Which 1911 to buy


November 24, 2008, 09:15 AM
I've decided to buy a new 1911. I've narrowed my choices down to two; either the sig 1911 or a kimber, in 45acp. I've herd good and bad about the kimber, but I believe it to be a top quality piece. I haven't herd anything about the sig. If they are anything like the quality of their P220s then they would be a good choice too. Does anyone own the sig? How do you like it? How would you compare it to the kimber? Or would you recommend it? Thanks for the input.

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November 24, 2008, 09:27 AM
kimbers are fine pistols. extremely tight. they also have great customer service.

cant comment on the sig as ive never owned or shot one.

November 24, 2008, 09:32 AM
+1 for Kimber

November 24, 2008, 09:36 AM
I know Dan Wesson is not mentioned in your list, but I would give them a look as well.

November 24, 2008, 12:06 PM
If you excluded the S&W SW1911 series you missed good value and customer service.

November 24, 2008, 12:10 PM
+1 Kimber, very well made, just need a good break in!

November 24, 2008, 12:18 PM
I'm not an expert, but I am absolutely in love with my Kimber, fwiw. :cool:

November 24, 2008, 01:15 PM
I did a similar search recently and ended up finding Kimber or SA's 1911 "Loaded" model to be the best choice for the $700-1000 budget. On a lighter budget, the Taurus PT1911 is very competitively-priced for the features (match grade, ambi-safety, etc). I've been told it's a great "starter 1911" from quite a few sources.

As for Dan Wesson - they were great pistols but I've heard they may have dropped QC since being bought by CZ. Even if that is 100% rumor, they did drop their warranty from Lifetime to 5 years, which is a deal breaker for me. If they run 99/100 guns perfectly, all it takes is that one not covered after 5 years to bite you.

Grizzly Adams
November 24, 2008, 02:05 PM
I have a SA Loaded Champion that I love. You can't go wrong there!

November 24, 2008, 02:41 PM
Stick with the original! COLT!!

November 24, 2008, 07:42 PM

November 24, 2008, 09:20 PM
Let's just say that Sig is well known for some amazing weapons: the P220, P232, P226, and the P229 just to name a few. However, the name Sig and 1911 just don't go together very well. It's an okay firearm, there are just so many more better choices out there.

+1 SA Loaded
+1 S&W 1911
+1 Colt

November 24, 2008, 09:39 PM
i have a taurus, love it, no problems yet at lust a tad over 200 rounds... i just wish i could afford to shoot it more...

November 24, 2008, 09:39 PM
At the range... the 1911 I see malfunction the most... Kimber.
Cant say which is the least... I dont really notice the guys not having issues.


November 25, 2008, 12:07 AM
i currently own everything mentioned minus the sig, not that i would'nt own one just have'nt gotten around to it, my experience is as in life, for the most part you get what you pay for, i dont think you'd have an issue with a kimber or sig, there all quality well thought out pieces, another brand i'd look into is a para, i just picked up a brand new para ssp, at academy's for about $629.00+tax, ..very good 1911 it hangs with all the others mentioned...imo....

November 25, 2008, 12:53 AM
I think Kimbers look pretty, but are not as likely to run as some other brands. They do look nice, so if you are mainly going to look at your gun, and shoot it very little, then Kimber would be a good way to go.

I think S&W and Colt 1911s are more likely to run reliably out of the box, without a break-in period, or obligatory return to the factory to be made functional.

I only own one Kimber now... and I finally have it running reliably after changing the recoil spring to an appropriate weight (this is a 10mm gun), tweeking the extractor, and changing the slide stop.

November 25, 2008, 07:42 AM
Well I had my choices down to two, then I run across the sig220 carry SAS and that's one step above any 1911,so I believe that's the one for me. Thanks for your advise too.

November 25, 2008, 08:00 PM
Between my Sig TTT and my Kimber TLE, there is no comparison. The Sig is a much finer made pistol. If you head over to any 1911 forum, you will see that while SIGs have been improving in their products, the same can not be said of Kimber sadly. Either one I would trust my life to, but the Sig is better machined, better fitted, and shoots better than the Kimber.

November 25, 2008, 08:11 PM
i haven't shot a sig, but i've heard negative things about them. i've heard negative things about kimber too, but the one i shot (a friend's) worked great (it was a warrior model). of kimbers, i've heard most bad things about their series II (has a schwartz safety i think?). the warrior is a series I...which utilizes a titanium firing pin and stronger firing pin spring in lieu of the schwartz safety...i think. i might be incorrect and too lazy to check myself :-P i own a smith and wesson 1911 and agree with other posters, it's excellent...just a little uglier than the kimbers, but hey...beauty is in the eye of the beholder and just one criterion in gun selection for some.

November 25, 2008, 09:55 PM
Just picked up a Colt XSE about a week and a half ago.

Only taken 'er out once for 100 rounds, but so far this gun blows away the SA Loaded I had a while back, and I did like that gun.

Honestly, I think that right now Colt and Dan Wesson offer the best value right now with SA and S&W not far behind. Kimbers are a very polarizing brand. Folks seem to love them or hate them. I have heard very mixed reviews about the SIG's as well.

Either way, good luck with your decision.

November 26, 2008, 12:00 PM
I have a lot of Colt 1911's, old and new, and I really like what they've been doing with the late issues. The "enhanced" versions are out of the box accurate, reliable, and good looking too. They've quietly put the second series Kimbers with all of their colors and weird designs to shame on the firing line.

I do have one Kimber but it's a series I Custom, plain and simple along with absolute reliability and accuracy as good as any production gun can give.

I think that Smith & Wesson makes a fine 1911 too, but I can't get past the nanny warnings imprinted on the side of the frames so have not bought one.

I have an old Sig 226, a cop surplus gun, that is completely reliable and tough as nails. Like my Glock 19 I can toss the Sig into a box of rocks in the back of my truck, drive 300 miles with it bouncing around, and KNOW that it'll function like a new one when I get where I'm going.

November 26, 2008, 12:24 PM
+1 Kimber

So the OP says Kimber or Sig and he get's opinions on most everything else?

November 26, 2008, 08:31 PM

November 27, 2008, 12:52 AM
bugkodee: 200 rounds through any gun is hardly a test of its reliability.


November 27, 2008, 05:09 AM
im gonna throw in my vote for a smith and wesson...mine is the performance center black model, for which i saved for quite a long time, and which spoils me beyond belief in every aspect of the gun. it is not what i would describe as "affordable," but then again lots of people have $2000 baers and others, and mine came in around $1400. not chump change, but shoots with the best of them. what i really cant get over is how great it feels when i shoot it-and this is not unique to my s&w, as i have shot some of their other models at their range here in taxa...er i mean...massachusetts...they are outstanding products and values, and i recommend them to everyone i know who is looking for a 1911. my only complaint with mine is that it is on the heavy side, which is fine because im really not looking to carry it, but one of the PD models, made of their scandium alloy, really cuts the weight down, and the guns are still easy to control when shooting. im actually saving for one of these as we speak. also, i've not needed their customer service, but i have heard nothing but good things about that, and they will back the pistol for life should anything go wrong with it. theyre accurate, well-made, competitively priced (plus made in the USA), and just a complete joy to own and shoot. i will certainly be buying more after this experience, and i doubt very much you will have a bad experience if you choose s&w as well. the only reason i would chose a sig over one of these would be concealability with the sig "compact" group of 1911s. the have a commander length slide with a shortened grip, which would be great for a carry pistol. unfortunately not available in my state, yet at least, so my decision not to buy that one has been made for me. good luck in your search!

Chuck Warner
November 27, 2008, 05:33 AM
I would give the Dan Wesson a real close look. Having almost 60 different 1911's in stock, the quality is second to none. CW

November 27, 2008, 06:23 AM
I think that if you are seriously looking at a Kimber, you really should take a very hard look at the Colt.

November 27, 2008, 06:53 AM
I just aquired a Springfield Long Slide 1911. When you have a full magazine, with one in the chamber, the second shot always fails to chamber. After you clear it, it works fine.

Has anyone else encountered this?

November 27, 2008, 07:02 AM
Four different Kimbers, and four different problem guns. Service was less than stellar in trying to rectify the problems. One gun would fail to feed about every 3rd or 4th round. Came back from Kimber as a reliable single shot. How do you send a gun back worse than it was and say you tested it?:confused::banghead:

November 27, 2008, 09:21 AM
Like many of the other replies I also find Kimber to be a good gun, but when it came down to making a purchase I opted for STI out of Georgetown, TX. (Eagle 6.0) You would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't check our STI. They specialize in .45 in the 1911 style. Unlike many of the other manufacturers they don't have an assembly line that cranks out thousands guns. Their guns have the feel of being almost hand crafted. The fit and finish cannot be beat and you can't find a more accurate .45. Check them out. Once you've racked that buttery smooth slide, you might be hooked.

November 27, 2008, 09:48 AM
Everyone is gong to post their personal favorite, mine is a full size Kimber.
There isn't a manufacturer that has never produced a problematic weapon. Get what you want, run enough rounds through it to get good with it and if there's a problem with your individual purchase the manufacturer will make it right.... Then practice some more.

good luck

November 27, 2008, 11:58 AM
...consider Dan Wesson

November 27, 2008, 12:10 PM
Like my Kimber pro carry 2

November 28, 2008, 01:38 PM
We have S&W 1911, (3) Kimber 1911's, and a Taurus 1911. No problems on either gun. Kimber is very accurate, even at 25yds. Taurus and SW are plenty accurate as well. Will be buying a Kimber Pro CDP II for CCW. Can't go wrong with a good name gun. Customer service at all three are just fine. No complaints. Just make sure the gun you get fits your hand well, the sights "feel" good to your eye. If you get a Kimber, get some Wilson mags for it. Good luck.

November 28, 2008, 02:23 PM
After carrying MANY other handguns extensively, I think I will be buried with my Kimber Custom II. 5 years ago I paid $230 NIB, added night sights and Hogue wrap-around finger grips. I don't remember the last time I had a stoppage, if ever. I carry it everywhere, I open carry it out of town, and if I were allowed to, I would carry it to war tomorrow. I'm done. I shot a $2700 Nighthawk and I have absolutely no idea what it is you get for the extra money.

I think if one notices a lot of malfunctions with Kimbers, one must also remember how popular they are. If there are more Kimbers in the marketplace, there will be more problems just from the law of large numbers.

November 28, 2008, 07:35 PM
My vote is for a Kimber, my Kimber Tactical Ultra II has been 100 % reliable out of the for 3 yrs now. The only thing I've had to do for it is,..... buy more ammo and it hasn't been picky (like me it will eat anything, FMJ/JHP it doesn't care).

November 29, 2008, 12:23 AM
That Taurus sure is a lot of gun for the money!

November 29, 2008, 12:37 AM

November 29, 2008, 01:34 AM
Hi folks, my first post here. For what it's worth; I once had a colt that never failed to run, but in a moment of bad judgement I sold it. Last year I decided to get another 1911, so I called Gunsite and talked with their 'smithy about which one. Their advice was to go with S&W or Colt as these two seemed to have the least amount of problems. I bought a S&W 1911 PD Commander that had a Performance Center trigger job. Great pistol. It just plain shoots. I also bought a S&W 1911 PC with the same great performance. I'm happy with my Smiths.

November 29, 2008, 05:12 AM
I'd like to hear more about the Sig 1911s myself. I, too, am looking into buying my first 1911. Sig and Kimber are the two brands I've narrowed it down to as well, so this thread could help me out a lot too.

I heard that the Sig 1911 wasn't slim like a standard 1911. After holding and comparing both at Sportsman's Warehouse, I can't even tell the difference. The unique slide milling on the Sig is just deceiving if you ask me. I really really liked the C3 I held..seemed like a high quality firearm to me. It was very good looking too and would make a great carry gun IMO. I'm just concerned about getting a lemon.

I know lemons can be produced by any gun manufacturer, but most of the time it happens when a gun first comes out and none of the "kinks" have been worked out yet. I'm sure this is the case with a lot of the Sig 1911s that were rumored to have problems. So would anybody here have information on what serial numbers to look out for with the Sig 1911s? I'd buy one in a heartbeat if I knew it was very recently produced.

November 29, 2008, 09:20 PM
For Sigs the early "manhole cover" ones are the ones to primarily avoid, although there are those who swear by theirs as well. As for the revised current edition, any serial number 7k and above.

I absolutely love my Sig 1911. As a comparison to another 1911 I own (Springfield 1911A1 Loaded SS) the SIG is:
-better fitted
-better finished
-better trigger
-came with nightsights
-original GI plug instead of the 2pc rod that always shoots loose at the range
-No MIM parts if that is important to you (personally I'd rather have bar stock parts than MIM but thats a personal thing)
-Just as reliable

The only cons is that because of the slide profile, finding off the shelf and readily available leather for it will be more troublesome. Many holster makers make holsters for it, but you will just have to wait a bit for delivery. Another thing that may throw off the tradionalists is its external extractor. The new SIGs are definitely a great buy.

November 29, 2008, 09:23 PM
I have nothing bad to say about my Kimber. It's a great gun and definitely one of my favorites in my collection so my vote would certainly go that direction. I've never regretted buying it.

November 29, 2008, 09:31 PM
I have a Kimber stainless II, External extractor and it functions flawlessly! RN, HP's, SWC's, even Truncated Cone bullets. No problem. It's been my beginner's Bullseye gun. Much more accurate than any production Colt I've had my mitts on.


November 30, 2008, 08:19 PM
i would personally go with sa but between the 2 that you stated i would go with the kimber. why? i trust them and they have been making the 1911 for longer than sig. there are many proven kimber 1911 models out there.

December 1, 2008, 11:54 AM
I vote for the Sig. Here's mine- I did add an arched mainspring housing:

December 1, 2008, 11:37 PM
Okay, what is MIM anyway???

December 1, 2008, 11:42 PM

Do a few searches in the autloader or Gunsmithing forums here in THR. Quite a few discussions (sometimes heated) about this subject.


December 2, 2008, 03:32 AM
-original GI plug instead of the 2pc rod that always shoots loose at the rangeWhere is this in the gun, and what is its function? I'm not familiar with 1911s and again, I'm looking to buy my first one.

Sorry to keep hi-jacking your thread, but you are looking at the same two brands as I am, so I figured this is a good place to post rather than making another thread.

December 2, 2008, 03:59 AM
Part of the beauty of the 1911 is that it can be detail stripped without tools, as long as you have slotted grip screws, a GI style recoil spring guide and plug, and an internal extractor. Grip screws, and the spring guide & plug can be put into almost any standard 5" 1911. External extractors, however, are there to stay, and there is no standard for them. Every manufacturer has their own proprietary external extractor designs. Internal extractors are standardized, and they just require minor fitting & tuning to install. I also don't care for firing pin blocks; I've had one break and render the gun inoperable.

That would leave me looking at a new Kimber Warrior or SIS, used pre series II Kimber, new or used Springfield, new Colt 70 series repro, used pre 80 series used Colt, new or used 80 series or later Colt with FP block system removed, or one of the newer Dan Wessons with internal extractor.

Of those, any in a 5" gun could be configured with a GI guide & plug. When we get shorter than 5" only Colt and DW offer internal extractor guns with true commander 4.25" length barrels which have a conventional bushing. This conventional bushing allows for the GI style guide & plug. The DW is ready for those parts to drop in, but on a new Colt I'd remove the FP block mechanism first.

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