Need Top End 1911


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Ed4032
January 11, 2010, 09:53 AM
I am thinking of getting an Ed Brown. I even have the wife's permission. I currently have five 1911s. (Remington Rand, Colt, Kimber and two RIA) What I really need is a top of the line 1911.

My question is are they really worth the money ?

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Tim Pierce
January 11, 2010, 09:55 AM
Save yourself a lot of money and get a Dan Wesson. You could buy 2 Dan Wessons and have money leftover for what you would pay for a Ed Brown.

silent flatulence
January 11, 2010, 10:03 AM
I don't think they're worth the money. You can dump $ into a 1911 all day long and it won't be as reliable as an H&K usp. For me, that's just the reality. No matter how pretty the 1911 might look at the gun shop.

EddieNFL
January 11, 2010, 10:05 AM
While Brown certainly turns out a fine piece, his are not top of the line. He and his competitors, Wilson, Nighthawk, Baer, are considered semi-custom. "Top of the line" is, IMO a subjective term. There are any number of custom makers who build exceptional 1911s (Volkman, Yam, Phillips, etc.), but I don't think you could truly crown one "The Best."

A Brown will serve you well.

Just my nickel.

mcdonl
January 11, 2010, 10:09 AM
Ed, do you need both RIA's? :) :) :)

I will be in the market soon, and could help you out with the cost of that new Ed Brown :) :) :)

DAVIDSDIVAD
January 11, 2010, 10:12 AM
I don't think they're worth the money. You can dump $ into a 1911 all day long and it won't be as reliable as an H&K usp. For me, that's just the reality. No matter how pretty the 1911 might look at the gun shop.
Care for any durr with your hurr, fine sir?


The reliability of a machine is dependant on how it is made, and how it is maintained.

Wingnut13
January 11, 2010, 10:23 AM
I just picked up a Dan Wesson 10mm pointman. I like it, don't know that it is the top of the line but it's the nicest 1911 I've ever had. Very nice fit and finish zero problems with it so far. It was very tight when I first got it.... but I was hoping for that. (look it's new!) And accurate to boot!

silent flatulence
January 11, 2010, 10:24 AM
Fruity rhymes aside, you could put $2,500 into a 1911 and it wouldn't be as reliable as a hk usp. Of course, a nightstand isn't a muddy, gritty, place but the 1911 just can't hang when it comes to functioning perfectly every time like a usp in adverse conditions.

DAVIDSDIVAD
January 11, 2010, 10:29 AM
Fruity rhymes aside, you could put $2,500 into a 1911 and it wouldn't be as reliable as a hk usp. Of course, a nightstand isn't a muddy, gritty, place but the 1911 just can't hang when it comes to functioning perfectly every time like a usp in adverse conditions.

Define as reliable.


I think a high end 1911 is going to be as reliable as the OP wants it to be.


If you find that a pistol from H&K is as reliable as you need it to be, that's great, but I don't know where you live that you're constantly covered in mud and grit.

Blackbeard
January 11, 2010, 10:33 AM
I smell a corporate shill. The thread is about which 1911 to get, not which pistol to get. The OP is already set on a 1911 so to suggest polymer pistols is just silly.

silent flatulence
January 11, 2010, 10:37 AM
It would be nice to work for hk, but I don't. I just think hk does better with less parts, and the 1911 does worse with more parts. And it's more $$$ to boot. Nevermind I'll exit the thread.

Ed4032
January 11, 2010, 10:49 AM
I smell a corporate shill. The thread is about which 1911 to get, not which pistol to get. The OP is already set on a 1911 so to suggest polymer pistols is just silly.

Thank You and Yes I am committed to a 1911. I have several of the polymers already. Just bought another one this week end. What I really need though is another 1911.

JoeSlomo
January 11, 2010, 10:52 AM
H&K?

No thank you.

They think we suck...and they hate us.



:evil:

xXxplosive
January 11, 2010, 11:11 AM
Night Hawk.............the one our military awards to their #1 Sniper Team. Great built gun.

Jim Watson
January 11, 2010, 11:17 AM
What is your Colt?
If it is a clean straight surplus gun or an older commercial, then leave it alone for the collectors to swoon over. But if it is a fairly recent model, consider sending it to a top-flight gunsmith and having it set up like YOU want it, not what a boutique maker catalogs.

One of the nicest guns I have seen was a Colt that was customized by Wilson before they got so heavy into their own manufacture. It was as reliable and accurate as any and a good deal better looking; they did not paint pistols in those days.

jmorris
January 11, 2010, 11:22 AM
My question is are they really worth the money ?

That depends on how much money you have and what you expect or want.
If you have to put it on a credit card and it’s going to take you months to pay it off and you just wanted something to shoot tin cans with, I’d say it’s a bad idea.

If you have the expendable cash and want a fine firearm, you won’t be disappointed. FWIW I have shot a lot of semi custom pistols from folks like Wilson, Brown, Bear and the like, SVI’s have always felt better to me.

Casaba
January 11, 2010, 11:29 AM
Good plan to exit... I have an HK USP 45 that I like very much but I LOVE LOVE LOVE my 1911s and will get another.

I have a Springfield TRP that is awesome to shoot but I want to find an old Colt from say 1915-1930 in decent shape that won't cost me 2k


But that's just me

Ed4032
January 11, 2010, 11:46 AM
What is your Colt?
If it is a clean straight surplus gun or an older commercial, then leave it alone for the collectors to swoon over. But if it is a fairly recent model, consider sending it to a top-flight gunsmith and having it set up like YOU want it, not what a boutique maker catalogs.

One of the nicest guns I have seen was a Colt that was customized by Wilson before they got so heavy into their own manufacture. It was as reliable and accurate as any and a good deal better looking; they did not paint pistols in those days.

The Colt is a New XSE Light Weight Commander. Hate to mess with it because it is a very fine gun as it is. But the point is I have PERMISSION to buy a new gun. I often buy them with out permission and just ask for forgiveness. And I need a new gun... so I thought, let's go all out and get a really nice 1911.

mcdonl
January 11, 2010, 12:12 PM
I am subscribing to this thread because I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Good luck, and congrats on being able to spend that kind of cash in an econmy like this!

I envy and admire you all at the same time.

JTQ
January 11, 2010, 12:14 PM
I think you will find Baer, Brown, Wilson, and Nighthawk are all fine 1911's. Take a look at what each manufacturer offers and see if it is what you are looking for.

I'm not sure any of them are what I'd call a bargain, but to the person looking for that kind of a 1911 experience, they are all good values.

smoothdraw
January 11, 2010, 12:52 PM
Ed Browns are nice but if you could get Wilson same pricepoint with Ed Brown then go with Wilson. Maybe materials Browns and wilson are same but Wilson can fit them better.
If you want the best money can buy then you have to go to the Custom route.

But if you can get Ed browns cheaper then you can't go wrong with it. For me best value 1911's right now are the colt 70 series reproductions and Dan Wesson 1911's.

smoothdraw
January 11, 2010, 12:57 PM
It would be nice to work for hk, but I don't. I just think hk does better with less parts, and the 1911 does worse with more parts. And it's more $$$ to boot. Nevermind I'll exit the thread.
Glocks are as reliable than HK's. Same thing with all loose polymer pistols in that case. Maybe we could go back now in the all steel 1911 discussion again.

EddieNFL
January 11, 2010, 01:02 PM
Fruity rhymes aside, you could put $2,500 into a 1911 and it wouldn't be as reliable as a hk usp.

And Allah is the only true God, blah, blah, blah.

kamagong
January 11, 2010, 01:31 PM
Production 1911s like Colt, Kimber, and Springfield do the same things that the customs and semi-customs do. Thing is, they do those things just a little bit better. They tend to be more accurate, have better fit and finish, and are nicer overall. Are they worth it? Go to and gun store and check them out. Try and shoot them if you can. If you have a smile on your face after you do these things, then the higher-end 1911s are probably for you. On the other hand if all you think about is the money and that a Wilson is 2-3 times the cost of a Colt, then you'd be better served sticking to production guns.

Personally I feel that semi-customs are worth it. (Don't have a custom yet, I'm still waiting to win the lottery) I don't want a lot of guns, so I buy what I want and I strive for the best quality I can afford. That being said, I don't think that a semi-custom is always superior. I like Springfield Custom, Les Baer, and Ed Brown. I find Wilson and Nighthawk to be too tricked out for my tastes. Others will disagree with me. This goes back to my original recommendation to go and try to personally handle the semi-customs.

Whatever you decide, I don't think anyone can deny that a well-built 1911 is a thing of beauty.

http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/7603/springfieldcustomcarry.jpg

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/8607/lesbaerconceptii.jpg

bigmike45
January 11, 2010, 01:51 PM
Ed,

It's your money....get what you want. I have three Wilsons, have had a Brown and numerous other non custom or semi-custom brands. I prefer my Wilson Combat 1911's.

bigmike45

EddieNFL
January 11, 2010, 02:00 PM
Kam, good looking grips on the Springfield.

Ed, As mentioned above, a number of makers turn out fine 1911s. I own more than a few production, worked over production and semi-custom models and like each for different reasons.

Quack
January 11, 2010, 02:44 PM
all semi-customs are fit better than production 1911's.
choose the one that fit's your needs/wants.

we can all argue on which semi-custom builder is the best until we're blue in the face.
in my experience, the Springfield Custom Shop guns would be the top gun that i own, closely followed by Brown, then Wilson.

When i was shopping for a Commander sized 1911, it was between the Wilson Professional bobtail, Ed Brown Kobra Carry, and Les Baer Commanche. After fondling all the samples that the dealer had, i bought one of the Kobra Carry's that they had. The Brown was nicely fit, had the best trigger (of the 3 brands) and i liked the finish. I didn't see any thing that i liked about the Wilson to shell out the extra $400 for it. The Les Baer was out of the running because i wanted a bobtail and the frame is built on a gov't spec frame and not a Commander spec frame.

Shipwreck
January 11, 2010, 05:02 PM
I have owned several production Springers, a Kimber, a Dan Wesson and a Colt.

I now have a Custom Shop Springfield, just ordered another - and I have an Ed Brown. I think they are worth the money as well.

However - this topic has been done many times. Sometimes I participate, and sometimes I don't. There will always be some that will never "get it." And, I was once there myself. But I found myself always trading up - and then eventually just decided that this was the way I wanted to go...

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/1911-group98.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/1911-group99.jpg

Clarence
January 11, 2010, 05:10 PM
I have owned 1911's made by Baer, Brown, and Wilson. Each of those manufacturers take a slightly different approach in the type of 1911 they build and offer and I think you should choose the one that builds the gun the way you prefer it.

Wilson tends to rely a little too much on "fashion" to suit me.

Baer tends to make the guns too tight to suit me. I've never seen one that could be disassembled without using a bushing wrench.

My personal preference is Ed Brown. Ed Brown builds a 1911 that is pretty much "traditional" in style, but the machine work and finish is flawless. Brown doesn't really build "fad" guns based on this or that, just a great traditional 1911. Brown also manufactues all the primary parts in his own facility, and uses no MIM parts in the construction of their guns. My current carry gun is an Ed Brown Special Forces. As of Saturday I've got 7,550 rds through it without a malfunction. That's shooting a combination of hardball, SD hollow-points, and handloaded cast bullets.

http://i587.photobucket.com/albums/ss312/chestypuller/EdBrownSF.jpg

I consider it definitely worth the money compared to Dan Wesson, Springfield, Kimber etc and every bit as good as Baer or Wilson.

Jed Carter
January 11, 2010, 10:01 PM
My pick is the Nighthawk Custom, if price is not an issue. Getting the Heinie PDP 9mm next. http://nighthawkcustom.com

huduguru
January 11, 2010, 11:12 PM
Get an AMT Hardballer. :barf:

phanderson
January 12, 2010, 12:44 AM
Need Top End 1911
I am thinking of getting an Ed Brown. I even have the wife's permission. I currently have five 1911s. (Remington Rand, Colt, Kimber and two RIA) What I really need is a top of the line 1911.

My question is are they really worth the money ?


I went through this a couple of years ago and I looked at Wilson, Brown, and Les Baer.
it took me about 6 months to make up my mind and finally had to decide between Brown and Baer. The number of different models and options offered by Les Baer appealed to me more in the end. I now own 3 Les Baer pistols. They are great accurate and reliable shooters.

But, it's your money. Buy what you want.
Plastic just doesn't have the feel and soul of an all steel 1911.

tommyintx
January 12, 2010, 12:06 PM
save a little longer and get one of each, then find the one you like the most and sell the rest. they hold value fairly well. i prefer colts only, and do my own work..

jahwarrior
January 12, 2010, 12:42 PM
Les Baer.

smoothdraw
January 12, 2010, 02:17 PM
But, it's your money. Buy what you want.
Plastic just doesn't have the feel and soul of an all steel 1911.

And modern 1911's doesn't have the soul of the good ol' blued Colt 1911.

Sapper771
January 12, 2010, 10:51 PM
I have owned a Wilson, Les Baer, and a Fusion. Out of those three, I would choose Wilson Combat. They know how to make a good 1911.
Out of all the 1911s I have now, my main one is an Armorykote Springfield TRP. Great all around pistol with an excellent company backing it it.

sprice
January 12, 2010, 11:26 PM
I don't think it's worth the money; If it were my money I'd get a Dan Wesson and then if I wanted a more custom look or something take it to a smith. If you have extra money I'd reccomend getting a holster, magazines, ammo, training, or a glock/cz-75 or another gun in that general price range.

sprice
January 12, 2010, 11:27 PM
That ed brown special forces (especially in stainless) is awfully nice though...

nulfisin
January 12, 2010, 11:43 PM
My 1911 is a Springfield Stainless Loaded. I love this production gun. Tight fit, nice finish, accurate, reliable, and easy on the eyes.

I've never fired a Wilson, Baer, or Brown. What makes them better? I am NOT disputing that they are better. Just wondering what the appeal is given the substantial extra cost.

model of 1905
January 13, 2010, 12:07 AM
Whichever 1911 you decide on, do yourself a favor and run Tripp's Research mags in it. I don't work for or represent them in any way but I've tried them all and they work the best.

txgolfer45
January 13, 2010, 12:33 AM
I went through a similar decision process and almost bought an Ed Brown this week. But, instead, I decided on a Springfield TRP and reloading equipment. If I want, I can send the TRP to the Springfield Custom Shop for any desired upgrades.

BullfrogKen
January 13, 2010, 01:34 AM
My question is are they really worth the money ?

They're worth it to those who can appreciate them.

Just like heated leather seats are worth it for those who appreciate them. I don't have heated leather in our vehicles. I own 2 complete custom house 1911's.


A Hi Point can reliably put lead downrange. Say what you might about them, but they do work. They just aren't the most aethestic or ergonomic. So will a beat-up police trade S&W Model 10. As will a Glock.

So what we're talking about is a matter of taste.


Production 1911's often cut corners with MIM parts and loose fit. That includes Kimbers these days, sadly.

Semi-custom shops like Wilson and Ed Brown use better quality parts, like tool steel, and display better fitting.

Full custom 'smiths (and some of the semi-custom shops) will make what you exactly want, within reason and within what the man who is building it for you will allow his name to be associated with.



I have two. I can appreciate them. But it took spending years with Jim Garthwaite before I was brought about to be able to appreciate the difference between a $1,200 Kimber; an $1,800 semi-custom, and a >$2,500 full-blown, ground up, custom build.


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=47834&d=1163467055



The difference between a Kimber, and a semi-custom package from a shop catalog, and a ground-up build are little details like this - a 10k gold bead front sight.


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=47842&d=1163467758


That's what I want. There are only a handful of people in the country still installing them. Those little touches are the sorts of things a top end custom brings you.


Is it worth it? That's like asking someone if his child is beautiful. Yes, it's worth it to me. I can appreciate it. I like how one was made to fit my hand by Jim. And I blended the other myself over the course of a week with files, stones and paper, with my hands, to fit my hands. That week was priceless.


Rather than retype the story, you can read the entire thread here.

1911 LW Commander gallery (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=234282)


Is it worth it for you? I don't know. Do you think you'll be able to appreciate the differences?

kamagong
January 13, 2010, 01:16 PM
Beautiful pistols Ken. Glad to see that you're putting them to work (at least for the bottom one).

BullfrogKen
January 13, 2010, 10:31 PM
kama, I shoot the 9mm Commander much more than the .45. It's much less expensive, and much more pleasant.

BullfrogKen
January 16, 2010, 01:26 AM
Do you think you'll be able to appreciate the differences?

Sam1911 has seen these before, but last night was the first night he got to shoot one.


Sam, what did you think? Do you think you can appreciate the difference yet?


And "No" is a perfectly acceptable answer.

robctwo
January 16, 2010, 02:10 AM
I have an Ed Brown Exec. Target, a Les Baer PII 1.5" guarantee and a Baer PII 9mm. Seems like a lot of people say they aren't worth the $. I've spent way more on ammo than on the guns. They are great guns. Are they "that much better" than a Dan Wesson?Don't know. Bought a SA Black Stainless loaded. Reworked the ignition with Ed Brown parts to get an acceptable trigger. Bought a S&W PD Commander with scandium frame. Nice gun. Bought the Brown, no comparison, not even close.

If I didn't have enough money to buy a Brown, I'd get a Rock Island and two boxes of bullets. One to check the gun and one to keep it loaded. Wouldn't have enough to shoot much. If you are going to put 10-30,000 rounds through your gun, get a good one.

HisSoldier
January 16, 2010, 02:28 AM
And modern 1911's doesn't have the soul of the good ol' blued Colt 1911.

When my FFL, who is also my gunsmith, saw my new Dan Wesson Marksman his comment was "You know, they make 1911's better now than ever before".

But even an RIA has infinitely more soul than a glock or any plastic gun. I like my RIA, it's extremely reliable and though it has many MIM parts it will do it's job when asked, and without a gram of plastic!

KingMedicine
January 16, 2010, 03:32 AM
Ive been quite happy with my Fusion 1911. Its made by the old prez of Dan Wesson... Bob Surva

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=492865

Check it out if you wish.

Sam1911
January 16, 2010, 11:37 AM
Well, I did get to shoot one of Ken's, constructed under Jim's artisan's eyes.

I've seen a lot of 1911s, and tinkered with my own for years. There are a thousand little details that make up the whole package. The precise fit of this part to that part, the consistency of the finish from one part to the next, the perfect trigger (perfect for YOU, not someone else), the exact shape of the control levers (again, exact for YOU, not someone else), and the time taken to mate wearing surfaces exactly to one another, (among rather a lot else), make up the whole.

I can get a couple of those things right enough with my own skills to make my own gun do what I want. Might not look stellar, but functional. I could spend something in the mid-range of price to get a number of things that I like, and a lot that I don't care for. I've seen and shot semi-custom Browns and Wilson's that were very, very good, and the list of what I might like better wouldn't be long. (Still waiting to shoot a Springfield Pro...but that might as well be a full custom gun, from what I've heard.)

But the master gunsmith's touch in making a complete package that is RIGHT, in every detail, is spectacular. The ability to take the gun down to it's very basic parts and inspect every one -- and pronounce them "perfect" in fit, finish, applicability to your purposes/tastes -- is really wonderful.

As has been said many times before, in many different fields, the cost to reach perfection follows a steep curve. You can improve on the basics a little bit for not much money. Moving up the scale starts to get more and more expensive, for smaller and smaller improvements. By the time you're reaching that pinnacle of "exactly right" (for you, personally), the costs are starting to climb well beyond what most would want to pay for a utilitarian tool. But for a personalized work of art? Worth it.

-Sam

SideArmed
January 16, 2010, 01:57 PM
A lot has been said in the posts above so back to the original question :If you appreciate fit and finish and craftsmanship I say they are worth the $$$$ IMO. If your current 1911's are stock guns, you will notice a difference from kimber/RIA/Colt to Wilson or Baer as they are in a different league.

I have experience with Les Baer (PII/TRS), Wilson Combat (CQB LE/CQB), and Nighthawk (GRP).

I would recommend any of the 3 manufacturers in any of their configurations. Of the 3, however I would recommend Wilson as my favorite and looking as my next purchase.

Baer - I would say the Premier II we have really needed a "break in period". Had many failures to go into battery out of the box, well lubed. After 500 rounds the gun was still very tight but was getting more reliable. We had the weapon configured with the 1.5" guarantee which called for a very tight fit and I'm sure contributed to the break in. After about 1000 rds I would trust the weapon as I would any other 1911 I own and has been pretty much problem free but still very tight! The fit and finish is pretty awesome on Baer's.

Nighthawk - have had great experience with GRP. Generally has been a great Weapon and a pleasure to shoot. Only reason I rate Wilson above the GRP is I have shot Wilson Models much more.

Wilson - Have over 1700 rounds through a CQB LE w/ bull barrel and never one malfunction. From out of the box until now has been 100%. My father trains with a CQB w/ rail and is in love with his as well. I think the feel (which is completely subjective) is the best for me and I have trust in Wilson Pistols.

Would also recommend a Springfield Professional. Only thing I don't like is after a day of shooting, the front strap is almost too aggressive for a tight grip/bare hands.

No experience with Brown's but have heard great things too!!

My .02

EddieNFL
January 16, 2010, 02:18 PM
And modern 1911's doesn't have the soul of the good ol' blued Colt 1911.

Keep the soul, I'm into rock n' roll.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a338/EddieF/DSCN1911.jpg

robctwo
January 16, 2010, 02:51 PM
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e186/robctwo/DSCN0304.jpg
Baer PII, IonBond
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e186/robctwo/DSCN0258.jpg
Brown Exec Target, IonBond

DAVIDSDIVAD
January 16, 2010, 03:18 PM
Man, those Celtic grips are sweet!

Very nice; they must've cost a pretty penny.

Dobe
January 16, 2010, 04:16 PM
If you want an Ed Brown, you should have one. Every 1911 admirer should have at least one higher end 1911. I was fortunate to be able to have one Ed Brown. It is one of the best 1911's I've shot, and my favorite 1911.Fruity rhymes aside, you could put $2,500 into a 1911 and it wouldn't be as reliable as a hk usp. The most problems I've had with an out-of-the-box handgun are with HK, and I might add that HK is still one of my favorite platforms. I own two P30's, 1 USP Elite, an HK45, and three P7M8's. Only the last two have been flawless in reliability. The last two over-the counter Colt 1911's I purchased (an XSE, and Combat Elite) have been flawless. The first P30 I bought would FTE 10 times at least per box of 100. After about a thousand rounds, the malfunctions lessened. After about two thousand rounds, it dissappeared. The USP still will not feed or eject regularly, but it is a range gun, so it isn't that much of an irritant. The P7M8's have great reliability as long as they are clean (especially the gas chamber and piston). It is one of the last handguns I'd want to carry in a dirty environment. The HK45 runs as well as any 1911 I own, but no better. It is a good design with good ergonomics, but not as good as a 1911.

Ed4032
January 17, 2010, 04:26 PM
The catch in all this was that to get my wife's permission this had to be the last gun purchase of 2010. Went to the gun show this weekend and I don't believe that I will make it. I was like an alchoholic in a bar. I almost bought a Kimber. I fondled several ... a lot.

I am leaning toward a Dan Wesson cbob if I can find one. Right now I am on a waiting list for one. That leaves me salary cap money for a 9mm Fusion 1911.

What do you think ?

Quack
January 17, 2010, 04:31 PM
i know a local shop that has a C-bob & a PM-9 right now, so you could kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

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