SR1911 or a Prancing Pony


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thomis
March 18, 2013, 04:36 PM
I'm diving head-first into a 1911. Been wanting one for years. I just sold an old shotgun safe queen that wasn't seeing the light of day. I'll be starting off with $800 which would cover the cost of the SR1911, But I could be talked into saving a few hundred more for a Colt 70 or 80 series. I'm more partial to blued steel anyway, so the Colt would cover that. With the SR1911 my only option is SS.
I'd like to hear from those of you that have handled and shot BOTH. What are your opinions, comparing the two, fit and finish, accuracy, reliability?
This would be strictly a target gun.
Many thanks!

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Auto426
March 18, 2013, 05:08 PM
I wouldn't pay the inflated prices that most Ruger SR1911's seem to be going for now-a-days. Since you seem to be desiring a blued gun, I suggest you look around for a blued 1991 model from Colt, which can usually be had for right around $850. If you desire more modern features, then the XSE models can usually be had for around $950 or so.

jogar80
March 18, 2013, 05:14 PM
Colt

Pilot
March 18, 2013, 06:01 PM
I really like the two Colt 1911's I've bought in the last few years. They look and shoot great, and Colts seem to hold their value well.

thomis
March 18, 2013, 06:11 PM
I wonder if Colt's customer service is as good as Ruger's.

19-3Ben
March 18, 2013, 06:15 PM
I just saw an SR1911 in what looked like really nice shape in my LGS in the used case (I'm not in the market so I didn't look TOO hard though). I think it was marked at ~$580.

If you want info let me know.

wojownik
March 18, 2013, 06:41 PM
Colt, then Springfield, then Ruger, in that order. YMMV.

Fishbed77
March 18, 2013, 06:46 PM
I wonder if Colt's customer service is as good as Ruger's.

It is.

Brent Turchi, the head of Colt's Custom Shop hangs out at the 1911 Forum (goes by the handle BJT72), and has a great reputation for custom service.

jim243
March 18, 2013, 06:55 PM
It's easy to get a Colt, much harder to find a SR1911

Jim

thomis
March 18, 2013, 07:16 PM
All of my LGS's have the SR1911 in stock ranging from $729 to $779. If they are out now, they get more next one. One in particular, Perry's in Wendell, NC, has sold over 350 in the last couple months.

Sauer Grapes
March 18, 2013, 08:02 PM
For close to $800 I would buy a Springfield loaded or range officer before considering a sr1911.
I just bought a new Colt Combat Elite. I am really impressed with Colt's guns. Plus, it will be a better investment down the road.


181584

smalls
March 18, 2013, 08:10 PM
I know I'm in the minority here, but to me Colts just aren't anything special. At least for what you pay for one. I haven't shot one, and I've only been able to hold one once, but the SR seemed tighter than any Colt I've ever seen, and all the corners were more rounded and not as sharp.

VAgunner
March 18, 2013, 08:18 PM
I know I'm in the minority here, but to me Colts just aren't anything special. At least for what you pay for one. I haven't shot one, and I've only been able to hold one once, but the SR seemed tighter than any Colt I've ever seen, and all the corners were more rounded and not as sharp.

Cast vs Forged... Frames makes a big difference for a lot of people. The Ruger is a decent gun for the $600 it should be selling for. At inflated prices like $775-$800 it simply is not worth the cash.

Rugers still have not proven themselves in the 1911 market IMHO. They are off to a good start but there are very few reports of high round count Ruger 1911s.

Also I would be interested to know what you are referring to when you say the SR was tighter....

thomis
March 18, 2013, 08:57 PM
I want American made, that's why I'm not considering Springfield.
I don't want used, I rarely buy used guns. It's just between Colt and Ruger.
Can someone elaborate between forged and cast frames, and which one is which, I mean Colt is which and Ruger is which? That comment got my intention.

mgmorden
March 18, 2013, 09:47 PM
Can someone elaborate between forged and cast frames, and which one is which, I mean Colt is which and Ruger is which? That comment got my intention.

The Ruger is cast - Colt is forged.

Simplified explanation: on the cast frame, the metal is poured into a mold that is pretty close to the final shape of the frame. Once it cools, final milling and CNC work is done to bring the shape into spec.

On the forged frame, a billet/block of steel is heated and hammer forged (think of it as compressing the metal to make it denser and stronger). After the forged metal cools again the frame is cut completely out of a solid block of metal.

Forged metal is much stronger, and is more expensive to make. That said, given how many guns these days are using polymer frames with no ill effects, I personally question how important the added strength really is.

FWIW, as others have said, the Ruger's price has been inflated by its rarity. The great thing about the gun was originally that it was an American made 1911 for several hundred less than the competitors. After the scarcity drove up prices though you essentially have people paying premium prices for a budget 1911. At any price over $700 I'd personally spend the extra money on a Colt, Kimber, or STI Trojan.

Pud
March 18, 2013, 09:55 PM
Since no one here has answered the OP's original questions...and I CAN'T, because I have never fired a Colt( I do have a SR1911 CMD-very happy with it).
May I suggest checking out the "1911.com" forums...
You will find more than enough info to help you in your decision making.
Pud

DANGERRUSS
March 18, 2013, 09:58 PM
I have owned a Colt, STI Trojan, Taurus 1911, and a RIA. If or when I get another 1911 I think it will be the SR1911. It has all the features that I want and does not have some I hate ( front slide serrations, ambi safety, and fiber optic sights) add that it is American made makes it just right for me.

VAgunner
March 18, 2013, 10:26 PM
The Ruger is cast - Colt is forged.

Simplified explanation: on the cast frame, the metal is poured into a mold that is pretty close to the final shape of the frame. Once it cools, final milling and CNC work is done to bring the shape into spec.

On the cast frame, a billet/block of steel is heated and hammer forged (think of it as compressing the metal to make it denser and stronger). After the forged metal cools again the frame is cut completely out of a solid block of metal.



I think you have a typo. ;) Second paragraph should read "on the forged frame"

For the most part the cast frame is not as big an issue as many make it out to be. For the most part is it the slide where strength is really needed. It is where all the "action" takes place. The slide is the part that really takes a beating on a 1911. IIRC the Ruger slide is forged. The frame is just a mount for the slide and the barrel to ride along.

That said on a $800 1911 I expect both frame and slide to be forged. The only exception to that is the older Dan Wesson CBOBs which had cast frames.

jogar80
March 18, 2013, 11:01 PM
I voted Colt. Here's my bottom line:
I think, with a few exceptions, it's pretty hard to get a bad 1911 these days. Most will perform just as good as any other. I think what you WILL get with other brands vs. a Colt, for the same money, is a nicer exterior finish. I don't exactly like the factory finish on most Colt 1911's, which is why I sent mine back to Colt to get a full polish job. Aesthetics aside, the Colts perform equally to any other good brand I've ever tried. Why am I so passionate about the Colt then? Quite simply, that little prancing horse ensures that I'll pretty much get what I paid for it, or more, if I ever decide to sell it. That can not be said of ANY other brand of 1911, factory or full custom...PERIOD.

mgmorden
March 18, 2013, 11:19 PM
I think you have a typo. Second paragraph should read "on the forged frame"

Oops. Yes, that's correct. Edited :).

Auto426
March 18, 2013, 11:24 PM
I want American made, that's why I'm not considering Springfield.
I don't want used, I rarely buy used guns. It's just between Colt and Ruger.
Can someone elaborate between forged and cast frames, and which one is which, I mean Colt is which and Ruger is which? That comment got my intention.


It's not just the frames though. Colt uses better quality small parts than most in their price range. For instance, Colt uses a slide stop that is milled from barstock, while many companies use MIM or cast slide stops. The barstock part is more expensive, but it will be stronger and better able to stand up to the forces acting upon it.

As another posted said, the Ruger was supposed to sell for around $600-$650, but demand for them has outpaced supply and prices have been effected. The prices on Colts have been pretty steady, though finding them can sometimes be difficult. They don't keep their entire catalog of models in production throughout entire year, which may leave you searching for some time to find a particular model. To me though, they are worth the wait.

CNobbe
March 19, 2013, 12:15 AM
I personally think the history of the Colt 1911 makes owning and shooting one more fun. I've had four of them, still have a Series 70 and a 1991 and they're made better than the Ruger IMO. Always prefer forged over cast, but I did have a Ruger 1911 and never had a problem with it. I sold it for a profit despite firing a few hundred rounds through it back in '11.

Depending on what features you want, and considering the price a lot of shops are asking (and getting) for the SR1911....check out the Sig 1911s too.

I've only tried the basic "XO" model, but boy was it a nice shooter. Nice features on it as well for a $750 gun.

I plan on adding one to the collection pretty soon here.

Fishbed77
March 19, 2013, 12:15 AM
I considered a Ruger SR1911 strongly, since it has a great feature set, is American made (a requirement for a 1911, in my eyes), and have not proven to be that tough to find around here (when I was looking, I had no problem finding them for under $700.

But I decided that I should just spend a little extra to get what I really wanted - a Colt Government XSE, and I have not regretted it for one second. American-made, incredible fit & finish for a mass-produced pistol, forged frame, perfect reliability so far, and a rampant pony on the slide (not a prancing pony). What's not to love?

http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff427/Fishbed77/DSC_0217.jpg

tarosean
March 19, 2013, 12:21 AM
The Ruger a nice looking gun to look at. However if I was going for a shooter or carry piece it would be Colt.. You can always add E Brown or Wilson small parts to enhance the look.

Ankeny
March 19, 2013, 12:44 AM
Having shot both, I can say the Ruger is a nice gun for the money. But...last week a friend of mine bought the "commander" sized Ruger to go along with his full size. Looks like the short gun rode in on the short bus. Poorly fit small parts, lacking in quality control, etc. Still, he bought both of his gun NIB for less than MSRP. For that kind of money, they are good guns.

I bought a new Colt (Colt/Talo .38 Super Lwt. Commander) a few weeks ago. It's a nice gun. I have shot it a lot in the last few weeks and the slide now rattles on the frame like a BB in a box car. But the lockup on the slide to barrel is still tight and the pistol is still very accurate. Proof that slide to frame fit doesn't play a big a role as some folks think. The Colt is a nice pistol.

I am looking at buying a new steel Colt, and I have looked at several. Somewhere between the late 1970s-early 80's and today, Colt must have decided to improve their quality control. All of the recently manufactured Colts that I have examined are very well made for the price. In fact, (and I never thought I would say this) I think I would take a new series 80 Colt over a "series 70" Springfield.

Sauer Grapes
March 19, 2013, 08:15 AM
I want American made, that's why I'm not considering Springfield.I don't want used, I rarely buy used guns. It's just between Colt and Ruger.

I don't know I would base my purchase of anything on where it was made. Nothing wrong with buying American made whenever possible. I have been buying Ford trucks for alomost 4 decades, they were all made in Canada.
Besides, Springfield Armory has always had a presence here as an American company.

Can someone elaborate between forged and cast frames, and which one is which, I mean Colt is which and Ruger is which? That comment got my intention.

Colts cost more because most of their parts are good quality.
Cast frames aren't bad as long as their done correctly. Caspian is known for producing quality frames for custom builds.

It will be interesting down the road to see where the SR1911 falls into place on the 1911 ladder.

Madcap_Magician
March 19, 2013, 09:47 AM
Just my $.02,

I have only owned one new manufacture 1911, it was a Colt Combat Elite made in 2011. It was well-made, but I would not buy one again unless I had the money to do upgrades. Why?

1. From the factory it would not feed hollow points. Took three months to get it back from the factory, though they threw in some extras to make up for it.

2. There's really no excuse these days for having razor-sharp edges on anything. On the Colt, the front of the dust cover, the bottom edge of the slide, and the edges around the opening in the front of the slide for the barrel and barrel bushing were the worst. Extremely sharp.

The gun itself was gorgeous. But it would have needed a trip to the gunsmith to get it working right and functional for carry.

Fishbed77
March 19, 2013, 10:49 AM
Somewhere between the late 1970s-early 80's and today, Colt must have decided to improve their quality control. All of the recently manufactured Colts that I have examined are very well made for the price. In fact, (and I never thought I would say this) I think I would take a new series 80 Colt over a "series 70" Springfield.

This is absolutely true. I'm not sure of the exact date, but at some point in the last 5-10 years, Colt invested heavily in some pretty advanced CNC equipment, and that, along with a much higher degree of hand-fitting than most other mass-produced 1911s, yielded positive results. Right now, I don't know of any mass-produced 1911s that I would rank higher than Colt.

I have only owned one new manufacture 1911, it was a Colt Combat Elite made in 2011. It was well-made, but I would not buy one again unless I had the money to do upgrades. Why?

1. From the factory it would not feed hollow points. Took three months to get it back from the factory, though they threw in some extras to make up for it.

2. There's really no excuse these days for having razor-sharp edges on anything. On the Colt, the front of the dust cover, the bottom edge of the slide, and the edges around the opening in the front of the slide for the barrel and barrel bushing were the worst. Extremely sharp.

Strange that your Combat Elite would not feed hollow-points. My XSE (which is a similar gun in many respects) feeds them (and everything else) flawlessly. Glad to hear Colt made this right for you. Their CS is superb.

I agree that the sharp edges are the biggest downside to most of the non-Custom Shop pistols. The sanded flats of the Colt pistols look fantastic, but the downside that results are the sharp edges at the front of the slide. Just a slight breaking of these edges by Colt would be a major improvement.

Pilot
March 19, 2013, 11:18 AM
Love my Colt 01918 Black Oxide WWI Repro.

Fishbed77
March 19, 2013, 03:07 PM
Pilot, that's a beautiful Colt!

thomis
March 19, 2013, 04:34 PM
Pilot, that IS a beautiful Colt. I don't see the 01918 on their website.
I've settled on getting the Colt over the SR model. Finding one at a non-panic price may take a while. I'll be looking.

I don't know I would base my purchase of anything on where it was made.

Its a feeling of pride, I guess. It just seems right that the 1911 is American made. Its not a car, its a 1911.

Pilot
March 19, 2013, 04:45 PM
Thanks guys! The WWI repros came in two varieties. The earlier 01911 Carbonia Blue, and later 01918 Black Oxide versions of which around 4,000 each were produced. Neither is in production anymore, and only available on the secondary market. You see them for sale on the various auction sites from time to time. They are wonderful pistols.

Skylerbone
March 19, 2013, 11:05 PM
I hate them and I hate you for showing me them! Stop the torture! I passed on one as I had an XSE in transit at the time and I have kicked myself ever since. Phenomenal buy Pilot, that is truly something special.

tarosean
March 20, 2013, 01:30 AM
Besides, Springfield Armory has always had a presence here as an American company.

Actually thats not quite correct. The current owners only purchased the name.

wow6599
March 20, 2013, 01:43 AM
Colt 1911 ........ or a Ruger?

Buy what you want, but a Colt 1911 is a Colt 1911.

Skylerbone
March 20, 2013, 02:12 AM
Springfields are made in America as well. Just a bit South of the America some are thinking of.

The thing I try to caution people on with 1911s is not overestimating the WOW factor. Some people get it, some don't, I just enjoy them for what they are. I own Colts but I wouldn't mind a Ruger if I were looking for another to build on, same with a Colt.

THE DRILL INSTRUCTOR
March 20, 2013, 02:20 AM
I own both a Colt Delta Elite and a SIG 1911, both purchased at about the same price.

I have to say that the SIG came with far better fit, finish, and features from the factory. The only change I've needed to make on it was an arched mainspring housing to fit my hand better. I believe SIG 1911's are also made in the USA.

The Delta is my everyday carry piece because I prefer the 10mm for that role and SIG does not make a 10mm 1911. I had to invest in the following parts to get it up to my standards to carry:

-Night Sights
-Ambi Safety (I'm a lefty)
-Steel MSH to replace the plastic factory one
-GI guide rod, spring plug, and 24# spring to replace the funky factory double spring set up that was causing jams.
-Extended mag release

So the Colt ended up costing me a lot more, as all these features were standard on the SIG. However, because it has that rampant pony stamped on the side, if I ever go to sell it I can charge enough to recover my costs.

I recommend SIGs to anyone that asks me about buying a new 1911. Many don't care for the unique slide profile (I'm not a huge fan myself) but they offer a few models with traditional slides.

HOOfan_1
March 20, 2013, 02:35 AM
Caspian is known for producing quality frames for custom builds.


guess who makes those frames for Caspian.......




Ruger....

tarosean
March 20, 2013, 02:42 AM
guess who makes those frames for Caspian.......
Ruger...

semantics. Technically Pine Tree Castings is a company owned by Ruger.

HOOfan_1
March 20, 2013, 02:57 AM
semantics. Technically Pine Tree Castings is a company owned by Ruger.

I've always seen it styled as a "division of Sturm, Ruger & Co."

bannockburn
March 20, 2013, 06:58 AM
Between the two, I would save up the extra money and go with the Colt.

tgrogg
March 20, 2013, 12:28 PM
i'm new to THR, how do I post a question?
thanks

Skylerbone
March 20, 2013, 01:12 PM
Select the appropriate sub-forum ie rifles, revolvers, holsters click on that sub-forum and look for the blue "New Thread" button toward the upper left. Reading stickys will also help.

Ankeny
March 20, 2013, 03:46 PM
i'm new to THR, how do I post a question? You just did. Sorry, the devil made me say it. :evil:

thomis
March 21, 2013, 02:33 PM
I bought the Colt O1991
I dove in headfirst. It comes Saturday.
I will report back with a new thread after the weekend.
Oh, and I am.... ELATED
To say the least!

wojownik
March 21, 2013, 05:56 PM
Post pics when they come in!

My favorite 1911s are my Colt Stainless Commander and Colt WW1, followed by my Springfield.

Here's my Colt O1911 (WW1 Carbona Blue). Love it. Sitting atop grandpa's medals.

http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/viher_photos/IMG_2696.jpg

And my Colt O1991 Commander

http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q490/viher001/2012-06-25_22-14-57_965.jpg

I alluded earlier, there is a stark quality difference between my recent Colts and my 1991A1 from the 1990s ... Colt really has gotten back on their game for 1911s.

thomis
March 22, 2013, 08:17 AM
Wow, I always favor the blued steel/ wood grip combination. It is just classy. I can appreciate stainless steel but they just don't have the eye appeal for me. That first pistol over your Granpa's medals is beautiful.

Mr.Revolverguy
March 23, 2013, 08:14 AM
Colt will hold it's value longer as long as you have a nice specimen. I have handled some colts that had very sharp edges and bushing to barrel fit was not good or could have been better. If you are to find a SR1911 for under $625 I would not hesitate. A while back I reviewed a SR1911 and tested it in a ransom rest all of which I documented on my website and I was very impressed.

SR1911 Range Review
http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=1612

SR1911 Ransom Rest Test
http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=1660

Having said all of that I am scouring the local shops for a Colt now as I feel every warm blooded American should own a Colt 1911 :). Because of the wide swings in quality I will not purchase one on the internet unseen, I want to be able to examine it first.

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