Charles Daly .45 acp


January 11, 2003, 03:57 PM
Are these any good? I'm told (by the prospective seller) that it is as good as any other higher priced 1911, and the parts are all interchangeable with other 1911's. Don't know a darn thing about 1911's. He wants $375, unfired in box. Been kinda itching to pick up a .45 lately.


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January 11, 2003, 04:43 PM
Personally, I don't know about it being "as good as any other high priced 1911." I'm sure it will shoot. Don't know how long. My impression is that your money would be better spent getting a used Springfield Mil-Spec or Colt. I am a far cry from being actually knowledgeable in 1911s (or handguns for that matter), but this doesn't feel right to me.

January 11, 2003, 07:00 PM
I had a Daly FS model. It was reliable and accurate. But the slide had soft steel. From what I hear after market parts will require some fitting.

January 12, 2003, 10:07 AM
I'm told (by the prospective seller) that it is as good as any other higher priced 1911 What he should have said was they are as good as any other LOWER priced 1911. I would go along with what MJRW said, get a quality used 1911.

Kahr carrier
January 12, 2003, 12:08 PM
I think they are made in the Phillipines.:what:

January 12, 2003, 04:03 PM
I have a Charles Daly. CD is an old, respected American company. The guns are made in the Phillipenes. I think the quality and fit is very good and the parts are interchangeable with other 1911s without special fitting. I have never heard that the metal is soft -- it doesnt appear that way to me although I am no metalurgist.

$375 is not a bad price. CD has a lifetime repair policy now, but it only runs to the original owner.

CDs are a good choice -- particularly if you want a stainless gun at a good price. Is the one you are looking at stainless?

A used Springfield will cost you about the same and wont have a lot of the extras the CD will come with standard.

January 12, 2003, 04:16 PM
Like I said in a prior posting....
I put 100 rounds of misc. junk .45 acp [wolf, win, federal....] thru a friend's Chuck Daly and it all fired.
I was truly impressed!

January 12, 2003, 04:16 PM
Like I said in a prior posting....
I put 100 rounds of misc. junk .45 acp [wolf, win, federal....] thru a friend's Chuck Daly and it all fired.
I was truly impressed!

January 12, 2003, 04:19 PM
Dalys are junk, for a feww bucks more you can get a Colt...

January 13, 2003, 05:14 AM
Chuckie D's are not junk but $375 seems pretty high. SA Milspec is often on sale for$399 to $450. You should be paying around $300 for a CD.

January 13, 2003, 09:04 AM
I paid $500 for my Charles Daly, it was my first purchase, unresearched. I would have liked to pay $150 or so less, but it has been a great gun. It did need a recoil spring changed to the Colt stock weight spring (I believe #18, I can't remember now) but after that everything has been really good.

January 13, 2003, 09:46 AM
$375 is high for a new CD? I dont think so -- never seen one cheaper than that. Its not a Llama or a Firestorm....

Pb, some people are snobs when it comes to .45s. They think that if is not a Kimber, it is junk. Some people swear by Springfield mil-specs, but others will say they are junk.

Dont tell me a gun is junk without telling me what experience you have with it. It has all the credibility of a guy with a Dale Ernhardt T-shirt saying "Fords are junk."

CDs are relatively inexpenisve. You cant totally compare a CD with a mil-spec gun because the CD has a lot of features standard.

The CD has a lifetime repair policy and is not junk. If you like it and that is your price range -- get it.

January 13, 2003, 04:15 PM
The CD i had, did indeed have a soft slide. The cut out where the slide engages the the slide lock became rounded out after only 1,000 rounds. Anymore, it looked like it wouldn't be able to engage anymore. Have heard people say good things about there customer service, heard more people have negative experiences. Just isn't worth the risk in my opinion. Better served by a Springfield Mil-Spec or a Ruger P-90. Just my 2 cents.

January 13, 2003, 04:16 PM
Double tap

January 13, 2003, 04:17 PM

January 13, 2003, 04:52 PM
Go over to and do some searching, they have a Charles Daly forum.

January 13, 2003, 05:56 PM
I had one for a while, I bought it used from a gun store. I wanted to see what I thought about the 1911 platform. Mine had a beaver tail and flat main spring housing and maybe some other stuff. It was 500 if bought new. I ran a few hundred rounds through it and it was reliable as can be.

It was made in the phillipines but I would expect the same gun made in the USA to cost a couple hundred more.

As mentioned go play on the 1911 forum and see what you think. I consider them a great way to learn about a 1911, mine had a scratch from the previous owner reassembling it. If I had not needed money I might still have it kicking around.

The mag release was a bit gritty and it was not a work of art, but it was reliable and decently accurate.

As for price, I would say 350 is a good price since that is what I got on trade in for mine. I paid around 375 for it used at a gun shop and traded it in at the same one.

Heck, I might buy one if new in box for 350 because I do sort of expect these to go up in price or down in quality.

January 13, 2003, 09:18 PM
I paid something in the high $300's for my CD in may of 1999 but thats because I am in the bay area and everyone wanted 400+ for any 1911 variant. Springfield load was going for like 550-600 and griffin was like 450 ish and I simply didn't have the cash for that.

My CD has had only 1 problem. the front sight got loose and came off. I am told by CD's people customer service that they are installed differently now. no experince with their warranty people, because the local gunsmith said that she would do it for $15 and it that made it not worth the hassle of shipping it.

January 15, 2003, 03:41 AM
I bought mine 2 months ago owned but unfired.
The Stainless 4 in bull barrel model

It came with the box books and 4 chip McCormic power mags
for $350

The gun was reliable straight away with whatever I fed it.
It was not as accurate as I had hoped with my tried and true
reloads. But it is attractive and mechanically sound.

Dissassembly is a little wierd. There is no barrel bushing and
the recoil spring is held captive from inside the slide.

Took me a while to get used to that

January 15, 2003, 08:24 PM
I had a CD .45, jammed constantly, and the recoil spring plug broke after 300 rounds, gouging the slide pretty badly.
I sent it to the factory with a polite letter requesting they either fix it or replace it.

They refunded the purchase price of the pistol.

My pistol may have been a bad apple, but their customer service definitely made up for it. Kudos to CD for that.

January 16, 2003, 07:55 AM
I have 3. An EFS, an EMS, and an ECS. I have been very pleased with all three. Some observations-

1) I wouldn't call it "as good as other high-priced 1911's" in some regards. Reliability has been 100% with all three, but there are some areas where they could use some work. All three of mine had some rough spots inside the mag wells. However, the difference in cost was nice compared to the few minutes I spent polishing those areas. Still, all in all, the finish is better on my Colts and Kimbers.

2)The factory triggers aren't great. Mine were good enough that I left them alone, but I have handled some whose trigger pulls needed work.

3)Once again, reliability has been 100% with all ammo. That simply cannot be overstated. I have shot all of mine enough and with such success that I trust them all for carry. That alone should speak for itself.

4)With their pros and cons, they are a great bargain. My EFS was $359, my EMS $339, and my ECS $349. Worth the money? Every penny, I'd recommend them to anyone.


Baron Holbach
January 16, 2003, 08:31 AM
I would not buy a Charles Daly 1911 due to their reputation for being unreliable. I've read too many posts on gun forums where shooters have been less than satisfied with their CDs. Instead, I would save enough money to buy a Colt Govt or Kimber.

January 16, 2003, 09:31 AM
This is another example of what I am talking about. Of the 8 CD owners who responded on this thread, 7 are happy with their guns and one got a lemon and a full REFUND.

All the negative comments are from people who apparently do not have a CD at all and never had one.

When you post your impressions of a gun's "reputation" -- you are not adding anything to the discussion. Some guns get a "reputation" just because they are inexpensive. If you really read this forums, I lot of people love their cheaps guns -- i.e., the Kel-tecs, the Bersa Thunder, Charter Arms, etc.

The problem with internet discussion boards is that it always highlights the negative about anything. People are much less likely to post a new thread or respond to a thread to say their gun is fine or even great. But just wait and see how many people with line up to complain about something they don't like.

My advice to everyone -- take what you hear on-line with a grain of salt and don't rely at all on second-hand "I hear they are junk" type comments about any gun without specifics.

January 16, 2003, 06:50 PM
Make a correction to that. There are two dis-satisfied people with CD's. Earlier in this thread, you'll see that I got rid of mine. Much more pleased with my P-90. Haven't checked out the newer ones that CD has put out. So I don't know if there is a difference.

January 16, 2003, 06:50 PM
Yeah, I heard Sig's are horrible... :D

January 16, 2003, 10:42 PM
I have one that has 7k rounds through it, the slide to frame fit is still the same as when I got it (decent fit IMHO). It had the extractor broke at 700 rounds or so. I replaced it with Wilson's and its been reliable since then. I use it mainly for the gun games (IPSC, bowling pin, bullseye...). I did fit a new Kart barrel to improve on accuracy though.
Interestingly, the ones I had the most problems, and continues to have are my high $ one's (Colt and Para). Both have reliability issues out of the box. The Colt's front sight fell off the gun during recoil and the Para has lots of FTF's. Both guns won't feed HP's reliably. None of these on my CD even with the original barrel. It even feed HP's reliably.
I think $ for $, its a great deal. Lots of features for less $.

January 16, 2003, 10:57 PM
Pberzk.....I am glad you posted this thread. I have been thinking about buying a CD also. This would be my first 1911.
My personal opinion, I think they are great guns for the price. For me, to pick one up for $300-350 is good on my pocket book. Even if they have some problems( which MOST guns do at some point ). It wouldn't be the only gun I own or the one i would carry for CCW so to me a CD would be a good experience to learn how to tear down and fix. I would rather learn on a $300 gun than a $800-1000. For the most part, I hear they are good guns for the price. One thing I would also look at and I think was mentioned earlier in this thread is to check out Springfield Armory Milspecs. The price is real close to a CD and maybe a used one would run about the same.

Well, just my thoughts here. If you get a CD for $350...congrats!:D

January 16, 2003, 11:22 PM
I did consider the S.A. mil-spec when I was shopping for an inexpensive, beater 1911 but the fact that it doesn't offer the features that come standard on the CD's (dovetail front sight, beavertail safety, front and rear serrations) and its 2 piece barrel made me think twice. Their high end ones has 1 piece barrel though. I also find that the slide to frame fit is better on the CD. The only thing it offer that better the CD is resale value. Not important if you plan on keeping the gun.

January 17, 2003, 12:13 AM
Good point Longbow.

I am not one who likes to sell my guns. I didn't know that about the 2 peice barrel on the milspecs.

January 17, 2003, 01:16 AM
Just to throw another log on the fire I have heard good things about the Rock Island Armory guns. They run $350 for the basic mil-spec parkerized version. I think parts of them are also made in Phillipines.

If the CD is one of the higher end CD's then $375 is a good price. Nothing wrong with inexpensive guns.

Baron Holbach
January 17, 2003, 08:05 AM
I often rely on the experience of gun owners in this forum before purchasing certain guns. When I learned of the sterling reputation of the Bersa Thunder .380, I proceeded to buy one. I was not disappointed. In regards to the reputation of Charles Daly 1911s, I have relied on input from CD owners in, The Firing Line, Glocktalk, and the High Road. Yes, there have been comments from satisfied CD owners, in addition to those who have not had good experiences with these guns. The comments in favor of CD guns have been far more favorable than, for example, the polymer pistols manufacturered by Taurus. Nevertheless, I have been wary of purchasing CD 1911s after comparing their reputation with the likes of custom Colt, Kimber, and Springfield 1911s. I own two 1911s: a Colt Govt .45 and a Kimber .38 super. Both of these guns, although costing several hundreds dollar more than a CD, have performed admirably and I would not hesitate to buy another custom 1911 from either Colt or Kimber. But until I view enough favorable owner replies in support of CD 1911s, I will refrain from purchasing one.

January 17, 2003, 08:39 AM
Sheesh, who's trying to force a CD on you?

I'm glad you are happy with your colt and kimber
but some of us like to go out prospecting in unknown territory in hopes of finding a gem.

Sometimes you eat the bear sometimes it eats you.

February 9, 2003, 03:10 AM
Add another very pleased Charles Daly owner to the list. Mine is a pre-enhanced (where they added mostly cosmetic enhancements) but post-"improved" (reliability improvements) Charles Daly Field Grade full-sized 1911. I have thousands of rounds through it (I stopped counting some time ago so I know for sure it is over 3K but I am probably under 5K). The only problems I had were when I used the factory mags, but with quality mags it has been 100%.

I am impressed enough that I may pick up another (likely the 3 1/2" version) before they all disappear here in MD (the darned built-in lock law). That is in competition with a couple CZs (and you guys may remember that I LOVE CZs) and several other guns I'm considering before the stock of "pre-lock" guns in MD dry up.

I too find it funny how some people here and on other forums will bash CDs based on "reputation" (which was by the way mostly built on guns that aren't up to the quality of their guns today- there was a series of reliability improvements done about a year and a half to two years ago), yet they have absolutely no first hand experience with the guns. Look over at, you'll see a similar proportion of unhappy Kimber and unhappy SA owners as unhappy CD owners.

It is especially funny when those people turn around and suggest RIA- the Rock Island Armory guns are Charles Dalys brought in by a different importer and with mil-spec trim instead of the options Charles Daly gives you. They are made by the same company, at the exact same factory and to the same internal and mechanical specs.:rolleyes:

Any Cal!
February 9, 2003, 08:52 PM
I'm a dissapointed CD owner. I bought the fancy model for 429 about a year ago. The one that looks like a Kimber CDP. I heard a lot of people say that they were as good as their Kimber, Springfield,etc. Mine was an absolute lemon. Trigger was awful, multiple malfs, (1-2 per magazine), accuracy was the worst I have ever seen, and 0 pride of ownership. 50-100 bucks buys you something with a better reputation and more pride of ownership.
Maybe mine was the exception, but I think the extra c-note gives you better odds of getting a good gun. On my Daly, the frame and slide were so soft I would not dream of spending money to put good parts on it. When I bought mine there was a parkerized Springfield Compact 3.5 inch for 479.NIB. While I was practicing tap-rack drills and trying different ammo, loading different types, replacing springs, lapping in the slide, smoothing the trigger,etc, how many times do you think I wished I had spent the extra 50 for the Springfield? There is supposedly a good warranty through KBI, but everyone I have heard from says they are incredibly slow,
ie months. You pays your money, you takes your chances.

P.S. My wife thought it was the best looking gun in the store.

February 9, 2003, 09:55 PM
I would agree that another $100 may go a long way towards buying a better percentage of success. If you don't have a problem buying the gun, shooting it a bit, noting its faults and sending it back to the factory (assuming it still has its warranty card) then I don't think that sounds too high. But I'd try to talk him down of course.

I've shot a few Daly's and they functioned fine for me. Maybe one failure, can't recall now. I was impressed enough that I was looking for an EFS which is their two-tone gun. Couldn't find one for the right price. Can't comment on their long term reliability/sllide hardness or lack thereof. I've heard this, but don't know anything about it first hand.

Among other lower priced, I was recently impressed by the Rock Islands I handled. Didn't shoot them but they seem pretty well fitted, didn't have horrible tool marks inside and the trigger was not too bad. Again, I can't comment without shooting one but I was more impressed that I thought I would have been.

Definately go check out the 1911 Forum ( Lots of good information over there. Be sure to read back many pages in the Daly forum. People come along all the time and you can generally tell which ones have experience with the guns and which ones are just blowing smoke.

February 10, 2003, 01:05 AM
Any Cal,
I once had a Colt that's a lemon. Sights fell off after a couple hundred rounds and ejection problems every 10 rounds or so. My Para won't feed anything except round nose ammo. It took two trips to a gunsmith to make it right. And it's still quirky sometimes. Worst, both of these gun costs about $800 or more. Yes! any manufacturer puts out a lemon from time to time. Even really expensive ones like S_I (fill-in the blank). I've seen a couple of these babies choke in IPSC matches too! ' guess no pride in owning there too.:( :(
The only problem I had with my CD is the extractor I did break sooner than expected, but I replaced it with a Wilson extractor ($25?) and its been reliable since then. The best thing.. I only paid $380 IIRC out the door! It has a lot of features than the S.A. Mil-spec I was considering at the time, and it doesn't have a two piece barrel like the S.A.! Overall I still feel I made a good buy! I'm happy with mine!

Have you tried sending your CD back to them? I know it might take them sometime, but at least you are not doing the work they are supposed to be doing. Its less costly that way, IMO. Also, how did you measure the metal hardness on the CD?

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