What are some things to look for when buying a 1911?
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
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Default What are some things to look for when buying a 1911?

I'm going to a gun shop to test fire a few 1911's before I purchase. I'm familiar with the weapon and have fired them on many occasions, but I'd like to know a few points to look at to tell things like wear and tear or if the weapon has life left in it. Any glaring areas I should focus on or questions I should ask? I have bought hand guns that have felt and fired fine before but had some defects that I should have perhaps noticed first, so I would like to identify a few things to keep an eye out for first this time. They are priced used in the $450 to $1300 range where I'm looking. New ones seem to be a lot pricier in my neck of the woods and it is just going to be a range gun, not a carry weapon.

I'm looking for a standard 5" barrel one, not a short.

Thanks for the input.

Rhino

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Old 06-30-2011, 05:08 PM   #2
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Assuming that you have no preference on mfg. I would really look at the tolerances on the weapon. When I wal looking for a 1911, I found that many of the entry level weapons had a lot of play in the slide fit. I would also make sure that your choice will use standard 1911 parts throughout. Some do not and that can limit upgrade options later on.

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Old 06-30-2011, 05:18 PM   #3
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Take a look at the sticky Cane posted in the 1911 area, also.

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Old 06-30-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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One of the biggest things to look for is whether it is the 1911 original configuration or the 1911a1 configuration. The original configuration has the flat mainspring housing, and long trigger, where as the 1911a1 configuration has the humped mainspring housing, and short trigger. You need to get a feel for both configurations and see which one you like the best. Another thing to look for is make sure the grip saftey and thumb saftey work, because I've encountered numerous guns that are used that have had their safties tampered with.

Another thing to note is that if you buy lets say a Springfield 1911a1 configuration you can still replace the mainspring housing and trigger to make it the 1911 original configuration if that's what you prefer. Since it's going to be a range gun you need to decide if you want either a G.I. configuration or a more customized firearm.

I recommend you look into the Colts, Springfields, Kimbers, and Para Ordanance 1911s.

Also when you're buying magazine's for example online or government issued ones keep an eye on the magazine springs, because sometimes they can be weak and hang up the rounds when trying to cycle them into the chamber.

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Old 06-30-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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I believe that this vendor has both 1911 and 1911a1 models in that price range and the manufacturerers are springfield, para ord and auto ord.

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Old 06-30-2011, 05:52 PM   #6
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this is one of the best articles on the subject, I've ever read....

Xavier Thoughts: Checking a used 1911 with a purchase in mind

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Old 06-30-2011, 09:44 PM   #7
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Make sure it is stamped, "Prescott, Arizona" as the place of manufacture...

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Old 07-01-2011, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMO View Post
Make sure it is stamped, "Prescott, Arizona" as the place of manufacture...

Why is that?
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACRhino View Post
Why is that?
He is saying "Buy the Ruger 1911" (not that he is bias or anything.)
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jismail View Post
Assuming that you have no preference on mfg. I would really look at the tolerances on the weapon. When I wal looking for a 1911, I found that many of the entry level weapons had a lot of play in the slide fit. I would also make sure that your choice will use standard 1911 parts throughout. Some do not and that can limit upgrade options later on.
if my 1911 doesnt rattle i dont trust it to function my colt series 70 and war issue ithaca rattle more than a democrat's knees explaining why they are pro-crime. they will shoot rings around tight tolerance guns. but they alo are 100% reliable and will feed everything from fmj to empty cases.

anyway i look for severe wear marks and frame cracks. take a good magnifying glass and inspect the barrel link frame firing pin block safety. those are where cracks will show first. cracking in any of these places are signs of heavy use while only frame cracks are a deal killer.

barrel can be checked using a round of ammo and sticking the bullet into the muzzle. if the muzzle hits brass barrel is liekly worn and seen heavy use. barrel should be bright and shiney if not it either needs cleaning or is shot out or rusted to bits. sometimes a gunshop will clean the barrel to make a sale. worn barrels arent deal killers as they are relatively cheap to replace.

worn parts with exception of frame cracks can be used to knock the price down a good magnifyer and a current blue book is your best friend when shopping used guns
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