I'm thinking really hard about getting a 1911 pistol, but have no clue about them. I would like to spend about $700.00, give or take a 100. I have been looking at the Springfield Armory line, is this a good choice or are there better in my price range? What is the difference between an Officer, Commander, & Goverment models?
I'm curious about magazines also? I see 7rd, 8rd & 10rd magazines. I know the 7rd mags sits flush with the bottom of the pistol, but what about the 8rd mags? I would assume the 10rd sticks out the bottom, but how far? Or is there a magwell adapter for the 10rd mag? Also is there certain brands of magazines that are better than another, or are they all the same?
Can anybody help me out with these questions or add their own advice on the 1911? Thanks.
First of all, Welcome to the Church of JMB.
SA is a good choice. For that price you have Kimber, Colt, SA, & Smith (I would be partial to SA and Colt myself).
Skip the officer pistols. They have a barrel that is too short for the weapon to be reliable
the compact SA makes has the same frame as the officer and a slide long enough to be reliable. Then the commander uses the standard frame with a barrel just a hair longer than the Compact. And the Gov't (full size) is full frame & 5" barrel.
so the purpose(s) will dictate the best choice for you.
There are 2 kinds of 8 round mags (for the standard frames... there are also 8s for compacts but let's stick to the sub)
1. A standard "flush" 7 rounder with a new spring & follower setup that allows an extra round
2. An extended mag where a "pinky's length of buttplate extends beyond the magwell.
My advice... READ the forum here and keep asking. More research = better-informed opinion
That's sound advice, but there is a big issue with doing as you state:
More 1911s come over. That 800 dollar 1911 turns into a money pit when you add more.
- SA is a good choice. I think they're the best bang for the buck in the 1911 world. A Gov't model has a 5" barrel and full size frame. A Commander has a shorter barrel and full size grip. An Officers model has an even shorter barrel and shortened grip and frame.
- Some 8 rounders do sit flush (McCormick Shooting Stars without the basepad, for instance). Others have a basepad or slam pad that sticks out 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the magwell. 10 rounders stick out about an inch and a half. The McCormick Shooting Star 10 rounder has a piece that's kind of like an adapter, but it's not really needed. Yes, certain brands are better. I'm biased towards CMC and Wilson. There are others, but I don't bother.
My advice for someone new to 1911s
- Get a Springfield Loaded in parked or stainless (whichever you prefer)
- Get a ton of CMC Shooting Stars and some Wilson 47Ds.
- Get a good leather holster.
- Shoot it a LOT.
Practice mag changes. You'll do them a lot
Having just bought my first 1911 in the past week, after much thought I would say buy the Springfield in your price range, but I am new to these and did a lot of looking and learning (it took me over a year to break down and spend the cash) before choosing a stainless loaded champion. I did not want a firing pin block saftey, that excluded Kimber and colt series 80 pistols. For the features I wanted springfield offered the best value. I also liked the shorter slide and barrel 4" of the champion over the 5" gov. model because I wanted it to be a carry piece and did not want the extra inch in a IWB holster. If you read here and at 1911forum.com you can get a lot of info. Springfield and kimber don't make a true commander size, the barrel is 4" instead of 4.25" but you still get the full size grip. Buy lots of ammo, and have fun. You will love the 1911 platform.
First of all, start checking out the prices on
and get a good feel for the prices of various 1911 models. They will spread from about $250 for a VERY cheap 1911 to as much as (or more than) you can imagine!
$700 will get you a good deal. If you lurk the board for some time you just might come across a newly-posted ad that is a great deal. (that's how I bought my 9mm baby desert eagle, about $80 less than the usual price.)
You probably won't go wrong with a Springfield. Get one with a light rail under the barrel... I want a light rail on my 'house gun' so I can mount a laser on it.
Good luck, and welcome to the world of Ol' Slabsides!