Why do 1911s cost so much?

Why do 1911s cost so much?

This is a discussion on Why do 1911s cost so much? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was just wondering, besides supply and demand, why are the higher end 1911s so expensive? 3000+... what makes these weapons so great? Not that ...

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Thread: Why do 1911s cost so much?

  1. #1
    Member Array jhfox462's Avatar
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    Why do 1911s cost so much?

    I was just wondering, besides supply and demand, why are the higher end 1911s so expensive? 3000+... what makes these weapons so great?
    Not that I dont think they are all fine and dandy. They seem quite lovely and if I had the money to afford more than a milspec I would get one. Just wondering what the extra couple thousand means.
    Thanks
    Benjamin Franklin once said, "he that would supplant a little liberty for a little safety deserves neither".


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    Member Array Geronimo45's Avatar
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    Extended ambi safeties, fitted barrel-bushing arrangement, sometimes/usually a guide rod, beavertail, adjustable trigger, fancy hammer, extended mag release, bevelled magwell, night sights...

  3. #3
    Member Array ruffryder1167's Avatar
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    i know the reason the springfield 1911s in that price range are so high is because somone's name is engraved on it. Or they endorse it somehow. Thats the only reason i see.
    http://www.springfield-armory.com/tgo.php
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  4. #4
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    The high end 1911s are expensive because they are labor intensive to produce. Building one involves a considerable amount of hand-fitting that the mass producers can't afford to do.

    Why does a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow cost more than a Ford Taurus?

    Same reason.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

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  5. #5
    Member Array Ben B.'s Avatar
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    It's a good question. The $$$ sure as heck isn't going to pay off for a 1911 R&D program. Why can't they make a well-established design properly, using all the advantages of 21st century manufacturing, without all the hand-fitting?

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Folks you can spend as much or as little as you want on a 1911 . If you want cheap , well there are cheap 1911s out there . If you want the top of the line well the sky is the limit for your spending pleasure . The base 1911s come in seemingly high due to the design , It was designed back when craftsmanship was the norm and no one thought anything about the " machine time " or hand fitting of a firearm . Most firearm factorys today dont have true gunsmiths on the line , they have machinists and assemblers . modern firearms are designed with enough slop in the tolerances so as not to require much if any adjustment as they are being assembled . A lot of fine firearm designs have been discontinued due to the high cost of skilled labor required to produce them . The hk p7 , S&W 41 , pre 64 winchester mod 70 , Winchester mod 12 , the list goes on and on. The fact that the 1911 is still being produced at all is testimony to the genius of the design when you look at the cost of production of it verses say a glock .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  7. #7
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    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Well, truthfully I'd feel "properly dressed" with a well fit together 2nd hand used factory stock Colt 1911 or Commander.
    But, I also like a few custom touches. Better front and rear sights are always nice.
    Some custom modifications are all show and no go.
    This being America folks can have the custom built firearm that they want as long as they can afford the price.
    I don't begrudge any person any firearm that they can afford to buy.

    The Colt 1911 is THE PISTOL to have tweaked and modified into the exact personal pistol of your dreams.
    The hand fitting, fine tuning and the custom touches are labor intensive.
    Sometimes the bottom line price is a bit "inflated" but the spiffy firearm makers are living in America also and they want to make a comfortable living for themselves - the same as everyone else these days and so they tack on a bit.
    They have earned a reputation for themselves and their natural inclination is to cash in on it some.
    I don't have a problem with that.
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    Member Array Alien Nation's Avatar
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    Ya know whats kinda funny to me? I know two fellas that have high end 1911's. They both paid $2500 or more. I'll not say what kind cause I'm not trying to bash anyones product. I had a S&W 1911 that I paid $680 OTD for. With several FMJ loads my S&W was either more accurate or as accurate as thiers. Mine was just as reliable as well. Actually a more than one of them. So I guess for me it doesn't make sense to pay the premium. THIS IS JUST MY OPINION!! So please don't any high end owners get your hackels up. Because of my experiences shooting 8 different S&W1911's I happen to think they are one of if not the best value in the 1911 market. They are great.
    “You come at me with a sword and with a spear. But I come at you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you". 1 Samuel 17, 45-46
    Brian

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhfox462 View Post
    I was just wondering, besides supply and demand, why are the higher end 1911s so expensive?
    I've always kinda thought it must be the fact that they're hella complex. So many parts! So much machining, tooling, blah blah. That, and the fact that they have a "mystique."

    I think that many manufacturers of 1911s make them out of high quality parts with lots of attention to detail, and do them by hand. You pay for that, to be sure.

  10. #10
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    For the average person...How much better time does a Rolex keep than a Timex?

    It's all about what you are willing to spend to have what what you want. For whatever reason.

    There are very few shooters that can gain any real practical accuracy advantage by having a Bar-Sto barrel custom as verses a standard well fit Colt factory barrel.
    Especially installed in a self-defense pistol.

    That being said Bar-Sto makes a barrel that absolutely reeks of perfect precision machine work and flawless tolerances.

    I don't think most shooters NEED a Bar-Sto barrel but, if they want one they should be able to buy one.

    So let's all ask some questions...Does a checkered front strap WORK/Function any better than Skateboard tape? Probably not.
    One could argue that the skateboard tape actually serves the purpose better.
    Some people don't mind skateboard tape stuck on their firearm...some people will opt for beautifully done checkering...some other shooters think that BOTH skateboard tape and fine checkering are unnecessary and they are quite content with a plain front strap.
    It's whatever floats your personal boat.

    I LOVE ivory grips. Are they BETTER than wood grips? I think they are. Many other shooters would disagree or would see absolutely no advantage in ivory over wood.
    I like them and like the way they feel.
    I personally don't like checkered wood grips on my personal handguns but, I think smooth wood grips tend to get a little slippery when wet or when sweaty.
    I like the way smooth ivory stays in the hand even when wet because it has a natural "tooth" that smooth wood grips do not possess.
    No other man made or natural material has that exact same rare and unique quality.
    For me they are worth it.
    Others will not be able to justify spending a couple of hundred dollars on a set of ivory grips.
    Many professional shooters shoot better than I can shoot and they are quite happy with wood grips.
    Or like with the GLOCK - No Grips at all.
    Ivory grips will not make me a better shooter but, nonetheless I love them and I love the way the look and feel.
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  11. #11
    Member Array metallicorey's Avatar
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    yes, i believe that 1911's are over priced period. they are a great weapon, but i just can't justify breaking the one thousand dollar mark for old technology and design.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    The 1911 design results in high manufacturing costs

    First of all, I was trained as a mechanical engineer and have worked in various manufacturing industries. I have 1911s and a variety of other semiauto brands and types. When I take them apart and look at the number and complexity of the parts, it is evident to me that the 1911 has a more complicated and intricate design than most modern pistols, with more parts that require more machining time to manufacture. Additionally, the assembly of the gun appears to be more complicated, with some final fitting and adjusting required.

    Since the time of machining and assembly equates directly to labor cost and machine time, it appears that a quality 1911 requires considerably more cost to manufacture than a Glock or something similar. If we assume that the percentage profit margins on 1911s are "normal" because of competition, the resulting price of the gun has to be higher to keep the manufacturers in the business.

    In many businesses a newer and lower cost design will drive an older, higher cost design out of the market, as customers gravitate towards a product that does the same job at a lower price. But this principle does not apply completely to the handgun market, because many customers are willing to pay more for an item if it has historical or sentimental significance. I think that is the case with 1911s, which are almost revered as sacred items by many handgun buyers. So 1911s are still sold in large numbers, even though other gun designs might do the same job at lower cost.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2 View Post
    First of all, I was trained as a mechanical engineer and have worked in various manufacturing industries. I have 1911s and a variety of other semiauto brands and types. When I take them apart and look at the number and complexity of the parts, it is evident to me that the 1911 has a more complicated and intricate design than most modern pistols, with more parts that require more machining time to manufacture. Additionally, the assembly of the gun appears to be more complicated, with some final fitting and adjusting required.
    Hah! I said that there same thing and I ain't had to get all that there schoolin' to be no engineer!



    No, seriously, that was my first intuition in answer to the question: the 1911 is seriously complex, and manufacturing it would necessarily be more costly.

    Some want them badly enough to pay for that extra work. To some, all they need is a GLOCK that comes out of a CNC factory. (I'm the latter type, although I do occasionally enjoy the fine, complex piece.)

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    Member Array airbornerangerboogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metallicorey View Post
    yes, i believe that 1911's are over priced period. they are a great weapon, but i just can't justify breaking the one thousand dollar mark for old technology and design.
    I have to agree, when it comes right down to it which would you prefer for self-defense? A $3000 dollar Les Baer holding 7 rounds of .45 cal or a $569 SA XD holding 13 rounds of .45 cal. I would love to own a Les Baer to shoot and admire, but my carry would still be the XD.
    “Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.” James Dean
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    Quote Originally Posted by airbornerangerboogie View Post
    I have to agree, when it comes right down to it which would you prefer for self-defense? A $3000 dollar Les Baer holding 7 rounds of .45 cal or a $569 SA XD holding 13 rounds of .45 cal. I would love to own a Les Baer to shoot and admire, but my carry would still be the XD.
    one way i've come to look at it is, if i'm in a defensive shooting, justifiable or not, there's a good chance my firearm will be confiscated for a period of time. would i rather it be a $400 glock or a $1000+ custom 1911? for me, that's only a fleeting question.

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