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Posted: 10/2/2014 2:29:05 PM EST
Why are SA's and Kimbers and others less expensive than colt when comparing relatively similar models?

Is it just less expensive manufacturing for the SA, K, & others?
Are you paying some premium for Colt and it's heritage?

At the higher end models, it does appear to even out a bit.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++­+++++++++

Another which one question?
Springfield 1911-A1 Loaded stainless steel - NEW
Kimber Gold Combat from the custom shop Kimber's blue coating - USED
have a 1911 built they way I want on a Remington Rand USGI frame & slide
build from a stock series 70 Colt

every day gun, no firing pin safety, fixed sites
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 3:16:09 PM EST
Anything that says Colt on it you are paying quite a percentage for the name ONLY. The choices you have listed I would chose the SA Stainless loaded. I have one and it is as tight, smooth and flawless as my TRP Almost just as accurate but not quite.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 10:48:43 PM EST
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Originally Posted By AK74play:
Anything that says Colt on it you are paying quite a percentage for the name ONLY. The choices you have listed I would chose the SA Stainless loaded. I have one and it is as tight, smooth and flawless as my TRP Almost just as accurate but not quite.
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Have you had both of those pistols apart side by side? The parts inside a Colt are really nice compared to the parts inside the Springfield. The parts inside the loaded are pretty damn cheap looking than the Colt parts, three times the MIM in the Springfield. I sold off my Springfield loaded after buying my first Rock Island. If I'm shooting a MIM wagon, it might as well be cheap. Better trigger in the RIA also.

Kimber makes a very pretty gun. But they can be hit or miss as far as function. The latest pistols seem to be improving. But it wouldn't be my first choice for a first 1911. Price is the same or higher than a Colt.

I handle 1911's in all price points all day long. I can buy anything I want, I own Colts and a couple of RIA's.
Link Posted: 10/2/2014 11:50:28 PM EST
I absolutely love my Springer Loaded. When I was shopping around for 1911s I was not about to spend a couple hundred dollars on a name (Colt) and I didn't want a 1911 with stupid lawyer safeties (Colt and Kimber). Granted Springfields do have the ILS, but I couldn't imagine having a 80 series or Schwartz safety in a 1911. Im no 1911 expert, but I don't think I could be happier with any other 1911 for the price I paid. Take it for what its worth, but you won't be disappointed in the Loaded.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 12:23:49 AM EST
Like Garandboy said, with the Colt you're paying a premium for less MIM content in all models. That costs more to make.
On the plus side, current production Colts are supposedly quite good.

I have a Springfield Stainless Loaded but it's had a few warts. Good overall, but not truly outstanding.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 12:34:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/3/2014 12:35:33 AM EST by B44T]
Lets say I have two similar 1911's one is beautifully finished but contains parts mostly stamped some cast and a few machined. The other pistol it's finish is,,good enough and it is made from superior metal and contains parts mostly machined some stamped and none cast.


Which one is higher quality ?
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 6:43:15 AM EST
To answer the 'which one' question... SA is the easiest choice. Build from a 70 series commercial Colt is a good choice if budget allows. Kimber is hit or miss... I've had good luck with them, but my sample selection is small.

Do NOT build from a USGI gun unless it has been bubbafucked already beyond any hope of salvage. Too few war era guns already around in proper historic shape. Modding a stock USGI gun (regardless of manufacture) makes the Baby Jesus cry because JMB dropped him to scream and throw a dual fisted 'finger' in rage at the person destroying history. Also, issues with steel hardening in some older slides make those old guns bad choices for hard use.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 7:02:09 AM EST
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Originally Posted By B44T:


Which one is higher quality ?
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Lipstick on a pig comes to mind
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 7:04:57 AM EST
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Originally Posted By OiRogers:

Do NOT build from a USGI gun unless it has been bubbafucked already beyond any hope of salvage. Too few war era guns already around in proper historic shape. Modding a stock USGI gun (regardless of manufacture) makes the Baby Jesus cry because JMB dropped him to scream and throw a dual fisted 'finger' in rage at the person destroying history. Also, issues with steel hardening in some older slides make those old guns bad choices for hard use.
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I totally agree with not ruining a piece of history.

I love Springfields. Without exaggeration have tens of thousands of rounds through my stable of them. Amazingly enough, I have broken two hammer struts. Other than that, they have run wonderfully. Now, I just replace that part with an Ed Brown.

I use one of them in stock configuration for Bullseye. Mine has been that accurate. It's a Loaded Target model.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 7:09:45 AM EST
All things being equal, a Colt has the best small parts, and the their shit is built to spec. Stuff like pin holes in the correct locations, and a proper depth and angle on the feedramp.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 7:52:59 AM EST
So it is a manufacturing or rather a choice of what parts to use in manufacturing which separates the Colt and SA pricewise.

The Kimber is from the Kimber custom shop.
The SA and Colt would be both have work done to get them to what I want.
The SA starts a little closer to what I would want, but still needs some work.
If I went the USGI route, I have found a pretty beat up and previously customized USGI.
It is already no longer period correct and anything done with it would breathe life back into it.

So I think I am down to the Colt or SA.

Thanks for everyone's opinion.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 9:11:42 AM EST
Isn't everything from Kimber made in the "Custom Shop"?

OP, what exactly do you want? Spell it out.
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 3:29:53 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Garandboy:


Have you had both of those pistols apart side by side? The parts inside a Colt are really nice compared to the parts inside the Springfield. The parts inside the loaded are pretty damn cheap looking than the Colt parts, three times the MIM in the Springfield. I sold off my Springfield loaded after buying my first Rock Island. If I'm shooting a MIM wagon, it might as well be cheap. Better trigger in the RIA also.

Kimber makes a very pretty gun. But they can be hit or miss as far as function. The latest pistols seem to be improving. But it wouldn't be my first choice for a first 1911. Price is the same or higher than a Colt.

I handle 1911's in all price points all day long. I can buy anything I want, I own Colts and a couple of RIA's.
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Originally Posted By Garandboy:
Originally Posted By AK74play:
Anything that says Colt on it you are paying quite a percentage for the name ONLY. The choices you have listed I would chose the SA Stainless loaded. I have one and it is as tight, smooth and flawless as my TRP Almost just as accurate but not quite.


Have you had both of those pistols apart side by side? The parts inside a Colt are really nice compared to the parts inside the Springfield. The parts inside the loaded are pretty damn cheap looking than the Colt parts, three times the MIM in the Springfield. I sold off my Springfield loaded after buying my first Rock Island. If I'm shooting a MIM wagon, it might as well be cheap. Better trigger in the RIA also.

Kimber makes a very pretty gun. But they can be hit or miss as far as function. The latest pistols seem to be improving. But it wouldn't be my first choice for a first 1911. Price is the same or higher than a Colt.

I handle 1911's in all price points all day long. I can buy anything I want, I own Colts and a couple of RIA's.


I simply gave the OP my opinion and I stand by it 100%. My Colts have dwindled away and turned into Springfields for a reason. I am not slamming Colt, but for the money the Springfield are much better in my opinion and I am not one that seems to think that MIM meens junk I stand on my opinion to the OP. Simple as that. I have seen way more than my share of the insides of MANY different 1911's and will insert my Les Baer's at the top .
Link Posted: 10/4/2014 11:31:12 PM EST
I know Colt slides and frames are forged steel.
Link Posted: 10/5/2014 9:46:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2014 8:38:03 PM EST by M4BlackRifle]
Decide what you need/want, price, name, or features. Buy whatever meets those wants/needs

Kimber and SA have lower labor costs, and you do pay extra for the Colt name.

Most people will never wear out any pistol, cast or forged, so that is a non-issue.

MIM parts are just fine. Like any small parts, if they break, you replace them. If you don't like MIM parts, fit steel parts. Used Colt and SA parts are everywhere from people building custom guns.

SA, Rock Island Armory, and Colt have a Lifetime Warranty, Kimber kisses you off after one year. I would pay extra (or less with RIA) for the warranty.

Link Posted: 10/6/2014 8:34:46 AM EST
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Originally Posted By zaskar017:
Isn't everything from Kimber made in the "Custom Shop"?

OP, what exactly do you want? Spell it out.
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Start with
Stainless steel
no firing pin safety
good frame to slide fit

Add to it or already a part on the gun
lowered and flared ejection port
reliability internal work - tuned extractor, polished feed ramp , etc.
4# +/- aluminum trigger
memory bump grip safety
lo mount sites
no ambi safety
flat MSH with texturing that matches the front strap
front strap texturing (I like checkering or chainlink or similar)
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 10:13:02 AM EST
DW Valor
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 12:55:07 PM EST
Some of the Colt premium you pay is for the better quality but some of it is just for the name.

The name thing isn't all bad as it works in your favor at the other end if/when you are looking to sell . It is always easy to sell a Colt and they hold their value a bit better than most brands.

Some of the Other brands have had periods when they had problems , during resale it is a stinker to work out if the gun in question is from the good runs or the problem times.

Colt has had periods when the guns needed a bit of work to make them reliable and smooth but the issues were usually just rough ramps and triggers. The materials were generally good quality and all in spec , once you get a Colt slicked up and smooth it runs well for the rest of your life.

There are some deals to be had out there in the 1911 world but my feeling is Colt in never a bad choice.

I have seen sig 1911s and Dan Wessons that were real nice but I don't have the experience to claim they are all that good . RIA makes a heck of a product at their price point also
Link Posted: 10/6/2014 2:04:21 PM EST
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Originally Posted By zaskar017:
DW Valor
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The DW Valor may make the list along with SA and Colt.
Everything that I have read so far is good.
I think that there are some available locally for sale.
Have run across some Colt limited production runs that would fit the bill with limited smithing to get it where I want it.
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