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Posted: 2/12/2002 11:00:19 AM EDT
Hey all, I have been looking at the various high end 1911 style pistols of several different makers, Wilson, Les Baer etc.... and I was wondering if anyone has any experience with one, good or bad. I have had a couple of different 1911's over the years and have sold them for various reasons and now have HK usp's which I love !! But every time I see one of those pistols I just drool untill I see the price tag !!
Basically, are they worth the money ?? The one I really like is the Wilson CQB at about 1800.00 !! hurts just to type it, lol
So how about a little advice, what do you consider the best for the money ??
Thanks,
SPECTRE
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 11:14:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2002 11:20:59 AM EDT by mr_wilson]
High End would be a Larry Vickers built 1911, there is none better, but if the price of the ones u listed make you squeemish, DON"T LOOK HERE:www.shooters.com/lavickers

Mike

PS - sorry ,it's okay to look because he has no prices there, thought it was a link I had that did have his prices, 4-5 grand you supply the pistol. Kimber makes the best 1911s for the money for us poor folk.
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 11:26:57 AM EDT
Well, I have a WC CQB that I think is just perfect.
I'm planning on getting a Compact CQB after I get out of the service and get a job.
The CQB has shot everything I've put through it, and when I do my part, it hits where you point it.
So, do I think the it's worth it? Yes I do. I'll never own another Kimber (unless it's completly coustom from a pistolsmith), but I'll probably pick up another SA Mil-Spec, just to have one.

Link Posted: 2/12/2002 11:40:10 AM EDT
Best for the money... Well for a semi-custom gun (Baer, Wilson, Nowlin, STI, etc.) I would say a Baer, but not by much. Wilson makes one hell of a product and has the best customer service in the business, period. That's not to say the service at Baer is sub-standard, I've order 3 guns from them and more parts than I can count and have always been treated with excellent quality service. My personal experience has been that you get a bit more for your money when you buy a Baer, but allot will depend on what gun and options you want. Yes, both Baers and Wilsons are absolutely worth the money no question about it. Stock guns like Kimbers, Springfields, etc. can’t even compete when compared to a true hand built custom 1911.

True custom guns from the likes of Novak, Heinie, Vickers, Burns, Rogers, Brown, etc. are a bit harder to narrow down to the best. Larry Vickers is currently credited by some as building the finest custom 1911 available today and certainly one of the most expensive. But Heinie, Novak and the rest aren't slouches by any stretch of the imagination. Currently spending my money with Burns, I can tell you his work is very very good. But that's just my 2 cents...
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 12:05:02 PM EDT
SPECTRE,
I not sure what you have been looking at, and what your planning on using it for, But you may want to look at a STI EDGE. They can be had for $1400 and are legal in the USPSA as a limited.
Also consider the pistol in 40. It has a "major power factor" and by going with the smaller round, your mag(140mm) will hold additon rounds.

If your looking for a single stack, you might want to go over to the Rock River site and take a look. Don't get me wrong, I love the Bear premier line, but at a price of $1600 and a half year lead time on there 1 1/2" pistol is a little too long to wait for a prodution pistol.

Another pistol you might want to look at is the Colt CM1970. It will need to be ordered from their custom shop, But I had one that ran for over 20,000 rounds before It needed to be rebuilt.

www.stiguns.com

P.S. If your looking for a full Race pistol, your on your own. Way to much money, and funding requried to compete with the factory boys.
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 12:13:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2002 12:15:37 PM EDT by AJohnston]

Originally Posted By Dano523:
I love the Bear premier line, but at a price of $1600 and a half year lead time on there 1 1/2" pistol is a little too long to wait for a prodution pistol.



Current wait on Baer full size guns (including the Premier II) is 10-12 weeks depending on options and finish, Stinger models current wait is also 10-12 weeks.
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 12:24:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2002 12:25:47 PM EDT by Renamed]
I suppose the question of value versus price depends on what you want to do with the pistol.

If you want to compete, then it definitely pays to have the best equipment you can afford, provided that you're buying things you need (such as accuracy, reliability, and trigger quality) and not frills (such as gratuitous checkering).
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 12:51:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Renamed:
If you want to compete, then it definitely pays to have the best equipment you can afford, provided that you're buying things you need (such as accuracy, reliability, and trigger quality) and not frills (such as gratuitous checkering).



Likewise, one could say the same of a gun you may one day have to bet your life on.
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 1:09:14 PM EDT
I have a Wilson Combat 1911 and it is truly awesome. Its accuracy is incredible.
Its the one single firearm that I'm most proud of and would never even consider selling.
It always seems to shoot one hole groups no matter how bad I'm doing with any other pistol that day. I've had days where I could barely keep other pistols on the target and have still been able to shoot incredible small groups with the Wilson gun.
I've owned a couple of high end Kimbers (in the $800-$1,000 range and they didn't even come close.
I've owned it since 1992 and have put 1,000's of .45 ACP rounds through it without a noticeable loss of accuracy. In that time I've sent it back to Wilson's once to have the slide stop replaced. It didn't affect shooting reliability, it just wouldn't lock the slide back on an empty magazine every time. They fixed it for free and paid for return shipping to me, I only had to pay around $15 to get it to them.

Price is definitely a hard thing to get over though.
My personal opinion on price is that most of us don't have to spend over $1800 to get a real nice high end pistol that would make anyone proud to own. Spending more than that would be reserved if you wanted something extra special and could afford to spend the extra money. In fact there are entry level pistols from most custom shops in the $1200-$1500 range that do just fine.

The last 2 years I have been bitten by the rifle bug and have been spending the bulk of my extra money on rifles but I will eventually be getting another custom pistol from Wilson's, that's how confident I am on their products and services.


Link Posted: 2/12/2002 1:11:47 PM EDT
Thanks for the input guys !!! I don't plan on using it to compete. I really just wanted a great quality pistol that will be used for everything from target to defense. Although, it's gonna be tough to replace my USP.45 as my primary defense weapon.
Are these pistols that much better than an HK or glock or similar piece ??
SPECTRE


I think I am talking myself into what I already have and spending the money on another EVIL rifle
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 1:44:25 PM EDT
I have had good luck with Les Baer 1911s. I used to be a Sig guy, but after getting my first Baer I have sold all of the Sigs and bought more Baers. The accuracy is amazing. Watch-Six
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 2:14:29 PM EDT
One other question, How is the reliability and durability compared to HK, glock, sig etc...
Also, to Hydguy, how has the armor-tuff finish held up on your CQB ?? or anyone else who might know.
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 2:14:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SPECTRE:
Are these pistols that much better than an HK or glock or similar piece ??



Definitely, by design 1911s are more user friendly. They allow the operator to perform the same function with less weapon manipulation. The less the operator has to think about how to make his gun do what he wants it to the more he can concentrate on the task at hand. As far as quality, my experience has been that HKs, Sigs, Glocks, and the like aren't even in the same ballpark.... hell they're not even playing the same game.
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 2:38:02 PM EDT
I have yet to hear anything bad about Safari Arms 1911 pistols (distributed or manufactured by Olympic Arms)- except the funky finger groove on the front of the grip which seems to get about 50% approval. For $700 or so I have been thinking hard on getting one. Anyone have problems with them?
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 4:00:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AJohnston:

Originally Posted By SPECTRE:
Are these pistols that much better than an HK or glock or similar piece ??



Definitely, by design 1911s are more user friendly. They allow the operator to perform the same function with less weapon manipulation. The less the operator has to think about how to make his gun do what he wants it to the more he can concentrate on the task at hand. As far as quality, my experience has been that HKs, Sigs, Glocks, and the like aren't even in the same ballpark.... hell they're not even playing the same game.



I agree about the ergonomics, But both of my HK usp's are variant 1, which has the same control setup as a 1911, and can be carried "cocked and locked" How do you think it would hold up if subjected to the torture tests that HK or glock were ??

Damn, that CQB is just callin' me !!!!
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 4:24:23 PM EDT
I own a Baer and enjoy it very much, it puts the kimbers/springfields to shame......it is my 3rd one and all my dealings with them have been positive... I have heard very good comments about the Rock River 1911's and their price is reasonalbe...but the last time I checked the wait was 8 months...
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 4:28:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 4:42:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2002 4:48:45 PM EDT by AJohnston]

Originally Posted By SPECTRE:
How do you think it would hold up if subjected to the torture tests that HK or glock were ??




I assume you're referring to freezing the guns, driving over them with cars, etc., etc. Well, I believe those kinds of test are largely inconsequential. So what if you freeze a gun in a block of ice or run over it with your truck... when is that actually going to happen? If an operator accidentally drives over his gun with his car he should probably re-think having a gun to begin with. I just don't see how those types of tests are at all useful.

Here is a link to a thread on the 1911 Forum in which Larry Vickers conducted an actual situation relevant test on four guns. Read for your self and enjoy. Vickers sand test
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 7:19:13 PM EDT
Ever since I bought my Kimber Compact 3 years ago, I haven't considered buying another auto pistol, except for another 1911! Nothing shoots like a finely honed 1911. I've recently shot Wilsons KZ-45 Tactical Carry Pistol, with a polymer lower and a 10-shot magazine. It shot every bit of the 1.5 inches that it was guaranteed for and then some. It's a great buy at about $1100. I haven't shot the Wilson CQB, but know enough people who have and have heard again and again that it is everything that it is advertised to be. Believe me, if you get the right 1911 in your hands, you'll shoot nothing else !!!!
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 7:48:44 PM EDT
i know this is not on the same par as the above mentioned guns, but i'm thinking about a colt mk 1V series 80 plane-jane combat trigger, wrap around grips. 100% is it worth 575.00
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 7:54:31 PM EDT
sorry about that i meant to say combat type hammer as opposed to spur type....
Link Posted: 2/12/2002 10:34:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2002 10:41:59 PM EDT by AcidGambit]
I have a Garthwaite, built on a Colt Series-80
A Vickers build on a Baer slide/frame set
A Novak built on a Kimber and I'm about to have one built on a Caspian frame.

I do have a Baer pistol, but I do not find it to be reliable*... Or as reliable as the above. Never messed with a Wilson or Ed Brown (though I've heard some poor remarks about the latter.)

You want a good 1911... Get the basic Kimber, send it to Novak's** for a tritium frontsight, trigger job 4-4.5lbs, and a carry bevel job. Your good to go... You can even live w/o the trigger job.
If'n you just gotta have a Baer (like I said, I can't speak about Wilson) then get the ThunderRanchSpecial and have it dehorned... Then go shoot a case of ammo through it. I have a friend who has one and the damn thing will shoot under an inch @ 25yds-10shots. Took a while to break it in though.
The Springfield "loaded" pistols are pretty attractive too.

*Regardless, the Baer needs a dehorn, seriously. They are well built and accurate as hell, but not fighting pistols unless you have shot the living hell out of them.
** Not to try and pimp Novak's... But, they do great work, their prices are very fair, and their turnaround time is good.
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 12:55:52 AM EDT
well i just asked about the colt mk 1V to see if it would be a good gun to buy to get (COLT) name on a 1911 to keep to pass on to my kin, as i have a thompson 1911-1a which in my feel is put together much better than than the new colt m1911-1a parkerized model. i bought a cheepie jo arms custom gun from firearms international houston, take the slide apart and it has the star of isral ,tricked out trigger,milled to lower beaver tail,point is probably better made than any colt. i'm just wanting to know if the mk-1V being a gov issue is better(slide flat top combat hammer) better than army issue. like is one issued to gov agencies like postal ser- fbi- opossed to army issue?
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 5:05:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 10:00:17 PM EDT
i personally think you pay for a LOT just for the name wilson, baer etc.
i dont see how a ed brown is better or worse than a wilson or baer, how are they better or worse than a rock river arms? how is a vickers than all the rest?

i figure there is only sooo much you can do to a basic custom 1911, what are these top end $2000 pistols got that a $800 custom gun doesnt if they are set up the same way?

if a $2000 gun is that great and is capable of say .25" groups at 100 yards, and just shoots magicly, and has that magic name (wilson, baer, vickers), there are probably very few shooters who can shoot well enough to use that $2k gun up to its full potential.

i figure, get a good 1911 frame (caspian, colt, sti etc.) then a good slide and good barrel, with some good internals and have a good quality smith put it together THE WAY YOU WANT IT, and end up spending less than $1000, i bet the gun would shoot better than most owners could.
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 1:39:02 AM EDT
I bought 2 Wilsons several months ago. A full size grey Protector and a compact black one. A protector is identical to a CQB but is also has a full lenght guide rod, as do the '02 CQB's now. Say what you want about all 1911's being equal or some like Wilson being overpriced but the proofs in the pudding and you DO get what you pay for with a Wilson. There are a lot of nice in-expensive 1911's out there that shoot just fine and will give a lifetimes service. BUT I wouldnt trade a box full of 'em for either of my Wilsons. I will be buried with them. Opinions are like a-holes, we all have them but you guys stink while mine does not.
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 5:34:20 AM EDT
I just ordered a Springfield Loaded "Parkerized" and the Wilson CQB is next on my list, however I don't think it's fair to compare high-end 1911s with factory-stock Glocks and HKs. High-end 1911s go for $1800 to $3500 and more. HK's Mark 23 is about $1800 street. Now, can anyone here argue that a Wilson CQB, or even their $3,500 gun is more reliable and/or durable than an HK Mark 23? I doubt it. And the Mark 23 shoots with match accuracy. One could argue for the 1911 trigger, however.

The problem is the 1911 design is dated. To gain accuracy, you need to tighten things up. That leads to unreliability and the additional costs associated with hand fitting and fine tuning. I love 1911s and I understand the additional cost is necessary. This is the price we pay.

For out-of-the-box, factory guns, I don't think there is anything available that's more reliable than an HK or a Glock. Don't take my word for it. Spend a few days at Glocktalk.com, HKPro.com, 1911forum.com, etc. Without a doubt, the guys with mid-range 1911s ($500-$1000) have many more problems than the guys with HKs and Glocks. This includes Kimber, Springfield, etc. Wilson has a better reputation, but it cost you. If you're willing to spend the money, you can get a 1911 that's almost a piece of art (like the CQB). However, it's not fair to compare these to stock Glocks, which by the way, are just as reliable, if not more reliable, than the high-priced 1911.
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 7:25:13 AM EDT
SPECTRE,

A 1911 pistol that you should take a look at(if you can find one) is the Springfield Armory TRP Pro. This is one of the two 1911's that survived the FBI trials. It later become the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team's pistol of choice. It beat out Baer and Wilson to name a few. It comes with 5 Wilson Magazines too(8-rounders). Last I knew, it wholesale's for $1895. If you have a friend who has a FFL, you should be able to get it for close to this price. Otherwise, I have seen these pistols going for around $2400.

Do not confuse the TRP Pro with the standard TRP model. Give Springfield Armory a call and ask to be transfered over to the custom shop to find out more on this model. I personally believe it to be one of the best options in custom 1911's out there.

Scooter
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