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Which 1911 for a newbie....

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MonacanMan, Jan 2, 2003.

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  1. RussB

    RussB Member

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    The new Colt's are spectacular. A local shop (Hoffman's Gun Center In Newington, Ct) has one of each model :) all are very nice guns.

    My brother has recently purchased 2 Dan Wessons (5" Pointman & 4 5/8" Guardian Deuce) Very nice guns for the money, $600ish.

    I like my Kimber's, though, wouldn't trade 'em for anything. IMHO, stay away from the top-end Kimbers. All show, no go (I'm putting on my flame retardent suit now :uhoh: ) They aren't much better than the base models, only prettier.

    If you can afford it, go for a high end semi-custom. Ed Brown Kobra, Wilson, Rock River, Les Baer. You sure won't regret it.
     
  2. Boats

    Boats member

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    Go to the Colt forum at 1911forum.com and see some of the wait times their aficianados are facing for routine warranty and custom work. Colt's website hasn't been updated, as far as I can tell, in a dog's age. They have yet to put out a catalog in this century.

    I love Colt pistols. I have one. But right now, they're not where I am placing my money when shopping for a 1911. Compared to others in their market segment, Colts are overpriced, have fewer features, a lesser warranty, and they are obviously charging more for having the "name" because they do no advertising, competitions, or anything of the like that costs beaucoup bucks to support relative to other manufacturers.
     
  3. jmbrowning

    jmbrowning Member

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    Yeah, the Springfield Armory pistols are nice. Mattafact, my first pistol ever was a 1911A1 Springfield Armory that was 1911A1 except for slightly nicer high profile sights and a ring hammer.

    Didn't do much too it except replace the thumb safety when it wore down to an ambi safety (old lady is a southpaw) and cleaned up the trigger.

    Newer guns seem to love that beavertail and long trigger thing, but if I had to do it all over again, I would pick up a real GI 1911 or 1911A1 gun. Those are pretty pricey now if looking for USGI, but I snapped up a couple of the Sistemas for $250 each when CDNN had them around. They clean up real nice and the sights are pretty accurate if a little slow.

    One has a date with a smith to clean up the trigger just a smidgen and it may go with me to my next pistol class.

    Good luck on your purchase. You can't go wrong with a 1911 (should I go so far as to say it should have been your FIRST pistol?). Just make sure it is 5", all steel and has internal extractor, just like God (I mean, JMB) meant for it to be. ;)
     
  4. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I've been very pleased with my Charles Daly 1911 and so have many other owners. See the 1911forum.com for opinions. Most detractors never owned one, though they don't have the same QC standards as some of the more expensive companies (though at $400 or less in most areas, $450 here, you wouldn't expect $700 Kimber standards). Most people do need to replace the factory mags. With Chip McCormick mags mine is nearly 100%, it is more accurate than I am and it really does look and feel great- it is one of the best bargains in my "collection".

    The current best value out there is probably the Springfield Armory Mil-Spec. Around here it is $550 (most areas it sounds like it runs in the $400s) and is made to SA standards. You don't get any "bells and whistles" though as it is pretty much the basic military spec 1911.

    Rock Island Armory is good. It is basically a Charles Daly in military trim and for a little less money.

    If you are looking at more middle to high end prices a Kimber Custom or Custom Target with the real blueing or in stainless or a Springfield Armory "Loaded" are nice guns with some nice features. Out of the two I prefer the SA. A buddy recently bought the Kimber Custom Target and it is a really nice gun. Dan Wesson also seems to be an interesting alternative- a little less but the quality is there and fewer people have them so it has a little more novelty to it I think.

    If you are willing to spend $1000+ I'd go with a Valtro. Great internet buzz, from the reports the quality, fit and finish are up there with guns costing several hundred more.

    For a first 1911 I'd go with a single stack. It is the classic design, there are more options and they tend to be more reliable than the double stack designs. Try one and I bet it will fit you fine.
     
  5. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn Member

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    I love the Springfield Armory 1911-A1 Professional Model...

    gotta buy myself one of those. :D

    Shame it's US $2400, but i'll make the effort... :rolleyes:
     
  6. MonacanMan

    MonacanMan Member

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    I chose a Sig as my first gun because I wanted a gun for home defense(got a Keltec Sub2K for that use too) and as a CCW gun. Being new to guns I felt safer with a Sig in my pants with one in the pipe but that another topic entirely......

    I like to tinker with guns and I definitely want a 1911 with a 5" barrell and due to the recommendations here a single stack magazine. I want reliability. At this point I'm leaning towards a Colt or a Springfield. I just can't afford to pay $1300 for a high-end gun right now. I wish I could...That valtro is a sweet gun but out of my current price range. I like to tinker so I will get alot of enjoyment doing my own add-ons a little at a time. Another aspect of the 1911 that attracted my attention was the availability of parts and customizations. Thanks for the input and suggestions everyone. The more I hear and the more I read on the varoius 1911 websites and boards the more excited I am to own at least one of these guns. :D
     
  7. Jspy

    Jspy Member

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    I would look for one of the Dan Wesson's. They should have something in various price ranges which would be hard to duplicate with the other brands. Customer service is also second to none. Check out their website. Second choice would be one of the new roll-marked Colts. For a little more than $800 you might consider the new 70 Series from Colt.
     
  8. John Galt

    John Galt Member

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    There are sooo many choices. That's good. You need to look at the other guns you own and decide what price point will make you happy. Any of them, from a good manufacturer should work fine. I'm no expert, but:

    There are crap models, no more need be said.

    There are good ones from colt and others for around $400-500. They are fine.

    In the $600-$1200 range, people like Springfield & Kimber.

    There are several companies making the best from $1600-$4000.

    The first level gets you maybe 90%. The next from 92-98%. It's diminishing return for your dollar.

    In the past, people bought one for around $600 and many spent years and very much $$$ having them customized. Kimber makes over a dozen models in every color and with every choice in parts and prices and size. No need to ever visit a gunsmith. They sell these almost custom guns at very good prices. That is why they sell so many! Choices, quality & price. Amazing business model. duhhh.

    STI makes a polimer frame double stack of high quality and you can either go custom or take one of their ready made customs. Very expensive....

    I've put 1000 rds through my Kimber Gold Match Stainless II and never a problem. Mine went for over $1300 and I got it for $1000 over the internet from E.Texas. There were also two retailers in LA who were cheap. Figure out what you want, find the lowest price at gunbroker.com or gunsamerica.com. See if your friendliest local guy will come within $50 of that.
     
  9. OF

    OF Member

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    I'm looking into my first 1911 also. It'll be either a:

    1. Colt 'new rollmark' series 80 blued (Stock #01991)

    or

    2. Springfield Loaded PX9109L (parkerized, fixed sights)

    While the Sprinfield has more stuff (beavertail, etc.), I dislike the front slide serrations so much it may make the decision for me (the Springfield has the serrations, the Colt doesn't). Plus the Colt is, well, a Colt. :)

    - Gabe
     
  10. MonacanMan

    MonacanMan Member

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    Colt, Springfield and Dan Wesson are now under consideration. I take customer service into account when dealing with anyone. I was leary of buying a Keltec but their customer service was/is outstanding even if they don't produce the quality of firearm that Cold/Springfield/Kimber or many others do.....I have more respect for a company that backs up their product instead of treating you like you're privledged to buy their product. The Dan Wesson Patriots are pretty nice and closer to my price range. The more I read ...the more I can't decide....Now I know why 1911 enthusiasts buy more than one. :uhoh:
     
  11. 106rr

    106rr Member

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    SSA Milespec for $420 -- $450
    Wilson KZ45 -- $1000 -- double stack mag
    Valtro -- $1300
    I'd start with the Valtro if cost is no object. If you are on a budget go with the SA Milspec
    Good Luck
     
  12. Climb14er

    Climb14er Member

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    If you can, get a five inch govt model

    Try to stay away from the three inch ultra compacts. A compact/commander four inch is also a workable solution.

    You want reliability first, then accuracy. Or even both. The three inch was a mistake on my part. It cost me some money to get out of it. I went to the five inch Dan Wesson Patriot Marksman in carbon blue steel and external extractor. Beautiful pistol. Priced well.
     
  13. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    Um, you are mistaken. Kimbers aren't anywhere near the quality of a custom gun. In fact, Kimber cuts alot of corners making their guns... arguably more than Colt or even Springfield Armory does. Nice product, but saying a Kimber is an "almost custom" gun just shows you don't know what you are talking about in that regard.
     
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