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Hi,

I am not new to firearms, but I wanted some suggestions and recommendations as to purchasing a first 1911 pistol. What would be the best "bang for your buck?"

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Probably a Rock Island Armory GI series in 45ACP.

They are good pistols at an affordable price. You can drive one hard to see if the 1911 pattern pistol fits you without being concerned about wrecking your investment. They have a reputation for reliability, durability, and they seem to hold a respectable resale value.
 

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Hi,

I am not new to firearms, but I wanted some suggestions and recommendations as to purchasing a first 1911 pistol. What would be the best "bang for your buck?"

Thanks in advance for your help.
What kind of money is in your budget. There's a wide range of offerings including good base pistols you can eventually send off for modifications that suit you. But, if you go this route, buy quality. Good Smith's prefer quality to work with starting under a grand. Springfields hold up there. The Ronin is the best Springfields put out at that price point for years.

Step above this would be a Dan Wesson and those can be found used here for a grand and up, or new for higher depending on what model. Up front that puts you easily into just under two grand for a Wilson or Baer used or up for new. Or a Springfield TRP or Proffesional.

Strongly suggest you find out what you want before taking the plunge, or just buy a quality base gun.

Trick is in the long run you'll need to decide on sights, checkering, trigger, etc etc etc.

I was lucky, I started out with an IPSC tuned Series 70 over 40 years ago.
 

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Ignore those who tell you to buy non-American. Post-3 has good info in it. And there is nothing wrong w/ buying a used 1911, as they seldom have more than a few rounds thru them. "Used" Baers are a great bargain.
 

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Colt 1911 Classic.

Series 70 firing pin system, and a great base to build on. If you go this route, I’d suggest getting new sights installed, at least a new front sight. Here’s a photo of what I’m talking about.

Blue Rectangle Wood Everyday carry Material property

Wood Gun accessory Tool Automotive exterior Gun barrel



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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If I could do it all over again I would look hard at a nice used Baer or Dan Wesson. I went down the Alchemy / Wilson Combat rabbit hole. Alchemy’s are special. I hope to never have to sell. I shoot them as much as I am able. The used Baer I picked up here was under $2k but it shoots the lights out. There is something about a full size 1911 in 45acp. Fun to shoot , extremely reliable and accurate. If your budget allows and you are patient you will find your firearm here. Plus 99% of these members are good to go stand up people that meticulously maintain their firearms.
Good luck
Laptop Air gun Trigger Everyday carry Personal computer
 

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Springfield mil-spec is a solid working pistol and at most a couple hundred more than the imports. Thats important to me.

A used Baer or a new one is very solid advice. Advice I sorely wish I would've followed many years ago. You'll be told "they are out of spec" and that is perhaps true, but since they'll run a couple lifetimes with proper care, that doesn't matter much.

Also any newer Colt you can find. A 1911C is a wonderful example. Good luck in your search. Not knowing your budget or wishes, a most difficult question.
 

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There's a few competing philosophies at work here.

One philosophy is to start with an inexpensive 1911. Taurus, RIA, etc. This has the obvious appeal of getting you into the platform at the lowest possible price point.

Another philosophy is to invest in a more expensive gun up front. All other things equal, higher end guns are generally "better" guns (I'll talk about this in a minute), and they typically hold their resale value better.

I put the word "better" in quotes because that's an entirely subjective term. As many of the threads on this forum will testify, there's no one definition for "better." This isn't to say that any particular definition is wrong; it just means that what you consider better may be different than what I consider better. There's a lot of subjectivity in this.

From an advice dispensing perspective ... if money is no object, then I think it's generally better to go with a higher end gun—if for no other reason than you'll probably do better on resale value. I would caveat that by saying that spending more doesn't always mean that the gun will be "better"—there are lots of discussions here about problems that people have had with higher-end guns. Of all the 1911's I've owned, my favorite gun (and the one that gets the most range time now) is my Nighthawk Trooper. It's as reliable as the day is long, it looks spectacular, and it's tack-drivingly accurate.

But money is an object for most people, and to that end I'd say that I've had good experiences with the inexpensive 1911's. In fact, one of the best 1911's I ever owned was a Taurus PT1911. It wasn't going to win any fashion shows, but it ate anything and everything that I put into it, and it was surprisingly accurate. And for the $469 that I paid for it (brand new) in 2013, it was worth every penny.

I'd also add that 1911's seem to be a journey for most people. What you think you'll want today may not be what you want next year. To that end, I usually recommend that someone start with a plain Government or Commander model from any of the major manufacturers. Entry level guns in their stock configurations will always have eager buyers in the secondhand market; specialized guns (and customized guns) can be a bit harder to move when you're ready to try something else.

Caveat emptor, etc.

Mike
 
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In today’s market I think it depends on what is available in your price range. The last 2 years have seen big changes in some markets on gun and ammo availability.
 

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I will add one more thought. Since you are not new to guns, I will presume that you have experience with buying used guns. In the case of 1911s, I would encourage you to buy a new pistol instead of used. Unlike the vast majority of other types, 1911s are frequently the victims of "bubbafying." If you buy new, you won't fall prey to "bubba" and his handiwork.
 

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You didn't mention a budget, which makes a huge difference in what is recommended. You may think $600 is a lot for a pistol, and there are members here who might have that much in the grips on their $4,000 - $7,000 totally custom pistol.

You mention "best bang for the buck". Again, there are folks here who would tell you a Rock Island would be just fine, while others here would tell you they wouldn't touch any 1911 that doesn't cost at least $3,000 because it would be a piece of crap. So I think it would be helpful for folks wanting to offer recommendations if you'd at least give a ballpark number for your budget.

Having said all that, my first 1911 was a Springfield Range Officer Champion. I really liked that little pistol, but it could not produce a less than 6" group at 15 yards. It was sent back to Springfield for rework and came back shooting exactly the same. I sold it, added a little extra money to the pot, and bought a very lightly used Dan Wesson Valkyrie Commander. For about $300-400 more, it was a huge improvement in quality and accuracy. I sold that gun recently but still have my DW ECO in 9mm, which I also bought used, but it was probably never shot. I love that little pistol! I would state, and I've seen it echoed by so many, that at around the $1K level, a lightly used DW rarely disappoints.
 

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You didn't mention a budget, which makes a huge difference in what is recommended. You may think $600 is a lot for a pistol, and there are members here who might have that much in the grips on their $4,000 - $7,000 totally custom pistol.

You mention "best bang for the buck". Again, there are folks here who would tell you a Rock Island would be just fine, while others here would tell you they wouldn't touch any 1911 that doesn't cost at least $3,000 because it would be a piece of crap. So I think it would be helpful for folks wanting to offer recommendations if you'd at least give a ballpark number for your budget.

Having said all that, my first 1911 was a Springfield Range Officer Champion. I really liked that little pistol, but it could not produce a less than 6" group at 15 yards. It was sent back to Springfield for rework and came back shooting exactly the same. I sold it, added a little extra money to the pot, and bought a very lightly used Dan Wesson Valkyrie Commander. For about $300-400 more, it was a huge improvement in quality and accuracy. I sold that gun recently but still have my DW ECO in 9mm, which I also bought used, but it was probably never shot. I love that little pistol! I would state, and I've seen it echoed by so many, that at around the $1K level, a lightly used DW rarely disappoints.

My Springfield Ronin cost me around $700 bucks, all I did was change out the sear disconnector and trigger. At 20 yards it's wickedly accurate and I can post pictures.


I was sorry I missed your Valkyrie, I did want it. I just bought a Guardian instead. My RO Champion does better than yours did, but I m NOT in love with the idea of bull barrels which is why I went for the Guardian.
 

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You should also consider what you want in a 1911. Types of finish, checkering, sights, trigger length, etc...That way you can find one that fits you so you don't have to spend more on parts.
 

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There's a few competing philosophies at work here.

One philosophy is to start with an inexpensive 1911. Taurus, RIA, etc. This has the obvious appeal of getting you into the platform at the lowest possible price point.

Another philosophy is to invest in a more expensive gun up front. All other things equal, higher end guns are generally "better" guns (I'll talk about this in a minute), and they typically hold their resale value better.

I put the word "better" in quotes because that's an entirely subjective term. As many of the threads on this forum will testify, there's no one definition for "better." This isn't to say that any particular definition is wrong; it just means that what you consider better may be different than what I consider better. There's a lot of subjectivity in this.

From an advice dispensing perspective ... if money is no object, then I think it's generally better to go with a higher end gun—if for no other reason than you'll probably do better on resale value. I would caveat that by saying that spending more doesn't always mean that the gun will be "better"—there are lots of discussions here about problems that people have had with higher-end guns. Of all the 1911's I've owned, my favorite gun (and the one that gets the most range time now) is my Nighthawk Trooper. It's as reliable as the day is long, it looks spectacular, and it's tack-drivingly accurate.

But money is an object for most people, and to that end I'd say that I've had good experiences with the inexpensive 1911's. In fact, one of the best 1911's I ever owned was a Taurus PT1911. It wasn't going to win any fashion shows, but it ate anything and everything that I put into it, and it was surprisingly accurate. And for the $469 that I paid for it (brand new) in 2013, it was worth every penny.

I'd also add that 1911's seem to be a journey for most people. What you think you'll want today may not be what you want next year. To that end, I usually recommend that someone start with a plain Government or Commander model from any of the major manufacturers. Entry level guns in their stock configurations will always have eager buyers in the secondhand market; specialized guns (and customized guns) can be a bit harder to move when you're ready to try something else.

Caveat emptor, etc.

Mike
I’m fairly new to the forum and have spent hours reading and learning. This is the first time I read about a NH Trooper, I picked up one last week and can’t wait to try it out. I’m glad you like yours and it shoots well, I was wondering if a made a bad choice and should have gone with a different NH model.
 

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The search tool is your friend. This has been hashed out countless times at every price point. Not a gun snob but folks here are incredibly knowledgeable (and good at spending your money).
 

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You should also consider what you want in a 1911. Types of finish, checkering, sights, trigger length, etc...That way you can find one that fits you so you don't have to spend more on parts.
Another reason to go with a quality base gun for the meantime IF he can't decide.

If he can, that's another story!
 
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