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Lower cost 1911s?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by CoyoteSix, Nov 10, 2012.

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  1. CoyoteSix

    CoyoteSix Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    Hey all, I've been peeking at 1911s. (Hey who doesn't once in a while :rolleyes: )

    I'm looking at the lower cost models such as Remington 1911 R1, Ruger SR1911, Springfield Armory G.I. 1911, Rock Island Armory G.I.

    These are all about $600 and down, don't seem to be anything to special just G.I. guns. Exactly what I'd want. :D

    Any downsides to these? I like the look and feel of a 1911, I just don't like the cost of higher end models. :what:

    I'm really looking at reliability issues, I've heard 1911's have problems with S.D. ammo. I'm kinda OK with that considering I'd be launching .45 CAL whoppers at a perp. :evil:

    Thanks all!
  2. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    One thing I would want is dovetail sight cuts. Some of the vintage style guns don't have them, and G.I. sights SUCK.

    It's been a LONG time since 1911s wouldn't cycle HP ammo. These days, no manufacturer wants to be the one you have to have throated to feed all kinds of bullets.

    I would gladly take a look at the Ruger in particular.
  3. plateshooter

    plateshooter Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    N.E. Ohio
    I have had a few 1911s in my life, and shot lots of them. Just my opinion from my personal experience.

    The less expensive 1911s that I have owned and shot were very reliable, and plenty accurate for me as a general purpose pistol.

    If you are a gamer, you may want all of the bells and whistles and there are plenty of them out there.

    I carried a 45 in the army (68-71) and my issued pistol worked fine for me. I knew the armorer at battalion and mine had the newest and best GI issue parts he could fix me up with. I was an EOD specialist and we would routinely have thousands of rounds of ammo to destroy. Rather than dumping all of it in a burn pit, some of it got destroyed in the manner is was designed to be.

    I had a lot of experience shooting the GI grade 45acp and all of the ammo I wanted to shoot. I found it to be a great pistol once I got used to it.

    These days, I shoot my Glocks, M&Ps and my XDM the most. But I would like to have any of the pistols you mentioned in your OP.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  4. Shuler13

    Shuler13 Member

    Dec 13, 2011
    I own Rock Islands, Sig and STI (Trojans). All are plenty fun and reliable. My Rock Island 9mm makes almost very trip to the range. The rock 45 is just as fun (just more expensive to shoot) but the STI at $600 has the best trigger of any 1911 I own. If cost is a deciding factor I'd get a Rock Tactical as they have some of the bells and whistles for about $450.
  5. kyletx1911

    kyletx1911 Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    I edc the rock island tac good gun it gets my vote
  6. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

    Oct 5, 2011
    Southeast Texas
    Just a head's up, the Ruger SR1911 is not the same "G.I." model of the others that you listed. It has novak-style sights, a skeletonized hammer, extended beavertail, a skeletonized trigger, and a flat mainspring housing. All different from a "G.I." model 1911.

    (and it is silver instead of park'd if that matters)
  7. Hunterdad

    Hunterdad Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I have the Rock Island Match. It's a great gun.
  8. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Southern Virginia
    I have a Taurus 1911, and 2 ATI 1911's, all 3 perform flawlessly. All were $500 or less.
  9. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    As one poster so elegantly put it

    GI sights suck. Unless you are being nostalgic and just have to have an "original" style GI 1911, you are better off getting one with sights that you like already installed. As previously mentioned, the Rock Island Tactical is a whole lot of gun for the money. The Remington 1911 or, better yet, the enhanced model, seems like a good way to go. The Ruger is a good gun and, if you want a full sized 1911,you really can't go wrong. I have one and it is a good gun. Along with the others you have mentioned, Citadel and the Desert Eagle are alspo worth looking at. Also, and I know I am going to get yelled at for this, Take a look at the Taurus 1911's. I have Two of them and they are great Guns. If you are thinking of carrying a 1911 though you may want to look at some of the compact models from some of the same companies. I genaerally carry a 4" 1911 but find myself more and more often carrying one of my 3" guns. I never carry any of my 5" guns.
  10. Detritus

    Detritus Member

    Jan 19, 2003
    Central NC
    as others were saying be sure to get something with modern style dovetail not GI sights.

    Also add the Metro Arms American Classic II to your list of guns to look at. they're another Phillipino (sp?) manufacturer like Armscor (RIA). Locally they're still running well under $600. My Wife and I have one each, and in 2010 and early 2011 respectively they had price tags of $450 and $500, though since i worked where we bought Trisha's gun I got a 20% on top of that price...:D

    the Only ammo either one has ever had issue with was Hornady "Steel Match" with the 230gr "HAP" bullets, and i may have a solution to that figured out.
  11. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

    Apr 20, 2011
    West of the Big Muddy, East of the Rockies and Nor
    A important point to remember when considering el cheapos like Rock Island is how good of a base gun they will be if you ever decided to upgrade it with aftermarket parts/work like trigger pull, safeties, match barrel, etc., etc...

    Custom gunsmiths commonly use the Springield Armory for it's quality and uniformity of specifications..
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  12. il.bill

    il.bill Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    FOID Land (Illinois)
    I have recently seen a number of entry level priced 1911's that were manufactured in Turkey in a plant apparently certified by ISO and NATO. The pictures and the price are both attractive, but I have no direct knowledge of their quality. If I had not purchased a Remington R1 a year ago (a nice shooting pistol - still having intermittent issues with the less than impressive magazines, though) I would be looking for more info on the Turkish made 1911. Anyone with first hand knowledge of these?

    Obviously you get what you pay for, but a reliable budget-priced version of this iconic pistol could be a good introduction.
  13. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

    Apr 16, 2010
    Quincy, FL
    My EDC is a Rock Island Armory GI 1911, and I love it. I've never had any problems with any of the Rocks I've owned (this one makes 5). I just finished staining and refinishing the grips with tung oil. Need to find a parked slide stop though - the blued one is a mismatch that came on the gun (got this one used).

  14. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    upstate NY go to school in WNY
    I own a number of budget 1911s- the MetroArms American Classic II, The RIA Tac, and a Citadel CS. All are great. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone for 99% of applications, and I carry them all regularly.
  15. HDCamel

    HDCamel Member

    Sep 7, 2011
    I actually prefer GI sights.:uhoh: I actually find 3-dot types to be somewhat distracting.
    Then again, I still have my young, better than 20/20 eyesight. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune in 20 years or so.

    On the topic at hand: budget 1911s are typically reliable if not especially accurate. They're more than good enough for man-sized targets out to 50 meters, but you probably wouldn't want to compete with one out of the box.

    That being said, my Regent R100 (retails $500) has been my constant companion and it's given me no trouble.
  16. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Fayetteville N.C.
    I've owned 2 Charles Daly 1911's(made by Armscor,the same mfg. of Rock Island). They were both great guns.
  17. bikerjim

    bikerjim Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Truth is most of the weapon manufacturers use CNC machining and that will make the gun exactly like the original blueprints ie:Colt 1911. With the exception of a few minor upgrades, you will be essentially getting an exact Colt copy.
  18. JTQ

    JTQ Member

    Apr 6, 2009
    NW Florida
    While the CNC business may be true, the question would be, who has a copy of the original 1911 blueprints and if they have them, who has decided to make something different from the original.

    The joke (well it's really not a joke, because for the most part it's true) in the 1911 world is the only drop in parts on a 1911 are the springs. Just about everybody makes something different and still calls it a 1911.
  19. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    From the ones you listed, I'd take the Ruger SR1911 hands down.
  20. tuj

    tuj Member

    May 2, 2011
    Don't overlook the STI Spartan, great gun.
  21. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Western Slope of Colorado
    I have two RIA 1911's, one in .45acp one in 9mm. I've had some dealings with the gunsmiths/customer service at RIA, and they are a first class outfit. I'm a believer. The guns may lack something in the pretty department depending upon your personal preference, but mine are accurate and reliable, the triggers are very good and I'm quite happy with the way they work as a range toy (all my guns are range toys).

    The tactical models are very much worth the extra bucks.

    I changed the grips on mine.


    RIA 1911's get my vote for best bang for the buck in the 1911 catagory.
  22. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    I've seen a fair number of the guns you've mentioned in person. And shot most of them as well. They all shoot fine. The difference comes in what level of fit and finish you would like to have and if you have strong feelings over "made in America" or not.

    Sadly I've yet to actually see and handle a Ruger because they are off the shelves before I even see one. Although reports and pictures sure do make it look nice.

    But I did recently buy a Remington R1 enhanced based on haveing handled and inspected a couple of their GI style R1's previously. Overall the Remington product seems to be very nice for the price with darn good fit and finish.

    The only thing you can do is start with looking them all over and compare them for fit, finish and features (such as the sights) then go with the one which seems to speak to you most strongly.
  23. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Eastern Shore MD
    If you get the RIA, get the tactical. Its upgrades are worth it if you aren't after the simple nostalgia of the GI model.

    Funny, this is the second time in a few short minutes I've had reason to post this old picture (the gun is still there many years later)

  24. WCraven

    WCraven Member

    Aug 14, 2012
    The new Auto-Ordnance 1911A1 is the one i plan to buy because it's made in the USA and the reveiws i read was all good and even the reviewers after testing bought there guns to keep.

    I also am thinking about the Remington top of the line model which was around $1000 but one of the lesser models of it,, i first held the Remington and then the AO and that Auto-Ordnance will surprize you on how well it feels and is made which i'm looking at $530 for the Auto-Ordnance.
  25. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    I don't know where you're seeing SR1911s and 1911 R1s for under $600, but they're both been over that any place I've looked. $620 before tax or shipping & transfer is about the best you'll do.

    That said, if you're looking for a GI style gun, nix the SR1911

    If you're looking for an American made GI 1911, that leaves the Auto Ordnance, the Remington and the Colt.

    The Colt is $1k, so I'm guessing that's a no-go

    If you want good sights, the AO is off the list, as are the SA and RIA.

    Basically, the R1 is the only GI style 1911 that is made in USA, has decent sights that are easily changed, and comes in under a grand. And that's why I chose it for me.
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