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#1 BigBL87

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 02:33 PM

So, a friend recently asked to buy my Marlin 795, which added to some money I've already saved up puts me in striking distance of some of the more inexpensive 1911's. I was originally going to buy a bolt action 223 for coyote hunting, but decided my AR is adequate for that and I'd get more enjoyment out of a 1911.

I've never owned one or shot one. I have held them but never actually got to try them out on the range. I've done a little research, and I think the main things I want in addition to the basics are:

Extended Beaver Tail - I have pretty meaty hands and feel like hammer bite would be an issue.

3 Dot or Fiber Optic Sights - 3 dot sights are what I'm used to, and even my LCP II I painted the front ramp for contrast. I usually paint the front sight fluorescent orange and the rear fluorescent yellow/green for contrast. I've never used fiber optics but feel like they'd work just as well if not better, and seem to be more common in 1911s than 3 dots.

I also would like rosewood grips, but those I'll probably buy later from Altamont Co. so there's really no need to have them out of the box.

So, the makes/models I'm looking at are (going with 45 ACP):

RIA Rock Standard FS, $428 (I'd probably end up buying a Dawson Precision FO front sight, and heck probably a rear too if I'm going to replace the front. Never installed a handgun sight before so not overly confident in my ability to do that. Most in depth I've done is spring and trigger swap on my Marlin.)

RIA Rock Ultra FS, $529 (Nothing I'd really need to change that I can see)

Remington R1 Enhanced, $579 (Found a site with it for that price, don't know if that will last until I have all the money together though)

Any experience with these, or additional suggestions? My budget is sub $600, the lower the better as I need to buy ammo and mags too.

#2 MSD

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 02:57 PM

Springfield Range Officer or Range Officer Champion.  Unless of course you elect to boycot Springfield in light of their political position last year.

 

Mine is very accurate although somewhat temperamental on ammo.

 

MSRP is higher than the others in your list, but I received mine new for not much more than $600.

 

I have also shot RIA's and they are very good, just not as tight as some of the more expensive options.



#3 skrapyard

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:14 PM

Every time someone asks about a decent low cost 1911 I always say go with Rock Island. Stick with the Ultra series for the little upgrades they have compared to their standard series. 

 

And if you want a larger grip then look to the HC/high capacity series (the double stack magazine ones). 

 

The remington ones look nice, but I have never shot one so I cant say I have an opinion on them. 


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#4 luckydawg13

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:36 PM

Ruger SR1911 all the way I know new will run over your budget  but buy once cry once  or look for a used one  


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#5 lee n. field

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 06:45 PM


Extended Beaver Tail - I have pretty meaty hands and feel like hammer bite would be an issue.

3 Dot or Fiber Optic Sights - 3 dot sights are what I'm used to, and even my LCP II I painted the front ramp for contrast. I usually paint the front sight fluorescent orange and the rear fluorescent yellow/green for contrast. I've never used fiber optics but feel like they'd work just as well if not better, and seem to be more common in 1911s than 3 dots.

I also would like rosewood grips, but those I'll probably buy later from Altamont Co. so there's really no need to have them out of the box.

So, the makes/models I'm looking at are (going with 45 ACP):

RIA Rock Standard FS, $428 (I'd probably end up buying a Dawson Precision FO front sight, and heck probably a rear too if I'm going to replace the front. Never installed a handgun sight before so not overly confident in my ability to do that. Most in depth I've done is spring and trigger swap on my Marlin.)

RIA Rock Ultra FS, $529 (Nothing I'd really need to change that I can see)

Any experience with these, or additional suggestions? My budget is sub $600, the lower the better as I need to buy ammo and mags too.

 

I have a Rock Island GI, and big hands.  My intent with this first 1911 was to get one as close to original spec as possible.  The GI style grip safety and hammer is not a problem (for me).

 

I have had very little problem with the gun.  Would buy again (but would probably buy the step up "tactical" version.)

 

Be aware that you void Rock Island's warranty if anyone else but them does work on the gun.


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#6 GWBH

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 07:31 PM

Taurus has a 1911...

I've heard good things about 'em - and bad things about 'em.

I've owned 2 and never had a problem with either one - but others have from what I've read.

 

Here's one at Bud's...

https://www.budsguns...911_8 1_45acp_5


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#7 BigBL87

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 07:57 PM

Extended Beaver Tail - I have pretty meaty hands and feel like hammer bite would be an issue.
3 Dot or Fiber Optic Sights - 3 dot sights are what I'm used to, and even my LCP II I painted the front ramp for contrast. I usually paint the front sight fluorescent orange and the rear fluorescent yellow/green for contrast. I've never used fiber optics but feel like they'd work just as well if not better, and seem to be more common in 1911s than 3 dots.
I also would like rosewood grips, but those I'll probably buy later from Altamont Co. so there's really no need to have them out of the box.
So, the makes/models I'm looking at are (going with 45 ACP):
RIA Rock Standard FS, $428 (I'd probably end up buying a Dawson Precision FO front sight, and heck probably a rear too if I'm going to replace the front. Never installed a handgun sight before so not overly confident in my ability to do that. Most in depth I've done is spring and trigger swap on my Marlin.)
RIA Rock Ultra FS, $529 (Nothing I'd really need to change that I can see)
Any experience with these, or additional suggestions? My budget is sub $600, the lower the better as I need to buy ammo and mags too.

 
I have a Rock Island GI, and big hands.  My intent with this first 1911 was to get one as close to original spec as possible.  The GI style grip safety and hammer is not a problem (for me).
 
I have had very little problem with the gun.  Would buy again (but would probably buy the step up "tactical" version.)
 
Be aware that you void Rock Island's warranty if anyone else but them does work on the gun.

The warranty thing shouldn't be an issue, I don't really have plans to modify it, which is kind of why the Ultra makes more sense it seems (since I would t have to do the sight myself).

#8 Dcompton

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 08:11 PM

You cannot beat the Rock Ultras for the money. In my humble opinion, they are severely undervalued for what you get. I have 3 and would part with none. Heck, one I even converted to 9x23win with the guidance of Chuck Warner. My $.02

#9 Chitownshooterz

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 11:30 PM

I have a Talo version of the Remington R1 and it is the favorite of my collection. The 3 dot sights are very accurate for me. I usually shoot at 10 yards and all it takes to knock out the center of the bulls eye is to hold the front dot right over the center of the target with a firm grip. The gun is machined very well and I've not experienced any issues since I purchased it seven years ago. Highly recommended.

#10 GTX63

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 04:50 AM

My Remington R1 is all they say it is. No it isn't a $1200 1911; it is a shooter that I have even used to CC. It is dependable, good looking and feels real good in hand.

Seems like there was a rebate when I bought mine about 3 years ago, and it seems like it took about 3 years to get the rebate back.

The RIAs are also good guns.

If you are down to these choices, then you won't go wrong with either. It is moreso preference and price.



#11 Rilo

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 05:33 AM

I would choose the Taurus pt1911, I have 1000 rounds through now and it has never missed a beat, it is not as smooth as my colt or Wilson combat, but it’s still a fun gun!

Ria- you may need to upgrade the recoil spring to a kimber like I did in my ati, both made in Philippines.

#12 Hipshot Percussion

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 02:30 PM

A friend has an RIA and likes his.  I own an ATI FX 45 Commander and it is still my favorite gun to shoot. I chose the gun over the RIA for the same reason you mentioned - I wanted an extended beavertail.  I ended up taking off the Parkerizing and polishing it.  This is my 1000 round range report of the gun back in 2013 and the picture at the top is how it looks now.   Really a nice pistol for the money.  You can pick them up - full size too - for anywhere from $375 to $425

 

ATI 45 FX GI Range Report (1000 rounds)

 

new%2Bgunner%2Bjournal%2B3.jpg

 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

 

1000 rounds.

Well, that didn't take too long!

Before buying the ATI FX45 GI Commander length pistol (April 2013 - pictured above) I spent a lot of time researching it online (and other lower priced 1911's) - from product reviews to forum threads and everything in between and in the end I chose the ATI over the Rock Island due to one fact - The Rock Island at my LGS didn't have the extended beavertail and the ATI did.  Truth be told, I think I've made a pretty good purchase.

Price?  $579.00 (tax & white dots painted on the sights, included)
 

pmc+bronze.jpg

So far it has eaten everything I've thrown at it, including Tulammo and Wolf - dirty filthy ammo.  The bulk of its food supply has been PMC Bronze 230gr FMJ, due to the fact its the only ammo that has consistently been available through these tough times.  Price on the PMC has never been higher than $28.00 and the lowest I've paid is $24.00 and it's clean and fires every time.

The fit and finish of the gun was a nice surprise!  The slide to frame tolerances are amazingly tight, as tight as other much higher priced 1911's I've seen.  No rattles. The finish appears to be Parkerized and so far has remained in very nice shape, but let me qualify that by saying I don't carry yet (Illinois) so it isn't in and out of a holster and the forums I've read say the finish doesn't last as long as others.  That being said, dings and rubs don't bother me - they add to the character of the gun. 

These are the only changes I've made on the gun in the five months I've owned it -

  • Changed out the stock mahogany crosshatched grips for a set of Hogue wraparound rubber grips with finger grooves.  I found the crosshatching on the wooden grips far too rough for comfort and I couldn't be happier with the Hogue grips.  As a point of information, I'm 6'-3" and have large hands.
  • The thumb safety was one thing I didn't like.  The edges were very sharp and rough (the only blemish as far as finish goes) and in the end I used a file and five minutes of my time to smooth things out.  Like I said, dings and rubs don't bother me.
  • At 200 rounds I swapped out the stock slide lock with a Wilson extended slide lock.  Just a personal preference.  The replacement didn't need any smithing and dropped right in without a problem and has run fine ever since.
  • The stock sights remain on the gun, though I did have the gunsmith add white dots.  Much better for an old man's eyes.  When money falls from the sky I will be taking it to a gunsmith for some night sights.
  • At 750 or so rounds, I changed out the stock recoil spring (I believe it is a 14-16 lb spring) for a Wolff 18 lb spring.  This was cheap and online opinion was that the recoil spring was a weak point in the gun.  Many commenters changed the spring at this point (750 rounds) so as a precaution, so did I.  Let me be clear, I did not have a problem with the factory recoil spring.
  • I just polished the feed ramp in anticipation of trying some defensive hollow point ammo.  It took about 6 minutes with a cheap rotary tool and buffing wheel that I bought at Harbor Freight.  I used the "green" compound.  It turned out great and I now have the proverbial mirror finish on my feed ramp.

When I brought the gun home I did break it down and lightly oil it before taking it to the range.  The first 200 rounds went in and out without a hitch.  The gun is nicely balanced (for me) and the heft - about 2.5 lbs loaded - makes for very manageable recoil that allows me to quickly reacquire the target.
 

chip+mccormick.jpg

The gun comes with just one factory magazine (8+1) and although I've read that people have had problems with the factory mag refusing to feed the last round, I haven't had such a problem.  I did have problems with two MetalForm mags I purchased, consisting of jams and FTF's and the slide not locking back when the mag went empty.  They were cheap - around $11.00 apiece - and in the end I just tossed them.  I now use Chip McCormick and Kimber mags without incident and all my mags are flush fit (I like the way they look.)

The gun does occasionally send an errant casing (once or twice a mag) clunking into my head, but to be honest, it doesn't bother me much - the bulk eject to the right.  When I get around to it, I will probably try filing the ejector and see if that helps or take it in to the gunsmith for an extractor adjustment - with the inconsistent flight path of the empty casings, the extractor tension might be the problem?

I've broke down the gun and cleaned and oiled it every 200 rounds or so.  The only problem I see so far is some minor peening or battering on the barrel link.  To be honest, I don't know if this is normal at 1000 rounds or not, but I will be changing out the link with something from Wilson Combat as a precaution.  The guide rod doesn't show any wear.

Hope that helps anyone who may be thinking about buying an ATI FX45 GI.  1000 rounds and still going strong.  And most importantly?

It goes "click bang" every single time.  And isn't that the most important thing?


UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2, 2014

This gun is still running like a dream!  The only trouble since this original post, is more magazine problems.  The factory supplied MecGar came apart at the feed point, creating a double feed and a heck of a jam at the range.  I tossed it.  From here on out, it's Chip McCormick mags ONLY.  I've just never had a problem with them.

After I started carrying in March, I began to notice that the thumb safety kept coming off safe whenever I pulled my sidearm from my Crossbreed Super Tuck IWB holster.  I ordered a new tube spring from Wilson Combat.  It slipped right in and immediately I felt a very solid "snick" whenever I flicked the safety on or off.

Other than that, I'm in the vicinity of 1500 rounds and this low priced gun continues to be the reliable every day carry pistol that I was aiming for!

Stay Safe and Carry Responsibly
Hipshot


Edited by Hipshot Percussion, 04 August 2018 - 02:37 PM.

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#13 brianj - now in Kansas

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 12:15 AM

+1 on the Ruger.  I've got one and it's pretty much run like a top.  I've got a Citadel 1911 3.5" as well (it's my understanding - I may be wrong - that the Citadel's are made in the same plant as the ATIs in the Philippines).

 

I also have one of the original Remington 1911 R1's.  For all that it's a good shooter and makes nice holes, that Series 80 firing pin safety system just feels as unnatural as snake sneakers every time I take the gun down to clean it.  I've talked to people that say they can feel the firing pin safety disengage on a Series 80, and that the extra drag completely screws up the trigger.  I purposefully pulled out the Remington and Ruger and did some side-by-side dry fire.  On a good day, with aligned planets, I MAYBE can feel just a hair more drag in the Remington than the Ruger.  But the Remington still has a very nice trigger and frankly, anyone that is trying to tell you they can feel a significant difference between a Series 70 and Series 80 trigger is trying to sell you something.

 

Having said that, I did have a bad experience reassembling the Remington one time after a field strip and cleaning: when they taught me to reassemble a 1911 back in basic, the thought was that you'd reassemble the barrel, bushing, and recoil spring back into the slide, turn the slide upside down, and slide the frame onto the slide.  That way, you can make sure the barrel lug stays in position against the recoil spring.

Well.

 

The first time I reassembled my Remington that way, I sheared the little firing pin lever on the frame clean off:  with the frame being upside down, the little lever came out of it's groove next to the hammer, and I'd slid the slide back onto the frame with enough gusto to just plain shear it off.  The good news was that Remington was kind enough to send me a free replacement.  The bad news is that getting that lever back into place is a pain in the posterior: it pivots on the same pin that secures the sear, and it was a pain to get everything lined up with the new sear to get that pin back through.

 

Ruger makes their 1911s drop safe by using titanium firing pins (lighter than steel) combined with extra-strong firing pin springs.  A much nicer system, in my opinion.

 

None of the guns mentioned are bad guns, and I'd expect you'd be happy with any of them.  I just confess to a probably unjustified lingering prejudice against Series 80 guns.

 

My $0.02.

 

Bri


"Your father's 1911..  Not as random or clumsy as a Glock.  A more elegant weapon for a more civilized age." -- Obi Wan Kenobi


#14 Chief Illiniwek

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 05:40 AM

@brianj, the Citadels are made by Armscor along with the RIA pistols.


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#15 BigBL87

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 05:04 PM

FWIW, since my post I did get a small influx of additional funds. Still waiting on my friend to buy my Marlin, but my budget now looks to be approximately $750. I'm now looking hard at the Ruger SR1911 and Springfield Loaded Stainless.

Edited by BigBL87, 26 August 2018 - 05:06 PM.


#16 brianj - now in Kansas

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 05:15 PM

One thing I'll advise: in my opinion, $750 is pretty much the sweet spot for 1911s.  Anything less, and the quality can get spotty.  Anything more, and you're paying for a firearm where the tolerances can end out tight enough that it just don't run right.

 

When St. John designed the 1911, the tolerances were laid out such that it wasn't going to be a tack driver at 50 yards.  It was designed to have a little slop in the slide and in the barrel to slide lockup.  I'm the proud owner right now of a semi-custom 1911 Defender (3.1" barrel ) (ordered bespoke, with a bunch of extra options), just because I wanted a REALLY NICE 1911 that was built by people who had a reputation for doing good 1911 gunsmithing.

 

The 1911 in question was delivered to me in April of this year, and I still haven't been able to get 100 rounds to go through it without a failure of some sort.  It's gone back to the manufacturer once already, and they fixed one problem by introducing a second.  I've got it frighteningly close to working, but I still wouldn't trust my life to it, and it was bought to be my daily carry gun.

 

So, I really think that the SR1911/Springfield basic 1911/Sig 1911s are probably your best bang for the buck.


"Your father's 1911..  Not as random or clumsy as a Glock.  A more elegant weapon for a more civilized age." -- Obi Wan Kenobi


#17 brianj - now in Kansas

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 05:16 PM

@brianj, the Citadels are made by Armscor along with the RIA pistols.

Thanks, Chief!  I knew that they were made by the same folks that made another 1911.  That's what I get for trying to remember stuff at midnight.

 

Bri


"Your father's 1911..  Not as random or clumsy as a Glock.  A more elegant weapon for a more civilized age." -- Obi Wan Kenobi


#18 brianj - now in Kansas

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 05:22 PM

For further humorous reading on the subject:

 

http://www.frfrogspad.com/jmb.htm


"Your father's 1911..  Not as random or clumsy as a Glock.  A more elegant weapon for a more civilized age." -- Obi Wan Kenobi


#19 Mr. Fife

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 08:17 AM

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