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Old 02-27-2013, 18:26   #1
BamaTrooper
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Best in Show Budget 1911

So I have been seeing a lot of lower cost 1911s hitting the shelves lately-

Iver Johnson
Citadel
High Standard
Rock Island

Anything to be leery of with these models?

If they don't come with them, I would end up installing a flat mainspring housing, commander hammer and, if needed, a better trigger.

Are the "tactical" versions decent enough? I want to customize something (20 years of Glock ownership) and the 1911 seems to have all sorts of doodads and such. I could save and buy a Les Baer or whatever, but I can buy 3 or 4 of these and customize them for the cost of one Baer, Brown, etc...

So basically, rank the 4 as far as starter guns go.
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Old 02-27-2013, 18:48   #2
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Have a Citadel compact that is new with only about 150 rounds through it. Like it alot. Very tight slide to frame fit.Very accurate. Looks well made. It is made by Armscor which also makes the Rock Island Armory and, I think, the High Standard. So, the answer to your question is that the 3 mentioned above should be basically the same. The Citadels are a little more cosmetically refined than the RIA in that they have checker grips. They also come with 2 magazines where the RIA comes with 1. The Citadels are more expensive. The only reason i paid more for my Citadel is that i could not find an RIA,; but, the extra mag and the checkered grips are a nice addition. Sorry, but I have no information on the Iver.
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Old 02-27-2013, 19:41   #3
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I'm new to 1911s but the metro arms trophy is an awesome gun for 600 bucks
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Old 02-27-2013, 20:10   #4
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The Citadels boast a bit more refined fit and finish than the basic RIAs. If you're looking to change things to your liking, the Rocks are a great base gun to start with. Grips get changed a lot, so replacing the smooth ones for something a little cooler is easy, and depending on your taste, reasonably inexpensive. The Tac models tend to come with a few more bells and whistles, like beavertail grip safeties, better sights, better hammers, and triggers, so upgrades are minimal. I haven't seen anything from High Standard recently, so I can't comment on those, and Ivar Johnson would probably be at the bottom of my list.

Either of the first two would be a good 1st gun to learn on. They're reasonably priced, hitting somewhere between the $425 and $575 (more or less) price point. Both come with lifetime warranties and great customer support.

Good Luck and good shooting.

Also, for the price of a base Baer, you could probably have 5 or 6 Rock islands.
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Old 02-27-2013, 20:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaTrooper View Post
So I have been seeing a lot of lower cost 1911s hitting the shelves lately-

Iver Johnson
Citadel
High Standard
Rock Island

Anything to be leery of with these models?

If they don't come with them, I would end up installing a flat mainspring housing, commander hammer and, if needed, a better trigger.

Are the "tactical" versions decent enough? I want to customize something (20 years of Glock ownership) and the 1911 seems to have all sorts of doodads and such. I could save and buy a Les Baer or whatever, but I can buy 3 or 4 of these and customize them for the cost of one Baer, Brown, etc...

So basically, rank the 4 as far as starter guns go.
Well, three of the four you mentioned are built by the same company, Armscor in the Philippines. Iver Johnsons are built by SAM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 15:57   #6
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and none of them will ever be a Brown, Les Bauer, etc
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Old 02-28-2013, 16:37   #7
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Originally Posted by BamaTrooper View Post
Are the "tactical" versions decent enough? I want to customize something (20 years of Glock ownership) and the 1911 seems to have all sorts of doodads and such. I could save and buy a Les Baer or whatever, but I can buy 3 or 4 of these and customize them for the cost of one Baer, Brown, etc...

So basically, rank the 4 as far as starter guns go.
A couple things here...

First off, I own and like 1911s from all three Philippino companies (Armscor, SAM, and Metro). However, these are not the sort of 1911s you buy to customize. You buy a base Colt or Springfield for that sort of thing.

Secondly, I've been fortunate enough to own many 1911s in all price ranges. However, if I had to choose one or the other, I would never even even of buying four Philippinio 1911s over a nice semi-custom. That's just silly, in my opinion. You can spend hundreds of dollars garage customizing a cheap 1911. In the end it will never be close to the fit and finish of a Wilson or Baer and will likely be worth less than the stock gun.

If you plan on spending a couple grand on 1911s, buy something to be proud of and that will last a lifetime. The whole idea of quantity over quality makes zero sense to me.

If I were you, I'd rethink my strategy.
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Old 02-28-2013, 16:38   #8
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I would say it depends on what you want to do with the gun.

They are a bargain if you want a good enough pistol that you will never do anything with other than shoot. However if you want to build on it or have it built into a custom gun. The Springfield Milspec and the GI (if you can find one) are the only way to go. They both have forged frames and slides that just about any custom gunsmith will work on.

I highly doubt that any with a recognizable name would be willing to work on anything less.







I did catch a show here this week that said that ARMSCOR is tinkering with forging frames.


ETA

The Springfields are in the price range of some of the Philippine made guns. Colts would be several hundred more.
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Old 02-28-2013, 16:38   #9
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and none of them will ever be a Brown, Les Bauer, etc
Exactly

I never understood the quantity over quality thing at all...

For me, its the opposite.
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Old 02-28-2013, 16:41   #10
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Originally Posted by Jason D View Post
I would say it depends on what you want to do with the gun.

They are a bargain if you want a good enough pistol that you will never do anything with other than shoot. However if you want to build on it or have it built into a custom gun. The Springfield Milspec and the GI (if you can find one) are the only way to go. They both have forged frames and slides that just about any custom gunsmith will work on.

I highly doubt that any with a recognizable name would be willing to work on anything less.







I did catch a show here this week that said that ARMSCOR is tinkering with forging frames.

Yeah, you just don't buy a Filipino 1911 to tinker with. You buy them as good shooting 1911s out of the box for bargain prices.

If you want to customize, you buy a base Colt or Springfield
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Old 02-28-2013, 19:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac1023 View Post
A couple things here...

First off, I own and like 1911s from all three Philippino companies (Armscor, SAM, and Metro). However, these are not the sort of 1911s you buy to customize. You buy a base Colt or Springfield for that sort of thing.

Secondly, I've been fortunate enough to own many 1911s in all price ranges. However, if I had to choose one or the other, I would never even even of buying four Philippinio 1911s over a nice semi-custom. That's just silly, in my opinion. You can spend hundreds of dollars garage customizing a cheap 1911. In the end it will never be close to the fit and finish of a Wilson or Baer and will likely be worth less than the stock gun.

If you plan on spending a couple grand on 1911s, buy something to be proud of and that will last a lifetime. The whole idea of quantity over quality makes zero sense to me.

If I were you, I'd rethink my strategy.
My intent wasn't to substitute 4 low end 1911s for a Les Baer, et al... I don't plan on winning a Steel Challenge with it, just doing some tinkering on a shootable local level match type gun. Hell, I don't like to clean guns and might feel guilty about shooting it and leaving it dirty.

I think I am going to have a 1911 built, maybe a Caaspian frame (don't they offer personalized serial numbers?) and one of their Damascus slides. Well that and a customized LW 9mm 1911.
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Old 02-28-2013, 19:57   #12
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My intent wasn't to substitute 4 low end 1911s for a Les Baer, et al... I don't plan on winning a Steel Challenge with it, just doing some tinkering on a shootable local level match type gun.
That's cool

In that case, I recommend a Springfield GI or Mil-Spec.
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Old 02-28-2013, 20:10   #13
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Quote:
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Exactly

I never understood the quantity over quality thing at all...

For me, its the opposite.
4 $500 pistols set up a little differently over 1 gun of a single set up.

I don't like adjustable target sights on carry guns but prefer them on target stuff. Everything else being equal on the gun, that would give me to different things to mess with.
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Old 03-01-2013, 13:07   #14
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That's cool

In that case, I recommend a Springfield GI or Mil-Spec.
BAC, I bought a Kimber conversion kit (it was a deal) and want to build a .22 1911. Do you think one of the RIA or other low end frames will work or will the conversion kit toleranves be too tight?
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Old 03-01-2013, 13:15   #15
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and none of them will ever be a Brown, Les Bauer, etc
A 1911 is a 1911.A Taurus is just as good as a Wilson or a GI.





































































































































































































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Old 03-01-2013, 14:45   #16
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Old 03-01-2013, 15:20   #17
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BAC, I bought a Kimber conversion kit (it was a deal) and want to build a .22 1911. Do you think one of the RIA or other low end frames will work or will the conversion kit toleranves be too tight?
I've never tried it, but have read favorable reports about that combination. It should work.
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Old 03-01-2013, 15:33   #18
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That's cool

In that case, I recommend a Springfield GI or Mil-Spec.
you'll see a lot of this response with good reason. my citadel was kinda vanilla, looking back.

i kick myself for letting the mil-spec springer go.
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Old 03-01-2013, 15:36   #19
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Old 03-01-2013, 18:00   #20
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Let me tell you my story.

Just before the big letdown of 2008 I had some money in my pocket and wanted a 1911. So, I partake myself and my checkbook to my local gun shop and spy a new Springfield GI Champion lightweight for $499. Half an hour later the gun and I are heading home.

A month later, disatisfied with the trigger pull and quality of the internal parts I order a Cylinder and Slide USMC trigger pull in a box. (You don't get a box, they come blister packed IIRC.)

Then to help feeding I bought a Wilson top of the line extractor.

Then an EGW oversized firing pin retainer to help with clocking.

Then a set of Colt double diamond walnut grips on sale from Midway.

And an extra magazine since it only came with one.

At this point I have invested the price of a Colt 1991 LW Commander, I still need to mill the slide for decent sights and it still won't feed Gold Dots.

If I had it to do over again I would buy a Colt S70 or a LW Commander.
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Old 03-01-2013, 20:00   #21
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Let me tell you my story.

Just before the big letdown of 2008 I had some money in my pocket and wanted a 1911. So, I partake myself and my checkbook to my local gun shop and spy a new Springfield GI Champion lightweight for $499. Half an hour later the gun and I are heading home.

A month later, disatisfied with the trigger pull and quality of the internal parts I order a Cylinder and Slide USMC trigger pull in a box. (You don't get a box, they come blister packed IIRC.)

Then to help feeding I bought a Wilson top of the line extractor.

Then an EGW oversized firing pin retainer to help with clocking.

Then a set of Colt double diamond walnut grips on sale from Midway.

And an extra magazine since it only came with one.

At this point I have invested the price of a Colt 1991 LW Commander, I still need to mill the slide for decent sights and it still won't feed Gold Dots.

If I had it to do over again I would buy a Colt S70 or a LW Commander.
I have 2 LWC and on the 7th, I will pick up a Series 70 Commander from a local shop. A guy sold it to them and they have to wait 20 days (it's a pawn shop). Gun seems to be in good shape but has original sights. $500 and tax and it will be mine. I sold a G24 today so that money will purchase the Commander. Sooner or later I am getting a LWC in 9mm. That is one of the 3 guns I wish I had never sold.
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Old 03-02-2013, 00:21   #22
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I've had a RIA since about 2002. Its not my carry gun but I've been VERY pleased with it. Accuracy out of the box was great and reliability has been stellar. I got mine shipped and transferred for a whopping $330. Of course that was in 2002 dollars, so I'll let it go for $1000 today!
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:36   #23
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:08   #24
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For a little extra change I'd go with the STI Trojan.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:00   #25
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I carry a RIA 1911 CS. It feeds 230 grain +P HSTs just fine. I also have no intention of customizing it, other than having changed the grips. They're great guns to shoot as is. Otherwise, you invest too much money in a low $ gun, as has already been said. For the price of upgrading everything I could've had a locally built custom 1911 on a Caspian frame.
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