Despite still being in the depths of the Quest for Master Class for Stock Service Pistol and Enhanced Service Pistol, we do have another division coming up to get Master Class in come September. That’s Custom Defensive Pistol, and it’s time to decide what we shoot it with.
To be honest, I’m thinking about doing it with “budget 1911s”. Again, the goal of this is to shoot the thing with guns people actually buy, shoot and carry – not $1500 custom 1911s, right now I’m thinking about the following guns for it:
- RIA Tactical: about $450
- Taurus PT1911: $500-$650 depending
- STI Spartan: $650
- ParaUSA GI Expert ESP: $620 on Gunbroker
Again, none of these are what you think of when you think “High end 1911s”, and that’s kind of the point. These are run of the mill guns that people buy and carry because the 1911 is still the most shootable centerfire handgun platform in the world, and people want that but don’t want to pay $1500 for it.
So think, debate, and vote in the poll to pick my handgun for the Quest for Master Class – Custom Defensive Pistol starting in Septemberish.
I’ve really got my eye on the new Remington 1911, and I think it would be so flippin awesome if you would do my reliability testing for me so that I can purchase with confidence. Failing that I would like to see the Para.
I’m personally leaning towards the Para just because I have a really good relationship with the guys there, and they’ve always been willing to work with DRTV as well.
Can I write in SIG? Street price is maybe a few hundred more, but the platform is rock solid.
And I doubt Michael would have a beef working with SIG considering their long relationship.
Mrs. Knitebane has the RIA tactical and loves it. She’s only got about 500 rounds through it so far but it’s had zero problems.
My carry piece is an RIA SC. i’ve got about 1100 rounds through it with no issues.
My Springfield Government Model on the other hand took three trips to the shop to the tune of about $1200 in total to get where I could call it reliable. (Reliable to me means that if start with a clean gun you can shoot 100 rounds minimum without a malf.)
I voted for the Taurus — because like the Hi-Point it has a bad rap with some folks.
Let’s see if it stands up to the challenge.
Gotta go with the Spartan. STI does great guns, AND great policies on sales to gun banning states.
I kinda want to see the Taurus or the Rock Island .45’s be put to the test. Yeah, we know Para and STI have good reps, but Taurus gets banged around quite often on the forums and Rock Island has a good rep but nobody actually uses one, it seems.
I’m looking forward to this test and Justin’s test of a Hi-Point, as it’ll be good to see some real-world, documented use of these “budget” guns.
Plus it’ll help me make up my mind as to what .45 to get for Single Stack next year. 🙂
I’m extremely dubious of any 1911 that costs only $1500 and purports to be truly custom. 😉
Since the Remington R1 isn’t on your list, let’s go with the RIA.
Why not a used 1911?
Take $550-600 to the next gun show and get the best 1911 you can for that money.
This will show a few things:
1) Its still a budget gun.
2) You may be able to get more gun for less money. It may have been a $1000 night elf mohawk new, but its $550 now because of scratches and holster wear.
3) One of the reasons people buy 1911’s is they’re different and customizable. You can review whats on the gun as you bought it and go from there rather than starting with a factory gun.
4) You can blog about how to deal with issues that may arise with a used gun. Worn rifling, sights are off, shitty grips, deferred maintenance, etc.
5) Anyone on a budget is a fool to not consider the used option. Many like-new guns can be had for a lot less if you find someone that just needs to sell some guns.
“Again, the goal of this is to shoot the thing with guns people actually buy, shoot and carry – not $1500 custom 1911s,”
There are people who do not carry custom 1911s?
Where is this? You mean like in foreign countries?
Like not-custom because they just bought it and haven’t had time to get grips or a new safety lever or a new malfun^H^H slide release lever.
One of Shootin’ Buddy’s 1911s is “custom”, by that definition.
I think one of his Les Baer TRS guns has Alumagrips instead of the factory stocks…
Okay, okay, I should have said “$2500 custom 1911s”. My bad. Point being is that these budget 1911s that cost the same as a Glock sell like friggin’ hotcakes, and I kind of want to see what all the fuss is about.
How bout a BERSA 1911 American Classic Pistol, AC45G ($435.99)?
Another very good budget pistol.
I have a RIA Commander style that I carry and it has had 0 problems. But if I buy another 45, I’d get a STI.
Does STI still offer contingency sponsorship? That may help you choose.
Point being is that these budget 1911s that cost the same as a Glock sell like friggin’ hotcakes, and I kind of want to see what all the fuss is about.
If I only had less than $1000 to buy a new handgun, I sure wouldn’t spend it on a factory-new 1911. 😉
(But if I did anyway, it’d be the STI…)
I went with the STI Spartan on this one since I would personally like to see how the “cheaper” STI’s perform. I have an Edge that I’ll be moving to at some point in USPSA Limited so I’m familiar with the “higher” end products. Though, the Para or the Taurus would have also been great choices.
If you can’t get them to give you a test gun, I can loan you a Springfield loaded that I got used for $585 or a S&W 1911PD commander length that I got used for $800.
I voted for the Taurus because I like all the extras you get for what you pay. The RIA Tactical is a nice option as well. The Para might be nice if you want to try gunning with a GI model gun. I checked out Magnum Research’s 1911 the other day. $750 for a pretty nice gun with just enough features and a beautiful trigger.
As others have already noted, what about the Remington 1911 R1? Most of the other models have been around and already proven. I’d love to see how the Remington holds up.
I didn’t include the Remington because it’s a true “GI Style” gun, and I have no desire to have the web of my hand chewed up by a GI hammer.
What about a Metro Arms American Classic II?
I voted for the Taurus. I have one in .38 Super and like it. I think Gallery of Guns is having a sale on both the .45 and .38 Super now. If I remember correctly, you like the .38 Super so go for the Taurus in .38 Super.
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