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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/24/2005 5:15:29 PM EDT
Ok, I want a 1911. I am getting one in a week, to the day (when I turn 21 ).

I had my heart set on the Springfield 5" pakerized Mil-Spec model, but I just saw an add for a Kimber at just about $200 more. Now I have heard great things about Kimbers and heard half good and total crap stories about Springfields. There is also Para, Le Baer, Wilson, Infinity, etc to choose from. I will have about $700 to play with, but I can always borrow $200 or so from my brother for a total of $900. I figure allow ~$100 to pay for Dros, the HGSC, and an extra mag and maybe some ammo if money permits. That leaves $800 for the gun and tax, or roughly $750 before tax. So what's the best deal? I would like something more 'military' and less match or tactical. Something that is clean, plain, and simple (you know, it doesn't need night sights, or rails, etc.) Any suggestions?
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 6:21:51 PM EDT
I'm looking at 1911's now too. My projected budgeet is a little higher than yours at about $1100 or so, but I am in the same boat as far as which brand.

As far as I can tell from reading the 1911forum.com board, Kimber and Springfield have about the same reputation for good/bad items shipped. The main difference I keep seeing between them is that Springfield has a warranty that is good forever, and if you have any problems they seem to go above and beyond to make things right.

Thats why I'm 99% sure I will get a Springfield TRP.

I've also heard that many of the people buying the $400-600 Springfields are having great experiences with them, and only better by replacing parts down the line.

If you haven't already, go checkout 1911forum.com, there is a ton of info there.

Good luck, and happy early birthday.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 1:01:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 1:03:59 AM EDT by Mall-Ninja]
I went with a Springfield Mil-Spec 5", like the one you were looking at. I was also considering the Kimber Custom TLE II at the time.


I went with the Springfield because it was cheaper at the time ($560 out the door vs. $1k+). What I didn't know was:

- I needed a beavertail. I got hammer bite so bad that there'd be blood on the deck after 2-3 mags. This only surfaced after I started combat drills from a holster.

- The blade rear sight on the SA is SHARP. Now both hands are bloody from combat drills and malfunction clearance practice.

- I hated the curved mainspring housing of the SA. The flat mainspring housing is much more natural in my hand.


That being said, given the choice again, I'd STILL buy the Springfield. Why?

- Springfields are "Series 70" designs, meaning they don't include a firing pin safety like Colt or Kimber. This is truer to the original 1911 design. Let's face it; if SA and Les Baer and a bunch of other companies can get their 1911s CA-approved without using built-in lawyers, it wasn't necessary in the first place.

- MIM parts are much more prevalent in Kimber guns. Granted, if done correctly, MIM parts are just as good as cast or machined parts. However, doing it RIGHT means there's no cost savings to the manufacturer, which is why they went to MIM in the first place.

- I got 500 bucks in price difference to make the SA exactly the way I want it. Sights, trigger, hammer, everything. VERY nice when you've got access to a master gunsmith.

One last note about "semi-custom guns."

You really ought to see where these "custom shops" get their parts. Wilson Combat guns carry a hefty price tag along with the "TACTICAL" advertising, but their guns are built on frames and slides supplied by Kimber (minus the firing pin safety systems). They're great guns, but for their price, I'd rather go with a Les Baer (which I did - a blued Thunder Ranch Special), which are 100% made here, by Les Baer Custom. Springfield frames from the lowly GI on up to the TRP are forged by IMBEL Brazil, and machining is done in the US (if you're lucky). Only the "Springfield Custom Shop" guns appear to be full US made.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 1:47:01 AM EDT
If you are going with a 1911 type pistol, there i no question. Get a Springfield. They are manufactured to specification and the parts interchange reliably. They do not break. Every gunsmith I have spoken with has spoken highly of them. I have never had any problems with mine (I have a V10 Ultra Compact). Do get a model that has the Novak-style low profile (low drag) sights. The standard military sight is pretty crude. Adjustable sights are fragile and/or subject to going out of alignment at the wrong moment. Night sights strike me as kind of gimmicky, since you really need a flashlight to see what you are shooting at. Use a Surefire (either handheld or weapon mounted).

Do NOT buy a gun with porting (mine has it, and I hate it). Although it reduces muzzle flip (theoretically allowing for faster follow up), you will totally blow your night vision if you are firing in low light (when almost all armed encounters occur). I only carry my V10 in the daytime. At night, I carry a P220 SIG with a Surefire Nitrolon weaponlight.

Kimbers have had some function and reliability issues with certain ammunition (Federal LE loads). Our local SWAT Team had to send back its guns several times before Kimber got the problem resolved. My understanding is that LA SWAT also had to send their guns back to Kimber to get then fixed. The problem was sufficiently extensive that some police agencies threatened to sue Kimber.

Note that since Kimbers (and Les Bauers) are semi-custom guns, so they are fitted for the specific parts on that gun only. Parts may or may not interchange between guns (a repair issue unless you don't mind sending your gun back to Kimber and waiting months for them to repair it). Not a good thing.

If you are not wedded to the idea of a 1911, then you might look at the H&K USP or SIG P220. I also like the big Smith .45s, although the slide-mounted safety takes some getting used to (I like my compact 9mm Smith as a back-up gun).

Good luck!

And don't forget to buy a quality holster. Paddle holsters are handy, because you can take them off without removing your belt. The downside is that they sometimes pull out on the draw. Inside the waistband holsters (the stiff kind that allow you to reholster one-handed) are best for concealment. I have no problem fitting a full-sized P220 in mine and it conceals well even though I am quite short (5'5"). I alternate between a Bianchi and a Galco. Both are good. The paddle holster I like is a Safariland. I recently tried out the Blackhawk CQC Serpa holsters. Although they are plastic, they hold the gun pretty securely and provide a reasonably fast presentation on the draw. Don't skimp on the holster. (I literally have a box of holsters that I've tried and discarded as inadequate).

Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:09:21 AM EDT
+1 on the springfields.

I got a ww2 model for 430 a few months back. Its been great so far. I like tinkering with 1911s and this is a great base gun to play with.

I heard nothing but good things about kimber recently. Like someone mentioned before, got to 1911 Forum for a LOT of info.

You'll probably end up with a kimber and a springfield later on....

Link Posted: 8/25/2005 4:53:37 PM EDT
neowierd, go and get your self a steel framed 1911, my first handgun i bought was a bout three months ago and it was a springfield tgo2 simliar to the trp but to rob leathem specs. it costed me $1600 , but well worth it. smglee laughed when he heard i bought it , but he gave his thumbs up after shooting it.
go and get yourself kimber tleII or something else that compares to a handgun that you want to keep for a very long time. think of it as a investment.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 10:45:18 PM EDT
I got a 5" mil spec and although I didnt get hammer bite like Mall Ninja did, I didnt quite like the grip safety so I got a new beavertail, ambi safety, grips (hogue) flat mainspring housing (Thanks Mall Ninja for that great bit of advice) and made it the way I like it.

Kimber is great as well but the $$$ is a bit more than I could chew. I like Sprigfield and would buy another one in a heartbeat.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 10:56:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 11:01:06 PM EDT by warlord]
So. Calif, Turner's has a sales on S&W 1911 for $740, reg. $775, and a SW1911Sc(Scandium frame, commander-length barrel) $780 reg. $820.

If you buy the $750 gun, you're looking at around $850 including tax & DROS. I would skip the extra mag for now, and get extra mags later at a local gun show.

Click on link below for link to the Turner's ad.
So. Calif - 2005 Fall Turners Sales Catalogue Aug 11-Sep 14 is now out(8/16 catalog now online)
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 1:45:00 AM EDT
side note, I was able to get my computer up and working late last night/early this morning.

I am not a big fan on 'silver' handguns, and S&W's non-revolvers have never appealed to me much. The more I think about it, and the more I read, the more I am thinking I was right the first time with the Mil Spec Springfield. So far money looks good, time looks good, paperwork is looking good. I should be holding my new 1911 in ~16 days
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 9:21:55 AM EDT
Springfield Loaded or a S&W SW1911. Both I've owned and performed flawless for me. Sold the loaded to a friend (range officer) and he still has it, and it shoots well for him. Fit, function and accuracy on the SW1911's is outstanding.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 11:57:34 AM EDT
The one thing that is an absolute for me when buying a 1911, always buy a steel framed 1911.

I am a firm believer that 1911s with an aluminum frame will fail eventually, it's a property of aluminum that any fatigue placed on it will count towards it's eventual failure and guns originally deigned to be made of steel don't do well when made of aluminum.

Buy a steel frame and it will most certainly last you a lifetime.
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