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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ground Rules:
1. 5" 1911
2. The Entry Level you would recommend.
3. This can be a $500 Springfield Defender Mil-Spec or RIA Tactical, $1800 Baer, $2,000 Ed Brown or $2300 Wilson. It's your suggestion at what you consider your entry level not a predetermined.price point.
 

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I think it would help if you stated what the intended purpose was. I can think of a few, some better than others, based on what folks have posted on the forum. Not sure what applies to you or what your intentions are. I think it would help the herd if that were in the OP. I'm sure there are more, just what I could think of off the top of my head. Many of us focus on certain areas, but there are a rare few who are exceptionally talented and crossed various shooting sports. The forum is large enough you should be able to get great advice as long as the good folks here know what it is that you're looking for.

  • Action Sports (IDPA/USPSA/etc.
  • Precision Pistol aka Bullseye/Conventional Pistol
  • Investment/Collecting
  • First 1911/donor frame/slide, etc for later work or conversion lower
  • Carry weapon
  • Home defense weapon
  • Hunting
  • Other...???
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think it would help if you stated what the intended purpose was. I can think of a few, some better than others, based on what folks have posted on the forum. Not sure what applies to you or what your intentions are. I think it would help the herd if that were in the OP. I'm sure there are more, just what I could think of off the top of my head. Many of us focus on certain areas, but there are a rare few who are exceptionally talented and crossed various shooting sports. The forum is large enough you should be able to get great advice as long as the good folks here know what it is that you're looking for.

  • Action Sports (IDPA/USPSA/etc.
  • Precision Pistol aka Bullseye/Conventional Pistol
  • Investment/Collecting
  • First 1911/donor frame/slide, etc for later work or conversion lower
  • Carry weapon
  • Home defense weapon
  • Hunting
  • Other...???
The reason I left it so open was to allow people to state their choices. I'm certain if someone said my entry level suggestion is a X-Brand 10mm because I deer hunt or X-Brand 9mm because I shoot 2,000 rounds a week practicing for X people are going to take that into consideration.

The suggestion needs to come from someone's experience base. Asking a competition shooter to give a hunting recommendation is not likely to be conductive.
 

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If, by 'entry level', you mean a good first 1911, I'd have no trouble recommending just a basic Rock Island Armory GI series in the caliber of your choice. As long as it's a .45acp.:biglaugh:

Seriously, it's just a very good example of a basic 1911 style pistol, and not just 'for the money'. Solid shooters.
 

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My choice in 2008 was a Kimber Custom 2. Colt's most basic gi model (1991) was in the upper $800-$900 range then. I almost bought a SA GI, but had read enough to know that i wanted some better sights and a lowered/flared ejection port. Had i known about the SA mil spec, i probably would have gotten that, as i like the gi format. I believe it is important when making larger purchases to buy something you will grow into, rather than outgrow quickly. As i researched, i came across several glowing reviews of the custom 2. I also found a lgs selling it for $688 - a phenomal deal at the time. It was my first handgun purchase, and has been a top performer for me.
 

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My first was a Springfield Parkerized Loaded 5”, followed a year later by a Ruger SR1911 CMD. I’d consider both good entry level 1911s. But be warned - once you get your first, whatever you choose, the “entry” way will open wide, and others will soon follow.
 

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My first was the Colt ANVIII model, but only because it was priced great. If I was recommending a new one today, it would be that Springfield Armory Mil Spec Defender model for around $500. I keep having to talk myself out of it as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is this in support of a purchasing decision or more along the lines of a philosophical exercise?
It's more a kind of "See where everyone's coming from" type deal.

For an all around .45 a used Ruger SR1911 for $500 might be right for me. For someone else a leftover DW Valor at $1200 might be a better choice. It's all about budget and expectations.

I felt it might be useful to get a feel for what people felt where the "Sweet Spots".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My first was the Colt ANVIII model, but only because it was priced great. If I was recommending a new one today, it would be that Springfield Armory Mil Spec Defender model for around $500. I keep having to talk myself out of it as it is.
As I stated on another Topic I really have considered one of those for an Cooper Inspired (Minimalist) Build.
 

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If, by 'entry level', you mean a good first 1911, I'd have no trouble recommending just a basic Rock Island Armory GI series in the caliber of your choice. As long as it's a .45acp.:biglaugh:

Seriously, it's just a very good example of a basic 1911 style pistol, and not just 'for the money'. Solid shooters.

I had the tactical version. Same internals and frame/slide. I had problems with it and can't recommend RIA. Their customer service is excellent, however.
 

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Not knowing what you are looking to do with it and your price range sorta throws the door wide open.

That said, I have always advocated quality above all else. Even as an entry level piece I would recommend getting something you can count on for the rest of your life. It would also be more accurate than you are, because as a beginner you are NOT going to be proficient. But how do you know when you are improving if your pistol is not as good as you have become. Get something that you can improve into.

Les Baer? Ed Brown? Guncrafter? No. That's over your head as a beginner. Start with a high quality production gun. The two brands that have really impressed me are Sig and Dan Wesson. CZ being essentially the same as Dan Wesson you can throw that in there too, though I haven't actually handled one of their 1911s. Between those three you are going to find the tightest and smoothest actions and best triggers in a production pistol and all have models that come in under $2000.
 

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Not knowing what you are looking to do with it and your price range sorta throws the door wide open.

That said, I have always advocated quality above all else. Even as an entry level piece I would recommend getting something you can count on for the rest of your life. It would also be more accurate than you are, because as a beginner you are NOT going to be proficient. But how do you know when you are improving if your pistol is not as good as you have become. Get something that you can improve into.

Les Baer? Ed Brown? Guncrafter? No. That's over your head as a beginner. Start with a high quality production gun. The two brands that have really impressed me are Sig and Dan Wesson. CZ being essentially the same as Dan Wesson you can throw that in there too, though I haven't actually handled one of their 1911s. Between those three you are going to find the tightest and smoothest actions and best triggers in a production pistol and all have models that come in under $2000.
I would definitely agree with both of those recommendations. Soon after my Springfield and Ruger came a Sig Nightmare Fastback Carry (strange name but great gun) and a Dan Wesson CCO. Both fantastic!
 

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DSK's picks:

Cheapest 1911 worth buying: Rock Island.

Best cheap mil-spec 1911: Auto Ordnance.

Best cheap modern-style 1911: Ruger SR1911.

Best cheap 1911 if you don't mind spending a little more for a little more quality: Colt O1911C Classic.

Same as above if you want a modern-style 1911: Springfield Range Officer.
 

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Establish your budget for said 1911. To me it’s not bad or wrong to buy “up”,, ie. If a Wilson or Guncrafter speaks to you, go for it, (if you can afford it), you won’t be sorry, and in some respects you’ll be ahead of the game.
 

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Mine would be based off of what someone was looking to spend.

Like sub 600 would be a SA Milspec.
Sub 800 would be base model Colts or SA RO's, or Loaded models.
My personal preference is Colt, but not everyone is willing to spend a premium on a name.

If you were interested in a minimal recommendation, my bottom dollar acceptable gun is a Springfield GI. It is the cheapest 1911 I own.
 

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Musings from the Hill Top......

Keeping in mind that one man's 'entry level' is another man's 'top of the line', recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt... or saltpeter, as the case may be.

1. There's lots of good stuff in the $500-$600 range, particularly if you're frugal and not prone to boasting. (In other words, you like plain vanilla ice cream and are perfectly comfortable driving a 20-year-old pickup.)
A. I've never personally owned a RI but I do hear and read good things about them. Likewise for the Rugers.
2. If you're still relatively frugal and still 'gun-modest' (truck younger than 20, but older than 10), you can get excellent quality and reliability, along with some name 'bling', in the $600-$1000 range.
A. Despite the internet drivel, your changes of stumbling upon a good quality, new Colt are actually pretty good. I can personally vouch for this. Likewise with the Springfields and S&W E-Series guns. With the E-Series in particular, they seem to have a very solid track record, and in my humble opinion, are the best kept secret - and best bang for the buck - in the 1911-ish type world.
3. Now, if you like the idea new car every 7 years or so, and like waffle cones and sprinkles with your mocha-praline-pecan ice cream, then you can certainly shoot up to the $1300-$1700 level. Word to the wise: those guns won''t make you shoot any better than the lower cost ones, but you'll swear that they do, and you'll keep repeating it hoping that one day you'll believe it!
4. If you lease European cars (and put Euro license plates on the front) and you eschew ice cream in favor of gelato, well then, cast modesty to the wind and find the antidote to emotional angst in the $2k-$3.5k range. The subliminal suggestions of improved accuracy and performance are even stronger in this category. However, a clinical study of 5000 shooters found that this category performed no better than a control group equipped with Taurus PT1911s.
5. And, if all of the above simply won't do (meaning you buy a new European car every year and only eat Scottish ice cream aged 25 years, while vacationing on the moor) well then only the full-on deal will satiate your desires - the $4k-$6k level!!!! Here's where the men and boys part ways, some would have you believe, anyway. However, as the old adage says: it's better to look good than to shoot good..... so maybe they're on to something . :) :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Since I started this...

Basic
$500 Springfield Defender Mil-Spec
$800 Colt Series 70 Repro

Enhanced
$600 Kimber Custom II
$1200 Dan Wesson Valor
$1650 Rock River Arms Carry Pistol

I figure #1 in enhanced is going to set off a little controversy....
 
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