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  #1  
Old 02-07-2010, 6:41 AM
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Cool 1911 upgrade

I am ready for an upgrade for a new 1911 .45ACP, Any recommendations out there? Kimbers, Les Baer, Ed Brown, Nighthawk, or Wilson?

Thnx,
Troy
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2010, 7:22 AM
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Based on my experiance and in no way is this to state the other pistols are sub-par. Just my opinion.
I own Ed Brown, Nighthawk, Les Baer, 2-Springfield customs.

Les Baer - Out the box the best (production with tons of hands on fitting).
Springfield Custom Shop - Made how you want it, the best.
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Old 02-07-2010, 7:28 AM
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I have a Kimber Custom Stainless, Kimber Ultra CDP and a Les Baer Thunder Ranch. The Kimbers have had ~$400-$500 in gunsmithing / wilson parts put in them to get rid of the MIM parts after I had a safety break on the CDP and decided to get rid of all the MIM and have the guns thoroughly worked over. They are now where they should be, good quality reliable handguns that I would put my life on the line with...

The Les Baer was like that out of the box. If I had it to do all over again I'd own three Les Baers...
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Old 02-07-2010, 7:59 AM
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I understand the Wilsons are fantastic, but I have never shot one. Just held it.

I know the Les Baers are about as good as it gets. I shoot a friend's often.
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2010, 8:11 AM
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Out of that list, Les Baer.

Or find a good 'smith and build one yourself off of a good base model.
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2010, 8:27 AM
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out of the 5 companies you mentioned, i dont really feel kimber, even a 1911 out of their custom shop, is on par with the likes of ed brown, les baer, nighthawk customs, or wilson combat. as piedrarc mentioned earlier, i'd recommend looking into a springfield custom shop 1911 instead.

when it comes down to these semi-custom and full custom 1911s, it's all about personal preference. the "accuracy argument" is always brought up when a les baer is mentioned, but IMHO, unless you're a bullseye shooter or plan on shooting this 1911 off sandbags or a ransom rest, you're not going to be able to discern a difference. these 1911s are all capable of out-shooting the average shooter, 1.5" guarantee, 3" guarantee or not.

in regards to wilson combat, they use different quality parts in the different tier guns that they make. (read: http://forums.1911forum.com/showpost...39&postcount=8) i cant speak for les baer or nighthawk customs, but i know ed brown uses the same parts in all of his guns, the only difference in the different models is cosmetic and the # of options included on the 1911.

that said, i would just recommend that you browse around their websites and their subforums at http://forums.1911forum.com/index.php, look at their custom option sheets, find a local shop that carries high end 1911s, and just figure out which company makes the 1911 you feel looks and handles the best for YOU.

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  #7  
Old 02-07-2010, 8:48 AM
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Wilson will be my choice. My springfield have been worked over by Wilson and they shoots better than my Kimber Gold Match and Colt Gold Cup.
Currently there are three Wilson for here at Calgun
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=267407
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  #8  
Old 02-07-2010, 8:52 AM
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For a fighting pistol I'd go with a Wilson. For a match pistol either a higher end Less Baer or a S&W Performance Center 1911.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2010, 9:18 AM
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I've held and shot a couple of Les Baer pistols, it sure is hard to beat. But I like the Ed Browns, I would opt for the Classic Custom w/ bull barrel.
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2010, 10:24 AM
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The most affordable higher end pistol you mentioned is the Baer, the Nighthawk and the Wilson are of equal quality, but at a higher price point.

I'd not buy a Kimber, hit and miss QC.

If you're on a budget, the Baer TRS - if you're not on a budget, the Wilson Tactical Elite.
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2010, 12:39 PM
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i looked at the market a couple of years ago when trying to decide between buying a high end production piece like a Brown, Baer, Wilson or Nighthawk of going with a custom build. i finally decided that i was getting more for money spent by going with a build...the only offset is the time it takes to get one.

if you're not going to have one built, for me the best value is a Les Baer...with the nod going to Nighthawk if i had more disposable income. if it is a gun for hard use, you might take a look at the Springfield Professional...i think their build time is about a year
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2010, 12:50 PM
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I have 2 custom shop springers and the quality of machining and tolerances are better than anything from LB, EB, NH, WC, KM, etc.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:56 PM
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Of the 1911's discussed here -- which have a minimum or no MIM parts?
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2010, 1:15 PM
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If a Taurus did not have any MIM parts, would you choose it over any of the aboive?
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Old 02-07-2010, 1:52 PM
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I have several 1911's and were i to do it all over again i would purchase a base model Colt in blued carbon steel and have Bruce Gray optimize it for you. You can save a good deal of money if you limit your modifications to what is critical for you. For me that would constitute initially a refined trigger, fitted barrel and upgraded sights. An enlarged mag well and a beavertail are also nice to have.

Let us know what you decide.
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Old 02-07-2010, 1:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-cat View Post
If a Taurus did not have any MIM parts, would you choose it over any of the aboive?
Certainly not. I wouldn't use a Taurus as a paperweight.

But, my question was a serious one. I am considering taking one of my vintage Colt 1911s and putting $$$ into it to bring it up to the accuracy and reliability of 1911s in a class of Wilson and Baer -- or just buying one of aforementioned 1911s. Much of the expense in the rework of an old Colt is in all the hand-fitting required.

I'm old fashioned -- I believe plastic, stamped steel and MIM parts have no place in a gun. So, I ask which, to the best of the most knowledgeable out there, has no MIM parts.
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2010, 2:10 PM
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Les Baer's must be seen and shot by all 1911 fans, as they are top notch all the way...
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2010, 2:41 PM
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how come Richard( Black Magik) has not chimed in yet?
Les Baer for the money. worth every penny IMO.
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  #19  
Old 02-07-2010, 3:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-cat View Post
I have 2 custom shop springers and the quality of machining and tolerances are better than anything from LB, EB, NH, WC, KM, etc.

It's nice to have pride in your guns, but can you substantiate this?
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Old 02-07-2010, 4:05 PM
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The answer lies in your pocketbook... Springfield, Kimber, Les Baer, Ed Brown, and so on, are all good, quality 1911 manufacturers... If you figure your budget and go from there...

Buy the best you can afford...
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  #21  
Old 02-07-2010, 5:25 PM
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Quote:
It's nice to have pride in your guns, but can you substantiate this?
i wouldn't challenge his statement, the workmanship is very good out of the Springfield Custom shop...surely as good as Wilson and Brown, although i will grant that the Brown usually looks better

for me the draw of the Baer is that they have control of manufacturing. the draw of NHC is the variety of features they offer, plus they are the only source of Heine authorized 1911s
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  #22  
Old 02-07-2010, 6:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9mmepiphany View Post
i wouldn't challenge his statement, the workmanship is very good out of the Springfield Custom shop...surely as good as Wilson and Brown, although i will grant that the Brown usually looks better

for me the draw of the Baer is that they have control of manufacturing. the draw of NHC is the variety of features they offer, plus they are the only source of Heine authorized 1911s

I own many of the pistols we're discussing, and own many 1911's built by noted 'smiths.

At the high end, there is no "best" there are just personal preferences.

Springfield's out of the custom shop are top pistols, but to assert that they're a quanititive measure better than every pistol out of other top shops isn't a supportable position.
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2010, 7:59 PM
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Like someone mentioned earlier buy what you can afford. I have a SA loaded model and have been happy with it. I've put a couple of hundred rounds down the pipe with no hiccups whatsoever.
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Old 02-07-2010, 9:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Strong View Post
It's nice to have pride in your guns, but can you substantiate this?
I can.

If you look closely at the relationship between moving parts, the difference is obvious. The slide to frame fit is tighter. The barrel to slide fit is tighter. The sides of the barrel hood are perfectly flat and you cannot see any light between the hood and the breech. The cuts are perfectly square. The barrel bushing is tight. The lower lugs are perfectly symmetric. The edges of upper lugs are not rounded off. More care and attention is given to thiese guns than the semi-customs mentioned above.
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Old 02-07-2010, 9:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejake View Post
Certainly not. I wouldn't use a Taurus as a paperweight.

But, my question was a serious one. I am considering taking one of my vintage Colt 1911s and putting $$$ into it to bring it up to the accuracy and reliability of 1911s in a class of Wilson and Baer -- or just buying one of aforementioned 1911s. Much of the expense in the rework of an old Colt is in all the hand-fitting required.

I'm old fashioned -- I believe plastic, stamped steel and MIM parts have no place in a gun. So, I ask which, to the best of the most knowledgeable out there, has no MIM parts.
I prefer forged and machined parts to MIM or investment castings too. MIM parts can be replaced, however. I want a gun whose slide/frame/barrel relationship is perfect. To me that means a SigP210-like fit.
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  #26  
Old 02-07-2010, 9:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Strong View Post
The most affordable higher end pistol you mentioned is the Baer, the Nighthawk and the Wilson are of equal quality, but at a higher price point.

I'd not buy a Kimber, hit and miss QC.

If you're on a budget, the Baer TRS - if you're not on a budget, the Wilson Tactical Elite.
I think you can count on two votes for whatever Bill offers as guidance, his and mine. We think very similarly on 1911s, and many things I expect.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:10 PM
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For the money of a Wilson, I'd much prefer a tuned/customized Colt or Baer.

The Baer is a semi-custom, at best. It provides a top-level base gun with some "extras." It is not, however, a custom gun. I wouldn't consider it to have significant "custom fitting."

Even Nighthawk and Wilsons have limited levels of hand fitting.

The TRS is a bargain, for what it is. If I didn't despise front cocking serrations, I'd probably own one.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:12 PM
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I have Baer TRS and love it. No issues whatsoever with all kinds of ammo through it and very accurate.
At the same time, you can not go wrong with any on your list. I'd add S&W PC1911 to the list and suggest you look at it. Very nice gun too.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:33 PM
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im surprised no Dan Wesson fans have jumped in yet. they seem to be all over 1911 threads lately. I will say it for them. It's the "Best gun around a thousand bucks".
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
im surprised no Dan Wesson fans have jumped in yet. they seem to be all over 1911 threads lately
i'm a huge fan of the Dan Wesson line, but i didn't think they were interested in lower-middle priced 1911s. i will say that the D/W does very well with a few custom tweaks, but i wouldn't spend that much for a base gun for a build...you end up throwing most of it away anyway.

here's a link to a Grayguns tweaked Dan Wesson CBOB that turned out very well with just a few mods

http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc.../831109613/p/1
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
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im surprised no Dan Wesson fans have jumped in yet. they seem to be all over 1911 threads lately. I will say it for them. It's the "Best gun around a thousand bucks".
judging by the list of 1911 makers the OP listed, he's looking at semi-customs in the ~$2k (or more) range.
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Old 02-08-2010, 7:15 AM
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http://www.edbrown.com/cgi-bin/htmlo...35648813572204
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Old 02-08-2010, 8:47 AM
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If you live anywhere near Culver City, check out MArtin Rettings store. They have EVERY 19111 from Baer to Wilson to Ed Brown. Pick up everyone and see what features you like, etc.,
In spite of all being "1911s" there are subtle differences in the external dimensions that change the feel of each gun. Over $1500 the quality is there. pick the gun that feels best to you.
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Old 02-08-2010, 1:31 PM
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out of your list, I'll pick a Wilson. They are consistently built, and always have a smooth slide operation and excellent trigger. EB and LB have more quality variations from personal experience. NH have great reviews and terrible reviews, but I've never handled one.

Personally, I own 2 S&W PC1911s.
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Old 02-08-2010, 6:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-cat View Post
I can.

If you look closely at the relationship between moving parts, the difference is obvious. The slide to frame fit is tighter. The barrel to slide fit is tighter. The sides of the barrel hood are perfectly flat and you cannot see any light between the hood and the breech. The cuts are perfectly square. The barrel bushing is tight. The lower lugs are perfectly symmetric. The edges of upper lugs are not rounded off. More care and attention is given to thiese guns than the semi-customs mentioned above.
I can look at several different pistols out of my safes and make the same eyeball determination, but that isn't substantive evidence.

The plain fact is that at the high end of the scale, all 1911 type pistols are on an m/l equal footing, with personal preference making the difference.

There is another consideration though, and that is intended use.

You want a pistol to pull out of the safe and fondle, that's one thing.

You want a pistol to carry everyday, with the factors effecting performance due to environmental exposure, you might want a pistol with more generous tolerances.
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  #36  
Old 02-08-2010, 8:39 PM
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I got a SW1911, a Kimber Raptor and 2 Les Baers, they are all accurate out of the box and never have a FTF for thousands rounds, however when I shoot 50 yards from a sandbags, only the Les Baers can make 4" groups (could be better if I have good eyes).
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Old 02-08-2010, 9:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Strong View Post
I can look at several different pistols out of my safes and make the same eyeball determination, but that isn't substantive evidence.

The plain fact is that at the high end of the scale, all 1911 type pistols are on an m/l equal footing, with personal preference making the difference.

There is another consideration though, and that is intended use.

You want a pistol to pull out of the safe and fondle, that's one thing.

You want a pistol to carry everyday, with the factors effecting performance due to environmental exposure, you might want a pistol with more generous tolerances.
I can tell .050" from .010" with my eyeball, so it is substantive.

Generous tolerances do not translate to total reliability. Tight tolerances do not translate into unreliability. The Swiss built a near zero clearance pistol for military use. FBI swat is happy with a tight pistol.

Generous clearances on a $2500 pistol mean the manufacturer is out for maximum profit from people who do not know any better.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Generous clearances on a $2500 pistol mean the manufacturer is out for maximum profit from people who do not know any better.
well said
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...because the journey is the worthier part...The Shepherd's Tale
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