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TXnorton 02-26-2011 10:47 AM

What 1911 to Buy?
Long story – short version. I find that I have an opportunity to acquire a “free” pistol. “Free” means that I can buy it without a matching “non-firearms” household expense – such as granite counter tops for the kitchen.

Last year I bought Susan a Walther P99 (9mm) for her to use for her CHL class. She shoots the P99 about once every 3 months to keep reasonably competent. Last week we took our New Zealander friends to the range and shot pistols. Both Susan and the NZ lady shot reasonably well with Susan’s P99, but then they both wanted to shoot my .45 Colt Gold Cup. To everyone’s surprise, both ladies shot MUCH better groups with the Gold Cup than they had shot with the P99. So now Susan wants a 1911 .45 ACP!

As some of you may know I am more of a rifleman than a pistolero, even though I do have a large collection of handguns. The sheer number of 1911 alternatives out there is overwhelming! I think I would like to get her a Commander sized 1911. I’ll budget $1200 for the acquisition.

So, what to buy?

NGIB 02-26-2011 10:55 AM

The first question is whether you want a steel or alloy frame. For a Commander size 1911 it's hard to go wrong with a real Colt Commander. I bought one NIB a few years back for a shade over $700 - one of the few I regret trading away. When searching for a replacement a year or so later, I finally settled on an alloy Springer Loaded Champion with OD green frame. Great shooter and a pretty good winter carry pistol as well. Your budget gives you a lot of flexibility in that most Kimbers, Colts, Springers, and even Dan Wessons are in that range.

Personally, if its not going to be a carry gun - I'd get the steel frame as they are a tad more comfortable to shoot. Here's my Springer and they make the same gun in a steel frame (not OD green though)...

lonyaeger 02-26-2011 12:28 PM

Are you going to let Susan make the final decision? You might show her a nice photo of each of those that Dave just laid out for you, then let her make the choice.

NGIB 02-26-2011 01:15 PM

Be a man TX and just buy what you like and make her like it also!

(Sure, I'd do that, sure I would)

General_lee 02-26-2011 01:34 PM

Springfield Armory:D

CA357 02-26-2011 01:52 PM

I bought a stainless Kimber Pro Carry II yesterday. If the shop had a Colt Commander and it was similar in price, I would have preferred that. However, my choices in Commander size pistols were the Kimber, a Para USA LTC or a stainless SA Champion.

I've heard too many mixed reviews about the Para, so it was out. The choice was then the Kimber or the Springer. The Champion was all stainless steel. So considering that this pistol may eventually be used for carry, I opted for the Kimber because it's stainless with an alloy frame. So weight was the ultimate factor for me.

If the pistol is going to be a range and possibly an HD gun, my suggestion would be to go for a steel frame in a Commander size 1911.

My ultimate Commander sized 1911 was my Dan Wesson CBOB. (alas, long gone) However they exceed your stated price range. Next best would be the original, a Colt Commander and lastly, the Springfield Champion.

JonM 02-26-2011 02:33 PM

colts are my favorite second would be something from springfield. ive had bad experiences with kimbers and dont care for the finish on their guns.

TGReaper 02-26-2011 02:46 PM

There are so many good commander size 1911s that it is very difficult to choose.
While both my full size 1911s are Colts my choice for a Commander size was the STI Ranger 11. The overall quality of the STI is very hard to beat,

TXnorton 02-26-2011 04:33 PM


Originally Posted by lonyaeger (Post 453750)
Are you going to let Susan make the final decision? You might show her a nice photo of each of those that Dave just laid out for you, then let her make the choice.

Yeah Lon, it'll be her gun, and she'll get the final say so.

Dave - It's not going to be a "real' carry gun, but it could serve that purpose. I agree that a steel frame is probably the best idea. Your last suggestion would be a bit hazardous for my future happiness.

It seems like getting an all steel Colt Commander may be the consensus here. I'll start looking around!

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