kevin 303: I second Questor's advice. BTW, the Springfield isn't a clone. The Springfield Armory is one of the original manufacturers of the 1911 and at this stage in the financial and quality failings of Colt manufacturing I would opt for a Springfield as, at the least, a starter. Their top end pistols compete favorably with even the most expensive specialty offerings from the smaller manufacturers. Hope this helps. Mikey.
Uh mikey i hate to disagree with a Moderator, and i hope you don't take this the wrong way... but,
the Springfield Armory that was an original production site for the 1911 is NOT the same as the Springfield Armory that sells them now.
the one YOU are thinking of was a (the) large government Arms design and manufacturing facility (located in Springfield Mass. i think) . and is no longer in existence (the M-16, and the use of a non-government Primary contractor to make the service rifle, killed em, amoung other, economic, things)
the one currently making 1911s is a company in Geneso NY, that bought the rights to use, and trademark the "springfield Armory" name as it's own.
BOTH "springfield Armories" make/made great guns. but one is a now defuct government facility. and the other is a maker of CLONE firearms. and even though I know that the modern company makes a good product regardless of origin and process used. the Government one mde 1911s teh old fashioned way built from forged US steel. the current SA makes the majority of their guns using Brazilian major assemblies that are final finished here int eh states, adn i think some of the frames are cast.
detritus: No problema here. And thanks for the clairification, I don't mind being corrected at all.
But I still wouldn't call the Springfield a clone. Even the Colts are clones these days. The pistol is still a 1911A1 and Colt no longer manifests the quality in their products that they used to, and is beset by politics and financial failure. I don't need a handgun to pit my life on that comes from a firm that boasted of their intent to manifest political preference or to limit the shooter to only what they felt was right. After all, Colt didn't go bankrupt four times in a row because they wanted to.
But, 'nuff said. I appreciate your information and am thankful for the clairifcation. Mikey.
you're right of course, they are all technicly clones, adn there fore nothing is a "clone" Vs "Non-clone".
personally until reacently a SA Mil-spec was goign to be my first 1911, since i gave my WW2 production Colt (only colt i've ever had that was worth spit) to a friend for her graduation from flight school.
as for colt you coldn't convince me to buy one, you might be able to GIVE me one but it would be a safe queen, or future trade material. but in addition to the factors you stated, also add that they are teh only company i know of to get their government contract pulled for crappy QC (the reason all new M-16A2s being purchased by the US are made at FN herstals SC plant).
It all depends on what you want to get out of it.
If you're just looking to plink with a "real 45" then a Charles Daly might do you just fine.
They are a nice low-end clone.
If you want it for defense, you'll be better off with a base model from any of the big co's, Colt, SA, Kimber, as you'll likely end up doing some work on it as you go, mostly b/c you can!
You should understand that the "true" 1911 A1 has a funky little hammer guard (it's a hand-guard in function) that can really pinch the web of your hand when firing strings, as your grip moves from less-than-ideal.
That's why almost all have a "beavertail" style on the grip safety, to give a broader surface for your hand.
Also, the ejection port (where the empties fly out) is a bit close-tolerance for many, and so again most guns you see will have the e.p. opened to give more clearance; this helps prevent malfunctions.
Same principle goes for the cocking serrations, sights, and I'm sure othere things that ended up just not quite selling in the sporting arms world, so most guns you'll see are not in fact "clones" but variants.
You can get a SA "1911 A1" that's pretty much the original (though I think the grip is a bit thicker in the front) which will give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
There's a bunch of funny stuff going on in the 1911-world right now, such as SA's new gun lock (key mechanism on the mainspring housing, backside of grip), Kimber's Schwartz-style firing pin block(Series II), Colt's old firing pin block system ("Series 80"), to name a few things.
These are all "solutions" to the discovered problem of having a free-floating firing pin, even in "safe" position, i.e., if you drop a loaded gun on its muzzle with enough force it may send the firing pin into the primer, igniting the round. The odds are pretty extreme, I'm sure, as I haven't heard of this happening ever (compared to how many who shoot someone while "cleaning" a gun?!?!) but you know this litigious society....
I have a compact-style from Kimber, basically like taking Colt's Officer frame and matching it to a Commander slide (one less round in the mag, one inch shorter barrel than the military version) in stainless steel, with a bull barrel (no bushing assembly), beavertail grip safety, lowered ejection port, medium-length trigger, modern sights and a full-length guide rod no less. You can't even field-strip it without a paper clip or some such thin wire! Though it is pre-Series II, this is pretty darn far from a 1911 A1 that your gramps used!
That said, I searched long and hard, and this is what I decided on for daily carry, found it as-new for $525, and after replacing a few small parts with steel (rather than nylon and "pot metal" as my folks called it) and a light trigger job, I wouldn't dream of letting it go. I can regularly keep many shots in a ragged hole at 15 yds, and I'm no sharpshooter.
Stoked with 8 rounds of 230gr and a spare mag, I feel right comfy.
For what it's worth I have both a Charles Daly and LLama 45 they both are good guns the Daly being the better.I don't shoot a lot but after brake in the Dail works fine. I have had some problems with Fed hydro shock ammo not feeding at first with the Daily but after about 200 rnd that went away. I have the same with the LLama but have only got about 75 rnds thru it. The llama is a Mini max 3 1/2 in barrel 6 shot One in the tube was $233 on the net via Action arms auction. full size seems to be about the same. For the money ya can't beet it. But keep in mind as the others from this forum will tell you "you get what ya pay for" these are no Kimber or S/W. whell thats my 35 cents worth good luck. Let us know what you do
Save your money and get a Springfield. I used to work part time at a gun store. I repaired a "Charles Daley" compact that wouldn't extract fired casings. It looked like their quality control was lacking. The slide casting was very rough, ramp on the frame was rough. I had to replace the extractor, the hook was very short, andwouldn't catch the case rim. It looked like it was fabricated outside of someones "NIPA HUT" with a file and a rock. The guy traded it in on a Springfield compact.
I've carried a Combat Commander for many years day in and day out and love it.
I have one of the Sistema Colts from Argentina, that I picked up dirt cheap. It has proved very accurate and dependable, will feed about anything you put in it, and has out-shot more than a few custom guns at local shoots. If you can find one of these, they are a real buy. If you find two buy both. They are that good.
Kevin; Whether or not some people would buy a Colt, the fact is that they still hold their value better than most others. You should be able to find a nice older Mk IV Series 80 on your budget. I found a great 1953 commercial Government Model at a show for $600 ($585 after I sold the non-original grips off it). The absolute rock bottom on a new 1911 would be the 'Rock Island' 1911A1 for about $325. It all depends on what you want to do with it. Familiarize yourself with the operation of the single-action pistol and decide if that's really what you want. You can get a decent double-action .45 in the FEG Smith & Wesson-style .45 that can be seen on 'Gunbroker.com' for $250 and up. If it's to be a 1911, though, try to stick with Colt.
and if you're saying as i think you are that the Wings of eagles show is in Geneseo, NY. that is probably why i made that slip. i had a Subsciption to Warbirds Magazine for a numer of years as a kid (of course i'm only 26 now :grin: ) and read about Wings of Eagles and the rest every year. shoot i'm living in TX now and am STILL trying to make it Airsho in Midland.
Couple of things. Both the Colt SAA I bought in 1995 and the basic Gov't model I bought in 2002 have shown excellent craftsmanship, with the latter having now gone over 2000 rounds without a FTanything. This includes several hundred lead semiwadcutters. Paid $576 for the Gov't model.
Colt lost the M-16 contract to FN in 1988. This was in the middle of a 4 year strike by the UAW, and so it could not garuntee on time delivery. In 1994 Colt recieved an exclusive contract for M-4 carbines, and this has been extended now thru 2010. In 1998, Colt recovered the contract for M-16 production, as well as performing all upgrades to existing stocks. In addition, the Pentagon has decided to eventualy replace all M-16s in frontline service with M-4s, and Colt has won that contract.
All this is to say, the company is now viable, and its products are worthy of consideration. The decision of what to buy remains a personal one.
ive used a charles daly for 2 yrs now shooting defensive action pistol stock class , an havent had a moment problem , easy 3000 rounds thru it , i clean it an keep a new spring in it an it keeps goin , [/i]
I have an AMT governmet Model (Im pretty sure) with AMTs "Hardballer" kit. The kit consists of extended controls, a beavertail grip safety, a commander hammer, and an adjustable trigger. I bought it used, and the original owner used it in "bowling pin" matches.
The actual "Hardballer" complete handgun was a "Clone" of the Gold Cup colts; with adjustable sights and a flat rib on top of the slide.
On the other hand, my brother has a springfield armory "loaded" 1911 that has everything you could want on a 1911. My Buddy has one of the "Systema" 1927 argentine colt contract guns, and it shoots just as well as my AMT or my Bro's Springfield.
The only 1911's that I've seen that I wouldn't want are the ones made in the phillipine bay SARMS or someone. The fit and finish is really bad, and the all around build quality is rough.
There are many good quality "clones" out there. I really love my Para Ordnance's and my Enterprise Arms (I like the wide bodys) But you can't go wrong with a Springfield Loaded (Probably the best value in 1911's out there right now) Kimber's are great. I have had bad luck with the cheaper clones. (AMT Hardballer, and Llama) they were not reliable at all. My Para's would feed gravel if I could stuff it into the clip!
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