Best basic 1911 to start with?

This is a discussion on Best basic 1911 to start with? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am toying with the idea of a 1911. Actually I have almost made this leap several times in the last 25 years, once with ...

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Thread: Best basic 1911 to start with?

  1. #1
    Member Array larrupin's Avatar
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    Best basic 1911 to start with?

    I am toying with the idea of a 1911. Actually I have almost made this leap several times in the last 25 years, once with a Colt officers model that was on clearance at a Wal-Mart when they were going to stop carrying pistols, yeah I was young and poor but I still kick myself about passing that one up.

    Anyway since I have never owned one I would like to buy a basic, good starter 1911 but I don't want to spend a fortune. What do you recommend, and is somewhere around $500 a good figure to plan on ?

    Thanks,

    Larrupin'

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  3. #2
    JD
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    A Springfield GI or Milspec

    Used Springfield Loaded Model

    Possibly a Rock Island Armory (not my cup of tea, but it's a good price)

    Personally I'd find a good used Springfiled Loaded model...oh wait, that is what I did I paid $450 for it and it's been a champ.

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    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    S&W 1911, standard model. Bought mine slightly used for $550 a few years ago. Still see them (used) occasionally for $550-600.

    S&W warranty (much like Glock) will take care of any problems forever.

    If I could only keep one gun, the 1911 would be the one to keep.
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    I have a Kimber Classic full size 5" that I like very much. It is basically a Colt series 70; basic no frills clone of the Colt.

    I like it better than the newer II series of pistols. This is because the series II guns have the Schwartz firing pin safety added and I am old fasioned and reluctant to accept new "bells and whistles", not that there is anything bad about it. By the way, the firing pin safety is the main difference between the series 70 Colt, which doesn't have it, and the newer series 80 that does. I do know that there are more parts in the guns with the Shwartz system, and require a little different stripping techniques.

    I think some where between 500 and 700 ought to get a used basic pistol, depending upon condition. I also have a Springfield 1911-A1 that I like very well. And of course the Colt is a great choice, I only mention it last because I don't own one - but I will some day.

    I am not saying anything bad about the foreign made guns, but for me, I prefer to stick with US made guns. My luck would be that I would not be able to get parts or service when I needed it. And I know, parts could be had from a US supplier that "might" fit, but they might not, and I'd rather put Ford parts in a Ford anyway.

    I'm sure the firing pin safetys have been performing OK for most, but I haven't heard many pro's or con's about them. Since bad news travels faster, I would assume the forums would be full of negatives if something was REALLY wrong.

    Sorry for the rambling, It takes me 20 words to say 10.

    Hope this helps a little

    Jim
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    The Taurus 1911 seems to be pretty decent.
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    A good friend purchased a Rock Island summer before last and it's a honey. Very accurate. It groups right along side my Gold Cup.

    I've been hankering for a plain-jain, unfooled with Colt Series 70 Government Model myself lately. A clean one that is factory original.

    Go for a standard model 1911 as was stated above. Get to know it well befor you start wanting to "tweak" it. I've long since determined that I don't want any tweaking. Stay away from 1911's that have been worked over no matter what the seller claims for the gun or how good a deal it is. The misery of 1911 unreliability may be attributed to every Tom, Dick, and Harry thinking they have a better idea with regards to parts, springs, contours, tightness, and even basic design (read that full-length guide rods). The mighty Glocks, SIGS, XP's, etc. would be unreliable too if they were butchered as often as is the 1911.

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    Member Array vashooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfl View Post
    The Taurus 1911 seems to be pretty decent.
    Second that - the Taurus PT 1911 is an excellent value - for $600 or so you get a semi-customized 1911 45ACP - ambi wide safety, Heine stack dot sights, match barrel, extended beavertail, good gripstrap checkering, spur hammer, enlarged ejection port, tuned trigger, etc. etc.

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    Senior Member Array sui-juris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfl View Post
    The Taurus 1911 seems to be pretty decent.
    I agree, it seems like a great buy. If i buy a 1911 that'll be it..

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    Senior Member Array rabywk's Avatar
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    The Taurus and S&W have a nice price on them. They would get my consideration for a starter.
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    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    often see used Para for that price range too...

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    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    A Springfield GI or Milspec

    Used Springfield Loaded Model

    Possibly a Rock Island Armory (not my cup of tea, but it's a good price)

    Personally I'd find a good used Springfiled Loaded model...oh wait, that is what I did I paid $450 for it and it's been a champ.
    Take JD's advice. If you feel like you made a mistake afterward, call me.
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    Member Array Arkhangel's Avatar
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    I picked up a Rock Island .45 a few wks back, first 1911 style gun, reason was same as OP, just to try it out. So far, 300+ rounds thru the gun, I like it. I got a Tactical model because it had the beaver tail on it(been bitten before by a non beavertail model). The thing I like the most on it though, is the trigger. Sooo much nicer than a Glock which are my primary weapons. Would I replace the Glock, probably not, but the .45 is still a nice gun.

    SY

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    2 other possibilities:

    I picked up an STI Spartan for $624 a few months back and am quite happy. It features a parkerized finish, adjustable sight, fiber optic front and the gun is very accurate.

    Or, I have seen that Para-Ordnance has a high-cap .45 for sale at Academy for about the same price. I don't know anyone who has one, but it sure looks like a good deal.

    Just a thought
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    If you're willing to either spend or save to open your price range to about 600-700, I would recommend looking at S&W standard 1911's or the Springfields in that range. Owning eleven 1911 pistols of multiple makes and having shot many others, I can say the ones that have shot disproportionately better than what I paid for them have been the S&W's (I have 3, a standard, a PD commander, and the 1911DK, a competition 1911). The Taurus 1911 is decently crafted and I haven't met anyone who has expressed unreliability, but I also have yet to fire one with a good 1911 trigger. In the PT1911 price range, you will get a better trigger out of a stock Springfield (which look a little less attractive than the PT1911, which looks almost like a semi-custom...but the Springfields have it where it counts). Para also has some models in that range that are less "bells and whistles" surface beauty, but will fire better than the PT1911. All things considered, if this is a first 1911, probably the biggest trap will be sticking to what YOU'VE decided is important and what you want to pay. I've been around several times when a person expresses interest in a 1911 model...and some know-it-all continually tries to tell them they need to spend more to get a good 1911 (i.e. around $2000 for an Ed Brown or Wilson Combat). Be carefull, 1911's are addictive.

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    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    I bought the Taurus PT 1911, it comes with lots of extra features that usually cost a bunch more, got the gun, new in the box for under $600.

    I'm quite happy with it.

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