1911 noob


September 18, 2010, 01:14 PM
Hey guys I'm lookin to join the band wagon and buy a 1911. I want a decent base platform so I can build it into what I want it to be. I'm open to any and all suggestions. My ONLY requirement is that it has to be a .45 acp platform and of the full-size variety. What do you guys suggest as a starting point?

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September 18, 2010, 01:39 PM
Give Rock Island Armory a look.

They usually start around the $400 mark.

September 18, 2010, 01:47 PM
rock island or springfield gi. i have a rock island tactical that i have been 100% happy with.

September 18, 2010, 02:01 PM
Yeah, depending on your budget, the Rock Island, Springfield GI, Springfield Mil-Spec, or Colt Series 70.

September 18, 2010, 02:15 PM
Rock Island is a beautiful gun for the price. i've currently gettin a Regent customized but knowing what i know now I would go back and paid for a Rock Island tactical.

I will say this I paid around $500 for my regent plus $20 for soft rubber finger groove grips, $100 for hi-vis sights, beaver tail, compensator, stainless slide release. that left me around $620

I sent it back for a stainless/drilled trigger, skeletonized stainless hammer, and a trigger job. i'm tradin in some parts that i didn't like but when its done I think i'll be around $720 or so.

moral of the story is you might want to shop for a pistol with everything you want on it cause it can add up quick and maybe save you money in the long run.

bdb benzino
September 18, 2010, 03:32 PM
Check out the Amercan Classic line of 1911's made by Metro Arms. They have a great track record for reliability and mine is tighter and better fit than my old Springfeild Loaded model! Good luck!

The Lone Haranguer
September 18, 2010, 03:34 PM
If it is to be a platform for extensive customization, I don't think I would buy a cast frame/extruded (unless they've changed the design recently) slide RIA. This strikes me as one to be used and enjoyed "as is." Most gunsmiths would rather work with, say, a Colt or Springfield Armory due to more predictable steel quality. Whatever you choose, shoot it "as is" first to establish reliability, as no amount of custom work can make a fundamentally flawed gun shoot well.

September 18, 2010, 06:05 PM
Dan Wesson, Ed Brown, Les baer.

September 18, 2010, 06:07 PM
Amen! Buy what you want. If it isn't what you want out of the box then look in to a custom pistol starting with a Caspian or Les Baer frame. Find a competent smith and agree on the work to be done and the price to be charged.

Building from scratch saves throwing all the parts out, ask anyone who ever sporterized a $150 Ruger 10/22. The smith will also be able to suggest what to avoid, saving future problems. Changing parts on a 1911 is asking for problems and a never ending relationship with the gunsmith.

bdb benzino
September 18, 2010, 07:29 PM
Changing parts on a 1911 is asking for problems and a never ending relationship with the gunsmith.

I dont agree with this at all, and I dont think alot of others will agree either.

September 18, 2010, 11:15 PM
if it's your first 1911, you might not want to go too overboard with it. you would be amazed that most 1911's can out shoot an average shooter.
every 1911 that i have had has been very accurate and felt well made with a good trigger feel.

September 18, 2010, 11:33 PM
Springfield armory and colt are the most popular base guns for full custom builds. Personally, I would call springfield's custom shop and have them spec a custom carry just the way I wanted. I've got a custom carry and prefer it over my baer and brown for sure. I may even like it more than my nighthawks, have not decided yet.

September 19, 2010, 01:11 AM
I agree the American Classic Deluxe It's more accurate, than most owners and comes with all you really need on a 1911 . Rock Island tactical same way. No need to go way over board on a 1911 .

September 19, 2010, 05:35 AM
bdb, I said what I said for two reasons:

First, a 1911 is not always a 1911. External extractors, commander and compact sizes, not to spec. parts, ramped barrels, the list goes on. These days every penny whistle must be "fitted".

Second, the title of the thread is "1911 NOOB" which, roughly translated, means "I ought not stick my hands in where they don't belong because everyone who does manages to screw something up, is that a tuning fork?"

The 1911 is not a pistol for unfamiliar hands to tinker with. I've seen some truly nasty parts swaps, goofed hammer and trigger "upgrades", watched recoil springs zip across rooms and slides released on empty chambers full force (repeatedly). I've heard stories of people ruining feed ramps and frames with dremels, even know a guy who took his in for a ramp and polish who plans to "finish the job" himself. That job was done by a guy who custom builds 1911s and placed in the top 35 at Camp Perry (and could teach a few of the big name custom guys round here a thing or two about the 1911).

You can't make chicken salad out of chicken s**t. Nothing wrong with an inexpensive 1911 if it's reliable. Most are reasonably so out of the box. If you're looking for a Red, White and Blue, America's Gun I say do it right the first time. Life is too short to drive Yugos.

September 19, 2010, 06:44 AM
pvthouse, The RIA's and SA's are good suggestions. I'd would also recommend you look at the Para GI Expert (http://www.para-usa.com/new/product_expert.php). I'm on my second, both have been very solid and accurate shooters. The GI Expert is a great basic 1911 priced at ~$515+/-. For the price it comes with more features than most base 1911s...like good 3dot sights, a very nice trigger, skeletonized hammer and two 8round mags. They shoot well out of the box, for me its enough that all I added was a set of Hogue grip panels and rounds ;) I'm happy to shoot it "just the way it is". But if you want to build on the platform the sky is the limit.

ol' scratch
September 19, 2010, 07:45 AM
+1 on the Rock Island if it is your first and you want something to customize. Then again, why not a Kimber Custom II if you want all the goodies? I picked mine up for $725 a few years ago. It has been a great pistol. You are going to have to spend money to get a 1911 customized and the Kimber already has many match parts.

September 20, 2010, 09:11 AM
Thanks a lot for the help guys. I really appreciate all of it.

Full Metal Jacket
September 20, 2010, 09:26 AM
springfield armory.

Old krow
September 21, 2010, 07:40 PM
I second the Kimber Custom II. I bought one after reading through this thread and took it to the range today. I got a good deal and I am very happy with it. I don't know much about customizing a 1911, but I really don't see the need to in this case either.

When I learn more about them maybe I'll buy another one, but for now all I really want to do is buy more ammo and go back to the range.

Jed Carter
September 21, 2010, 08:49 PM
Best trigger for the money, STI Spartan, may be the best 1911 for under 7 bills. There are better, but you may have to pay much more to get the full features this pistol offers.

September 21, 2010, 09:11 PM
What's your price range?

September 21, 2010, 10:30 PM
If what you're looking for in a build is somewhat typical ie. beavertail, skeletonized hammer and trigger, different grips and sights, take your time in selecting your starter. It would help if we knew what your cost expectations are, both beginning and final.

For a great out of the box shooter that eats varied ammo and spits it out positively I would recommend this: http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/31/products_id/26335.

For a no frills, built as it ought to be, starter pistol to change things around on (preferrably by a gun smith), this is your pistol: http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/197/products_id/32590.

For a classic original that you won't want to change parts on: http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/1/products_id/55899.

Again, it is my feeling that a 1911 should be left stock (with the possible exception of grips and sights) unless you are doing a custom build. I would not recommend the following makes if that is your intent:

Para GI Expert, non-standard parts won't allow for many upgrades, though seems to have quite a few favorable reviews save the finish which often fails.

RIA/Citadel/Charles Daley/Phillipine anything, you'll want to start with a forged frame and these ain't it, nothing wrong with them as shooters, especially the RIA but again, you'll eventually scrap everything if you start here.

Sig/Kimber/S&W, these all have external extractors (with a few model exceptions)- a big no-no to some purists but all designed to be bought as ready to shoot sans modification.

September 21, 2010, 10:43 PM
Can't go wrong with a Kimber. I have a tactical pro carry and super ultra and the shoot great. Both .45 and they have less recoil than my sw m&p 9mm. They do get a bit pricey, but the local shops in my area always have used ones at fair prices.

ol' scratch
September 26, 2010, 02:47 PM
Sig/Kimber/S&W, these all have external extractors (with a few model exceptions)- a big no-no to some purists but all designed to be bought as ready to shoot sans modification.[/QUOTE]

I know this is an older thread, but I just wanted to clearify something. Kimber has gone back to the internal extractor-or at least they have in the Custom II.

September 26, 2010, 03:21 PM
Rock Island Armory or Springfield

September 26, 2010, 03:23 PM
Para Ordanace:cool:

September 26, 2010, 03:39 PM
The biggest thing to grasp is that the 1911 is not an AR-15 or Glock. You usually just don't buy another part, take the old one out and put the new one in.

There is such a large variety of 1911 designs that you often need a gunsmith to fit the part. If your intention is to have a gunsmith do the work, I'd check with the gunsmith you've picked and have him/her make a recommendation.

If you are planning to do the work yourself, you most likely would be better off buying a pistol put together the way you want it from the factory. Unless of course you just like to tinker with stuff and won't be too put out if you somehow ruin a $500+ pistol trying to fit some part.

September 26, 2010, 11:52 PM
+1 on the sti spartan. I had a taurus pt1911 for a few years and it was great. accurate, reliable etc. 400 used.

September 27, 2010, 01:53 AM
A base SA or Colt would both be excellent starting points for a project gun. The SA guns don't have the series 80 firing pin blocks. SOme Colts don't. Most do.

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