Taking the 1911 plunge


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Old Navy
August 31, 2009, 09:33 PM
I have about a dozen handguns, .22, .380, 9mm, 40, 45ACP. I do not have and never have had a 1911. I shot them in the military and love the feel and grip but didn't shoot the government issue ones nearly as well as I shoot now. I think a 1911 is THE classiest looking handgun ever built but have never bought one because it appears they are more finicky when new and maybe forever than other styles. Also it appears from reading on forums that most have issues that may require sending them back for service. This may be a misperception on my part. I'm not willing to spend the bucks required for a Wilson, Baer etc. but would spend $1,000-1500 for a 1911 that felt right. I would carry it IWB from time to time rotating it along with my others so I may be better off not getting the full size version. I know that Springfield has excellent customer service, S&W can be spotty, I've read of frustrations with Kimber service. Those three are the main manufacturers in my price range and maybe STI, but don't know much about them. Another factor is that I can field strip my other guns in a matter of seconds with no tools needed, but I'm sure a 1911 would be easy with a little practice. How about some guidance from you 1911 experts? I don't really NEED another gun, but I just keep eyeballing all those pictures and feel like something is missing. Thoughts?

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rduckwor
August 31, 2009, 09:39 PM
Two words: Dan Wesson . . IF you can find one.

RMD

LancerMW
August 31, 2009, 09:59 PM
dude, get a good STI or maybe the Springer TRP

kdstrick
August 31, 2009, 10:15 PM
In your price range I'd go with STI or Dan Wesson. Although, you are not too far away from a used Baer.

If you can get a Baer, they are worth every dime.

JTQ
August 31, 2009, 10:54 PM
I would get a Colt. Either a 1991 (which has the Series 80 firing pin safety) or Series 70 Reproduction (without the firing pin safety) or in Commander size the model #04691 blue Commander. All three will be well within your price range.

There are lots of good 1911 makers and you would probably be happy with just about any one you bought, but Colt is the original, and you'll always find yourself saying "it's almost like a Colt, except for ..." or "I really like this pistol, but I still need to get a Colt".

Most Kimber's have the Swartz style firing pin safety and most have a full length guide rod.

S&W has an external extractor and has a similar style firing pin safety.

Springfield has a titanium firing pin and the ALS in the mainspring housing.

STI (except for the Spartan which is really an Armscor product) has ramped barrels and full length guide rods.

Most Dan Wesson's have adjustable sights, except for the CBOB (?) but that one has a "bobtail" frame.

ParaUsa does have a nice GI Expert that is similar to the Colt 1991, but it is still not a Colt.

They are all good, but each have something that is a departure from the original design. If you ever have something go wrong you'll end up wondering if it is because of the bull barrel, ramped barrel, full length guide rod, external extractor, the Swartz firing pin safety, etc.

Personally, I would like to have any of the above. However, I already have a Colt and know what a 1911 is supposed to be. Now I can try out the other flavors to see if I like them. For your first 1911, make sure you are getting a 1911, so you can have a good understanding and frame of reference of what the pistol is supposed to be.

wilkersk
September 1, 2009, 02:09 AM
Get an old timer to show you how to evaluate a high-grade 1911 type. Then go shopping. Don't limit yourself to just a name. All 1911 pattern pistols are based on John Browning's design. Full length-guide rods and full ramped barrels aside, what makes the pistol right is how well the parts all fit together.

You can find some outstanding used pistols out there. Look for local private sales like yourcityguns.net

My favorite are the full-sized government models with parkerized finish and adjustable sights. I like the Shok-buff recoil system and the 8rd magazines from Wilson Combat.

You might find such a deal on one, that you can afford to send it off to Clark or Wilson for full custom job.

benderx4
September 1, 2009, 09:19 AM
Dan Wesson
Springer TRP

I recommend the two above ONLY if you want new. Otherwise, NO DOUBT, you should treat yourself to a slightly used LES BAER!

weisse52
September 1, 2009, 09:59 AM
A Colt is always the right answer!

In that price range you have an options of some excellent pistols. I of course will tell you that a Colt is the way to go. While I like the 70 series you can also look at something like the Colt Special Combat Government.
http://www.coltsmfg.com/products-c5-q63-COLT_PISTOLS.aspx

Now, If I was not inclined to buy the Colt I would look for a Les Baer as well. They are nice....

Maybe, in some far off twisted process, I might look at one of the STI's. (JMB please forgive me:neener:)

ROBBY.1911
September 1, 2009, 12:53 PM
why not get your feet wet with the STI Spartan or Taurus 1911. they are around $600 each and have all the bells and whistles. would i rather have a Dan Wesson or used Les Baer, hell yeah. but with the less expensive--not less gun--option you can start your own stable of 1911s. welcome to the brotherhood.--robby

Quadkid
September 1, 2009, 04:28 PM
man i never saw how inexpensive the Spartan was. I may have to try and sell my Springer to get one. Always wanted a STI Ranger II, but for some reason i never saw the price of the Spartan.

nulfisin
September 1, 2009, 04:49 PM
My PT 1911 is a great shooter. About half of your price range. If you aren't reloading (I do it), you may find that you need the extra $$. :)

rklessdriver
September 1, 2009, 06:10 PM
man i never saw how inexpensive the Spartan was. I may have to try and sell my Springer to get one. Always wanted a STI Ranger II, but for some reason i never saw the price of the Spartan.

There is a good reason why that particular STI (Spartan) so cheap. In the long run that Springer you already have is a better gun (at least the frame is forged). The object should be to increase the quality of your firearms over time - not decrease it becasue it has spiffy looking sights, skeletonized triggers and a cool billboard rolled into the slide. Its a good gun but it's not "better" by any margin.

Old Navy-
My recomendation for a 1911 would be a COLT. You can have any named Smith modify it to any level you want and even if you never do anything to it (ie. leave it stock), a COLT will be an heirloom for ever. Colt even sells a few that don't really need anything else (ie. the Special Combat and Combat Elite) for 90% of us.

No other brand of 1911 will ever be that.

I currently have a Les Baer Premier II and (3) Colt's. I have sold numerouse Kimbers, AMT's, and Norinco's over the years. I now know which ones will bring a second lifetime of enjoyment after I am gone.
Will

MaxV
September 1, 2009, 06:16 PM
I love my 1911 (s) So many choices...so little time. Colts are great and hold value over time, but so do others. My offices enhanced has never let me down and is plenty accurate with my handloads.....shop at your liesure....

1911 Operator
September 1, 2009, 09:42 PM
check out the parausa gi expert.

lotta gun for the money.

mine's a tackdriver and feeds all.

this is it, and a 15 yard target (50 rounds)

Quadkid
September 1, 2009, 10:23 PM
There is a good reason why that particular STI (Spartan) so cheap. In the long run that Springer you already have is a better gun (at least the frame is forged). The object should be to increase the quality of your firearms over time - not decrease it becasue it has spiffy looking sights, skeletonized triggers and a cool billboard rolled into the slide. Its a good gun but it's not "better" by any margin.

Will
haha. thanks for that. I said that then the next thing i find myself doing is looking at whats available, how much i could get for mine, etcetc. Then i see this and i say, why cant i just be happy with my reliable Springer Standard that shoots beautifully and never lets me down. thanks for the kick, haha.

this hobby will be the end of me financially. Its too addicting.

gallo
September 1, 2009, 10:29 PM
Springfield GI

doc540
September 2, 2009, 10:30 AM
just took the plunge myself

http://www.lipseys.com/eImages/AC45G2.jpg

$449

Old Navy
September 2, 2009, 12:30 PM
Is there any truth to the many posts I have read that blast Colts for not being the quality they were before or shabby customer service? Seems a lot of people believe they're top of the line, but lots of others feel differently. I do think the colts look first class.

NGIB
September 2, 2009, 12:58 PM
I just bought a new Commander and it's a fine gun. The bottom line is you will never lose any money if it says Colt on the slide...

rklessdriver
September 2, 2009, 01:27 PM
Is there any truth to the many posts I have read that blast Colts for not being the quality they were before or shabby customer service? Seems a lot of people believe they're top of the line, but lots of others feel differently. I do think the colts look first class.

BS plain and simple. There is NO truth in that at all.

COLT makes a fine pistol. The quality of the internal parts and fit and finish is as good or better than Brand XXXX.

Everyone manages to allow one to slip thru QC every now and then. No one company is immune to building a bad gun.

Lot of folks harbor bad feelings towards COLT because they were slow to respond to the 1911 market and let Kimber/DW/ect take a big part of it away from them. Truth is at the time COLT (early 90's) was having $$$ problems from their failed attemps at building a "modern pistols" (2000 and Double Eagle) and probally wanted to make sure that the resurgence of "customized 1911's" was going to be profitable for them. Within a year they had offered up the XSE line and have continually upgraded the features on them, but some foks still wern't happy.... Last year COLT bought/installed all new CNC machines and are adding a couple of new variations to their 1911 line. A little late on the point I will admit, but IMO it's better late than never.... but some folks still ain't happy.

As far as Customer Service, I will tell you that they handle the recall on my Combat Elites Safety promptly and professionally. They have always answered the phone when I called and answered my questions honestly. No one was snooty or arrogant and infact they were quite humble and appologetic about the whole thing (as they should be IMO).

Now I'm just one guy. This has been my experience with COLT. Like I said I currently have a Les Baer in addition to my Colts and have owned almost every other mfgr'd 1911 availiable at one time or the other in my life. Some have been good some have been bad (at all the price points). I have a great deal of experience with 1911 ownership and I feel like COLT currently offers a top quality gun for the money. The history of the company and everything else that goes along with owning a COLT is just a very nice extra.

Do yourself a favor and actually find a dealer that has some current mfgr'd COLT pistols on the shelf. Look at them, compare them and decide for yourself. I am confident that you will see the truth.
Will

NinjaFeint
September 2, 2009, 01:59 PM
Just saw a Dan Wesson CBOB for almost 1200 at the local high price store. It's too bad one of the competitive priced stores never gets them

LancerMW
September 2, 2009, 02:11 PM
thtas bout MSRP for the CBOB

No Quarter
September 2, 2009, 02:12 PM
Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt


The gold standard. All the other nonsense in internet BS. They make great guns. They are the original. They hold value better.

atomd
September 2, 2009, 06:11 PM
I'll vote for Dan Wesson. They have higher quality parts and a better fit/finish than any other 1911 I've found in their price range. They also don't put plastic parts in their guns like STI, Kimber and Colt (even if it is just a msh). They don't put useless series 80 parts or proprietary parts in their guns either. I don't care for 1911s that have proprietary parts in them that I can never swap out with a part made by someone else if it breaks. Plus, why change the design of something that already works fine in the first place?

Oh, and about the CBOB. You can still find one for ~$999 if you shop around and are willing to wait a bit. Try Whittakers and keep an eye on Buds. You'll get one eventually.

ming
September 2, 2009, 06:42 PM
Don't believe all you read on forums about 1911s. I'm always reading about FTF/FTE problems with compact versions. I have a Kimber Ultra Carry with a 3 in. barrel that has been flawless from day one. It's every bit as accurate as my full size. Are there owners that have problems? Of course. Try finding a forum where someone isn't complaining about something. My Wesson CBOB has also been perfect out of the box. I feel just like you. The 1911 is a classic design. Field stripping is no problem and none of my mine require any type of tool. Like any other handgun, the first attempt may be somewhat slow or tentative, but after that it's a snap. If you like them, pull the trigger (so to speak) and get one. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

gc70
September 2, 2009, 08:14 PM
Is there any truth to the many posts I have read that blast Colts for not being the quality they were before or shabby customer service? Seems a lot of people believe they're top of the line, but lots of others feel differently. I do think the colts look first class.

Colt quality bombed during a four-year strike in the late 1980's. After Colt's bankruptcy in 1992, the company came back with a simplified product line and emphasis on quality.

Today's Colts are well built and you could nearly buy two 1991's for the amount you have budgeted.

If you don't want a Colt, Dan Wesson 1911's are superb.

SupraBo
September 2, 2009, 09:55 PM
Old navy,
Pm me and I can give you the contact info for a Les baer with a mil discount. If you do not want to spend more the 1000 then colt is the answer

1911 Operator
September 2, 2009, 10:33 PM
the colt commander XSE's sure do have a good feel to them with the undercut triggerguard and that colt grip safety.

i should mention too that one new commander xse for sale that i looked at had the right side extra ambi thumb safety coming off the frame. the shop's gunsmith (my buddy) adjusted it somehow, twice, and it still worked itself loose.

also, every new colt i have looked at, be it a new agent, xse commander, or full size, has a loose trigger that rattles around. the slide to frame fits were also a little on the loose side for me.

i would expect a better fit for the price these things are going for.

if you buy a colt, i would just check it thoroughly before purchase.

the only one i might get is the new agent, as it seems to be one of the more reliable 3 inch 1911's (these seem to have the tightest fit too, from what i've seen). but only if i find a screaming deal on one.

just my preference.



as for the used colts, the older ones (series 70 in particular) seem to hold their value much better than the new models now for sale (which are based on the series 80). my friend that owns the gun shop isn't offering much at all for used recent models, and even less for original series 80 models.

GR8GIFT
September 2, 2009, 11:10 PM
Colt model 0918 while they are still available no telling how long they will continue to make them. They are a classy reproduction of the 1911 Colt.

Morgo
September 3, 2009, 09:17 AM
Everyone needs atleast one 1911 :)

I had these two from the collection out shooting last weekend, an Sti Trojan and Springfield Loaded Stainless.

http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp4/brycemorgan452/P1030171.jpg

Demitrios
September 3, 2009, 11:03 AM
JTQ says, you'll always find yourself saying "it's almost like a Colt, except for ..."

As of a few months ago I bought my first 1911 and then two months after that my second one. Now Colt makes a quality piece, no two ways about it, but I bought a Rock Island Armory 1911-A1 that's more original to the old models than almost any Colt and far cheaper (I say almost because Colt just reproduced their WW1 models). I then bought a Dan Wesson Razorback-10 that is anything but similar to what Colt designed and comparable in price. My point is some people hear 1911 and automatically think of Colt while others hear 1911 and think of a weapon that was created almost 100 years ago and has so many possibilities to make this weapon tailored to your needs and desires and has been reproduced and modified but terrific craftsman (after all even Colt modified their 1911 a few times). In my opinion for the money you spend on a Colt you can put your money elsewhere and get a better gun, as mentioned before STI and Dan Wesson are quality pieces. Look into having one COMPLETELY built to your specs, look into Fusion Firearms, Caspian Arms. or SVI. They do complete builds from the ground up to make you whatever you like and they're quality is top notch as well as their customer service. Now it's true that Colt's hold better value but #1 are you going to sell your gun? #2 if Colt's are so good. . . . why sell them? Ask yourself what you're going to use your 1911 for before you go dropping $1200 on one because you might be able to get all the gun you really need, that's a quality piece, for $500.

SC_1911Shooter
September 3, 2009, 11:38 AM
If spending $1,300 or less...Dan Wesson
If you can spend up to say $1,500-1,600....Fusion Firearms: www.fusionfirearms.com

Owner, Bob Serva was was the former President of Dan Wesson and has really taken the fit/finish of those VERY FINE pistols to the next level with his new endeavor Fusion Firearms, while adding the customization, ensuring you're getting something SPECIFICALLY built for you. There is a little wait, but I feel it's worth it once you take delivery of your new pistol. I also feel that once word spread a bit more about them (and it's already beginning to in the last 1.5 years since they've been around)....they are going to be going UP in price. The quality of my 2 are right up there with some much more expensive 1911's I've owned in the past and they are freaking tack-drivers at the range....zero malfunctions, etc.

I'd definitely steer away from Kimber. I've owned a few when I 1st started getting into 1911's. Had my share of issues with a couple (taken care of by Kimber, but ***...for a $1100+ pistol...to have any "issues" is a pain in the....). I'm not saying their bad....but in MY OPINION...they are very over priced for what you're getting. My STI Trojan's quality/fit/finish blows away that of my Kimber Pro CDP from their "Custom Shop" any day of the week.

Just my 2 cents....

1911 Operator
September 3, 2009, 01:30 PM
Had my share of issues with a couple (taken care of by Kimber, but ***...for a $1100+ pistol...to have any "issues" is a pain in the....). I'm not saying their bad....but in MY OPINION...they are very over priced for what you're getting.


i would avoid the nighthawk customs for this same reason. just google nighthawk 1911 reviews. they're sending out some real crappers for $3,000!

not saying they're all bad, of course. but you have to order them most of the time without seeing it first, so why would you want to risk a bad quality one for those kind of garbanzos?

DougDubya
September 3, 2009, 02:11 PM
If spending $1,300 or less...Dan Wesson
If you can spend up to say $1,500-1,600....Fusion Firearms: www.fusionfirearms.com

Owner, Bob Serva was was the former President of Dan Wesson and has really taken the fit/finish of those VERY FINE pistols to the next level with his new endeavor Fusion Firearms, while adding the customization, ensuring you're getting something SPECIFICALLY built for you.
Just my 2 cents....

That No. 70 Commander with the rail frame and conventional grip has now become my favorite Commander. Wow!

Two cents that might cost me $1700! Thanks for the link!

NGIB
September 3, 2009, 02:15 PM
I've ordered stuff from Fusion 3 times in the past year and something has been wrong with each of the orders. They make decent stuff but the customer service leaves a lot to be desired. caveat emptor.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=472677

wgp
September 3, 2009, 02:35 PM
I've had Colts before that have been traded away and now have an old CCO (not made for years but buy it if you find one), a Commander XSE and a LW Commander XSE. These pistols are excellent, dependable and accurate and appear to me to be very well made, better than my old Colts. I also have two Paras (a Carry 9 and a Carry 12) with the LDA trigger, which pretty much solves the cocked-and-locked issue. They have also been reliable pistols. Love to have a Kimber and a Springfield, but for now I go with Colt.

rklessdriver
September 4, 2009, 10:00 AM
Demitrios,

You have a lot of mis-conceptions about what constitutes a "real" 1911.

I bought a Rock Island Armory 1911-A1 that's more original to the old models than almost any Colt and far cheaper

COLT just re-released the 70 Series last year. It is a real as it gets. That RI is cheaper but it is also made from a much weaker casting and made overseas. I didn't think either of those "spec's" were in JMB's blue prints.

I then bought a Dan Wesson Razorback-10 that is anything but similar to what Colt designed and comparable in price

Spiffy looking - but still made out of a casting and still an overseas owned company (althou they do at least build them here). MSRP on the CZ/DW is listed at nearly 1200.00, a bit more than a 70 Series, WW1 repro, Combat Elite.... in fact almost every current COLT model except the Special Combat Govt Model. COLT originated the 10mm in a 1911 platform. In fact that platform was the 80 Series Delta Elite.... who's not staying true to the original now? COLT is again building the Delta Elite and it cost less than the DW.

In my opinion for the money you spend on a Colt you can put your money elsewhere and get a better gun

What you should say is "for the same $$$ you can get a different gun", because neither RI or DW is even in the same ball park as COLT when it comes to the basic foundation of building a 1911. They can put all the silly nostalgia inducing roll marks on the slide they want or polish that stainless steel casting up till it gleams in the display case and advertise in the gun rags how its got "ED BROWN" grip safeties (ill fitted as heck I might add) to try and divert from the fact that they skimped where it matters the most. If you put a million dollars worth of parts into a turd - in the end all you have is a really expensive turd....

STI only offers (1) pistol under $1200. It's an Armscor/RI casting with a bunch of spiffy looking STI parts hung off it. Again stuffing a million dollars in a turd.

Your can to build a Caspian frame/slide from the ground up to the level of quality of a COLT for less or the same $$$ ??

Perceived value is almost everything and it comes from "received value". No one wants to sell their COLT/RI/DW/Baer ect - but "how much it's worth" in the long run is the only real measure you have of it's perceived value. COLT wins that hands down against every other 1911 in the world because it's got EVERYTHING going for it. People know the name, people know the history, people know its made from a forging, people know it will work when needed, people know it will last several lifetimes, people know if they get hard up for $$$ someday it'll bring fair value to almost anyone they can sell/trade it to.

I'll say it again DW/RI/ect are good guns. Some are cheap, some are expensive because of all the spiffy parts - but they are not a COLT. If those companies attempted to build what COLT offers (American made/owned with Forged Frames/Slides) they would (rightfully) charge a small fortune. Go buy a gun from the one company you mentioned that does offer that quality (STI) and see what it cost you.

When you buy a COLT you get EVERYTHING that goes along with owning a COLT. At one time I think the owners/managers/workers of COLT forgot that (and it rightfully almost put them out of business). I believe the current owners/managers/workers of COLT know EXACTLY what that means. You get your $$$$ worth with a COLT, because you have to. COLT has too much riding on the sale of their guns. You can't exactly run the COLT name in the ground building junk and put a different roll stamp on them next week like those overseas builders can. I'm not saying those companies will - but ARMSCOR does offer the same gun under about 5 different roll stamps already.... IMO it's best to buy from the company that has the most to lose if they sell you a POS.

"Quality" is all in how you define it. You will never get $1200 "quality" for $500. You will never get "COLT" quality out of a DW or RI but, obviously you can get a DW or RI quality for the price (and sometime more than the price) of a COLT.
Will

mhinagoya
September 4, 2009, 02:31 PM
I have two 3 inch guns, a four, a five, and a six inch longslide. All are accurate and reliable.
Breakdown as to brand:
Kimber 2
Springfield 2
Sig 1

I'm not in to brand loyalty. I just like good guns.

I bought the two 3 inch Kimbers for carry (one for me, one for my wife)
I bought the Springfield Champion and bobtailed the frame (alternate carry)
I bought the SIG because I wanted a Sig. It's a five inch gun and scary accurate.
I bought the Springfield longslide because I wanted a longslide.

All handgun manufacturers take a pasting for one reason or the other. No company has ever released a product line where all the products were perfect. It has never happened and it will never happen. Some of the fine Swiss Watchmakers ($100,000+ per watch) have come close, but no one has ever actually pulled it off.

The internet skews the perception of various products, not just guns. For every person lamenting a particular gun, there are hundreds or thousands of satisfied owners who never say anything. Keep this in mind when reading about any given brand.
Example: Someone got some bad ammunition and blew up a Glock or two. You will read all over the net about Glocks going Kaboom.

When people ask me which pistol to buy or which 1911 is the 'best', I tell them to go handle as many as they possibly can and buy the one that feels right and puts a smile on their face.

Make yourself happy. If the gun doesn't run to suit you, send it back to the manufacturer and have them fix it. No big deal.

Bill.

atomd
September 4, 2009, 02:56 PM
What you should say is "for the same $$$ you can get a different gun", because neither RI or DW is even in the same ball park as COLT when it comes to the basic foundation of building a 1911. They can put all the silly nostalgia inducing roll marks on the slide they want or polish that stainless steel casting up till it gleams in the display case and advertise in the gun rags how its got "ED BROWN" grip safeties (ill fitted as heck I might add) to try and divert from the fact that they skimped where it matters the most. If you put a million dollars worth of parts into a turd - in the end all you have is a really expensive turd....

That's a bunch of hogwash. I'd put DW fitting up against Colt any day of the week. Every single slide to frame fit I've seen on a DW beats 95% of what I've seen from Colt. That's far more important than the detail fitting on the grip safety...but I'll say that almost all of the DW grip safety fitting I've seen has been at least acceptable.

The only thing Colt has going for it is that they use forged frames. Big whoop. Even most Caspian frames you see are cast and they are known for being excellent and used to build many custom and competition pistols. Sure I'd take a forged frame over a cast with all else being equal but that's not a deal breaker. DW uses a forged frame on their Valor model btw.

Let's talk apples to apples. Take the names off the guns and compare them on their own merits. You think just because the DW has a cast frame the Colt is better? Colt uses/used a PLASTIC msh. PLASTIC! You call that being true to the 1911 design? I call that insulting, especially on a ~$1000 gun. They also use more MIM parts than DW does (DW uses 0). Those are cost cutting measures. Those parts take away from the overall quality of the gun.

The Colt koolaid is strong stuff. Colt makes a pretty good gun. I'm not saying they're junk but I just can't believe that people can overlook all that crap and then bash another gun just because the company that owns the shop that makes it is foreign...even though the actual gun is made in the US. Meanwhile you're ignoring the elephant in the room. Series 80 stuff is stupid. The duckbill is stupid. Plastic MSHs are stupid. Colt uses MIM parts to cut costs and most people would say they aren't as good either.

Oh, and you're right about Colt holding their value. They do that well because they are a well known company. Even members of the Brady bunch know the name Colt. I think that's actually the best selling point of owning a Colt. You can tell everyone you have one. It's all in the name. If you took the name Colt off the gun and compared apples to apples...they would be acceptable but not a good value and not quite as nice as a DW.

Sheepdog1968
September 4, 2009, 03:04 PM
IMO and that of several trainers I've used, the reason the high end 1911's have problems is that they try and make everything with tight tollerances to get tight groups and this is what causes the problems. It wouldn't surprise me if they more inexpensive 1911's have less issues.

I have had awesome customer service on a number of occassions with Springfield. They have two models that might fit your bill, the USGI and the MilSpec. One of the main differences is the sights.

All kidding aside, have you considered just getting a surplus 1911 from the era you were active military? I'm guessing you would like it more and it will have a bit of history and should work just fine. Good luck.

TurboFC3S
September 4, 2009, 03:12 PM
Hahaha, that's easily the silliest Colt fan-boy post I've ever read.

Colt's remind me of my Uncle's IROC ... they're rattletraps.

atomd
September 4, 2009, 03:18 PM
IMO and that of several trainers I've used, the reason the high end 1911's have problems is that they try and make everything with tight tollerances to get tight groups and this is what causes the problems.

Yeah, those Baers are known for being jammomatic junkers. :rolleyes:

rklessdriver
September 4, 2009, 03:53 PM
atomd-

The kool aid is indeed strong. For DW owners as well it seems. :)

This is a healthy debate and I apprecieate you enthusiam for DW... I respect your opinion even thou it's dead wrong. ;)

The Frame and Slide ARE the gun.

A $2 small part is a $2 part and I don't like the fact that COLT uses (3) $2 MIM parts but that's what they do.... :banghead:

That is a very different story than using a $2 casting for the 2 most important parts of the entire gun and then bragging about how good the small parts are.

A casting is not as good as a forging anyway you slice it. Never has been and never will be. Obviously they are adequte for a time but I'll trust my life to a forging everytime.

Unless you buy a semi custom Baer or Brown your not going to get 100% non MIM and forged frame/slide. Your also going to spend $1500 minimum which is half again (+ or -) the price range we are talking here (also the price range of a DW Valor BTW).

You can replace those 3 parts in a COLT for far less than you can buy a forged Frame and Slide for your DW.

BTW not all COLT pistols use that stupid duckbill grip safety. Only the XSE's do and they are $750-$800 guns (even retail at Gander Mtn). A base COLT Commander or 80 Series gun retails for $699. Its misleading to compare them to a $980-$1200 DW and not the right thing to do. Compare a $699 DW to a $699 COLT.... Oh yea that's right DW dosen't make anything in that price range.

If you really want to compare apples to apples you have to compare any DW to the COLT Combat Elite or Special Combat ($980 and $1200). Those 2 models use COLT NM Barrels and bushings, Smith and Alexander Beavertail grip safety and extended thumb safety along with genuine Novak low mount/dovetail 3 dot and tritium sites. The fit on my Combat Elite and 3 others I personally looked at were better than the DW's the dealer had on the table. Go look at one of these 2 specific models sometime, give them an honest comparison.

DW does make a nice gun IMO. However IMO it is not and can never be equal to a COLT because of the cast frame. The part with the S/N on it IS the gun and that is my point. All the hand carved billet unobtanium small parts in the world don't make a gun. Your gun will only ever be as good as the base you start with and DW skimped on the base.
Will

atomd
September 4, 2009, 04:39 PM
Unless you buy a semi custom Baer or Brown your not going to get 100% non MIM and forged frame/slide.

Not true. Dan Wesson Valor meets those specs and I just saw a new one in a retail shop for $1210.

Also, you seem reallllly stuck on the cast frame issue. Where are all the cast frame problems? With so many cast frames made, we should probably see thousands of issues with them. Or even if it was just the armscor ones...but I'm not seeing it. I see lots of broken smaller parts though. I'd have more faith in a cast part than a MIM part from what I've seen. Why do people say Caspian frames are so good when they are mostly cast too? Also, cmon...the plastic msh....you gotta at least agree with me on that one.

If you really want to compare apples to apples you have to compare any DW to the COLT Combat Elite or Special Combat ($980 and $1200).

I paid $800 for a new DW. Granted, that's a good deal but I could have paid about $100 more and got it somewhere else if I looked around. $800 is the same price as they sell a very basic stainless Colt gov series 70. There's no comparison, the DW is just a nicer gun with a nicer fit and finish and many more features. When I first started shopping for my latest 1911 I was seriously considering Colt (honest) until I closely compared them in person. You can buy almost any DW model except for the Valor for $1000 give or take..if you shop around. 2 years ago they were a good amount less than even that.

Springfield uses forged frames and has some MIM parts in them just like Colt. That doesn't mean the Springfield is a better gun than an STI or a DW. Basically the only argument as to why Colt is better is because they have a forged frame and it has the word "Colt" on it. That's about it. We'll probably never agree with each other on which is better....and most of it is subjective anyways. I think if we erased the names off of both guns and we had one of each, we would probably be happy with both of them. It never hurts to nitpick though. :D

Now, I might be hard on Colt. It's because I REALLY want Colt to be the best gun out there. I used to really respect them and they really have a solid place in US history. I mean, apple pie and a Colt 1911. Sounds good to me. I always wanted a Colt when I was a kid. The truth is that they aren't exactly what they used to be and haven't been for a long time. But all things considered, I might even buy one myself one day if I come across one and like what I see. It won't be a series 80 or have a duckbill...and some parts will be swapped out when I get home (with the plastic msh being the first to go)...but I bet I'll like it just fine.

Also, I'm not a DW fan boy. If anything, I'm more of a Baer fan boy. ;) I didn't mention them because they cost 1 1/2 times or more than the ones we're talking about. I don't think DW makes the very best 1911 put DW first as far as value goes though.

So, you wanna bash Kimber or something instead? hehehe

rklessdriver
September 4, 2009, 05:30 PM
Also, you seem reallllly stuck on the cast frame issue.

I am. I see it like this.

The bean counters want to cut the production cost.

1. COLT chooses to do this by keeping the forged frame and using 3 MIM small parts and a Plastic MSH (yes I agree it sucks).
2. DW chooses to use a cast frame and no mim small parts (I think this just sucks worse).

This results in a bigger profit margin for DW because forging dies coast COLT more to prouduce, maintain and they wear out faster (replace) than casting forms which once made last indefinatley.

I feel like those 3 MIM small parts and Plastic MSH COLT uses can be replaced easily and cheaply by the end user and he/she then has a 100% top quality peice that is still a COLT. You can never replace that cast DW frame as cheaply, easily and once you do.... It's no longer a DW.

You keep bringing up Caspain as something to behold. It's really not. Many builders use it becasue its availiable, built to a good spec, reasonable priced and "good enough" for most folks. I guess I'm just not most folks.

Springer is a different class of gun IMO. All the internal small parts are MIM and its made at a far lower labor cost in Brazil. They are OK to use the frame in a custom build becasue it is forged but IMO why?? when the difference in price is little and it's an imported part.

We agree on Kimber. :evil: I've had one and will not have another.

We agree on Baer. Mine is an absolute gem. :D

Hahaha, that's easily the silliest Colt fan-boy post I've ever read.

Colt's remind me of my Uncle's IROC ... they're rattletraps.

TurboFC3S
I'll tell you what. Better yet I'll show you a rattle trap. 50 rounds on one target, fired at 15yrds off hand weaver unsupported.

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f303/rklessdriver/Weapons/DSC00968.jpg

That is an orginal 1979 70 Series rattle trap from the darkest days of COLT mfg. When I bought it it had been neglected, as in uncleaned and beat around on the floor board of a dump truck since it was new. It functions 100% with any ammo and about any mag. It's the worst/sorriest excuse for a 1911 I (currently) own and I'd carry in to hell with no qualms if I had to. Keep on thinkin COLT rattle traps suck like a trailer park kings F-Body.
Will

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