I have a Series 80 Colt Commander, that I got a great deal on. I don't know if you can get one with your budget, but it would sill possibly be less than a Kimber.While I really like my Colt Defender, and I shoot it quite well, I'm considering going to a Commander sized 1911 for carry. I've been looking over options and I THINK I have my choices narrowed down to three.
Rock Island Armory Rock Ultra MS
Kimber Pro Carry II
Ruger SR1911 Lightweight.
The most attractive thing about the Rocky is the price, but I've had no experience with them. They DO have a lifetime warranty though.
The most attractive thing about the Ruger is the titanium feed ramp and Ruger's customer service.
The Kimber is the in-between, both price and otherwise. I'm not sure I'm feeling the 4" barrel, but the exterior fit/finish on Kimbers, in my experience, is usually pretty good.
So, with an $875-ish budget, which of the three would you choose, and why? Or, is there another entry in this range I should consider (ATI, Fusion, etc)?
For my own reasons, Colt isn't in the picture on this one.
Those are some nice looking 1911's.Decision has been made, so in retrospect, I feel that the choice made was a good one! I was going to recommend passing on the initial three options - not that they are bad choices, just that I believe there are better options.
First off... Henry... congrats on your new DW which HAS front strap checkering! Big thumbs UP.
My first choice would be a Colt Wiley Clapp Commander, either LW frame or, my preference, all stainless. The legendary Colt reliability - straight out of the box is a huge benefit. And another huge benefit is the front strap checkering! After decades of having many 1911s without front strap checkering, and a few with, I have come to really appreciate the benefit of FSC. It's a big deal, really, the way that locks the pistol into your hand like instant-setting epoxy!
And, I much prefer Commanders (4.25") with their full-size magazines vs Compacts (4") with their short magazines.
That said, the DW is a good choice, as would be a Springfield. Springfield's customer service is excellent and well established.
Full size mag, with front strap checkering for me.
I have Kimber full-size and compacts that are excellent guns, but they were all made well before Kimber went down the road of focusing on cosmetics, external extractors and Swartz safeties, rather than reliability.
At this stage in my 1911 ownership, I wouldn't buy any 1911 which didn't come with front strap checkering from the factory -OR wouldn't be receiving that upgrade after purchase. Just my personal choice.
My stainless and alloy frame Wiley Clapps.
There isn't a 1911 maker out there who hasn't had to do warranty work, replacement parts, etc. on a 1911. This includes some of the biggest name custom 1911 pistol smiths and the biggest name major manufacturers.For anyone interested, the reason I left Colt out of the running is that the last two Colts I have purchased, both within the past two years, had issues.
On the Government model, I had to have the slide stop lever replaced. Periodically the slide would not stay open on an empty magazine. Using different magazines didn't help. Granted, Colt stands by their product, but it's the idea that I had to address the issue in the first place.
On the Defender, the thumb safety broke. It is still at Colt for repairs. It was several months out of 'warranty' but they said that they would cover this repair.
Oh, I don't doubt that every maker has had to do warranty work, replacement parts, etc. It is, after all, a mechanical device. The fact that I have had issues within the first year (+/-) of ownership of each of two pistols of similar design from the same manufacturer may be inconsequential to you, but to me, it speaks of a lack of quality control. For the record, I don't believe that continuing to change makers will eliminate the need for occasional warranty work or parts replacements, but 2 for 2 is hardly 'occasional' in my book.There isn't a 1911 maker out there who hasn't had to do warranty work, replacement parts, etc. on a 1911. This includes some of the biggest name custom 1911 pistol smiths and the biggest name major manufacturers.
So, that fact that you had a couple of parts issues in the past - with ANY maker, is inconsequential, really.
Buy what feels good to you, but don't think that if you keep changing makers, you'll eliminate the need for occasional warranty work or parts replacement. You won't. Dan Wesson isn't immune. They were not successful, in a few attempts, in correcting a problem that I had with one of their guns a few years ago. That doesn't mean I would write them off, though.