STI Ranger II v.s. S&W1911PD v.s. Kimber Pro Carry

STI Ranger II v.s. S&W1911PD v.s. Kimber Pro Carry

This is a discussion on STI Ranger II v.s. S&W1911PD v.s. Kimber Pro Carry within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok folks... I am planning to buy myself a new 1911 this week and need some friendly insight to help in my decision. I have ...

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Thread: STI Ranger II v.s. S&W1911PD v.s. Kimber Pro Carry

  1. #1
    Member Array RonnyBaby's Avatar
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    STI Ranger II v.s. S&W1911PD v.s. Kimber Pro Carry

    Ok folks... I am planning to buy myself a new 1911 this week and need some friendly insight to help in my decision.

    I have three models that I am liking and cannot afford them all, so I need to pick one.

    The STI Ranger II is looking good to me and it comes in either .40 or .45. I have a Glock 23 and thought getting this pistol in .40 would be nice because then I wouldn't need to stock another size caliber. I mean, I have two calibers now along with my .50GI, so having three would be a bit much. I am a simple guy. I also want laser grips and will want to add them on down the line when money allows.
    See It Here: STI International - The STI

    But I like the other two pistols also and if I decide to go with one of the others, I would just make the decision to stock three calibers.

    The next pistol in line of choice is the S&W 1911PD. I hear good things about them and that they are very accurate and dependable.
    I do like the looks of S&W. Don't know why... just do. This PD I found also comes with Crimson Laser Grips.
    See It Here: Product: Model SW1911PD Pistol

    Last is the Kimber. I chose this one on my list as the third entry because I love the looks of Kimbers though I always hear Kimber are popular on the failure to feed issues. This Kimber also comes with Laser Grips.
    See It Here: Kimber > 1911 Pistols > Crimson Carry > Pro Crimson Carry II™

    My goal here is to purchase a pistol that I can either carry, target shoot often or use as home protection. It needs to be versatile.

    Any insight on this selection of beautiful pistols will be much appreciated!!
    Last edited by RonnyBaby; February 23rd, 2010 at 01:12 AM.


  2. #2
    kpw
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    I want a Ranger II myself so my choice would be easy.
    "In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power." -
    -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

  3. #3
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    All are quality pieces, and realistically it comes down to the features you want and can afford and the final price you pay for the gun. The Commander size (4" bbl) is a very handy size and doesn't beget the reliability problems the Officers Model (3") guns do. The alloy frame on the S+W and Kimber saves you a few ounces which you'll appreciate if you carry the gun all day. The lighter weight won't really be noticed when actually shooting unless you shoot a lot of +P rounds (which I never do).

    STI has been a name in the 1911 "race gun" biz for quite a while, and Virgil Tripp's Cobra Mags are about the best in the business.

    Kimber makes a solid 1911 in a wide, wide variety of models (maybe too many). An awful lot of their feeding problems are related to their OEM magazines, and I simply threw mine in into the "don't use these" box and it runs flawlessly with Wilson and Tripp mags.

    S+W is a relative newcomer to the 1911 scene but they seem to have done their homework. Notably, they've been the only big-name maker to make the external extractor work reliably.

    The only thing I hold against the Kimber is their Series II, Swartz-style firing pin safety. It lacks the ultimate robustness of the basic unfettered Browning design, although mine has never given problems. Beyond that, I haven't seen any STIs in the training courses I've been in, although they seem popular at the range. Given all that, I lean toward the S+W... probably the priciest of the three!

    BTW, I'd stick with .45 ACP for a 1911, especially for your first one.

    (I personally would expand the envelope to include some Springfield models... or maybe a couple of others... but that's outside your given set of choices.)

    Don't forget that you'll need magazines, too. Stick with Tripp and Wilson, each around $35 these days... factor those into your total budget, even if after the initial purchase.

    Good luck and post back with what you choose!
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member
    NROI Chief Range Officer

  4. #4
    Member Array RonnyBaby's Avatar
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    @ gasmitty

    Hey thanks for the thorough reply!

    I wanted to add that the S&W 1911's come with Mec-Gar mags which are very good also. Mec-Gar - World's Finest Firearm Magazines

    And the 1911PD comes with TWO mags!

    @ kpw

    Thanks for your thought!

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    I really like the look of those S&W scandium 1911s. Wish I could afford one
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
    ---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
    ---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---

  6. #6
    cmb
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    Tough choices but good ones, I too would look at the springfield armory, they have a loaded lightweight commander with their army kote finish, I have been eyeing that and Kimber SIS (little heavier).

    That said of your choices I would get the STI in 45 acp!

  7. #7
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    I just missed a deal on a s&w scadium , i bought the ranger2 in 45 acp and i have laser grips on it. I really am pleased with it . extremly accurate

    here is a target i shot at 15 yds. 8 shots umc fmj
    Attached Images

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    All three are good

    I think you have picked three excellent candidates, and any one of them would probably make you happy. I have the Kimber Pro CDP and have not fired the other two, but I know they have a good reputation on the Internet. My Kimber has performed well and I am happy with it.

    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

  9. #9
    Member Array RonnyBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjwestbrook View Post
    I just missed a deal on a s&w scadium , i bought the ranger2 in 45 acp and i have laser grips on it. I really am pleased with it . extremly accurate

    here is a target i shot at 15 yds. 8 shots umc fmj
    Pretty good! And thanks for your input!


    @ pogo2

    I saw a couple CDP's with the Pachmayr grips on them and they looked great! I like the CDP with those finger notched grips in black.

  10. #10
    Member Array RonnyBaby's Avatar
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    Thanks to you all for your thoughts!

    I would LOVE to own each and every one of them... but today, the money does not allow. Maybe tomorrow!

    However, I just found an S&W 1911PD in stock at a local gun dealer for $1179 and am going to go look at it in
    person. Seems a bit steep, but I have not found too many floating around.

    There are a few UTube vids on the S&W and all reported good... so, we'll see how it sits in my hand.

    I Found only one Ranger II vid. Looks like it has low recoil.
    YouTube - sti ranger II


    If I were to get the Ranger II, I think I want to go with the .40 cal. But as Gasmitty said, he recommends
    the first 1911 in my collection be a .45. It makes sense to me. The true .45 1911. I will pick-up a Ranger II .40
    cal. when more green-backs are flowing.

    One thing I want to do, should I pick up the S&W, is swap out the tan grips for black ones. Wadda ya'll think?

    I did a quick photoshop and colored the grips black.


  11. #11
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    STI has been a name in the 1911 "race gun" biz for quite a while, and Virgil Tripp's Cobra Mags are about the best in the business.
    STI, pound-for-pound rules the combat competition circles and has for a long time in the handgunning world, so those folks know quite a lot about what works and what doesn't in a 1911.

    As for Virgil Tripp, his mags are as advertised. I have used them since 1994, when he gave me a few of his prototype cobra mags to use for a while when I shot a lot of 3-gun; I have carried them ever since.

    Get the STI, you won't go wrong.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonnyBaby View Post
    Thanks to you all for your thoughts!

    I would LOVE to own each and every one of them... but today, the money does not allow. Maybe tomorrow!

    However, I just found an S&W 1911PD in stock at a local gun dealer for $1179 and am going to go look at it in
    person. Seems a bit steep, but I have not found too many floating around.

    There are a few UTube vids on the S&W and all reported good... so, we'll see how it sits in my hand.

    I Found only one Ranger II vid. Looks like it has low recoil.
    YouTube - sti ranger II


    If I were to get the Ranger II, I think I want to go with the .40 cal. But as Gasmitty said, he recommends
    the first 1911 in my collection be a .45. It makes sense to me. The true .45 1911. I will pick-up a Ranger II .40
    cal. when more green-backs are flowing.

    One thing I want to do, should I pick up the S&W, is swap out the tan grips for black ones. Wadda ya'll think?
    Ronny, if the money isn't burning a hole in your pocket today and you're around the Phx area, I'd say head for the gun show at the State Fairgrounds this weekend. If nothing else you'll get to see and handle of lot of different 1911s there, and see the range of prices. It's an enjoyable way to spend a few hours! FWIW, gun show prices are rarely the absolute best deal you'll ever get, but once in a while you may do well. The common guns like Glocks and XDs are all priced pretty comparably, but once you get past $1000 mark you may see a greater variation in prices. My one big score for a new gun at a gun was my Kimber CDPII Pro; even with a credit card the dealer let it go for $100 less than I could do anywhere else.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member
    NROI Chief Range Officer

  13. #13
    Member Array RonnyBaby's Avatar
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    Hey, one other thing guys... I just remembered we have a gun show coming up this next weekend! I have never been to one. Would it be a good thing for me to wait and go to it or don't bother? Some on UTube have said gun shows are a waste of time. Hmmm...

  14. #14
    Member Array RonnyBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Ronny, if the money isn't burning a hole in your pocket today and you're around the Phx area, I'd say head for the gun show at the State Fairgrounds this weekend. If nothing else you'll get to see and handle of lot of different 1911s there, and see the range of prices. It's an enjoyable way to spend a few hours! FWIW, gun show prices are rarely the absolute best deal you'll ever get, but once in a while you may do well. The common guns like Glocks and XDs are all priced pretty comparably, but once you get past $1000 mark you may see a greater variation in prices. My one big score for a new gun at a gun was my Kimber CDPII Pro; even with a credit card the dealer let it go for $100 less than I could do anywhere else.
    hahaha... we were thinking the same! So you DO think the gun show is worth checking out then... ok.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonnyBaby View Post
    hahaha... we were thinking the same! So you DO think the gun show is worth checking out then... ok.
    Yep, and it's a biggie... the first couple of times I went I suffered from sensory overload. I found it's best to go in with something specific in mind, as you're doing. That keeps you focused, and then everything else is just nice to look at, serendipity, and oh-by-the-way-isn't-this-cool.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member
    NROI Chief Range Officer

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