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1911 under $500

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by merlinfire, Feb 10, 2011.

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  1. merlinfire

    merlinfire Member

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    I would like to get a 1911 but the budget is $500 at the highest. Nothin' fancy, just a mil-spec workmanlike 1911.
     
  2. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    I love my ATI FX45... everyone who owns a Rock Island says the same thing.

    My gun was less then $400 out the door. $500 will get you a GREAT Rock Island.
     
  3. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    I'll 2nd the Rock Island Armory.
     
  4. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Rock Island Armory 325 plus tax. This is a workin' man's 1911. Or an unemplyed man's..........

    SDC12317.gif

    You can usually get this thing new for right around 399 or maybe a little more. Aren't the tacticals even under 500?
     
  5. merlinfire

    merlinfire Member

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    these answers are more or less what I expected to hear but its nice to have things confirmed.
     
  6. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    Tacticals are about $439 + shipping and transfer.

    The better sights, sight cuts, beavertail, 3 hole trigger etc... are all upgrades. To me the biggest advatange is the sight cuts which IIRC are novak cuts and allow you to swap out sights without milling the slide.

    If I were looking for a basic 1911 I would step up a bit from the $500 number to about $628 + shipping and transfer and get an STI Spartan.
     
  7. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    +1 to RIA tactical.

    Beware, the Novak sight cuts are not true Novak dimensions, they are .010 deeper on the front sight, I think the rear is slightly different as well.

    A .075" depth Novak or a Kimber cut front sight will fit in the RIA notch with a little bit of careful filing on the underside of the sight post.

    I picked up a RIA Tactical secondhand. First owner told me he had around 500 rounds through it, I've put probably close to 3k through it since. Thats in addition to another 2k rounds on the frame with a .22lr conversion, and probably 10k+ of dry fire. I haven't replaced anything but the grips, and Alumnahyde on the frame. RIA does use some MIM parts, but they appear to be of very high quality. Haven't swapped the recoil spring or ejector, even though I should based on round count and it still runs fine. Cycles everything from powderpuff 200gr paper punching loads, to full house 230gr loads, both lead and jacketed. I have 2 Springfields, and every now and then I will come up with a handload that they won't cycle, but I have never found one that gave the RIA problems.

    008.jpg

    The ambi-safety connection is weak, and is starting to loosen, which is a problem with most 1911 ambi-safeties. When I order a new recoil spring, I will also be getting a chip mccormack ambi safety, swap out the FLGR with a standard GI setup, and install a EGW fiberoptic front sight. Maybe some 10-8 grips.

    I don't know why some people rag on RIAs, it has been not only the most reliable 1911 I've ever shot, it has been more reliable than any other handgun I own.

    If you are willing to spend the extra dough, the STI Spartan is probably the best overall value in 1911s right now, with a RIA Tactical a close second.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  8. dogmush

    dogmush Member

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    My Tac has about 32,000 rds through it now. I've slowed down shooting it lately as I concentrate on my 9's. It's still a great gun, and I still carry it sometimes.

    HPIM0622.jpg

    *Note: this picture is when it was new. The finish has more character these days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  9. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Member

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  10. speedway

    speedway Member

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    I had the same dilemma. I held out, and found a mint used Kimber.
     
  11. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    Wow!

    Over what period of time.

    What parts have you replaced? How has the slide stop plunger tube and plunger held up? Any frame or slide cracking?

    Stoppages?

    I'm really starting to shoot mine heavily, I'd like to know what to watch out for.
     
  12. Magichelmt

    Magichelmt Member

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  13. dogmush

    dogmush Member

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    Let's see. I did a whole thread with detailed pictures over on M1911.org a couple years ago.

    The gun is now about 4 years old. Parts changed are recoil and FP springs every 5-6rds and Main and sear springs every 10 thousand or so. I stopped being quite as anal with round count as I used to be, so for the last 2 years I just replaced all the springs once a year. other then grip panels, no other parts replaced. I'm probably due for an extractor, I had to re-tension it twice last year. It wasn't failing, but I noticed ejection was getting erratic. Clean it every 5 or 6 hundred rounds. Detail strip about every 6 months to clean and check for wear. No problems with the slide-stop plunger. No frame or slide issues at all. Around the 30,000 rd mark I noticed slightly more wear on one side of the barrel feet then the other, so by 45-50 thousand rounds I might have to fit a new barrel and slide stop. :shrug Discounting the first hundred rounds it goes about 3500-4000 mean rounds between failures. Failures tend to be mags going bad, or the recoil spring showing wear. But that's pretty rare. For the most part I just shoot it. I teach beginners with it, still carry it when I'm in the mood, and generally shoot it. It's one of the guns that always goes in my range bag and gets shot irregardless of what I'm working on at the range that day.

    I have worn out two Novacks mags with it.
     
  14. rocinante

    rocinante Member

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    Auto Ordinance. They are great guns since Kahr took over and they aren't plastered on the slide with a huge billboard like ROCK ISLAND. If I am going to go with a budget gun I want to at least make the snobs guess what it is.
     
  15. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    Do you have a link to that thread?

    When you feel like its worth having a new barrel fit, you should send it to Arnel, RIAs customer pleasing gunsmith, and see what he'll do for you.
     
  16. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    American Classic Govt, or Commander in blue under 500 These are not stripped down pistols They have all the bells and whistles also. made by Metro Arms
     
  17. surjimmy

    surjimmy Member

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    I have several custom 1911's, I stated that so u would know what I was comparing too. You will not be sorry with a Rock Island Tactical.
     
  18. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    What Sur Jimmy said

    While I don't have any custom pistols yet, I do own five Kimbers and have owned Springers and Colts. The Rock Islands are a whole lot of gun for the money. I have a 45 CS Tac and a Tactical 9mm. They are good guns for sure. If you find a uysed Taurus within your budget, I wouldn't hesitate. I own two of them as well and have no use for any other full sized guns. Each of my Taurus guns have more than 4000 rounds down the tube and have been flawless with everything but a couple of my handloads.

    While I don't own one yet, the Metro arms guns look even better than Rock Island, in appearance at least. They have been getting great reviews by the guys at 1911.com etc. I will be in the market for one of their hard chromed commanders soon.
     
  19. dogmush

    dogmush Member

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    http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=68430

    If you look at the third "barrel and slide" picture on that thread you can see the two lines on the Barrel feet where it impacts the slide stop cross pin. The one on the right is just a touch bigger in that photo (there is also some camera flare). It's slowly getting worse. But like I said it'll probably take 45-50 thousand rounds before it get's bad enough to need attention. Overall the pistol is wearing very well.

    Arnel does great work, but I'll probably refresh this tac myself.
     
  20. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    I would avoid these like the plague. I bought the American classic Govt model for $400, thought it was a good deal after reading a few reviews, gunblast.com, etc. Big mistake. The pistol wouldn't even feed 230 ball factory loads. It would fail to feed properly due to the feed ramp not being properly cut low enough and at the right angle in the frame. Also, the slide release protruded too far and into the path of the bullet feeding. I tried to get them fixed under warranty, but they would only fix the slide release and did a mild polish on the feed ramp, but it still failed to feed about 50% of the time off of a full mag. I tried 2 different gunsmiths that are in their "warrenty network". The first few rounds were always the worse. I tried Chip McCormick, Ed Brown mags, and a few others from my friends, no luck. It cost me another $200 to have the feed ramp properly machined and polished, they didn't even pick up shipping cost. I wished I had never bought it but now i've got way too much invested and have no chance at recovering. It's a decent shooter now, spent another $200 getting trigger, sear, fp springs, etc changed out.
    Next time, I'll avoid the going cheap route and get a Kimber. My $.02
     
  21. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    Don't do that. Go with Springfield, Colt, or even STI. Kimbers quality, both in parts and QC, has slipped quite a bit from their original offerings.
     
  22. VT Deer Hunter

    VT Deer Hunter Member

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    Taurus PT 1911 about $297.
     
  23. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    Keep your eyes open at gun shows. I got a virtually unfired Para GI Expert for 450 at a local show from a nice older gentleman.
     
  24. breacher

    breacher Member

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    $297. Taurus PT1911? not an airsoft? tell us where!!
     
  25. QUICK_DRAW_McGRAW

    QUICK_DRAW_McGRAW Member

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    love my taurus 1911, its very accurate and reliable.
     
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