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Posted: 8/2/2003 10:28:59 AM EDT
It seems there are just ALL kinds of 1911's out there. From Para ord to Colt, there are just loads of "special editions" and crap like that. But really, other than bushings and barrels, what's the big deal?

Just as an example, you have a Auto-Ordinance 1911 "standard for $540. Pretty plain jane as far as finish grips ect. But a dang good gun. Then, over to Springfield Arm. where we have a closely priced mil spec gun, but let's look at their "full size" A1. In blue, $829 dollars. And then we can see Colt, with their Gold Cup in Blue for $1050. (just been using Blued models so finish isn't a factor) So, as I know there must be significant advantages, what are they. I'm not being a SA, but I really would like to know what I'm looking at.

Trigger feel?
Match Barrel/Bushing?
Grips?
Materials?

Botto­m line, what makes this Gold Cup worth almost DOUBLE what a mil spec Springfield or Thompson is worth?

Gundraw

P.S. Actually, what brought this up is I am entranced by the Sprinfield Long Slide. Any input on that. It will definitely be "future" purchase if I do get one, but hey, why not ask now??
Link Posted: 8/2/2003 3:05:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2003 4:15:54 PM EDT by thedr13]
Hello,
I am not one to answer your question about why to spend $1K plus for any 1911. I've read alot of the reviews about all these 'custom" .45's and they do sound impressive. I just have to stick to my budget and purchase the best one that I can afford. As for the Springfield Armory Longslide..... I would highly recommend it. I own one of Sp. Ar. 1911A1 "Loaded" in S/S and I truly beleive it is one of the best 1911 pistols on the market today, at any cost. I was thinking about the Longslide myself but at the time, could not come up with the additional money, so I bought the standard 5 inch barrel model. By the way, you can find this handgun at a good gunshop for far less than what is posted on the Sp. Ar. website. I bought my 1911A1 Loaded for $649 NIB. The website has it listed for $828.
Look for a good deal in your area and I guarantee you will not be sorry buying a Springfield. Keep us posted as to what you finally buy.
Link Posted: 8/2/2003 5:04:37 PM EDT
What's the difference between a Mercedes & a Yugo? They both have an engine, tranny, seats & doors, right?

The difference is the quality of parts used as well as hand fitting.

As far as AO being a "dang good gun", they're considered to be entry level at best.

Your price of $829 for a SA mil-spec is WAY overpriced by about $300 or so. You'll find much better prices at your local gunshows.

My .o2
Link Posted: 8/2/2003 6:36:52 PM EDT
Materials, fit, and finnish.
Link Posted: 8/2/2003 8:33:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2003 8:35:07 PM EDT by GunDraw]
Yes, yes,

I can see everyone already jumping on the price issue. Yes, the local gunshop is pretty up front about their price, the shipping fee and their cut, so I am well aware of the markup on the MSRP. But from my experience, they are fairly proportionally marked up. Like, a gold cup is still about twice as much as a AO. That is irrelevant and not my point.

Yes, there is a difference between a Yugo and a Mercedes, I find that irrelevant as well. That would be like comparing a Pheonix Arms .22 to a Desert Eagle .50 AE. This is more like comparing an Jaguar XKR to an Aston Martin DB7 Vanquish. Both are in the Same Niche, but what makes the DB worth over 3 times as much.

I guess I could always see tightening up, putting on a nicer finish, making things a little smoother and more accurate. So is that it, fit, finish, accuracy, and materials? But isn't there a point. I mean like STI?? Wilson Combat, Les Baer, what's in the Package. I'm not criticizing, but I would like to know.

The Dr. Thanks for the input on Springfield. I'm glad you hear yours has worked so well for you. They do seem to put out a nice package.

Thanks again,

Gundraw
Link Posted: 8/3/2003 8:57:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunDraw:
Yes, the local gunshop is pretty up front about their price, the shipping fee and their cut, so I am well aware of the markup on the MSRP.
Looks to me like they're trying to make their rent payment on one gun. I suggest you shop around unless you liked getting raped.



But from my experience, they are fairly proportionally marked up. Like, a gold cup is still about twice as much as a AO. That is irrelevant and not my point.
No, it's NOT irrelevant since you mentioned some totally outragous price for a SA mil-spec.



Yes, there is a difference between a Yugo and a Mercedes, I find that irrelevant as well. That would be like comparing a Pheonix Arms .22 to a Desert Eagle .50 AE.
Not at all. A .50 to .22 is all about power, not quality. A S&W Model 41 has more quality than a Desert Eagle, just not as much power.


I guess I could always see tightening up, putting on a nicer finish, making things a little smoother and more accurate. So is that it, fit, finish, accuracy, and materials?
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!



But isn't there a point.
If there is you're not exactly making one.


Link Posted: 8/3/2003 10:23:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2003 10:28:32 AM EDT by GunDraw]

Originally Posted By BobCole:

Originally Posted By GunDraw:
Yes, the local gunshop is pretty up front about their price, the shipping fee and their cut, so I am well aware of the markup on the MSRP.
Looks to me like they're trying to make their rent payment on one gun. I suggest you shop around unless you liked getting raped.
I don't know if you can't read or what, but evidentally you missed the point. Basically, they have a flat fee for ordering guns, so I can instantly tell exactly what the gun costs them. They even let me see the catalog. So, I know how out of site MSRP prices are. Does that make sense?? So what the hell are you talking about, and do you see how it makes absolutely no sense.


But from my experience, they are fairly proportionally marked up. Like, a gold cup is still about twice as much as a AO. That is irrelevant and not my point.
No, it's NOT irrelevant since you mentioned some totally outragous price for a SA mil-spec.
Okay, so a gold cup isn't about twice as much as a mil-spec SA? It doesn't matter how much they are, if one was $5 and the other was $10, I'm asking, why is the other worth double the money?

Yes, there is a difference between a Yugo and a Mercedes, I find that irrelevant as well. That would be like comparing a Pheonix Arms .22 to a Desert Eagle .50 AE.
Not at all. A .50 to .22 is all about power, not quality. A S&W Model 41 has more quality than a Desert Eagle, just not as much power.
So you would stand behind the workmanship of a Pheonix Arms as much as a Des. E.?? And is not comparing a Yugo to a Mercedes definitely a comparison of power as well??


I guess I could always see tightening up, putting on a nicer finish, making things a little smoother and more accurate. So is that it, fit, finish, accuracy, and materials?
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
Out of context, not my point. Certainly a colt G.C. suffices to every extent in those areas, what about the even higher end guns, where do they justify their prices?



But isn't there a point.
If there is you're not exactly making one. Way to take something out of context again, it feels like middle school all over again






Finally, could someone (with a little maturity)answer my question. Does anyone have any experience with some of the top end custom makers, like Wilson or STI. What are they including above and beyond, and are they worth the extra from something like a Long Slide S.A.??

Gundraw
Link Posted: 8/3/2003 10:57:11 AM EDT
My advise would be shoot a $450 1911 then shoot a Wilson, Brown or other high end 1911. The difference will become readily apparent. I have a couple Wilsons. I shopped around and was lucky enough to shoot lower end Springfields and Colts, then I shot a Wilson, Baer and Brown. For me the the choice became which gun, Brown, Baer or Wilson. Then it was bettween Ed Brown and Wilson. Then I decided based on my requirement and the price. Since a gun should last a lifetime (unlike the cars mentioned above) and perhaps have a life depend on it's reliability, price was the last factor. Save your dollars on everything BUT your firearms. I'm not saying don't shop around, just don't try to get reinforcement for a rationalization on why to go cheap. If you really want to know the difference, shoot both and decide.
Link Posted: 8/3/2003 11:06:23 AM EDT
i own 2. a kimber and a SA. My kimber is a gold match and frankly runs circles around the SA. Fit, Finish, accuracy are all light years above the base end guns.

I have shot several different makes and varieties of 1911's. There is a definant quality difference with the high end guns. Depending on what you intend to use it for you may or may not need all the spit and polish.

If it is a daily carry peice, reliability with different ammo may be more important than a match grade chamber and barrell that only feeds hardball.
Link Posted: 8/3/2003 11:14:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BobCole:

Originally Posted By GunDraw:
Yes, the local gunshop is pretty up front about their price, the shipping fee and their cut, so I am well aware of the markup on the MSRP.
Looks to me like they're trying to make their rent payment on one gun. I suggest you shop around unless you liked getting raped.

But from my experience, they are fairly proportionally marked up. Like, a gold cup is still about twice as much as a AO. That is irrelevant and not my point.
No, it's NOT irrelevant since you mentioned some totally outragous price for a SA mil-spec.



Yes, there is a difference between a Yugo and a Mercedes, I find that irrelevant as well. That would be like comparing a Pheonix Arms .22 to a Desert Eagle .50 AE.
Not at all. A .50 to .22 is all about power, not quality. A S&W Model 41 has more quality than a Desert Eagle, just not as much power.


I guess I could always see tightening up, putting on a nicer finish, making things a little smoother and more accurate. So is that it, fit, finish, accuracy, and materials?
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!



But isn't there a point.
If there is you're not exactly making one.





BoB Cole you are a pisser with this response
Link Posted: 8/3/2003 11:15:56 AM EDT
I see what you mean, I'm not looking at going base model, that question was more for reference sake, I just wanted to know.

I do know the Long Slide is far above the base model Springfield. I guess I would like to know how this stands up to something like similarily priced Kimbers, Colts, ect.

Gundraw
Link Posted: 8/3/2003 11:41:39 AM EDT
Gundraw,

You're gonna get a lot of guys saying that an SA or AO isn't what a Wilson or Les Baer is. Well, they're right! The higher end pistols will have better triggers, will be much tighter and smoother, and will probably be more accurate, if you do your part.

HOWEVER, the lower cost pistols will still WORK fine. I currently have a SA Milspec parkerized. It functions FLAWLESSLY. I have yet to have ANY hiccup from that gun (have about 500 rounds through it so far). It's not as accurate as I'd like, but a few minor mods (Group Gripper, match bushing, and a few other minor parts), it should shoot great.

So yeah, they can be like cars... Get the nicest one out there, and you won't have to do anything with it, it will just PERFORM. Go with a lower priced car, and you might have to do a little work to it to make it run like the expensive one. Some of us like tinkering and tuning. If you do, GO FOR IT!

(I recommend the SA pistols... They are good for the money, and should be better quality than the AO, Charles Daly and Llama. They are good guns to tune up, or just leave as they are. I've had 3 SA 1911s through my hands, and they all ran great. )
Link Posted: 8/3/2003 9:45:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By W-W:

BoB Cole you are a pisser with this response




I have my moments.

But Jesus Christ, when someone say something costs over & above MSRP, I DO have to wonder, ya know?
Link Posted: 8/3/2003 10:04:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunDraw:
Yes, the local gunshop is pretty up front about their price, the shipping fee and their cut, so I am well aware of the markup on the MSRP.
I've yet to see a dealer sell a gun at or above MSRP. I'm sure there's exceptions for hard to find guns like the new .500 S&W. I just think your dealer is trying to gig your billfold. But, hey, if you like that sort of thing, go for it.


I don't know if you can't read or what, but evidentally you missed the point. Basically, they have a flat fee for ordering guns, so I can instantly tell exactly what the gun costs them. They even let me see the catalog. So, I know how out of site MSRP prices are. Does that make sense?? So what the hell are you talking about, and do you see how it makes absolutely no sense.
No, I didn't miss the point. A dealer doesn't PAY MSRP, he pays dealer cost, something entirely different. And I've NEVER seen a dealer show a customer how much a gun is costing the dealer, THAT was the red flag in your post.


Okay, so a gold cup isn't about twice as much as a mil-spec SA? It doesn't matter how much they are, if one was $5 and the other was $10, I'm asking, why is the other worth double the money?
Same reason a Mercedes is double a Chevy's price: quality.


So you would stand behind the workmanship of a Pheonix Arms as much as a Des. E.?? And is not comparing a Yugo to a Mercedes definitely a comparison of power as well??
No & no. A Yugo is/was a 4cyl as well as the lower end baby Mercedes. The comparison is strictly quality, IMO.


Out of context, not my point. Certainly a colt G.C. suffices to every extent in those areas, what about the even higher end guns, where do they justify their prices?
Hand fitting mostly is what I've seen. There's some parts quality difference but not too much. The slide to frame fit is a big area of cost.



Way to take something out of context again, it feels like middle school all over again
It's what YOU wrote, sir, not I.





Finally, could someone (with a little maturity)answer my question.
Maybe if you asked your questions in a little more intelligent manner? No one likes to be insulted, huh?


Does anyone have any experience with some of the top end custom makers, like Wilson or STI. What are they including above and beyond, and are they worth the extra
See the above on fitting. Yes, they are WELL worth the extra $$$$, particularly Les Baer.


from something like a Long Slide S.A.??
Keep in mind the Long Slide is just that, it's not necessarily a "custom gun".
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 5:32:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
I've had 3 SA 1911s through my hands, and they all ran great. )



That's good to hear since
I just ordered a SA 1911-A1 with the doublestack magazine. Para P14 mags fit in it and lock the slide back. The trigger sure felt nice for a factory trigger. Anyone want to buy a beat up Para P13 that ejects brass back in your face and stovepipes about every 100th round.
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 7:47:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2003 8:00:02 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]
Reasons to buy a good custom 1911:

1. Details: Tiny parts like Extractors, safety plunger tubes and safeties are made of better quality metals than on your standard Springfield.

This is a big deal as the little parts are the ones that spoil the performance and reliablilty of a gun. Look at your average Springfield's safety plunger tube, (a flimsy piece of steel that is softer than tin...) and then look at a Les Baer plunger tube. (The LB is drilled from solid bar stock...You CAN'T bend it or deform it by accident.) You also find out how important this is when you see a Colt Gold Cup's top end go flying downrange at a training class because the slide lock sheared off (and this was a gun with under 2,000 rounds through it) under recoil and then flew out of the gun.

The owner of this pistol borrowed my LB (I was using a Beretta) for the remainder of the course and it performed flawlessly. 500 rounds through a gun does not a test make. Seeing a few THOUSAND go downrange in a week's time shows you what works and what doesn't.

2. Accuracy: As a rule, a good hand-fitted custom gun will be more accurate than your standard milspec Auto Ordnance. It is a rare pistol that can keep up with the accuracy of my Les Baer.

3. RELIABILITY: A good custom 1911 will run with anything you cram in it and like it. Colts and milspecs usually will not. (Having owned a few, I know this...) My Springfield "loaded" gun wouldn't even run with HARDBALL. My LB has only jammed once, a stovepipe on round 3 of the 300 round breakin. In the many thousands of rounds since then, it has not hiccuped once despite torture tests and awful conditions. (Ever fired a .45 with two fingers on the gun? My LB still ran without problem...)

5. Sights: A good custom like my LB's sights will not go anywhere because they are put on properly from the maker. Lesser 1911's will not share this trait. I can't tell you how many people I saw come into the gunshop (mostly with Springfields loaded guns) with the pistol in one hand and one of the sights in the other.

I owned cheap 1911's and got sick of messing with them since I wanted a carry gun I could bet my life on. I decided to stop pissing in the wind and buy a good one. I bought a Les Baer concept IV and it is the best handgun I have ever bought.

Guys who whine about how much they cost need to ask themselves a question: When you are drawing your weapon in what may be the final moment of your life, can you afford anything less than the best?

Buy what you want. You are only betting your life on your choice.

For the price of a milspec Springfield, there are far more reliable and serviceable guns out there. (Like a good used .357 revolver)

If you want a 1911 as a toy, then buy a milspec. If you want it to save your neck, then go custom or don't go. (Kimbers seem reliable too, but I still would stick with a good custom like Ed Brown or Les Baer.)
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 9:26:14 AM EDT
kinda off topic but didn't SA have a problem with slides breaking on the long slide models not to long ago?

mike
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 9:41:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2003 6:20:43 PM EDT by AR15fan]

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
If you want a 1911 as a toy, then buy a milspec.



Experts like Hilton Yam disagree with you, and so do I.

64.177.53.248/ubb/Forum56/HTML/000527.html

Ed Brown does build nice 1911s, but Les Baer? A 1911 doesnt have to be so tight that you cant retract the slide by hand, to be accurate. The Baer I helpd "break in" needed to be held with two hands on the grip and the slide pushed against a fixed object like a shooting bench just to get the action to unlock. Which makes it completely unacceptable as a carry gun, and unsafe as even a range queen.

64.177.53.248/ubb/Forum56/HTML/000304.html
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 10:16:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
kinda off topic but didn't SA have a problem with slides breaking on the long slide models not to long ago?

mike




Seems like it was their SS models breaking. I would doubt there's too many long slide owners out there?
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 10:18:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
The Baer I helpd "break in" needed to be held with two hands on the grip and the slide pushed against a fixed object like a shooting bench just to get the action to unlock.




Then someone did something to it after it left the Baer shop. I've never seen a Baer act like that nor have heard about it.
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 10:52:27 AM EDT
You want a MilSpec bargin to build on. Think Sistema...

There are some beautys out now. Ask around.
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 11:26:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Reasons to buy a good custom 1911:

(Kimbers seem reliable too, but I still would stick with a good custom like Ed Brown or Les Baer.)



Ed Browns and Les Baers are not customs. They are semi customs at best.
A true custom gun has had a master smith spend a few weeks on your gun working out every little detail. The true customs can take a very long time to get back from the smith. But you have a gun that has everything you ever wanted on it.
NoKarma
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 5:03:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2003 5:04:45 PM EDT by GunDraw]
BobCole
No, I DON"T pay over MSRP which is what I said twice, but thanks for your concern. I think if you reread my two past remarks you will see you misinterpreted. I don't care if you've never seen a dealer show his catalog, but he does with me, and as a matter of fact, I have one of his outdated ones sitting beside me for reference. We happen to be old buddies and his small gunshop is not what he does for a living anymore, just on the side.

BTW FYI, A Yugo stock 1.3L 4 cylinider, put out 53 horsepower. A Mercedes Base 2.3L I-4 puts out 105 HP. Not a comparison of power (or size issue at that)?? Okay, I think the points have been made, wether a misunderstanding or not. Let's just cut the B.S.

Onto my actual point for everyone...I'm not looking for something to lay my life on everyday, but more of a range toy. Something SUBSTANTIAL in terms of quality, accuracy, and durability. I see now what you mean about LB/semicustoms, and I see where you rationalize the extra money for those. But isn't there a line where you can get decent quality and a fairly well mannered 1911 without going over 1K?? It seems everywhere I look, One thread bashes Kimber, the next springfield, another Para ord and so on. It's hard to know where to start. I also noticed SA has their lifetime warranty, which gives some piece of mind when buying a factory arm. Any thoughts?

Gundraw
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 6:19:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunDraw:
I'm not looking for something to lay my life on everyday, but more of a range toy. Something SUBSTANTIAL in terms of quality, accuracy, and durability. I see now what you mean about LB/semicustoms, and I see where you rationalize the extra money for those. But isn't there a line where you can get decent quality and a fairly well mannered 1911 without going over 1K??



Yes. Please read this thread.

64.177.53.248/ubb/Forum56/HTML/000304.html
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 6:26:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BobCole:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
The Baer I helpd "break in" needed to be held with two hands on the grip and the slide pushed against a fixed object like a shooting bench just to get the action to unlock.




Then someone did something to it after it left the Baer shop. I've never seen a Baer act like that nor have heard about it.



Actually it's so common it's practically the defining quality of a Baer pistol. Here is a quote from Mr Hilton Yam, speaking about Baer pistols:

"I think I gave a review of various guns from SHOT 2002 last February, try looking back then. My main gripe is that their barrels are fit WAY too tight. A gun should not need to be hammered or forced open/shut to be accurate."
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 7:37:40 PM EDT
Ar15fan,

I see, I notice he talks more about everyone's Mil-Spec models (for a base gun) and not their interpretations of I guess what you would call a factory "target" model. What does everyone think. I also noticed the deal with Carbon st. vs SS.

Very helpful though, and some of the things he says corresponds with much of the things I've picked up from time to time. Thank you,

Gundraw
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 9:40:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunDraw:
I notice he talks more about everyone's Mil-Spec models (for a base gun) and not their interpretations of I guess what you would call a factory "target" model.




There's no such thing as the "perfect" brand for under $1000. All mfgrs, Colt, Kimber, SA, etc. have put out their share of lemons just as they've put out some damn good guns.

Many folks just take a mil-spec model & then build it up to what they want on it: custom barrel, sights & trgger. This is what I did to my SA 1911 mil-spec, it shoots better than a GC now. I have less than $650 in it.

Link Posted: 8/5/2003 4:49:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2003 9:03:12 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]
15Fan --

You do not have to beat the action of a Les Baer open. Yes they are tight, and yes it takes some effort to open the slide.

But this is why there is a gigantic print instruction sheet telling you not to clean the gun, not to disassemble the gun, not to pass go and collect 200 bucks, but to go right to the range and fire 300 rounds through the gun to break it in.

Even so, my pistol was reliable right out of the box. (The stovepipe I had on round 3 was probably the result of limp wristing) I could operate it easily. And the benefit of owning a properly fitted gun is that over a lifetime of shooting it will retain its ability to shoot very accurately.

If you can't open a Les Baer 1911 (I have handled many new ones) then you need to hit the gym a little more often. =)

--

As to the idea that these guns are "semi" custom, I would disagree. It took me 6 MONTHS to get my pistol. They do not make them until your 50% deposit has cleared. Then and only then do they put you in line for a pistol. Sometimes gun dealers stock them (there is one in Ashland Virginia that has 3 Les Baers on the shelf when I visited a few weeks ago...I doubt they are still there...)

Then they get the steel blanks, put them in the CNC machines and go to work. A lot of hand fitting goes into every Les Baer pistol as he tends to build things a tad over-sized and then the parts are hand fitted together. This is why they are so tight.

Les thinks that this approach is much better than taking a sloppy Colt or SA and peening the slide into true to give accuracy. I am inclined to agree with him on that. Make a product correctly the first time, and a smith doesn't HAVE to spend tons of hours fixing the problems with it.

Lets face it. Most of traditional 1911 smithing is just dealing with the inadequacies of the base gun. You don't have that problem with a Baer.

--

For the record my gun is STILL the tightest 1911 that 95% of the people out there have ever handled.

It is a superb handgun and I would buy one again in a heartbeat. But given how mine has performed thusfar, I will never need to because my current pistol will outlive ME.
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