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.
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.
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.
Guns, cars, Cuban cigars
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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. .
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.
"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
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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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“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve." - Lao Tzu
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.
Mac in Michigan
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It's the law.
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.
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,
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