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Old 11-17-2012, 17:07   #1
xfarfuldog
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Custom 1911's How much better?

I went to two gun shows today and sold three guns. I am trying to get down to one gun or rather one gun operating system. I sold a S&W 66 357, M&P 45, and a stainless HK USP 45. I also took a Kimber TLE which did not sell. I carry an M&P 40 everyday at work. I also own 5 Glocks, a Python, a Kahr MK 9, and a Pony 380.

The Glocks and the M&P system are compatible. I have been contemplating doing away with the 1911. I shoot the 1911 better than anything else but I hate cleaning them and they are expensive.


My question is how much better is a custom 1911 like a SA Professional or Wilson Combat then my TLE? Is it worth the extra money for a custom 1911? In what ways are they better then my TLE? By what degree are they better? 5% 10%?

Sell all my Glocks and go for custom 1911's? OR sell the 1911 and keep the Glocks?

Last edited by xfarfuldog; 11-17-2012 at 17:13.. Reason: double post
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Old 11-17-2012, 18:05   #2
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You pay for a custom M1911 for a couple of reasons:

1. Bragging rights.

2. Pride of ownership of something that has a lot of hand crafting.

I'm sure that somebody will come in and talk about better performance. However, I'll pit my basic stock gun's performances against any; and I really mean ANY, custom gun be it reliability or accuracy.
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Old 11-17-2012, 18:27   #3
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I do not have a higher level custom 1911. Someday I will have a Wilson, though. That said, I have a less than pristine older 1911 (actually dates to I think 1918) that I got a few decades back for whatever small amount of folding money I had in my pocket and a two inch Model 10 that I consistently shoot better than about anything else. I am not sure, but if I had to guess, I am going to guess that the trigger on a low end rougher 1911 is rather well refined compared to most other pistols. Whether a custom 1911 is worth the extra money or not is probably mostly opinion for someone of my modest (lack of) skill level.

And since I have been virtually no help whatsoever, I would, have kept the M&P, USP and 66 before the Kahr and the Pony.
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Old 11-17-2012, 19:44   #4
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The M&P was OK, the 66 (2 1/2 inch) no longer filled a need, and the USP was just too big in my hand. The Kahr Mk9 fits in my uniform pants as a backup to the issued M&P 40. The Pony was my late wifes gun.

As an instructor, I must qualify with a revolver and the semi auto pistol. I use my 4" Python and the 40 for that. I do not like to have DA/SA, SAO, and Glock like triggers to remember when I shoot. A 1911 is by far the best trigger of any of the many guns I have owned. This thread is intended to see just how much better a 1911 I can get and if the extra money is justified.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:11   #5
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What my opinion. Is :
If you are the typical average pistol shot and do most of your shooting inside 15 yards the high end customs won't add much for you honestly. If however you are an advanced pistol shot with opportunity to shoot 25 yards and beyond at small targets ( or are an active bullseye competitor routine shooting out to 50 yards the customs/ semi customs really start to shine.
As you go up north of a grand incremental improvement in gun performance is very small.
For 98% of pistol people the difference between a reliable gun that has the ability to shoot a 2.5 versus 3/4" group at 25 yards won't be noticed. For some shooters it will. I love my les Baer and have shot sub 2 inch hand held ( one hand bullseye) at 25 yards and it is my go to 45 for accuracy.
For shooting combat leagues and. Carry I am just as well off with one of my spare stock colts
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:55   #6
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Semi custom 1911s like the Wilson and Springfield Custom shop Pro you've mentioned are a pretty big step up from a Kimber IMO. You'll just have to give one a try to know if they're worth it to you, for me they're definately worth the price of admission.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:25   #7
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Semi custom 1911s like the Wilson and Springfield Custom shop Pro you've mentioned are a pretty big step up from a Kimber IMO. You'll just have to give one a try to know if they're worth it to you, for me they're definately worth the price of admission.
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Old 11-18-2012, 13:41   #8
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Originally Posted by fnfalman View Post
You pay for a custom M1911 for a couple of reasons:

1. Bragging rights.

2. Pride of ownership of something that has a lot of hand crafting.

I'm sure that somebody will come in and talk about better performance. However, I'll pit my basic stock gun's performances against any; and I really mean ANY, custom gun be it reliability or accuracy.

What is your frame of reference for such an outlandish statement? How many custom 1911s have you owned or had extensive experience with and who customized the pistols? I have a number of customized 1911s (and other handguns) and based on my experience I believe you are delusional and in a state of denial.

RJ
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Old 11-18-2012, 15:15   #9
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I think they're worth the money for the most part. I don't have any custom 1911's because I'd rather spend my money else where. I've shot and messed with other peoples highly expensive, 4000 dollar range, and I just can't see myself paying that much. It's like rifle scopes. 500 dollar scopes compared to a 2500 dollar scope. That's how I see it anyways.

If I was a really good pistol shooter, then maybe I'd buy better fit 1911's.
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Old 11-18-2012, 15:24   #10
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I'll be picking up a Les Baer Custom Carry on Tuesday

I'll be able to put it against my Springfield RO and my Gold Cup and report back
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Old 11-18-2012, 15:44   #11
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My perspective is probably unique, but it is how I look at owning my Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special 1911 .45ACP. It's a semi-custom that I bought new for about $2,000 several years ago when I was caught up in 1911 fever.

I have only fired this pistol about 100 rounds during its only range visit. This is a fine 1911 that I refuse to carry because it is beautifully made with great fit and finish craftsmanship. It is a dream to handle and shoot. Should I sell it? Probably. Will I sell it? Not unless I get desperate for cash someday.

During that 1911 high-fever period, I also bought Sig, Colt and Rock Island pistols. These I shoot and carry from time-to-time without undue concern about wear, an 'idiot scratch' or other sign of use.

In my book, a semi-custom or custom 1911 would be great for a serious .45 shooter (SD or competition) who can readily afford the premium price. They are high performers and beautiful to look at.

For most folks, including me, a 1911 in the $1,000-$1,500 category fills the need for self defense. My Colt Combat Elite is a handsome, reliable 1911 that cost about $1,200.

Is the custom gun premium worth it? It depends on one's economic circumstances, in my opinion. They sure are fine guns.

Last edited by PhotoFeller; 11-18-2012 at 15:49..
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Old 11-18-2012, 17:32   #12
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[QUOTE=xfarfuldog;19641928] I also own 5 Glocks, a Python, a Kahr MK 9, and a Pony 380. Nice collection.

I shoot the 1911 better than anything else...Of course


My question is how much better is a custom 1911 like a SA Professional or Wilson Combat then my TLE?A LOT! Is it worth the extra money for a custom 1911?Yes In what ways are they better then my TLE?Better built, with better parts. By what degree are they better? 5% 10%?90-100%

Sell all my Glocks and go for custom 1911's? Keep your Glocks. Great guns. I'm a HUGE fan. OR sell the 1911 and keep the Glocks?Absolutely NOT! Everyone should own a 1911. [/QUOTE]

I've owned 10 Kimbers and still have 8 (all of which have mildly to wildly customized). Kimber makes a great 1911, especially for the money. I also have a few Rock Islands, so I am not being a "1911 snob" when I say that I also own quite a few custom/semi-custom 1911 from most of the big name players. Go shoot, if you get the chance, or at least do some heavy petting on some semi-cutom 1911's, i.e. Wilson, Guncrafter, Baer, Nighthawk, Brown, SACS, etc... You will be able to tell a HUGE difference between them and a stock Kimber, and I've had some GREAT Kimbers right out of the box. And BTW, NONE of my Kimbers have had a single issue, so they were not customized because of problems. I just wanted them to be something more than just a plain old Kimber. High end 1911's are definately well worth their price IMO. Hope that helps you in any way.

Last edited by glock2740; 11-18-2012 at 17:33..
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Old 11-18-2012, 17:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnfalman View Post
You pay for a custom M1911 for a couple of reasons:

1. Bragging rights.

2. Pride of ownership of something that has a lot of hand crafting.

I'm sure that somebody will come in and talk about better performance. However, I'll pit my basic stock gun's performances against any; and I really mean ANY, custom gun be it reliability or accuracy.
Oh Lord. I've heard it all now.
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Originally Posted by RJ's Guns View Post
What is your frame of reference for such an outlandish statement? How many custom 1911s have you owned or had extensive experience with and who customized the pistols? I have a number of customized 1911s (and other handguns) and based on my experience I believe you are delusional and in a state of denial.

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Old 11-18-2012, 18:39   #14
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I own a few colts, but i recently bought a les baer premier ll.
After 500 rounds fired at distances from 20 to 150 yards, and a full detail strip, i am shocked at how good this pistol is. I find the 1750 i paid for it laughably inexpensive.

Last edited by garander; 11-18-2012 at 19:45..
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Old 11-18-2012, 20:46   #15
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Seems like there are relatively few people who have a Wilson, Baer, etc. who are not satisfied or do not think they are worth it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 21:19   #16
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Guess it depends on what you think it will do for you. I have fired custom Wilsons and Baers that were beautiful. In the end though, I found them to be no more accurate or reliable than the Springfields or Kimbers for the way I shoot. If you have the budget and want a fine pistol, then pay the price and be satisfied with your choice. The brand envy thing is sort of stupid in my book.
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Old 11-18-2012, 23:36   #17
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Highest I've gone is a Dan Wesson Valor. No MIM or cast except the Ed Brown grip safety with fitment that's tight and very well executed. Reliability is 100% and accuracy is fantastic. After a few thousand rounds now, everything is as tight as the day I bought it.

I don't look at anyone who buys an even higher end 1911 with disdain or envy, but they have options you'll only find on top shelf 1911s and if you want them, those are the one's to get.

I like 1911s from the bottom to the top (except Taurus) so it's all up to you on what you want.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:52   #18
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I'd love a high-end 1911. It won't make "me" a better shooter, but I still want one.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:50   #19
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I used to think that the higher end guns weren't worth the money until I handled the Dan Wesson VBOB that is now mine. The DW guns aren't on the same level as a Wilson or Guncrafter or Baer but it is still leaps and bounds ahead of the Kimber TLE/RL II that my friend has in terms of fit and finish and in the small details. Everything is fit much tighter, and it's just an overall better made gun.

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:52   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfarfuldog View Post
.....My question is how much better is a custom 1911 like a SA Professional or Wilson Combat then my TLE? Is it worth the extra money for a custom 1911? In what ways are they better then my TLE? By what degree are they better? 5% 10%?
I'm not getting stepping into a bottomless quicksand debate.

I will state this,......
How much better is a Mercedes over a Buick?
Only you can answer your question.
Cost vs quality vs craftsmanship vs desire vs need.
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