While I despise a 1911 in anything other than .45ACP, your friend may want to check out Rock Island Armory. They have 9mm offering with that price range. I have two of their 1911s and they have been really reliable. For a little bit more money ($550-600) he could also look into the PT1911 from Taurus. I will vouch for Taurus as well. 1911s are a joy to own. Good luck!!