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  #1  
Old 01-30-2020, 10:13 PM
WaterDR WaterDR is offline
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GI Style 1911s

Helping a friend. if someone were to want to buy a Government or GI style 1911, what do you think are the best options?

Seems to me there are three:

- RIA

- Auto Ordnance

- Springfield

I have no issues with any of these brands...also no favorites. But I do think the AO and Springfield options look better to me.

I would want a parkerized and either a close approximate of the real deal or even something looks even closer to the real deal, but isn’t. Not sure if that makes sense.

Will not be a safe queen.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2020, 10:25 PM
RON in PA RON in PA is offline
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Realize that none of today's 1911s are built to exact GI spec. Based on previous discussions here on this subject I'd say that the AO is closest to a GI 1911. It does have a firing pin safety system that was not on a GI, but so what.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2020, 11:03 PM
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The AO looks the closest externally. The Springfield is probably the best quality. The Rock Island is the cheapest.

Also don't forget the Colt 1911C "Classic" that was recently released, or the Series 70.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2020, 12:03 AM
emptymag emptymag is offline
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If it is going to be a SHOOTER, then I would avoid a GI styled 1911 all-together. They make neat historic wall-hangers, but really aren't much fun to shoot.
Either way, I would lean towards something from Springfield, if it is going to see a good amount of range time.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2020, 12:15 AM
Col. Colt Col. Colt is offline
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The Springfield frames don't "feel right" in the hand - not quite original profile, or at least all the ones I have handled feel "blocky" where the Colts feel "natural". If money is not a problem, I agree with dsk - A nice, new 1911C "Classic or a Series 70.

Or you can save a few bucks and get a pretty darn real GI profile look - pick up a used M1991A1 Colt. I have one of the old black finished ORM (Old Roll Mark) models and, although Series 80 and obviously not GI rollmarked, it is a very "GI" looking pistol - and a real Colt. Add some double diamond walnut or WWII GI plastic grips and from ten feet nobody can tell it's not GI. CC
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2020, 12:25 AM
RandyP RandyP is offline
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The Rock Island, Armscor, even the Tisas are good basic 1911s and doubtless will provide years of shooting fun. Back when they still offered them I picked up a Springfield GI because it reminded me of my Army team pistols. Works great, crappy sights, just like I remember them - lol

IMHO any of the three you mentioned are just fine in their price range.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2020, 12:38 AM
1MoreFord 1MoreFord is offline
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I agree with emptymag. If you want a shooter you don't want a GI style 1911. However they become decent to good shooters with minimal upgrades. Good sights, a beavertail safety, and a good trigger transform a 1911 into a pistol you Want to shoot.
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2020, 01:00 AM
johnireland johnireland is offline
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I'm very happy with my Rock Island Compact. Came with the beaver tail and that saves my hand from getting beaten up. I think they over basic GI and the slightly upgraded version all the way up and down their line. Got mine for under 500 and it shoots straight and is very reliable. Those old metal sights will sharpen your sight picture skills. I cheated and put a touch of cold metallic paint on the front sight. What I like is that this is a basic combat design that you can learn a lot with.
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:36 AM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is offline
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I like my RIA GI type just fine the way it is. It shoots good, it has a basic GI profile and sights, and is pretty reliable. I change the grips. Usually to some wood GI repro type, but my current one is wearing Magpuls. Though I have a set of elk stag grips around that I may put on it once I do a little aging on them.

I've had two or three RIA GI before this one and a RIA Tactical. They all ran fine and were enjoyable to shoot. Run good mags like with any 1911.

I'm one of those weird old farts that actually likes the GI type and considers the M1911A1 to be the proper 1911. I always qualified with a perfect score with one in the Army. Missed my Excellence In Competition badge by one lousy place during 6th ID (A,L) competition the last year we shot the General Patton match with the M1911A1.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2020, 03:32 AM
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Flight Medic Flight Medic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MoreFord View Post
I agree with emptymag. If you want a shooter you don't want a GI style 1911. However they become decent to good shooters with minimal upgrades. Good sights, a beavertail safety, and a good trigger transform a 1911 into a pistol you Want to shoot.
Or just buy a Dan Wesson A2 and have all that right outta the box.
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  #11  
Old 01-31-2020, 06:02 AM
1911Sooner 1911Sooner is offline
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Inland makes a pretty good one.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:47 AM
drail drail is offline
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Springfield's current Mil spec defender is the best deal out there. Best gun - best price.

Last edited by drail; 01-31-2020 at 07:49 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:00 AM
jtq jtq is online now
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For you guys living with a GI grip safety...

1. Do any of you not get hammer bite?

2. If you're riding the thumb safety do any of you not disengage the grip safety with your shooting grip?
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:33 AM
Captain H Captain H is online now
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I have never been bitten by the hammer on a GI style grip safety. There is no need to ride the thumb on a standard non extended thumb safety.
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:38 AM
jtq jtq is online now
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Originally Posted by Captain H View Post
There is no need to ride the thumb on a standard non extended thumb safety.
I disagree, it is part of the way I grip a 1911.

I'm convinced all the "you'll forget to disengage the thumb safety when it really matters", and "you'll forget to engage the thumb safety when you reholster", are from folks that don't ride the thumb safety as part of their shooting grip.

Per Ed Head in this GunTalkTV video, beginning at the :40 mark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGGxwJrrABY
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  #16  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:56 AM
Ranger566 Ranger566 is offline
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IMO Springfield has the best customer service in case you ever need it.
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  #17  
Old 01-31-2020, 10:11 AM
Frank Vaccaro Frank Vaccaro is offline
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I'm a big fan of Colt, I'd sure look at them!
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  #18  
Old 01-31-2020, 11:38 AM
magazineman magazineman is online now
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An actual GI 1911.
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2020, 01:04 PM
Viper_29 Viper_29 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger566 View Post
IMO Springfield has the best customer service in case you ever need it.
Thing with that is that you'll probably be needing that service.
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  #20  
Old 01-31-2020, 01:09 PM
Captain H Captain H is online now
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After I swipe the safety on the draw I no longer ride the safety. There isn't any shelf to ride a GI safety. Riding the safety began with the common use of extended safeties. It kept the shooter from inadvertently bumping the safety to the on position during recoil. When that method became maimstream, they had to put the hump on the grip safeties because some people were not fully depressing it.

Edit- I should clarify that I'm talking about the little GI thumb safety milspec 1911/1911A1. I do agree with you on the modern extended thumb safety equipped 1911.

Last edited by Captain H; 01-31-2020 at 09:24 PM.
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  #21  
Old 01-31-2020, 01:13 PM
Viper_29 Viper_29 is online now
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My RIA have been out of the box fit and finish way better than my Springfield though my Rocks break the extended ejectors. It's kind of a wash how it plays out. I'm handy enough that I don't play with warranties over an ejector. I wouldn't get anything with the GI sites low pro on it.
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2020, 01:27 PM
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Kevin Rohrer Kevin Rohrer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterDR View Post
Helping a friend. if someone were to want to buy a Government or GI style 1911, what do you think are the best options?

Seems to me there are three:

- RIA

- Auto Ordnance

- Springfield
You must not like your friend much. I wouldn't even recommend the first two to a Dem.

Nighthawk just brought out a Series-70 Government model that fits your criteria:

https://www.nighthawkcustom.com/new-.../colt-series70
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  #23  
Old 01-31-2020, 02:19 PM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is offline
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I've never been bitten by a GI hammer in nearly 40 years since I shot my first 1911. An arms room M1911A1.

The only 1911s I've had issues with when riding the safety, which I always do, have been pretty much every Springfield GI and Milspec I've had. Probably 5 or 6 over the decades. They always needed a tweak of the grip safety and a few have needed the thumb safety tweaked because they were very heavy to work. Beyond that they were reliable and shot well.

I assume since you asked about the three specified that you are also looking at price. I always love when someone has a real world budget and everyone tells them to get a gun that's 5 times that budget. Quite frankly, if you have to spend $1500 to 4000 just to get a funcional, reliable 1911, then apparently the 1911 as a basic design is a crap piece and can only be made to work if you spend a lot of money on it. If that is true then it makes Glock a gold standard for reliable, affordable firearms and 1911s left only to wealthy elitist.

Fortunately we know that isn't true. Are higher priced, custom and semi-custom guns very nice and higher quality. Yep. You'll never hear me say that a RIA is equal to a Wilson in terms of workmanship and tolerances. It's not. However, a lot of people enjoy shooting and handling their Rocks, SA GIs, and others, and depend on them. They work and if you can shoot, you can shoot them well and enjoyably. One inch groups at 25 yards? Of course not. That kind of stuff costs. Just like fast cars and fast computers. How much money you got comes into play.

For us old po boys who grew up on farms and ranches and who started life in factories that didn't pay AFL CIO or Teamster wages we shot whatever we could manage to scrape a few dollars for or get in a trade. Factory guns both major names and the lessor brands didn't have fine tuned triggers. We shot what we had and learned to shoot them effectively. We learned to use whatever sights they had on them and hit what we were shooting at. We also learned to shoot DA revolvers in double action and in a full pull, not slowwwly stacking the tigger and to stay on target.

In fact I learned sight alignment and trigger control as a kid on the farm with a Daisy Buffalo Bill Commemorative 1894, spring action BB gun. Heavy trigger, basic sights. I liked hitting what I shot at so I learned by practice how to work that trigger and the basics of Kentucky windage and Tennessee elevation. Those lessons served me well small game hunting and later qualifying expert on rifle and handgun in the military. Not to mention a LOT of years of shooting enjoyment and a little competition here and there.

If your friend learns to shoot a basic GI type gun with GI sights and a basic trigger in the 4-6 lb range then they will be able to shoot fancier guns even better. If you can't shoot decently without having an extra light target trigger and a set of target sights well, it's kind of like saying you can't drive the grocery store unless you have a custom Mercedes SUV or a Ferrari. Because you can't effectively drive a Toyota Corolla or an old pickup truck. Of course you if you are shooting competition a gun setup for competition is a bit useful.

I find a lot of different guns enjoyable to shoot in a variety of action types. For looks, I prefer the GI 1911A1 type in a parkerized type finish or as close as you can get without paying collector prices for an original. To me the 1911 is and always will be the raw, no frills, hardazz fighting gun. Apparently a whole lot of GIs used them effectively over several wars and conflicts.
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2020, 02:46 PM
Tarmy Tarmy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Rohrer View Post
You must not like your friend much. I wouldn't even recommend the first two to a Dem.

Nighthawk just brought out a Series-70 Government model that fits your criteria:

https://www.nighthawkcustom.com/new-.../colt-series70
The first part is spot on...

The Nighthawk is probably a bit outa the price range (just guessing here) that OP was thinking.

BUT...I love me some fine shooters and Nighthawk does that part right.
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  #25  
Old 01-31-2020, 03:42 PM
magazineman magazineman is online now
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What's the value of a "mixmaster" real GI pistol in rough but usable condition these days?

Maybe he can score one from a Must Be Number's Matching kinda guy for cheap.
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