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Old 02-06-2012, 12:47   #1
Usmcfox
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Entry level 1911 capable of upgrades

So I've been looking for a 1911 pistol, within the 500-800 dollar range and have found a few. Some with bad reps., others excellent. So without saying which ones are good and bad (you probably already know. I just want some input on your thoughts.

Sti SpArtan 5.0 45acp
Taurus 1911
Rock island armory 1911
Charles daly m5 government
Para gi expert
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Old 02-06-2012, 15:03   #2
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ATI. Enough said. The best Filipino made pistol, and the best for the price range.

The STI Spartan is nothing more than a fancified RIA because they're both made by ARMSCOR of Phillipines. The ATI is made by SAM and has much better fit & finish and more consistent quality.

I had the opportunity to examined seven ATIs and at least a dozen ARMSCOR imports (RIA, Cimmaron, High Standard, and some other names I didn't recognize). The ATIs had the most consistent quality of fit and finish. The ARMSCORs were all over the place. Some had sweet triggers, some would make you cringe. Some has nice slide/frame fit, some were looser than a two-dollars whore.
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Old 02-06-2012, 15:59   #3
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If you want a good 1911 capable of upgrades, just go with a Springfield Mil Spec.

Forget the Taurus and Para.
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Old 02-06-2012, 16:03   #4
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Originally Posted by bac1023 View Post
If you want a good 1911 capable of upgrades, just go with a Springfield Mil Spec.

Forget the Taurus and Para.
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Old 02-06-2012, 16:27   #5
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If you want a good 1911 capable of upgrades, just go with a Springfield Mil Spec.

Forget the Taurus and Para.
Agreed!
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Old 02-06-2012, 16:51   #6
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My vote goes for the STI spartan. The are assembled in Texas I believe. The mil-spec and GI by SA are great also.

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Old 02-06-2012, 17:10   #7
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Originally Posted by Usmcfox View Post
So I've been looking for a 1911 pistol, within the 500-800 dollar range and have found a few. Some with bad reps., others excellent. So without saying which ones are good and bad (you probably already know. I just want some input on your thoughts.

Sti SpArtan 5.0 45acp
Taurus 1911
Rock island armory 1911
Charles daly m5 government
Para gi expert
You can get a Kimber Custom II in that price range. Makes a great base gun. And is better than all of the above mentioned guns. And if you're looking for a project base gun, try to find a used one for even less.
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Old 02-06-2012, 17:13   #8
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Snag an old Norinco for $400 to $500. Many good smiths will work on them still. Heirloom had no issue working on mine.
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Old 02-06-2012, 17:30   #9
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Originally Posted by bac1023 View Post
If you want a good 1911 capable of upgrades, just go with a Springfield Mil Spec.

Forget the Taurus and Para.

I was going to write the same... Guns are made to standard specs, Taurus, RIA, and STI aren't as easy to replace parts on. i.e. sights
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Old 02-06-2012, 18:08   #10
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If you want a good 1911 capable of upgrades, just go with a Springfield Mil Spec.

Forget the Taurus and Para.
Agreed.


If you absolutely need the beavertail and Novak sights. You can also take a look at their Loaded models. You should be able to find a stainless steel model or the lesser parkerized gun under the 800 dollar price range.

I have two of them and they are both good guns.
I find myself drawn to the GI and Milspec though.

A bought a new stainless GI Springfield this past year and I love it.
I am actually more stoked about it that I ever was with the two loaded models.

One huge advantage with going with Springfield is their warranty. They don't care if you are the first owner. They don't care if you buy the lesser expensive guns. If there is ever a problem with a Springfield gun. They will fix it. Also they have both a forged upper and lower. They are one of just a couple brands most well knows gunsmiths will work on.
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Old 02-06-2012, 18:29   #11
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The Springfield Range Officer I just bought falls into that price range. I love it. I just bought a .22 conversion kit for it today.
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Old 02-06-2012, 19:49   #12
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The Springfield Range Officer I just bought falls into that price range. I love it. I just bought a .22 conversion kit for it today.
If you can find an SA Range Officer, grab it, My second choice would be the New Ruger or the Remington RI Enhanced. All three are under $800.

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Old 02-06-2012, 21:02   #13
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STi. You can get tons of parts from more places for that gun than you can shake a stick at. Check out Dawson Precision, Midway, tons of parts and aftermarket parts.
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Old 02-06-2012, 21:06   #14
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The Spartan is a great option, but I don't really consider it a base gun for upgrades.

Its a fun, inexpensive shooter out of the box.
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Old 02-06-2012, 21:41   #15
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You can get a Kimber Custom II in that price range. Makes a great base gun. And is better than all of the above mentioned guns. And if you're looking for a project base gun, try to find a used one for even less.
I agree with this

Maybe even go with the Kimber TLEII if you want checking on the front strap someday (as a upgrade I mean) it would be cheaper to buy a 1911 that already has it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 22:37   #16
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I agree with this

Maybe even go with the Kimber TLEII if you want checking on the front strap someday (as a upgrade I mean) it would be cheaper to buy a 1911 that already has it.
I had a TLEII and I liked it. The only thing that turned me off about Kimber was that my barrel got surface rust on it and when I called Kimber their "customer service" pretty much told me that it happens sometimes and that it doesn't affect the function of the gun. Not the kind of customer service I expect on a gun that costs that much money. I sold it and got a Ruger SR1911. It was a good gun, but I don't think it is a good candidate for a base gun. I just picked up a Loaded Springfield and all I can say is wow. If I could do it all over again I would have just gotten a Springfield in the first place and been done with it. They have great customer service and an awesome custom shop for when you want to upgrade later down the road.

Here's a pic of the barrel rust on the Kimber for the "pics or it didn't happen" crowd...

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Old 02-06-2012, 22:43   #17
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I had a TLEII and I liked it. The only thing that turned me off about Kimber was that my barrel got surface rust on it and when I called Kimber their "customer service" pretty much told me that it happens sometimes and that it doesn't affect the function of the gun. Not the kind of customer service I expect on a gun that costs that much money. I sold it and got a Ruger SR1911. It was a good gun, but I don't think it is a good candidate for a base gun. I just picked up a Loaded Springfield and all I can say is wow. If I could do it all over again I would have just gotten a Springfield in the first place and been done with it. They have great customer service and an awesome custom shop for when you want to upgrade later down the road.

Here's a pic of the barrel rust on the Kimber for the "pics or it didn't happen" crowd...

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Oh no pics needed to prove Kimber barrel rust, they rust in the gunshop case around here (they really do)

They do not finish their barrels like most 1911 makers and thus they show surface rust pretty easily. I agree that sucks about them.

Springfield makes a darn nice 1911 as well. Not sure which I think is "better" between Kimber & Springfield. Kinda like Coke & Pepsi to me I guess.

I am thinking maybe a Magnum Research 1911 is next in line for me

Last edited by Ruggles; 02-06-2012 at 22:44..
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Old 02-06-2012, 22:52   #18
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Oh no pics needed to prove Kimber barrel rust, they rust in the gunshop case around here (they really do)


I saw one that was rusted the other day when I was browsing a gun shop across the street from the tire shop while I was waiting for tires to be put on my Jeep. I asked the guy behind the counter what it was and he said it was nothing and would wipe right off with some oil.

I'm sure the high humidity here in Georgia only makes this problem worse.
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Old 02-06-2012, 23:15   #19
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I saw one that was rusted the other day when I was browsing a gun shop across the street from the tire shop while I was waiting for tires to be put on my Jeephttp://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?p=3296817

. I asked the guy behind the counter what it was and he said it was nothing and would wipe right off with some oil.

I'm sure the high humidity here in Georgia only makes this problem worse.
It is not only us

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_5_49/11...he_White_.html

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=413141

and a BUNCH more if searched on the internet.

Of course it is not only Kimber, I had a Les Baer barrel rust on me as well. And a Para Warthawg in stainless steel. I guess it is the Texas humidity.

My current "car" gun is a Regent 1911 from Turkey, price was $450 or so new. No rust yet on it from sitting in my car day & night. I know if it was a Kimber it would have shown some rust by now They really need to address this IMO. Not a deal breaker for me but still in 2012 I think they can do better.

Last edited by Ruggles; 02-06-2012 at 23:17..
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Old 02-06-2012, 23:33   #20
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My current "car" gun is a Regent 1911 from Turkey, price was $450 or so new. No rust yet on it from sitting in my car day & night. I know if it was a Kimber it would have shown some rust by now They really need to address this IMO. Not a deal breaker for me but still in 2012 I think they can do better.
I agree. I will not buy another Kimber until they admit that there is a problem and address it. Same reason I never bought a Gen4 Glock. Now that Glock has admitted that there is a problem and they are fixing the issues I am planning on purchasing a Gen4 19. I am going to give it a few more months before I get it just to make sure they have the issues worked out 100%.
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