What 1911 brands to avoid?

chiliinabowl

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I don't have experience with all the brands mentioned here, but I've owned Colt, SA, and Kimber. No real complaints on any of them. I know the criticisms of Kimber, but mine was fine. It was over 20 years ago however. I'll put in a plug for Fusion Firearms out of FL. I have a Commander size in .45 and it has been great. I think you will see some negative comments elsewhere, but I have experienced no issue. They offer a lot of custom features for a great price. I am looking for a Commander size 9mm with an aluminum frame. If Fusion made one I'd be looking at them. As it stands I'm looking at Dan Wesson, but I've never owned one.
 

GerSan69

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I'm back in the market looking for a 1911 - do you have any countries or brands you avoid?

I've been checking out other forums and even /r/1911; I've seen several folks suggest staying away from Kimber or Taurus.
I would appreciate your feedback as I start down this path again.
I don't know of any that I'd avoid... the 1911 format is pretty much set in stone, so much so that a caveman could build a functioning pistol. IMO it boils down to personal preference and how big (or small) is your budget. Personally, unless a guy is a professional shooter, a concealed-weapon license holder or a cop, an inexpensive brand will suit you just fine. In other words, if I was just going down to the range or out to the woods to crank off a few rounds every once in a while, I don't think I'd need a $3000 masterpiece from one of the top brands.
(As for my experience to back my opinion, I've handled, carried and fired handguns since 1971 with qualifying on 1911s at 1/81 Armor, Fort Hood. I carried guns as a cop who took an interest in becoming and staying proficient with firearms for 35 years plus 2 more as a deputy sheriff. I appreciate fine firearms, but I don't think a guy needs to buy the most expensive or "coolest" brand to be a good shot.)
Anyway, good luck!
 

Blackbeard

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Lots of experience and advice here, but as you can see, it's all just a shot in the dark. My experience is pretty old and may not be of value. If I were buying my first 1911 today, I would buy a Springfield Armory loaded or Operator.
Glad to see you here sir! Great advice!
 

Eng208

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Much solid advice given here. Tisas just announced a major recall, simply Google Tisas safety recall to read about it. I would also stay FAR away from Alpha Foxtrot or AF. I had a problem with the gun right out of the box and it took months to get resolved. Ended up getting a refund. The customer service is non existent. Maybe it's changed in the last several months. There have been a couple of other issues with AF reported elewhere, by others, in this forum. I have owned a Kimber Custom CDP II for many years, it is being sold as we speak. Never had any issues with it, just found guns I like MUCH better. I never really enjoyed shooting that gun nor was I anywhere near as accurate with it. I have a Dan Wesson Specialist Commander, with no bling, its just a real nice shooting, easy to conceal carry gun. I really enjoy shooting it. I would also consider a 2011 such as Staccato. I have a C2 that shoots like a dream, is very accurate and frankly a blast to run and gun with on the range. The other thing to consider is caliber. Some will say a 1911 should be in "The Lords Caliber"(.45) only. There is a good argument to be made on both sides of the .45 and 9mm conundrum. I would strongly suggest finding some friends that have various 1911's / 2011's and throw a few rounds down range with them to see what you like the feel of. I prefer an all steel, heavy gun - until I shot the Staccato. I was really concerned that it would be "flippy" and hard to control such light gun with a short barrel, I was very wrong. So, I guess the moral of the story is stay away from the crappy cheap stuff and find one that feels good to you. I have a new NHC in 9mm coming on Monday and Wilson Combat .45 on order that should arrive in the spring. Range reports to follow.
I've got an Alpha Foxtrot 1911C. Smoothest 1911 I've ever had. And I've had a Baer, a dozen different Springfields, and 8 Colts. The only issue I've had is the thread protector will unscrew after about a hundred rounds.

As far as brands to avoid…. Taurus (out of spec) Ruger(cast), Baer,( he's a prick and the guns aren't that great), Girsan(the couple I've seen were pretty rough). Those are the ones I'd not even look at. I like Tisas. I wouldn't worry about the recall. I think they probably just got sear spring pressure a little too light. The one I have has a consistent 3.75 lb trigger and very crisp. I also like Colt, Springfield, Alchemy, Bul, Wilson, and Nighthawk. I think Nighthawk is probably one of the best builders right now.
 

pistolgrips

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Well….everyone has an opinion.
I own a range of 1911's from very affordable to fairly expensive - Tisas to Wilson Combat and a couple of Kimbers. All have been exceptional in terms of accuracy and reliability. Rock Island Armory and Tisas are a good place to start if your budget dictates left over money for TRAINING and ammunition.
Happy with my competition gun, I am considering one of the new Tisas Night Stalker series. Every review I've seen has been extremely positive. I have a 1911 Tisas commander and a Zigana PX9. Both are reliable and accurate. I had to do a little work on the trigger on the commander, but it's a pretty good gun overall - a good place to start. (The PX9 has a great trigger. Much better than most striker fired guns.)
MIM, forged - if the fit and finish is up to industry standards and it fits in your hand - it will probably work for you.
 

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Tall Paul

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Well that is a trick question I guess. Depends on what you want and where you set the bar for quality. I started my 1911 journey with a STI Trojan in 9mm. It was offered to me to get me away from polymer pistols (Glock). I added Staccato 2011's, Remington R1, and a couple of Tisas's. I don't own any Nighthawks, Wilson Combat, or other top tier 1911's (yet).
With that said, I like mag wells, adjustable sights, front and rear cocking serrations, ambi safeties. So if I find something I don't have and it checks most of those I will research reviews (take some reviews with a grain of salt) and decide.
I don't think I want a Taurus, Kimber, Ruger at this time. Quality and price point for what quality and features isn't there for "me" yet (your mileage may vary).
 

Skyviking

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I'm back in the market looking for a 1911 - do you have any countries or brands you avoid?

I've been checking out other forums and even /r/1911; I've seen several folks suggest staying away from Kimber or Taurus.
I would appreciate your feedback as I start down this path again.
Hi, turkey. I recommend Wilson Combat and Nighthawk Custom in the same breath. I own multiple exemplars of both. I have a lot of experience with custom 1911s from the storied craftsmen of the halcyon years of IPSC, owning/having owned multiple examples from Armand Swenson, Jim Hoag, Chuck Rogers, Ted Yost, Pachmayr Gun Works, Bud Price, Jim Garthwaite, Novak's .45 Shop, Don williams dba: The Action Works ( who does outstanding work, but I understand has retired), Austin Behlert, Dane Burns, and others.
Based on my experience, I cannot really recommend Les Baer (guns too soft) or Ed Brown's shop, which, although they make great parts, have the worst customer service and workmanship I have experienced...

If you do not have one, I would suggest getting a Colt Series 70. Hunt up one of the Wiley Clapp versions and you will likely not need another. Otherwise, look for a heavily breathed-on, seldom shot, Wilson or Nighthawk.
 

Millie

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Oct 28, 2018
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I'm back in the market looking for a 1911 - do you have any countries or brands you avoid?

I've been checking out other forums and even /r/1911; I've seen several folks suggest staying away from Kimber or Taurus.
I would appreciate your feedback as I start down this path again.
I have a RIA in 9mm that I love but it has had problems with feeding. I think I just got a lemon. The other one I have is a Springfield in .45 and it has had no issues, except it hates shooting at a weird angle when shooting near the hip.
 

MarkCO

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Kind of a loaded question.

I avoid some for political reasons, some for quality reasons, some because they are overpriced and some because they don't have a feature set I like. I've sold a dozen 1911s over the years, some for the political and QC reasons. Also, for me, 1911 means .45s and 10mms. Yes, I have one in 9mm, but I prefer the larger bores in the 1911 pattern.

I'll give you my personal opinion, which may or may not be valid to the OP. First, if the price tag is bumping over $2K, I am not buying. I am going to pay the $3k+ to go take a builder class under a Master, like Bruce Piatt for example, and build exactly what I want under the guidance of said master.

The brands I will, and have bought in the last 10 years include Bul Armory, Ruger and Dan Wesson. Good feature sets, quality pistols and not anti-2A. Yes, I have a Kimber that has been remarkable, and it's even an Ultra, but I can't in good conscience suggest them. Yes, I've shot Tisas, but I can't, in good conscience tell anyone they will last long term and they do lack some finesse of the Bul in the budget space. S&W and Springfield arguably make some good (not great) pistols but I avoid them due to the political reasons. Colt, over-hyped emotion with the current production, but that does not mean they are bad, I just don't see a reason to leave the three I mentioned above that I have bought. Wilson is a premium brand, as is Les Baer and Nighthawk, a bit over-hyped and they fall into that category where, for me, I am taking the builder class.
 

gecko18

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My personal opinion - all brands can be great and all brands can be problematic in some manner. Some take longer to break in than others and that goes for just about any pistol and any manufacturer. Some are known to be a bit tight upon purchase and will take some rounds before operation is consistently problem free and others are problem free right out of the case.

My 1911 collection has included different models of each: Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, Nighthawk. Ed Brown was bought used and it's been flawless. I had a Wilson Combat 45ACP that was somewhat difficult to rack at first but loved it even so. Nighthawk is amazing in terms of brand, but I had a couple of stove pipes with one of the models I've owned. It wasn't as forgiving when I didn't grab it by the scruff of the neck while plinking. As for non-1911's, I've had Sig Sauer models (several) and every single one of them where I tried Sig Sauer ammo, would have failure to feed issues. Not one of them was reliable with their own brand ammo! Go figure. I've seen plenty of people who have had zero issues with Sig ammo in a Sig pistol.

So don't let brand name be the only decider for you. I've shot a perfectly awesome Kimber more than once and even though they're mass produced, they make very nice-looking pistols, many of which are excellent for EDC or plinking fun. I know they sometimes have a bad reputation for failing, but like I said, brand isn't the only consideration.

If you have a friend who cares for their gear and is willing to let you try theirs and also willing to sell to you, that's a really great way to have shaken out the bugs with someone else who owned it who you trust. I've sold some of mine, all of which are in pristine condition and I've bought several used, one of which had some scuffing from holstering and light wear in general (but one of my all-time faves). The previous owner wants to buy it back from me someday. He keeps asking! Lol!

Hope this is helpful to someone. I realize the post is an old one but I got a message in my inbox today asking for my opinion so here it is fwiw.
 

Mitche

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I have two Colt 1911A1 Government Model Competition Series, one in .45ACP and one in 9mm. Both only a few years old. I love them both. The only other 1911s I've used are from 33 years in the Army. I don't recommend any surplus 1911s, or any military surplus gun for that matter, unless you can get them for pennies on the dollar. They do their best to maintain them, but they're rode rough and often put away wet. Though I'm old school. I'll take any of the 1911s over the Beretta M9 or the new Sig P320 M17/19.
 

A34

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Lots of great info above. If you're buying new, I think warranty and customer service should be major considerations when choosing a brand. I recently had a very bad customer service experience with Rossi on a lever action. I think they are a subsidiary of Taurus. So, they are out of consideration for anything I would buy new going forward.
 

Bob Lee

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Lots of great info above. If you're buying new, I think warranty and customer service should be major considerations when choosing a brand. I recently had a very bad customer service experience with Rossi on a lever action. I think they are a subsidiary of Taurus. So, they are out of consideration for anything I would buy new going forward.
Thank you for the info on Rossi. I really want on of their m92 lever actions in 357 mag. I'll keep looking for a used one.
 

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