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Buying my first 1911

11291 Views 57 Replies 52 Participants Last post by  Smithkowitz
I am looking to buy a 1911. I have owned a sig 1911 for a short period of time, however it was sent back to sig and replaced with a rifle due to some pretty bad QC issues. So this time around I figured I'd join the forum and get the necessary information before spending a bunch of money.

I would like to spend less than $2k and preferably closer to $1500. I would like a full sized 1911, that will be used for Home defense and range. I've been able to find a few Dan Wesson's online that have gotten my attention, but I have never been able to handle one. any recommendations on other brands or specific 1911's that are made with quality parts and fitting?

So to start I should tell you guys what I already have. I have 3 Sig Sauers, I have a p220 match elite 10mm, a p220 in 45, a p229 stainless elite in 40. I think sig makes amazing products. With that being said, when I was shopping for my 1911 about a year ago I went with their "top of the line" 1911, The sig sauer 1911 Max in 45. Upon receiving the pistol it had an EXTREMELY loose slide to frame fit, it basically rattled. The rear sight was loose and would also rattle. The cocking serrations had horrible machining marks. Considering it cost me about $1400 I was pretty disappointed. I'm still a huge Sig fan, but since I had a bad experience with their 1911 line I wanted to explore other options.

In response to some of your posts, I already have a 10mm which I believe is hard to beat (and expensive to shoot), I'd prefer to stick to a 45 maybe even a 9mm. So I don't want a 10mm 1911.

I am open to target oriented 1911's as well considering I have 3 sigs that can be used for home defense. I like the idea of the les Baer, as well as many of the other suggestions I've read.
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To the OP's basic question and experience:

With respect, if it's (a) your first 1911, (b) you had issues with a SIG, and (c) money is an issue, you might consider a well built basic USGI spec 1911A1. It's what many of us started with.

Simple is not a bad thing; Jeff Cooper wasn't a big fan of extended safeties, huge beaver tail safeties, fancy slide work etc. Ted Yost (running 'smithing at Gunsite at the time) felt the same way. Good sights are the main thing you need, assuming reliability. Worth spending money on night sights if it's a defensive gun.

Lots of good choices for under $1k; several are mentioned above. Personally I added a basic M1911A1 ATI .45 to my modest collection a few years ago, for less than $500 at my local gun shop (an institution worth supporting whenever I can). It's been an excellent shooter. In fact the ATI thumb safety seats better than the one on my late model Series 80 Colt. The Colt safety hits the frame on overtravel.

The 1911 is a great sidearm but not everyone's cup of tea. Going simple lets you try one without spending more than a good hunting rifle costs. Plus GI spec parts make it easy and economic to maintain and even customize once you decide what you need and like.

The main thing is to get that first 1911! Happy shooting!

De Oppresso Liber.
 

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go to a gun show

I am looking to buy a 1911. I have owned a sig 1911 for a short period of time, however it was sent back to sig and replaced with a rifle due to some pretty bad QC issues. So this time around I figured I'd join the forum and get the necessary information before spending a bunch of money.

I would like to spend less than $2k and preferably closer to $1500. I would like a full sized 1911, that will be used for Home defense and range. I've been able to find a few Dan Wesson's online that have gotten my attention, but I have never been able to handle one. any recommendations on other brands or specific 1911's that are made with quality parts and fitting?
Go to a gun show where you can handle a bunch of different makes and models. Don't be like me and fall in love with something you can't find anywhere and was beyond my budget.
 

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In my opinion Colt is the way to go. I own 3 Colt 1911's and love them! I've held and felt the action on Springfield and Kimber, which some would say lead the pack, but I do not like the looks and feel as compared to Colt, yet, I've never shot them. I'm old school when it comes to guns and buying the original just makes sense to me. Colt has been manufacturing 1911's longer than any other company so that in and of itself should speak volumes. You can buy a nice one, new in the box, for under $1000. Take the extra $500 you were planning on spending and buy ammo and range fees. You won't be disappointed with Colt. Good Luck!
 

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The two most satisfying .45s were , S/A stainless trophy match ( or whatever it is called now ) with a wilson cone barrel (no bushing ) and a stock SIG 220 . Unless you reload you will never squeeze the best accuracy out of either .

The 220 is best to carry / quicker to fire ,no grip or thumb safeties to slow you . like a glock , in the dark , wrong hand ,upside down , still fires .
 

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My 2 cents

I have three Colts, two of them military issue rebuilt and furnished by a great pistolsmith. I also have had three Springfields, new in the box. I shoot just as well with my Springfields as I do with the others and I can hang in there with most. The Springfield Range officer is all you need if you are not a super everyday shooter. Accurate enough for target or CCW and cost is less than $1000.00 most places.
 

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For the price, Dan Wesson is hard to beat for fit and finish. If you're thinking of putting a light on for home defense, the Specialist is a good option. Otherwise I'd suggest a Springfield TRP or MC Operator and use the extra money for ammo.
 

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you will not find better fit or finish under $2000 than dan wesson in a production pistol. One other option is to buy a base gun (colt or springfield would be my choice) and send it to a reputable smith for a full build. You can easily keep it under $2000. Imho, a dan wesson valor in blue or stainless is a hell of a gun at $1500, duty treat finish at $1800 is still good value as well.
+1
 

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For me, I can't justify 2 grand for any pistol!

I currently have 3: a Colts MKIV Series 70, a Springfield Armory Trophy Match, and a Ruger Commander (still waiting on the permit). In all honesty, I am very content with the reliability of the Colts and Springfield. The Springfield is my bullseye gun, and the Colt taught me the virtue of a 1911. I expect no less from the Ruger when it comes home with me.

I can understand that you have set a budget for yourself, but what exactly are you looking for this up to 2 grand 1911 being able to do? You can find many mission capable 1911s for a lot less. The money you save you can put into either ammo or a reloading press so you can hone your skills!
 

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A brand new Les Baer Premier II can be had for less than $1,700 online from very reputable sellers such as Oak Hill guns and Crazy John. A PII isn't for a beginner who just wants something to put bullets downrange, but it's one of the best 1911s you can get NIB for well under $2k.

The Dan Wessons would be a great pick as well. I own two and they are fantastic shooters.

I have 3 Baers with the 1.5 guarantee, also a DW.
The Baers are just amazing!
The other 1911's don't get out of the safe anymore since the first Gear.
The Baer's are just wonderful to handle.
The Baer's are not just pretty toys they make shooting great fun.
Get what you want and shoot it a lot, and have fun!
 

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another 2 cents -- for 1911s I have a Colt, Springfield, and an STI; all are more accurate than I will ever be. But to reduce the effect of my errors, the Dawson Precision CRP STI Trojan is the one I choose. (none of them have rails). I use the Beretta M9 with the crimson trace for home defense.
 

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Hey Michiman,

A few years ago, I faced the same dilemma and after doing some research ended up with Dan Wesson. I purchased PM9 in 9mm, which is more target/competition oriented pistol, nevertheless it is a fantastic pistol extremely accurate and soft shooting. I put several thousands rounds through that gun and besides upgrading grips, installing magwell, and changing recoil spring that gun still runs like a champ. Since you are looking for more defensive gun, you should definitely check Valor and Specialist models. Both guns will fit your budget the only difference is the rail on Specialist. I had some limited experience with Colt M45A1 CQBP and LesBaer Premier pistols and these are fantastic guns. To make your choice a little bit easier here is what you can do, create a list of 1911 pistols that fit your requirements and budget, than do some research online: pricing, availability, warranty, etc; it would be absolutely great if you can handle and shoot them, feel for yourself which of them suit you. Best of luck choosing your 1911 and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Thanks for all the responses. So to start I should tell you guys what I already have. I have 3 Sig Sauers, I have a p220 match elite 10mm, a p220 in 45, a p229 stainless elite in 40. I think sig makes amazing products. With that being said, when I was shopping for my 1911 about a year ago I went with their "top of the line" 1911, The sig sauer 1911 Max in 45. Upon receiving the pistol it had an EXTREMELY loose slide to frame fit, it basically rattled. The rear sight was loose and would also rattle. The cocking serrations had horrible machining marks. Considering it cost me about $1400 I was pretty disappointed. I'm still a huge Sig fan, but since I had a bad experience with their 1911 line I wanted to explore other options.

In response to some of your posts, I already have a 10mm which I believe is hard to beat (and expensive to shoot), I'd prefer to stick to a 45 maybe even a 9mm. So I don't want a 10mm 1911.

I am open to target oriented 1911's as well considering I have 3 sigs that can be used for home defense. I like the idea of the les Baer, as well as many of the other suggestions I've read.

Sorry I have not responded. I will respond to many more posts as soon as I get home and respond off my laptop instead of my phone!
 

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Welcome to the Forum and enjoy your search !!!

I will echo the choir here and say that my Dan Wesson Valor and my Les Baer Premier II are both spectacular and within striking distance of your budget. You will never need to buy another 1911 - though I don't know why one would ever want to stop:) - with either of those. There is a reason that they have been mentioned so often by owners - they work. Good luck.
 

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Dan Wesson Valor for the WIN! You can't do any better in the price range and if you look around on GunBroker you may find a slightly used one for low to mid 1K. A buddy of mine just sold a sweet VBob for $1250 but only to add funds to his Wilson obsession (he got one about 2 months ago and is now selling everything hes got to get another).
 
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