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It might be helpful for the prospective 1911 buyer to hear the reasons that someone would spend ~50%+ over the ~$1,000 price of a Colt, Kimber, Springfield, ect...
So, if you own a Dan Wesson, Les Baer, Ed Brown, or Wilson Combat 1911 please share your reasons for purchasing it.

For me, the quality of tool steel small parts was a major factor in purchasing my Dan Wesson Valor; I also valued the cut checkering, metal MSH, and night sights. It was very tight and could not be field stripped without a wrench for several hundred rounds. The checkering on the Valor is pretty aggressive and the VZ grips are slim, this looks great but eventually did not suit me. I ended up putting Pachymar wrap around (no finger grooves) rubber grips on it, so my hand is happy even if my eyes aren't.

I subsequently bought a Les Baer UTC, this pistol has a beautiful blued finish and is "hard fit"; it also had a metal MSH, cut checkering, and night sights. This pistol is still insanely tight 800 rounds later, it's not coming apart without a bushing wrench. Despite the tightness, it is and has been completely reliable. The checkering on the Baer is not very aggressive and matches well (IMO) with the slim grip, comfortable and good looking.

I eventually broke down and bought a Ed Brown Special Forces. I was drawn by the black / gray Gen 3 two tone finish, scalloped front strap, quality small parts, metal MSH and night sights. The Special Forces is good looking, has been 100% reliable for hundreds of rounds and feels great in my hand. As with the other two pistols, it's very tightly built. Is the Brown "worth" the additional premium over the Valor or UTC? That is somewhat subjective, as I consider all three to be "top quality"; but, the Gen 3 finish is nice.

If you have one, share why you elected to pay the extra $$$ for a Dan Wesson, Les Baer, Ed Brown, or Wilson Combat, maybe it will help someone considering a 1911 decide whether it is worth it to them.
:wave:
 

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Hmm? I've owned a number of the so called top tier 1911s. Why did I purchase them? To see what all the fuss was about.

I've had 4 Les Baer's, a Thunder Ranch, a Concept IV, a Concept IX and a National Match Hard Ball.








A Springfield Professional


An Ed Brown Kobra Carry


I have since sold all of them, except the National Match, the only one I really regret selling is the Springfield Professional.
 

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In the past few months I purchased a TRP, Wilson Carry Pistol and Ed Brown SF. Put in an order for a Brown Kobra Carry.

Why? I honestly don't know. But since I just dropped over $160K on putting two daughters through college, I guess I just needed some "me stuff."

Seriously, I'm never gonna own a Porsche or an oceanfront home, but life is too short not to get the stuff you can afford.
 

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The hard-core guys that were in my EAG courses carried Springfield Professionals. I couldn't afford that, but on advice of the SA Custom Shop guys I got the TRP. Supposedly the same bits with without all the specific mating and hand work. It's a workhorse.
 

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Smitty, this is an email from SA telling a little about both pistols. They are both good pistols.

The TRP is a factory pistol which has been upgraded with a few features to make it look like the full custom Professional model (FBI SWAT pistol).

The Professional is a full custom pistol that begins with a national match frame which has the oversized slide rails cut into the frame in our Geneseo machine shop. It uses all custom parts, including the Springfield Custom tool steel hammer & sear, Nowlin barrel & bushing, S&A mag well, Wilson ambi thumb safety, Novak low mount rear sight, dovetail front sight, match skeletonized trigger, standard guide rod system, and 6 specially tuned Metalform 7 round magazines. These pistols are hand assembled by custom gunsmiths in our Geneseo custom shop, under the supervision of master gunsmith David Williams. The Professional models meet or exceed all specifications of the FBI SWAT contract, including the accuracy requirement of 1.5" or better at 25 yards with Remington Golden Saber ammunition. The civilian pistols and the FBI pistols are built at the same time, with the gunsmiths never knowing whether a civilian or FBI agent will be using the pistol. These pistols are built approx. every 45 days, with the FBI order being filled first and civilian orders getting all of the remaining from the production run. These pistols do not have front cocking serrations or full length guide rods because the FBI chose not to have these features on their pistols. (Front cocking serrations catch on clothing and full length guide rods require additional tools for disassembly.) These pistols are finished with the Black T finish done by Walter Birdsong in MS.

The TRP pistol is a factory pistol which has been upgraded with more hand fitting than a standard factory pistol, as well as a 2 piece mag well, night sights, and better tuning internally. It has a quoted accuracy of 2.5" or better at 25 yards with match ammunition. It has the front cocking serrations and full length guide rod, just like the other factory "loaded" models. These pistols are finished with Springfield's Armory Kote finish, which is a painted on, baked on finish similar to the Black T finish.


Deb, Custom Shop Coordinator
Springfield Inc.
420 West Main St.
Geneseo, IL 61254
(800) 680-6866
[email protected]
 

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Sweet sweet guns

It might be helpful for the prospective 1911 buyer to hear the reasons that someone would spend ~50%+ over the ~$1,000 price of a Colt, Kimber, Springfield, ect...
So, if you own a Dan Wesson, Les Baer, Ed Brown, or Wilson Combat 1911 please share your reasons for purchasing it.

For me, the quality of tool steel small parts was a major factor in purchasing my Dan Wesson Valor; I also valued the cut checkering, metal MSH, and night sights. It was very tight and could not be field stripped without a wrench for several hundred rounds. The checkering on the Valor is pretty aggressive and the VZ grips are slim, this looks great but eventually did not suit me. I ended up putting Pachymar wrap around (no finger grooves) rubber grips on it, so my hand is happy even if my eyes aren't.

I subsequently bought a Les Baer UTC, this pistol has a beautiful blued finish and is "hard fit"; it also had a metal MSH, cut checkering, and night sights. This pistol is still insanely tight 800 rounds later, it's not coming apart without a bushing wrench. Despite the tightness, it is and has been completely reliable. The checkering on the Baer is not very aggressive and matches well (IMO) with the slim grip, comfortable and good looking.

I eventually broke down and bought a Ed Brown Special Forces. I was drawn by the black / gray Gen 3 two tone finish, scalloped front strap, quality small parts, metal MSH and night sights. The Special Forces is good looking, has been 100% reliable for hundreds of rounds and feels great in my hand. As with the other two pistols, it's very tightly built. Is the Brown "worth" the additional premium over the Valor or UTC? That is somewhat subjective, as I consider all three to be "top quality"; but, the Gen 3 finish is nice.

If you have one, share why you elected to pay the extra $$$ for a Dan Wesson, Les Baer, Ed Brown, or Wilson Combat, maybe it will help someone considering a 1911 decide whether it is worth it to them.
:wave:
WOW!!! Great thread OP. I just about need to change my shorts...the 45 porn rolling thru my head reading your words got me going all gaga:blink:

The pics put up by OD just just naturally added to my lust:blink:

My best friend owns 45s. He works for a major railroad and makes obscenely good money. He's also single. Therefore he can so therefore he DOES!!!!!!

Years ago (like 10 or so) he had a 3 caliber barreled Dan Wesson in a really nice presentation quality wood box. Seems like it was very Thompson Contender like. My brain's a wee bit on the Out Of Order side today:blink: He's had some real sweet heart's of guns.:blink:

He owns a Kimber and (I think) a Colt 45. He also has an AR variant and some other weapons. He reloads. His primary reasons for owning top name firearms are several. Made in AMERICA is like the Number One Reason. He is Old School. He doesn't go in for the new polymer guns available. He gets all snarky and calls them plastic guns.
My pal is a whiz at metallurgy and I'm sure this factors in. He likes nice things and isn't/doesn't have to be a bargain hunter like me when he buys stuff. He makes like 60 grand a year. Everything he owns is his outright as it should be. If I had of been smarter as a kid I would have gotten on with the railroad then I'd be sitting pretty now too.:blink:
 
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I had a Brown, and a gun built by Vickers a number of years back. I was stupid then, and didnt know squat about the 1911, except that I had more money than sense. I had issues and blamed all 1911's because I used cheap mags, and blamed the platform for feed issues.

I now only have Colts, and that is good enough for me, although I might treat myself to something special on retirement.
 
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I now only have Colts, and that is good enough for me, although I might treat myself to something special on retirement.
If a fella (or lady) wants a high dollar 1911, I say go for it, I've had a few, BUT, they don't do anything that your stock Colt can't do, with the exception of target accuracy at distance maybe. No maker, or custom maker, can produce a 1911 that is more than 100% reliable. I'm not a formal target shooter, most of my 1911s are for carry, I don't necessarily need 1-1/2" groups at 50 yards (although it is fun to have something that accurate), I do demand 100% reliability.
 

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Smitty, this is an email from SA telling a little about both pistols. They are both good pistols.
Good stuff! Deb is the gal I dealt with a couple of years ago when I sent the TRP back - it shot about 4" low.

When the NRA convention was in Phx a few years ago, I volunteered to help set up for a couple of days. Before the show opened I was hanging around the Springfield booth and got talking to the custom shop guys who were there. I told them I couldn't afford a Custom, and asked "what's second best?" They all agreed the TRP was, and said overall it was probably their best value in a 1911. Good enough for me.
 

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I fell in love with the DW CBOB the first time I got to handle one. The feel of it, the bobtail, the SS finish. It just called to me. I've owned a Sig RCS and a SA Loaded Champion, but when the opportunity to get the DW came along, and the price was within reach I bought it. It's been 100% reliable and shoots much better than I am capable of shooting. It is a gun that I will pass down to my son when the time come.
 
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Good stuff! Deb is the gal I dealt with a couple of years ago when I sent the TRP back - it shot about 4" low.

When the NRA convention was in Phx a few years ago, I volunteered to help set up for a couple of days. Before the show opened I was hanging around the Springfield booth and got talking to the custom shop guys who were there. I told them I couldn't afford a Custom, and asked "what's second best?" They all agreed the TRP was, and said overall it was probably their best value in a 1911. Good enough for me.
Total agreement. :hand10:
 

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If a fella (or lady) wants a high dollar 1911, I say go for it, I've had a few, BUT, they don't do anything that your stock Colt can't do, with the exception of target accuracy at distance maybe. No maker, or custom maker, can produce a 1911 that is more than 100% reliable. I'm not a formal target shooter, most of my 1911s are for carry, I don't necessarily need 1-1/2" groups at 50 yards (although it is fun to have something that accurate), I do demand 100% reliability.
What he said.
 

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Hmm? I've owned a number of the so called top tier 1911s. Why did I purchase them? To see what all the fuss was about.

I've had 4 Les Baer's, a Thunder Ranch, a Concept IV, a Concept IX and a National Match Hard Ball.








A Springfield Professional


An Ed Brown Kobra Carry


I have since sold all of them, except the National Match, the only one I really regret selling is the Springfield Professional.
I only own three LB's. :smile:
 

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I live about 10 miles from the Les Baer factory and am saving my pennies for a .45 atm. I also plan on taking their factory tour sometime in the near future as well :) I will also be getting a .308 from them a little bit down the road.
 

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I live about 10 miles from the Les Baer factory and am saving my pennies for a .45 atm. I also plan on taking their factory tour sometime in the near future as well :) I will also be getting a .308 from them a little bit down the road.
I went for a tour while they were in Illinois. I love it.
 

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My Dan Wesson CBOB is a 2009 model, which was before they went to the forged frame along with all the other goodies that shot them into the $1000 + range. I can't remember but I think I shelled out around $900 for it. The best thing about that gun is it has been dead nuts reliable. That gun has never malfunctioned...not once...and it is a dream to shoot.

Not the greatest pic...but here it is...




My Ed Brown...
I kept reading about how refined and smooth they were but I never had seen one up close, until I went to an LGS that I rarely frequented and they had one that I could actually hold. After working the slide a few times, dry firing it, and getting a feel for it...I made the determination that I wanted one. I had the money at that time so it was a done deal.

The "Molon Labe" was introduced IIRC...at the 2010 Shot Show and I knew that was the one I wanted. I put in the order and Voila! It's easily the nicest gun I own, so I tend to baby it...but I love shooting it.


 

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Don't own a 1911...it's on my bucket list for must own gun type. Someday. Great post and subsequent thread...some great stuff here!
 

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If I could afford a Wilson Combat I'd be all over it like a fat kid on cake!:danceban:
 
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