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Best bang for the buck

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2017 at 10:25
billyburl2 View Drop Down
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I am looking for a medium frame 1911 in 45 for every day carry/home defence. Looking for recommendations of manufacturers of up to mid-range as far as price goes. Reliability is the key to this search. Thanks in advance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2017 at 13:04
Sgt. D View Drop Down
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1. A good base model to build from if you feel the need to upgrade.

Rock Island Armory 51421 1911 Standard GI 8+1      UPC: 4806015514213    $439.95 Retail Price

https://swfa.com/rock-island-armory-1911-45-acp-full-size-gi-5-quot-8rd.html


2. A good ambi- if you prefer. I got one similar to this (older model 51484) and it is ideal for a split and polish shooter if you are willing to do the work. I changed the grips on mine for a better feel that I prefer. Plan to lap the slide and work the sear just a bit but otherwise a great deal for the $$$$.

Rock Island Armory M1911-A1 FS 45ACP Tactical      UPC 4806015514862          $549.95 Retail Price

https://swfa.com/rock-island-armory-m1911-a1-fs-45acp-tactical.html

Ofcourse if your budget allows Colt, Kimber and the like you can avoid the spilt/polish.

All the ones I've cleaned were solid good performers and that is what compelled me to choose Rock Island. Plus I like to shoot either hand and it fits me well.

Good luck!

Salute!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2017 at 13:53
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I have a Kimber. It's full size, but I wouldn't hesitate to get another one. It is the most accurate pistol I have ever shot, by far. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2017 at 15:41
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Sig 1911 Fastback series is a really nice Commander length pistol at a good price for the fit, finish, and trigger quality you get. Or for a carry 1911 that's a bit more compact, their 1911 Nickel Compact is nice too. I've been really impressed with the slide to frame fit and trigger quality of Sig 1911's. A buddy of mine has a Match Elite, and it's a great shooting pistol!

If your idea of "medium priced" extends into the $1500 - $1800 range (definitely mid-priced compared to custom 1911s), the Dan Wesson Valor has the absolute best trigger I've ever felt on a production (non-custom) 1911, bar none! Fit and finish is superb as well, with no slide play and perfect metal prep and finish with no visible tool marks anywhere! Attention to detail is first-rate. It's better made than some custom 1911's and nipping at the heels of the Ed Brown-class 1911's in that regard. Aesthetically, it's a clean no-frills, understated pistol, which I like. Its "bling" is its exceptional fit and finish beyond what you normally see on "factory" guns.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2017 at 19:55
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The Ruger SR1911 series is a very nice 1911 for the price and better than a number of 1911s that are more expensive. They make both a government and a commander size versions. I don't own one, but it would be one of my first choices for an around $600 1911.

Springfield Armory 1911s are also a good choice and I have several of them. And their Range Office series are good choice as well.

The Dan Wesson 1911s are nice and most people wouldn't need anything any better. But some people I know don't like them for the simple reason they only offer a five year warranty.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2017 at 20:02
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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I have no experience with Rock Island, but Springfield is a solid choice and would be my route if I was looking for a budget gun that had to be reliable.

Why just 1911?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2017 at 20:04
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:


Why just 1911?

Indeed!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2017 at 22:34
Sgt. D View Drop Down
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:


Why just 1911?

Indeed!


Because its a freakin 1911!!!!!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2017 at 08:33
billyburl2 View Drop Down
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Sarge pretty much nailed it. I have always wanted one, but never got around to getting one. The rifles were more important, but now the pistols are talking...

And 1911's are kinda like AR's and Savage rifles, born to tinker with...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2017 at 14:04
w squared View Drop Down
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Originally posted by billyburl2 billyburl2 wrote:



And 1911's are kinda like AR's and Savage rifles, born to tinker with...

Well, and that's kinda the rub, isn't it?

If you are going to invest the time and effort to learn about and tinker with your pistol, then get a 1911, enjoy the process, and never look back. If you want a pistol that you can purchase and run for the next 20 years without swapping parts, tuning, or massaging, then you may want to look at something else.

Before the pro-1911 lynch mob forms and starts howling for my blood, let me share an anecdote from my personal experience.

Y'all have heard of Larry Vickers, right? HE did the 1911 coffee table book? After retiring from Delta Force, he made his living tinkering with and shooting 1911's? Well, I took a pistol course with him in 2016. His commentary on the topic was that a 1911 was a great choice if you were going to learn it inside and out, and invest the time in making sure it was always in top condition. If you want something that you can just pick up and run, he expressed strong support of Glock and H&K products.

By the way....that happens to match my personal experience as well. I love my 1911...but I trust my H&K's far more. They have shrugged off ridiculous amounts of abuse without ever batting an eyelash.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2017 at 14:54
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Good commentary Todd.  I agree with you, but I have near zero experience working on 1911s, but some shooting them and owning different brands.  I have owned 4 Para Ordnance, and could never get them to run well.  3 of them spent quite a bit of time with a gun smith and they were just never reliable.  However they were all smaller Para's.  The bigger one ran better, but still not good enough for me to keep.  It was a double stack .45, I often think it was mag related.  But since there was only 1 brand of mag to choose from I will never know for sure.

I also owned a smaller Springfield and I could never get it to be reliable either, it to spent a bit of time with a gun smith.

I have owned 3 Kimbers.  I still own one, they were all full sized, but one had a 4 inch barrel.  They were all very reliable.  That is until they get very dirty, they they start to have a few issues. 

I have owned a number of Springfield XD models various calibers, sizes etc, and they have all been extremely reliable.  Easy 50,000+ rounds out of them and they just run and run.

Glocks have also been that way with me. 

But all that being said, I still like my Kimber 1911 the best of all the hand guns I own.  It is so comfortable to shoot and it just runs well for me.  The one I still have even has the dreaded external extractor that has never given me a bit of trouble.  It is pushing 20,000 rounds now and still works great for me.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2017 at 15:16
w squared View Drop Down
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

 It was a double stack .45, I often think it was mag related.

Nothing but truth, for ANY firearm fed from a detachable box magazine....especially a double-stack with short, fat cartridges. The best double-stack 1911 mags I have ever seen are actually the H&K's....and shockingly they are quite narrow - almost as narrow as a single stack. Shockingly enough, my double stack .45ACP H&K is as reliable as death and taxes.

Quote I have owned a number of Springfield XD models various calibers, sizes etc, and they have all been extremely reliable.  Easy 50,000+ rounds out of them and they just run and run.

Glocks have also been that way with me.  
I can't speak for the Springers, but I've never had a single issue with any one of my three Glochenschpiels. My H&K's....well even when I ran my P30 for 4000 rounds of remanufactured ammoe without cleaning or lubricating it, I simply could not make it choke. I eventually broke down and cleaned it while admitting my own my inability to force an H&K to fail. "Because I suck & they hate me."

Quote But all that being said, I still like my Kimber 1911 the best of all the hand guns I own. 

JMB knew EXACTLY what he was doing. There is no beating a 1911 trigger. The only handgun that I have ever shot as well as a 1911 is a full-sized HK45.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2017 at 18:33
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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I own probably 10 1911s, have owned 20+, a few thoughts:

1. I have a Kimber Pro Shop pre-series II, it is awesome. I have 2 series II, both needed something to run well.
2. If you want a tinkering gun, get a Springfield, they have great frame/slide fit, the rest can be tinkered with.
3. Do not even consider 1911 for a carry gun unless you plan to commit MUCH time to practice, dry fire and live.
4. My favorite 1911 is an SVI 5" that is quite simply amazing. I've had it so long the extractor has been replaced twice, the tritium is dead, and the whole gun has been refinished twice. It is a plastic frame and no problems with the frame.
5. There is big difference between a quality, well built 1911 and anything else.
6. If you are uncomfortable with a round in the chamber, hammer back, weapon on safe, get something else.
7. Lots of companies have now figured out the 9mm 1911, they too are fun.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2017 at 15:12
Marine24 View Drop Down
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Colt 1911 Commander, Springfield Armory Range Officer Champion and Sig 1911 Carry are all Commander size 1911s  that are most competitive in the below $1000 price range.  None are reliable enough out of the box to use as a dedicated carry weapon in my opinion.  I've owned both the Colt and Sig and have been impressed.  Both needed upgraded magazines with the Wilson Combat 47D or ETM or McCormick Shooting Stars as my favorites.  

Next step was finding ammo that fed reliably through them.  Ball ammo wasn't an issue but some of the more aggressive JHP ammo caused problems in the Colt.  Polishing the feed ramp and throating the barrel helped that problem.  The Sig actually did pretty well and was the most reliable of the bunch running with ETM magazines.

Stepping up to the $1500-1800 price range, Dan Wesson's Valkyrie or Valor Commander models would be my choice.  For me, they are the best production 1911 on the market today.  I've owned the CCO version of the Valkyrie and the full size Valor.  Swapped the magazines on both and found they ran most self-defense ammo without issue.  My preference is Federal 230gr HST ammo.

Above that price point, you are dancing pretty close to the entry models of the semi-custom 1911s from Les Baer.

1911s have come a long way over the past 20 years.  The slopping slide to frame fit and creepy triggers are gone.  The production 1911s listed above are pretty decent but as RC stated, there is a commitment if you plan on carrying it.  Commitment applies whether it is a 1911, Glock or any other handgun.

I've been carrying a 1911 for over 20 years and can't imagine using anything else.  My preference leans towards Wilson Combat and Volkmann with a lot of years required to get to that point from my Kimber TLE.  There are a lot of good choices in the mid-range, however you define it.  Good news is that the reliability, fit and finish gap between the production 1911 and the semi-custom/custom version is not as wide as it used to be.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2017 at 15:23
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Good point on the magazine, I run Wilson exclusively, except in my Nighthawk T3, it runs their mags.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2017 at 16:48
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I run nothing but Wilson Combat 47D or ETMs in my 1911s. Never had an issue with them.

In the $1500 range I would add the Springfield TRP to the list. Mine has been absolutely flawless, never had any issues what so ever.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/10/2017 at 10:35
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I run wilson mags in my Kimber as well. I don't think there is a finer magazine for the money. 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2017 at 07:43
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Sig 1911 Fastback series is a really nice Commander length pistol at a good price for the fit, finish, and trigger quality you get. Or for a carry 1911 that's a bit more compact, their 1911 Nickel Compact is nice too. I've been really impressed with the slide to frame fit and trigger quality of Sig 1911's. A buddy of mine has a Match Elite, and it's a great shooting pistol!

If your idea of "medium priced" extends into the $1500 - $1800 range (definitely mid-priced compared to custom 1911s), the Dan Wesson Valor has the absolute best trigger I've ever felt on a production (non-custom) 1911, bar none! Fit and finish is superb as well, with no slide play and perfect metal prep and finish with no visible tool marks anywhere! Attention to detail is first-rate. It's better made than some custom 1911's and nipping at the heels of the Ed Brown-class 1911's in that regard. Aesthetically, it's a clean no-frills, understated pistol, which I like. Its "bling" is its exceptional fit and finish beyond what you normally see on "factory" guns.


DITTO.... if you want to get one and not tinker, the DW is the best I have handled in that price range. 

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