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1911 --Best quality makers?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Strykervet, Jun 13, 2011.

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  1. Moptop

    Moptop Member

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    Baers, Wilsons, Dannys, Browns, ect, are fine machines but are maybe more expensive than the OPs budget. If you want something that shoots straight out of the box and is reliable my vote is for Kimber. Excellent quality, made in the U.S. with a good reputation and they have many styles to choose from.
     
  2. Get R Done Guns

    Get R Done Guns Member

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    Definately Nighthawk Customs is a leader in 1911's. Take a look at them. They will make it purple and pink if you want it that way!
     
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    MOD TALK: The OP asked for 1911 maker suggestions at the level of an Ed Brown, and specifically indicated that mid or low-range guns (even the pretty decent S&W version) were NOT of interest to him. Therefore, spending 20 posts defending and debating the qualities of lower-tier guns is not only off-topic, but is directly hijacking his thread. Don't do that.
     
  4. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    Kimbers are not in the same class as the others being mentioned. Sorry but they are production guns. They claimed to have a custom shop but they do not. ALL KIMBERS are production line product. Per the OP he is looking a semi-custom or higher.

    Guncrarters Pistol with no name deserves consideration. They are harder to find and are not as well known.

    #NN45 “Pistol with no Name”, .45 ACP (5" - full size) $2495

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    That Guncrafter look awesome. They're listening to us! No billboards, no cool aid. Just one darn excellnt looking 1911.

    Kudos Guncrafter. Kudos.

    Can i get $2500 for a kindney?
     
  6. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    It looks like a 2009 Valor with some work done to the top of the slide, with the old front strap checkering that doesn't go far enough up the front strap and without the ejection port work ... all for $700 more than a Valor. Agree ... disagree?


    So Dan Wesson shouldn't be mentioned either since they're not semi-custom 1911s. On a side note, the Kimber Stainless Pro Raptor II that I bought a couple of weeks ago has much better barrel fit than either of my Dan Wessons ... go figure!! The witness marks on the lower barrel lugs and slide stop show just how well (hard) the barrel is fitted with zero movement if I push down on the barrel hood. Probably luck more than anything but impressive nonetheless. This goes back to my previous (and deleted) post that mentioned the inverse relationship between luck and cost. When you spend $2,500 and up, you don't expect a 50/50 chance of "getting a good one".
     
  7. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan member

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    The Valor is a very nice production level 1911, but it's not in the same league as the No Name, which is one of the finest semi customs available.
     
  8. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    It might help some here (me included) if you explain the pertinent differences between the "no name" and the Dan Wesson Valor.
     
  9. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    Dan Wesson make 1911s that sell for $1800+ and for some they are worth that. Forged frame & slide along with better attention to detail make them better than Kimbers. IMHO. A Duty Coated Valor is about as good as a production gun gets. DW also does small runs which are equal to the Colt custom shop. They recently put out a hi cap 10mm which they made IIRC 25 of which is a true custom quality gun. Kimber is in capable of making a pistol of that quality.

    IMG_3967.jpg

    IMG_3977.jpg

    IMHO Kimber does not make anything even close. Kimber claims to have a custom shop but they don't. They just charge a custom price. Sound like you got a great Kimber but there are more people who get avg Kimbers at that price point than any other 1911 at that price point. The parts that assembler took out of the bin to assemble your Raptor apparently fit nicely. Score for you... I think that with all Kimbers you are paying the 50/50 game. With Dan Wesson not so much.

    If you like your Kimber great. Sell your DWs and get more Kimbers. :) LOL I would never buy a Kimber at any price. They simply do not appeal to me in any way shape or form. Way too much bling over substance. When you compare their prices vs other makers there just isn't the same value. When you look at the time and materials put into the gun it simply does not add up for me. YMMV

    Compare that to the avg of 25 man hours + forged premium hand fit parts that go into a Les Baer or other higher end semi-custom or custom gun. This is the difference between the DW Valor and the No name. It is the amount of time put into fitting the parts so that they work not only out of the box but down the road. The accuracy of the fit and the workmanship on the pistol help to get the most out of the pistol in terms of accuracy, reliability and performance. Pistols like the TRS or the No Name are better setup to withstand serious business. It is not just about 15,000 to 25,000 rounds in a lifetime its the ability to fire 2,000 in a day under less than idea conditions. I am not saying that a DW cannot do that many can but you are getting closer to your 50/50 comment IMHO. That is what you get out of the high end 1911s.

    I put Dan Wesson up as the best of the production pistols. They get you 90% of the way there for a lot less $$$. But when you get down to the nitty gritty details there is no comparison. IMHO. If I am paying more than $1000 for a pistol I want more hand fitting and better parts. For many users the DW is a better 1911 than they will ever need. To be honest the same could be said about Colt or even Kimber. My issue with Kimber is the quality of parts and construction is simply not high enough to justify the price.

    For any shooter looking at 1911s there is a point of diminishing returns. Where that point breaks is an subjective individual choice not a hard and fast rule. I have come to a similar conclusion on a personal level. I certainly can pay more than the $1200 I paid for my TRS but it will not be worth it to me because there is nothing that I ask the TRS to do that it can't. It is up to each individual to determine if they want to pay for it. Like any market some see value in things that others don't.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  10. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan member

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    Simply put, the difference is in fit. The Valor is great, but there's a lot more hand fitting going on with the NN. I admit it's easy to just say, "it's the fit" but if you shot them side by side, I think you'd see and feel a pretty big difference. :)
     
  11. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    The DWs aren't for sale but I'll never buy another one unless I get offered a NIB for $1,000 or less. I've already addressed the V-Bob issues myself and am almost done correcting the issues with the Valor. Properly fitted Ed Brown barrel bushings corrected the barrel movement and I filed/polished the mag release in the V-Bob until it worked properly. I'm not the sort of person who gives up on a project two days in after trying a couple of quick fixes. If I can fix something myself rather than send it back to the manufacturer, I will. I'm in it the for the long haul and I know what I need, like and want and I'm prepared to put in the effort (Kimber, Dan Wesson) or lay down the cash (Ed Brown) to achieve those goals. I like specific Kimber models (two actually) as project guns. I bought the Raptor for the frame and slide and have already started to work on it to get it to where I want it. That includes all Ed Brown internals, a bobbed frame with an Ed Brown chainlink MSH and black Cerakote. I'll be doing the work myself as usual and will end up with another Kimber just like my USPSA gun that runs 100% reliably and that I enjoy immensely. This doesn't mean that I don't appreciate what $2,500+ 1911s have to offer. I am a big Ed Brown fan and will adding two more to the two I already have. However, I like project guns too since the Ed Browns don't need anything done to them. I check and prove my work by shooting the pistols I work on in USPSA matches. After fitting a considerably more accurate Ed Brown barrel in my Kimber TEII, I placed third in single stack the following weekend with that pistol and would have won if I didn't get reamed by shooting first (and incorrectly) on an ambiguous stage that was poorly explained.


    Now back to the subject at hand ... here's some good reading here for anyone looking for a high-end production or semi-custom 1911. I don't agree with Mr. Severns' statistical methods but I like the way he goes through each pistol.

    http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=286070

    1. Fusion Model ‘CCO‘; brand new in the box; chambered in 45acp
    2. Wilson Model ‘CQB‘; received near-new, with approx. 20 rounds fired since new; 45acp
    3. Colt XS series Model ‘CCO’, carried for approximately the last 10 years, and fired moderately; 45acp
    4. 2009 Dan Wesson Model ‘CCO’, in Mint condition; 45acp
    5. Kimber original-series (pre-Series II) Model ‘Compact CDP’ in Excellent condition; 45acp
    6. Colt original series Model ’CCO’ in Excellent condition; 45acp
    7. 2005 original-production Dan Wesson Model ‘CCO’ in Excellent condition; 45acp
    8. 2005 original-production Dan Wesson Model ‘CCO’, accurized by Severns Custom; Excellent condition; 10mm caliber
    9. (In center) Brand new Les Baer/Severns Custom ‘Black Stinger’ custom pistol, chambered in 45acp
    10. Brand NIB Dan Wesson 2010 Model ‘CCO’, chambered in 45acp, and finally:
    11. NIB 2010 Dan Wesson Model ‘Valor Bobtail’ (VBOB) pistol; 45acp


    http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=255555

    1. 2009 Dan Wesson Valor
    2. 2009 Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special (TRS, for short)
    3. Ed Brown Kobra
    4. 2009 Colt Combat Elite
    5. 2008 Sig GSR
    6. 2009 Fusion Government Model
    7. 2008 Severns Custom modified DW Valor
    8. 2009 Fusion Firearms Commander Bobtail, in 9mm
    9. 1996 Kimber “Series I” Classic Custom
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  12. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    It sounds like you enjoy the tinkering, building and fixing part of owning 1911s. That is cool I know many people do. It seems like you bought the Kimber for its looks and it shell. The rest goes to the parts bin. For many 1911 shooters the project part of the gun is half the fun.

    You do understand not everyone enjoys the tinkering part of 1911s.... ;) I certainly fall into that category. I like to shoot them tinkering with them gets tedious for me. So for me a gun like the TRS suits me.

    I find it odd that you advocating/defending Kimber when you mainly use them as a shell. I assume you like their cosmetics for their price since you do not keep anything but the frame and slide. I think you fall into the minority of shooters. The vast majority do not want to strip their $1000+ pistols down to the frame and replace every part. I at times envy those who do.

    In the end we just seem to have a different approach. One is not better than the other. IHMO. I like to drive a 20+ year old Mercedes Benz. I do not like working on it. LOL I think you understand the beauty of an Ed Brown and that the workmanship and craftsmanship is a lot of what you are paying for. I guess what I do not understand is why you are not applying that mentality to other semi-custom makers like Guncrafters?

    PS. To bad about that stage. Better luck next week... :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  13. 918v

    918v Member

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    Brownells sells short-blocks (frame/slide/barrel fitted together). Maybe that's the way to go.
     
  14. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    rellascout, good comments and some good observations.

    OP, you should have a better idea as to who the "Best quality makers" are and what benefits a semi-custom 1911 offers over a production or even high-end production model. I have no experience with true custom 1911s and only have experience with Taurus, Colt, Kimber, Springfield, Dan Wesson, Ed Brown and Wilson Combat. $2,500 is as much as I want to pay for a 1911 so that rules out most Wilson Combat models. I don't like blued guns of any sort so that rules out Les Baer whose models look like crap to me anyway. At the end of the day, I have no regrets about spending close to $5,000 on a pair of Ed Browns and will be doing it again, and yet I regret spending $650 on a Savage rifle.
     
  15. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    Thanks for all the posts. I will consider some of the advice here.
     
  16. 10

    10 Member

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    Springfield Armory Custom shop. Have it built to your specs!
     
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