Budget 1911's


June 6, 2011, 09:19 AM
Alright , budget 1911's , in particular for me would be a Commander or Officers model 3.5 - 4.25 " stainless , Does anyone have any experience with any of these firearms and if so could you post a picture and explain your experience?

American Classic (Bersa):

American Classic Amigo Pistol ACA45C, 45 ACP, 3.5 in
American Classic Commander 1911 Pistol ACC45C, 45 ACP, 4 1/4 in

Iver Johnson:

Iver Johnson Hawk Commander 1911 Pistol HAWKP, 45 ACP, 4.25 in,
Iver Johnson Trojan Commander 1911 Pistol TROJAN, 45 ACP, 4.25 in(no stainless)


ATI FX45 Titan Semi-Auto 1911 Pistol ATIGFX45TIS, 45 ACP, 3 in

Armscor Rock Island:

Armscor Rock Island 1911 Compact Pistol 51429, 45 ACP, 3.5 in (not sure if they make a SS version)


Citadel Model 1911 Semi Auto Pistol CIT45CSPBN, 45 ACP, 3.5 in


Taurus Model PT-945 Large Frame Pistol 1945049PRL, 45 ACP, 4 1/4 in BBL (I like it)

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June 6, 2011, 09:36 AM
I've shot only the Taurus 945, and found it good-looking, good to hold and good to shoot. I qualified with it after the old GI match-grade 1911 failed me.
No problems whatsoever.

June 6, 2011, 09:58 AM
Own two 'basic' ATIs and they are both EXCELLENT pistols... very well made and have been flawless shoots!! IMHO for $400 they are exceptional values.
S.A.M. (Philippines) makes both the ATI and Iver Johnson, so they are basically the same pistol... As with Armscor making both the RI line and Citadel.
Have shot several RI pistols and prefer the ATIs, but that's me. No experience with American Classic.
Rock Island has an EXCELLENT Customer Service reputation and totally stands behind their guns, which is a plus.
ATI is 'new' in this area and must establish a CS reputation.
Doubt you'd go wrong with either of these pistolas!... The ATI-GI (Commander) is one of my favorite shoots!!!


June 6, 2011, 11:05 AM
I have the FS G.I. Rock Island Armory and I love mine. I got it and 50 rounds OTD for $500.00. I sent it back to have it tuned for hollow points which cost $75.00 and Arnell(the factory GS) added a Wolf Extra # firing pin spring, now it feeds Buick's! I don't think you can go wrong with their 1911's.:D

June 6, 2011, 01:27 PM
I probably sound like a broken record on the RIAs, but here it goes: I have 3, 2 GI and 1 compact. I think I am up to close to 4,000 rounds fired through the 3 of them. No FTF, no FTE. I clean them after each range session, and wipe them down on a maintenance schedule.

I bought all three, OTD for around $1200. The GI models were consecutively numbered (nice bonus there.) I use Chip McCormick magazines in them, besides the factory ones, and there have been absolutely no issues.

Excellent value, a quality product right out of the box.

June 6, 2011, 06:19 PM
So basically what you guys are saying is that these "budget" 1911's are excellent buys , thats really good news , because I cant really shell out the big money for the Colts, Kimbers, Springfields,SW,SIGs , I think I will be pretty happy with one of these guns , I really want a Stainless though !

June 6, 2011, 06:28 PM
these are BallesterMolinas...I paid $250.00 for one, and $400.00 [more recently] for the other...

June 6, 2011, 07:25 PM
RIA Tactical (better sights than GI model, only a few bucks more)

June 6, 2011, 07:41 PM
YES... these 'budget' 1911s ARE excellent buys. Don't think you'd go wrong with either a RIA or ATI as your 'entry' 1911.
Also, I would definitely ditto Ronsch... Get some CHIP McCORMICK Power Mags for your 1911s... that's all I use and they'll feed anything.
Sometimes the stock mags can be fussy with JHP ammo and some ball ammo.

June 7, 2011, 12:36 AM
I have three RIA's, and have to resist the urges to buy more. They offer a 9mm Tactical now, and I'ma wantin' me one.

June 7, 2011, 12:45 AM
i'd get a springfield armory champion GI before any of those you listed. they're around $550 :)

it's 4inches, rather than the "commander length" of 4.25 inches, if that matters.

June 7, 2011, 12:56 AM
Nice to hear people owning multiple RIA and ATI 1911's. That makes me more confident in the brand to go and purchase one.

June 7, 2011, 02:24 AM
Go to any of the 1911 forums and ask about RIA's there, most of those folks love 'em too.

June 7, 2011, 08:10 AM
I've got an American Classic full length GI model that has been wonderful.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2489/5806210633_064a2e3e5c_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mx5chris/5806210633/)
IMG_3511 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mx5chris/5806210633/) by Chris.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/people/mx5chris/), on Flickr

June 7, 2011, 08:16 AM
I found this interesting, http://www.armytimes.com/offduty/technology/offduty-gear-scout-pimp-your-1911-060611w/

bdb benzino
June 7, 2011, 05:05 PM
They are all good, but Metro Arms American Classic is head and shoulders above of the rest.

June 7, 2011, 05:46 PM
I have a Rock Island Tac that has been a great gun. I have yet to find a bullet type or brand that it wont feed, or a magazine it wont feed from. It goes bang every time and puts the bullet right where I aim it. The factory trigger is better than in 1911s that I paid twice the money for.

June 7, 2011, 05:47 PM
I have an American Classic II 5" that has been 100% reliable. I paid $450 for it and it is worth every penny.

June 8, 2011, 06:46 AM
Take a look at the Regent 1911's. Mine has been nothing but reliable and is the most accurate handgun i've shot

June 8, 2011, 10:47 AM
+1 for the ATI. I think it shoots better than my Sig 1911......

June 8, 2011, 02:30 PM
I really like the idea of the Rock Island 1911s, glad to know several of you have good things to say about them. I am considering picking one up, but I really do not like the grips on them.

What are some good checkered darker wood grips to replace the stock ones? I suppose that question is in general to 1911s, but I am not sure of reputable manufactures.

June 8, 2011, 04:41 PM
You'll find any grip you want on Ebay. Just make sure you get the right size, there are more options for the gvmt (full size) frame, but quite a few for the officers frame too.
I had these on mine for a while, the other side is checkered w/o the finger grooves.

Now it looks like this.

June 8, 2011, 04:45 PM
Nice looking gun in both pics. I like the black grips, it makes the gun look especially evil.

June 9, 2011, 09:08 AM
I really like the fact that there are "budget" 1911's out there and the quality is pretty darned good! Thats great news for those of us who cant afford Kimbers,Colts,Les Baer or Wilsons!

June 9, 2011, 01:56 PM
Mine has been great, and is better equipped than a comparably priced Springfield Armory.

Model: GI Expert. The finish appears to be a powdercoat instead of parkerizing. It comes with two stainless 8 round mags, both sights are dovetailed in, and nice tight construction.



I've shot two action pistol matches with it. The first time, when I borrowed some bad mags, it jammed quite a lot. With the factory mags and Chip McCormick mags, it is flawless.

I changed out the plastic grips for Hogue wrap-arounds, and I'm thinking of upgrading the sight to adjustable, but that's all. It was $550. I think Bud's has them for even less.

If you're not dead set on the 1911 platform, consider a CZ 97B. Those who have them say they'll shoot alongside 1911s costing 3X as much. I've got one on the way. I paid $500 lightly used. New, they'll be $550-600 I think. I'm looking forward to the 10 round capacity and less mag-changing during competition. (I don't like the protruding 10-rounders for 1911s)


Para built their name on double stack 1911s; you might consider one of those also. (parausa.com, I believe)

June 9, 2011, 05:01 PM
Getting just a bit higher in price will get you a into a STI Spartan or the new Ruger (once the price gouging goes away).

I'm starting to think we're in a golden age of personal firearms. Everything from tiny pocket pistols to custom 1911 pistols.

June 9, 2011, 05:56 PM
A 3.5" barreled compact Tactical and a 9mm FS Tactical. I like them both though they are not as refined as a lot of other guns out there. I also have two Taurus PT1911's in the Duo-tone finish. They are great looking guns with all the bells and whistles you could want. They are exremely reliable and shoot very well too. They range in price from $450 to $600 depending on finish and caliber. Right now I am wanting an american Classic Commander, preferably in the Hard Chrome finish. The blued version does look pretty nice, and sells for about $80 less. The new Ruger is very nice if you like stainless gun, and I do. I currently have a S&W ES on Layawy and for the money it has a lot of nice features.

June 9, 2011, 09:54 PM
Not having read alll the responses, but I did glance over them, I've read nothing but good obout the Armscor/Rock Island Armory 9mm and .45ACP Tactical versions. They actually make the frame, slide and barrel for the STI Spartan, in .45ACP. I have been looking into a 9mm Tactical version myself and was lucky enough to run into a guy at the range the other day that was ever so nice to offer me a chance to shoot his .45. It sold me. I'll be ordering my 9mm in about two weeks, if I don't get one at the next gun show first. For the money, they are worth it.

June 11, 2011, 04:02 AM
I leaning pretty hard towards a Rock Island Commander. Springfield or Colt in good used. I don't like all the extra geegaws. Just straight.

The guy with the Ballester Molina has a pretty good idea too. Once you get used to the pivoting trigger its kind of cool. Some are made with steel from the Graf Spee. I think they're a bargain.:cool:

June 11, 2011, 08:52 AM
@ RugerMcMarlin:

Tangental Reasoning: For every point I make, you bring up 2 unrelated subjects.

Freedom of Speech,....how can I say this without being censored?

I love it!!!!! The first one is about talking to the wife , the second one is our government!!!

July 23, 2011, 09:48 PM
I don't think they make the frame and slide for STI. Armscor is not the same company as Armscorp....which i believe is from South Africa. They are the ones who make stuff for STI.

ol' scratch
July 23, 2011, 11:29 PM
I also own a Rock Island. It has been a great pistol. If you want a no frills 1911, it is the way to go. I have never had a problem with mine and it eats JHP's and SWC's with no problem.

July 23, 2011, 11:55 PM
My budget 1911 choice was a American Classic II. I was able to compare fit and finish against a few competitors and it was way nicer than the others I saw. The Para that was in the case was not a weapon I would buy. The safety was totally mushy. The feed ramp was unpolished and the slide/frame/barrel fit was really loose. My AC is "tight as a drum". The slide to frame fit is perfect and the barrel was perfectly fitted with almost no movement. The ramp was nicely polished and the finish it a really nice blue. The only changes I've made to it are to fit a nighthawk medium trigger, grips, non extended slide stop, and a stronger plunger spring for more positive safety action. Most guys I showed the gun to said it was perfect already but I like my safety a little stiffer. I've have 5 different 1911s and this is the only one I've had that works 100%. I wouldn't trade it for another 1911 whether it was more expensive or not. It is also the only pistol I've found that I shoot as well as my M&Ps. It will probably even replace my M&P for winter carry and I intend to compete with it as well. The other 1911s I've had almost made me swear off the 1911 but the ACII has made a convert of me. I plan on getting a compact model for summer carry next year. My M&P will have over 10,000 rounds through it by then and its starting to whine about retiring.

July 24, 2011, 09:07 AM
I am in the market for a budget 1911 as well. I went into the local shop to see if they had any RIA Tacticals in stock, they did not, however they did have some "American Classic" Models. They were pretty nice, and blued instead of Parked, not bad for about the same price. Just one more choice added to an already long list.

Right now I think The RIA is going to be the one, good track record, I have shot some, and their record of customer service.

July 26, 2011, 02:20 PM
I've only had a chance to handle a RIA briefly and it was some time ago. From what I read on line they get very few complaints. From what I hear the customer service is also very good. I don't think you can go wrong. The bigger question to me is if the RIA and the Metro Arms work so well, why spend the money for a higher end 1911? Other than the name I don't think it would be worth it for me at all.

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