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1911 .45 Choices

Just wondering what .45s you guys have experience with. Good or bad. I was thinking of a 1911 as my next gift to myself. Haven't had one for a number of years.

Got bitten by the bug again while at O.F.A.. Got to try an instructor's new Les Baer. Very cool. Can't afford one of those, but would be interested in your ideas. I was thinking of a Commander length, blue, alloy or stainless. What makes and models do you guys have, like or dislike.

I have owned the following 1911's all where good reliable shooters

Charles Daily 5" Cheep but decent
Sprinfield Mil spec 5" this is a great combination of value and quality. Its even better after a decent trigger job

I still have and well never sell
Wilson combat KZ-45 compact polymer framed 1911. simply put this is the best gun I have ever fired.

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I have a Springfield Loaded that I had some accuracy problems with, but I sent it back and they made it right. Covered shipping both ways and the repairs were free. I'm a happy customer ;)
A modern production 1911 typically needs a little gunsmith attention at some point in its life. It is not the same as the GI issue gun that was carefully handcrafted at the Colt factory nearly a century ago.
When Colt first started producing the gun way back in the day, they were the only ones making it - their parts, their mags, ammo to their spec. The design has been around for so long that any particular 1911 is now made with parts made to various specs that have wandered away from the original for one reason or another, and is fed with ammo and mags that have similarly changed or evolved.
This is the reason why the 1911 does well with tuning by a skilled hand, something that it typically does not receive at the modern factory. The gun also needs proper cleaning and maintenance to reach its full potential. Take care of your 1911 and it will do its job for you like nothing else can.

With that said, look for models which have the original design and nothing added.
For a true Commander length 1911, there's none better than Colt. Yes, Colt's are more expensive than other makes, but other makes do not have the 4 1/4" length, and are filled with substandard small parts.

My second choice would be Springfield. Don't be confused that this this is the same Springfield Armory of WW II and back. This is a totally independent company of the original armory, and all of their 1911 line are true to the original design.
They are filled with not the best small parts, but they tend to be more trouble free than other makes using the same style/manufacturing of parts.
Fixed it for you :s0155::winkkiss:

My next 1911 will be a Commander size Colt. I really like the one you carry Steve.

What are true friends for..............

Hmmm just had a thought, you know I can edit your posts too.
Wow......this has possibilities.........ooooooooooo
A Colt 1991-A1, RIA,and S&W,and a Norinco here.
The Colt was just picked up Sat,the RIA was a gift from my wife because i was out of town putting in major OT.The others,never use them.
What is your budget?
How I missed this thread I do not know...

I have a Springfield 1911-A1 and really love it. As Wichaca pointed out, there are little things that need tweeking to make a really reliable gun. On mine, and most Springfields apparently, there are issues with the extractor not being set to the proper tension. Not an expensive part, and with a few (also inexpensive) tools it looks like a fairly straightforward job.

My biggest suggestion to anyone looking into a 1911 is to physically look at as many as you can. At the end of the day, research who makes the best (and listen to Wichaca foremost). But there are lots of small variants that make the gun nicer. Not necessarily shoot better though. Beavertail's, for example, sure make the gun more comfortable to shoot!
It depends on how much you like yourself:

In MY Personal Preference on order:

Wilson Combat - Most expensive, but worth it
Kimber - Nicest finish, but a bit tight for everyday shooting
HK Tactical - HK, Enough said
Para Warthog - What I carry, because sometimes 7 or 8 is just not enough

After that it's kind of like AR's, everyone any their mother makes, them,
some good, some great, some not.

Just my opinion. . . . .

Thanks guys for the input. As for my budget in the above post, in Canuck $, I was hoping for a grand or less and am looking at used also. There are some around at that price, but I was hoping for your input as to what to look for, before taking the plunge. It does come down to what fits me and feels right in the hand. Another question while I'm at it. What do you know about the Dan Wesson 1911s? They are linked to CZ-USA now. Sounds like parts put together from different manufacturers. Ed Brown has a good parts and gun name, and has some parts in the gun D.W. are selling. I know of some Springfields locally, so I will check them out first. Not many Colts up here. Norinco guns are popular, as they are cheap and are used as base guns for upgrades.

Dan Wessons are by far the best 1911s that Ive owned or used bang for buck, alongside Kimber. Springfields (loaded) are along the same lines too. But from what Ive seen, both Springfield and kimber, and pretty much every other 1911 under a grand, someone somewhere complains about it being a crappy brand because they had a friend of a friend have some huge problem with one. But its probably overrated. But I have never really heard of anyone having problems with Dan Wessons.

In the end, its all about personal preference, which sights you want, what features you want, ect. If you want bare bones, a RIA will work perfectly, or a springfield GI (aside from the sights).

I would suggest just going to the gunstore and handling as many different ones as you feel like, try one with ambi safety and one without, along with front strap checkering and without, try a full size 5", along with a "commander" sized 4", maybe a 4" with the "officer" frame, along with a 3" officer model. Everyone seems to have personal preference, but thats just what it is.

Also you should try to shoot as many friends 1911s as possible to get a feel for the perfect one ;). I have a Kimber stainless 5" in .45, Kimber tactical ultra 3" in .45, and a Dan Wesson RZ-10 in 10mm.
get a rock island mine is very accurate and feeds and fires anything you can fit in its mag. including semiwadcutter hand loads and hollow points. the stock trigger is on par with some match guns i have had. and less costly than most. With your stated budget you can have it with aftermarket night sights installed and lots of ammo to burn up to break it in
I have 2 rock islands, great guns. I'm gonna get a beavertail safety for one of them, as the safety does bite into my hand after a while of shooting. The only reason I am selling one of mine is because my explainations to the wife why I need 2 of the exact same guns are not convincing her.
Gotta agree with most of what wichaka said.

There was an article in a S.W.A.T. magazine about Larry Vicker's 1911 Opperator's Class that I thought was very good. Now, I don't really care for S.W.A.T. magazine or any others gun rags for that matter, but do pay attention when guys like Larry have something to say. In a nutshell he mentioned "we live in a Glock world" and "the 1911 is an aficionado's pistol." IM me your e-mail address and I'll send you the article.

On the order of the 1911s... Over the years I've owned a bunch of Colts, a few Springfields (SAI) and one of those silly Canuck P13s. :winkkiss:

I've played with and shot just about every other flavor out there.

Have been fortunate to have met and known some great gunsmiths and a metallurgical engineer in the industry and heard their opinions on the matter.

So here is where I come down. Colt. They're steel is first rate and made in the USA. In an effort to remain competitive with their prices they started putting things like plastic back straps in their guns and are pretty much a no-frills gun. My first choice.

Springfield also has a lot of good steel, but the forgings are imported. Also uses two-piece barrels. My second choice.

...and that's it.

Kimber's steel is very hard to the point of being brittle. Para Ordnance hardness is inconsistent.

Couple questions to keep in mind. Why is it that some 1911s have more bells and whistles than others at the same price point (what corners were cut)? Why do all the best custom builders use only Colt and Springfield?

I'd recommend you find a good used Colt or Springfield to scratch your itch, but then what do I know... I'm a Glock shooter.


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