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Below is my first and only 1911, a Sig Nightmare Carry, which I really love. Many 1911 purists balk at SIGs, and I’m ok with that. I’m not offended.

DBA4AEB4-0920-4AD9-8A69-64D499741DD1.jpeg

But I’m trying to decide what to get next, (except not a Sig this time). I don’t want to spend more than $1,000; I don’t want a rail of any kind, looking at a Commander size..... I know there is a lot out there, but not certain what to look at. I may carry it, but I haven’t yet decided. At some point I’d like a 9mm and perhaps a 10mm, but for now, let’s stick with 45.

ok....let me have it, what should I be looking at?
 

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For a true commander length barrel with barrel bushing and traditional 1911 features, and in your price range, choices are limited. As mentioned, a Colt lwt commander or combat commander are good choices. Look around and you may find a Dan Wesson offering below 1k as well. There are a few others , but those would be the 2 I searched for if I were looking.
 

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Shop around and you might find a Colt Wiley Clapp Commander in your price range. They can be had in lightweight/blued or stainless flavors. IMO, the checkering and other upgrades are worth the premium over the regular Commander. I used a LW as the base gun for a build but they're solid shooters right out of the box.
 

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Commander Size Under $1,000

Lots to choose from. Its always fun picking out a new 1911. You have indicated that you would like to stay below $1,000, 9mm, and no rail. You will likely have a lot of suggestions to go with the Colt Commander, either in the Combat all steel or Lightweight with aluminum frame models. Those will be of course great suggestions and I can't knock choosing one. I like them a lot. But, there are other worthy picks, too, that I have found "shoot fine and last a long time".

Colt Lightweight or Combat Commander - I found the Combat Commander for $860 and Lightweight Commander for $928 online. Availability can be an issue. My own is a recent production model lightweight. I like having the Colt name, but really don't see that it performs any better than a lot of others. Of course, I've been told that they will "hold their value". Really not much of an issue with me as I don't plan on getting rid of any of my Colt 1911s, my heirs can decide what to do with them.

Colt-Firearms-Combat-Commander-O4942XE.jpg

Colt LW Commander.JPG

Remington Carry Commander - Available online for about $750. Can often be found on sale for less.) I have had good luck with Remington 1911s that were made in Ilion, NY. The Carry Commander is dehorned and I think a very attractive pistol. Does have series 80 style safety. Does not use the double spring configuration that some manufactures have went to, which for me is a plus. YMMV.

Remington-1911-R1-Carry-Commander-96335.jpg

Remington R1 Commander & Axiom-3.JPG

Ruger Lwt Commander 9mm - Can be a little hard to find. Should be about $750 online. Ruger decided to approach the product liability issue with firing pin block safeties differently and have used a titanium firing pin and have not included the series 80 firing pin block safety, so can be called Series 70 type. The Ruger 1911s I have owned have shot well and have had very good triggers right out of the box. The two tone look that Ruger produces can be a plus or minus, depending upon your tastes. The dark color is matte. I don't have a Ruger Lwt Commander currently, but do have the 5" Lwt.

Ruger-SR1911-6722-LWT 9mm.jpg

Ruger 1911-1.JPG


Kimber Pro Carry II 9mm - Current price I found online was $726 for the one I show in the picture, two tone with wood grips. Lots of Kimber haters around, but they have been good pistols for me. The Kimber Pro Carry models have barrels 1/4" shorter than a true Commander length, which as made originally by Colt should be 4 1/4". My Pro Carry is in .45 ACP and is my preferred Commander for EDC if I'm carrying a Commander.

Kimber-Pro-Carry-II-9mm.jpg

Kimber Pro-4.JPG


Dan Wesson Vigil Commander - I hesitated to list this one as an option. Most prices that I found were slightly above your upper limit of $1,000. They currently have a MSRP of $1298. I have seen these for $915 - $950 from one dealer online. Dan Wesson has a very good reputation for making 1911s and the Commander Vigil should be one heck of a pistol. It is on my wish list, along with a Valkyrie, which has a Commander slide on a CCO frame.

Dan Wesson Vigil Commander .jpg
 

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Shop around and you might find a Colt Wiley Clapp Commander in your price range. They can be had in lightweight/blued or stainless flavors. IMO, the checkering and other upgrades are worth the premium over the regular Commander. I used a LW as the base gun for a build but they're solid shooters right out of the box.

I go through phases where I will carry a different pistol for a while, but I always seem to end up back at a 1911, and a stock Wiley Clapp LW Commander is the one I carry most often. Mine has the front serrations, which I know are divisive, but I like them. I agree with WC145, the upgrades - hell, the front strap checkering alone - are definitely worth any premium. If you are open to used guns, you can often find nice examples (as I did) on Gunbroker for very little more than the standard gun and easily under $1,000.

Personally, the only thing I might change someday are the sights, as I'm not a huge fan of the black rear/brass bead front.

As Old Man said, I'd also take a look at the Dan Wesson Vigil if you are open to an alloy frame (which, IMO if you plan to carry the gun at all, you should be). I'm keeping my eyes open for a previously loved 5" Vigil myself.

Good luck!
 

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Well, a Colt is the original 1911, so it would seem to reason that it is also “ the real” deal in 1911’s.

I have both the Combat Commander and the LW Commander.

Im certainly no expert, but in my assessment of them after possessing , shooting and carrying, is the LW Commander is the only one to have between the two, because it’s the only one that makes real sense.

While I like my Combat Commander, it has no advantages over the Government model except 3/4 of an inch of barrel, which does not make any noticeable difference in carry.

The LW Commander on the other hand, instantly became my edc due to the significant weight difference.

The new new models are coming with the double recoil springs and a smaller GI style guide rod, and are said to be good for 10,000 rounds before needing switched.

Until they are broken in a little, I think it makes them a little over sprung and making one prone to short cycling the slide during recoil if you don’t have a firm grip, but after a couple hundred rounds, it settles in and is no longer an issue.

The LW Commander has made me say screw everything else, with respect to polymer guns.

If you do go the LW route, one word to the wise: order you some bull nosed magazines or mags with polymer followers so you dont have to worry about dinging your feed ramp.....stay away from Devel style followers.
 

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I would find an older (5+ year) Colt Combat Commander.

I have had terrible luck with recent production Colts, and I personally wouldn’t touch a new one. Example: I had a recent Colt LW Commander 9mm; ran fine, but had very poor accuracy (verified on and off a rest, by several shooters better than I am, and with multiple loads–dang it, I wanted to like that gun!); in fact a buddy’s RIA Officer’s-the baseline model–outshot it easily.

On that note? RIA–Rock Island Armory–makes a VERY solid 1911 for the money; series 70...some of their models are 4.25”, bushing setup...I’ve owned several, and have been impressed by the “bang for the buck” they have. In fact, I’m looking at replacing that Colt with a RIA...
 

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Wow, great suggestions and pictures, thank you....this will keep me busy for awhile! After reading these posts I want to go with a light weight alloy frame vs all steel for the weight reduction.
 

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Wow, great suggestions and pictures, thank you....this will keep me busy for awhile! After reading these posts I want to go with a light weight alloy frame vs all steel for the weight reduction.
In that case, a Colt Lightweight Commander.
 

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Have we experienced a new era of 1911s that are now coming out of the factories with the tolerances of what used to require hand fitting of new barrels and custom work?
 
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