Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by deadeye dick, Sep 22, 2022.
I believe Kimber's warrantee is one year. Look for rust on the barrel. Many Kimber's use carbon steel barrels "in the white". They look like stainless, but they are not. Also look for something that doesn't look stock. If if looks like it was modified, I'd pass on it.
I'm a long time 1911 user, but I'm not a gunsmith. I lack the skill to fix problems created by previous 1911 owners, so I avoid used 1911's. In this era of Glock's and AR's, there are just too many after market parts available for the 1911, and not enough people that know what they are doing with a 1911. A 1911 is not like a Glock or AR where parts just snap in and too many people think that since they snapped all the parts out and put new ones in their Glock or AR, that they can do the same to a 1911. Many guns that left the factory as perfectly functioning firearms are turned into non-functioning paperweights by their owners trying to "improve" them.
With 1911's, I buy new and get a warrantee.
One of my newest (to me) 1911s is a Springfield Ronin in 10mm. It is a great 1911 if you happen to like the 2-tone look and its available in 9mm, 10mm and 45acp as a full-size and other sizes of 9mm as well.
In the hand it feels exactly like another of my recent Springfield 1911s, the Garrison (pretty sure they build them to the same specs). I can't praise the Garrison enough, especially for the mid-level price. I have both 45acp and 9mm versions and it may be my favorite 1911 of all that I own to this point.
I've also bought Tisas 1911s in the last few months and find them absolutely marvelous for the sub-$400 price. My favorite is the 4.25" Tanker model.
Good luck on your hunt.
Hammer should not wobble, controls should be crisp and positive on and off.
Grip safety should activate/deactivate cleanly.
Wear around the barrel at the bushing ought be relatively even.
If allowed to strip, the locking lugs of both barrel and slide ought to have clean edges with no rounding or peening.
Trigger ought release evenly, breaking at right at the same point and pull every time.
The rest is largely cosmetic.
Armsor/Rock Island are good; the Auto Ordnance (Kahr) are good; the Turkish Tisas and Girsan are also good. So, don't overlook those as economical alternatives.
Tisas "tanker" (Commander sized) --out of box--
all modern 1911’s are good! you can’t go wrong
Can I ask why a Kimber? Is that what you are seeing at the LGS? Because a lot of folks on here and other forums seem to steer away from Kimber 1911s.
I have several brands of 1911, but no Kimbers because I've been too chicken to try one given the warnings.
Kimber was just a thought, that's why i mentioned used, New is to rich for my blood. As mentioned above, the Ronan and the Garrison pique my interest.Just started looking and will weigh all my potions.
I would say look for a used Springfield or Colt, in 9mm look for a more recent specimen that will have a ramped barrel as opposed to a ramped frame as is common with .45 ACP pistols. Price wise, a good condition used Colt should be able to be had for pretty well under $1000.
Things to look for:
Make sure that the extractor will hold an empty case firmly, make sure that the ejector is not loose, and ideally staked in place, look for any abnormal wear on metal to metal contact areas. With any gun, look for any signs of pitting or rust, make sure that thumb safety functions as intended and make sure that the grip safety functions as intended. With the grip safety, it shouldn't need to be FULLY depressed to allow the gun to fire, but make sure that the gun won't fire with next to no pressure on the grip safety, it should prevent firing until about two thirds of the way through its travel. Make sure that the disconnector works as intended. If you want to study up on how best to inspect a used 1911 or to service a 1911 that you already own, look at Wilson Combat's You Tube channel or Larry Vickers' You Tube channel.
As stated above, look for any aftermarket parts that have been installed, if there are aftermarket parts installed, I would recommend passing on it unless the parts were installed by a competent gunsmith or tuning shop (Wilsons, Springfield's Custom Shop, Jason Burton, Nighthawk, Colt's Custom Shop, etc.)
I don't want beavertails that block my access to the hammer. I don't want rear sights that over hang the back of the slide. I don't want adjustable rear sights, I zero the pistol with 230 ball ammunition. That is, a 230 grain bullet going 800 fps, which was the original 1910 velocity specification. I don't want an extended safety that could double as a diving board, as those things are frequently knocked OFF, when you want them ON, and they are knocked ON when you want them OFF! I like the original wide hammer of the WW1 pistols. Makes it easy to thumb cock, and easy to control. Commander hammers are not a good choice for me.
I do like non GI, tall front and rear sights, such as are on the above ATI. Original WW1 era sights, such as on this RIA
they are snag free, but hard to find once you start looking for them. I think WW1 era pistols sights to be awful, but they wanted fine sights to take a fine sight picture on a round bull. And, the shooters were all under 40.
I do prefer parkerizing to blued. Parkerizing is a more durable finish than bluing, even though it is not as pretty. Stainless is great, but costly.
After the features you want, I would recommend taking an oil bottle and putting a couple of drops down the hammer, to oil the sear. Then I oil the slide rails, and rack the slide, oil the end of the barrel where it rubs against the bushing, and test the trigger. I don't want gunk giving false indications of tightness, or trigger creep. With the slide forward, hammer down, press on the back of the barrel. Grab the slide and try to rock it. Put your finger in the muzzle and see if the barrel moves. I want as tight a fit between slide and frame, no movement on the back of the barrel when the slide is in battery, and I don't want any movement at the barrel bushing end. And ask if you can pick the best out of three, and find the one with the best trigger and mechanical fit.
The amazing thing is, there are $400 bare bone 1911's that are tighter than the Colt NM pistols from the 80's and earlier. And, these inexpensive 1911's are tighter than the recent Colts I have handled at the local gunstore. Just yesterday, handled a new $375 GI 1911 Tisas that was tighter than a new, $640 Springfield Armory GI 1911 and a $1200 Colt. That was surprising, you do not necessarily get more by paying more.
Recent imports, the RIA, Charles Daly, and ATI are as accurate and reliable as my Colt series 80 pistols from the 1980's. The Tisas is made from MIM 4065, the Charles Daly, RIA, and ATI are all 4140. These are far better materials than used in GI 1911's. So don't turn your nose up on these imports, they are good value for the money.
Balance your wallet with your desires, and go for it!
Both the AO and the Tisas were right at US$400 New-in-Box when I bought them.
Now, you might need to have to shop round for those sorts of prices.
And, if it matters, I bought both at gun shows (Premier's Fort Worth Original, as it happens). So, you might have to go into Greenville or (I hope not) Columbia, to find a big enough LGS.
Didn't realize this was how they were!
1. Stainless Steel
2. Ambidextrous Safety
3. Wide Hammer
4. Recessed Crown
5. No Fenestrated Triggers of Hammers
6. No Forward Serrations
7. No "Jet Funnels"
8. No "Beavertails"
9. No "Enhanced" Magazine Release or Slide Catch
10. No Accessory Rail of any sort
I guess it would resemble one of the older Colt Delta Elites (the hammer needs to be swapped!).
The value in the Kimber line-up is at the TLE II ( https://www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/1911?layer&cat=142 ) and the Two-Tone ( https://www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/1911?layer&cat=56 ) (this use to be the Custom II slot) level. All Kimber's are assembled with the same care and in general, the same parts. If you are paying more for a Kimber than a TLE II or Two-Tone, you are almost always paying for "bling". The guns higher up the price point in the Kimber line-up are not better guns than the TLE II or Two-Tone.
Just your basic, no frills Colt Government could run you from $800 to $1K+, according to completed sales on Gunbroker. A couple of things to look for on any 1911, new or used, is how good is the barrel to slide fit and slide to frame fit. Should be tight but not too tight as to cause problems with the gun running properly.
When I bought my guns 11 years or so ago, the dealer there (who was also a custom gunsmith specializing in 1911s) said that Colt was building some of the best 1911s that he had seen in several decades. And I can speak from experience growing up in the '70s and '80s that Colt could be somewhat hit or miss in terms of quality from one gun to another.
I bought three Colts that year: a Lightweight Government, a standard Government, and a Colt Commander. All three have been working to perfection and expect them to do so for many years to come!
Next 1911 will be an ATI Moxie though. Made in USA South Carolina and somewhat of a modern take on the design. Pretty spacey looking as well.
Under 1,000 out the door
I'd look at Springfield first and then Ruger. I've owned 1911's from both, and $1000 will get you a great gun from either company. They both have lifetime warranties with a good reputation for customer service.
If you are going that high you might as well just save a little more and get a Colt. If you ever sell it you will get your money back pretty easily. If it gets handed down to family later on....its a Colt.
That would be a month or 6 weeks for me, assuming I was motivated to shoot the same gun all the time; and I am not a high volume competitor.
The Tisas Duty Pistol is $469.95 MSRP. It comes with beavertail, ambi safety, Novakish sights, and high frontstrap. It would only require a fibre optic front sight, mag well funnel, Pachmayr wraparound grip, and trigger job to suit my applications.
I volunteer to thoroughly test one under the Team Mediocre banner if supplied with a gun and ammo or even loading components. 9mm please, as I said on the other thread, a .45 just kicks too much these days.
Kimber Stainless II from Impact Guns at $830 https://www.impactguns.com/Semi-Aut...5ACP-Full-Size-7-Rd-Mag-669278323282-3200328/
Kimber Custom II Two-Tone from Top Gun Supply $800 https://www.topgunsupply.com/kimber-custom-ii-two-tone-.45acp.html
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