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Old 04-05-2020, 03:47 PM
Mike01 Mike01 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 2
New member trying to pick first 1911

Hi everyone. Iím a new member but have owned guns for 10+ years. I live near Pittsburgh.

I am looking for my first 1911 and have budgeted $1200-$1800 for it. I plan to purchase in the next 1-2 months. Iím not ready to buy just yet, but have a few options Iím seriously considering:

Kimber Raptor II
Dan Wesson PM-45

In addition to those would appreciate any other recommendations around that price point. Not sure what I may be missing. Want a full size primarily planning on it being a range gun. Occasional carry possible, but I have a separate carry gun already so it isnít a huge factor.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:03 PM
Autonomous Autonomous is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,454
Door #2 looks like a good option.
I'm a fully developed Springfield Armory fanboi and suggest you consider a Range Officer or TRP.
There is something about a full size .45 1911 that transcends the pile of parts it is made from. Good luck.
There is something to this 1911. I think it'll catch on.
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:15 PM
squirrelsnest squirrelsnest is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Alexandria, Va
Posts: 1,206
Welcome to the forums from Virginia.
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:28 PM
Steam Boat Steam Boat is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,848
With your budget, look at the upper production Springfield Armory 1911s. The Colt upper mid- range production 1911s. The lower to mid-range Dan Wessons.
Or the mid to upper RIAs plus a truck load of ammo.
Opinions are like buttholes, everybody has one, but they stink more than mine.
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:21 PM
VIS35 VIS35 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 833
Hi from North Dakota
Formerly "flinch" on the forum, but that's a story in itself
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:29 PM
Dddrees Dddrees is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,085
For that range I wouldn't go Kimber to many other better options out there.

Dan Wesson is great option because of the mass produced 1911s it has extremely high toleranced CNC machining with no MIM or plastic which most others will have either MIM, plastic, or cast.

Standard MFG supposedly makes a great 1911 but just nowhere near as popular as Dan Wesson.

Fusion Arms are also supposed to be a great option although there's no way I would chose an all optioned fusion Arms for the same price I could buy a Wilson Combat for.

Ed Browns EVO series would be awful close to your budget but only if your looking for a commander sized 9mm.

Might be able to find a used Les Brown if you look hard enough.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:18 AM
Sergio Natali Sergio Natali is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: From somewhere in Northern Italy
Age: 65
Posts: 6,698
Welcome to our 1911 Forum from Italy.

I can't really understand all these Kimber bashers, in the years I owned many guns and at least three Kimbers, admittedly one of them was a lemon but the others were pretty good for the price.
As usual all boils down to the amount of money you're willing to spend.
Anything with a FLGR is fluff, if JMB didn't put it on the 1911 you don't need it.
If you are going to collect, don't be 'drawn' to an example that is neither original nor correct; instant gratification is always more expensive than a good education.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:53 AM
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apipeguy apipeguy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Michigan
Age: 64
Posts: 5,020
I’ve owned five Kimbers and all functioned extremely well. My last one, a 5” Raptor that I sold had 15,000 rounds through it and still outshot my 1983 Gold Cup.

I most likely would lean towards the Ed Brown but Kimbers get a lot of internet bashing/criticism but all three Raptors that I owned (3”, 4” and 5”) were all extremely nice guns.

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Old 04-07-2020, 11:19 AM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Texas
Posts: 11,557
Buy the best you can comfortably afford.

Unless you're focused on some kind of algebraic "best value for cost" equation (that's in your mind) or unless you merely want something that will fire, you're likely not going to be happy years down the road if you go cheap.

The two choices you've mentioned seem to be an artificial narrowing of the candidates; they're so different, and so many others are excluded, that I'm not so sure you've necessarily chosen the two best possible "finalists" for yourself.

Be sure you're aware of the basics of a 1911's build. E.g., decide how you (not someone else) feel about small parts fabrication methods... they're not the same between the two guns you've mentioned. Also, be aware of MSH may or may not have a preference, but it seems better to know before you buy rather than afterwards. (For those other than the OP, I'm not "knocking" any material here; instead, I'm only suggesting awareness and acceptance on the buyer's part at the time of purchase rather than as a possible later surprise).

But if cost is an issue, then choose what you can afford. Mid-range and even low cost 1911s (e.g., RIA) can be quite serviceable. A low cost 1911 that's been proven reliable on the range is a perfectly satisfactory choice for carry/SD.
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"Freedom is only a temporary thing unless it is backed by the blunt capability and willingness to fight back against evil with sufficient arms." -- Myself

Last edited by chrysanthemum; 04-07-2020 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:41 AM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,058
If its a range pistol, I recommend adjustable sights. Indoor, outdoor both change zero as you transition, even the type of light and the angle indoors will change zero, not significantly, but its there. The ability to detect or be bothered obviously depends on your skill level and having the equipment and ammunition to support that.

Outdoors, the time of day can/will change your zero as well if you're shooting at distance (>25 yds) and most apparent at 50 yds. Not everyone is, so that may or may not be a consideration. I prefer not to remove options if I have the choice. Elevation adjustment and drifting non adjustable sights is a minor pain in the behind if you care to do so.

Within Dan Wesson there are two current models that I would go with (assuming adjustable sights), Kimber's custom shop makes a pretty dang good 1911, but I think it will be outside the budget unless you go used. The Kimber factory stuff is "okay". Dan Wesson does a "semi-drop in" barrel which is better than the "drop in" stuff you get otherwise in a typical factory pistol.

The Pointman from Dan Wesson seems the best fit in my partially educated and relatively uniformed view without all the details/informaion, the PM-45 has a FO front and 25 LPI which I don't prefer, I like black front sights and 20 LPI, but that is solely preference. For less is the PM-7 and that has no FO front and no FSC, which you can add later, but will add a pretty decent increase in cost. If you're happy with 25 LPI, IMO the PM-45 may be the way to go and see if you like or don't the FO, which I easily swapped by a Gunsmith.

Distinguished Pistol #388

Last edited by JayhawkNavy02; 04-07-2020 at 11:56 AM.
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