Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 12/4/2002 4:40:51 AM EDT
Was thinking about getting a 1911, and have seen a few models for a fairly decent price. Namely Rock Island. A friend was also telling me about Ballister Mollina (did I get that right?) .45's and said they were pretty nice for the money.

What has been your collective experience been with these two 1911's? And are there any other decent fairly inexpensive 1911's?
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 5:23:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2002 11:26:11 AM EDT by Avalon01]
I think Rock Islands have a much better reputation that the Ballsters.

Check over on www.1911forum.com, they should have reviews of both the Rock Island the the Ballster.

If you can afford it, the Springfield Armory Loadeds are nice. I bought a PX9109L for $600.

Av.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 5:30:35 AM EDT
Cheapest decent 1911 is a used Norinco.

Ballesters are OK but they tend to be old and beaten and very few parts other than the mags interchange with "regular" 1911 parts. The Ballester is similar but is not a true 1911. No grip safety, it has a pivoting trigger, etc.

You might also try an Argentine 1927.

Dunno about the Rock Island, I believe it is Philippino in spite of its all-American name and the Charles Daly, also from the Philippines, has mixed reviews.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 5:36:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2002 5:37:34 AM EDT by 308wood]
A 1911 is kind of like a piece of functional art. you get what you pay for! expect to spend 1000,00 for a good one. if you spend less expect functional problems and a lot of tuning to get it to the point you can bet your life on it.

if you want to go cheap get a glock 21.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 5:39:03 AM EDT
I try to buy used stuff from individuals in the newspaper. I bought my first 1911 recently after looking for about two months. I got a NIB Springfield MilSpec for $350. Yeah, I know not very glamorous. I have ordered a new beavertail grip safety (Springfields have a different radius, only found one company that makes it specifically for them) and I will eventually fit a commander style hammer and a sear. I think I'll have a pretty solid gun for under $450 total.

If you are really looking to go cheap but reliable, I would advise being diligent in your search and being patient for the right deal.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 5:49:39 AM EDT
Try the Argentine Colt's. Made in Argentina from 1945 to 1962 on Colt tooling. Identical in function to a WWII GI 1911A1. They're going for about $350 refinished. Mine is very tight and has functioned flawlessly without any tweaking.

After that a Norinco $350-$400 is VG-New condition. All parts are interchangeable with standard 1911 parts except grip screws. I've had one of these too, and have been very impressed.

These aren't race guns or spiffed up carry rigs, just good "copies" of the GI 1911/1911A1.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 6:01:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 7:33:41 AM EDT
2nd vote on the Argentine Sistema Colt. I was impressed. All of the drop-in Wilson Combat parts I've added fit perfect. Slight problem with mags though. My USGI mag works the best, then McCorrmick. Wilsons were too tight.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 8:27:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 308wood:
A 1911 is kind of like a piece of functional art. you get what you pay for! expect to spend 1000,00 for a good one. if you spend less expect functional problems and a lot of tuning to get it to the point you can bet your life on it.

if you want to go cheap get a glock 21.



I don't mean to offend wood but this is purely a load of crap, and anyone who has bought a 1911 recently knows it.

I would reccommend a springfield mil spec for 400 bucks you will have a nice reliable gun. If anything ever goes wrong you can just send it back to springfield because they have a lifetime warranty.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 8:51:49 AM EDT
I have to agree that it is not what you spend but how you spend it. How many millions of GI's' bet thier lives on thier 1911's working when they needed to and were not disappointed? I guess if you have the money to spend and want to own a custom gun then it is a great way to do it, but to assume that you have to buy a high dollar Kimber or Wilson to have a "good gun" is just plain wrong. A 1911 will often take more tuning than a glock or sig, but if it was truly built to GI specs then it will run fine with a minimum amount of issues. Yes I have been there and done that, I trusted my life to a M9 pistol, M60 machine gun, and an M16, I still have confidence in all three, the 60 was and is a POS but it gets the job done, as the saying goes they were all made by the lowest bidder. I say save the extra tousand bucks and learn the weapon you are using, learn what works for it and what doesn't don't count on your high dollar piece to never jam, know how to clear it and return it to operation quickly, that is what makes the difference between life and death, of course that is the difference between a soldier and a armchair commando.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 9:53:47 AM EDT
I bought two Ballester-Molinas for just under $200 each. One of the was in GREAT condition, the other pretty beat up. Since I had some extra 1911 GI barrels that were pretty good, I put one of them in the beat up one, and it's a good shooter. The other one I had really nicely refinished for $100 and it is a great-looking gun that has never jammed or had any problems. The accuracy is just as good as my newer 1991A1 Colt.

So there are nice B-Ms out there that can be had pretty cheap. I don't mind the lack of a grip safety (I've actually disconnected it on my 1991A1). If you're just looking for a shooter and don't care too much about the looks, I'd say look around for a B-M in good shape.

I do agree with others that the Modelo 1927 is often a good deal, and is a perfect Colt copy - but now you're already spending more, and all sorts of other choices and trade-offs come into play. If you can find it, maybe a used 1911A1 might be a good alternative as well.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 7:44:13 PM EDT
It depends on what type of gun owner you are. If your the buy it shoot it this summer and trade it off then go with the low dollar models.
If yur the buy it and shoot it till ya wear it out, then rebuild it and go again, then get quality government models. I got a Colt Government 1991A1 Stainless back in Feb, for $475. Got about7000 rnds so far and she runs like a top.
Everything above the Government mil spec is just bells an whisles subject to your taste for looks, comfort an accuracy. and their little improvements big bucks.
be aware that some of the older brands have soft frames. Like suggested alread, check out 1911.com for alot of good info on the older pistols.
A hint the years have taught me. The 1911 is like the AR15. you can buy a stock good quality brand and go shooting and shoot and shoot and shoot. Or yu can save some bucks and buy some budget brand and go shooting and maybe not get to shoot, or go shooting and shoot an tinker and shoot and fix.
Remember when ya buy good quality you only cry once. So get a good one, then learn to reload so you can roll you own for about $6.75/100rnds. Then go shoot and shoot and shoot and....
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 7:49:28 PM EDT
Para-Ordnance makes a solid 1911 clone...

I love mine.

400-500 price range
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 8:03:59 PM EDT
I'll second the Para vote. For a couple of dollars more, you can get a nice 1911. I've heard good things about the low end SA models as well, but I don't own any of those. I have two Paras (had more but they're gone to good homes now) and don't have a bad word to say about them.



toast
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 8:32:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2002 8:37:07 PM EDT by Dave_A]
JLD Enterprises sells M1927's (Argentine-made 1911A1's) for $300+S&H/FFL Fee, in 'very good' condition with matching numbers.

So you're looking at ~$340-350 (when done) for one from them.... If you REALLY want a made-in-the-USA Colt (pre-WWII) gun, they have them for $395 + S/H/T.

I have one, and have had no trouble with it...

As for the Molinas's, they are similar to the 1911 in appearance (ex. no grip saftey), but the only parts that interchange are the barrel and mags. They are clones of the Spanish 'Star' pistols.

See www.jldenter.com/ for more info...
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 8:33:25 PM EDT
Stay away from the Rock Island, It's just a POS revamped Charles Daley. The Firestorm is also a POS made by Llama.
The best deal for a NIB 1911 is the Springfield Mil-spec which runs $ 450, no frills or range queer attachments.. just the basics.
Ballister Molina's are a good 1911'ish pistol and run around $ 200 for a deceant one. The Argentine Systema 27's are good but they cost more surplus than a new SA and condition varies alot.
There is also Auto-Ordnance 1911's but they are hit and miss and are no more cheaper than the SA.
Norinco's run about $350 + used , Exc frames and slides but the one I owned and others I have looked at had poorly fitted barrels.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 8:47:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tangeant:
The Argentine Systema 27's are good but they cost more surplus than a new SA and condition varies alot.



Where can I get a new/refinished Springfield for $300 + S/H/T (i.e. current Sistema price)?
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 9:00:14 PM EDT
Good topic. I'm in the market myself. Any more info out there? Just how good are the M1927's?

-Gloftoe
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 9:27:09 PM EDT
the "B M's" would be a good choice. some colt parts will interchange with it. The rock river is alittle course. would need alittle tuning. I would buy a parts gun at a sow, they usually go for $300.00 and if you look them over really good you'll find one that works like a champ. I'm building my second parts 1911 and they work like a champ. By the way a used Norinco still goes for $400.00
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 9:58:32 PM EDT
Edited to prevent flames. I would not reccomend a 1911 contrary to many opinions here. Weigh your options before you jump into it.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 11:27:07 PM EDT
a Griffon (a commander sized 1911)available from CDNN Investments is $385 and comes with PT night sites, Pearce finger grooved grips and a few other goodies. Some suffer from a messed up trigger but that is easily fixed with good quality (yet inexpensive) replacement parts. Mine shoots better than my Colts and close to my Kimber (but then it is a target model). And is more reliable than my Colts especially with defensive cartridges like Fed. Hydroshocks.
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 4:02:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BillSP1:
Edited to prevent flames. I would not reccomend a 1911 contrary to many opinions here. Weigh your options before you jump into it.



I would like to know why you do not reccomend a 1911. I own one, and think it's a nice gun, but am not a 1911 "nut".

Av.
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 4:18:40 AM EDT
I'd recommend an entry level Springfield. If you want to spend more then look at the Kimbers.
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 4:34:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tangeant:
Stay away from the Rock Island, It's just a POS revamped Charles Daley. The Firestorm is also a POS made by Llama.
The best deal for a NIB 1911 is the Springfield Mil-spec which runs $ 450, no frills or range queer attachments.. just the basics.
Ballister Molina's are a good 1911'ish pistol and run around $ 200 for a deceant one. The Argentine Systema 27's are good but they cost more surplus than a new SA and condition varies alot.
There is also Auto-Ordnance 1911's but they are hit and miss and are no more cheaper than the SA.
Norinco's run about $350 + used , Exc frames and slides but the one I owned and others I have looked at had poorly fitted barrels.



tangeant -

You must own a rock island to know how much of a POS it is. I actually DO own one and it is a fine gun. I also have a Colt and the RI has a lot fewer issues than the colt does.

-Nuke
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 10:18:12 AM EDT
Avalon01,
In my personal experience (not something I read in a book or Col. Cooper said) from two 1911's I have owned and a half dozed or so that shooting buddies have owned, they are UNRELIABLE. Cannot go further without pissing off the 1911 addicts among us. I do like 45ACP and shoot 44 Special in revolvers a lot, which is ballistically very similar. If I need a compact carry piece I take either a S&W Airweight in 38 special or a Glock 23 (only 40 S&W, but enough IMHO). I trust these two because they have not let me down.
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 10:32:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BillSP1:
..they are UNRELIABLE...



I bet a couple 100,000 vets would maybe, probably, disagree. Tunnel Rats in Vietnam used? A 1911. It better go bang in that situation.

I only have one 1911, a lower end Colt model that I got in a trade. Fine gun. Runs all day. No problems. Sits in the nightstand as a backup to the H&K USPc40. Would trust my life to it....easily. $30 dollar trigger job. $19 McCormick Power Mag.

Ed
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 10:46:18 AM EDT
The problem with 1911s and reliability as far as I can tell has to do with tolerances. Milspec is sloppy and its made that way so it will always go bang even though you may not win any accuracy competitions with it. The higher end 1911s have their tolerances so tight that it lowers the reliability (but improves accuracy). That's why my Colt is unreliable and drives tacks and my rock island is reliable and shoots 'good enough'.

-Nuke
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 10:59:03 AM EDT
Excellent point!

Sounds like Shamus wants a "GI" gun by the sound of it.

Ed
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 12:22:26 PM EDT
Err ... B M = "Ballerina Mollester" .... or at least that's how Crufflers affectionately call the Ballester.

I have both the BM and the 1927 Sistema. Like them both. Accuracy is a little better on the BM due to its pivotted 2-stage trigger.

Just my 2 cents
oz
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 2:46:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By tangeant:
The Argentine Systema 27's are good but they cost more surplus than a new SA and condition varies alot.



Where can I get a new/refinished Springfield for $300 + S/H/T (i.e. current Sistema price)?


KY Imports: Systema 27 $339.99 + $ 20 ship + FFL $ 25 , + tax = $420 for one in good condition add $ 40 to get one in VG condition.

Sportsmans Warehouse, SA Mil=Spec NIB 1911A1 $ 449, The White Elephant $ 425 NIB.
So you can save $ 40 and get an unknown condition surplus systema 1911 with no warranty!
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 2:47:31 PM EDT
My vote... Base Kimber.
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 2:59:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NUCULAR:
The problem with 1911s and reliability as far as I can tell has to do with tolerances. Milspec is sloppy and its made that way so it will always go bang even though you may not win any accuracy competitions with it. The higher end 1911s have their tolerances so tight that it lowers the reliability (but improves accuracy). That's why my Colt is unreliable and drives tacks and my rock island is reliable and shoots 'good enough'.

-Nuke



Umm.... no not quite true my friend. The 1911s reliability or lack there of is neither a direct result of a tightly fitted gun or a loosely fitted gun. And if I had to choose one over the other (tight tolerances vs. loose tolerances) I would prefer the tight gun provided that it’s built correctly, ’cause that’s what actually matters. If you’ve got a loose gun that isn’t the most accurate but works all the time that’s due to the fact that the gun was built correctly, although maybe not with the utmost accuracy in mind. On the other hand, if you’ve got a tightly fitted accurate gun that isn’t reliable it’s not ’cause the gun is tight; it’s ’cause the gun wasn’t built correctly. It was once thought that a reliable 1911 had to be a loose “rattle machine”, too tight meant unreliable, but we’ve come a long way from there. “Tight” 1911s can and are very reliable, again provided the gun is built correctly. Loose tolerances can actually lead to the gun being less than 100% reliable because the parts won’t work together in the exact same manner every time... that’s one of the benefits of having a 1911 that has precisely fit parts. Well-fitted 1911s can not only be accurate but also ultra reliable... the best, most accurate, and most reliable 1911s I own are also the ones with the tightest fits. The point is this, “loose” doesn’t mean reliable any more than “tight” means unreliable.
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 3:06:38 PM EDT
Loose or snug fitting parts or unfitted match parts wont make a 45 shoot better. Stay away from junk like Charles Daley or Rock Island or anything from Llama(Firestorm).

For 400-500 dollars you can get a new Springfield Armory base model or into a nice used base Kimber, 1991A1 Colt or maybe a decent old GI parts gun. If you want a "rack grade" gun thats the way to go. I have 7 1911's and a few HK's now and have owned dozens over the years. Stay away from crap from the Phillipines.
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 4:49:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2002 4:53:33 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 11:17:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2002 11:29:56 PM EDT by JBA111]
To me there's tight fitted customized 1911s, theres mil spec looseness then there's wore out, sloopy built tattle traps.
Of the several new Government models I've bought over the yrs NONE were rattle traps. And my Colt with 45000 rnds throught it still isn't.
Makes me wonder, if your 1911 was a rattle trap, then why the hell did yu buy it???? There's just too many good deals on good 1911s out there to knowingly buy a peice of crap. Unless it's just dirt cheap, and then ya got what ya paid for so where's your gripe????
Now if ya got one of these rattle traps, and it's got good steel i it, have the rails tightened, a new bushing and link and a few other parts. Now ya should have a good 1911. And now you can go looking for one to buy and actually have enough knowledge to inspect them and get yourself a good one.
There are 1911s out there that have 200,000 rnds through em, there are alot that was parts built guns by who knows who, there are alot of 1911s out there that have been customizd, fixed,tinkered and screwed with by knuckleheads that don't hardly know how to clean a pistol. Let alone know how to fit and tune one.
And thereare target 1911s out there that are built for very tight for best accuracy. These are range shooters only.That's what they were designed for so reliability wasn't paid for.
And there are some very tight Combat 1911s hand built for great accuracy and great reliability. And you will dam sure pay for their great performance.
So before ya buy one, learn what and how to check em out, it aint rocket science. And next time ya won't be suckered...
Link Posted: 12/6/2002 8:32:41 AM EDT
I'll bore some people here as well as open myself up to flaming, but here goes:

I really wanted a Colt .45 so I went to a shop that handled both Colt and Kimber. I was new to the 1911 game and didn't know about AR15.com. I chose the Colt Defender over the Kimber. The defender was constantly jamming with EVERY type of factory ammo. It went back to Colt twice for warranty with no positive results. I got so pissed I traded it (at a loss) for the Kimber I should've bought in the first place.

Moral: Spend the extra bucks for a Kimber. You won't be sorry.
Link Posted: 12/6/2002 7:56:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tangeant:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By tangeant:
The Argentine Systema 27's are good but they cost more surplus than a new SA and condition varies alot.



Where can I get a new/refinished Springfield for $300 + S/H/T (i.e. current Sistema price)?


KY Imports: Systema 27 $339.99 + $ 20 ship + FFL $ 25 , + tax = $420 for one in good condition add $ 40 to get one in VG condition.

Sportsmans Warehouse, SA Mil=Spec NIB 1911A1 $ 449, The White Elephant $ 425 NIB.
So you can save $ 40 and get an unknown condition surplus systema 1911 with no warranty!



Those prices are sky-high...

1927 Sistema Colt:

JLD Enterprises: $300 + 20 S&H + 20 FFL Fee = $340.

www.jldenter.com

And that's for 'Very Good' condition (and they are in very good condition. I have one, and I paid that price). If I could have gotten a Springfield or Colt for $300 plus fees, I would have.
Link Posted: 12/6/2002 9:27:39 PM EDT
Hay Gummie Bear, sorry for your Defender problem. The talk over on the 1911 board is the Defender has had the fewest problems of all the compacts. Mine has went over 1500 rnds without a hiccup. But with 1911s the shorter the bbl the easier they are to have problems. But Colt should have fixed it. Here's a hint. Change your recoil springs regularly, about every 2500 rnds.
I'm glad to hear your Kimber runs good. But Kimbers new series 2 fireing pin safety has been causeing them some problems too.
One thing you might want to consider is getting a spring steel extractor and replaceing the mim extractor in there now.
The spring steel is just a surperior part in a critical place. it's not hard to install an tune. Good how to over on 1911.org.
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 7:42:26 PM EDT
I have been through several 1911's. A Colt, Kimber, and Para. The Colt was a 70 series and unmodified. It performed great out of the box. The Kimber had problems with feeding that turned out to be mag related. The Para is another story! Highly modified by a noted custom gunsmith and I had nothing but problems.

So to heck with the 1911, go buy a Glock 30 or 36. I have both with thousand of rounds thru them with no problems whatsoever.
Link Posted: 12/8/2002 3:28:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ShamusMcOI:
Was thinking about getting a 1911, and have seen a few models for a fairly decent price. Namely Rock Island. A friend was also telling me about Ballister Mollina (did I get that right?) .45's and said they were pretty nice for the money.

What has been your collective experience been with these two 1911's? And are there any other decent fairly inexpensive 1911's?

Trade me for mine :-)
Top Top