Best 1911 Out of the Box for the money?


July 19, 2007, 10:24 PM
I have always wanted a 1911 but, have never owned one. I am pretty torn between a Springfield, a Kimber, or a Colt. I am also left handed so I would need one with ambi safety out of the box.

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July 19, 2007, 10:27 PM
I have always been a Kimber fan as the cost benefit relationship starts to weigh heavily on the COST side once you start tapping into Les Baers, Wilson, etc.

My vote is Kimber for the best out of box available (hell I almost bought my wife an Eclipse Ultra tonight at the gun store but she didnt want me to buy yet another firearm this week). :D

July 19, 2007, 10:49 PM
For around $800 or so the street price of a Colt XSE is hard to beat. The Colts use the best quality internal parts of any of the 1911 pattern guns in the sub $1000 price range. If you are patient and shop around you can get a lightly used one in the $650 range.

Wayne G.
July 19, 2007, 10:54 PM
You could always get an ambi added relatively inexpensive. I (personally) would stay away from the Kimber II series b/c of the Schwartz safety which requires the rear sight to be removed for total disassembly. If you don't think you'll ever want to completely disassemble the pistol then it's no issue for you. If you do want a platform w/o the extra safeties, then look to a series 70 Colt, Kimber (pre II series) or any current production Springer. I like to tinker and take mine completely apart and clean all the nooks and crannies and be able to do routine maintenance. Therefore, my preference is for Springfield.

A lot of it will be determined by your preferences. Is it something you plan on customizing? Are the extra safeties in the Kimber II's and Colt 80's prohibitive for you? If no to both, then all three manufacturers listed offer a pistol with ambi safety. If you don't want the aforementioned safety and the extra parts and work required to disassemble, then the Springer Loaded comes with lots of doo-dads and an ambi safety right out of the box and can be had for between $700-$800 new, $600ish used.

Continue to research it. Read all you can about the different 1911s from different manufacturers. Doing so will enable you to know what differentiates one manufacturer's model from another and enable you to make a more informed decision. Don't rush it. Gather as much info as possible and you will learn what you do and don't like about the different models available.

July 20, 2007, 12:04 AM
I would buy a Colt XSE Government or Colt XSE Combat Commander if you want the bells and whistles.

If you want a bare bones 1911, the Colt Series 70 and 1991 are quite nice. The 1991 can be had in the Combat Commander with the hammer and grip safety from the XSE series.

I own two Kimbers and they have been good to me. I'm selling both to fund Colt purchases. If you're interested in a slightly used Kimber, give me a ring. Otherwise, I would buy the Colt.

The other manufacturers make good stuff. Personally, I want a Colt, so my Kimbers are to be sold :D

July 20, 2007, 12:06 AM
take the Rock Island armory. it is the best bang for your bucks.

July 20, 2007, 12:49 AM
I'd go Colt XSE -- great guns!

July 20, 2007, 01:03 AM
Charles Daly or Rock Island Armory. Easily found for less than four bills out the door, perfect for a new 1911 owner. Basic, but still nice. I've had my Charles Daly for a little under a year now, and it's been great.

Customer service is pretty damn good too. Something that seems to be slipping with some companies like Kimber, etc.

**Note - that was not a bash on Kimber. I could care less either way as I don't own one, but search around and you'll see plenty of reports of lame service as of late.**

July 20, 2007, 01:32 AM
With the three choices you mentioned, Kimber isn't getting rave reviews about their customer service. Do a search on Kimber's service department. The name "Dennis" comes up a lot and not in a nice way.

Springfield Armory's customer service is one of the best in the business.

Colt's customer service gets good reviews and bad reviews. I've heard more good than bad, but YMMV.

Also consider Smith & Wesson. Their 1911 is the furthest away from the original design with an external extractor, firing pin stop, and all the contemporary bells and whistles. S&W's customer service is also one of the best. They're one of the few companies to pay for shipping in both directions.

You can't go wrong with a Springfield, Smith, or Colt. If you unlucky and get a lemon, each company will make it right.

Good luck and be safe.

Old Dog
July 20, 2007, 01:44 AM
I don't mean to be snooty, but sometimes, you really need to go through the subforums for the past few days, or use the Search function.

You'd have found this very recent thread (titled, strangely enough, "Best 1911 Out of the Box?"):

July 20, 2007, 06:13 AM
Best for the money? Just might be the Taurus PT1911

July 20, 2007, 07:18 AM
If you want an honest opinion on the Taurus or any gun for that matter check out the magazine GUN TEST they have no adds they don't answer to anybody but thier subscribers.
If you want to go with the Springfield they just came out with the LW version really nice and I have read some really good articles on it already.
The Rock Island if interested look at they have the Standard RIA 5" , a Tacticle version with 3 1/2" barrel that has novak sights skeloton trigger and hammer parkerised for $399. The 5" is $369. They also have the Rock Island in 38super can't remember the price I am sure its around the same and they also have a 1911 from Double star in the 460 range.

July 20, 2007, 08:56 AM
Rock Island. The best out of the box at even three times the price.


July 20, 2007, 09:16 AM
Rock Island. The best out of the box at even three times the price.

You might like your Rock Island, but isn't this a little over the top? At 3 times the price of the Rock Island you could buy a Colt Government which has an internet price of around $700 bucks. You'd still have money left over for lots of mags and ammo for the Colt.

The Rock Island might be an ok $400 gun or whatever it sells for these days, but it is not in the same class as a Colt.

July 20, 2007, 09:32 AM

though not in the same "class" as a Colt, and i agree.......

but the parts are interchangable with Colt so it is a true 1911, it is relaible out of the box with no kitchen table gunsmithing needed, it is at least half the price of the Colt.....

i guess it comes down to do you want a show off piece of a shootin' iron?

Colts are great for showing your friends, they are attractive, precision made, American made, have a rich history.......and occasionally shot reliably out of the box......

the RIA is a plain jane 1911, nothing fancy, nothing to brag about.....but you migh find as i have while at a range, some guys tinkering with thier Colt 1911 while you keep shooting your RIA 1911, they occasionally looked up to see why i stopped shooting also, but went back to their tinkering when they saw i was relaoding magazines....LOL....

of course thier Colt could shoot 1.25" groups at 25 yards every 3-5 rounds before jamming while my RIA could only shoot 2.5" groups every 8 rounds before reloading....:)

ive owned a Colt 1911..... it was a good gun out of the box with some ammo i used.....while my RIA has never jammed with any ammo ive used.....

i would own a Colt again for the sake of ownership and to have a piece of nastalgia....not piece of mind.....

July 20, 2007, 10:46 AM
The SW1911 is the Best 1911 Out of the Box for the money in my opinion.

July 20, 2007, 12:31 PM
1) Colt
2) Springfield
3) S&W (get stainless as their blued finish sucks horribly)

July 20, 2007, 12:46 PM
Smith & Wesson if you want a good one out of the box.

July 20, 2007, 12:46 PM
I think an important questions to ask is how important is Customer service to you. If it is very important then the SA and S&W should be your first choice.

If customer service is not quite as high on the list Taurus or Kimber might be a choice. Kimber 1911's rate high on my list for cool factor (which is important to me), though the newer ones seem to lack, unfortunately, in the quality and reliability category.

From your list, I would definately take a SA. Good price. Good quality. Excellent service.

July 20, 2007, 02:56 PM

So what you are saying is that a foreign made $400 1911 made by third world Philipino peasants has more out of the box reliability than an "occasionally" reliable Colt? This is amazing considering that the Colt is made by well paid American workers, using superior materials. Not to mention, Colt might know at least a little bit about making a reliable 1911.

I know you want to feel good about your purchase of the RI, but I find this hard to believe. Like anything in this world, you get what you pay for.

Thank you though for at least giving the Colt a slight edge in the accuracy department. :uhoh:

Sonora Rebel
July 20, 2007, 03:00 PM
Springfield Armory Parkerized... fixed sights. Keep it simple. If you're life may depend on it... 'Don't matter what it costs.

I carry one everyday... everywhere. (Bianchi nylon UM-84 military holster (black) w/thumb break strap... no top flap. Cross draw pos.

July 20, 2007, 03:56 PM

Especially when you're getting them at Kimber prices. See my sig line.

July 20, 2007, 04:10 PM
The SA SS loaded Champ. Zero problems and accurate with my factory or hand loads. 7-800.00 I'll never sell it. It feeds 185 gr SWC's!

July 20, 2007, 04:37 PM
im not attributing anything to what country makes it or by whom ever does....nor the cost.....if cost were a factor the $1,000.00 1911s that jam without out being "tuned" by somebody somewhere would be another good example of the less expensive Colt doing just the same but costing less.....

Colt is still riding on its name and history, not what it has done to innovate today to hold the market they lost to other companies with vision and good management....

when i had my Colt 1911, i liked it. i liked it because it was a Colt 1911. it was inferior out of the box regarding reliability to the RIA.....

i sold it because it was the least reliable of the two but would bring a higher sale price.....

dont get me wrong, some day i probably will pick up another Colt 1911, but i will so because of its history and or tradition, not because of its hit or miss reliability out of the box....

as much as my ego would like to side with the Colt, the fact is that i can get a different 1911 that is just as reliable out of the box for less money....

Essex County
July 20, 2007, 04:58 PM
I bought the Kimber. If I had to do it over again I'd buy a Springfield and spend the diffrence on ammo. Essex

July 20, 2007, 06:01 PM
I have 5 defective Kimbers.

All are reliable and haven't broken, obviously I should have purchased a different brand.

My first Warrior, (which is a '70s' type with no un-1911 safeties, just like the desert warrior), has only 11,500 rounds through it without a FTF or any of those defective MIM parts breaking.

My Colts are reliable too. Both series 70 and 80.

I tend to like my weapons, when possible, built in the United States and or by a US manufacturer. Required? NO. Just a preference.

My most important requirement in any fighting weapon is reliability. My Kimbers, Colts both fulfill that requirement in spades.

Apparently some folks have had problems. Many of them are the folks that make fun of my compulsive cleaning of weapons. My compulsion was "earned" with 10 years in the Marine Corps, two tours with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam, a short tour as a DI, and watching Americans troops die because of the M16.

I also only carry 5" 1911's. And they all use a 18 1/2 lb recoil spring instead of the "normal" 16lbs spring.

I think Springfield, Smith & Wesson, Kimber, etal are all good weapons. Choose your fighting weapons for your reasons, not others.

Go figure.


July 20, 2007, 08:06 PM

July 20, 2007, 08:20 PM
Of my 3 1911's I have 3 kimbers. I would liek a Springfield and some day I'll inherit a Colt from a cousin who carried it in WWII.

July 20, 2007, 08:49 PM
Just for perspective: An unissued 1943 Remington Rand, in cosmoline, purchased in 1962 through CMP/ Red River Arsenal for $17.50. It has never missed a beat and is currently on it's 12th recoil spring. Yes, the original (spring) is still somewhere in the safe.

More recently, five first generation Kimbers, from the mid- to- late 1990's... all have been flawless and each is more accurate than I can shoot.

Recommendation: A 5" all-steel Springer or Colt, good mags, good ammo and learn to tension the extractor... having done this, it should beat any Glock, Sig. Berreta or H&K on reliability/durability.

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