Which 1911 should I get?


August 7, 2014, 05:26 PM
Hello I will be getting a 1911 soon and I would like to hear some opinions about which one to get. I have large hands and a budget of roughly 1000 dollars. I have been looking at Ruger, Colt, and Springfield. I will be using it for target practice. Thanks.

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August 7, 2014, 05:42 PM
I suggest looking at Sig Sauer and S&W too.

August 7, 2014, 06:25 PM
+1 on the Sig. Look at the Traditional models if you do not want the square Sig profile slide. You get a lot of features for a good price. The trigger on my Tac-Ops Traditional was much better feeling to me than the Rugers, Colts I've handled at my LGS. Springfields were good as well. Also, hard to beat a Range Officer for an entry level 1991 in my opinion. I just picked up an STI Duty One 5.0 for just a few dollars more. All I can say is "wow". Just be ready for the ailments of the 1911 bug.......

August 7, 2014, 06:48 PM
acman wrote,
I will be using it for target practice.
Springfield Range Officer.

I actually spend a lot of bandwidth trying to talk folks out of the Range Officer due to the guns adjustable sights. I don't think they belong on a 1911 and the sight cut is different than on a fixed sight model severely limiting your after market sight options. However, if you are only going to use it for target practice, there is an advantage to having adjustable sights and the Springfield Range Officer would be an excellent choice for that application.

August 7, 2014, 07:20 PM
I like my colts....but then again I like my tisas 300 and change gun too. Go to lgs with lots of stock and brands and put them in your hand and see which makes sense to you.

Sauer Grapes
August 7, 2014, 08:15 PM
I have a couple Colts, Springers and a S&W. No complaints with any of them. Accuracy wise, the Colt Gold Cup and the SA Range Officer are probably a little better than the others. I'd hate to live on the difference though.

August 7, 2014, 08:38 PM
Springfield makes a darn good product for the money. I've been lusting over the new Range Officer Compact for a while now. I also have a Kimber Custom HD II. Some people seem to have something against Kimbers, but I've never had a problem with any of the ones I have owned, and I would never get rid of my HD II.

Hurryin' Hoosier
August 7, 2014, 08:44 PM
Hello I will be getting a 1911 soon and I would like to hear some opinions about which one to get. I have large hands and a budget of roughly 1000 dollars. I have been looking at Ruger, Colt, and Springfield. I will be using it for target practice. Thanks.
I had a slightly tighter budget with which to operate and got an Auto-Ordnance 1911A1. But, I'll tell you what - I'd just as soon have it as guns costing twice as much. ;)

August 7, 2014, 09:09 PM
I agree with the Colt and Kimber, my cheap beater is a Regent. It is accurate and it fires anything I put into the mag.

Steve CT
August 7, 2014, 10:55 PM
I own two 1911's, a Dan Wesson PM-1S and a substantially modified Springfield LW Commander. For a "target" type gun (adjustable rear sight) I'd look at the Range Officer.

I think the Ruger SR 1911 is the best value available right now in the 1911 market

August 7, 2014, 10:59 PM
RIA Tactical FS and $500 in ammo to learn how to use it.

Then see if you actually want anything more expensive.

August 7, 2014, 11:02 PM
If you are only going to get one, get a Colt

August 8, 2014, 12:33 AM
Springfield range officer or sti Trojan/ Spartan. Or keep your eyes out for used one scored a lightly used les baer thunder ranch special for 1k not too long ago

August 8, 2014, 04:03 AM
I have a Dan Wesson Valor Black Duty Coat finish which is a fantastic range pistol, I shoot some really great targets with it, I bought this one used for a good price. I have an SW1911 that is also a very good range gun. I also agree that the Ruger SR1911 is probably the best 1911 value on the market right now, I have a commander length that is just a great range and carry pistol.

August 8, 2014, 05:58 AM
I have a Kimber and love it. Plus they have like 20+ different models with 3", 4", or 5" barrels.

August 8, 2014, 06:28 AM
I love all of my Colts along with my SA M1911A1. At the lower end of the price spectrum I think RIA offers a good value for your money.

August 8, 2014, 06:40 AM
Do not overlook the Ruger SR1911. Really good gun for the money.

August 8, 2014, 07:33 AM
I've got a loaded Springfield1911 with adjustable sites. I didn't think I would like the non-combat sites, but it resulted in the most accurate tack driving pistol in my collection. While they aren't snag-free, its draws and points naturally.

August 8, 2014, 07:38 AM
STI Trojan , Sig and Springfield

August 8, 2014, 09:24 AM
Personally, I would handle a few and see what you like/don't like about them feature-wise and let that narrow the options.

For instance, I don't like commander hammers or beavertails. The older full-size hammer looks better, and if I want to use it to cock/decock it just works better. If I carry it, the beavertail pokes into my side.

I also prefer not to have a full-length guide rod on a fullsize. Extra weight, extra effort to clean, never noticed any incredible accuracy benefits.

Adjustable sights are great for a range gun, but if you take it camping/hiking fixed sights are more reliable and less likely to snag.

Sight picture is a huge difference as well. GI sights are virtually snag-free coming out of a holster but the sight picture is pretty bad.

Flat/Arched mainspring housing - you have to hold and shoot one to know which you prefer.

Firing pin safety - some have it, some don't. May make it safer, may make it less reliable. I prefer the non-safety variety.

I have Kimber, RIA, and Springfield 1911's. All are equally reliable, Springfield is the most accurate, and RIA and Springfield have lifetime warranties. I would not hesitate to buy another Springfield or RIA again.

August 8, 2014, 09:37 AM
I have had a few 1911's and I wish I had kept every one of them. RIA, Kimber, SA, SIG, Colt, STI.

Do not think you will find a Colt for under 1000 that would be the best range gun.

STI's are great guns, great shooters, but each of mine were difficult to do any work on. Nothing was drop in. And...keep in mind that STI's have ramped barrels....field stripping is a PITA, compared with other 1911's. The Trojan would probably be your best bet. Not sure if they are under 1000.

Had two SIG's and they were very accurate. However, one had the slide slightly angled to one side and SIG's have the same series 80 safety system that Colt has.

Kimber's get a bad rap, I do not know why. I have had one in each of their 3 sizes. All were great shooters and probably the best value. They also all had the best triggers out of the box.

The Springfield Armory Range Officer is tough to beat. I have one in 9mm and had one in .45 acp. Cannot beat the accuracy, out of the box. Each was so 1911 standard, that every part I ever got was completely drop in.

[Side note: Unlike the RO series, lower model SA's did not all have great triggers and I am unsure of their slide to frame fit. The RO line is supposedly put together differently]

Currently, my pride of ownership 1911 is a Colt. My range gun is a SA RO 9mm. Now, highly modified.

You should be able to get a SA RO for $800. Then spend the $200 on a tritium or FO front sight, Les Baer match hammer/sear and VZ grips. Later, Cerakote the slide and frame and it will look like a higher end SA.

Hope this helps



August 8, 2014, 10:12 AM
I vote Sig Sauer. I own two of them now and they have all the features you want and need, and none of the ones you don't. No plastic MSH, no ambi safety, no FLGR. Great fit & finish, perfect function, fantastic trigger.

Great for the range and carry.

August 8, 2014, 11:35 AM
I received a brand new Colt Series 80 blued Government model for Fathers Day this year, and I was very impressed with the overall fit and accuracy of the weapon.
Fixed 3 dot sights line up well and are easy to see and no malfunction in the 800 rounds or so of mixed LSWCs and various HPs.
There was just a touch of creep in the trigger press and I carefully stoned that away.
I did add a flat bottomed firing pin stop as a personal preference but it didn't need it for reliability. It did help the ejection pattern-originally it scattered the empties over a wide area but now puts them in a small circle.

August 8, 2014, 11:44 AM
Chalk up one more vote for the Sig Sauer 1911, has to be one of the more accurate ones available. Just my opinion.

August 8, 2014, 06:44 PM
My vote is STI Trojan. I see no reason to go for a Series 80 type gun when the 70 is perfectly safe.

BTW, I have an STI Spartan and field stripping is in no way a PITA; it is completely like any other standard 1911.

August 8, 2014, 07:31 PM
When you say target practice, do you mean real target use or informal, plinking use?
For real target use, the Springfield RO is hard to beat for the price. Almost as accurate as a Gold Cup for lots less money. Don't think you can get into a Gold Cup for less than $1000 while ROs are in the $750 range.
For plinking, you can't find a better value than the Rock Islands or Tisas. They can be tuned up to be very accurate but by then you have as much in it as a Springfield.
I am a smith and a shooter so I see lots of 1911's of all brands. My bullseye gun is a Gold Cup, my limited gun is a Para 45 double stack, and my single stack is a Springfield RO 9mm. I carry a Series 80 Colt Government Model SS. IMHO, Sigs and Kimbers are overpriced for what they offer. Hard to put a price on snob appeal.

August 8, 2014, 08:42 PM
Kimbers are overpriced for what they offer. Hard to put a price on snob appeal.

Common opinion of those who have not shot a good one. They are out there.

(BTW, I shoot a Les Baer 1.5" PII and a Pardini GT-45 in bullseye, so I guess I know something about 'snob appeal'.)

August 8, 2014, 08:45 PM
If your hands are very large, you might want to consider a double stack version. I have medium hands with short fingers, so I don't have any to recommend, but it might be worth your while to look into it.

My only personal experience as an owner is with Colt. The latest being an XSE Combat Commander, which has been my favorite handgun since purchasing it several years back.

August 9, 2014, 01:29 PM
It just so happens that you can get one of these:


for about 1000 bucks. Coincidence? I think not.

Don't do what I did and buy A S&W target, five SA's (various kinds), a Les Baer TRS, Dan Wesson PM7, trying to get all the fancy stuff that "makes you shoot better".
My new production series 70 is as accurate as any of the other ones including the DW and LB. It is the the most reliable as well. And is the only one of all those I have left. I could have saved myself thousands if I had spent my first thousand on my Colt.

Steve CT
August 9, 2014, 09:33 PM
I tagged in on this topic once already, yesterday I found a reason to offer a second opinion.
My LGS has an STI Spartan V for $499, in excellent condition, very clean, solid and tight. Adjustable rear and Fiber Optic front sights.

The deal with 1911's is that if you can get one that is basically solid and decently fitted, there's a LOT you can do in the DIY aftermarket to pick up incremental, but definite improvements. The right 1911 can grow with you.

BTW, not buying the Spartan, my Dan Wesson PM-1S is already a much more accurate shooter than I will ever be.

1911 guy
August 10, 2014, 02:07 AM
Colt makes a good gun. Used to be you paid more for the pony on the side, now not as much.

Springfield makes a good gun. My opinion is best bang for the buck. While many others run just fine, S.A. has a reputation of being milled and drilled square so it makes any future work done a lot easier.

I have never shot but heard glowing reports about the Ruger 1911.

I have a RIA that I love. Works great. Accurate, too. But it costs less for a reason. It will never be the quality of a Colt or Springfield.

STI knows their way around a 1911. Even their "low end" models are very good.

Kimber is good to go, with the exception of anything with an external extractor. Only still to be found in the used market, I believe.

The only one I will tell you to outright avoid like the plague is Para Ordnance. They seem to make decent variations of a 1911, but a single stack, .45 caliber, single action handgun with a barrel of 5"? not anymore. Which is a shame because they used to be decent.

August 10, 2014, 01:39 PM
Colt or a Metro Arms Metro Arms a little cheaper , reliable , and shoots as accurate as my Colts

August 12, 2014, 01:54 PM
RIA Tactical FS and $500 in ammo to learn how to use it.

Then see if you actually want anything more expensive.

^^^ This.

August 12, 2014, 02:00 PM
If it's going to be a range gun, the Springfield Range Officer is the best bang-for-your-buck 1911 in my opinion. It's one of the best 1911 values out there; the only strike against it for some people are the adjustable sights, which aren't great for a carry gun. But adjustable sights are great on a range gun.

And now that they offer the RO in 9mm, I think that makes it even better as a range gun: The ammo will be cheaper and the recoil will be noticeably less, which will be perfect if you take newer shooters to the range with you.

August 12, 2014, 02:11 PM
I have decided that I will get the Springfield but what finish should I get?

August 12, 2014, 02:16 PM
I have decided that I will get the Springfield but what finish should I get?
You don't specify what model of Springfield, but since I, and several others, recommended the Range Officer, the decision is pretty easy as it is only available Parkerized.


August 12, 2014, 02:18 PM
Im going to go with the mil spec because I want fixed sights.

August 12, 2014, 03:28 PM
is this going to be a carry gun? that is the only reason to want fixed sights. If you are going to carry, you should have a known smith do a reliability job on the gun if you have any malfunctions during the first 1000 rounds.

1911's involve more precise fitting on more parts than the polymer guns, so regardless of make, the first time go round it might not always go bang until it's been smoothed and mated.

I use my 1911's strictly for competition. For any kind of accuracy, you are going to want more than combat drift-adjustable sights, even if you just have it as a range toy. Accurate guns are more interesting and more fun to shoot.

August 12, 2014, 03:44 PM
Up to 1000 get the Colt, they are fit right and are reliable.
They dont need a reliability job as they are built correctly.

Gun Master
August 12, 2014, 05:48 PM
I have an 80 Series blued Colt, with rosewood grips, and gold embossed highlights, 200th Anniversary of Springfield Amory, that is too beautiful to shoot often. When I have shot it, it never malfunctioned. It was a Christmas present, from my wife, several years ago.
I also have a Star Model P with only one magazine.
I heard Auto Ordinance had early problems that supposedly have been corrected.
The Rock Island Amory is supposed to give the most (value) bang for the buck, and is reliable.
If you want reliable and pretty, and not spend a fortune, Remington R1.
Decisions, decisions.:)

Dr.Mall Ninja
August 12, 2014, 06:39 PM
AC I have a Springfield loaded with the black stainless. My favorite gun.

August 12, 2014, 07:32 PM
Im going to go with the mil spec because I want fixed sights.
I'd still get the Parkerized version.

August 12, 2014, 08:07 PM
Im going to go with the mil spec because I want fixed sights.

You won't be disappointed.

August 12, 2014, 09:27 PM
Springer for shooting. Colt for shooting/collecting.

I have one of each . The Colt is a beauty. The SA Loaded is a great shooter. It feeds any bullet style great and shoots one ragged hole groups at 25 yards.

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