Best 1911 for under $1k [Archive] - Glock Talk


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11-28-2009, 21:37
I have been using my grandpa's olympic arms matchmaster for my service PPC match for about 3 years now and i feel i need my own 1911.

So i have been looking around and i wanna stay under the 1,000$ range. The gun will be used in IDPA, PPC and just overall range use. So far i have looked at the Sig 1911 target, the STI trojan 5.0 and the Para p14.

I really am liking the spartan and i have seen some great reviews of the gun and another plus i saw Bac in a thread say it was a great 1911 lol. I am wondering though can u find the gun for under msrp at dealers? the cheapest i found it is 990$ on gunbroker.

thanks for any advice guys

11-29-2009, 00:27
The Trojan is, in my opinion, the best $1000 1911 on the market.

I like it marginally better than the Dan Wessons in the same price range, which are my second favorite $1000 1911s.

Compared to your other mentions, the Trojan is in a whole other league. Para and Sig 1911s leave a lot to be desired, in my opinion. Paras quality is not up to par, while I just don't care for the Sigs. Its a personal preference.

11-29-2009, 00:46
Bac is right on the money with his suggestion. I don't own a Trojan but I read enough the know they are a good buy. Like he said, Dan Wesson is a good one for the money.

11-29-2009, 07:57
How would you compare the trojan to the olympic arms match master? i don't think its a semi custom 1911 but it has great built quality and an awesome trigger, in my indoor matches i am able to make 1" groups with it at 50 feet pretty easily?

i am not even sure if they still make this gun though and if they do its probably not the same as the one im using, which i believe is maybe 20 years old?

I also came across a dan wesson razor back, is this the same quality as the STI? i heard the dan wesson's don't use MIM parts which is a plus.

11-29-2009, 09:17
How would you compare the trojan to the olympic arms match master? i don't think its a semi custom 1911 but it has great built quality and an awesome trigger, in my indoor matches i am able to make 1" groups with it at 50 feet pretty easily?

i am not even sure if they still make this gun though and if they do its probably not the same as the one im using, which i believe is maybe 20 years old?

I also came across a dan wesson razor back, is this the same quality as the STI? i heard the dan wesson's don't use MIM parts which is a plus.

I don't own an Olympic Arms 1911. The finger grooved frame never sat well with me. All I can say is that I've handled one and it seemed decent, but I can't judge it.

As far as Dan Wesson is concerned, they're outstanding. I like the Valor better than the Trojan, but it is a couple hundred more. You're right, Dan Wesson doesn't use any MIM, as far as I know.

11-30-2009, 01:26
Dan Wesson would be an excellent choice for you willowofwisp. The STI or Sig would surely serve you well also. Between the three and what you want it for.....pick the one you like for whatever reason. You won't go wrong.

11-30-2009, 10:10
I have an STI Trojan and it is awesome.

It's one of the guns I will never get rid of.

Plus, if you are military, you get a good discount from Dawson Precision.

12-04-2009, 23:13
I have a Glock 26, and I am looking for another handgun. I have always loved the look of the 1911 style, but it seems like every quality 1911 is $1,000 and up. I prefer not to spend that much on a 1911 right now, even though I probably will spend that much when I get older:)

Any opinions and suggestions would be great.

12-04-2009, 23:26
You can get a Rock Island Armory GI for under 4 hundred and a Tactical for under 5 hundred dollars. They are not the most buetifuuumust 1911 for taking pictures of and posting all over the net........but they work.

A used Springfield loaded should run around 600 and that would be my choice. Lifetime guaranty and good quality.

Or get a scratch and hickey Colt Series 80 for 500 to 600. Again a GREAT choice.

A new Kimber Custom 2 is right over 7 bills and a used one around 5.

Lots of choices my friend.

12-04-2009, 23:42
i bought my springfield loaded almost 10 years ago for about $700 and it's been absolutely awesome.

12-05-2009, 00:56
Para GI Expert for $500. Lots of 1911 for the money.

12-05-2009, 01:01
I like the STI Spartan as an entry level 1911.

12-05-2009, 09:11
If you want the most for your money, buy a used 1911. With two kids in college, etc., I am on a tight budget. I have been looking for a good 1911 that wouldn't cost a arm and a leg. On line, I found a number of good looking SA 1911-A1's. I wanted either a GI or an enhanced SA 1911. Last week I found one in a local shop that was virtually unfired. It was $400 OTD w/ a box of ammo. I fired it yesterday (good bye ammo) and it ran perfectly. JMHO. Sincerely. Brucev.

12-05-2009, 09:21
Here are some very decent 1911s in the $600-$800 range.

Kimber Custom II

STI Spartan

Smith & Wesson SW1911

Thompson Custom 1911

12-05-2009, 09:28
The Firestorm/Metroarms 1911 is a great 1911 under $500. The Citadels also seem nice.

12-05-2009, 10:15
The Firestorm/Metroarms 1911 is a great 1911 under $500. The Citadels also seem nice.

I also like the Filipino 1911s.

12-05-2009, 10:34
Personally, I much prefer a forged slide and frame 1911 over one with cast used in the Filipino pistols. For approximately the same money...the Springfield GI is a better 1911.

I agree.

GI 1911s are great. I have some others, but my favorite GI replicas are from Springfield and Norinco.

Other than being stainless, the Springfield GI has a great look and feel reminiscent of the real USGI 1911A1s. The parkerized version is more authentic looking.

The Norinco GI is built like a tank from old railroad steel in China. They may not be pretty, but are very tough and solid.

12-05-2009, 11:26
SA GI forged frame/slide for just over 500 bucks is certainly affordable.

12-05-2009, 11:51
The problem with a inexpensive 1911 is it leads to more and more 1911s. Talking to/with Bac will probabley hasten this process. Although there have been reports where all it took was someone looking at picture posts by bac. :rofl:

Seriously though
Smith and Wesson
Springfield Armory

All have great emtry level 1911's in your price range. Keep an eye out for used Springfield and Smith and Wessons. They have a great warrenty and I see them by me used alot.

I have great things about the Rock Island 1911s but never shot one. I would like to get one, the ones I have held seem good for the money. Like other said you can get one pretty cheap.

12-05-2009, 13:35
STI Spartan, hands down the best deal in a quality affordable 1911, look no further...really!

Yeah, I love the Spartan.

12-05-2009, 19:19
Thanks to everyone who responded to my thread. It seems from the responses that the STI Spartan is the way to go. I will be looking at that 1911, and that will probably be the firearm that I choose. My dad has a Kimber Ultra Covert II, so that's probably why I got the 1911 itch:supergrin:

12-06-2009, 08:41
Love the look of the SA GI, nornico...Probably be my next purchase and would definitely recommend.

The Dan Wesson Classic Bobttail is about 1k and well worth it. Very nice carry gun (bobbed & commander sized). That is if you want to spend that. I also agree with all the other 1911's that are shown in this thread! Guess it depends on what you want.

My favorite top 4 manufacturers in your price range:

Dan Wesson
Springfield armory
Rock Island

It really depends on whether the buyer wants a GI setup or an enhanced model.

12-06-2009, 09:49
had a guy walk into the store yesterday looking for a blue or parkerized gi or milspec...didn't want to spend too much and he hated chrome, stainless and nickel and wanted no frills. Said uh uh no way and not spending that much money. He wanted basic and affordable. He was looking at the SA mil and gi. Although they were great guns, he told me what he wanted out of a 1911.

By time I got through with him he traded me both his glocks 22 and 23 with $$$ to get a Stainless Sig 1911 GSR elite platinum. I set him up with a black leather quick draw and god's tears (DPX). You should have seen him glowing when I shook his hand and said thank you.

I know he will be extremely happy that he didn't go with the "affordable" 1911. He will love that GSR and will have no regrets. My point is this and you should apply it to your buying. I'm not in gun sales but I will go one the floor and do it from time to time. But when I sell a gun, I keep one thing in mind. Most people will buy a gun and many things will influence their buying. The main one, should I afford it?

I will not sell a gun to someone that will cause them to spend more when they trade it in, lose out on it, and buy a higher end one because they couldn't cure the itch to have something better. Get in the right car the first time so that your standards are met and you will be overly content. When you are going into the 1911 market, leave the price factor out of your decision. If you can't afford it right now, find it used or save up for.

12-06-2009, 09:58
Yeah, I love the Spartan.

I feel much better now about buying mine after hearing it from "the man".
Shoots 1 1/2- 2 inches off bags at 20 yd w/ factory ball. I use it for single stack and it's better than I am.

12-07-2009, 10:21
I'll second the Springfield or Norinco from China and not from Turkey. If you know what you are looking for a used 1911, like the Norinco can be a great buy. If not then get a Springfield if you want a pistol more close to the 1911 as design by John Browning.

12-08-2009, 08:58
I'm coming from a glock 26 and want something thinner. I have never tried a 1911 and really want to give the format a try. I've had my eye on a couple of different options and now that my glock is selling the pressure is on to decide...................... and well, I can't. So I need some help.

On my short list are:

Sig 1911 C3 .45acp
STI 1911 LS9 9mm
STI 1911 Escort 9mm/.45acp
STI 1911 Rogue 9mm
Springfield 1911 Micro .45acp
Various Kimber Ultra 1911 .45acp

I'm looking at both calibers simply because I already had a stash of 9mm ammo from my glock and have zero .45acp ammo on hand. So, if I go .45acp I'll be behind the ball looking for ammo until I build up a little stash of practice/carry ammo. That isn't a reason in my decision though.

The factors for me are dead reliability in the smallest and lightest possible option. I don't want to spend tons of time tuning and upgrading parts, so I'm trying to look at options that already have a good starting point of parts included. Also, I'd like to stay under $1k and possibly down nearer to $700 - $800 range. Used is okay, but new is also.

I've held the Sig C3, the STI LS9, and the Kimber Ultras and they all feel fine and are a good fit to my hand.

Any thoughts? I've searched and read until my head is spinning. Now that I need to decide, I am having trouble. Thanks.

12-08-2009, 09:30
The factors for me are dead reliability in the smallest and lightest possible option.

I don't want to spend tons of time tuning and upgrading parts, so I'm trying to look at options that already have a good starting point of parts included.

I'd like to stay under $1k and possibly down nearer to $700 - $800 range.

Putting on the nomex because I know scores of Kimber Ultra owners will be along shortly to talk about how they have 347 flawless rounds through their guns; but based on the above statements, I would recommend that you look in a direction other than a 1911-style pistol.

12-08-2009, 09:51
Just my opinion, you cannot get under $1000 with the specifications you have. You are in the $1600-$3000 range, Kimber vs Ed Browne type gun.

If you want a cheap reliable concealed carry 45 Auto, look at the G36. I'm not biased, I have all three of the guns and am happy carrying any of them.

12-08-2009, 09:53
So you don't think any of the offering with longer than 3" barrels are viable? Most of the ones I listed already have some upgraded parts and have been dehorned or the like. Some of them have longer barrels. Most of the ones I listed can be had for under my price point.

Why should I not consider one?

If you want a 1911 because you want a 1911, knock yourself out. Not saying you shouldn't consider one, just that if your primary priorities are what I'm reading them to be:

-Thin carry gun
-Dead reliability
-Small and light
-Good to go out of the box

then the 1911 might not be the best choice. Several items on those list have a greater probability of working against each other than on other formats.

12-08-2009, 09:58
you just might want to go with and RIA which will run you about $500. Give it a 3.5 trigger job which will run about $200. $100 for slide to frame fit if it will accommodate and another $200 for some novaks. That will give you a $1000 gun that is 3" and dead accurate. Just not the best of name.

12-08-2009, 10:39
For your price range Kimber is hard to beat.
Many people have had very good results with the RIA line of pistols.
Rock Island has both a Commander and Officers size.
Good luck.

12-08-2009, 12:29
I too was looking for a sig C3 until I found a DW CCO:reindeer:

There seems to be a lot to like about the sig C3.

I'm still trying to research them. I've seen people complain about the slides being different than other 1911's, but am not sure what's different.

Also, I noticed the STI LS9 indicates the slide can be racked with the safety on. Is this good or bad? They indicate it as the good so you can clear the chamber without removing safety, but I'm wondering if there are down sides to this as well?

12-08-2009, 12:43
Im really surprised to see these responses in a 1911 forum. I bought a NIB RIA 3.5" 1911 for 375 dollars. Not a single malfunction through 750 rounds of my reloads. I now consider this gun good to go and will carry it anywhere. There are lots of other good bang for the buck commander and officer sized guns.

an ria is a good bang for your buck not the best bang for your buck. and besides, he's not looking for a best bang for your buck, hes looking for the best bang you can get within his budget....why go with a stock ria? makes no sense. it's a good gun at best.....not great

12-08-2009, 14:07
Wouldn't both of those be over $1k?

I was just saying that I love my Kobra Carry.
The Dan Wesson CBOB, is a very simular weapon,
and no, the Dan Wesson CBOB is not over $1k

12-08-2009, 20:55
I think you will find STIs have a very good rep and deserve it.

12-08-2009, 21:31
i have/carry a springfield emp in 9mm, love it and it shoots amazing no reliability issues, very east to get back on target. i have been researching another 1911 and will be ordering a springfield loaded champion lightweight after xmas.

12-09-2009, 09:59
Can't go wrong with any of the Kimber CDP models. All light and fully set up so you won't need any aftermarket.

12-09-2009, 12:30
With the criteria you have laid out the Sig C3 is your gun. It has a 4.25 bushing barrel that will give you the best possibility for reliability, but has the Officers frame for best concealment. Plus the frame is alloy for the lightest weight.

The Dan Wesson CCO model is another choice although hard to find and pricier.

A Kimber LW Compact gives you a 4 inch bull barrel and a Officers LW frame and can be had new for 800 bills.

I've been checking out the CCO models:
Sig C3
STI Guardian
Kimber Compact

But I've not seen a kimber compact for $800. What model is that and do you have a link?

12-09-2009, 12:37
Usually there are several Kimber LW Compacts on Gunbroker, but I just checked and there are none now. They do have a few regular steel frame compacts although. Just check periodically using "Kimber Compact" as a search under pistols.

Here is a list of other CCO models I have compiled for another post..

Originally Posted by HAIL CAESAR View Post
Here is a CCO list that I wrote at one time. It is my personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt about my views on the quality.

The size of 1911 you are describing is loosely called a CCO. It is a officer frame and a 4.25 commander slide. Some people people (including myself) make a distinction of a TRUE CCO and LIKE A CCO. A true CCO will have a 4.25 barrel and a barrel bushing. Most "Like" a CCO will have a 4ish inch barrel and the barrel will be bushingless. Colt is the company that owns the name "CCO", much like "Commander".

To answer your question of who makes a 1911 of similar size the list is as follows;

STI Guardian- Like a CCO- 4ish bull barrel- Very good quality gun- $950ish.
Steel frame.

Colt CCO and Colt Gunsite CCO- True CCO sized-4.25 barrel- very good quality gun-Discontinued model- somewhat of a collectors item $950++++, if you can find one.

Old Dan Wesson CCO- True CCO (Except external extractor)- Discontinued Model- good quality- good luck finding one.

New Dan Wesson CCO. True CCO with internal extractor. $1,250+, hard to get only 200 made this year. Alloy frame with 4.25 inch bushing barrel. I have it now. It is excellent quality!

Kimber- Like a CCO, OK quality gun, various models - $750 and up depending on model. Lots of reports of problems, but lots of reports of satisfaction. Be prepares to buy a new recoil spring even on a new gun. Kimber makes a steel frame and a alloy frame LW.

Sig 1911 Compact- True CCO (except external extractor) good quality gun- earlier guns have had problems, newer guns have seemed to have no problems- $850+-Sig makes a steel frame and a alloy frame LW.

Springfield Armory COMPACT- Older discontinued model, do not be confused with current Ultra or Micro size guns they are not the same- if you can find one they run $550+. good quality. Some were 4.25 with bushing and some were Bull 4 inchers. Steel frames and LW Alloy frames.

Smith & Wesson ES. Seems to be good quality (very new) True CCO expect the external extractor. 4.25 bushing barrel. Stainless slide and Scandium frame. $860.00ish, but people are trying to get rich selling them for more than that.

Fusion Arms True CCO. Great/Excellent quality. 1,500 and up. They built guns the way you want them. So price is up to the way you want it built. Steel and Alloy are offered, plus anything else your mind and wallet want.
((Mines on order))

Les Baer Stinger- True CCO, excellent quality 1911- $1,500+ depending on options. Steel frame. Older discontinued had alloy frame.

Wilson Combat Compact- Like a CCO, 4 inch bull barrel. Excellent quality 1911 alloy or steel frame.- $2200+ depending on model.

Nighthawk Custom_ True CCO- excellent quality 1911- $2500+ depending on options. They will build a bushing or a bull barrel.

Springfield Armory Custom Shop -True CCO takes about 6 months to build. They will build it your way. They will build a bushing or a bull barrel. Alloy or steel frame. $1,600+++

There are full custom shops that will make you a CCO, be prepared to sell at least one of your children on the black market.

If they are more I've forgotten, please anyone help me out.

My opinion time; The CCO is the perfect CCW size 1911 ever made. Reliability of a Commander, frame size of a Officer for less printing. Even less printing if you have the frame MSH rounded.

12-09-2009, 14:24
I had been checking those out as well. You said " acceptably" reliable. Is that only because 2 rounds of range ammo didn't work, or something else?

For what it's worth, my usual carry is an STI Escort in .45:

It's lightweight and easy to conceal, and mine has been acceptably reliable for ~ 500-600 rounds of varied ammo, with a variety of magazines; only problem I've had was with one box of cheap target ammo I bought at the range -- 2 rounds in that box of 50 would not chamber in the Escort (but worked fine in a Spartan). This Escort now wears CT laser grips. I'm very happy with it. It's more fun to shoot a full-size, in my opinion, but this one's more about work than play. I switched from carrying a G23 -- I much prefer carrying the Escort.

Good luck with your search!


12-10-2009, 00:21
I had a PT1911 for a while(great gun for cheap).Traded for a SA LW Champion,but if Taraus brings out a commander sized gun I will by it.

Blue Ridge

We don't need a commander version of the PT1911.

The full size is more than enough. :whistling:

12-10-2009, 09:01
While that DW CCO is drool worthy, the $1389 price is just more than I should spend right now.

That said, I am still having trouble narrowing down between the 3 or 4 that seem to keep calling my attention:

Sig C3 1911
S&W Compact ES
STI Guardian

STI Rogue
STI Escort
Don't know why I like that LS9, but it just looks interesting due to size. :dunno:

12-10-2009, 11:30
I like to stick with full size 1911's.

The springer TRP is a very good carry 1911!
mine eats anything and up to 3300 rds and not a problem of any kind.
The customer service at spring can not be beat!!!!!!!:wavey:

12-10-2009, 12:02

Sig C3 1911
S&W Compact ES
STI Guardian


Out of the three.....any would be fine. The STI frame is blued steel so it will rust. The S&W & Sig are Alloy.

12-10-2009, 13:50
I'll throw another vote for the Springfield GI.

I love mine and its a fantastic shooter that is accurate and well made for the money spent.

- brickboy240

12-10-2009, 14:53
Can't beat the Rock Island Tactical.

12-10-2009, 18:15
Went by a local shop today and checked out two more options that fit my budget. One was a Colt Combat Commander in blued steel and the other was a Kimber Pro Carry with night sights (which was similar in size but much lighter).

Honestly, they both felt pretty good in hand and neither felt too large or heavy. I think it opens up some more options for me to look at.

I'm going to a gun show this weekend to fondle a few more for comparison.

So, now that I've widened my view, what are the thoughts on the Kimber pro carry and colt combat commander?

12-10-2009, 18:32
Yep, that's it. They want $899 for a brand new one. The kimber pro carry with night sights was like $980 I think.

Ahhh yes. The Colt Combat Commander. I carry one daily for the last about 4-weeks or so. I REALLY like it.

15 yards rapid fire first time out at the range and before she has been cleaned up. Most excellent carry gun.

12-10-2009, 18:44
The Kimber Stainless Ultra II is hard to beat for the price. If you want to stay with the 9mm format, the Kimber Ultra CDP in 9mm is a great gun.

Armed Infidel
12-10-2009, 19:25
...or you could get a Springfield Loaded Champion! :cool:

12-11-2009, 06:27
I like the Colt. I don't like the Kimber (personal preference...other folks love 'em, and that's OK, too). There really isn't anything wrong with any of your choices. Sir, you are suffering from "paralysis by analysis." Just get one.

12-11-2009, 06:29
This is a very, very common question. Can someone make a sticky with 1911s and price ranges, pros and cons?

Officer's Match
12-12-2009, 15:13
Thanks for all the feedback so far. I went to the gunshow this morning and this followed me home to be my first 1911:

Kimber Compact CDP - Series 1 - with Laser Grip & night sights

Hopefully I made a good choice for my first 1911. The action seems to be pretty smooth. The feed ramp looks to have been polished. It cycles snap caps very well. Unfortunately, it's raining and I may not get to try it out until next weekend.

Only thing I don't really like is the backstrap. It's very rough, and I think I'd prefer something more similar to the cuts on the front of the grip.

Any comments, thoughts, or things I should look for?

That's a flat out home run. You can spend (a lot) more and not get a better carry 1911. That's a great choice.

Officer's Match
12-12-2009, 18:28
You're saying series 1 is better build?

So other than the firing pin safety being tied to the grip safety, it's similar but with maybe better build quality?

I'm not sure if I over paid for it or not, but got it with the box, rosewood grips, manual, 1 kimber mag, and crimson trace grips for $999. Night sights still glow, but could probably be brighter. My way of thinking was that if you took away $200 for laser grips, it meant paying about $799 for the pistol itself which I thought made sense. :dunno:

Oh yes, and I weighed it on the kitchen scale and it comes in at 27.25 oz without mag, and 29.5 with empty mag. :)

Assuming the pistol is in good operating conditions, that is a very good deal, actually a great deal. Kimber was not doing quite as much volume back then and their QC problems have risen considerably since the Series II's have been in production. There was even an ill fated attempt to switch to external extractors, which thankfully Kimber has abandoned.

12-12-2009, 18:45
Thanks for all the comments.

This is replacing a Glock 26 for everyday carry. Just wanted a larger caliber and always wanted a 1911. I know glocks have their own safeties, but I was never able to get comfortable with CCW'ing with a chambered glock. Almost got to the point of putting a thumb safety on my glock, but decided to just switch platforms instead.

So, back to magazines, what would be the best brand 7rd magazine to put in this to remain reliable and to keep a flush fit in the grip?

12-12-2009, 22:29
The Series 1, or pre series II is a much better gun than the series II!!

The difference is no Swartz safety and much better build quality.

You did GOOD!!!!

Remember if you have feed problems first try a Colt mag. If that doesn't clear it up then get a Wolff spring specifically for the Kimber 4 inchers. Last resort try a Wilson Combat mag. I almost guaranty that it will work fine. If not the remedies above will take care of issues.

Take this for what it is worth;
I hate Kimbers. New Kimbers that is. But I'd own that gun in a heartbeat, especially with the Crimson trace Grips.

12-13-2009, 22:35

I think the Spatan is the best enhanced 1911 in the $650 range.

I am looking at this one myself for my first 1911, but dont mind spending a little more if necessary. What would SW 1911, DW valor, DW pointman, SA TRP or even a STI trojan offer over the spartan(if any).

12-15-2009, 01:20
I am looking to get my first 1911. Looking for something in the $600-900 range. I have been looking hard at the SW 1911's,and held a DK model at a gunshop and it was a better fit and finish than had originally thought. The feedback on SW has been good on this forum. What does the Doug Koenig model offer over the standard model. I know it had an upgraded mag well and squared trigger, but what about the other internals. I can beat all the prices on gunbroker for on the DK model.

I also have this little thought that I should get the STI spartan and add/build some upgraded parts later...what do you experienced guys think? How close is the STI spartan to the SW, and what does the DK model add to the equation besides looking great :supergrin:. I have searched this forum through and through and have come down to these models.

12-15-2009, 02:58
Tough question. I like the STI Spartan a lot, but I've also been looking at the S&W1911 Compact ES with the Scandium frame.

12-15-2009, 07:25
To each his own, I carry a SW 1911PD daily and in my experience, the S&W's are just not really particular to what they are fed and seem to function with a variety of aftermarket mags. Mine likes ACT, Wilson, Chip Mc and Nighthawk mags just fine. Never hiccuped except with 45+P and a recoil spring change fixed that as well.

The DK has a flat trigger which takes some getting used to "for me anyways" but is a really good shooter. Had one in 45. Wish I still did. The S&W will take most aftermarket access. such as mainspring housings, guide rods, triggers etc. just as the STI and it has a lifetime warranty.

Only shot STI's a few times, likes them, but not as much as my Smith's

Ghost Tracker
12-15-2009, 10:45
It's currently the "Golden Age" of 1911 offerings. Quality control & the amazing tolerances made possible by modern CNC equipment (tighter, slicker, faster, cheaper) have not only given us more GREAT options but have required the serious 1911 manufacturers to become & stay competitive with each other. S&W and STI are perfect examples. Pick your poison. You're gonna' find opinions on both sides of the fence, but none that say you've made a terrible choice! I like S&W better. But ONLY because I've had such (complete) satisfaction with past S&W Customer Service. Their professionalism has earned my repeat business. I've had no dealings with STI. But I suspect they're every bit a good.

12-15-2009, 11:20
STI it's a real 1911 and you will learn how they work..

The smith has a crappy FP safety and an external extractor.
Except for Gear Gurus gun I have seen it , the Scandium guns shoot nice

I forgot about Smith having the FP safety, the STI for sure:supergrin:

12-15-2009, 16:05
The Spartan has my vote as the best entry level 1911 on the market.

Mayhem like Me
12-15-2009, 17:19
What is the difference in the quality of the internals, beavertail, trigger, barrel etc between the SW and spartan. When comparing the spartan and trojan what upgrades are made to justify the higher price.

Trojan has no MIM fire control parts the Spartan does.

Spartan is on par with the Smith as far as internals the trojan has higher quality internals, hammer, sear Slide stop.

12-15-2009, 18:01
Had both myself. I really like STI and still have my STI Lawman (great 1911), also STI is Texas born & bred and so I am. That being said I have the base S&W model 5" 1911 (108285) and I think it is a much better 1911 than the Spartan I had. The Spartan was solidly built but had two issues which I did not care for.

1. Too tight, I thought my Baer was tight, this thing made it look like a WWII production gun! Maybe not that much difference but the Spartan was too tight for my liking.
2. Thumb safety snapped right in half during use. Not a huge deal but it was not really under any excess stress when it occurred.

The Spartan is as stated not a true STI in reality but still a very nice 1911, I just prefer the S&W. I am not really concerned about the EE as it works perfectly, S&W did it right on the EE. The FPS does not bother me either.

Not sure if you could go wrong with either but I vote S&W.

12-15-2009, 18:14
Both are good 1911s.

12-15-2009, 18:37
Why not get a Colt Series 70 Reproduction for $999 ? They are beautiful pistols.

12-15-2009, 23:49
If the quality of the internals are close between the SW and Spartan, which would have the better slide to frame fit and serve best as a base model for future upgrades. Are the SW/STI slides and frames casted or forged? DO either of these actually serve better than say a less expensive SA mil spec as a base for future upgrades?

12-16-2009, 00:04
Never used a flat trigger before, I prefer a solid short trigger in my 1911s but I would love to try the flat trigger someday. Do you like it better than a standard trigger? As in will you switch out you standard triggers for the flat in your other 1911s?

For me, the flat trigger helps me get the pad of my finger on the trigger more consistantly. I don't have to think about it like I do with the other 1911 I have (Para GI).

Note: I am a long time rifle/shotgun shooter and I have just gotten the pistol bug since I got my CHL, so I'm a noobie at all of the 1911 pistol stuff. :dunno:

12-16-2009, 00:11
I'm pretty certain this mainspring housing is metal. It is a bit too rough for sure. I've had a few other folks check it out and they agree that it's pretty sharp.

I'm looking at alternates now.

If it is metal then it is stainless steel. That is a good thing as it is metal and is a good part. You can use a file on that too to knock off the tips of the checkering. Start off with one draw stroke at a time and test to your preference.

Mayhem like Me
12-16-2009, 08:33
STI spartan = cast

S&W = Forged

12-16-2009, 08:37
If it is metal then it is stainless steel. That is a good thing as it is metal and is a good part. You can use a file on that too to knock off the tips of the checkering. Start off with one draw stroke at a time and test to your preference.

I may very well try this first before jumping to replace it. It's mainly at the very bottom near the butt of the gun that is at issue due to the shortness of the grip it is digging into my palm.

12-20-2009, 22:05
Well.I HAD a S&W sku 108284, but had to sell it for some reason. It was the best 1911 I've ever had or even shot. I am sick now, cant replace it for what I had in the first one. The best one, I say, out of about 25 or so 1911s, including several Gold Cups.

12-21-2009, 09:28
Don't believe what you read, believe what you see Pick up a Spartan and look at the hammer the mold line is visible.

Just spoke to Jay Dunlap at STI and the fire control parts are EDM wire cut forgings. So the record is straight.

12-21-2009, 12:56
Someone told me that I should go ahead and order a new recoil and FP spring when I bought it. Maybe the recoil spring is the issue. I have no clue how many rounds had been fired in this when I purchased it, so I don't have a good measure for life cycle unless I start my own by replacing the springs.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

That would be me about replacing the recoil spring with the correct Wolff spring. It is the first thing I used to do when getting one. It is the first thing I ever tried when there were issues with the 4 inch Kimbers and it fixed 95 percent of the feed issues.

12-21-2009, 15:10
That would be me about replacing the recoil spring with the correct Wolff spring. It is the first thing I used to do when getting one. It is the first thing I ever tried when there were issues with the 4 inch Kimbers and it fixed 95 percent of the feed issues.

So it was back on page 3. :)

I went to check out the wolff spring site and see that they have normal 22lb replacements as well as XP replacements at 23 or 24lbs. Same thing for the firing pin springs, normal power plus XP and XXP. Any idea on which is the recommended to replace with on the 4" kimber?

I am wanting to just pickup a spring replacement kit for it when I order a new recoil spring, that way the firing pin gets a newer spring as well.


12-21-2009, 22:23
I would buy this... I did. and would for sure buy it again! This is my curent and last off duty. I have had and tried everything else in the past... Now nothing but springfield.
OUTSTANDING Customer Service! and a quality product.
24 oz 3in with a rail... chip 7 rd mags for 8 rounds, shoots GREAT and less felt recoil than
my xd-m 40 Duty Gun
The emp in anything other than a nine weighs a ton more.
The emp 40 weighs more than my 4in champion lightweght as 31 oz and as for kimber quality... well :(
I need to say no more.
you cant go wrong and there are a couple on here in the firearms for sale fourms. 1 with a rail and one without at a great price

12-23-2009, 14:43
If this is so and STI is misrepresenting this, it is a serious issue. Owning a Spartan, as I quess you realized, I will get an answer from them in writing.
I'll post the response.

This is the reponse I got from STI. It's good enough for me. I like my Spartan and the parkerizing is easy to care for.

Frank<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
The hammer is wire EDM cut out of solid steel. I have had this confirmed by the sales manager here. The steel material is machined on mills to the correct dimensions and then go through the EDM process. <o:p></o:p>
From there it goes for polishing and dressing of the hooks. These are not castings.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
As a company policy STI and its employees do not participate in online discussions. I will look at the thread but I cannot participate.<o:p></o:p>
Best regards<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
<?xml:namespace prefix = ns0 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><ns0:PersonName>Jay Dunlap
</ns0:PersonName>Sales Accounts Supervisor
STI International Inc.
114 Halmar Cove
<?xml:namespace prefix = w ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" /><w:sdtPr></w:sdtPr><ns0:City>Georgetown</ns0:City>, <w:sdtPr></w:sdtPr><ns0:State>TX</ns0:State> 78628

12-23-2009, 17:03
I had an S&W Stainless 1911 and it was great. It looked real nice and worked.

Now future wise, I will only go with internal extractor type design. I didnt mind the firing pin safety since most other modern pistols have them. In fact I figured it was a good thing. Some say it hurts your trigger pull by half a pound or something like that which I would never notice.

From what that article says though that Spartan sounds like a good piece and I probably would sport one. The only thing I dont like about my Springfield is the use of MIM parts.

12-28-2009, 23:43
So here is what I have been thinking....I just bought a RIA that I really like and am planning on doing a few mods to...but the wife and I were talking and with our tax return this year (unless Obama swipes that from me too) we are each going to get ourself something spendy we have had our eyes on.

I have a bunch of .40s&w that I have been collecting throughout my time on my department, and our armorer is much more willing to shell out boxes of 40 than 45, SO, I am thinking I might like to pick up a government or commander in .40.

I am looking for input, experience, advice and options if anyone has some. I would like to keep the price at or under $1000 if possible. I have done zero research on this, figured I would come here first.


12-29-2009, 07:01
STI Trojan or Ranger II will be $999

12-29-2009, 07:13
At that price point, I think STI is the choice.

Or, very close to it is the 40 cal EMP - but that is a much smaller gun

12-29-2009, 10:01
I found this Colt in .40 for alot less than 1000 bucks....

12-29-2009, 13:12
It's not quite under a thousand dollars, but very close; in my will-buy plans is a Springfield EMP .40.

12-31-2009, 22:45
Hello, I have finally decided to pick up a 1911. never had one, never shot one, so don't know much about them. I am looking for it to be used as just a shooter as i already have a good ccw. i am looking to spend no more than around $700-$800 and really just want some good choices to look at.

thanks for any input.

12-31-2009, 22:58

12-31-2009, 23:39
You get alot for the money with this one. I like it more than anything else in that range.

01-01-2010, 00:26
I actually like the Kimber Custom II or Smith & Wesson SW1911 in that range.

Brian Brazier
01-01-2010, 08:23
Depends on what you like, personally I don't care for front cocking serrations and large beaver tails, so I would suggest the Springfield Mil-Spec, they run around $600

01-01-2010, 10:22
I'm with BAC. A kimber Custom II can be had for $699. Hard to beat at that price for a starter 1911. Already has your most popular mods straight from the factory. Springfield makes a nice gun too.

01-01-2010, 11:41
I definately recomend a Kimber. The Custom II or a Classic.

Jim S.
01-01-2010, 12:48
Hey bac, is the Smith a true 1911 internally?
Looks like a nice gun. I am partial to 1911's that use the true 1911 parts and are completely interchangable with the internals.

01-08-2010, 12:00
Disclaimor: I don't know if wife will approve a 1911 purchase with our tax return this Spring or not. (If she's reading this, she may recall that a 1911 was the last gun we had talked about purchasing, but have not had the opportunity to do so, yet). But if she does allow such a purchase :rofl:

What fullsize 1911 would you suggest for around $850 or less?

This will be my only 1911, ever. I've already got:
-- Thompson Contender 7-30 waters (deer and 100yard target)
-- Dan Wesson .44mag revolver (deer and bowling pins)
-- Beretta 92 9mm (target and woods carry)
-- Glock 26 9mm (carry)
-- S&W 642 .38 (carry)
-- Walther PPk .380 (carry)
-- S&W 2206 .22LR (squirrels and target)
-- Off-brand colt-style single action .22LR revolver (plinking)

I don't have much of a use for a 1911, other than to have one. Maybe target (non-competitive, for fun). Maybe bowling pins (informal occassional fun shoots). Maybe woods carry. Maybe just to have and appreciate.

At first I didn't think it mattered what brand. Now I'm thinking maybe I'd like to have a Colt, just to have one. But, in the end, it probably won't matter so much what brand.

I will not modify it later. I'm just not that kind of person. Other than putting a scope on a rifle, I don't modify my guns. The 1911 will definitely be left unscoped. I won't change triggers, nor safties, nor sights, nor grips, nor anything else.

I appreciate the history of the 1911 use in WWII. But I'm not opposed to having better sights, or other improvements made over the years.

Jams or other malfunctions won't be appreciated much at all. I'd prefer it was reliable.

I've only shot a 1911 a couple times. I've shot them fine. The idea of the grip safety mentally bugs me (because I don't want it digging into the web of my hand, and don't want a gun to fail if not gripped just right), but doesn't seem to be a real issue. My hands are average size.

What is the difference between the 70's series? 80's series? 1991 series?


01-08-2010, 12:03
For $850?

-Colt Series 70 re-issue
-Springfield Loaded

01-08-2010, 12:08
My choices for $850 or less:

STI Spartan
Springfield Armory Mil-Spec
ParaOrdnance GI
Colt 70-series

Your grip safety concern is not a concern. If you hold the pistol by the grip, the way it is meant to, it works.

The main difference between the 70-series and 80-series is additional safety. Read the attached; it articulates it better than I.

01-08-2010, 12:20
I would suggest a colt new agent, it would be good for carry.:cool: Im been looking to buy one for awhile now. It runs about $900. My finance department[my wife] has not approved the purchase. Good luck!

01-08-2010, 12:40
I guess it might help us narrow it down if you have a sense of whether you want a full size 1911 or something smaller and perhaps more of a CCW (if you would ever decide to go that way).

I have feeling that others (including me) would suggest a a full size 1911 if it was going to be your one and only.

01-08-2010, 12:52
I guess it might help us narrow it down if you have a sense of whether you want a full size 1911 or something smaller and perhaps more of a CCW (if you would ever decide to go that way).

I have feeling that others (including me) would suggest a a full size 1911 if it was going to be your one and only.

Sorry, I forgot to say.

Fullsize is what I was thinking of. I'm wasn't thinking about a carry gun, because I've already got those bases covered.

01-08-2010, 13:32
Just gotta throw this in there...ya know, you CAN use full-size for CCW, too.

I can try it after I get one, and see if I like it, but I just wasn't thinking about that as a primary reason.

A 1911 is a gun that I want, but I don't need. Maybe after I get one I'll decide I need it :)

Brian Brazier
01-08-2010, 14:16
If your like me and you hate front cocking serrations, the Springfield Mil Spec, S&W 108285, Para GI Expert, or a Colt Series 70 repro (good luck finding one) is your best bet. If you like the large beavertails and front cocking serrations the Springfield Loaded, Kimber Custom II, or STI Spartan would all be good choices.

01-08-2010, 14:27
What's the difference between the Springfield GI and the Springfield Mil Spec.

I could search and search, but one of you knows if off the top of your head, and is just looking for an excuse to educate a newbie. :)

Brian Brazier
01-08-2010, 14:32
Mil Spec has a lowered and flared ejection port, beveled magazine well, taller 3 dot sights, and forward angled cocking serrations. The GI is a great gun, I want one still, but the Mil Spec is a better gun IMO, the sights and other changes are worth the extra bit of money, unless a WWII style gun is what you want, then the GI is a better choice.

01-08-2010, 14:55
Keep in mind allot of dealers label the GI model Mil Spec, and cannot tell the difference, so when you look for one be sure the model # is correct

Thank you Brian, You are dead on. My gun I got yesterday was labeled a Mil-Spec when it is a GI.
It was priced at $600 but I got it for $535.

01-08-2010, 15:04
Alright, I'm putting my order in to my wife. I really need a 1911.

It will be my last gun. She can still get a full-size .357 revolver if she wants one, but that's up to her. She can also get a .30-30 lever action, if she wants one. I'm getting a 1911. And then I will be done. I don't need anymore guns :)

After the 1911, all future gun purchases will only be for my wife or for my son.

01-08-2010, 17:55
A merging of common threads this is.

01-08-2010, 21:24
under 1k? DW cbob or PM7

01-09-2010, 19:20
My choice would be a Colt government model . They have been making them for almost 100 years. YES they have had their problems but they make a quality product now. OVERTHEHILLGUY

01-09-2010, 20:33
I have a Colt XSE and love it. Has pretty much all the bells and whistles of a custom gun. Really accurate and reliable too. I've seen them priced the same as some Kimbers, custom II I think.

walkin' trails
01-09-2010, 20:43
You probably can't go wrong with one of the lesser priced Springfields.

Back in the mid 1990s, I bought my first 1911, a bare bones Springfield similar in appearance to the Colt 1991A1. I didn't realize that it had an alloy frame until I got passed the useless CA 15-day waiting period and got it home (my previous experience with 1911s was with US Army issued Remington Rands). That first Springfield shot everything I put thru it, including my own crappy reloads, without a hint of a malfunction. Like an idiot, the gun wasn't sexy enough and I sold it. I decided to buy a Colt Commander Stainless Enhanced for an off-duty carry gun. That one would not go thru a magazine - any magazine without at least two feeding failures. I frustratingly ran probably 1000 rounds thru it but it never worked out the bugs. Anyway, I didn't have the money to send it off to have someone work it over and property enhance it, so like an idiot, I traded it.....

01-09-2010, 23:09
Springfield or a Kimber.

01-09-2010, 23:29
I'm partial to Colts and if later on you want to build up a custom gun, they provide a good base platform for modification.

01-09-2010, 23:36
what size barrel are you looking for. I know some people believe in only 1 size 1911, but I spent 6 hours at 4 different gun shops this past week looking at 1911s. I looked at sig, springfield, s&w, kimber, wilson, sti, taurus, colt, and a couple of knockoffs. Each one felt a little better or worse in my hand. You should definately try some on. My determining factors were which one fit and which one would hold its value. Kimber came out on top after 6 hours. The wilson was nice, but the price tag made my eyes water.

01-10-2010, 00:15
I need some legitimate input from those Glock Talkers out there who have actually put a lot of rounds through a 1911 and can recommend one for CCW carry meeting the following minimal criteria:

1. .45 caliber;
2. 7+ round magazine capacity;
3. 4 1/4" barrel;
4. White dot fixed sights (rear and front) or night sights;
5. Proven reliability;
6. Around $1,000.

I am currently carrying a Glock 23 and have several full-size Colt's and an old Remington Rand. All of these are excellent weapons and have proven their reliability, I just have the jones for a new CCW 1911. I wish I could afford a Wilson Combat or similar higher priced model but I can't afford it right now. My Glock works fine and has been completely reliable, I just want to carry a 1911.

Thanks for everyone's input.


Three choices immediately come to mind:

1. Smith & Wesson 1911PD Gunsight Edition;
2. Colt Lightweight Commander (the new series);
3. Kimber Pro Carry CDP

Each of these can be obtained for around or under $1,000.

01-10-2010, 00:56
springfield Compact 1911? Think you can find them used for about 600-700

01-10-2010, 02:15
S&W SW1911 [#108283 or 108310]

01-10-2010, 02:39
I like your first two candidates pretty well.

01-10-2010, 07:55
if you can find one, a Dan Wesson C-Bob

01-10-2010, 08:42
if you can find one, a Dan Wesson C-Bob
Buds Gunshop still had some the other day for $999.00.They show as being out of stock unless you click on the pic.

01-10-2010, 10:14
In stock and Ready to Ship!!! Order Now!!!

We have received a small shipment of Dan Wesson Bobtails. They are the 45acp version, and they are ready to ship. Please call us to place order or order on the internet.

New In Box. Part Number:01912


Type: Pistol
Action: Single
Caliber: 45 ACP
Barrel Length: 4.25"
Capacity: 7 + 1
Safety: Beavertail / Thumb
Grips: Exotic Cocobolo Double Diamond
Sights: Fixed Night Sights
Weight: 34 oz
Finish: Brushed Stainless Steel
Buds Item Number: 17999

<CENTER><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="94%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=main width="90%">The Classic Bobtail is a 4.25" series 70 style commander sized 1911 featuring top quality investment, cast stainless steel frame and forged stainless steel slide. The Bobtail features top quality aftermarket parts from the best names in the industry. Fitted Ed Brown Bobtail mainspring housing. 20 LPI machine checkered front strap. Beveled magwell. All sharp edges have been gently dehorned by hand. Lowered and flared ejection port for reliable function. Hand polished feed ramp and barrel throating for reliable feeding


01-10-2010, 12:40
i also vote for the cbob. bud's out at this moment, however

01-10-2010, 13:56
I just bought a Kimber Pro TLE yesterday. Workmanship seems to be very good. I won't get a chance to shoot it till next weekend though.

01-10-2010, 14:20
Kimber Stainless Pro Carry II w/night sights.

01-10-2010, 15:32
I bought a Kimber Pro Carry II in stainless recently and really like it. Nice shooter. It only had 500-600 rounds through it.

01-10-2010, 17:18
another vote for Dan Wesson CBOB - mine was $989 shipped

01-10-2010, 18:42
I can't imagine one would want to give too much thought to other than a CBOB, in this case.

01-10-2010, 18:57

01-10-2010, 19:02
Been looking at that group myself.

This was at the dealers 2 days ago:

Pretty impressive fit & function!!!!

01-10-2010, 20:29

01-10-2010, 21:31
Dan Wesson CCO if you're not stuck on the budget too much.
They can be had for $1295.

CBOB would be good also.

01-11-2010, 09:22
I would like a longer barrel but i love short barrel guns for some reason. and i am not locked in to that price range. i can do a little more or less doesn't really matter.

what size barrel are you looking for. I know some people believe in only 1 size 1911, but I spent 6 hours at 4 different gun shops this past week looking at 1911s. I looked at sig, springfield, s&w, kimber, wilson, sti, taurus, colt, and a couple of knockoffs. Each one felt a little better or worse in my hand. You should definately try some on. My determining factors were which one fit and which one would hold its value. Kimber came out on top after 6 hours. The wilson was nice, but the price tag made my eyes water.

01-11-2010, 09:47
STI Ranger II

01-11-2010, 10:02
If you have the means and patience I would save up another $800.00 and get a Les Baer TRS, this is a pistol that you will keep forever and love every minute of it, that is if you do not mind the 5 inch barrel I really see no difference in concealing it and my commanders, but to meet your list I would go with the Dan Wesson CBOB if you can find one

01-11-2010, 11:37
A merging of common threads this is.

No it is not. It is essentially the killing of my thread, by attaching it to a different thread.

My specs were:
-- $850
-- No modifications EVER to the gun, meaning I'm not customizing later
-- Government size
-- Want it to run reliable, no jams


I've found out the Springfield has a key lock. Guess that takes it off my list. Seems a silly thing to add to a gun, and I don't want to endorse that idea.

Any other guns out there that don't have the key lock, but are $850 or less?

Maybe I'll look more closely at the Colt. Looks like the 1991 could be had in my price range. Does it have a key lock? But I kinda like the look of the arched grip. Maybe the 70 series that has it is close enough in price.

Brian Brazier
01-11-2010, 12:28
If you are going to replace the mainspring housing on a Mil Spec with a flat one, it really doesn't matter if it has the ILS lock, that is not a reason to overlook Springfield.

01-11-2010, 12:33
If you are going to replace the mainspring housing on a Mil Spec with a flat one, it really doesn't matter if it has the ILS lock, that is not a reason to overlook Springfield.

But I'm not going to make any modifications.

I never modified any of my guns, other than adding scopes or filing a plastic sight a little wider or sanding a rough edge.

Brian Brazier
01-11-2010, 12:37
Still it is not a good reason to overlook Springfield, I would rather have a series 70 1911 with a ILS lock than a series 80 with a firing pin lock, the ILS is an easy swap and really doesn't affect the gun.

01-11-2010, 13:13
I have a Loaded Springfield and enjoy it besides a couple issues with finish and tritium vial shooting out. The ILS mainspring lock doesn't get in the way. I used it once just to see what it did and haven't used it since... Can't find both keys either, not looking too hard. I'm still saving for a Smith and Alexander one, but can't justify the $$$. Keep toying with the idea of making my Loaded into a TRP someday...

Mayhem like Me
01-11-2010, 14:49
CBOB FTW... best sub 1000 1911 I have seen

01-11-2010, 23:10
PT1911 Stainless, $630 shipped.
Lots of extras included in basic package, added the Pachmyers myself.
Replaced the ambi-safety with an STI left hand safety.
So far, not a hiccup in 1000 rds.

Brian Brazier
01-11-2010, 23:24
PT1911 Stainless, $630 shipped.
Lots of extras included in basic package, added the Pachmyers myself.
Replaced the ambi-safety with an STI left hand safety.
So far, not a hiccup in 1000 rds.

In awnser to your signature, he would roll over in his grave if he saw what Taurus was doing to his design

01-12-2010, 20:48
I don't know man, I just can't get into taurus'. I'm sure there quality has come a long way but I jes kant do it kaptan!

01-12-2010, 20:54
My Springfield GI has been fine, and my Taurus has been fine for a while now. Sure they aren't custom pieces, but both shoot straight and I trust either one for my CCW gun every day.

01-15-2010, 04:14
Today I picked up professionally tuned Norinco 1911.
Slightly changed from the original configuration (Pachmayr grips, Wolff recoil spring and new grip safety).
I paid $500 with shipping and taxes.
No MIM parts, forged steel, no frills...that's what I like.
Pictures tomorrow :supergrin:

01-15-2010, 11:31
Here we go...

01-15-2010, 12:16
I would opt for the pre-CZ Dan Wesson Pointman or a lightly used Springfield Trophy Match. Both have been extremely reliable and accurate and feed the 185 gr. LSWC reloads.

01-16-2010, 01:12
Dewd,ya got a great pistol right there.If you decide ta build a custom that is a great way ta start.'08.

01-16-2010, 03:36
STI Ranger II I love mine

01-16-2010, 07:36
Don't overlook a Para Ordnance GI Expert. Comes in Blued or Stainless steel. No frills, no FCS. I own the blued version.

01-18-2010, 14:55
Well, I don't know what the best 1911 for under $850 is, but I can say...

I just bought a Taurus PT 1911 ALR

$799 for a package including 4 8-round mags and a kydex paddle holster designed to fit the rail. This an aluminum rail gun. 5" barrel. 33oz. The price won't seem like a great deal to most of you, but you have to consider it was bought within NYS and includes the extra mags and the holster.

I'll write up a range review in a couple weeks. But for now, the thing that most attracted me to it was how it felt in my hand. I loved the checkering front and back of the grip, and on the grip panels. I loved the beavertail, and how the 3 dot sights just ligned up nicely when I pointed the gun. I also loved the light trigger pull. I also love the overall reduced weight, and increased balance of the gun.

I decided to not worry much about the ILS. I've read that the Taurus hammer (where the lock is) can be replaced. I don't plan on replacing it, but nice to know it can be (based on what I've read, since I don't have any first hand knowledge about it).

I wasn't looking for a rail, but as soon as it was in my hand, and I liked how the gun felt, I started thinking of what I could put on that rail. And instantly figured, hey, let's get the rail :)

As far as brand name (Taurus). Man, I read up one side and down the other side of the internet. All brands, every single one of them (Colt, Kimber, Springfield, etc), has people posting their bad experiences with lemons. Seems it is just a crap shoot. So figured I take my chances, like you do with any gun, as far as quality and reliability.
I wasn't specifically

01-18-2010, 17:44
Buy a Colt or Norinco, all the rest is MIM or cast P.I. junk.
Here's my Norchinko.

M1A Shooter
01-18-2010, 17:48
norinco makes some decent inexpensive guns. their M14s is not a bad shooter either but the bolt should be hardened properly over time if you shoot it alot.