Which 1911... Read thread first


October 24, 2011, 12:15 AM
OK, I'm looking for a 1911 and decided there are many great pistols available but I want something in the cheaper price range and fairly basic for range shooting. I have narrowed the choices down to 4 and I would really appreciate everyone sticking to the choices I list.

The Remington R1 is appealing because it's a Remington. Even though I know this Remington is not the Remington that made the WWII pistols it's still a Remington. It's MSRP is $719

The Springfield Range Officer is also a classic name and this 1911 is really good looking. I think I like it the best but I will have to hold one to really see. It's MSRP is $940

Another good looking 1911 is the Para-USA GI Expert. Para has moved it's operations and manufacturing to America and their first new pistol of the line is the GI Expert. I have shot this pistol and it's a good one. It's MSRP is the lowest @ $599.

Last but not least is the Ruger SR1911. As with all the Ruger products the gun rags are raving about this pistol. It may or may not be as good as they say but it sure does look good. The only problem is, it's only available in Stainless and not Blue. The MSRP is $799.

So, if you were spending your money on a new 1911 and these were the only 4 available which would you buy?

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Eric F
October 24, 2011, 04:28 AM
you know how to make a tough thread, I personally would not get any of the above because for the money there are better 1911 choices IMO, but since you asked.....Springfield

October 24, 2011, 07:56 AM
First I'd need to know what you want to do with it. You kinda have 3 different platforms with a 1911 IMHO GI, combat and target. While any of the three will work in any of the situation some are more suitable. The Remington and Para just don't do a thing for me either give me a GI clone or modify it, these seem 1/2 a$$ to me.
The Ruger is again IMHO a nearly perfect set up combat 1911 and the SA is a very nice entry level target gun. So for you I'd figure out which way you want to go.
For me and my money I already have 5 1911s with target setups so I'd go for the Ruger.
Which will be my next 1911.

October 24, 2011, 08:15 AM
Just brought a Remington R1 home on Saturday, great gun and shot flawlessly out of the box. You can eliminate the Ruger SR1911 from your list, no one on the planet has them. Our local shop has a waiting list of 15 people, and the last one they got in (6 months ago) was sold before it hit the case. :eek:


October 24, 2011, 08:16 AM
Arch, Para wanders off the old GI 1911 dimensions far more than any other maker. Many standard 1911 parts can't be fitted to a Para as a result.

The Ruger looks good on paper, but it's still very new, with little track record either way. It's also a cast frame gun for the price of a forged frame gun (Springfield, Kimber, and S&W base models).

I don't know enough about the Remington R1 pistols to give a definitive yes or no opinion.

That takes us to Springfield Armory. They start with IMBEL forgings for the frame & slide. IMBEL has a long established track record of making in spec, consistent, high quality firearm frame / receiver forgings (1911, as well as their very well regarded FN licensed FAL receivers). Some of SA's 1911s are fully made in Brazil by IMBEL, and the others are finished to varying degrees here in the US. SA sells many 1911s in the US every year. Every now and then a bad one slips past QC/QA. The important thing is that SA has a near spotless, and very long track record of fixing even the most minute flaw at no cost to the owner. Back to that dimensionally in spec frame. That means any good 1911 smith can easily customize your Springfield if you ever want to change even the slightest thing. Between the solid foundation, and excellent customer service Springfield Armory is the one I'd choose - and have chosen myself not long ago.

October 24, 2011, 09:14 AM
Remington R1.
It's American made, it works, it's not expensive and it looks GREAT!

October 24, 2011, 10:12 AM
It's hard to beat a Springer for the money. A lifetime warranty that they actually stand behind is nice to have, even though you'll probably never need.

October 24, 2011, 10:53 AM
Other; STI Spartan or Trojan. Any reason you didn't consider them?

Otherwise the Ruger.

October 24, 2011, 11:14 AM
I wouldn't pick any of those.

But since I like classic 1911 lines and rattles when choosing a cheaper 1911, I'd choose the GI looking Remington R1.

If you're after more custom features and better fit, then I suggest jumping to the $1500-1800 price range. Or look into some Colts.

October 24, 2011, 11:29 AM
I voted for the SR1911, but that is probably because I really want one. I think it gives the most versatile set of features for both range and defense work.

Any of the Springfield, Remington, or Ruger would work great for what you want and I'd stick with those as I understand they stick to the traditional specs better than Para.

October 24, 2011, 11:54 AM
I have to say Springfield. I don't have any experience with the new R1 or Rugers 1911, and I've had less than stellar experiences with Para.

On the other hand, I've had nothing but good experiences with Springer.

October 24, 2011, 12:06 PM
But since I like classic 1911 lines and rattles when choosing a cheaper 1911, I'd choose the GI looking Remington R1.

My R1 definitely has classic lines, but no rattles thank you. If your's rattles, I would suggest you stop dropping it.

October 24, 2011, 12:10 PM
Don't buy the GI. I just bought one 3 months ago, and that parakoat finish is chipping off, not rubbing off, not looking like it's getting used, but fully chipping off.

October 24, 2011, 12:13 PM
The Springfield is tried and true, but I would most likely try to pick up a Ruger because they are American made. If I'm going to buy an all-American gun, I would like it to at least be made in this country :rolleyes:

October 24, 2011, 12:13 PM
I voted for the Range Officer but the less expensive Loaded model is more like the other options.

Eric F
October 24, 2011, 12:21 PM
Like I said in post 2 for the money I would get the STI Spartan......Just a really great inexpensive gun, where you are not paying for the name for a change.

October 24, 2011, 12:32 PM
Don't buy the GI. I just bought one 3 months ago, and that parakoat finish is chipping off, not rubbing off, not looking like it's getting used, but fully chipping off.
I've heard of that happening with Paras finishes, though I've never witnessed it myself.

October 24, 2011, 12:43 PM
I've only fired the Ruger SR1911, my local shop has it available as a rental gun. But I would take it and in fact do have on on backorder for under $600. Might take a while to get it but I will get it. It has a nice feel to it, nice and solid and it's great shooting gun. I had no issues with the 100 rounds I put thru it and by the looks of it, it had seen many more that day (needed a good cleaning). I've only held the other 3 choices, but none of them measured up in my opinion. I own 2 Kimbers so I do know what a good 1911 feels and shoots like. But that's just my opinion and we all know the saying about opinions. LOL In a perfect world I'd say buy all 4........ :) good luck with your decision.

October 24, 2011, 12:55 PM
If I were restricted to choosing from among those listed above, I'd go with the Springfield.

I'd also inspect it for fit prior to shooting.

October 24, 2011, 01:07 PM
The Ruger was not available when I got my R1. Had I seen one for under $600 back then I probably would have snagged one. Seems like a lot of value for the money.

October 24, 2011, 01:16 PM
I didn't vote as I'd call it a dead heat between the Ruger and Springfield based on the following criteria:

Warranty, both companies stand behind their products with excellent service and the proper attitude about it.

Experience, both Imbel and Ruger (Pine Tree Castings) have excellent records in regards to producing quality parts. An investment cast frame would not scare me off nor do I feel I could put enough rounds through it to damage it.

Dimensions, while SA has a great track record as being an acceptable candidate for a custom build several well known smiths have already "sized up" the Ruger and found the same. Joe Chambers comes to mind.

I wouldn't say either holds an edge in my opinion, nor would I likely ever purchase either unless it was a gift. As mentioned, buy the one which most closely meets your intended purpose.

October 24, 2011, 02:10 PM
As many have said, I would not pick any of them.

However, for your requirements of a "range shooting" gun, the Springfield Range Officer is the only one that has adjustable sights and would be the best option to fill your needs.

Personally, I'll never own a 1911 with adjustable sights, but I'm not you and I don't have your requirements.

October 24, 2011, 02:31 PM
I am biased. I voted Springfield..

October 24, 2011, 04:56 PM
Out of those four, Springfield all the way. However, when I actually bought a 1911 I picked the Regent R100 over all of the ones listed and a few others.

October 25, 2011, 04:46 PM
I would go with the Springfield Range Officer. Of the cheaper guns, it is one of the few that offers a forged frame. The Remington R1 & the Ruger SR1911 are cast frames. The Range Officer was designed for target shooting. The sights are the basic all black target sights with the rear sight adjustable. The trigger is a smooth 4 to 5 lbs pull with a very quick reset. I'm probably going to drop mine to a 2 lbs trigger and change out the sights. (Yes I do own one) The frame to slide fit is very tight. The stainless barrel & bushing are competition grade. Plus the extended beaver tail with the bump & skeletonized trigger & hammer combine to make this a fine choice for an inexpensive range 1911. I bought mine for $750 locally. I had narrowed my choice to the Remington, Ruger & RIA until I ran across the Springer. You could do a lot worse.

October 26, 2011, 08:49 PM
I've had my Remington R1 for several months now. So far it has been flawless in function and has performed with a variety of magazines and ammo. Accuracy is great and it has really broken in nice. At first my trigger was a little "gritty" in feel.
Took a couple of hundred rounds for that to smooth out. I am a happy camper with mine.

Got it new off of Gun Broker for $539.

October 26, 2011, 09:39 PM
I voted Springfield. I have had a couple of them and love all of them. I had an issue with one of them and the CS was amazing turnaround time from door to door, 7 days. Problem completely resolved. Also you can get a new one from Buds for $778


October 26, 2011, 09:49 PM
If you go with Ithaca you cannot miss.

October 26, 2011, 09:56 PM
If you go with Ithaca you cannot miss.
$1600 MSRP for a 1911 that hasn't been on the market for a year yet? That's going past Dan Wesson prices, and getting into lower model Les Baer prices. It may be a fine 1911, but I think it's well beyond the OP's desired price point.

October 27, 2011, 03:22 PM
And the Ithaca isn't on the list, is it?

October 27, 2011, 04:44 PM
Ruger first. The Para second. Dealing with ruger was a joy. When I sent in my P97 that they didn't even make any more they sent me a brand new P345. Which by they way feels as good in my hand as my 1911. I will give you another option too. Rock Island Armory's 1911. I looked at the reciept in my safe it was $450 plus tax. Lifetime Warranty also. It has been 100% reliable with any ammo that is made. Same with my brothers RIA. My friend has the Para GI and it has been a joy for him too.

Jed Carter
October 27, 2011, 07:11 PM
Own both a Para GI Expert, got it really cheap, and Springfield loaded longslide. Shot a Remington, it was an OK 1911, ain't ever seen the SR1911, as most of those that voted you get one, ain't ever either. Of your choices I would get the Springfield, but would rather have an STI Spartan and maybe $200 in my pocket. I would not even consider the Para if this is your first 1911, I had to do a lot of work on mine to get it to cycle properly. I like Ruger revolvers but would not buy their 1911 sight unseen, I did and propably will again buy another STI off the internet. I would still narrow it down to 4 choices just not a Para and not the unavailable Ruger. Maybe an STI, SIG, S&W or even a Colt...

October 29, 2011, 07:51 PM
Thanks for all the opinions and votes.

(no, this is not my first 1911)

October 30, 2011, 04:50 AM
I voted for the Springfield Range Officer. I know you don’t want to hear it but I got

to tell ya, Springfield’s Mill Spec (not GI) seems at lot more like the rest on your list.


October 30, 2011, 02:40 PM
We got 8 of the Ruger SR1911s just last week and I kept one for me. Had to send it to a store in my state with another SR1911 but when arrived there,I filled out ATF paper work,showed CCW permit and I was out the door with it to the range. Test fired it with ball,reloads and Hornady Critical Defense ammo. NO MALFUNCTIONS OF ANY SORT IN THE 250 rounds I fired.

October 31, 2011, 08:15 AM
I purchased a sr1911 in may I absolutely love this gun it functions flawlessly looks very nice I only had to wait 4 days to get it from the day I ordered it I only paid $599.00 plus tax it ended up less than $650.00 out the door very happy with it

October 31, 2011, 08:43 AM
I can't vote for those four either. Sorry, you seem to be very hung up on phoney "name" brands. Remington is not what it used to be, and Springfield, while a decent 1911 for the most part is trading off the old U.S. Springfield Armory. I have a Springfield Milspec which I bought in 1994, and it works fine if that helps at all. My Colts are much better though, and not because of the name or the horsey on the side. They are just better made pistols all around.

October 31, 2011, 09:13 AM
I'm not really a fan of the concept of a "budget" 1911.

October 31, 2011, 03:22 PM
I'm no fan of the 1911. But I do like Rugers and the SR1911 intrigues me. If I have to choose one, that's the one.

October 31, 2011, 03:59 PM
Voted for the Ruger and have one. Very accurate (for me) and very reliable. Seems very well made at the price point. Bought the first one that showed up at my local gun shop for $620 this spring.

October 31, 2011, 06:31 PM
Sorry, but I can't recommend a 1911...

October 31, 2011, 10:56 PM
I vote Ruger. American made, good reviews, great company with great customer service. Nice looking IMO. Been on waiting list since their release.
And waiting.
And waiting.

November 1, 2011, 03:24 AM
the Range Officer..

iron horse
November 1, 2011, 07:38 PM
Knowing what I know now, I would get a used COLT 80 series or save for a new COLT 80 series. Good Luck.

November 2, 2011, 12:12 PM
I'm sorry to deviate from your parameters, but I'd probably go with a SW1911!

November 2, 2011, 12:42 PM
In that price range I would also look at RIA, the STI Spartan, and the Kimber Custom II.

November 3, 2011, 02:27 AM
Knowing what I know now, I would get a used COLT 80 series or save for a new COLT 80 series. Good Luck.
Not on the list AND, if you were to buy a Colt why in the world would you want a Series 80? Who wants all the junk under the slide that makes the trigger terrible? There is no reason to put all that crap on a 1911, the Series 70 is a much better pistol IMO.

November 3, 2011, 03:25 AM

I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree on that one.
I think a properly set up colt series 80 trigger is next to impossible
to tell from a series 70.

Sorry to stray off topic.

November 3, 2011, 12:13 PM
Not on the list AND, if you were to buy a Colt why in the world would you want a Series 80? Who wants all the junk under the slide that makes the trigger terrible? There is no reason to put all that crap on a 1911, the Series 70 is a much better pistol IMO.

There's nothing wrong with the Series 80 design. The old "it makes the trigger terrible" is an internet myrh. The Series 80 is the most proven firing pin safety design in the 1911 world. you'll find an almost identical system inside of a Sig 22X series pistol, but you don't hear many people complaining about them being unreliable do you?

November 5, 2011, 07:54 AM
For the absolute economical decision I'd say Para, as I just recently traded a S&W revolver for a GI Expert with another HRer, here in the classys. Shoots and feeds like a champ. The R1 would be a great collector to buy and put away, but I like to shoot my pistols.

Order Brownells 1911 catalog and you'll find all the parts and tooling you might need.

November 5, 2011, 09:20 AM
and just because I want one I am going to pick the Ruger. They seem very well made but I have not had the chance to shoot one yet. I have owned three Springfields and have not been overly impressed with any of them though they do work. I don't like the Para Ord guns for some reason that I just can not put my finger on. The only thing that I do not like about the Ruger is that it is not available in a commander length.

November 5, 2011, 10:22 AM
I would vote Ruger over the Remington (if you can find one) simply for the lack of firing pin safety. Both seem like good guns though.

November 5, 2011, 01:54 PM

November 5, 2011, 08:29 PM
I cant offer advice only expierence. My first 1911 and only 1911 is the Para GI. I like the feel of it and I like the sights better than the regular GI spec sights. This gun was recommended by my friend who only believes that handguns should be all metal and a 1911 pattern ( He always calls my glocks a "Microwave Safe gun". Anyway I got home with the Para to give it a spin. First thing that I didnt like was the mags with the plastic follower, not that they were plastic but they were easly bendable. The gun ran fine at first but after a few mags I noticed that the slide stop would push out on the last round and the slide would not lock open. Then I had issues with the front of the follower comming out of the mag. My friend came over and tried his mags and it worked fine. We measured the diameter of the pin of the slide stop and the Para was smaller. We tried his slide stop with my mags and it worked fine. I called Para about the issue and my findings and I was left disappointed. I would have to ship the whole gun to them on my dime. The rep didnt seem interested in my issues with the gun. Long story short I bought another slide stop and it has ran fine since. If Para's customer service was better I would recommend it

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