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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(supposed to be friend, not "freind" in title, btw)

Hi all,

I'm no expert when it comes to handguns, but you guys are, so...

A friend whom I work with wants a 1911. Really wants a Colt 1911, but he is a sergeant in the military (USAF) and his wife just had twin babies, so he cant afford a Colt. He'd like to spend about $500 for a new 1911.

If this is a reasonable request, then:

- Who makes a good 1911 for $500?

- I've read that shortened models are not good -- do you guys agree or disagree with that statement?

- 45 ACP only way to go, right?

Any other info you want to throw at us, feel free. Again, I am pretty-much clueless when it comes to quality issues among these pistols.

Thanks guys!
 

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Not what you want to hear, but as an active duty Air Force guy myself who was once in his shoes, your friend needs to step back and objectively determine if the right thing to do is drop $500 on anything other than his twin babies.

Kids don't get any cheaper as the grow up, and everything you described is a "want" not a "need."
 

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Rock Island makes a serviceable pistol in the $500 range. It has a decent rep as a solid gun. Made in the Philippines I believe. Most experienced 1911 users suggest staying away from the super shorty 45s. There can be critical timing issues with going shorter than the Colt Combat Commander although there are many happy owners of sub 4.5" barreled pistols. I had a Para Ordinance 3" and could never get it to function reliably. I really liked it and wish it would have worked. Slide velocity becomes very critical in short 1911s and the slightest bit of limp wristing will cause issues.
 

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ParaUSA GI Expert. Cost me $500 a couple of years ago brand new. Prices have gone up slightly since then, but it's in the ballpark. I've never once had a malfunction with this, and I've fed it some really crappy ammo.
 

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Save up $700, toss cash and .mil card on the counter for a Kimber?

In all honesty, I asked a friend for 1911 recommendations a few months back and the least expensive was $1500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys, I'll pass on what you all have said so far. I know the BX carries the R.I. Line, so he can go look/feel. I know this is blasphemy, but I personally don't care much for the 1911s, but I do understand the appeal. He on the other hand absolutely loves them.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
(Let me quantify my remarks about my friend. He's not poor; he and his wife make pretty good money and his twins are not going to starve because he buys a gun. The kids have everything they need, they ride in Eddie Bauer car seats in a 2012 Expedition. He just doesn't want to spend $1300 on a gun. And he didn't ask me to get on a gun forum for life advice...he asked me to help him find out about a good gun. Hope that clears things up. And I appreciate the advice you all are giving him.)


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(Let me quantify my remarks about my friend. He's not poor; he and his wife make pretty good money and his twins are not going to starve because he buys a gun. The kids have everything they need, they ride in Eddie Bauer car seats in a 2012 Expedition. He just doesn't want to spend $1300 on a gun. And he didn't ask me to get on a gun forum for life advice...he asked me to help him find out about a good gun. Hope that clears things up. And I appreciate the advice you all are giving him.
I have seen a guy spend his paychecks to take karate lessons, while his wife and kids are living in a single wide trailer with no power, eating Ramen. A different guy spent all of his paychecks at strip clubs till he lost his house... the kids were the ones that paid the biggest price. If coming across as a dick on a public forum will help prevent things like that from happening, I'll be "that guy."

With this new information though, Springfield Armory makes good Government .45's. The U.S. GI model sells for $528 before any military discount. The trick is to not to cave into the temptation of getting a nicer model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I have seen a guy spend his paychecks to take karate lessons, while his wife and kids are living in a single wide trailer with no power, eating Ramen. A different guy spent all of his paychecks at strip clubs till he lost his house... the kids were the ones that paid the biggest price. If coming across as a dick on a public forum will help prevent things like that from happening, I'll be "that guy."

With this new information though, Springfield Armory makes good Government .45's. The U.S. GI model sells for $528 before any military discount. The trick is to not to cave into the temptation of getting a nicer model.
Thanks for the info! And I danced around a little so as not to come off as a dick as well...but here's the thing: it's a little insulting to me as well. If I were on a gambling site asking where my buddy could go bet his tax return, thats one thing...double check me. But this guy is sharp as a tack, 28 years old, very responsible, and would never put himself in front of his family. He's a Catholic and a Republican for God's sake! :)
If I were asking what's the best video camera for around $1000, I doubt that anyone would have been concerned about the welfare of his kids, right? Why are guns different? Because some of the people who hang out here are probably a little consumed with the hobby; whereas my friend just wants to get a piece of protection before its too late to do so.
Hope we are cool, all said.
 

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Some folks have had decent luck with regent. Though I will say if you want a good reliable 1911, then it's gonna be well over the $500.

If he wants a reliable pistol in .45, and not go over budget, tell him to inquire about a Blue Label Glock(huge discount for military/ LEO). Should have $50 left to buy ammo too. The model 21 and 30 are full size and sub-compact. There are 3rd gen Short Frame version(SF) for folks with smaller hands. The 4th gens have interchangeable back straps so he can choose the right size grip.

Nothing against 1911s, but you'd be hard pressed to find one as reliable as a Glock. Much less find one to fit his budget.
 
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