8 votes

1911 45 ACP, Looking for best buy for the money.

Just started looking for a 45 acp. Bought a COLT Commander Gold Cup in 1977 as I got out of boot. Sad thing is I sold it a couple of years later for the same as I purchased it for. ($177.00). How about that for an ass kicker, Lol?

Anyway, I would like some advice for a new/used model at a reasonable price. I only seem to look at the brands I have purchased in the past and would like my family's input on what is out there now as an EXCELLENT value for the dollar.

Please give me your thoughts.


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I have had several 1911's

Rock Island Armory is good for the money if you get a used one in good shape...probably can pick one up for $400...That being said, I had a RIA in 10mm that had some problems, and it was almost $700. Had two in .45acp and they were fine, nothing special, but solid. Unfortunately they treat the slide like a billboard, so everyone within a half-mile will be able to read the Rock Island Armory Logo :(
The one 1911 I have kept through all of my other guns has been my Kimber Custom II. You can find these used in the $650-$800 range depending on where you are. That gun has worked flawlessly since the day I got it.Best .45 I have ever owned. I had a Kimber Custom Carry II that was also good, but not as good as the Custom II, even though it was almost twice the price.
I have heard good things about STI out of Texas (Philippine parts assembled in TX)but I havent shot one.
I have had various Glocks and a Springfield XD45, an HK USP in .45, but the one thing I find common to those guns is their ergonomics are just not for me. No doubt they are absolutely great guns in almost every aspect. But, the grips are all to chunky and square for me...when I grab it comfortably and point them, they are not straight. 1911's point so naturally for me. The best gun is the one you shoot well. So, I dont give a lot of credit to those that point out that they only hold 7 rounds and that it is a major shortcoming. I can hit what I need on the first shot. I might need those extra rounds in one of those other guns I listed because they dont point naturally for me.
The Sig P232S was also one of the best, most highly machined and tight guns I have ever owned. Really nice and very accurate. I sold it during the craziness after Newtown because Sig did not take a stand for citizens rights, they just stayed nice and cozy with the "Authorities". So, I wont EVER be seen using one of their products. Same for Colt. Nice or not, those are government guns.If confiscation ever happens, the ones taking the guns will be armed with Sig and Colt weapons.
Just my 2cents.

I'd rather have a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy

as others have suggested

Springfield XD or XDM is the way to go. Have shot a friends and every gunshow I find myself looking at them. I would recommend .40 over the 45acp, just because ammo is more affordable and much easier to find, at least around these parts. Also 40 cal still has sufffecient stopping power and is a good compromise between capacity (9mm) and stopping power(45 acp). Also the springfield was based on a gun from croatia that was used in the serbian war, so it has been heavily battle tested and essentially never fails, like a glock can go through water, mud sand, etc and keeps on working. Better than a glock for safety as someone else stated and the grip is much more fitting, for me anyways, not as blocky fat of a grip as the glock. XD has metal sights where as a glocks sights are plastic and could break on a bad drop on concrete. Glocks little baby sized triggers are weak feeling in my hand, glocks are the gun of choose for thugs, whether they be jack booted nazi ones or the pants tucking gangsta fools, in my opinion. Dont get me wrong, I respect and support the honest constitution suppporting LEO's out there (if you're reading:) who hate murder, rape and theft just as much a myself. Those who seek truth, justice and rightesousness I praise, those who subvert the law and put themselves above it and engage in corruption and brutality, I condemn. If you still really want a 1911, rock island armory is the best "bang" for the buck, pun intended, as another poster stated. A different friend has one, nice gun, too heavy for my taste, and cheap ammo can jam pretty bad when target shooting, likes the good rounds. Supposedly its normal for those and as it breaks in and lossens up the jam issues disappear. Considering the 1911 rock island only holds 7 rds. and the XD holds 12 (in 40 cal.) I believe XD is the all around best sidearm you can get. Springfield makes a 1911 also, I am not familiar with it, but going by their reputation Im sure its a great piece nonetheless.

My experience has been...

with Springfield...I've got an XD in 45ACP. It's 13+1 and shoots quite flat. Built in Croatia, I prefer the Springfield over the Glock only because of the safety features. The XD has a grip safety and a double-pull trigger, the Glock has zero. Should I do something stupid and drop the weapon, I know my XD won't accidentally discharge. Bought second-hand, with 3 mags, plastic box and a holster for $400.

Silence isn't always golden....sometimes it's yellow.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

Go to gunbroker.com I

Go to gunbroker.com I like the Para Ordnance p12 or P13. double stack magazine and every one of them I have are great. May need a little gunsmithing like any 1911 does but I like these pistols.

Excellent value for the dollar?

I would also like to have a 1911 but they are usually way expensive. People will tell you to buy this or buy that, or this gun is better than that gun but the fact is that all guns have pros and cons. In the end it is usually a matter of preference and/or someones desire to make themselves feel good about their own particular purchase.

What ever you buy will only be as good as you are with it. Different guns have their own feel in your hands but unless they have a real bad problem they should all put the bullets where you want them after you get use to how it fires. And in an up close and personal situation if you can't hit a man sized target there is something wrong with you and not the gun.

I don't mind trying out new things. I bought a HiPoint 9mm because it was only $165 brand new, made in the USA and has a life time warranty. It is front heavy and kinda fat but it shoots fine after I got it broke in. My daughter liked it so I gave it to her. It only holds 10 rounds so I bought her an extra clip. It also comes in .40 and .45 acp.

I bought a Smith&Wesson SD40VE at Academy for $319 (every day price). It feels nice in the hand and shoots fine and came with two 14 round clips. I gave it to my son so he would have something just in case. I just went and bought another for myself. It doesn't have a safety but the trigger pull is long and to be honest, in a tense situation you don't want to have a hair trigger.

I have other pistols, like my 357mag revolver and all the way down to my little derringer but to be honest if I ever did have to defend my home I would grab my Mossberg SPX (under $700). One shot with the 000 buckshot is like shooting 8 rounds out of the pistol simultaneously and I can fire 8 times as fast as I can pull the trigger. I actually keep it loaded with staggered rounds of buckshot and slugs. I pity the fool.

Any gun can fail but by far most every gun is made to fire and does it's job well. How you hold it and how clean you keep it will be the main factors in how it performs when you need it most. Grip it too tight and you will lose accuracy, hold it to loose and it may not cycle correctly, let it get dirty and it is more likely to jam. This is true of all guns.

I say go to the gun store and look and feel for yourself. You may find a deal on a good used gun at the pawn shop but if you buy a used gun then you are subject to how well the previous owner maintained it. In the end it is a matter of how the gun feels to you and how much you can or are willing to spend. Simple as that.

Good luck.


You were unclear on your intended use, and I'm no expert, nor even up to date---I'm a rifle guy now. I do have a story though. A friend tried to sell me a like new gold cup c. 1994 for 700 wfrn. I definitely wish I had bought it, but that was a lot of pennies for me at the time.

The last time I was shopping 1911's something around 800 wfrn was the going price for plain jane's in good shape. That was before all the hoopla, so I guess they're a bit more now. I'd probably go for a good shooter for 900 wfrn, but if you're looking to buy something as an investment, then a gold cup or some such would probably be a good way to go. Just a cursory search doens't turn up any gold cups, but there are some commanders out there with the nice wraparound rubber grips for around 1000 wfrn. If that's what I wanted, they would look like decent deals to me.

As others have said (and I'm sure you know) for actual carry the Glocks have some distinct advantages.

Enter here to win a Remington 1911...

And get a cool t shirt and bumper sticker for a good cause at.... http://armedcitizenproject.org/ Oh and did I mention it comes with a custom holster made by Garrett Industries with the ACP Logo!

I like 1911s They're pretty

If you're buying it to have, to collect, plink with, cool! It's an awesome looking pistol. If I were looking for one, I'd be picking up an antique low serial number colt. They don't make them like they used to. If you're collecting, collect something special!

On the other hand, if you intend to use it for self defense, get a glock. It is absolutely impossible to find a 1911 that will outshoot, or work as reliably in the austere conditions that a glock will run in. It's like comparing a wooden sailing ship from the early 1900s to today's America's cup carbon fiber race boats. They're beautiful, gorgeous, but if you need to use it to save your butt, they absolutely suck, and you'll be risking your life.

I don't give a damn what some idiotic Swat team runs. They don't even know how to mount their optics on their rifles correctly. They're usually a bunch of roided out doofuses wearing black rearin to crack some heads. Really?! Black?? It makes you look like you're wearing blaze orange at night or during daylight. The camoflauge patterns are pretty hillarious too when they're in the middle of the CITY! Maybe they have autoerotic fantasies about being ninjas or something. I dunno.

SF runs glocks (when they have a choice), and so does basically every group that knows what they're doing. 45ACP is not some magic man killer round either. Whoever tells you that is an idiot. In defense, it's all about putting as many holes in the bad guy as possible and doing catastrophic tissue damage to stop the threat. More, higher velocity rounds do the same or more work... Something about velocity X mass = energy or something. Math! Ha! who needs it! and if you miss, which you will, you have more than 7 single stacked, perfectly polished rounds.

I shoot 1911s competitively

I shoot 1911s competitively in USPSA, IDPA, 3-gun and Steel Challenge. I've seen 1911s from every price point in action and the one universal truth is each gun is an individual. Brand, price, model, etc. These things might reasonably predict what kind of gun you are buying but there in no guaranty. In the end you have to take a chance on a gun and see if it is a winner. The good thing is most guns are.

For inexpensive 1911s look at Rock Island, Metro Arms, ATI, Citadel and Cimarron. These are all Filipino made by either Armscor or Metro. The brands are just importers and stamp their name on someone elses gun.

For a step up in price there is the STI Spartan. It is a Filipino slide and frame but an American assembled gun. If I had to replace my competition gun tomorrow it would probably be with an STI Spartan or Trojan.

For a Stainless gun look at the Ruger 1911. Great price point and well put together. Kimber takes a lot of heat online but their Custom II is a good gun albeit a little more expensive than the Ruger.

Colts are fine but overpriced for what you get. A lot of them need a little work before they will feed modern JHPs as well.

*Off Topic* H&K? Get out of this thread. They are the best $600 that you can buy for $900. There are reasons why H&Ks have never caught on in the competitive shooting world. Overpriced guns, overpriced mags and a poor trigger pull. A Glock will have a better trigger pull out of the box than an H&K. Ouch...


Hey, you got a website or a YouTube channel?

would love to check out your work, your time, draws, gears, etc.

you might dig this, if not familiar already: PRChico520's "Shooter's Mind Set" VLOG. He's just getting into competitive shooting, but so far has had awesome guests like Ben Stoeger and Frank Proctor.



Hope he can get Taran Butler on. Have no idea how a man that burly could move that swiftly!

GunPorn alert!

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Hahaha... LOLOLOL

"*Off Topic* H&K? Get out of this thread. They are the best $600 that you can buy for $900. There are reasons why H&Ks have never caught on in the competitive shooting world. Overpriced guns, overpriced mags and a poor trigger pull. A Glock will have a better trigger pull out of the box than an H&K. Ouch..."

I'm a Glock guy and I almost fell out of my chair when I read that.

Hey man

no need to be mean. I don't hate on the 1911 or the glock. Just don't understand why everyone likes the 1911 so much but I'm starting to see why.

I agree the HK mag's are too pricey.

But 10 years ago, the USP was only $650 new and the 1911's were much more then that. I don't think I would spend $900 on it today. So yes, I see what you mean.

But it's been damn reliable. One of my friends had his for 10 years, put thousands of rounds through it and never cleaned it (just lubed the slide) and it never misfired, jammed or any single hiccup. I don't think that's something to laugh about.

I'm not tryin to be mean man...

it just struck me funny. Ultimately the best firearm for an individual is the one that they like and are comfortable with. For me to force you to arm yourself with a pistol that you are not comfortable with ultimately puts you at a disadvantage and nobody wants that.

Phxarcher87's picture


Online gun auction!

Just picked up a
Springfield 1911 with, 2 holsters, 4 mags and a plastic box for

........... 660$ shipped!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great Gun
You have to hound the site and look for that good deal but if you don't mind it's worth it. I have about 3 friends and well all let each other know what we are looking for on the sites and when something pops up we help each other out. It makes finding that great deal not so cumbersome when you have 3-4 people looking for things simultaneously.

I always think its cool to shoot a gun designed in 1911, over 100years old, John Browning was a smart man! Happy shooting

James Madison

Rock Island Armory

I've never personally shot their pistols, but I've handled them and I've done my research. To date, I don't think I've seen a single review of them that was less than four stars, and even my gun-snob buddy who owns a Kimber recommends RIA.

I, personally, plan to go with a 9mm - with modern loads like Hornady Critical Defense, or heck, even basic cheapo hollow-points, it's a very lethal round. That said, I also want a .357 as an SHTF gun.

Why .357? Because it's like Ron Paul - not 100% perfect, but close enough that the difference is quite small.


picked up a springfield XD40 last year for $320 at a gun show with 2 12 round clips and a plastic holster. There are plenty of parts out there for it and you can swap the barrels between .40,.357 sig,and 9mm. It shoots really nicely.

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com

Tim Lau@1911 Maestro Hilton Yam's 10-8 Performance recommends

Colt, for out of box reliability.

According to Tim, not a single Colt had a malfunction during a recent class he was teaching: http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=3948

And Hilton & Tim have been praising the Colt M45, the civilian version of their MARSOC contract gun, based on their "Colt RailGun":

Colt M45 CQBP, Part 1
Colt M45 CQBP, Part 2
Colt M45 CQBP, Part 3
Colt M45 CQBP, Part 4


Here are a few things to look for when gauging a 1911 for reliability: http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=236

and...IMHO, one of the best 1911 diagnosis tests, ever (developed by Larry Vickers & Ken Hackathorn, and used by Wilson Combat as part of their QC checks: Understanding the 1911 Extractor Test


If not familiar already, please check 'em out:

Will this be your 'nightstand'-gun? Will it have a rail-mounted weaponslight like a Surefire/Insight/StreamLight etc on it at all times? Or will this be for your CCW?

Or, a price-not-problem...in the realm of Wilson Combat, Night Hawk, Ed Brown or Les Baer?

Or, for almost perfect combat reliability, you could always go with a Glock 21...or even a FNH 45 Tactical! Just kidding.D

For me personally, I've always been slightly wary of the "Colt-tax," plus until recently (and whenever possible, I always try to go with a company with the least amount of corporatist GSA contracts, as possible...nature of arms industry being what it is, it's a tall order, but you get the gist. lol), Colt almost wholly ignored their commercial market, especially the 1911's to 'let' Kimber and Springfield duke it out for #1 or #2 spot, and then between Smith & Wesson, and Sig's 1911 lines. Ruger recently entered the fray too. Don't know if anyone else here has experienced the same, but Kimber's QC seems to have nose-dived, lately. And the Sig lines, has also been hit or miss, for me anyway, in terms of reliability.

That said, I would highly weigh the likes of Tim Lau/Hilton Yam's recommendation for Colt into account for my next purchase.

Still, seeing as how Glock 19 is my preferred carry gun of choice, and a 1911 has always been more of a 'want,' than a 'need,' I'm currently leaning more S&W E-series (which coincidentally Hilton directly took part in its development) Bobtail w/CrimsonTrace.o)


S&W and Springfields have always been reliable for me. Though unfortunately, price of .45ACP being what it is today, I yet to have fed 'em in the 'torture test range,' as I'd like to, for all my guns.

Good huntin'!

P.S. In case you are looking for a carry gun, I know that 3~3.5 Defender sized 1911's are still popular, but I think it was Bill Wilson, the owner of Wilson Combat, who said that he does NOT recommend any 1911 chambered in .45ACP with a barrel length less than 3.8inches, as he could not guarantee reliability, by his company's standards.

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul


Why does everyone like the 1911 so much? Maybe it's the looks.

I like my HK, very light, smooth, reliable and accurate. Got it new for $600 10 years ago, but they've gone up to $800, so maybe it's not good for what you want.

Just don't understand the 1911 fever.

1911 looks are great, no doubt

but for me, its the ergonomics (they point very naturally for me) and the trigger. Once you shoot a 1911 and feel that trigger, its hard to go to anything else.

I'd rather have a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy

Stopping Power

The 1911 .45 cal is brutal. It shatters bones and causes massive nerve trauma on impact. In short, it has massive stopping power for a pistol. The 9mm has a higher velocity and makes a much cleaner wound... hence less stopping power. The US military went to the 9mm as part of standardization with NATO allies, which was a mistake IMHO.

As an armor crewman for the national guard in the 1990s, I was issued a 9mm pistol. The older guys remembered being issued the M1911 and all of them preferred it over the newer Beretta pistols.

ah the Mythical: 9 may kill a man, but .45? Kills the Soul!

LOL: You Know Who You Are; The 'Mythical' .45ACP: Guns chambered in It, and The People Who Carry Them!


Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

I can't personally attest

I should've added a disclaimer stating that my opinion was based purely on hearsay from others.

I have only fired the 9mm pistol and only at inanimate objects. I have zero first hand knowledge or experience in examining the results of either round on an actual human or animal target.

I found the 9mm pistol to be accurate and dependable, though I never used it anywhere outside of a range.

Though I've always been curious about the M1911, I have never had an opportunity to fire one myself.

I live in NY state where owning and firing pistol as a civilian is a royal pain in the a@@ to the point of not being worth it.

I LOVE the .45, but always like having more 'BB's' .o)

lol. na, it wasn't meant to be a bite. I posted that video up awhile back when ColionNoir posted it, as an inside joke to all the gunnies here.0)

For me, it's always been about shot placement. I'm not that big on caliber wars; I LOVE the .45, but prefer carrying 9mm; .40S&W is snappier and wears out your gun quicker, too. Plus, like all things, if it's not one or the other, but tries to be both, it'll end up sucking at both. Whomever thought of necking down a 10mm case to become the next generation common denominator LE caliber was obviously an overly enthusiastic wildcatter! lol.

Plus apparently, there's a massive move, even within LE circles to go back to 9mm from .40, after figuring out the same: we now have much better 9mm ammo & you get more ammo in the same grip size:

Personally, for serious defensive carry ammo, the LEAST I would go with is a .380ACP in a Kahr, S&W, Ruger, or Kel-Tec, etc.

That said, gotta have a gun, on you, 1st: hey, if all you got is .22LR on you, it's still better than your fist, or nothing at all.

I personally always stress shot placement, and penetration. For a pretty good primer on this info, if interested, please click here: Realities of Dynamic Lethal Threat

Or, if ya wanna get hypnotized with high-fps ballistic gelatin footages (as I've had the 'misfortune' of getting lost in...occasionally frequently), please check out these channels:


Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul


Loads of information there. Thank you for the detailed comment!



hope you found, at least some of them, interesting and helpful.

good journeying!

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Other makes of firearms utilize the .45 ACP



pretty much everyone makes a .45. And the HK is basically a modern polymer version of the 1911. I'm not knocking the 1911 is's a good gun, just want to know why people are so into them lately.

Sex appeal man

Sex appeal. 1911's are arguably the sexiest pistol out there.


I can't deny it's a sexy pistol.


If you want to see pure Latin Sexy google a 1940' s Vintage Llama Model IV 38acp/9mm Largo. It is non grip saftied 1911 variant similar to Stars and Ballesters.