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I guess it all depends on perspective; For example, my first carry gun was a Hi-Point C9. I thought it shot okay, and that it was normal for a gun to jam every now and then.:blink:

Then I shot a Glock and realized what a huge difference there was.

Since then I've stuck to Glock, S&W & Ruger on my purchases and have been quite content with quality.

Now I have the itch for a good-quality 1911 .45 (I got it bad...). I know this is hardly a new thread thus far, but I'm looking for opinions on thresholds of quality. For example, I can pick up a Rock Island for around 500 bucks - will that have the quality that I'm accustomed to? Or for example, Kimber has the awesome Pro Carry series if I'm willing to step up to the $800-1000 range. Is that good enough, or will I truly see another level of quality by going into the $1500-3000+ range of the Wilson Combat/Ed Brown offerings?

I really don't care to pay extra for name recognition, resale value, or status. However, I really do appreciate fine craftsmanship (mechanical, not cosmetic) and am trying to dial in the correct bang-for-the-buck on this next purchase.

Your most pragmatic opinions are appreciated!
 

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I guess it all depends on perspective; For example, my first carry gun was a Hi-Point C9. I thought it shot okay, and that it was normal for a gun to jam every now and then.:blink:

Then I shot a Glock and realized what a huge difference there was.

Since then I've stuck to Glock, S&W & Ruger on my purchases and have been quite content with quality.

Now I have the itch for a good-quality 1911 .45 (I got it bad...). I know this is hardly a new thread thus far, but I'm looking for opinions thresholds of quality. For example, I can pick up a Rock Island for around 500 bucks - will that have the quality that I'm accustomed to? Or for example, Kimber has the awesome Pro Carry series if I'm willing to step up to the $800-1000 range. Is that good enough, or will I truly see another level of quality by going into the $1500-3000+ range of the Wilson Combat/Ed Brown offerings?

I don't really care to pay extra for name recognition, resale value, or status. However, I really do appreciate fine craftsmanship (mechanical, not cosmetic) and am trying to dial in the correct bang-for-the-buck on this next purchase.

Your most pragmatic opinions are appreciated!
Czech out the Dan Wesson CBOB.
 

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Love my ultra kimber... The Dan Wesson bobtail was second on my list.

Good luck with picking one...
I went back and forth quite a few times before I made up my mind :sport23:
 

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Gee whiz. There're tons of 1911 models to choose from. First you need to set a price you're willing to pay. Can you afford a Kimber? If so, why not.

Of course, being your first 1911 purchase, it's a bit of trial and error. Buy a cheapie and be turned off when it doesn't peform up to expectations, or go for the gusto and hope the expensive gizmo is worth the bucks?

There are many models in each price range. Every gun maker turns out a lemon every now and then, and that seems to draw a lot of negative responses on forums.

I'd say try a Colt or Springfield in the mid-price range. Both are good brands and can be resold easily if you want to move up to the top-dollar bracket later.
 

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as much as I love my Kimber Compact, I would have no problem with the Rock Island. Over time, you can almost "build your own" on the RIA frame with all the after market triggers, barrels, etc., that are available. Or, do what I do, and luck into a good quality used pistol at a bargain price. Unlimited options available in the 1911 category.

surv
 

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Springfield Armory Mil-spec or GI, or a Loaded model if you bump it up to about 800
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Springfield Armory Mil-spec or GI, or a Loaded model if you bump it up to about 800

Really? A local here has a slightly used one for $500. I almost jumped on it, but then started agonizing over whether I was making another Hi-point-type purchase. Money isn't really an issue (although I try to hang on to as much as possible). Thanks.
 

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I second the Rock Island. I had that same itch for the 1911 and did not go wrong with my 2 Rock Islands I picked up within 6 months of each other(5" and 3.5") I carry one of the 2 everyday.
 

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Really? A local here has a slightly used one for $500. I almost jumped on it, but then started agonizing over whether I was making another Hi-point-type purchase. Money isn't really an issue (although I try to hang on to as much as possible). Thanks.
Is that a slightly used Loaded model for 500? Personally I'd inspect the weapon and see if I could shoot it, and if it was in good shape, buy it in a quick minute at that price.

I'm a big fan of springfield armory 1911's, both of mine have been very solid performers, and I haven't needed to use it, but have heard their CS is amazing.
 

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Just make sure you dont buy an ElCheapo & you should be fine...Any fine maker iam sure is fine (Kimber, Ed Brown, Springfiled, Wilson, etc) although everyone has there own opinion on which is best :rolleyes:

I dont know which is best but i will say i edc a Kimber Ultra Carry 2 w/nightsights & CTC grips that i absolutely love :yup:
In fact i love it so much I bought a Kimber Eclipse Target 2 as well that makes me super confident in my shooting skills (or lack thereof,lol) not to mention its super sexy :image035:
Good luck in what you choose & let us know :bier:

Just a note: Kimbers CS department is very friendly & helpful
 

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I guess it all depends on perspective; For example, my first carry gun was a Hi-Point C9. I thought it shot okay, and that it was normal for a gun to jam every now and then.:blink:

Then I shot a Glock and realized what a huge difference there was.

Since then I've stuck to Glock, S&W & Ruger on my purchases and have been quite content with quality.

Now I have the itch for a good-quality 1911 .45 (I got it bad...). I know this is hardly a new thread thus far, but I'm looking for opinions on thresholds of quality. For example, I can pick up a Rock Island for around 500 bucks - will that have the quality that I'm accustomed to? Or for example, Kimber has the awesome Pro Carry series if I'm willing to step up to the $800-1000 range. Is that good enough, or will I truly see another level of quality by going into the $1500-3000+ range of the Wilson Combat/Ed Brown offerings?

I really don't care to pay extra for name recognition, resale value, or status. However, I really do appreciate fine craftsmanship (mechanical, not cosmetic) and am trying to dial in the correct bang-for-the-buck on this next purchase.

Your most pragmatic opinions are appreciated!
Here's my experience, for what it's worth. In Jan. 2009 a good friend gave me a S&W .38 Special revolver with a 6" barrel. Not knowing better I said "thanks", went home and forgot about it for a few months after which I started thinking "What the heck am I going to do with this thing?' I was considering applying for a CCW and this revolvery would be useless. So I took it out to Gander Mtn to sell and then I bought a S&W Sigma SW9VE, a 9mm semi-auto. I was out the door for $50. Thought I had made a good move. Some months later after I got my CPL I went to the range with it. OH MY GOD. I had no idea, after pulling the trigger, when it would go off. I tried over & over but no go for me. I called S&W and complained about a faulty trigger that I believed was dangerous. They gave me instructions on how to return it for repair, at no cost and that's where it is today.
I had to have something to shoot so first I bought NIB a Walther PPK/S .380. I love the look & feel of this gun but the accuracy is a different story. I'm going to put a Crimson Tracer grip on it to help.
After that I said "Go big or go home" so I got a NIB 1911
Kimber Pro Crimson Carry II, 4" barrel, and all I can say is WOW. No malfunctions since it's debut. I did get a couple Wilson mags to reduce risk of failure. For $1.300.00 out the door I believe it's the perfect carry gun. It's performance, so far, is flawless. The only thing missing was night sights but that will get fixed this week-end.

Good Luck
 

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Buy a quality 1911. Keep in mind not all of the high dollar features are necessary for a carry gun. Sometimes they are not desirable. Match gun or personal defense gun?
 

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Rock Island is reportedly a great entry level 1911.
Springfield Loaded is the nicest 1911 I own for the money. Consider it.
 

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Springfield Armory Mil-spec or GI, or a Loaded model if you bump it up to about 800
Hard to go wrong on the Springer Mil-Spec. Has everything you need without the frills for a great SD pistol. Also is a great platform to build on to suit your needs in the future.

Here's one at a really good price and Mark is a true gentleman. Buy with confidence from this guy. I have 3 times!

For another $10.00 you can go stainless.

You do not need a 2k 1911 IMO for a carry gun. Mine has been a fantastic protector for 19 years. If I ever have to use it for SD I'm not worried about it laying in an evidence vault for years in the event of a lawsuit.

Of all the low to medium priced ($1000.00 and below) 1911's I've seen and shot the Springers are the best of the bunch and I've pretty much shot them all.

Happy shopping!

Firearms, Guns, Rifles. Grain Valley, Missouri.
 

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Here's my advice to you: Spend no more than 900 bucks on the gun, total. Before you lay out the money for a Kimber or any other consider this:

All of the current mass-produced 1911s are not built by gunsmiths, they are put together by assemblers; unless you buy a full-house custom gun in the realm of 1200$ or more, you are not going to get a hand-fitted barrel, etc. You will get bunch of "assembled" parts. Now, with the new manufacturing methods most of the time you get a gun that works right. Sometimes, however you get a real lemon. I cannot tell you how many times I have held brand-new 1911s with improperly fitted barrels, or terrible trigger jobs. They end up going to a gunsmith to get it all fixed, then give the 1911s a bad rap because of it.

So here's my advice based on my 25+ years of actual experience:

Go buy yourself a box-stock 1911, the same kind the government issued. Find a Master Pistolsmith near you who specializes in this type of work. Take the gun to him and tell him what you want. Most likely you want a reliable fighting gun that can cut a ragged hole at 20 yards with a trigger that breaks like glass you would bet your life on. He will build that for you.

The cost of the gun will run around 400-450$. The Pistol work will run you about another 400-450. In the end, you will have a wonderful gun you would bet your life on, and a high opinion of 1911s and what they can be. If you need a good gunsmith, here is a link to mine:

Triangle Shooting Sports

I recommend you talk to a gunsmith who is also a competitor like this guy is; he used to be the head pistolsmith at STI before he went out on his own. HIs partner-in-crime was none other than another buddy of mine, Dave Dawson. Yes the same Dave Dawson of Dawson precision. Either one can give you the advice you need or do the work.......

Good luck,
 

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The biggest issue is get good quality mags. The Rock Island mags might be cheap but they will cause you major headaches thinking its the gun. Buy some good mags like Wilson and you will be happy.
 

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you might want to jump onto a 1911 owners forum and browse through the different makes sections to see what the general consensus is...

i have heard nothing but good things about the rock island 1911s and there is a fast growing crowd of owners of them...accuracy is excellent and from what i understand the customer service has been very personal and second to none...

i personally bought a taurus 1911 out the door for $600 and after several thousand rounds have not had an issue and it shoots better than i am capable of...it is also equipped with many features the very high priced 1911s have or people have installed...

the biggest difference most who own the high priced and low priced guns have brought up is the finish of the firearms is not as pristine but in actual use many are slow to admit but enjoy shooting their inexpensive models as much as the expensive ones...a bitter pill but reality...

so you have to look at what you really want...pretty with a great reputation or not as pretty with a growing reputation...

and i agree on the smith sw9ve trigger...i tried one after reading about the gun and it was scary bad...heavy pull and unpredictable break...but there are a lot of satisfied owners out there that may just like the fact that they can purchase a smith for next to nothing and enjoy shooting them the way it is...theres an ass for every seat...

ive had great luck with both the stock taurus mags and mec gars that i purchased for a good price...both have fed everything i throw at them without fail...
 

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.....

Now I have the itch for a good-quality 1911 .45 (I got it bad...). I know this is hardly a new thread thus far, but I'm looking for opinions on thresholds of quality. For example, I can pick up a Rock Island for around 500 bucks - will that have the quality that I'm accustomed to? Or for example, Kimber has the awesome Pro Carry series if I'm willing to step up to the $800-1000 range. Is that good enough, or will I truly see another level of quality by going into the $1500-3000+ range of the Wilson Combat/Ed Brown offerings?

I really don't care to pay extra for name recognition, resale value, or status. However, I really do appreciate fine craftsmanship (mechanical, not cosmetic) and am trying to dial in the correct bang-for-the-buck on this next purchase.

Your most pragmatic opinions are appreciated!
Rock Island is making a fine gun, if I were operating on a tight budget that would be my piece, even more so that the PT1911.

Will that have the quality that I'm accustomed
to?
Better than a Hi Point in the long run I'd say, but I'd have to put it below Glock in overall terms. Some of the parts/fitting are a little rough.

Is there a difference in the overall quality of Kimber and Wilson, Ed Brown, Les Baer etc.? YES.

"Is that good enough?"

That's a matter of perception and opinion. With my track record with Kimber it's hard to recommend them, but I will say that the happy end-users out number the unhappy end-users. So I will neither recommend or not recommend them. Kimber makes a nice gun, but they are no Wilson Combat or Les Baer and that's all I'm going to say other than I've had four Kimbers, three of them have been "Custom Shop" guns. My "working" 1911s are as follows: 1 Wilson, 1 Les Baer, 1 Springfield and 1 Kimber.

....I really don't care to pay extra for name recognition, resale value, or status. However, I really do appreciate fine craftsmanship
Given that, I'm going to throw out the default answer, go with a Springfield Loaded or Dad Wesson CBOB or other DW 1911. They are a little more finely made than other mid-tier options. And I don't find you're paying more for the name. There are two makers of 1911s where I think you're paying for the name, that's Colt and Kimber.

As I've said previously regarding the PT1911, yes they have a good set of options, but most of them are standard on the base model from most makers of 1911s, to recap:

"Standard features worth over $2100 on a custom gun" Yet I didn't pay anywhere near that for my Les Baer TRS or Wilson Combat, and don't even try to compare the PT1911 to those, I'll laugh myself to death.
Beaver Tail: Almost industry standard
Elongated RH safety: Almost industry standard
Ambi-Safety: If you're LH, sure it's nice, if not why do you really want the ambi safety? - Factory Option on SA Loaded
Full Length Guide Rod: Useless upgrade usually used to justify a higher cost.
Lowered and Flared Ejection Port: Industry Standard
Machine Checkered Front Strap: Functional, yet butt-ugly

Heinie or Novak Sights: I list both as the original PT 1911 had Heinie style sights, but now they have Novak (or Novak style sights) Oddly enough, one of the biggest complaints about the early PT 1911 was that users did not like the Heinie sights. Taurus lists the front sight as being genuine Novak, but nothing about the rear on some of the newer models. So you're getting either plain black or three dot Novak style sights, just like you're getting on a Kimber (I know they are not Novak, but are "better" than stock GI sights and are pretty nice sights) S&W, Springfield, Para, what ever.

I'll have to look at the advertisement for the PT1911 again to see what all they list as "Custom Features", but lets be honest. What they are putting off as custom, really isn't. I know, I know, I'm just a gun snob hating on the Taurus. I'm not. I'm just stating an educated opinion. I think it's great that it costs less, but I don't think it deserves the hype that it gets. Do I own one? No. But lets face it, if all that stuff costs $2000k to do to a gun, how is Taurus NOT loosing money? If you compare any Taurus to the originals that they are copying, you can see the difference, the same applies to the PT1911. Will it go bang just like a higher costing 1911? Sure. But if you do appreciate a better fit, finish, appearance, build quality etc. You can do better than a PT 1911.

Now all that being said, if I wanted a RAILED 1911 and I didn't want to pay out close to $1K, I WOULD buy the railed PT1911.

I guess it all depends on what you want.

Here's the blog I wrote on 1911s in general.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Don't like what I have to say? Here's an article from Hilton Yam:

Choosing a 1911 for Duty Use
 
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