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Question about 1911s...

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I own a 'budget' S&W. It's a 908, the cheaper and leaner version of the 3913. It's got some plastic parts, like the guide rod. It doesn't have ambi safety or a rail. But the thing goes bang every time, and I've put 2000 rounds thru it since the summer. Also, it cost me $325.

Now, why does nearly every used 1911 style pistol run for over $600?? Can't a company make a no frills 1911 that goes bang every time and sell it new for $450? Why is the 1911 so expensive compared to other guns? The cheapest I can find one is a para ord $525 at FS, used.

Thanks for any comments on this one. This was prompted by my great desire to buy one of those beautiful S&W 1911s, but the fact is you can't find even a used one under $599.
 
I also have a 908. Always goes bang, but I have a hard time hitting much with it. I like it anyway.

There is one relatively inexpensive 1911 for sale at Four Seasons (since you mentioned them) and I am having a really hard time recalling the brand. It might be Auto Ordnance, which is now owned by Kahr, I think. I want to say it sells there for under $500, but I can't recall exactly. It was a plain jane kind of 1911A1 type and might even be parkerized rather than blued. I looked at one and it seemed ok. None of the fancy bells and whistles that make some of them so expensive, just a basic .45.
 
I think Auto Ordnance and Springfield Armory both have a 1911 for around the $450 price range. SA mil-spec and GI are their basic models.

CD
 
Emoto said:
I also have a 908. Always goes bang, but I have a hard time hitting much with it. I like it anyway.

There is one relatively inexpensive 1911 for sale at Four Seasons (since you mentioned them) and I am having a really hard time recalling the brand. It might be Auto Ordnance, which is now owned by Kahr, I think. I want to say it sells there for under $500, but I can't recall exactly. It was a plain jane kind of 1911A1 type and might even be parkerized rather than blued. I looked at one and it seemed ok. None of the fancy bells and whistles that make some of them so expensive, just a basic .45.

Auto-Ordnance, owned by Kahr Arms in Worcester, makes a 1911 mil-spec that Four Seasons sells for $480 brand new.

I bought one at the beginning of the year and I am VERY pleased with it. Broke it in New Year's Day by shooting nearly 200 rounds throught it right out of the box. Took about 150 or so rounds to break it in, but it's doing great now. Money well spent.
 
yup, two thumbs upf or the AO, beautiful gun, well made,goes bang every time. Bought one last fall and love it.

http://www.auto-ordnance.com/ao_front_pi.html


1911a1.jpg
 
Now, why does nearly every used 1911 style pistol run for over $600?? Can't a company make a no frills 1911 that goes bang every time and sell it new for $450?

BECAUSE YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!

No seriously, a good 1911 consists of higher grade parts. A lot of the cheaper guns are made with MIM parts which are all cast parts and not very durable. A quality 1911 consists of all forged parts. Plus, the design of the gun requires more attention to detail to make it shoot more acurately. The slide to frame fit is extremely important for acuracy etc.

I would never buy the Auto Ordanance 1911 personally but I'm sure it is a decent gun. I've spent several thousands on a single 1911 and they are worth every penny.

All I can say is once you start shooting 1911's you'll NEVER go back.

Pete
 
I think you'll find that the majority of all guns made today have MIM parts. Everything I've ever read says that the MIM is every bit as durable (and maybe more so) than older machined parts. The MIM process allows for perfectly sized peices for more precise fitting. Nothing I;ve ever read, and I read alot, has ever shown that MIM parts fail more or even as often as 'quality' parts.

A lot of 'old timers' have the impression that MIM is junk, but it ain't so. Do you think that AO or Springfield or even S&W would put parts into guns that would fail and jeopardise their already struggling businesses? They have to stand by their products to stay in business.

The AO is a very well built gun, very precisely fit and well finished. The frame is cast in Spain and machine finished in Worcester. The gun is American made and is a real bargain compared to some of the other brands.

Would I like a SW1911 ? You betcha.They're a fine peice (MIM and all). I wanted a military version so I settled on the AO and don't regret it a bit.

Look at one and you'll agree that it's every bit as good as a more expensive one.
 
Do you think that AO or Springfield or even S&W would put parts into guns that would fail and jeopardise their already struggling businesses? They have to stand by their products to stay in business.

Funny how you say that as I had one of the first SW1911's in this state and the firing pin stop was an MIM part that guess what??? It failed... Luckily it was while dry firing and not at the range. S&W had to recall all the SW1911's for this reason. I didn't send mine to them I just threw a quality firing pin stop in it and was back in business.
 
PistolPete said:
Now, why does nearly every used 1911 style pistol run for over $600?? Can't a company make a no frills 1911 that goes bang every time and sell it new for $450?

BECAUSE YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!

No seriously, a good 1911 consists of higher grade parts. A lot of the cheaper guns are made with MIM parts which are all cast parts and not very durable. A quality 1911 consists of all forged parts. Plus, the design of the gun requires more attention to detail to make it shoot more acurately. The slide to frame fit is extremely important for acuracy etc.

I would never buy the Auto Ordanance 1911 personally but I'm sure it is a decent gun. I've spent several thousands on a single 1911 and they are worth every penny.

All I can say is once you start shooting 1911's you'll NEVER go back.
Pete

You ain't just whistlin' Dixie, Pete... I've got two, and I've already got plans for at LEAST two more (one SW1911 to trick out, and a Defender-sized one for CCW). At least...

I like the AO1911. It fills the niche I was looking for - mil spec - for cheap money. It had a handful of FTEs, but considering that I was shooting cheap ammo through cheap mags with the gun right out of the box, I was pleased with how it performed. And it got noticeably better once it started to break in...
 
All I shoot are 1911's. I had Sigs and Barettas and S&W's etc. but nothing compares to a well built 1911.

Here is my SV Limited gun:

reloading0132.jpg


And my gun being built:

Pro_Sx.gif


1911's Rule!!!
 
If price weren't a consideration, between the SW1911SC and the AO, which one would you prefer and why?

I would hands down take the SW1911 over the AO. I wouldn't get the SC version but rather the Doug Kanig version. The AO is a replica of the 1911's from back in the day. The S&W versions are the more modern versions of the 1911. It all depends on what you want it for. If you like the guns of the past then the AO would be better for you but if you want a more modern gun the S&W is the way to go. Don't be shy either take a look at the Para 1911's. I chose to get the Para SSP over the S&W models because for me it is a better gun. However, I don't like Novac sights so I swapped them out for BoMars and change the front sight to a Fiber Optic.
 
senorFrog said:
If price weren't a consideration, between the SW1911SC and the AO, which one would you prefer and why?

Weeelllll...

Price wasn't a consideration when I bought my AO. That was a gift to myself for reaching 5 years as a non-smoker. I had put aside a big chunk 'o' cash to buy a 1911 over the past year, and had actually planned on getting the plain jane SW1911 (not the SC).

But I wanted a mil-spec gun. I loooove the Colt; however as it's 89 years old and somewhat valuable I don't want to shoot it all that much (once, twice a year; certainly not like I shoot my other guns...) I wanted something as close to that Colt as I could find. And (in MA) the AO fit the bill just fine.

NOW I would get the shorter barrel SW1911SC for winter carry, but that's because I've got my mil-spec 1911...
 
Pete, I guess that all things do break once in a while, and since it seemed your problem was a recall issue, it would appear that something was inherrently wrong with that particular part right from the get go. I'll standby my statement that the MIM is just as good otherwise all the mfgrs wouldn't be using it.

I've never heard of any other MIM parts breaking in normal use althought there probably have been, and there undoubtedly have been broken non MIM parts I haven't heard about. I will give you this though, I don't like the looks of the coloring of the MIM....it's not pretty, looks like heat treating.

I would like a quality 1911 someday. I'll start with a milsurp 1911 and then go to a sw1911 probably. Until then, I'm happy with my AO.

Cheers !
 
S&W Budget

S&W came out with their budget line in an attempt to regain some of their lost law enforcement market but it doesn't seem to have worked. I'm not aware of any major agency who went to that firearm. [shock]
 
Pistol Pete,

I purchased an AO 1911A1 pistol on 2 Jan. To date, I have not had the opportunity to take it to the range (or my Beretta carbine :( ) due to cirmcumstances beyond my control.

Having been issued a Remington Rand .45 that was four years older than me during my tour with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, and after examining plenty of GI 1911A1's over the years, I would say that the AO as made by Kahr is much better fitted, and the Mass model does have the Series 80 firing pin safety (I know purists get bent out of shape over that). I used to own a Colt Series 70 and still own a Mk IV Series 80 which has some customization.

I don't think that it would be fair to compare the AO with a 2,000 dollar race gun, or even one of the more expensive S&W models. But for value, I think it is hard to beat. Perhaps my opinion will change when I finally get to fire the pistol...the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.

As for MIM parts, I know of no major manufacturer who doesn't use them in the firearms industry. Now I can't speak for the smaller custom shops like Ed Brown and Les Baer. I have heard the MIM arguments before, but I have had forged parts break including firing pins.

At one time or another I have owned or was issued (Baretta M9) all of the major brands of service grade autos except Glock, and my two favorite auto pistols are the Browning Hi-Power and believe it or not the old S&W M39. Despite an atrocious double action trigger pull, it fits my hand like a glove, and has a certain shootability and pointability about it that Smith was never able to duplicate in the 3rd Gen Guns and the Tactical Series.

If the 1911 works best for you, that is great. To me it is the standard by which all other service grade autos are judged. I have small hands and I don't like the flat mainspring housing, but today one isn't cool unless one uses that format. Full length guiderods are another thing.

Like the B52 Bomber, and a Steinway Concert Grand Piano, or a C-130 the M1911 is a refined product of a very mature design.

I do have reservations about using any single action auto as a civilian personal defense weapon. That reflects the teaching and writing of Mas Ayoob. Perhaps I am being overly cautious and certainly there are enough people who disagree. For that reason I will use a double action auto or revolver as a carry gun, most of the time. Were I to find myself transported magically to Afghanistan there would probably be both a Browning Hi Power and a 1911A1 riding in my cargo pockets. They would both be fairly stock, too.

Good shooting with whatever is your favorite gun, to all and espeically you Pistol Pete. It's always good to meet a man who knows what he likes and sticks to it.

Mark
 
One thing that I forgot to mention in my previous post, is when is Ross going up to Four Seasons to pick up his S&W 1911 ? The one that keeps saying: "buy me Ross, buy me Ross" you don't need to build a gun. :D

Mark
 
mark056 said:
One thing that I forgot to mention in my previous post, is when is Ross going up to Four Seasons to pick up his S&W 1911 ? The one that keeps saying: "buy me Ross, buy me Ross" you don't need to build a gun. :D

Mark

Surely it couldn't be that Ross is all talk and little action, could it? [lol]
 
Cross-X said:
mark056 said:
One thing that I forgot to mention in my previous post, is when is Ross going up to Four Seasons to pick up his S&W 1911 ? The one that keeps saying: "buy me Ross, buy me Ross" you don't need to build a gun. :D

Mark

Surely it couldn't be that Ross is all talk and little action, could it? [lol]

This from a lawyer? [wink]

No, it could be that Ross' schedule is pretty full until next weekend and likely won't be able to get to Woburn until then. But I may be stopping by Pack and Postal today since I have to be there for work today... we'll see what they have.

Besides... I need to do some research and see how the various models of SW1911's are equipped. I think that for my 1911 I want a blued gun, not necessarily a stainless. Not sure why, just think that I want a blued one. It'll make a nice contrast to all my stainless guns... And S&W's website is not real helpful at showing what the different models have. I mean, how do you differentiate between all the different 1911's? by SKU code? Unfortunately, you don't see that on the gun store sites...
 
dwarven1 said:
Cross-X said:
mark056 said:
One thing that I forgot to mention in my previous post, is when is Ross going up to Four Seasons to pick up his S&W 1911 ? The one that keeps saying: "buy me Ross, buy me Ross" you don't need to build a gun. :D

Mark

Surely it couldn't be that Ross is all talk and little action, could it? [lol]

This from a lawyer? [wink]

No, it could be that Ross' schedule is pretty full until next weekend and likely won't be able to get to Woburn until then. But I may be stopping by Pack and Postal today since I have to be there for work today... we'll see what they have.

Besides... I need to do some research and see how the various models of SW1911's are equipped. I think that for my 1911 I want a blued gun, not necessarily a stainless. Not sure why, just think that I want a blued one. It'll make a nice contrast to all my stainless guns... And S&W's website is not real helpful at showing what the different models have. I mean, how do you differentiate between all the different 1911's? by SKU code? Unfortunately, you don't see that on the gun store sites...

What is "Pack and Postal?"
 
Pack and Postal is a large advertiser in GL/SGN, they seem to specialize in older guns (looks like they buy lots of old estates). They are located in Lancaster, MA IIRC.

I've never been there.
 
mark056 said:
One thing that I forgot to mention in my previous post, is when is Ross going up to Four Seasons to pick up his S&W 1911 ? The one that keeps saying: "buy me Ross, buy me Ross" you don't need to build a gun. :D

Mark

What Ross really needs to do is BOTH. Buy the Smith and build one himself, that is.
 
MidKnight said:
(snip) Now, why does nearly every used 1911 style pistol run for over $600?? Can't a company make a no frills 1911 that goes bang every time and sell it new for $450? Why is the 1911 so expensive compared to other guns? The cheapest I can find one is a para ord $525 at FS, used.
(snip)


Wow. New 45s are cheaper than used ones in MA? Could the used prices reflect a small pool of grandfathered guns?

I'm suprised new 1911A1s are being sold in MA. Two (ok, 2.5) years ago, a MA-resident co-worker was looking for a 1911a1. At the time, the 1911a1 was not on the "safety-approved" list for new pistols that could be bought by MA residents. He did find a nice used SS Colt at KTP which looked OK per the MA list of banned used pistols, but the MA dealer sent it back saying it didn't meet the MA safety law. Ultimately, My co-worker bought a new Beretta 92 in M9 config. From his experience, I thought the sale of all (old & new) 1911a1's were verboten in MA. Have the laws loosened up? :?

Oh, he moved to NH last year, and improved his pistol-buying options. :)

Who was it that called the 1911a1 the "55 Chevy" of handguns? Personally, I'm of the "Thou shalt not mess with the J.M.B design":

1. In the beginning was the 1911, and the 1911 was the pistol, and it was good. And behold the Lord said, thou shalt not muck with my disciple John's design for it is good and it worketh. For John made the 1911, and lo all of his weapons, from the designs which I, the Lord, gave him upon the mountain.

2. And shouldst thou muck with it and hang all manner of foul implements upon it, and profane its internal parts, thou shalt surely have malfunctions, and in the midst of battle thou shalt surely come to harm.

...

Oh, Ihave owned tricked out longslides and adj sighted guns with extended this & that, and full length guide rods, etc; but of all of them, the only one I've kept is a stock GI that I've used the last four summers for action pistol & IDPA. (Shameless plug for the North Berwick Rod & Gun Club goes here)
 
Ray P said:
Wow. New 45s are cheaper than used ones in MA? Could the used prices reflect a small pool of grandfathered guns?

Absolutely.

Ray P said:
I'm suprised new 1911A1s are being sold in MA. Two (ok, 2.5) years ago, a MA-resident co-worker was looking for a 1911a1. At the time, the 1911a1 was not on the "safety-approved" list for new pistols that could be bought by MA residents. He did find a nice used SS Colt at KTP which looked OK per the MA list of banned used pistols, but the MA dealer sent it back saying it didn't meet the MA safety law. Ultimately, My co-worker bought a new Beretta 92 in M9 config. From his experience, I thought the sale of all (old & new) 1911a1's were verboten in MA. Have the laws loosened up? :?

No, the laws are the same. What has happened is that more manufacturers have put their pistols through the costly and time-consuming certification process with the state. Each model must be individually submitted and certified, even if the only differfence is the finish. Unless a pistol has gone through that process, it cannot be sold in MA by a dealer. [evil]
 
Emoto said:
No, the laws are the same. What has happened is that more manufacturers have put their pistols through the costly and time-consuming certification process with the state. Each model must be individually submitted and certified, even if the only differfence is the finish. Unless a pistol has gone through that process, it cannot be sold in MA by a dealer. [evil]

Which explains why the approved 45s seem to be from MA companies like Kahr/AO, and major regional manufacturers like S&W. Thanks! Since the MA issue is safety, are the new 1911a1s all series-80 type safety systems, or can a plain series 70 pass?
 
Ray P said:
Emoto said:
No, the laws are the same. What has happened is that more manufacturers have put their pistols through the costly and time-consuming certification process with the state. Each model must be individually submitted and certified, even if the only differfence is the finish. Unless a pistol has gone through that process, it cannot be sold in MA by a dealer. [evil]

Which explains why the approved 45s seem to be from MA companies like Kahr/AO, and major regional manufacturers like S&W. Thanks! Since the MA issue is safety, are the new 1911a1s all series-80 type safety systems, or can a plain series 70 pass?

It is all very confusing.

Individual guns are not put through the certification process; individual model designations are. A manufacturer has to supply 5(?) samples to the state which then proceeds to do idiotic things like test the melting point (I kid you not!). There are also some other mandated features, like a loaded chamber indicator, that rule out a lot of guns.

So, for example, S&W can put the stainless steel SW1911 through the process, and if it passes and the state adds it to the approved list, AND it meets the other criteria like loaded chamber indicator (and I fogret the rest) then the SW1911 can be sold here. But, if S&W wants to sell any of their other 1911s here (SW1911SC, SW1911DK, SW1911PC, etc.) each different model designation must be run through the whole process.

Colt has never bothered to put thier guns through the process, so no new Colts can be sold here. So far, nobody has had the balls and $$$ to sue the state for restraint of interstate commerce.

As far as I know, there is no process to certify a single example of an individual gun.
 
Nickle,

I think that is a great idea. Ross buys the S&W at Four Seasons, then builds his own 1911A1 from parts. Then he invites all the Forum members to a 1911 Schuezenfest that he hosts in Hudson where we all shoot our 1911's plus Ross's. We might even let Ross shoot a few rounds through his own guns before we rip through a couple of cases of military ball in them. I also think that if Juergin comes over from Germany, Ross ought to pick up the airline ticket. To celebrate Ross's good fortune of having multiple 1911's he then buys beer for all of us after we shoot.

Whatta ya think ?

Mark
 
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