which 1911, light weight, higher end?


July 22, 2007, 07:53 PM
Hi, looking for a 1911 lightweight, higher end. (improved QC)

looking for 600-700$ plus range for higher quality.- do NOT want exclusive 1200+ custom models- just good quality, reliable, functionable. toyota/lexus/honda reliability/QC
I know there are people happy with their less costly ones but want more proven reliability

input regarding manufacturing ? forged better than MIM? or other process.
read some issues with MIM QC, (taurus?)
One forum mentioned a higher end 1911 is one of the worst buys to get.
also it is of high maintanence freq break down.
I'm looking into the trends/statistical experience

read Kimber II QC is down the tubes.

SW PD feels good in grip and weight but worried about MIM.- but CS is great

Taurus QC a concerned, also MIM.

how's Sig's new 1911? newness of a concern, (kinks?) manuf process? MIM/forged or other?

colt series 80 is too heavy, as is springfield's standard,

NOT interested in Charles Daly/RR-amscor/filipines.
? over all QC of para ordinance?

any input much appreciated.
already own some sigs, SW MP-9mms looking to move up 45 acp. (XD grip too big as is 220)

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July 22, 2007, 10:50 PM
I hate to tell you, but $6-700 is no longer anywhere near a "higher end" gun. The Sig uses no mim, but it is not a lightweight, nor is the Taurus, or RIA, etc. The S&W PDs are excellant 1911s as are the Springfield lightweights, either full size or Champion. I wouldn't be afraid of mim, I believe many reports of how "bad" it is are overblown. For a lightweight 1911, I feel the Smith PD Tactical is very hard to beat, but it is more in the $8-900 range. Good luck.

July 22, 2007, 11:14 PM
Based on what you said, there are only two real choices. The S&W and the SA, though they may stretch the price range. Both are great and are top of the industry for CS.

July 23, 2007, 12:35 AM
I'd go with a Colt XSE Lightweight Commander.

I paid $829 for my Colt XSE Combat Commander in Little Rock, AR.

There's also the Colt 1991 Commander which is $700 around here. It's the Combat Commander and does not have the aluminum frame.

According to the M1911.org Colt Forum (http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=33440), new production Colt 1911s are made from the following:

mag catch

Thumb safety
grip safety

slide stop

MACHINED from bar stock
all pins
barrel link
barrel bushing
trigger finger piece
firing pin
firing pin stop
plunger tube

I personally have no intention of swapping out any of the MIM parts on my Commander. The only MIM part I've seen fail is the slide stop. Colt uses a forged slide stop on new production 1911s.

The Springfield and the Smith & Wesson are not bad guns. I was tempted to buy their copies of the Commander. Truth be told I owned a Kimber for a brief time. Colt won out in the end.

Colt may get bashed a lot on the intarwebs. Much of it is well deserved as the company has made many, many poor business choices. At least we still have the 1911 in the Series 70, 1991 (Series 80), XSE, and a few more niche models.

In my opinion, the Colt XSE is a good value. Out of box reliability and less MIM won me over.

The little horsey had something to do with it as well.

Look at some of DHart's pictures of his new production Colt 1911s if you need further convincing :D

Tom Fury
July 23, 2007, 08:33 AM
SA LW loaded or S&W LW PD + Brownells=no problems with MIM. If you can't get it out of the box, its' not that hard to fix. There are drop in replacements (forged) for mag catches and slide stops: Wilson, Brown, EGW to name a few. All MIM parts above can be replaced without Gunsmith help, though tuning sear and disconnector is desireable (getting a good street trigger out of the box is not that common either, which addresses that problem). Beavertail and extended safety installation should be thought of as part of the package for a triggerjob, since are part of that system and best addressed all at once).
$700 is the low end for most expectations w/o gunsmith tweaking anyway. I changed grips and mainspring housing on my S&W 1911sc. Wanted a different beavertail, but the cut was done at the factory (I believe thats' a Wilson style) so put up with it. Sometimes we do that.
Cheers, TF

Despite what we demand, they're just not giving it to us...
Cheers, TF

July 23, 2007, 09:41 AM
yeah, sadly that's not much money these days for a 1911, though it would have done 7 or 8 years ago. I agree with those who say go S&W PD--I have both a PD and one of the earlier SC's (same thing, different labelling) and they are both very accurate and have been completely reliable. If you were to have a problem, S&W's customer service is notoriously good these days--pay shipping both ways I believe. The Springer's aren't bad either, but I'm not sure they do a lightweight Champion or not these days? They used to have a lightweight compact. Last I knew they used a bushingless bull barrel however, which some do not like. I have a lightweight compact back int he day and it was perfectly reliable, so it wouldn't be an issue to me, but my SC was more accurate, so I sold the LW and got another Smith.

As far as the Colt's...the plastic mainspring housing is a bit distasteful, but they are ok. I will say that mine is nowhere near as accurate as the Smith's, but it always goes bang, and it's nice to have at least one pony in the collection.

July 29, 2007, 08:16 PM
The cheaper "high-end" LW 1911 I have was $1200 used, and that is about half what I paid for the other one of the same brand.

July 29, 2007, 08:50 PM
I have been happy with my SW1911PD. Here's (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/04/sw1911pd-range-report.html) a range report.

The MIM can be swapped out if it bothers you.

Johnny Guest
July 29, 2007, 10:43 PM
At the larger gun shows, there are usually a few genuine Colt Commanders - - NOT the steel frame "Combat Commander" model. These may sometimes be had within your price range. Otherwise, you might just leave word at the surrounding gun shops as to what your hunting.

You might want to try Gun List and Shotgun News publications and see what they have listed. If you are firm on what you want, you might post in the Buy, Sell, and Trade: Handguns forums both here on THR and on thefiringline.com

As to the plastic mainspring housing - - I don't much care for them, either, but they are really not a load bearing structure. The mainspring itself is supported by the cross pin.


July 29, 2007, 10:56 PM
Here you go. I went to my favorite store (the gun shop) and copied these for you. At least you can see the selling price for a good used 1911.


083220 USED COLT 1911 .45ACP 51899 CUSTOMIZED C.O. $475.00 :D
007140 USED COLT 1911 45ACP 695395 USARMY AJSAVSLIDE $1,100.00
007958 USED COLT 1911 45ACP 204420 GHS 1917 REP.SLIDE $1,195.00
008615 USED COLT 1911 45ACP 2419981 MILITARY N.M $825.00
007413 USED COLT 1911 45ACP GHS 192641 USARMY (1917) $2,595.00
007412 USED COLT 1911 45ACP WGO 10132 USARMY (1912)W/HOL $3,695.00
007408 USED COLT 1911 45ACPW/HO 601394 USARMY EAGLE 1918 $2,995.00
007407 USED COLT 1911A1 45ACP 718891 "CSR" (1940) $3,750.00 :what:
007458 USED COLT 1991A1 45ACP CV14847 S/S $569.95 :D
008617 USED COLT COMBAT CMDR 45 FC04634 SERIES80 $599.95 :D
050860 USED COLT COMMANDER 45 70SC67360 SATIN NKL CO $595.00 :D
010619 USED COLT DEFENDER 45ACP DR30128 W/2 MAG&MANUAL $649.95 :D
052045 USED COLT GOLDCUP 45ACP 70N18746 SERIES 70 CO $725.00 :D
010113 USED COLT GOLDCUP 45ACP 7ON90683 BLUE SERIES 70 $895.00
051058 USED COLT GOVT .45ACP 246343C NICKEL CO $650.00 :D
010469 USED COLT GOVT 1911-A1 45 C149174 COMMERCIALPREWAR $1,395.00
007326 USED COLT GOVT 45ACP 17174B70 NICKLE SER.70 $689.95 :D
009275 USED COLT GOVT 45ACP 20947G70 SER 70 NICKEL $695.00 :D
006393 USED COLT GOVT 45ACP S/S SS27936 BRITE W/BOXSER80 $849.95
010534 USED COLT GOVT MKIV 45 FG10784 SERIES 80 2-TONE $695.00 :D
010754 USED COLT GOVT MKIV 45ACP FR16034E SERIES 80 BLUE $695.00 :D
052834 USED COLT NATLMATCH45 CO 28697NM W/TGT RIB $749.95 :D

July 30, 2007, 02:41 AM
Hi, Much thanks to all.

SW appears popular thruout.
Taurus seems to have good review in the magazines but forum reports seem less than desireable and no one mentioned it here.

Feel more reassurred with the SW PD, lighter weight is good for my wife but I like the full SS 39 oz wt better with 5 inch barrel.

Unfortunately, in PRK/********** I am not able to get the tactical rail which I want.

July 30, 2007, 03:25 AM
As 1911s go you'll find a lot of happy Colt & Springfield owners. I would go with Colt.

August 2, 2007, 06:42 PM
No tactical rail in Californicate? Well, I guess at least they are consistent...consistently paranoid.

Do they not realize that the rail is safer? Safer because the shooter can attach a light and identify the perp V family member in the middle of the night.

August 2, 2007, 06:46 PM
I am pretty impressed with my S&W 1911PD after a thousand rounds. But it's a $900 gun where I live (Los Angeles). I wouldn't mind getting a second one, maybe the Gunsite version.

1911 guy
August 3, 2007, 08:26 AM
About the only way to get a handgun with no mim is to buy a pistol, then swap out the mim stuff for actual parts. The parts I'd worry about most would be the extractor, ejector, sear and disconnector. I think everybody's hammers are still forged due to impact stress.

August 3, 2007, 08:48 AM
well, the plastic mainspring housing on the Colt doesn't bother me enough that I have bothered to change it either--at least it doesn't feel as cold on cold days! ;) It's just sort of distasteful on a 1911. I own polymer handguns, mind you, just somehow doesn't seem right on a 1911.

I have to say, that though I like Colt and Springer's fine and haven't had a problem with any of mine, and would recommend them, I can say the same about my Smith's, and they seem to be the company these days with the best trouble free product and the customer support rep as well.

August 3, 2007, 01:10 PM
I'd second the comment about looking for used 1911's. I bought a used Kimber Eclipse Target for $600. It came with aluma grips and factory grips, a Smith & Alexander magwell. It shoots great. 100% reliable. When I bought the gun, the first thing I did was take out the Kimber mag and purchase 3 Wilson Combat mags. I took it home, cleaned and lubed and she's been perfect. I think that gun goes for $1200 plus and then the grips are probably $70 and the magwell is probably $75.

August 3, 2007, 04:19 PM
I have a Colt LT Commander and a Defender both have been flawless as have all my Colts.

Zeke Menuar
August 3, 2007, 04:38 PM
I bought my LW Commander in 1997.

I promptly took it to a gunsmith, replaced most of the moving parts and have been shooting it ever since.

Have you considered a build? I trolled the Caspian site. If you have the money you can build a decent Commander using their frames and slides.


August 3, 2007, 05:29 PM
I have an older Kimber Pro Carry II (aluminum frame with internal extractor). Ive owned it since 2004 and had ZERO failures.

Its light, slim and powerful......my favorite CCW weapon.


August 3, 2007, 08:55 PM
I have an older Kimber Pro Carry II (aluminum frame with internal extractor). Ive owned it since 2004 and had ZERO failures.

Its light, slim and powerful......my favorite CCW weapon.

+1 on the Kimber Pro Carry II. I've had one for 3.5 years and it's my only carry piece. 100 % reliable and eats everything I can feed it. Use Wilson mags!!!!!

read Kimber II QC is down the tubes.

There's nothing wrong with Kimbers QC, they put out something like 70,000 1911s per year. Even with a 1% return rate you're talking 700 bad guns a year. Most manufactures would die to have a 1% return rate (and no I don't know what Kimbers return rate is).

August 4, 2007, 12:52 AM
I've been very happy with my S&W1911PD Commander with Crimson Trace Laser grips. Light, accurate and reliable.


I shoot my all steel guns much more often, full size 5" govt models, Les Baer, Ed Brown & SA. Only one of those is under $1,000 though.

August 4, 2007, 04:25 AM
Check out the Colt New Agent.

August 5, 2007, 02:49 AM
Hi, much thanks to all.
Tried the colt series 80 5 inch, seemed a bit front heavy. need a 5 inch for competition.

After alot of mulling about, decided on the SW 1911 SS 39 oz.
wife likes the stable platform, stability in grip. heavier weight should reduce kick.

Again, thanks to everyone who shared their information.
It mainly came down to personal preference. you know how them women are.

Thanks again, see you at the range.

August 5, 2007, 01:09 PM
Buy a Kimber or Springfield and it's warrantied for life, just don't cut/grind the frame. If you do have problems you just send it back by UPS or FedEx over night.

Don't believe the whole MIM parts scare, I've ran 20k+ rounds through my Kimber TLE, after it went back to Kimber for an Internal Extractored Slide it hasn't had a single malfunction. I think Retail has creeped up to $800 or so now, the TLE is one of the best valued 1911's on the market, and has an aluminum frame, so it comes into the light catigory. You aren't going to get too, light... it's a 1911, you've got 8 rounds of .45acp in the mag an that isn't light either.

Springfield Loaded models come with most custom shop accessorys, but now you've moved into a steel framed gun.

If you want the no frills, down and dirty, 99.99% relaiable 1911 - The Answer is a SA Mil-Spec. Which is pretty much in your price range, she'll hold a 4" group at 25 yards stock and can be worked latter if need be to shoot like a laser beam. I have 2 SA Mil-Spec 1911's, a 4" Champion and a 5" Gov't, neither has malfunctioned when useing Wilson Mags.

Ala Dan
August 5, 2007, 02:57 PM
I have a Kimber Stainless Ultra Carry II .45ACP, that is my everyday CCW
piece. Its been 100% reliable, even with all types of JHP ammunition. Yes,
its not for recoil sensitive persons; as it weighs only 25 ozs~! :scrutiny:;)

August 5, 2007, 05:01 PM
Buy a Kimber or Springfield and it's warrantied for life, just don't cut/grind the frame. If you do have problems you just send it back by UPS or FedEx over night.

Is the Kimber warranty an unspoken one, their website and my gun information clearly says 1 year warranty?

Anyone have experience with this lifetime warranty?

August 6, 2007, 01:00 PM
I bought a Para Ordnance LTC about a year and half ago. Love it. It is the lightweight version. It is my favorite 1911 by far. 45 acp of course. Give it a thought.

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