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What's the best 1911 for a first 1911?

I've only owned one pistol in the past, an H&K USP45. If I decide to get back into pistols, the 1911 is the one for me.

I've fired basic Colts, and a Kimber Loaded. What else should I check out?

The purpose would be as a general purpose shooter.
 

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I started with an out of the box 1991A1. I plan to have some work done on it such as rear sight (maybe front too), trigger as I have money and feel confident I am picking the right after market accessories. The pistol will already shoot as well as I can so I don't expect that I will be driving nails with it anytime soon but I do want to tinker. It handles nicely and is well balanced. I have average sized hands so it is easy for me to control unlike the larger framed pistols. My younger brother is a LE firearms instructor and he says it shoots very well for what it is out of the box.
 

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:rolleyes:
I highly endorse buying a Kimber as a first, and yes LAST 1911. The thing with 1911s with me is, there is no such thing as a last..
That said, you could do what I did.

1. Buy a Kimber Custom stainless($770), and get a gun that's is worth twice as much as it sells for.
2. Shoot the hell out of it, and ponder over how much you love it. 3. Figure you want another 1911, but with a double stack capacity, drop $1100 on a customed Para Ord. P12 duotone. Get pissed off becuase your smith has had it longer than you have.

4. Waiting for my P12, buy a 5'' Springfield Loaded (which is a very nice buy also!) and ponder why they are starting to look like the Kimber, with their forward slide serrations etc. This gun is marvelous and could only use some more dehorning! I thought, for any thing other than variety's sake, I could have paid another hundred or so, and purchased another KIMBER 5"!!!!

And thus the circular motion of thought... Kimber--->Kimber!

My 2cents.
 

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1991 works well out of the box for me. It is a reliable good everyday shooter and is about as accurate as an average shooter can shoot. May not have all the bells and whistles as the higher ends . Just my 2 cents. boon
 

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I agree with boondocker as to the choice of the 1991 for the beginner or professional gun toter. It is a well build pistol and really a bargain in todays market.:2guns:
 

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I'll get some interesting stuff going here, I just know it. I recently purchased a Llama 1911 clone. Modello IX-A I believe. Got the gun in new condition finish-wise, some polishing done on the ramp, two mags from the factory and one Colt aftermarket jobbie, nice factory wood grips and a set of Pachmayrs, and the factory case for $325. As far as price goes, and outstanding first .45 auto. I will say this, I did a lot of shopping and research after finding this gun, and the other Llamas I could find and examine were a mixed bag. I've never seen so many firearms from one manufacturer that varied so widely in quality. I bought mine anyway, because it seemed to be one of the good ones and there were two Llamas on the firing line in the Police Defensive Pistol class I just finished. They both shot fine. Mine? Eats like a horse without and any major hiccups yet...can't complain.:2guns:
 

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I have to go with the Kimber custom all steel blue or stainless. I have Kimber and Colt 1991 A1. I tried to leave the cold alone, because it was a pretty good gun when I got it. Then I got the Kimber. Well, I rationalized-----I wanted the Colt to be close to the Kimber, so I statrted getting accessories and trigger job on both of them, Dlasko trigger on the Colt etc. etc. Now the Colt has much the same accessories as the Kimber plus extended slide release and wood Ace grips and titanium firing pin. I am sold on the Kimbers, but they are like any other 1911: you will have to get a trigger job on it.
ches
:trooper:
 

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So Bill what did you wind up with?

I'm also looking for a good first 1911 type.

Can anybody explain the basic differences between the 1911 & 1991 pistols? What did they update?
 

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The only difference that I can see is that the 1991 A1 colt has a plunger in the back of the underside of the slide that disconnects the firing pin until the trigger is pulled. This makes extra can of worms as far as friction and movement necessary to get trigger travel when you pull the trigger. This is probably why Kimber does not have this safety feature (better trigger pull).
ches
 

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Nothing to compare it to, but I just bought a Springfield Armory Micro-Compact 1911A1. 3" barrel -- reminds me of a Kimber Ultra Carry.

Paid $850, so I sure HOPE it's a good one, but I haven't seen many reviews.

As an aside, I took it to the range for the first time on Sunday and I seemed to be able to hit more with it than the guy next to me could with his Glock 9mm.

I bought some paper targets so I'll have a better idea how it shoots next time. I already feel like I can hit a baseball at 25yds -- which impressed me, having never shot anything but a 9mm or .22 before.

Mike
 

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I've owned a Para P13 and a Colt Series 80 Enhanced stainless Commander, really enjoyed shooting both of them. I have relatively small hands, so the P13 was traded for the single stack Colt, which still proved to be a handfull (long trigger). Both guns had poor stock triggers which required mods. Kept trying to fund more mods for the Colt, got discouraged and ended up selling it to get a HiPower which at least fits much better. Am now sick of the whole hi-cap mag situation to the point I'm considering going back to a 1911. The full house customs (Wilson, Baer, etc.) are too expensive for me, but Kimber seems to be the best over the counter buy. Good triggers, and the guns can be had (stock) with all typical mods for around $1000-$1200. Springfield guns look good, too, but I've decided I don't want to farm my next gun out all over the place for mods. Kimber offers everything for a reasonable price, and the smith at my local indoor range agrees.
 

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I have owned a 1911 of one form or another since I was seventeen years old and prefer most anything on the series 70 design. I highly recomend this design due to its simplicity. The series 80 design has a few more parts for safety which have failed me in the past. More moving parts just adds to the probability of a failure and when my bacon is on the line I want a gun that is tried and true. Anything on the series 70 format will serve you well and makes for better companionship than a wife. It will not pitch a fit when you buy your next toy.
 

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I just purchased a Springfield Mil-Spec Parkerized a few weeks ago. Already put about 600 rounds throug it. I absolutely love it. My brother has a Thompson Auto-Ordinance 1911 he got a few months ago for about the same price (either i got a good deal at $400 or he got a bad one at $375). Neither of them have any issues at all, and they trade magazines and parts as if they were the same pistol. I just wish the 10rd magazines were not so long.
 

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I've got an old (1959) Colt Government Model 1911 that cost me $200.00 with nothing more than a Chip McCormick 8-round mag as an upgrade, and a Para-Ordnance P12 that's been MagnaPorted and action-jobbed. To be honest, I enjoy shooting the old Colt more, but for personal defense I carry the P12. I like the +P JHPs it shoots, and it's a lot lighter and more concealable. When I'm not wearing a jacket and shoulder rig, I carry it in a PagerPal.
 

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I just put $$ on a COLT 1991A1 today. Its the Commander verion with a about a 3/4" shorter barrel. This is a great buy. I like that it came with good sights already.

the 1991 A1 is just a toned down lower priced Governmeny Model Series 80. The ser 80 was when Colt switched to ther piring pin plunger to keep the gun from discharging if its dropped or the hammer fails. I have owned many of both ser 70s and 80s and I cant tell the difference. My brothers 1991A1 has one of the crispest triggers I've handled from a stock .45.
The 1991A1 is less expensive by using a pakerezed finish and a few easily replaced plastic parts like the trigger and the mainsping housing. I kinda miss the beutiful Royal blue of my older Government models but hey $200 -$300 saved it nothing to sneeze at.

And like my DAD said "If its not a "COLT" is not a "COLT 45".
 

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owned several 70 & 80 series colt pistols. all are good and shoot quite well, except maybe a combat elite I once had ( it always jammed with anything but ball ammo). my current 1991A1 is one of my favorites. though I've made a few changes by adding commander hammer, kings grip saftey ( for commander hammer), arched mainspring housing, novak low mount rear sight, full length guide rod with wolff spring,videki trigger(left out adjust to stop screw), polished sear and set pull 4#. This is what I like, but almost any quality 1911 out of box should serve you well.
 

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As the only person in the world not totally impressed with the Kimber, I know that I am going to catch a lot of flak. Don't get me wrong I think that Kimber 'assembles' a nice gun. All of their series II guns have a Schwartz trigger safety that I think is much worse than the Series 80 Colt.

At present I think I am down to 9 1911s. 5 Colts (1950 Commercial, Series 70, Swenson Conversion, 1991 commander and a Defender), 1 Springfield V10 Super Tuned, 1 Randall Lemay,1 Dan Wesson Guardian Duce, and a Para P14 LDA. IMHO I think that the Springfield loaded pkg guns are the best for the money.

If you are just looking for a good platform to build your own, you might consider the old Norinco that was imported for a few years. All of the Norincos that I have run across were made out of some dam good steel with excellent machining. Another no name that is on the market right now is the Griffon. Those that I have seen were well made (in S Africa), with all the bells and whistles, plus nite sights at about half of the price of a Kimber. Don't remember which wholesaler (SOG, CDNN. JG Sales, etc.)was getting rid of them (must be another brain fart) but it is worth checking into.
 
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