Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What does an extra $1000 buy me in a 1911?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by nona, Nov 23, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. nona

    nona Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    This is likely to spark a Ford vs. Chevy war, so I'll try and phrase this carefully and be specific.

    The short version: What does a $2000 1911 have that a $1000 one doesn't?

    The long version:

    After many months and many boxes of ammo I have to admit that I'm not happy shooting my Springfield Mil-Spec and I won't keep shooting it. I'm looking for a replacement. A lot of local dealers carry and like Kimber. So, I'm looking at the CDP and Tactical models. I really like the Kimber Tactical for about $1000 though I wish it wasn't named "tacti-cool".

    I've got some money saved up and could afford more right now. They guy behind the counter said that a Les Bauer or similar high-end 1911 would get me the same basic gun with more "TLC". What's TLC worth to me in practical terms? Do I really care about 1" tighter group at 25 yards for an extra 1K? I do care about it being reliable. I've been in classes with guys that couldn't go 50 rounds without a malfunction of some sort (that instructor insisted that "too tight tolerances" cause that, is this true?). With a gun I like, I'll shoot 200 rounds in a range session, at an all day class I shoot a bit more and I want to be able to do this without a problem.

    Help
    :confused:
     
  2. bluto

    bluto Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    What's wrong with your Mil Spec?

    I have a Les Baer, Springfield Competition (both high end 1911's), 2 Mil Specs and a Colt. I like them all.

    The workmanship on a purpose-built gun (semi-custom) is going to be better than on a production pistol. Fitting will generally be better. Trigger will probably be better. You can definitely find production pistols that will run with the big dogs, but it can be hit and miss. You might get a superior $1000 gun. You might not. The extra dough, better parts and hand fitting generally guarantee a quality pistol every time.

    On a Mil Spec, a trigger job and better sights might make a world of difference.
     
  3. Maximum1

    Maximum1 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Messages:
    284
    Apparantly you have money to burn....One can buy a second gun for that!
     
  4. hexidismal

    hexidismal Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,853
    Location:
    Ulster County, New York
    Just out of curiosity, why aren't you happy with the Springfield Mil-Spec ? I'm not exactly a fan of the Mil-Spec myself really, just wondering what bothers you about it.
     
  5. Commander Guineapig

    Commander Guineapig Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Colorado
    word on the kimber...
    I've shot my Bro-in-Law's Kimber Raptor II...(4 inch-ish bbl)
    I love it. I don't like big caliber handguns much usually...
    recoil and all that. This was different tho.
    To the point that my wife-who likes recoil even less then I do-absolutely loved it.
    If I had the money, that would be my carry gun.
    darn fine weapon.
    GP
     
  6. Nix

    Nix Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    118
    lol ive shot a les baer, colt, kimber and the taurus 1911...
    1. les baer (amazing gun)
    2. taurus (couldnt find anything wrong with it)
    3. kimber (i didnt like the feel of it in my hand as much + i wasnt quite as accurate with it)
    4. colt (sorry fanboys i didnt like it that much)

    this was all on the same day... 2 clips through each. the difference between the taurus and the les baer was not enough imo to warrant 1500 dollars... i would just buy that much ammo :-D
     
  7. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    7,362
    Location:
    all over Virginia
    I think its absurd to spend that kind of money on a gun that does not HAVE TO shoot national-match quality groups. What do you really care if the gun shoots two-inch versus four-inch groups from a Ransom rest at 50 yards?

    Once you hit the $600 mark, you cannot buy any more reliability. Although you certainly can spend a lot more and still get an unreliable gun. Moreover, a 1911 that's a little "loose" is going to be more reliable for long range sessions or adverse conditions.
     
  8. Hunter0924

    Hunter0924 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Colt Special Combat Government, for a hand built pistol for the price it cannot be beat. Putting a Taurus over a Colt well we will see how that shakes out in the long run. clips huh?
     
  9. esheato

    esheato Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    2,784
    Location:
    NoVa
    I have an Ed Brown...that was nearly 3k when purchased new. There is a significant difference between my Kimber CDP and the Brown, and the Kimber wasn't cheap either.

    Colt, Kimber, Springfield don't compare. Shoot one and you'll find out. Now, I don't always have 3k to spend on a pistol so I still purchase the occasional regular production 1911.

    Ed
     
  10. RevolvingCylinder

    RevolvingCylinder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    782
    What makes you unhappy about your MilSpec?

    My recommendation is to find a reputable gunsmith to make it exactly the way you want it.
     
  11. armed85

    armed85 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Messages:
    373
    To answer your question, if you don't like your current 1911, I doubt you'll like any 1911.

    Unless there is a specific reason you can point to other than "the way it feels" you have to accept the fact that the 1911 is not the best gun for you. For example, if the hammer bites your skin, you can put a beavertail grip safety on it. If the trigger feels terrible, you can have a gunsmith to do a trigger job on it.

    It's okay to not like the 1911. There are many guns out there for a reason. There is something for everyone.

    I bought a Kimber Custom, Kimber Pro Carry, Colt New Roll Mark Government Model, and a Colt XSE Combat Commander before I accepted the fact that I don't like 1911s.
     
  12. armed85

    armed85 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Messages:
    373
    Saying "shoot one and you'll find out" is such BS.

    I have shot the most expensive 1911s and I still don't get it. An Ed Brown or Les Baer is a good gun, but they both still feel like a 1911.

    Three Thousand Dollars!

    What significant difference does that three thousand dollar 1911 have that a Colt or Kimber or Springfield Armory doesn't have?

    If it's the trigger, increase the Colt, Kimber, or Springfield Armory by $100 or $200 for a trigger job.

    Is it accuracy? Increase the Colt, Kimber, or Springfield Armory by another $100 or $200 for a fitted bushing.

    A Colt New Roll Mark Government Model with a gunsmith trigger job and fitted bushing would cost about $1,100.

    Now what is the significant difference that justifies spending $1,900 more?
     
  13. iiibdsiil

    iiibdsiil Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    910 / 813 / 561
    I don't understand why someone spending money and getting something that they are happy with is a big deal.
     
  14. esheato

    esheato Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    2,784
    Location:
    NoVa
    My Brown is solid and accurate. It has quality parts that were hand fit throughout. Secondly, I'm not paying just for parts, I'm paying for the expertise in assembly. I'm paying for the experienced gunsmith to get that trigger juuuuust right. I'm paying for the slide to move upon the frame as if it were greased glass.

    And I hate to break it to you, but it feels and shoots better then any other 1911 I've touched besides full custom in approximately the same price range.

    By all means, shoot a Baer, Brown or Nighthawk and if you can't tell a difference don't waste your money. I can sit here all day and expound on the reasons I like this or that...but until you get your hands on one and try it out, it won't matter.

    I felt there was enough of a difference to buy into them....I can't think of a better recommendation.

    OP, shoot as many as you can and decide for yourself. 1911's are 1911's and you can get a darn good gun for 500-1000 bucks...but to gain that last 10% of perfection, it's going to cost a bit more.

    YMMV.

    Ed
     
  15. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,409
    Location:
    Texas
    bragging rights
     
  16. hexidismal

    hexidismal Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,853
    Location:
    Ulster County, New York
    To me it's not. I can't personally afford to spend that kind of money, but if you can then by all means do whatever makes you the most happy with it.
     
  17. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    8,047
    Location:
    Greeley, CO
    It's whoevers money, and they can spend it how they choose, but, by the same token, it's not good to support overcharging for trends. We all pay for that in the end. Trust me, if Les Baer could sell 6000 guns at $5000.00 apiece, not only would there be a whole ton of $5000.00 pistols, but the average price of pistols would go up. Why sell a $1000.00 gun if, in comparison, it looks like a great deal at $1500.00?

    To my mind, the 1911 is basically a $750.00 gun, at best. You can hem and haw all you want, but there isn't a modification out there that justifies more money than that, at least in my opinion. Now, if you want to spend more, go ahead. It's your money, and what do I care? Just keep in mind that a fool and his money are soon parted, and guns are no different than anything else: There are a lot of fools waiting in line to part with their money.
     
  18. 45auto

    45auto Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,241
    Here's what a $1500-$2,000 1911 might(should) have that your Springfield Mil-spec doesn't have:

    Much better sights.
    A fitted, blended beavertail so you don't cut your hand on the multiple, sharp frame tangs or get hammer bite.
    An extended thumb safety, if you need it or want it.
    High quality "internals" that will give you a better trigger pull, but more importantly last much longer without malfunction. Hand-fitted so they work in your frame...over many tens of thousands of rounds!
    Probably a higher quality barrel, but definitely fitted for better accuracy and durability, again over many tens of thousands of rounds.
    Grip surface treatment...checkering.
    Overall, a fitted handgun done by a "skilled" 1911 "smith" compared to a production line 1911. That will/should get you increased reliability and durability.

    The Springfield Mil-spec is a "known" high quality base gun for custom 1911 smiths to use for competition guns, bullseye and "hard-use" guns...I hate that term. ;) You also have Springfield's "excellent" custom shop that will do what you want. Consider spending money on the gun you have.

    So I decide what you want/need and be realistic about how your going to use it and how many rounds you might shoot through it. Meaning, if you don't care about 1" accuracy...you just save yourself about $250. ;) Don't bother having the slide/frame tightened up either...save another $100.

    I agree that most everything beyond $2,000 is cosmetic or specialized for a particular sport or use...IMHO.
     
  19. nona

    nona Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    I haven't read all the replies, but I saw this come several times so I'll answer it now then read the rest.

    My hand gets really tired shooting the Mil-Spec. After 50 rounds, I have trouble squeezing the trigger without my hand shaking. I don't get bit by the hammer, but the safety tang beats up the web of my hand pretty bad. I don't mean nicks, cuts, and blisters, I mean a deep bruise I still feel many days later. I think that's it. Also, I believe the arched mainspring housing isn't helping. I'm used to shooting 150-200 rounds through an USP40 so I don't think it's a lack of "hand stamina". (When I read that "ooo, my hand hurts!" part, I sound like a wuss. That's not it, I've shot other 1911 pattern guns, and all sorts of thins before, this is consistently a different experience).

    Last time I went to the range, I shot 100 rounds through the Mil-Spec, trying to figure out a comfortable grip. The last 50 shot were hard, shaky, and erratic. My hand was beat. I immediately went out and rented something from the range (Kimber TLE II). My hand was tired, but I managed to shoot it well and had a smile on my face again after a few magazines all the way through the end of two boxes. I don't what's causing the problem in the Mil-Spec for me, but I can't deny the difference.
     
  20. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
    Northeast TX
    Try a Dan Wesson Pointman 1911. They are absolutely the best 1911 for the money with all the custom features. And you'll have quite a bit of change after you plop down a thousand bucks.
     
  21. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    2,281
    Location:
    Michigan
    My first 1911 is a 3.5" Springfield UltraCompact bought well used and I had to change out the extractor due to stovepiping. I got it with ambi safety,Hogue grips, ported barrel.

    My 2nd is a box stock 5" Kimber Raptor II, still tight as all hell but zero issues at approx 500 rds. Cost me well over double what I paid for the used Springer but I don't feel it was overboard. When I lay out the XD40, the Springer Ultracompact .45 and the Kimber on the bench in the backyard.... my wife picks up the Kimber :D.

    I much prefer shooting the 5" weapon and this has nothing to do with the manufacturer. It's just a better configuration for me than the 3.5".

    If someone else can pay $3K for a .45. I say good for them. Some folks like high end cars too, doesn't hurt my feelings.
     
  22. AndyC

    AndyC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,581
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    What you currently have is an excellent base gun. If your hand is getting beaten-up, have a 'smith change out the grip-safety to something more comfortable eg beavertail and get a flat mainspring-housing.

    It's a slippery slope, though - next come Novak sights, competition trigger, extended safety... ;)

    I don't care about 2" groups at 50 yards, personally - my major requirement is that it is stone-cold reliable through thick and thin.
     
  23. Ringer

    Ringer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Messages:
    1,249
    Location:
    North Georgia
    I didn't really like the "Tactical" name either but I liked the gun so I bought it. It's my only full size 1911 so I can't speak to comparison. I can say that I enjoy shooting the Kimber. It's a pleasure to shoot, comfort wise. It is very accurate for me and has never missed a beat with regard to reliability.
     
  24. dtown240

    dtown240 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Michigan
    All I can tell you is what I know..

    A friend of mine has an Ed Brown. The first shot of the first time he let me shoot it, I hit the X at about 15 yards. All I could say was "WOW, this is NICE!!!!"

    Is it expensive? Yes. Is it accurate? Yes. Is it worth it? Depends on YOUR pocketbook and propensity to have something that high speed low drag. I'm not about to take out a loan to buy one...but if someone gifted one to me, you can be sure I wouldn't EVER consider trading it for anything else.

    Also consider what do you want to DO with it? Carrying it everyday will allow it to get holster wear, and in the event you EVER have to use it for defensive purposes, the LEO's are going to hang onto it while the investigation occurs. That's a lot of money to have wrapped up in an evidence locker.
     
  25. BigO01

    BigO01 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Messages:
    560
    Nona it sounds to me like your Springfield simply has a excessive trigger pull weight and the grip safety just doesn't fit you well .

    On 1911.org there are directions for the "poor mans triiger job" which is pretty much removing any rough spots from the internal trigger components .

    I can tell you from expierence that two parts with no rough spots rubbing together vs with rough spots is a world apart when it comes to a good trigger pull .

    You have a few routes you can go here , you can try the "Poor mans trigger job" , you can buy a complete ready to drop in trigger replacement kit as made by Cylinder N Slide , Nowlin and Yost and use it to replace the parts the gun now has or turn it over to a good "Smith for a trigger job .

    If you're up to the work yourself replace the Grip safety with a nice Semi drop in Wilson beavertail .

    I wouldn't give up on the Springfield as you have a solid gun that mearly has some problems that can easily and fairly cheaply be fixed .

    If the "Poor Mans Trigger Job" and say the Wilsom beavertail does the trick you will be out less than $60 with shipping and getting Wet/Dry for the trigger job and a medium wetstone which you may already own .

    Even if you go the gunsmith route a trigger job shouldn't be more than $100 and have them install a new Grip safety while they're at it , tops out of pocket should be less than $200 .

    Almost forgot Pachmyr makes a rubber covered grip safety that should greatly reduce the beating your hand is geting also , perhaps the rubber covered safety combined with some Pachmyr wrap around grips would make shooting the Springer much more pleasant .
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page