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Rate the 1911's

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Karate, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. Karate

    Karate New Member

    I have shot a 1911 several times in the past and I have owned a couple...but I am in no means an expert...but I am curious...I would like to know from you 1911 lovers which manufacturers you think are best...as a novice to 1911's I thought from gun rags and ads that maybe Kimber was the best but in read many post on the High Road it seems that maybe (and it wouldn't be the first time) I was wrong...so in your opinion guys which is best out of the following.

    Smith & Wesson
    Para Ordinance

    I know that this will be partly subjective but I do value your opinions. Feel free to add other maker into the mix if you like and add any comments that you want

    Let's add a $1500.00 top price and say that this will be a strictly defensive pistol...be home or CCW..but not a competition model...I am sure they are all fine makers...I quess this purely for fun.
  2. mwpslp

    mwpslp New Member

    Now that is a real subjective question. Is it a money is no object kinda thing, or the best value for your dollar? Under the first criteria I personally like Ed Brown as well as Wilson Combat. As far as value for the dollar I might lean toward Springfield. Of course these things don't take into account what it is you plan on doing with the gun. I guess going by your list I would personally go with Springfield, but I really don't think you could go wrong with any of the ones that you have listed.
  3. Fly320s

    Fly320s New Member

    They are all the same, in their own, different ways.

    At the end of the day, the best one is the one that works.
  4. Karate

    Karate New Member

    Ok so I will edit the tread to change criteria some what(if I can)
  5. LynnMassGuy

    LynnMassGuy New Member

    The Smith's have external extractors. The Para's have their own power extractors. Other than that they are regular 1911's. I own a smith my buddy owns a para. Both good guns. I know this, Para's customer service REALLY sucks. I don't know about the other brands so I won't pretend to.
  6. mwpslp

    mwpslp New Member

    OK I will still stick with my choice of a Springfield "loaded" Champion. I had a Kimber Pro CDP that I thought was also a very nice gun. Just had one or two minor issues with it which is why I give the nod to my Springfield. Good value for the money, lifetime warranty, and most importantly no issues (at least for me) out of mine. So are you looking to purchase one in the near future or just testing the waters?
  7. Old Dog

    Old Dog Active Member

    Lately, I've become a big fan of Springfield Armory 1911s. Of the Springers, I love the Professional, the Loaded, the Champion, the Mil-Spec and the Loaded Micro-Compact. I have owned nine SA 1911s, and have never had a problem with any (that couldn't be easily resolved). Accurate, reliable, and terrific value given the reasonable pricing.

    I was on the Kimber bandwagon for a while, but too many friends who are Kimber owners (including a couple cops whose duty weapons are Kimbers) are having issues. That said, I still love my Kimber Tactical Pro (my only current Kimber).

    My first love, however, is the original (and still the Top Dog) -- the Colt's Government Model (with great preference given pre-Series 80 editions). And ... both the Combat and Lightweight Commanders.

    For custom/semi-custom, my only experience is with Wilson's and Ed Brown. Awesome pistols. I especially like Brown's guns because, like me, he doesn't believe in front cocking serrations. I'd rate these shops' pistols as superior, but with the caveat that I have no experience with Les Baer and am waiting the wife's approval on a Nighthawk ...

    So for me, for UNDER $1500, which means regular production 1911s, I'd go: Colt's, SA, Kimber. I have not owned any Para-Ordnance or Smith & Wesson (or SIG or Dan Wesson or Charles Daly or Armscor) 1911s.
  8. denfoote

    denfoote New Member

    The best, most reliable 1911 I own is an old IAI (not IMI) M5000.

    It is a Commander clone. After replacing the stock sights and losing the stupid rubber wrap around grips, It turned into a fine shooting iron!!!


    Oh, BTW I picked up for only $200!!!! :what:
  9. Karate

    Karate New Member

    "So are you looking to purchase one in the near future or just testing the waters?"

    I am looking to buy within the next 12-24 months so I am trying to gather as much data as possible...I have had a SA GI and like it...sold it:( ...to buy an SA Champion that I could never get to function correctly...I had a used Kimber Tactical Pro in the Layaway that I have been talked out of by someone that is like a son to me...I did not just give him the gun he had a NEW BHP Practical and he knows that Hi Powers are my weakness, he is a SA .45acp lover so the trade was a natural...so I am looking again...I had assumed that Kimber was the best until recently reading a lot of the post on THR...NOw it seem that shooter prefer the S&W to the Kimber.
  10. TheFrontRange

    TheFrontRange New Member

    Springfield Armory and Kimber

    The two 1911 makes I have the most history with are SA and Kimber. I owned a Kimber Custom (a pre-Series II if that makes any difference) that was wonderful...after a break-in period of maybe 300 hundred rounds or so, I wound up running a remaining 1700-ish rounds through her trouble-free. I used at that time (and still do) Wilson Combat 8-round magazines exclusively...I know there are other plenty-good mags out there, I just wound up with Wilsons first. I did later trade the Kimber in toward a SiG (another wonderful pistol, but I'll save that for another post!)

    More recently I've acquired a gently-used Springfield Armory "Loaded" model. Ah, to be back in 1911-land, and in such style! Wooden grips, Novak Lo-Mount night sights, beavertail grip safety, etc., etc....she's great! I've put about 540 rounds through this one since late December with zero hiccups. She works fine with her as-issued two-piece full-length guide rod...but, for the sake of tool-less disassembly, I'm considering switching to a standard-length guide rod...if I make that change, my psyche will probably require another 500 trouble-free rounds before I'll feel comfy with it hahaha! My only modification to her otherwise has been the application of some skateboard tape to the frontstrap.

    As-is, this SA "Loaded" is my regular CCW / home-defense piece, sometimes supplanted by my SiG P228 just because I love most SiGs, too!
  11. Ford

    Ford New Member

    of the non-custom/semi custom guns you have listed I have always had good luck with Kimber. I have never handled or shot a Sig 1911. SA would be my second choice followed by Colt, S&W and Para-Ordnance.
  12. Extremist

    Extremist New Member

    Smith and Wesson 1911s

    My Carry
    My "Tactical"
    My Target

    #1 Customer Service
    MANY varieties to choose from (except no compact :()

    I love mine. All S&W. I have a Colt Gold Cup Series 70 also, but I prefer my SW1911s.

  13. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Year's ago, I had real success with a couple of 70 Series Colt Gold Cups-
    but more recently, I have enjoyed the same success with a couple of 5"
    Springfield G.I. models, a 5" Kimber Raptor II, and a Kimber Stainless Ultra
    Carry II. And, just within the last two weeks I've added a Les Baer semi-
    custom Thunder Ranch Special which I'm very pleased with~!:D
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2006
  14. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley New Member



    IMO... the best value on the market.

  15. gunfan

    gunfan New Member

    Dan Wesson. Simply the best!

  16. Springfield Armory offers a fantastic value at any price point starting in the low $400 area. None of the other mfr's mentioned quite hit that price point, as Colt, SW, Para, Sig, Kimber start in the $6's, if not higher.

    I've got a SA 1911 GI, and a Sig P239.
  17. rec999allis

    rec999allis New Member

    I am also looking for a new 1911 and it is between either an SA loaded model# Px91091 or a Smith model# 108285. The gun shops that I go to swear by the SA, and both SA and Smith have lifetime warrantys I believe so thats always a plus.
  18. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    The Springfield "Loaded" model is one fine firearm. I have a stainless one
    NIB on display with a price tag of only $679.88~!:D It has the features
    that most 1911's guru's are look'in for; including a proper fit of slide to
    frame, and once locked up you find no movement when pushing down
    on the barrel hood.:D
  19. charles nutinsky

    charles nutinsky New Member

    Para service

    In an earlier post on this topic an opinion was offered regarding Para's service as "it sucks".
    My contact with Para service was outstanding: In spite of having bought a LTC with a scratch on the top of the slide and fully admitting to them I was aware of the scratch, they refinished the slide at no cost to me. Clearly they went beyond and out of their way to provide service to me.
    In reading over the Para section on the 1911 forum it would seem other Para owners feel the same way.
    I imagine the poster on this site and on this topic may have had a bad experience but overall Para'S service seems to be first rate.

  20. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    $ for $ in today's market, I'd also go with the S&W 1911!

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