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View Full Version : what is a good starter pistol for 1911?


marbles71
08-12-2009, 2:19 PM
i've only had experience shooting 9mm with a Beretta 92FS, so i wanted to expand and move up to the venerable .45 cal 1911.

i ended up buying a Springfield Armory 1911 GI .45, which is as bare bones as you can get. i really love how it has this old vintage look and feel and after enough practice, i was able to shoot straight enough with it. (pretty difficult since my previous pistol experience has only been with 9mm).

the thing that i do regret though about the Springfield Armory 1911 GI .45 are the vintage small sights. i still love this pistol, but as a beginner to the 1911 (as well as the .45 cal) having small sights made me wonder if i made a mistake in buying this make and model 1911?

what are good entry level 1911s?

thanks,
marbles71

Black Majik
08-12-2009, 2:25 PM
The Milspec may have been a better option from what it sounds like, it has that oldie vintage look as well, but comes with larger sights.

Those GI sights are a regular topic of complaint, they sure are tiny!

gn3hz3ku1*
08-12-2009, 2:31 PM
just change the sights

Rekrab
08-12-2009, 2:40 PM
After taking my Rock Island Tactical out a few times I'm kinda pining for those smaller sights. I've decided I like them better at long ranges(if that makes any sense).

You made a good call for an entry level 1911, just get the sights replaced if you're certain you want a different style.

Big Jake
08-12-2009, 2:44 PM
Don't go entry level. Save your money and buy a Kimber. I have two and they are the best!

Stamatos
08-12-2009, 2:58 PM
My shooting started with the 92FS too. After that I bought a couple round guns and have looked into the 1911 platform myself. I have a friend with the Rock Island and he loves it as does my borther-in-law. I'd love to get the Taurus PT1911 but they are not on the list of approved handguns so I don't see one in my future. As to your question, I have good experience with Rock Island (Armscor) and if you are in CA, your options are pretty limited.

lunde
08-12-2009, 3:24 PM
SW1911, specifically #108282. Bud's Gun Shop has them in stock for less than $800. If I were in the market for a 1911 under $1K, this would be my #1 choice.

Sheepdog1968
08-12-2009, 3:25 PM
Another approach would be to get a whole new upper slide. Not the most inexpensive way but cheaper than getting a whole new gun. Could also call Springfield and have them take all of your internals from your slide and put them into the Milspec slide.

BlackDrop50
08-12-2009, 3:27 PM
Kimber Custom II for around $750

gregorylucas
08-12-2009, 3:38 PM
I do love my Springfield Armory 1911 Mil-Spec in stainless. Sights are very comfortable for me to shoot and my eyesight is just so-so.

Greg

dude
08-12-2009, 4:15 PM
Send it to Springfield Custom and get the sights milled and install Novak Night Sights (or regular fixed Novak style sights). While you're at it get the ejection port lowered and flared. And whatever else you want done to it. There's a custom worksheet available on Springfield's site. They are excellent gunsmiths.

BamBam-31
08-12-2009, 4:33 PM
Send it to Springfield Custom and get the sights milled and install Novak Night Sights (or regular fixed Novak style sights). While you're at it get the ejection port lowered and flared. And whatever else you want done to it. There's a custom worksheet available on Springfield's site. They are excellent gunsmiths.

Should have bought the Loaded from the get-go. Then he'd have all the features you listed and them some, plus more cash in his pocket to boot. ;)

dascoyne
08-12-2009, 5:04 PM
get some Novaks or heinie sights on that 1911 and you'll be all set

aplinker
08-12-2009, 5:29 PM
What does entry-level mean to you?

I'd suggest looking at the Dan Wesson PM7, Springfield Loaded, a steel framed Kimber, or the S&Ws.

sholling
08-12-2009, 5:36 PM
SW1911, specifically #108282. Bud's Gun Shop has them in stock for less than $800. If I were in the market for a 1911 under $1K, this would be my #1 choice.
+1 S&W is making the best sub $1000 1911 on the market right now and it's made in the USA. I'm just not a fan of "starter" 1911s. Most people wind up wanting a beavertail grip safety and other upgrades that come standard with the Smith and my 2nd choice SA "loaded" and for less than the cost of upgrading from no frills. These two make up the sweet spot of 1911 buying.

Probably the closest to what I would call an acceptable starter (no frills) 1911 is Springfield's Mil-Spec in stainless. In stainless it's affordable to upgrade. I have one that came parkerized and it's impossible to find upgrades that match.

Rekrab
08-12-2009, 5:56 PM
That's actually why I ended up with my RIA Tactical. It wasn't a huge investment and it came with all the goodies I knew I'd want.

Z ME FLY
08-12-2009, 6:54 PM
Depends on how much you want to spend. Like many people have said you can't go wrong with the S&W 1911. If I had the cash, I wouldn't mind spending it. If you want to go on the cheaper side, RIA Tactical is a great investment.

weatherman
08-12-2009, 8:49 PM
A buddy of mine bought a 1911 Springfield GI model on sale for less than $500 a few months back. That seemed like a deal to me...

sspen003
08-12-2009, 8:54 PM
Dont change a thing. Once you start shooting it you will come to love them.

A Springer GI was my first pistol too and I felt exactly like you did

I wanted to change out parts on it so bad and was ready to start ordering some until a guy at a gun store told me to wait and shoot it first.

Best decision of my life. Buy some new grips and call it a day. I recommend VZ grips

sammy
08-12-2009, 9:02 PM
I will give another vote for a Kimber. Stay away from Sig 1911's. If you are in the Bay Area PM me and I am happy to let you try my small 1911 collection. Once you get one you will be hooked. Their is no cure!!!

wildhawker
08-12-2009, 9:25 PM
PM7, SA Loaded, S&W. Skip new Kimbers and move on to Baer/Wilson/NHC when you want to spend more money.

Dan Wesson makes a sleeper 1911 that is simply a fantastic value and hard to beat. Ignore the BS about cast vs. forged.

nemisis1400
08-12-2009, 11:20 PM
I remember a friend telling me to stay away from kimber since it's difficult to change out parts. Something about kimber parts for kimber guns and nothing else. Is there any truth to this? What are some good starters that can accept all kinds of upgrades?

sholling
08-12-2009, 11:38 PM
I remember a friend telling me to stay away from kimber since it's difficult to change out parts. Something about kimber parts for kimber guns and nothing else. Is there any truth to this? What are some good starters that can accept all kinds of upgrades?
Most full sized Kimbers are pretty much generic 1911s except for the firing pin safety and most parts are interchangeable. The smaller ones are proprietary.

I'm not a Kimber basher or a Kimber fanboy. I own two but I also own S&W and Springfield Armory 1911s. Series II Kimbers tend to be built too tight for as mass produced as they are. This is just my opinion but the emphasis seems to be on "purdy" and on mass numbers produced rather than quality control. And their customer service has a poor reputation for lots of excuses and attitude. Hint: If you call service be nice. You're dealing with New Jersey attitude and if you're rude they can be jerks. But if you're polite and friendly they will go out of their way to help.

I bought my first Kimber because back in the early days Kimber made a darn good pistol. I bought my second strictly because it's the only CCO format 1911 approved for sale in California. I'll know next week if it's a jewel or a turd because that's when I pick it up.

My advice is take a good look at the Smith & Wesson 1911s.

MarioS
08-13-2009, 12:36 AM
The only complaint I had about my past GI was the sights.

I would go with another SA 1911, like a Mil-Spec or a Loaded.

Sunwolf
08-13-2009, 7:20 AM
Rock Island....a little rough but no rougher than the mil spec and runs great.

bootcamp
08-13-2009, 7:29 AM
Springfield loaded black stainless or regular stainless.

marbles71
08-13-2009, 5:14 PM
heys guys thanks for the responses...

i was possibly looking maybe staying with Springfield Armory if i want to upgrade into a higher end 1911. If i were to switch, i thought maybe the Smith and Wesson or Kimber 1911s looked pretty good too.

but all this will happen years from now, gotta master shooting a .45 first...heh

BamBam-31
08-13-2009, 5:41 PM
Master a .22lr. Then you'll be a master no matter what caliber. Cheaper, too. ;)

marbles71
08-13-2009, 5:53 PM
hah...time to get a .22LR conversion kit for my 1911!

will the kimber conversion kit fit on my springer 1911?

cool

angryasian
08-13-2009, 5:58 PM
para ord was my first 1911 and it the most accurate pistol Ive ever owned

brassburnz
08-14-2009, 1:19 AM
I like the Springfields because they are like Series 70 Colts-no firing pin safety. I have Kimber Series II pistols and Para Ord's with the firing pin safety. Both have really nice triggers, BUT they don't feel like Series 70 triggers. Almost, but not quite.

And although I'm sure it's rare, those firing pin safety devices do break. I've witnessed this in another person's Para. Squeeze trigger and click.

See how much it will cost to upgrade your sights. Then see what the difference is between the price of a new Springfield with better sights and what you can get for your gun. Go from there.

SCMA-1
08-14-2009, 7:10 AM
I like the Springfields because they are like Series 70 Colts-no firing pin safety. I have Kimber Series II pistols and Para Ord's with the firing pin safety. Both have really nice triggers, BUT they don't feel like Series 70 triggers. Almost, but not quite.

And although I'm sure it's rare, those firing pin safety devices do break. I've witnessed this in another person's Para. Squeeze trigger and click.

See how much it will cost to upgrade your sights. Then see what the difference is between the price of a new Springfield with better sights and what you can get for your gun. Go from there.

I just junk the firing pin safety parts, use the series 80 filler plate in the frame and you are back to series 70 style internals. It's difficult getting a nice trigger job with the series 80 junk in them.

SCMA-1

wildhawker
08-14-2009, 7:38 AM
hah...time to get a .22LR conversion kit for my 1911!

will the kimber conversion kit fit on my springer 1911?

cool

Marvel (http://www.marvelprecision.com/)or Tac Sol (http://www.tacticalsol.com/store/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=29).