Opinions of a couple of 1911 options


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Johnny Lightning
October 21, 2010, 07:33 AM
Ok I have been drooling over the 1911 pistols for a while and have the itch to get one BAD...but want to get the right one for my purposes. I will mainly be shooting it at the range from a bench and other then that it will be a safe queen/home protection gun not a carry gun. I am looking for accuracy and dependability and I don't want to have to put a hole lot into the gun after purchasing...at least not at this time. The pistols that I am looking at are:

Kimber Custom II $700ish

Colt XSE Government $850ish

SA Loaded $850ish

RIA Target $650ish

I have handled all of them except the RIA cant seem to find one anywhere around here. I like the feel of the Colt the best out of the other 3. My budget is no higher then $900 but wouldn't mind paying less for a great pistol!

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frankiestoys
October 21, 2010, 07:41 AM
I have a Rock Island thats been 100% reliable thats not to say that the others are bad,but i have heard that SA and Kimber have had QC problems recently you can try
Centerfire sytems inc on line they may have what your looking for.

bds
October 21, 2010, 07:45 AM
If you are looking at the $650 RIA Target, how about adding $698 STI Spartan (http://www.stiguns.com/guns/Spartan/Spartan.php)?

http://www.stiguns.com/guns/Spartan/images/Spartan_Main_320x240.jpg

Johnny Lightning
October 21, 2010, 07:46 AM
whats the diff. between the RIA and the Spartan?

G27RR
October 21, 2010, 07:48 AM
I have a recent Colt Combat Elite, which is part of the XSE lineup, and it's great. Zero problems, nicely detailed grips, well fit and finished and accurate. The XSE line is one of the better deals in that price range in my opinion. I don't have personal experience shooting the others so I can't comment on them.

http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n634/G27RR/Colt1911s-2.jpg

Johnny Lightning
October 21, 2010, 07:58 AM
Nice Colts! Am i correct in thinking that the Colt is the only pistol of the 4 I chose that has an ambi. safety?

bds
October 21, 2010, 08:09 AM
"Whats the diff. between the RIA and the Spartan?"

The heart of the Spartan .45 (what you’re really buying) is the slide-to-frame to barrel fit, and in this area the Spartan delivers. There’s no movement in any of these areas with the gun in battery, either laterally or vertically. STI’s goal with the Spartan was to provide a custom level of slide/frame/barrel fit at a non-custom price. I have never before seen a fit like this on anything but an expensive custom gun, much less a piece in the Spartan’s price range.

The slide, frame and barrel are made by Armscor in the Philippines. All the other parts except the (PA sight) are made by STI, which ships them overseas; the guns are built by Armscor, then sent back to STI. At that point, the Spartans are given to STI’s quality control people led by Chris Schirmer, who go over them with a fine-tooth comb. If a problem is found, typically it’s easier for STI to fix it in house; Spartans very rarely go back to the Philippines once they’re here.
http://media.stiguns.com/USPress/CombatHandguns/Dec2008/CombatHandgunsDec08_STISpartan.pdf

http://media.stiguns.com/USPress/Comp1911-2008/Model1911-08_Spartan.pdf

To a gun of any price we would have to term this accuracy “impressive” Considering the STI Spartan’s price tag, I think we can safely upgrade that to “spectacular.”

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=129364&stc=1&d=1287662920

Johnny Lightning
October 21, 2010, 08:09 AM
So I just went on Cabelas web sight and they have the Delta Elite for $950 but then they have the Trophy Gold Cup for $1000 blued? Is the trophy a better deal?

Johnny Lightning
October 21, 2010, 08:13 AM
impressive accuracy from the Spartan! so the ria and spartan are almost the same gun made by the same people correct? how is their customer service if you have a problem?

bds
October 21, 2010, 08:18 AM
so the ria and spartan are almost the same gun made by the same people correct?
Not really, as parts other than the slide, frame and barrel are made and QC'd by STI.

"The slide, frame and barrel are made by Armscor in the Philippines. All the other parts except the (PA sight) are made by STI, which ships them overseas; the guns are built by Armscor, then sent back to STI. At that point, the Spartans are given to STI’s quality control people led by Chris Schirmer, who go over them with a fine-tooth comb. If a problem is found, typically it’s easier for STI to fix it in house; Spartans very rarely go back to the Philippines once they’re here "


how is their customer service if you have a problem?
Can't speak for RIA, but STI is located in Texas and has a good reputation.

STI International
114 Halmar Cove
Georgetown, TX 78628
(512) 819-0656

lhead71
October 21, 2010, 08:32 AM
I would look on the gun auction sites and search for a good used Colt Gold Cup. Great gun, super accurate. I have seen them on there for less than $900.00.

schmeky
October 21, 2010, 08:33 AM
The Spartan is an excellent suggestion. Hard to imagine more gun, with some hand fitting and superb accuracy for that kind of money. Accuracy wise it shoots as good as my $1,600.00 Les Baer for a lot less money :mad:

Great customer service as well.

Johnny Lightning
October 21, 2010, 09:15 AM
For the money it sounds like I cant beat the Spartan! If It shoots as well as a Les Baer then its almost a no-brainer.

G27RR
October 21, 2010, 09:39 AM
STI does make great pistols and stands behind them. I carry the Shadow model daily. The STI models I have (2 Ranger IIs, an Escort, and the Shadow) were fully made by STI, including the slide and frame. I don't have a Spartan yet, but after checking a couple out at my local shop, it's on my list. I think either it or the Colt would serve your purposes nicely.

As others will tell you, 1911s can get addicting. I went from thinking I'd have just one to having all these....

http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n634/G27RR/1911Collection-1.jpg

verdun59
October 21, 2010, 05:11 PM
I've got a Spartan and to echo others it's well made, tight fitting, a joy to shoot and very accurate. I give it high marks and this is from a not dyed-in-the-wool 1911 person.

Johnny Lightning
October 21, 2010, 07:52 PM
Nice collection G27RR! love the looks of the Colt Delta you have! i think to start i will go w/ the Spartan due to price and features. Thanks everyone for all the great input!

Old krow
October 21, 2010, 07:59 PM
As others will tell you, 1911s can get addicting. I went from thinking I'd have just one to having all these....


They'll breed if you store them together with other 1911s.

Spartan's are nice. I dunno about the newer Kimbers. Mine is an older one and I've had no issues at all with it. My customer service dealings with Kimber have been pleasant, I hear that isn't always the case. I've heard better about STIs CS.

Jed Carter
October 21, 2010, 09:22 PM
Of your choices I would go with the SA then the Colt. I have an STI Trojan Custom, a Colt Series 70, SA, SIG and Detonics 1911s. STI is a great 1911, SIG is great but different, Springfield is nice and my only stainless pistol, the Colt is an old rattle trap but it works. The Detonics is, well a Detonics, it works well but it's built like a frankengun. I would recommend the STI over any of these except maybe the SIG, I would recommend the STI over any on the "list". If you can't tell, 1911s are habit forming. Kimber makes a good looking pistol, and thats all I know about Kimber.

G27RR
October 22, 2010, 08:24 AM
Let us know how you like the Spartan.

chbrow10
October 22, 2010, 08:36 AM
Sorry if I am too late here, but I have a RIA Tactical, witch is kinda like the base of the Match. I can sat that RIA customer service by the USA importer (Advanced Tactical) is superb. There are a whole pile of RIA lovers over on the m1911 forum. You might want to check that forum out, since it has manufacturer specific sub forums where people air out and have thier dirty laundry cleaned...

My RIA tactical is 100% after roughly 30-40k rounds. I shoot it in USPSA Single stack division and it ROCKS. pun intended.

Steve C
October 22, 2010, 12:02 PM
Personally I'd get the Colt. I've never regretted buying my Colts over any clone. The few bucks I could have saved have been paid back in value appreciation and quality.

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