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Dan Wesson Vigil is hard to beat for the money in 45 or 9. Pre-COVID/ riots bullshit, I regularly saw them advertised for just under a grand. Springfield Ronin is another solid choice below your price by a couple hundy. Finding one at this time may a chore. I was at my local shop this morning, they sell a lot of guns, and the only 1911s they had were Kimbers, a couple Rugers and a couple Colts. It’s all so subjective, I’m a 1911 fan but what I know I want in a gun feature wise may be not what you want. GI thumb safety is a must on all mine and it gets changed out. They all are honestly for the most part pretty decent anymore, it just comes down to what is important to you I guess. I’ve been impressed with the Robins I’ve shot and handled, fit and finish has been great. When things become more readily available, I’ll have one.
Posts: 23 | Location: NW Ohio | Registered: January 05, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I broke my 1911 cherry in 2011 (obligatory purchase to honor its 100 year anniversary - SIGforum made me do it! Cool ) with an aluminum framed Taurus from Larry’s Pistol and Pawn, which was about $425 shipped to my FFL.

It’s nothing fancy, but it has been 100% reliable up to this point (~1K rounds thru it) and it’s pretty accurate.

I bought it as a fun range gun and it serves that purpose well.

Maybe a DW or something similar in the future.

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal labotomy."
Posts: 2702 | Location: Lehigh Valley, PA | Registered: March 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There are a few Kimber 10mm 1911s on the Broke Gunner auction site if you are patient. They are below your price point.

If we are talking the used pistol route, I was able to find an STI 2011 and a bunch of parts for $800.

My other Sig is a Steyr...
Posts: 5937 | Location: Somewhere looking for ammo that nobody has at a place I haven't been to for a pistol I couldn't live without... | Registered: December 02, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The one I'm waiting for is the Springfield 1911 Ronin Operator in .45 -- PX9120L -- MSRP 849 but is listed lower.

Googled this ^^^ and compared it and others, and it got great reviews.



Stupid people are like glo-sticks.
I want to shake the shit out of them
till the light comes on
Posts: 222 | Location: Leeds, Alabama | Registered: August 28, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bang for the buck: Ruger SR1911.
I did manage to get a Sig Nightmare Carry for $950 though.

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Posts: 10856 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Colt Competition. Can be had for under $900. F/O front site, all of the bells and whistles etc. I bought a S/S 9mm sight unseen when they first came out. The slide to frame fit and barrel bushing fit rival my Ed Brown and WC, trigger is crisp/clean but a little heavy at 5lbs or so. It has a little side to side play in the grip safety and up and down in the trigger, but really is a well put together and very accurate gun.
Posts: 20241 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ruger SR1911


امّا شما مشخص خواهد شد كه با همه شما را ملاقات کنند
Posts: 12419 | Location: VIrtual | Registered: November 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That being said, the Remington R1’s I looked at recently were fitted extraordinarily well IMO. Granted, there were grips, thumb safeties and other bits I would upgrade in short order but the bones of the pistol and the trigger therein, were surprisingly....well, great for that price point.

I also like S&W.

Never been a SA guy but that’s just me.

DW is good but not perfect by any of mine was squirrelly right out of the box....and they far out of your price point unless you go used.

Posts: 3623 | Location: ALABAMA | Registered: January 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bunch of savages
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Two Rock Island Armory’s. I have heard great things about these. My local dealer has two under $500 each.

I like a basic USGI style 1911. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just work. The uglier it gets, the more beautiful it becomes.

I have a basic Kimber Classic II. I know people walk away from Kimber, but I have never had a failure of any kind with it, and I trust my life with it. I still CCW it often, usually when I’m on a bike ride, since I have a comfortable IWB.

I apologize now...
Posts: 10300 | Registered: December 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had a Rock Island back when they were cheaper ($$ not quality) than they are not in 38 super, b
basic plane jane GI type 1911,

ran like a top,

no issues with fit or finish, and I know some folks that have the 45 cal models w/o any issues,

Springfield RO is the go to for the bullseye beginners, very good quality, accuracy,

Colt is a Colt, good quality usually,
Posts: 8540 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would not buy a Taurus 1911 for any price, and would be reluctant to take one, if given.

There's inexpensive, and there's cheap. Cheap does not speak to price. Taurus 1911's are cheap.

You'd be better off with a Ruger, by far, and there are various Springfield 1911's that will certainly do the the job. I've had good success with Sig's, though others haven't.

When my son wanted a 1911 for his birthday, I got him a STI Trojan, which he's quite enjoyed.

I'm not a big Colt fan, any "recent" production. Not what once was. Not a huge Kimber fan, though they're okay.

For a production firearm ("semi-custom"), the Dan Wesson pistols are good, though they've climbed in price. All mine were under a thousand.

Rock Island makes some decent 1911's, for the money. Not my first choice, but ok.

I have a bare-bones Springfield Mil-Spec that I got inexpensively some twenty five or thirty years ago that's never missed a beat.

The 1911 is hit or miss. Given time, once you shoot it a while, the firing pin stop will loosen, and when it does, the extractor loosens, and you can begin to have extraction problems. The 1911 has always been sensitive to magazine feed lips and magazine choice. Ramped barrels and non-ramped. Bushings and conical barrels. All kinds of triggers. Alloy or steel. The plunger tube on the left side of the frame is a weak point; poorly staked ones loosen and do fly off sometimes. Ambi safeties can have a lot of play, which can create problems. It's common for barrel like play to be found: part of properly tuning the 1911 is a correct barrel link (you should be able to press on the barrel hood with your thumb and feel no movement). There's a big difference in parts that are fitted, vs. parts thrown together, and most production pistols fall into the latter category.

That said, while 1911 zealots will tell you that three grand is the threshold for a bare bones pistol, it ain't true, and you can get a fairly reliable (as 1911's go) pistol for much less. Quite a bit less, if you're looking for something just to take to the range.

Keep in mind that the 1911 deteriorates; all pistols wear, but the 1911 has design flaws which mean that as you shoot it, it's headed toward unreliability. Will that be 100 rounds or 10,000 rounds? Can't say, but it will go there.

the most common malfunctions I see at the range seem to occur with 1911's and often, with the expensive ones. Go figure.
Posts: 5163 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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New? Springfield RO Series followed by some of Colts if you're ok with S80 pistols.

If you bump your budget ~$150, and can find one, the newer Springfield MC Operator (with the snakeskin FS) is alotta gun for the $$.


A real life Sisyphus...
"It's not the critic who counts..." TR
Exodus 23.2: Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong...
Despite some people's claims to the contrary, 5 lbs. is actually different than 12 lbs.
It's never simple/easy.
Posts: 4597 | Location: In the arena... | Registered: December 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I love my SIG Tacops...but those Dan Wessons are really slick 1911's for the money.

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Posts: 59 | Location: Gainesville, FL.  | Registered: July 06, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Wins
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Colt 70 Series.
Posts: 3542 | Location: Southeast Virginia | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ruger 1911 in 10mm effectively covers both urban and rural carry at under $1,000.

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Posts: 825 | Registered: June 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Once upon a time...oh, about 7-8 yrs ago...I would've said the best that fit your criteria was clearly the base Remington R1. Super nice trigger, one that's better than the contemporary SR1911 in period or any Springfield beneath their TRP. Fit and finish was honest and more than decently slapped together. And a great reputation for excellent reliable operation right out of the box. Arguably the best 1911A1-style pistol on the market, and as a $650 1911 more than good enough to put the $1k+ intro-level DW Heritage (also of the era) on notice. Of course Freedom Group took all of that most excellent karma and blew it all to hell with their catastrophic R51, which became the pattern and roadblock for every new Remington handgun since. And managing to swallow up the R1 in its wake along the way, apparently. Shame really, because no one looks at the R1 any more. Besides, it also doesn't help that Remington is going through its second bankruptcy in as many there's no telling what kinds of pending issues might be built-in these days. But it wasn't all that long ago that it was considered a goodin'.

I like my Ruger SR1911 a lot but I'd be hard pressed to label it "best" of anything. Especially with those self-destructing front sights, and the lack of checkering and insta-need for skateboard tape on its front strap. Even setting aside my venom towards Springfield, their sub-1k 1911s aren't particularly impressive to me, starting with their meh triggers. Not 1911-worthy. Even bottom feeding ATI does a 1911 trigger better than those. Hard to get over the slop of those triggers, but the rest of the SAs' collective build quality is decent if nothing to crow about. I liked what Magnum Reseach was doing with the 1911 a few years ago when I was debating about buying one; I chose the Ruger instead but I always wondered if I made the right choice. One of our customers took the plunge that I hesitated on with the MR 1911 and has nothing but superlatives to say about the gun. Oh well.

Another affordable 1911 that has caught my eye more recently is the American Classic series. Made in Turkey and imported and marketed by Eagle Imports (Bersa), sometimes under their Metro Arms label but also independently as an 'American Classic' brand as well. Got to shoot a couple of these as T&Es and came away duly impressed. Their 'upmarket' builds (still under $1k) show and operate better than their basic versions, the opposite of how the R1 was (aside: the Remington R1 Enhanced guns IMHO just weren't made as spot-on as the originating base R1 was, so to me were not as good a value for the increase in price). If you can find any of these and can get over the idea of a Turkish-made 1911, they are worth considering, especially their upgraded models.

Then there are the usual import suspects. Rock Island, a brand that I wish we would carry more of, builds some very good quality 1911s that are bargains. They have lots to consider under $1k. The aforementioned ATI 1911s to me aren't worth looking at unless budget-friendliness is absolute paramount. Their fit and finish is lacking even at low man/totem pole level, but they ARE cheap and generally have a great rep for being operationally reliable. Durability however can be another matter. Armscor's Citadel 1911s are IMO better than comparable competitor ATIs, but not quite as compelling as their own Rock Island products. Still, they seem like very capable guns, and absolute bargains at their regular price points.

Finally there's Colt. From what we've been getting in the build quality is ALL over the place these past few years. Meh level to decent triggers, occasional finish flaws (like the trigger quality it varies from gun to gun), sometimes quite balky operation. We had one particular Series 70 come in that had a slide operation that would make you swear that it came installed with a soft-close drawer mechanism; it was that weak operating when attempting to go into battery. They may be the Original Maker but they certainly don't have to build their guns as if they are 110 yrs old (and decrepit) right out of the box. Shop wisely is all I've got to say if you're intent on this brand.

Oops...I lied; I forgot about Kimber and S&W. Sorry. Anyways, Kimber offers their base level 1911s for around $800 (again in normal times). We've generally been getting positive feedback from customers on those guns. I may have said this before elsewhere in the forum, but it does appear that Kimber has turned the corner on their Cohen-led era. SIG used to have a few offerings that retailed below $1000, but everything we now have in inventory is priced above that threshold. S&W still offers their E-series Government size for about $900 at retail (again, normal times pricing). We just got the model in but it's got problems with disengaging the grip safety. Feels like it has the same aforementioned soft-closing drawer mechanism that the above Colt had, only with the S&W they placed it on the grip safety instead. We got two of these in; so at least within this tiny sample, 50/50 is not great odds.

I've given what little I know about 1911s that I'm familiar with...particularly regarding the "cheap" ones. So who's best? Hopefully someone can tell me.

Posts: 358 | Location: The commie, rainy side of WA | Registered: April 19, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My first two choices would be the Dan Wesson Vigil and Sig. I think they are the best at the top of your price range. Some people love Springfield. I have had bad luck with them but that is not to say they make a bad gun. Ruger probably makes the most severable 1911 for the best price in the area you are looking.

You can always customize any one of these guns and make room for the next 1911 it is inevitable.

__________________Making Good People Helpless . . . Will Not Make Bad People Harmless!___________________
Posts: 1685 | Location: South Carolina | Registered: May 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Several of the posters recommend the Ruger 1911, and a couple or three seem not to like them.

I bought the lightweight Commander and the sights are fine, though not "night" sights and I may change them for Trijicons shortly. The grips and frame work perfectly for me, and I sure don't need skateboard tape on my pistol.

It's not loose IMO and I haven't had any sort of malfunction. $699 new was a great price Again IMO. Even with the tax and BG check, I was out the door for A couple cents less than $740.

I've probably owned twenty 1911s and had one back during those vacation days in that SE Asian Paradise in the 60s.

I love the 1911.

I was shooting them for IPSC in the 70s/80s and early 90s when, if you bought a new Colt, you might as well save yourself some heartache by taking it right to the gunsmith to get it to work right. I even had a couple of the high priced gunsmiths" 38 Supers.

But none of them has worked any better than the Ruger Commander I now have.

I only carry it in the "winter" here in Florida because (1) I carry AIWB in Shorts/Shirt and ANY 1911 sticks up and out on me in that position, (2) it is still, even though an "airweight" heavy and tries to pull my shorts down even with a good gun belt and (3) I have discovered the G42 and P365 and really like carrying them. So the Ruger only gets carried when it is "cold" and I have to wear jeans and a jacket-something that rarely, thank the Lord, occurs only a few days most winters.

You would do well with most any of the guns the other posters listed. I like my Ruger.

Posts: 836 | Location: TampaBay | Registered: May 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought a Dan Wesson Pointman and also a Sig Match Elite about the same time. After shooting them, taking them apart, cleaning them...I came to a conclusion. That the DW was a better made Gun. The Sig was no slouch but you can see, feel, and handle the difference.

You can only control what you can control. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Posts: 1087 | Location: Wisconsin  | Registered: May 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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Range toy? Not competition shooter or display bragging rights, I"d buy a Tisas 1911, has all the military looks and is $399, then I'd load up a couple of cases of ammo and a bunch of spare mags, then shoot the snot out of it.


Posts: 15725 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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