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View Full Version : Thinking about buying a 1911. Would like some unbiased answers please


drunktank
12-28-2010, 11:31 AM
I've been wanting a .45acp and was planning on another USP or G21sf. Some friend are bugging me to try the 1911 route. I haven't had good experiences with the customized kimbers I've shot (fte/ftf) but figured I could always just sell the thing if I really didn't like it or couldn't fix it. I did a search for making a 1911 reliable and basically it boils down to "1911's suck, buy a glock" or "1911 is god's (John Moses Browning) design and you aren't a man without one", etc...

I am looking to buy an RIA tactical and go from there. Aside from good mags, which I have plenty of, is there specifically anything that I should have worked over to keep the thing reliable shooting all types of ammo? I've read about having them "fit" and some otherthings but nothing specific and didn't read about a local smith to do the work if necessary. The gun might be used for camping/hd, but regardless I won't keep a gun that doesnt reliably feed all types of ammo. I also won't own a 1911 just because it's a "1911" - no offense to the fans. I'm looking to buy one and shoot several thousand rounds a year through it but planning ahead in case the thing is as unreliable as the kimbers Ive had experience with. Thanks for any info, like I said I did search but they all ended up I'n arguments and no useful info.

Also happy (and safe) New Year to everyone!

drunktank
12-28-2010, 11:34 AM
Darn phone keeps editing and cutting out what I'm typing! Obviously I'll shoot the gun a lot first to see if there failures at all, but I'd they ftf or extract, I was wondering what the most common things are to have work done to. I know here are 1911 forums but I am a part of this one and would rather talk to you guys about it. Thanks again

cannon
12-28-2010, 11:36 AM
If you want absolute reliability go with an old military Colt Gov model. It'll have character and won't let you down.

If your tastes are more custom or tactical someone else will be along in a minute with good advice.

jrara
12-28-2010, 11:36 AM
1911s can be picky with ammo from what I read/heard/seen.

If you are looking for a reliable 1911, stick to original GI specs and none of that Match Accuracy specs.

The Armscor/RIA 1911 Tacticals are made from Series 70 Colt specs which don't have a Firing pin Block.

If you having Issues with JHP in your RIA, just tell RIA and they will work the gun for you for free.

drunktank
12-28-2010, 11:42 AM
Thanks jrara I didn't know RIA did that.

Cannon are those old colts also "series70 specs" like mentioned above? Im new to the platform but have no issues with used. I appreciate the quick responses!

Steyrlp10
12-28-2010, 11:43 AM
For me, it's difficult to be "unbiased" when discussing a 1911, especially a Colt, but I'll try :)

I think it would be fair to say that choosing a gun is somewhat like choosing a car. You may start with stock items, but as time goes along, you may want to make some modifications. I can only speak for myself... I enjoy having a 1911 that's match grade, but that's me.

It's almost like trying to explain why I like changing my hair color every now and then or why a gun has to be both pretty and functional :D

roushstage3
12-28-2010, 11:43 AM
I have an XD .45 and a 1911. I have to say I love the way the 1911 fits in my hand and shoots. I have not had any issues, so far, knock on wood. It has not been picky with ammo at all. Mine is a Kimber, but sounds you have not had good luck with them. I just make sure to keep it clean after shooting it.

phil conrad
12-28-2010, 11:50 AM
First off I am a huge 1911 fan. Having said that........ I have found most to be 100% reliable. The full size and commander size that is. The sub compacts can be a bit tricky, but again not all are problem ridden.
I am a fan of series 70 Colts, Les Baer and Detonics brand pistols. I also think that there are some others that work well. It is kind of like the Ford vs. Chevy debate. Good luck on what ever you chose.

himurax13
12-28-2010, 11:50 AM
I just recently purchased a RIA Tactical in Nickel. I have 1000 rounds down the pipe with no issues, just make sure you oil it well. I have shot FMJ's and Lead SWC through it. I prefer the ACT/Novak Mags that came with the gun and they can be found for under $20 each. My only gripes so far is that the back of the slide appears to have been fitted and adding a 22 kit slide leaves the back hanging out quite a bit and replacing the sights is a pain because they are not NOVAK spec, just Novak Style. If you are having feed issues, you could have a smith polish the feed ramp and throat the barrel.

Vanilla Gorilla
12-28-2010, 11:52 AM
i like the RIA tactical they are good guns at a great value the tactical has over $300 in upgrades for only $100 more on the cost it is one of the best values on the market today now with that said you might want to have a good gunsmith go through it and polish a few things to make it feed more reliably heck if you get a RIA and decide you dont like it i would be happy to buy it lol

M. D. Van Norman
12-28-2010, 11:55 AM
I love the Colt-Browning platform, but it sounds like what you want is a SIG-Sauer P220. Not as slim as an m1911, but it would meet your requirements without any fuss.

DougJ
12-28-2010, 11:59 AM
Unbiased answers about 1911's!?!?

Probably hard to find.

I say buy several, and buy an American made 1911 if you can, just because. :D Of course that narrows the field significantly. My Kimbers have have been GREAT guns.

I got an RIA tactical some time back, simply because it was presented to me, cheap, and I bit on it. I did want to learn to do some minor smithing work, and I figured the RIA was a good platform for that. I have added an extended mag release, a Ed Brown safety, and some other little work. I have had a few issues with it, the worst of which was that it locked up at somewhere between 150 and 200 rounds. The barrel link pin backed out and bound it up and I ended up just lightly staking it. Since then It's been good, no malfunctions, reasonably accurate, although the sights kinda suck. Great practice/beater gun which is exactly what I wanted from it.

wjc
12-28-2010, 12:09 PM
I have a Michigan Armaments Survivalist. I've had it for over 30 years.

I like the looks of it and it's been pretty reliable. It does have one
downside in that it doesn't like to feed hollow points. That could be from
work done on it before I purchased it.

Steyrlp10
12-28-2010, 12:13 PM
OP, please post your pics when you've found your 1911 :)

1911Operator
12-28-2010, 12:15 PM
I would stay away from aluminum framed 1911's. I have one, and the wear on it shows quickly. I would say get a Springfield 1911 loaded. I think its the best bang for your $$$ and I know theres a lot of people here that would back that up. You gotta think, people are gonna back up their choice in guns to the grave! when someone buys a $1k+ 1911, its a little hard not to say its the best gun ever. I bought my Operator for $1,250ish and I can admit the aluminum frame isnt the best. I do get a few FTL from the grove under the barrel where conventional magazine followers ate away at. its sucks, but springfield customer service will take care of me. Thats another thing you should look into, I know springfield has a lifetime warranty on their product.

Army GI
12-28-2010, 12:27 PM
I used to own a Springfield GI model back during my WWII-guns-collecting days.

1911s are great! They just look super cool and really militaristic, especially the GI or parkerized models. As a lover of history, I appreciate the long service life and the path that the browning design made for modern guns.

But as a practical person, I wouldn't say 1911s are the best handguns. How can they be? They were designed at the turn of the century. The LAST century. Do they work very well? Of course, that's why they have the excellent reputation that they do.

However I think modern handguns, especially Glock, has it beat in terms of sheer reliability and simplicity. It is made of less parts and it is more reliable (in terms of FTF, FTE, etc).

The question is, if you already have a 1911 in your collection, would you be gaining a whole lot by buying a glock? In my opinion no. The difference in technology between a Glock and a 1911 isn't as great as the difference in technology between a cap and ball revolver and any repeating pistol that fires metallic cartridges.

cannon
12-28-2010, 12:31 PM
Thanks jrara I didn't know RIA did that.

Cannon are those old colts also "series70 specs" like mentioned above? Im new to the platform but have no issues with used. I appreciate the quick responses!

They pre date Series 70. And this where I say something that will cause 1911 fanboys to go beserk.

These old colts are all steel construction and finely made too but... They are made to a loose spec. Not plus/minus loose but precisely loose. They rattle when you shake them. Like an AK they work when wet, muddy, sandy, dirty. They rattle and keep shooting. You may need to open the throat to accept hollow points.

Having compared a John M. Browning gun to an AK. I will now go into protective hiding.

DougJ
12-28-2010, 12:54 PM
Having compared a John M. Browning gun to an AK. I will now go into protective hiding.

No need to hide. Your assesment is fairly accurate. The original, while built of high quality materials, was intentionally a little loose. It worked. The guys that talk about 1911's not being reliable aren't thinking about the gun as it was designed. To make one very tight and still reliable is no small challenge, and isn't required for a combat gun. It's been in service with the Armed Forces of the United States for almost 100 years straight, and it's still a great combat sidearm. I saw a few of them during my last rotation, with some of the SOCOM guys. They carried alot of Glocks too, mostly in .40 caliber.

thmpr
12-28-2010, 1:08 PM
No Kimbers?

hit-man
12-28-2010, 1:28 PM
I have owned numerous 1911s including several Kimbers. All have been reliable and shot better groups for me than any other brand/style of handgun. My go to sidearm is an older Kimber Classic that has nearly 30,000 rounds through the pipe and the only work done was a re-finish job at Kimber and while there they replaced all of the springs. In that 30K, I have only had one FTE wiht a low powered reload round and absolutly zero FTF no matter what type of ammo I was feeding it. I would be hard pressed to buy anything other than a Kimber or a Colt, but Springfield Armory makes a nice 1911 as well. Basicly, buy a well made 1911 and you should have a trouble free life of service.

barca101
12-28-2010, 1:29 PM
I'll give you my .02 answer. I am a 1911 noob. I became interested in the 1911 platform almost a year and half ago. My first purchase was a Kimber TLE with a VERY low round count. Although, I shot a few rounds, I had no malfunctions whatsoever, but instantly fell in love with the platform. Shortly months after, i sold the Kimber to fund a Nighthawk Custom GRP. Since then I am very satisfied with my NHC.

What I like about the platform is that there is all types of 1911 that a person can start with, price, make, model, production, semi custom, and custom. It really depends on what you want and what is your budget to start in the 1911 hobby. Alot of people have their fan base of manufacturers that swears by the brand, the only way to know what you want and needs is through trial and error. I always say buy once, cry once.

I would recommend reading and researching further. My recommended sites to start you out would be:

1911 forum
M1911 forum

I'm sure others would chime in and recommend something to read. I just started in the hobby and is very expensive.

fullspeed1
12-28-2010, 1:35 PM
My kimber Custom II has been great. Completely flawless with every mag I have ran through it. 400rds of handloads down the pipe with no issues. For a purely production 1911 with some upgraded features under $800, You can't go wrong with it. It's a great range and HD pistol, Although I prefer the Glock's manual of arms to the 1911. It locks up tight, has no play, Shoots accurately, And feels good in the hand. I'm happy I added a 1911 to the collection, And love the side by side comparison of my 9mm and 45acp handloads, The 45acp just looks like a horse pill. Do your research and make a decision, Be aware of all the internet FUD and Naysayers.

johnthomas
12-28-2010, 1:41 PM
I have a 70 series Colt Commander with a nickle finish. I bought it from my old boss, he's 91, lol. It was fired a few time and spent most of it's life under the bed loaded. When I bought it, it oozed green from the copper bullets. Full of dust balls, disgusting. He said make me an offer. I said, I want it but I cant afford it, all I have is 500.00. He said he couldn't do that, it was way more than he paid. I paid 500 and he threw in a HR, 22 revolver.
I would rather have a blued full length 1911. Those Rock Island look pretty good to me.

DaveFJ80
12-28-2010, 1:51 PM
My unbiased opinion is that I love my Kimber TLE, as it's been flawless for 700 rounds (200 of it was JHP HST +P ammo to make sure it went through for HD use). However, and this is just me, my 1st choice of a go-to gun would be my Glock 21SF, or even my Glock 19 (I say that only because I have a rebuild pre-ban that holds 23 rounds of JHP HST +P ammo, and it's very easy to shoot). To me, the Glocks are just more reliable "feeling" as I've used them in handgun courses in the past and they've performed flawlessly, but I haven't tried using my 1911 yet (I plan to this Spring).

In reality, the 1911 feels much better in my hands when shooting compared to the G21SF, as it's more comfortable to hold. I also shoot more accurately with the 1911 over my G21SF. The only thing was I had some issues with a couple of Wilson & CMC mags that made me re-think about my Kimber as being my go-to gun for HD, even though my current CMC & Kim-Tac Pro mags have run flawless through hundreds of rounds. Just that little hint of doubt has made the G21SF my go-to gun for HD.... for now. Maybe after using my 1911 in some defensive handgun courses this year, putting a lot more rounds through it, it may change my view on it and I may then change my mind on it.

morrcarr67
12-28-2010, 1:52 PM
I'll give you my .02 answer. I am a 1911 noob. I became interested in the 1911 platform almost a year and half ago. My first purchase was a Kimber TLE with a VERY low round count. Although, I shot a few rounds, I had no malfunctions whatsoever, but instantly fell in love with the platform. Shortly months after, i sold the Kimber to fund a Nighthawk Custom GRP. Since then I am very satisfied with my NHC.

What I like about the platform is that there is all types of 1911 that a person can start with, price, make, model, production, semi custom, and custom. It really depends on what you want and what is your budget to start in the 1911 hobby. Alot of people have their fan base of manufacturers that swears by the brand, the only way to know what you want and needs is through trial and error. I always say buy once, cry once.

I would recommend reading and researching further. My recommended sites to start you out would be:

1911 forum
M1911 forum

I'm sure others would chime in and recommend something to read. I just started in the hobby and is very expensive.

For a noob I think you summed it pretty well. :)

I think you are on the right path to enjoying the 1911 platform. Get your RIA Tactical go shoot it. If you have problems feeding have a Throat & Polish job done on it; any gun smith worth a dime can do this for you.

Go and shoot it some more. You know about 1000 rounds. Make notes of what you like and dislike about your gun. While at the range ask others with 1911's what they like and dislike about their guns. Ask if you can put a magazine or two through it to see how it feels.

By this time you will have a better understanding of the 1911 platform and how many different ways is can be set up.

Now comes the fun part. Buying your second, third, fourth, etc 1911 set up in a more personal way. :cool:

Welcome to the club, Have fun shooting. :D

TMC
12-28-2010, 1:59 PM
Good luck finding an un-biased opinon on a 1911. You'll get the "it has to be a Colt" guys despite tens of thousands of other 1911's that a reliable and have run for ever on any ammo. I have factory 1911's by Springfield, Kimber and parts guns built on Caspian, Essex, STI and SV frames and all run fine.

Don't get caught by the "you can only rely on so-and-so when your life is counting on it" stuff, any gun can fail just some more than other.

InGrAM
12-28-2010, 2:15 PM
sig 1911. end of story. :)

railroader
12-28-2010, 2:43 PM
I had a ria tactical which was very reliable and accurate. It also had a very good trigger. The sights kind of sucked being black on black but dawson precision makes a nice fiber optic front sight for the tactical. I also have a kimber custom. I have owned this gun over 10 years. It runs like a top and has a great trigger. The ria tactical is a good gun but the kimber is definitely better but it cost more. The ria is more crude and the kimber fits my hand better. The kimber frame is slimmer and it is cut higher up under the trigger guard. The ria I sold but I will always keep the kimber. Mark

fullrearview
12-28-2010, 2:47 PM
There are a lot of good 1911 options out there....I really like what I have seen/read about the new S&W1911PD. Great price, and looks good. My favorite is the SA Operator though.

I carry a USP40 everyday (At work, XDM3.8 off duty), shoot it at least twice a month and I wish I could turn it into a boat anchor....I just dont mesh with that weapon at all.

I have yet to shoot a glock in .45 so I can't comment on it.

If I was in your shoes, right now, without shooting the S&W, I would buy the SA Operator....I have shot it and love it. Plus, thier Customer Service is top shelf!

esartori
12-28-2010, 2:58 PM
RIA 1911's are great for the money and should not disappoint. I happen to be partial to Springfield's Mil-Spec. As I am sure you have seen, most 1911's will do the job and the rest is just preference. Try out a couple and see what you like best. Also, if you find a slightly used one, maybe that would be worth buying. I got mine slightly used, and couldn't be happier! Good luck!

brassburnz
12-28-2010, 2:58 PM
I have 1911's from different manufacturers-Series 80 Colt, Series 70 Colt, pre-series 70 Colt, Armscorp, Caspian, Kimber, RIA, Springfield, Para Ordnance, Remsport, and a couple of others I can't recall the names of.

I prefer the 1911 without a firing pin safety because it's one less thing to break and one less thing to fiddle with when working on the gun. Have I seen a broken firing pin safety? Yes. Have I seen a gummed up firing pin safety so it didn't work? Yes. Have I seen an improperly installed firing pin safety? Yes.
I own 1911's with a firing pin safety, but I wish they didn't have them.

If I were to buy my first 1911, I would try to find a Series 70 Colt. In fact, that was my very first 1911. I bought a new Series 70 Colt in .38 Super for $325 out the door. Still have it and all the stuff that came with it.

If you can't find a Colt, then buy a Springfield Armory 1911. Either of these guns would be the basis of a good 1911. If you can find a Norinco, that would also be a good choice.

Since you will only be shooting several thousand rounds a year through it, the Rock Island Armory gun should be fine. If you were shooting several thousand rounds a month, you might think about something else unless the steel in the newer guns has improved. The two that I have are early production and the metal is definitely softer than either a Colt or Springfield.

Softer isn't alway a bad thing. I'd rather have slide rails peen up a bit than have them crack. I have a Colt frame with a crack that had to be fixed. (It now hosts a dedicated .22 rimfire upper.) And it sure makes checkering the frontstrap a whole lot easier when the metal is a little softer, but not too much.

The RIA tactical seems like a lot of gun for the money. I don't think it would be a bad investment. But if you are like most 1911 owners I know, eventually you'll have it worked on and customized to your taste. And if that's the case, you're better off with a Colt, Norinco, or Springfield.

badmonkey
12-28-2010, 3:28 PM
my RIA GI will eat anything i throw at it including every type of FMJ and JHP i can find to shoot. factory loads, reloads, self defense loads, steel case russian stuff, e tc.

what it doesn't like is the CMC 8rd mag that I bought aftermarket. works flawlessly with the OEM Novaks, however. never a single malfunction on any kind of ammo with the factory mags. not sure how it likes the wilsons, or ACT's that came OEM on later RIA's.

fwiw, I've never shot wads or semi-wads with it.

i'm looking to add another 1911 to the collection in the future, and it'll probably be a TRP or a Dan Wesson--but I have full confidence in my 1911 and it's my primary SD gun.

Striker
12-28-2010, 6:02 PM
If you want a 1911, Colt is good choice. Both Series 70 and 80 have proven to be good starting platforms. I'll admit the Colt XSE has my attention. I've shot the Springfield TRP and it's a great gun as well. Never shot an RIA or done any research on one, so I don't know much about that particular pistol.

Since it's a defense gun, maybe look up what guys like Vickers, DocGKR, Hilton Yam etc are saying. Might be useful information for you.

kahai808
12-28-2010, 6:05 PM
Dude dont think just BUY!!!! hahahaha, nah i really like SA. They make a solid 1911. I've been thinking about the RIA. Havent heard anything bad.

B Strong
12-28-2010, 7:29 PM
I've been wanting a .45acp and was planning on another USP or G21sf. Some friend are bugging me to try the 1911 route. I haven't had good experiences with the customized kimbers I've shot (fte/ftf) but figured I could always just sell the thing if I really didn't like it or couldn't fix it. I did a search for making a 1911 reliable and basically it boils down to "1911's suck, buy a glock" or "1911 is god's (John Moses Browning) design and you aren't a man without one", etc...

I am looking to buy an RIA tactical and go from there. Aside from good mags, which I have plenty of, is there specifically anything that I should have worked over to keep the thing reliable shooting all types of ammo? I've read about having them "fit" and some otherthings but nothing specific and didn't read about a local smith to do the work if necessary. The gun might be used for camping/hd, but regardless I won't keep a gun that doesnt reliably feed all types of ammo. I also won't own a 1911 just because it's a "1911" - no offense to the fans. I'm looking to buy one and shoot several thousand rounds a year through it but planning ahead in case the thing is as unreliable as the kimbers Ive had experience with. Thanks for any info, like I said I did search but they all ended up I'n arguments and no useful info.

Also happy (and safe) New Year to everyone!

I'm two for three with Kimbers myself - two run 100% the third didn't.

The one thing that sets the 1911 apart from every "modern" .45 autoloader is the trigger - the 1911 trigger can be tuned to a level not obtainable in any polymer frame double action/safe action etc pistol.

The RIA isn't a bad pistol for the money, according to the owners I've spoken with. It's also not a bad pistol for the basis of a certain level of "custom" build. I would warn you that unless the 'Smith doing the "custom" work is right on top of their game, the more mods to the pistol, the more opportunity for mechanical mischief.

You really don't need much in the way of mods on anything other than a dedicated match pistol, or a custom engraved/plated/BBQ pistol type of thing - a good trigger job by a pro, good hiziv fixed sights, nights if you want to spend the money, and a beavertail safety. Anything other than that on a general use pistol and you're spending money for the sake of doing so.


I have a bad case of the 1911 flu, so take what I say with a grain of salt if you choose, but even in owning many top "modern" pistols, I keep more 1911's around and shoot them more often than my HK's or Glocks, other than the G35 I carry at work.

http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/402/mvc855s.jpg

JSolie
12-28-2010, 7:57 PM
Yeah, good luck with the unbiased opinions about 1911's. They're quite polarizing. :cool2:

My 1911 is a Kimber, and it's been excellent. I've had it for, what, 8 years now. Seriously, the only problem I had with it was one feeding issue that happened during it's first couple of boxes of ammo. Since then...no issues with ball, factory HP, +P rounds, my different types of reloads.

1911s can be picky with ammo from what I read/heard/seen.

Some will also eat anything you feed it. :)

A guy I know at work built up a 1911 on a Rock Island frame, and he spoke very favorably about it.

subijitsu
12-28-2010, 8:54 PM
I've owned several 1911s, Colts and other manufacturers, and have not had many failures from any of them. They are a beautiful gun to customize and are very addicting. The old stereotype of the 1911 not feeding HP loads isnt as true as it once was. Most modern 1911s should be able to feed what you throw at it within reason. Should. I wouldnt necessarily jump to throating the barrel if it doesnt either. That isnt always the real problem and may just compensate for the other issue. A good smith that knows 1911s will be able to diagnose and get it to run reliable if you do have issues.

I would get the RIA, shoot the hell out of it, if you run into problems fix em, if not you're good to go. And dont limp wrist it. I have found that the 1911 will have problems if you limp wrist.

Have fun!

Snoopy47
12-29-2010, 12:45 AM
A Glock is a Glock is a Glock.

A 1911 is not a 1911.

If you get an older Colt I would say away from Model 70ís. The fit and finish isnít on par with their pre 70 models. The trigger guard is horribly finished. They are collectable, in that only because they added the firing pin safety to the 80ís. Otherwise get a newer one, or a pre 70ís one.

For a shooter a Springfield Loaded is the best deal. The Mil Spec is a good choice, but lacks some things.

Hereís some things I think make a good shooting 1911:
1) Lowered ejection port
2) Checkered front strap
3) Beaver tail grip safety

Those three above items will improve the shootability of any run of the mill 1911 over a more pricier one that doesnít have those features.

erik_26
12-29-2010, 2:29 AM
First I would suggest that you do not buy a gun just because your friends are bugging you to do so.

Second, I would suggest that you try several and get the one that feels best to you.

Personally I do not like the 1911 style. I have shot several hundred rounds through my brothers Kibmer 1911. And I have shot a hundred rounds out of my friends Springfield Armory 9 mm 1911.

They are both nice guns. Just not for me. I don't like the the short trigger pull. I don't like the how they feel in my hands. I don't like the natural angle. I find it to be high when I acquire my target (resulting in longer target acquisition times).

Some say that you have to get used to it and then will fall in love.

Sorry no love from me.

They are respectable weapons. But do yourself a favor and try, try, try before you buy.

In the end you will be happier.

Good luck, let us know what you get.

plankowner
12-29-2010, 4:58 AM
I have a kimber tle/rl and have about 800 rds thru her and have not had a single issue but I also have an old springfield mil-spec that also has been good to me with no real complaints , any major name should do you well I think it will just come down to what you like , what feels better in your hand and what you can afford, just don't be without a .45

jaymz
12-29-2010, 5:19 AM
I've got a Kimber Custom Eclipse II in 10mm, and two Springfield Loaded .45's. I don't really keep track of how many rounds I shoot, but other than a couple of FTF during the first box or two (all 3 guns), I have had zero issues.

luckygunner
12-29-2010, 6:12 AM
I wouldn't suggest getting a 1911, due to what your friends say. If you are generally interested and want to go that route. I would suggest starting with something basic and working up from there. That way if you don't like the platform you aren't into it for much. I would take a look at the Springfield Mil Spec or the RIA Tactical. Both are reliable and reasonably priced.

If you have a bigger budget. Try finding a used or new Colt. The resale on Colts are good and they are a great starter pistol if you choose to upgrade. A bit pricey compared to the RIA.

Fishslayer
12-29-2010, 7:28 AM
If you having Issues with JHP in your RIA, just tell RIA and they will work the gun for you for free.

Wow, thanks for that. My RIA Tactical is 100% with 230gr round nose but chokes a bit on JHP & SWC with four different makes of magazines..

Other than that I love it. Ragged hole accurate at 10 yds. I didn't get it for long range sniping.;)

B Strong
12-29-2010, 8:03 AM
A Glock is a Glock is a Glock.

A 1911 is not a 1911.

If you get an older Colt I would say away from Model 70ís. The fit and finish isnít on par with their pre 70 models. The trigger guard is horribly finished. They are collectable, in that only because they added the firing pin safety to the 80ís. Otherwise get a newer one, or a pre 70ís one.

For a shooter a Springfield Loaded is the best deal. The Mil Spec is a good choice, but lacks some things.

Hereís some things I think make a good shooting 1911:
1) Lowered ejection port
2) Checkered front strap
3) Beaver tail grip safety

Those three above items will improve the shootability of any run of the mill 1911 over a more pricier one that doesnít have those features.

The OP is not going to find a pre-S70 or a current Colt at the RIA price point, but overall I'd agree.

oddjob
12-29-2010, 8:54 AM
The RIA Tactical is a good starting point. I don't have one, but handled them at the gun shops and they seem decent for the money. I've also read the warranty is decent.

I have several 1911's in 9mm, 38 Super, .40 S&W and .45 acp. When I was a LEO I carried the S.A. TRP for field work and a Colt Lt Wt Commander for the office (both 45's). Both are fantastic guns and reliable.

My USPSA single stack gun is a 1911 STI Trojan in .40 S&W. My gunsmith really likes my STI single stack Trojan. At first he thought it was a custom 1911. Its built that well and is very smooth, but has 6,000+ rounds through it.

I bring up the higher end 1911's due to the "pay once, cry once" theory. It is true (at least in my case). If you think your going to add more gizmos later I would suggest getting a 1911 thats already made that way. I also have a SA GI Model plain jane .45 that I LOVE.

Sounds like to me your idea of a RIA Tactical is a sound decision. If you get one don't do a thing to it. Just shoot it. Then decide later what it needs (if anything). Besides....if you don't like it you know you could sell it fairly quickly. I have recommended this gun to a few friends who want a lower price 1911. I doubt they will fire half as much as you say you want to shoot in a given year.

"you aren't a man without one", etc... (This part .......well its true!!)

Marlin Hunter
12-29-2010, 9:46 AM
If you want absolute reliability go with an old military Colt Gov model. It'll have character and won't let you down.

If your tastes are more custom or tactical someone else will be along in a minute with good advice.


+1

The standard Springfield is nice. Colt use to make a cheapo 1911 called the 1991. Remington has a new 1911 that looks nice.

I think the first upgrades are (in no particular order): Grips, Recoil Springs, Extended Safety, Adjustable Sights, Trigger (sear) Work.

Snoopy47
12-29-2010, 10:36 AM
These videos will help in your selection process.

Not Work Safe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEcQoCxwub4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgnEO0BGaDs

hole
12-29-2010, 2:42 PM
These videos will help in your selection process.

Not Work Safe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEcQoCxwub4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgnEO0BGaDs

Funny videos :thumbsup:

OP,I'm a newb to the 1911 platform as well. Sorting through all the info and opinions is no easy task. I decided on a SA 1911 A1 about 6 months ago. I've put 400 + rounds through it, with the only problem being it wont always lock open after the last round. I wish you luck on your quest.

drunktank
12-29-2010, 3:09 PM
Thanks for everyone's replies. Went and looked at a bunch of them again. The SA GI model feels a little better in my hands compared to the RIA but I think it's mainly due to the grips. I'll probably start with one of these platforms, shoot several thousand rounds, and then if i really like it, just buy a better platform to upgrade with from there so I can have 2 1911's. I'm constantly introducing new people to shooting so a spare (and much less expensive) one would be nice.

Marlin Hunter
12-29-2010, 3:57 PM
Funny videos :thumbsup:

...with the only problem being it wont always lock open after the last round. I wish you luck on your quest.


Did you try a different magazine?

If you have a rubber shock bumper on your recoil spring retainer, the slide might not come all the way back for the latch to catch.

hole
12-30-2010, 4:25 AM
Did you try a different magazine?

If you have a rubber shock bumper on your recoil spring retainer, the slide might not come all the way back for the latch to catch.

It seems to function properly with factory mags. A friend gave me 4 new Colt mags and they seem to be the problem. To my eye they look exactly the same, but somehow their slightly different.

1911Luvr
12-30-2010, 6:01 PM
These videos will help in your selection process.

Not Work Safe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEcQoCxwub4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgnEO0BGaDs

OMG, I laughed so hard I nearly pissed myself! Whoever made that MUST make more!

:rofl2: <--still laughing just thinking about them

23 Blast
12-30-2010, 7:35 PM
Here's my unbiased opinion of 1911's:

ergonomically, they're spot on for what seems to be a majority of shooters. The grip angle and grip circumference are very comfortable for a lot of people, which I'm sure is a huge part of its popularity. Contrast this to a lot of other .45acp pistols on the market which seek to cater to those with hands the size of Dwight Howard's.

Second plus which sets the 1911 apart from the crowd is the trigger. Even on a bone-stock RIA or SA GI model, the trigger is light, crisp, and breaks cleanly compared to a lot of other triggers. This trigger contributes to greater accuracy.

Now - after all is said and done, it is also my opinion that 1911's, in general, are overpriced. Yes, many of them are nice guns, capable of great out of the box accuracy and reliability, but I do think that the mystique of John Moses Browning, the fact that our military used it for the better part of the 20th century, used it in numerous conflicts, adds to its myth - in much the same way that the M1 Garand is considered a better rifle than it actually is. a 1911 is sort of like buying a brand name. You're not just buying a camera, you're buying a Leica. You're not just buying a watch, you're buying a Rolex. You're not just buying a car, you're buying a Mercedes. You're not just buying a pistol, you're buying a 1911 (ooohhhh, aaaahhhh).

I've owned 4 1911's, and yeah, I admit that a big part of the reason I got into them was the mystique surrounding it. Imagine my disappointment when my first 1911, an Armscor EFS, was really a POS. Other than being pretty and being a 1911, that gun was perhaps the worst gun I ever owned. I also had problems with my SA GI model, and initially with my RIA in .38 super. The only trouble free 1911 I ever owned was my Colt XSE. That one was a workhorse from Day One and, other than me having to replace the safety lever (which broke in half sometime around the 2500 round count), it's been my favorite pistol.

So, based on my own limited and anecdotal experience, I guess you could say "you get what you pay for." now, that's obviously true, but seeing as how every single one of the lower end 1911s I've owned cost as much or more than a Glock or M&P or XD, and all had issues (which I'm almost certain the lower priced polymer pistols would not typically have) I can say (IMO) that 1911s in general are overpriced and a tad overrated.

PutTogether
12-30-2010, 10:15 PM
This is as unbiased as I can be about 1911s. If you are the kind of guy that likes to grab your pistol, take it to the range every now and again, and then toss it in a box.....it isn't the gun for you.

If you are the kind of guy that likes to get "in" to his guns, learn about them, take care of them, and really really enjoy them.....you'll love it.

(that is not to say that 1911s aren't tough, or that they are unreliable)

novalondon
12-30-2010, 11:27 PM
RIA models 1911 in 45acp and the 38super are both fine pistols. I own both in the standard non tactical versions and have sold both standard and tacticals thru my shop. Each new owner loves the pistols, no complaints and all parts interchange with the high dollar models on the streets.
Both of mine shoot well and accurately. My preference is the 38 super. It is very accurate and shoots a very ease of recoil round in this weight pistol.I am sure if you look around there is someone who will gladly let you shoot theirs.
Take the extra bucks saved, mod the pistol to your taste and buy a ton of ammo and shoot it like you stole it.!