Couple 1911 ?'s


February 7, 2009, 07:44 AM
Hey everybody,

Been reading the forums for quite a while, but this is my first post. I have taken a recent fancy to the 1911 style pistols. Can anyone share some info with me as to brands, cost, etc.

I am looking for something that won't break the bank, $500 and under preferably. Reliability, as always, is a must; but it doesn't have to be a tack driver. Just a decently accurate gun with the ability to interchange some parts and do some customizing.

The only place around here that sells new handguns is gander mountain, so I might have to look at pawnshops. There's one around here that has a LOT of guns, but the dealer's got some high prices and likes to stick close to them. So what should I look for there?

I've got a beretta 9000s and a built ruger 10/22 I'd be willing to trade, where would that put me?

EDIT: Used guns are ok, that's where the pawn shop comes in.

Thanks for the help guys. Lots of great information here.

If you enjoyed reading about "Couple 1911 ?'s" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 7, 2009, 08:45 AM
A quality 1911 on a $500 budget? Hmmm, that limits you a bit but I think there are still some good options out there. If you add "used" guns, your options will increase as well. But these would be my recommendations, in order:

1. Springfield Armory GI (New -Stainless Steel - Best overall value/resale/quality) Sometimes, at gun shows, you can find the "mil-spec" for $499. It's the next step up from the "GI" and truly my first recommendation if you can swing it! Better sights, lowered and flared ejection port, and a couple other MAJOR improvements.
2. Colt 1911 Series 70 (Used - you'd have to search high and low for this baby but it would be worth it!)
3. Taurus PT1911 (New - lots of doodads for the money, but the gun uses almost all MIM parts)
4. Rock Island Armory - (Never owned one, but I've heard they are not a bad starter 1911)
5. Kimber - (Again, not my cup of tea, but there are millions of used ones out there cheap (for a reason))

Good luck and happy shooting!!

Thomas Garrett
February 7, 2009, 09:09 AM
halfd, Read the other Thread- Range Report RIA .45 (otb). May be just what your looking for.

February 7, 2009, 09:24 AM
Thanks for the info! I was checking out the Rock Island 1911 the other day when I was buying my 85UL, nice looking gun, but I didn't know about any quality issues, it being $499 and sitting next to all the match pistols and such for $800+.

Anyone have or shot the taurus 1911? I know Taurus is a hotly debated subject but I've never had a problem with any of the guns I've bought. Love the 85! So light it's like it's not even there. 1.10 lbs loaded.

What range of prices are reasonable (allowing for different makes) for a pawn shop 1911? The only one around here that has a good selection also has higher prices like I mentioned above.

I saw an Indian Ordnance? 9mm that looked like a 1911, anyone heard of these? I'd like a 1911 style 9mm just for the cheaper ammo, this is just gonna be a fun gun, so I don't need to worry about stopping power or anything, just don't want jams or anything.

Thanks guys!

February 7, 2009, 09:33 AM
2. Colt 1911 Series 70 (Used - you'd have to search high and low for this baby but it would be worth it!)

This is a very good suggestion - I found one used from a CA dealer online last winter for $500. $530 total cost with shipping and FFL transfer and I have been overjoyed ever since. The only 1911 I have owned or fired that is this good cost twice as much.

Another option is a Norinco. They go for about $400 used in excellent shape. They have great steel and are reliable. I have had one since 1993 or so with no problems. The commander models I hear are sometimes finicky, but there aren't many of them in the US I don't think - mostly Government Models (the last year of importing them was 1994 - Clinton banned them). It's also nice to have a "banned" gun. Ads street cred, you know.;)

Argentine Sistemas offer really good value if you hunt one up. They are Colt-licensed 1911a1 style guns made there under license from Colt and to tight tolerances with good steel.

In the "bargain 1911" category what you usually sacrifice is the quality of the steel (cast vs. forged) and quality of the final machining and fitting. If you can find a good used gun with quality steel and assembly, you are generally better off than a new gun with cast or foreign parts. GENERALLY, there are exceptions.

February 7, 2009, 11:36 AM
Get the Rock Island. Not only are you getting a really great gun for the money, but their customer service is one of the best. I have never heard of an issue the service department didn't resolve to the owners satisfaction.

I had a RIA inn .38 Super and I was very pleased with it; all aftermarket parts fit mine with no problems.

February 7, 2009, 12:30 PM
So most of the aftermarket 1911 goodies will fit the Rock Island model right? Just went to Slander Mountain (only place around here to buy new guns without running the gauntlet to Northern Virginia) and had another look at it. Sweet :D. They have it for $499, is that overpriced? Browsed over the Kimbers and other models, I really like the .22 conversion kit kimber offers, but can't justify paying that much for a gun just to target shoot with, a fun gun. Being 6 feet tall and 130 lbs pretty much makes carrying it impossible. Is there a .22 conversion that will fit any make 1911?

How far would a beretta 9000s with 2 mags in good shape get me for a trade, or how much should I expect to sell it for to put towards my new toy?

February 7, 2009, 12:36 PM
Sad to say your 9000s wouldn't get you very far along. You'd be much further ahead trying to sell it outright. The stores in my area were selling them NIB last year for just a shade over $300.

Trading in a gun is just like trading in a car - you'll generally get next to nothing for it...

February 7, 2009, 01:43 PM
Buy acheaper one and customize it a little.
I got a cheapish springfield armory 1911 back in 2003 for $450 it is stainless steel under a parkerized finish. I had a gun smith add high visability sights and I put on over moulded rubber grips. I also have a couple different recoil springs, spring buffer and some mags.

February 7, 2009, 04:09 PM
What NGIB said. The other day I was offered $250 on a HK USP45 compact trade. The gun was in excellent shape, both mags, box, etc. I sold it on that other "HK" forum for $550 in less than a week.

In other words, sell your Beretta, take your earnings and savings, then hit the gun shows with a GOOD IDEA of what you're looking for, AND what things are worth. Knowledge is power.

Gander Mountain is notoriously high on their prices unless it is during one of their sales.

NGIB: Thanks for your service!

February 7, 2009, 05:51 PM
I have a Norinco that shoots very well. I did replace the trigger with a Wilson combat and I was surprised how much of a difference it made. Now that was also the 1st time I stripped it down that far and it got a good cleaning at the same time, so it could have been that it was just dirty. I have really enjoyed this pistol but I wish it had better sights and have been considering some adjustable ones made by LPA.

This afternoon I did get a chance to look at a Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special and it was a step, or 5, above my Norinco. I almost put a down payment on it, but decided to think it over as it's a multiple of what my Norinco cost. It was VERY tight.

February 7, 2009, 06:41 PM
1)Rock Island.
2)Rock Island Tactical model is very nice.
3)Used Colt if you can find one. Tuff find under 500
4)I do not see lots of cheap Kimbers out there. Buy one if you find one under 500.
5)Springfield GI.

Thats pretty much the order. Move the RIA Tactical to the front of the list.

February 7, 2009, 06:49 PM
The RIA tactical should be under $500 and has all the creature comforts of the $800 guns. Great shooters, I've over 13000 rounds through my oldest one. Didn't take long to have spend more the ammo shot thru it than it did to buy the gun! Great value IMHO.

The standard is good if you want the GI look but older eyeballs will really appreciate the better sights on the tactical which alone is more than worth the cost differential.

RIA scrimps on the grips, which is IMHO a good place to do it as whatever you pick, someone will hate them. I like the Pachmyer Rosewood & rubber combo grips that are about $20-25.


Mitch from LA
February 7, 2009, 06:57 PM
I love my pt1911, but that's just my opinion. They are probably pushing the upper limit of your price range in most places, but they are a joy to shoot. It also depends on the features you want.

I also hear good things about RIA.

February 7, 2009, 07:30 PM
Are you aware that the CEO for Charles Daly posts here in general.

I have never owned any of their guns, but just the fact the CEO has a years long on going thread is impressive.

The last I knew these guns were about 450 or so, pretty spartan and made in the Philippine Islands, ehich might make the threaded screws and such metric.

Here is their page.

The list prices appear to have gone up, what hasn't, but dealer suggested prices are usually much higher than what reality bears.

February 7, 2009, 07:59 PM
I;'ve got quite a collection, kimbers to rias''

I'm a big fan of the RIA's (have four) well made, and extremely accurate, all have 4-5k thru them
the 38super is a fav.
Also have PT1911 taurus, has 9k thru it and still going, picked another up to stash just in case.
colts, sistema, ballester molinas, etc, all great shooters, some need a little tlc, but hey what else is there to do to them other than shoot.
goodluck, with a choice, not easy with so many offerings

February 7, 2009, 08:39 PM
as the others said, the RIA is a good buy. for a lil more $ you might like what the STI Spartan has to offer (it's built on a Armscor frame)

February 7, 2009, 09:45 PM
I bought a Charles Daly field EFS for $450 a month ago at a gun show. It was my first 1911 and I figured I would need to do a little work on it for it to reliably feed JHPs at first. Was very happy to find it shot great out of the box with HP, RN and TC. A good friend, who takes me to his range as a visitor was also pleased with it. He has a few kimbers and a full size colt. I cant speak for its accuracy as I have not shot it from a bench but out of about 250 rounds there was only 1 FTF and it was the last round in the mag. The finish is not as good as more expensive guns, but I bought it to shoot and not as a safe queen.

Sorry this got so long.

February 7, 2009, 10:02 PM
I'm right along w/ benderx4. The GI Springfields are your best out of the box deal. You should do some research on buying used ones to include being able to identify when they were manufactured and also what has been done to them.
1911's came about when we still had to hand crank cars to get them started. Since then 1911's and clones have been made on atleast 5 continents and up until the 70's parts were not always made necessarily "to spec". Being someone who builds them for friends and maintains them for some of the cops that I work along side with you're better off "biting the bullet" so to speak on a new one. The great thing about the springfields is that their mettalurgy and reliability is excellent, and with the exception of their bull-barreled models (guide rod and spring) their parts are all to spec. Springfield has their own guide rod and plug set-up for their bull-barreled models but I've personally replaced the recoil spring with harder ones and been able to convert springfields to even .460 Rowland without any reliability problems.
--Hint--- Springfields love Chip McCormick magazines too.
Hope this helps

February 7, 2009, 10:03 PM
Save your money and buy a good one! Just picked up a Springfield TRP full rail Operator for a very good price now the Colt M-1911 will get a rest.

February 7, 2009, 10:04 PM
I forgot to say... I think Kimbers are terrible.

February 7, 2009, 10:09 PM
you could get into a sa mil gi model maybe if you could find one, i also suggest that you look into the RIA line they are inexpensive but not cheap, they are reliable and they are alot more accurate than you would think for a gun that is so cost effective.

February 7, 2009, 10:10 PM
Just picked up a Springfield TRP full rail Operator for a very good price
watch out for signs of extraction problems, mine broke at 3500rds, and make sure you locktite the sights down, they have a way of comming loose, i almost shot mine out of the dovetail.

February 7, 2009, 10:46 PM
Good advice. Locktite is one of those marvelous human inventions. Almost on par with the brass cartridge and beer. Even good extractors bite the dust...have you tried the Ed Brown hardcore extractors yet?

By the way... I'm jealous of your full rail TRP, that is one AWESOME piece!

February 8, 2009, 02:23 AM
If you're looking at RIA's for 499, you're getting bent over.

I bought mine in September for $410 after tax, shipping, and a box of ammo.

And I will agree that anyone that has nothing good to say about RIA has never owned one.

February 8, 2009, 07:56 AM
Sporting Arms has a Springfield Armory 1911 GI Mil-Spec in Stainless Steel for $532 right now. Run, don't walk, and buy that puppy before it's gone!

By the way... I'm jealous of your full rail TRP, that is one AWESOME piece!

Yesterday, I'm at the range shooting one of my P7M8s and the guy next to me asks if we can trade guns for a bit so he can try my HK. So I seyz, "Sure", and he hands me a Springfield TRP PRO.
Oh .... my ....... God. Now I understand. Honest to Gawd, no kidding, after I stop drooling, I shoot a sub 1 inch grouping at 15 yards, modified Weaver. What a gun!
You will soon be seeing some of my stuff for sale to finance this incredible machine. I WILL own one of these babies.
Sorry, I had to tell someone .........

February 10, 2009, 02:57 AM
Get that Springfield for that price. As far as 1911 inspections go, the 1911 slide rocks and plays a little, but you can feel a positive barrel lock up even on the GI model...for a beginner 1911 that's semantics. For the money you'll be satisfied with it.

February 10, 2009, 07:47 AM
One more question, does rock island armory have a 1911 chambered in 9mm? Since this is gonna just be a shooter, economy is a factor.

That's right, I'm considering the v6 instead of the hemi! Flame away!

North Bender
February 10, 2009, 10:37 AM
Why isn't Para Ordnance ranked by you 1911 guys? I don't know the brand well but my unit here in Afghanistan is special ordering them with the unit logos and I'm getting one. Single action, single stack Nite-Tac.

Para Ordnance doesn't seem too popular on 1911 threads.

February 10, 2009, 10:39 AM
One more question, does rock island armory have a 1911 chambered in 9mm? Since this is gonna just be a shooter, economy is a factor.

Sad to say, they don't. I should know, I want one too.

If you enjoyed reading about "Couple 1911 ?'s" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!