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Thread: Selecting an M1911.

  1. #1
    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Selecting an M1911.

    What makes models such as Colt, Kimber, Springfield Armory and Rock Island M1911's better than the very nice (looking) Taurus PT1911 Models that can be purchased at a fraction of the price?

    I've heard that in their early years, Taurus manufactured some pretty garbage pieces, but after acquiring designs from manufacturers such as Baretta and even using Baretta tool and dies (paying royalties of course) that Taurus matured very well over the years. I own a Taurus PT 24/7 and have never had an issue with it. Taurus even backs their firearms with a Lifetime warranty. I could theoretically dispense a million rounds through a Taurus made 1911 and if it failed they would repair it where the manufacturers I mentioned above would simply say, "Your firearm has exceeded is service life." This to me is a huge selling point.

    Lets also not forget that even Springfield Armory manufactures many of their arms in Brazil, just as Taurus does. So my question, I guess is this. Why should I spend $1000+ on a Colt, Kimber, SA, etc. when I can get what appears to be a quality 1911 from Taurus for around $700 or even lower if I really shop around?

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    Because you can get a quality mil-spec from Springfield for about 450?

    1911's are a product of many refinements. You simply have to decide what features you can afford and then how much you want to spend.

    A lot of good words exist regarding the tarus 1911, some even really like their revolvers.

    Buy a Colt, Springer, or any of the more expensive weapons and you can shoot em for ten years and then sell them for close to what you paid, can't speak to the tarus resale value myself, I have never owned one of their weapons.

    I am a fairly dedicated Springfield customer.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    It is kind of like buying a car. When you go shopping at different dealers you expect certain levels of quality (and % chance of receiving a lemon). If money isn't an issue, as far as quality, I think most people would buy a Mercedes over a Kia.

    I haven't looked at the Taurus 1911 but own the PT145 Millenium Pro. I like my Taurus but would definitely prefer to have my Sig, H&K or Colt in my hand if the SHTF. So peace of mind comes into play too.

    I have a SA 1911 and a Colt 1911. When I compare them shooting, each shoots fine and I don't see much of a difference. When you break them down you do see a difference with the higher quality being the Colt. In my case the slide (sides) are varying thickness on the SA but uniform on the Colt. While I trust both guns I think you usually get what you pay for and in some cases the name brand may not be much better but the expectations are.

    I am all for getting the best gun you can afford (or saving for the best one you want). If the Taurus meets all your criteriea I am sure you will be happy with it. Some manufacturing techniques MIM vs forged parts may not last as long but with the warranty you would be covered. The only caveat is that you don't want that failure to happen during a life threatening incident.

    You can take the argument way up in the dollar column with Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, etc. so at some point a compromise has to be made. That compromise has to resonate peacefully in your mind so you can sleep nights & carry confidently. I am of the opinion to buy the best you can afford and if Taurus is that for you, great.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 07-14-2010 at 10:11 PM.

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    When it comes to the 1911, you get what you pay for. As one poster mentioned, you can get the Springfield GI 1991 A1 pretty damn reasonably, the same with the Rock Island. The Colts will set you back more, but I agree that they are a better-built firearm; especially if you reach back 10 or 15 years and purchase a good used one. If I was to look for a Colt (and Iím always looking for Colts) look for a Government Model between built between 75 and 88.

    Just my opinion, but I have number of them.
    Steve


    "Life is hard, its even harder when you are stupid!"

  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    A Taurus is a good starter 1911. However they haven't been in the 1911 business as long as Springfield. I own a Taurus 1911 and I stand by it's capabilities. It all depends how much you really want to spend. I own 4 1911s and have noticed that sometimes the $300-$400 difference is not worth it. My suggestion, buy the Taurus, then buy another 1911, and another...it's kinda addictive.

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of getting the PT 1911DT. My preferred gun shop tells me they can get it for me for $675
    Last edited by Nevada carrier; 07-14-2010 at 10:09 PM.

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    Try out Firestorm or Rock Island Armory. They're both by Armscor in the Philippines. They both get great reviews in the 1911 forums

    http://www.gunblast.com/Firestorm-1911Deluxe.htm

    http://ezine.m1911.org/Firestorm_frame.htm

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    I would go with RIA over Taurus for a cheap 1911, but that's just based on my experience. IMO Taurus revolvers are way out ahead of their SA pistols as far as quality and reliability. The RIA models are cheap, no frills but can easily be upgraded to a top notch pistol.

    If you have the means, get an older Kimber or Colt match grade.

    Otherwise I would get something less expensive and tweak it to your liking over time...

  9. #9
    Regular Member leoffensive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMTD View Post
    Because you can get a quality mil-spec from Springfield for about 450?

    1911's are a product of many refinements. You simply have to decide what features you can afford and then how much you want to spend.

    A lot of good words exist regarding the tarus 1911, some even really like their revolvers.

    Buy a Colt, Springer, or any of the more expensive weapons and you can shoot em for ten years and then sell them for close to what you paid, can't speak to the tarus resale value myself, I have never owned one of their weapons.

    I am a fairly dedicated Springfield customer.

    +1 on that

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    You can get a Rock Island Armory Tactical model for around 575.00 outh the door! My buddy has one and it is beautiful and has performed flawlessly so far... 800 rounds within the first month and to this day no FTEs or FTFs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    What makes models such as Colt, Kimber, Springfield Armory and Rock Island M1911's better than the very nice (looking) Taurus PT1911 Models that can be purchased at a fraction of the price?

    I've heard that in their early years, Taurus manufactured some pretty garbage pieces, but after acquiring designs from manufacturers such as Baretta and even using Baretta tool and dies (paying royalties of course) that Taurus matured very well over the years. I own a Taurus PT 24/7 and have never had an issue with it. Taurus even backs their firearms with a Lifetime warranty. I could theoretically dispense a million rounds through a Taurus made 1911 and if it failed they would repair it where the manufacturers I mentioned above would simply say, "Your firearm has exceeded is service life." This to me is a huge selling point.

    Lets also not forget that even Springfield Armory manufactures many of their arms in Brazil, just as Taurus does. So my question, I guess is this. Why should I spend $1000+ on a Colt, Kimber, SA, etc. when I can get what appears to be a quality 1911 from Taurus for around $700 or even lower if I really shop around?
    First, let's cover those products so you know what you're getting into on them.

    Taurus - wouldn't trust it to save my life. I've seen WAY too many bad products from them in the past few years and even went through (and helped someone else) a nightmare with them over a PT145. Their warranty work sucks to say the least and if you continue to have problems you'll feel like you're dealing with H&K's customer service dept.

    Rock Island - imported product, but they are made in a factory that's authorized to use Colt production machines. So one might say it's an imported version of a Colt, though it does not wear the Colt label. Fair product, does the job, functions and is as reliable as a combat 1911 would be expected to be.

    Colt - you're paying for a name with these anymore. They make great products and their 1911's have been around for decades. For the money, you could get a higher end pistol from another manufacturer, however it wouldn't be a Colt now would it. Series 70 and series 80 are available.

    Kimber- These have become the cadillac of 1911's. Kimber makes 1911's with very tight tolerances meant to do one thing...function well. Sure they look pretty, but they perform as well as they look. However, you're going to be in the higher end of the price spectrum with these and in some cases certain models are backordered on occasion. Not sure if they are based on series 70 or series 80, most custom builders use the 70.

    Springfield - another imported 1911. Springfield hasn't actually made a 1911 in some time. Their products tend to be imported from Croatia these days, same country making the XD line, some of their other 1911's are made in Brazil (you covered that). You can get into the higher end of the Springfield line (sometimes) for less than a Kimber, but you may not have the beauty or the quality of the Kimber. Springfield does not make a Series 80, they are all 70 according to the last call I made to Springfield to verify the age of a Milspec.

    So before we can go on, what are your specific needs, wants, and budget for a 1911?
    If this is your first 1911, I suggest picking up a quality used unit from a local shop if you can find a nice deal. Hate to see you dump a bunch of money into a 1911 and not like it. The Taurus purchase is likely to cause you to take a loss if you don't like it. Resale on their 1911's is lousy. Go another direction if you can.

    I found a beautiful 25 year old Springfield Milspec (unfired for 25 years) for $600. I picked up a 4 inch GI Champion for $500 and custom built it. You can get a nice Springfield GI in a 5 inch, sometimes even the 4 inch, for ballpark of $450-500. Another product to look into is the Detonics 1911. They have a lot of the upgrades and a VERY smooth action. Personally, if you had the scratch I'd go with a Para Ordinance 1911.
    Last edited by heresyourdipstickjimmy; 07-26-2010 at 10:45 PM.

  12. #12
    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    The 1911 is an expensive gun and money is the name of the game.

    Research everything. Read reviews. Look at complaints and how the manufacturer handled them. www.1911forum.com/forums

    Just buy a higher end gun and get it over with. There really is a difference when a skilled gunsmith works a gun. Yes, you can get a good production 1911. How much are you going to change beyond night sights? There's reliability work, trigger work and so forth.

    Take a look at the $1500-2000 range, as well as Ed Brown guns (they're a bit more in the $2200 range).

    Fusion Firearms can make you a very nice gun for around $1500-1700.

    Les Baer guns tend to hover around $1800. It's my opinion that their guns are too tight for carry, but make excellent range and competition guns. That's not to say LB guns cannot be used for defense; you just need to do your homework.


    If you don't want a custom gun, then take a hard look at SIG Sauer 1911's. Apparently, they're a real bargain and are quite good.

    There are guys who love Kimber, but I had nothing but trouble from two of them. Many of the problems were due to lack of attention to detail at the factory. Both mine had incorrect angles on the feed ramp, rough chambers, a ridge on the breech face (recoil face in Kuhnhausen) that prevented the cartridge from sitting squarely, and incorrect ejector tension. The guns should not have left the factory and the factory failed to properly evaluate the guns when they were sent in.

    I'm going to go with a Colt for my next production gun. Colt's customer service has dramatically improved and they seem to have fixed their quality control. You may want to look at the Rail Gun or go with a Series 70 and build it up. Their XSE series (minus the Rail Gun) have goofy beavertail grip safeties. You'll end up replacing it if it presses down too far (it's very annoying).
    Last edited by 230therapy; 07-27-2010 at 10:46 AM.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 230therapy View Post
    The 1911 is an expensive gun and money is the name of the game.

    Research everything. Read reviews. Look at complaints and how the manufacturer handled them. www.1911forum.com/forums

    Just buy a higher end gun and get it over with. There really is a difference when a skilled gunsmith works a gun. Yes, you can get a good production 1911. How much are you going to change beyond night sights? There's reliability work, trigger work and so forth.

    Take a look at the $1500-2000 range, as well as Ed Brown guns (they're a bit more in the $2200 range).

    Fusion Firearms can make you a very nice gun for around $1500-1700.

    Les Baer guns tend to hover around $1800. It's my opinion that their guns are too tight for carry, but make excellent range and competition guns. That's not to say LB guns cannot be used for defense; you just need to do your homework.


    If you don't want a custom gun, then take a hard look at SIG Sauer 1911's. Apparently, they're a real bargain and are quite good.

    There are guys who love Kimber, but I had nothing but trouble from two of them. Many of the problems were due to lack of attention to detail at the factory. Both mine had incorrect angles on the feed ramp, rough chambers, a ridge on the breech face (recoil face in Kuhnhausen) that prevented the cartridge from sitting squarely, and incorrect ejector tension. The guns should not have left the factory and the factory failed to properly evaluate the guns when they were sent in.

    I'm going to go with a Colt for my next production gun. Colt's customer service has dramatically improved and they seem to have fixed their quality control. You may want to look at the Rail Gun or go with a Series 70 and build it up. Their XSE series (minus the Rail Gun) have goofy beavertail grip safeties. You'll end up replacing it if it presses down too far (it's very annoying).
    Glad you think like I do.

  14. #14
    Regular Member jpm84092's Avatar
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    A Suggestion You May Find Helpful.

    Many gun shops that have ranges associated with them often offer rental guns. Once you have selected several possible candidates, and have felt what the weapon feels like in the store with no rounds in the magazine, you can rent the candidates and shoot them to see what you like. This is a good test because many rental guns do not see much cleaning or lubrication. They will be dirty and you can see what a well used version of the models you are looking at behaves like. Many gun stores here will allow you to do this for free if you have committed to purchasing one of the candidates from them.

    Whatever your choice, best of luck with it.
    My cats support the Second Amendment. NRA Life Member, NRA Instructor: Pistol, Rifle, & Personal Protection - NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, Utah BCI Certified Concealed Firearm Permit Instructor.
    "Permission Slips" from Utah, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. _ Verily, thou shalt not fiddle with thine firearm whilst in the bathroom stall, lest thine spouse seek condolences from thine friends.

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