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I wouldn't knock the RIA as cheap. The only thing the Compact GI really could use out-of-the-box is a match barrel.

And a Hogue rubber grip.


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Posts: 13738 | Location: Tampa, Florida | Registered: December 12, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Dusty78:
I look at it like this...

1. Budget production: RIA, Metro Arms, ATI, etc...mostly Asian and South American variants

2. Midrange production: Springfield, Kimber, S&W, Ruger, Colt, Sig

3. Upper level production: Dan Wesson, Some Colts, Some STI

4. Semi-custom production: Ed Brown, Wilson, Les Baer, Nighthawk, etc...

5. Full-Custom: Heirloom Precision, SVI, Harrison Customs, Springfield Custom Shop, etc...

I have owned plenty of 1911’s and for me the best bangs for your buck are newer US made Springfields and Dan Wessons. Sometimes you get lucky and find some obscure 1911 that is great. In recent years some Roberts Defense guns were cheap and very good guns for the money. I had an Ithaca 1911 produced in OH made in 2011-12ish that was one of the best fit 1911’s I had ever seen.


I agree with this but I'd put Les Baer at a 3.5 due to the quality of their finish (or lack thereof) and the overtightness/break in period as a lack of finish lapping. I'd also bump springfield custom to a 3.5 as they starting with a production gun and sure aren't Bruce Grey or Ted Yost.
 
Posts: 14990 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Springfield Custom is no longer a full custom shop, and by the way they do not "start with a production gun".

And let's not forget that the only higher end gun in this conversation that has passed the rigors of extensive government testing is the Springfield Professional. No Ed Brown, Nighthawk, Wilson Combat, et. al. can make that claim. Talking off the shelf 1911 that a civilian can go out and purchase, not a MEUSOC pistol or anything like that. I do not know what sort of testing the Colt M45 went through, and how it compares to the FBI testing that ended up in the selection of what we know as the Springfield Professional.


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Posts: 2548 | Location: Orange County, CA | Registered: September 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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1911s are the definition of diminishing returns. Do you want a weapon or a pride of ownership firearm?

There are a TON of guns out there that make great weapons cheap. In the 1911 world Rock Island/Ruger/SA comes to mind.

I own an ED Brown full size Kobra and it is awesome......but awesome from a pride of ownership/idustrial art kind of way. I have a Colt 1991A1 that is also very cool but just as viable as a “weapon” and a ton cheaper. I have a Glock 19 that is way the hell cheaper then either and is by FAR the better weapon.......has the personality of a water heater though. Razz.

So what do you want?

In my mind there are.....
Tier 1 1911s - they are functional and sometimes more reliable due to their loose fit.

Tier 2 1911s - most colts, Springfield’s, etc.

Tier 3 1911s - your semi customs or built to a high standard. Ed Brown/Certain Wilson’s/Baer/Nighthawk/several Dan Wesson’s/high end Springfield’s etc.

Tier 4 - this is where you get into full custom stuff like heirloom precision etc.

The point is there is a huge diminishing returns. Colts are GREAT guns. Ed Browns/Dan Wesson’s are better.....better weapons? Probably not. Better guns YES. Once you go full custom or high end Wilson etc. you are far removed IMO from buying a weapon and are in the realm of buying functional art. They is what my Ed Brown is.

So it comes down to what you want? Semi customs and true customs are incredible in terms of their beauty/craftsmanship/attention to detail etc. as a weapon however they are no where near worth the 2k-5k over a good solid Colt or even more over a boring ass Glock 19.

It all comes down to what you want and what intrinsic value you are like looking for.

Heirloom, however, by God they make some incredible pieces of art. Smile


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Posts: 3003 | Location: Nashville, TN | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To me the sweet spot is Dan Wesson. You're getting most of what you want from the upper end guys and it's well fit and finished. What you miss in the ability to customize you make up for in the $ savings. That said, I've always lusted after a Wilson Combat but for 3-4x the price, I've never been able to justify it. Truth told my plain Jane, single side safety DW Valor has been a trouble free pleasure to shoot.


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Posts: 4336 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: June 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Rank ordering of 1911s is interesting, but may miss the fundamental issue: what is the role of the new 1911?

Secondary question is to learn if purchaser must have the 1911 be exactly "right" out of the box.
Most under about $1000 1911 are improved by owner or the owner's gunsmith. The big plus about 1911 is the relative ease with which one can be modified to fit - if one starts with a 1911 that is truly Colt-like inside. . . . and that can be the rub. [I find Springfields to have other stuff inside]

Examples abound: Have a Philippine made 45ACP Commander -all steel - that is one of the few pistols that I felt no need to improve. Trigger has a slight creep and a sharp cut and hits where aimed. Have a Ruger 45 Commander lightweight - good design, but not 100% standard insides - Replacing the insides results in an excellent pistol at a rather low cost. [must use a trigger with overtravel screw of you will empty mag. in one gulp]

Cylinder & Slide and others provide inside parts to craft a 1911 to one's liking. With two punches almost anyone can craft a 1911 to fit. . . . and have it last a very long time.

So, what is the role? How much crafting will you be willing to do? Many here will narrow the list accordingly.


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Posts: 373 | Location: Below the Bridge in Michigan | Registered: July 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by SVTNate:
Springfield Custom is no longer a full custom shop, and by the way they do not "start with a production gun".

And let's not forget that the only higher end gun in this conversation that has passed the rigors of extensive government testing is the Springfield Professional. No Ed Brown, Nighthawk, Wilson Combat, et. al. can make that claim. Talking off the shelf 1911 that a civilian can go out and purchase, not a MEUSOC pistol or anything like that. I do not know what sort of testing the Colt M45 went through, and how it compares to the FBI testing that ended up in the selection of what we know as the Springfield Professional.


I have an Ed Brown Classic Custom and a Springfield Pro. There is something about the Pro that instills complete confidence. Right out of the box it was tight, but I shot 1200 rounds through it before the first cleaning and lubricating. Not a single hiccup ever. After cleaning, it is so perfect in every way I just love it. Butter smooth action. The Ed Brown is also Very nice but there is a reason the FBI gave Springfield the contract. The Brown def has more bling. It is a very pretty gun and also a joy to shoot. You won't go wrong either way.
 
Posts: 1577 | Registered: August 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by FN in MT:
I've owned and shot a mess of 1911's from 1965 when I got my first one to date. I'd bet between collecting, bullseye comp's, the 3 or 4 I carried off and on and just shooters....I have had 18 to twenty.

The two that have astounded me are my Wilson CQB 5" and my Ed Brown Commander sized gun. Both in forty five. Those two have been utterly reliable, near bullseye gun accurate and they simply do not seem to change. Trigger still the same, controls function with their same near watch like precision, etc.

Also have a 5", current Colt Competition in 9mm. After a hundred break in rds, it has been about as reliable. Good trigger, nice controls and accurate. Maybe I simply got a good one? But those are surely worth a look.

I think there are surely decent 99% reliable, reasonably accurate 1911's. And then the utterly reliable, accurate ones. Life IS too short not to own one of the latter.

A buddy has a few Nighthawks....I rate them the same as the Wilson and Ed Browns.

My two encounters with Les Baer guns were not good. Both guns too tight and problematic. And Les was an asshole about it. Buying a $2K gun, then having to spend another few hundred dollars for the "required" five hundred rds of "break in ammo"...Sorry...Not buying into THAT.


I too have a colt competition 9mm and it's one hell of a gun for the money. Very tight (s/s), probably the tightest slide to frame and barrel bushing fit of any colt I've handled. My ed brown 5" Kobra s/s is my favorite though.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: jimmy123x,
 
Posts: 14990 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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