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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm drooling over all sorts of 1911's out there. I'm looking at Kimber, Wilson Combat, Springfield Armory, and more. What I really want to ask is what make/model is good to start with? I want something that is reliable enough for carry and defending the house, but not looking to drop $2500 for my first one.

For a first 1911, what comes to mind with respect to the following?

-- Ease of use
-- Safety
-- Reliability
-- Comfort
-- Customization
-- Value (price/resell)

Thanks!
 

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My first, and so far only, 1911 is a Rock Island Armoury m1911-a1 "gov't model".

Cost me $407 at a Cobb County gunshow a few years back. They are, from what I hear, even less expensive now.

I've never had a single problem with the gun. The magazine that shipped with it sucked, and I replaced it with a couple of Chip McCormick's and they work flawlessly. I also didn't care for the smooth wood grips it came with. Replaced them with some nice diamond-cut checky ones.

I've shot anything from crappy Wolf brand FMJ to Federal Hydrashok's in it. Never a problem.

Here's two links to some VERY large detailed scans of mine:

http://www.asbrand.com/pics/guns/1911a1_ria_45/ria_1911a1_01.jpg

http://www.asbrand.com/pics/guns/1911a1_ria_45/ria_1911a1_02.jpg
 

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I recently purchased a Kimber Tactical II , very nice at about $1050.

Im still only about a year into the gun scene, so I wasn't sure about dropping that kind of cash into a 1911, but the home grown good 'ol Georgia boy I was with pitched a tent when he saw it, so I figured it must be good.

The gun shoots like a dream. Very accurate.

Highly recommend the Kimber. Also a very handsome gun!!
 

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One day I shall buy a Kimber Desert Warrior.
 

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I have a Kimber Ultra CDP and I wish I would have went with something else first.

Maybe a GI Springfield or a Rock Island. Maybe even an older Colt.

Just don't drop 1k on a gun before you know what you're paying for. I'm happy with mine, but I just find myself jonesing for a full-sized gun. I guess my point is to stay away from the botique mini-.45's. You have to pay more to get the reliablity that is inherent with full-sized pistols.

Kimbers are nice but I wouldn't think about shooting Wolf through mine. Mine is probably the most accurate pistol I own, even if it's one of the smallest. Thing is, they are built to such high tolerances you need to use the good stuff to get the expected results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Az, that gun is either simply beautiful or beautifully simple. I like the idea of a grip safety on a 1911, too.

Thanks for the input so far!
 

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Someday!!!!

Rammstein said:
One day I shall buy a Kimber Desert Warrior.
Ramm,
I recently bought a warrior and you will love it. I hope your somday comes soon. You might even give up your Glocks, NOT. It could happen. I would recomend that when you do get one, you ought to replace the Mr. Peanut paddles for some good black rubber tactical ones.
My $.02,
Take care, 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
 

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Doc Holliday said:
I thought that this was too antiquated of a weapon for you and that 8 rounds were not enough for you?
Oh, I'd never trust it to carry it. :D
 

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rajl said:
So you'd just be buying a really expensive safe/range queen?
That is all 1911s are really good for anyways. :)
 

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If we're speaking of a true 1911, John Browning design,

-- Ease of use
-- Safety
-- Reliability
-- Comfort
They're all the same. Stick with the Government Model (5" barrel) or Commander (4-4 1/4") barrel.

-- Customization
Slight differences but really none to speak of.

-- Value (price/resell)
Resale, none to speak of. Depending on how custom, what brand, etc.

Price and value -
Rock Island Armory (RIA) (5" barrel) are running about $390+/- at the shows. I have heard/read only one negative report (the individual is a jerk). They are made in the Phillipines by 'Armscor' (who've been in buisness for decades) for 'TwinPines' (who own the RIA name). If you get milspec you can't go wrong. Customer service by the RIA importer is second to none. RIA's are the least expensive new 1911's around.

(Alternatively, you could by used. Colt, Wilson, Kimber. But most will be more expensive than a new RIA. My used Colts have averaged about $500.)

The only reason I have not bought one (I buy used, private sale) is the paper trail. But I'm weakening.

Springfield Armory is good, but for repair parts you will have to go back to SA. With Colt I just go to Brownell's.

Stick to a milspec model from any of the major manufacturers and you'll get a good, solid gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got a chance to handle the Springfield and RIA at Cheaper Than Dirt yesterday. The low profile sights on the SA GI model didn't excite me, but the mil-spec 1911A1 was nice and that's what I am leaning towards. The RIA 1911A1 was nice as well except for the low profile sights and it was about $100 cheaper.

One concern... neither has a rail to accomodate a tactical light. Realizing that I'm not going to reach for this in the middle of the night until I get really used to using it and will probably move up to a Kimber or something else with a rail when I get officially bit by the 1911 bug.
 

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The 'GI' models popular now are replicas of the military 45's. They were issued to officers and NCO's as sidearms and in my opinion the sights were never ment to be used. If you needed usable sights you used a rifle. Sidearms were for close-in point shooting when the SHTF.

The 'GI' models are the low end of the product line. Stick with the next notch up. Or if you realy like the gun but want high profile sights, they are about $40 and less than an hours work. I just swaped out high profile no dot sights for high profile white dots sights on one of my Colt's. Thats the nice thing about a plain vanilla steel 1911. You are free to tart it up however and with whatever suits you.

**Personal opinion caution!**
All the ambi safeties, rails, beaver tails, and all the other gegaws are popular because of the competition shooters and TV reports showing SWAT teams. None of that stuff is necessary in the real world and some of it is a drawback. I would not want a light attached to a gun pointing out my position. I may have a handheld flashlight but it's going to be used to void tripping over the bodys when the smoke clears.

If I'm going to pick up a gun, at night, in my house it's going to be my 12GA pump with #4 buck loads.
 

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I've got an older stainless Springfield Loaded. It has vexed me, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it. I got into it at a very good price; so, I can afford to spend some money on it to get it running like I want and still not be in too deep.

It had a few sharp edges I had to smooth including the checkering on the grip panels. I had to put in a heavier recoil spring, and I had to fix a problem with the sights. I still need to get the trigger smoothed and creep free. I have shot several other Springers that have none of the problems that have been present in mine.

Personally, I think the Kimber Eclipse line is among the most beautiful firearms on the market.

If you want something that you can buy basic and customize like you want it, look at the Springfield milspec. It should run you somewhere between what the RIA and a Loaded would run you.
 

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If you can find one, go for the Taurus PT-1911. I just bought one, and for the price, $450 to $500 new, you can't beat it. It's got all the extras that most people want on a 1911, but without the price.

If you want a simple, GI clone, you can spend $350 to $400 for a Rock Island Armory and get a very good weapon. For an extra $100, you get so much more with the Taurus that I have to recommend it. You get a bobbed hammer and beaver tail, checkered grips, better sights (Heine straight 8), dovetailed sights (makes upgrading easier), and an ambi-dexterous safety. The thing is also tightly fit, with a clean, crisp, trigger pull. It also feeds anything you put into it. Did I mention the thing is a tack-driver?

Also, the Taurus PT-1911 is the only Taurus weapon I've bought that didn't suck. As viper32 on the forums can attest, with my track record with Taurus products, my having anything nice to say at all should speak volumes.
 
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