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Posted: 6/10/2009 7:26:33 PM EST
I'm going on the prowl for my first 1911 and first handgun in general.

I don't plan on every using it for any kind of competition, just general plinking and possibly as a side arm for hunting.

What are the main things I should look for and how do I tell if something is "bad."

Before you ask, I don't know anyone who's familiar with the platform nearby to take with me.

Thanks

Price range $000-$600 (I can get a new Springfield Mil-Spec for $656 OTD)
Link Posted: 6/10/2009 8:10:16 PM EST
i didnt know anything about the platform either (still dont really). i just went into the shop and walked out with the taurus pt1911. because the pt1911 seem to be hit or miss, i would stay away from them, especially if you dont know what to look for. i never had an issues with my mine, but the blueing was thin and the safety felt really janky.

for your price range, i would at the Rock Island guns. they seem to be fairly well-made basic 1911s and have some options. if you can swing the SA, i would go that route.

Link Posted: 6/10/2009 8:22:12 PM EST
I saw a Springer ss for $500 on the New EE yesterday -
Link Posted: 6/10/2009 8:51:52 PM EST
I would add some jack and get the SA Mil Spec. They really are good pistols. When it comes to Taurus, it seems that if you get a good one, you get a really good one. But if it is bad, it is really bad. I own 3 Taurus guns. All have provided excellent service, but I haven't really pushed any of them very hard.

I have pushed my SA Mil Specs pretty hard. Of the 5 SA Mil Specs that I own or have owned, none ever let me down. ( Sold one to cover rent about 15 yrs ago, two became gifts to my Brother and one of his sons, the remaining two are in my EDC line up)
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 3:11:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/11/2009 3:12:02 AM EST by shadowcop]
Springfield is a good choice. If you want a low price and a good weapon, R.I.A. makes a nice 1911. I picked up a G.I. that runs great after adjusting the extractor. $299 used. I wouldn't buy Taurus anything based on the crappy CS.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 11:02:04 AM EST
$600 will get you a very gently used NRM Colt Series 80 about anywhere in the US these days (new is mid $700). Taurus and the mil-spec can't touch this for quality and reliability. Just get quality magazines (Colt, checkmate or metalform are good values) and it will last a few lifetimes. They come in both stainless and polished blue, Full size, Commander and officer's sized, too. If it's between a new, foreign-made Springfield at $660 or a like-new Colt for 10% less, take the Colt.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 3:31:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By Oro:
$600 will get you a very gently used NRM Colt Series 80 about anywhere in the US these days (new is mid $700).


Not to sound like a jerk, but really?

I can't find any colt of any kind, in any condition for anything under a $1000.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 3:47:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By Oro:
$600 will get you a very gently used NRM Colt Series 80 about anywhere in the US these days (new is mid $700). Taurus and the mil-spec can't touch this for quality and reliability. Just get quality magazines (Colt, checkmate or metalform are good values) and it will last a few lifetimes. They come in both stainless and polished blue, Full size, Commander and officer's sized, too. If it's between a new, foreign-made Springfield at $660 or a like-new Colt for 10% less, take the Colt.


I really think you are $100 to $200 off on the new prices. You CAN find a decent used one for $600 but it'll be gone PDQ at that price.

Link Posted: 6/11/2009 3:53:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/11/2009 4:08:53 PM EST by Oro]
I can't find any colt of any kind, in any condition for anything under a $1000.


yeah, you really can. Only the XSE models get to a $1000. I am talking about the standard 80 Series - retail is in the mid-$700s - they are a little scarce right now as production catches up to the 'bama boom, but that's about gone now and guns are coming back in stock and prices are not going up in this economy!

The 1911/80 guns are good - they have lowered ejection ports and tall combat sights - no need to modify anything for carry, plinking, or target work. I bought a Series 80 NRM Commander recently for $600 flat locally (and gun prices in Western WA are fairly robust, so this wasn't a derelict price - it was out of the classifieds here. It sat in the classifieds here for a little while with no interest before I emailed about it). ToyCop posted a photo yesterday of a late '80s vintage Colt Combat Elite GM he got recently for $550 (now that was a good deal). Even on Gunbroker, the late-model Series 80s will do like $550 to $650. I also bought a mint, and I mean 100% mint, unmodified 1974 GM last month for $700. The earlier 1991 models with the matte and Parkerized finish are always in the $500 range. You do have to commit to checking ads regularly and looking, but yeah, those are the prices that things actually trade at when people buy and sell, not the "gun show" and "I hope some sucker hits 'Buy it Now'" prices you sometimes see.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 4:14:43 PM EST
Agreed, us bona-fide 1911 whores are prone to turning our noses up at a decently made Series 80 pistol... really no reason to in this price range.

That said - Springfield GI would be the best value (Imbel makes great stuff), and getting an RIA would be a close second in overall value.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 4:32:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By MrBackpack:
Originally Posted By Oro:
$600 will get you a very gently used NRM Colt Series 80 about anywhere in the US these days (new is mid $700).


Not to sound like a jerk, but really?

I can't find any colt of any kind, in any condition for anything under a $1000.


Seriously? Look at Gunbroker, there are dozens of Colts available for under a grand.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 4:38:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By TehLlama42:
Agreed, us bona-fide 1911 whores are prone to turning our noses up at a decently made Series 80 pistol... really no reason to in this price range.

That said - Springfield GI would be the best value (Imbel makes great stuff), and getting an RIA would be a close second in overall value.


For what it's worth, I took my Series 80 to a Larry Vickers 1911 Operators Course this past weekend. I bought it new in 1997 for less than $500. I had a bit of work done here and there - new trigger, beavertail, sights, etc. I put in a new barrel myself, but all told, I think I've got somewhere from $1000 - $1200 in it. It's very accurate and had no malfunctions whatsoever during the course, while other, more high end pistols (Nighthawk among them) had a malfunction here and there.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 6:28:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/11/2009 6:28:53 PM EST by MrBackpack]
I wouldn't mind purchasing from out of state, Texas, but right now I'm not in my college town, near my friendly FFL.

Right now I'm in Austin, and I can't find an FFL who will do a transfer for me for anything less than $50 when my Kerrville FFL will do it for $30.

I can and do find them, (series 80) on gunbroker and the like for under a grand, but I'm mainly looking for a FTF or an OTD purchase from a ARFCOM member, a private citizen, a gun show, or a store.

I did just turn 21, so I can get one from a store myself, I'm just looking to save a little bit of money by buying used.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 6:08:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/12/2009 6:12:08 AM EST by Oro]
There is a guy in Pflugerville who does FFL transfers for $6. Six Dollars. That's like 25 miles from you. He is on THR all the time and it is in his sig line - you can find him there easily. Between that and $20 shipping from an FFL, you should not rule out buying on Gunbroker, classifieds here, etc. You can choose from 50 guns instead of one or two, and end up with a better one for the money than you otherwise would.

Edit: It's $10 now, and his username at THR is waterhouse.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 6:20:00 AM EST
Originally Posted By Hebrew_Battle_Rifle:
I would add some jack and get the SA Mil Spec.


Agreed.

The problem with buying a used 1911 is that people like to have them customized / worked on.
The problem with that is that not everybody knows what the hell they're doing.

Easy to get a pistol that's got problems and hard to know that before you buy it.

The Mil spec is a great value for the money and an exceptional base gun should you decide to have work done on it later, by a gunsmith of your choosing.


Link Posted: 6/12/2009 7:21:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By shadowcop:
Springfield is a good choice. If you want a low price and a good weapon, R.I.A. makes a nice 1911. I picked up a G.I. that runs great after adjusting the extractor. $299 used. I wouldn't buy Taurus anything based on the crappy CS.

Another vote for the Springfield Armory Mil Spec or the Rock Island Armory GI.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 8:15:21 AM EST
Had a friend at the gunclub who bragged all over the joint at the great deal he got on a new Rock Island. Thing was pretty rough and had a snotty trigger. He ended up putting some change into it to get a useable gun and it is still a Rock Island (Questionable resale).

Some used guns can be a problem , every backyard mechanic who has ever touched a gun thinks he is a 1911 smith
The only 1911's I have are Colts but I bought them nearly when you were born, had a good smith work the triggers and clean them up a bit and I have just been shooting the hell out of them ever since . I guess I am out of the loop for advise as to what is considered hot these days but suspect Colt is still a reasonable choice

Invest in some decent mags, Chip McCormic and Rogers were top of the line years back and I wouldn't expect any different now . Buy a $18-$25 mag and it will work decent for years , buy a stack of $9-$12 junkers from a gunshow and you will be forever sorting through them to find one that works
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 8:22:00 AM EST
I'll toss in my .02¢ here...
You couldn't give me a Rock Island.
Somehow they are selling on their advertising and nothing more.

I would, however, buy and recommend a High Standard.
Check them out.

Link Posted: 6/12/2009 10:51:00 AM EST
Originally Posted By AR15L:
I'll toss in my .02¢ here...
You couldn't give me a Rock Island.
Somehow they are selling on their advertising and nothing more.

I would, however, buy and recommend a High Standard.
Check them out.



Aren't High Standard and Rock Island the same gun with different names?
Both mfg. by Armscor in the Philipines?

a-bare

ETA: I've never seen an advertisment for either one.......

Link Posted: 6/12/2009 2:50:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/12/2009 2:52:37 PM EST by shadowcop]
Originally Posted By AR15L:
I'll toss in my .02¢ here...
You couldn't give me a Rock Island.
Somehow they are selling on their advertising and nothing more.

I would, however, buy and recommend a High Standard.
Check them out.



Obviously you never owned one and never will. If you had, you would have a different opinion.
Also, if you can find a Colt at a decent price, grab it. I've never had a bad one.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 3:23:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By Oro:
There is a guy in Pflugerville who does FFL transfers for $6. Six Dollars. That's like 25 miles from you. He is on THR all the time and it is in his sig line - you can find him there easily. Between that and $20 shipping from an FFL, you should not rule out buying on Gunbroker, classifieds here, etc. You can choose from 50 guns instead of one or two, and end up with a better one for the money than you otherwise would.

Edit: It's $10 now, and his username at THR is waterhouse.


Thanks for the info, I found and sent him a pm.

so now that my market has now broadened considerably, what should brand would be the best to look for in the range I mentioned above.

A colt Series 80?
Springfield Mil-spec?
Kimber something-or-other?
other brand?
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 3:30:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By AR15L:
I'll toss in my .02¢ here...
You couldn't give me a Rock Island.
Somehow they are selling on their advertising and nothing more.

I would, however, buy and recommend a High Standard.
Check them out.



This is getting hilarious!

High Standards and Rock Islands are both made by Armscor in the Philippines!

If yours is stamped APINTL Pahrump Nevada, then it is one of the pistols manufactured by Armscor and imported through Advanced Tactical in Nevada.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 3:50:14 PM EST
Originally Posted By MrBackpack:
Originally Posted By Oro:
There is a guy in Pflugerville who does FFL transfers for $6. Six Dollars. That's like 25 miles from you. He is on THR all the time and it is in his sig line - you can find him there easily. Between that and $20 shipping from an FFL, you should not rule out buying on Gunbroker, classifieds here, etc. You can choose from 50 guns instead of one or two, and end up with a better one for the money than you otherwise would.

Edit: It's $10 now, and his username at THR is waterhouse.


Thanks for the info, I found and sent him a pm.

so now that my market has now broadened considerably, what should brand would be the best to look for in the range I mentioned above.

A colt Series 80?
Springfield Mil-spec?
Kimber something-or-other?
other brand?[/quote

For me, Colt then Sprinfield. Springfield has excellent customer service even if you are the second owner. Colt may take a long time for repair or an issue. I love my Kimber Eclipse. It's never had a malfunction. But it's one of the 1st run from the Custom Shop. Newer Kimbers seem to be hit and miss.

Link Posted: 6/12/2009 6:31:48 PM EST
Armscorp makes RIA
They have several level of guns.
The high end is the RIA match.
This gun is the base gun for STI Spartan.
Both can be had for under 600 new.
Match grade barrel and bushing, fiber optic front sight, adjustible rear sight, FLGR, and the RIA comes with an ambi safety.

Here is my spartan with a few mods





Link Posted: 6/12/2009 6:44:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By Oro:
Between that and $20 shipping from an FFL, you should not rule out buying on Gunbroker, classifieds here, etc. You can choose from 50 guns instead of one or two, and end up with a better one for the money than you otherwise would.


Am I the only one who is wary of buying a firearm that I cannot see/touch like from the EE or gunbroker?

I just got scammed on ebay, so my tinfoil hat in concerns with online purchases is on super tight.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 7:59:29 PM EST
Am I the only one who is wary of buying a firearm that I cannot see/touch like from the EE or gunbroker?


I would say you aren't the only one, but probably in the small minority. I've done maybe 25 or so online transactions in the last 2 years or so and NEVER has a gun not been as stated. More often they are better than stated or have extras not mentioned. Normal precautions apply - do your homework, ask questions ahead of time, make a phone call to smooth out questions and transaction details where necessary.

There may be some bad sellers out there of course, just use good judgment and realize that most firearms owners are MORE responsible than the public as a whole - you aren't going to get burned as much like on Ebay (I have there, too).
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 7:08:36 AM EST
Thanks for all the advice guys, I appreciate it.

But can you guys tell me what are the hallmarks of a "good" and "bad" 1911.

Like what I should look for if at a gun store, show, or pawn shop.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 7:22:10 AM EST
The problem is there are a lot of tolerances you have to measure to be sure, other than taking it out to shoot, the basic safety checks are the only thing you can use to judge if it mgiht work okay.

No way to know if it feeds, or if someone messed up the feed ramp till you try it, or measure.

So at the min, you can make sure the safeties function.

Unload, pull back the hammer, don't engage the grip safety and pull the trigger. Nothing should happen.

Engage the thumb safety, pull the trigger with the grip safety engaged. nothing should happen.

Release the thumb safety, pull the trigger. The hammer should fall.

With the trigger still pressed, rack the slide. The hammer should stay back.

Release the trigger, and you should hear or feel the trigger reset. Pull the trigger again and make sure the hammer falls.

These are just the basic funtion checks.

The problem is, people get rid of 1911's for a lot of reasons. One major one is, I never got it to run right/feed reliably/feed hp, etc..
Your other problem is wanna be gunsmiths thinking they can make it run, when they don't have a clue.

not to scare you off a used one, just that there are plenty of new ones in your range that you could pick up without the hassel. If you pick up one of the brands that honor their warranty, then even if you buy it sight unseen, you should be good to go.

RIA, STI, Springfield are the top 3 in your price range that are known for outstanding CS.

Step up a few bucks, and you can add Colt to that mix.

Taurus has a lifetime warranty, but it sounds like it takes a long time for them to get back with you.

Also picking up used in any of those brands except colt, you should be fine, unless again someone cut into the frame or modded the gun.

That is the other thing you can do. Specs should be very much the same. Ask to compare to another 1911 in the store. New if possible. If not whatever they have on hand.

If one of these things is not like the other, you should just walk away till you can find someone to ask which is the way it should be.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 11:46:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By MrBackpack:
Originally Posted By Oro:
$600 will get you a very gently used NRM Colt Series 80 about anywhere in the US these days (new is mid $700).


Not to sound like a jerk, but really?

I can't find any colt of any kind, in any condition for anything under a $1000.




Hmmmm......not where I live.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 4:01:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By TC6969:
Originally Posted By AR15L:
I'll toss in my .02¢ here...
You couldn't give me a Rock Island.
Somehow they are selling on their advertising and nothing more.

I would, however, buy and recommend a High Standard.
Check them out.



This is getting hilarious!

High Standards and Rock Islands are both made by Armscor in the Philippines!

If yours is stamped APINTL Pahrump Nevada, then it is one of the pistols manufactured by Armscor and imported through Advanced Tactical in Nevada.


TC6969, I stand corrected. Before answering you yesterday I wanted to thoroughly check it out for myself.
You sir are correct.
Please disregard my post. I'm an idiot.

As a sideline, I believe that you get a little more for less money with the High Standard.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 7:57:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By AR15L:

As a sideline, I believe that you get a little more for less money with the High Standard.


What prices and features are you comparing?

Link Posted: 6/13/2009 8:01:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By TC6969:
Originally Posted By AR15L:

As a sideline, I believe that you get a little more for less money with the High Standard.


What prices and features are you comparing?



I'll get back to you on Monday with all my info in hand so's not to screw anything up.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 8:31:19 PM EST
I'd like to mention, that if you buy a Mil-spec, and get sick of the shitty sights, your options are limited unless you're going to have a gunsmith mill out Novak/Heinie/whatever dovetails.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 8:39:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By Kuraki:
I'd like to mention, that if you buy a Mil-spec, and get sick of the shitty sights, your options are limited unless you're going to have a gunsmith mill out Novak/Heinie/whatever dovetails.


Nay nay!

Kings Gun Works can hook you up with all kinds of sights especially for the GI/Milspec.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 6:31:23 AM EST
Here are my results. Looks like I got egg on my face or more like the entire omelet.
Read for yourself the differences:
Dear Sir,

Good day to you!!! i am writing in behalf of Ms Cayabyab.

The only difference between the M1911 RIA A1 GI compact and the High Standard "Crusader" compact are the sights.
RIA GI have the standard GI front and rear sights while the "Crusader" have dovetailed front and "snag-free" (Novak style) rear sights.

Please let us know if you need other informations.


Best regards,

:-) willie
Wilfredo D Lagundino
Arms Corporation of the Philippines
Armscor Avenue, Barangay Fortune,
Marikina City 1800, Philippines
Tel. No. (632) 941-6243, 941-6244
Fax No. (632) 942-0682
http://www.armscor.com.ph/

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 7:08:14 AM EST
I would consider dovetailed and Novak style sights a "little more" How much less is the High Standard?
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 7:10:57 AM EST
I'll be posting the price differences later today.
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