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Posted: 5/31/2002 2:25:12 PM EDT
I have shot a few "1911" style .45's in the past, including a Para-Ordinance, Colt Officer's model, and a Norinco- I liked them all.  I would now like to buy one, but really don't know what to get or how much they are worth.  I would love to know what the difference is between most of the models, such as the 1911A, 1991, Series 70, 80, etc?  What brands should I go with and which should I stay away from?  I have been thinking that I would like to buy a Kimber, Colt, or Para-ordinance, and would like to keep it in the $800 or so range.  What model is best and why?  How much would you pay for a NIB model of the one you prefer?  Is the para-ordinance a good gun, and does the higher capacity effect the feel (grip) of the 1911 style?

I have heard that I should stay away from the 1991's, but don't know why someone told me that.  I have been mainly interested in AR-15's and Glocks up to this point, but trying to learn about .45's seems to be endless since there are soooooo many different models, brands, styles, etc.  Your help would be appreciated!!
Link Posted: 5/31/2002 2:49:23 PM EDT
ColtM4A4    I am partial to the 1911-1A ,but have found in the 80 series the trigger will trip the hammer at first cock.   The only way to carry a 1911 is cocked and locked,or an empty pipe.

The first cock feature is just in case your  thumb slips off the hammer as you cock the hammer back,never meant to be a safety.  But none of my other 1911 models will do it ,and these were both colts(1981 combat commander,and 198? colt Mark 1V).    So I would assume it is the 80 series.  

 You can put a pencil in the barrel put it on one cock,pull the trigger and it will propel the pencil six feet through the air(don't know if that is enough of pin strike to fire a shell)  But not acceptable to me.

And I can hear it now It's not acceptable to put anything in barrel...  Ha   Ha  


Link Posted: 5/31/2002 3:08:02 PM EDT
In my experience with M1911a1's the best ones to buy are the semi-custom like variants. Stay away from expensive custom (race guns) pistols built solely for accuracy, and stay away from Mil-spec models, they are not throated for hollow points, but colt series 70's may be ok.

Here's my list

1. Kimber, yes somepeople do not like them, but i have had less trouble with them then others

2. Colt series 70, combat, Reliable, but i do not like the finish on most colts.

3. Springfield TRP,HRT and similiar models. Springfields are good, perhaps the second best production 1911.-the FBI HRT uses custom Springfields and is availble for sale. they are expensive however.

4. Para Ordanance LDA?, their new DA models are neato, about a 4.5-5 pound trigger pull. the officers model would make a great .45 carry gun.

M1911's are fidgety and not the most reliable pistol you can buy out of the box, but when they do do you right, Wooooooo!!!!

Buy "power mags" for your 1911, stay away from cheap GI mags.

I reccomend Wilson combat mags. Les Bear and Chip McCormick also produce a similiar magazine, but i have'nt tried any. Have had good luck with the Wilson mags.

The chip McCormick 8rd mags that fit flush are sometimes troublesome. For flush mags stick with quality 7 rounders.

Be carefull of used 1911's. I recently bought an old Thompson autoordanance. Some idiot took a file to the disconnect.

Link Posted: 5/31/2002 3:18:05 PM EDT
I would not buy a Colt it is more money for a pistol no better, IMO not as good as a Springfield, Kimber, or several others. I am partial to Springfields but like the Kimbers as well. Para-ordinance double stacks are nice pistols (but expensive) and the grip is a lot thicker than a single stack, not good for carry and you need good-sized hands.

I just do not believe that the current Colt 1911s are as good quality as Springfields and Kimbers 1911 pistols. For $800 street price you can get a nice Springfield. Features I would suggest you get in a 1911 are a beavertail grip safety, beveled magazine well, lowered ejection port, extended safety, commander style hammer, Novak low-mount rear sight, and front sight dovetail cut (the dovetail cut front sight is not necessary but makes it easier to change front sights). I would not get one with extended mag or slide release. Link to Springfield below.

I have owned 4 Springfield 1911s from the base model up and they have all been 100% out of the box none of them have been “fidgety”. The Wilson combat mags are the best.

Link Posted: 5/31/2002 3:21:15 PM EDT
I have a couple of 70's series colts and love them. I don't much care for the series 80's because of the firing pin block. The newer Kimbers have incorperated a simular firing pin block.

Just my opinion but you might want to go with a basic springfield and go from there. Don't worry, once you start shooting a 1911 it will not be long before you want to buy another
Link Posted: 5/31/2002 4:03:01 PM EDT
I just purchased a Springfield "loaded" compact .45 that shoots just as nice as its big brothers. Very accurate and solid shooter. $625 seems pretty darn good price for such a great gun.

Link Posted: 5/31/2002 4:21:57 PM EDT
Hard to go wrong with the little horsey.  I have a 1991A1 and love it.  Mag release was a bit rough and would not eject a full mag at first, without pushing up on the bottom of the mag, but it has worn in quite nicely and is very accurate.
Link Posted: 5/31/2002 4:39:29 PM EDT
For a little more scratch, you could get yourself into a NIB Wilson Combat KZ-45.  It is their polymer frame model, double-stack mag, 10 + 1 rds.  You should be able to find a used model for $800 or under.

Other choices for me would be a Springfield TRP (I've seen those on line for $999 NIB), or a Springfield Loaded for $650ish.  Or, a used Wilson Millenium Protector for around $1000, give or take some $$.

I believe both Springfield and Wilson have lifetime warranty, and they are both easy to work with.
Link Posted: 5/31/2002 4:39:31 PM EDT
Hmmm, decisions, decisions!!  

I'm going to the gun show this weekend, what would a reasonable price be for the following guns, and which one would you choose if you were new to 1911's:

1. Para Ordinance P-13 limited (alloy/stainless)

2.  Springfield Armory 1911 A1 loaded pistols- Full size stainless B) target v-12 stainless

3.  Kimber (not sure which models, could use some help here).

Again, thanks for your help, I just might buy one this weekend at the gun show if I can figure out which one to get....

Link Posted: 5/31/2002 4:47:18 PM EDT
I have owned a Kimber Compact, a Limited Edition Para-Ord P13-.45, and a Para-Ord P14-.45. The Kimber was the best IMO. It fit my hand very nicely and the bullets went where I wanted them to go. The trigger was sweet. The Para-Ord P14 was simply too big to carry concealed. It never failed me on the range unless I was using crappy reloads. None of them did, but the P14 was simply too large. I now have a P13. I had one and traded it in for the Kimber. I traded the Kimber back for the Para-Ord because of magazine capacity. I could have 7 rounds or 14 rounds. Since I know how I shoot when I get pissed and my blood pressue skyrockets, I felt it was better that I have more bangs per reload. The Wilson mags worked great in the Kimber. Get the ones with the rubber cushion on the bottom if you get a Kimber. The Para-Ords come with a coupon for 2 normal cap mags, and if you aren't above bending an unconstitutional federal rule or two, you can just assemble as many as you want. If you get the Para-Ord, which fits my sister's tiny hands quite well, BTW, get the regular P13 and send it off to www.1911-heaven.com and have them put on decent sights. The Limited Edition version sights are these target things that would snag on water. They also aren't three dots, and they mill out such a big dovetail that you can't put in other sights. Just my 0.02. Get what fits your hand.
Link Posted: 5/31/2002 4:54:43 PM EDT
For the price range you described, S/A or kimber. Both are good pistols and require very little customization. I have heard of problems with kimbers, i have not experienced any with either of mine. However, they are first run production. Both operate great.

My current carry is a full sized loaded from S/A in a mitch rosen arg.
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 4:59:37 AM EDT
I'd recommend a "true" 1911 like Colt, Springfield, Kimber. These use a single stack magazine and have a slim grip and a single action trigger. If you can I'd go to a range that rents guns and shoot a few. Another detail thats important to me anyway...I like a arched mainspring housing - I shoot them better than flat, unfortunately flat is the current rage. If you end up with flat don't worry, these are easy to change.

Most Paras have higher capacity mags, which give them a very fat (for me) grip. Also many Paras have double action triggers.
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 7:37:25 AM EDT

Why not customize YOUR pistol the way YOU want it rather than pay major bucks to someone to customize YOUR pistol they way THEY wanted? You might find a custom pistol amoung the dozens of models out there that just grabs you but it seems that you haven't found it by your repeated questions.

It's just that easy to do most of the work on these pistols yourself - or there are plenty of outstanding smiths that can do those things that you are unable to do yourself.

I find it hard to understand that a CUSTOM pistol can be bought off the shelf. The definition of CUSTOM suffers somewhat. Limited edition, deluxe, loaded or whatever but hardly customize.

I was the guy who bought a "stock" '73 Baracuda and then customized it with after market race parts. I understood my car's preformance - it's strengths and weaknesses far better than any kid who's daddy bought them a racer.

Those kids put a lot of gas into my tank following races
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 7:41:06 AM EDT

Geneseo, IL.) - The parkerized Springfield Loaded Operator features an integral standardized Picatinny rail forged into the pistol frame, accepting today's popular tactical, laser or illuminating devices. In addition, it is fitted with Novak® Tritium low-mount combat sights.

The new "Loaded Operator" 1911-A1 from Springfield Armory is a light rail frame, full-size 1911 with many features usually found on many higher priced custom pistols.

"The Loaded Operator is a cross between the very popular Tactical Response Pistol (TRP) and the Standard Loaded model," says Springfield Armory Co-Chairman, Dennis Reese. "It's more economical than the TRP, while offering the superior features as found on our custom loaded 1911's."

Additional specifications for the Loaded Operator include"

Model Number - PX9105L
Caliber - .45ACP
Trigger Pull - 5 to 6 lbs.
Magazines - 2-7 round
Forged Frame
Forged Slide
Hammer Forged Barrel
Ambidextrous Thumb Safety
High Hand Beavertail Grip Safety
I.L.S. Patented Integral Locking System
Cocobolo Grips
Novak Patented Low Mount Tritium Sights
Lightweight Adjustable Speed Trigger

My new favorite.  I have the Mil-Spec Operator and wish this was around when I was buying.  Under $800
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 7:59:23 AM EDT
BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY DECISION...purchase Dave Lauck's book called, "The Tactical 1911, The Street Cop's and SWAT Operator's Guide to Employment and Maintenance."  This book will be worth it's weight in GOLD to you in making a 1911 purchase decision, and it only costs about $15-20.

I disagree with the comment made earlier that 1911 are less reliable...the reason it is still the most popular handgun 1911 is because of it's reliability and design.  It has survived all the fads.  More Medal of Honor winners received their honor for their actions while using a 1911 than any other pistol.  Our Special Forces, FBI HRT, many SWAT organizations, etc. still rely on the original 1911 design (single action only, single stack mag) because of it's reliability.

I suggest sticking with a full-sized Government model (5" barrel) and staying away from any Double-Action or Double-Stack "1911-esque" guns.

Lastly, purchase a solid gun (Springfield is a good choice) and budget $100 to have it immediately sent to an American Pistolsmith's Guild member for a reliability/action job.  I can't recommend Teddy Jacobsen (Houston area) enough, but any APG members will give you a superior pistol.

Hope this helps!
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 8:06:37 AM EDT
In the last couple of years I've had a Springfield mil-spec, and now have a Kimber custom classic (series 1) I like both, but after shooting the mil-spec for awhile, I figured out that it just wasn't quite what I wanted in a .45 auto, The kimber is more in line with what I'd wanted, I will say that the Kimber is much more accurate than the mil-spec,(better sights,tighter barrel, barrel bushing fit up,better trigger out of the box) the mil-spec is a duplicate of a issue .45 with slightly better sights, and it is as accurate as a issue .45, while this will be fine for alot of people, I wanted a higher degree of accuracy, That, and I got a pretty attractive deal from a Kimber dealer,So I went with the Kimber, I haven't regretted it, .45 auto's are like Ar's one can customize them to whatever configuration  you like, Go with either a Kimber or a Springfield both are good choices either one can be easily customized...
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 8:58:01 AM EDT
I've carried my Para Ordnance P13-45 Limited for quite some time. I had a local "artist" do a Kimber CDP style meltdown job on it. My biggest complaint about this gun is that the Limited version has a VERY square back sight that's the size of a regulation NBA backboard. It was chewing through clothing, and my kidneys. Gunsmith cleaned it up a little.

Other than that, if you can conceal a big gun, it's really nice.
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 9:01:41 AM EDT


I was the guy who bought a "stock" '73 Baracuda and then customized it with after market race parts. I understood my car's preformance - it's strengths and weaknesses far better than any kid who's daddy bought them a racer.

Those kids put a lot of gas into my tank following races

I was the guy who bought the stock 70 chevelle but stock can be decieving because my chevelle has a 454 with a m22 rock crusher. some times is fun to start with a really fast car and then build it up more.
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 9:19:31 AM EDT
Auto-Ordnance now made by KAHR Arms.
Get a Brownell's catalog.
Have fun.

I really need to get a 1911, don't I?
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 9:23:25 AM EDT
Wilson KZ45 or CQB although wilson is about 300-400 bucks overpriced IMO
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 9:39:29 AM EDT
Just picked up my new Loaded Springfield yesterday. I have had my share of colts, as well as 2 other Springfields. My last one was one of the first loaded types. The one I got yesterday is outstanding. It is the tightest production 1911 I have ever seen. Feels every bit as good as the Wilsons, etc, that I was comparing it too. This one has the works on it. If money isnt an option, then sure, go fo a Wilson or such. If it as, as is the case with most folks, you cant go wrong with this gun, not for $650 (what mine was). The operators are great as well. Springfield has great vustomer service and a great custom shop as well.
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