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  #1  
Old 07-25-2020, 08:00 PM
Juancts Juancts is offline
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The best production 1911s

Hi. I'm in the market for a new 1911. I'd love to get me a custom hand fitted Les Baer, Ed Brown or Wilson Combat etc... BUT, since my budget (and wife) won't allow it, I'll have to get me a production 1911.

That said, I'm trying to find the best 1911 with the following specs:

Budget: $1500
Size: 4.5 up to 5"
Forged frame. No cast frames for me.
Caliber: .45 (only)
Reliability is a must !

With that in mind, what would you get ??

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  #2  
Old 07-25-2020, 08:02 PM
simonp67 simonp67 is online now
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Dan Wesson or pre-owned Baer are going to. E the best in that price range.


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  #3  
Old 07-25-2020, 08:36 PM
*MAYHEM* *MAYHEM* is online now
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Dan Wesson (CZ) or Sig. That's the only two production 1911s I will even consider today.
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2020, 08:50 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is online now
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Assuming new rather than used, DW comes immediately to mind.

S&W is worth a look if you're o.k. with their external extractor (which works fine).

I'm sure there are others, but among the qualities that distinguish DW in the mid-price range is all small parts are machined from barstock...no MIM. To some, this matters a lot; but to others, it doesn't matter. All a matter of opinion. Obviously, your opinion is what matters for your purchase.
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2020, 09:15 PM
Flight Medic Flight Medic is offline
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I will also suggest Dan Wesson as a first choice, and S&W as a second choice. The latter will have MIM parts (and an external extractor as already mentioned)...but will be cheaper. S&W does external extractors quite well, so its truly just a matter of cosmetic taste, or for 1911-purists its a matter of principle since it was not JMB's design.

I love my S&W E-Series, love my DW's as well...shoot both about the same amount, both have been flawless. Neither have been magazine-sensitive, but the fit-n-finish on the DW's is just a little nicer...and that's what you pay for. I can also say S&W provided EXCELLENT customer support on a used revolver in need of repair. Fortunately I have never had to engage with DW CS, so I cannot speak to that.

Let us know what you decide and POST PICS!!
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2020, 09:47 PM
Phreddie30.06 Phreddie30.06 is offline
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WESSON.

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  #7  
Old 07-25-2020, 09:56 PM
kreinhard kreinhard is offline
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Your budget is about where mine was, and I was leaning heavily towards Dan Wesson. LGS made me a heck of a deal on a Kimber that I couldn't turn down, though. I don't mind the Series 80/Swartz safety at all, and the tolerances on this are tight as all get out. There is zero wiggle in any part. Ran a couple hundred rounds through today with zero issues. I will likely upgrade the plastic MSH to steel at some point, but I'm in no hurry.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2020, 10:02 PM
KyJim KyJim is offline
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I also agree that a Dan Wesson is the best at that price. They have a few models you can choose from, an A2, Pointman, Heritage, Razorback.
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  #9  
Old 07-25-2020, 10:06 PM
dmthomp32 dmthomp32 is offline
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Dan Wesson as well. Although lately their pistols seem to command more money on sites like GunBroker. I've been trying to buy and ECO and Specialist used for about a year in the sub $1000 range and I haven't been able to connect. So be prepared (depending upon model and features) to be paying more than $1,000. That being said they are definitely worth it and an excellent firearm. Everyone who shoots my Guardian 9mm says it is their favorite 1911 they have shot.

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  #10  
Old 07-25-2020, 10:07 PM
NDCountryboy NDCountryboy is offline
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I must say 1500 gets you a lot of bang for your buck at that price point.
When you say production gun, my head goes straight to a colt, or Springfield loaded model,
Kimber TLE, or something in the $900 ball park.
Obviously dan Wesson is the best bang for the buck, but they are not really production guns, nor are they custom.
They are right smack dab in the middle.
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  #11  
Old 07-25-2020, 10:20 PM
car5car car5car is online now
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I watched a video on youtube today, comparing RIA to Colt. No difference, except RIA doesn't shoot one brand of hollow points.
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2020, 10:32 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juancts View Post
Hi. I'm in the market for a new 1911. I'd love to get me a custom hand fitted Les Baer, Ed Brown or Wilson Combat etc... BUT, since my budget (and wife) won't allow it, I'll have to get me a production 1911.

That said, I'm trying to find the best 1911 with the following specs:

Budget: $1500
Size: 4.5 up to 5"
Forged frame. No cast frames for me.
Caliber: .45 (only)
Reliability is a must !

With that in mind, what would you get ??

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For $1500, I’d go with a Colt Combat Elite Commander or Goverment at around $1400 and spend the last $100 on magazines.


https://www.colt.com/series/COMBAT_ELITE_SERIES
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2020, 10:37 PM
f1racefan f1racefan is online now
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I'm going to say Dan Wesson too. I've got two and both are very nice pistols. I bought both very slightly used for around $1000 each. It takes a few rounds to get them broke in, but after that, they are shooting machines. Very nicely finished too.
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2020, 11:37 PM
Bowdrie Bowdrie is offline
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I think that for the scenarios that probably 99.999% of us use a 1911 for, a Dan Wesson is the best bang for the buck, they're a fairly tight and quite well fitted for their price point.
However, if I'd had to crawl thru the volcanic soil of Iwo Jima, or the sand in the Middle East, I would want a gun that was a little looser put together, probably a carbon steel Colt.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2020, 01:54 AM
tgt_usa tgt_usa is online now
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Gtg if the maker has "Wesson" in the name ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juancts View Post
Hi. I'm in the market for a new 1911. I'd love to get me a custom hand fitted Les Baer, Ed Brown or Wilson Combat etc... BUT, since my budget (and wife) won't allow it, I'll have to get me a production 1911.

That said, I'm trying to find the best 1911 with the following specs:

Budget: $1500
Size: 4.5 up to 5"
Forged frame. No cast frames for me.
Caliber: .45 (only)
Reliability is a must !

With that in mind, what would you get ??

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
If the maker has "Wesson" in the name, you'll be good to go.


Here's a thread wherein a bunch of us pitched in to compare the Smith cousins:

https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=756314

... and some posts detailing side-by-side comparison:

https://forums.1911forum.com/showthr...ht#post5836421

https://forums.1911forum.com/showthr...ie#post9552754
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Last edited by tgt_usa; 07-26-2020 at 04:20 PM.
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2020, 08:20 AM
SCfromNY SCfromNY is offline
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I have had a S&W that was a joy to shoot. I also have two Sigs a Max Michel and a Stainless Super Target that have been flawless. At a Bullseye match a friend compared the Super Target favorably to his Les Baer. All that said my Dan Wesson Classic Bobtail is probably my best 1911. It's probably heresy to say but I don't think Colt quality is what it used to be.
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2020, 08:45 AM
jtq jtq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juancts View Post
Hi. I'm in the market for a new 1911. I'd love to get me a custom hand fitted Les Baer, Ed Brown or Wilson Combat etc... BUT, since my budget (and wife) won't allow it, I'll have to get me a production 1911.
The two things that go through my mind are ...

1. Now is a terrible time to buy firearms. Supply is down, demand is up. Prices are high, selection is poor.

2. If it really is a custom gun you want, you'll not be satisfied with the production gun and will eventually find a need for the custom gun. This means you will spend money on the production gun now and the custom gun later. Your total expense will be higher.

What I'm doing, and what I'd recommend you do, is hold off on your gun purchases during this bad time for gun purchases, save your money and buy the gun you want when the current crisis is over.

Think back just 8 months to a year. The gun market was slow, the shelves were full of all kinds of firearms, prices were low, and discounts and rebates were everywhere, Now is the time to sell your underused firearms when demand is high and not buy firearms.
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2020, 09:37 AM
Juancts Juancts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtq View Post
The two things that go through my mind are ...



1. Now is a terrible time to buy firearms. Supply is down, demand is up. Prices are high, selection is poor.



2. If it really is a custom gun you want, you'll not be satisfied with the production gun and will eventually find a need for the custom gun. This means you will spend money on the production gun now and the custom gun later. Your total expense will be higher.



What I'm doing, and what I'd recommend you do, is hold off on your gun purchases during this bad time for gun purchases, save your money and buy the gun you want when the current crisis is over.



Think back just 8 months to a year. The gun market was slow, the shelves were full of all kinds of firearms, prices were low, and discounts and rebates were everywhere, Now is the time to sell your underused firearms when demand is high and not buy firearms.
Word. You're absolutely right about gun prices and availability. I just want to make my research and selection now, so I can get it when the market settles down. Realistically, I wouldn't be able to get a custom $2,000+ 1911 any time soon, since my home economy (wife) won't allow it. That's why I'm looking at good quality "production" 1911s.

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  #19  
Old 07-26-2020, 10:23 AM
passx passx is offline
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The only negative I’ll throw out on the DanWesson is that their warranty is only 1 year and only for the original purchaser. Most of their competitors have a lifetime warranty & most will honor it even if you’re not the oe owner. Past that DW makes a very fine piece that you’ll probably not regret buying.

Another I would add to the “list” is the Springfield TRP, very nice gun that can be had within your budget. I don’t have one but have been eyeballing them for some time now.

I do have a Sig STX which is basically their TTT just assembled in their custom shop, it does have some MIM parts which to me is not that big of a deal, I do prefer solid steel parts but so long as it works I’m ok with it, the STX works well !

Something that troubles most is the series 80 system in the STX burins removed and polished all those parts early on so they work very smoothly. The trigger on it feels every bit as good as any of my series 70 guns including my Baer TRS or my Brown Executive. You cannot feel the series 80 parts at all. Just my .02.
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2020, 10:26 AM
dmthomp32 dmthomp32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juancts View Post
Word. You're absolutely right about gun prices and availability. I just want to make my research and selection now, so I can get it when the market settles down. Realistically, I wouldn't be able to get a custom $2,000+ 1911 any time soon, since my home economy (wife) won't allow it. That's why I'm looking at good quality "production" 1911s.

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Both of these gentlemen are spot on. I'm always trying to buy guns and looking for the right deal. After weeks of disappointment, and having seen the ammo chain come to a close. I've decided to hang low and focus on cleaning my collection and tinkering with my car for the meantime. It may be awhile before things calm down but we have all been through this before. Hopefully after November we will be in a better spot.

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  #21  
Old 07-26-2020, 10:33 AM
me1911 me1911 is offline
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Yup, Wesson.
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  #22  
Old 07-26-2020, 10:44 AM
Matt_J Matt_J is offline
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Colt Combat Elite has been my favorite, so I'll vouch for it. It comes with:
-Novak night sights
-Checkered front strap
-Recessed trigger guard
-Two-tone Ion-bonded/stainless steel
-beavertail grip safety
-National Match barrel
-VZ G10 Grips w/ Colt logo
-Dual recoil spring

The ion-bonded finish is really top-notch, I haven't seen a finish quite like it before. It's the most comfortable 1911 I've ever held, the most accurate, and will keep its value forever. You might have to find a new one on GunBroker at the moment. For $1,350 they're a bargain compared to the competition.


Last edited by Matt_J; 07-26-2020 at 10:47 AM.
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  #23  
Old 07-26-2020, 01:44 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juancts View Post
Word. You're absolutely right about gun prices and availability. I just want to make my research and selection now, so I can get it when the market settles down. Realistically, I wouldn't be able to get a custom $2,000+ 1911 any time soon, since my home economy (wife) won't allow it. That's why I'm looking at good quality "production" 1911s.

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Market Settle Down?

I think it would be reasonable to ask if anybody really thinks that's going to happen any time soon.
Not this year, certainly.
Probably not the next several.

It you want it, shop around and find it.
Get it now.
While you can.
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  #24  
Old 07-26-2020, 01:46 PM
markwell markwell is offline
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+1 on the Dan Wesson!

We have true customs from a number of makers going back to Jim Hoag and Bud price; most built on Colts. We also have a couple of Wilsons and two GIs. and "some others", including two LAV built guns. After being a confirmed 1911 addict for over 40 years and having seen and shot "a few", our current pick of the production guns out there is the DW; they are a lot of gun for the money. We have four DWs in our current stable and rotate two CCOs for carry with a Wilson and a GI.
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  #25  
Old 07-26-2020, 01:47 PM
Matt_J Matt_J is offline
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Another option is to buy a 1911 without premium features and customize it yourself. That's what I did with this Kimber Custom II.

Kimber Custom II Two-Tone: $750
-Checkered front strap done by Kimber $175
-Kimber Two-hole trigger (just for looks) $35
-Kimber Tactical Bump Grip Safety $40
-Kimber Ambi Safety $65
-Kimber Match Barrel Bushing $25
Wilson Combat Standard Guide Rod $30
Wilson Combat Recoil Plug $15
-S&A Mag Guide $100
-VZ Grips $75

I chose parts that would drop right in, notice a lot of them are Kimber. Certain brands fit better than others depending on what kind of 1911 you have. This is also a way to get very familiar with your 1911. Just an option. I think an even cheaper way to do it is to buy every part individually and built it yourself.



The Colt Officer I carry was done by a gunsmith throughout because I wanted extra features with perfect fitment and blending done. So taking a rather plain gun to a gunsmith and telling him/her what you want done to it is another option, and you don't risk the chance of messing it up. The fitment of the parts on it is etter than any production 1911 I've ever had. Just throwing my opinions and experiences out there. I've seen Dan Wessons at my local gun shop and they're some of the most beautiful 1911s I've seen, I'm sure they're exceptional. I haven't heard a negative comment about them. Especially the Gloss Black 50th Ann. Edition for $3,000.

Last edited by Matt_J; 07-26-2020 at 01:58 PM.
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