1911 --Best quality makers?


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Strykervet
June 13, 2011, 06:07 PM
Been looking at getting a 1911. I am your typical Glock guy, I have most of them, and I shoot them well. They are great tools that work when you need them. But they are ugly as sin, and as one who appreciates fine tolerances in machinery that works like a Swiss watch, I'd like to get something fine after my current projects are wrapped up.

I have my eyes on the Ed Brown Executive Carry. I also like their Custom model (and their 100yr. anniversary model is SWEET --but for $7000, I'd frame it, not fire it).

I've compared this pistol to a S&W 1911 and the Smith wasn't even close. The Ed Brown is a spectacular piece of machinery. I was surprised, as I thought the Smith would have been fine piece, and perhaps it was, but the difference between the two was night and day.

My question to 1911 savvy shooters is, which manufacturers are the best ones to go with? I am looking for fit and quality of machinework. Reliability and such must be a given for the price (any $1500 - $2500 pistol better be).

And I'll rephrase this. If I were to get only one 1911, and a fine one at that, who should I look at? I know of Ed Brown (who I am leaning towards) and Wilson. Who sets the standard for 1911 construction?

Thanks!

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Zerodefect
June 13, 2011, 06:34 PM
In order of price I like these factory pistols:
Dan Wesson 2010+
Les Baer, especially the monoliths.

Each needs some minor changes to get me really excited.


Extra High quality:
Ed Brown
Wilson

I like the Fusion Kits as well. And any DW or LB tuned and refinished by Severns custom.




I ommitted the also very good Nighthawk, STI, and SVI because those dunces can't deliver a 1911 to my local shop without billboards ingraved in it as big as my head.

surjimmy
June 13, 2011, 08:43 PM
Les Baer, he even answers his own phone.

JROC
June 13, 2011, 08:53 PM
When I think 1911's I think of Colt. They are the original maker of the gun, and the are very good 1911's. Sure you can get a fancier 1911 than a Colt, but the high Colt guns are still very nice pieces, and much cheaper than Wilson, Ed Brown, etc. Plus they hold their value better than others. You can get a nice 100 yr anniversary Colt right now, and I would love to pick one up. I have a Colt Combat Elite, and its is a very good gun. JMO There are a lot of nice 1911 out there though.

ColtPythonElite
June 13, 2011, 08:57 PM
Unless I were a hardcore, gotta have the best, getting paid to shoot competitor, I'd skip the "best" and get one of the "betters"....I'd get a Springfield Loaded or Range Officer and keep $800 to $1700 bucks in my pocket.

Manta77
June 13, 2011, 10:04 PM
Check out the Colt XSE....I have a stainless 100yr edition. It's one fine piece. Flawless from day one.

MICHAEL T
June 13, 2011, 10:35 PM
Buy a new Colt send to Wilson . Have a trigger job Wilson barrel installed Less money and will do the job.

1858
June 13, 2011, 10:50 PM
If you have $2,500 to spend on a 1911 you really can't go wrong with an Ed Brown or a Wilson Combat. Personally, I don't feel any urgent desire to buy a Wilson after shooting a friend's CQB, but they are excellent 1911s. I have a Special Forces and Special Forces Carry, and the attention to detail leaves me wanting nothing and I'm a picky bastard. Perhaps the only subjective change I'd like to make would be to swap the sights from the standard three dot Trijicon night sights to Heine Straight Eight night sights. Don't forget that Ed Brown 1911's are semi-custom so you can add/delete features. I requested a Maxi-Well and extended mag release on my Special Forces so that those parts would have the Gen III coating. I plan on a Kobra and Kobra Carry this year.

If you want to go to high end production, the Dan Wesson Valor and V-Bob are decent pistols but don't expect anything close to Ed Brown in terms of the attention to detail. I got tired of listing all of the issues with my Valor and V-Bob. I've slowly managed to fix most of them but at $1,800 and $1,900 a piece, I shouldn't have to. I would tell anyone considering a Valor (with black finish) to spend $300 more and buy a Special Forces or Kobra with the Gen III finish ... absolutely no doubt about that one.

Apocalypse-Now
June 13, 2011, 11:27 PM
Springfield Armory Custom shop, then Wilson.

soapboxpreacher
June 13, 2011, 11:48 PM
Eddy, Danny, Les and Wilson!

918v
June 14, 2011, 12:09 AM
Springfield Custom.

0to60
June 14, 2011, 12:35 AM
First thing one needs to be aware of is that the 1911 is a more expensive product to produce than a Glock. Glocks are (IMO) a truly remarkable product in that a TON of quality can be produced for dirt cheap. In order to match Glock levels of quality in a 1911, you're gonna have to shell out some cash. How much? Unfortunately, I don't know. My only experience has been with a $650 Springfield and honestly, its not a high quality gun. It functions fine, but the finish is garbage and I'm not impressed with its durability and wear so far (750 rounds).

Skylerbone
June 14, 2011, 03:41 AM
If time is on your side I'd suggest looking into custom builders and make some calls. You've developed a reasonably generous budget and while many of the above suggestions fit your criteria just as many do not. You may even get lucky if someone has a used pistol in stock ready for you final modifications.

Another option would be auction watching. A few more names for you: RRA (Rock River Arms, NOT the same as RIA), Harrison Custom, Severns Custom, Jardine Custom, Clark's Custom, Nighthawk and Volkmann.

If you are discerning about workmanship then semi-custom or used custom is what you want. Best of luck in your hunt.

Jed Carter
June 14, 2011, 04:47 AM
Nothing wrong with an Ed Brown... Or Wilson Combat, Les Baer, Highthawk Custom. Was the S&W a Performance Center 1911? They are really good shooters, hand fit, I would not overlook a deal on one. I may be the only one, 1911 prices are just plain stupid. $200 pistols going for $500... $2000 pistols going for $5000. I left Colt off my list for a reason, they "used" to make some of the finest production 1911s. Get what trips your trigger, but beware, bet you can't get just one.

Winkman822
June 14, 2011, 08:53 AM
Wilson, Volkmann Precision (formerly Volkmann Custom), Nighthawk, Ed Brown, and Les Baer, in that order, are at the top of the list.

451 Detonics
June 14, 2011, 12:00 PM
For a carry gun in a 1911 I would go with the Clark Meltdown on a Commander. Full size for mostly range I would lean towards a STI 2011 like the Eagle 5.0.

Apocalypse-Now
June 14, 2011, 12:02 PM
Eddy, Danny, Les and Wilson!

who's "Danny"? :eek:

Rinspeed
June 14, 2011, 02:15 PM
who's "Danny"?



....... :D

SwampWolf
June 14, 2011, 02:17 PM
Danny-as in Dan Wesson?

Sean Smith
June 14, 2011, 04:44 PM
If you don't have very specific requirements I'd say just get the Ed Brown. That's what I'd do.

If you do have very specific requirements then a custom job might be your best bet, but even with the "big name" guys it's very much a case of buyer beware...I got hosed by a guy who was allegedly among the best because he'd expanded his shop and given my job to a FNG instead of doing it himself.

Zerodefect
June 14, 2011, 05:10 PM
First thing one needs to be aware of is that the 1911 is a more expensive product to produce than a Glock. Glocks are (IMO) a truly remarkable product in that a TON of quality can be produced for dirt cheap. In order to match Glock levels of quality in a 1911, you're gonna have to shell out some cash. How much? Unfortunately, I don't know. My only experience has been with a $650 Springfield and honestly, its not a high quality gun. It functions fine, but the finish is garbage and I'm not impressed with its durability and wear so far (750 rounds).

So true.

My 1911's that are compareable to my Glocks cost 2-3 times more. My experience with Kimber/Springy/Colt clearly shows, for me at least, that low end 1911's don't even come close to a Glock 23/22/35.

<$1000 1911's are rust prone, come with terrible magazines, may or may not feed HP ammo well, and have a grip safety set up way too conservative making "retention position" shooting hard, sometimes, for many shooters.

Tennifer is hard to duplicate. Melonite and hard hat treatments are very expensive.

I have to spend a ton of time on a 1911 fitting the thumb safety and sensitizing the grip safety and it's still not as fast out of the holster as a stock Glock.

My Glock 23 with everything fixed up proper totals out around $800.
A DW VBOB fixed up to do the same job ,for me, would run $2000-2200.

Fixing up a 1911 gets expensive fast. Everyones tastes are different, plenty of skilled shooters running box stock 1911's. But if your benchmark is a Glock, that's a steep challenge for an old rusty 1911.

So keep in mind that not every Wilson out there is a super expensive exotic model. Sometimes it may be better to go straight to the EB or W, rather than fix up a LB, DW, or especially a Colt.





But when it's all said and done, a 1911 custom fitted to your hands and style is priceless. There is an "X factor" with 1911's, an unquantifiable coolness from the look, solid feel, and awesome trigger that other more modern guns can't touch.

The trick is to know exactly what you want in a 1911 before you buy one. You have to do your homework.

Some times a factory gun can get really close to what you want. I only had to swap sights, and the mag release to get my DW V exactly where I need a 1911 to be. (give or take the time I spent sensitizing the grip safety and cutting the thumb safety paddle)

If I also wanted a flush crown, slide top serrations, etc. I would have just ordered a custom Fusion, Ed Brown, or Wilson.

Magoo
June 14, 2011, 05:25 PM
I think the bases are pretty well covered. The top guys are the top guys.

But just to add:
Tennifer is hard to duplicate. Melonite and hard hat treatments are very expensive.

I had a Springer refinished with what the guy called "atranite" or "antranite", which is supposedly comparable to tennifer/melonite. My pistol shows no sign of rust and everything else around here rusts if not stored with a coat of oil. He charges ~$125 (If I remember right) and has a lifetime recoat policy of $25 if you muck it up.

DRYHUMOR
June 14, 2011, 06:38 PM
Have you considered getting one built, how you want it, for the most part?

The Wiry Irishman
June 14, 2011, 06:40 PM
Don't forget about about SVI. My SVI makes my Les Baer seem like a Phillipino gun.

Rinspeed
June 14, 2011, 10:01 PM
I had a Springer refinished with what the guy called "atranite" or "antranite", which is supposedly comparable to tennifer/melonite. My pistol shows no sign of rust and everything else around here rusts if not stored with a coat of oil. He charges ~$125 (If I remember right) and has a lifetime recoat policy of $25 if you muck it up.



Tennifer, melonite, atranite, hard hat are all the same finish but it's not really a finish, more of a treatment. More specific it's salt bath nitriding and has been used in other industries for a very long time.

jackpinesavages
June 14, 2011, 10:04 PM
I have and extremely enjoy an STI TargetMaster and a Caspian custom. Incredible shooters, IMO. I only just got the 1911 flu 2 years ago, that trigger is incredible.

I instruct and assist in some firearms classes and get to talk with a lot of people about pistols. One fellow has a drooling large 1911 collection: Wilson, Brown, Wesson, STI, SVI, etc.. Around 20 1911 pistols. He said he's ready to start thinning the 1911 herd as he found the one that puts all the rest to shame: The Les Baer ThunderRanch. Now, I must find one!

Ala Dan
June 15, 2011, 04:20 AM
Les Baer, Nighthawk, Ed Brown, or Wilson

any of these will serve you well~! ;) :D

Winkman822
June 15, 2011, 02:34 PM
My highest marks still go to Wilson Combat and Volkmann Precision...I'm not familiar with any reports of someone hearing the word "no" insofar as an option to add/omit from a build.

Ankeny
June 15, 2011, 07:34 PM
A "Best Grade" pistol by Dane Burns is pretty hard to beat.

SSN Vet
June 15, 2011, 07:44 PM
But when it's all said and done, a 1911 custom fitted to your hands and style is priceless. There is an "X factor" with 1911's, an unquantifiable coolness from the look, solid feel, and awesome trigger that other more modern guns can't touch.

Well said. When you hold that slab of steel in your hand....it's a unique experience. You definitely don't ever want to be pistol whipped with one. I've been very pleased with my new production s1991 Colt. 100% reliable! When you learn the details that make for a great running 1911, you'll find that your Colt has them. (hint: an uber tight slide to frame fit is NOT one of them.)

As for accuracy potential.....just look at what top bullseye competitors shoot..... 1911s

KingMedicine
June 15, 2011, 09:56 PM
Fusion firearms!

Pilot
June 16, 2011, 07:43 AM
I don't have any of the high end 1911's, but I do have a couple of Colt 01918 WWI Repros which are stunning, very accurate and have run 100%. In fact all my Springfields also have run 100% from day one, just like the Colts. All my 1911's have been flawless, out of the box from day one. I don't see the need to spend several thousand more on 1911's when I can get nice Colts and others for under $1K that look and perform great.

I do understand that the Les Baers and Wilsons are stellar 1911's, with superb fiit and finish.

Winkman822
June 16, 2011, 12:07 PM
Just to toss a couple other makers into the mix, Mars Arms and Cylinder and Slide both have very nice 1911s.

ohio58
June 16, 2011, 03:42 PM
Get the LES BAER ......I have a Thunder Ranch and it is a beautiful shooting machine.! The best 1911 and it was only $1700...

rellascout
June 16, 2011, 04:05 PM
While I love my Les Baer TRS it is no where near the top of the heap. When you look around there are full house custom 1911s which are well over $5000 which have a greater attention to detail than the semi-custom guns like Ed Brown, Wilson Combat and Le Baer.

http://www.cylinder-slide.com/1911repro/jpg2.jpg

http://volkmannprecision.com/main/slides/coins_and_books_2_edits.jpg

http://www.heirloomprecision.com/mediumfoto/photos/Ted_Yost/2008_Signature_Grade_10mm_LW_Commander/SG_10mm_LW-Commander_1.jpg

http://www.heirloomprecision.com/mediumfoto/photos/Jason_Burton/2008_Best_Grade_Colt_Stainless_Series_70_1_of_5/BGC_Series_70_1.jpg

Skylerbone
June 16, 2011, 09:18 PM
The OP stated he was not looking for a $7000 pistol merely a well built, reliable example with tighter than normal standards and an attention to detail that will be used as JMB intended. His budget suggestion excludes most full customs unless used.

rellascout
June 17, 2011, 09:01 AM
The OP stated he was not looking for a $7000 pistol merely a well built, reliable example with tighter than normal standards and an attention to detail that will be used as JMB intended. His budget suggestion excludes most full customs unless used.

Right I and I think others understand that but there are a lot of posts in this thread making claims that the semi-custom brand X is the end all be all of fit and finish. IMHO this is just not the case.

In the under $2500 range I like the following based on value which is completely subjective.


Les Baer: Not the best but at around $1800 you get more for your money. They do not have the greatest finish. My TRS's bluing is a little thin. IMHO but they are tight and they are hard fit which puts them well above the DWs.
Custom Colt: Get a $900 Colt 70 series and send it to you named smith of choice. Have them do the work and only the work you want done. No need to buy off the shelf at the $2500 price range. Sights, grips, beavertail, hard tail whatever you want. This is the greatest feature of the 1911 platform which is too often lost in todays, of the shelf production 1911 that looks like a "custom" gun of old, market.
Wilson: Great guns but spendy at almost 50% more than a Les Baer. Lots more options and ablility to customize than the other semi-custom makers.
Ed Brown: Great semi custom guns but basically they make 4 models IIRC with different cosmetics. If one fits what you want that might bump them up over Wilson. I like the Kobra Carry but can't justify the price over my $700 DW CBOB. :)
Dan Wesson which is a production gun which gets you 90% of the way to the semi-custom guys but you will save a lot of coin over Wilson and Brown but I like Baer for just a few hundred more. Barrel fit wins the day here for me.
Colt Custom Shop: Colt Special Combat Govt is an outstanding pistol in the $1800 range. This is hand fitted in the Colt custom shop and is 95% of the way to a custom Colt

Skylerbone
June 17, 2011, 09:23 AM
Agreed rella, my misunderstanding. So long as the OP is aware that say an LB sent out for Hard Hat and a few hours of bench time with the right smith can keep him at budget and meet needs as well. It won't be one of a kind but it can be altered if required.

Rinspeed
June 17, 2011, 09:25 AM
My TRS's bluing is a little thin.




Is there a bluing out on the market that is thick. :confused:

rellascout
June 17, 2011, 09:31 AM
Some blueing is thinner than others. For example the bluing on my 1972 BHP which I carry and has seen a fair amount of holster time shows less wear than the blue on my TRS which has seen less.

rellascout
June 17, 2011, 09:35 AM
Agreed rella, my misunderstanding. So long as the OP is aware that say an LB sent out for Hard Hat and a few hours of bench time with the right smith can keep him at budget and meet needs as well. It won't be one of a kind but it can be altered if required

Honestly I did not feel the need to alter anything on my TRS. I left it as is. I have paid to have other 1911s customized and will continue to do so and more than likely down the road get a few more semi-customs.

With the OPs $$$ constraints I personally think LB is the value choice but it is not as "nice" as a Ed Brown in terms of fit or finish but for me it is a working man's gun which is the entry point to the semi-custom/custom world.

PS I paid abour $1200 IIRC for my TRS LNIB with less than 300 rounds down its pipe. :) :D

Apocalypse-Now
June 17, 2011, 01:57 PM
Is there a bluing out on the market that is thick.

take a look at the baer picture thread on 1911forum. their finish wears in no time.

IMTHDUKE
June 17, 2011, 02:34 PM
Absolutely love this bad boy.........

http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww2/imthduke/GUNS/EDBROWN.jpg

Cards81fan
June 17, 2011, 02:54 PM
take a look at the baer picture thread on 1911forum. their finish wears in no time.
That's the nature of bluing - it's a controlled thin rust that prevents further deterioration of the metal. It pretty much wear quickly in all hard-use applications, particularly cold bluing. I'm a fan of blued pistols, but it's the nature of the beast. A little wear does not bother me on a carried weapon.

But if you want a "thick" combat-type coating, you need to go with a bake-on finish.

Or parkerizing. Heck, isn't the Glock top coat a phosphate (Parkerized) finish, over the Tennifer treatment? Parkerized finishes also take well to being oiled, which enhances their corrosion resistance.

Apocalypse-Now
June 17, 2011, 02:59 PM
That's the nature of bluing - it's a controlled thin rust that prevents further deterioration of the metal. It pretty much wear quickly in all hard-use applications, particularly cold bluing. I'm a fan of blued pistols, but it's the nature of the beast. A little wear does not bother me on a carried weapon.

a little wear doesn't bother me either. however, at the prices that baers command, i would expect a durable finish to be part of the package.

Cards81fan
June 17, 2011, 03:23 PM
Bluing is arguably a nicer finish that costs more money to do right. Personally I would expect bluing to be part of the package on a pistol that costs that much, or go with a bake-on and get a credit back on the price. An extreme example, but Colt's Royal Blue should certainly cost more than a blast of Duracoat. But I agree it does not mean it is the best finish for everyone's needs, in all environments.

It's all a matter of that what an individual perceives as adding more value to them :)

rellascout
June 17, 2011, 03:36 PM
Bluing is arguably a nicer finish that costs more money to do right. Personally I would expect bluing to be part of the package on a pistol that costs that much, or go with a bake-on and get a credit back on the price. An extreme example, but Colt's Royal Blue should certainly cost more than a blast of Duracoat. But I agree it does not mean it is the best finish for everyone's needs, in all environments.

It's all a matter of that what an individual perceives as adding more value to them

+1 to that. Blueing is much harder to do right and have it hold up. In the end the wear on my BHP or Baer does not bother me. The Baer is IMHO the entry point to the high end world and because they have a sub $2000 price point a thinner blue is part of the package.

I have heard of them rebluing guns for customers in the past but I am not sure if they still do it.

Wilsons tuft coat is nice, Black T and others are out there if is is something you care about. I have having a custom Colt CCO done in the Wilson tuft coat because it will be a dedicated carry gun not a BBQ. :)

918v
June 17, 2011, 10:48 PM
Is there a bluing out on the market that is thick.

No, but there are finishes out there like IonBond that look like bluing but are as durable as titanium nitride.

Get R Done Guns
June 17, 2011, 11:46 PM
Did anyone even mention Nighthawk Custom?

38 Super Fan
June 18, 2011, 01:06 AM
Did anyone even mention Nighthawk Custom?

Yes, but no one mentioned Guncrafter which is probably as good as any one in the $2500 or less range.

Moptop
June 18, 2011, 08:38 PM
Baers, Wilsons, Dannys, Browns, ect, are fine machines but are maybe more expensive than the OPs budget. If you want something that shoots straight out of the box and is reliable my vote is for Kimber. Excellent quality, made in the U.S. with a good reputation and they have many styles to choose from.

Get R Done Guns
June 18, 2011, 09:22 PM
Definately Nighthawk Customs is a leader in 1911's. Take a look at them. They will make it purple and pink if you want it that way!

Sam1911
June 19, 2011, 11:46 AM
MOD TALK: The OP asked for 1911 maker suggestions at the level of an Ed Brown, and specifically indicated that mid or low-range guns (even the pretty decent S&W version) were NOT of interest to him. Therefore, spending 20 posts defending and debating the qualities of lower-tier guns is not only off-topic, but is directly hijacking his thread. Don't do that.

rellascout
June 19, 2011, 12:25 PM
Baers, Wilsons, Dannys, Browns, ect, are fine machines but are maybe more expensive than the OPs budget. If you want something that shoots straight out of the box and is reliable my vote is for Kimber. Excellent quality, made in the U.S. with a good reputation and they have many styles to choose from.

Kimbers are not in the same class as the others being mentioned. Sorry but they are production guns. They claimed to have a custom shop but they do not. ALL KIMBERS are production line product. Per the OP he is looking a semi-custom or higher.

Yes, but no one mentioned Guncrafter which is probably as good as any one in the $2500 or less range.

Guncrarters Pistol with no name deserves consideration. They are harder to find and are not as well known.

#NN45 “Pistol with no Name”, .45 ACP (5" - full size) $2495

http://www.guncrafterindustries.com/graphics/pwnn_right_700.jpg

http://www.guncrafterindustries.com/graphics/pwnn_left_700.jpg

Zerodefect
June 19, 2011, 01:37 PM
That Guncrafter look awesome. They're listening to us! No billboards, no cool aid. Just one darn excellnt looking 1911.

Kudos Guncrafter. Kudos.

Can i get $2500 for a kindney?

1858
June 19, 2011, 05:04 PM
That Guncrafter look awesome. They're listening to us! No billboards, no cool aid. Just one darn excellnt looking 1911.

It looks like a 2009 Valor with some work done to the top of the slide, with the old front strap checkering that doesn't go far enough up the front strap and without the ejection port work ... all for $700 more than a Valor. Agree ... disagree?


Per the OP he is looking a semi-custom or higher.

So Dan Wesson shouldn't be mentioned either since they're not semi-custom 1911s. On a side note, the Kimber Stainless Pro Raptor II that I bought a couple of weeks ago has much better barrel fit than either of my Dan Wessons ... go figure!! The witness marks on the lower barrel lugs and slide stop show just how well (hard) the barrel is fitted with zero movement if I push down on the barrel hood. Probably luck more than anything but impressive nonetheless. This goes back to my previous (and deleted) post that mentioned the inverse relationship between luck and cost. When you spend $2,500 and up, you don't expect a 50/50 chance of "getting a good one".

38 Super Fan
June 19, 2011, 05:19 PM
It looks like a 2009 Valor with some work done to the top of the slide, with the old front strap checkering that doesn't go far enough up the front strap and without the ejection port work ... all for $700 more than a Valor. Agree ... disagree?

The Valor is a very nice production level 1911, but it's not in the same league as the No Name, which is one of the finest semi customs available.

1858
June 19, 2011, 05:25 PM
The Valor is a very nice production level 1911, but it's not in the same league as the No Name, which is one of the finest semi customs available.

It might help some here (me included) if you explain the pertinent differences between the "no name" and the Dan Wesson Valor.

rellascout
June 19, 2011, 05:59 PM
So Dan Wesson shouldn't be mentioned either since they're not semi-custom 1911s. On a side note, the Kimber Stainless Pro Raptor II that I bought a couple of weeks ago has much better barrel fit than either of my Dan Wessons ... go figure!! The witness marks on the lower barrel lugs and slide stop show just how well (hard) the barrel is fitted with zero movement if I push down on the barrel hood. Probably luck more than anything but impressive nonetheless. This goes back to my previous (and deleted) post that mentioned the inverse relationship between luck and cost. When you spend $2,500 and up, you don't expect a 50/50 chance of "getting a good one".

Dan Wesson make 1911s that sell for $1800+ and for some they are worth that. Forged frame & slide along with better attention to detail make them better than Kimbers. IMHO. A Duty Coated Valor is about as good as a production gun gets. DW also does small runs which are equal to the Colt custom shop. They recently put out a hi cap 10mm which they made IIRC 25 of which is a true custom quality gun. Kimber is in capable of making a pistol of that quality.

http://i579.photobucket.com/albums/ss238/Onufriyenko/Articles/2011_SHOT_Show/IMG_3967.jpg

http://i579.photobucket.com/albums/ss238/Onufriyenko/Articles/2011_SHOT_Show/IMG_3977.jpg

IMHO Kimber does not make anything even close. Kimber claims to have a custom shop but they don't. They just charge a custom price. Sound like you got a great Kimber but there are more people who get avg Kimbers at that price point than any other 1911 at that price point. The parts that assembler took out of the bin to assemble your Raptor apparently fit nicely. Score for you... I think that with all Kimbers you are paying the 50/50 game. With Dan Wesson not so much.

If you like your Kimber great. Sell your DWs and get more Kimbers. :) LOL I would never buy a Kimber at any price. They simply do not appeal to me in any way shape or form. Way too much bling over substance. When you compare their prices vs other makers there just isn't the same value. When you look at the time and materials put into the gun it simply does not add up for me. YMMV

Compare that to the avg of 25 man hours + forged premium hand fit parts that go into a Les Baer or other higher end semi-custom or custom gun. This is the difference between the DW Valor and the No name. It is the amount of time put into fitting the parts so that they work not only out of the box but down the road. The accuracy of the fit and the workmanship on the pistol help to get the most out of the pistol in terms of accuracy, reliability and performance. Pistols like the TRS or the No Name are better setup to withstand serious business. It is not just about 15,000 to 25,000 rounds in a lifetime its the ability to fire 2,000 in a day under less than idea conditions. I am not saying that a DW cannot do that many can but you are getting closer to your 50/50 comment IMHO. That is what you get out of the high end 1911s.

I put Dan Wesson up as the best of the production pistols. They get you 90% of the way there for a lot less $$$. But when you get down to the nitty gritty details there is no comparison. IMHO. If I am paying more than $1000 for a pistol I want more hand fitting and better parts. For many users the DW is a better 1911 than they will ever need. To be honest the same could be said about Colt or even Kimber. My issue with Kimber is the quality of parts and construction is simply not high enough to justify the price.

For any shooter looking at 1911s there is a point of diminishing returns. Where that point breaks is an subjective individual choice not a hard and fast rule. I have come to a similar conclusion on a personal level. I certainly can pay more than the $1200 I paid for my TRS but it will not be worth it to me because there is nothing that I ask the TRS to do that it can't. It is up to each individual to determine if they want to pay for it. Like any market some see value in things that others don't.

38 Super Fan
June 19, 2011, 06:13 PM
It might help some here (me included) if you explain the pertinent differences between the "no name" and the Dan Wesson Valor.

Simply put, the difference is in fit. The Valor is great, but there's a lot more hand fitting going on with the NN. I admit it's easy to just say, "it's the fit" but if you shot them side by side, I think you'd see and feel a pretty big difference. :)

1858
June 19, 2011, 09:19 PM
If you like your Kimber great. Sell your DWs and get more Kimbers.

The DWs aren't for sale but I'll never buy another one unless I get offered a NIB for $1,000 or less. I've already addressed the V-Bob issues myself and am almost done correcting the issues with the Valor. Properly fitted Ed Brown barrel bushings corrected the barrel movement and I filed/polished the mag release in the V-Bob until it worked properly. I'm not the sort of person who gives up on a project two days in after trying a couple of quick fixes. If I can fix something myself rather than send it back to the manufacturer, I will. I'm in it the for the long haul and I know what I need, like and want and I'm prepared to put in the effort (Kimber, Dan Wesson) or lay down the cash (Ed Brown) to achieve those goals. I like specific Kimber models (two actually) as project guns. I bought the Raptor for the frame and slide and have already started to work on it to get it to where I want it. That includes all Ed Brown internals, a bobbed frame with an Ed Brown chainlink MSH and black Cerakote. I'll be doing the work myself as usual and will end up with another Kimber just like my USPSA gun that runs 100% reliably and that I enjoy immensely. This doesn't mean that I don't appreciate what $2,500+ 1911s have to offer. I am a big Ed Brown fan and will adding two more to the two I already have. However, I like project guns too since the Ed Browns don't need anything done to them. I check and prove my work by shooting the pistols I work on in USPSA matches. After fitting a considerably more accurate Ed Brown barrel in my Kimber TEII, I placed third in single stack the following weekend with that pistol and would have won if I didn't get reamed by shooting first (and incorrectly) on an ambiguous stage that was poorly explained.


Now back to the subject at hand ... here's some good reading here for anyone looking for a high-end production or semi-custom 1911. I don't agree with Mr. Severns' statistical methods but I like the way he goes through each pistol.

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=286070

1. Fusion Model ‘CCO‘; brand new in the box; chambered in 45acp
2. Wilson Model ‘CQB‘; received near-new, with approx. 20 rounds fired since new; 45acp
3. Colt XS series Model ‘CCO’, carried for approximately the last 10 years, and fired moderately; 45acp
4. 2009 Dan Wesson Model ‘CCO’, in Mint condition; 45acp
5. Kimber original-series (pre-Series II) Model ‘Compact CDP’ in Excellent condition; 45acp
6. Colt original series Model ’CCO’ in Excellent condition; 45acp
7. 2005 original-production Dan Wesson Model ‘CCO’ in Excellent condition; 45acp
8. 2005 original-production Dan Wesson Model ‘CCO’, accurized by Severns Custom; Excellent condition; 10mm caliber
9. (In center) Brand new Les Baer/Severns Custom ‘Black Stinger’ custom pistol, chambered in 45acp
10. Brand NIB Dan Wesson 2010 Model ‘CCO’, chambered in 45acp, and finally:
11. NIB 2010 Dan Wesson Model ‘Valor Bobtail’ (VBOB) pistol; 45acp


http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=255555

1. 2009 Dan Wesson Valor
2. 2009 Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special (TRS, for short)
3. Ed Brown Kobra
4. 2009 Colt Combat Elite
5. 2008 Sig GSR
6. 2009 Fusion Government Model
7. 2008 Severns Custom modified DW Valor
8. 2009 Fusion Firearms Commander Bobtail, in 9mm
9. 1996 Kimber “Series I” Classic Custom

rellascout
June 19, 2011, 09:47 PM
If I can fix something myself rather than send it back to the manufacturer, I will. I'm in it the for the long haul and I know what I need, like and want and I'm prepared to put in the effort (Kimber, Dan Wesson) or lay down the cash (Ed Brown) to achieve those goals. I like specific Kimber models (two actually) as project guns. I bought the Raptor for the frame and slide and have already started to work on it to get it to where I want it. That includes all Ed Brown internals, a bobbed frame with an Ed Brown chainlink MSH and black Cerakote. I'll be doing the work myself as usual and will end up with another Kimber just like my USPSA gun that runs 100% reliably and that I enjoy immensely. This doesn't mean that I don't appreciate what $2,500+ 1911s have to offer. I am a big Ed Brown fan and will adding two more to the two I already have. However, I like project guns too since the Ed Browns don't need anything done to them. I check and prove my work by shooting the pistols I work on in USPSA matches. After fitting a considerably more accurate Ed Brown barrel in my Kimber TEII, I placed third in single stack the following weekend with that pistol and would have won if I didn't get reamed by shooting first (and incorrectly) on an ambiguous stage that was poorly explained.

It sounds like you enjoy the tinkering, building and fixing part of owning 1911s. That is cool I know many people do. It seems like you bought the Kimber for its looks and it shell. The rest goes to the parts bin. For many 1911 shooters the project part of the gun is half the fun.

You do understand not everyone enjoys the tinkering part of 1911s.... ;) I certainly fall into that category. I like to shoot them tinkering with them gets tedious for me. So for me a gun like the TRS suits me.

I find it odd that you advocating/defending Kimber when you mainly use them as a shell. I assume you like their cosmetics for their price since you do not keep anything but the frame and slide. I think you fall into the minority of shooters. The vast majority do not want to strip their $1000+ pistols down to the frame and replace every part. I at times envy those who do.

In the end we just seem to have a different approach. One is not better than the other. IHMO. I like to drive a 20+ year old Mercedes Benz. I do not like working on it. LOL I think you understand the beauty of an Ed Brown and that the workmanship and craftsmanship is a lot of what you are paying for. I guess what I do not understand is why you are not applying that mentality to other semi-custom makers like Guncrafters?

PS. To bad about that stage. Better luck next week... :D

918v
June 19, 2011, 09:59 PM
Brownells sells short-blocks (frame/slide/barrel fitted together). Maybe that's the way to go.

1858
June 19, 2011, 10:03 PM
rellascout, good comments and some good observations.

OP, you should have a better idea as to who the "Best quality makers" are and what benefits a semi-custom 1911 offers over a production or even high-end production model. I have no experience with true custom 1911s and only have experience with Taurus, Colt, Kimber, Springfield, Dan Wesson, Ed Brown and Wilson Combat. $2,500 is as much as I want to pay for a 1911 so that rules out most Wilson Combat models. I don't like blued guns of any sort so that rules out Les Baer whose models look like crap to me anyway. At the end of the day, I have no regrets about spending close to $5,000 on a pair of Ed Browns and will be doing it again, and yet I regret spending $650 on a Savage rifle.

Strykervet
June 24, 2011, 07:35 PM
Thanks for all the posts. I will consider some of the advice here.

10
June 26, 2011, 12:28 AM
Springfield Armory Custom shop. Have it built to your specs!

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