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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know nothing about 1911's. Please educate me a little bit.
I would like to purchase a 1911 for my next firearm. I really like modifying things. I may also look for a used one.
When looking at the gun stores there are so many:confused:
What ones are good, what ones aren't.
Since it will probably be my only 1911 I would like to get a good one. Maybe something with some history behind it.
So please make some suggestions. Maybe the top 2 or 3 that people regard as the best ones.
Thanks
 

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Historical- Remington Rand, Colt, Ithica, Springfield, the real one not the new Springfield, Union Switch & Signal. Norweigan Not to be modified in any way.
Semi Historical- Systema Colt Argentine. Probably the finest materials of manufacture of any 1911, made from Sweedish steel. Most are in poor to fair condition and are ripe for the tinkerer or for the full on customisers. Initial costs can be as low as $250 up.
Norinco- these are still to be found at reasonable costs and make excellent custom projects.Forged frame and slide
Philipine 1911's- Armscorp, Charles Daly, High Standard ect. Lower quality but can still be fine weapons and can be massaged by either a good smith or a talented amature with good metal working skills. Forged slide cast frame.
Colt- A cult following surrounds anything Colt. Generally too expensive for a base gun for a custom piece. Quality runs from first rate to downright pitiful. Good customer service makes up for that somewhat. I advise inspecting any Colt in person.
Kimber/ Springfield Arms/ Dan Wesson- Generally excellent pistols, All have first rate customer service. May require some minor tweaking to run right but once they do they work quite well. Forged slide and frame.
Para Ord/Auto Ord- 50/50 on weather you'll get a good one or a complete P.O.S. Forged slide cast frame. Custom makers- Wilson, Les Baer, Nighthawk, STI, Rock River Ect. For the afficianato of 1911's, few compromises and less money than turning a base model to a true custom but expensive from the start.
All 1911's may require up to 500 rds break in, some need more but most need far less. Oh and for the S&W and Sig lovers I do not consider any pistol with an external extractor to be a true 1911 even though they may be fine pistols.
 

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One word.

Colt.

If you want historical, well made, and pretty much THE name attached to the 1911, it's Colt.
 

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One word.

Colt.

If you want historical, well made, and pretty much THE name attached to the 1911, it's Colt.
One more word.

No.

If you want a historical piece and the name attached to the 1911, Colt. If you want a WELL made piece... you are better off looking at some of the better offerings. Colt's production has been sloppy lately. Not worth the price if you ask me unless you just want a "Colt".

Now, a ten year old (Or older Model 70) Colt Hell yea, pick it up. One of the best 1911's around. For all intents and purposes, Colt is slacking in the 1911 business.
 

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It all depends on your budget and it's purpose....I like my Springfield.
 

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If you want a cheap, well functioning 1911 that you'll enjoy, you may want to start with a Rock Island Armory. My friend's got over 20,000 rounds through his with the factory parts, and is still going strong.
 

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You said you like modifying things. If you are wanting to customize yourself, I don't think you will be happy with drop in parts, they fit and look sloppy.Another option is to buy a frame of your choice (SA, Para, etc). Find a good gun smith and pick out the custom parts and options you want. The parts you want factory, you can find free or dirt cheap. Just my .02
 

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Springfield or Kimber - both reputable names & quality guns. The only problem is deciding which one.
 

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and welcome to the wonderful world of 1911's.. everyones favorite brand is the best and the rest are sub par:rolleyes:

if you know what to look for in a 1911, you can get a winner from any brand or manufacturer... even colt... and i love colt, i still think they make some of the best 1911's despite some quality issues, that, if you know what to look for can simply be avoided (imagine that).

Kimber made some bad decisions in their external extractors, SA makes a sound 1911, though i dont particularly care for their magazine choices, and over use of MIM parts (though thats not a big deal at all), Taurus's have problems with their extractors, smith and wesson makes decent 1911s as well, and actually made the external extractor work for all intents and purposes.
STI makes a damn fine 1911, Rock island armory is a good alternative for budget minded people, but dont be suprised if you have to call on their very excellent warranty.

of course if you have the budget, theres wilson combat, les baer, dan wesson etc...

both my colts are great shooters, lightly modified by me, and NO mfg defects what so ever, my defender has had better than 2000 rounds run through it without even changing the factory springs, and my series 80 Combat Commander (2007 model) has been flawless now for pushing 1000+ rounds.

I'm a colt man, and my next 1911 has a 99% chance of being another colt, i've looked at SA's, kimbers, etc etc.. and i just love the colt 1911's.
but i dont have blinders on, i dont claim its the be all end all, and i dont down other 1911's because their not colts. i do not care for taurus, and Para ordanance, these are personal preferences.

find one you like new or used, if you want some tips on what to look for check this out:
Buying a 1911 pistol

If you do decide to buy a colt, check the dust cover where it comes up on either side of the slide, they sometimes mess up the depth of one side (one side is will be thinner), also look for rub marks on the slide from the dust cover... but heres the real shocker.. if you manage to get one, you can send it to colt and they will make it right.. imagine that.
and the other nice thing about colt, in 20 years time, you can pull it out of your safe and sell it for what you paid for it, or more:)

welcome to the 1911 disease.. i doubt you will buy just one:)

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the advice and links. I will do some research.
Thanks
 

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You have to decide if you want history or something to modify, they are not inclusive. Any mods you do to a historical piece renders it a shooter & any value it would have would be tragicly reduced. So if you want a WWII era Colt, Remington, etc. get one & shoot it as is. If you want a shooter to modify, the RIA is a great platform. The basic Springfield is also very good. I just bought a S&W1911PD. Fo rthe money, nicest Commander on the market IMO, good shooter too.
 

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I have a Kimber Pro carry HD II 3000+ rounds without a hickup, I lost a spring during a thorough cleaning and they took care of me, EXCELENT customer service. Its the one on the right :D
 

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I have a Colt that has been modified. History...with modification! Yes...you can have both...LOL.

Seriously, there are several good 1911 makers out there. Kimber and Springfield both make very good guns. I own one of each along with two Colts. Kimber and Springfield have used more modern features and MIM castings to make semi-custom 1911s more affordable and as production line pieces.

Colts? Well, it used to be that you'd buy a Colt 1911 and HAD to dump parts into it to make it feed right all the time. Colt knows about these problems and their newer 1911s are ALOT better in this area. Colt makes a nicely finished pistol that has very few MIM parts and although they sell for a tad more than a Springfield or Kimber, they usually hold their value better on resale. Yes, there is a mystique surrounding the Colt name, but they have been around a very long time and did not build that name on junky guns. Have they made some doggy guns? Sure, but so has Springfield, Kimber, Para and just about every other maker at one time or another.

As long as you buy one of the more proven models from one of the major and long established 1911 makers, its hard to go wrong. Colt, Kimber, Sringfield, Para,...whoever. Pick one, reaserch it and if it fits your needs, you'll probably be happy with it.

I know it seems like many here complain about their 1911s till the cows come home, but the fact remains that buying any new 1911 these days is alot safer bet than it was 10-15 years ago. The chances that you're going to get a good 1911 from a major maker are MUCH better than getting a dog from one of these makers.

So...do your research on features and configurations. Read up on each maker and their reputations and users and buy a 1911. Don't be surprised if you wind up with more than one later on...they're fairly addictive!

For what its worth, my Kimber TLE II has been one fantastic pistol right out of the box. I am very happy with its accuracy and function. I have no brand loyalty on 1911s as I own Colts, a Springer and a Kimber...I buy what appeals to me. My Colts and Springer have also been very good guns.

- Brickboy240
 

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Springfield or Kimber - both reputable names & quality guns. The only problem is deciding which one.
Very good advise.

I like both alot.

I just got a new Kimber Ultra CDP II:mrgreen:

I also really like the loaded springfield:mrgreen:
 

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If you want a cheap, well functioning 1911 that you'll enjoy, you may want to start with a Rock Island Armory. My friend's got over 20,000 rounds through his with the factory parts, and is still going strong.
+1

RIA is about "GI" as you can get...they are well made..quite solid (looser tolerances than alot of these high dollar big name brand firearms have yet still have very good accuracy to them)..the only bad thing I have heard about them is they have a neutered series 80 setup that may not be drop safe.

I personally helped a guy refinish his RIA in black parkerizing and it was a beautiful peace and it didn't break the bank..here..check this out.

1911 45 ACP Handgun Rock Island Part #AC-RI1911
Price: $359.99
 
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