1911 brand?


Ian Johnson
April 7, 2012, 10:28 PM
I know yall must get this question a lot but still deciding on my next pistol, what have been your experiences with these brands and let me know if there are some good ones that I missed
-sig sauer
-dan wesson

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April 7, 2012, 11:06 PM
What are your intentions use wise and what is your budget?

April 7, 2012, 11:21 PM
I've had a Kimber, two Colts and a Springfield.

They all worked as they were supposed to work.

If I did it all again, I'd skip the Kimber, but only because of the Schwarz safety. It was a real pain in the neck to detail strip, at least compared to the Series 70 Colts and the Springfield.

Unless you are left handed, I'd skip an ambidextrous safety. It, too, is a needless pain in the neck in the detail strip.

April 7, 2012, 11:27 PM
Of the ones you listed I have Springfield in 1911, and Range Officer;

I have a Sig Scorpion.

Of the three, the Range Officer is my favorite.

April 7, 2012, 11:31 PM
I have a Springfield and have nothing but good things to say about it.

April 7, 2012, 11:46 PM
Hmmm... don't know where this is going, but I've got 3 Para's, a Springfield, a couple of Rock Islands, and a Ruger SR1911. Every one of them runs fine and does what they're supposed to do. One of the Para's is a compact P12 double stack (which saved my life) and one of the Rock Islands is an A2 14-shot double stack. I have nothing but good things to say about them all... I like 1911's, and they do what they're supposed to do... all the time, every time... unless something breaks(which is unusual).


April 8, 2012, 12:36 AM
Over the past year I have somehow converted all of my 1911s to either Colt or total customs. Not a plan just what happened. I also traded and shot LB,Wilson,Kimber, SIG, DW, Ruger, Rem, SA, and Taurus models. I still believe that SPringfield Armory makes the best 1911 for the money. All of the guns functioned well I'm just spoiled to custom tuned pistols now.

Any of the companies on the list will work as an EDC or range toy.

Good luck and enjoyment in your search.



April 8, 2012, 12:58 AM
As already noted, any of the manufacturers on your list will serve you well.

Personally, I have:

Springfield MilSpec (older)
Colt O1911 WW1 repro
Colt 1991A1
Sistema Colt 1911

They are all accurate, reliable, well constructed firearms. The Springer is my favorite to shoot - had the feed ramps polished when I first got it, but other than that has never needed any work. Utterly reliable.

The Colt O1911 is my favorite overall. Just too darn pretty in Carbona Blue to be a range toy, but the trigger is too sweet not to take out every once in a while. Best all around constructed 1911 of the four.

The Argentine Sistema Colt is my next favorite.

The Colt 1991A1 is in fourth place. Well constructed, tight pistol, but the trigger is nowhere near the other three.

April 8, 2012, 01:05 AM

April 8, 2012, 01:14 AM
I dont think you'll have a problem with any quality 1911. I've shot many others, but have owned the Taurus, was a great gun just didnt like the ugly Taurus PT 1911on the slide. I now own a Ruger SR1911, and a Springfield Range Officer I really enjoy both of them. I think you'll like any of the ones you inquired about. Find some friends that have what you want and shoot theirs or rent some.

April 8, 2012, 01:32 AM
If I did it all again, I'd skip the Kimber, but only because of the Schwarz safety. It was a real pain in the neck to detail strip, at least compared to the Series 70 Colts and the Springfield.

The Swartz firing pin safety is easily removed from Kimber 1911s so I wouldn't discount Kimber for that reason, maybe some others, but not that. I removed them from my two Kimbers and swapped the firing pins for titanium ones from Colt.

April 8, 2012, 01:36 AM
Under $500 I'd get an ATI. Under $1000 I'd get an SA RO or an "NM" serial number Loaded, or consider the Ruger. I also like what I've seen with the S&W "E" series 1911 though it runs an external extractor. Over $1000 and I'd pony up for a Les Baer. Dan Wesson has lost it's value IMO with their recent price increase. Nothing about the Sig or Kimber SII impresses me at their price points given what's available.

April 8, 2012, 02:29 AM
I have a Springer Trophy Match that is smooth like glass.

My uncle has a Kimber that I have enjoyed shooting- but Kimber gets alot of rep flakk anymore.

Colts remind me of a Jeep Cherokee (the boxy one, not the Grand Cherokee)- it is hard to break and good for its inteded purpose. Beat it up a little and it won't mind.

April 8, 2012, 04:36 AM
I own a Springfield, but have fired Kimbers, RIAs and Paras. The Kimber was nice, but I preferred my Springfield. It simply had too many bells and whistles for my taste.

The RIA was really nice, but I did not like the flat checkered MSH or the trigger texture, as both made it uncomfortable to shoot. The Para was a Warthog (or warthog sized) and it gave me and the owner fits in terms of accuracy and reliability. I also did not like the grip width.

Of all of them, I guess I prefer my Springfield GI with tru-glo sights.

April 8, 2012, 08:49 AM
There are a lot of things that go into why a person likes a particular make/model of 1911, not just it's functionality. Unlike most handguns the 1911 has several features that can be changed or optimized for personal preference. That's part of what makes taking the 1911 road so expensive. :- )

So, given my personal preferences and experiences here's my take.
I've had several and all have performed well but there is only one in my safe now. There are a lot of little things they do that aren't my preference. The also seem to not be something I pick up and say "oh, yeah."
-sig sauer
No experience with the 1911s. I've handled a few and the seem like they are put together well. I think highly of the Sigs that I do have experience with. Because of the odd slide shape (except their "traditional" line) it might be hard to find a fitted holster for them.
-dan wesson
Outstanding firearm. Very near "custom" quality for a lot less money. I own a couple an will probably own more.
Good reliable gun. You wont go wrong with one of these.
No experience. They don't have that "oh, yeah" factor for me either. YMMV.
No experience with the 1911. My other Rugers have been rugged and dependable.

Don't overlook the S&W 1911. I've had a few and they are IMHO a very good gun for the money. I recently pickup an E-series government model and am very happy with it . It has a lot of the feature I like for a reasonable price.

April 8, 2012, 08:56 AM
Dan Wesson
Les Baer
Ed Brown

(In $$$ order) Colt and Dan Wesson have stepped it up considerably. Colt is the only lower priced 1911 I'd buy right now.

April 8, 2012, 09:06 AM
I own 3 Colt 1911's, a Ruger P345, and have just purchased a Ruger SR1911. For a personal defense pistol, combat shooting, or an all round carry pistol, I'd go with my new Ruger SR1911 in instant. A beautifully manufactured firearm, extremly accurate out of the box, and mine will handle any round I feed it, both lead or jacketed, RNJ, or 200 gr LSWC. To top it off you can't beat the price...if you can find one. :)

April 8, 2012, 10:04 AM
Three things are becoming quite clear; everyone wants to help the OP, no one knows what he needs and almost any brand/model/pricepoint 1911 can do everything, as delivered, without ever failing. I'm humming a Beach Boys tune right now...anyone care to guess which one?

Help us help you Ian. Define what you'd like to do with your 1911; bullseye shooting or self-defense? Are you looking for the least expensive pistol available or the best there is? Are your hands capable of handling the "smooth like glass" SA TRP frontstrap treatment at 20 lpi or are you on blood thinners that make cuts more of a consideration?

If you've never shot a 1911 it may not be everything you hoped it would, I've met that person, or it may be a dream. Wasting money on the wrong one for you won't ever be fun. One last thing, what caliber are you looking at?

April 8, 2012, 10:13 AM
Currently I own a Springfield Loaded Black Stainless Target. I had to sent it in for service. After I got it back it runs great! I like it allot.

My first 1911 was a Kimber Tactical Custom 2, great gun! It had a very nice trigger and ran great even though it had an external extractor (older model). I needed the money and ended up selling it.

I'm hooked on 1911s and would like to get another!

April 8, 2012, 01:24 PM
I picked up an almost new Springfield TRP. Very happy with it, I'd buy another Springfield in a heartbeat.

April 8, 2012, 01:47 PM
If it's your only 1911, then go with the original - Colt.
IMHO though, Sig may make the best 1911 (variant) for the money.


Ian Johnson
April 8, 2012, 02:15 PM
this pistol would primarily be used for target shooting and as a sidearm while hunting as I always like to carry at least a pistol with me while in the woods, Ive only shot various kimber 1911s, one colt, and one RIA, I will never get an RIA it was uncomfortable to shoot, the colt felt amazing, and the kimbers felt nice also, Id like to stay in the 8-900 range if possible, thanks for all the replies yall

April 8, 2012, 02:32 PM
Springer! From the custom shop!!! Can't get any better than that.

April 8, 2012, 02:47 PM
the colt felt amazing
Id like to stay in the 8-900 range


April 8, 2012, 04:19 PM
I bought my Kimber Custom II for 750 new. the only things I've done to it are swap out the full length guide rod for a GI plug, and put meprolight sights on her.

If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Custom II

April 8, 2012, 04:28 PM
My first 1911 was a cheap one, just under $500. I got an Auto Ordnance WW2 copy, with those tiny sights and arched mainspring housing. It runs right along, shoots anything I put in it, and with the given near non existant sights, it is pretty decent once you adjust.
I personally want a Colt in both 45acp and 38 super. Til then I have my AO and my SA RO.

April 9, 2012, 12:56 PM
$800-$900 is fast approaching the minimum for a Colt these days in fact last month I spotted a 1991 stainless for $1050 (price gouging)! It would be a great first 1911 if you don't mind foregoing the beavertail grip safety and the limitations of the stock sights, which I find very usable. With a little patience and smart shopping you may find one under $850. I'd suggest double checking the plunger tube and ordering a good replacement when you find it loose.

The SA Range Officer falls squarely into your budget and offers numerous upgraded features compared to a basic Colt that may suit your needs better.

You mentioned not liking the RIA you tried so I'm hesitant to mention this last one. STI's Spartan is considerably under your proposed budget, is well appointed with good internal parts and would be a knockout for around $650 depending on what it was that you didn't like about the RIA. Same frame, very different pistol. If you want more info and pricing check Brazos Customs. STI's higher end 1911s are manufactured in the US and represent an excellent value as well but they are slightly beyond your target budget.

My picks in random order: SA RO, Colt XSE, STI Spartan/Trojan, Ruger SR1911.

April 10, 2012, 01:53 AM
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned STI. I own several and couldn't be happier. Great company out of Georgetown, TX. Very fine 1911s and 2011s (double stack). Superb fit and finish, very tight tolerances, all hand fitted, and very accurate. They have models from officer size up to 6" long slides. I don't know what your budget is, but STI 1911/2011 pistols start at about $1000 and go up to about $2800. With the exception of the Spartan, all of their 1911s are made right there in Texas. Excellent customer service and terrific bunch of guys to deal with.

April 10, 2012, 05:39 AM
1) Colt
2) Springfield Armory

My two favorite brands in a M1911.

April 10, 2012, 07:59 AM
I wanted to stay in the same price range as you and shopped and shot different guns for over a year before buying the Remington.

I got the R1 for a few reasons....first it had the look I was after....looks like it fell out of 1942. I am also a pretty small guy, very thin and have no problems with hammer bite. I am about 5'8" and 155 and it gives me no problems, now my buddy who is over 6' and over 200+lbs...it did bite him. I know it is easy to fix.

I ran about 200 rounds in the thing just last weekend and never a hickup, used the bulk PMC, winchester and (i think) remington ammo....gun was VERY dirty but it just keep going. This is my first large hand gun, the only other thing I own of any size is a 92fs and I can hit stuff with my eyes closed, this not so much....Had someone watching me and he said I was pushing my shots...gotta work on that.

Got the gun out the door for $603 including tax.

So far I am very happy.

April 10, 2012, 08:06 AM
Surprised not to see S&W listed. I have two, both great.

No internal key lock. For purists, since it has a tough-to-break external extractor and a firing-pin block safety (connected to the grip safety like Kimber, not to the trigger) it's not a "true" 1911.

It's better. :D

kim breed
April 10, 2012, 08:16 AM
Rock Island Tactical is the most bang for your buck. Change grips and sights and it will out shoot 95% of rest.
1 Warthawg
1 P-14
1 long slide AMT hardballer
2 RockIslands
1 springfield Trophy match
1 custom 1911 in 9mm
5 series 70 colts in different grades

April 10, 2012, 10:29 AM
I wouldn't suggest the S&W based on personal experience and the OP's budget. In my opinion it has some issues as delivered that, with enough use, will force a return trip to Smith or one to a smith. I exercise option #2 and had mine corrected but that will blow the budget. The other issue would be sight replacement, another expense.

The Remington has a more significant issue that I consider negligent which, as of now seems unresolved. The factory cut of the VIS (vertical impact surface) forces the lower barrel lugs to strike low (at a weaker point) and will shorten barrel life needlessly. I'm not in the habit of posting pics belonging to others but every example has shown this same cut.

April 10, 2012, 12:10 PM
It was very close for me between the RI and the Remington. I was able to hold both side by side and the Remington did feel better....was it $200 better I don't know, but in the end I went with the R1, because of the better feel....and (I know it sounds stupid) it did not have that ugly bill board on the side of the slide.

April 10, 2012, 12:52 PM
Take a look at Les Bear, I have three of them. Two PII's and one Concept VI.:cool:

April 10, 2012, 01:00 PM
$900 is close to a STI Trojan.

April 11, 2012, 11:01 AM
I own a Springfield, Colt 80 Officers, and a Sig C3 CT. The Sig is my favorite, just due to the tolerances and feel of the gun. The Springfield would be my second choice.

April 11, 2012, 01:48 PM

Whirling Dirvish
April 11, 2012, 02:13 PM
I have been shooting IPSC since 1987 and IDPA since 1997with a Springfiled 1911 .45 acp pistol......I have over a 100,000 rounds through this pistol. Mostly using 200 gr. LEAD H&G 68 semi-wadcutters loaded to a power factor of 165,000. The pistol has the orginal Barrel, bushing, Slide and Frame. All other components have been replaced several times, (springs, sear, hammer, sights, safetys, etc.)........the gun works flawless and I clean it ever 300 rounds or so, have gone 500 rounds before cleaning with no mal functions. Accuracy, still have no problem shooting head shots at 25yds with this pistol.The pistol was matte finished hard chrome some 15 yrs ago, which makes the slide to frame fit tight and smooth as silk..... Currently shooting ESP Pistol Class in IDPA with a Springfield 1911 9mm configured the same as my Springfield 1911 45. They look and shoot the same, flawless........I own lots of Colt 1911's, and other mfgs.......but for competition shooting...Springfields work for me, (and I do my own 1911 trigger smithing).............
Thanks-- my opinion, whats yours?:banghead:


April 11, 2012, 02:24 PM
If you shop around, deals can be had. Last summer I ran into a guy who was selling off several guns preparing to move out of California. One was a Series 80 Govt Stainless .45, with a Delta Elite 10mm complete slide as well as 3 Colt mags in each caliber. It also included a rail attachment, a TLR-1 light, and 714 rounds of 10mm ammo, all factory from Federal to Buffalo Bore. His price was $900 + PPT fee for all. I bought it, and sold the 10mm stuff to a local gunsmith for $400 (he nearly broke his arm whipping out his wallet) so I ended up with a very little used .45 with three mags, a rail, and a light for $500. That was a win-win-win deal - the seller, the gunsmith, and I all walked away happy.

My other 1911 is a Series 70 blued, with adjustable sights, that the previous owner ported - ruining it's value. It tended to gather crap around the bushing, and NOBODY wanted to buy it. It spent 16 months in a LGS consignment case, until it got down to $269. I bought it, and it shot well until it got dirty. Solved that with a Ed Brown Match barrel/bushing combo and a little guidance from 1911Tuner here. It's now a sweet shooter with non-functional slide ports, and I enjoyed the process of fitting the barrel.

My father-in-law recently purchased a nearly-new Commander for $500, with three mags, a holster, and a hard case. In this economy, deals are out there if you have cash.

If I were buying new, and was only going to have one 1911, it would be a Colt. Nothing wrong with the others, but no other 1911 has the history Colt does.

April 11, 2012, 03:16 PM
I've had my colt 1991A1 for 20 years, shot it quite a bit with with a wide variety ammo including hollow points and cast handloads. I took care of it but never babied it and have had zero issues or complaints with it. In fact, now that I think of it, I can't even remember the last time I had any sort of stoppage or malfunction whatsoever, I'm sure it must have happened at some point(s) but it must have been years ago and so infrequent that I can't even remember it ever happening. I think that says alot. More then I can say for some of my friends "clone" 1911's.

April 12, 2012, 01:06 PM
My problem was that I wanted a NEW gun....there are so many hacks out there....if you want something NIB then the options are limited.

April 12, 2012, 04:39 PM
My first 1911 was a Charles Daly, which ran as good as any AFTER the first 200 rounds. Since then I've had a Clark Custom Colt, 3 Springfields and a Para.

Now it's the Para GI Expert and a Springer SS Loaded in 9mm. All have been a tribute to JMB, God's gift to the gun world.

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