Are "budget" 1911s worth throwing money at?

awp101

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The Comet Custom Carry thread got me to thinking last night, are the import/budget/value rated 1911s worth throwing money at for more than basic upgrades? I know @Joe C bought the ATI as a test mule and the CCC work was done as a shop project, but I haven't seen any discussion regarding fixing any factory defects the ATI may have had.

I've had a handful of RIA pistols and while they've been solid and serviceable, I've never considered having one upgraded cosmetically or sending one off to have match grade parts installed.

Discuss...
 

fieldgrade

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I've had a handful of RIA pistols and while they've been solid and serviceable,

I heavily researched a particular RIA 1911 offering last year as a match/range blaster because they build one outfitted exactly like I wanted, 9mm, magwell, G10 grips w/thumb notch, adjustable sights, FO front sight, ambi thumb safety, etc, etc.. (Rock series Ultra)

Long story short, I bought a Colt Competition, but in my research I discovered I couldn't find a bad review on RIA 1911's anywhere. Not one.

Cosmetics aside, I've seen a lot of guys extoll the virtues of RIAs as good shooters compared to other more expensive pistols.
 

awp101

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Norinco's come to mind as a base gun I have seen customized quite often.
True, I've always heard the Norincos had good bones for a build but AFAIK they are forged frames. I'm thinking more along the lines of the newer cast frames (usually from Dasan IIRC).

fieldgrade, in my extremely limited experience with imported/budget 1911s, I think of the Rock Islands as the top of the current crop but I haven't had experience with ATI, Bul/Magnum Research, etc.

If someone told me they would provide all the 1911s I wanted, in any configuration I wanted at no charge to me but RIA was the ONLY option for a manufacturer, I'd be slightly bummed but certainly not unhappy.
 
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Babboonbobo

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A $600 RIA with $1200 in work will not retain its value as well as a $600 Colt with $1200 in work.
Yep it’s still a RI or ATI as mine is, but it was also purchased just for me to try my hand at modifying it and then it went off to another member for them to use as a test mule also. That being said it turned out fabulous and shoots extremely well and is smooth and beautiful! Will it be worth a ton? No but that wasn’t the goal it was just to try things out and I just happen to get a very nice pistol out of the deal!

Seriously it’s my only full custom and I like it very much.
 

awp101

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And it’s a point worth noting, especially to those who aren’t familiar with “the way it is” when trying to buy or sell any kind of custom.

And just as a point of note, I’m not talking about building a fighting or CCW pistol. Nor a gaming pistol if prize money is on the line. It doesn’t make sense to “cheap out” on the base gun for one of those builds but for a range gun or something that simply makes you happy I don’t see an issue. Just don’t expect to get your money back out of it but we’ve already covered that point.
 

fieldgrade

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And it’s a point worth noting, especially to those who aren’t familiar with “the way it is” when trying to buy or sell any kind of custom.

And just as a point of note, I’m not talking about building a fighting or CCW pistol. Nor a gaming pistol if prize money is on the line. It doesn’t make sense to “cheap out” on the base gun for one of those builds but for a range gun or something that simply makes you happy I don’t see an issue. Just don’t expect to get your money back out of it but we’ve already covered that point.
It's why I bought a Fusion Reaction as a match blaster recently. It's $800, not $1800, ...or $2800...with some features that just don't come on 1911's at that price point that are important to me. Checkered front strap, recessed/countersunk slide stop. I started yanking pieces and parts off and changing things to get it like I wanted it as soon as I got it, which I am much less inclined to do on a pricier pistol.
 

awp101

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Yep, love my Ruger Commander and it's on the short list if I get to the point of having one worked on. I need to quit fiddling around and pick up a 9mm version.

I think I remember reading the build thread/review on that one, still looks great!
 

dakota1911

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I look at the cheaper 1911s about the same way I look at used ones. It is good for you, a relative, or a friend to know what to look for or at before you buy one and have hands on with one before you buy.
 

Fred_G

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My money is with Zoid on this. Of course, your gun your money. And I am not putting down the more budget minded 1911's, I had a RIA, had no issues with it, it worked great (and loved the cheaper mags..) I just think I would rather start with a better base gun if I was going to drop some serious money on some work.

One thing I thought of, is you should ask your 'smith of choice what they think about what gun to use for a base gun. I don't know of any, but there could be possible issues with specs or materials used that might not work well with custom work. (just a thought, gunsmith I am not...)

And in the end, it is your gun, so have gun with it!
 

Don

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The Comet Custom Carry thread got me to thinking last night, are the import/budget/value rated 1911s worth throwing money at for more than basic upgrades? I know @Joe C bought the ATI as a test mule and the CCC work was done as a shop project, but I haven't seen any discussion regarding fixing any factory defects the ATI may have had.

I've had a handful of RIA pistols and while they've been solid and serviceable, I've never considered having one upgraded cosmetically or sending one off to have match grade parts installed.

Discuss...
 

Don

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I picked a Shooting Arms Manufacture. One up and totally rebuilt it with match grade barrel and inners and it shoots as well as my Bob Chows.
 

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