Lower cost 1911s?


November 10, 2012, 03:01 AM
Hey all, I've been peeking at 1911s. (Hey who doesn't once in a while :rolleyes: )

I'm looking at the lower cost models such as Remington 1911 R1, Ruger SR1911, Springfield Armory G.I. 1911, Rock Island Armory G.I.

These are all about $600 and down, don't seem to be anything to special just G.I. guns. Exactly what I'd want. :D

Any downsides to these? I like the look and feel of a 1911, I just don't like the cost of higher end models. :what:

I'm really looking at reliability issues, I've heard 1911's have problems with S.D. ammo. I'm kinda OK with that considering I'd be launching .45 CAL whoppers at a perp. :evil:

Thanks all!

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November 10, 2012, 03:42 AM
One thing I would want is dovetail sight cuts. Some of the vintage style guns don't have them, and G.I. sights SUCK.

It's been a LONG time since 1911s wouldn't cycle HP ammo. These days, no manufacturer wants to be the one you have to have throated to feed all kinds of bullets.

I would gladly take a look at the Ruger in particular.

November 10, 2012, 05:43 AM
I have had a few 1911s in my life, and shot lots of them. Just my opinion from my personal experience.

The less expensive 1911s that I have owned and shot were very reliable, and plenty accurate for me as a general purpose pistol.

If you are a gamer, you may want all of the bells and whistles and there are plenty of them out there.

I carried a 45 in the army (68-71) and my issued pistol worked fine for me. I knew the armorer at battalion and mine had the newest and best GI issue parts he could fix me up with. I was an EOD specialist and we would routinely have thousands of rounds of ammo to destroy. Rather than dumping all of it in a burn pit, some of it got destroyed in the manner is was designed to be.

I had a lot of experience shooting the GI grade 45acp and all of the ammo I wanted to shoot. I found it to be a great pistol once I got used to it.

These days, I shoot my Glocks, M&Ps and my XDM the most. But I would like to have any of the pistols you mentioned in your OP.

November 10, 2012, 05:47 AM
I own Rock Islands, Sig and STI (Trojans). All are plenty fun and reliable. My Rock Island 9mm makes almost very trip to the range. The rock 45 is just as fun (just more expensive to shoot) but the STI at $600 has the best trigger of any 1911 I own. If cost is a deciding factor I'd get a Rock Tactical as they have some of the bells and whistles for about $450.

November 10, 2012, 05:53 AM
I edc the rock island tac good gun it gets my vote

November 10, 2012, 07:30 AM
Just a head's up, the Ruger SR1911 is not the same "G.I." model of the others that you listed. It has novak-style sights, a skeletonized hammer, extended beavertail, a skeletonized trigger, and a flat mainspring housing. All different from a "G.I." model 1911.

(and it is silver instead of park'd if that matters)

November 10, 2012, 07:47 AM
I have the Rock Island Match. It's a great gun.

November 10, 2012, 08:01 AM
I have a Taurus 1911, and 2 ATI 1911's, all 3 perform flawlessly. All were $500 or less.

November 10, 2012, 08:05 AM
GI sights suck. Unless you are being nostalgic and just have to have an "original" style GI 1911, you are better off getting one with sights that you like already installed. As previously mentioned, the Rock Island Tactical is a whole lot of gun for the money. The Remington 1911 or, better yet, the enhanced model, seems like a good way to go. The Ruger is a good gun and, if you want a full sized 1911,you really can't go wrong. I have one and it is a good gun. Along with the others you have mentioned, Citadel and the Desert Eagle are alspo worth looking at. Also, and I know I am going to get yelled at for this, Take a look at the Taurus 1911's. I have Two of them and they are great Guns. If you are thinking of carrying a 1911 though you may want to look at some of the compact models from some of the same companies. I genaerally carry a 4" 1911 but find myself more and more often carrying one of my 3" guns. I never carry any of my 5" guns.

November 10, 2012, 02:13 PM
as others were saying be sure to get something with modern style dovetail not GI sights.

Also add the Metro Arms American Classic II to your list of guns to look at. they're another Phillipino (sp?) manufacturer like Armscor (RIA). Locally they're still running well under $600. My Wife and I have one each, and in 2010 and early 2011 respectively they had price tags of $450 and $500, though since i worked where we bought Trisha's gun I got a 20% on top of that price...:D

the Only ammo either one has ever had issue with was Hornady "Steel Match" with the 230gr "HAP" bullets, and i may have a solution to that figured out.

November 10, 2012, 02:49 PM
A important point to remember when considering el cheapos like Rock Island is how good of a base gun they will be if you ever decided to upgrade it with aftermarket parts/work like trigger pull, safeties, match barrel, etc., etc...

Custom gunsmiths commonly use the Springield Armory for it's quality and uniformity of specifications..

November 10, 2012, 03:22 PM
I have recently seen a number of entry level priced 1911's that were manufactured in Turkey in a plant apparently certified by ISO and NATO. The pictures and the price are both attractive, but I have no direct knowledge of their quality. If I had not purchased a Remington R1 a year ago (a nice shooting pistol - still having intermittent issues with the less than impressive magazines, though) I would be looking for more info on the Turkish made 1911. Anyone with first hand knowledge of these?

Obviously you get what you pay for, but a reliable budget-priced version of this iconic pistol could be a good introduction.

Rail Driver
November 10, 2012, 03:55 PM
My EDC is a Rock Island Armory GI 1911, and I love it. I've never had any problems with any of the Rocks I've owned (this one makes 5). I just finished staining and refinishing the grips with tung oil. Need to find a parked slide stop though - the blued one is a mismatch that came on the gun (got this one used).


November 10, 2012, 04:25 PM
I own a number of budget 1911s- the MetroArms American Classic II, The RIA Tac, and a Citadel CS. All are great. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone for 99% of applications, and I carry them all regularly.

November 10, 2012, 04:31 PM
I actually prefer GI sights.:uhoh: I actually find 3-dot types to be somewhat distracting.
Then again, I still have my young, better than 20/20 eyesight. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune in 20 years or so.

On the topic at hand: budget 1911s are typically reliable if not especially accurate. They're more than good enough for man-sized targets out to 50 meters, but you probably wouldn't want to compete with one out of the box.

That being said, my Regent R100 (retails $500) has been my constant companion and it's given me no trouble.

303 hunter
November 10, 2012, 04:38 PM
I've owned 2 Charles Daly 1911's(made by Armscor,the same mfg. of Rock Island). They were both great guns.

November 10, 2012, 04:56 PM
Truth is most of the weapon manufacturers use CNC machining and that will make the gun exactly like the original blueprints ie:Colt 1911. With the exception of a few minor upgrades, you will be essentially getting an exact Colt copy.

November 10, 2012, 07:48 PM
Truth is most of the weapon manufacturers use CNC machining and that will make the gun exactly like the original blueprints ie:Colt 1911. With the exception of a few minor upgrades, you will be essentially getting an exact Colt copy.

While the CNC business may be true, the question would be, who has a copy of the original 1911 blueprints and if they have them, who has decided to make something different from the original.

The joke (well it's really not a joke, because for the most part it's true) in the 1911 world is the only drop in parts on a 1911 are the springs. Just about everybody makes something different and still calls it a 1911.

November 10, 2012, 08:51 PM
From the ones you listed, I'd take the Ruger SR1911 hands down.

November 11, 2012, 10:30 AM
Don't overlook the STI Spartan, great gun.

November 11, 2012, 11:26 AM
I have two RIA 1911's, one in .45acp one in 9mm. I've had some dealings with the gunsmiths/customer service at RIA, and they are a first class outfit. I'm a believer. The guns may lack something in the pretty department depending upon your personal preference, but mine are accurate and reliable, the triggers are very good and I'm quite happy with the way they work as a range toy (all my guns are range toys).

The tactical models are very much worth the extra bucks.

I changed the grips on mine.


RIA 1911's get my vote for best bang for the buck in the 1911 catagory.

November 11, 2012, 11:57 AM
I've seen a fair number of the guns you've mentioned in person. And shot most of them as well. They all shoot fine. The difference comes in what level of fit and finish you would like to have and if you have strong feelings over "made in America" or not.

Sadly I've yet to actually see and handle a Ruger because they are off the shelves before I even see one. Although reports and pictures sure do make it look nice.

But I did recently buy a Remington R1 enhanced based on haveing handled and inspected a couple of their GI style R1's previously. Overall the Remington product seems to be very nice for the price with darn good fit and finish.

The only thing you can do is start with looking them all over and compare them for fit, finish and features (such as the sights) then go with the one which seems to speak to you most strongly.

November 11, 2012, 12:19 PM
If you get the RIA, get the tactical. Its upgrades are worth it if you aren't after the simple nostalgia of the GI model.

Funny, this is the second time in a few short minutes I've had reason to post this old picture (the gun is still there many years later)


November 11, 2012, 04:09 PM
The new Auto-Ordnance 1911A1 is the one i plan to buy because it's made in the USA and the reveiws i read was all good and even the reviewers after testing bought there guns to keep.

I also am thinking about the Remington top of the line model which was around $1000 but one of the lesser models of it,, i first held the Remington and then the AO and that Auto-Ordnance will surprize you on how well it feels and is made which i'm looking at $530 for the Auto-Ordnance.

November 11, 2012, 05:45 PM
I'm looking at the lower cost models such as Remington 1911 R1, Ruger SR1911, Springfield Armory G.I. 1911, Rock Island Armory G.I.

These are all about $600 and down,

I don't know where you're seeing SR1911s and 1911 R1s for under $600, but they're both been over that any place I've looked. $620 before tax or shipping & transfer is about the best you'll do.

That said, if you're looking for a GI style gun, nix the SR1911

If you're looking for an American made GI 1911, that leaves the Auto Ordnance, the Remington and the Colt.

The Colt is $1k, so I'm guessing that's a no-go

If you want good sights, the AO is off the list, as are the SA and RIA.

Basically, the R1 is the only GI style 1911 that is made in USA, has decent sights that are easily changed, and comes in under a grand. And that's why I chose it for me.

November 11, 2012, 06:08 PM
Bud's has the base 1911R1 for $610 shipped.

Just One Shot
November 11, 2012, 06:12 PM
$600.00 :eek: If you can find a Ruger 1911 anywhere near $600.00 you should buy it. They are like hens teeth around here and when you do find one it's way north of that price. I've seen guys trying to sell used ones for $800.00-$900.00. I wasn't able to find a Ruger reasonably priced so I purchased a lightly used S&W 1911 PD with the lightweight Scandium frame. S&W also makes a great 1911 worthy of your consideration. Don't let the external extractor throw you off. Unlike Kimbers failed attempt at an external extractor, the S&W works.

November 11, 2012, 06:14 PM

If you're going with a Rock Island, Sarco (old school ad, very low tech, page 7 has the RIA), has a special deal for $359.99 plus shipping for the GI model.


November 11, 2012, 08:06 PM
I'm a tad over 300 rounds through my Ruger SR1911, and I'm very happy with it.

November 12, 2012, 10:56 AM
Bud's has the base 1911R1 for $610 shipped.

That's not what I see:

Remington R1 1911 45ACP 5" OUT OF STOCK Last price was $616.00

November 12, 2012, 01:18 PM
I have an ati g.i. model payed less than $400.00 when bought ,It has taken every thing i could throw at it.it shots every thing from{mbc} 185gr button nose-230gr rn.with no problems feeding. great gun for the money.

November 14, 2012, 11:14 AM
Another vote for the RIA "Tactical" Great gun and at about $450 you'll have money left over for ammo!

My first RIA was the standard "GI" that I bought to put an Optima/J-Point red dot sight on. About 15000 rounds later its still one of my favorites!

November 14, 2012, 12:01 PM
I just bought a Regent R100, and I'm very pleased. I know next to nothing about quality 1911's, but the Regent has been 100% reliable, has very nice fit to the slide, and feels great to shoot.

The only downside I can find is that the finish on it is pretty shallow. I wore a spot on the slide against the copper button of my jeans. Not a big deal as resale on a budget 1911 isn't that great, and I bought this one to bugger up before deciding if a $1K one was worth it for me.

Still, for $429-ish, I'm pleased. The Turks know how to crank out some good guns, and this 1911 clone seems to be a winner.

That said, it's as basic as it gets. I wanted a stock government model for history sake, but they did add a few extras. It's got the Series 80 safety which some do not like. However, the throat is super polished. I don't see any reason why it won't reliably feed jhp all day long.

November 14, 2012, 03:06 PM
My first and only (so far) 1911 is the Ruger SR1911. I was looking to handle one locally for over a year without any luck so I just went and bought the first sub-$650 one I found online. I'm very happy with it.

November 14, 2012, 03:25 PM
Are the Rugers still hard to find? Because I saw at least 2 at my last local gunshow, and it was a tiny show.

November 14, 2012, 06:15 PM
Are the Rugers still hard to find?

Depends on where you are, some markets (areas) they seem to slowly dribble into. and there are still alot of folks looking for one who have yet to have more than their first sighting of one "in the steel".

But if you're like me and live near to a major (gun friendly) metro area (Houston in my case) the likelihood jumps considerably that most shops around you that stock Ruger will either have an SR1911 in the case or one on the way to replace the one they just sold, if not one or two in the back.
The little fairly low volume shop we have here in downtown lake jackson had one on the shelf 4 hours ago when i stopped in looking for reloading supplies.

November 15, 2012, 01:43 PM
Sorry, Wrong thread.

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