1911 or AR

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Good Ol' Boy, Jan 21, 2017.

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  1. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    The price on ARs may see a nice future decline, but because it is a constant target of gun control, I don't think anything with its future availability is ever certain. So, if it were me personally, I would purchase a lower or two (maybe one serialized for multical and one incomplete) and then purchase the 1911, allowing me to complete the AR at my own leisure, even if more gun control bills with bias towards black guns appear. If AR parts continue to fall, doing your own build might give you something for less money that best matches your preferences (for example, something with a trigger that is nicer than a basic milspec.) I like the Colt 6920 and think it is a very fine product, but IMHO the price premium paid might be most justifiable for someone holding on to it with intention not to use it as a longer term investment. Further, if the Hearing Protection act were to pass, AR component pricing might fall a ton, and there could be greater incentive to consider .300 blackout (or even 9mm) over 5.56, and this way you have left the door open for that option.

    If you don't need another carry gun, and the 1911 will be mainly a target shooter with possible occasional carry, my vote is for the full sized. I am a huge fan of the Smith E-Series, which new is a little north of the budget, but used is well within the price range. I like it because of the fit and finish & quality of the machining, a great factory trigger, and outstanding endurance that I have seen first hand. I would highly recommend shooting one if you are near a range with rentals to compare the trigger and overall experience to other options.
     
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  2. maxxhavoc
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    maxxhavoc Contributing Member

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    I would try to get both.

    As far as the 1911 goes, I personally would go for a RIA. Their warranty service is stellar, and their pistols are good examples of the 1911. Plan on changing the grips. Here is one for $430:
    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/716006977/Rock+Island+Armory+51501+1911+Standard+GI+8+1+45ACP+5%22
    I have heard good things about the Tisas 1911s as well. They are about the same rice that RIAs used to go for....$330 for a 5":
    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/716006977/Rock+Island+Armory+51501+1911+Standard+GI+8+1+45ACP+5%22

    As far as the AR goes, I have not seen significant functional or accuracy advantages to any of the value ARs. The design lends itself well to acceptable accuracy and reliability.

    Buy one of these for $260:
    http://palmettostatearmory.com/ptac-16-mid-length-5-56-nato-1-7-upper-with-bcg-and-charging-handle-40176.html
    and one of these for $140:
    http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-ar-15-complete-blem-lower-classic-edition-no-magazine.html
    And you will have a decent rifle. No assembly required that isn't part of normal cleaning.


    So $750 to $850 and you don't have to make any of those pesky choices.
     
  3. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    What other guns do you already own that might fill the roles for which you would buy the 1911 or AR?
     
  4. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    DownIn, what part of Montana are you in? I was stationed in Great Falls back in the '60 and I've missed Montana ever since moving back home in N.C.!
     
  5. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    Get one this year and one next tax season. Both should be in any collection for the American history in them and general utility of both. Deciding what to get first is easy... get the one you'd shoot more over the next year. I don't see either platform jumping in price over the next year and I don't see either one dropping in price, either. There is no more fear buying and I think the AR platform has bottomed out. $500 seems to be a baseline for a good quality AR and the 1911 market is saturated with competition which will keep the prices about the same.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
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  6. DownInTheDark

    DownInTheDark Member

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    Helena, about 90 miles south of Great Falls.
     
  7. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Colt 6720, shop around and you'll hit the $800 price point. Magazines can be had for as little as $7 ea (get 10 to start). Add a light, sling and quality RDS, nothing will beat it for HD and general SHTF. You already have other handguns, from an objectively practical standpoint, a 1911 is no better or worse than what you already have.
     
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  8. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    If you don't have an AR you need to get one. $800 buys a variety of ARs. The S&W is good. I also own DPMS which I have had no issues with. Some may call it a poodle shooter but I have used ARs in social situations since 1968 and they have always worked well for me.

    For a 1911 in your price range I suggest trying a Taurus. I have had one for about 10 years and have no problems. It's what I choose when I carry a 1911. All my other 1911s are Colts.
     
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  9. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    I appreciate all of the responses thus far. You guys certainly aren't making this any easier for me. ;)

    Like I mentioned I have other CC/HD handguns so the 1911 would essentially be a range toy with the possibility of carry once in a blue moon.

    I don't yet have a SHTF long gun yet and I'm not much on shotguns so the AR seems like it would fit that bill and, like the 1911 is just one of those guns everyone should have one of.

    So far as use, either one would more than likely see the same amount of use. No reason why I couldn't take the AR with me to the range and put a couple boxes through it when I go to do my normal handgun practice. The same could be said for the 1911 though.


    I'm still on the fence for sure. I went to my closest LGS today to "get the juices flowing". They had quite a few AR's of various brands in the budget. The 1911 selection was less, but they had a wide array in terms of price.


    I'd still like to hear some opinions on the difference in a $500 AR and a $7-800 AR, and likewise and $4-500 1911 versus a $7-800 one. On either gun is it really worth the extra money? What if any differences are there?
     
  10. Drail

    Drail Member

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    I don't own an AR and never wanted one. We don't have gangs of poodles running loose here either.
     
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  11. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    If you don't have a rifle, then get the AR. Everyone should have a rifle.
     
  12. shafter

    shafter Member

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    If I didn't have either one, but already had a good carry gun I would go with the AR. Probably the Ruger AR556. It's well within your price point with money left over for mags or a Vortex optic.

    For a 1911 I'd probably go with the Ruger or Springfield Armory.
     
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  13. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    Well I have a couple bolt action .22's but nothing serious. They are rifles though. ;)
     
  14. PowerG

    PowerG Member

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    For what you're going to do with it, a budget AR will do just fine. The S&W is a good deal, no assembly required, and a warranty if something needs fixing. Open sights are great, but a low power scope or a red dot sight make it even better. Look at the red dots at Primary Arms.
     
  15. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I got my Colt 1911 yrs ago (think $675 new). Shot it a lot, but haven't shot it lately.
    Took the AR out coyote hunting in crappy weather last week.
    My AR is not a Colt, is just a Frankengun, and it runs fine. I treat it rough and don't care.
    People getting divorced, arrested.....buying too much thinking Hillary would get elected and now the bills are due.............
    you could find a decent AR for a very good price.
    If they're 600 new........some poor sap has that same gun and will dump it to pay a lawyer or make a car payment.
    Hit em for 400.
    Harsh? Why pay more? Poor planning/decisions should be costly. Can be a smart shopper.
    Of course many will take their guns to a shop and dump them for cheap, the shop still has to price them to sell, and with new AR prices pretty low..........maybe a great deal still to be had on "pre owned".
     
  16. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Just sold my PA Gen 2 30mm RDS. They don't make em anymore.
    Worked fine.
    If I go with similar I'd proly drop the $ for an Aimpoint, for the 2 moa dot.
    But am looking at maybe slapping a Burris Fastfire on a handgun next go around.
    The PA was on my TC Contender (handgun form). Was on AR first, kids loved it. I thought it a bit gangly with co witness height............prefer my AR iron sighted. Maybe clock a Burris FF worst case.
    The PA 30mm was great on my Contender
     
  17. Nacho Man

    Nacho Man Member

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    My first gun was a AR15 carbine I got in 2010, still have it.
    I like both guns very much, I have a few in both platforms.
    The most fun I had was buying a base RIA 1911 and changing some parts myself.
    My favorite AR is the one I did on a budget.
    Bought a PSA upper and put my lower together, bought the parts when they went on sale.
    Spent like $500 on the Rock and $750 on the AR.:)
    You can't loose with either one.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
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  18. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    From your two choices.Your government at all levels doesn't want you to own an AR15. There are some who don't care certainly, but basically it's a no. They care a little less about the 1911, or the 22LR revolver for that matter. And that opinion sways a little left or right depending on the next election cycle, or bureaucratic memo. The 1911 prices have changed little, I personally (IMHO) think this is the lowest prices on ARs in the forseeable future +- 2-4 months. If you decide to go with the 1911 I would still at least purchase a couple lower receivers as another suggested.

    Parting thought; some high ranking member of some legislature somewhere within 5 hours driving distance of anyone reading this is brainstorming the ''how & when'' of banning / limiting the AR15. But not the ''if'' ...
     
  19. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    The guy who said both. Yes. But considering it's an either/or, then first the question about price. What do you get for double the money? That's a concern comparing a $400 gun to an $800 gun. In a kind of particular order, what you get different one from the other is a more well known rollmark on the slide, possibly made in the USA (but not likely,) and some features that you might think enhance it's use. Most of those are actually competition target shooting bits and pieces that "everybody" thinks will improve the 1911. Which begs the question, what was wrong with it in the first place if the anointed JMB designed it?

    What happens is that people just can't leave well enough alone and learn how to shoot better. Anyway, if it's a target and range gun, you get some incremental improvement in handling and accuracy up front with the higher priced guns. There is, however, no guarantee of it, especially as the barrel gets shorter.

    There is also the potential opportunity on the horizon of picking up an authentic battle beat issue 1911 from the CMP, but that isn't likely to happen in the near future. If one of those was preferred then get the AR. If you don't want to wait, buy now. I did and after some hours into it wound up choosing an S&W 3Gen, a comparable model might be an Officer or other compact model with round butt. Seems to be the latest fad.

    With AR's the cost of quality is just the same, double the price does not guarantee double the quality or reliability. Using full power NATO type ammo does, strangely enough, as the typical owner shooting import junk or white box finds out quickly. There are more reliability problems directly connected to cheap ammo using the AR than cheap AR's failing while shooting good ammo.

    As far as which one to pick, choose your rollmark, same as the 1911 and enjoy it. If for no other reason than a sense of "pride," then a Colt would be nice. Me, a got whatever was a good value on the market building my AR's - which is another route to ownership. If you are wanting something particularly tuned to do a certain job, that delivers as the marketing mavens tend to schedule what is the most popular version for AR of the Month in their production schedules. Not all of us agree.

    Since you have carry guns I'd exploit the current overabundance of AR's and enjoy the savings. As for 1911 prices going up, no, not hardly, More imports and price competition is driving prices DOWN, not up. There were no $399 1911's on the market a few years ago and I expect more cheap cast frame guns to be imported with more US based rollmarks on them straight out of whatever factory they spit them out in Turkey, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, whatever. There's no guarantee that an AR is any different, tho - there are about 6 overseas plants churning them out, too. The vendors just don't talk about it. We already know about Norinco but the Chinese gladly gave up those sales to get the entire Big Box when the negotiated a trade treaty with Clinton. Oh well.

    Go AR first. Good ones are less expensive than good 1911's which will go down in price as the market gets saturated and too many makers keep fighting over the pie. That will be a better deal next year.
     
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  20. maxxhavoc
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    maxxhavoc Contributing Member

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    For the 1911, the price increases are USUALLY initial quality and overall appearance.
    I have owned many 1911s from Kimber, RIA, and Springfield. The best values have been RIA. Two of those were OK right out of the box, one had to go to Pahrump for repair. The frame was out of spec, they replaced the gun and did a basic tune-up/polish that left it smoother than any of the others except the Springfield, which I have owned many years and has at least 10k rounds down the pipe. The RIA grips are functional, but basic and ugly to my eye (at least on the old ones.) There are obvious tool marks on the inside of the frame on both the RIAs and Springfield, less pronounced on the Springfield.

    The Kimber was tighter, the cuts inside and out were smooth and clean. The springs were higher quality as well (which is why my RIA compacts now have Kimber assemblies.)

    All are more accurate than I am, and I shoot all of them better than my Polymer bedside guns and carry guns. Weight and capacity won out for those roles. The higher priced guns also tend to have more features I don't care about, but you may. Trigger safeties, beavertail grips, commander hammers, and night sights being the most common. They are also tighter, but a tight 1911 is not not necessarily a lot more accurate. If I could only keep one, it would be my Springfield. But the RIAs won't be leaving my collection anytime soon.

    As to AR's, the more you research the differences in quality, the more you will learn about metallurgy...not all of it comprehensible or provably accurate. As I said before, I have found AR's to be forgiving and reliable guns. I got dragged kicking and screaming into the AR fold, but they are just good sturdy tools. My 20" FN-barred PSA shoots a little better than the others, but all can crack a clay pigeon at 100 yards almost every time with iron sights. That's good enough for anything my eyes can handle. I'd say they are all within 1.5-3 MOA, maybe a little better maybe worse. I did not build any of them for accuracy but I am more than happy with the results.

    Buying from S&W or other company will get you a rifle with a warranty, but I have never seen a rifle with less need for a warranty than an AR. The parts are inexpensive, easy to swap, and almost nothing standard on the rifle needs a gunsmith. The only exception to this I have seen is the front sight base and the gas hole drilling on the barrel. You can buy your barrels with these tasks already done for very little premium.
     
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  21. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    You have pistols already. You don't have anything serious that can reach out past 25 yards. It is also a very good time to buy ARs. And as I have said before; as a matter of philosophy, everyone should have a rifle. Bottom line, a 1911 is another pistol, a rifle is a whole different thing.
     
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  22. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    Locally I'm seeing...

    SR1911 and R1's right at $700 and then your RIA's and other Phillo 1911's between $5-600.

    M&P15, Colt M4, Bushmaster XM15 and Ruger AR556 right at $700, and then your DPMS, Diamondback and some company called Windham Weapons for $550-600.


    I think I'm starting to lean towards the AR but still have not made my mind up yet.


    Anyone know what the difference in the Colt M4 and M4+ for $50 more is? Also what about this Windham company? I'm seeing it listed even at some of the pickiest local stores regarding selling cheap guns, but I've never heard of them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
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  23. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    The Windham is the "old" Bushmaster. When they got bought out by freedom group, this plant reopened and started putting out products with this brand. From what I know, they put out a pretty solid product.
     
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  24. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I was recently faced with a decision similar to this and went with the AR.
    Of course I picked up my lower and lower parts kit when it was looking like Hillary was going to be our president. I didn't have irrational fears of bans, but I feared another price skyrocket and wanted to buy one while they were low.
    So I have an AR15 now, although it is still in about 9 different boxes. lol

    Going to take a little trip to see fallout mike in a few weeks and he's going to show me the ropes putting it together.

    I think my next firearm may be a 1911, however there are some other things I want to do that is firearms related first, like some nice leather for a couple of revolvers so I'm not sure when it will happen.

    I don't think that helped you at all. lol
     
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  25. Tinpig

    Tinpig Member

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    Since you're talking about "either/or" for two completely different guns, I'd say you're eventually going to end up with both, which is absolutely the correct decision.
    So get the best deal on either one and get the other next year.
    Here's what I have:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Guess I like Colts.

    Tinpig
     
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