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Posted: 3/10/2003 3:32:53 PM EST
What is the best value 1911 for the money in current production these days?
Link Posted: 3/10/2003 3:59:26 PM EST
None of them.  The best value for the money, or for most money, is a Charles Daly EFS.
Link Posted: 3/10/2003 4:09:29 PM EST
I heard today that if you buy Kimbers that they are machined by Smith & Wesson and that if you buy Springfield, the castings are made by Ruger.

Is this true?

Charles Daly? I heard their older models were junk. Or do they need to be polished and tuned up?
Link Posted: 3/10/2003 5:03:13 PM EST
I'd have to go along with the Charles Daly being the best bang for the buck, and the best entry-level piece.  Wilson and Les Baer are EXCELLENT pieces, but cost more than a month's salary for me.  Best bang for the buck of YOUR choices, though, would be Kimber.
Link Posted: 3/11/2003 12:03:26 PM EST
Not wanting to say much about the Charles Daly, except the past spotty rep, and hearing that the newer ones are actually very good, I have never owned one, fired one, or even held one.

I DO have experience with Springfields.  I've had three through my hands, and I'm about to get another.  All have functioned great, and I expect the same.

Kimbers run $100-200 more in my area for something similar to any given SA, so my next pistol will be an SA 1911A1 Milspec.

Link Posted: 3/11/2003 1:26:50 PM EST
I own Kimber pistols, a best buy in my opinion...
Link Posted: 3/11/2003 10:18:03 PM EST
Kimber would be the best buy.  If you have the extra funds, have it worked over by Burns.
Link Posted: 3/11/2003 10:48:19 PM EST
Kimber......and actually Colt is making some nice guns these days,too....though it may or may not need a bit o' work.
Link Posted: 3/13/2003 8:31:19 PM EST
Colt is going nowhere fast.
Link Posted: 3/14/2003 5:11:19 AM EST
The Wilson KZ-45 is a great buy.  Unfortunately it uses a polymer frame.  But the gun itself is nice.

Kimber guns look better than SA guns IMHO.
Link Posted: 3/14/2003 5:18:11 AM EST
I have had Springfields, Colts, Kimbers and Charles Daly's and they have all been functional guns with varying degrees of tuning.  

The only one thad didnt require any adjusting right out of the box is the Kimber.  I think you get a very good piece for the money, even though Kimbers seem to be going up in price. Tolerances are great for a production gun.  On par with the Wilsons that I've handled and for alot less $$$.

My Springfield required an overhaul to function properly.  Extractor problems, poor barrel lug lockup, springs no good throughout and a terrible trigger job.  I dont think that this is typical of all springfields, but mine has been a real money pit.  I've got buddies with the "loaded" versions and have been pretty disapointed in the overall fit and finish of their guns, although they seem to function fine.  Look at the tolerances where moving parts meet (ex: grip safetey to frame, trigger to frame, fire controls unfinished).

My colt is a Series 80 officers model.  There is nothing really special about the pistol one way or another.  It functions fine with good magazines, high gloss finish, OEM across the board except for grips.  Polished the feed ramp and other feed surfaces.  I think colt stop trying to be a contender in this market many years ago and it shows in their product.

My latest acquisition is the Charles Daly.  I was hitting the pawnshops locally for a good deal and picked this pistol, box of ammo and a case up for $300.  I wasnt too impressed with fit and finish on this one either, but after a whole lot of internal parts prep, a solid guide rod, and new spring the thing functions flawlessly.  I think the Daly's sell new for $350 to $450.  If your not stuck on name value or afraid to do some polishing and fitting, the Daly's are a great deal for the money.  I think mine is an older model as it has 1911-A1 style sights instead of the newer, novak looking sights.

Whatever you decide to buy, with the exception of the Kimber, I would buy a new set of Wolff springs all around just for good measure.  I usually put 16.5's or 18's in my 1911's with no problems.  I usually put a good set of Hogue wood grips or similiar quality wood grips on my 1911's with a Pearce grip insert, I'm not a fan of the black, synthetic grip guy all the way.  Good luck on whatever you decide on!  
Link Posted: 3/14/2003 6:06:41 AM EST
Please check out Dan Wesson 1911s.

They have a broad selection and are very well made. We got one in for the SHOT show and I have been very impressed with the quality and how it shoots.

Wesson pistols are also Series 70 design, which I like, but may not make a bit of difference to you.
Link Posted: 3/14/2003 6:54:10 AM EST
I have heard the same thing about older Dalys, but have never shot one.   However I have shot several new ones and the fit, finish and function has been above par.  Out of your choices, the Kimber.  I use a good handgun everyday(Wilson CQB), but if someone wanted a pistol to USE AS A FIGHTING TOOL, first choice would be a Charles Daly.
Link Posted: 3/16/2003 12:42:42 AM EST
Link Posted: 3/16/2003 6:04:28 AM EST
Link Posted: 3/16/2003 10:57:08 AM EST
I had more trouble with my SA Operator than with the Lucas electrical system on my old MGB.  I don't know where they get their rep, but I wouldn't buy another.

Best value in a 1911 is made by Sig, only it's not a 1911.
Link Posted: 3/16/2003 11:33:03 AM EST
Wilson Combat
Link Posted: 3/18/2003 7:32:32 AM EST
In January I bought a slightly used Colt Series 80 Gold Cup  for $700 cash. I have shot a lot of 1911A1 pistols and nothing I have shot matches this Gold Cup for the money. Regards, Richard
Link Posted: 3/18/2003 9:48:50 AM EST
I'm in the market for a new 1911. I've done a lot of research on the current crop of 1911's and out of all of the ones you mentioned, I would buy a new Colt. I love the wilsons and baers but the price keeps me away. I have several friends who have both springfields and kimbers and most like them, But for my money, the new reissue series 70 is my choice. I like my 1911's simple and old school and Colt is making some very nice pistols right now.
Link Posted: 3/18/2003 3:55:35 PM EST
I've seen quite a few of the new high-dollar guns at the range (Wilson, Baer,etc). They all are very pretty, all have a bunch of extended whasis, beveled thingamabobs, beavertail doohickeys. Not a one is any more accurate or reliable than my Gold Cup Trophy.
Link Posted: 3/19/2003 10:01:23 AM EST

I can't believe you have all over-looked Para-Ordnance.  They make great 1911's, both the traditional s/a and their innovative LDA guns.  I have one of each, a Para P16 Limited (.40) which is single action set up for IPSC and a Para LDA16.40 that is used for a duty gun.  It is hard to beat the fit and finish of these guns for the price, plus you have the capacity of 16 + 1 rounds of .40 cal. !!!

Link Posted: 3/20/2003 8:23:20 PM EST
I own a Kimber Custom II which I am very happy with.  I believe that any Kimber is an incredible value relative to other pistols.  They are outstanding pieces of CNC machined craftsmanship.  I love my Para C7 LDA, but it has rough spots on the trigger and frame which make it look cheaper than it was.  My Glock 30 has surprising accuracy, and it is reliabe and fast to clean (the wife likes that about it, if nothing else).  That said, I may just trade two of them for a nice compact Kimber CDP.
Link Posted: 3/22/2003 1:49:29 PM EST

I may be predudiced, but only slightly I agree with Spectre.
Link Posted: 3/22/2003 4:44:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/22/2003 5:27:05 PM EST
Seen and used them all, Colt is the one and only for me. Todays Colts are really sharp and well built, very few MIM parts. Besides if it isn't a Colt, it's just a copy.
Link Posted: 3/23/2003 6:47:51 AM EST
Even though I now own a Colt Gov't Model and co-own a Kimber Pro Carry SLE (honey, can I borrow your 1911 if I promise to clean it?), my vote is for Springfield.  Why did I ever sell my stainless stell Champion, he wails...
Link Posted: 3/23/2003 5:03:43 PM EST
I picked up a new Springfield A1 at the show yesterday for $425. I took it shooting today with standard 230gr. PMC ammo. It operated flawlessly. It felt very good. It shot pretty good. And it just feels very well built. I'll have to shoot it some more to determine how dependable it will be but it does seem to be good so far.

I think that there is a wide range of builds for this design and your question is a little open-ended. Many people would spend a grand for a high quality type with extra features. Others just want a high quality basic model and feel that a thousand would be too much to spend on one for unecessary stuff. So opinions will range widely. Have fun trying to interpret them.
Link Posted: 3/23/2003 7:19:31 PM EST
I second the para-ordnance. Great value, great guns, great customer service.
Link Posted: 3/23/2003 8:41:02 PM EST
I don't know if Colts are the best value, but they sure are nice.
Link Posted: 3/31/2003 8:41:22 AM EST
I just bought a 98% condition Colt Combat Elite from a good friend yesterday for $525.  I added a Brown safety today, and I'm probably going to do some kind of a beavertail...then see how I like it.  Nice pistola.

Link Posted: 3/31/2003 11:34:03 PM EST
Springfield Armory Compact. I love the 4 inch barrel on light weight officer type frame. Great CCW gun and pretty dam accurate and reliable right out of the box.
Link Posted: 4/1/2003 12:48:58 AM EST
i gotta go with COLT on this one.

--kimbers are machined by kimber, but the castings are made at S&W, and i believe wilson gets his parts from kimber, kimber has too many MIM parts for me and the schwartz safety system is Not for me.
--Springfield is made in brazil, and uses 2-Piece barrels. becareful buying a used SA barrel, they are Oversized in the chamber area and wont drop in on a modern 1911, they seem to fit a looser tolerance gun like a old military gun.ive also seen a few pics of Broken SA slides.
--cheap chuck daly, made in phillipines and the fitting is HORRIBLE. just look at the MSH and how it fits in the frame.
-- wilson and baer, nice guns, im sure well built, but OVERPRICED by about $500, im not paying for the name. im also sadden to see that on wilsons cheapest gun its chock full of MIM parts, a $1500 gun should have higher quality parts.
--S&W 1911s, remain to be seen, i think they got the schwartz system from kimber and history shows S&W autos use lots of MIM parts, which are prone to breakage (as told to me by a S&W armorer)
--dan wesson 1911s, remain to be seen, they are using essex frames, and essex has a very poor history of quality .

for ME, i want a bare bones Colt 1991, if i pay $800 for a kimber im still going to make changes to it and make it fit me. ill take a $500 colt, build to my specs and in the end spend about the same amount as a stock kimber and get a Better gun. the only MIM parts in the colt is the sear and disconnector, which my gunsmith will toss out and put in better parts to give me a better trigger. ill take a lower priced colt with there plastic trigger, grips and MSH cause those are the parts that gotta go in Almost every stock 1911 regardless of who makes it.

in the end ...REAL 1911s ARE BUILT NOT BOUGHT!!!
Link Posted: 4/1/2003 12:16:46 PM EST
"I've seen quite a few of the new high-dollar guns at the range (Wilson, Baer,etc). They all are very pretty, all have a bunch of extended whasis, beveled thingamabobs, beavertail doohickeys. Not a one is any more accurate or reliable than my Gold Cup Trophy."

Bull shit

You saw how accurate they were? How they stacked up to your gun? [is that a custom Gold Cup?]

I had one Les Baer Custom (a special order premier II without Premier II markings. and it was abused before it got to me (1500rds fired) and I shot it from bags at 25yards and shot 5 - 7 shot groups all smaller than 2inches holding it in my hands. That was 230 grain UMC and Winchester 230 Ball.  I could hardly believe it (smallest was 1.25inches). It never jammed on me (my Kimber has jammed about 3 times in 1000 rounds) I had to sell it because I needed money.

Those guns are worth every penny - If I bought one again I'ld have the trigger tuned to 2.5lbs, switch to night sighted bo-mars, get a baer mag well.  = perfect gun TOTAL $1650

best gun for the money

That's a Kimber Eclipse target II with Bo-mar sights (switch to Bo-mar night sights add a S&A well and tune the trigger) expect 3.5-4inch groups at 25 yards. TOTAL $1250

Best way to buy
Rock river Fitted Slide and frame with high-cut 30lpi checkering/ Bo-mar cut add your Kart barrel, ITS trigger system, S&A well Bo-mar night sights S&A grips, etc TOTAL $1300-1400 and worth $1750-$1900

If you guys haven't figured it out when you buy a stock gun [Springfield] you are buying a Frame/slide and a bunch of worthless parts for $750

My Springfield loaded (a pre-production SS loaded serial was x0007) 1911 jammed 43 times out of 50 rounds on it's best day, the gun was fitted tight like a vault (too tight to work) even with the POS 2-piece barrel it would shoot 5 inches at 25yards.

I was 15 and I couldn't stand the trigger pull (6.5 lbs) so I detail stripped it and stoned the hammer (till it shined like a mirror being very careful with the sear engagement hooks and couldn't get it back together (the combination spring was giving me all kinds of shit).  I went to the gunsmith with my dad and he said "the sear is a thousandth out of true" SO he trued it on the spot and had my gun together in 5 minutes and then he tested the trigger and got a scale and it was 2.7lbs. No charge! He made me sign a waiver (his rules didn't go below 3.5lbs on his work.)

I fired 500 rounds and it never stopped jamming so I sold it.  

I just bought a TRP OPERATOR for cheap my plan is to keep the frame and slide and take all the SA parts and replace them with quality aftermarket parts and have it fitted by a person who knows his head from his ass and get a reliability guarantee.
Link Posted: 4/8/2003 10:16:47 PM EST
Another for Para-Ordnance..
Link Posted: 4/11/2003 11:07:01 PM EST
For pure VALUE, I would have to vote for Springfield.  
Link Posted: 4/13/2003 6:01:28 PM EST
For the money?  A Kimber.  Right out of the box you get a pretty damn tight and accurate gun.

The least?  No question a Wilson.  Just sold mine to get an Ed Brown Kobra.  It kicks the snot out of the Wilson.  And I thought I liked the Wilson!  If you're going to spend $2000 on a 1911, go for a Brown -- I've shot a Baer too which was pretty good.
Link Posted: 4/13/2003 6:34:24 PM EST
I have a series 1 Kimber and love it, I had a series 2 and liked it, but not as well.  
I cannot knock the Springfields, but just have more experience with the Kimbers.
Link Posted: 4/15/2003 9:11:11 PM EST
Probably the two best deals in "semi-custom" 1911's right now are the Colt "Gunsite" pistol and the STI "Trojan".

The Colt is a 70 series with a bunch of practical features and no "fluff".  You could not find a gunsmith to build you a "Gunsite" pistol for the asking price.

The STI is even less expensive and lacks only tritium sights.  It needs the trigger replaced, but otherwise is a fine gun.

The best deal out of the box is probably Kimber, but once you factor in the cost of replacing the MIM parts, it's not such a good deal.  (I don't know how Chip McCormick sells those MIM parts to people?) Therefore, the nod goes to Springfield.

That said, most of my 1911's are full house custom jobs built from the ground up with the parts of my chosing.
Link Posted: 4/15/2003 9:52:37 PM EST
My older Colts (I had three during the 1970's) would jam.

I now own a Springfield Loaded and haven't had any problems.  I like the extras that you get as standard on this model.
Link Posted: 4/16/2003 11:48:26 AM EST
Rock River Arms makes the best 1911 going in my opinion followed by Springfield.
Custom such as Wilson and Brown etc. are exceptions.
Link Posted: 4/18/2003 2:57:05 PM EST
Voted for Springfield but for a little more you can get an STI Trojan.
Great gun, exc. value.
Link Posted: 4/18/2003 5:39:32 PM EST
Had a Kimber Custom Classic that would start to jam after 75 to 90 rounds (never shoot less than three boxes).  It kinda turned me off of 1911s.  I don't like the Series 80 setup.  Someone above said Colt is now offering Series 70 models now.  I wish I had not opened this post now, got the 1911 bug again.
Link Posted: 4/18/2003 5:48:18 PM EST
Anybody who says you need to spend $1800 for a 1911 needs their head examined. Hell I've seen used Sig P220's (an excellent alternative to the mid-range 1911's) in the $500 range that worked 100% yet people with $800 Kimbers & Springfields complain about jams. I get the impression 90% of these 1911s are fine, the 10% that do have problems just do 90% of the complaining.
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 8:22:46 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/23/2003 9:26:14 PM EST
I didn't NEED to spend 1800 bucks on my Wilson CQB but I did.. and in MY opinion it IS the best 1911 and best pistol IMO also followed by the HK P7M8.
Link Posted: 4/24/2003 5:58:54 AM EST

ummm forgive me for asking, but what does MIM stand for?

"made in mexico" ?


Link Posted: 4/25/2003 4:58:36 AM EST
I purchased one of the Rock Island 1911-A1'a which is just a basic Charles Daily under a different name....same manufacturer...for a real cheap .45 it functions perfectly, after several hundred rounds without a hiccup...however it needs new sites and accurizing...can't hit the broad side of a barn with it. Had to do the same work on my wonderful Springfield Armory model too though! And it is a beautiful shooter now...for the $$ not bad!
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 11:32:29 AM EST
i think it really depends on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a base or entry model i don't think there is much difference in colt,kimber or SA.

If you are talking match grade then i have to go with kimber. For the money my Kimber gold match is many times the pistol as most colt and SA's i have fired. In that catagory the kimber was about 250.00 less than almost everyone else <that was 4 years ago> and was a far superior gun.

Link Posted: 5/6/2003 12:24:49 AM EST
Kimber, hands down. For the buyer with a midsize budget, Kimber is literally the best bang for the buck (no pun intended).

I carry my Custom TLE II all the time. no problems whatsoever. I love that gun!

I recommend a Custom TLE II for anyone who wants more than a base .45.
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 2:14:19 AM EST
SpacemanSpiff:  MIM = Metal Injection Molding

I have to speak up for Springfield here for just a moment on a matter of their frames:

 Springfield Armory frames ARE FORGED.  They are made at the IMBEL facility in Brazil, hence the initials FIB = F (forged) I (in) B (brazil).

 I must say that with the exception of some heat treat problems that these are puported to  ( and in one verifiable instance did ) suffer, S.A.'s frames are very nice indeed.  Even with the vicious hatred you all know I have for them...I would STILL buy their frames to build my own 45 on....I really like their "new" profile and gripping slots on the slides have a very nice pattern.  All in all the work I have seen on them is fairly well done....it's the cheap internals I can't stand ( things like cast hammer struts and improper caliber extractors ).

Link Posted: 5/6/2003 8:42:49 PM EST
I wish I would have bought a Norinco 1911 when they were $209.00

But my wife is very happy with her mid 1990's Colt Gold Cup. My Springfield Milspec is completely reliable but could use a trigger job.
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