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It seems to me that from what I read, a 1911 is either good out of the box, or will never be good.

I'm still shoping around for a M1911, the main thing holding me back is that I am not sure what I want in one. I think I may buy a milspec, then after using it for a few years, consider swaping it, or getting a custom built to my specs.

Anyways, onto the subject of this post. While I have looked at 1911s in the shops, I have seen ones with rust on the interior, terrible slide/frame fit, ones with bad finishes, and gouges in the metal. Not to mention the occasional "Frankenstein" pistol.

So, I was reading this forum, and someone made some snide comment that there needs to be a class on buying pistols. So, i though thats a good idea. So, why dont all of you post what you look for in a pistol, and I will put it together in a nice handy format.

Sound Good?

Upon entering a shop, and I see a firearm I like, first think I look at is the price, no need for me to me looking at that toy that costs far more then I could afford.(Nothing wrong with drooling over them, but its not too helpfull when I am shoping)

Then I look over the exterior, look at wear, and the finish, I have seen some new guns with horrible finish jobs.

I also take a good grip and look down the sights, try inserting the magazine, racking the slide, cocking the hammer, trying the action(ask the Dealer first, and dont just let that hammer slam home)

And usualy thats how far I can get in a gun shop. On rare occasion, I have managed to let the dealer let me disassemble the firearm, but not often. What would you add? What are common problems, and oversights?
 

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It seems to me that from what I read, a 1911 is either good out of the box, or will never be good.
No way.

While I have looked at 1911s in the shops, I have seen ones with rust on the interior, terrible slide/frame fit, ones with bad finishes, and gouges in the metal. Not to mention the occasional "Frankenstein" pistol.
Where in the world do you go for pistols? :(

Anyway, I think there's actually a pistol checkout FAQ somewhere on this forum.
 

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The F's

Finish
Fit
Function
Feed
Fire
:cool:
 

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If you're new to 1911's, or just don't know that much about them, stay away from a gun that has been worked on. You want a box stock piece. Even used guns that came from reputable shops may have been wrenched on a little after they left, especially if it was used by a competition shooter. So whether new or used look for a box stock gun.

Your checklist sounds thorough enough, might want to add barrel fit (more important than slide to frame fit) and safety checks. Make sure the thumb and grip safeties are fully functional.
 
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