I want to hear from the 1911 guys?


February 13, 2011, 11:09 PM
Ok I would like to get my first 1911 and want to know what 1911s are good and bad.
I have be looking at kimber. I would like to use it for H.D. and target. I may carry if needed but want a small gun for that.

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February 13, 2011, 11:51 PM
Prepare for the posts!

Take your pick - Colt, Springfield Armory, Dan Wesson, Kimber. Choose the model and configuration you like within your budget and try it out.

Some will say lots of negative about Kimber and others will praise them. Others will chime in and say the offshore $500 Rock Island Arsenal guns are as good as any you can buy. I love 1911's and haven't bought one yet. Go to 1911forum.com and read up. THAT is a 1911 site!

What price range were you looking in?

February 13, 2011, 11:53 PM
i'm in the boat of purchasing one. i want 9mm first because it's cheaper to shoot at the range. then later a 45 once i get the 1911 bug (which i do and i have money to spend).
i'm looking at either the springfield loaded or springfield target.

if you're on a budget people rave about the Rock Island Armory 9mm Tactical. about 430 retail, with some upgrades. i might get this as well soon.

February 14, 2011, 12:00 AM
I have a Taurus and love it. This is my 2nd one and this time I went stainless which is much nicer than the blued as far as Taurus goes.
Just my opinion but a 1911 is never any other caliber than 45 ACP, forget that 9mm ****, that is why Glocks were made get the 45 and be happy.

February 14, 2011, 12:06 AM
What is your price range?

February 14, 2011, 12:06 AM
Just bought a Taurus PT1911... love it! after i fired my dads kimber when i was on leave, had to have a 1911. Not as nice as his, but for the price, couldnt beat it.

February 14, 2011, 12:16 AM
Kimber has been my first, and so far, only 1911 purchase. I will bet my life on it, and do when I carry it. That being said, I am currently looking to swap out for a Colt WWI/WWII reproduction 1911. I've wanted a 1911 like that since I was a kid growing up, and I think this may be the year.
As was already said, every 1911 is the best produced, and every 1911 is the most unreliable gun out there. It all comes down to personal experience. Since so many people make 1911's, and with many different features, it's impossible to give a definitive answer to you.

I would suggest deciding on a price range, and go from there.
Does it have to be new, or will you consider used?
Do you want GI style, or more modern features?
5", 4", 3"?
Lots of options available. Decide what you like the look of, and what fits your need.

February 14, 2011, 12:17 AM
Here is an outstanding article on picking your first 1911...the writer, Hilton Yam, really knows what he is talking about when it comes to non-fancy 1911s
Choosing-your-first-1911 (http://10-8performance.blogspot.com/2011/01/choosing-your-first-1911-some-thoughts.html)

...and here's one if you are serious about using it as a carry gun
1911_for Duty_Use (http://www.10-8performance.com/1911_Duty_Use.html)

February 14, 2011, 12:27 AM
Klutch, the pt 1911 is in my list purchase as well. but the 9mm version. my opinion is i doubt that it's what you referred it to as. aren't they used for competition? I want a 9mm for shooting range fun, 9mm is cheaper than .45acp.

the OP does say that he wants something for the range so ammo budget can be put into consideration. your opinion sounds like bashing too :/

as far as your pt, how many rounds have gone through and any malfunctions?

February 14, 2011, 12:29 AM
I'm not a big 1911 guy, but my Para GI Expert is one accurate shooter. Had to change the front sight for a lower one, but it hits good. Milk jugs at 50 yds get tagged regularly with cheap ammo, and for under $500.00, I cannot complain.

They don't make them like they used to anymore, and for that I am grateful.

February 14, 2011, 01:25 AM
$1150 for a good H.D./target

Jed Carter
February 14, 2011, 04:55 AM
Best 1911 for the money is an STI Trojan at $999 it is a steal. Great trigger, great sights, great finish and features. For a CCW I use a SIG RCS 1911 it has an officer size frame with a commander length slide, plus Novak Tritium night sights. Here is a picture of my STI. I just bought a Para Ordnance GI Expert, Magazines are junk. the barrel/bushing fit is poor at best. Even at $450 unless you want to work on a pistol to get it to run and shoot straight I would pass. STI's entry level pistol the Spartan is a completely different story, it works and shoots like a much more expensive 1911. In your price range, SIG, S&W, Springfield & STI all make good examples, stick with these or a Colt and you will not be dissapointed

February 14, 2011, 09:05 AM
I've found staying within my budget (cash in hand) I have never been happy with what I got! Most of the time I had to add things to the gun and by the time I'm done, I've paid more then if I had bought the gun I really wanted in the first place. :banghead:

In addition, while you may never think of selling, buy as if you're going too and get a make that others would want to maintain value. While Taurus, Rock Island, American Tactical, etc.... might be a great deal getting into a 1911. Later if you need fast cash or grow tried of it and want to upgrade, you'll take a beating that you won't believe! :what:

I just sold to my son in law a Kimber Royal (series I) for what I paid for it used a little over a year ago. On GunBroker.com right now there is (2) series I Royals, one is asking $800 the other went as high as $800 but didn't make the sellers reserves and has been relisted starting at $550 (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/SearchResults.aspx). Needless to say my son in law got a deal in comparison to what these two are asking on GunBroker.com but it shows the value holding of a proven and recongized brand name with a strong following.

The short of it is, if you got a gun shop that has a lay-away program use it! This is free money for up to 6 months in most cases and while you might not be able to afford that 1911 you really want now. You'll regret buying one that you can afford but isn't the one you wanted! :cool:

Ala Tom
February 14, 2011, 10:39 AM
What do you guys think about the S&W 1911's?

February 14, 2011, 11:06 AM
Go COLT or go HOME!



I own a 9mm Colt Combat Commander and absolutely love it.

February 14, 2011, 11:10 AM
Personally I like the Springfield 1911's, I carry a ultra compact and it is a really good carry piece....

February 14, 2011, 11:50 AM
What do you guys think about the S&W 1911's?

They can be very nice. If looking that way, try to get a new one with the Performance Center Extractor...they just started offering them this year in their regular production models. I think it is the "E" series

February 14, 2011, 12:01 PM
The overriding asset of owning and shooting the 1911 is the fact that every one has a sameness that allows you to pick up any of them blindfolded, and hit something with it. No fumbling around, wondering if it's a decocker, where's the safety, up or down, where's the mag release, SA/DA. Pick it up, down with the safety, pull the trigger. All 1911's pretty much feel the same.

February 14, 2011, 03:24 PM
A 1911 fan, here! All my Colts are series 70s and one Kimber. Many, many more have passed through my hands; some I deeply regret letting go. I have no complaint with accuracy in my .45s or .38sup.

February 14, 2011, 03:53 PM
I've have or have had 1911s from Kimber, Colt, Springfield, Les Baer, and Wilson Combat.

My Wilson Combat CQB Compact is head and shoulders above the rest with my Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special being a close second. These, however are rather high end custom guns.

As far as production 1911s go, I've been nothing but happy with the various Springfield Armory specimens that I have and have had. I presently have a Springfield TRP which is my primary carry, however, it's very close to losing that title to the Wilson. I also have Springfield EMP 9mm that is my primary carry during the warm weather months. It's small, lightweight, easy to conceal, accurate, and VERY reliable. I also had a Springfield Armory Loaded Target that I parted with in favor of the Les Baer TRS. The Loaded Target was an outstanding gun as well and I had no problems with it.

The Les Baer, while an outstanding, reliable and accurate gun, is fitted almost unreasonably tightly...so tightly in fact that even having 1,500 rounds through it (it's still in its infancy), it's still difficult to rack the slide with a standard 16 lb recoil spring without first cocking the hammer. The barrel bushing is also incredibly tight. The tight fit of the gun has not adversely affected reliability thus far, but I'd still like to see the gun wear in a little more before it gets any belt time.

Of my Colt, it's an XS CCO and it has been 100% for me as well. I simply don't like that it doesn't have night sights, and that it's not particularly well suited to many of the various night sights out there without the rear dovetail being substantially modified. It's also not beveled off on the edges as well as my other 1911s.

On the Kimber front, I've had three and still have two. My three Kimbers were an Eclipse Custom II, a Custom Royal II and a Desert Warrior. I still have the two former and the latter was let go even though it was the most functionally reliable.

The Desert Warrior was 100% with hard ball ammo, but slightly selective of JHP loadings, it was also much more loosely fitted than either of my other two Kimbers. Accuracy was there, but I really did not care for the very slick Kim-Pro II finish coupled with the fairly aggressive melt treatment. The slide was difficult to rack with cold, or wet (i.e. sweaty) hands, and the grip wasn't the most positive due to the slippery finish and the lack of front strap checkering. What I liked about the gun was that it had an excellent trigger for a production level gun and it lacked the Series II Swartz safety system found on my other two Kimbers.

Both the Eclipse and Royal are decent guns, but I'm not sure that they were worth the price I paid for each respectively. I don't particularly care for the Series II Swartz safety and had issues with it on my Royal II requiring a trip back to Kimber. Apparently the push rod that disengages the firing pin block was slightly out of timing and wouldn't properly disengage the firing pin block every once in a great while (three out of 100 rounds approximately). The system on that gun now works, but I don't trust the gun for carry purposes because of this prior issue.

The Eclipse has been a bucket full o headaches from day one. The chamber had to be reamed out as it was too tight from the factory, the gun is highly ammunition selective and the same way with magazines. The long and short of it is I really want to likle this gun because it has great potential and I love the striking appearance, but thus far it's just not delivered.

The long and short of this rather lengthy post is your best bet in the $1,100 price range would be a Colt or Springfield. With a substantially higher budget, Wilson is the way to go. The gun is fitted tightly, but not overly tight as I feel the Baer is, the accuracy is far better than I can capitalize on, and the gun's dimensions are perfect for SD use.


February 14, 2011, 03:59 PM
I love my Springer Mil Spec! It's a good 1911 to start with. Plus, it's a great platform for future customization. Hope this helps.


February 14, 2011, 06:19 PM
For $1150, go with an STI Trojan or an STI Duty One. Those are truly top notch guns. But, I also dearly love my Kimber Custom II. Those would be what I recommend Have a good day!

February 14, 2011, 08:22 PM
The overriding asset of owning and shooting the 1911 is the fact that every one has a sameness that allows you to pick up any of them blindfolded, and hit something with it. No fumbling around, wondering if it's a decocker, where's the safety, up or down, where's the mag release, SA/DA. Pick it up, down with the safety, pull the trigger. All 1911's pretty much feel the same.

Dude! That's like saying all women are the same - everything's in the same place and they all act alike. Note - sorry for sounding sexist and I sure don't want to open that can of worms.

In that price range you can get something with a few more amenities. I'm not a big fan of "entry level" or "the way JMB designed it" 1911s. I like things like beaver-tail grip safeties, commander hammers, extended safety, three-dot or night sights, front strap checkering, etc. Manufacturers that will serve you well include (but are not limited to, and in no particular order) Springfield, Colt, Smith & Wesson, STI, and Kimber. Go to a gun store (with no intention of buying this trip) and handle as many as you can. Check weight, balance, control operation, and overall feel.

Take your time and get something you are happy with. After all, it's your first 1911. :-)

Caution: 1911s are highly addictive.

February 14, 2011, 11:11 PM
Find a brand with a good reputation for reliability and customer service.

Choose a fairly basic model with sights you like and a comfortable trigger.

Shoot it! Most of the bells & whistles can be added on later if you decide you need them.

February 15, 2011, 12:00 AM
I would recommend a Kimber and yes I do own one. I have shot other 1911's the last of which was a Springfield and I can tell you as far as accuracy it was not even in the same zipcode as my Kimber. They are a bit pricey but mine shoots incredibly well. The trigger is as smooth as any I have ever fired. I love it.

February 15, 2011, 01:27 AM
Don't let people tell you you can't carry a full-size 1911. Many of us do. I carry a Kimber Custom II year-round, including 100+ degree summers.

February 15, 2011, 07:36 AM
For my B Day my wife got me a very nice, gently used, Colt XSE Lightweight Commander. No issues, great price..... I couldn't be happier.

February 15, 2011, 08:15 AM
I have owned many 1911's...several Kimbers, two Springfields, a Para and a Norinco...even and STI...just to name a few. Now I only own one. A Colt. A series 70 Colt Combat Commander to be specific.

Get a Colt and you will never look back.

February 15, 2011, 03:42 PM
I've always been partial to Colt and never had any issues. Used to shoot competition with a Carniak-tweaked Series 70 set up for bullseye and it was very accurate.

Also carried a Series 80 and had no problems of any kind with it either. Not as outright accurate as the 70, but not as tightly fitted and had irons as opposed to the adjustables on the comp gun. Plenty accurate for its intended purpose.

Recently picked up a S&W 1911 PD and am most impressed with it. Accurate and a sweet trigger right out of the box.

February 15, 2011, 11:13 PM
They are a bit pricey but I am a Dan Wesson guy myself. Excellent fit and finish. Very high quality parts, No MIM and series 70 is all they make. I really like the bobtail's....just something about the feel.

February 17, 2011, 10:06 AM
I could never bring myself to trade my Colt away, but heck yes, those Dan Wesson 1911's are very well made.

February 17, 2011, 01:50 PM
My pics:
Kimber Custom II or TLE II (stick to the lower end K's)
STI Spartan
Dan Wesson Heritage
Dan Wesson Valor, Vbob, CCO
Les Baer
Ed Brown

All of these are quality 1911's that you can upgrade and grow with.

But if you are sure your into 1911's to stay, then look towards the Dan Wesson Valor. My favorite. All the same high quality you can expect from W,EB, LB etc. $1800-2200. I like to get 1911's that I know can take some hard use, but are worth refinishing eventually.

No matter what 1911 you pick. Get some Wilson mags and some extra Wilson springs.

February 27, 2011, 06:39 PM
I have a S&W 1911 stainless with Crimson Trace laser grips since they came out with the 1911 a few years back and I love my Smith. It is accurate and will shoot flawlessly any quality factory ammo ( does not Wolf ammo, but will shoot the Tulla Ammo ). It came with Novak Low Mount Carry Sights and I can hit a 2 inch metal plate on a spinning target at 15 and 25 yards. I used to be in Law enforcement and bought a Llamma 1911 45 in 1985 and it was a piece of junk, it would jam and was a P.O.S. in general. I learned a lesson from that and since then I only will buy name brand firearms ( Colt, Smith, Baretta Etc. ) when my life will depend on it. I have seen young guys at the range with P.O.S. off brands and think they got something. One young guy said " I like it, it has all kinds of safetys, and while he was fiddling with it it fired and then wouldn't fire when he was trying. Do you really want to depend your life on something like this?

Go with a name brand, it is worth the extra money if your life is worth it.

February 27, 2011, 06:49 PM
I would like to get a smaller pistol for carrying but, I feel comfortable with my Smith 1911 and The best way I came up with carrying it is to just stick it in my waistband without a holster. If it is winter I like carrying it in a slide holster or preferably my Blackhawk Serpa.

The Blackhawk is really a comfortable and rock solid holster. Your pistol won't fall out till you push the release button and you also have the tension screw as well. I hunt with mine and it gets banged around the boat and camp all week and takes the weather too! The main thing I like about the Blackhawk is it will not come out and fall in the water when I'm in my duck boat and pulling my dog in and stuff.

Nobody asked me about the holster stuff but I just saw somebody's comment about carrying the 1911. It's a little big but not to bad.

February 27, 2011, 08:10 PM
taurus and lots of ammo

February 27, 2011, 08:19 PM
I agree with Quick Draw...kind of. Get a Rock Island Armory, buy a ton of ammo, and then go and shoot it a ton. An RIA tactical can be had for around $400-$450. I shoot along side friends with Kimbers, Colts, Sigs, etc. and my RIA shoots just as well. We all shoot each others and all come up with similar groups. Granted my RIA is not a Brown or Baer or Wilson, but if I bought one of those I would'nt be able to afford to shoot it. And I do carry my 5" 1911 Rock regularly.

February 27, 2011, 09:28 PM
I had a chance to buy one a while back for a great price and passed on it because money was tight. I thoroughly believe that you should buy the best gun that you can afford, your life may depend on it someday. The thing that I like best about the Baer is that it has no MIM parts and they are tight as drum. That said, I currently own 9 1911's. Two of them are Taurus, two are Rock Islands and 5 are Kimbers. I have had no problems with the Taurus guns and they are the most accurate of the guns I own. One of them does have a very light thumb safety but it hasn't caused any problems yet. I have over three thousand rounds through each. I don't carry either because they are just too big, but they are great guns. As for the Rock Islands, I have a 9mm Tactical and a 45 Comp Tac. The 9mm is for the range only and I have had some feeding problems with HP ammo. Again I do not rely on this gun for self defense. The Comp Tac is a different story. I bought it used for $325 and it has handled Hps pretty much flawlessly. It does not like my handloads and will fail to return to battery with them waaay too often. I have carried it on occassion but I have better options and I would like to have this gun gone over proffesionaly before betting my life on it. Before I get to the Kimbers let me say this about a couple of Springfields and Colts I have owned. The two Springfields were great for the time I owned them. They were both full sized guns which is why I let them go. The two Colts that I owned were the reason that I did not own another 1911 for 15 years.
Kimber, as I said, I have 5 right now. I have a Tactical Pro II which is my everyday carry gun. It came to me lightly used and thorougly worthless as a defensive gun. It would not feed a mag of FMJ without jambing. I had it worked over by a friend and it has been thorougly reliable since. I have shot this gun In IDPA almost exclusively. I have a Kimber Eclipse pro Target which is incredibly good looking. It has been very good though not flawless. I don't carry this gun because of the Target sights. I also have a Kimber Eclipse pro which I do carry occasionaly when I feel like dressing up a little. It has been very good though I probably do need to wring it out a little more. I also have two ultras which are both relatively new to me. Again they came to me lightly used. I have had the blued one the longest and have several hundred rounds through it without a problem. It is lightweight and incredibly compact. I will be putting night sights on both of them in the future. I got the blued one in a trade for one of the Springfields. It was like new with all the accesories. The day I picked it up at my dealers a stainless one came in. The guy who owned it fired exactly one round through it, directly into his ceiling.:what: I just picked it up a couple weeks ago and have not had a chance to make sure that it is reliable. I do like these little guns for their size and weight.

February 27, 2011, 09:43 PM
Literally bought my kimber ultra crimson carry yesterday, LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!! polished the extractor a hair and all those dreaded feed issues went away, been shooting ot all day, love it

February 27, 2011, 11:28 PM



Anyone of these work for me....

February 28, 2011, 01:28 AM
Kimbers have been getting a bad rap, lately, due to their use of MiM parts, and overall quality control.

Truth is, this is a golden age in which to be buying a handgun; really, any reputable manufacturer makes a pistol that is at least very good, and/or has great warranty support.

Colt's have great cachet and resale value. Smith & Wesson is producing a great, consistent 1911.

Springfield lacks the Colt cachet, so far, but makes a quality product.

Sigs are terrific.

Can't speak to Dan Wesson, but they review well.

I haven't shot a Taurus 1911, but a good deal of previous Taurus experience suggests the good ones are good, and the bad ones are not uncommon.

The custom makers are outstanding, but do not accomplish anything, functionally, more than a good 1911. But, they are very cool; I have a $3.000.00 1911, and actually prefer my Sig. Hey - Ferraris are transportation, just like Fords, and some folks are willing to pay more for the vroom!

Hope this is useful,


February 28, 2011, 05:12 AM
Les Baer. Yes, I am bias.

February 28, 2011, 09:39 AM
Nothing at all wrong with Kimber...I love my Custom TLE II, and wouldn't hesitate to buy another. That being said, I wouldn't shy away from either a Colt or a Springfield, either. As a matter of fact, I hope to add one of each to the family one day.

Stick with the Kimber Custom II or TLE II, Springfield Mil-Spec, or Colt Series 80 or 1991 and you can't go wrong.

February 28, 2011, 10:14 AM
If it doesn't have a "Horse" on it, it's not a .45.................

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