Best 1911-45 caliber for Home Defense?


Dog Wonder
January 2, 2009, 07:18 AM
With a spending cap of 1300 dollars what 1911 do you recommend that you find very reliable and and is less prone to jamming or mal-functioning. My wife & I have fired 1911's at our range but we both lack the knowledge of what 1911's will function reliably if & when a lethal situation should arise in a home defense encounter.
What 1911 would you recommend & why would you recommend this 1911 for home defense.

Many Thank-You's!

P.S. I shot 1911's in the USMC for 3 years and find this firearm points & fires the best for me and my wife!

If you enjoyed reading about "Best 1911-45 caliber for Home Defense?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 2, 2009, 08:33 AM
I recommend the Para Ord Gun rights model! Double stacked so you can get 14+1, I only keep 13+1 but I have never had a mal. or jam.It comes with match grade barrel, trigger, hammer! I will continue to recommend this gun. I asked my gunsmith/dealer that when he orders it to keep it and do anything he needs to make it the flawless. he told me that he couldnt make it any better. I laughed and asked him to call when it arrives. I love this gun!

1911 guy
January 2, 2009, 08:45 AM
First off, I'm going to annoy geronimo and tell you that if you want a handgun that actually works to avoid anything Para Ordnance like the plague they are. If you'll notice the owrding in his post, he doesn't actually own the Para yet and has no experience with it.

Now the discussion of actual working handguns. I'd go with any of the following: Springfield, Colt, Kimber or Taurus.

I have a few Springfield guns and they have all been excellent performers. Two 1911 types and an XD, all three reliable, one of the 1911s is my daily carry.

I've never owned a Colt, but they appear to have a following of some folks who seem to know a thing or two about the 1911.

Kimber has resolved the extractor issue some time ago and they have a good reputation among serious and high volume shooters.

Taurus has put out a handgun that isn't pretty, has some unusual traits (like a Hi-Power hammer) but is reliable and relatively inexpensive.

Charles Daly, Armscor and High Standard used to be a decent name for a budget yet reliable name. Might still be, but there's been some shake up and I don't know the results.

Now my final point. Look hard at a carbine rifle or shotgun closely before you buy a handgun for home defense. Penetration issues will be a problem, especially if you have kids and/or close neighbors.

January 2, 2009, 08:47 AM
I would give Dan Wesson Valor a look. The springfield G.I. or Mil SPecs are great too and are quite abit cheaper than your spending cap. Can get a new Mil Spec for 575ish. They are a plane jane type of gun but are still nice.

January 2, 2009, 09:13 AM
J1979 said, "I would give Dan Wesson Valor a look."

I have a pointman 7 with too many rounds down range to count. It has always been rock solid with no hiccups of any kind. DW handguns are extremely well made and come with all the bels and whistles out of the box.

January 2, 2009, 09:27 AM
I have only one 1911 these days. It fits within your budget as do many (at least it did when I got it)
Mine is a Kimber Raptor II with an internal extractor. I have fed it all the brands and styles of 45acp on the shelves at the gun shop and Walmart. The only grief I have gotten from it is off the internet. LOL! There are less expensive and more expensive choices and probably better "bangs for the buck" but this one works for me and works every time.

As you already know any new-to-you pistol, or for that matter any firearm, will need proving at the range before you should trust it.

January 2, 2009, 09:50 AM
1911 guy, your not going to annoy me, but i have all of the guns in my signature. I have put over a thousand rounds in each of the guns there. The para is the only one that worked straight out of the box, Over a thousand rounds through it and absolutely not one mal. or jam!! It is the firearm I trust the most! Oh and I carry the para everyday.

January 2, 2009, 09:58 AM
I mis typed in my first post, It was supposed to be in past tense. I've had the para for a little over 2 months and like I said, a little over a thousand rounds, and it is my daily carry gun.

January 2, 2009, 10:01 AM
I have a Para 14.45 LDA that has been a reliable shooter with maybe a thousand or so rounds. Reliable in that it has never jammed or failed to fire. That said, I would not hesitate to recommend it has a house gun but in stock form not as a carry gun. The mag release button in my opinion is too large and prone to release the mag when carrying IWB. If I have been sitting in my office or driving my car I will notice later that the mag has been unseated. After a couple of times of that I no longer trust carrying it and use a Commander instead (which I think is about the toting gun.)

January 2, 2009, 10:11 AM
DogWonder, The best 1911 for HD, is the best 1911, and that is a Colt. With that much money to spend, you can get a pistol to play with, and a revolver for HD which most folks are better off with. orchidhunter

January 2, 2009, 10:27 AM
I'll add another vote for DW. I have the pre-CZ, Commander-sized Guardian Deuce and it is not only the most accurate 1911 I have owned it has performed flawlessly since the day I bought it.

January 2, 2009, 10:59 AM
I recently rented a S&W 1911 PD, which is S&W's version of the lightweight 4" barrel Colt Commander. This gun handled and shot like a dream. My son and I were both impressed. No malfunctions after 250 rounds at the range.

January 2, 2009, 12:08 PM
Hard to go wrong with Colt, Springfield, Kimber, Smith, or Dan Wesson. All make great guns. All have an occasional problem gun. All stand behind their product. I have all of those except Smith. No reason I don't have one of them.

Welcome to THR. We are opinionated, but a good bunch. :)

January 2, 2009, 02:25 PM
For 1300 dollars you should be able to find a deal on a Springfield TRP.

January 2, 2009, 02:35 PM
I have a Kimber (7 years old) and a Para Nite-Tac that I just picked up. Both behave excellently with FMJ and JHP ammo.

I got the Para because it has an accessory rail for my flashlight. This is now my nightstand gun. Since getting it I've run about 400 rounds through it and the only hiccups were failures to feed that were magazine related - confirmed when those same mags did the same thing in my Kimber.

I really like the Para so far. I think the issues with both Para and Kimber are that the internet tends to magnify negative experiences over positive...

January 2, 2009, 02:51 PM
I've got a Para Tac-Four (P13 LDA) thats stock (other than Wolf mag springs). Its been more reliable than my Springfield Champion, Micro, or even my XD. After reading on the net, their quality seems to be a little hit or miss... But the same could be said for other lg mfgs including the likes of Kimber and Springfield. What matters most in my book is after sales customer service, and thats where I think Springfield really shines.

January 2, 2009, 02:55 PM
Two Taurii or SA GI models... one for you, one for your wife!

January 2, 2009, 02:56 PM
Springfield Armory Loaded series in 45 acp. or if you have the money a Wilson CQB is the way to go. just please no kimbers.

January 2, 2009, 02:57 PM
I won't knock Para, but I will say that with $1300 you could get a better 1911.

PM inbound.


January 2, 2009, 03:08 PM
Per Jason G...
I won't knock Para, but I will say that with $1300 you could get a better 1911.


January 2, 2009, 03:08 PM
I have a S&W Performance Center that I love...just a great gun has been excellent as far as reliability and at 20 yards it makes one hole in the target. I have shot other Smith 1911s as well and they all have been excellent. My only gripe about it as an HD gun is that it does not have the ability to mount a flashlight, but I'm looking into remedies for that as we speak. I considered trading it for an HK45 due in part to it having no rail, but common sense got the better of me and I kept the 1911. I have shot a bunch of S&W 1911s at their factory/range as well (probably the only benefit of living in MA as far as gun ownership goes is being fairly local to this place), and I talked at length with the guys at their range about the demo pistols there. Granted, they work for S&W, but they said that they had not had a rental 1911 break on their range to that point, whether production or Perf. Center.

That said, unless you feel strongly otherwise, I would opt for a 1911 with a rail just so you have the opportunity to mount a flashlight if you felt the need.

Basically, as long as you get one from a good maker, you will not go wrong. I love my Smith, but I did buy it partially due to the lack of other 1911s in my state. My choices were basically Para and Smith, and I chose Smith hands down. If I had my choice of anything, though, I probably would have gotten the railed Springfield Armory model. Their customer service is on par with S&W and everything I have heard about their quality is the same as S&W-second to none.

All that is if I bought NIB, which I did. Now, used is a different story, and I would look hard at sites like and gunbroker, because you can find some excellent deals on used pistols that would have been out of your price range new, and might have a lot of features that you would like to have on a pistol that might make it too expensive brand new.

Good Luck, and I hope you find yourself a great 1911!

January 2, 2009, 03:30 PM
If money is an issue, Springfield Armory mil-spec or Loaded.

If you have some money to burn, CZ/Dan Wesson in either a Bobtail, Pointman Seven or Valor.

January 2, 2009, 04:17 PM
1911shooter -

Why no Kimbers???

I was looking at either a Kimber Stainless II, Stainless TLE II or a Colt Combat Elite (O8011xse)...

January 2, 2009, 04:46 PM
Dodge. wait I meant Chevy.. Darn wrong forum.
Asking this question will get you about a thousand different answers.
I am about to commit blasphemy but there is no "best" 1911. Nomex suit is now going on:D
Seriously, with the current state of manufacturing all of them are pretty close to each other. All manufacturers will make lemons now and then, as well as good examples. I happen to have a preference for Kimber's. But I also own and shoot 1911's from Springfield, Taurus, Charles Daly, Rock Island, etc. They all do what I expect of them.

For the OP See if the local range has several different models and try them out. Find something that works for YOU, not me or anybody else. I honestly think you will like something from any of the current big manufactureers.

January 2, 2009, 05:12 PM
Ive had a few kimbers and they are in my opinion junk. there are so many better 1911's out there, i had a Desert Warrior sent back to kimber on 5 different occasions for 3 different issues. kind of soured me. I would never hesatae to buy a colt or sig or any other 1911 even a rock island armory for that fact. But after my Experiance with kimber i would never reccomend one to anybody. But if your choice were to go the Kimber route i would have to say to look at the SIS series, one of my trusted friends in the world who i know for a fact doesnt know how to lie swears by the full size SIS modle. but as i said its just my opinion its your money and what ever you choose to buy will be your decision we can all tell you what our favorites are but in the end you need to be confident with your purchase and feel you got the best possible pistol for your hard earned dollar.
January 2, 2009, 05:45 PM
With a spending cap of 1300 dollars what 1911 do you recommend that you find very reliable and and is less prone to jamming or mal-functioning. My wife & I have fired 1911's at our range but we both lack the knowledge of what 1911's will function reliably if & when a lethal situation should arise in a home defense encounter.

For your money, I'd suggest a PAIR of Rock Island Armory Tactical M1911s.
I like the idea of a his and hers set. You will have cash leftover for practice ammo, perhaps a firearms self defense course.

Out of the box, these RIAs can be as reliable as any other brand, regardless of price. As with any other pistol, you have to "prove" RIAs reliable by firing at least 200 hundred rounds of SD ammo through them, before trusting your life and your loved ones' to them.

January 2, 2009, 05:47 PM
I have a S&W Performance Center that I love...just a great gun has been excellent as far as reliability and at 20 yards it makes one hole in the target.:scrutiny:

Ah so.

I have to say that with the exception of my shotguns - all of my firearms make one hole in the target, at pretty much any distance within range.

Then I shoot again and I make another hole in the target.

And so on......


January 2, 2009, 06:28 PM
I usually put one hole in the target and lob 7 over the top, then just tell the onlookers I put em all through the same hole.

January 2, 2009, 07:14 PM
If you get a double-stack 1911, like the Para, it might not point as well for you as a single-stack one, so try it out first.

January 2, 2009, 08:18 PM
At the time(2006) I owned a Springfield parkerized bare bones G.I. model. The darn thing reminded me of my makarov. Insert mag, drop the slide,BANG, every freakin' time!:D It was a little less accurate than the higher end 1911's, but it was a gr8 shooter. I should have kept it.

One thing I have grown to hate about the G.I, or military type 1911's is the anti-snag stuff. Tiny little thumb safety you can't rest your thumb on. The grip safety will murder the webbing of your hand.Otherwise that would be a good model to pick up.

See if you can find a range that rents them. Try a few, see how they feel and shoot then go from there.

January 2, 2009, 09:03 PM
Rock Island Tactical.


January 2, 2009, 10:07 PM
it has been mentined before, but hunt down a Springfield TRP, you won't be dissappointed.

January 2, 2009, 11:05 PM
Here's my favorite .45ACP handgun. It has NEVER jammed and it shoots small, ragged one-hole groups with boring regularity at ten yards.

It points better than any 1911 ever made and has fired thousands of rounds without a single hick-up!

The barrel is only 3 1/4" long and the front sight is super sharp . . . as anyone who attempted to grab the short barrel in the dark would find out!

Oh yeah . . . the magazine won't fall out of it either under stress!

And from the side . . . complete with 48 rounds of backup . . . in REAL "clips" . . . of the "moon clip" kind!


January 2, 2009, 11:24 PM
I say Dan Wesson ,then Colt.
My Para was a 1 shot pistol with a large ammo storage compartment in grip . All looks nothing more. never again.

January 3, 2009, 06:32 PM
Well, I was holding out until I actually got to put a meaningful amount of ammo through it, but I am absolutely in love with my new Dan Wesson CBOB. I only have about 200-300 rounds through it, but so far I am highly impressed. I've shot many different 1911's, and I really think this pistol for $800-$900 is an absolute steal.

The Valor looks real nice, also. I haven't gotten to lay hands on it yet though.


January 3, 2009, 07:27 PM
+1 to 1911 shooter , Kimbers are Junk.

I bought a STI Trojan 1911 recently. I have ran 500 rounds through it so far with no problems.

Claude Clay
January 3, 2009, 07:35 PM
i would not want to invest big $ in stopping a felon when i dont have to. if my double eagle was close at hand id use it.

Sapper--Kimbers are junk--either you are joking or you seem to have vastly more knowledge than me & mine

January 3, 2009, 08:13 PM

January 3, 2009, 09:22 PM
has anyone mentioned wilson's KZ. think about it, a wilson hi-cap .45, for 1400 or so. sure is worth consideration

January 3, 2009, 09:23 PM
has anyone mentioned wilson's KZ. think about it, a wilson hi-cap .45, for 1400 or so. sure is worth consideration

January 3, 2009, 09:42 PM
After doing months of research, I chose a Dan Wesson as my first (and so far only) 1911. I found a used PM7 for a great price, and absolutely love it! If I had found a CBOB for the same price, I would have chosen it, but have absolutely no regrets on the PM7. Traded in my Ruger P90 for it. Still miss the Ruger, but the difference in accuracy is amazing. Never realized how spongy the Ruger trigger was until I tried the DW.

January 3, 2009, 09:52 PM
Oops . . . I just noticed that you wanted a 1911-type home defense .45ACP.

Kimbers aren't all junk, and (of course) never have been. Their earlier (pre-"Series II" types) were fantastic guns!

Here's my "ultimate" home defense 1911 type. I believe in it enough to have invested my hard-earned money on it when the original Kimber Ultra CDPs first came out around 2000 . . . long before the Series II models that gave 'em some grief for a while.

What's so good about it?

1. It has been totally reliable for well over a thousand rounds I've put through it. Never a bobble.

2. A 3" short barrel makes it harder for a perp to grab it as a house gun. IMPORTANT, IMHO!

4. Factory Meprolight Nightsights give you the edge in those very low light conditions. Combined with the nearby tactical flashlight to ID the target while temporarily blinding them, you have a winning edge!

And as a CCW tote gun . . .

5. The lightweight (aluminum), Officer's sized frame makes it easy to tote as a CCW gun.

6. Ambidextrous safety allows one to put the gun into action with either hand. For lefties like me, this is manditory anyway.

7. Severely rounded edges everywhere (their "Meltdown Package) makes it more concealable and more snag-resistant during the draw.

8. Checkered front strap for a more positive grip.

9. Bushingless barrel, full-length guide rod and special double spring for reliability and accuracy.

10. Great accuracy from Kimber's original Custom Shop.

Pictured below with a S&W J-frame snubbie for size comparison. The Kimber packs a LOT of punch into a small, reliable package . . .

And . . . as you can see below, mines' been toted a lot . . . and has always been reliable.

January 3, 2009, 10:10 PM
For that money, my vote would be for:

1. Dan Wesson PM7
3. Colt Gold Cup

Good luck with your choice!

January 4, 2009, 12:04 AM
For that money, my vote would be for:

1. Dan Wesson PM7
3. Colt Gold Cup

Good luck with your choice!

Those are all good pistols, but for HD, it might be best to get something that already has night sights. Of course they could be added later, but it's a PITA. You have to find sights that match your dovetails, and of course the one you want isn't available, so you have to send your slide off to be milled, and now you're without your gun, blah blah blah.

It's easiest just to get 'em from the factory.


If you enjoyed reading about "Best 1911-45 caliber for Home Defense?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!