Wanting to buy my first 1911

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by ChrisH67, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. ChrisH67

    ChrisH67 New Member

    Any thoughts about which 1911 is the best for the money? I really like Les Baer 1911's, but also considering Kimber and Colt also.

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  2. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    I love my Sig commander sized 1911. I had nothing but problems that never were resolved with my one Kimber. Never owned a Colt, but my step-brother has a Commander that has worked reliably for over 30 years.

    About the Kimber. For the most part they make fine firearms. If you do get one that has problems you will send it back at least twice. The first time they will ignore what you tell them and do what they called standard repairs. That consisted of replacing the ejector (or extractor) and recoil springs and polishing the feed ramp. The second time they may listen to you and actually attempt to fix the problem. If they get it right, great. In my case they didn't. The third time I sent it in they replaced springs again, managed to strip out the left grip screw holes, and sent it back drenched in oil.

    After the third attempt failed miserably, plus resulted in damage to the pistol, I asked for and received a refund. Each time I got the thing back it had more malfunctions than when I sent it in. If you get a good Kimber you have a gun for life. If you get a bad Kimber you have problems.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014

  3. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Colt and Kimber cost almost the same. What is the length of the warranty period?
    Kimber is 1 year limited. Most people do not shoot enough to break in a handgun within one year.
    So Kimber is off of my list as a choice.

    Other choices? Yes, go to the web sites and look at warranties. Springfield Armory is based in Illinois (gun restriction capitol of the US), Fusion Arms (Yep, New York state), Wilson (Arkansas, like Bill Clinton), Ed Brown (Missouri), Les Baer (Iowa).

    If you go with Wilson, Ed Brown, or Les Baer, you could not go wrong.
  4. Randen1911

    Randen1911 New Member

    Hear great things about RIA... I don't have one but have a high standard (armscor) for. $400 I have more $$ to buy ammo! (.45 ammo isn't cheap)

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  5. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    If Les Baer is within your budget, then by all means go with them. The primary downside I can see is that they are semi custom and there is very likely going to be a waiting period. If you find one on a shelf somewhere configured to your liking, you're GTG.
    I am on the same page with Danf_fl where Kimber is concerned. There have been many contentious Kimber threads, so suffice it to say that I find their one year warranty disappointing. That one issue aside, The people I know that have them are happy.
    Colt? Can't really go wrong with Colt.
    There are many really good options that can be added to your potential "short" list. I have two Dan Wessons. To be fair, DW can get rather pricey and are probably way too close in price to Les Baer for some tastes, but DW makes a helluva pistol and certainly deserves consideration. Additionally Springfield Armory has something for everyone at a competitive price.

    As noted there are literally dozens of possible options. Everyone has their favorites.
  6. limbkiller

    limbkiller New Member

    Call CJ and see what he has for a Les Baer. You won't beat his prices and is a great guy to talk to. There is a good chance he might have what you want.

  7. CardiacColt68

    CardiacColt68 New Member

    I like Colt for a high quality, value purchase. They are not the flashiest, but they have a great warranty and simply work. Kimbers are pretty, but there are enough anecdotal stories of poor service put there to scare me off. Baer, Wilson, Brown, Nighthawk, etc. are all great, but you do pay a premium for the privilege. The Dan Wesson's seem to be in a nice quality/price point. They are kind of in between the Colt/Kimbers and not quite as expensive as the truly custom guns. All that being said, my neighbor grabbed a Ruger for under $700 that is very nice, and people seem to like there low priced RIA's. Maybe we are in the Golden Age of 1911s??? Pick one that floats your boat and go shoot the hell out of it. Then repeat repeatedly.

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  8. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    my gosh, there is a huge assortment of 1911's to choose from and a person could go nuts trying to sort through all of them.

    Colt is a good choice for many reasons, simply because they are the original maker of the 1911 from the beginning, plus that tends to increase their value years later for many people, an they are a very good 1911 to go with.

    lots of other good options as well, such as Springfield Armory, as they are a solid performer in the 1911 arena and they also have a custom shop as well. i have probably owned moe SA 1911's than any other brand over the years, and absolutely love them.

    Dan Wesson makes some really nice looking 1911's at what to me is a decent price considering the quality. STI is another to look at. they make some really high quality pistols. Remington and Ruger are moving forward in the 1911 market with some new models. both are very good choices and so far most are very pleased with them.

    i could continue, but there are just a lot of choices to consider. set a budget, define the use of the pistol and what features you want in that pistol. many times that will narrow it down a bit and make the choices a little easier. hopefully!
  9. SB777

    SB777 New Member

    Any more feedback on 1911 Sigs? I know they're in the $1,000+ category but I've heard nothing but good comments from owners and they have a limited lifetime warranty.
  10. wannashoot

    wannashoot New Member

    What about the S&W E series pistols.

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  11. jamesnky

    jamesnky New Member

    Get a Dan Wesson, you won't regret it. I have a Kimber, Springfield and custom build, my Dan Wesson is the best value, even though it wasn't cheap. If you can afford a full custom and can wait go that route for sure, you can get exactly what you want. A Dan Wesson will shoot with a Les Baer and save you money.

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  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    lots of other brands i didn't even touch on that are top notch 1911's to consider. Sig, S&W, RIA, MetroArms, plus many more i am forgetting.

    the way i see it, it comes down to personal choice and features. everyone that is into 1911's, has their own idea as to the perfect 1911 to them. some of us have varied tastes and are not satisfied with only one 1911.

    then there are the custom builders of 1911 to choose from. many choices there and with going that route, you get the 1911 that is built to your needs and tastes. definately not the cheapest route by any means, but one way of getting your perfect for you 1911.
  13. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    Whatever 1911 you choose, don't look at MSRP. I got my Sig 1911 tax, tag, dealer prep, set-up and tie down for $827 US. It's a 4" that came with night sights and 2 extra mags.
  14. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

    And to get a brief history of the 1911, if you have the outdoor Ch. Watch the episode of "Gun Stories" about the 1911 with Joe Mantegna as host. Also on this last weeks Best Defense( also outdoor ch) Michael Bane goes to the Armscor plant in the PI...
    I may not shoot mine regularly any more but it's still the platform I have the most respect for and until the late 80's the most exp. With...

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  15. TxAg81

    TxAg81 Member

    I have 4 Colts and 3 Sigs (1911s that is). All are very reliable, but my Sig RCS Sport in commander size is the best shooter of the bunch. I don't shoot my Kimber that often and frankly it's my least favorite. I think you will find a lot of variation in how smoothly the Ruger slides operate, so run through a few at your dealer if you want to go that way. For my money, I'd go with Colt or Sig.
  16. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

    If you can afford a Led Baer, none of the other options will be close in terms of quality aside from Dan Wesson.

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  17. sigman84

    sigman84 New Member

    I like my Kimber my brother has a Ruger SR1911 that's pretty nice as well.

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  18. bige91603

    bige91603 New Member

    I would say ditch the ideas of les baer, dan wesson, or wilson and get a sig, colt or s&w because you will save a ton of $ and have a great gun

    Veritas Aequitas
  19. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter


    By all means if you want a "true custom built pistol" and can afford it Les Bauer is the ticket bar none! He and Rock River Arms build one of the best custom 1911s available today. No Mim parts and all custom fit, assembled and test fired to perfection. Unfortunately, Rock River Arms no longer builds their Custom 1911's. Les's is of the same high quality. I have a Rock River Arms Inc. 4.5" Elite Commando 1911 45 pistol for example of the quality that in the Ransom Rest will shoot a 1" group at 50 yards! Yes I said 50 Yards not 25 as most advertise. With all that said if your budget can afford it and or you might be thinking of a hairloom to also pass on to that special family member in the future the Les Bauer is it no doubt.;) Nothing wrong with the others mentioned here but they are not a true custom built pistol. The Baer Slides are like glass due to the TLC of the custom build.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  20. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member


    Totally a question of personal tastes and budget. I'll offer my tastes, which may or may not jibe with your own expectations.

    $2K+: Ed Brown. Others are great, but EB is just what I like for some reason.
    $1500: Dan Wesson, SA TRP
    $1000- SA, followed by Colt, Sig, SW (all can be good)
    $700- SA, Ruger, Remington. I have a Ruger and like it, but have seen some sloppy examples.
    $500 or less- RIA, Tisas (Turkish)

    Carefully examine any sub $1K 1911 for slop and such. Come to think of it, carefully examine any firearm purchase, regardless of price.