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Thoughts on a mid priced 1911 in .45?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Kawamax, Mar 30, 2020.

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  1. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    I have a SR 1911 & like it a lot. While I've never owned one I would probably be shopping for a Dan Wesson if I went towards the $1200 range though.
     
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  2. jjones45

    jjones45 Member

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    Here’s a guy who put some high round counts through the sig emperor scorpion and seems to be really impressed.
     
  3. Kawamax

    Kawamax Member

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    Again, lots of great feedback. Zerodefect - thank you for a very interesting link and read.

    The RIA is off my list. I am sure it’s a great value, but I’d prefer US made, and a cast frame while workable is not what I am looking for. And after thinking about it a bit, the Sig is out as well. Nothing against the Sig, except that I already have 5 Sigs (none of them 1911s) and I’d like to try something different. So the current list is:
    - Dan Wesson A2
    - Colt Competition
    - Kimber Stainless Target II
    - Springfield Ronin. (Although it’s at the bottom of the list.)

    Now I need the CV-19 stuff to die down so I can go to the LGS and actually touch a few. My state is sorta locked down, so the LGS’s are either closed or have limits on the small number of people that they will let in at once.

    As a side note on the Sig, I think that the cheaper 1911 models are no longer in the 2020 catalog. It’s clear that some of them are still out there NIB, but I can’t find them on the Sig site. YMMV.
     
  4. Edcnh
    • Contributing Member

    Edcnh Contributing Member

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    Springfield Range Officer is a good gun for the money. I use one for Bullseye shooting and it is quite accurate. I once had an SR1911 4.25” barrel that I foolishly traded away. That was a really nice gun for the price. I picked it up used in pristine condition and it shot quite well.
     
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  5. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    The two things I always caution those new to the 1911 to pay attention to is the grip safety and the sights. Choose wrong on either, and you'll spend some time and money having somebody weld or grind on your 1911 to correct your choice.

    All of those in your final selection have a beavertail grip safety so that is a non-issue.

    However, in the group, all except the Kimber Stainless Target II have a Novak-ish rear sight cut, while the Kimber wears an adjustable sight. Most folks new to 1911's don't realize all 1911 sight cuts are not the same. If you are looking for a night sight or a sight more comfortable for carry, your options with the Kimber will be rather limited.

    If you want a target/range gun, the Kimber's adjustable rear sight is typically an advantage, but if that's what you're looking for, the other companies also offer a model with adjustable sights that may be better choices than the models you've selected.
     
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  6. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Something to keep in mind with most Sig 1911's, their unique slide will not fit a vast majority of 1911 holsters.
     
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  7. army_eod

    army_eod Member

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    Not on your list, but any Colt would work. The Competition model is very nice. I own it. Fiber optic front sight and adjustable low profile Novak rear sight.
     
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  8. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    If you can find a DW a2, jump on it.

    I'd have to upgrade the sights, although black paint on the rear sight dots would be an ok fix, and removable.
     
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  9. Kawamax

    Kawamax Member

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    That is a good thing to note, but I’ve had a Springfield (basic model in .45) and a Kimber (9 mm) for over 20 years. To your point, one of the first things I did to the Springfield was to have adjustable sights put on it. This time (like the 9 mm Kimber) I’ll buy a gun that already has what I prefer.

    This pistol will be for plinking and informal target shooting at the range as I have a P220 for home defense and a P365 for when I am out. Besides the basic feel and operation of the gun, the sights and trigger are also really important to me. That’s really why I need to get the LGS and look them over. I suspect that once I look at at an DW A2 I’ll love the gun but hate the sights. That’ll move me up a model or two and then I’ll be near 2K, which is probably more than I can justify to myself or my wife. So I need to do more research on DW options and compare to the Colt and the Kimber.
     
  10. JudgeHolden10

    JudgeHolden10 Member

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  11. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    i'll give my controversial advise. I will never buy another RIA, and consider them and their customer service junk. A friends bought a brand new kimber a few months ago. It jams, frequently. "bad magazines... defective ammo... its 'too tight'... its not broken in... but its not unreliable". Now he has to blow $300 dollars in ammo to prove his $1000 1911 doesn't work. I love my springfield. I love my Kahr AO, and really like my R1S (didn't shoot it enough to love it, buts its reaalllly pretty). I would buy a Ruger, or Dan Wesson if I was in the market. Maybe a Colt in 9mm for the classy lines.
     
  12. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    Sometimes the right answer is the simple one. This is the right answer. If your looking cheap, good, or fancy, lots of answers. But when most people think "good middle range 1911", DW is the go to.
     
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  13. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    This is such great advice. A few other things to consider...

    Undercut trigger guard, front slide stations, front strap checkering, bobtail grip. Usually not much of an upcharge when if comes from the factory standard. VERY expensive and time consuming to add later, especially if you have a blued gun and need it refinished.
     
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  14. drband

    drband Member

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    But by all means, shoot a few with the options you are interested in to see if they really matter for you. I like my RIA DS 9mm. I REALLY like my Dan Wesson Heritage!;)
     
  15. wagonburner

    wagonburner member

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  16. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    I'd have to agree with this. Maybe I'd park it $1600-$2000 for "mid range". DW's, some Eds and Baers go in this range. None on op's list are mid range imo. Just sayin.;)
    DW A2 (aside from sights) wins this list. Colt guys may say otherwise. Kimber and Springer guys too, but from what I've seen and handled and broken down on my journey to "Mid-level", DW has this list beat big time.

    That said, I've put more rounds down range with my Ruger and even more so with my cheapo RIA that I fitted decent sights and a beavertail to than my Colt or DW.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  17. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    I'm confused. You start off ragging RIA then switch to Kimber. You do know they aren't the same?
     
  18. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    The Kimbers I've had did need a ton of work to smooth out. Whether you use ammo, or polish it yourself, is up to you. Pretty sure I polished the ramp and stoned all of the trigger parts. The barrel bushing and barrel need heavy lube.
     
  19. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    yes, He mentioned both. Of the brands he mentioned, I have strong opinions on three. I included my opinion of two other low cost brands to make clear I am not against low cost brands. I generally do not recommend RIA, or Kimber based on personal experiences.
     
  20. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    For that money, I'd go with either Colt or Springfield armory.

    The new Colt Competition models are really nice. They finally got the right mix of features on a stock pistol.

    I have the Colt S70 Gold Cup and it's a tack driver with a great trigger right out of the box.

    Not a fan of Sig 1911s
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  21. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Kawamax

    Some 1911s worthy of consideration:

    Dan Wesson Vigil- $1130
    Dan Wesson A2- $1200
    Colt Gold Cup National Match- $1215
    Colt Competition- $950
    SIG 1911 Target- $1000
    Kimber SS Target II- $910
    S&W SW1911 PRO- $1270
    S&W E Series- $860
    Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Target- $860
    Springfield Armory Trophy Match- $1070
    Ruger SR1911 Target- $825
     
  22. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    Jumping on the Dan Wesson Bandwagon as well.

    The DWA2 is a basic 1911A2 (augmented with Novak sights), but is a great pistol. I have not seen it for less that $1,200, so its kind of at the upper of "mid range" on price, and definitely at the high end of mid-range on quality. A lightly used DW is not to be ignored either. I picked up a DW guardian for under $900 ... virtually unused ... fantastic 1911.

    For nearly the same $$$ as a DW A2, I'd look at the DW Guardian or DW Vigil. Or a Pointman for a $200 more, if you're looking for target sights (the Gold Cup thing).

    Mid-range pricing and quality would be Colt and Springfield, IMHO. I've been extremely pleased with the last 5 Colts I've picked up (5 of 5, so that's good). My Springers have all been keepers.

    I really appreciate the features packed into the Ruger SR1911, but I've still got some concerns on quality/QA.

    Kimber - had huuge problems with their pistols and customer service a long time ago, and they lost my business.

    RIA's are good handguns, but I'd put them at the lower end.

    Sigs ... well, Sig's and 1911's never fit together in my mind. Ditto with CZs and 1911s (which maybe is why CZ's A1 dissappeared, and reappeared in upgraded form as the DW A2).

     
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  23. Electricmo

    Electricmo Member

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    S&W’s and Sigs aren’t true 1911’s. But that’s another topic for discussion.
     
  24. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    My first gut reaction is a Sig or Kimber will most likely hold their value better purely do to their name if that is important to you?

    My first 1911 was a cheap POS Chinese Norinco that I paid little for and endured much scorn over. I can't believe what a Norinco 1911 goes for today! I still love my Norinco and prefer it to my other US manufactured 1911's. With that said the RIA seems to be the best bang for buck and I am not necessary convinced that it will not appreciate in value at the same rate or possibly even better than the other big name 1911's.

    I remember when the Kimbers were all hand made and "The" 1911 for competition... while I don't think the new Kimbers are junk the ones I have held and the one I shot certainly did not seem like anything all that special to me. I do not believe the entity that gave Kimber their name with their superior .22lr rifles, hunting rifles and 1911's still exists. I believe they are just another manufacture riding on the "big name" they purchased... they don't make junk but I don't see where they are making anything all that exceptional anymore either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  25. Kawamax

    Kawamax Member

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    I really appreciate everybody’s comments on this topic. Besides getting more information, it’s made me think and helped me to figure out what I do and do not want in my next 1911.

    Springfield is out for me - I already have one (a basic model in stainless) and it’s just been OK. I had it ported/polished, had target sights put on it, and had a trigger job done that frankly didn’t help. I want my next 1911 to have a great trigger out of the box.

    Holding value is not that important to me. I joke to my friends that guns I buy get a death sentence as I keep them all. I may sell a few to fund this one though, but I haven’t decided yet. It depends a bit on how much of a gun glut there is once the CV-19 stuff is over.

    I looked at the Dan Wesson’s, and the Pointman looks like what I am looking for. It’s a bit more than I’d like to spend, so I’ll be looking at the Kimber and the Colt Competition as well to compare. If the DW looks and feels as nice as I expect then that’s likely the way that I’ll go, otherwise I’ll go the cheaper route.
     
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