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  #1  
Old 12-08-2003, 10:32 AM
AK Mike AK Mike is offline
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Best 1911 - yes that old question again




My apologies up front for asking what is sure to be a really tired question. I am new to 1911Forums, but I did do a search first. Most seemed to be concerned with keeping the cost down, I am not. I have many 1911's but don't know what is currently considered tops. I want the best 1911 I can get that is single stack and production or semi-production but not a custom build from a small shop. Must group 1" @ 25yards or better. I was thinking at the top of the line Les Baer or perhaps a Wilson CQB. Asking on the brand boards is sure to get a much more biased opinion. I know LB's are tight. I realize Wilsons may use MIM parts and may be overpriced. Those kinds of things are not that important to me as long as they function and don't break. I want high accuracy but still be reliable. I like ramped barrels. Funky bushings or bushingless is okay. I like frills and nice finishes. I also like the accessory rail. Customer service is not that big a factor in this decision. I can afford to wait for long periods as I am a very patient man (not by choice). I already have Colt's and Kimbers. I have tried Springfields and have read about the S&W and Sig1911. I don't want to just throw money down the drain, but I am not unwilling to spend $1500-$3000 as I expect this to be my top 1911. What is the tops right now. Are there any new kids on the block to look into?

Last edited by AK Mike; 12-08-2003 at 10:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:12 PM
gunslinger45 gunslinger45 is offline
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I'd have to say an Ed Brown Classic Custom would be a pretty good choice for the all out 1911 purchase. And yes, this question is pretty much going to get you a plethora of responses and not much help. You want to spend $3K on a 1911, I doubt you'll be dissapointed with any of the choices. Have fun!

http://www.edbrown.com/cgi-bin/start...omhandguns.htm

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  #3  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:37 PM
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marvl marvl is offline
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You certainly can't go wrong with an LB or WC. Another thought is a semi-custom gun such as the STI builds from Dawson Precision.

What ever you buy, you'll have an excellent pistol, but saying you have the best will be a difficult claim to substantiate.
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:43 PM
Dghost Dghost is offline
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In my experience, you can't go wrong with a Wilson CQB.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2003, 02:04 PM
CastleBravo CastleBravo is offline
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Hmm... best "non-custom" in the up to $3,000 class?

Your accuracy guarantee requirement rules out Ed Brown, insofar as they don't accuracy guarantee their guns. I'd be surprised if they don't group 1" @ 25 with good ammo, but they don't accuracy test every gun (says so right on their web site). If that isn't a deal breaker, I'd say that the correct answer, insofar as there is such a thing, is the Ed Brown Classic Custom.

The Wilson Combat Tactical Elite is a really sweet gun and guaranteed for 1" @ 25 yards. It has a cone barrel, which may or may not be your cup of tea (and makes it illegal for IDPA, but it would fit well in USPSA L-10). If you want a standard bushing barrel in a Wilson, the best bet is probably the Protector or CQB, but they are a step down in terms of "niceness" from the TE (as Wilson will tell you). They are also $1,000 cheaper and still guaranteed for 1"@25 yards.

SV will also build a gun for you from scratch. Depending on options, you could easily get a $3,000 gun, and they are a first class product all the way. Furthermore, if you are an accuracy nut the design spec for an SV Infinity with the AET barrel option is 1.25" @ 50 yards.

Also worthy of serious consideration would be a Rock River Arms Limited Match. You can get them accuracy guaranteed down to 1.5" @ 50 yards, and lead times are down to 6 months or less. The main advantage of the RRA is that you have WAY more leeway in terms of options versus the Wilson, Ed Brown or Baer guns nowadays. Here you are basically trading the lead time on the gun for a lower price for what you get and more options to choose from.

If I had acute "lone pistolsmith phobia" and $3,000 to spend I'd probably have SV make the gun for me. Of course, at that price point the difference between a pistolsmith custom, and what you are actually getting, is hopelessly blurred.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2003, 02:05 PM
shane45-1911 shane45-1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by AK Mike
I want high accuracy but still be reliable. I like ramped barrels.
I won't suggest a brand/model as they are all are hit and miss lately, but I will suggest that your statement above, is an oxymoron.

Not saying that ramped barrels can't be reliable, but all things being equal, you want a non-ramped barrel - especially in .45 ACP.

Last edited by shane45-1911; 12-08-2003 at 02:11 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2003, 02:15 PM
Archer Archer is offline
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Quote:
I want the best 1911 I can get that is single stack and production or semi-production but not a custom build from a small shop.

Springfield Professional Model.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2003, 02:54 PM
CastleBravo CastleBravo is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Archer
Springfield Professional Model.
Forgot that one.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:16 PM
1holegrouper 1holegrouper is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CastleBravo
Forgot that one.
I'll bite. Tell us why o wise one?
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2003, 04:12 PM
rrabullseye rrabullseye is offline
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Accuracy and reliablity can be paid for. Have a smith build you one from scratch with components you specify, that way it's "your" gone.
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2003, 04:29 PM
hipowr hipowr is offline
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I would second the recommendation that you add Rock River to your list of possibilities. Quality is top notch as is accuracy and reliability. I have notice it is chambered a little tighter then my Baer and has actually choked once on a reload in bad brass that my Baer would have eaten no problem. That is the price you pay for 1.5" at 50 yards though. My Baer PII has been 100% reliable and nearly as accurate as the RRA. In the end it comes down to your decision as to who offers the features you want at the price you want to pay. I believe RRA has a very slight price advantage over all of them for the quality you get. Unfortunately I can't speak on Wilson or Brown yet as I haven't gotten to play with their products yet.

later,
AJ
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2003, 04:54 PM
CastleBravo CastleBravo is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1holegrouper
I'll bite. Tell us why o wise one?
Um... I didn't remember to include it on the list?
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2003, 09:04 PM
dubb-1 dubb-1 is offline
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I have been very impressed be every RRA 1911 that has come through my shop!

I am also impressed with my Kobra, but the RRA is obviously designed and built to deliver tremendous accuracy. I know that my Elite Commando went back and forth from fitting to accuracy testing more than three times. It was obviously quite important to them that I got a very reliable, extremely accurate pistol.

Damian
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2003, 10:22 PM
AK Mike AK Mike is offline
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Thanks for all the replies, guys. Yes, I realize accurate but reliable can be a contradiction. I generally meant accurate, but not so match accurate that I will have feeding problems, you can have a fair amount of both, or a lot of one or the other. The 1"@25yards is not a deal breaker, but I want something in that range. Even 1.5"@25 or 3"@50 is acceptable, which keeps the LB in the running. I do not know what company SV is. I also realize I could have an awesome pistol built for that price, but I do not want to have to rely on a small shop or single man that may or may not have time to work on my piece, may or may not warrantee, and may or may not be in business or accept work 10 or 20 years down the line. I am in no way saying custom guns aren't great, I am just not looking for one right now - that is for another day/project.

I am going to have to look into Rock River. I was only aware of RRA's AR-15 business (assuming we are talking about the same company). I knew they built 1911's, but I was unaware of how good they were, or what they had to offer - got to go read up on them now.

I hate questions that start out with - 'what's the best?', like my own questions. It really depends on personal tastes and mission requirements, and is like asking what's the best car. However, I thought it was the quickest way to get the responses I was looking for - semi-unlimited choices, non or only semi custom. I really like the Wilson CQB, though I have heard the finish is not difficult to scuff. I like the accuracy guarantee (1"). My best that I have right now is a Kimber Super Match, though I haven't fired it, and I don't think Kimbers are really match/semi custom as much as a jazzed up frilled out nice pistol.

So I guess now I have to find out who SV is, look into RRA, then spin the wheel of whim between those and the LB or Wilson. I think at the price I am willing to pay, I am going to end up with a decent pistol, though I may pay for more than I am getting in some cases.

Time to hit the research button again, thanks for pointing me in the right directions. Methinks the Wilson CQB or a RRA piece is calling me...
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2003, 11:15 PM
Shmackey Shmackey is offline
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If I could afford the $2k to $2k and could manage the wait, I would never spend on a production gun what I could spend on a Colt and a trip to a smith.

That said, I don't think there's any production 1911 out there that has anything on a Rock River.
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2003, 08:08 AM
CastleBravo CastleBravo is offline
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http://www.sviguns.com/

Quote:
If I could afford the $2k to $2k and could manage the wait, I would never spend on a production gun what I could spend on a Colt and a trip to a smith.

That said, I don't think there's any production 1911 out there that has anything on a Rock River.
I'd tend to agree.

Quote:
may or may not warrantee
As an aside, almost none of the high-end 1911 makers actually have a legal warranty. Les Baer doesn't. Ed Brown doesn't. People confuse their generic statements that they will "do right" with a legal warranty, which their websites typically state quite clearly that they DON'T offer.

Plenty of companies crap out. And plenty of individual 'smiths have been working for decades. There is no security blanket either way.

Last edited by CastleBravo; 12-09-2003 at 08:27 AM.
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  #17  
Old 12-09-2003, 08:43 AM
BillD BillD is offline
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Isn't there a year long wait on the RRA 1911's?
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  #18  
Old 12-09-2003, 08:45 AM
CastleBravo CastleBravo is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BillD
Isn't there a year long wait on the RRA 1911's?
Not anymore.
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  #19  
Old 12-09-2003, 08:46 AM
dubb-1 dubb-1 is offline
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BillD,

There is not a year long wait on RRA 1911s. In blued configuration, they are currently shipping within 6-8 weeks. Because of their efficiency, I anticipate the order list, and thus wait list may grow a little, but some of us keep a steady flow coming in order to circumvent the "list".

Be well!

Damian
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  #20  
Old 12-09-2003, 09:06 AM
hipowr hipowr is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by AK Mike
...Even 1.5"@25 or 3"@50 is acceptable, which keeps the LB in the running.

Don't forget too, Baer offers an upgrade to 1.5" at 50 yards just like RRA. When I ordered my RRA, Baer's upgrade was twice the cost of RRA's, but I believe RRA's price has gone up some since I ordered mine. Definitely check out both. My Baer doesn't have the guarantee, and trust me, it ain't that far behind my RRA. Decide which one you like best and order it the way you want.

later,
AJ
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  #21  
Old 12-09-2003, 09:08 AM
Shmackey Shmackey is offline
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Quote:
There is not a year long wait on RRA 1911s. In blued configuration, they are currently shipping within 6-8 weeks.
When did that happen? And how'd they do it?
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  #22  
Old 12-09-2003, 09:20 AM
hipowr hipowr is offline
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Its quite a recent development, within the last 3 or 4 months. RRA moved into a new larger facility and hired additional staff. I ordered mine in 11/02 and had it in late 10/03, and I wasn't expecting it under the original order until about July. If mine is a typical example, quality hasn't suffered at all. They are building them the same as always, just a little faster and more efficiently. I get the idea alot of the improvement came from being in the new facility and having the space to work that they needed.

later,
AJ
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  #23  
Old 12-09-2003, 09:44 AM
harrydog harrydog is offline
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In the "higher end" category, I have a Wilson Tactical Elite, Springfield Professional, and a custom from a small shop.
Of the three, I'd have to say that the Springfield Pro is without a doubt the best bang for the buck. If you're looking for a pistol with the options that the Pro has, it's almost impossible to beat in my opinion. No current production 1911 has been as extensively tested as it has. Reliability, durability and accuracy are all top notch.
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  #24  
Old 12-09-2003, 09:47 AM
harrydog harrydog is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by hipowr
Its quite a recent development, within the last 3 or 4 months. RRA moved into a new larger facility and hired additional staff. I ordered mine in 11/02 and had it in late 10/03, and I wasn't expecting it under the original order until about July. If mine is a typical example, quality hasn't suffered at all. They are building them the same as always, just a little faster and more efficiently. I get the idea alot of the improvement came from being in the new facility and having the space to work that they needed.

later,
AJ
I thought that all RRA's were built by one person. If that was true, I guess it no longer is?
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  #25  
Old 12-09-2003, 09:50 AM
hipowr hipowr is offline
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I would look at the RRA forum here for more information, but as I recall, one person still does all the fitting. They are using help now mostly for finishing/polishing and the like. There has been some good discussion over in the RRA forum detailing how the guns are built.

later,
AJ
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