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Buying a 1911, a question (or two)


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  • Buying a 1911, a question (or two)

    So for quite a while I have been looking at buying a 1911. There are a lot of options as I am sure all of you know, I have mainly been looking at the Springfields and also Kimbers.

    My drawback is price, it is a factor, albeit not the deciding one and not the biggest factor but it is one none the less. In asking this I know I will get multiple responses disagreeing with each other but I still want input.

    So to actually ask a questions, how do the Taurus 1911's, and the Para's, compare the the Springfields and the Kimbers? I ask this because they are all based on the same frame and layout so there couldn't be a **** ton of difference but there is a pretty good difference on price, mostly based on options and what not.

    I am not sure if I will use this gun for a duty gun, and since there is a possibility that I will I want the quality and reliability to be there.

    And for you single stack haters, the gun I currently carry on duty is a single stack so that wont be much of a change for me.

  • #2
    I've heard VERY good things about the Taurus 1911s. I really like the Springfield 1911s. I do not like the current offerings by Kimber, as their quality control has been less than stellar. Para does not enjoy a favorable reputation...
    J. Wise

    AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

    "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

    Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.



    • #3
      Having worked retail firearms, I was able to handle quite a few of the various 1911's currently on the market.
      Springield, Kimber and Paraordnance can be lumped into about the same category. They are good and decent guns. Smith & Wesson's M1911 is also a pretty good firearm. There have been issues with QC with both the Kimber and Springfield. Kimber does use a fair amount of MIM parts that, while never breaking on me, are things to consider replacing.

      One guy that we saw often at the various IPSC, bowling pin and steel plate matches in the Reno area carried a Taurus 1911 and was very satisfied with it. Taurus did put a lot of what would be termed custom features into a decent firearm at a relatively low price.

      That being said, I believe that Taurus has a stigma and that is of being low-quality and cheap. Yes, cops can be gun snobs. I would probably focus my search on a Kimber or Smith. My next duty weapon I hope to be a Wilson KZ-45. Combining the polymer frame with a 10+1 capacity should make that a great duty weapon. Kimber and Springfield both make a copy of this gun.

      The 1911 market has never been so full. There are a lot of options out there.

      For the last several years, I have carried a Kimber Custom Classic that saw a bit of customizing, namely replacement of any and all MIM parts, upgrades to various Wilson parts and having the front strap checkered 20lpi.

      Save some money and look around. Shop a lot and buy once. Take a serious look at Dan Wesson. That was a serious dark horse I did not expect until I had one in my hand.
      Last edited by Vanguard2279; 09-07-2008, 08:41 PM.


      • #4
        Also thoughts on the Sig 1911's along with my earlier post...sorry to throw that in last minute.


        • #5
          Sig has had recalls with the GSR line of 1911's , also the Company has made some changes recently and everything seems to be coming from New Hampshire . The Smith Scandium and the Colt government or stainless Commander along with the Colt Gunsite are lifetime warranty and if you decide to sell them down the road, you'll get your money back. That may or may not hold for some of the other options you're looking at. Big difference between bowling pins or targets that can't shoot back and those that do. ALWAYS buy the best you can possibly afford.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Steel02001 View Post
            Also thoughts on the Sig 1911's along with my earlier post...sorry to throw that in last minute.
            As stated initially there were some problems with SIG's 1911 line. It stemmed from Sig having nice quality parts made from top quality vendors such as Caspian and trying to assemble them into a working gun with little to no fitting. Unfortunately while the parts themselves were top notch, some fitting was required. Sig realized this and brought their entire operation in house. They have match grade trigger and sears, no MIM parts, front/rear checkering, and the revolutions come std with night sites. I bought mine for $799 from Buds, then received a $100 rebate from Sig as a LEO. Near 1k rounds now down range, not a single problem, and it sits in a 6280 Safari land holster. FWIW I've also own a Springfield Armory Loaded and a Kimber Series II. This is by far the best 1911 I've bought yet.

            People grow through experience, if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.


            • #7
              I Recently picked up a Springfield Armory TRP 1911. This thing is tricked out! It has performed well so far after 500 rounds through it. The drawbacks are disassembly and assembly and will cause you to lose your Religion in short order when performing maintenance. The manual supplied with it is also wrong.
              "A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The 'United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'" (Author unknown)


              • #8
                The TRP was the first line of 1911's I was interested in. I ended up with a Kimber TLE. Note the phrase "ended up" not "settled". I love my Kimber.
                NRA Life Member

                The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

                Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken


                • #9
                  Try 1911forum.com and m1911.org. There are dedicated forums for all the main manufactures. Owners share both negative and positive stories. Lots of good info to be had when researching your first 1911. 1911forum also has a leo board.

                  I have a Springfield Loaded and a Dan Wesson CBOB. I highly recommend considering the CBOB if you are in the market for a Commander.


                  • #10
                    Also look at used pistols (if you're not "allergic"). I picked up a used Springfield/Wilson Combat mutt for $500. SA Milspec frame/slide & Wilson everything else. Sweet shooting gun for not a lot of dough.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steel02001 View Post
                      I ask this because they are all based on the same frame and layout so there couldn't be a **** ton of difference but there is a pretty good difference on price, mostly based on options and what not.
                      Actually there is a ton of difference.

                      The 1911 is a platform that requires all parts to be fitted for proper function. How those parts are fitted makes a huge difference in function and reliability. I have heard from some well known 1911 smiths who say the Taurus is junk, and I have hear from a couple that it's OK once its "gone over". I have a Taurus 66 .357 that I love, so I am not a Taurus hater. I am just very picky when I select a firearm to save my ***.

                      The suggestions I have gotten for a good low-cost 1911 is the Springfield Milspec. This gets you into a platform that is put together well and can easily be built into a full custom. For the time being I am perfectly happy with my Colt Combat Commander.
                      "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                      8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets


                      • #12
                        Here is some good info on 1911's...

                        If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

                        "The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." -Thomas Jefferson



                        • #13

                          Or Springfield GI or Mil-Spec if you can't afford a Colt.


                          • #14
                            NO KIMBERS.

                            That company's customer service blows goats.

                            I can't say it any more plainly.

                            I had a 3 inch bbl ultra carry II which I sent in for service because of feeding issue with hardball and the fact that the gun wouldn't strip a round off the magazine properly.

                            Kimber sent it back to me with a broken recoil assembly, then when I called them about it, the reaction was "Yeah...that happens sometimes...we will get a new assembly to you..."

                            I called a week later and they didn't know anything about me and had to be told again what the problem was.

                            Finally, after 2 weeks I get the assembly. They could have sent an intern out to drive the part to me as I'm 90 minutes away and made a customer for life.


                            Kimber blows goats.

                            I wouldn't accept on if it was willed to me by my mother.


                            • #15
                              Thanks for all your input guys/gals. I have been on a couple of different 1911 forums as well as asking gun guru's at my department.

                              I am actually leaning towards S&W or Springfield. I have all but weeded out everyone else. I agree Colt makes a great gun but I couldn't find one with a rail which has become one of my requirements.


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