Perpetual search for perfect 1911


August 15, 2004, 03:35 PM
Down to four - which one would you recommend over the other ones?
I really like all four of them about equal, is there anything I should know?

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August 15, 2004, 03:54 PM
A lot depends on what you want to use it for.

I don't have as much experience with the Valtro as the other three, but all of them that I've seen in person are awful purtily blued and sport adjustable sights, neither of which is my first choice for a totin' gun.

The TRS is also blued, and comes from the factory with a single-sided thumb safety and slim grips. Easily changed, but again, not my personal cup of blood 'n' brimstone on a carry piece.

The CQB and Pro are much of a muchness in the finish department, but the CQB comes with front slide serrations and 30-lpi checkering and the single-sided safety, and I personally prefer the Pro's 20-lpi, ambis, and lack of forward serrations. From the examples I've seen, the Pros seem to be fitted up slightly better, too, but I'm working from relatively small sample sizes.

You rarely meet an unsatisfied owner of any one of the four, however.

August 15, 2004, 06:02 PM
Neither, Kimber Custom II TLE-RL would be my choice. 100 % reliable.

August 15, 2004, 06:25 PM
Now that last post was funny... Kimber is not in the same league. Not by a long shot. I'd take my Springfield Loaded over any Kimber Custom II.

August 15, 2004, 06:49 PM
I don't have the Pro, but the Loaded.
It's as close to the perfect 1911 as I ever need to get!!! :D
IMHO, Kimbers are :barf: !!!!!

August 15, 2004, 07:12 PM
Yeah, that's the problem. You can never get too close...

August 15, 2004, 07:22 PM
You left one off; a plain-Jane, milspec, stock GI M1911A1. Everything else is gilding the lily.

August 15, 2004, 07:38 PM
I nominate the Ed Brown Kobra Carry :cool:

August 15, 2004, 07:48 PM
Spring. Milspec (or other basic colt/kimber etc...) and send it to a top smith for some work...can end up with a custom gun for the same price (if your tastes aren't too extravegant) that will be better for you than all of the above. $450.00 for a milspec leaves you $1350+ for custom work and shipping until you get to the $1800+ price of the others. Downside is the long wait...

Wish I had experience with those guns...but I'm saving my pennies up to take my own advice... [Yost 1* package with retro rear sight, serrated front strap and lower/flare ejection port and I'll have about $400 left over from the price of the Les Baer I used to want]

August 15, 2004, 08:02 PM
Never handled a Valtro but I've had multiple opportunities to handle the Baer, Wilson and SA Pro. For me, it was a reasonably easy decision to buy the SA Pro. As a matter of fact, I bought two.

August 15, 2004, 09:16 PM
My experience with Baers has every so slightly scared me off from them... And the Valtro, while a beautiful gun, I just don't consider quite on par with the others.

Once I'd put 500 trouble-free rounds through them, I'd be happy with either the Wilson or the Pro but if it was free, I'd take the Pro.

August 15, 2004, 10:44 PM
Perfect for what?

I've heard good things about the Valtro, but frankly I could buy three perfectly good Springfields and a boatload of ammo for the price of one of them.

As for me, my Kimber is perfect for my purposes.

- 0 -

Bill Z
August 15, 2004, 10:52 PM
Ed Brown would be my choice.

Vitamin G
August 16, 2004, 11:24 AM
My dream gun would be similar to my Kimber TLE. Honestly.

My only changes would be straight 8 night sights, thin grips, and either the "wave" pattern of conamyds instead of the checkering on the frontstrap. I just can't get used to checkering :(

August 16, 2004, 02:37 PM
No such thing as "best" or "perfect"; I have an SW1911 with the adjustable rear sight; for me, it fits its intended purpose as a nice shooting range / target gun very nicely, and I'm very happy with it. I can highly recommend one to anybody interested in a 1911.

August 16, 2004, 04:21 PM
I haven't shot one, but you might as well throw Rock River in there as a viable alternative...not that you need any more. :) I don't think you can go wrong with any of your choices.

I read great things about Rock River, good pricing for that category, and it appears you may have more flexability in options, for the same price, if you wish.

Good luck

Dave Sample
August 16, 2004, 04:47 PM
None of the Above.

August 16, 2004, 06:45 PM
You rarely meet an unsatisfied owner of any one of the four, however.

Ezackerly! :p

Most of the folks that knock any of the four are folks that don't own any of the four. Or well known smiths that would rather have a Colt tweaked to their likeness.... Right, Dave?

But if you have the cash, for an off the shelf piece, the Pro is pretty tough to beat in my book.

August 16, 2004, 07:19 PM
I'd tend towards the TRS, then possibly the Wilson, because there is a chance you'd get to handle one of them in a shop somewhere. The Pro and the Valtro are much more rare, at least I have never seen them in any shop, anywhere.

The biggest reason I picked my Baer Super-Tac was simply that I was able to find one an hour away that I could actually see before forking down my $1900.

I doubt that any of the 4 would be disappointing, however.

August 16, 2004, 07:35 PM
You oughta add Ted Yost to the poll. I'm saving my bucks to go there. :D


August 16, 2004, 08:29 PM
Hi Rival,

Do you want this perfect 1911 for carry?

I have a Valtro and Les Baer TRS. They both shoot very well. Fixed sights are more rugged. The TRS isn't offered with the 1.5" option.

I'm sure you would enjoy a Les Baer SRP with the 1.5" option or if you want adjustable sights the LB Super Tac with the 1.5" option.

The LB 1.5" option seems to make the pistol smoother out of the box.

My Les Baer 5" Ultimate Master with the 1.5" option is very smooth. It shoots great, no failures. It's an outstanding range pistol.


August 16, 2004, 09:53 PM
You left one off; a plain-Jane, milspec, stock GI M1911A1. Everything else is gilding the lily.I tend to lean this way as well, but I'm also not a really huge 1911 guy. The only things I could consider changing are:

1. Sights. I have a sistema. The sights on it are...suboptimal.

2. Trigger job, and general fluff and buff, if needed.

3. hammer bob, if it bites.

4. The milspec safety is a bit small. If you have trouble working it, change it out.

Everything else, to me, is just fiddling around. Note that 3 of these 4 are 'if needed' and user-specific. Heck, some people like milspec sights, too. So I guess they all are. ;)


August 16, 2004, 10:01 PM
The 4 you mentioned are all fine weapons. Have you considered a Nowlin?

August 16, 2004, 10:10 PM
Depending on what a person needs... I think both the Springfield Mil-Spec or any custom piece could be perfect...

Matt G
August 17, 2004, 02:57 AM
Honestly, they all are quality pistols.

But what are you wanting them to do? Target use? IDPA? Carry? Duty? Hunting? Bullseye?

Can you accept a pistol that gives you 5" groups at 25 yards, but will work every time? How 'bout 3"/25y?

Out of box accuracy for my Kimber, with FLGR removed, was in the neighborhood of 2.5"/25y. I don't know for sure, because I simply can't shoot that well. That said, it feeds EVERYthing, and came bobbed and with a wonderful trigger.

I have to say, with my big hands and mediocre eyes, the better sights, moderately (sensibly) extended safeties, bobbed hammers and slightly-extended grip safety tangs are necessities for any pistol that I make my main duty gun. The fact that I walked out of the store with a new one that came standard with all that, plus a beveled magazine well, was just excellent. All of the above have such such options with throating, and are good guns. But some are built to tighter tolerances than others. If they promise you SOOOOOPER-tight groups, that means that the mechanism is built to minimal tolerances. That means you're likely to have to trade accuracy for reliability. It's actually very possible that the less expensive pistol could be preferably, given such critera.

Not that I'm knocking MilSpec. I'll later post some nice little groups that I shot with a milspec 1911 that our PD just got from the DOD on a grant of some surplus guns. From 20 yards, they all stay on the "Little Man Behind The rock" (top left corner silohuette on silouhuette target) with old loads. But the trigger needs work, the sights are too low, the hammer bit me, and my big long thumb kept missing the safety.

August 17, 2004, 12:24 PM
There ain't no such thing as a perfect "out of the box" 1911 pistol.
Maybe you have one, but I've never seen one that was perfect for me without further work in one department or another.

August 17, 2004, 01:12 PM
Maybe you have one, but I've never seen one that was perfect for me without further work in one department or another.

FWIW, the Pro remains the only 1911 I've ever owned that I haven't altered at all. The only thing I would alter about it is maybe replacing the Novaks with Heinies or Trijicons, but it's not a big enough deal to me to actually be worth changing. Every other 1911 I've owned has undergone some change, from grinding down the gas pedal and ditching the FLGR on my Concept III to tossing everything but the frame & slide on some guns and starting from scratch.

But, yeah, generally you're right; when I hear someone state that their [fill in the blank] brand pistol or revolver was "perfect right out of the box", I generally think this reflects more on the level of their expectations than it does the quality of the firearm itself. ;)

August 17, 2004, 01:17 PM
Only the Glock is perfect.....


August 17, 2004, 10:13 PM
I agree with the others that you'll be a lot happier in the long run if you give up the ghost on "perfection". For carry, I like my Wilson KZ-45 Compact (9+1), but the grip is not for everyone. For fun at the range, I am really enjoying my GSR. But if I ever buy another gun, I hope it's an Ed Brown Kobra Carry. There's just something about it...

August 17, 2004, 10:51 PM
The September 2004 issue of SWAT Magazine has an article on the Valtro by Louis Awerbuck that you probably would enjoy reading before making your choice.

Its fairly long covering about 6 pages and starts on page 66.

Mr. Awerbuck presents a ballanced opinion, but the article is really quite positive about John Jardine's little creation.

Just a head's up.

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