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  #1  
Old 11-23-2022, 8:04 PM
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Default The case for the less expensive 1911 pistols

Guns are like religions; there will always be those folks who strongly favor one type or brand over another. It's like Ford/Chevy/Dodge, or Lee/Hornady/RCBS/Dillon.

I'd like to make the case for the more affordable 1911's.

Recently I sold a customer a Tisas 1911. It was $399, and it's their black-finished version of the (almost) GI-spec pistol. There's another one that uses the greenish Parkerizing of the GI pistols, and it's close to the same price. Both pistols are sliding into the slot that RIA/Armscor used to have before they raised their prices. The Tisas pistols have forged frames and use forged parts, so they're going to be pretty strong. The customer really likes this pistol and comes to the range regularly to shoot it. I've shot a Tisas 1911 and rather liked it. It felt like...well, like a 1911.

Some time ago, I bought a Remington 1911R1 and a Springfield GI-spec. Both pistols, I got for a good price. I've also shot a Ruger SR1911, which is also reasonably affordable. All three pistols shoot well, are reliable, and feed any style of bullet I've fed them, which means pretty much anything except for full wadcutters.

I do know that some folks prefer Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, Les Baer, Staccato, and so on. Hey, they're fine pistols, and I obviously ain't gonna knock 'em. I fired a guy's Les Baer, and man, is that trigger light. I accidentally bump-fired it the first time! :-) Once I got used to it, it fired very well. But those pistols start at US $2,500 or so. Unfortunately, I've met some people who think that only that bracket is "good enough" for anyone to own, or at a minimum, a $1400 Kimber pistol. I disagree with this notion.

I'm all for increased gun ownership. The more of us are out here, the less likely the anti-2A forces are to be successful in stepping on our rights thereunder. If someone can afford a Tisas, they should buy that Tisas and enjoy it! Likewise with the Remington, Springfield, Ruger, S&W, and so on.

I know, I know, "buy once, cry once". But if the barrier to "buying once" is too high, then they won't buy at all and that'll be one less gun owner out here. That doesn't help us.

I'd rather see people with a good, basic 1911 that they're actually taking to the range and enjoying than that same person eyeballing a Wilson Combat, etc. pistol and wishing, "maybe someday I can afford one...."

Besides, the more "basic" 1911's also shoot pretty well!
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2022, 8:09 PM
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I completely agree with the Tisas assessment. It is an outstanding buy and for $379.95 out the door (what I paid) I got a new version of my CMP Ithaca/Colt 1911A1

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  #3  
Old 11-23-2022, 8:17 PM
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Absolutely nothing wrong with basic affordable firearms, more people own and drive XLT F150’s then Raptors.
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Old 11-23-2022, 8:23 PM
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I’ve got a Norinco 1911 and it’s one of my favorite shooters.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2022, 8:37 PM
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I have had the Tisas 1911; rock island 1911; and high end ones such as Les Baer and Wilson Combat. I put myself as average shot and I didnít see a huge difference in accuracy with my skill level. Topic of this just came up at my local gun shop too and most were agreed that a lot of shooters arenít going see huge accuracy difference etc with high end.
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2022, 8:38 PM
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Many shooters will not put the number of rounds through a gun in a lifetime that some shooters will in a year or two. Those shooters have more options on what to buy.
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2022, 11:26 PM
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What happens if you are not an average shooter?
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2022, 12:41 AM
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Had a trp, it was very nice but every time I looked at it I saw other cool guns I could trade it for. Ended up letting it go. Eventually picked up a ria, not everything about it is perfect but the price was very reasonable and I enjoy it when I take it out without wondering if there is something I could trade it for that I would enjoy more. Maybe someday Iíll upgrade to a fancier model again, maybe not, but for now itís plenty for going and punching holes in paper every once in a while. And if I did need to use it for something more serious, it goes bang reliably and hits where Iím aiming (within reason). And if I decide to go wild and try my hand at some amateur gunsmithing, if I screw the ria up Iím not out nearly as much as I would be otherwise.
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2022, 5:43 AM
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Iím kind of interested in the Cimarron 1911 which I think are made by a current manufacturer of inexpensive 1911s and stamped and possibly finished by Uberti or Cimarron. But they are in the $700 range now last I saw. They come parkerized, blued, and my favorite, nickel.
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2022, 5:53 AM
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The Springfield Defender Series 1911 .45 was only 499.00 sticker at release
They have gone up now though to just over 700.00

Last edited by AirCav; 11-24-2022 at 5:59 AM..
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2022, 6:19 AM
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I would have bought a Tisas, or Taurus PT1911 if only they are available in California where I live. Unfortunately they are not on the roster.

I agree with you OP, I like affordable things. I don't fly first class. I cannot afford nor will I ever buy a souped up Nascar race car just a Toyota Avalon.

If people want to be buried in a gold coffin, have a two months wake with an orchestra ensemble for music, have a 500 square foot granite mausoleum, and they have the money for it, so be it.

I don't have animosity to those who have more disposable income for self indulgence. Only animosity I have is against Putin

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, except Putin.

Last edited by DArBad; 11-24-2022 at 6:31 AM..
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2022, 7:25 AM
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I have a Colt, Dan Wesson, Kimber and a cheap RIA. For me, at seven yards, they all shoot the same.


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  #13  
Old 11-24-2022, 7:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
What happens if you are not an average shooter?
Then you shoot that inexpensive 1911, really really well.
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2022, 7:45 AM
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This is the oleÖTimex v Rolex, Ford v Ferrari-debateÖ

They both keep time/drive and will work for that purpose. And, like most things in life there are different versions of the same item to serve the market for those that want refined, aesthetically polished and things that make them feel better (for whatever reason the consumer determines).

Gotta love the free market.

Iíve got versions of 1911s that do all these things tooÖcause the 1911 is the only real handgun.
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2022, 7:46 AM
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I have Spingfields partly because of the lifetime service. Will those off brands give you a lifetime warrantee?
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  #16  
Old 11-24-2022, 8:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimi Jah View Post
I have Spingfields partly because of the lifetime service. Will those off brands give you a lifetime warrantee?
RIA does.
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  #17  
Old 11-24-2022, 8:05 AM
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In my time in the firearms business, I sold a LOT of guns---Colt was the primary source of 1911 pistols for the longest time, but their quality control was spotty to say the least---you bought a Colt, then you shot it a couple of times, then you took it to a name gunsmith and had him make it reliable---that was how it was done for years... Then Springfield Armory came out with their forged in Brazil line of 1911s and it was a game changer---low price---and they worked! The price of SA 1911s has gone up over the decades, but there are many 1911 clones out their now that are reasonable priced and run well---you don't need to pay a lot for a 1911 to have a decent shooter... Other clones have come and gone over the years---Hi Powers, CZ-75s, etc. that also shoot just fine---you can always spend more if you choose to...
These days, it seems the cost of ammo is the factor that determines when and how much many folks shoot---the cheap surplus ammo so many of us grew up with seems largely gone...
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  #18  
Old 11-24-2022, 8:42 AM
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My cheap 1911 is a Kimber…literally. I bought it in a sale for $679, same price Springfields were going for. It’s definitely worth what I paid for it…but no way in hell I’d pay over a $1000. Honestly, if Tisas was on the roster I’d probably get one, I’ve been hearing good things.
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  #19  
Old 11-24-2022, 9:14 AM
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I agree that there needs to be safe/reliable/affordable firearms made available to the masses.

The spensive firearms manufacturers have a niche to fill and egos to stroke to stay in business. Most of these guys build quality/fit/finish. Some high end buyers have a big wallet that has a universal adapter built in called "ego". The bigger the wallet/ego the more they pay. FFL dealers love these guys.

As a recovering 1911 snob I learned to ditch my ego and spend on reliability/accuracy and then price. If it checks those boxes for me I buy. I don't give two sheets about who's name is on it. Armcor fills that need very well IMO. I have a Rock Tactical that's over 10 yo and it's a grinder that's still accurate. It was cheap too.
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  #20  
Old 11-24-2022, 9:21 AM
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I have a few 1911's. I have a Rock Island GI model that I bought many years ago. It is not a bad pistol and while the finish may not not be up to Ed Brown or Wilson Combat standards, it goes bang every time you pull the trigger. I am probably going to get one of the Turkish 1911's to fit into my foreign made 1911 collecting niche.

I do have a special fondness for US and foreign military issued 1911/1911A1's and Commercial Colts though.
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  #21  
Old 11-24-2022, 9:53 AM
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Tell you what that company is making some pretty eye popping guns at a hell of a price. Two that caught my attention in a email today.

https://www.classicfirearms.com/tisa...ntent=Tertiary

https://www.classicfirearms.com/sds-...ntent=Tertiary
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  #22  
Old 11-24-2022, 10:06 AM
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When it comes to 1911/2011, a big part of the cost is the time and process that goes into building one.

If you want hand-fitted parts, in-house milled parts and very tight tolerances, you have to pay for it (e.g., SVI). It's not even a question of whether it's "worth it," it's a question of "this is how much it costs to make it." The only way to have the cost come down is to have machines make it, which happens not to be an optimal way to make a 1911. In fact, most of the modern designs have economy of build built into the requirements so we can get a very high quality firearm at low price point, but it is guaranteed not to involve much expert time. Think about blueing of revolvers - people say "it's not what it used to be," while at the same time saying "I won't pay *that* much just for finish."
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Old 11-24-2022, 10:25 AM
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The purpose (to me) of a 1911 is an excellent SA trigger that is light and barely perceptible. The next is the inherent accuracy of a tightly fitted barrel. Short of these two, there are many excellent designs to choose from. Unfortunately, the trigger, barrel and the barrel fit are the primary cost drivers of a 1911/2011 and will be the ones lacking in the entry level market segment.

Personally, I'd prefer a Tangfolio, P220, HK or a Glock over an entry level 1911 where I couldn't get the true benefit of the platform. It's a better value for equally good shooting. And putting money into the entry level 1911 will certainly bring out the potential of the platform, but it will defeat the purpose of the initial cost savings.
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  #24  
Old 11-24-2022, 10:47 AM
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I have two. My cheapest is a Colt 1991 Series 80 and I have a Springfield TRP. The Colt shoots fine but is clearly not the equal of the Springfield in fit, finish and simple parts quality.

I bought the Colt used from a pawn shop probably twenty years ago and paid more than a thousand dollars less than I did for the Springfield. I would buy the Colt again? Sure. Is it worth a thousand less than the Springfield. Yes.

But I'd still buy it. But I shoot it far less often than the TRP.
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  #25  
Old 11-24-2022, 11:24 AM
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Simple upgrades like WC spring kit, match bushing, etc. can make it better
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  #26  
Old 11-24-2022, 11:38 AM
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I have a number of 1911's. Sig's, RIA's Llama. I had a TRP and a SA Pro that I eventually sold because for a mediocre shooter like myself, I couldn't really tell that much of a difference in between them all. I am not that sophisticated of a shooter and it was just too much money to be sitting in the safe if they didn't make me a better shooter.
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Old 11-24-2022, 12:38 PM
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Man-I'm not big on buying Turkish stuff but for the price I'd probably be already swimming in a gaggle of those cheapo 1911's if I lived in a free state!

Cheapest 1911 I've bought in the past was a Springfield Armory that I bought new in the 80's.

I think it was called a "limited". I don't remember if Springfield had pistols marketed back then as "Milspec" like they do now, and they didn't have "loadeds" yet IIRC.

I can't really remember what made it a "limited" over their base guns at the time other than clearly taller than the microscopic GI sights(my sights also had white lines instead of dots painted on them and still sucked-just slighty less than GI), and maybe a slightly beveled mag well and the flared ejection port on slide. Maybe a bigger than GI single sided safety too?

Anyway, regardless, despite hundreds and hundreds of rounds break in trying every factory 230 under the sun and every mag brand...it was an unreliable POS.

Should have sent it back, but just figured I'd do it all up someday at a good gunsmith and he would take care of that.

Didn't shoot it for years and then one day, still unmodified, I took it to the range.

It decided to start working that day-no rhyme-no reason. Took it out a couple times after-still worked.

Didn't shoot it much more before I sold it a few years later.

Baffling.

Anyway, I ordered an RIA A2 GI a couple of days ago.

I've never trusted Paras(seen many many many problems with them) and I've never had a DS 1911 but I'm a glutton for punishment so I'm giving it a try.

Plus recent research says they usually run good.

Jury is out on whether it will remain 45..

Boy it sure looks rough in the pics, and those dinky sights gotta go immediately!
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Old 11-24-2022, 3:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormvet View Post
Tell you what that company is making some pretty eye popping guns at a hell of a price. Two that caught my attention in a email today.

https://www.classicfirearms.com/tisa...ntent=Tertiary

https://www.classicfirearms.com/sds-...ntent=Tertiary
Turkey makes really great firearms at a great price
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  #29  
Old 11-24-2022, 3:22 PM
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My Tisas 1911A1 has worked perfectly from the first shot including my SWC reloads, never a feeding or cycling problem. It is also very accurate. Trigger is crisp but milspec heavy. I can't imagine how they sell a mostly forged pistol at the price they do. I wonder if they are subsidized by the government or just that efficient.
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Old 11-24-2022, 5:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smle-man View Post
My Tisas 1911A1 has worked perfectly from the first shot including my SWC reloads, never a feeding or cycling problem. It is also very accurate. Trigger is crisp but milspec heavy. I can't imagine how they sell a mostly forged pistol at the price they do. I wonder if they are subsidized by the government or just that efficient.
Nice!

Yeah..if I wasn't currently living in this dump of a state still(Gotta take Bartlesville back off my location-but I don't wanna! I miss OK!)I would plunk one of these in my cart right now:

https://www.budsgunshop.com/product_...cp+5+7rd+black


..
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Old 11-24-2022, 6:24 PM
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Quote:
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Then you shoot that inexpensive 1911, really really well.
Yup the gun is never the limiter ep slow fire at a range
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Old 11-24-2022, 7:43 PM
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Quote:
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Yup the gun is never the limiter ep slow fire at a range
True for average or low skilled pistol shooter.

Not true for competent 1911 shooter. Example:

Attend a PPC or Bianchi Cup style practice session or match. 25% of the participants there will
have more pistol accuracy skills than these 2nd and 3rd drawer 1911 clones can deliver. It is
a matter of range experience rather than speculation.
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Old 11-24-2022, 11:43 PM
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Wait...even cheaper $296.00

https://www.rkguns.com/sds-imports-u...ds-1911a1.html



.
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Old 11-25-2022, 1:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVC View Post
The purpose (to me) of a 1911 is an excellent SA trigger that is light and barely perceptible. The next is the inherent accuracy of a tightly fitted barrel. Short of these two, there are many excellent designs to choose from. Unfortunately, the trigger, barrel and the barrel fit are the primary cost drivers of a 1911/2011 and will be the ones lacking in the entry level market segment.

Personally, I'd prefer a Tangfolio, P220, HK or a Glock over an entry level 1911 where I couldn't get the true benefit of the platform. It's a better value for equally good shooting. And putting money into the entry level 1911 will certainly bring out the potential of the platform, but it will defeat the purpose of the initial cost savings.
That's some well said accurate stuff there. Worth a bump.
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Old 11-25-2022, 1:56 PM
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Cheap guns used to be junk. Like really poor quality. Not saying all cheap guns are good now but an amazingly high number of them are really quite good these days. I don't own an inexpensive 1911 but if I could buy one here behind the Communist Wall, I would get a Tisas in a heartbeat, why not?
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  #36  
Old 11-25-2022, 4:28 PM
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I have Chicom, Spanish , East German, and Bulgarian guns and they are excellent

There are old farts who still won’t buy a foreign clone of a 1911

Just as many won’t buy an American AK

TISA seems excellent

https://youtu.be/ak4_HaYvaNc
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Old 11-25-2022, 9:18 PM
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The mid range $1000-$1500 1911's are probably the worst. They're not expensive enough to be properly fit, but expensive enough that they're still built too tight to function correctly.

The cheap rocks and tisas are loose, and they tend to actually work. Especially rocks. They just have ugly finishes.

It's too bad we don't get the nicer rocks here. They're fantastic guns.
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Old 11-26-2022, 12:14 AM
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Eastern Europe Pistols work as intended for the most part. A typical straight from the crate
9x18 Makarov is ten times more reliable that the majority of fancy 1911 clones.

Spanish & Chicom are hit or miss. Rarely are these pistols fired on a regular bias if fired at all.

How all of these pistols seem to always earn stellar operational reviews is beyond me.

Last edited by hambam105; 11-26-2022 at 12:18 AM..
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Old 11-26-2022, 12:55 AM
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Grumpyoldretiredcop Grumpyoldretiredcop is offline
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I have several less expensive 1911s in my safe - a couple of Remington R1s (Government and Commander styles), a Springfield Loaded, a Para LDA single-stack and even a newer RIA. The Remingtons have had remarkably few malfunctions; the Para also. The Springfield hasn't been shot enough for me to really say.

I'd had nothing but problems with a previous RIA Tactical, sending it back tp Pahrump several time and finally received a replacement with a disaster of a barrel. I sold it in disgust, swearing I'd never have another one. I was offered a newer one a year or so ago in a more-or-less GI configuration at a price that I couldn't turn down because the owner couldn't get it to run reliably at all. It wouldn't feed even hardball for its original owner with the factory supplied ACT-mags. Turned out that swapping them out for inexpensive Metalform mags solved the issue for me. It runs hardball pretty well on every brand of magazine I've tried other than the mags that it came from the factory with. Can't blame the firearm for that, I think. I've not tried JHP in it as it's never going to be more than a range toy.

However, in the end I would be unlikely to trust any of them as a carry gun. They're decent range toys but that's about it. If I were to want to carry a 1911 again, it would be a Colt. It's not snobbery, it's knowing that I'm carrying a firearm that I know from experience works reliably with my choice of carry ammo.

That doesn't mean that anyone here shouldn't give one of those clones a try. It's your money, after all.
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Old 11-26-2022, 7:42 AM
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I remember the Para LDA, that trigger was so odd on a 1911. But it was remarkable light, only dry fired one never actually shot one.

How is it to shoot, they were really ahead of the times with it. But 1911 shooters were never gonna go for it, died on the vine like so many good/different ideas do.

Pretty cool that you have one, kinda wish I would have pulled the trigger on one. Just for the oddity and conversation piece that it is.
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