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Best .45 for under $300?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Mad Magyar, Jan 7, 2006.

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  1. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    I present the “Big Spaniard”: Llama IXA. This mint, near-copy of the Colt Govt. 1911 has been around for a number of years and the question remains, “How does it stack up against the Colt 1911 and wannabees?” For under $300, are you kidding me????
    Even though the design, operation, and field stripping are identical; dimensionally it is extremely close to the original, however there some differences. BTW, Colt magazines may be used in this pistol.:p
    The most noticeable difference is the slide topped by a ventilated rib; useless in my opinion, but set in the rib is a loaded cartridge indicator which is forced upward when there is a round in the chamber. The rear sight is adjustable for windage. READ THIS CLOSELY! This Llama includes features found in expensive custom modifications on Colt & variance guns. The barrel is “throated” to accept semi-wadcutter or hollowpoint ammo. The front strap is deeply grooved for a firm grip and the IXA comes “ported” from the factory. Not good news to a starving gunsmith….:cuss:
    Drawback: Long broad hammer, with a spur extending well past the tang on the grip safety. I plan to grind it down to a proper length. Yes & Yes to: Is Llama out of business? & Are parts plentiful?
    How does it shoot? GREAT!;)
    The gun functions perfectly with Federal 230 hardball and fed and cycled the 185 JSWC’s w/o a hitch. Not kidding…How about 2-3” grouping at 15 yds?
    Would you carry this Llama to defend your life? You betcha. . . .LLAMA DAMA DO!!!:D
    [​IMG]
     
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    How is the trigger? I reckon it could be tuned, considering the price of the gun. Will 1911 parts work on it? I seem to remember a Llama with a pinned, pivoting trigger, but I notice yours has a 1911 style. Shame they're out of business. If you like SA guns, they had some decent ones for cheap. Friend of mine bought a little .380 from a guy that was selling it pretty cheap that is cool. I shoulda got that thing, had first shot at it, but it was a little large for pocket carry, about Walther PP sized.
     
  3. wally

    wally Member

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    Around here, before Llama went belly up, their new .45s were $230-250. The RIA were ~$280. One side by side of the RIA and the Llama and it was no contest, RIA was very much the better gun.

    Since then, RIA has crept up in price, while Llama has closed shop.

    --wally.
     
  4. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Good questions...This pistol has the long trigger of the older 1911 guns. The pull is heavy but extremely managable for good shot groupings..Unlike the Colt, the firing pin and extractor are held in place by a pin under the rear sight with no detachable firing pin stop. IMHO, Condition Two is not advisable for the uninititated...
    I purposely left-out one other drawback that I've found in mine and two others I've examined concerning the reassembly. I would know if someone actually owns or had one, especially when you get these replies: "Yeah, I had one and it was a POS!" Most of these replies are based on hearsay: nothing more. This pistol is not a "crap-shoot" where some are good & others are so-so....Will it replace the Colt? Of course not, not even close...Just a good pistol for the money...:)
     
  5. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    If you were asking for me to spend $300 on a 45 it would be either a new RIA compact, which I have and has been wonderful, or in a non 1911 platform a used Ruger P 90.
     
  6. Dusty Rusty

    Dusty Rusty Member

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    I got a very good used RIA for $200. Shoots great and I love it! Tried a Llama but wasn't impressed. I have small hands and the RIA is perfect.
     
  7. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Wally, I really like the RIA also, but lets not imply because Llama is out-of-business they had a faulty product. In many instances, where change of ownership, debt-restructuring, political/government interference with backing of bonds, changes of the market & work force in Europe: all these factors weighed heavily on the demise of the Llama...Like many of our deceased auto builders; many were of superior quality: but so many variables led to their downfall. Love to get a hold of a nice Studebaker "Golden Hawk"......:p
     
  8. duncan

    duncan Member

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    Save your money and buy a used Glock 21 for $400 on a good day.

    That is as cheap as I would go to defend my life.

    The Minimax's are decent and under $300 too.

    Hell, my cheapo pocket .32 Kel Tecs are $250 and they need some F&B.

    But at least Llama's are better than Hi-Points.
     
  9. mpthole

    mpthole Member

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    Mad Magyar: Sounds like you found a Llama that is reliable. Good for you. If you trust it with your life for a defensive situation, fine - more power to you. I've got absolutely no problem with that.

    On the other hand, if you ever want to actually shoot it - as in many thousands of rounds per year - you may decide otherwise. I've know several people that have started out with Llamas only to go with an original 1911 design - even if its a RIA - just so long as they could customize it to their liking. The bottom line is a Llama will never - and can never be - a 1911.

    If you only plan on shooting a box of 50 every six months or so - I'm sure it will be fine.
     
  10. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I was rather pleased with my Llama MiniMax I picked up at a gunshow NIB for around $150. It would feed any JHP I fed through it (never tried any SWCs if memory serves me), but brass would smack my forehead every other magazine.

    I have since sold it, but mine was dependable.


    My Minimax during its brief stay with me:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Frenchy

    Frenchy Member

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    And when you get a flat, you can jack up the car and use it to block the rear tire...dual purpose! :p
     
  12. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    mpthole, some interesting points. Actually, this Spaniard is not my carry gun, but stand by it's reliability. Right now, just "shooting paper" during my rotation of pistols...So, no it will not go through thousands of rds each year. My point was that there are close clones out there for very little money that have semblance to the 1911 and will shoot w/o :cuss: so often due to jamming...Actually, I should of said: "The best .45 for under $225 out-the-door". This would of eliminated the RIA's that seem to crawl out of the woodwork every time a cheap pistol is mentioned. For some reason this thread started to be a competition between the Llama and the RIA's, not my intention. Look closely at an old Llama and see a beautiful, mirror-like blue finish with a minimum of scratches and tool marks. Really not crazy about the wood panel grips, but not bad for the dollars...:cool:
     
  13. Crue4

    Crue4 Member

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    What about the Bersa Thunder 45 or the PT145 by Taurus.
     
  14. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Crue4, to be honest; not familiar with either one...How about some info or pic's; would like to know more about it...I love quality for a low price, especially .45's...
     
  15. Lex

    Lex Member

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    Ruger P-90 or P-97 (if tupper-guns aren't an issue) can be had for around $300. Saw a P-90TH limited Edition for $300 on one of these gun boards.


    Lex in NC
     
  16. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    llama llama llama llama llama llama DUCK!
     
  17. sgb

    sgb Member

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    Llama...... :(
     
  18. ajax

    ajax Member

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    Mad I like Llamas to. I own one along with my best friend my dad my nephew and a guy I work with. I hear guys say they suck all the time. Personally I think most problems are imagined. For anybody that thinks one will not last doesnt know what their talking about. My fathers Llama has seen 10k plus rounds and will still hold a 3 to 4 in group at 15 yards. Also it will cycle any ammo ran through it. In matter of fact thats pretty much the same story with all of our Llamas.
     
  19. Trainman

    Trainman Member

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    Bersa .45

    Mad Magyar: Here is a picture of a Bersa .45
     

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  20. albanian

    albanian member

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    "Save your money and buy a used Glock 21 for $400 on a good day.

    That is as cheap as I would go to defend my life.

    The Minimax's are decent and under $300 too.

    Hell, my cheapo pocket .32 Kel Tecs are $250 and they need some F&B.

    But at least Llama's are better than Hi-Points."

    You say that $400 is as cheap as you would go in a pistol designed to defend your life but you note that you have Kel-Tecs that cost $250. What is going one here? Are you saying that you don't trust the Kel-Tecs? If you don't trust them, why own them? As far as I know the Kel-Tecs have only one purpose and that is to try to be a defensive type pistol. I don't recall seeing too many Kel-Tecs at the last Bullseye match I was in.:neener:

    Get your story straight and maybe we will listen to your advice. Until then, you are just background noise.:rolleyes:
     
  21. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

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    I have a Llama Minimax that sits in the safe. The extractor became chipped sometime between 100-150 rds during the initial break-in. The barrel appears to be high quality but many of the internals display poor metallurgy. The rear sight kept falling off so I slid a tiny piece of felt underneath it. Now it won't move unless pursuaded by a rubber mallet.:D

    Eventually I plan to swap out some of the "soft" parts with quality replacements and see if I can get it running properly. Mag spring tension seems to be too high. I had consistent ftf mf with it. Keeping the mag fuly loaded while stored seems to be helping. If I ever get this clunker running properly I'll report back on what worked. These pistols seem to have widely varying quality. Some are great out of the box and others are jammomatics.

    JH
     
  22. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    PT145 input

    I like my PT145. Search for PT145 cookie monster. I did a small writeup listing all the different rounds I've put through it without issue. I think it added up to about 8 or more flavors of handloads and factory ammo. I'm not sure I'd call it the best gun under 300, but I like it anyway. Trigger is not the 1911 SA, it's a DAO, quite different. Safer for chambered carry IMO.


    jeepmor

    A 1911 or a 10mm is my next gun, maybe both in one gun....hmmmm
     
  23. S&W10mm

    S&W10mm Member

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    BERSA Thunder 45 Sub Compact!

    I just recently bought a Bersa 45 Sub Compact from a Local Fellow Forum Member and I LOVE it!

    It EAT's anything I feed it! It hits were I point it! I love the sights! I LIKE IT! By the way, did I mention I LIKE IT?

    And its my NEW, at work Desk gun, after retiring my Model 60 S&W!

    For The $$ it CAN'T be Beat!!!!!!!!!!!

    I woundn't trade it for two (2) Lama's!

    S&W10mm
     
  24. Shootcraps

    Shootcraps Member

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    My first .45 was the Llama and it was a fine gun. The most important requirement of a gun is that it go bang every time. Mine did. No problems with that. :)
     
  25. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    The Bersa Thunder looks extremely good, and am little partial to the Argentine guns having a couple of Sistemas. I don't own a compact .45, what's a good price for the one shown by Trainman?
    BTW, thanks for all the replies/comments on this thread...
     
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