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Taking the 1911 plunge

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Old Navy, Aug 31, 2009.

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  1. Old Navy

    Old Navy Member

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    I have about a dozen handguns, .22, .380, 9mm, 40, 45ACP. I do not have and never have had a 1911. I shot them in the military and love the feel and grip but didn't shoot the government issue ones nearly as well as I shoot now. I think a 1911 is THE classiest looking handgun ever built but have never bought one because it appears they are more finicky when new and maybe forever than other styles. Also it appears from reading on forums that most have issues that may require sending them back for service. This may be a misperception on my part. I'm not willing to spend the bucks required for a Wilson, Baer etc. but would spend $1,000-1500 for a 1911 that felt right. I would carry it IWB from time to time rotating it along with my others so I may be better off not getting the full size version. I know that Springfield has excellent customer service, S&W can be spotty, I've read of frustrations with Kimber service. Those three are the main manufacturers in my price range and maybe STI, but don't know much about them. Another factor is that I can field strip my other guns in a matter of seconds with no tools needed, but I'm sure a 1911 would be easy with a little practice. How about some guidance from you 1911 experts? I don't really NEED another gun, but I just keep eyeballing all those pictures and feel like something is missing. Thoughts?
     
  2. rduckwor

    rduckwor Member

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    Two words: Dan Wesson . . IF you can find one.

    RMD
     
  3. LancerMW

    LancerMW Member

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    dude, get a good STI or maybe the Springer TRP
     
  4. kdstrick

    kdstrick Member

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    In your price range I'd go with STI or Dan Wesson. Although, you are not too far away from a used Baer.

    If you can get a Baer, they are worth every dime.
     
  5. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I would get a Colt. Either a 1991 (which has the Series 80 firing pin safety) or Series 70 Reproduction (without the firing pin safety) or in Commander size the model #04691 blue Commander. All three will be well within your price range.

    There are lots of good 1911 makers and you would probably be happy with just about any one you bought, but Colt is the original, and you'll always find yourself saying "it's almost like a Colt, except for ..." or "I really like this pistol, but I still need to get a Colt".

    Most Kimber's have the Swartz style firing pin safety and most have a full length guide rod.

    S&W has an external extractor and has a similar style firing pin safety.

    Springfield has a titanium firing pin and the ALS in the mainspring housing.

    STI (except for the Spartan which is really an Armscor product) has ramped barrels and full length guide rods.

    Most Dan Wesson's have adjustable sights, except for the CBOB (?) but that one has a "bobtail" frame.

    ParaUsa does have a nice GI Expert that is similar to the Colt 1991, but it is still not a Colt.

    They are all good, but each have something that is a departure from the original design. If you ever have something go wrong you'll end up wondering if it is because of the bull barrel, ramped barrel, full length guide rod, external extractor, the Swartz firing pin safety, etc.

    Personally, I would like to have any of the above. However, I already have a Colt and know what a 1911 is supposed to be. Now I can try out the other flavors to see if I like them. For your first 1911, make sure you are getting a 1911, so you can have a good understanding and frame of reference of what the pistol is supposed to be.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  6. wilkersk

    wilkersk Member

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    Get an old timer to show you how to evaluate a high-grade 1911 type. Then go shopping. Don't limit yourself to just a name. All 1911 pattern pistols are based on John Browning's design. Full length-guide rods and full ramped barrels aside, what makes the pistol right is how well the parts all fit together.

    You can find some outstanding used pistols out there. Look for local private sales like yourcityguns.net

    My favorite are the full-sized government models with parkerized finish and adjustable sights. I like the Shok-buff recoil system and the 8rd magazines from Wilson Combat.

    You might find such a deal on one, that you can afford to send it off to Clark or Wilson for full custom job.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  7. benderx4

    benderx4 Member

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    Dan Wesson
    Springer TRP

    I recommend the two above ONLY if you want new. Otherwise, NO DOUBT, you should treat yourself to a slightly used LES BAER!
     
  8. weisse52

    weisse52 Member

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    A Colt is always the right answer!

    In that price range you have an options of some excellent pistols. I of course will tell you that a Colt is the way to go. While I like the 70 series you can also look at something like the Colt Special Combat Government.
    http://www.coltsmfg.com/products-c5-q63-COLT_PISTOLS.aspx

    Now, If I was not inclined to buy the Colt I would look for a Les Baer as well. They are nice....

    Maybe, in some far off twisted process, I might look at one of the STI's. (JMB please forgive me:neener:)
     
  9. ROBBY.1911

    ROBBY.1911 Member

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    why not get your feet wet with the STI Spartan or Taurus 1911. they are around $600 each and have all the bells and whistles. would i rather have a Dan Wesson or used Les Baer, hell yeah. but with the less expensive--not less gun--option you can start your own stable of 1911s. welcome to the brotherhood.--robby
     
  10. Quadkid

    Quadkid Member

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    man i never saw how inexpensive the Spartan was. I may have to try and sell my Springer to get one. Always wanted a STI Ranger II, but for some reason i never saw the price of the Spartan.
     
  11. nulfisin

    nulfisin Member

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    Taurus

    My PT 1911 is a great shooter. About half of your price range. If you aren't reloading (I do it), you may find that you need the extra $$. :)
     
  12. rklessdriver

    rklessdriver Member

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    There is a good reason why that particular STI (Spartan) so cheap. In the long run that Springer you already have is a better gun (at least the frame is forged). The object should be to increase the quality of your firearms over time - not decrease it becasue it has spiffy looking sights, skeletonized triggers and a cool billboard rolled into the slide. Its a good gun but it's not "better" by any margin.

    Old Navy-
    My recomendation for a 1911 would be a COLT. You can have any named Smith modify it to any level you want and even if you never do anything to it (ie. leave it stock), a COLT will be an heirloom for ever. Colt even sells a few that don't really need anything else (ie. the Special Combat and Combat Elite) for 90% of us.

    No other brand of 1911 will ever be that.

    I currently have a Les Baer Premier II and (3) Colt's. I have sold numerouse Kimbers, AMT's, and Norinco's over the years. I now know which ones will bring a second lifetime of enjoyment after I am gone.
    Will
     
  13. MaxV

    MaxV Member

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    1911

    I love my 1911 (s) So many choices...so little time. Colts are great and hold value over time, but so do others. My offices enhanced has never let me down and is plenty accurate with my handloads.....shop at your liesure....
     
  14. 1911 Operator

    1911 Operator member

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    check out the parausa gi expert.

    lotta gun for the money.

    mine's a tackdriver and feeds all.

    this is it, and a 15 yard target (50 rounds)
     

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  15. Quadkid

    Quadkid Member

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    haha. thanks for that. I said that then the next thing i find myself doing is looking at whats available, how much i could get for mine, etcetc. Then i see this and i say, why cant i just be happy with my reliable Springer Standard that shoots beautifully and never lets me down. thanks for the kick, haha.

    this hobby will be the end of me financially. Its too addicting.
     
  16. gallo

    gallo Member

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    Springfield GI
     
  17. doc540

    doc540 Member

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    just took the plunge myself

    [​IMG]

    $449
     
  18. Old Navy

    Old Navy Member

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    Is there any truth to the many posts I have read that blast Colts for not being the quality they were before or shabby customer service? Seems a lot of people believe they're top of the line, but lots of others feel differently. I do think the colts look first class.
     
  19. NGIB

    NGIB Member

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    I just bought a new Commander and it's a fine gun. The bottom line is you will never lose any money if it says Colt on the slide...
     
  20. rklessdriver

    rklessdriver Member

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    BS plain and simple. There is NO truth in that at all.

    COLT makes a fine pistol. The quality of the internal parts and fit and finish is as good or better than Brand XXXX.

    Everyone manages to allow one to slip thru QC every now and then. No one company is immune to building a bad gun.

    Lot of folks harbor bad feelings towards COLT because they were slow to respond to the 1911 market and let Kimber/DW/ect take a big part of it away from them. Truth is at the time COLT (early 90's) was having $$$ problems from their failed attemps at building a "modern pistols" (2000 and Double Eagle) and probally wanted to make sure that the resurgence of "customized 1911's" was going to be profitable for them. Within a year they had offered up the XSE line and have continually upgraded the features on them, but some foks still wern't happy.... Last year COLT bought/installed all new CNC machines and are adding a couple of new variations to their 1911 line. A little late on the point I will admit, but IMO it's better late than never.... but some folks still ain't happy.

    As far as Customer Service, I will tell you that they handle the recall on my Combat Elites Safety promptly and professionally. They have always answered the phone when I called and answered my questions honestly. No one was snooty or arrogant and infact they were quite humble and appologetic about the whole thing (as they should be IMO).

    Now I'm just one guy. This has been my experience with COLT. Like I said I currently have a Les Baer in addition to my Colts and have owned almost every other mfgr'd 1911 availiable at one time or the other in my life. Some have been good some have been bad (at all the price points). I have a great deal of experience with 1911 ownership and I feel like COLT currently offers a top quality gun for the money. The history of the company and everything else that goes along with owning a COLT is just a very nice extra.

    Do yourself a favor and actually find a dealer that has some current mfgr'd COLT pistols on the shelf. Look at them, compare them and decide for yourself. I am confident that you will see the truth.
    Will
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  21. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    Just saw a Dan Wesson CBOB for almost 1200 at the local high price store. It's too bad one of the competitive priced stores never gets them
     
  22. LancerMW

    LancerMW Member

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    thtas bout MSRP for the CBOB
     
  23. No Quarter

    No Quarter Member

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    Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt


    The gold standard. All the other nonsense in internet BS. They make great guns. They are the original. They hold value better.
     
  24. atomd

    atomd Member

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    I'll vote for Dan Wesson. They have higher quality parts and a better fit/finish than any other 1911 I've found in their price range. They also don't put plastic parts in their guns like STI, Kimber and Colt (even if it is just a msh). They don't put useless series 80 parts or proprietary parts in their guns either. I don't care for 1911s that have proprietary parts in them that I can never swap out with a part made by someone else if it breaks. Plus, why change the design of something that already works fine in the first place?

    Oh, and about the CBOB. You can still find one for ~$999 if you shop around and are willing to wait a bit. Try Whittakers and keep an eye on Buds. You'll get one eventually.
     
  25. ming

    ming Member

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    Don't believe all you read on forums about 1911s. I'm always reading about FTF/FTE problems with compact versions. I have a Kimber Ultra Carry with a 3 in. barrel that has been flawless from day one. It's every bit as accurate as my full size. Are there owners that have problems? Of course. Try finding a forum where someone isn't complaining about something. My Wesson CBOB has also been perfect out of the box. I feel just like you. The 1911 is a classic design. Field stripping is no problem and none of my mine require any type of tool. Like any other handgun, the first attempt may be somewhat slow or tentative, but after that it's a snap. If you like them, pull the trigger (so to speak) and get one. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
     
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