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Pick up a stock Colt and shake it, they rattle. I have a 70 and 80 series Gold Cup. They are both poorly made. The 70 series frame is machined off center and the slide banged the dust cover on the front of the frame. The 80 has other problems. That is as I bought them new. After extensive modifications the 70 is now a top gun but that came at a high price and a lot of work.

Kimber guns were designed by Chip McCormick. Always thought they were too ugly.


I have an ED Brown gun built on a Les Baer slide and frame. It's a jewel, nice and tight, no rattle there. Superior trigger. Too much money.


The 45's have tighter tolerences since Colt was the standard. Colt suffocated on their labor costs. Quality suffered.

If money is no problem look at Les Baer or maybe Wilson. Otherwise I think I would look at Springfield Armory, I've read good things about them.
 

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Go for broke. If money is no object, buy what the best hand gun shooter with a 45 uses. If the gun doesn't work he would not be using it.

Phil Berkowitz
 

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For strictly target shooting the Long Slide Clark is very difficult to beat. You will never be able to shoot better than the gun can group.

For informal target work, with the accuracy that most of us "hackers" can effectively use, the Kimber is a fine value.

Don
 

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The Taurus is in my book the best dollar value.. The old Kimbers were great.. but people who know far more than I do.. said the new ones are not as good as the earlier ones.. The 70 series Gold Cup is good.. I really like the SIG.. and I hear the S&W 1911 is a fine gun too.. Depending on what you want.. The basic SIG in kit form from Caspian is on sale for $450.00 and needs a few parts and a barrel.. One could easily build a fantastic gun in the $1000.00 price point if the labor was reasonable.. The slide comes fitted.. so.. add trigger assembly and barrel.. and you'd be there.. The question really is.. how good is good??? To get to a 3" group does not take alot.. a bite more to get to 2".. but the 1" group...get out your checkbook.. The difference of .002 here.. and .0035 there... and .0015 somewhere else is all it might take.. But finding those exact spots and knowing what to do with them.. well.. as Ross Carter warned me.. the first 99% happends in 4 hours.. the last 1% takes 40 hours.. AND.. its an absolute truth.. My BEST words I can give one wanting to buy or shoot a 1911 is buy the book from Jerry Kuhnhausen on 1911's.. At Brownell is #924-800-245 Then see what parts should be.. It will certainly help you make the right choice.. BTW.. STI is good also.. and the Wilson,Les Baer,and a host of other great gunsmiths do excellent work too.. I've found Ross Carter to be at the top of my list..but as you well know.. the gunsmith must match the customers personality..and fully understand his requirements.. Stay away from MIM parts.. Steel is King.. stainless is second in my book.(good for a carry gun.. but not my first choice for a X-ring gun.. All Good.. Mike
 

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What most of you don't know.. is SIG has assembled a fantastic 1911 with mainly ALL AMERICAN made parts by the best we have.. and then its handfitted.. For the $1000/$1100 you might pay.. I don't know of a better deal out there for a buy it and shoot well gun.. The Taurus is a GREAT buy in the $650 ramge you can buy them at.. and for many it will be all they ever need.. I think the STI can be had in the $1000 range too.. All of the frames above are Caspian..some of the slides are Caspian..Colt..Fusion..and I don't know.. They are in 9mm.. 38 Super..38/45...40 S&W.. 10mm.. 9AE.. 9X25 400 Corbon and 45ACP.. I can't hardly build a Sig 1911 for what you can buy one for.. To answer the many who have E-mailed me.. For economy..consider the Caspian "special".. for $450.. you get basically the Sig kit.. add a good barrel $200.. and a Cylinder and slide shop warp speed hammer/disc. and sear kit $160.. and sights.. Finish to your liking.. You'll have a first class gun.. The Storm Lake barrel for $75.00 made for these kits is the same as SIG.. so you could save $125.00 if you went to that.. The EGW trigger kit is about $80.00 and its pretty good.. So.. there are many things you can do.. I'm in the middle of alot of them now.. All Good.. Mike
 

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Colt made a real 1911A1 before 1970. I believe the 1911 was made from 1911 to 1924 and then the 1911A1 was made until 1970. If you want a REAL 1911A1 get a Colt made before 1970.
 

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As far as production .45's go, S&W is probably the best. S&W makes their
own barrels, slides and frames. They don't buy the major compenents from
outside suppliers. Their warranty is life-time which includes next-day
air both ways should a repair be necessary. They just came out with a full size 9 and a 3" .45
 

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221.. I was speaking of Caspian.. and Smith&Wesson.. and the Sig 1911.. Taurus is I believe South American.. Para has MIM parts.. Alot of crap comes from the Phillipines too.. Once you really try to build a quality 45.. You'll appreciate good metal.. good machining.. and holes in the proper place.. As you can see.. I've taken a crash course in 1911's.. and learning a bunch.. As you get to speak to alot of people in the 1911 world.. you'll start seeing who makes what for who.. Believe me.. no one is making all there own parts.. Between Caspian and EGW.. the list is ammazing who they producwe for..and ALL AMERICAN.. made in the USA
 

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When you try to take some of the cheap.. poorly made 1911's to the final step.. You'll quickly know you should have bought American.. Even the Essex Arms frames and slides are WAYYYYYYY better than some of the Phillipine crap that's comming in.. I've built many.. 1911's for officers in the NOPD.. including the Major in the $400 to $450 price range.. Now.. thats Foster/Caspian frames... many had front mounting rails.. and GB.Com parts.. Mainly Colt or GI slides.. and parts.. I pinched every penny I could for them..Each and every one of them.. with additional money and a better smith than I am.. could have taken them to the final step.. A ragged 1 hole group.. Now.. I must say Caspian got beyond right with me..but I was buying 6 at a time.. Fusion furnished some of the small parts.. and a few police officers arrived with bags of 1911 parts...(I think furnished from officers that chopped up guns.) All was useful.. You also learn alot with used and second hand parts.. Then you work with good parts..mostly EDM machined hammer,sear parts.. and you know why you buy American.. In my days of having a machine shop.. its name was "American Only".. no foreign crap allowed past the front door.. All Good.. Mike
 

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I don't know for sure.. but most grip safeties are cast.. Do you see a foundry??? Even MIM parts require expensive machinery to make.. It's so much easier to farm the job out.. Once you're at that point.. do we send the CAD drawing to New York,China,India,South America.. It's but a flick of an E-mail.. Now.. John Masen has his own foundry..and he makes decent 1911 parts for the shooter.. He sells his own line.. but I've seen his product under many different names.. Once you start fitting parts correctly.. you'll start seeing where they come from.. or at least.. these 4 parts.. all the same.. with all the same defect.. all came from the same factory.. Not that I know where it is.. but that it is.. Perazzi subs a few parts out.. so why not..?? If the quality is good.. the product will be too.. Look at something as simple as the Ed Brown pin kits.. You'll see a collection of short headed nails..and parts made on an older screw machine.. 1 small bag of parts.. At least 2 different factories..plus the springs.. I will tell you.. no secret here.. EGW makes alot of parts...possibly Caspian too.. I'll say no more on this topic.. Just.. with 45 parts..look HARD before buying..
 

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I think they are pretty nice.. but I see alot of parts removed and changed when people build a "better" gun.. Why not just build a better gun from the start???? Really.. its all about the money.. I 1911's.. usually.. if you shop well.. you get what you pay for.. I think the Taurus is the best dollar value.. The SIG is the best production gun.. Kimbers?? Well.. what was always excellent.. I'm getting reports that differ now.. from people who know far more than me.. In the over $1000 range.. build.. or have built your dream gun.. The Springfield Armory custom shop does some great work.. but its not a $800 pistol any longer..
 

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I own a Kimber .45 full frame out of their custom shop. Actually its the only pistol I own... so I wanted a good one. My friends recommended the Kimber and I purchased one with a little use from a private individual. Got used to them in the service and I like the feel of the gov't .45.

Very pleased! Love to shoot it and it shoots a whole lot better than I do. Put Crimson Trace lazer grip sights on it for self defense and it shoots right on the red dot at 25 feet ...

Just my thoughts,

Bob
 

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I have a Kimber (oregon gun) and relaly like it. I'm getting ready to send it to Fords for hard chroming. This is a very nice gun.

On a whim, I bought a STI Edge in December. Wow! What a shooter. There is nothing on this gun that I don't like. I am really impressed with STI and Dawson Precision. I bought the gun from Dawson. You gotta love the capacity of the double stacker...

Only recently, STI introduced the Perfect 10 (10mm). Being a big fan of the 10mm, I had to have it. It should be ready in 4-6 weeks.

Comparing the Kimber to the STI Edge is like comparing apples to oranges. I like both and they each have a different purpose.

If my budget was 1,600 to 1,700, I would buy the STI. If it were less, I would buy a Kimber.
 

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Mike, of course you are right about the castings. There are several but they aren't finished parts so I wouldn't count that. I wouldn't count the frame and slide forgings either. Not sure about the Ed Brown magazines either but they aren't auctually part of the gun. Then there's springs and some sights, I should have just said the major parts.
 
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