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I went window shopping today for my first 1911 45 cal pistol. I will be using this gun strictly for target shooting at my local range, so I would like an accurate gun. My two local gun shops are trying to push three makes in this order: Wilson 45s which are over $2,000, Les Bear 45s which they want $1,700 and Kimbers for $1,000 - $1,400. When talking over a thousand dollars I really have to think about this purchase. For my first 1911 would you recommend a Kimber? What would you recommend with good accuracy, what make and model? I’m leaning towards a Kimber. Price is a factor in this purchase.
 

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If you are looking for a high quality 1911 framed gun for under 1000 bucks, Id go with an STI Spartan. I know they are $800 here in Canada, have all STI parts, the only reason they are so cheap is because they are assembled in the Philippines. You can lose with it, cheaper, high quality and a thrill to shoot. The gun is tight, STI assembles there guns using only one gun smith for the whole job, so its fitted properly and doesnt change hands throughout the production. I know I have a Spartan on my To Get list..
 

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Kimber and Smith both scratch my 1911 itch just fine.



If you shop around, I've seen some great deals on the new S&W's. - JM.
 

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Best IMO, for the money, Springfield Armory loaded model. Its not Match grade but should be plenty accurate out of the box. If not, let a smith do a little tuning and your still in Kimber range. I personally have had bad luck with too many Kimbers. The only Kimber I've had that I would buy again is the Warrior and it was 100% reliable and a Match Grade tack driver but your talking $1200.00 min. new. Stay away from Kimber external extractor guns. They had gazillions of problems as did mine and they stopped making them. They went as far as to replace the entire slide/extractor assembly for the old internal designs. I've heard of many Sig 1911 external extractors breaking. Havnt heard about Smiths externals but looking at routine replacements, Smith, Sig and Kimber external extractors are proprietary. The rest you can replace with any mil-spec extractor from the factory or any number of aftermarket manufactures. I've also had A (one) problem with a Kimber with the series II fireing pin safety. I did not believe it was a problem until it happened to me at an IDPA match. If the safety is not timed PERFECTLY with the arm of the grip safety and the trigger, you can pull the trigger and the hammer will fall and the firing pin still be blocked and "click", no boom. IMO, don't get a 1911 with any type of firing pin safety. It was designed without one and doesnot need one. The 1911 firing pin safety was developed for the sole purpose of pleasing lawyers. The SA loaded guns and the Kimber Warrior do not have this "safety".



GOOD LUCK!
 

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Warning... Long Winded Reply



BadaBing said:
My two local gun shops are trying to push three makes in this order: Wilson 45s which are over $2,000, Les Bear 45s which they want $1,700 and Kimbers for $1,000 - $1,400. When talking over a thousand dollars I really have to think about this purchase. For my first 1911 would you recommend a Kimber? What would you recommend with good accuracy, what make and model? I’m leaning towards a Kimber. Price is a factor in this purchase.
Of course they will push either the most expensive thing that they sell, or at least the most expensive thing that they have in their inventory. :wink: Let's start by going down their list... Wilson Combat and Les Baer (yes the spelling is correct) are very very fine 1911s. Some of the best. If I made my living with a gun and could scrape together the money then these are the level that I would choose. The hand-fitted Rolls Royces of the 1911 world. For a first 1911, especially for target work they are totally overkill.



Ten years ago Kimbers were a wonder. Really the first manufacturer to mass produce what up to then you could only buy from an expensive custom shop or have built up for you by an experienced pistolsmith. They included every bell and whistle imaginable on a production pistol and sold it for a blue collar price. Sadly they've morphed into a purely marketing driven company with a horrible reputation for quality control, a very short warranty (I wonder why :roll: ), and a seriously snotty customer service department. I guess if I spent day after day with unhappy customers questioning whether my parents had ever been properly introduced (let alone married) I'd probably cop an attitude to. Essentially Kimber has fallen from prom queen to being the tarted up Hollywood streetwalker of the 1911 world. I'd post links to dismal owner satisfaction polls but the site is down right now.



Edit: Site back up...

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=162296

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=186394



I read good things about Rock Island Arms (RIA) on forums. These are imported from the Philippines and retail for around $500. Their owners seem to like them but I'd pass and go for quality. The same for the $600-700 Taurus PT1911. Taurus makes good middle of the road stuff but stories of their customer/warranty service department are enough to scare me away. I've read stories of repairs taking from 6 weeks to 6 months. I can't vouch for the stories, but I don't like their sights and they aren't easily replaced. I'm not recommending either brand. I'm just including them in the interest of full disclosure.



What I do recommend are the Smith & Wesson SW1911 and the Springfield Armory 'Loaded' (fixed or adjustable sights). Both solid quality, but of the two I prefer the S&W. I like the fit and finish a lot better and on average the S&W trigger will be head and shoulders better. The S&W should sell for between $750-900 (fixed sights) and $850-1000 (adjustable sights). About the same ball park as the Springers. Both feature lifetime warranties and probably shoot better than you or I do.

http://www.gunblast.com/SW1911.htm



The next step up are the Springfield Armory Trophy Match and their TRP. And the higher-end S&Ws. At over $1300 and way up all are seriously fine 1911s, but overkill for a first 1911.



A production SW1911 vs the fancy stuff...

http://www.gunblast.com/1911_ShootOff.htm



Dealer price reality check...

http://www.galleryofguns.com/GunLocator/locatorStart.asp



 

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Kimbers have a pretty good fit and finish but the quality of their small parts is lacking. Not so much because they are MIM but because Kimber's quality control of their MIM parts is not there. Actually Kimers fit can be an issue with a too tight bore as well. I had one of the first Warriors btw and it was a disaster. Had Kimber fix it after a lot of trouble and sold it. I have no experience with S&W 1911's so I can't recommend for or against them. I would recommend a Springfield Operator for fit and finish and customer support in the $1000+ price range and then Les Baer in the $1500+ price range. I have had quite a few Wilsons but got rid of all of them because each one had multiple issues. This was I would guess about 7 or 8 years ago when a lot of Wilsons gunsmiths left to go to Nighthawk etc and it showed. I think the Wilson quality is top notch again but they are grossly overpriced. I love my Les Baers. I have five (all the Thunder Ranch model), and every one has just excellent fit and finish and I have never had any issues with any of them. I called Baer several times to ask various questions and they put Les on the phone to answer them. You won't get that with Wilson.



This Guns America link has a pretty good selection of Baers so you can get an idea of models and prices. The Concept II at $1495.00 is better than most 1911's that cost $500 to $1000 more.

http://www.gunsamerica.com/Search/Category...aer-Pistols.htm
 
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