I have heard a lot of discussion regarding 1911 selection. There seems to be a lot a varying opinion out there on makes, manufacturers and which gun is best for whom. The gun community is full of many armchair experts with many strong views. As we all know...Opinions are like @%$holes. Everyone has one..And most of them stink. I am not going to tell anyone which company or model is best in my view. I just wish to give some general unbiased info on whats out there and what my experience has taught me. Well here's my two cents. Generally speaking all 1911s aren't created equal...Exactly. There are approximately three general tiers. First, there is the entry level gun ( $400.00-$700.00) put out by a dozen or so companies with loose tolerances and varying quality of materials coming off an assembly line. Most of which are fine after a few hundy rounds break in, maybe a little research on the the ammo they "like" to feed, and a possible tuning. This should be mostly all you need to have a functioning hogleg capable of doing basically what you want will little or no frills. albeit with quite a bit of slop in function present with more than a few models. Then comes the semi-custom/assembly line custom market. ($700.00-$1300.00) These guns have a little more attention to detail but are generally still line produced. They have a higher degree of fit and finish with some factory extras included. Some guns in this category are finished by hand. Generally speaking they also tend toward having more mim parts (molded rather than machined) This may present an issue for some concerned about faster wear and less tight tolerances when shooting. Most shooters would not notice the difference here and would be very happy with these (semi) custom guns as far as accuracy, reliability and good looks are concerned. Lastly we have the full custom market. ($1300.00-$6000.00) Theses guns are produced from the ground up by hand. And you will pay for it. All parts are generally machined on site by a small group of professional 1911 craftsmen. Some of which are family members. This is generally a cottage industry with small facilities, top quality materials, and good customer support. You may order to your own particular specifications right down to the smallest detail, and you will be strongly catered to during the process. But again, you will pay for it. These guns are pretty, high functioning, and durable. These companies stand behind their work and you will be able to rely on them for the life of the weapon for support and repairs. I have shot handguns for most of my life. More importantly, I have listened and talked to many fantastic shooters from both the professional and recreational communities over the years. The overall concensus is this. Most people will never need the level of precision that the full custom gun offers. Certainly not for combat or self defense purposes. In fact the "tightness" of some of these guns can be a detriment at times to some people. It has been said that it is desirable to have a little "Slop" in your fighting gun. With such you are more readily able to "feed what you find" to your weapon in terms of ammunition. This is seen in some circles as a strong tactical advantage. Looser tolerances can make it easier to manage your gun in myriad conditions that may include dirt, mud, ice, sand, water etc. My advice is this. As long as you have a good frame upon which to operate, you are fine. Find the features that you need or like in a 1911 from the factory. Maybe even visit a qualified gun smith after the fact to add the flourishes you like if not present at purchase. Buy what you can afford within reason. You will probably be happy if you spend a "little" extra here. But for heaven's sake, You do not need a $4000 Cadillac gun to do 95% of what most shooters do. This includes even tier 1 SF operators. If you want to spend $4-5000 on an heirloom piece, then fine. Have fun and enjoy it. Just don't expect it to shoot $3000 better for your expense. I have owned and shot both and have to say not only did I not notice a significant difference in overall performance, but I would be hesitant to take something so finely made as a Wilson or Nighthawk into the field for fear of getting it mucked up or scratched. The bottom line is this...Quality abounds in the 1911 market. Going slightly above middle market is going to yield the most favorable results in shooter satisfaction across the board. Taking into account all factors mentioned above, most of us would and should be happy with that. Just remember this. Most any decent production gun is capable of shooting better than the operator can shoot it. So it really boils down to whats feels good and shoots best for you the shooter.:thumbup: Have fun and happy shooting.