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Best value 1911

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Jsg81, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Well-Known Member

    I know that is going a loaded question and I'm not trying a battle.

    I am however looking for a starter 1911. Where would be a good place to start looking? I would love a Wilson but don't have that much free cash. I will carry the pistol from time to time but will mostly be for home defense. I want to be able to hot what I am aiming as but don't need a target gun. It needs to fire when I pull the trigger.

    Let me know if I have missed any questions that need answer and most of all I appreciate the help.
  2. Solo

    Solo Well-Known Member

    There are some decent budget 1911s out there. STI and Rock Island Armory come to mind.

    You can also buy a used 1911 from a major manufacturer.
  3. highpower

    highpower Well-Known Member

    I vote for the Rock Island. I liked the first one I bought so much I bought another.
  4. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    I think that Sigs and Kimber Custom II's are the best values in 1911's these days.
  5. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Well-Known Member

    I will freely admit I don't know enough about 1911s but Ruger and Remington seem to have well reviewed versions. Are they worth a look? Kimber has many versions to pick from. I have also heard that 5 inch versions seem to be more reliable. Is that true or just something else people say?
  6. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Well-Known Member

    RIA sells great 1911's at the about 2/3 the prices others sell low end guns for. All low end guns have loads of MIM in them, cast frames etc.

    My RIA cost me $350, cheapness has a value all it's own. :D
  7. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    At the entry level, it is pretty hard to beat a Rock Island Armory for value.

    The sweet spot for value in a 1911 is in the mid-priced range. I'd recommend a Dan Wesson CBOB or STI Trojan.

    Take a look at the three links in my signature on picking a first 1911. Stay with a 5" or 4.25" model to start with for the largest window of functionality
  8. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    Price range.
  9. newglockguy

    newglockguy Well-Known Member

    I would with a Ruger or a Rock Island for my first 1911
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Normally, I'd agree with you, but the OP's question isn't for the cheapest or the best value in a price range. I read it that he is looking for the best value in any price range.

    Just reading the title, I was going top recommend the $2500 Springfield Armory Professional as the best value in a duty/hard use gun.

    But when he specified starter 1911, I lowered my recommendations to an entry gun ($500) and another in what I think of as the sweet spot ($1500) in production offerings
  11. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    Well I know if I was making a quarter million a year, I wouldn't bother looking at an RIA for a starter 1911 ;).
  12. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    Colt is the only real entry level 1911. Just do it!
  13. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    I really like my 1911R1. Classic looks, upgraded subtly in all the right areas, feeds, fires and ejects everything I've thrown at it with utter reliability, and didn't break the bank ($730).

    I own/have owned multiple 1911s of all flavors, but the standard 5" gun with full spur hammer is what I prefer these days.

    Not my pic, but same gun:

  14. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    STI Spartan V.
  15. Roadking Rider

    Roadking Rider Well-Known Member

    Another vote for the "Rock" Island
  16. Furncliff

    Furncliff Well-Known Member

    I vote Rock Island as well. I've had my .45acp for five years. It functions with all the ammo I've tried including semi wad cutter target ammo I load myself. It has a very good trigger and it's accurate.

    I have since purchased a 9mm RIA. Had problems with it...Ria took care of the issues and paid all the shipping (even though I am not the original purchaser) . Outstanding CS.

    Edit to add: it's worth it to buy the tactical model.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  17. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    I would look hard at the Ruger or STI.
  18. Jim PHL

    Jim PHL Well-Known Member

    Under $500: Rock Island, ATI
    $600-$800: Springfield Mil-Spec or "Range Officer"; Remington R1 & R1E & TALO R1; Ruger
    $900-$1100: Colt o1991; Colt CCG

    I only cited the above because I've actually seen all of them in dealer cases at these prices within the last 2 weeks. Internet pricing is a little unstable lately to say the least. (All in .45ACP) I think any of these would be a decent entry-level 1911. For myself I chose the Colt o1991 about a month ago because I wanted a "classic", basic, blue government model. At the time I was choosing between the 2 Colts shown. If I were to recommend them in MY preferred order it would be the 2 Colts followed by the Mil-Spec (it was stainless) Springfield, the Range Officer, then everything else.

    BADUNAME2 Well-Known Member

    I've had a number of lower-end 1911s. I had two Rock Island Armory GIs, two Taurus PT1911s, an older Springfield Mil-Spec, and an old Colt that someone had tinkered with and re-nickeled.

    I think that mixture is illustrative of the different issues one can encounter among the low end.

    The two Rocks (one .45 ACP, one .38 Super) both shot fine. I actually never really had any issues with either. The problem was that it's hard (for me, at least,) to stay happy with GI spec for long. The sights suck, the trigger sucks, the mag release sucks, and the Parkerized finish is ugly. So far, that's not really an issue. Everything you could dream of to trick out a 1911 is there for the asking. Well, the asking and your credit card number, at least. The problem is, even if you fix all the little quibbles, (and you may have different peeves than I in your guns,) you'll still have a cast frame, cast slide, MIM parts, (if you don't replace them all,) and no real name recognition, except among the THR cognoscenti.

    The Tauri were sort of the other end of the scale. For just a little more money than the Rocks, they had decent sights, ambi controls, nice triggers, beavertails, etc, etc. Pretty well already tricked out. They both fed extremely reliably, too. HPs, SWCs, anything. Taurus even uses forged frames and slides, although all the small parts are still MIM. The troubles here (and it's not really fair to compare to the Rocks, since I put a TON more rounds through the Tauri) were a number of little breakages right at first. The locking hammer in one, the sear disconnect in the other, and the grip safeties in both. The one I still have, the ambi safety is kinda floppy. Since I got it pretty much ironed out, however, it's been a solid gun through quite a lot of carrying, shooting, and even IPSC hard driving. (USPSA Single Stack, to be precise.)

    The Springer seemed like it was gonna be a sweet spot between fancy parts and traditionalism. Kind of an everything you need, nothing you don't approach. It, however, wouldn't reliably feed hardball, let alone SWCs or HPs, so I sent it on down the road.

    The old Colt, she probably started life as a really nice gun. Unfortunately, she'd been abused by someone, then "fixed," by someone else, and finally everything from her classic lines to her scars and flaws had been covered in a nice shiny coat of nickel. In a lot of ways, the nickel was the nail in her coffin for me. All the botching and bastardization could have been fixed, but it would take breaking the nickel. Ten to one, it would have started to flake, and I was too cheap to want to spring for another refinish.

    All that said, I still have one of the Tauri, though it's since been Melonited, and is presently wearing an S&A magwell, and will soon be getting Dawson fiber optic sights. My most recent 1911 purchase was a Colt's LW Commander, and my next will likely be an STI Trojan. Learn from that what you will.
  20. Chevelle SS

    Chevelle SS Well-Known Member

    Rock Island Armory

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