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Entry level 1911 capable of upgrades

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Usmcfox, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Usmcfox


    Dec 27, 2011
    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
  2. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    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.

  3. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    If you want a good 1911 capable of upgrades, just go with a Springfield Mil Spec.

    Forget the Taurus and Para.
  4. 2001SportTJ


    Feb 14, 2011
  5. oldsoldier


    Jun 22, 2008
  6. limbkiller


    Mar 25, 2011
    My vote goes for the STI spartan. The are assembled in Texas I believe. The mil-spec and GI by SA are great also.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  7. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    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.
  8. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    Snag an old Norinco for $400 to $500. Many good smiths will work on them still. Heirloom had no issue working on mine.
  9. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011

    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
  10. Jason D

    Jason D INFRINGED Silver Member Millennium Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Mivonks, MI

    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.
  11. fusegsp


    Jan 5, 2009
    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.
  12. Dwe


    Mar 1, 2011
    Chicago land
    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.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  13. 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.
  14. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    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.
  15. Ruggles


    Jun 13, 2005
    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.
  16. 2001SportTJ


    Feb 14, 2011
    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...

  17. Ruggles


    Jun 13, 2005
    Oh no pics needed to prove Kimber barrel rust, they rust in the gunshop case around here :rofl: (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: Feb 6, 2012
  18. 2001SportTJ


    Feb 14, 2011

    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.:upeyes:

    I'm sure the high humidity here in Georgia only makes this problem worse.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  19. Ruggles


    Jun 13, 2005
    It is not only us :rofl:

    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. :rofl:

    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 :crying: 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: Feb 7, 2012
  20. 2001SportTJ


    Feb 14, 2011
    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%.