Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Location: Twin Cities, MN
I am considering a 1911 style pistol. This will be a range toy only. I have Tupperware striker fired pistols for serious work. The 1911 world is dizzying. Tons of options and strong opinions abound. I'm looking for an accurate, reliable gun for punching paper. I like quality, but am not about to buy a Wilson Combat, Les Baer or Nighthawk. I currently only have 9mm center fire pistols, so another would be easy to feed. However, I am considering a .45. Nothing over $2k and $1k would be better. Suggestions?
Joined: 09 Jun 2005
At last count I think I have 8 or 9 in the following calibers 9mm, 38 Super and 45 acp of course. To me the best bang for the buck is the Made in the U.S. is a Springfield Range Officer. Mine is in 9mm and a lot more accurate than I can shoot it. It is also made in 45 acp of course. My last 2 purchases of 1911s have been Springfields the Range Officer and the Range Officer Compact. Wanted the Compact so I could retire my old Colt LW Commander .45 which is about 45 yrs. old but still shooting great. I heartily suggest that you look at the Springfield line.
Joined: 02 Nov 2015
Location: N. Georgia
I went with the basic version of the Remington R1 Commander, mainly because it's made in the USA and there were factory refunds available. I ordered online at Grabagun, bought a couple of guns through them and found them to be reliable with cheap shipping. I've used Bud's Guns also with good results.
I'm not a handgun expert by any means, would rather spend money on a vintage 16ga double, but I just wanted something reliable for home defense. There are certainly a ton of 1911 models available from a lot of companies.
It depends what you want to do with it at the range. If you want to connect with history you want a military style 1911 or 1911A1. If you want to compete you'll need something like a Springfield Loaded. I have a 1918 vintage Colt, but when I decided to get something more modern I was leaning toward Kimber but settled on another Colt. I guess I like horses.
Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Lot of great choices out there. My preference for the past 15 years has been a Kimber Pro Carry from their custom shop in .45 acp. I reload. If you don't, 9mm is the cheapest alternative for ammunition.
Joined: 17 Jan 2016
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Range toy you say... Full size colt has beautiful accuracy and will get your money back if you ever sell it. If you looking for accuracy and longer range 45 acp shots Springfield range officer has everything for that from the factory.
Shooting a beautiful colt commander yesterday that is fun on the range good accuracy and can be carried easier than a full size with 5" barrel. It has a 4.25" barrel. In my mind a classic looking 1911 is never a bad choice.
Just got a Kimber Custom II two tone, out the door tax included for $600, it was lightly used.
It shoots just as well as my other 1911 45s
Colt Commander Lightweight
Colt Commander Satin
Another vote for the Springfield Range Officer. Shot IDPA with one in .45 for several years. Very accurate and can be found used in the $700 range. Cycles my 200gr LSWC reloads very well with 5.9gr of Unique.
Joined: 15 Dec 2016
Location: Down East Maine
Wow. You are about to head down the rabbit hole. My $.02:
Buy American. Lots of choices, since everybody but Glock makes an Eleven. There is some good foreign stuff out there (e.g.; Rock Island from the Philippines, and SIG) but the 1911 is an American deal.
For collecting, the original 1911 of WWI vintage will be like the Colt SAA, the Holy Grail of the cognocenti, and prices will be astronomical in the next decade. Any military WWII 1911A1 will serve well at the range and also have collector value. Any vintage 1911 or 1911A1 worth having will be $1-$2K, minimum. Prices are going up on all of the vintage stuff.
To just own, shoot a great deal and maybe sell later at a good price, a Colt Series 70. Probably still obtainable for $1K or less. Nice, bright blue finish. Cheaper than a Gold Cup and maybe more durable (The Ellasion rear sights on the GC have a bad reputation for endurance).
To shoot a lot and enjoy for a decent price, any Kimber or Springfield Armory with a 5" barrel and a steel frame. Well under $1K.
All things being equal, get one with the little horsey as first choice if possible. Just because. In Lebanon during the unpleasantness of the early 1980's some other officers and I were talking to some Lebanese officers who were visiting, and they were fascinated with our sidearms. One of the guys showed his 1911A1 to one of the Lebanese, who asked, in awe, "This is a Colt?" The whole world knows about Colts. Panache.
Any of the above in .45 ACP course. Buy used, not new, but avoid guns that Bubba done customized; you will just be buying someone else's problem, even if you get it cheap. Plain Jane, factory stock is the ticket. Very few modifications are really needed.
High visibility sights are a must. Adjustable sights nice but not important and not worth a premium in most cases. Any 1911 can be given a great trigger job.
For best reliability, use Wilson (my choice) or McCormick magazines. The magazine is always your first step in maximizing reliability.
_________________ L.C. Smith FW Field Grade 16
L.C. Smith FW Ideal Grade 16
Fox Sterlingworth 16
Ithaca M37 Deerslayer 16
German Guild Hammergun Drilling 16x16/9.3x72R
1925 Browning A5 16
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