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"Affordable" 1911 Poll...Need some opinions.

Which would you prefer?  

82 members have voted

  1. 1. Which would you prefer?

    • American Classic
    • Para Ordnance
    • American Tactical Imports
    • Rock Island
    • Taurus

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So i'm pondering on looking into a 1911 for my next purchase. However like many, I simply can't afford to spend a grand or more on a gun at the moment. I am hoping to stay under $500 bucks, so I need your guys opinions on which you would prefer. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

As far as the Taurus, I have heard good things about the guns in general, but the part that concerns me about them is their Customer Service(or lack of). Haven't heard much about the others customer service.

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I voted RIA but that is because I have one that I've owned for a little over a year now. Haven't shot any of the others,but I do like the way the para felt in my hand and may end up with one of those some time in the future. The RIA has been flawless,the only time it had a failure was when my son was shooting it. That was only because he was limp wristing it. It is my EDC weapon.

I'm sure some others will be along with more insite. and YMMV.

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I am a big fan of the RIA's for the budget conscious. Are you looking for a full-size, commander or compact?

More than likely I am leaning towards a full-size or possibly commander. As I more-so had in mind for this gun to be my "range gun".

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I know it will probably be hard to get one for the price i'm asking, however I really like the looks of the stainless models(I know...what does it matter...lol...but still), or two-tone versions. However looking at some possible prices, I could probably make myself splurge an extra 50 bucks over my limit to get a stainless or two tone gun. I'm not really crazy about the nickel plated RIA's though...almost too blingy for my taste.

Anyone know(or heard) much about the American Classic's?

Edited by Bubbatn
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American Classic. You get more for the money and comes with lightened trigger, combat hammer, extended controls, "Novak" sights, for the same price as the basic RI. Both come out of the Philippines and probably the same factory, but the fit and finish of the AC is a little better.

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at the East TN meet and shoot a gentleman (sorry I cant remember name or Screen name) had a large pelican style case with 5 1911's inside. I can't remember all the models but a couple were springfield and one was an American Tactical Imports commander size. I asked him out of the 5 which he like the best, and to my suprise he said the ATI. Lots of rounds down the tube, no hiccups, eats any ammo. He gassed it up and said "go for it" so I sent a couple mags full down range, and it felt nice, just like a 1911 should no ftf or fte. Now it didnt have front strap checkering or a pretty shiney finish (altough you can get one from ATI that shines) but it was a good weapon.

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I know it will probably be hard to get one for the price i'm asking, however I really like the looks of the stainless models(I know...what does it matter...lol...but still), or two-tone versions. However looking at some possible prices, I could probably make myself splurge an extra 50 bucks over my limit to get a stainless or two tone gun. I'm not really crazy about the nickel plated RIA's though...almost too blingy for my taste.

missed this post, but Frontier Firerams has two stainless ATI commanders and a coated full size. There has been some negative noise from the owner here on a thread but if you really want one they have them. Just FYI

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When I was shopping for my budget 1911 I was looking at two, the Metro Arms American Classic II and the RIA offerings. I wanted a 1911 in 9mm so at the time I was going to buy a RIA because AC didn't make one in 9mm. That was the plan until I was able to hold and compare the AC and the RIA next to each other. That is when the doubt set in because the AC felt like a better built gun. It was also better finished. I spent at least 20 minutes trying to convince myself that I wanted that 9mm but decided that quality would win out over caliber.

I bought the ACII and couldn't be happier. It shoots extremely well and actually shoots better than my Colt that the ACII was bought to replace as a carry gun. I have handed the gun to several people, including 1911 people and even they say that it is a very nice gun.

Now I don't doubt that the RIA guns are running great and shoot well but for me the Metro Arms guns felt like a better built gun when I stood there comparing both side by side. The RIA's and the Metro Arms are made in different factories in the Phillipines.

Here is my thread where I took my new ACII completely apart for inspection.


The only complaint I have is the bluing seems a bit thin on my ACII. It is showing alittle bit of wear on the corners but then again this gun is carried everyday in a holster that doesn't do a very good job of protecting the gun.

Here are some links to help you decide:

The M1911 Pistols Organization Forums Site - Firestorm/MetroArms

The M1911 Pistols Organization Forums Site - Rock River Arms

I would definitely buy the gun again. If you are ever in the Knoxville area you are more than welcome to come to my house and shoot some of my ammo out of the ACII.


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Another +1 for the RIA, though far and away I'd implore you to go with the Tactical model unless your aim is a G.I. for nostalgia's sake, totally worth it and a lot of gun for the money. Though, an STI Spartan which is built off the RIA base-gun might be the best bang for the buck out there, buying and installing the STI S-7 sear and tool-steel hammer, fitted match bushing and sights would cost a heck of a lot more than the extra $200 it costs for the RIA-to-STI transformation/mark-up.

1911 upgrade parts are cheap and easy to find ($25 will get you an Ed Brown, STI, or Wilson trigger which is the same as what comes on their guns for example) and besides the tricky stuff like cutting sears or bending sear-springs, with some help from google and youtube most guys can perform many DIY-upgrades themselves, a solid base-gun is what's most important. If they have more than one, pick the one with the best slide-to-frame fit, though all are usually pretty good.

Really these days their are a lot of good options out there, I handled a Springfield "Range Officer" the other day and that's a real nice 1911 for the money.

FYI (good info to have if you don't know already): if you want to change out the sights, Dawson Precision makes front sights for RIA's, their FO's are specifically labeled for the RIA Tactical's since they're the most popular, but if you'd prefer black-serrated or tritium the RIA front sight cut is the same as the Les Bear front-sight-cut (sometimes called "Les Baer/Novak"), Fusion makes sights for the same cut also.

The rear sight is real-close, but not exactly the same, as the common "Novak-cut", 10 mins with with a file will have them fit beautifully.

(Oh, on the off chance you go to a gunsmith in Gallatin not named Sam to put them on, if he tries to tell you he needs to mill the slide of your gun rather than file the $20-60 sights to install them, ask him if he cuts his toes off if his shoes are too tight...:D)

Good luck. Whatever you decide, get a pile of ammo and have fun trying to wear it out.

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I have a stainless Taurus PT 1911AR. I like it and I haven't had any problems with it. I have probably put 500 rounds through it. Only gripes I have had are the massive rollmarks on the side, the locking mechanism on the hammer, and I changed the factory grips.

I have read good reviews and bad reviews. Biggest complaints have been on the finish of the blued versions and some gripes about the quality of the ambi safety. One thing is clear: when a Taurus has a malfunction people say the gun is "junk." When a Kimber malfunctions - which they do - it's because it needs to be "broken in more" or "adjusted." I have not had a single problem with mine.

Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk

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Guest FiddleDog

My first gun was a pt1911. It was more accurate than me, and I never had a ftf or fte. Only complain that I had was that I had to follow up and apply loctite to the ambi-safety and the front sight. that in itself was not a big deal as these parts are supposed to be able to come off in a detailed stripping, but they would shake themselves out unless you applied the loctite.

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Thanks guys! Great input! Keep it coming. I'm hoping to be able to make a decision(and come up with the $$) by the first of the year. I'm really wanting a stainless(or hard chrome) finished one if I can afford the price tag, but if not the regular black finish(s) will be fine.

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Bubbatn your box is full. Here is the response to your PM you sent me:

I actually live about 15-20 miles east of Knoxville in a little town called Blaine. I don't go anywhere to shoot pistols, or even rifles for that matter, because I have 50 yards at home. I have steel setup at 25 yards that I do most of my pistol shooting on. We can shoot in any weather as the area we shoot from is covered.

Tazewell is less than an hour from where I live. Not sure where the Norris range is but if it isn't too far or cost me any money I might be able to meet you there if it is somewhere in the middle. Problem I have is sitting in a car for too long. I was in a helicopter accident a few years back and sitting in a car for more than 20 minutes lays me up for a day or two.


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Guest tnxdshooter

I think the taurus pt1911 is the best value for the money. I have a wilson combat tactical ambit safety on mine so that I can add crimson trace laser grips later. I also have novak night sights on it. Also, double diamond cocobolo grips. It has never missed a beat period. Pearce rubber grip insert under the wood grips. This is before the wilson combat ambit safety and the night sights. Shoots two inch groups consistently




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