This is something that's been on my mind for some time. I have been interested in purchasing a 1911 for the past couple of months. I have narrowed my choices down to either Springfield or Kimber. (Wish I could afford Wilson Combat). I hear so many people talking about taking their 1911 and having modifications done. Such as trigger jobs, better springs, guide rods, etc...My question is, can I buy a NIB 1911 and trust it, without doing any modifications to it?
Very few of mine have mod.s done to them, the couple that do was only because I wanted to was not needed
If I had to chose between the two I would go with the Springfield Mil-Spec. Doesn't cost a arm and a leg amd any gun smith worth his salt can fix it any way you want it. Good Luck on what ever you choose.
Hello, L8models. I tend to agree with the previous posters that you can get a most serviceable and reliable 1911 pattern pistol w/o selling the farm. Much just depends upon what you want. At least that's the truth in my own case.
That the 1911 pistol remains extremely popular leads to fast and furious competition amongst makers and while we, the buyers, benefit from having about every possible version of the pistol available from at least one manufacturer, we also "reap the whirlwind" in some guns being let out of the factory that shouldn't have. Thus, we wind up with the 1911 frequently being referred to as a "jammamatic" or other complaints concerning reliability. The sad thing is that these folks are probably telling the truth based on what they've experienced. Considering the number of complaints versus the numbers of 1911 type handguns sold, that number is probably very low, but that's of little importance if you happen to be the one with the gun that doesn't work.
Fortunately, most 1911's can be made reliable for little expense and some require no help at all out of the box...but still get some degree of custom work.
This STI Legacy is an expensive 1911 (to me), but one that groups very very well, has a good trigger out of the box as well as the obvious accoutrements often referred to as "bells and whistles" by some.
This SA Mil-Spec was purchased NIB and shot well over a thousand rounds with no malfunctionsn whatsoever. Still, I had the internals and hammer "upgraded" by Teddy Jacobson and I obviously changed the gun's grips. This resulted in a smoother operating pistol and one with a much better trigger pull, to go along with the pistol's already perfect reliability record. To date, it's fired something over 3500 shots w/o a malfunction EXCEPT when I purposely loaded a light target SWC handload to see if it would function; it failed to eject. With standard power loads, it doesn't seem to "care" if it is FMJ, SWC, or JHP. The STI Legacy would probably shoot tighter groups than my Mil-Spec, but that doesn't mean that the Mil-Spec won't group satisfactorily for 99.9% of my my personal "needs," be they real or theoretical. The Mil-Spec is a pistol I sometimes carry for "serious" purposes even though it is what some folks refer to as an "entry level" 1911.
The last few Mil-Specs, regular and GI version, that I've seen and shot have all worked nicely. Some would have benefitted greatly from a trigger job, but their sights were well-regulated POA to POI and they worked.
Depending upon how far a fellow wants to go, no mods to minor ones to the exotic are available for the 1911 pattern pistol. Most simply depends upon one's personal wishes...and pocket book.
If it might be of use, here are some observations related to the Mil-Spec:
Best and good luck in your search.
Assuming the pistol is reliable, all you need are sights you can see, a trigger you can use, and a dehorning job (if it's other than a casual range gun).
I do like high-grip beavertail grip safeties, but that's something of an affectation.
Spend money on ammo or training instead of trinkets and add-ons, and you will be a better shooter for it.
Between Kimber and Springfield, I'd buy Springfield.
All I can add is that the one mod you may need, rather than want, is a beavertail grip safety - depending on your grip/hands, you can get hammer bite from the original style grip safety.. I found out the hard way.
Might I be so bold as to suggest the Taurus PT1911? Mine has been utterly reliable and I have done nothing to it, I like it so much. Besides, there's not much you need to do to it anyway, unless you want to make it a match gun for bullseye. I absolutely trust it for personal defense.
Nothing wrong with any make you choose as long as you practice enough with it to know it, and to tell if you got a good working gun.
May I suggest going to a range and shooting different brand 1911's? I personnally can not shoot any Springfields worth a damn. I think they are great, but just don't work for me. I shoot them alongside Kimbers, Sig Rev's, and even a Rock Island. I can shoot decent with all but the Springers. It is a shame too, because I can get some really great deals on them through my shop.
But most modern production 1911 will prove to be extremely reliable.
I have two Kimbers and a Springfield that had good triggers out of the box. No modifications other than removing the guide rod and installing a regular recoil spring.
There was a time when ALL factory pistols needed trigger jobs and sights, and NO pistols came with enhanced grip safeties or thumb safeties. Now, those features are standard. Except for very minor personal preferences, there is no reason you should not be able to find a pistol ready to go, out of the box. You don't need to spend $2000, either.
You can get a quality pistol to carry for around $800.00. Here's mine.
S&W 1911/.45 scandium PD 41/4" barrel, weight 27oz empty, $710 +tax.
Paul Andrews Holster $70.00. http://www.andrewsleather.com/
Good luck in what ever you get.
I did this same thing a year ago and came to the same conclusion as you. I decided on a Springfield Mil-Spec. It has all the "necessary" upgrades over the base GI model that you'd want (and no front cocking serrations, which I didn’t want). My hands are small enough that I don’t get hammer bite from the shorter grip safety. After I settled on a Mil Spec, Dustoff’68 put one up for sale on here for a better price than I was seeing at my dealers so I snatched it up. It’s been a great shooter and is a great base to build if you want to tinker. The only thing I may do is put a longer trigger in.
The Taurus loaded 1911’s weren’t out and tested at the time but given another year I may very well have bought one of them and may still do that.