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Posted: 2/14/2006 6:32:59 AM EDT
I have begum my search for the 1911 I will buy. I am looking for a combat style so I wold like something with some bells and whistles but it doesn't have to be whole hog. I don't want a military style because they are too stock but the super all out models have stuff I don't need that pump up the price.

Features I do like and am looking for are: reliable, bigger rounded grip safety(doesn't have to be a high beaver tail but I like the beaver tail), rounded hammer, longer or adjustable trigger, Novak or similar fixed 3 dot type sights, front strap checkering, all steel (no aluminum), under $1,000. Anything in addition to those would be icing on the cake.

This is what I have found so far.
1. Springfield - Looks like they have a few that fit the bill almost in their Tactical Combat series. Looks like the PX9109L, PX9104L and the PX9154L seem to be what I am looking for. But I can't tell if any of them are aluminum or not and none of them have front strap checkering.

And do all Springfield's come with that internal locking mechanism? I don't think I like that. Sounds like a law suit waiting to happen.
I assume that all Springfield's are series 70 type.

2. Colt - Colt has its XSE series and Gunsite Series that both seem real nice and have everything I am looking for. But no prices listed and the website does say that they Gunsite series is series 70 but it does not say if the XSE is series 80 or not. The 01980XSE and the 01980GSP are what I am looking at there.

3. Kimber - The Kimber Custom II, Royal II, Custom TLE II all look nice but it does not go into detail about the differences between them so it kind of makes it hard to decide which one is best for me.
Then there is the Custom CDP II which also looks nice but doesn't really say how it is any different than the others mentioned above.
Also no prices.
I assume that all Kimber have the Swartz system.

So I am narrowing it down but any input you guys could give would be helpful.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:49:11 AM EDT
Probably won't be too much help, but here goes:

If the ILS (gun lock) on the Springfield bugs you, change out the MSH and you're done with it.  I'm not sure what you mean by 'lawsuit waiting to happen'.  To me, it's just one more (superfluous) part waiting to malfunction or break.

Yes, all the Kimbers you mentioned are Series II, and will have the Firing Pin Block.  I'm not really up on the differences between the new models, so no help there.

Also, no help on the Colt's.  I've never tasted that particular Kool-Aid.  
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:56:47 AM EDT
I've got a 9109L from Springfield and it's a great pistol.  Very accurate, reliable and not very expensive.  They all come with those darn safety lock mainsprings.  Nothing that an aftermarket MSH can't fix.  They even have instructions on how to remove the lock in the user manual.  You're right, no front strap checkering.  Put a Hogue wraparound grip on it and you don't have to worry about it.  Replace the the 2-piece guide rod with an Ed Brown GI rod and plug and it's perfect.  MJD
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:57:13 AM EDT
If your budget really is $1000 and you MUST have the checkered front strap, none of those you mentioned will fit the bill.  What will is the Sig GSR.  It does have a firing pin safety, but at least its attached to the trigger (I really don't like the Kimber style).  It has doesn't have a single MIM part and the fit is excellent.  

By the way... I really am a fan of the Springfield loaded model.  You would be lacking the checkering, but the cost would be well under $1000.  The ILS is easy to remove and with the money you have, you can afford that plus some nice VZ Grips and a case of ammo.  If you really want it checkered, you still probably have enough left out of your budget to send it off for checkering, or you can just use skateboard tape.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:23:30 AM EDT
Thanks guys. Plenty of help.

I was wondering if I could remove the MSH on the Springfield to get rid of that locking device. I just did not know if that in and of itself would do it or if there was more to it and if any other MSH would fit or if I would have to find a special one.

As for the law suit comment I made. I see this as a possibility. You keep your gun locked up but the locking mechanism off, but some how it gets stolen anyway(burglar). Someone uses it in a crime and bam! A lawyer jumps out saying that even though you had the gun locked up at home you could have taken the extra step of using the internal lock but you acted negligently and didn't and therefore you are bad man.

Front checkering - Don't need it. I just kind of like it. But I could be convinced that it is not important. I do see that Springfield has one more than $1,000 that does have it and it is calling me but I am trying not hear it's sirens song calling me into the rocks ;).
So far I am leaning toward the Springfield or the Kimber. Getting narrower.....
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 11:44:30 AM EDT
I'll make no claims of being an expert, but I'm in about the same boat your are (shopping for my first 1911).

I'm really leaning toward a Smith & Wesson 1911.  Seems everyone has good things to say about them - both for accuracy and relaibility.  I don't like the external extractor based on looks alone, but by all accounts it works well.  I'm not sure I'm a fan of the FP safety either, but it's connected to the grip safety and won't affect trigger pull.  S&W reportedly has great suctomer service as well.  Retail seems to be around $700 for the 5" stainless.  A local shop has a 5" SS with Crimson Trace grips coming next week; supposed to be priced at $750.  I'm gonna jump on that when it comes in!

The other contender is Springfield PX9109L (parkerized loaded w/ night sights).  I like the looks of the Springer better and the night nights are a plus, but the general opinion seems to be that the S&W is a slightly better gun.  I like the park'd finish.  Springfield also has a pretty good CS reputation.  Best local price I've found is $630.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 11:59:19 AM EDT
I would have bought the S&W 1911 except for one thing.  I absolutely hate the etched "Warning:  Capable of firing with magazine removed" on the side of the pistol.  It's a personal thing, I just hate it.  With that said, the S&W's seem to be a quality product.  They fit well, have excellent finishes, and are built with top quality parts from Wilson Combat & others.  The prices have come down some in the last year.  Still not as low as Springfield's though.  

P.S.  I got my 9109L for $599 from a dealer on this site that made me promise not to say who sold it for that price.  MJD
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 12:18:40 PM EDT
Buy a Springfield Loaded and send it to the Custom Shop for front strap checkering.  They are very reasonable.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 2:31:56 PM EDT
One of these would fit the bill:

This one is a Kimber Eclipse Pro II.
It has a four inch barrel. The "regular" eclipse has a five incher.


Link Posted: 2/14/2006 2:46:39 PM EDT
SW 1911 (one of the super new ones w/ rail is what i am waiting for)
Kimber TLE

SA Loaded

overall, i would opt for the Kimber TLE (expecially w/ the internal extractor)--its got everything you need (front strap checkering, nights, etc), nothing you dont
tighter fit than the SA loaded/champions too

the only thing that gets to me w/ the SW is the markings and the external extractor (eventhough its pretty reliable imo)

Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:29:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:42:19 PM EDT

I'll make no claims of being an expert, but I'm in about the same boat your are (shopping for my first 1911).

Actually this is not my first 1911. I had a Gold Cup a while back and that is where I have gotten a few of the things on my list that I know I want and a few that I know that I don't want.

What happened to it you might ask? Let's just say bad gunsmith, a lot of money wasted and a sale for next to nothing to someone that had more time and money to put into getting it back in shape. Let's just say I learned a very expensive lesson.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 4:37:25 AM EDT
What I find very interesting is that the majority here seem to like the Springfield or the Kimber and a few like the S&W but no one is recommending a Colt. Very interesting.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:36:23 AM EDT

What I find very interesting is that the majority here seem to like the Springfield or the Kimber and a few like the S&W but no one is recommending a Colt. Very interesting.

I'd like to think that's because with the other manufacturers you get more bang for your buck.  The only Colt I've ever liked is my friend's OLD Gold Cup National Match.  It's a beauty, hand fitted, adjustable target sights, trigger tuned to 3.2 lbs., and some other stuff I can't think of right now.  Just need to get that grip safety working properly and it would be perfect.  MJD
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:43:31 AM EDT

One of these would fit the bill:


This one is a Kimber Eclipse Pro II.
It has a four inch barrel. The "regular" eclipse has a five incher.


Me likey
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:29:12 AM EDT

What I find very interesting is that the majority here seem to like the Springfield or the Kimber and a few like the S&W but no one is recommending a Colt. Very interesting.

As was stated, its about bang for the buck.  The only Colt that I really like is outside the $1000 budget and that's the Gunsite Service Pistol.  Some people don't think that one is worth the money, but I happen to think its a pretty good deal for what you get.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:03:50 AM EDT
The Springfield Loaded Parked is an excellent value.

The SW1911s are the most accurate factory 1911s I have ever fired, and the fit and finish is superb.

The Kimbers are ok, but I don't care for the low-rise beavertail -- just personal preference.

An older Colt Series 70 might be good, but I'm not crazy about the hit or miss quality of their new guns.

I've never owned or fired a DW Patriot, but I've heard good things about them.

Of all of those above, I think my S&W guns are a better value.  I have three that were each under your price limit, and I am happy with them all.

I've also got 3 Springfields, and I like them very much, they just aren't as accurate out of the box, and the fit and finish, while acceptable, is simply not on par with the Smiths or Kimbers.

I have had 5 Kimbers, and tried hard to like them, but just did not without changing out the beavertails.

My go-to gun, is a Springfield GI that I built up exactly as I wanted.  I have a bit over a grand in it, but I want to buried with that gun.  It is perfect.  Very similar to a 1* package.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 1:22:41 PM EDT
Don't forget the single stack STI pistols...They can be had under 1K.
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