Still Hunting for my first 1911...
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:45 AM   #1
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Default Still Hunting for my first 1911...

So, I'm still hunting for a 1911. I thought I wanted a Kimber CDP or Ultra Carry, but the more I hear about rust problems (and not just on this forum) the more I hesitate. I'm also hesitant because I don't know what I think about aluminum frames compared to steel ones as far as longevity is concerned.

So, here's what I'm looking for:

- Concealed Carry 1911: I'm 6'2", 130lbs (swimmer in highschool...), so concealing isn't easy. 3" OR 5" barrel? I'm leaning towards 3"...

- $800-$1000 (not a penny more)

- Steel slide, not aluminum (I'm planning on shooting it a lot)

- Preferably American made, with a life-time warranty.

- Not a Kimber, I'm getting scared of rust stories...

- A good IWB holster to conceal it.

I've looked at a couple Springfields, but wasn't impressed with them. They seemed really, rough (slide, safety, mags, etc). I'm not familiar with any other companies to be honest...

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Old 09-11-2009, 06:50 AM   #2
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I'm looking at getting into a 1911 in the near future as well. Kimber was at the top of my list, now they're no longer a contender.

It seems a lot of gun shops have a hard time getting ahold of too many sub-5" 1911's. If you're looking for something more compact and under $1000, the first options are probably Springfield, Colt, and S&W. If you can find them, I believe they all make 4.25" models for around $900. SW1911PD's are supposed to be pretty decent. And you might be able to find a similar Sig 1911 for about $100 more.

Taurus makes nice "bang for your buck" 1911 in the $600-800 range, but to my knowledge they're not yet making any compact versions.

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:18 AM   #3
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Have you considered a Dan Wesson 1911? They are made up of alot of Ed Brown parts.

I don't see anything wrong with the stainless kimbers. I prefer the 4" though.

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:47 AM   #4
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It doesn't EXACTLY fit your requirements but I'm five foot eight, 180 (gonna find some way to get you for that 130 pound thing I swear...) and I can pretty easily conceal my Colt Commander. It's a 4.25inch barrel and I love it.

Just kinda puttin' that out there...

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Old 09-11-2009, 09:35 AM   #5
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Looking over your list, a question first - I assume you mean steel frame vs the steel slide you indicated. My experience (and some close friends) with the very short barrel (3 1/2 and less) has been less than stellar. These really short barrel 1911s tend to be much more finicky. Personally, I won't own anything smaller than true Commander sized.

I'm also not a huge fan of the bushingless bull barrels that a lot of makers use on their short 1911s - I prefer the traditional bushed barrel. My recommendation, from experience, is a Colt Commander. This fills the bill in the requirements you listed and is probably the best value right now. I bought mine NIB for $695 + tax a few months ago. The best thing about a Colt is they really don't depreciate at all and it's simple to get your money back if you decide the 1911 platform isn't for you.

You may have to shop around to find one as Colt doesn't build them a zillion at a time...

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Old 09-11-2009, 02:49 PM   #6
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NGIB, sorry, yes, I meant steel "frame", not slide, as compared to aluminum... I'm starting to wonder if the people who recommend the 3" models to me are people who don't shoot theirs often, and just carry them. Since both Colt and S&W have 4 1/4" barrel models, I'll have to start keeping my eyes open for them. Is Colt superior to S&W, or is it just a "traditional" name? I think Bud's Guns has a S&W commander-sized 1911 for around $865 right now...

Question, does a "blued" finish rust any faster than stainless steel?

Gojubrian, I wouldn't know the first place to look for a Dan Wesson around here, there are barely any Kimbers as it is...

Sweeper, I like Taurus, but it's too big for concealed carry. But I'll probably get one some day to replace my Glock 23. Also, I don't care for Springfield's 1911's, they really rough mechanically compared to other brands. I'll have to start looking at S&W and Colt.

Well, wish me luck on finding a Colt Commander or S&W commander-sized 1911 here in Louisville!

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Old 09-11-2009, 03:52 PM   #7
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I have a S&W 1911 as well and it's a fine gun. Mine is a full-size but I have shot their Commander sized gun and it's very nice. A Colt will always be a Colt so it's always going to have an edge if the price is the same. Also note that S&W 1911s use an external extractor - it works great it just deviates from the true 1911 "standard".

While stainless can rust, it's much more resistant that a blued gun.

Dan Wessons can be very hard to find and don't expect any break on the price as they sell VERY quickly. A CBOB is a fantastic gun but you almost never see one on the shelf at the store...

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Old 09-11-2009, 04:06 PM   #8
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'Squatch - I would agree with NGIB.

For your criteria, I would look at a Commander sized frame, that will give you a pistol with about a 4.25" barrel.

My T3 is a great carry weapon and it shoots very well.

Before that, I had a Kimber Raptor II from their custom shop and it shot very well also.

Now, neither of those are in your price range I am afraid, but that sized weapon is good for shooting, good for concealment and it also has enough meat on the weapon to help tame the recoil.

All my 1911's ( except for my .22 ) are steel frame and steel slide. I don't like running Steel on Aluminum, but that is a personal opinion.

I used to think Kimber was still making a good product, but lately I am questioning that recommendation.

I think Colt makes a good weapon, but I think you are paying for a name more than the weapon itself. If you are Colt nutcase, like Cane, that is fine, but for me.... *eh*

Springfield is one of those companies that I just never warmed up too. I really like their TRP line, I thought that was a good, well built and quality weapon, but the price was just over the top.

S&W makes a good quality 1911, but again, you have a certain price range that is pistol and then there is the name brand extra pricing that is added to it.

Dan Wesson is a good choice, but you need to REALLY look at the weapon as not all the internals are top notch parts. A few mild changes to dump any MIM parts would be easy enough and lead to a damn fine weapon though.

Same thing with Para and a couple of other companies. Their low end priced models feature MIM parts on the inside, and for a carry weapon, for me personally, that is not something I am willing to risk...

Good luck..... Keep us posted.

JD

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Old 09-12-2009, 02:05 AM   #9
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Ah man, I didn't see any pics of S&W 1911's from the other side, so I never noticed that it had an external extractor; that thing is ugly

So, now that I've established that I'm shallow enough not to buy a S&W simply because of an external extractor, that leaves me with Colt, and Para that fit with my budget.

Dillinger, what does "MIM" stand for? And what are these parts that I'm need to "look out for" and possibly replace?
Nighthawk is WAY over my budget, but Kimber is close (budget wise, not quality as of late). I just can't afford that right now...

NGIB - what does "CBOB" stand for? And I think I'm going to go with stainless steel in whatever platform I go with.

This 1911 journey is taking me much longer than I originally anticipated. I go from a Glock 23, to wanting a 1911, to coming within days of buying a Kimber Ultra CDP, to now looking at a Colt Commander. Decisions, decisions...

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Old 09-12-2009, 02:24 AM   #10
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If you are going for a carry weapon, I recommend the Colt Defender. This is just one man's bias opinion, but mine has never failed me. Every maker has their own issues, and anyone can get a lemon.
The defender is a solid weapon, or any Colt for that matter.
This is mine and I love it.

Some may say its like Ford, Dodge and Chevy, but this is my opinion and I trust my life to it.

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