Best in Show Budget 1911

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by BamaTrooper, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Almost Done

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

    Iver Johnson
    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.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
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  3. 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.

  4. I'm new to 1911s but the metro arms trophy is an awesome gun for 600 bucks
  5. gunsmoke92

    Silver Member

    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. :supergrin:

    Also, for the price of a base Baer, you could probably have 5 or 6 Rock islands.
    #4 gunsmoke92, Feb 27, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  6. Well, three of the four you mentioned are built by the same company, Armscor in the Philippines. Iver Johnsons are built by SAM.
    #5 bac1023, Feb 27, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  7. and none of them will ever be a Brown, Les Bauer, etc
  8. 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. :dunno:

    If I were you, I'd rethink my strategy. :cool:
    #7 bac1023, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  9. Jason D

    Jason D INFRINGED!
    Silver Member Millennium Member
    1. Project Mayhem
    2. Show Me Glockers

    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.


    The Springfields are in the price range of some of the Philippine made guns. Colts would be several hundred more.
    #8 Jason D, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  10. Exactly

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

    For me, its the opposite.

  11. 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
  12. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Almost Done

    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:whistling:.

    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.
  13. That's cool :cool:

    In that case, I recommend a Springfield GI or Mil-Spec.
  14. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Almost Done

    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.
  15. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Almost Done

    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?
  16. 3rdgen40

    3rdgen40 .45 fanatic

    A 1911 is a 1911.A Taurus is just as good as a Wilson or a GI.

  17. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan

    Need another stir stick Randy?

  18. I've never tried it, but have read favorable reports about that combination. It should work.
  19. jakebrake

    jakebrake cracker

    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.
  20. :animlol:
  21. RonS

    Millennium Member

    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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