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Discussion Starter #1
O.k. here is my two cents on the current bunch of 1911's on the market. I am 41 years old and grew up with the nice high polished Smith and Wesson N frames and old Colts with the mirror blue finish. So this has a bearing on what I like compared to some of the younger members of this forum that just became new 1911 owners.
My goal is to not step on anybody's toes. this is strictly my opinion and my likes, I would hope that yours would differ.

Kimber, I liked their early series 1 guns. I don't trust their current guns. No its not a MIM issue. It's their quailty control of their parts. Too many porus castings causing breakage.

Smith and wesson, I think they are up and coming. the Scandium Commander Idea seems cool. They need to go to a differant make of grip safety. some people are having trouble depressing it.
And I would like to see them use 1911 sight cuts and 1911 sights.
The ones they are using now are off another model.

Springfield Armory, I like them alot. the loaded package is great.
I didn't like the glued in ejector( I don't know if they still do this)
And I think the guns could leave the factory with a much better trigger pull without the ILS Mainspring system.

Colt, They have finally got their act together and are making some awesome guns. Can we get the Mirror blue finish back?
That may be pushing it!

Ed brown, great guns near perfect out of the box. Mine had alittle creep in the trigger pull. This maybe an isolated case.

Les baer, this is my favorite at this time, I like the fit and finish.
Yea, I even can pick here. The fixed sight guns front sight is too narrow. I don't care for the fat paddles on the thumb safetys. and the grips while nice looking have sharp checkering.
Still the most appealing to me.

Wilson Combat, awesome guns near perfect. I would like to see a mirror polished Blued model. As I find that more appealing than the shake and bake finish. Main complaint is way over priced!

If I didn't mention your favorite brand, thats because I havn't got my hands on one yet.
Hope this helps some of the new buyers looking around.
 

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I can identify with growing up with richly blued guns.
When looking for my new carry gun, I wanted a 1911 with an officers frame and commander slide. Kimber makes a CDP in the form I want, but the two-tone didnt appeal to me. They recently made a black compact that is out of production, and that would have been fine, but I couldnt find one.

As I was about ready to give in, I found a used Royal Carry, it's a limited run of 1911 by Kimber in the form I was looking for with a "traditional" blue finish. To me, the rich blue and modest grips is pure understated beauty, I was hooked at first sight.
As for the gun itself, it fits my hand like I was born holding it. Shoots better than I ever will. The trigger is a little heavier than I'd ideally like, but it's crisp.

I dont have much experience with other 1911's, my dad has a Series 70 Colt that after some work was a fine shooter. I have had several of the first generation Para's. They all shot extremely well out of the box, had mushy triggers with a fairly light pull, and all of them would get dirty and start to FTF at ~200 rounds of my lead reloads (cant say that I blame them).
 

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Not much for me to argue with either. Except I feel in the Springfield line their WW2 model is the best value going.
 

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The best I understand from my reading...

Kimbers don't use cast parts. Any porosity or other flaw leading to breakage IS a MIM issue because that is what their small parts are made from. Or have they changed materials?

Springfield ILS does not have much affect on trigger pull. Mine was adequately crisp to start with. Changing out the Ti firing pin, its stiff spring, the ILS long mainspring cap and short stiff mainspring all reduced the trigger pull by half a pound. It is a matter of fit and contact surface finish. I don't like the glued in ejectors, either.

S&W grip safety faults are not due to the shape but the way it actuates the firing pin block. Heavy pressure and long travel result in SOME guns, not others. Again, a matter of parts fit in a mass production gun. Nothing wrong with Novak sights, but they should fit better.

Colts are looking good; might be my next purchase.

Les Baers are WAY too tight when new, difficult to rack the slide.

The only Brown I have seen in person was VERY nice, but the one the NRA wrote up was not outstandingly accurate.

Wilsons are good, but the prices are getting out of sight for a semi-works gun.

I wonder what the gnomes of New Hampshire are going to be able to assemble out of commodity parts for the SIG label? I mean after the supertuned showoff guns are all written up and they have to start actually selling stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
With the Sig I was hopeing for more of a German influnce.
No barrel link, 3 sided barrel hood, braided wire recoil spring, Etc.
They should call it the Caspian 1911
 

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SIG could have had that by putting a thumb safety on a P220, somethng I certainly would like to have seen.

They apparently want in on the Marine contract which will require a gun that is mechanically a 1911, SIG Swoosh notwithstanding. I bet the firing pin block will go away on the guns submitted to the Marines and assorted SWAT shoppers.
 

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I agree for the most part. Sprinfield is doing well, though I find that their best buys for the money are at the very bottom and the very top of their price range, the two mil-specs at the bottom and the TRP Operator and Professional at the top.
Kimber, I think should set up for forged tool steel lockwork, and if this necessitates an across-the-board $50-$100 price hike, so be it. They're already midrange priced, I think they'd pick up more customers cheering YAY! No MIM! than they'd lose jeering BOO! Price Hike!
I think Wilson Combat is overpriced, too. For what they charge, you're getting a decent piece, yes, but you're not getting what you're paying for.
There's a lot of happy Les Baer users at my local IDPA shoots, but I won't have anything they make, and I tell you why: When Baer won the SRP contract for the FBI, they delivered 5 sweet pistols, then a whole bunch that didn't work. Maybe this was Baer's fault, maybe it was the operators, maybe it was Para-Ordnance's, but regardless, I don't want to business with a maker that wins a contract then delivers a product lesser than what won the contract.
t-tac: No link, braided wire recoil spring, sure, that'd be nice, but given a choice I'll take Browning lugs over the bulky Petter system any day. I do think it'd woulda been more interesting if they'd made the whole thing in house instead of assembling a parts gun, though. Maybe H&K'll take that challenge.
 

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I guess I have to put my .02 in also. I cannot address the high dollar guns as I have never had a reason to purchase one. I have worked on many Wilsons and Baers. The Baers have the best fit and barrel lockup of any of the big buck 1911s.
I have owned five Kimbers and two Springfields. Two of the Kimbers were the base model with fixed sights, one was a .40 CST and the other two are Stainless Target models. All of them would group under 1 1/2" at 25 yards. Two will go under 1".
Neither of the SAs would group under 3" until I worked on them. One was a 9mm the other a .45.
The major difference in SA and Kimber is the barrel lockup. All of my Kimbers have a nice tight barrel to slide fit. I am yet to see a SA with a proper lockup. Maybe their Custom Shop guns are better.
The one thing I do not like on the Kimbers is their grip safety. I replace them with an Ed Brown model.
I guess I always figured I could buy two Kimbers for the price of a Wilson or LB.
 

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It will be.
Sigarms is assembling Granites from commodity parts in New Hampshire. H&K is putting in a plant in Georgia. Yes, the profits will be going overseas, but the facility will be here, so if the Krauts get smart we can nationalize them

A thousand rounds of breakin for a Baer (or anything) is ridiculous. It is their way of saying "Go away and leave us alone if your gun doesn't work."
 

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I tend to agree with most of the stuff stated at the beginning of this thread, but I need to stick up for Baers. I have three that were of course very tight initially. I had to bump them out of lockup, but within 100-200 rounds they would easily rack by hand. And none of them have ever had any kind of malfunction from round one and on. I do agree that even though I really like my Baers, they are not everyone's cup of tea.
 

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tthiel said:
What is your source for this information?
When the Springfield Bureau Model was big news, there were many indepth articles about the specs, the testing, the selection, and, most relevantly to your query, -why- the FBI wanted a single stack 1911.
One of those reasons was stated many times over: The Para-Framed HRT double stacks weren't working, despite extensive consultation and remedial work by Steve Nastoff.
I'm not down on Baer, but that's the root of my personal hangup about buying them. YMMV, of course.
BTW, tthiel, it actually is, in fact, good internet form to reply to multiple people in one post.
 

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TRB, Why do you keep mentioning ParaOrdinance and Baer together? What do they have to do with one another? It sounds like for some reason you don't like Paras, so because of that you don't like Baer? :confused:
 

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ssr said:
TRB, Why do you keep mentioning ParaOrdinance and Baer together? What do they have to do with one another? It sounds like for some reason you don't like Paras, so because of that you don't like Baer? :confused:
The Baer HRT guns were built on Para frames. Reading is fundamental. ;)

TRB said:
The Para-Framed HRT double stacks weren't working, despite extensive consultation and remedial work by Steve Nastoff.
 

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Thanks, CB, for chiming in for me :) I appreciate it.

Like he said, the original SRP's were built on the "Frame kits" that Para-Ord built their business on when they were first starting up. Therefore when referring to the "real" SRP, one can't help but mention Para, as their frames and mags, if nothing else at all, were involved.
You may notice that Baer no longer builds the "real", double stack SRP for public sale, if at all; it's not in their current catalog. The current SRP has a lot more in common with the SA Bureau Model. A lot of this is because the SRP spec was very close to the Bureau Model spec, apart from the double-stack frame requirement.

Man, my FBI-pistol fandom has really managed to hijack this thread hasn't it? I'll shut up now :D

Oh, just for the record, I have nothing strictly against Para-Ordnance, except for their heavy use of castings. I'm leary of the doublestacks, but if one does run, I rather like them. I would actually love to have a double stack SRP-style pistol, if it were built right.
 

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I would agree with almost all of the consensus here. Here's my take:

Baers and Browns are the best I've handled so far. Both are built extremely well and entirely out of forged parts. The Baer 1911's are probably a smidge tighter, while the Ed Brown 1911's are a smidge smoother out of the box. I like to put 1,000 rounds through any pistol before I carry it, so the break-in doesn't bother me at all. My Baer was reliable out of the box, but the 1,000 round break in really smoothed it out. It's now the tightest and smoothest pistol I've ever fired. But I would gladly buy a Brown pistol, and am currently considering picking up a Kobra Carry.

Wilsons are overpriced, both for the parts the pistols are built out of and the quality of the guns. They're not bad guns, but I would just as soon get a Kimber for 1/3 the price. All you'd be missing is the Wilson name.

Colts used to be wonderful, then terrible, and now seem to be pretty good again.

Springfield makes a good gun, but they are not as well fitted as many others. They are very reliable and acceptably accurate, and may be the most gun for the money when it comes to base model combat 1911's.

Kimber makes a good gun for the money. The major parts are forged and well fitted. The MIM internals and controls are generally good, but there is a defect from time to time. I have a TLE that shoots great, but I know a couple of other people who have been less than thrilled with their Kimbers.

Para-Ordanace is hit and miss. Every double stack model that I've ever shot has been unreliable. Every single stack model has shot great. The cast parts look like crap when you disassemble the guns, but I have never seen one break. My 7.45 LDA has seen a bit more than 5000 rounds. Nothing has broken, and there is no sign of anything wearing out anytime soon.

Norinco 1911's are made out of decent steel and shoot okay. They are good choices if you want a frame and slide to build on, or if you want a reliable 1911 for as little money as possible.
 

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Some interesting comments here, so I though I'd add my two-cents:

1. Ed Brown makes nice looking pistols, but in my experience, his customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Two out of two contacts were bad. YMMV.

2. Has anyone tried the new Auto-Ordinance 1911s made by Kahr? I shot one, and not only was it very well finished, but it shot great. If it were not for the angled slide serrations, I would have bought it. Call me fussy, but a faithful copy of a 1911A1 should not have angled serrations -- pisses me off.

3. I do not personally care for the Springfield design. The grip is different enough from the Colt pattern that it is noticeable to me. Again, I may be too picky or have spent too much time with a Colt in my hand.

ML
 
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