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School me on a basic 1911 .45

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Legionnaire, Oct 2, 2008.

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  1. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    I'm interested in procuring a utilitarian 1911. I do not want something that's tricked out, nor do I want a match quality gun. Rather, I'm just looking for a simple, traditional, full-size, GI-style .45 caliber 1911.

    I really don't know where to begin. I read a lot about Colts, and Kimbers, and Delta Elites, but just don't want to spend that kind of money. Would a Rock Island be a good starting point? Are there other good options for a plain Jane 1911?

    And if one wanted to begin to deviate from a bone-stock GI version, what would be the first feature differences one would look for or want? Different sights? Lowered port? What should one consider, and why?
     
  2. benderx4

    benderx4 Member

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    Springfield Armory GI .45

    Can't get much more basic than this. Sights are very rudimentary, I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with the one I inherited. None of the other ramp polisihing, lowering the ejection port, trigger manipulation, beavertail adding, bobtailing, etc, etc had been done either.

    I traded mine in on a SA TRP and was a happy camper for a LONG time.

    And then I got my hands on a HK45 and that was the beginning of the end of my 4 1911s.

    Good luck with your search!
     
  3. redman900

    redman900 Member

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    RRA would work just Great, I have one and a norinco one also. When the wife and kids ever leave me, I'll get a bettewr model. But untill then The ones I have still go BANG!!
     
  4. Kman

    Kman Member

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    Too many ?'s to answer all of them, however a RI isn't a bad place to start, but I believe this is a better value in that market right now. Metroarms American classic II
     
  5. possum

    possum Member

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    i think you would be happy with a RIA 1911, and i believe that that would be a great place to start. I say check out the 5" tactical model.
     
  6. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    Possum, what are the key differences that cause you to favor the tactical over the basic model?
     
  7. KyJim

    KyJim Member

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    The biggest single improvement the Tactical has is the sights. The GI style sights are small and difficult (for me) to use. I think you also get (1) an extended beavertail which can keep you from getting bitten by the hammer, especially if you have large hands, and (2) different (better?) trigger. Like I said, the sights alone are worth the upgrade.
     
  8. AndyC

    AndyC Member

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    The basic RIA is a nice pistol if you like traditional-style 1911a1s - the first question those owners tend to ask is "How do I install better sights?"

    The RIA Tactical costs about $80 more (more or less) and comes with most of the add-ons a lot of folks want - Novak sights, ambi-safety, beavertail, skeleton hammer, etc.

    Same thing for the Springfield Armory series - the GI model, etc, etc.

    It all depends what you prefer.
     
  9. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    The Rock Island Armory 1911s are overlooked jewels.
     
  10. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    In my experience, Springfield builds them right. That said, I have very little experience with non-Springer 1911s.

    My brother has a Springfield Mil-Spec which is a step up from the GI model in terms of features. It is still very basic, but the price reflects this. I think my brother got his for under $500. He's had a basic trigger job done to it, installed an ambi safety, a heavier recoil spring to take my dad's reloads without being battered to death, and a Hogue grip. It is very comfortable and as accurate as it needs to be, and it digests everything we feed it.

    My grandpa has a Loaded model and it is sweet as well. My experience with Springer 1911s has me saving for an MC Operator, which I hope to have order by the end of the month.

    If you're looking for a good entry level 1911 without a lot of frills that is likely to run well from the box, it's hard to go wrong with the Springfield Mil-Spec. At the very least, you know that should something go wrong, Springfield has superb customer service and will take care of you. That is something a company like Taurus may or may not be able to claim.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. rondog

    rondog Member

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  12. Northslope Nimrod

    Northslope Nimrod Member

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    Buddy just picked up a RIA. It has been flawless. Sights are small, but you'll see the same with Springfields cheaper offerings.
     
  13. Slimbo

    Slimbo Member

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    colt or springfield. i own both and they both have great no frills 1911's. look at a colt series 70 repro and the springfield mil specs.
     
  14. brhodes

    brhodes Member

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    I have 2 1911s. The Springfields are really nice guns. You get a basic 1911 that won't ruin your wallet. I tend to shoot my springfield over my other one.
     
  15. Treo

    Treo member

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    I'm quite happy W/ my RIA it's just the basic M1911A1.

    I don't know what I can say that hasn't been said about them except that it just feels right in my hand.

    I retired it from carry in favor of a CZ75B but, it is the only gun I own that I will take out of the gun safe just to admire it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  16. k9stang

    k9stang Member

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    I went with the RIA tactical. Added double diamond grips and replsced the full length guide rod with a standard length. My only complaint would be the parkerized finish, it is not as nice as the Springfields.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  17. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    Okay, what I'm hearing thus far:

    RIA and Springfield both make good, basic, GI-style 1911s ... and the number one feature upgrade one is likely to want over the GI model is better sights.

    So the general recommendation seems to be look at either the RIA Tactical or the Springfield Mil Spec, both of which have some enhancements over the basic model, including better sights.

    Thanks much for this. Still interested in hearing more opinions. I'll have to start checking the local shops to see what they have in stock, and at what price. My middle-aged eyes aren't what they used to be, so I'm guessing that I should get something other than the basic GI sights.

    In that vein, how easy is it to change the sights on a 1911? Are they dovetailed into the slide, or attached in some other fashion?
     
  18. GE-Mini-Gun

    GE-Mini-Gun Member

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    If it were me an I was looking to buy a 1911 like you mentioned the number 1 gun would be the Taurus PT 1911, that thing just plan shoots. Friend of my has one that we've shot the snot out of...that thing just keeps going...under $500 can't be beat.
     
  19. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    Springfield Armory GI-45.

    No knock on the RIA's....simply, I have never shot one. Have the GI-45..yeah those sights are tiny I actully shoot it better than my Champion 4" model with the night sights.

    There is just "Something" about a 5" 1911 . . . .
     
  20. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    Just about all the info on the M1911 in one place:theSightM1911

    Ramone
     
  21. hqmhqm

    hqmhqm Member

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    Don't forget Smith and Wesson. They have a lifetime warranty, and very nice line of 1911s with updated sights, triggers, hammers, etc.

    I have sent them guns to fix, which I bought used, and it is always no questions asked.
     
  22. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Member

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    Get a used Colt 1991. Better sights, better trigger than the GI models and not terribly expensive.
     
  23. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    I'll put a plug in here for Charles Daly. (Of course I'm a recent convert and you know what they say about the recently converted <grin>).

    I wrote up an initial review here
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=393517
    I hammer on some details pretty hard but really I'm very happy with the gun!
     
  24. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    Totally agree with the RIA, and Springfield GI choices. If you are looking for one with better sights, get the Mil-Spec Springfield GI. Much better choices for you with this one.

    One that's been mentioned is the Norinco 1911. If you can find one of these, grab it. They are excellent pistols. They're made from high-quality steel and are underappreciated and thus, undervalued. :D

    Another one to grab if you can find it is the 1927 Argentinian Sistema. This is essentially a Colt clone made in Argentina. They were made off of Colt plans, Colt tooling, and Colt trained employees and the parts interchange. I had one of these I paid $250.00 for. Only issues with these is that they don't feed Hollow Point, and their finish was beaten to hell and back. These are also Curio and Relic eligible.
     
  25. Slater

    Slater Member

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    Here's your basic High Standard GI 1911. Made in (so I'm told) the same plant as the RIA's. Around $400 depending on where you are:


    [​IMG]
     
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