Practical 1911s

Having posted a picture of the Unobtanium Colt a couple of days ago, I wanted to follow up with a picture of a 1911 I would actually consider buying. I found that harder than I thought, as it is not any particular company or model, but more of a general direction and a set of features I would want it to have.

Robert, over at My Tumultuous Adventure has a picture of the new offering from Springfield. Not a bad choice at the lower end of the price range. I have seen others pointing to Les Baer or Dan Wesson, Kimber, Para, etc.

Here’s my hard learned lessons. First, figure out what features you want on your 1911 and buy it with those things already installed. So, if it’s a beavertail safety and a magwell, checkering, target sights, and a full length guide rod, only look at models that have those things built in.

Second, plan on having it looked at by a trained gunsmith. It may only require a trigger job, but get it done right and make sure it will reliably feed whatever ammo you plan to shoot.

Third, buy good magazines. I like the Wilson Combat 8 rounders, but whatever you use, there’s no point in creating a problem where one doesn’t exist.

Fourth, there is no free lunch. Yes, 1911s should cost about $200. Gas should cost fifty cents a gallon, I should be paid to write this blog, and politicians should be honest, but none of that is happening either, so understand that a 1911 is going to cost you. Plan on spending between $800 and $2000 and you will be able to get a 1911 you will not regret.

Fifth, do your research. Go shooting with friends, try some different models, read the forums, know what you want before you buy.

Sixth, .45ACP costs somewhere around $40 a hundred for practice ammo, in bulk. If you shoot it regularly, you will spend more than the cost of the gun on ammo in the first year. If you start shooting it competitively, the initial investment in the gun will be insignificant in comparison to feeding it.

Of course, I didn’t do any of these things, I bought what I thought I could afford, and had it worked on until I spent as much as I should have spent initially. It’s okay, though, I like my gunsmith and he needed the money. If I was going to buy another one, and had the cash, this is one I would seriously consider. It’s not the most expensive, or a custom gun from one of the big names, but it comes with all the features I know I would want at a price that is not completely out of the question.

Every decision you make is a mistake.
–Edward Dahlberg


3 thoughts on “Practical 1911s

  1. You should follow this excellent post up with one about the virtues of reloading.

    I don't think even Rupert Murdoch could afford a 1911 addiction without reloading.

    Then, of course you have to find a way to afford the reloading addiction.

  2. I've been seriously considering getting started in reloading. Serious enough that I'm picking up all my brass. I know I'll be buying a tumbler soon so at the very least I can make a little back on all the ammo I burn through.

    I like that TRP, though I'm not the biggest fan of stainless from an aesthetics standpoint. A TRP is certainly on my maybe list for 2011. I think the biggest problem with choosing a 1911 is that I like most of them.

    And thanks for the link!

  3. I should be paid to write this blog, and politicians should be honest,

    Yes you should. And yes they should.

    And you could so a simply outstanding “HOWTO” series on reloading: why you should, what you need, how you do it, what you learn.

    Just sayin' that there are people who would be interested in what you have to say on this, because you've walked the walk.

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