1911 choice

ajv35XX

Random User
Dec 9, 2013
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#1
For the 1911 officiados, I will be adding a 1911 to my collection in the near future. I am looking highly at either the:
Colt Rail Gun
Colt M45A1

or

Springfield Loaded 1911

Uses will be for daily carry and use on the range

I have an affliction for Colt seeing they are made in my home state, but the Springfields have always seemed decent to me.

Thoughts?
 
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pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#2
Mine would be

Colt Combat Commander RGZ.

https://www.hinterlandoutfitters.com/colt-special-combat-rail-commander-45acp-o4012rgz-p-74069.html

I like the checkered front strap and the ball mill at the front of the slide. Sights look very user friendly.

I have two Colts Commanders one LW and one steel I alternate carrying and they do just about everything the RGZ will do without the bling.

I picked up one of the decommissioned MARSOC M45A1s - the dual recoil spring and extra weight make for a soft shooting 45.
 

ajv35XX

Random User
Dec 9, 2013
354
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#3
Mine would be

Colt Combat Commander RGZ.

https://www.hinterlandoutfitters.com/colt-special-combat-rail-commander-45acp-o4012rgz-p-74069.html

I like the checkered front strap and the ball mill at the front of the slide. Sights look very user friendly.

I have two Colts Commanders one LW and one steel I alternate carrying and they do just about everything the RGZ will do without the bling.

I picked up one of the decommissioned MARSOC M45A1s - the dual recoil spring and extra weight make for a soft shooting 45.
Thank you for the response sir. If I could afford one of the MARSOCs I would have one.

Any specific reason why you suggest a commander vs a full size 1911?
 

SRPowah

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 13, 2017
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#4
Depending on your stature, that 0.75" off the front makes concealed carry a little easier. I know it isn't one of your options, but I ended up with a Dan Wesson Guardian. Lovely little gun
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#5
Look at the Colt Combat Unit.

Pretty sure it's a Colt Rail gun with added checkering on the front strap.

I like a grippy grip.
 
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Veer_G

The Cunning Linguist
Jun 15, 2008
6,670
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#6
Depending on your stature, that 0.75" off the front makes concealed carry a little easier. I know it isn't one of your options, but I ended up with a Dan Wesson Guardian. Lovely little gun
Not just hiding it, but it seems to be a split second faster on the draw, too.
 

ajv35XX

Random User
Dec 9, 2013
354
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#8
In the opinion of the old head gunsmith for Detonics, Dan Wesson is making the best production 1911's currently.
What makes them better then the Colts? I took a lot at what they offer, and am now adding one of their commander models into the mix
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#9
Thank you for the response sir. If I could afford one of the MARSOCs I would have one.

Any specific reason why you suggest a commander vs a full size 1911?
Usually I like more sight radius and if this were an open carry service pistol Id go 5 inch barrel.

but....I carry my Commanders.

Im not a big guy, 5-8 or so, and can run 3 miles if tasked with doing so. The minus 3/4 inches makes the Commander a little bit easier to conceal.

I carry on a outside the WB Garret Industries Silent Thunder. It rides high on the belt and your typical bowling shirt covers it nicely.

You will pay for the concealability with a little bit of accuracy. Not much but some.
 

mrtoyz

Armchair Commando
Jul 11, 2009
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Western WA
#10
What makes them better then the Colts? I took a lot at what they offer, and am now adding one of their commander models into the mix
He brought up 2 things:
Dan Wesson is using all billet components. There are no MIM (metal injection molding) parts.
In his opinion the fit and finish was the best of any production gun.
 
Feb 14, 2017
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#17
I had a Springfield lightweight operator. It was a nice gun. Very reliable and I could shoot some very tight groups with it, but... Those tight groups always hit higher than point of aim. I looked at getting a new front sight to correct but never could find a straight answer about what cut Springfield uses.

I just traded the Springfield in on a Dan Wesson Valor. In my opinion, it is no more reliable or shootable than the Springfield. The trigger feels nicer when I dry fire it, but when I'm actually shooting I'm not sure I can tell a difference. It does hit where I am aiming it though, unlike the Springfield that I had to hold under. The fit and finish seem just a touch nicer on the Dan Wesson in my opinion.

So, I think the Dan Wesson is a little bit nicer gun, but there is nothing at all wrong with a Springfield. You will be happy with either. Is the extra cost of a Dan Wesson worth it? Only you can answer that.
 

7P's

Private
Jul 22, 2011
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#18
I would save my pennies for a couple more months then look at a used Les Baer PII - even a new price from crazy John is still the best bang for your buck for a 1911. But then again, those you are considering are great pistols as well - depending upon your intended use, most 1911's might fill the bill.
 

NHPiper

Tactical Bagpiper
Feb 17, 2017
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#19
DW is the way to go. Skip the Colt. No checkering on the front strap. And the Springfields have a mushy safety (IMO). Dan Wessons are the tightest, best out of box triggers, best sights (rear hooks) and the quality is 100% better.

My EDC is a DW Discretion that I had milled for a Trijicon RMR with the 1911 RMR plate. It is a tack driver and is 100% reliable.
 

craigos

craigos from Scout 2015
Feb 11, 2017
1,701
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#21
I aint ever buying springfield after their political bullshit in IL. I have a Wilson (1 of 100 of their 2011 special 100 year anniversary) and a Nighthawk. Both are awesome (but both are not cheap). Friend has a Kimber and a Sig Sauer - for the price awesome.
 
May 3, 2013
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#22
I'll probably get crap, but I have had zero issues out my Kimber Stailness TLE/RL. That said I do not use it for EDV. Several thousand rounds through it with no issues at the range.

I hear the Mimber rants online but know more than a few others who have Kimbers with no issues, still waiting to actually meet someone who's had issues with them.
 
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May 15, 2010
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#23
I have a M45a1, Older Kimber raptor, Had sigs and smiths also. Lately I've been on the Wilson combat wagon with an EDC X9 on order. The M45A1 is definitely a softer shooting pistol. The Colt rail is almost the same mechanically without the dual recoil spring. I never had a problem with my M45A1. My Raptor had some issues starting at about 1500 rounds, Grip safety broke in half due to a casting error that screwed up my trigger and scraped the frame inside the mag well. Had to change trigger, grip safety and sand down the gouge in the mag well replaced them and recoil springs and other parts with Wilson Combat parts so it's basically a hybrid now. Smith and Wesson 1911's are a sweet deal, never had any problems except holding on to them. People just kept wanting to buy them from me. Sigs a pretty good also.
 
Feb 21, 2017
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#24
I have 5 lb customs, 1 night hawk custom and a nastoff colt combat elite my favorite of them all is a lb custom light weight i have had them all and i bet my life on lb customs carry one every day save your money and buy one you wont be sorry i have bought 3 used for good prices one thing about finding them used is people buy them to say they have one never shoot them then sell them.
 
Feb 26, 2017
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#26
DW is the way to go. Skip the Colt. No checkering on the front strap. And the Springfields have a mushy safety (IMO). Dan Wessons are the tightest, best out of box triggers, best sights (rear hooks) and the quality is 100% better.

My EDC is a DW Discretion that I had milled for a Trijicon RMR with the 1911 RMR plate. It is a tack driver and is 100% reliable.
Pics on your EDC please :)
 
Apr 18, 2007
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#27
I carried a Sig Tac Ops for the last 8 years of my career. Went bang every time and ran like a sewing machine. Have heard good things about the colt combat unit & colt m45. Guess color would be one of the bigger differences
 

ajv35XX

Random User
Dec 9, 2013
354
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#29
I went and took a look at some 1911's today, and the shop had a Kimber TLE II. For the price, it had all the features I was looking for (night sites, front checkering, etc) and to me, felt damn good in hand.

The question is, there seems to be A LOT of internet hate for Kimbers. Why is that so? Part of me is wondering if half of it is just the internet, or true?
 

SharpsNitro

Full Member
Jan 22, 2013
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#30
It's called Kimber Roulette for a reason. The two I owned were junk, both had poor reliability. I've seen others get bit as well, one guy brought his new one back to the shop because it stopped ejecting, the ejector tooth snapped off.

you might luck out and get an okay one but you don't know. There are better options out there like DW.
 

BurnOut

DDOJSIOC
Nov 24, 2013
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#31
'nother vote for Sig or DW here... Sig offers a LOT of 1911 for the money, and DWs are just so damned nice for off-the-shelf production guns...

I like the way that STIs shoot, too, but most of them are just a little too aggressively styled for my tastes...
 

MWM-5150

Full Member
Nov 5, 2010
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Springfield, MO
#32
You would be doing yourself a disservice if you did not seriously consider a Dan Wesson. If you have the opportunity to handle one, you should do so. Do the pepsi challenge between a Kimber and a DW and you will immediately see (and feel) where that extra money is going. Im not hating on Kimber, I have an Ultra Carry thats 10-12 years old now and its been outstanding, but the DW is on a different level.

I received a DW Valor as a wedding gift from the wife. Yes, she's awesome. The way all the little pieces fit together and function on a DW is just so so sweet. The safety has a very positive 'SNAP' when you engage-disengage, mag release is very smooth, trigger is just damned outstanding, and the internals of the gun have a glass smooth polished finished. Accuracy and reliability are above reproach. Down side is I think DW is a gateway drug to even more expensive 'custom' 1911's. God help me if I ever get to handle a Nighthawk...
 

BurnOut

DDOJSIOC
Nov 24, 2013
966
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Dallas
#33
Down side is I think DW is a gateway drug to even more expensive 'custom' 1911's. God help me if I ever get to handle a Nighthawk...
I'll be honest... perhaps it's because I'm not enough of an aficionado, but even after handling/shooting a Les Baer and some other high end stuff, the Valor doesn't leave me wanting for a damn thing.

That said, I'd gladly play with a Cabot if someone wanted to hand one to me... ;-)
 

SharpsNitro

Full Member
Jan 22, 2013
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Seattle Area
#34
Out of all of the 1911s I've handled and owned the Nighthawks have been the best. The DW have been nice and the Fusions (the company Bob Serva started after selling DW to CZ) have been better. I've never been impressed with Les Baer. Ed Brown is really nice, had a Kobra Carry that I swore I would never sell until I found a Nighthawk T3. It was a difficult decision to let the Ed Brown go but I wanted a full size for the range so I traded it for a Nighthawk Enforcer. The Nighthawks have had 100s of rounds through them without cleaning and never a problem. People that handle them wonder how they get the them that smooth.
 

WATERWALKER

0311 SHELLBACK
Apr 19, 2014
532
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Del Rio, TX
#35
I bought a Kimber Custom II in like 2005. I've shot a lot of rounds through it & it just keeps on running. I haven't had any issues w/ it & that is shooting HPs & FMJs. It just runs & runs. I would second the Kimber.
 
Jan 28, 2011
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#36
My 0.02... I don't have a Colt but do have some trigger time with the rail gun and would put them on par with the nicer, but not custom shop, Springfields.

I currently have 1911s/2011s from each of the below with a plenty of time with them:

The guns:

Springfield - their higher end production guns are great base models for tweaking. They run well out of the box. Very good for the $. For a budget conscious 1911 first timer, I would recommend the Operator for both carry and single stack competition.

Sig - another great value for the money. But I can never leave well enough alone so my C3 has G10 grips, slightly flared mag well, polished/tweaked trigger and ambi safety. This is the carry gun I have more than 50% of the time

Dan Wesson - best value, and maybe best production gun out there. I have never heard of one needing any polishing, deburring, etc as is not uncommon with most production guns.

STI - Their more expensive guns are close to custom quality. Of course, you can't pick and choose feature like a custom. For a reasonable fee they will do some tweaking for you.

Kimber - Kimber's machining is generally very good and they are well finished. There are gobs of models to choose from. I think the pretty finishing and endless slick ads are the reason for their popularity. I would opt for a Springfield Operator over any full-size Kimber. They skimp on small parts and warranty service is hit or miss.

Akai Custom - well worth the wait time. When I went through the process of breaking in my limited gun the sensory input from the gun was such that I occasionally found myself in a trance as my eyes rolled up into my head.

Matt McLearn - Race gun heaven. Matt and Shay at Akai are two of several great pistol smiths out there. Who is best amongst all these guys is unanswerable, IMO.

Wilson Combat - I can't say anything that hasn't been said before about these very nice pistols. If you don't want to select every component/feature Wilson makes it easy to spend a lot of money on an heirloom quality gun, usually with little or no wait time.

The features:

Front strap checkering - I can't live without it. I wouldn't buy a gun that doesn't already have it as having a smith do it later is pretty expensive. Besides, why buy a base model to begin with?

Shorter vs longer barrel length for draw speed - I experimented with this quite a bit when I used to shoot production. The comparison was first between a G17 and G34. Me and my associates found no difference in draw speed. If there been even a tenth of a second difference I would have stayed with the 17, but I went with the 34 for the sight radius.

Shorter vs longer barrel length for sight radius - This makes a significant difference on longer shots. Doesn't happen too as often in USPSA vs 3G. Here I put aside the STI Marauder in favor of the DVC 3G.

Shorter vs longer barrel length for concealment - Big difference for me. But I am barely 5'10" so a taller guy may not have an issue with a full size 1911 in summer clothes. Perhaps a bigger issue is the mag well as the flared ones I prefer tend to print. With heavier clothing, I go full length.

Size, in general - I prefer a commander sized 1911 for concealed carry most of the time, but I have been known to carry the STI Marauder when wearing a jacket. Coming up soon will be a Commander sized 2011 from Akai.

YMMV
 
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Jan 28, 2011
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#39
Les Baer Premier II or the equivalent in a Wilson built gun. Run Wilson ETM mags. Done.
For single stack, Wilson mags are the shit. I've tried just about all of them and nothing else has proved as consistent. I have a box full of mags from other manufacturers sitting on the shelf, some of which I wouldn't give away.

In the survey below you can count on the guns/frames referenced being pretty well worked over, if not completely custom. But most of the Wilson mags are stock except for base pads, which is the only thing I have ever changed out on mine. The reason for the parts change has nothing to do with quality but rather having something larger to facilitate fast changes and to extend them because of mag wells.

http://www.multibriefs.com/briefs/uspsa
 
Jan 28, 2011
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#40
I have the Sig TACOPS and love it. I am going to look at the Dan Wesson as my second 45 though.
I haven't gotten my hands on one yet, but I have heard from folks that shoot much more expensive guns some good reports on the Sig Max. If you really like your Sig then you might try it. Often the first things to be tossed into the trash or needing work are the trigger and hammer. This one comes race ready. Also, since Sig has a custom shop they can do most of what you want at a reasonable price. Although they will fall short of full customs, for the price they are hard to beat. Springfield customs, which are fantastic, are a bit pricier.

https://www.sigsauer.com/store/1911-max-full-size.html
 
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Jan 12, 2012
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Usa
#42
I've owned a lot of 1911s. WFrom a 1918 model to gold cups high end kimbers and Springfields etc etc. my next one will be a STI 9mm. Best trigger out of the box I've ever felt.great feel for the money.
 
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