Let me preface this by saying that I'm new to handguns. I've never owned one. I've fired a few 9mm, & .40 - but by far the one I felt most comfortable with was my buddy's 1911 in .45
It's still gonna be a few months before I take the plunge (I promised myself no more guns until after I get back from Vegas in July)
I'm currently leaning towards a Springfield Range Officer.
The weapon will be used for target/plinking & home defense. I don't have a CC permit, & have no plans to go that route.
Since I'm going to be holding out on the purchase for a bit anyway, I thought I'd ask some of the more knowledgeable folks here for their opinions on this model ... Or any other comparable make/model 1911's.
Thanks in advance for your input.
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Take a close look at a used Kimber Target.
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I don't think you could go wrong with any 1911 in that class such as the Springfield Range Officer. I own a S&W 1911 E and it has been a total sweetheart!. I think a Kimber, the S&W, or Springfield would fit the bill. You can also get a new series 70 Colt for 850-950 depending on where you go. I have also heard great things about the new Ruger 1911. I have handled one and if I were in the market again it would be another choice I would seriously consider. As far as models, I am all about the government model simply cause I have no plans on using a 1911 for ccw purposes. Hope this helps.
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The main thing is to get a quality 1911. Me i chose Kimber...
Heres my Kimber Compact
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well i have a couple colt 1911 pistols.a govt model an an officers model.i carry both at different time.i think highly of the .45acp round.more than any other in a semiauto.and you can learn to shoot them well and they are very accurate.just my thoughts
I have two full size Kimbers and my wife just recently bought herself a Custom Carry... I love them. I have had Colts and Para's... but I always come back to Kimber. I have a buddy on Memphis' PD and his off duty is a Kimber... And he's been in a few gun fights. That kind of speaks to it's reliability.
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Can't go wrong with a quality name 1911... just look for the size and features you want. I have a 4" Kimber (full-size grip) that I carried quite a bit, and still do occasionally, that I love. Never a problem with it. Shooting my old Springfield (I sold it to my brother) Gov't 5" it seems like it's huge compared to my 4".
I handled a early production Ruger 1911, it seemed like a very well built pistol.
If I was in the market for a 1911 tomorrow, I would be looking at Colt, Kimber and Springfield; maybe Dan Wesson or Ruger.
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The springfield range officer is a fine 1911. It will serve you well.
My advice is to buy a 22lr pistol like a ruger 22-45 or a browning buckmark.
Ammo for the 1911 will run you $14-24 a box of 50. The 22 about $1.50
That means you can practice much more and practicing the fundamentals will make you a good shot.
You also need quality professional training. Blasting with the buddies is fun. A good instructor will teach you how to be a great shot.
He may also have one to several 1911s so you may not even have to have a gun to take a class.
Once you become a good shooter you will learn how to shoot all guns well.
Ps. Have you tried a Glock 19? I have found it fits most people well.
Sounds like you have already done some homework, Bumpus...the SA Range Officer is most likely the best buy in a target-sighted 5" 1911 and should meet the needs you set forth nicely. Since daily carry is not on the agenda, it's weight and sharp-edged Bomar style rear sight is not a detriment, and it would even make a good showing for entry into the various action-shooting sports such as USPSA or IDPA, if you're ever inclined. All it lacks is a bit of texture on the frontstrap (a strip of skateboard tape is a quick and easy cure) and possibly an unobtrusive magwell funnel.
The Kimber Target II is very similar and sells for about $50 more, although there's probably not a nickle's worth of practical difference between them. Smith & Wesson's lowest priced target-sighted 1911 is the Melonite-finished SW1911 (sku# 108299) that despite it's black appearance is actually built on a stainless steel frame and slide. The examples of the S&W 1911's I've handled have shown very good fit and finish, better than the SA's in my opinion, but only you can determine if it's worth the extra $$$.
Colt has made quite a comeback in the 1911 market and the quality of their products are once again nearing excellence...far better than the dismal efforts of the '70's and '80's. To get a new Colt with a target rear sight, it's necessary to go all the way up to the Gold Cup which easily exceeds a grand. That is a bit relative, as the resale value of a 1911 with that 4-letter word on the slide always carries a premium. It'll cost more now... but with a modicum of care, you'll get it back later.
Many of the 1911's on the market use the excellent Novak fixed sights and those models that do would allow you to replace the fixed rear with one if his adjustable low mounts. It doesn't give the sight picture a Bomar clone does, but it's an option if adjustable sights are necessary for your applications...and would open up the field to a far larger number of models from all four of those manufactures already mentioned, along with others. It's something to keep in mind as you continue your quest.
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I started my 1911 education with a Rock Island Armory 5" because I wanted to learn how to field strip and clean a 1911 while getting familiar with the operating mechanics. The RIA turned out to be a surprisingly nice pistol for under $500. The 1911 is more complex than a Glock, and 'idiot scratches' on the frame can happen if reassembly isn't properly done; this isn't a big deal, but I like to learn about a gun's idiosyncrasies before investing big bucks in one to keep long term. The RIA was a great 'starter' 1911, and I still own it.
1911s are kinda like Marlins in that they are addicting. I added a Sig Compact model and a Colt Combat Elite. The Sig is a great mid-size gun and I love the Colt. You already know these .45s are so much fun to shoot, and you won't be disappointed with any of the recommendations received here.
I would probably buy a Colt if the 'need' for another 1911 moved me. They cost a little more, but the tradition of vintage Colt 1911 pistols makes them special in my mind. And if you want one to tinker with and learn from, consider a RIA for $400-$450; it's a good way to get started.
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