Choosing a Good Gun For a GREAT Friend!?!

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by diggsbakes, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    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
     
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    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
     

  3. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    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...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    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...
     
  5. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    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):

     
  6. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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  7. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    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
     
  8. 556plinker

    556plinker New Member

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    I'm with POINK

    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.
     
  9. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    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 :)
     
  10. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    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:
     
  11. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    NGIB and JD, Thank you both for sharing experience and providing the insight and precautions needed to get a good value in a used/economical 1911. We've been looking and researching non-stop. The Springer's are definitely the most appealing option right now as far as new guns go.


    However, we have the Tanner Gun Show coming to town Oct. 9 & 10 and we hear the turnout is going to be awesome. So what is probably going to happen is we'll go to the show (I'm sure I'll have an itch by then :)) in hopes of finding "The One" ;) . . . Since that rarely happens, he's copied the blueprints ya'll provided for a value.

    Without knowing the 1911s in the same way as you boys do, I thought this was the case. . . Since I turned this gentleman on to shooting, I have also tried to embed the importance of uncompromising quality when purchasing a firearm. This is why I started a thread instead of just sending a few direct PMs. Although this is his purchase(s), I feel like a part of it and it's fun to help out a responsible friend with his new hobby/lifestyle. Neither of us would even consider anything but a solid, well made chunk opf steel.

    Thanks again men and updated will continue!
     
  12. sigp250

    sigp250 New Member

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    The Armscor Rock Island is well within your price range. The Hawa/Legacy Sports - Citadel is also a decent 1911 at its price point. Both pistols are made in the Philippines.

    Auto Ordnance Corp. (Kahr Arms) 1911 would also be in your price range.

    The Springfield Armory Mil-Spec is very nice. You may also want to have a look at the Magnum Research Desert Eagle 1911.
    Both of these will be at or above the high end of your budget.

    I would not buy most used 1911's unless you have a good understanding of them and what to look for. There are just too many fools out there "improving" their 1911's only to turn them into junk. Some dealers will still sell them though.

    I also would not get my hopes up about finding a 1911 deal at a gun show either. Maybe some FMJ ammo though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  13. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Please don't take offense to the following, but you hit a soft spot with me, so I'm going to give you an opinion.

    Sorry partner, but I had to disregard everything included in this post as well as any future post of yours after suggesting that my very dear friend's FIRST GUN in his collection would even have so much as a fragment that originated from ANY other country than thegreat U.S.A.

    You ought to read through the rest of this thread and take some of the advise given by some of the well established, wiser, experienced members (even veterans) and your next gun purchase may result in a piece of American steel that you could be proud of.
     
  14. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    Wow a rolleyes too. I didn't know we can only talk about 1911 in this section. Your friend just got laid off (in this economy) and you encourage him to start collecting guns? No wonder a lot of people get in deep ****.

    Anyway, do as you please and you won't see me post in this thread again so fire away. ;)
     
  15. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Diggs - Have you and your friend done any looking around, any gun shows? Anything on the short list?
     
  16. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    This IS called the 1911 thread. I'm feeling it again. . . here it comes. . . :rolleyes: BAM :rolleyes:

    We work in the construction industry son, so we always work ourselves out of a job.l During that period we save. . . A LOT! The economy doesn't scare us and when we're laid off we make the most of our vacations. ;) We have fun, its too bad that you don't seem to be able to relate.
     
  17. sigp250

    sigp250 New Member

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    Oh brother,

    You really must be living in a vacuum. Not a pot to piss in and you want an American made 1911. LOL! :rolleyes:

    You can cross of the Springfield Mil Spec too. It is made in Brazil.

    The semi custom .45s are all assembled and fitted in Illinois using a combination of different manufacturers parts but the frames and slides are still Brazilian investment castings or forgings depending on the type of pistol involved.

    The Springfield XDs are still made lock stock and barrel in Croatia.
     
  18. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    Uhyup...Springers are assembled here for the most part but parts are made in the way down south. Para Ords.GI Expert is made here if I remember right. Then there's the Colt, Smith, Fusion, Wilson.