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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would like to purchase my first 1911. Have looked at Springfields, Colts, Kimber, etc. and read many posts of different makes/models. Now more confused than ever. Here's what I'm looking for:
-quality built piece that will hold its value
-reliable & a good shooter
-will not be a concealed carry gun (I either carry Seecamp or CZ RAMI), will be utilized mostly for range use and possibly home defense
-good value for my hard earned $$$ although willing to spend more if need be. I want to do this right the first time and not regret my purchase later.
Willing to listen to all opinions including pros and cons.
Thanks in advance for your input. Bob
 

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Ah, two posts.
I did that before.:)
Kur
 

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BOB, if you spend 2 months on this site like I did, before making a decision (my 1st 1911), you won't go wrong. You've got a good name for starters...
 

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Here it is plain and simple. Every name that we mention on this part of the forum is a good make for 1911. You will get a lot of gripes because this is where we come and do it. But for the most part, the majority of these firearms are great shooters compared to the small amount of complaints we have here. Buy whatever feels best to you and if you have issues with it, it's nothing that can't be fixed. If it's NIB, the manufacturer will take care of it.
 

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First 1911?

Ah . . . what to get? So many choices and so little time.

My first 1911 was a Bill Wilson. Have since bought a Le Baer as well as Springfields, Kimbers, HiStandard, Para, STI(2011), & Colt. Then there's the choice between 9mm, .38 super, 10mm, .40S&W, 45acp. And then there's the size: full-size, commander, microcompact, etc.

Whatever you get, I promise you it won't be the only one. I tend to lean toward Springfields, but others work equally well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses.

I'm leaning toward the Springfield> Friend keeps recommending the Mil-Spec although wondering if should spend a little more and upgrade. Bob
 

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I have Kimber and Springfield, but reading your post made me think, "this guy wants a Colt."

Guns rarely hold their value. I don't see them as investments. But, Colt probably does so more than others. The only gun that I have that has appreciated is a Browing A-5 shotgun.
 

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Would like to purchase my first 1911. Have looked at Springfields, Colts, Kimber, etc. and read many posts of different makes/models. Now more confused than ever. Here's what I'm looking for:
-quality built piece that will hold its value
-reliable & a good shooter
-will not be a concealed carry gun (I either carry Seecamp or CZ RAMI), will be utilized mostly for range use and possibly home defense
-good value for my hard earned $$$ although willing to spend more if need be. I want to do this right the first time and not regret my purchase later.
Willing to listen to all opinions including pros and cons.
Thanks in advance for your input. Bob
Bob,

I just recently went through this same drill as you are now, with similar requirements/desires. Basically, what I hear you saying is that you want the most bang for your buck, without having to spend more money in the long run on upgrading a lesser gun to being something better.

The thinking goes something like this: Hmmmm, a top-end 1911 would be nice but way too expensive. A basic production 1911 will not really be cheap in the long run due to gunsmith-labor + quality-parts-upgrades. And even then I'd still only have a so-so brand of 1911 that has been upgraded (kind of like a pig with lipstick on it). Hmmm. . .

So, what to do?

I bought a lightly used (<250 rounds) Les Baer Premier II. The Les Baer has all premium-quality parts and all the modern bells and whistles already done to it. They have forged-steel frames (only a handful of others do), forged-steel slides, and Kart barrels (Fred Kart barrels are considered the best by many). They are completely hand-fitted, and are guaranteed to shoot sub 3" groups at 50 yards (that's less than 3 inches at 150 feet in case you weren't listening!). Les Baer pistols are among the least expensive of the top-quality semi-custom builders, without sacrificing anything in terms of quality parts and workmanship. You can buy a lightly used one for $1,100-$1,300.

If you instead buy a $700 1911 and have it upgraded it to the same level, it will cost significantly more, and it will still only be a pig with lipstick on it.

This is my humble opinion. I hope you consider it, and that you find it helpful. :)

OK, let the flames begin
 

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This is my humble opinion. I hope you consider it, and that you find it helpful. :)

OK, let the flames begin
Orfeo, I for one think this is excellent advice. Heck, 250 rounds still isn't even broken in, so the LB would still be a pretty new gun. Good advice and good thinking outside the box on a frequent newby question.

Bob, if you absolutely have to have a brand-spanking new gun and we have to stay within your posted guidelines, get a full-sized Colt.
 

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used 1911

I'm seeing an increasing number of used 1911s for sale. Those can be a good deal but you must take care that some "shade-tree" smith hasn't messed with it. There are some "blemished" Dan Wessons out there at a discount. I couldn't find the blem on the one I looked at and that would be a new gun with the Dan Wesson warranty. I'd stick with the full-size gun; 5" barrel. Shorter barrels can have problems. Some don't. One of our brothers here suggested that you keep reading; good advice, and I might add that its a good idea to shoot em too. We may have seen a "bubble" in this market with falling prices coming.
 

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My 2 pennies worth!

I bought a Springfield Loaded MC Operator, 3" barrel. A friend that likes Kimber asked why I got a Springer. My response, "I grew up in Springfield Massachusetts, original home of Springfield Armory."

I personally think it's all about personal preference. Saw a new Kimber Raptor and I'm drooling!!!!!

Bottomline: you squeeze trigger; gun goes bang; bad guy falls to ground; good gun!
 

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If you arent going to conceal it (and even if, its not too bad), consider a NRM Series 70 first. Then a SA MC Operator or Kimber TLE or S&W 108285. After that, consider the DW Valor or SA TRP (my personal vote). You wont be "outclassed" at the range often with a TRP. My advice: make your first one a special one. You'll likely keep it and consider customization later on (if you get into 1911s, which is likely!).

Colts are more of an "enthusist" 1911. As in you'll pay a premium for the prancing poney. To some, its worth it - and I get it. I pay the premium often myself. Just my opinion however, and it isnt worth much.

No new 1911 will "hold its value". You'll loose 25% of its value after you walk out the store. So what?
 

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Only a guess on my part but I would say most of us are at this site because we are "addicted" to the 1911. For me, I never met a 1911 I didn't like.

Depends on your plans on how you are going to utilize your 1911. Some folks love to spend high dollars and I would surmise that the more expensive, the better the gun. To my way of thinking, a Toyota and a Ferrari will get me to the same destination, it's just how I will look to others that see me in one car or the other. (By the way, I own neither.)

My 1911 collection contains many, many different manufacturers and at very diversified price range. I have a 5" Rock Island Armory gun that I purchased NIB for $400. It has never malfunctioned and is enjoyable to shoot. I changed the grips because I didn't like what came on the gun. Someday I may add nightsights because I am not fond of what came with it but the original sights are indeed very functional. It's not quite as accurate as my Kimber but then again, I paid more than twice the amount for my Kimber. I have come to expect that type of out of the box accuracy with Kimber.

I have a Para USA GI Expert which I purchased brand new for under $600. It's a very tight, accurate shooting iron. As I have two Springfields Mil Spec 1911's. Both are fine guns...reliable and fun to shoot.

I could go on and on about all the other 1911's I own. Not one of them is a piece of junk. I don't have a Wilson Combat or a Les Baer or other high priced gun although some of my guns have some of those parts. Perhaps one day I will add those to my collection just to round off and complete the collection.

I guess the point of all this is that to have fun with a 1911 at the range and double duty as a home defense gun, one need not have to mortgage the farm to acquire it. Whichever you decide, enjoy.
 

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my .02 anything you listed is fine, but don't get a kimber with an external extractor. I heard they stopped production which means they will be on sale everywhere, its not worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the replies leaning towards either a Springer Loaded or a Colt but still considering others. Looked at a Springer loaded stainless today and it felt good in the hand. Bob
 

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Right now, the Dan Wessons are probably the best value for the money. Rumors are that prices are going up the first of the year, however. They have an exceptional slide to frame fit, are finished nicely, and contain no MIM parts (metal injection molded steel). I don't want to start a debate on MIM but a significant number of 1911 owners do not like MIM parts. Personally, I think it depends upon the part in question. For range use, look at the Pointman 7. It does have a cast steel frame but, IMHO, that's not a big deal. A forged slide is a big deal and the DWs have a forged slide. The downside to DW is that they may take several hundred rounds before being "broken in." Some shooters don't like this philosophy; i.e., they think a gun should be 100% reliable out of the box.

The Springfield Loaded is also a good gun with forged frame and slide. They do contain some MIM parts. Even those who do not like MIM parts will usually concede that the issue is not as critical in guns that are not going to be shot a lot (think 10,000+ rounds).

I also think current Colts are usually pretty good value for the money (excepted from this are the special edition, collector type guns). They use a polymer mainspring housing which some people detest but apparently doesn't effect function. It also has a couple of MIM parts and a forged slide and frame. Some have the duckbill grip safety. I prefer the beavertail.


FWIW, I own a couple of Colts, a Springfield Loaded, and a Dan Wesson (CBOB). I don't think you will make a mistake in buying any of these. I used to own a Kimber. I maximized its potential by trading it in for an Ed Brown.
 
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