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A buddy of mine wants to get a 1911 and came to me for some advice. I told him that I couldn't help him bcuz I don't own a 1911 but I would ask the experts. He wants a halfway decent used one in the 400-500 dollar range, mas o menos. He also said he wants it full size, hammer-fired, all metal (I guess that means no polymer) in .45 ACP. He asked me if Rock Island was any good but I told him I didn't know. He also said he doesn't want a Taurus. Any suggestions? Thanx.

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Prices are at an all time high.

A used Kimber? Springfield?

I wish him luck....
 

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Rock Island Armory is a very good choice, though it might be around $600-$700.
For a few bucks more I got a Springfield.
 
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I got the RIA Tactical in 10 MM and is excellent in quality function and fir. Only plastic is the grips and came in at 600.00.
Also got the Tisas Copy of the 1911A1 and is is a very faithful repro and have about 500 shots through it no problems. Cost of Tisas was 360.00 OTD new in the box. Difference he may want to look at is the 1911A1 has the small fixed sights where as the RIA has Adjustable rear sights and hi vis front sights. That might be something he may want to consider.
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One thing to add is if he uses the Rock for range use he would be good to go using FMJ.
If he wants to use as an EDC be aware that the manufacturer doe not recommend using JHP, it's in the owners manual.
A friend of mine has a compact Rock and had to polish feed ramp to use JHP.
 
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Guns in general are as high a priced as they have ever been, with in as limited supply (meaning selection) as there has ever been at least where I am, and in the surrounding area. If your buddy has no handguns at all, and wants a means to protect himself, then I guess a 1911 is certainly viable. If he already has a grunch of pistols and just wants to pick up another one to add to his collection, why buy one right now, at the top of the market? Granted, there is a very strong probability that this is NOT the top of the market yet... :(

That said, we've sold quite a few RIA 1911s and even had a Tisas come through a few months back. The RIAs don't seem to come back to us with problems, and folks like them okay, although I doubt they are putting high mileage on them or using them as Bullseye guns either. I have an older Rock RIVER 1911 Nat'l Match hardball gun, and it is absolutely inevitable that when someone asks, and I tell them, I have to correct them while they are trying to correct me saying; "oh, you mean Rock Island?"
The Tisas 1911 struck me the same way as the other poster, a very faithful copy of a .mil 1911 of the olden days, and a heck of a deal at it's price point.
My favorite "basic" 1911 is a Springfield Armory, but I am sure that others could make strong arguments as to other brands and be just as valid.
 

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You might could have bought a new Rock Island for less than $500 five or ten years ago. I was in an LGS just yesterday. They had three for sale, and they're actually calling them a "1911A1". They were all priced at right around $725. Had sort of a flat black finish. They look good, but I didn't handle one because I wasn't there to buy a gun. I don't remember what kind of grips they had on them. I suppose they're still made in the Phillipines? And probably have a Series 80 firing system. Both of those things disqualify them for me. I'd rather have a genuine Colt. Second choice might be one of the newer 1911s by Auto Ordnance that are U.S. made, even though they also use the Series 80 system. Third last-ditch choice would be a Kimber of some type, but I think they're way overpriced for what they are. I wish your friend luck in finding one for $500, considering the state of things today.

Just as an aside, and relating to the "state of things today". The crowds at LGSs yesterday were comparable in size to what you see in a Walmart on a Saturday, just in a smaller building. They were packed with lines at the checkout counters. There was a wait of at least an hour to use the range at one place. But I was looking for ammo. There was no 12-gauge 00 or #4. Zero, absolutely zero 9mm of any kind. And zero .45acp. Same story at the second LGS I went to way across town. Zero 9mm, ditto for 12-gauge stuff. They did have 7 boxes of .45acp 230-grain, but there was a 1-box per customer limit in place. Yeah, I bought a box. Probably go back there Monday with a friend and buy another box and get him to buy another box for me.
 

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I have a lot of customers that want to get crappy with me over our store's limit on ammo, which is NOT a blanket limit, but based on what we are seeing in stock on hand and future availability (ability to fill that damn shelf up again).
I've told more than a few that I'd prefer no limits either, but it would most likely suck to be them, because I guarantee that if we didn't put a limit down, the guy standing in front of me dishing out "limits suck" guff would be SOL because the guy before him would have bought every last round of "_" that we have. None of them seem to think about that, and it usually doesn't make much of I dent when I point it out to them, either.
 

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In today's market place, $500-$600 for a M1911a1 is not particularly realistic.

I personally don't like RIA M1911a1 pistols. I owned one that I eventually got rid of after manufacturing problems were repaired under warranty. I had to spend over $100 to overnight ship the defective out of the box gun to Pahrump, Nevada (where their operation is in the USA) on my dime... The gun was one of their M1911a1 "Tactical" pistols and the safety was defective out of the box. I swore, "never again".

One of the best lower price M1911a1 pistols available is the Ruger SR1911 - just be careful of earlier ones that had a front sight fracture problem. Ruger fixes that problem when it's experienced...

I've personally found Kimber's customer service surly and unhelpful. I have one of their well built pistols, but will never buy another because of customer service.

Dan Wesson can make a superior production M1911a1, but they are out of your budget. They have also been producing price reduced versions that don't have the precision of their guns produced a few years ago. Unfortunately, the brand is used on the high precision and less expensive guns.

Springfield makes a good cost reduced M1911a1 like the Range Officer. I have a "Loaded" version and it is OK. Be aware that they use Brazilian Imbel manufactured frames, and two piece fused barrels on their lower cost guns, many of which are assembled in Brazil - with the higher priced ones done in Geneseo, Illinois.

The Colt M1911a1 is an option. Most make excellent carry or target firearms, and you may find a used one at lower cost. I think that the S&W M1911a1 pistols are also well made. A used one might be a good choice.
 

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I have 2 Citadels full size and compact. They are made by Armscor, who also make Rock Island. Mine shoot as well as many high dollar 1911s but aren't as pretty. They eat everything I feed them. Citadel or Rock Island are highly recommend. They are as good or better than any I was issued.
 

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You know, since we're knocking around 1911s in general, and seem to have gravitated to Rock Island/Armscorp 1911s in particular, I want to point out a perceived problem of mine that I've always noticed with those guns, I SWEAR that the contour of the trigger guard on RIA 1911s is "different" to me! It looks just slightly like the trigger guard bow, where it comes down from the frame to turn towards the grip, it seems to angle slightly inward or back towards the grip, instead of straight down until it curves to make the horizontal portion that connects to the grip front strap.
There, I've explained that to be perfectly clear as mud, but does anyone share that perception? Do their trigger guards look slightly mis-shapen to anyone else??? Please?... I'm not crazy, right? Right? RIGHT???
 

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Have him look at Tisas if he is going new. Basic A1 but with a forged frame instead of cast like the RIA. Not too bad. Or, he could look used. I just picked up a low round count Springfield A1 with 4 mags and some ammo for the price of a new RIA or Tisas. So, they are out there. Most of the pandemic buyers are after plastic wonder guns.
Or, if he is savvy, have him buy a glock whatever in 9mm and trade up. I started buying glocks and ammo at the beginning of 2020. Just felt like something was going on. I just sold/traded a new Glock 19x and 100 rounds of 9mm for a like new Dan Wesson Guardian in .45. The guy just had to have a tacticool firearm for home/self defense. I wont shoot a glock but when they were in stock and available for 5-6 hundred bucks. I bought them. Sitting pretty now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You know, since we're knocking around 1911s in general, and seem to have gravitated to Rock Island/Armscorp 1911s in particular, I want to point out a perceived problem of mine that I've always noticed with those guns, I SWEAR that the contour of the trigger guard on RIA 1911s is "different" to me! It looks just slightly like the trigger guard bow, where it comes down from the frame to turn towards the grip, it seems to angle slightly inward or back towards the grip, instead of straight down until it curves to make the horizontal portion that connects to the grip front strap.
There, I've explained that to be perfectly clear as mud, but does anyone share that perception? Do their trigger guards look slightly mis-shapen to anyone else??? Please?... I'm not crazy, right? Right? RIGHT???
I can't speak to whether you are crazy or not, but that's quite an observation. 👍

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I just picked up a used Tisas Duty model for $450, in the box, just like new. It is in Stainless, and is a Series 70 design. They also make a standard parkerized steel for around $500 New. It is also a series 70 pistol
They are now imported by a company here in Knoxville called SDS Imports. To find one of these exception buys run a search for Tisas, and another for SDS Imports.

Here is the Stainless "Duty" model. This one has all of the 1911 Enhanced features.
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And the standard M1911 model... No bells or whistles, but a great shooter.
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