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12 Best 1911 Pistols of 2024

Wilson Combat CQB with Rail and TLR-1 HL
What's the best 1911? We shot thousands of rounds through the most popular and chose based on price point, features, and reliability.
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    The most recognizable handgun in the world is the M1911.

    Springfield TRP 1911s

    John Moses Browning’s tried-and-true design hasn’t changed much over the years, but now some new features and more calibers open this pistol up to even more shooters.

    But where do you start?

    There are so many different types of 1911s on the market that there’s analysis paralysis. The good news is that there’s a perfect 1911 for you at your preferred budget.

    Some 1911s
    Some 1911s

    First, let me say that this is not an easy list to narrow down. There are so many excellent pistols being made by so many different companies. 

    But whether you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to put enough cash together so you can join the club, or you’re looking to spend your fat tax refund on a high-end 1911, we’ve got you covered!

    THE QUICK LIST

    1. Best 1911 for Concealed Carry

      Smith & Wesson SW1911SC E-Series

    Table of Contents

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    How We Chose the Best 1911s

    The Pew Pew Tactical team all contributed to creating this list of the Best 1911s. Each member is full-time immersed in the gun world, with tens of thousands of rounds among them. Although we love our polymer guns, we all have a soft spot for the 1911.

    Tisas 1911 A1 shoot rear

    The following is a list of the 1911s that we would recommend to our friends and family based on their price point, features, and reliability.

    We’ve shot thousands of rounds and spent hundreds of hours with 1911s between our hands-on reviews, shooting events, and guns from our own personal collections. These are the ones that make the cut based on the criteria above.

    This article update by Wyatt Sloan builds on the work of Eric Hung who completed the first round of 1911 tests.

    Best 1911s Under $500

    Maybe you are a bit tight on cash, or maybe you just want to dip your toes into the water and see if 1911s might be your thing.

    Tisas-1911-A1

    The good news is that you can get quality, reliable 1911s at ridiculously low prices these days.

    1. Tisas 1911A1 US Army – Best Budget 1911

    Best Budget 1911
    $419
    at BattleHawk Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Tisas 1911A1 US Army Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Affordable
    • Forged frame and slide
    • Classic styling

    Cons

    • GI sights are period correct, but tough to use
    • Can be hit or miss with certain hollow points

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    5"
    Overall length
    8.5"
    Width
    1.29"
    Height
    5.75"
    Weight
    39 oz
    Capacity
    7+1

    Features

    Forged carbon steel frame and slide
    70-series internals
    Turkish walnut grips and plastic grips included
    5" cold hammer-forged barrel
    Two 7-round magazines

    The Tisas 1911A1 is the clear frontrunner when it comes to budget 1911s.

    Why? For starters, it uses forged frames and slides, and all other parts are machined out of steel. No cast or MIM parts here with the sole exception of the recoil spring plug.

    Tisas 1911 A1 glamour

    Another shocker at this price point is the finish. Every example we’ve got our hands on looked good and had evenly applied coating that gives it that old-school Parkerized look. Even the wood grips have been pretty.

    Tisas also wisely elected to go with minimal branding on the gun for a cleaner mil-spec look.

    These are completely forged and machined, reliable, good-looking, and affordable at around $350-400. On occasion, these even dip as low as $299!

    Be sure to check out our complete review!

    2. Rock Island Armory 1911 Standard FS -Budget Runner-Up

    Budget Runner-Up
    $462
    at Firearms Depot

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Rock Island Armory 1911 Standard FS Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Extended beavertail
    • Ambi safety
    • Affordable

    Cons

    • Cast frame

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    5"
    Overall length
    8.5"
    Width
    1.42"
    Height
    5.51"
    Capacity
    8+1

    Features

    Skeletonized hammer and trigger
    3-dot sights
    Parkerized frame and slide
    70-series internals
    One 8-round magazine

    Rock Island Armory has long been the universal go-to for affordable 1911s that run well. These guns are designed by Armscor and manufactured in the Philippines.  

    The company offers a ton of models at great price points. But since we already have an affordable GI-style gun with the Tisas, we chose the Government-style Standard FS model here.

    We like the stainless model in particular. (Photo: Guns America)

    Upgrades over the GI model include 3-dot sights, an extended beavertail, a skeletonized hammer and trigger, and an ambidextrous safety.

    Not only are these solid guns out of the box, but they can also be a great base that you can customize and upgrade over time.

    Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Midsize
    Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Midsize

    Want to see how Rock Island Armory guns run? You can read our full review of the GI model here.

    Best 1911s from $500-1000

    The guns here in the under $700 category won’t look like slick hand-fitted showpieces but rather ones that will do the job.

    Springfield Garrison rollmark

    These have the ability to get better with a minimal amount of work. If you want a 1911 but can’t afford an uber-expensive custom gun, this is your price range.

    3. Springfield Garrison – Editor’s Pick

    Editor's Pick
    $750
    at Bereli

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Springfield Garrison Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Great accuracy
    • Gorgeous finish
    • Reasonably priced

    Cons

    • Bluing is thin and can be scratched easily
    • No front strap checkering

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    5"
    Overall length
    8.6"
    Width
    1.25"
    Height
    5.5"
    Weight
    37 oz
    Capacity
    7+1

    Features

    Stainless or hot salt blued finish
    Skeletonized hammer and trigger
    Low-profile 3-dot sights
    Extended beavertail
    Ambi safety
    One 7-round magazine

    A relatively new entry into Springfield’s lineup, the Garrison has quickly become one of the best-value 1911s on the market today.

    The Garrison features either a stainless or gorgeous hot salt-blued finish, a 5-inch match-grade barrel, low profile 3-dot sights, backstrap checkering, and an excellent trigger.

    Springfield Garrison 1
    Springfield Garrison

    When you pick up a Garrison, you feel like you are picking up a $1500 1911, not a $750 one. They are available in 9mm and .45 ACP.

    If you are looking for a beautiful pistol that won’t break the bank with the shooting chops to match, this is the one.

    Springfield Garrison barrel bushing
    The barrel, slide, and frame fitment are excellent on these guns.

    Take a peek at our hands-on review of the Springfield Garrison!

    4. Fusion Freedom Reaction – Best Overall Value

    Best Overall Value
    $705
    at BattleHawk Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Fusion Firearms Freedom Reaction Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Excellent value
    • Feature-rich
    • Solid accuracy

    Cons

    • Checkering may be too aggressive for some

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    5"
    Overall length
    8.5"
    Height
    5.5"
    Weight
    39.5 oz
    Capacity
    8+1

    Features

    Sure-Grip front and rear cocking serrations
    Beveled magazine well
    Tuned power style extractor
    Extended safety and beavertail
    Target crowned barrel
    One 8-round magazine

    Fusion Firearms was founded by the former president of Dan Wesson and has been producing frames, barrels, and parts for 1911 builders for a while.

    They have recently expanded their line of production guns, and that includes the excellent Freedom Reaction.

    Fusion Freedom Reaction (Photo: Fusion Firearms)

    These pistols come extremely well-fitted and feature aggressive front strap checkering, front cocking serrations, target-crowned muzzles, and excellent triggers.

    Typically, a 1911 with all of these features combined would cost twice as much, making Fusion guns true sleepers and absolute value buys.

    5. Springfield Armory Mil-Spec – Best Classic 1911

    Best Classic 1911
    $617
    at GrabAGun

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Springfield Armory Mil-Spec Defender

    Pros

    • Solid slide-to-frame fitment
    • Classic styling
    • Reasonably priced

    Cons

    • GI sights are period correct, but tough to use

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    5"
    Overall length
    8.6"
    Height
    5.5"
    Weight
    39 oz
    Capacity
    7+1

    Features

    Forged frame and slide
    Match grade stainless barrel
    Fixed combat 3-dot GI-style sights
    Parkerized finish
    One 8-round magazine

    Springfield Armory makes excellent 1911s, so it is no shocker to see them already make the list twice in such a short span.

    So you want a mil-spec 1911 for fun but don’t want to explain to your friends why your foreign-made one is such a value buy — we get it.

    Sometimes, you just want a known-good name on the side of your gun, and the Springfield mil-spec offers just that.

    Springfield Mil-Spec Defender 1911
    Springfield 1911 Mil-Spec Defender (Photo: All Outdoor)

    This is a gorgeous A1-style firearm that is available in stainless steel or a classic parkerized look. The fit is excellent, and the finish is well done in a way that won’t cause any hangups.

    Our editor’s parkerized version of this gun has been 100% reliable with OEM mags, even with lighter reloads. Despite the GI sights being tough to use, the accuracy of his gun has been outstanding.

    What is your take on the Springfield Mil-Spec Defender? Rate it below!

    [AR]

    6. Springfield Armory Ronin EMP 3″ 9mm – Best 9mm EDC Option

    Best 9mm EDC Option
    $829
    at GrabAGun

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Springfield Armory Ronin EMP Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • 9mm-specific frame
    • Reduced grip circumference
    • Concealable

    Cons

    • No front strap checkering

    Specs

    Caliber
    9mm
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    3"
    Overall length
    6.6"
    Height
    4.8"
    Weight
    24 oz
    Capacity
    9+1

    Features

    Stainless steel, match grade, fullys supported, ramped bull barrel
    Fiber optic front sight, tactical rack white dot rear sight
    Dual captive recoil spring with full length guide rod
    Aluminum alloy frame
    One 9-round magazine

    Next up is one for the concealed carry crowd, the 9mm Springfield Ronin EMP 3-inch.

    EMP stands for Enhanced Micro Pistol. So what does that mean? It means that this gun isn’t just a .45 ACP 1911 that has been rechambered and chopped — it was designed ground up to be a 9mm carry gun.

    The frame, slide, firing pin, firing pin spring, extractor, ejector, trigger, plunger tube, plunger tube assembly, grips, and magazine are all unique to this model.

    Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm
    Springfield 1911 EMP 9mm

    These parts mean you get better reliability while also offering other bonuses, like a reduced grip circumference for enhanced comfort and concealability.

    I own an older pre-Ronin Springfield EMP 9mm 1911 and have shot a lot through it.

    EMP with Bull Barrel
    A look at the bull barrel on the EMP

    As far as reliability goes, there is almost none better. Since I’ve had it in my possession, I’ve not had a single malfunction, which is more than I can say for many other guns.

    It has also displayed good accuracy out of the 3-inch officer-sized barrel, grouping well at distances out to 15 yards, even when rapidly fired.

    Check out our full review of the Springfield EMP 1911.

    Best 1911s from $1000-1600

    At this point, the guns are as close to flawless as you can get before spending a fortune on a handcrafted 1911.  

    The guns run fantastically and need nothing to make them perform better. People still opt to do trigger work at this price, but it isn’t because the stock trigger is bad.

    7. Smith & Wesson SW1911SC E-Series – Best 1911 for Concealed Carry

    Best 1911 for Concealed Carry
    $1,469
    at Brownells

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Smith & Wesson SW1911SC E-Series Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Lightweight alloy frame
    • Bobbed frame for concealability
    • Feature-rich

    Cons

    • Alloy frame means more recoil

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    4.25"
    Overall length
    7.95"
    Width
    1.3"
    Height
    5.6"
    Weight
    28.8 oz
    Capacity
    7+1, 8+1

    Features

    Scandium alloy frame
    Tritium night sights
    Round butt carry countour grip
    Extended beavertail and ambi safety
    Includes one 7-round and one 8-round magazine

    For those looking for an excellent mid-sized carry 1911, check out the 4.25-inch commander S&W 1911SC E-Series.

    The E-Series 1911s depart from your standard steel or aluminum frame in favor of a lighter scandium alloy frame.

    While known more for their revolvers and M&P pistols, S&W should not be overlooked when it comes to 1911s. (Photo: u/TheStockton19)

    Other great features include tritium night sights, unique fish scale front and rear slide serrations, checkered front and backstraps, ambidextrous thumb safety, and a rounded butt for added concealability.

    These features, combined with the commander-length barrel, make this one of our top picks for those serious about using a .45 ACP 1911 as an everyday carry gun.

    8. Springfield TRP – Best Semi-Custom 1911

    Best Semi-Custom 1911
    $1,524
    at BattleHawk Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Springfield TRP Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Semi-custom performance
    • Various models available
    • Flared magwell

    Cons

    • Grip texture is extremely aggressive and may hurt over long strings of shooting
    • May have a small break-in period

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    4.25" - 5"
    Overall length
    7.9" - 8.6"
    Height
    5.5"
    Weight
    27.3 oz - 39.2 oz
    Capacity
    7+1, 8+1

    Features

    Stainless steel, match grade, fullys supported, ramped barrel
    Two-piece flared magwell (non CC versions)
    Forged carbon steel frame (non CC models), forged aluminum alloy frame (CC model)
    Tactical rack 3-dot tritium sights
    Bobbed carry contour frame (CC model)
    Extended beavertail and ambi safety
    Three 7-round magazines (CC model), three 8-round magazines (non CC models)

    We recently got our hands on a batch of new model Springfield TRP 1911s. Suffice to say, we were impressed.

    If you really want to get as close to a true custom gun without spending $2000-4000, the TRP lineup is worth a look.

    Springfield TRP 1911 spread

    The hand-fitment on these guns is super-tight, like a custom gun. You may find these require a small break-in period.

    However, these guns are feature-rich. Excellent sights, great triggers, ultra-aggressive grip texturing, crisp controls, and front serrations are standard. Depending on the model, you also can get accessory rails, a flared magwell, or a bobbed frame for concealed carry.

    Springfield TRP 1911 Classic Carry left
    Springfield TRP Classic Carry

    The TRP line traces its lineage back to the FBI Hostage Rescue Team pistols made by Springfield Armory, and you can see that by the way the perform on the range.

    We reviewed four different TRP models, so be sure to check out our review!

    9. Colt Delta Elite – Best 10mm 1911

    Best 10mm 1911
    $1,179
    at Brownells

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Colt Delta Elite Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • 10mm performance
    • Reliable
    • Good accuracy

    Cons

    • Railed model costs more
    • No front slide serrations

    Specs

    Caliber
    10mm
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    5"
    Overall length
    8.5"
    Height
    5.5"
    Weight
    35 oz
    Capacity
    8+1

    Features

    Low-profile Novak white dot sights
    Black polymer grips with integrated Delta medallion
    Skeletonized hammer and trigger
    Two 8-round magazines

    If you live in an area where four-legged creatures are a threat, enjoy hunting with a handgun, or just like the 10mm cartridge for self-defense, Colt’s freshly revised Delta Elite may be what you’re looking for.

    The venerable 10mm outperforms most other self-defense cartridges for semi-automatic weapons. While it is a bit more expensive to shoot, it is quite versatile if you reload your own ammo.

    Colt Delta Elite 10mm (Photo: singleactions.com)

    Please keep in mind that if the .45 ACP or .40 S&W recoil bothers you, you’ll need to stay away from 10mm, because it’s even snappier.

    For $200 more, you can get a Delta Elite with a Picatinny rail that allows you to mount a light or laser below the 5-inch barrel.

    10mm Round
    10mm Round

    Want more 1911s in 10mm? Check out our separate article.

    10. Dan Wesson Pointman PM-45 – Best Target 1911

    Best Target 1911
    $1,799
    at BattleHawk Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Dan Wesson Pointman 45 Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Fully adjustable rear sight
    • Outstanding accuracy
    • Excellent trigger

    Cons

    • Can be difficult to find in stock

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    5"
    Overall length
    8.75"
    Width
    1.45"
    Height
    5.5"
    Weight
    41.3 oz
    Capacity
    8+1

    Features

    Fully adjustable rear sight, fiber optic front sight
    Tactical hammer and skeletonized hammer
    Long K-style trigger
    Inverted, serrated rib and forward cocking serrations
    Two 8-round magazines

    Dan Wesson is well-known in the 1911 community for making some of the best pistols out of the box without having to spend a fortune on something like a Wilson, Ed Brown, or Les Baer.

    We already covered a decent amount of GI-style, tactical, standard, and carry-oriented 1911s, but what about pure target shooting?

    The Pointman 45 is set up just for that, thanks to its fully adjustable rear target sight and longer K-style trigger.

    Dan Wesson Pointman PM-45 (Photo: Dan Wesson)

    An outstanding trigger, fiber optic front sight, extended beaver tail, checkered front and backstraps, and stainless steel frame with trigger undercut round out the entire package.

    No more deciding between trying to drift your sights with a special tool or using Kentucky windage when your point of impact shifts with different. A few simple turns with a screwdriver and you are back in business.

    If you want a gun that can put tiny groups downrange with minimum fuss and look good doing it, this is your guy.

    Best 1911s Over $1600

    There are many 1911s that fall into this price range, with some costing several thousands of dollars. This is where custom makers begin to enter the market with absolutely gorgeous firearms with all the bells and whistles.

    11. Wilson Combat CQB Lightrail – Best High-End 1911

    Best High-End 1911
    $3,156
    at Kygunco

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Wilson Combat CQB Lightrail Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Top-shelf build quality
    • Accurate
    • Reliable

    Cons

    • Expensive

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    5"
    Overall length
    8.7"
    Height
    5.6"
    Weight
    41 oz
    Capacity
    8+1

    Features

    High-ride Bullet Proof beavertail grip safety
    High-cut checkered frontstrap
    G10 starburst grips
    Battlesight with fiber optic front sight
    Contoured magazine well
    Two 8-round magazines

    If you have the coin and want the absolute best, go with the Wilson Combat CQB.

    Wilson Combat is synonymous with 1911s and high-quality parts. Many people seeking to upgrade their guns or just have quality magazines turn to Wilson.

    Wilson Combat CQB with Rail and TLR-1 HL
    Wilson Combat CQB with Rail and TLR-1 HL

    I’ve built a couple of 1911s and always come back to Wilson parts. Every time I didn’t, I ended up junking that part and bought Wilson.

    For me, the CQB has it all…the Wilson quality, rails, aggressive grips, fiber optic sights, accuracy, and reliability.

    It took me a while to take the plunge on a gun this expensive, but I can say it was well worth it.

    12. Les Baer Premier II – Most Accurate 1911

    Most Accurate 1911
    $2,999
    at Battlehawk Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Les Baer Premier II Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Guaranteed accuracy
    • Top-shelf build quality
    • Fully adjustable rear sight

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Hard to find in stock

    Specs

    Caliber
    .45 ACP
    Action
    Semi-auto
    Barrel length
    5"
    Overall length
    8.5"
    Height
    5.7"
    Weight
    37 oz
    Capacity
    8+1

    Features

    Beveled mag well
    Baer deluxe Commander hammer and sear
    High checkered front strap
    Tuned action
    Low mount LCB adjustable rear sight, Baer dovetail front sight
    Two 8-round magazines

    For those looking for a true custom-grade 1911, the Les Baer Premier II might be the gun for you.

    Les Baer has been a powerhouse in the 1911 world for decades and is well-known and well-respected as one of the finest pistol makers in the industry.

    Les Baer Premier II
    Les Baer Premier II (Photo: Michael Helms, Firearms History)

    The Premier II is no exception. The barrel is hand-fitted to the slide, and the slide is hand-fitted to the frame. When you combine these premium parts with the crisp Les Baer speed trigger, you get a gun guaranteed from the factory to shoot 3-inch groups at 50 yards.

    History of the 1911

    But first…a little history of the century-old design, and then I promise this will shine some light on how to choose the best 1911 for yourself.

    Genius firearms inventor John Moses Browning sought to give the military a more potent handgun round.

    JMB
    John Moses Browning

    He was in direct competition with other gun makers like Smith & Wesson and Savage, but in March 1911, his auto-loading pistol was officially adopted by the US Military as their sidearm of choice.

    The 1911 stood up to a 6,000-round torture test, being submerged in mud and acid, shooting deformed cartridges, and other tests.

    Not only did Browning’s design (to be produced by Colt) pass with flying colors, it was the only gun to pass all stages of this grueling test.

    .45 ACP

    The military needed a deadlier handgun round than the .38 Long Colt being used at the turn of the century and wanted it to utilize a .45 caliber bullet. The Army had a long history with .45 caliber cartridges, with the Single Action Army revolver (SAA) being used for many years.

    Colt Single Action Army
    Colt Single Action Army

    The ultimate replacement would be John Browning’s 1911 chambered in .45 Automatic (AKA .45 ACP, .45 Auto, .45 Automatic Colt Pistol).  

    .45 ACP Ball vs Hollowpoint
    .45 ACP Ball vs. Hollowpoint

    This .45 Auto contained a 230-grain projectile capable of reaching speeds of about 850 feet per second and was much more capable as a self-defense round than the .38 Long Colt was.

    Learn more about calibers in our Basic Bullet Guide.

    Popular Pistol Calibers
    Popular Pistol Calibers

    Other 1911 Manufacturers

    Many purists decry other brands of 1911s (or calibers) as fakes and unworthy to bear the name.

    One thing that many people don’t realize, however, is that the demand for them was so high during the war that Colt contracted out to other companies to help keep production numbers up.

    Some very well-known companies helped, including Remington Rand, Ithaca, Springfield Armory, many foreign companies, and even the Singer sewing machine company.

    Singer 1911
    Singer 1911

    In fact, pistols from these other companies can command a very high price when sold. Because so few were made, some of the Singer pistols can be worth up to $30,000 to the right buyer.

    Modern Uses

    The 1911 style is still in service in a few select military units and some police and is a widely accepted pistol for self-defense, regardless of the maker or size of the cartridge.

    Marines with 1911's
    Marines with 1911s

    If you glance in the gun cabinet of many gun enthusiasts, you’ll likely see at least one 1911 pistol. Many people own more than one because, as far as pistols go, they are accurate, ergonomic, and easy on the eyes.

    Many major shooting sports also allow a class for shooting 1911-style pistols because, even though the original design is well over 100 years old, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

    1911 Diagram
    1911 Diagram

    In fact, if you look at one of Colt’s current 70-Series offerings, it is exceedingly close to the original M1911A1.

    Colt 1911 Series 70
    Colt 1911 Series 70

    Final Thoughts

    The 1911 pistol is a beautiful handgun with a rich history that has expanded over 100 years.

    There is no sign of sales declining, and it seems that every year at SHOT Show, there is another 1911 maker entering the scene.

    Three 1911s
    1911s are awesome, and even if you aren’t using it as a duty or defensive gun. The history and fun factor make it worth owning at least one.

    If you are late to the game, hopefully, this will help you choose which one to add to your collection.

    Are there any we have to put on the list that we missed? What kind of 1911 do you have? Let us know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to stock up on magazines after checking out our list of the best mags for your 1911.

    Latest Updates

    June 24, 2024: Removed Sig Sauer STX, Kimber Warrior, Dan Wesson Vigil, Springfield Vickers Master Class, and Staccato C-series. Added Tisas 1911A1, Dan Wesson PM-45, Springfield TRP. Added supplemental data and media for each product. Also, added information on how we chose the guns on this list.

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    387 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      Mike

      Would love to hear the PPT teams' view on Cabot 1911 (or even Alchemy Custom) pistols and how they stack up against the usual suspects as mentioned here. As you said, there are so many out there...

      June 26, 2024 4:01 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Wyatt Sloan

        Mike, if Cabot or Alchemy would send us one, we would definitely love to see how they stack up.

        July 5, 2024 1:11 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Brian O'Callaghan

      I also trained initially on the Colt 1911 in Navy training. We also used .38 spl, but I preferred the .45. My first 1911, a basic GI version, was from Rock Island. Beautifully fitted slide, no malfunctions. Just a good, no nonsense .45. I recently bought a Ruger SR1911 and love it; even easier to shoot than the original GI version (RI). So, I was a little surprised that the SR1911 did not make the cut for the $500-1000 range, with several versions and price points available. I still shoot them both, and they will eventually go to the next generation of family shooters.

      June 26, 2024 3:44 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Wyatt Sloan

        Brian, the Ruger SR911s are excellent guns. This list could be about four times as long since it is truly a buyers market for 1911s right now. The Garrison took the slot that the SR1911 would mainly because of the bluing and the forged frame. Ruger still uses cast frames, although they are the kings of investment casting and are the best in the business at it. I'd like one at some point, but it kills me that only the two-tone one ever goes on sale under $600, haha. I am glad you are enjoying yours!

        July 5, 2024 1:10 am
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      Chris Bacon

      With a tip of the hat to Col. Jeff Cooper, I believe .45 ACP 1911 is the best pistol evah: there are many pout there, but this one is mine. YMMV, with all due respect to those of us who have brand loyalty for a given manufacturer — but the 1911 is here to stay for a reason.

      I trained with the 1911 in the U.S, Air Force 55 years ago, and the first firearm I purchased was a stainless Colt Mk IV Series 70 Government Model the same year I was trained in its use by SAC. Since then, I’ve acquired 4 Nighthawk Custom 1911s; an original Dan Wesson before CZ acquired the company; one made by Les Baer, Springfield Armory, Rock Island, Ed Brown; 1 Kimber; 4 Staccatos, which technically aren’t 1911s… and had two custom 1911s made for me, designed and built for Gunsite Academy. None of this makes me an expert… just picky. I’ll match any of these with Pew Pew’s best at 15 and 25 yds.

      June 26, 2024 11:39 am
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      Leroy Brook

      My only thoughts on your write up was in regard to the "Cons" for the Colt Delta Elite. For some of us the "missing front serrations" is a plus, as their utility is marginal, but the defacing to the front of the slide, obvious and permanent. The lack of front serrations should be noted as a "Pro" for any gun not defaced by them. If the Garrison had the larger rear serrations of the Colt it would be the perfect budget 1911. A bigger con for the Colt is that it is a Colt. Some of us still remember Colt joining forces with Bill Clinton in sticking to those who love freedom.

      June 26, 2024 10:44 am
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        Wyatt Sloan

        Leroy, I feel you on the serrations. Most people see it as a feature; the same goes for Picatinny rails. I really dislike accessory rails on 1911s, but I understand their utility. One of those Les Baer Monolith Stingers with the full length unrailed dust cover and no front serrations is "that" gun for me.

        July 5, 2024 1:06 am
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      Mike McGuire

      When I first decided to buy a 1911 I was overwhelmed by the choices but did a lot of research and at first had decided on a budget of around 1000.00$. Narrowed my choices to Springfield Ronin 45Acp or a Ruger Sr1911 both very nice pistols that performed well at my local range.....The guy behind the counter asked me to try the Springfield Mil Spec 1911. I fell in love with it's feel-looks-great accuracy and no BS style.# dot sights work well and after over 1000 rounds with no issues of any kind I love it more every time I pick it up! Also own a Magnum Research 1911C 45Acp 4.25" which a a bit more refined than my mil spec costing around 750.00$ compared to 600.00 for mil spec also great shooter. Have shot Tisas ,RIA, Dan Wesson ,Colt. Les Bear....Bottom line nothing feels or shoots like a 1911 and good ones come in all price ranges and even the basic models can be left stck like mine or customized in so many ways! Try as many as you can in your budget range and enjoy! I just wish I could own every one on this list ! PS Did I mention I love my SA Mil Spec?

      June 26, 2024 8:46 am
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        Wyatt Sloan

        Mike, Springfield is killing it in the $600-800 price range, in my opinion. My fiancee has a Mil-Spec she bought a couple years back, and it has been nothing but a reliable tack driver. Glad to hear you are having the same experience!

        July 5, 2024 1:03 am
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          Mike McGuire

          Thanks Wyatt and am glad she is happy with her Mil Spec! And Thank you for the reply and great article keep up the great work! PS Pew Pew Rocks !

          July 5, 2024 4:32 am
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            Wyatt Sloan

            Mike, we are happy to hear you are enjoying the content. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

            July 6, 2024 6:55 pm
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      Jim Lyons

      Good read despite the comments to the contrary. My personal pick, as in I just purchased, is the EAA/Girsan MC1911SC. I wanted a smaller pistol for EDC (note I did not say 'small') and the recent articles on velocity show little significant difference among barrel lengths. Mine is finished in Tungsten and will get a set of rosewood grips with finger grooves. That will be the extent of the modifications.
      How about a blog on commander and officer variants.
      When I want a smaller EDC I go with the Beretta APX A1 carry but I prefer the 45 over the 9.

      June 26, 2024 8:28 am
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        Mike McGuire

        I aslo carry the Beretta APX carry really like it even though it;s only 8 rounds. Just curious how do you like the MC1911SC? I have been looking at them. Thanks Mike M.

        June 26, 2024 9:54 am
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        Wyatt Sloan

        Jim, I am glad you are enjoying your 1911SC. I have seen those, but there isn't much on the web about those guns, and I have been curious. I would love to do an officer/commander/CCO 1911 article, but it is a little niche. Hopefully we will get one out sometime down the road regardless. Thanks for stopping in!

        July 5, 2024 1:01 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Tim

      Colt defender for best ccw

      June 25, 2024 10:05 pm
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        Wyatt Sloan

        Tim, the old Defenders are nice guns. I am still a bit on the fence about their new guns and waiting for all the QC bugs to shake out after Colt got bought out. I have a newer GI 1911 and while it runs well, the fitment wasn't great on mine. It would be nice if CZ sent some of the Dan Wesson folks over to Colt to iron everything out, haha.

        July 5, 2024 12:59 am
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      Rick

      I own a ParaOrdnance 14/45 limited I purchased in 1995...perfection.
      I also have a Taurus PT1911 i phrchased used in 2018, which has never given me any problems.
      Next 1911 will be a 10mm double stack...

      June 25, 2024 9:47 pm
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        Wyatt Sloan

        Rick, the Rock Island double-stack 10mm guns are pretty sweet. I've been meaning to get around to grabbing one for some time now.

        July 5, 2024 12:58 am
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      P.Diamond

      I have a 45 acp Springfield Range Officer that is very smooth shooting and accurate.

      June 25, 2024 9:42 pm
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        Wyatt Sloan

        The Range Officer models are solid guns. I have a Range Officer compact in 9mm, and it has been a great shooter.

        July 5, 2024 12:56 am
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          P.Diamond

          Wyatt - My grandson's actually shoot the big old 45acp better than my 9mm pistol. The bigger of the two boys loves the 45. I think that when he turns 21 I am going to gift it to him. It doesn't matter because as long as he is at my house he can go out and shoot whatever gun he chooses.

          July 5, 2024 10:36 am
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            Wyatt Sloan

            That is amazing turning-21 gift, can't argue with that!

            July 6, 2024 6:54 pm
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      Chris Bacon

      Best?

      Laughable…!

      Warned-up blog leftovers…

      June 25, 2024 9:18 pm
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      John J

      Why was the Staccato C Series eliminated?

      June 25, 2024 7:07 pm
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        Wyatt Sloan

        John, Staccato has discontinued their single-stack C-series. The only remaining guns in their lineup are 2011s, no single-stack 1911-type guns anymore.

        July 5, 2024 12:55 am
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      Randall

      Hi Eric I have a new colt gold cup trophy in 45 acp.this is an incredibly smooth and accurate gun designed for competition. Use high grade match ammo and you will also love this gun.

      May 13, 2024 10:02 pm
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        Justin Hollister

        I have my eye on that one for my birthday coming up in a few weeks. It's in stock at my dealer. I check everyday to make sure they don't run out.

        June 25, 2024 6:18 pm
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      Michael

      I’m 72 years old, bought a Kimber raptor 11. Impossible to rack Pistol without stoving a bullet.
      Sent it back to the factory they changed the recoil spring and made it worse. Now the absolute worse Pistol I’ve ever fired or owned.

      April 28, 2024 11:34 am
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        Chris Bacon

        My late wife decided to,listen to a gun store clerk who’d previously sold her two “girl guns” — a Walther PPKS and Colt Mustang, both .380s — and has nothing but problems with the Kimber. If you speak Aviation parlance, you know what a “hangar queen” is, and the Kimber went back to the manufacturer so many times I lost count. It eventually was capable of firing ten out of ten rounds without some problem, but I don’t trust it: it’s sat in my safe now for 30+ unused, only because it would be inappropriate to use it for a paperweight.

        June 26, 2024 11:51 am
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      RickR

      Very nice article but you left out some good ones including my favorite Ed Brown 1911s.

      March 6, 2024 6:23 pm
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      Dan

      Nice article but I think you should check out the Ed Brown 1911 pistols. I have or have had quite a few firearms in my life time and the two Ed Browns that I have, rate right up there with the best

      January 19, 2024 5:20 pm