Two other things can reduce the apparent diameter of the grip. First is thin grip panels. Google "thin 1911 grips" and you'll find a number of sources. I'd guess the thin grips are at most 1/8" thinner per side, but the apparent feel to your hand may seem more dramatic than that. Lastly, a flat instead of arched mainspring housing may make the grip seem less chunky as well. I saved this one for last because this change causes some people to shoot higher or lower (doesn't make a difference for me). Also, depending on the shape of the grip tang or beavertail and your hand, the different mainspring housings may affect how your hand disengages the grip safety.
Just some food for thought.
Thanks for all the wise words folks. It seems that 1911 owners are some of the most gentlemanly there are.
I have a tough decision and it may be a while before I can truly afford to get what I want, but I suppose that "buys" me some time as well. Keep the advice coming if you have something to add. I'll take all the info and opinions I can get.
My first choice would be the Springfield Range Officer, second choice would be the STI Spartan.
taurus makes a nice 1911 for the money. surprised nobody has mentioned it. even though they are getting more expensive. most decent 1911s are all hitting around 7-800$ that used to be 4-500$. dont know much about ati or rock island except they look nice. i just got a norinco fro 450$ thats a very solid peice.
Have the RIA Tactical in nickel - great shooter and reliable after 1,500 rounds of various 45s - FMJ and JHP. Have not had a single failure to load. Used Winchester, Remington, Blazer, Georgia Arms reloads, and others. Good value for the money.
You'll get a very good gun.
You'll get great customer service.
And you'll pay less overall compared to many others.
And, it's pretty.