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first handgun purchase

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Spike_akers, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Spike_akers

    Spike_akers Well-Known Member

    first i'd like to say im new around here and so far it looks like a great place. im turning 21 in the next few months and im determined to purchase my first handgun (not first one ever, just first owned by myself.) and had a few questions for you guys.

    first off as this will be my first firearm purchase from a shop (first firearm not handed down, or bought privately) what in Virginia, what would i need with me to make the purchase? i know i will need two proofs of identity, but what can i use for them? drivers license obviously, but what else? and is there a waiting period in Virginia for handguns?

    also, what are some good shops in the richmond area that have a large selection? im interested in the taurus PT1911, or any decent 1911 under $700 as i have the most experience with 1911s and i like their feel better than other handguns i've used. any opinions besides the taurus?

    and for my last question. is there a good range in the area? i would hate to have to go out to my dads in deerfield every time i want to shoot

    anyway, thanks in advance for any help.
  2. gunnutery

    gunnutery Well-Known Member

    As for the 1911 under $700, Springfield Armory has their GI models that were around the $500-600 mark (not sure on current pricing). I believe their Range Officer goes for around $800.

    I'm not really a 1911 guy, but when I was tempted, SA was the only brand I was looking at. Check on Remington R1 prices too, they may be in your range.
  3. Solo

    Solo Well-Known Member

    I like my Rock Island 1911. Should be available for much less than $700.
  4. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    I got my RIA G.I. .45 for $500.00.
  5. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Well-Known Member

    Your get a lot of features with the Taurus . That means quite a bit IF you want those features. (many do). My personal experience has been with three of them , one range gun, and two that friends carry. All shot and functioned well.

    RIA has a good reputation for lower priced guns. They also offer some basic and some enhanced versions. Seldom a complaint .

    I have owned several 1911's by Colt , Detonic's, Para Ordenance, Remington Rand, etc. Most were very good guns . Detonic's was the lemon of the bunch.
    I presently own an American Classic (Metro) in a Commander size . It has good features, including sights, beavertail grip safety, etc. Fit and finish on mine is very good, function has been flawless, and accuracy above average. Not bad for a cheaper end gun and I wouln'r hesitate buying another.

    Overall the field is pretty darn good for 1911's and Remington as well as Ruger, and Springfield, make a quality example at mid range prices
  6. Spike_akers

    Spike_akers Well-Known Member

    what about the Colt 1991? ive seen them rather cheap, but to be honest a cheap colt scares me. i havent heard enough about then to consider buying one though
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, in VA you will only need your driver's license with current address. The NICs check will take care of the other concerns unless you don't fill out Form 4473 properly.
  8. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Well-Known Member

    I would like to suggest you look at like new, used guns, since the 1911 is not usually a high capacity handgun it is likely a relatively slow seller at this point and some people may be trading them in so they can buy the in demand high capacity guns due to fear of a ban.
  9. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    The Colt 1991 is a better pistol than every other one that's been mentioned in this thread so far.

    The quality is the same as every other mass-produced Colt (which is to say excellent), it just doesn't have as many features as their other pistols, and was originally introduced to meet a lower price point.
  10. Spike_akers

    Spike_akers Well-Known Member

    im not arguing with you, but i've heard that the QC on the 1991 isnt very good.. so you could get a lemon more often.. i dont really know though...
  11. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Well-Known Member

    RIA, STI, Taurus, American Classic, and I'm sure there's more but that's all I could think of off the top off my head under 700 new.

    Taurus has a stainless model, American classic has a Hard chrome, STI probably has one of the better guns for the guns and RIA makes great guns and are probably the cheapest.
  12. Spike_akers

    Spike_akers Well-Known Member

    are there regional boards here? i cant seem to find them.. and i was thinking the same thing about trade in.. i know a guy i work with at the shop just traded in a few handguns so he could get an AR before the ban... anyway, anyone know of a good shop in the richmond area? im not fond of greentop...
  13. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    You've heard wrong.

    The pistols coming out of Hartford these days are some of the best Colt has ever made. Colt has invested heavily in new CNC equipment lately, uses less MIM parts than most makers, and features more skilled hand-fitting than most other mass-produced 1911s these days. Unlike the RIA, STI,or American Classic pistols, Colt are manufactured with forged slides and frames. They are also fully manufactured in the USA, unlike RIA, STI, American Classic, Taurus or Springfield Armory. The 1991 is made to the same level of quality as every other production-line Colt, but doesn't offer as many features in order to meet a lower price point.

    Colt customer service is excellent, and the head of the Colt Custom Shop is an active participant over at the 1911 forum. He goes by the handle BJT72. If you have a problem with your pistol (which isn't likely), he WILL make it right.
  14. Pud

    Pud Well-Known Member

    ID needed in VA...

    You will need your driver's license, AND a secondary "official" something with the same address, name, etc.
    Second one can be as easy as a check book, car registration- just make sure all info matches that driver's license..
    Just curious, why do you not like Green Top?

    Also, you only have to wait for the results of the state police background check to come back, then you go home with your new fire arm....
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  15. Spike_akers

    Spike_akers Well-Known Member

    the last 2 times ive went there with my father, we've gotten incredibly rude service, and theyve always been over priced, and we were told "we will not compete on prices"... which i know i dont spend alot of times in shops, but i feel like alot of them compete, especially whne they are trying to charge 275$ more for a mosberg 500... thats why i dont like green top
  16. TheAmericanWay

    TheAmericanWay New Member

    First post, I thought I had to comment here.
    I turned 21 a little over a month ago, I've bought a few handguns since then. Most recently I've been in the market for a 1911 and I was searching around from LGS to LGS and online but with the rush I've sworn off online orders for the time being.
    As to 1911 "bang-for-buck" I would go with springfield, Kimber, Ruger or Colt.
    If you do not have the $ on hand for a Springfield loaded or Kimber custom II I would look for the Ruger sr-1911 or a Springfield GI. I saw a RIA tactical for 450 and it was easy to pass up in favor of spending more for a higher quality 1911. Ultimately it was between the Springfield range officer for 749 plus tax and the Springfield loaded for 849 plus tax. OTD with the Springfield loaded stainless for 905 and haven't looked back. Although I am not naive to the fact that "there's always a better gun for only $100 more."
    Whatever you do please don't buy a Taurus. The range officer is a much better 1911 but I went in favor of the stainless loaded over the range officer because it felt much tighter and the beaver tail was better feeling IMO.
    Whatever you decide to buy, enjoy it and I hope your birthday is one to remember.
  17. Furncliff

    Furncliff Well-Known Member

    DeGoff's in Richmond. It's a much smaller shop than the others, it may be more to your liking. I was shopping for a Colt Gold Cup when I looked at Taurus and RIA. I bought the RIA , a 1911-.45 tactical. Great trigger, accurate and reliable. I put a nice set of Pachmyer grips on it, and it has served me well for ~ six years. I recently bought another RIA 1911 this time in 9mm ...used. This gun came to me with extraction problems. The RIA folks sent a UPS driver to pick it up and paid all the shipping. It did take two trips to Nv. to get it running right, but the customer service people, gunsmith and shipping dept were great to deal with. You may have to order it, they are not fancy but they work well. You can also buy these on line and spend a little less.
  18. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    I spent 700.00 on a Kimber Custom II Target a couple of years ago (maybe more like 4?) I have been very happy, would be surprised if you could get it within your budget. Should be close. I have seen Kimber flamed on the internet for years and have never actually witnessed the atrocities in my 1911 or friends. I suspect at one time there was something to it when they shifted from a "craftsman" kind of operation to mass production. I think it is far overstated at this point. It is (or was) known as the producer that brought the features of a "custom" 1911 to mass production and set the bar in that niche. Remington, Ruger, Springfield, and Taurus too have tried to follow. You could say that Colt with the 1991 tried to introduce Colt cache at this price point.

    STI, RIA use the Phillipine frames to enter the fray and some love 'em. At the price point you mention I still like the above paragraph, but STI does really good work at a bit higher level. The Spartan is what you are talking about if you go STI and it's certainly credible.

    Above your price point and shooting at the Wilson, Baer, Brown market is the Dan Wesson. Smith and Wesson has jumped in to make it more confusing and their price point is settling in between the first and third paragraph.

    What do you think of external extractors? Schwartz safeties? Beavertail grip extensions? Form an opinion on these issues before making a decision. IMHO you should avoid Detonics, Para-Ordinance and AMT. They are not really surviving the competition.

    P.S. Then ther is Sig Sauer and the imports, doesn't get any easier.

    I would give preference in a tough decision to good organizations to stand behind the arm. Smith and Wesson is premium in my book, Taurus still highly suspect. Remington is apparently going through another corporate sale and the last one did them no favors.

    You chose the most complex market to ask people to comment on, advise. So forgive me for rambling.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  19. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    I would not recomment a 1911 45 as your first handgun. Ammo is costly and rare, and recoil of the 45 will encourage flinching.

    Have you taken a handgun safety class yet? Do that before buying.
  20. Spike_akers

    Spike_akers Well-Known Member

    the only experience i have with external extractors is on a kimber... and have to say didnt like it... like beavertail extensions.. and pardon me asking, but what is a schwartz safety?

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