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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/5/2005 2:00:26 PM EDT
I'm a 1911 newb and started researching 1911's for a carry sized piece (4.25" +/-). My order of importance is 1) reliability 2)accuracy 3)value. I do want a a nice looking one but nothing fancy. Just a nice brushed metal or deep blue classic 1911.

Colts,
I like the Colt Commanders but know very little about them. Have Colts always made a nice 1911 or do the have years to avoid, such as modern produced ones? What are the pro's and con's to the following
Series 70 vs Series 80 vs the rest
Combat Commander vs Lightweight Commander
Also, can I assume these are without MIM parts?

Customs,
I read a little about RRA, Les Baer, etc, etc, but not near enough to get a good feel for which ones are the best value of the customs. Any suggestions on which one for around $1500 or less?

BTW, no real interest in Springfields, Paras, or Kimbers.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 2:22:31 PM EDT
No interest in Springer? I assume its due to your MIM aversion right? Well, if your budget is less than $1500, you could buy a Mil-Spec Champion and send it off to one of the better smiths and have everything changed out, a good set of sights, beavertail, thumb safety, grips, mainspring and everything else and be less than our budget. You'd have a complete custom gun without a firing pin safety (I hate those BTW). Just a thought.

Another question is going to be aluminum versus steel. I own both. It really depends on your carry method. If your wardrobe allows for the use of 1.5" belts and high end holsters, I'd get the steel frame. If your relegated to things like a smart carry or other unconventional methods, the alloy frame will be well worth it.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 2:25:17 PM EDT
By the way, if you do go custom smithing, the Springfield custom shop has very reasonable prices ($600 to upgrade a current production Mil-spec to TRP specs). I have a gun with Ed Vandenberg at Vandenberg Custom doing a dress up to an old Springer of mine. He's not the cheapest, but has a good reputation and is extremely good at communicating with the customer.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 2:53:20 PM EDT
Given your preferences , you would probably be very happy with a 70's series
Colt Combat Commander.

They have no "added" parts , and you could most likely pick one up for UNDER $1000 ,
and still have money for some mild customizing or a refinish.

Example:

Link Posted: 8/5/2005 3:00:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/5/2005 3:04:24 PM EDT by SGB]
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 3:08:35 PM EDT
LOL , I Just KNEW a ColtHead would show up when I posted my reply

Whatever you call them , theyre nice guns , and usually reasonably priced
I would like one myself
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:50:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 6:04:06 PM EDT
If for CCW carry, I would suggest a LW commander with a Combat commander for practice. Worked very well for me. I finally went to a SS Colt Defender LW as it conceals a bit better. So far it has been FLAWLESS in all ways but one, damn front site dot went south after a few boxes of ammo. I just painted it in with Toyota bright white enamal which is very bright. Works well. Colt probably has the least MIM of all the -1000$ guns, and The parts that seem to have a record of breaking if MIM are usually tool steel on a Colt. Do not get me wrong, there are several very good makers of 1911s besides Colt. I would tell you to stay away from the SA Champion, I am not inpressed with it at all, POS as compared to the Defender. [my personal experience with one was NOT good at all from day one, I REALLY tried to like it but I cannot in any way, call it reliable.] Some have had good luck with them so there are two sides.

I paid around 800 bucks for my defender which is right in the ballpark for SAs comparable model and Kimbers comparable model with Kimber usually around 50 bucks or so higher then the Colt. [Thats around here, other locations vary]

Right now my fav shooter is a plain jane 1991 Colt 5". It is as accurate as 1911s that are 2x and more priced higher and is absolutely reliable. All of 400 bucks at Cabalas in Monroe Michigan last year. I have replaced springs, BBL links, disconnectors and the like on my Colts but I have NEVER EVER had a part BREAK while shooting them. Most of my shooting is with Hardball loads, not downloaded stuff. The Newer models BBLs are throated with an additional "dish" taken out at the bottom of the feed ramp, and they seem to eat just about anything you can feed them. Much better then some of the earlier one's certainly.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 6:08:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cliffy109:
No interest in Springer? I assume its due to your MIM aversion right? Well, if your budget is less than $1500, you could buy a Mil-Spec Champion and send it off to one of the better smiths and have everything changed out, a good set of sights, beavertail, thumb safety, grips, mainspring and everything else and be less than our budget. You'd have a complete custom gun without a firing pin safety (I hate those BTW). Just a thought.

Another question is going to be aluminum versus steel. I own both. It really depends on your carry method. If your wardrobe allows for the use of 1.5" belts and high end holsters, I'd get the steel frame. If your relegated to things like a smart carry or other unconventional methods, the alloy frame will be well worth it.





Originally Posted By cliffy109:
By the way, if you do go custom smithing, the Springfield custom shop has very reasonable prices ($600 to upgrade a current production Mil-spec to TRP specs). I have a gun with Ed Vandenberg at Vandenberg Custom doing a dress up to an old Springer of mine. He's not the cheapest, but has a good reputation and is extremely good at communicating with the customer.




If I planned on carrying all the time I think I would go with aluminum in a heart beat. But since I don't carry on a day-to-day basis weight is not a big concern. I took a peak at Springfields for the Champion and find the SS model to look very nice. Looks like the street price on those are a little over $700. Does the SS Champion have the fireing pin safety? BTW, what exactly is the firing pin safety? Trying to say away from the MIM parts, what all would one have done with the Champion? I took a look at the springfield custom shop sheet but it has a bizillion options.

What is your thoughts on the Springfield PC9102 Custom Carry?
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 6:25:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:
Ok not a flame. But........

Colt did not make a 70's series Combat Commander, Commander or LW Commander. They did however make these models in the 70's during the time that they were producing the Series 70 Government Model.

Caution should be excercised when dealing whith used colts manufactured in the mid 70's to early 80's as quality control was sporatic.

The Current crop of 1911's being produced by Colt are some of the nicest that they've ever produced and a XSE Stainless Combat Commander (O4012XSE ) would be my recomendation based on the original post.
www.coltsmfg.com/cmci/images/XSESeries_O4860_SMALL.jpg



Well, I know enough to know that I don't know enough The caution exercised on 70's Colts just tells me to stay away. I would be the fool to buy the over priced POS.

So, the new Colts are pretty nice you say? Looks like these come in both aluminum and SS versions. What is the pro's and con's to the SS vs the aluminum? Are they exhibiting any problems? Should anything be reworked on these? If so, who is some of the top guys to do the work?
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 6:37:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ikor:
I much prefer lightweight frame guns for serious CCW over the steel frame models. Not that others do not manage just fine with steel, but I prefer a lighter package. Realize that if you do find an older Colt (the best IMO) or get a Springfield, etc. you will need to send it off and spend lots of money as well as months without your 1911 before you can use it. If that is no big deal to you, fine. If it IS an issue, i would suggest you take a look ate two more guns in addition to the new Colt recommended by SGB.

These would be the Kimber ProCarryII and the S&W Scandium "commander frame" 1911...whatever name they are calling it. I think if I were looking for another LWT commander type 1911, I would look very hard at the S&W. Extremely light, extremely accurate, no reports of anything but good reliability, and their warranty is excellent...and the price for what you get is also excellent IF you "shop" it. (Do not get the first one you see...they can be bought for less!)

JMO



Dang, you just had to throw another maker into the mix I been surfing the web nightly for nearly 10 years and surprised myself tonight. I don't think I ever been to Smith & Wessons website. Found the Scandium piece you mentioned. Looks nice, but I wonder how it wears over the years compared to tradional materials? They are hyping the lightweight but since I don't plan on carring daily that is not a big issue for me.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 6:41:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fxntime:
If for CCW carry, I would suggest a LW commander with a Combat commander for practice. Worked very well for me. I finally went to a SS Colt Defender LW as it conceals a bit better. So far it has been FLAWLESS in all ways but one, damn front site dot went south after a few boxes of ammo. I just painted it in with Toyota bright white enamal which is very bright. Works well. Colt probably has the least MIM of all the -1000$ guns, and The parts that seem to have a record of breaking if MIM are usually tool steel on a Colt. Do not get me wrong, there are several very good makers of 1911s besides Colt. I would tell you to stay away from the SA Champion, I am not inpressed with it at all, POS as compared to the Defender. [my personal experience with one was NOT good at all from day one, I REALLY tried to like it but I cannot in any way, call it reliable.] Some have had good luck with them so there are two sides.

I paid around 800 bucks for my defender which is right in the ballpark for SAs comparable model and Kimbers comparable model with Kimber usually around 50 bucks or so higher then the Colt. [Thats around here, other locations vary]

Right now my fav shooter is a plain jane 1991 Colt 5". It is as accurate as 1911s that are 2x and more priced higher and is absolutely reliable. All of 400 bucks at Cabalas in Monroe Michigan last year. I have replaced springs, BBL links, disconnectors and the like on my Colts but I have NEVER EVER had a part BREAK while shooting them. Most of my shooting is with Hardball loads, not downloaded stuff. The Newer models BBLs are throated with an additional "dish" taken out at the bottom of the feed ramp, and they seem to eat just about anything you can feed them. Much better then some of the earlier one's certainly.



That is good to know. Out of the big manufacturers I must say that I'm leaning toward Colt. Can't say why, maybe I just like my Colt AR's.... I don't know.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 7:05:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 7:38:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Carb850:

Originally Posted By cliffy109:
No interest in Springer? I assume its due to your MIM aversion right? Well, if your budget is less than $1500, you could buy a Mil-Spec Champion and send it off to one of the better smiths and have everything changed out, a good set of sights, beavertail, thumb safety, grips, mainspring and everything else and be less than our budget. You'd have a complete custom gun without a firing pin safety (I hate those BTW). Just a thought.

Another question is going to be aluminum versus steel. I own both. It really depends on your carry method. If your wardrobe allows for the use of 1.5" belts and high end holsters, I'd get the steel frame. If your relegated to things like a smart carry or other unconventional methods, the alloy frame will be well worth it.





Originally Posted By cliffy109:
By the way, if you do go custom smithing, the Springfield custom shop has very reasonable prices ($600 to upgrade a current production Mil-spec to TRP specs). I have a gun with Ed Vandenberg at Vandenberg Custom doing a dress up to an old Springer of mine. He's not the cheapest, but has a good reputation and is extremely good at communicating with the customer.




If I planned on carrying all the time I think I would go with aluminum in a heart beat. But since I don't carry on a day-to-day basis weight is not a big concern. I took a peak at Springfields for the Champion and find the SS model to look very nice. Looks like the street price on those are a little over $700. Does the SS Champion have the fireing pin safety? BTW, what exactly is the firing pin safety? Trying to say away from the MIM parts, what all would one have done with the Champion? I took a look at the springfield custom shop sheet but it has a bizillion options.

What is your thoughts on the Springfield PC9102 Custom Carry?



The SA Champion will come with a "lock" on the MSH, not all that impressed with it but I DO understand the reasoning behind it for "legality" in certain states. There is quite a bit of MIM in the SA champion, some is fine and I have no complaint's some is where I really think it should not be hammer, sear, slide lock, safety [I think] parts that take a lot of stress, a short 1911 cycles pretty damn fast and certainly is harder on those parts. I am so so on the two piece BBLs some of the SAs come with. I will say that the frames and slides seem to be pretty darn good, as good as anyones.

Part of my SA champions problems were that the incorrect short ejector was installed rather then the proper long one which is needed to toss the brass to the side instead of into the face. The FP retainer was worthless, way to loose and would allow the extractor to "clock" making the prior problem even worse. I have had one crack also. I will allow that I had a "friday" gun but I personally was not impressed with SAs response, and took care of it myself. I am not sending my gun in to fix stuff I can do myself better then they can. [I can take all the time I want to, they can't]

SAs firing pin "safety" consists of a titanium FP and a strong FP spring. Thats it. If you are worried about Colts S-80 FP safety you shouldn't be, they are pretty much a non issue breakage wise tho a PITA to reassemble if you don't have 3 hands. I have never understood the complaint about the trigger pull issue either, I have bullseye 1911s from the 60s and the triggers are not any better then the S-80s I own. Either way if you can shoot several makes and types before you buy it might help you make an informed decision. What works for some might not work well for you. Some hate the Colt Ducktail grip safety but it fits really well for me, I am not comfortable with the more upswept one's, but I am probably the minority on this one. I also have no problem with the plain old GI one either, and usually don't bother monkeying with them. Either way try several and take your time, get the one that will work for YOU.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 10:33:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2005 11:14:03 AM EDT by FROST18E]
If you can spend $1500 look into one of the Les Baer Concept pistols. They hover around $1400 and if you do some looking on the E-net may find one for a little less. I think the concept IV is a nice piece. Try gunsamerica.com.

ETA: check out..... http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976565671.htm
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 12:03:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 12:12:40 PM EDT
Why not get a 5" Les Baer. I have found a few TRS's for 1300, that still leaves a little money for a good IWB holster.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 1:20:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Why not get a 5" Les Baer. I have found a few TRS's for 1300, that still leaves a little money for a good IWB holster.



Wanting a smaller gun for easier concealment.


BTW, any other high end builder that I should check out? What about Dan Wesson?
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 1:23:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2005 1:33:14 PM EDT by TexasSIG]

Originally Posted By Carb850:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Why not get a 5" Les Baer. I have found a few TRS's for 1300, that still leaves a little money for a good IWB holster.



Wanting a smaller gun for easier concealment.


BTW, any other high end builder that I should check out? What about Dan Wesson?



Well for some reason you've got it in your head that MIM parts are bad, so
that leaves DW out, even though it's the nicest and most reliable 1911 I own.

Good luck finding ANYTHING new that doesn't have MIM parts in it.

I think there is one, maybe 2 MIM parts in the thing. This one has over 2000 rounds
of 10mm through it.....

Link Posted: 8/6/2005 1:33:29 PM EDT
MIM parts ARE bad. They aren't guaranteed to fail, but over a sample of both MIM parts and their cast equivalents, the MIM parts will fail more often.

Ken_mays, I disagree with you about the "improvements". I shoot best with a pistol that has a beavertail, beveled mag well, high cut front strap and Heinie or Novak sights. I also don't get a sore spot on my hand when I shoot a pistol with a beavertail.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 1:37:34 PM EDT
Well, if you can stand to read anything the arrogant SOB writes, here is an interesting
perspective on all this from Teddy Jacobson.

TJ Rant on 1911s
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 4:27:58 PM EDT
I get the feeling this guy goes through life disappointed.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 4:52:41 PM EDT
If you shop around, you can get a decent used Wilson Combat CQB for around $1500!
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 7:16:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 7:17:32 PM EDT
What about Dan Wesson? I see they are distrubited by CZ.... Have they been around awhile? Any relation to Smith & Wesson? What about thier products? The Dan Wesson Commander Classic Bobtail is a beautiful gun with a price that does not look to bad. Any reports on these good or bad?

www.cz-usa.com/01.detail.php?id=66
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 7:24:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ken_mays:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Ken_mays, I disagree with you about the "improvements". I shoot best with a pistol that has a beavertail, beveled mag well, high cut front strap and Heinie or Novak sights. I also don't get a sore spot on my hand when I shoot a pistol with a beavertail.



Me too, but lots of folks here just don't seem to need or want them. My original point was in response to the "you'll have to spend a lot of money and time on it before you can use it" statement.

Most of us here like at least a lightly customized 1911, but it isn't strictly necessary to function as a carry gun.



Ah, I understand. True, it is possible to make do with less than one would want. Hell, I even shoot a Glock every once in a while!
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 7:46:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2005 7:50:19 PM EDT by NAM]
Kimber Ultra CDP II
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 12:12:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NAM:
Kimber Ultra CDP II
tinypic.com/a32er4.jpg



My wife thinks it's "cute".



I kid, I kid.............

Link Posted: 8/10/2005 7:45:35 PM EDT
S&W 1911sc/pd

Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:34:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 11:17:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ikor:

Originally Posted By ken_mays:

Originally Posted By ikor:
Realize that if you do find an older Colt (the best IMO) or get a Springfield, etc. you will need to send it off and spend lots of money as well as months without your 1911 before you can use it.



Not necessarily.

Older Colts should be function and safety tested by a competent gunsmith, but this could be said for most any used gun.

Not everyone wants or needs the current enhancements that are all the rage on 1911's. Jeff Cooper's "sights that can be seen, and a decent trigger" are enough for many folks.



Actually, ken has a very good point here.

I am often a little quick to "assume" (yeah, I KNOW what it means!) that guys who post here are going to want more "gingerbread" on their 1911's than the "average" shooter, and the "$1500 or under" figure thrown out by Carb850 is an indicator that he is willing to at least consider a more "refined" pistol, I think.

Still, I carried a bone stock Colt LW Commander for years and put over 5000rd. of full power factory loads (mostly GI ball) through it before I sold it and it was still working fine. That little gun never let me down, never missed anything I shot at when I did my part, and got me through a couple of pretty close calls safely. I have also trained guys with stock GI 1911's straight from the armory (someone had worked on the triggers and the guys used Wilson mags they bought themselves) on Rogers plate machines where they were making better than 70% hits on plates (8-15yd) with exposure times of 1/2sec. or less and doing 50% or so on steel silhouettes at 100yd. offhand. Yes, these guys were shooters, but the point is the guns had almost nothing done to them to "enhance" their capabilities. Hell, a couple looked like you could have thrown a cat between the frame and slide!

Not to disparage modified pistols...I only own one "standard" 1911...but decent sights and a decent trigger will still get it done.

The "magic" really IS in the wizard...not in the wand.



Your turn of phrase (first highlighted section) really has me 'bout to piss my pants......... ever considered writing for a gun rag? Print or online?

The second is just truth. Plain and simple.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 11:56:41 AM EDT
I have 4 Colts at the moment, and the New Roll Mark Colts are some of the best all around 1911 period. They feed everthing and are of good quality and accuracy. But for all day, every day carry, it is my Colt CCO that I pick up. The CCO is a Commander slide on a light weight Officer frame. Small and light enough to carry, but still shootable.

My second choice for year around carry is a Stainless Commander or light weight Commander. With a good belt, I have no problems packing a full steel frame Commander. In fact, I have been known to carry a 1918 issue Colt Gov.

Some guys get hung up on the series 80's parts. I have 1 without, 1 that was removed, and 2 that still have it. My guns are carry guns, so the triggers are at least 3.5 lb and most are in the 4 lb range, for safety. In these lb ranges, you will never know the series 80 parts are there. I removed tbe 80 parts in the one because I felts something in the trigger. turned out i needed the sear dress up a little. Live and learn.

Ron
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:33:40 PM EDT
BTW, where in WV are you from, I grew up near Beckley, worked in Charleston for years.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 7:21:35 PM EDT
Born and raised in Charleston.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 9:45:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2005 9:51:53 PM EDT by SilverState]
Take a good look at STI. I have a 5" Trojan, but I know they make some models with shorter barrels. Try Dawson Precision, they have lots of STI inventory, can make mods for you, and have a law enforcement discount. My STI has got to be one of the best values out there - the quality is pretty close to Wilson, Les Baer, or Ed Brown at about half the price.

www.stiguns.com/

www.dawsonprecision.com/

The Ranger II is the one that I think fits your criteria.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 5:42:15 AM EDT
For $1500 bucks, you can have one of our ADCO RRA builds. The next batch is due in next month. There are no MIM parts, it is built by a pistolsmith as opposed to an employee on an assembly line, and you will sidestep many of the hardships new 1911 buyers face when purchasing lesser firearms. You owe it to yourself to check them out.

damian@adcofirearms.com
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 5:16:04 PM EDT
I wouldn't rule out a full size 1911. I carry a Springfield Armory TRP and a spare Wilson 47D mag. It isn't that hard to conceal, and knowing what I have under my shirt gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling.

Jay
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 7:09:23 PM EDT
+100 on the Les Baer pistols. I have a TRS that I love. never had a malfunction.

I do know two friends that have Colt Defenders and they love them. I personaly have no exp with them.

Had a Colt Combat Comander that was great but bit heavy, might as well have a 5" barrel.

I have a Kimber Ultra RCP 2 that has had many problems.

Good luck and best wishes on your carry pistol.

1911s rock!

Woosaa
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 7:15:30 PM EDT
Thanks everyone for the replys (more are welcome ) Just wanted to give an update.

Still researching but at the moment I'm leaning toward getting a current production Colt. Either a SS XSE combat commander or blued XSE Government model. My #1 priority is reliability but included in that is a gun that is not finky on ammo or magazines. From what I can tell Colt's are great for that. Plus it leave me a great platform to customize as I figure out exactly what I want.

I'm now leaning toward the Government model because it is not that much bigger and I feel that both will be bigger than what I would want to carry daily. I will end up picking up a much smaller weapon for most CCW duty. I have a few ideas but that will go into a new thread. Need to decide on the primary battle sidearm first
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