get the EAA witness. I've seen them for about $250 on the auction sites. You can drop a 10mm, 9mm or .38 super top end on it if you need a beater in another caliber.

But EAA customer service is famously bad, so try to buy one that you know works well.


January 6, 2003, 11:29 PM
I vote for the Systema or Norinco. Both make an excellent platform in case you ever decide to customize it further. 1911 parts abound and you can find a good smith very easy.

Check out this site..

The Ballester Molina is nice, but it is not 100% compatable with Colt.

Also, take a peek at this JLD page. It has some prices of .45s.

Good Shooting

January 7, 2003, 12:19 AM
The Llama is junk, RUN!!!

I would go for the Star or the EAA.

January 7, 2003, 12:34 AM
My Charles Daly 1911 can be found in any respectable shop for around $350. The Ballester-Molina I believe is currently available from Southern Ohio Gun and would be a good beater gun too.

January 7, 2003, 12:38 AM
My vote goes to the Ruger, or the Witness, or maybe the CZ.

January 7, 2003, 12:47 AM
Another vote for the Sistema. Carefully made, and classy slide markings. I want one.

Rugers are steady, reliable, and homely.:)

January 7, 2003, 12:48 AM
You could do a lot worse than a Colt Sistema. They're around for $300 ( I don't really think of mine as a beater, though, just a good value; it's really a pretty good firearm based on the first 2400 rounds I've put through it.

January 7, 2003, 01:10 AM
I forgot about the Ballister Molina. Is the Sistema Colt made by Colt?

The EAA Witness is a good one eh? That surprises me a little but not much, I will check them out as well.

I guess it really comes down to which one I find that is a deal.

January 7, 2003, 01:38 AM
Another hearty vote for the Witness. I bought mine a few months ago. New, in the wonder Finish was $337.00 plus tax. It has been a great pistol. Great feel and accuracy. It has 700+ rounds with no malfunctions.

Be sure to check them out.

January 7, 2003, 01:46 AM
Now I really feel stupid! My friend had a .45 Witness a few months ago that he wanted to sell or trade. I wasn't interested because I had three .45s and no ammo. Now I have unlimited ammo and no .45s! :banghead:

He was going to give me a sweet deal but I told him I didn't know anything about it and he should just sell it to a dealer.:rolleyes:

January 7, 2003, 03:14 AM
I think if your looking for a inexpensive 45 , the Norinco is a good
deal . A relative of mine has 2 of them , and they are good guns for the money , not a reliable as the colts but still a great range gun.

January 7, 2003, 03:42 AM
I really want to keep it closer to $200 as it is just going to be a beater. In that case, you're probably limited to the mil-spec versions of the following: CD, Norinco, Llama, SAM, or the IDS Ranger.

Of those, I'd prefer the Rinco. :D

January 7, 2003, 05:34 AM
My nod goes to the Ruger P90. Picked mine up new last year for $325. It's a Davidsons Special P-90T. Great pistol. And yes I do carry it concealed.

January 7, 2003, 05:38 AM
Lots of people talking about the Norincos like you can find them anywhere. I've never seen one locally (which isn't saying much, small town). Auction Arms only has one listed, Gunbroker has none.

January 7, 2003, 09:18 AM
If you search here and on TFL about the Springfield Armory M1911A1 Mil Spec, you'll find comments from a LOT of satisfied owners, including me.

Mine was $399 and tax, from Buckeye Outdoors in Buckeye Lake, Ohio.

Put a stainless $12.00 Chip McCormick Shooting Star mag in it, and you'll have a fine, reliable, accurate fun gun.

January 7, 2003, 10:04 AM
Ruger P97

January 7, 2003, 11:34 AM
I forgot the Rock Island mil-spec. Prolly one of the better inexpensive ones... ;)

January 7, 2003, 03:23 PM
Sig makes a nice one as well. The Sig Mauser M2 is about 400 new, or you can pick up a used one for as little as 250. I had one that shot really well, and was surprizingly accurate. I traded it because I decided I didn't like the DAO.

Andrew Wyatt
January 7, 2003, 03:27 PM
Hi point. it's cheap and goes bang way more often than not.

Daniel T
January 7, 2003, 04:00 PM
Hi Point is the only gun I would ever buy whose sole purpose is to sit under my car seat.

January 7, 2003, 07:17 PM
My vote is for a Ruger P-90 , they are very rugged so a used one in good shape will last a life time, Made in the USA and Ruger gives good support.

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