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How much would you pay for a 1911?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by GojuBrian, Jan 8, 2010.

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  1. GojuBrian

    GojuBrian Member

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    Seems like a guy can get a 1911 from about $400 for a norinco on upwards past $4000 for a high end 1911.

    I know it all comes down to compromise of what you can afford, but some guys just seem to go all out no matter what.

    What's your top and bottom dollar?
     
  2. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    I feel like the point of diminishing returns is right around $1k. For around $1k, you have really solid choices like the Springfield loaded, and the S&W 1911's. For another $150 or so, you have several choices in Kimber's line up like the CDP, Raptor, and Eclipse Custom II.
    For double the cost, you can get an outrageously nice Les Baer or Wilson Combat, but is it twice as nice? Not in my mind.

    So right around $1000 give or take ~$150 is where I'd say would be my limit on a 1911.
     
  3. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    That would depend on what your looking for in a particular pistol......customizing features and work done by which gunsmith.

    I've seen 1911's range from $350.00 up to $4,500. :what:
     
  4. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Depends on the gun. The least I ever paid was $200 in 1974. The most was considerably more.
     
  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    First off, where are the 400 dollar Norincos?

    For that price point I would go the Springfield Loaded route. Not much enamored with Kimbers. The baseline Loadeds go for around 800 and I spend the rest on ammo.

    That said however I do like the lower dollar Les Baers.
     
  6. MackTwain

    MackTwain Member

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    It depends on how much money you have. Even if you have plenty (which I didnt) I just got my first 1911 (Taurus SS $679) its a great gun for the money and It's a keeper. But when I look at the loaded Springfield now I feel the urge to get one.

    IMHO...You dont have to spend more the $779 to get a great 1911. I would go the Springfield Loaded ($779) route.
     
  7. okespe04

    okespe04 Member

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    Just picked up my first 1911 for $330 a few days ago. Norinco 1911A1. As for how much I would pay at this point I am very happy with my Nork, but I have been looking at some loaded springfields and am going to start looking into long slides. I could see spending $700 - $1000 or so but for now I am going to enjoy my Nork.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. zstephens13

    zstephens13 Member

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    I dropped $800 on my Kimber Pro Carry II and I don't even feel a little bit bad about it.
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have them from $349 on up to $3000, yes they are very different from one end to the other.
     
  10. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    jmorris... would you mind going into some of the differences? Or anyone for that matter. I believe they are there, I am just curious what they would be. I hope to have one by mid February and my hopes were that I could make improvements along the way as I am buying a platform as much as I am a pistol

    Is this true?
     
  11. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Superb checkering isn't something you're going to see on a low end gun, and it is a difference worth money. I don't think it would be an upgrade that I'd put onto a cheap 1911 though.

    I'd go with an $800 Springfield, a Colt, or maybe a Kimber and be happy.
     
  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Well, starting at the low end is one made in the Philippines. In general poor fitting loose frame to slide fit, incorrect barrel link for proper lock up and low quality parts with many imperfections. Metal was not properly heat treated in many areas. For example the extractor could not be tuned as it bent and set, it had no “spring” to it. Non standard dimensions, a standard replacement extractor had to be modified to fit properly. All of that being said adding another $100 or so in parts (trigger, all the springs, extractor, barrel link and such) and 5-6 hours of smithing (tighten slide to frame, stone areas, weld up and regrind safeties, fix feed ramp and chamfer the barrel) turned it into a reliable pistol (it will feed an empty case now) that is accurate enough for what I use it for.

    On the other end of the spectrum is a custom pistol with all of the parts machined from billet to my exact specifications right here in the USA (go to svi.com and look for the “gun builder”). I had mine chambered in both 9mm and 45 acp, gain twist rifled TiN coated barrels, that after many thousands of rounds look unused and both shoot under an inch at 50 yards. The trigger pull is the “glass rod” 1.5# break like that of a fine centerfire rifle. The slide to frame fit feels like the two shouldn’t move when you try to rock it but feels like it’s riding on bearings when you rack it or as one friend said “That feels like wet sex”. I guess you have to handle the pistol to really appreciate it.

    Are the differences between the two worth ten times the money? The answer to that largely depends on how much you have and what your expectations are. FWIW neither of the two above were either my first or last 1911 style pistol I acquired.
     
  13. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    I would say my demands and requirements are pretty low. I put holes in paper at the range. I am looking to spend around $500. I am bummed because at the moment there is a colt 1911 for $500 but I am about 4 weeks away from having the money!

    coromo... cosmetics mean nothing to me when it comes to firearms. Not to say I don't appreciate a fine looking work of art, it is just that in my economic world it is not a factor. Maybe someday... when my kids pay me back for college.
     
  14. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    I have paid between $300 to $1300

    Going from a Nork to a Les Baer TRS
     
  15. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Thanks guys...

    Rellascout... do you use your various 1911's for different reasons? It seems that a lot of 1911 owners become collectors. As your tag line indicates, they are just tools and I cannot think of anyone who owns a $50 black and decker circular saw, and a few others ending with a $200 dewalt circular saw.
     
  16. surjimmy

    surjimmy Member

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    I used to make fun of a friend of mine for buying high end 1911's. I would say I can buy 4 guns for what you paid for that. He would just smile and say you sure can. I have owned sub $500 Rock Island Tactical to now Les Baer's and some other custom 1911's done by masters. It just like taking a trip, you can get across country in a Ford Pinto or a Royals Royce the end results are the same but the ride was a hole lot different.That was my bit of wisdom for the day:D Under $1000 I would go with a Springfield Loaded around $800 over $1000, I would get a Les Baer. If you look and don't be in a hurry $1500, and is one of the best weapons I have ever shot. Now before I get blasted by Ed Browns and Wilson's I said LB cause there about $1000 cheaper and I have called LB factory 8 times asking questions and I have talked to Mr. Baer 5 of those times. He was not only very helpful for shot the bull with me 15-20 min each time.
     
  17. raz-0

    raz-0 Member

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    It depends. IMO there really is very little reason to go about the $2600 mark. At that point you can have a gun custom built for you and have it finished pretty nicely. Shipping included depending on location between you and the smith.

    As far as off the shelf, pretty much $700-850 is all you need to spend to get something that works. Shopping around that'l get you something functionals from SA, kimber, S&W, dan wesson, SIG, STI, etc. You might have to through a decent extractor into one of them after several thousand rounds, but probably not even the majority.
     
  18. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Thats discouraging.
     
  19. Clarence

    Clarence Member

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    In my experience with 1911's you are just rolling the dice if you spend less than $1000. As often as not you'll end up with a gun that has some issues. I was extremely disappointed in the last Kimber I bought and I paid over $1000 for it. (It was junk) I would say Les Baer makes the least expensive reliable 1911. You can get into a Les Baer for around $1500. The last one I had was stone cold reliable and very accurate.

    If you want a great 1911 you are going to spend at least $1500-$2000 or just a skosh more. Many people are satisfied with $800 - $1000 1911's, many aren't.
     
  20. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Wow. I am stunned. I think I may buy a glock. They are cheaper and you do not need to get the ultra $1500 model to get one that works everytime.
     
  21. raz-0

    raz-0 Member

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    Best bang for the buck IMO is the STI spartan. About the only things it doesn't have that you might want are an ambi thumb safety and a magwell.

    looking around quick, I see them selling for $629.

    For exmple, the springfield mil-spec is a perfectly ok 1911. But you will likely want a beavertail grip safety, you will likely have to replace the crap extractor after 2000-3000 rounds, and if you ever want anything nicer than the taller military style sights, you will have to get the slide machined. The grip safety install and sights would also require refinishing.

    The only option cheaper than the STI that I know of that falls into the category of having all the features you might want that require machining or refinishing is the firestorm. I see them for $400-480.

    rock island armory/ armscor shaves about $100-120 off the SA milspec with all the same issues.
     
  22. Quack

    Quack Member

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    Chevy Cobalt to a Bugatti Veyron...it's all about choices and build quality.

    my bottom (right now) is a Springfield Loaded Target (but have had RIA's), my top is my TGO-1 or Ed Brown Kobra Carry, with a few in-between
     
  23. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    1500$ or even a 1000$ to get a reliable 1911 just isn't my experience.

    I paid 640 for a NIB stainless Mil-Spec from springfield armory. It ran like a top from day one and has 1000s of rounds through it. The only thing I did until very recently was change the recoil spring every 1500 rounds.

    Then I added a new trigger, hammer, sear, etc for no other reason than I wanted to play. The gun ran perfect.

    I also just paid 700 for a stainless Colt LW commander, Pre series 80. that gun also runs like a top, but I did have to put 30 bucks into it to get the correct bushing, as the previous owner didn't know the difference between a commander sized bushing and a government sized one . . .

    stainless milspecs still go for about 650. expect less for non stainless models. GI models are in the mid 500s. Taurus can be found in the high 500s, though more often they are a low 600 dollar gun- very competitively priced near the mil-spec.

    Also Rock Island Armory has a growing following of satisfied owners that spend less or the same as the cost of a new glock and get a reliable 1911 out of the box.

    1911s are very easy to clean and maintain. They shoot and point well for many people and have an immense amount of aftermarket support that can let you tune a gun to your hearts content.

    They, like all guns, require proper care and lubrication to function properly, and quality mags and ammunition. Quality mags and ammunition does not mean 'ultra expensive' either. Chip McCorm. mags work great in my 1911s, as do surplus GI mags, Springfield factory mags, metalform mags, and others. You don't need wilson 47Ds to get your 1911 to run.

    quality ammo doesn't mean high cost either. I run lead through my 1911s for easily 90%+ of their diet.

    where people run into issues, in my experience, is not properly lubricating a gun, or running ammunition that just doesn't agree with the gun, or using the cheapest mags available.

    Heck I even got some clearance mags from DPMS for less than 5 dollars a pop that run fine in my 2 1911s- They won't feed LSWCs though.

    more knowledgeble 1911 shooters and tuners will tell you better than I can that 1911s, because of their popularity, have been pressed into service in a variety of ways outside the original scope of their design. They have performed admirably in these roles- however, along the way some hiccups have come up. Predominately associated with poor magazine design or poor gunsmithing fixes because the proper function of the 1911 was not understood by the user.

    I'm not calling out the other posters who have not had good luck with 'budget' 1911s (600 dollars isn't budget in my book! my 1911s are the most expensive guns I own!) but considering the cost of many semi-auto, quality handguns these days, 1911s are very competitively priced, reliable guns for many users. I urge you not to write them off as a viable option for a quality handgun.
     
  24. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I've talked about this many times before, and yes, it's an ongoing conundrum.

    Remember the scene in "Pulp Fiction" when Uma Thurman orders the five-dollar milkshake, and Travolta flips his lid? "It's just a milkshake, right? There's no Bourbon in it or anything?" Then the waiter btings it to them, and he says; "I want to know what a five-dollar milkshake tastes like." So she lets him try it, he tastes, tastes again, thinks about it, and says something to the effect of; "WOW. That is THE BEST milkshake I have ever tasted. But it ain't worth five dollars."

    This is kind of how I feel about the high-end custom guns. Once I went to the rental range at Impact, and I wanted to know what the five-dollar milkshake tastes like, so I rented the Nighthawk, $2,700 price tag. I shot it next to my Kimber Custom II. Traded out magazines, rotated every other one. And it's superb. Those machined aluminum grips feel nice. You can look at them and see that they spent more time on the finish. But for the life of me, I have absolutely no idea what it is supposed to do that my Kimber can't.

    Maybe one day when I'm rich I'll give it another look, but as of now, my Kimber is the best handgun I have ever owned, and I have paid more than this for guns in the past. I use it for everything, I would take it to war tomorrow if I were allowed to. I can buy THREE of them for the price of that Nighthawk.
     
  25. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Not really. Baer offers "bare-bones" models while Wilson, Brown, Nighthawk, etc. tend to start higher on the ladder (in terms of features). Not a knock on Baer at all. If I had only 1300-1400 to spend, Baer is the only place I would look.
     
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