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Need Advice for first 1911 Kimber or STI, or?

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by G19Paul, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. G19Paul


    Mar 10, 2009
    I am interested in purchasing my first 1911. I am trying to do my homework around a $1k purchase (preferably new).

    I am really intrigued by comments and tests I am finding about the STI Ranger II. Also, equally impressed with the Kimber Custom II.

    My 1911 HAS TO BE .45acp. My recently updated EDC is a Glock G30. I have/had several Glocks, and "back in the day" was issued a M1911 during the '70s associated to U.S. Navy duties. In other words, I am comfortable with .45acp.

    Am I overlooking obvious "must have" 1911 models? Anyone have issues with going "used" with these models?

    I am not trying to swat any beehives here, but would like to add a range gun, maybe a EDC choice.

    I respect a lot of folks on here, so I am looking forward to everyone's feedback. I'm not asking for a vote, but real-life feedback from shooters who have been there, done that.

  2. rich52us


    Mar 28, 2006
    WPB, FL
    For me, 1911 .45 EDC = Colt Defender (or possibly New Agent). That's what I recently opted for and after 400 rds I'm very happy with my choice.:supergrin:

  3. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    There are so many choices and each brand has it's fanboys and it's bashers. It is always a can of worms. There are models and makes that have 99% good recommendations but that 1% yell like banshees when they are mentioned.

    My wife and I are happy owners of two brands that have their bashers. Kimber and Taurus. I have been a 1911 owner since 1977 and I would know if they didn't work right or weren't accurate. I would still hesitate to suggest the Taurus untill I get another 500 trouble free rounds out of mine, but I can say my "Old" Kimber Compact has been terrrific, and my wife's Ultra RaptorII is clicking along just fine. I wouldn't buy one of the "middle year" Kimbers w/external extractor if it were dirt cheap.

    We are also happy with the Springfield Trophy Match and I hear a lot of good things from owners of other models.
  4. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    I don't have any experience with the models you are considering. However, I have a bunch of 1911 experience so here goes: The Colt Government Combat is a nice gun that won't break the bank. All of the 'custom' reworks are already done: beveled mag well, cut down ejection port, decent sights (not target sights) and the thing just keeps on shooting.

    My latest 1911 is a Sig. It is rock solid and NEVER malfunctions. I don't get to shoot it very much because my grandson has decided that it is his but he shoots it very well and I shoot the Colt GC. The only problem I have with the Sig is that it doesn't fit ANY 1911 holster. The slide is bigger somehow and the only thing I can find to hold the gun is the matching Sig holster - a SERPA variant. But it works well for action pistol shooting so who cares?

    I hear good things about the Rock Island 1911 and they are really on the underpriced side. I had a chance to look at one (but not shoot it) and I was impressed. I could see buying a couple just to have around.

    When I bought the Sig 1911, I got a chance to look at some Kimbers, other Colts, the S&W and a couple of others. All looked to be excellent guns but the Sig caught my eye. I have 3 other Sigs (P239, P220, P229) and they are all excellent.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention the Colt Lightweight Commander. They are excellent carry guns.

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  5. Lew-G17


    Feb 3, 2002
    Central, NC
    I will not be a lot of help in making your decision, but I have owned the STI Ranger and a Kimber Custom TLE and TLE Pro (which is about the same size as the Ranger). All three pistols ran percectly for me and were plenty accurate. I could not tell any difference in quality or reliability in either of the pistols and I bought all of them used. She slim grips on the Ranger were a take or leave it item for me and I loved the Kimber rubber grips and checkering.

    I would recommend the TLE over the plain Custom II if you go Kimber and the Pro is close in size to the Ranger.
  6. Samned2003


    Nov 6, 2008
    My vote goes to the STI Spartan. It can be bought for around 650.00, and is an excellent entry level 1911. It is a very accurate pistol, and very reliable.

  7. Samned2003


    Nov 6, 2008
    STI is a great company. That is the direction I would go.

  8. wrx04


    Sep 25, 2008
    STI Trojan.

    This was my first 1911. I did quite a bit of research and listened to the guys on this forum and was/am very happy with my choice.

    I now have three 1911's (Wilson, Baer, STI) and i think the Trojan is still the best value of the three. Its not the prettiest pistol, but it flat out works.
  9. Noles26

    Noles26 Made in Texas

    Jul 21, 2010
    Central Texas
  10. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    STI Trojan for sure...


  11. kilroy2721


    Feb 14, 2002
    STI for sure. If you are going to use it for EDC then you might not want the Trojan due to the Bomar sights. My wife has an STI Sentienel Premier in Hard Chrome for carry and it has been 100% reliable, however she no longer wants to carry it as she has decided to go back to a wheelgun.

    But you might like to carry with Bomar sights...They do work well, but can snag on clothes at times.
  12. G19Paul


    Mar 10, 2009
    Thanks so much everyone. I am continuing my homework assignment. LOL Also considering (reading up on) the Springfield TRP. Gosh, so many choices.

    I realize that my OP was more or less along the lines of asking everybody what their favorite color was. Or, which pickup truck gives the best utility. We've all seen the thousands of threads like that.

    I appreciate the comments as they turn into web searches.
  13. RedsoxFan4Lyfe


    Jul 16, 2007
    Florida USA
    I personally like Colt. I have had Kimber 1911's and they have all been flawless for me. I just prefer Colt for the most part.

    I have not owned an STI 1911 but all of the ones I have looked at or handled were beautifully made and fit examples of a 1911. Most of the time, they feel like a much more expensive gun then they really are. You can't go wrong with an STI Trojan as others have suggested.
  14. CDR_Glock


    Apr 1, 2010
    I'm not a fan of the Kimber 1911s but I started a thread on them. I had considered giving them another shot. However for a few pennies more you can get into the Springfield TRP or a Dan Wesson, especially in the Pre-owned realm. Being Pre-owned is not necessarily a bad thing. It means less ammo for a break in (some say 400-500 rounds). If you have excellent gunsmiths accessible to you, then that's not a bad thing.
  15. MoCop


    Jan 2, 2005
    Colt Combat Elite?
  16. luv2brode


    Apr 12, 2008
    two must haves for me are a colt and an sti
  17. glock_19guy1983


    Sep 8, 2002
    You would be well served by either gun.
  18. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

    Feb 8, 2007
    Since you were in the Navy you might appreciate the Colt Series 70 Reproduction. It doesn't have the bells and whistles but according to my father it is pretty close to what the Navy provided him as an officer. He had a Navy holster made for his. The series 70 is available within your stated budget.


    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  19. G19Paul


    Mar 10, 2009

    That is a sweet-looking (operating) commemorative setup!!!! Very nice.

    I ended up purchasing a new Sig 1911 at a local gun show yesterday. I have a separate thread started. Stayed on budget. LOL
  20. Socks tear

    Socks tear

    Jul 29, 2012
    Georgia USA
    STI over a Kimber any day. If you go Colt, buy a used Colt, the new ones are just as outdated as the older models, and overpriced. Yesterday we passed on the $1,200 Colt rail gun, with no enhancements for an SR1911 at only $650