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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I've been lurking this site for a while. Looking to get first 1911 in the somewhat near future, have some noob questions.

I'm looking for a pistol that is going to be a range/competition/HD gun.
  • Budget minded
  • Looking for a light rail for HD
  • Government length
  • Debating over adjustable sights because I do like long range pistol target shooting.
  • Something I can use in IDPA or 3 gun heavy metal div 2 or 3 times a year
These are the guns I'm considering:
ATI Thunderbolt
RIA Tac
Taurus PT 1911

Also, I might also consider a used model I can find locally and then for HD use swap the grips out to these, or have a rail soldered/welded to the frame:http://www.recovertactical.com/shop/

Problem with looking for used models is that they are harder to come by and most often I can get the same thing new for same price/cheaper from online.
FOR EXAMPLE: a LPS has a stainless PT1911 with rail in really good shape for $500. Add tax and its 550 OTD. Buds has free shipping and even though I'd have to pay FFL of $25 thats still cheaper for a brand new gun.

Looking for opinions/advice/experiences with these and best bang for the buck.
Thx, newAgeRoman - noob
 

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Ruger announced a 5 inch with a rail. Have not seen one in an LGS yet but maybe online. That might be worth looking at. Have you looked at RIA (Armscor)? Not even sure they make a rail gun but my guess would be yes.
 

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I have some friends that shoot Taurus. For a first 1911 they should be fine....as you shoot more and more, you'll want to move up the ladders some. I agree with Dakota1911, Ruger would be a step up from the Taurus. Light rail is great for shooting armadillos at night but it also gives the bad guys something to shoot at. I"m old school and if I need a flash light, I'd rather have it hand held.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll check the ruger railed, but unless I beat the shat out of some leprechauns for the whereabouts of their pot of gold, I think that would be a but pricy for my current budget. I am a fan of rugers though.

One of the pistols linked above is a railed ria for around 600 new. I've held one in a local shop but the vz grips were a bit too much for me. It did have a full length rail and adjustable sight though, but being a target shooter I kind of like the big Bo Mar style adj sights like the ATI thunderbolt already has installed, also $600.
 

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Do not buy a Taurus unless you can hold it in your hand and check it out.

I own one, and it is a good one. However, there QC is known to be spotty.

If I had it to do over again, even though I like my Taurus a lot, I would probably go for the RIA.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good to know about the taurus. Are the qc issues externally identify able? Are you talking machine marks or something else?
 

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RIA makes some danged nice pistol for the money, A couple of the local gun shops have told me if they sell a Taurus there's a good chance they'll have it back my morning.
 

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of the three I would go with the ria tac. I have a couple kimbers with rails. You might find a used one on gunbroker in your price range.
 

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One of the pistols linked above is a railed ria for around 600 new. I've held one in a local shop but the vz grips were a bit too much for me.

I'll bet someone on the forum has a pair of grips you'll like, and would be willing to trade them for a new set of VZs.
 

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I think the Taurus can be hit or miss. I would go w/ the RIA. My Taurus was very sweet. No issues what so ever and for whatever reason, it had a beautiful trigger pull; as though it was on bearings. It was the alleged "Talo" model though I have never found evidence of their existence. I have had 4 rocks and now have 3. All super. The one I sold was the Match model w/ adjustable rear sight and it was a very good pistol. Hard to beat them for the price and customer support.
 

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all three of those can be "hit or miss"

just a fact of life in the mass produced "budget" 1911 category

I've owned both Taurus and RIA 1911s .
can't say anything bad about the Taurus I owned .
can't say anything bad about any of the 45 cal RIA's I've owned

I'd personally go with the RIA though due to custy service

.L.T.A.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the input guys. Leaning away from the taurus, but still like the ATI thunderbolt along with the RIA. Now gotta get paid, hopefully my boss and I can resolve that issue today. If there is enough left over by getting budget model/brand, I'm hoping to get a mid level garand and start 3 gun heavy metal div for some more fun.
 

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RIA
Have one.....and am blown away by its reliability........not to mentionits cost
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Looking for input on an older thompson auto ordinance 1911. It's a series 70 looks in good shape, haven't handled it yet. Possible trade or for 450$. This one is from the 60s or 70s and hat the thompson logo in the bullet on the slide with "auto ordinance" on the slide. Would this be a good starting 1911 model?
 

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I have an RIA Tac and it has been flawless to date. Put a set of Wilson grips on it and it looks like a $4000 gun! Only you will know for sure! :rolleyes:
 

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I have to be the dissenting voice here. If all you've got is $500ish to spend and you're looking for a gun to trust your family's lives to, a 1911 may not be the gun for you right now. I'm sure there's plenty of people that are going to come out screaming about how perfect their Rock Island has been, or their Taurus, or their Tisas, or whatever. But the bottom line is that those guns are the least expensive on the market for a reason, be it materials, labor, workmanship, whatever.

Instead, my suggestion to you is to take that $500 and buy the best quality gun you can find for that money. CZ makes some fantastic guns in that price range, FN is also offering some great guns for that money or less, and M&Ps can be had for around that as well as Glocks if you shop around. And they all have rails.

I don't make this suggestion lightly because I am a hardcore 1911 guy, I prefer them over any other carry gun. But I'm well versed in the concepts of quality and value, and I wouldn't trust my family's lives to the guns you are looking at. The advice I'm giving you is the same as I would give to my own son if he were in your position. When you have money to spare, find a 1911 to play with. Until then, buy the best gun you can afford. I guarantee you it isn't made by RIA, ATI, or Taurus.
 

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Buy once, cry once. What other pistols do you own? Try a Colt or Dan Wesson 1911's. New shooter? Get a Glock 23. Cheap and effective.
 
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