Need help finding the right 1911

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by Jesse17, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

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    OK guys, I'm starting to shop for my first 1911. Yes, I'm dead set on a 1911, please I don't want to here about Glocks, or XDs, etc. It will be my primary CCW but weight/size isn't the biggest issue because I'll be installing a lock box in my vehicles, and switching out to a LCP at work which is the only time I'm worried about my ability to conceal a larger pistol.

    I've been making a list of the features I'm looking for, and have some questions about them also. No 'Desired Features' are set in stone, so please feel free to change my mind on any of them, and please point out other features/aspects that I should be looking at. I'm totally new to the 1911 world, so any comments about them are welcomed.



    My Desired Features...
    1. .45 acp
    2. Stainless Frame and Slide (might consider an aluminum frame if it dropped the price enough)
    3. Full length guide rod
    4. w/bushing (I like the looks better, but would go bushing-less if someone told me what the advantage is.)
    5. ambidextrous safety (not sure if I really need this...IF I have to shoot it off hand, I've got bigger problems than learning to manipulate the safety with my index finger, not to mention I'll probably have to draw it with my right hand regardless, but they do look better with the ambidextrous :cool:)
    6. front and rear slide serrations (or just rear if I have to settle :()
    7. Not sure what you call it, but I want the entire mag. to fit in the mag well, not protrude out of the grip.
    8. adjustable trigger
    I also like the idea of the rounded edges that Kimber has on one line of their 1911s (can't remember which line right now)

    What is the deal with the Recoil Spring measurements. Is this how much force it takes to rack the slide? What's the advantage/disadvantage to lighter or stiffer recoil springs?

    Thanks for the knowledge that's about to come my way. :)
     
  2. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    Good start...you should get a lot of good recommendations...one thing you might want to mention though is whether you are looking at a full size, Commander or an Agent.
     

  3. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

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    Thanks Jpyle, I totally forgot that. I'm thinking a full size 5", but I need to hold some. I hate to go to my LGS though, I never actually buy any from them, just waste their time to look at guns I get cheaper from out of town.

    That brings up another question...how well do the aluminum frame, SS slide combinations 'balance' in your hand? I would think the all steel would be a better balance?
     
  4. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    We also need to know your budget restrictions
     
  5. marshall

    marshall New Member

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    I just picked up a brand new springer 1911 loaded. i love it. my first 1911 and no regrets....i think the only thing that doesn't fit the criteria you listed is the adjustable trigger. which is something i DONT know. i would guess a trip to the gunsmith, can tweak the trigger.

    also i should say mine is the stainless steel version. i bought new for 850. but i've seen em used for a little cheaper.
     
  6. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Two of the items on your list are more hype than substance: the adjustable trigger and the full length guide rod. The adjustable trigger is merely a trigger that has a small allen screw inside so you can limit overtravel adjustment - which really isn't a big deal. A FLGR is something invented to part you from some of your money as they are not necessary. They don't hurt anything but they also don't improve anything either, and the two-piece models make the gun more difficult to field strip.

    I'm not a huge fan of ambi safeties either but then again I'm right handed. Nearly all 5 inch (government size) guns will have a bushed barrel, on shorter barreled guns it's less common as many use bull barrels. Much will depend on how much you want to spend and whether you're looking for new or used. This beater Taurus actually fits your list exactly and I paid $420 for it used. The mag is a flush fit but I keep base pads on mine as it helps to protect the mag if you do drops & reloads...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

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    Ideally under $1,500, but every one I like so far has been $2,700 and up :mad:

    I might go as high as $2,000 if I absolutely have to.:(
     
  8. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    The 3 production guns I'd really consider are a Dan Wesson, a Springer TRP, or a Colt Gold Cup in that 1000 to 1500 range. I've owned all 3 at one time or another and they are all great guns. Here's the entry level DW at Bud's (a Valor is $300 more):

    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_82/products_id/62348
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  9. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    $2K will buy you a very nice 1911. At that price, you won't need to make any after purchase mods.

    (Except grips and Tripp Cobra Mags!)

    Start here:

    ozarkguns.com
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  10. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    Well, with that budget I would go Kimber or Colt for around $1,000 and then some Chip McCormick Powermags or Wilson ELM mags. I have found no factory mags that are worth using. I don't like Springfields only because of the guide rod. It has to be disassembled with the use of an allen head.

    I am not a fan of ambi safeties either; I have large hands and they routinely get in the way of a proper grip.

    Sorry, I don't own a Dan Wesson and I can't recommend what I haven't shot.
    Here are two of mine that I would recommend:

    Colt XSE Combat Elite
    [​IMG]


    Kimber Stainless TLE II
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  11. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    1. steel frame is more durable. it soaks up recoil making follow up shots quicker and easier.
    2. you only need a full length guide rod if your using a springweight in the 20# plus rang to keep the spring from binding. standard strength springs you dont need one. they just get in the way on standard weights and dont add anything but they look cool. they typically arent found on fullsize 1911's
    3. my preference is for a bushing as it opens up options for aftermarket or replacemt barrels or conversion kits.
    4. i find the ambi safety just gets in the way. not a fan of them personally
    5. 1911's dont have adjustable by weight of pull triggers. they can be in some models adjustable for take up which is different.

    i would recomend either Colt XSE (my preference is colts)

    Colt XSE Series

    or springfield armory loaded

    Springfield Armory
     
  12. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

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    THANKS for all the great advise guys!

    I can see I definitely have MUCH more research to do. The $2,000 budget was an 'absolute max or I just won't own one' number, but I would really like to be A LOT closer to the $1,100 range. If I can find everything I'm looking for for less then great. I've given up on the idea of having the features I want without MIM parts, so I didn't even mention that.

    So far, from what y'all have told me, I've modified my list...

    1. .45 acp
    2. Stainless Frame and Slide (might consider an aluminum frame if it dropped the price enough)
    3. w/bushing
    4. front and rear slide serrations
    5. Not sure what you call it, but I want the entire mag. to fit in the mag well, not protrude out of the grip. Is this standard unless you put a base pad on the mags?
    6. Hoping for 8+1 but I guess I could settle for 7+1 :(
    7. 5" barrel
    What other considerations are there before purchasing a 1911?

    Thanks! I'm going to start checking out all the wonderful links as soon as I get some chores done.
     
  13. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

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    Oh yeah, what about the Recoil Spring weight? I see Kimbers range around 16 - 22 lbs. What does that mean to me?
     
  14. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    Most 1911 mags are flush fitting and only the pase bad protrudes from the magwell, but the base pad makes reloading easier and protects the mag in drop and reload drills (as NGIB stated).

    A standard spring weight is 16 lbs, but I use Wolff springs that are 18.5 lbs just to accommodate +P rounds a little better and to increase frame life.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  15. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    8+1 is standard for aftermarket quality mags. numrich has 50 round drums now and then for the 1911...

    mags generally fit flush.

    colts and springers with the features your wanting run around 1k$ range. with the xse there is no mim in parts that matter. colts have the least amount in the 1k range. but mim is not an issue in guns like the colts and springers. they make it correctly so its just as good as the machined parts.

    to get 0 mim from the get go your gonna spend a lot more than 1k. cheaper to buy a decent one and replace the mim if thats your inclination.
     
  16. General_lee

    General_lee New Member

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    Springfield Loaded Stainless - 877.99 at Impactguns.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Robertlamont80

    Robertlamont80 New Member

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    I personally prefer springers or Colts. The Springer Loaded are a fantastic value. Springers are often used as the foundation for builds which says alot. Colts are solid and generally very tight fitting. The XSE Colts will get you most of the features you are looking for but run a little more money than the Springfield loaded models. Since both are in your price range, I might lean more towards the Colt,...but that could just be my sellers remorse kicking in for parting with mine!!:( Good luck with your decision and please post pics when you get it!!
     
  18. riggergreg

    riggergreg New Member

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    Congrats on picking the best pistol design in the world for your next carry piece.


    Looking at your list, looks like you have been doing lots of research, but some items aren't really necessary. Adjustable trigger, ambi safety, and FLGR are the most obvious.

    Many of the 1911s in the $1000 range will do the job. Colt, Springfield, Kimber. I prefer lightweight frames for carry, but I do carry my Govt model occasionally.

    I think a very important thing to think about if you're gonna carry a 1911 is the holster, and more important is the belt. There are many good holsters out there, but a good, double thick, well made belt will make all the difference when carrying a heavy, full size pistol.

    I've known more than one person who gave up on carrying the 1911 because it pulled down their pants, or dug into a hip, or many other reasons, when a good belt and holster would have made all the difference.

    IMHO, if you're going to spend all that money on a pistol, invest in a GOOD carry rig.
     
  19. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the great info. I've eliminated the FLGR, ambi safety, and adjustable trigger. I've added 8+1 or more to the list, and am not sure about the front serrations.

    I'm really leaning toward a Colt right now but am at the point where I need to hold some before making a decision. I'm not in a big rush, I've got some other big bills coming up soon. So I'm hoping to get it purchases by the end of the year.
     
  20. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

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    I want to thank everyone for all the advice on which 1911 to get. I have to admit I'm kind of embarrassed now. After stating my $1,000 - $1,500+ budget and listening to your advice, I've gone and picked out a $450-ish American Classic II. :eek:

    I know, I know...It's chalked full of MIM parts, be even Kimber has MIM in them now, so in my price range MIM is just something I'm going to have to deal with. Besides at $450 I could just get two, in case one breaks :D

    No seriously, the only negative thing I've seen anyone who owns one say is that it doesn't like to feed the 1st rd. if you you load all 8 in the mag. I saw one person say they polished the feed ramp (was partially polished from factory, but not far enough down) with a dremel and it feeds ANYTHING now. A couple other guys said they used different mags and that fixed the problem, and others yet said they tried different mags and still have the problem.

    I figure I'll put 500-1,000 rds through it and see if it still has that problem or not. If it does I'll have the feed ramp polished. Worst case scenario, I will have spent $450 on my first 1911 to see just which features I actually care about before buying my next 1911 :D (look at me, haven't even got my 1st 1911, and already making plans for the 2nd)

    If anyone has got any comments about these guns, post them up ASAP so I can see them tonight before I purchase tomorrow.

    Thanks again guys, I'm picking it up tomorrow after work, if the gun guy is working at Ace tomorrow.

    [​IMG]