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.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.
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.
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.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.
Another reason to go with a quality base gun for the meantime IF he can't decide.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.