Full-size or Commander 1911 with this criteria


April 10, 2012, 11:21 PM
Needs to have the following at a minimum:

All U.S. made and assembled (non-negotiable)
forged slide and frame (pretty firm on this as well)
GI Bushing
prefer no front slide serrations
Novak sights (pretty firm on this. may be a CCW also)
Few or no MIM/Plastic parts

It seems the closest I can come to this is:

1. Ruger SR1911. It does not have the ambi-safety and the frame is Ruger's investment cast. Is the slide also investment or forged? Website does not say.

2. Colt XSE. It has FLGR and a plastic MSH

The Ruger is a very well made gun and can be had for under $700 if you look around. It is also a very nice looking gun with the black parts on stainless.

The Colt is going to cost around $1,000-1,150. It only has 4 MIM parts from what I have read.

I have seen some used Kimbers from $800-$1,100, but I don't know much about them. I heard they are not the guns they used to be.

I'm willing to add the ambi-safety or switch out a FLGR, but I really don't want to do both as soon as I buy it.

If you enjoyed reading about "Full-size or Commander 1911 with this criteria" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
April 10, 2012, 11:32 PM
Look at the Colt Wiley Clapp Commander if an aluminum frame is ok... Otherwise get the XSE and live with the front slide serrations. I swapped out the mainspring housing for a steel one and put in a standard guide rod. The only MIM on the colt is the mag catch, sear, and disconnector. You won't be disappointed, I'm not.


April 10, 2012, 11:49 PM
How is recoil with the lighter frame? One of the reasons I like the 1911 is they have little recoil compared to plastic .45s.

BTW, you went TO a guide rod? What was the reason for that?

Nice collection. How is slide to frame fit on those?

April 10, 2012, 11:55 PM
Look at the Dan Wesson Valor Bobtail (VBOB) if you don't mind the bobtail. It meets all your specifications except the Novak rear sights. Instead, it has Heine straight eights, a very good fixed sight for carry guns. It's built right.

Colt would be the gun that would come next closes to meeting your criteria unless you went with a really high end gun like a Baer or Brown.

Kimber and STI both have quite a bit of MIM. Opinions vary wildly on Kimber. You'll seldom hear anything about STI. STI has a couple of models (Ranger II is one) and all but the Spartan are made and assembled in Texas.

April 10, 2012, 11:55 PM
Dan Wesson Herritage. No MIM. No plastic. Made in NY. Tritium front sight. No FCS. Stainless steel. Match barrel and bushing. About $1,150.

The Ruger slide is forged.

The XSE is nice but not everything you're looking for.

April 11, 2012, 12:06 AM
forgot about the Heritage. good call. The Fort Worth show is May 5,6. I plan on pulling the trigger there if prices are decent. There is always a plethora of 1911s at that gun show.

April 11, 2012, 12:08 AM
No, I put a GI type guide rod and plug on the Lightweight in the middle, along with a 70 series thumb safety. The Steel Commander top right is still in factory configuration. The slide/frame fit has just the right amount of play. Do not get hung up on a tight slide/frame fit, it does not help with accuracy and only takes away from the reliability. Accuracy comes from lockup/timing, barrel bushing fit, trigger, grip, stance, sight picture, and mind.

I have to say that the all steel commander has become my favorite shooter, it's just a class act- The lightweight does have more punch but I have no problem shooting 1 or 200 rounds.. more than that and you will start to notice it..

BUT, if this does become a regular CC pistol the lightweight IS the way to go- YMMV The steel gun is heavy and you notice it as the day wears on.. The lightweight carries like a slender polymer pistol.

And yes, the Dan Wessons are worth the look!- I may buy ONE but they are spendy.

April 11, 2012, 02:08 AM
Dan Wesson. Value not what it once was, but fine gun that meets your criteria. Regardless, enough money can buy any 1911 you wish and Les Baer makes your gun. I'd go full size over commander unless carry was my goal, and then I'd get something smaller than either.

April 11, 2012, 12:26 PM
i had a Valor in 2010 but sold it. I did not care for the bead blast finish at all or the straight eight sights. I was going to redo the finish, change the sights, add the ambi safety, but decided to just flip it and get my investment back. I got it NIB for around $1,300. now they are several hundred more.

April 11, 2012, 03:48 PM
Another recommendation for the Colts. I personally have the new S70, and it's simply fantastic. To me it epitomizes what a 1911 should be; according to your criteria, it's only missing the ambi-safety and Novak sights.

Unfortunately, I don't think you'll ever find exactly the 1911 you'll want, short of a hi-priced custom. But the new S70 or the XSE you mentioned will both do marvelously.

Oh, and the S70 firing system is a big plus for me too :)

April 11, 2012, 05:43 PM
The series 70 has the arched mainspring housing and the short trigger, which I don't care for. Also, can you even put Novak sights on the series 70 since the slide is cut for the GI sights?

April 11, 2012, 07:40 PM
No, the 70 series slide needs to have Novak cuts done to fit Novak sights. A long trigger and Mainspring housing is a pretty quick swap, parts can be found at a good price on ebay.

April 11, 2012, 10:35 PM
cyclopsshooter, what did your series 70 cost you. I like the S70 firing system but to buy one and than add the ambi-safety, longer trigger, MSH and have the slide cut for Novak sights will put me way over $1,100. I'm probably better off buying the XSE and installing the GI bushing. I'm not too concerned about it having the Series 80 firing system although i might replace it at some point.

April 12, 2012, 03:06 AM
Bought my 70 Gov used in 1997 for $365 or so.. Yup, the XSE is a quicker and more affordable way to go- I personally like having an 80 series system in a carry gun- If Colts were more plentiful I'd suggest dry firing a few with the shops permission- Seems that 80 series XSEs are 50/50 hit or miss on having a crisp or creepy trigger- But you can have an 80 series with a good creep free pull if you look around- But don't expect to find many Colts right now.. They are pretty scarce..
Note: you can get a part from Brownelles that will fill the gap were the 80 series system is. If you pull it out-

If you enjoyed reading about "Full-size or Commander 1911 with this criteria" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!