Been involved with 1911 for over 30 yrs. This by manufacturing, custom building, selling, top level competition shooting, and of course for CCW use. So in other words, the 1911 has become my life these days. In order to select a 1911 for your special needs, first one has to understand a few basics ! A 1911 pistol is nothing more than a mechanical device. It's made by man out of steel. Nothing man made is 100 % reliable. However, selecting the right base parts, and being built by highly trained pistolsmit's, one can get very close to those 100 %. In my experience, 9 out of 10 times, 1911 users experience some kind of problems, it's related to either feed jams or failure to eject. Which often times gets the owner very frustrated. "but the guy who sold it to me...said it was a custom build 1911'" etc. etc. In one way it's very simple ! There's factory assembly line "custom" 1911's, and then there is true custom build 1911's by highly trained individuals, who builds it from A to Z. When Joe gunowner walk into the gunstore shopping for a 1911, and look at the showcase with 100's of 1911's lying back to back, all looking the same to him, but with different price tags on them, it's easy to get confused. Many looks the same on the outside, and if being on a budget, they usually end up with something in the $800 to $ 1000 range. These 1911's may or may not work fine, all depending on the quality of the mag/ammo and user experience. Also, if not being into competition shooting or just plain regular practice, they may never know if the gun works OK or not. On the other hand, if the new owner finds out it has mechanical problems and warrenty sucks, he'll most likely either sell it or contact a pistolsmith. Many of these factory made "custom" guns sadly need some more custom work. Usually a complete reliability package. Consisting of perfecting the feed ramp. Re-throating the barrel, chamber depth, de-burring the firing pin hole, breech face specs, extractor location, profile and tension. Ejector, springs, barrel fit, safeties etc. is also double checked for function and fit, since it's also related to the guns reliability and performance. And a good quality magazine/ammo also helps of course. It's sometimes sad to see, that competition 1911's are better build, than most other 1911's would be for selfdefense. Think about it ! In a shooting competition, you only loose some ego, in selfdefense situations it could be your life..... Like most things in life....you'll get exactly what you pay for. A lot of folks have found this out the hard way. Many would be better off with a 4" S&W mod.10 on the bedside table...they just don't realize it! Later guys.