S&W 952 would be a great choice.
However... your $1200 price limit will take a beating.
Rock River Arms
My Ciener on a dedicated alloy frame.
It's been working great for almost 20 years. Quite accurate too...
Congrats on the new gun!!
I'm sure you already know this, but tension should be released from the mainsping before removing the sideplate....
This is an MK II, but the same no gunsmith Weigand mount works on an MK I.
It really depends on how smooth you barrel is.
I've found that 1000 fps is about the limit in my guns.
S&W Model 41
If it's beyond your price range, then it really doesn't matter. Ruger, S$W, Browning al make nice plinkers....
The slide is alloy.
Most problems: reloaded ammo
Design weakness: grip screw bushings should be left hand threads
I went with a $25 (on sale) BSA 30 mm, 5 minute dot, and a Weigand mount.
Makes for a very fun pinking combination.
Normal mag spring.
Sounds like you bent what ever was causing the cylinder not to swing out easily. My guess woud be the end of the center pin, that sticks out...
I bought 3, 8 rounders for a 1911, several years ago. The springs seem weak(loads really easy), but they have worked quite well for many...
You may find this article from Real Guns helpfull: http://www.realguns.com/archives/151.htm
I really like Federal Auto Match. Works great and is quite accurate.
I have the local indoor range order it for me a couple...
None. The externals take less hand fitting/tuning for the gun makers.
I've had a Ciener kit mounted on a dedicated alloy frame for several years(15+).
I easily got my $200 purchase price worth of fun...
Geez... get real.
You may want to look over this recent article from Real Guns.
Honestly... I gave away my RCBS and bought a Lee Classic. Reason #1 was the RCBS spent primer issue. Life's too short to mess with poor design....
Separate names with a comma.