Wanting to buy a 1911, need some opinions

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by thunderstruck507, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. thunderstruck507

    thunderstruck507 New Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    OK, so I am seriously toying with buying a 1911 (if I can't decide on something nice in my price range I may get a beretta ninety-two instead)

    I want to try my best to keep it under $650 out the door.

    Choices I've seen so far:

    Rock Island Armory $3-400
    Taurus PT1911 $550-600
    Springfield base models

    And for some reason the local armory has a small collection of smith and wesson 1911 pistols for under $600. Is this normal?

    I need some advice opinions. So far I really like the taurus because it is already decked out with everything I would want and I can get it in stainless right around my price range. I also really like the new warranty program.

    What would you buy if you were in my shoes and why?
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    I have two 1911's: a Colt Delta Elite 10mm and a Rock Island. But if I could buy one in California I'd buy the Taurus since it comes with all the goodies installed (does not have a mag safety or loaded chamber indicator so fails the CA safety certification testing and can not be sold in CA .... note all 1911's will be at that point by about January 2009 or before as their current certifications expire, so buy now!). I had the Taurus copy of the Beretta for many years and found their pistols to be excellent.

    In my case the Colt is nicely finished and shoots well enough. The Rock Island has been very modified (a project to get an excellent trigger and trigger control system for use with my Marvel 22LR Conversion Unit One and to build a Bullsey looking 45ACP upper. In general the RI was well made in stock form (my son-in-law has one bone stock) and it shoots fine. Mine handles the Marvel unit excellent and the 45 ACP setup is remarkably accurate for what the gun is. But the slide has a fitted barrel bushing, a Bomar sight rib, and a Dwyer Group Gripper recoil spring guide.

    I say go for the Taurus and give us a field test report.


  3. thunderstruck507

    thunderstruck507 New Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    I've heard good things about the taurus as well, I was just looking for some more opinions too before I just impulse buy. Thanks for the help so far!

    I had heard the Rock Island needed some slight adjustment and polish work to make sure it feeds reliably, any experience with this?

    Because to be completely honest this pistol will be just another toy in all reality, but I do get annoyed with buying something new that doesn't function the way I want.
  4. travihanson

    travihanson Member

    May 24, 2007
    Milo, ME
    I would go with the Taurus....That is what I'm going to buy when I get some extra cash....but I want a Walther P22 first...
  5. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    Of the 3 brands listed, I'd go with the Springfield Armory 1911. Your almost in the price range of a Springfiels "loaded" model. The Rock Island 1911 is an OK 1911 but the Charles Daly 1911 is a better pistol for almost the same money and comes complete with all the "bells and whistles". Also check out the Auto Ordnance 1911. Well built for not a lot of $$.

    The Taurus 1911 is still the new kid on the block and I have never been a Taurus fan. But the reviews are good for the most part.

    Also in your price range is a used Kimber 1911.

    Take your time, shop around and buy all the 1911 you can for your money.
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    The Rock Island is a utilitarian gun meant as an entry level gun. It is better than a buyer ought to expect for its price. In stock form my son-in-laws had an ejection problem that was extractor related. Adjusting the extractor accordingly (after discussing it with the knowledgeable importer) made the problem go away. I did polish the feed ramp on mine (not on his) only becasue I was already doing so much it just seemed the thing to do but his feeds cheapy 45ACP 230 gr FMJ ammo just fine after the extractor was adjusted.

    I bought mine to just get the frame for use with my Marvel 22 LR conversion. I intended to replace ALL the internals so I did. I upgraded the slide for 45ACP as a project and it shot a lot better than I thought it ought to for its price. But if I was to have only one 1911 I would buy the most 1911 I could afford with the most bells and whistles, not the entry level Rock Island.

    There is nothing wrong with the RI. Its just that I would want the best I could afford, not an entry level cheapy version. I have gone cheap before on guns and lived to regret it because I did not really get what I really wanted and it never had the same allure as it would have had if I had bought what I really wanted for a few bucks more. The RI is fine as a "carrier" for all the trigger control parts and with a bunch of work OK for the 45 ACP slide but I would have financially been better served (California willing) if i had bought the Taurus for about the same investment. But then I would not have had a gunsmithing project.

    So does the RI need anything? It depends on each specific gun. The importer will make anything right that is not right and the gun shoots very well dispite its low cost. But more expensive, better made guns are better, as they should be for more money. The Taurus seems to be the best deal as it has the most extras for the least money. Worried its made in South America? So it Springfield Arms 1911's, that have excellent reputations for more money. Kimber and S&W & Sig are not bad but again expensive compared to the Taurus. Colts are out of the running totally due to cost and lack of features for reasonable money. All the others like Wilson are just too expensive for me.

    For just a 45 ACP gun I like my Sig P220 the best but it is expensive and it is not a 1911. It is a real jewel of a gun! The CZ and Witness are CZ75 based but are physically much larger. If you have small hands (I do) they are a real handfull but excellent guns.

    That's the way I see it.

  7. Taurus_9mm

    Taurus_9mm New Member

    I own the Taurus PT1911 and have a very favorable impression of it.
    The only change I'm making will be in the for of new grips to replace the factory plastic ones - while not bad, I'd prefer something a little nicer.
    Regarding the stainless version, unfortunately they won't be released for a little longer. Members of the forum have heard different dates from what they've posted, though one recently called Taurus and apparently they told him the SS PT1911s will now be released sometime in November.

    With mine I've experienced no failures to feed, fire or to eject. It happily digests whatever I run through it, though I want to get a better representation of ammo soon -- a wider variety from other manufacturers.
    The only complaint I hear lodged against the PT1911 is the finish which is apparently not as good on some as on others. The finish on mine, however, is quite nice so again, no complaints.

    If you'd like some feedback from other PT1911 owners, please visit the following link:

  8. Pat Hurley

    Pat Hurley Former Guest

    Sep 30, 2006
    Naples, Florida
    I, too, have a Taurus PT 1911, and absolutely love it. Loaded with features, very tight tolerances, easy to shoot, and a total bargain. Oh, and of all the pistols I own (12?), it's the most accurate.

    I paid $515 plus tax for the blued version in the summer of 2006.

    Buy it. You'll love it.
  9. troutwest66

    troutwest66 Member

    Apr 9, 2005
    Post Falls, Idaho
    I bought the Taurus 1911 in April of this year and I've shot FMJ ammo of two or three brands, Hornady XTPs, Remington Golden Sabers and my FMJ handloads and not one failure to feed or eject. Not a single jam or a hiccup. Roughly 2" groups at around 20 yards, bowling pins at 50 yards. My eleven year old daughter and two moms of my daughter's friends have shot it and it has become my daughter's favorite gun. This is my only carry gun and I feel confident carrying it. For $500 new I can't complain. It has every option I'd want in a 1911. The only thing I might do later is put some nicer looking grips on it. Some nice wood perhaps.
  10. torpedoman

    torpedoman New Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    chattaroy wa.
    my vote goes to the r.i.a. I accually own one and it is accurate feeds and fires flawlessy. even with semi wadcutters reloads and any hollow point i'v tried in it.
  11. thunderstruck507

    thunderstruck507 New Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    forgot to come back here to post I am the proud new owner of a taurus pt1911

    I love it so far, out of the brands I was checking out in the store it felt the least cheap and has everything I want...
  12. troutwest66

    troutwest66 Member

    Apr 9, 2005
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Glad you got your 1911, Thunder. You'll like that Taurus. How much have you shot it so far? It's a very easy gun to shoot. Have fun with it.
  13. thunderstruck507

    thunderstruck507 New Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    I have put 200 rounds through it, just cheap stuff, but not a single issue with it so far

    accuracy has been hit and miss but i think thats more me than the gun...i had an incident where an earplug fell out on me so the extreme noise led to a bad flinching issue

    before that i was hitting cans at 10 yeards pretty darn easy
  14. troutwest66

    troutwest66 Member

    Apr 9, 2005
    Post Falls, Idaho
    I know if I miss with mine it's me not the gun. Are you going to use it for self-defense? You shouldn't have any problems shooting hollow points in it. I know the Hornady XTPs feed quite well. I believe the TAP ammo uses XTPs as well. I'm shooting Remington Golden Sabers in mine right now and no issues there either. Just to see what the gun will do, shoot it from a rest or sand bags and you'll see the groups tighten up quite a bit. You should be able to get 2" groups at around 20-25 yards.
  15. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I have three 1911's - a Colt Officer's Model, a Kimber, and a Century International (CAI). For the money the CAI 1911 is the best choice (about $400), I have never had any problem with mine and it shoots straight. If you can wait to buy a more expensive one go after a Kimber.
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