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Old 06-23-2010, 23:03   #1
DRG20
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Best bang for your buck.... literally.

My brother is extremely interested in 1911's mainly because his hands do not cooperate well with glocks.

Anyway, what 1911 do you feel like is the best bang for your buck? I know this is a tough question to answer since there are a million different makers of this type of gun, but are there any brands he should stay away from? Any brands actually worth the extra money?

His plan originally was to buy a springfield GI for around 500+ish and build it up from there. I did a search and they say its not cost effective to build it on your own but the satisfaction is worth the money.

Let me know your thoughts and opinions. Thank you
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Old 06-23-2010, 23:32   #2
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I think spending a little more would be wise. S&W makes a fine 1911 in the $700-$800 range. Kimber Custom II is also in the price range. I would go with one of those myself.

Nothing wrong with the GI but if you are going to buy it planning upgrades then go with a model with the higher dollar upgrades (Sights, safety, ejection port etc) already complete.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:04   #3
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The GI is great, but lacks a lowered and flared ejection port. I know he wants to "build it up". However, if he is going to use it for carry or home defense, I suggest starting with something a little more enhanced. The Springfield Mil-Spec wouldn't be a bad choice, but will cost another $100 or so.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:14   #4
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Milspec > GI IMO. I like the angled RCS.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:43   #5
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Milspec > GI IMO. I like the angled RCS.
Eh, I actually prefer vertical serrations on 1911s without beavertails.

However, the Mil-Spec does have the extra features that make it a better value over the GI, in my opinion.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:57   #6
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If he's going to build on it, then I'd say the Mil Spec, but if he just wants a good 1911 for the money, Rock Island is hard to beat in my book. The Tactical model is very affordable and has alot of features that the Mil Spec doesn't. Plus it's already dovetailed for a sight upgrade.
http://www.centerfiresystems.com/AC-RI1911TACA.aspx
It's hard to beat that price. I've bought a few from these guys and they charge about $15 S&H. Then add your FFL transfer fee. And you've got quite a bargain. My FFL charges $20, so that gun would run right at $455 OTD. I doubt you find one for much cheaper before tax in a gun shop. Even used.

Last edited by glock2740; 06-24-2010 at 07:03..
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:02   #7
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Depends on what upgrades he's wanting. I have a Mil Spec, and the only mod I've done was to drop in a C&S 4.5lb matched hammer set. If he is going to want better sights and a beavertail, I'd suggest trying to find a nice used Springfield Loaded. I don't see the sense in taking a $500 pistol and doing $300 worth of upgrades to it unless he's flush with cash and never plans on selling it.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:49   #8
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If you want an upgraded 1911 out of the box, I suggest a Kimber Custom II or Smith & Wesson SW1911.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:16   #9
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I think a Kimber Custom II is a good place to start. Everyone will have different results, but all the Kimber Custom's (Various models) that I have handled/shot have been great.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:42   #10
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As Ive said in other threads: If he wants a GI style, get either the Springfield GI or the Mil-spec (I prefer the Mil-spec). If he wants and enhanced model pick out a Springfield Loaded model. Many to choose from. Ive always really liked the looks of the stainless/black model.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:52   #11
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If he wants adjustable sights, the STI Spartan is a great choice. If he wants fixed sights and to build it up, the SA GI or Mil-Spec are great choices. I also would not pass up a used Colt. For a gun that already is tricked out, the STI Trojan 5.0 is hard to beat.
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Old 06-24-2010, 14:52   #12
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Originally Posted by bac1023 View Post
If you want an upgraded 1911 out of the box, I suggest a Kimber Custom II or Smith & Wesson SW1911.
I will second that motion.
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Old 06-24-2010, 17:29   #13
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As a GI owner here is my take.


If the stock Mil Spec sights aren't what he wants, then get a basic gun with a dovetail front sight. You have a lot of options that way in terms of night sights, adjustable sights etc without having to send the slide out to have it milled. You can buy a nice set of sights for just the cost of having the dovetail milled. You can replace the front sight on a staked gun, but the bigger the front sight the heavier it will be and the more likely it is to shoot loose. Plus SA used a bastard size broach, not wide, not narrow so your options are limited.

Unless you have steady hands and already own a Dremel, get the lowered ejection port. I have done my own and it came out fine, but I also used to spend hours a week with a die grinder in my hand working on cutting tools.

Get a gun with a GI recoil spring setup and a barrel with a bushing. One of the best improvements you can make to a 1911 is a fitted bushing. If you want to upgrade to a better barrel later it is easier the closer to GI the gun is.

If I were buying again I would get a Mil Spec in 5". Once I had it I would replace the fire control group and grips, same as I did my GI, because IMHO a 1911 that does not have an excellent trigger just isn't a 1911.
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Old 06-24-2010, 18:39   #14
glock2740
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If you want an upgraded 1911 out of the box, I suggest a Kimber Custom II or Smith & Wesson SW1911.
The Kimber Custom II can be had for a pretty good deal used and really is the ultimate base to build off of.
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Old 06-24-2010, 18:47   #15
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The Kimber Custom II can be had for a pretty good deal used and really is the ultimate base to build off of.
I prefer Colts for custom builds, but I've seen some nice custom Kimbers as well.
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Old 06-24-2010, 19:26   #16
glock2740
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Here's one

1911 Forums


1911 Forums


1911 Forums

It started off as a LNIB used, blued Custom Target II, that I picked up for $600 OTD. Then, I had John Vincent at Hallston Custom up in Slippery Rock, PA work his Bullseye magic on it. Then Ron Phillips flush crowned the barrel and Chris at Metaloy hardchromed it. Shoots as good as any gun I've shot, much less owned. She'll get a magwell soon and then the project will be complete.

Last edited by glock2740; 06-24-2010 at 19:37..
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Old 06-24-2010, 19:56   #17
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another vote for the kimber custom II
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Old 06-24-2010, 19:57   #18
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RIA 5" Tactical.
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Old 06-24-2010, 20:16   #19
bac1023
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Originally Posted by glock2740 View Post
Here's one

1911 Forums


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1911 Forums

It started off as a LNIB used, blued Custom Target II, that I picked up for $600 OTD. Then, I had John Vincent at Hallston Custom up in Slippery Rock, PA work his Bullseye magic on it. Then Ron Phillips flush crowned the barrel and Chris at Metaloy hardchromed it. Shoots as good as any gun I've shot, much less owned. She'll get a magwell soon and then the project will be complete.


Looks great
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Old 06-24-2010, 20:38   #20
glock2740
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RIA 5" Tactical.
Good call. I was very close to having Ron Phillips build up mine. What we had talked about, was, a flush crowned, Kart NM barrel and bushing, new Novak night sights, trigger job, reliability package, 25 lpi checkered frontstrap, new 25 lpi MSH with a magwell and then off to Metaloy for a hardchrome job. Like I said, I haven't lost interest in this project, it's just been put on hold. For now... I talked to him a few weeks ago about a bull barrel for the same project instead of the Kart barrel and bushing. It's a very interesting option. And would make for a truly original custom 1911.
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