if your lookin for the best bang for the buck, i'd look at springfield or colt before any others. out of numerous 1911's i've handled and shot i'd always go back to these two. My two personal favs would have to be a Springfield Operator full size, and Colt 3.5" Defender. Another 1911 i'd love to have, but it a bit more pricey, is the S&W Pro Series 3.5".
if you're looking to spend a little (by a little i mean a lot) more, look into Wilson Combat. IMO, you can't get any better than wilson.
it'd help a little more to know if you are looking for a full, mid, or compact size pistol.
Take a bunch of slips of paper and put the names of the brands and models you are considering, put them in a hat, shake it up real good and draw one. I've got more than a few 1911s, and I've met plenty of haters out there. Most of them have no real reason to hate so much, but they do it anyway. Its like they get up in the morning just to pee in everyone's cheerios.
This choice is going to come down to what you want to use the thing for? At the target range you don't have to worry about concealment size. For some of the games you need a race gun to be competitive most of the time.
If you are looking for a basic full-size 1911, I'd say I've had the best steel in Colt and the best no-frills value in the Springfield A1. But I am tooled to gunsmith them, which they've all needed. Once tuned, though, they both proved durable and reliable. On more than one hectic shooting schedule I've run well over 2,000 rounds between cleanings in the Springfield I built to take to Gunsite years ago. Never a hiccup. But, again, I'd done work on it.
If you are looking for the absolute best you can get in quality it would be a debate between Wilson Combat, Les Baer, Ed Brown, and probably Night Hawk Custom but you are going to pay over $2,000 for any of those unless you can find a sweet deal on a used one. If you want the best compromise of quality to cost I would look at Springfield Operator or TRP and the Kimber CDP, Tactical Custom, TLE or Raptor. All of those will be within a few hundred dollars of each other and they are all very good guns.
best 45 ACP. Owning assorted full size colts, I will say that the best 45 I own is my Star PD. It isn't pretty, It isn't moa. For a defense gun though, it is small, light, will feed anything and it just works great and has for a long time.
After owning three bad brand new 1911's(2 colts/1 springer) that didn't function/cycle right out of the box when they were first new, the very first 1911 to cycle and properly function for me was a well used norinco 1911a1. It raised my faith in 1911's and i went looking for another new 1911. I found the new Auto Ordnance Army WW2 copy for just $389 when they were first offered and my local dealer had a stack of them. After cleaning it we took it to the range and we(3 of us) hammered it non stop for 250rds on the first trip. The new AO functioned/cycled flawlessly right out of the box the way a 1911 should work. Its as good as my norinco is only its tighter because its brand new. We have well over 500rds thru it now with no problems yet and i don't think it will ever give me any problems. My only problem is i wish i purchased two when they were just $389. This proves to me you don't need to drop thousands of dollars to have a decent new 1911. BB
I've owned 4 1911's in my time
A Colt Commander
A Colt WWI era that needed alot to make it shoot right.
A Springfield "loaded" 5" stainless that ran flawless
A Springfield Champion [read commander] that is also flawless
Of all of them, I kept the Commander sized Springfield. It just fit me the best.
Colt, Kimber, Baer, Springfield ar all good choices. A friend owns a Smith & Wesson, and a Taurus that run great too.
I have several 1911 pistols from different manufactures. Colt, Para, Kimber. Also have them in several different sizes. From the Para P-10 up to the Std Govt Model. All have been on my hip at one time or another, and all have had a fair amount of ammo put thru them. All of my 1911's went to my gunsmith before I ever carried them. He touched up the triggers, smoothed out some rough edges, installed full length guide rods when needed, and night sights if needed. The trip to the gunsmith was just for piece of mind, as I know he would be able to put the gun to the test before it left his shop.
All of that said the 1 pistol that I go to for my everyday carry piece is the Kimber Pro Carry. Why? It works for me, fit, feel, and function.
It all boils down to what works for YOU, Period!
Kimber Pro Carry
Colt Combat Target
(2) Colt Govt
(2) Colt Comm
(2) Para Ordanance P-12
Para Ordanance P-10
I've had several Para Ordinance 1911 and really like them. Cost a little less than the Kimber. I currently have the Para Hi Cap in 45. 14 +1 and that's a lot of firepower.
I would also look at the Taurus line. I've shot some and they are nice pistols.
They're all good!
I think the best 1911 you can get is the one you make yourself. I have a Colt Series 70 from the mid ’70. Good gun, but I had S&W K frame sights put on it. I wanted one with BoMar for IPSC. I bought a Caspian frame, with checkering on the front strap, and a forged Caspian slide. I got the pins, springs and pieces I needed and put it together. It is really just an erector set, much like the AR-15 and Ruger 10/22. I built it with the pieces and features I wanted. I did chicken out on the barrel and had Novak install the fully ramped Kart barrel. It is exactly what I want. I didn’t have to buy something close to what I wanted and then change out parts to get what I wanted.
<O</O Merely for your consideration.
Bill Wilson can put a good shine on one for you, but his ambi's will eat you. Ed Brown, Mr. Baer or his old cohorts at Springy can fix you up nice. Kimber is a wannabe in all regards and lacks the fit and finish of the aforementioned. Fit is key to all things 1911. STI fingered it out good though. Edge out of the box makes Kimber run to mama..
the star PD is s good gun owned 3, prospective buyers check frame over slide stop, frame cracks there later guns hade a relief cut machined in. Far as I know it solved the problem. Loved mine would buy one without hesitation.
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