People's Experience with Highend Production 1911s


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9mmepiphany
May 17, 2012, 01:10 AM
This is a poll to see how many folks actually have experience with the high end production 1911s. This isn't a thread to argue about the cost or value of these pistols. I'd like to compare the basic models by each maker. These are guns you can usually contact a stocking dealer and get one without an extended wait (which I define as less than a year)

I know there is quite a price range here from just under $2000 to close to $3000, but what I'm looking for is experience shooting one of these platforms...lets say at least a hundred rounds, although I'd prefer something in excess of 500 rounds.

Please don't vote if you've just always wanted one or if you just think one is better or your favorite

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TonyT
May 17, 2012, 07:03 AM
I have several Dan Wesson Pointmans. Two older blued versions, one if 45ACP and one with both 9mm and 40 S&W uppers. My third DW is a current stainless PM-9 in 9mm. In my limited experience the Dan Wesson 1911's are excellent value for the dollar in terms of both reliability and accuracy. Great fit and finish with super factory trigger.

tuj
May 17, 2012, 08:31 AM
Les Baer PII 1.5G here. Very accurate, as it should be with the 1.5" guarantee. Trigger is scary good and can be adjusted safely to scary light (the previous owner had it adjusted to 1.75lbs on my gauge and yes, it passed all the safety tests); I have it set to 3.5lbs now. Can't say its run flawless; it doesn't like SWC bullets at all, but runs just fine with Tripp mags and FMJ.

rellascout
May 17, 2012, 10:28 AM
I have shot some on the list but own none. I do own a Les Baer TRS, a Dan Wesson CBOB and a Colt CCO customized by Wild West Guns. I will limit my comments to the Dan Wesson and the Les Baer because I have shot them extensively.

In today's market I think that the Dan Wessons, I have shot the Valor enough that I feel I can comment, is the gateway drug to high end 1911s. If I did not already own a TRS I would get one. You can get one for $1500 to $1800 depending on finish and your local market. They are well fitted. They have premium parts and are very close to the JMB spec. So you can swap out what you want if you feel the need to modify or customize. Not many shooters will find it a DW 1911 is the thing holding them back. They are 95% + of the way to a $5000+ Gun like a Wilson Supergrade or full house custom.

If I were in the market for another high end 1911 I would get a Valor and then customize it a bit and send it to Dave Severns for a Hard Hat treatment. I personally would have it dehorned swap the trigger and a few other mods. My CBOB was my EDC for a few years before it was replaced by my custom Colt CCO. It was more than enough gun in my hands for any task I will face. The CBOB is better gun than I am a shooter and the same goes for the Valor. After all I consider myself a duffer with a professional set of clubs... LOL :eek:

The Les Baer TRS is the same price point as the the Permier II so I think it meets the OPs criteria. It is a great gun. It is soooo tight. Almost too tight but it runs. I have never had a hiccup with the gun. I acquired it used but it had only had about 200 rounds down the pipe. This gun does not have the 1.5" guarantee but in the right hands I know it is close to that level. The trigger is crisp and clean. It breaks a little under 5lbs which is where I wanted it. It is a defense gun for me not a target gun.

Down the road as the bluing wears I might swap the sights out and then again get Hard Hat treatment or teflon. The blue finish on the Les Baer is its only weakness. I love the look but it simply does not hold up as well as some of todays better coating like Hard Hat, Wilson Tuff Armor or even the DW Duty Coat.

I personally found the checkering and some of the lines on the pistol to be too sharp. I knocked them down a bit with a extra fine stone and this preference was easy to correct. When you look at all the hand work that goes into these pistols they are a great value at $1900 price point. It is far more gun than I am capable of taking advantage of. I am confident it will outlast my lifetime and most likely my sons. These guns are built the old school way and it shows.

IMHO you cannot go wrong with either of these pistols. If I had to choose one or the other today off the shelf it would be the Valor because I could customize it and refinish it for the same price as the Baer. When you get above this price point the law of diminishing returns kicks in. I have shot Wilsons which cost 2Xs as much and while I can appaerciate what went into it I am not enough of a shooter to need it. I have come to the realization that the TRS is more than enough gun for me. That does not mean I will never buy one but they are not at the top of my current want/need list.

kcshooter
May 17, 2012, 10:46 AM
I've shot em all except the Nighthawk. The Wilson wasn't a CQB, I don't remember exactly which model. Hard to say which was my favorite. They are all very nice. The Brown had insanely impressive accuracy. Not something I'd spend that much on personally, but I get it.

I prefer to take a base model and customize to my preferences. I built my own from scratch based on SA Pro specs but that was waaay more work than expected. Payoff was worth it in the end, but after that experience, I decided that taking a good basic model and going from there is definitely the way to go.

smalls
May 17, 2012, 06:15 PM
I've shot roughly 150 rounds through both a Valor (well, VBOB) and a WC (can't recall which model). I've shot a few Springfield's, but none from their custom shop.

19-3Ben
May 17, 2012, 06:26 PM
First 1911 I ever shot was a Wilson CQB. Kinda spoiled the fun!
After that, every 1911 I've shot is ok but... meh.

EddieNFL
May 17, 2012, 07:09 PM
Nighthawk, Wilson and Baer. Kimbers and Colts moved to the bottom of the safe.

Ankeny
May 17, 2012, 08:08 PM
I have owned four of the guns listed. All of them were great pistols and a joy to shoot.

PO2Hammer
May 17, 2012, 09:08 PM
I bought a Baer P-II a few years ago, one of the first out of the then new Iowa plant. Accuracy was excellent, but the build quality left a lot to be desired. Thin bueing, badly drilled extractor hole that lead to other issues, poorly molded/cast sights, the rear sight had to be adjusted all the way to the right to make it shoot straight, the grip panels had bad checkering, many of the diamonds were missing, the 'hand cut checkering' must have been done by a trainee. For $1,900 I was very disappointed.

Shipwreck
May 17, 2012, 11:13 PM
I have owned an Ed Brown Special Forces - finest 45 cal 1911 I have ever owned.

I also had a Springfield Custom Full Rail Operator in 9mm (basically a 9mm full rail pro). AWESOME accuracy.

I migrated out of 1911s last year, and sold both.

However, if I ever bought another high end 1911, it would be a Springfield Professional

cyclopsshooter
May 17, 2012, 11:44 PM
All are way out of my league but I did put a box through a Wilson. I have owned a lot of Colts but the Wilson was something special. The detail, fit, and finish was reminiscent of pre-war national matches, just with modern metallurgy! (Felt a little heftier though, almost like solid indestructibility.) I didn't vote, really don't know anything about any of them.

dubya450
May 18, 2012, 12:24 AM
I've shot my uncle's llama. Is that high end enough??! :neener:

Seriously though my co-worker has a nighthawk that he offered to let me try when I fund time to make it out to his house (backyard range). If the thread is still active ill post my thoughts on the nighthawk when I get the chance.

mljdeckard
May 18, 2012, 12:27 AM
I spent some quality time at a rental range with a Nighthawk. It looks and feels great, but I shot a few hundred rounds through it, and it jammed on me a couple of times. I know it's rental gun, but.......for that price? I just can't see how the higher cost is justified.

9mmepiphany
May 18, 2012, 02:05 PM
Thank you folks for voting and sharing your experiences.

I'm looking to see if there is a corrolation between price points and also if there is one reflected in 1911 recommendation threads.

A side benefit for me is that it gives me an idea of folks recommending guns without actual hands on experience with them.

I'm reluctantly considering a similar poll for mid-range 1911s

rellascout
May 18, 2012, 03:27 PM
I personally think that it is hard to comment on a gun meaningfully that you have not shot extensively. 500+ round IMHO is just a start.

You can comment on fit and finish cosmetics etc... but not so much on the actual function and performance that is why I did not comment on brands like Wilson, SA Pro or ED Brown. My few hundred rounds down the pipe on these guns really would not give you or anyone else too much insight beyond they looked and felt good. LOL

cyclopsshooter
May 18, 2012, 03:34 PM
I'm reluctantly considering a similar poll for mid-range 1911s

Why reluctantly?

rellascout
May 18, 2012, 03:41 PM
Why reluctantly?

I suspect 9mmepiphany assumes it will be a much bigger can of worms. A lot more people will meet the minimum criteria. I also think that the variance in the product at this price point can change drastically from one gun to the next.

cyclopsshooter
May 18, 2012, 04:33 PM
Good points... probably should have thought about it a little :P Yeah, it'll be a zoo. (Still fun though)

1858
May 18, 2012, 05:02 PM
I own (and regularly shoot) three Ed Brown Special Forces, a Dan Wesson Valor and Dan Wesson V-Bob. I've shot a friend's Wilson Combat CQB.

Robbins290
May 18, 2012, 10:12 PM
What about sig 1911's?

56hawk
May 18, 2012, 10:16 PM
I have four STIs. Guess they aren't high end enough to make the list. Never shot any of the guns on the list though.

cyclopsshooter
May 18, 2012, 10:59 PM
Sigs and STIs are not quite top tier like the pistols listed (granted they have some very nice editions that get quite a treatment before leaving the factory) Colt is a notch below as well, I own a number and have had many new ones in and out of my display case. Finding a near perfect one is nearly impossible. One in ten MIGHT be something really special. They are all good guns mechanically, and have a reputation for out of the box reliability but they often have small blemishes or less than stellar trigger pulls in the 1991 series and in the XSE line. There are also metallurgical differences and gunsmith fitting times... Good builders cost money, they are practically artists.

9mmepiphany
May 18, 2012, 11:10 PM
What about sig 1911's?
Production, yes; Highend Production...not quite. It was hard to even come up with seven (7) choices

The SIG 1911s would be in the mid-range like the S&W and Dan Wesson regular line.

56hawk
May 18, 2012, 11:22 PM
STIs are not quite top tier like the pistols listed

Interesting. They are in the same price range as the listed guns. Well at least I get 26 round magazines. :neener:

9mmepiphany
May 18, 2012, 11:46 PM
Interesting. They are in the same price range as the listed guns. Well at least I get 26 round magazines. :neener:
The list wasn't determined by the respective MSRP of the models included

esheato
May 18, 2012, 11:51 PM
I have an Ed Brown Executive Target in 45 ACP.

Smoothest, most accurate gun I've ever shot. The slide is so incredibly smooth,
It is hard to describe unless you feel it.

I did have probs with igniting Win primers but I believe they use 9mm/38 super FPs. Easily solved by switching to Fed pistol primers.

And I own SVI, Kimber, Bruce Gray Custom, Colt, etc. I've spent time pulling Springfield Custom and Les Baer triggers also.

Ed

56hawk
May 18, 2012, 11:52 PM
The list wasn't determined by the respective MSRP of the models included

I'm sure. However when you say high end 1911, the first thing I think is STI. I'm sorry, I'll leave your thread alone now. :)

kamagong
May 19, 2012, 12:31 AM
I have a Les Baer Concept II and the Springfield Custom Carry. They aren't the same as the guns you asked about , but the quality is the same. The only differences are external features -- parts quality and workmanship is equal to the Premier II and Professional.

I really like the Baer. Shooting it is a breeze, I can understand why Larry Vickers says that the 1911's trigger is a crutch for some people. I got the Baer because I wanted a 1911 that was made the way JMB designed, using quality parts and built by skilled gunsmiths. It's not as refined as Brown or Wilson, but it's significantly cheaper. I don't mind it at all, I like Baer's old school aesthetic. And I don't have any complaints, my Concept II is reliable, accurate, and smooth.

That said, I like my Springfield Custom Carry a little more. Part of it is looks, I prefer the lack of front cocking serrations on the CC. But mostly the dehorning job is better on the Springfield Custom. It feels a little bit better in my hand.

Both of these guns are tightly fitted. When in battery the slide and frame feels like it is a single piece of steel. I like this solidity. Others don't. Only way to find out is to check out guns from the different manufactures and see what you like. I will tell you that I've never experienced any problems because of the tightness, both guns have run since the first magazine.

Inebriated
May 19, 2012, 12:35 AM
I voted for the Wilson Combat CQB, but do not have more than 30 rounds through one. I didn't read that you wanted more than 100.


Absolutely gorgeous gun, though.

el Godfather
May 19, 2012, 01:38 AM
VBob.... Awesome

9mmepiphany
May 19, 2012, 03:53 AM
Interestingly the numbers are evening out and the Nighthawk is making a surge

CDW4ME
May 20, 2012, 08:35 AM
I have the DW Valor, Brown Special Forces and Baer UTC (close enough?).
I have not shot them much since my initial range report(s).

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=329087

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=329110

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=324670

:)

Jed Carter
May 21, 2012, 05:13 AM
I am lucky enough to have a Les Baer PM II, and a S&W PC 1911. The LB is an incredible shooter but my STIs do everthing it does, but better and cheaper. The S&W Performance Center 1911 which I found used, shoots in a class of it's own, great trigger and fit on this pistol but the finish seems thin and there was surface rust on the rear slide serrations. Still my STIs cost less and shoot nearly as well as the S&W, the PC does have a nice aluminum case to sit in the safe while I am out shooting the STI Trojan 9mm, it is not the gun but the price of ammo that keeps it at home most days. I don't reload, wife is too pretty, it's a wonder I can find any time to go shoot... might have to get out the Les Baer and the Performance Center pistols... and take the wife.

SwampWolf
May 21, 2012, 03:40 PM
Not a 1911 but with many 1911 features, my Smith Model 945 is easily the equal of my Series 70 Colt Gold Cup in terms of accuracy; is ultra-reliable and the build quality, workmanship and finish befits its $1,500.00 price range. It's my favorite .45 ACP pistol-and I have a couple of nice 1911s to compare it with.

In terms of the poll, I have shot the S&W PC 1911 fairly extensively (albeit a few rounds under the thousand round benchmark) and believe it to be an extremely well-made, reliable and accurate pistol. I only wish I could say that I've had experience with the other pistols being compared in the poll.

1858
May 21, 2012, 05:24 PM
9mmepiphany,
Does your poll focus on 5" models? Also, what sort of information are you looking for specifically?

9mmepiphany
May 21, 2012, 09:05 PM
I tried to select the models at the high end of Springfield Armory, Dan Wesson and S&W lines to compare with the entry level models from the High End Houses because I believe that appeal top the same demographic.

I was focusing on the 5" models as all manufactures named offer a representative model.

I was trying to determine how many folks who offer recommendation of High End Production 1911s actually have some experience, especially with more than one manufacturer, or are basing their recommendations almost solely of desire and rumors.

I was also looking to see if price or renown made a difference in the manufacturers experienced...I must admit to a bit of surprise at how even the representation has been.

Something unintended is that I now have an idea of the level of creditability of folks who post on 1911 threads...this isn't based only on this poll, I already had a fairly good idea from reading memember's post.

The qualifications that I set to validate posting/opinion was based on my personal exposure with the above models. I wouldn't even consider my knowledge to be anymore than baseless opinion in a 1911 thread if I didn't have that background.

MyGreenGuns
May 22, 2012, 12:21 AM
None. But there is a Wilson Combat in my wishlist.

cyclopsshooter
May 22, 2012, 03:06 AM
I was trying to determine how many folks who offer recommendation of High End Production 1911s actually have some experience, especially with more than one manufacturer, or are basing their recommendations almost solely of desire and rumors.


I see a lot of votes, and not many posts by those backing up their experiences. How can you be sure of validity?

Something unintended is that I now have an idea of the level of creditability of folks who post on 1911 threads...this isn't based only on this poll, I already had a fairly good idea from reading memember's post.

What are your conclusions? Give me a sec to grab my tin foil hat :P

critter
May 22, 2012, 06:13 AM
I have the Les Baer and an Ed Brown. They have caused me to sell off several of my many 1911's.

Have to admit, however, that they are very boring guns. Always work, always shoot very small groups-time in, time out, day after day. NO exciting jams, snags, wild shots, etc. I have several thousand rounds through each of them.

Loosedhorse
May 22, 2012, 06:23 AM
I have a S&W PC (in .38 Super). A complete joy.

Unfortunately, I have no experience with the others, and can make no comparisons. But only praise for the looks, function, and accuracy of the S&W.

Resist Evil
May 22, 2012, 07:43 AM
My wife owns a Nighthawk, but not the model listed. I personally have ~150 rounds through it. Fine fit and finish. Very accurate. It's not usable in IDPA's CDP division.

I owned a S&W PC 1911. A very fine pistol. Smooth crisp trigger, good melonite finish, good fit on all parts. Also very accurate with ~300 rounds through it. Oddball sight dovetails. Sold it to help finance the Nighthawk. My friend has it and uses it for carry and IDPA. It has functioned perfectly for him through several matches and practice sessions.

9mmepiphany
May 22, 2012, 10:20 AM
What are your conclusions? Give me a sec to grab my tin foil hat :P
It would be silly to draw conclusions from the internet...much better to form impressions that can be confirmed through experience :D

cyclopsshooter
May 22, 2012, 11:35 AM
I grant you that- but you sidestepped the question with the skill of a politician :D What is your impression of post quality on high end 1911 threads? I really have no idea because I usually don't give them much thought (too expensive for me.. at least for now)

elrowe
May 22, 2012, 11:42 AM
Not sure which model, but a student brought a new Wilson Combat to a recent CCDW class. I wasn't $1,500 more impressed than any of the standard production 1911s (I own four SA and Colt versions in .45 ACP and 9mm and used that as comparison).

9mmepiphany
May 22, 2012, 05:44 PM
I grant you that- but you sidestepped the question with the skill of a politician :D What is your impression of post quality on high end 1911 threads? I really have no idea because I usually don't give them much thought (too expensive for me.. at least for now)
...and I thought I'd be able to slip one by you :neener:

I thought you were asking about my perception of the creditability of posters. :scrutiny:

I believe that many folks who post of High End Production 1911 threads either don't have any experience or don't have the breath of experience needed to make a valid comparison...but, they'll vote for what they've always been told are the top names.

A common give away is when they insist that these are really custom made 1911s or if they start the post with "I've always wanted..." or "#1 on my list to buy is..."

I once had a top tier pistolsmith tell me ;) to beware if the word Custom was in the name of the shop

cpirtle
May 22, 2012, 05:50 PM
I was also looking to see if price or renown made a difference in the manufacturers experienced...I must admit to a bit of surprise at how even the representation has been.

Honestly, I'm not that suprised it's even. If any one maker/brand stood out as a dog or as an amazing value it would have been pretty well vetted by now.

About the only one who comes close is Dan Wesson and I've drawn the conclusion that you almost have to take DW on a case by case basis.

Before anyone draws their swords, let me qualify that by saying I feel all of the DW's are excellent firearms, I own three of their 1911's currently and have owned more. Based on current pricing their 1911's are exactly where they should be price wise offering a slightly better value IMO than some higher end pieces. If you have the opportunity to hand pick from a selection of the same model guns you may find one that rivals guns costing much much more. This is the case with my Valor, I had the opportunity to hand pick it from a supply of 5 or 6 and I will put it up against any of the more expensive 1911's I own.

When I paid $950 for my CBOB it was a spectacular value, but alas the pricing has almost caught up to the quality.

Currently I own a Brown Kobra Carry, Baer Stainless Stinger, S&W PC 945, Benchmark Precision Custom 9mm, DW Valor, DW CCO, DW CBOB.

Price aside here's a seat of the pants rating on how I feel about them overall:

- Brown Kobra Carry
- DW Valor
- Baer Stinger
- Benchmark Precision Custom 9mm **
- DW CCO
- DW CBOB
- S&W PC 945

** The Benchmark Precision I have is a highly tuned Springfield, not one of his full custom pieces. I rate it higher than some guns I have more $$ in.

I owned a Nighthawk and while it was a great pistol I just didn't feel like my sample met the standards I've come to expect from other high-end makers.

I have owned up to 4 Sig 1911's and while I think they are great they just aren't in the same league as the ones being discussed here. I do Still own a Sig Tacops Commander that I had worked over by Benchmark Precision and honestly it's one of my favorites, not really sure why ;)

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