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-   -   Choosing a Good Gun For a GREAT Friend!?! (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f57/choosing-good-gun-great-friend-32362/)

diggsbakes 09-29-2010 03:00 AM

Choosing a Good Gun For a GREAT Friend!?!
 
I'm looking to the pros boys, as my 1911 knowledge is limited.

OK. So a good friend of mine recently lost his job due to lack of work (layoff :().

At our current (his former project we have a program that puts $2/hr into a retention fund. This sum (minus Uncle Sam's share) of this fund is sent via FedEx 2 weeks after termination. The Man has funds that need to go to a good cause!!!

He has recently began to develop quite the passion for firearms as well as the interest for involvement in support of the second amendment. (thanks, in part to a certain coworker ;))

I've let him try most guns from my safe, butHe Loves the 1911. However, he needs a well rounded collection and a pistol is only part one of 3. Other parts include a SG and AK.

Here is the 1911 situation:

1. He has a budget of $1500 TOTAL for all guns.

2. We estimate the 1911 Budget between $600-$700

Here are Questions (terms):

1. What makers (options) should we be looking for that would offer the most reliable, practical, quality 1911 in that price range? Hew's been leaning toward many of the base line Springfield's. He likes the Kimbers, but price is an issue as we gotta get him going in more than one way.

2. The gun is to be full sized and no fancy bells and whistles are desired. . . only true American Craftsmanship and strong function.

3. Should we be looking used? If so, what are some warning signs to look for that may indicate excessive use.

4. What are some other options that ya'll might recommend?



Thanks in Advance!


D

Dillinger 09-29-2010 03:15 AM

Wow! NGIB was stuck at work earlier and would have shat a sailboat to get this topic while he was stranded.

A $600 to $700 1911 is do able, but he is going to be going into a platform that he may WANT to do some modifications to down the road.

I think used is the best bet for a quality piece in this price range. You are going to get more weapon for the price and you might get a couple of "bells or whistles" for the same price.

What to look for:

The "Dummy Scratch": It's a 12:00 to 6:00 running scratch in the frame where the slide release was put back in the weapon but rotating it from 6 to 12 and pushing in on the stop onto the frame. Everyone who is a first time owner, *raising hand* has atleast tried this and might have left the scar. Most have. :rolleyes:

How is the slide, especially around the running rails from the frame? Is it well worn, or is it barely broke in?

If you can look at the barrel, with it removed from the weapon, shine a light down or hold it up to light and see if the lands and grooves are worn/dirty/not clean and crisp.

Slide release: Is the top, where your thumb goes, well worn or is it fresh and new and still gives that "new pistol" bite when you thumb it?

Grasp the slide, while it is closed, and wiggle it. Is it a tight slide to frame fit, or is it loose and it has some slop. A nice, tight, slide to frame fit is important, but you don't want it so tight that you have to fight to get it to rack open with the thumb/forefinger over the top of the slide quick check.

Are the grips worn or are they fresh and clean?

Sights: I don't believe he needs adjustable ones, and a lot of factory models come with them. There is no need to have them on a carry pistol, so don't spend the extra money on them.

The more wear on any of these parts, the more it has been used and possibly abused.

More to follow after I give this some thought...

JD

NGIB 09-29-2010 11:41 AM

Diggs, the best basic 1911 bar none is the Springer Mil-Spec. It has decent sights, flared & lowered ejection port, and forged slide & frame. Be wary as some folks will list a GI as a Mil-Spec and Springer doesn't help as they label their GI as the Mil-Spec GI. Quick way to tell is the GI has vertical slide serrations where the Mil-Spec has serrations angled towards the front.

These make great project guns and are good shooters as is. I've bought all of mine (except the long slide) used and the stuff JD listed is on point. It's not really difficult to spot a worn out 1911 at all. One caution - if it looks like a Dremel has ever been near the feed ramp - run don't walk away. This gun began life as a Mil-Spec...

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/j.../IMG_SMS-X.jpg

NGIB 09-29-2010 12:00 PM

Part 2

Many folks will read the above and think I'm dissing Rock Island - and I'm not. An RIA (really any PI made gun) is a good shooting entry level 1911 and I've owned a number of them. I do not recommend them in general for 2 reasons:

First: they cannot be used as a base for a caliber conversion like .460 Rowland (my kit is coming from Bear). The cast frame and slides just aren't as strong and "hearty" as the Springers.

Second: it will always be a Rock Island. What I mean by this is I have personally seen many folks buy a $400 RIA and put $500 into it and think they now have a $900 gun - it just don't work that way. I wrote a thread here last year I called "The 1911 Trap" that explains this. It's sad when these folks realize that their Rock is only worth $900 to them...

NGIB 09-29-2010 02:02 PM

Part 3

There was a thread running about using RIAs as a base for a custom gun on one of the local GA forums. A friend of mine that really knows 1911s (he has like 40, including Nighthawks, Ed Browns, Les Baers, and true custom builds) was trying to be polite and explain that there are better platforms to build on. He was getting piled on by the RIA fanboys (yup, they exist), and he finally posted this (edited for the open forum):

Quote:

It doesn't make much sense to attempt to upgrade internals on a entry level weapon with a cast frame and slide. There's a reason no smith of any reputation will accept them for base guns, they just aren't a great choice to build on. RIA's are fine if you just want an entry level shooter, but don't try to make them something they're not. It's kind of like trying to make a cookie out of cat poop. You can make it look like a cookie, but it's still going to taste like cat poop.

CA357 09-29-2010 07:32 PM

I completely agree that a new SA Mil Spec is a great way to go. Here's a stainless model on Gunbroker with a Buy it now price of $675.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=193043792

Poink88 09-29-2010 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diggsbakes (Post 359373)
OK. So a good friend of mine recently lost his job due to lack of work (layoff :().

IF it is my GOOD friend, I will advise him that this is the wrong time to start a gun collection due to the statement above. Maybe have one for protection but IF he can really afford it, then onward he go. I too will help him spend his "extra" money :D

556plinker 09-30-2010 01:41 AM

I'm with POINK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Poink88 (Post 359819)
IF it is my GOOD friend, I will advise him that this is the wrong time to start a gun collection due to the statement above. Maybe have one for protection but IF he can really afford it, then onward he go. I too will help him spend his "extra" money :D

I only have one pistol and it is a 1911. At this juncture I wouldn't spend my money on guns and do without bread. Self defense/Home Protection is a necessity however. You can laugh but I bought a NORINCO brand new for 250$ several years ago and it has not had any failures to date.....probably only 300 rounds ran through it because I am not much of a pistol afficionado. Going on the cheap is better than nothing at all considering the circumstances...just my .02.

DrumJunkie 09-30-2010 04:10 AM

If I was looking for an economy model 1911 and wanted to for a collection piece that I may improve later then the Mil-Spec Springer is one of the few choices that make the best sense. You can make a couple "improvements" on a Mil-Spec and still be able to sell it later and get most of your money back. Maybe all depending. I'm a bog fan of the RIA but NGIB covered that pretty well. If you want it to have and leave then the RIA works. So would the PT1911 (but you will want to change the safety...Some wiggle out). But you want something you can work with and see the (selling) value rise with the work then the Springers make the most sense.

AS is the pistols are great too. The fit is pretty good and the finish is not something that will wear away is moderate use. I still have an old one that has the original finish that I did carry for a while that still looks great. The sights are pretty good. With a grip safety, hammer change I got it to feel even better. It's still a great shooter and one of my favs to get out for range time. I did get it one of those cool wooden Springfield boxes off eBay so when it's put up is has a nice place to rest up :)

diggsbakes 10-01-2010 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Poink88 (Post 359819)
IF it is my GOOD friend, I will advise him that this is the wrong time to start a gun collection due to the statement above. Maybe have one for protection but IF he can really afford it, then onward he go. I too will help him spend his "extra" money :D

Thanks for the concern, but we've been fortunate enough to stay very busy for the past several years and many of us welcome a break here and there. ;)

I put this in the 1911 thread for a reason, not the responsibility thread. :rolleyes:


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