Budget 1911?


PDA






LHRGunslinger
September 19, 2011, 07:17 PM
So who makes the best budget 1911? Something that I don't need to win the lottery for but somethin that ain't made out of pot metal.

If you enjoyed reading about "Budget 1911?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
ColtPythonElite
September 19, 2011, 07:25 PM
How much is your budget good for?

rellascout
September 19, 2011, 07:32 PM
RIA is the best budget 1911 on the market. Personally I think that the tactical is worth the extra money because of the Novak Style cuts.

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/8121/ria9mmtac02.jpg

General Tso
September 19, 2011, 07:32 PM
Rock Island Armory. If I was gonna get a 1911, just save a little more and get a Colt GI version.

ants
September 19, 2011, 07:36 PM
I have several friends who are amazed at how well RIA pistols run,
especially for the price.
For a very low cost 1911 that actually runs, I would look that direction.
I buy reloading components from the man (Advanced Tactical) that does warranty service for RIA,
and I personally vouch for his integrity.

For a bit less than twice the cost of an RIA, the Remington and the Ruger are well built.
So is the STI Spartan, it's an RIA with additional work by STI.

smalls
September 19, 2011, 07:37 PM
Depends on your definition of "budget". Also depends on what you want in a 1911.

rellascout
September 19, 2011, 07:37 PM
For a bit less than twice the cost of an RIA, the Remington and the Ruger are well built.
So is the STI Spartan, it's an RIA with additional work by STI.

The Spartan is a RIA with STI parts. STI does none of the work on them beyond inspecting them before going to the dealer.

Zerodefect
September 19, 2011, 07:53 PM
IBERPMG.In Before Everyone Recommends Pot Metal Guns

You know what I'd recommend.

bdb benzino
September 19, 2011, 08:05 PM
Metro Arms American Classic. I have an RIA that is great too and would still keep the Metro if I was forced to choose.

dcarch
September 19, 2011, 09:15 PM
STI Spartans seem like excellent options, but the Springfield GIs aren't bad either. Like the other guys said, though, a lot depends on what your definition of a budget is.

hey_poolboy
September 19, 2011, 09:18 PM
I've got a Springer GI and a RIA compact tactical. I like them both, but the fit and finish on the Springer is nicer. If it's going to be a range gun I wouldn't hesitate to go with the RIA.

Master Blaster
September 19, 2011, 09:26 PM
Springfield armory mil-spec, they have nice fit and finish and are very accurate(mine is).

TMann
September 19, 2011, 10:00 PM
Another vote for the RIA's. I have two of them, one in 9mm and one in .45. Great guns for the money.

TMann

cuba
September 19, 2011, 10:14 PM
PT1911 11K round of kicking and still making a reliable ticking
http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac210/Cuba1911/DSC00001.jpg

Sky
September 19, 2011, 10:15 PM
I do like the finish on the Metro Arms American Classic ll better than the RIA but they both seem to give their owners happy faces. If you can get your hands on both then you can compare and decide.

MICHAEL T
September 20, 2011, 12:08 AM
American Classic 1st RIA 2nd Taurus 332nd

LHRGunslinger
September 20, 2011, 01:52 AM
How's the RIA 2011? Also I've never heard of Metro Arms. What's their customer service like?

Jed Carter
September 20, 2011, 04:47 AM
I would not consider a low priced double stack 1911, mainly because of magazine and parts issues. Cost, reliability, compatability and availability are all issues, not addressed to my satisfaction.

Ultravox
September 20, 2011, 09:44 AM
I have had zero issues with my Rock Island Tactical. I have about 800 rounds down the pipe and it runs great!

phunk
September 20, 2011, 10:20 AM
Another vote for an RIA have two of them and love them both. Both have been reliable with thousands of rounds.

InkEd
September 20, 2011, 11:00 AM
Depending on the budget my first choice would be a variant from Springfield Armory. If they are too expensive then buy an Armscor/RIA 1911.

I have only handled one Metro Arms 1911 but was not impressed by it.

Skylerbone
September 20, 2011, 11:14 AM
Colt 1991 A1. $800. It works. No funky sight cuts. Better resale. Made here.

Hunterdad
September 20, 2011, 12:49 PM
I love my Regent. Its been 100% reliable since day 1. This is mine, with some work done on it.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r197/adam11082/2011-06-24_17-56-37_741.jpg

bdb benzino
September 20, 2011, 05:26 PM
I would not consider a low priced double stack 1911, mainly because of magazine and parts issues. Cost, reliability, compatability and availability are all issues, not addressed to my satisfaction.
The RIA 2011 is the single stack with a tac rail, not a double stack. They call their double stacks the 1911b.

GhostyDan
September 20, 2011, 05:54 PM
Check out the Ruger SR1911 im sure you could get one for under $700, im getting one soon.

HDCamel
September 20, 2011, 07:44 PM
I vote for the Regent. Under $500, the finish is really good (much better than the RIA in my opinion), and the damn things can nearly put a one hole at 20 yards. Took it with me to my buddy's farm (he is a much better shot than I am) and with a non-modified gun he shot a 2" by 3" group at 70 yards (mine was 6" by 5") and could easily hit a 2' by 2' gong at 100 (I had some trouble).

Also, no reliability issues in 900+ rounds.

boricua9mm
September 20, 2011, 08:00 PM
Springfield armory mil-spec, they have nice fit and finish and are very accurate(mine is).

+1!

In the MIM-filled catfish/budget pistols, SAI has enough of them out there in circulation with a good track record to make this a no-brainer. They've also got a decent group of folks working customer service in the event you need anything.

rellascout
September 20, 2011, 08:04 PM
In the MIM-filled catfish/budget pistols, SAI has enough of them out there in circulation with a good track record to make this a no-brainer. They've also got a decent group of folks working customer service in the event you need anything.

Doesn't that also apply to RIA and Armscor pistols?

If I am going to go over $500 I think the next logical step is the STI Spartan. From there I pretty much go straight to Colt.

Also, no reliability issues in 900+ rounds.

Not to be rude but 900 rounds is nothing. It is barely broken in IMHO. 5,000+ and then we can talk about reliability.

Derry 1946
September 20, 2011, 08:30 PM
Another vote for RIA. Got the plain GI version for $385. Pretty hard to beat.

HDCamel
September 20, 2011, 08:34 PM
I'll admit, it's still new, but GI-spec 1911s don't really need a break in. The Regent doesn't even have a factory recommended break in period. It's sold as good to go off the shelf.

Also, 750 of those rounds were in one long session with no cleaning (the aforementionted farm visit).

I have ABSOLUTELY no doubts that this pistol will work when I need it to.

rellascout
September 20, 2011, 09:01 PM
I'll admit, it's still new, but GI-spec 1911s don't really need a break in. The Regent doesn't even have a factory recommended break in period. It's sold as good to go off the shelf.

Also, 750 of those rounds were in one long session with no cleaning (the aforementionted farm visit).

I have ABSOLUTELY no doubts that this pistol will work when I need it to.

I here you but I just think way too many people declare low round count guns as reliable.

If you are happy I am happy. LOL.

blackspyder
September 20, 2011, 09:19 PM
Another for RIA. I've got the GI MS love the gun to death. About 500 rounds down the pipe before I screwed up and put the reverse plug in wrong, Armscor Precision fixed it for me and I pick up the slide (no frame damage) tomorrow. I gave a premium for the gun because there were almost 0 in the US when I ordered mine (Davidson's listed 20 in stock, other wholesalers were listing none at all in the MS) still got out the door for under $500.

boricua9mm
September 21, 2011, 07:26 AM
Doesn't that also apply to RIA and Armscor pistols?

Personally, I don't consider the track record of Armscorp & RIA to be anywhere near SAI. Also, should one decide to send the pistol out for some custom work later on, there's a lot of smiths who will suggest SAI and won't even touch a Phillipino gun as a base project.

If I am going to go over $500 I think the next logical step is the STI Spartan. From there I pretty much go straight to Colt.

Again, this is personal preferences; I wouldn't even consider a cast frame 1911 like the Spartan, not when quality forged pistols are available in the same ballpark. There's a lot of middle ground in 1911s, and quality varies.

When it comes to Colt, they are a smart choice, but my experience has shown me that the best sub-$1k 1911s currently available are actually coming form SIG. Forged slide & frame, nice CNC machining, checkered front strap, undercut trigger guard, checkered lanyard loop MSH, ideal slide-to-frame fit with a lil' play, Novak Night sights and only 2 MIM parts for ~$830.

rellascout
September 21, 2011, 09:49 AM
Personally, I don't consider the track record of Armscorp & RIA to be anywhere near SAI. Also, should one decide to send the pistol out for some custom work later on, there's a lot of smiths who will suggest SAI and won't even touch a Phillipino gun as a base project.

More reliable based on what? Armscorp has been putting out these budget 1911s for years. The vast majority of shooters who own them report nothing but rock soild shooting with an occasional hiccup. Everyone I have shot or handled was decent for a sub $500 gun.

To me if I am on a budget the SA does not make as much economic sense to me because it is going to cost me 50% more than a similar RIA. I can get OTD on an RIA GI for $400 give or take and a SA Gi is going to be closer to $600. That is $200+ worth of ammo which at todays 45 ACP prices will get you about 600 rounds which for a budget shooter is a ton of ammo.

IMHO those looking for a low end budget 1911 are not going to be sending their guns to a custom shop that would refuse an RIA. The custom work would be more than the gun cost NIB. There was also a time no "real" 1911 smith would touch a SA either. LOL The reality is that most people who are buying buget 1911s are looking for an low round count shooter. They want a 1911 but do not plan on putting 10,000 rounds down the pipe. They want a plinker to shoot a couple hundred rounds a year. What is the SA going to give or do for that type of shooter that the RIA won't? Low end guns are built to get the job done at the lowest possible price point. I personally think that RIA gets that done better than SA in todays market.

Again, this is personal preferences; I wouldn't even consider a cast frame 1911 like the Spartan, not when quality forged pistols are available in the same ballpark. There's a lot of middle ground in 1911s, and quality varies.

When it comes to Colt, they are a smart choice, but my experience has shown me that the best sub-$1k 1911s currently available are actually coming form SIG. Forged slide & frame, nice CNC machining, checkered front strap, undercut trigger guard, checkered lanyard loop MSH, ideal slide-to-frame fit with a lil' play, Novak Night sights and only 2 MIM parts for ~$830.

I guess you would not consider a Custom Caspian 1911 either since you have an issue with a cast frame. I would not want a 1911 with a cast slide, because as Tuner would say that is where it all happens, but a cast frame has been proven to be reliable if cast properly. Ruger has been making cast frames for people for years. IIRC the orginal GSR I owned had a cast Caspian frame. All BHP MKIII guns are cast. Yes I prefer forged but forged does not necessary = better. There are good forgings and bad forgings. Just like there is good MIM and bad MIM.

99% of what is posted here is personal preference. I did not state anything as a matter of fact except that I RIA has long track record of reliability which you have not proven to be false. I personally do not like external extractor 1911s. I have owned a few and none stayed. My Sig GSR's extractor pin walked out of the slide after about 1500 rounds. I had to get is replaced and restaked. I would not buy a new Sig 1911 even though I liked my GSR. Way too many better guns out there IMHO.

Colts will hold their value where the Sig will not. You can get a Colt Combat Elite for $900 shoot thousands of rounds through it properly maintain it and sell it for what you have in it. Again we all have our opinions and preferences and thankfully I do not buy guns with your money and you don't buy guns with mine so we can each exercise our own choices which will mirror our personal preferences.

The funny thing is that I personally do not buy low end 1911s. I only low end 1911 I have owned was a Norinco. I mainly buy Colt, Les Baer, Dan Wesson etc.... but that does not mean I do not see some value in lower end guns they simply do not fit my needs.

PT92
September 21, 2011, 09:24 PM
Hunterdad wrote:

I love my Regent. Its been 100% reliable since day 1. This is mine, with some work done on it.

+1 on the Regent. I picked mine up back when they were sub$400. Now I don't see them for less than $450.

Mine too has been 100% reliable out-of-the-box.

IMHO, it's as good all-around as the RIA's.

-Cheers

Byrd666
September 21, 2011, 09:54 PM
rellascout - So let me add another option that I'd like your opinion on, and I'm NOT trying to be a smart azz. You seem to be knowledgeable on the subject. What about the ATI Thunder or the ATI FX45? Both made by S.A.M, Shooter's Arms Manufacturing. Another Philpino brand with a loyal following in the Asian region. Or the American Classic series by Metro Arms imported by Eagle Imports, the Bersa people.

My "local", 55 miles away, gunsmith swears by the American Classic and said the ATI was a good close second. As far as "low end" stuff goes. Then of course the Kimber, Wilson, etc.

So like I said, I'm asking on behalf of myself and the OP about opinions ideas and comments

Sky
September 22, 2011, 01:05 PM
There have been several threads about RIA and AClls. One thread with one of our members said he purchased a ACll and after a short round count the front sight fell off and something else went wrong but I don't remember exactly all the problems he said he had. Think the rifling was even bad? The point he was making was that the ACll that he purchased was a total POS and his experience with it was like a turtle that wanted to pee in his hand. Paraphrasing....

Now having said all that. It was brought up there seems to be 2 different types of AClls or any other type weapon as far as that goes. Those that are perfect in every way and those that want to give your hand a warm wet feeling of the "undesirable kind". "Odds" seem to say the more expensive the weapon the "odds" are for better parts and quality control. Some of it is true and some is just snake oil and marketing.

Myself and the friends I have who purchased the ACll have not had any negative things to say about their purchases; a few have well over the 5000 round mark. Does that mean the next weapon ACll ( or any other manufactured weapon) that is purchased will be trouble free? Odds are that most will function or the company would be out of business or sales figures would continue and be dismal. The cheer leaders would be putting their pom poms up and hiding their faces at some point!

As much as people complain about Century they still sell a heap of firearms and I have even seen some where the barrel was pressed straight and the sights were not canted off 5 or 10 degrees! Rare but I have seen a few! Prolly the ones they imported but did not screw up by working on them?! See I can repeat what I have read just like anyone; never seen a Century monkey but have certainly heard much about their existence.!

Last guy I know that purchased a very expensive 1911 (starts with a (not gonna say)) had absolutely nothing but problems with FTF or FTE yet still thought jeez what a nice weapon; go figure??? He could have purchased 3 AClls or RIAs and had a lot less problems. But hey, "golly gee Whiz it sure is pretty". He keeps saying it is not fully broken in yet......With the cost of ammo and his goal of breaking in this pistol....... again in ammo alone he could have purchased a (possibly) trouble free 1911. But like he said it sure looks good and has some serious name recognition.

He thinks if it does not ever become reliable he can always sell it for what he paid for it.....maybe so....maybe not...I would have a guilty conscience selling it to anyone myself. But alas I just nod and agree, "maybe another hundred rounds" it will settle down and become a good trusted weapon for him....His money his problem and certainly not my job in life to tell him he got a lemon or got trapped into mine cost more so it has to be better syndrome.

We all have out favorites and they seem to work for our purposes or we get rid of them; hopefully with full disclosure.

The guys who own several different makes and models of the same platform have a wider base of knowledge than those who only own one platform of a particular weapon. Those who fit into that category "to me" with their comments carry a lot more weight. However, it does seem like some say "how sweet a high dollar weapon is" because they have a vested interest in the weapon maintaining it's value and reputation.

I personally know guys who have over $4000 in their ARs who think they are the cats meow and "hey what ever makes their boat float". These same guys fuss and worry to the point of paranoia about getting their pride and joy scratched or dirty and honestly their set up puts a bullet down range just like something that cost 25% as much. Maybe without the same amount of style but POI looks the same. They look good on the range with their sand bags (which cost as much as some pistols, but only the absolute best for this weapon) to do what?? Punch holes in paper?? Again joy for one may not even begin to register on someone else's fun meter.

I was shooting with a guy who was having all kinds of problems with his RIA safety engaging when he fired. It was not the pistol but his thumb was actually popping the safety up causing the pistol to go into safe mode and not fire his next round. He changed the safety and the same thing was happening so he thought the pistol was a POS. He wanted his CHL and was practicing so he was getting perturbed to say the least. He asked me to shoot his RIA and it did not do the same for me. Changed his grip just a little and the problem was solved. He would have never figured it out unless someone watched him do it or he videoed himself and knew what to look for..Trust me I ain't all that but obvious things sometime hit me between the eyes so even I can see them.

Now for a casual observer hearing him rant about the POS safety on the RIA they would have walked away thinking, "Boy I ain't ever gonna buy one of those"! He would probably tell all his friends too.

Life is full of choices some informed and some hearsay. Hard to know when to hold-em or fold them. My 2 cents say the ACll of mine has been trouble free but I do not have that many rounds through it. Hollow points and FMJs all work in mine; so far.....With approximately 4 guys who I have let shoot mine ( including two instructor LEOs) all saying their next 1911 would be an ACll; my pride of ownership is pretty well peaked out..But I like value for my hard earned dollars; again my value system or yard stick of life is not the same as John Doe down the road.

rellascout
September 22, 2011, 01:50 PM
rellascout - So let me add another option that I'd like your opinion on, and I'm NOT trying to be a smart azz. You seem to be knowledgeable on the subject. What about the ATI Thunder or the ATI FX45? Both made by S.A.M, Shooter's Arms Manufacturing. Another Philpino brand with a loyal following in the Asian region. Or the American Classic series by Metro Arms imported by Eagle Imports, the Bersa people.

My "local", 55 miles away, gunsmith swears by the American Classic and said the ATI was a good close second. As far as "low end" stuff goes. Then of course the Kimber, Wilson, etc.


I am no expert by any means but I am a 1911 fan. I like to shoot them but I do not tinker with the too much. I find myself asking tuner1911 questions about this or that as much as the next guy. LOL I buy them shoot them stock for the most part unless I send them out to a professional smith for work. I buy a lot of used guns and I am always looking for value so the low end 1911s intrigue me because they have the potential to get the job done at a very low price point. I have often considered getting a RIA or similar gun just to rip apart and learn to do my own work but have never pulled that trigger. LOL

To answer your question directly I have handled but not shot a ATI. The ones I have seen looked pretty good. I field stripped a few and they looked OK inside. Nothing stood out as great nothing stood out as problematic. Triggers while dry firing were about what I expected. It was not a Les Baer but I did not expect it to be. The same goes for Metro arms. I have handled a few and they seemed fine but no shooting. Neither one impressed me enoug for me to part with my money but then again I don't own a RIA either. :evil:

One of the reasons I like RIAs is that they have a longer track record than a lot of the other budget guns. I have heard positive things about their customer service as well. The ones I have shot were pretty good for a sub $500 1911. Yes there are reported issues but overall most owners of RIAs I have encountered are happy.

In the end choosing a 1911 is a lot about what you are going to use it for. How much you are going to shoot it and what role it will play for you. A range gun has different requirements than a defensive pistol. Most people these days seem to be looking for a 1911 pattern gun as range toy and plan to shoot a modest amount of rounds. I personally consider 1000 a year a modest amount. Almost any 1911 on the market as long as it is not a lemon will do this with reasonable combat accuracy. RIA has proven to meet this need if not exceed it. For many people paying more yields not tangible benefits.

To me what you are paying for in higher end guns is better materials, better fit and finish and better predictablity in production and performance. They are simply made better. Now IMHO higher price does not always = better. To me Kimber looks nice but you are not getting better materials or QC. This does not mean that Kimbers suck IMHO they are just overpriced. I have never owned one but have seen and shot enough to believe that I am justified in my opinion. Guns like Dan Wesson & Colts consistently meet my expectations and shoot more accurately than I do so I stick with them.

I have owned the following brands of 1911s:

Colt
Dan Wesson
S&W
Les Baer
SA
Norinco
Sig Sauer GSR Gen 1

I have shot all sorts of confiigurations. Govt, Officers, CCO & Commanders. The ones that are still around are Dan Wesson, Colt and Les Baer. All the other players have come and gone for one reason or another. These days I am less about aquiring more 1911s and am concentrating on shooting the ones I have more. I pay for higher quality guns because I like them and can afford them, which is a luxury not everyone has. As a result I still look at shoot and consider lower end guns because there is a huge market for them and they fit a lot of shooters needs even if they do not meet mine. So after this long rant I what I am trying to say is similar to Sky. Its your money, your criteria and it will be your gun. So buy what you feel comfortable with within your price range be happy and shoot the snott out of it. If it ends up not being what you wanted, needed or lets you down fix it sell it and rise and repeat. :D

boricua9mm
September 22, 2011, 02:44 PM
More reliable based on what? Armscorp has been putting out these budget 1911s for years. The vast majority of shooters who own them report nothing but rock soild shooting with an occasional hiccup. Everyone I have shot or handled was decent for a sub $500 gun.

Seems safe to say I've ruffled your feathers here. Please show me in my post where I even mentioned "reliability" between any of the brands. Clearly we don't see eye to eye on this, as "occasional hiccup" doesn't constitute a rock solid gun in my book. That consitutes a gun that is only fit for range duty.

To me if I am on a budget the SA does not make as much economic sense to me because it is going to cost me 50% more than a similar RIA. I can get OTD on an RIA GI for $400 give or take and a SA Gi is going to be closer to $600. That is $200+ worth of ammo which at todays 45 ACP prices will get you about 600 rounds which for a budget shooter is a ton of ammo.

In the local perspective living in FL, I can regularly get my paws on a SAI GI for ~ $500, Mil Specs at around $550. Ammo costs here are around $18/box of 50. Even if the savings actually were $200, that would only get ~500 rounds, or enough ammo to determine if you can actually trust the pistol. From then on, you've still got yourself a RIA.

I guess you would not consider a Custom Caspian 1911 either since you have an issue with a cast frame. I would not want a 1911 with a cast slide, because as Tuner would say that is where it all happens, but a cast frame has been proven to be reliable if cast properly. Ruger has been making cast frames for people for years. IIRC the orginal GSR I owned had a cast Caspian frame. All BHP MKIII guns are cast. Yes I prefer forged but forged does not necessary = better. There are good forgings and bad forgings. Just like there is good MIM and bad MIM.

That is correct. I want no part of a high dollar cast frame when a forged frame is what has proven its worth for 10 decades. Let's put it into perspective; a MIM-filled gun is sitting on a table next to a gun with 0 MIM parts. You are about to throw one into your holster for a hike several miles away from civilization. Two legged vermin and 4-legged critters are a realistic concern. Which one do you grab? The one that is "just as good" because it has "good MIM" in it? I doubt if very many people would choose the MIM-filled gun. Oh, and yes, I've broken MIM parts before, yet in the past 20 years I've never had any surprises with forged parts breaking out of the blue. Replacing MIM in a SIG costs $70. Do the same with the catfish pistols and you'll invest another $200.

My Sig GSR's extractor pin walked out of the slide after about 1500 rounds. I had to get is replaced and restaked. I would not buy a new Sig 1911 even though I liked my GSR. Way too many better guns out there IMHO.

Based on the GSR label alone, your gun was most likely was an abomination made by Matt McLearn and team using none other than the Caspian components you've mentioned earlier. SIG no longer uses Caspian components, they make the slides and frames in-house. If I remember your SN correctly, I'm pretty positive you were a part of the SigForum back when all that went down, so you should already know that.

Colts will hold their value where the Sig will not. You can get a Colt Combat Elite for $900 shoot thousands of rounds through it properly maintain it and sell it for what you have in it. Again we all have our opinions and preferences and thankfully I do not buy guns with your money and you don't buy guns with mine so we can each exercise our own choices which will mirror our personal preferences.

SIG does indeed have a stain on their name these days, but the current 1911s are a step above what has infected the P-series. As for Colts not loosing value, on the planet I inhabit, used guns do not fetch the same prices as brand new guns unless the value of the dollar plummets and the actual selling prices of the guns are on a steady increase. Both of those factors are at play these days. I don't buy guns to sell, I buy them to shoot...and I shoot them a lot. As such, what I ask of a pistol may be seen as unnecessary to some. Most makers know that people will only shoot maybe 2,000 rounds through their guns in a lifetime. They fill their guns with cheap parts and second rate labor and pass a very minimal amount of savings down to the consumer.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul never made much sense to me, but to each their own.

Zerodefect
September 22, 2011, 02:47 PM
Dan Wesson, Colt and Les Baer.

I couldn't have said it any better. :D Sometimes it's cheaper to spend more. And Colt isn't high priced at all if you know where to look and the recommended prices. (Colts get price gouged, because of name recognition, alot unfortunatly)

LHRGunslinger
September 23, 2011, 02:31 AM
I'm assuming you're talking used Dan Wessons, Colts & Les Baers right?

Zerodefect
September 23, 2011, 06:26 AM
I'm assuming you're talking used Dan Wessons, Colts & Les Baers right?

Not really. If you know your pricing and look for a decent deal.

Colts are only a couple hundred more than the cheap 1911's. Many of the cheap 1911's in my area get marked up to allmost colt price levels. You can get Colt for $700-900. Colt deos have a few fit issues that I don't like. But I have seen really nice ones. And with a few mods they can be much nicer.

While the DW's can be allmost twice as much as a lower budget 1911, you still get what you pay for. They aren't at the point of diminishing returns just yet. You're not getting ripped on a name just yet. They use much more expensive parts. So you still get what you pay for, and the chances of needing to send one back is much smaller than most lower 1911 companies. And they can fix thier errors in one trip.

I'm sure there is a dusty 2010 Heritage Razorback out there somewhere for $1300. Only a hair more expensive than a higher end Kimber or Springy. And holding the Kimber in my right hand and a Valor in my left makes the Kimber look like a joke.

The Les Baers are a little overpriced IMO. But I've seen some sell for $1800.

I've been in the budget 1911 camp before. The best budget 1911 IMO is the Colt. I just recommend at least looking into more expensive options if you can.

Just some other options to look into, I'm not saying this is a good choice for everyone, but for some that shoot more often, the jump to a semicustom may be cheaper in the long run. Not to mention they offer Glock-like reliability that's getting rare with other 1911's.

snooperman
September 23, 2011, 07:52 AM
I have an old Colt G.I. and the RIA that I bought is as good as the Colt for a house gun and all around shooting. Buy it for about $400 and enjoy the fun.

jon_in_wv
September 23, 2011, 08:04 AM
The RIAs have an impressive track record but when I handled an American Classic II at my local gun shop I had to have it. It is as tight and smooth as any 1911 I've ever handled. So far it's been totally reliable. I did add a Nighthawk medium trigger, grips, a titanium firing pin, and extra power plunger and firing pin springs. It is a fantastic shooter. It has a nicer fit and finish then the Rock Islands I've seen but the standard sight cuts on the Rock Islands is a big bonus. I really wish they would make a lightweight compact.

jahwarrior
September 23, 2011, 09:02 AM
i have a Taurus PT1911 that i bought a few years ago. i paid a little more than $400 for it, and it's been reliable from day one.

my girlfriend owns two, a stainless steel Springfield 1911A1, that she paid $500 for, and a Firestorm/Metro Arms, that she paid $400 for (that's for sale here). she prefers the Springfield, but i think the Firestorm is great. i wish she wasn't selling it.

RIA's are great guns, from what i'm told. i have a few friends who own one, and many of them own other, more expensive 1911s from Colt, Kimber, and Springfield. they say it shoots as good as any of them.

if you don't mind buying a used gun, you can have a "brand" named 1911 for little money. i regularly see Colts, Springfields, and Para Ordnance in shops for well under $600.

rellascout
September 23, 2011, 09:21 AM
Seems safe to say I've ruffled your feathers here. Please show me in my post where I even mentioned "reliability" between any of the brands. Clearly we don't see eye to eye on this, as "occasional hiccup" doesn't constitute a rock solid gun in my book. That consitutes a gun that is only fit for range duty.


Not at all. All my guns are expected to run 100%. My point is that 9.5 out of 10 RIA owners report reliable guns. There are occasional issues with some. Also by "occasional hiccup" I also mean failures to feed because you have never changed your mag springs or used crappy mags, or have erratic extraction because you have a weak recoil spring. Etc.... Also I do not have feathers and do not take the interweb seriously. :cool:

In the local perspective living in FL, I can regularly get my paws on a SAI GI for ~ $500, Mil Specs at around $550. Ammo costs here are around $18/box of 50. Even if the savings actually were $200, that would only get ~500 rounds, or enough ammo to determine if you can actually trust the pistol. From then on, you've still got yourself a RIA.

Then you live in a market good for GI SAs but a bad market for ammo. I am still paying $300 to $329 for FMJ brass cased 45 ACP delivered to my door. If the RIA runs and meets your need and your criteria what is the problem?

That is correct. I want no part of a high dollar cast frame when a forged frame is what has proven its worth for 10 decades. Let's put it into perspective; a MIM-filled gun is sitting on a table next to a gun with 0 MIM parts. You are about to throw one into your holster for a hike several miles away from civilization. Two legged vermin and 4-legged critters are a realistic concern. Which one do you grab? The one that is "just as good" because it has "good MIM" in it? I doubt if very many people would choose the MIM-filled gun. Oh, and yes, I've broken MIM parts before, yet in the past 20 years I've never had any surprises with forged parts breaking out of the blue. Replacing MIM in a SIG costs $70. Do the same with the catfish pistols and you'll invest another $200.

Your money your choice. The question you have to ask yourself is how many of the people looking at low end 1911s have the same criteria? Again big difference between a range toy and a defensive weapon. I personally carry a Colt CCO, DW CBOB or a Les Baer TRS if we are talking 1911s but that does not mean I would not be comfortable with any 1911 which has proven itself reliable. In today's economy a lot of shooters have to choose the best they can get at a price point. Those who can choose to spend more are in the minority and should count themselves lucky IMHO.

Based on the GSR label alone, your gun was most likely was an abomination made by Matt McLearn and team using none other than the Caspian components you've mentioned earlier. SIG no longer uses Caspian components, they make the slides and frames in-house. If I remember your SN correctly, I'm pretty positive you were a part of the SigForum back when all that went down, so you should already know that.... SIG does indeed have a stain on their name these days, but the current 1911s are a step above what has infected the P-series.

Already stated...IIRC the orginal GSR I owned had a cast Caspian frame. Actually if you know your history on the gun when you got a good one it was a nice pistol. It had a Storm Lake barrel, Caspian frame and almost every part was premium. The issue was the monkeys at Sig had zero experience fitting 1911s and the QC sucked. Sorry to break it to you but the QC still sucks. It does not matter if it is a P series gun or a 1911, with and external extractor cough... cough. Same plant same company same philosophy. There is not some magical halo surrounding 1911 production in Exeter. :eek:

Cohen is there running the Kimber playbook to a T. Just because they moved production of parts in house does not make them better. Sorry but Sig under Cohen is a shadow of what it was when it was a German company. Kind of like the current Kimber is a shadow of the company that once revolutionized the production custom-like 1911 world using CNC and MIM parts. Moving more metal and higher profits does not equal better products. I would consider an older Clackamas Kimber with quality MIM but would never consider a current production Kimber. YMMV.

As for Colts not loosing value, on the planet I inhabit, used guns do not fetch the same prices as brand new guns unless the value of the dollar plummets and the actual selling prices of the guns are on a steady increase. Both of those factors are at play these days. I don't buy guns to sell, I buy them to shoot...and I shoot them a lot. As such, what I ask of a pistol may be seen as unnecessary to some. Most makers know that people will only shoot maybe 2,000 rounds through their guns in a lifetime. They fill their guns with cheap parts and second rate labor and pass a very minimal amount of savings down to the consumer.

See the point you are missing is that most people sell that Combat Elite for $1000+ if you can find one in my area. People pay 6% tax on anything they find in a shop in my state. That is the market. You can get a lot of Taurus 1911s not so many Colts. My Colt guy, not in this area, sells a ton of them and I buy a lot of stuff from him and he treats me right. For example I can get OTD, including my $10 local transfer, under $700 for a Colt 80 series Govt. I have passed on Combat Elites delivered for under $900. If I shoot 2000 rounds and then pass it on in near perfect condition I can recoup most if not all my money because in my local market NIB = $1060.

Its has nothing to do with the $$$ or the price of guns in general it has everything to do with buying smart and knowning the market. I personally buy and sell guns when it suits me. Some years I will not sell anything other years things go because I am not shooting them as much. I own guns to shoot them if they are not being shot I replace them with things that will be shot. :)

To the OP again it all depends on your budget, your criteria and your intended use. I tend to agree with Zerodefect that in the long run you are better off buying quality once and paying a bit more upfront but I understand not everyone can do that.

rellascout
September 23, 2011, 09:25 AM
I'm assuming you're talking used Dan Wessons, Colts & Les Baers right?


Used it great if you know what to look for and know how to correct the smaller issues which might come up.

Used Dan Wessons will still cost you $900+

Used Colts anywhere from $500 to $800+ depending on what you are looking at.

Les Baers will cost you $1500+

I paid $700 for my LNIB DW CBOB, $1300 for my Baer TRS (150 rounds down the pipe) and Colts anywhere from $450 to $600 LNIB.

Did I mention I am cheap and I like used guns? The best part about buying used guns is that 99% of the time if you do not bugger them and maintain and clean them properly you can always get your money out if you have to. LOL

jon_in_wv
September 23, 2011, 01:33 PM
Exactly why I keep one gun as my "horsetrade gun". I shoot it for a while, then I trade it for something else that strikes my fancy. Its a lot cheaper than buying everything that meets my eye and letting it sit in the safe unused. The only problem is my last trade ended up with me buying an American Classic II that is a real winner. I can't seem to part with it.

OARNGESI
September 23, 2011, 06:29 PM
Buds gunshop has taurus 1911 in stainless for 504 shipped and for 700 you can get a new kimber

Vgex
September 23, 2011, 08:23 PM
http://www.slickguns.com/product/remington-1911-r1-45-5-walbl-565-free-shipping

A Pause for the Coz
September 23, 2011, 10:35 PM
I will pop in on this :)
I have a RIA that I purchased this spring. I have put about 3000 rounds down the pipe. no issues at all.
Most of the round have been hand loads using 200 grain semi wad cutters. The feed ramp seems to handle these well. I have maybe only 3 or 4 miss feeds in all those rounds. And the more i shoot the better it gets.
Accuracy seems fine to me but I have never used a real good 45 so cant compare for you.
I see them on sites for less than 400 bucks. 400 bucks??? Come on buy 2!!

chains1240
September 24, 2011, 11:26 AM
Another vote for American Classic. I have the Commander version. Paid $480 delivered. Only fired 200 rounds through it but has run like a champ. I love the gun.

bdb benzino
September 24, 2011, 08:36 PM
Another vote for Armscor American Classic.

Armscor does not make the AC, Metro Arms does.

rellascout
September 24, 2011, 10:28 PM
If you are a Regent fan CDNN has them for $349 + shipping.

chains1240
September 24, 2011, 11:18 PM
Sorry for the mistake. I keep getting Armscor and Metro Arms mixed up. Anywho, American Classic gets my vote.

franco45
September 24, 2011, 11:54 PM
RIA all the way.

PT92
September 25, 2011, 09:37 AM
If you are a Regent fan CDNN has them for $349 + shipping.
Wow--I got mine last Winter for that price via gunbroker and I have not seen them since for less than $430+.

Even Bud's is in the mid $400's (they are selling them used at $339):

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=regent&osCsid=lb5hmb17gcour3dh8305f59bg2&x=0&y=0

I find mine to be of the same quality as my buddy's RIA's and it's a good choice in the 'budget' 1911 field.

-Cheers

QUICK_DRAW_McGRAW
September 26, 2011, 12:04 AM
Taurus 1911 owner here. never a problem what so ever other then with kimber mags, go figure.

i have literally shot a smiley face with mine at the range to prove a point. it eats everything i feed it and just keeps matching the POA w/ POI.

i have changed a few things but only because of aesthetics and well just why not? changed to a WC skeleton hammer and a STI trigger.

HKGuns
September 26, 2011, 12:53 AM
RIA for rock bottom budget or SA Milspec for a lower mid range budget.

The_Armed_Therapist
September 26, 2011, 07:31 AM
Forget American Tactical and Rock Island Armory. You can get used Springfield Armory for about $500. I'd prefer a used Springfield over a new ATI or RIA.

The_Armed_Therapist
September 26, 2011, 07:35 AM
So this isn't quite $500, but have seen them for that before. http://www.tombstonetactical.com/catalog/springfield-armory/1911-gi-pistol-45-acp-5in-7rd-parkerized-package/

tuj
September 26, 2011, 09:32 AM
STI Spartan. Just got one as a backup gun and am very happy with it. Only problem I have had is that it won't feed 185gr FMJ-SWC's but then again I hear a lot of 1911's won't feed that particular bullet well.

Sky
September 26, 2011, 12:35 PM
http://www.gunblast.com/Firestorm-1911Deluxe.htm

Armed012002
September 26, 2011, 02:31 PM
LHRGunslinger, before you buy a cheap 1911, consider this:

The same time period the 1911 was first designed a produced, Ford was producing the Model T.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=149890&stc=1&d=1317060362

The 1911 was designed to be built by hand 100 years ago with the technology and materials of the day. There are a lot of parts to the design and those parts need to be fitted by hand. Even with modern CNC machining, investment casting, and MIM, it's still a very expensive pistol to produce due to the level of human interaction required in the design.

Almost all problems you see with a 1911 are caused by poor hand fitting by the manufacturer.

Other designs, such as the Glock, M&P, XD, etc. are designed with very few parts and almost no hand fitting. They are designed to use modern materials like MIM and polymer that further reduce hand fitting.

For your budget, the modern designed Glock, M&P, XD, etc. will be superior to a cheap 1911 in this price range.

If you want a quality 1911, you have to pay for that old design and hand fitting.

Alternatively, you can buy a "parts kit" and do all the hand fitting yourself to save money.

LHRGunslinger
September 26, 2011, 02:40 PM
For the purposes I intend the weapon to fill a Glock, M&P, XD or other polymer framed weapon would be inferior. I don't intend to take it out of the box & drop it into a holster for everyday carry use. I intend to tinker with it, modify it, make it mine. I can't do that with one of these modern guns.

bdb benzino
September 26, 2011, 10:50 PM
The 1911 was designed to be built by hand 100 years ago with the technology and materials of the day. There are a lot of parts to the design and those parts need to be fitted by hand. Even with modern CNC machining, investment casting, and MIM, it's still a very expensive pistol to produce due to the level of human interaction required in the design.

Almost all problems you see with a 1911 are caused by poor hand fitting by the manufacturer.

Other designs, such as the Glock, M&P, XD, etc. are designed with very few parts and almost no hand fitting. They are designed to use modern materials like MIM and polymer that further reduce hand fitting.

For your budget, the modern designed Glock, M&P, XD, etc. will be superior to a cheap 1911 in this price range.


Horse puckey!! You have obviously never handled or owned a RIA or a Metro Arms 1911. Mine is amazing and will run right with the polymer pistols, I know cause it does. Not to mention RIA's customer service is top notch. You know not what you speak.

Skylerbone
September 26, 2011, 11:06 PM
The 1911 needs only a few things to run properly. First is someone to read the specs. and follow them. That is where many begin to fail.

HDCamel
September 27, 2011, 12:01 AM
The 1911 needs only a few things to run properly. First is someone to read the specs. and follow them. That is where many begin to fail.
Agreed. Most 1911 failures (in fact, probably most firearms failures) are user error.

jasont248
September 27, 2011, 11:55 AM
Why not the Para GI Expert its about 500

rellascout
September 27, 2011, 12:51 PM
Why not the Para GI Expert its about 500

Because its a Para... LOL

They have a spotty track record although them seem to be doing better in their NC plant.

Agreed. Most 1911 failures (in fact, probably most firearms failures) are user error.

That is not what he means IMHO. Skylerbone is referring to the fact manufacturers deviate from the orginal spec so they can use more modern manufacturing techniques in order to cut costs or for other reasons and this is the heart of the manufacturing issues.

If they simple produced the pistol as designed they would be fine but the pistol might now be at the price point people want it to be at. IMHO

HDCamel
September 27, 2011, 01:21 PM
Perhaps. The context is a little vague.

I interpreted it to mean that one souldn't expect a 1911 to perform beyond its specs, but I can see the manufacturing specs arguments as well.

Mick_W
September 27, 2011, 01:45 PM
http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z1/mikku00/100_0543.jpg

Have somewhere between 3,000and 4,000rds through my RIA tac and has never given me any issues, not even with the cheap $5 mags on CTD. Very accurate gun as well. Have a friend that is a glock guy that keeps trying to get me to sell him my RIA. I wouldn't hesitate to by another either.

If you enjoyed reading about "Budget 1911?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!